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his literary productions than was necessary to express and explain with energy the view which he would enforce. There is nothing careful or condensed in his style. It is businesslike and intelligible, but seldom pointed. Like most great men of affairs, he used the arts of composition as he used that of handwriting, - he cultivated them far enough to make himself perfectly intelligible, but left the elegances and ornaments to people of the grade of writing-masters and other posture-makers. In his speeches we find the same characteristic. He spoke to convince, and he convinced. Yet, unless the subject interests us, his collected speeches are but dull reading. In the midst of the intense and epigrammatic eloquence to which the Italian seems born, and to which his language is so well adapted, the oratory of Cavour in the legislative assemblies of Italy must have seemed singularly cold.
Even in the outset of his career as an editor, he was called to take a more important position in public affairs. Charles Albert was not so quick to take oaths as were Neapolitan and other princes who meant to break them on the first opportunity. He had shown himself, therefore, so backward in that extension of liberty which he had promised in Piedmont, that a general impression gained ground in Turin that he was intending a retrograde policy. A body of the liberals, of every shade of politics, met, in consequence, to address the king in support of an address which had been prepared in Genoa. To the surprise of his colleagues, Cavour, still but little known, opposed the Genoese address, because it did not go far enough. “Let us demand the Constitution," he said. But his proposal was too far in advance of the moment to secure success, and for the moment it had to wait, and he. He wrote a letter to the king, assuring him that his whole object was to reconcile the dignity of the throne and the authority of the government with the true interests of the country. But the king hesitated, - the aristocratic party of nature hated constitutional government, and the democratic party dreaded the plan, as dictated by an Anglo-mania. Cavour's proposal was not, therefore, immediately accepted, even by the other liberals, much less by the king. But a very short time was enough to bring about the grant of that Constitution which has since proved
so important. Under its provisions, Cavour was at once appointed by Balbo on the committee which drew up the fundamental electoral law for the kingdom. The work was done in fifteen days, but it was so well done that it has answered, unchanged, the purposes of the whole Italian nation. It is not based on universal suffrage. The qualification is an assessment of about twenty dollars a year in taxes, the payment of a rent of one hundred and twenty dollars or upwards, or the pursuit of any “liberal trade or profession."
It must be remembered that all this work in the establishment of constitutional order in Piedmont was completed before the great uprising of the Italian nation in 1848. Cavour's course in the first Parliament of Piedmont during that war is thus described by Dr. Botta :
“ During the war of 1848, Turin witnessed the opening of the first Parliament. In that session Cavour sat as the deputy of the first district of his native city, a constituency which, with the exception of one short session, he continued to represent to the last. United to the aristocracy by birth and by early associations, yet separated from that class by his liberal views; tending toward the democratic party in his progressive ideas, yet opposing all radical and visionary schemes, — he at first stood almost alone in the chamber, an isolated, yet remarkable figure. Although he gave his cordial support to the administration, headed by his friend Cesare Balbo, he did not shrink, even in his maiden speech, from rebuking the ministry for their weakness and indecision in conducting the war, at a time when the only hope for its success was in bold and vigorous measures. ....
“ The course pursued by Cavour during those stormy years exhibits in strong relief that moral courage with which he was peculiarly endowed. Believing the democratic tendencies of the time utterly ruinous to the national cause, he fearlessly threw himself against the prevailing current of' opinion, and thus greatly increased his unpopularity. But this could not deter him from performing what he considered his duty; for he did not belong to that class of politicians, to be found everywhere, whose love of country is subservient to self-interest, and whose object is confined to flattering popular passions and prejudices. It was a striking spectacle to see him at that time, from his seat in the chamber, defying the storm of hisses and yells with which he was frequently assailed from the galleries. Often he called them to order, or moved that they should be cleared according to the rules. I am not to be prevented from speaking,' said he on one occasion, Óby shouts and hisses. What I believe to be true, that will I speak out. If you compel me to silence, you insult not me alone, but the chamber. And now I shall proceed.' And with his usual self-possession he resumed his discourse.” — Discourse, pp. 23 – 25.
Speaking to a friend of the war of 1848 and 1849, after the disaster of Novara, Cavour said: “We have lost thousands of brave soldiers; we have wasted many millions; we have had disastrous campaigns; and from all this we have only reaped one single thing: we have got the Italian tricolor for our standard instead of the flag of Savoy. Well, in my opinion, we have not paid too dear.” In that epigram is unveiled his policy for the remainder of his life.
In both the books before us there are intelligible digests of the variations of cabinets and of policies which are to be traced in the history of Sardinia from the accession of Victor Emmanuel to the outbreak of the war with Austria. They are changes such as belong to the history of a constitutional government, - and, considering the tremendous problems which met the newly established constitution of Sardinia, the history of these first years of experiment is to the highest degree creditable to king, ministers, and people. We attempted, as long since as 1857,* to give some explanation of the dignified and brave bearing of the government in the most difficult of these questions, the eternal controversy with the Papal See. The political result of the training which the Piedmontese people were gaining in those ten years of preparation has been shown all along in the years of revolution and reconstruction which have followed them. To display the military strength of the young nation, and to get that foothold which he required on the carpet of the general politics of Europe, Cavour joined the English and French in their alliance against Russia. For he had then been long already the leader of the Sardinian cabinet. The prophecy of Victor Emmanuel had been fulfilled. In 1850, Cavour had been called into the ministry. When the appointment was proposed to the king, he said, “I have no objection, — but the man will turn out every one of you before long," - words which proved quite true.
* Christian Examiner, Vol. LXIII. p. 404, VOL. LXXIII. - 5TH S. VOL. XI. NO. I.
“ Protest in Piedmont.”
He occupied these ten years of preparation, from 1849 to 1859, with other cares for the state, as well as the immense charge of her armament, her church, and her constitutional system. With an expenditure lavish if it had not been all staked for Italy rather than Piedmont, he developed the systems of railroads, of foreign commerce, of manufactures, and of improved agriculture, which added immensely to the resources of Sardinia when the crisis came, in which she had to strain every nerve, while she waited for the co-operation of her sister states of the Peninsula.
Cavour never expected, after the defeat at Novara, to succeed in establishing the independence of Italy by her unassisted resources. He knew that she must have, in the outset, the alliance of one of the great European powers, England and France, of course, being the only two whose sympathies or interests lay at all in that direction. England, in her policy, whether administered by Lord Malmesbury or Lord Palmerston, early showed towards Italy the same selfishness and cowardice, not to say falsehood and duplicity, which she has since shown towards America. In our own discussion of the Peace of Villa Franca, before we were interested nationally in the foreign policy of England, we had occasion to expose its timidity and short-sightedness in this same connection.* The Italians had reason to rue such credit as they had given to English promises in their struggles of 1848 and 1849. They had nobly avenged themselves by their relief in the Crimea, when, as Mr. Dicey says, “our army was supposed to be wellnigh destroyed.” Cavour knew England, of course, well enough to know that under no conceivable circumstances would England risk a shilling or a man for the Italian cause ; that “ England never made war for an idea.” She might be willing enough to receive the chivalrous assistance of Sardinia in the Crimea, and even to advance money to hasten it; but to return such assistance would be “intervention." Cavour knew, therefore, that Napoleon was the only possible ally for Italy. And his foreign policy was directed, therefore, to insuring the help of Napoleon, as his home policy was
* Christian Examiner, Vol. LXVII. p. 267, — “The War and the Peace.”
directed to preparing to use it well. His skilful conduct in the conference at Paris, and his declarations at the close to the members of that conference, and to the Parliament of Piedmont when he returned, prepared all observers for the moment when Piedmont, with whatever foreign assistance she could command, should take the initiative for the independence of Italy. Two years passed, however, before the memorable new-year's speech of the Emperor Napoleon to the Austrian ambassador precipitated the struggle, or rather showed that his preparations for it, and those of his new allies in Sardinia, were completed.
Of all Dr. Botta's eloquent Discourse, full of careful studies and of political wisdom, we have been most struck by his study here of a subject always most difficult, – the secret policy of the third Napoleon. The passage is too long for us to extract. We must content ourselves by saying, that he is not satisfied with that humiliating line of criticism which accounts for a great man's policy only by ascribing the meanest motives to him. He finds reasons for the French alliance in the traditions of the Napoleon family; in the education of the Emperor himself; in the necessity for destroying the treaty of Vienna ; in the French policy regarding Italy for centuries, - a policy so steadily carried out by the first Emperor. He shows that this policy was no novelty with Louis Napoleon ; that he had steadily worked upon it from the beginning of his reign. Looking thus favorably on his general policy, he is not so hasty as many of his countrymen are to suppose that of a sudden the Emperor abandoned all consistency at the treaty of Villa Franca.
“ The problem which Napoleon III. seems to have proposed to himself was to obtain the maximum of results by the minimum of war. By the sudden termination of the campaign, while he saved himself from the risk of losing what he had gained, he prevented at once the alliance on the eve of being consummated between Austria and Prussia, and arrested the march of the Prussian troops across the Rhine; he made his power felt by the governments of Europe, whose interference he openly disregarded in his new territorial arrangements; and, having checked the pride of Austria, he won her friendship by his magnanimity, when, disheartened by a series of defeats, she saw herself at once saved from destruction, with a comparatively small sacrifice.