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Italy, its condition, Great Britain, its policy : a series of letters addressed to Lord John Russell, M.P. online

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552

E54

1859

MAIN



UC-NRLF



B M 153 717



ITS CONDITION.



ilRARItb



^ES



EAT BRITxilN: ITS POLICY,



^ Merits 0f Setters



ADDSEaSED TO



bRD JOHN RUSSELL, M.P.



BI AN ENGLISH LIBERAL



I'he spirit of freedom which this invasion [of Naples by Austria, iu 1821] had stifled was not
luished; nor did the crnel punishments inflicted by Austria upon the illustrious patriots of
9 reconcile either the Italians or foreign nations to that odious dominion which -in
; of the people's unanimous desire, and in galling opposition to all their most rooted pre-
ions and tastes -she exercised over the finest portions of the Italian Peninsula. The desire
rty at home is, in all parts of that country, intimately blended with the love of national
JQdence."-iord Brougham'* Historical and Political Dissertations, p. 122. Edition 1857.



LONDON:
lAMES RIDGWAT, 16 7, PICCADILLY,

1859.



ITALY: ITS CONDITION.



GREAT BRITAIN: ITS POLICY,



% Scries flf Jetttrs



ADDEESSED TO



LORD JOHN RUSSELL, M.P.



BY AN EKGLISII LIBERAL.



" The spirit of freedom which this invasion [of Naples by Austria, in 1821] had stifled was not
extinguished; nor did the cruel punishments inflicted by Austria upon the illustrious patriots of
the Milanese reconcile either the Italians or foreign nations to that odious dominion which -in
defiance of the people's unanimous desire, and in galling opposition to all their most rooted pre-
possessions and tastes -she exercised over the finest portions oi the Italian Peninsula. The desire
of liberty at home is , in all parts of that country, intimately blenJed witli the love of national
independence."— iord Brougham's Mistorieal and Political Dissertations, p. 122. Edition 1857.



LONDON:
JAMES EIDGWAT, 16 7, PICCADILLY

1859.



Ii will be obvious to the readers of the lollowing Letters
thut they were written — indeed, they were printed — before ex-
planations were given iu the Iloiise of Commons on Friday,
the 2ol\i inst.

The explanations touched only one, and that a small,
although an important, part of the Italian question — the
withdrawal of French and Austrian troops from the Pontifical
States, to be followed by changes in the lloman Government.

If these alterations have to originate from the Pope, they
will be illusory and dangerous. No one in hLs States will
now place the slightest confidence in Papal concessions, or
in priestly promises, made to avoid war. No high-minded
Italian layman of intelligence or capacity will submit to the
humiliation of becoming the Minister of a Pope whose faith-
lessness is unsurpassed by the treachery of any of his prede-
cessors.

The evacuation of the lloman States will still leave Austria
dominant in Italy, will still leave tyranny and cruelty rampant
in Naples, oppression and despotism stronger than ever in Lom-
bardo-Venetia, and misery the fate of the people of the Duchies.

Neither will that evacuation diminish the real danger of
Italy — the antagonism between Austrian pride and Sardinian
freedom. But it will associate all the hopes of Italy with the
further and exclusive intervention of the French, and so
augment the hostility of Austria and France.

Nor can it be expected that the Italians, now that a
dread of war has concentrated the fears of all Euro]X! on their
wretchedness, will again make their independence a contribu-
tion to tliat " Peace of Europe," during which their fetters
have only been more cruelly rivet led.

The success, therefore, of the limited niis.sion of Lord
Cowley to Vienna will ailord no solution to the greater number
of the Italian questions discussed in the following Ix;ttei"s.

February '^0, IbDU.



VC]55Z



% Scries of fetters

ADDRESSED TO

LOED JOHN EUSSELL, M.R



LETTER 1.
THE CASE STATED.



My Lord, — I have often wondered wliat interest our own
country, the England of which we are all justly proud, could
possibly have in keeping Italy down. I quite agree with those
who are of opinion that to Englishmen the interest of England
must be the chief consideration ; nor am I in the smallest degree
disposed to recommend Quixotic interference on the behalf of
Italy, or any other foreign country. But what I cannot, for the
life of me, see, is the advantage we derive from helping the
Austrians to misgovern Lombardy, from aiding the King of the
Two Sicilies to turn his beautiful kingdom into a hell upon
earth, and from propping up the tottering throne of that foul old
Papacy which, on the whole, in the course of centuries, has
done more damage to mankind than either gin or the small-pox.
If the hour has arrived when, as far as Italy is concerned, the
Pope, the King of Naples, and the Austrian Csesar, with his three
little satellites at Tuscany, Modena, and Parma, must disappear
into space, what is that to us ? Why should the sons of English
mothers have their throats cut in any such quarrel? Why
should your Lordship and myself, each in his degree, be called
upon for war nine-pences and war half-crowns to maintain all
this wickedness, and tyranny, and filth ?

I address you, my Lord, with the deepest and most unfeigned
respect, with that respect which high ability, earnestness of
purpose, and active patriotism entitle their possessor to. For
the last forty years, whenever there has been a chance of giving
liberty a helping hand, I have always seen your Lordship's
name in the van. The natural result has been that whenever
some great constitutional dispute was to be settled, and the " Ins"
and the " Outs" were in sore commotion, the regular cry of the

B 2



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Online LibraryEnglish liberalItaly, its condition, Great Britain, its policy : a series of letters addressed to Lord John Russell, M.P. → online text (page 1 of 9)