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he was as much an enemy to the excesses of democracy, with its secret conclaves and its daggers, as to Papal re-action and Austrian tyranny.
After the battle of Novara, when his soldierly honor alone kept Victor Emmanuel from yielding to the re-actionary influences about him, D'Azeglio was made prime minister of Italy; and though the government was almost powerless and the parliament in a state of anarchy, though the average length of ministerial life had hardly exceeded a fortnight, he succeeded in giving stability to the cabinet, and a feeling of confidence to the country. The Chamber, however, was radical ; distracting constitutional questions were to be settled; and the calamities of a ruinous war were to be repaired. D'Azeglio, therefore, felt himself obliged to yield to the necessities of the moment, and on the sixth of August made peace with Austria on the basis of the old boundaries. But the treaty had no sooner been signed, than the democratic party eluded and embarrassed the execution of it. Brofferio declared it was better to let every thing go by the board, even the constitution itself, than to renounce their claim to Lombardy and Venice. But with that sagacity and firmness which had made him the personification of moderate liberal opinion in Italy, and had given to his doctrine the character of a political programme, D'Azeglio held by the constitution. The treaty with Austria was an external necessity, but the preservation of the constitution was the sole guaranty of domestic independence. Instead, therefore, of cutting short his difficulty by a coup d'état, he counselled the king to dissolve the parliament and appeal to the country. The king took his advice; and, after a couple of trials, the country responded in such a way, that the ministry could fulfil its obligations to Austria, and constitutional government was saved at Turin, and Piedmont gained its Novara, over the arts of conspiracy and the passions of party.
And thus it was, that, of all the countries of Europe which in the upheaval of 1848 had extorted constitutions from their rulers, Piedmont was the only one which preserved the con. cessions it then obtained. But it was only in name, at the
outset, that even Piedmont was a constitutional country. Up to 1848, it was far behind even Austria or Naples in religious liberty; and though the constitution secured it in theory, every
effort that had been made to induce the Pope to agree to a concordat had failed: Balbo, Pinelli, Siccardi, all had besieged him in vain. D'Azeglio, therefore, resolved to take the subject into his own hands; and, at bis suggestion, Siccardi, the minister of justice, brought in a bill abolishing ecclesiastical courts, and the right of asylum for crimes, – making the clergy amenable, in a word, like all other citizens, to the law of the land: which was but putting them, after all, on the same footing with respect to Rome as other Catholic states now stand upon. Cavour gave in his adhesion to this revolutionary measure; and it was carried, in spite of the opposition of all the seven archbishops and thirty-four bishops of Piedmont, aided by every element of re-action.
But D'Azeglio was not a great statesman. Rather the spokesman, the prophet, than the leader of a party, he had comparatively little administrative ability. His earlier habits of leisure, his artistic and somewhat Epicurean tastes, unfitted him for prolonged exertion: it was only under the immediate pressure of difficulties that he rose sublime in the parliament and the cabinet. Yet it was rather by a kind of instinct that he succeeded; for the same many-sidedness, the same rapidity of conception and execution, which prevented him from becoming a great artist, prevented him from becoming a great statesman: and though his amiable manners and ready wit and clear head gave him a great ascendency over the unstable mind of the king, and so enabled him to counteract the evil domestic and courtly influences which surrounded the young monarch, D'Azeglio felt himself unable to cope with the questions of financial and social reform, which were pressing upon the government. The superior financial genius of Cavour had been recognized by the nation, and D'Azeglio, therefore, withdrew to private life as cheerfully as he had left it, and as free from selfish ambition. He had done his work in bridging over the interval between the tumult of war and the resumption of the industry of peace; and while he
exaggerated, as he undoubtedly did, the danger to be apprehended from an open war with the old aristocracy of Piedmont, he could not have been instrumental in accomplishing many social reforms. Another guide was needed for other dangers, another hand for other work; and, fortunately for Piedmont, she found both in Cavour, – the greatest statesman of modern Italy, the embodiment, as it were, of that Piedmontese foresight and firmness which is to work out the redemption of the nation.
Mazzini affirms, that, to effect so mighty a work as the emancipation of a nation, you need either great men or a great principle. The former are wanting in Italy, and therefore he has recourse to the latter,-“ Italy, one and undivided." Yet, if one contrasts the results of Mazzini's policy with that accomplished by D'Azeglio, certainly the logic of success is with the latter. Mazzini and the radicals have made noble martyrs; D'Azeglio and the moderate party have established a great state.
It has been said, sneeringly, that it took the House of Savoy eight centuries to get together a kingdom which could be traversed in four days: but those eight centuries were not thrown away. Descendants, probably, of the Taurini,ancient Ligurian tribe, which'aided the Gauls in their attack upon Rome, and afterwards became Roman citizens and partakers of the Roman civilization, the name being derived from Tor, the Celtic term for mountain or height, still preserved in Torino (Turin), — the Piedmontese, placed originally astride the Alps, where the French and Italian peoples touched one another, wavered between north and south; but the course of events merged them at length in Piedmont, as that is now merged in Italy. The Sardinians, therefore, were always something better and something worse than French or Italians : they had neither the brilliant qualities, nor the grievous faults, of one or the other, - neither the wild valor of the French nor the riotous energy of the Tuscan; an army rather than a people, a garrison rather than a community. For it was only in the eighteenth century that the Italian literature may be said to have been fairly established in Piedmont, when it pro
duced, for the first time, its representation in Alfieri, - once ranked in Italy above all ancient or modern writers, but now unjustly neglected; for he not only rendered to Italian letters the great service of tempering them with a certain severity, but, to the Piedmontese in particular, that of making them enter into the grandeur of the national literature.
But even Alfieri fled from the sombre provincialism of Turin, to hear people talk Italian in Florence: for Turin had no history worth remembering, no memory of a brilliant court like that of the Medici or the Este; it counted no Boccaccio among its romancers, no Tasso among its poets; its court was a cloister, and its streets were dark with Jesuits. " The last mass,” exclaimed Voltaire, “ will be said in Piedmontese :" yet it was this very historical inferiority which has enabled Piedmont to enter unembarrassed upon the modern movement of Italian reform, and therefore, apart from the character of its people, has best fitted it to take the lead in the re-organization of Italian life. Its soldiers have been the first to battle for Italian unity; and while its alpine amphitheatre has echoed all the tumult of the peninsula, its thinkers have been the first to give a clear and precise expression to the aspirations for Italian freedom. Balbo and D'Azeglio and Gioberti, who were the centre of the new movement have laid the foundation of the kingdom of Italy; for they did more, D'Azeglio especially, to make the Piedmontese school of politics, as it was called, popular throughout the peninsula, than all other agencies combined.
D'Azeglio indeed, while he never lost the love of the people, seems always to have commanded the respect of the rulers of Italy. In the worst times, he travelled freely from Milan to Florence, and from Rome to Naples, seldom molested, never actually proscribed; conspiring, as Gallenga says, with an upraised voice; organizing and directing public opinion even up to his death, at Turin, in January, teaching the Italians everywhere, and at all times, to have courage in their own convictions. Yet he stood aloof from Mazzini, as Gioberti stood aloof from the Jesuits, joining hands only, both of them, with Balbo, who, with a zeal worthy
of the fifty heroes of his family that fell at Legnano, fighting for the liberty of their country against Barbarossa, devoted himself to forwarding that intellectual enlightenment and that moral reform which must be the basis of all true freedom. So that, whether it is appointed to Italy to find the consummation of its present struggle for unity in the republic of Mazzini, or in a powerful kingdom under the successors of Humbert the White-handed, founder of the House of Savoy, it may at least be said of D'Azeglio and the moderate party, as Milton so touchingly said of himself,
“ Those also serve who only stand and wait."
ART. V.- THE SUNDAY QUESTION AND ITS
WHETHER we consider it from an historical, ethical, or practi. cal point of view, the Sunday question is full of interest, and challenges the attention of every Biblical scholar, moralist and reformer. If we are disposed to ignore it, on account of the difficulties attending it, — the strength of existing prejudices, or the fear of a popular perversion of our views, -it faces us continually, in some of its many points of application, in such a persistent and peremptory manner, that there is no escape from fresh investigation, and the announcement of our well-considered conclusions. It must be determined whether steam and horse cars shall be permitted to run, as on other days; whether excursion boats, and parties seeking country air and recreation on that day, shall be allowed; whether houses of refreshment may be opened; and whether public libraries and reading-rooms may receive visitors on Sunday.
Within the last decade especially, many of our principal cities have been deeply agitated upon one or more of these practical issues. In each case, the discussion has taken a