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annually elected (in place of disagreeable autho-
rities) were to settle any disputes that might arise.
All expense was renounced, and it was agreed that
merit should decide on every occasion. There was
to be free choice of matrimonial partners, without
the influence of parents, no dowry, no wills, &c.
Singular that, in the same kingdom and at the
same time that such rose-coloured fancies and
reveries were indulged, the reading of the Florence
Gazette was punished Avith six months' imprison-
ment, and the reading of Voltaire with three years'
labour in the galleys.

After the breaking out of the French revolution,
every thing assumed a graver aspect : hopes sprang
up, as well as apprehensions. The numerous ad-
herents of the new doctrines looked for better times,
better governments, the prodigious advance of so-


ciety ; the government, on the contrary (and Queen
Marie Caroline, in particular), feared the overthrow
of all order, and of all the good that the eiforts of
a thousand years had founded. The former con-
ceived that secret associations and conspiracies were
allowable, nay even necessary, for the attainment
of such salutary ends ; the latter lioped by severity,
or even cruelty and injustice, to check and put a
stop to every movement of minds. Among the
friends of innovation, there were not only well-dis-
posed persons but also others who were swayed by
ambition, cupidity, and inclination to crime ; among
the advocates of subsisting institutions were some
who would rather punish ten innocent persons than
suffer one who was guilty to escape. Hence viola-
tion of legal forms, long imprisonment without trial,
while the evils were but covered, not healed or ex-
tirpated. The victory of the one or the other party
depended on external circumstances.

The idea conceived by the king or the queen of
Naples of a defensive alliance of all the Italian states
was judicious and adapted to the times; but it was
foiled through the timidity of other princes and of
the republic of Venice. The government of Naples
too lost courage when a French fleet under Latouche
appeared, and demanded and enforced neutrality.
In July, 1793, however, a new treaty was concluded
with England, but it led to no rigorous measures,
as the Neapolitan finances were in great disorder,


and the court lived in such alarm of conspiracies
that the old life-guard was disbanded and a new one
formed, the household arrangements were changed,
the sleeping chambers kept secret, and the like.

In October, 1796, the court was obliged to pur-
chase the continuance of peace by hard conditions
and the payment of large sums. The danger ap-
proached still nearer when, in the spring of 1798,
the French expelled the pope, and, under the name
of liberty, practised the worst tyranny, or allowed
it to be practised. Relying upon a treaty, con-
cluded on the 19th of May, 1798, with Austria,
England, and Russia, and on his just cause, the
king of Naples declared war on the 22nd of Novem-
ber, 1798, and, full of the greatest hopes, entered
Rome on the 27th. But his more numerous army
was commanded by the incompetent Mack, and
overweening confidence was succeeded by excessive
terror; so that the French, after easy victories, took
possession of Rome, and advanced with such ra-
pidity that, on the 21st of December, 1798, the
king fled to Sicily. In order to account for these
disasters, various reasons were assigned : want of
courage and discipline, fear of treachery, difference
of wishes and objects, &c. While individuals ex-
hausted themselves in heroic but unavailing resis-
tance, others acquainted the French general Cham-
pionnet with the disorganized state of the country,
and urged him to accelerate his advance. The


populace of Naples, the lazzaroni in particular,
equally far from political hopes and military calcu-
lations, were alone determined on resistance ; while
the most opposite plans crossed each other in the
higher circles, Mack gave in his resignation, and
Pignatelli, the viceroy, fled. With the obstinate
resistance of the lazzaroni were associated horrors
and crimes of various kinds. After they had lost
3000, and the French at least 1000 men, the latter
entered Naples on the 22nd of January, 1799, and
there founded, after the fashion of the time, a Par-
thenopean republic.

The king had raised the war and yet fled from
it, collected treasures, and carried them with him,
leaving all, without leader, without proper instruc-
tions, to domestic feuds and the sword of foreigners.
For this reason part of the susceptible people was
seized with enthusiasm for the new liberty; hence
the removal of all magistrates and civil officers,
trees of liberty and colours, vehement speeches, and
wild dances, and religious exercises, in an unnatural,
but on that account doubly exciting, medley. Cham-
pionnet went to church with his officers to pay due
reverence to the blood of St. Januarius, and it was
considered as a good sign that it thought fit to
liquefy sooner than usual.

The new republic, in fact, had no true and ge-
nuine foundation. Abstract theories, without prac-
tical knowledge and skill, talk about liberty and


equality, without means of rendering them compre-
hensible to the multitude, nay, without knowing
wherein they consisted; a sudden, abrupt transition
from unlimited monarchy to a republic established
by conquest ; no roots, no analogies in character,
manners, and habits of the people. So much the
more rapidly did the new rulers proceed in the work
of destruction, caring little about building up again.
Thus a new division of the country and of the ad-
ministration was undertaken, by which, in ignorant
haste, a bare mountain was erected into the capital
of a district, rivers were twice specified, provinces
forgotten, and so forth. Violent resolutions against
churches and convents, clergy and nobles, were of
very little immediate benefit to the people, and did
not harmonize with their previous sentiments. But
the zealots paused not till they had imitated the
whole series of French resolutions : abolition of the
rights of nobility and titles, overthrow of the royal
statues, proclamation of Ferdinand a tyrant, and
his domains national property, &c. Democrats
traversed the provinces, and strove to gain over the
ignorant people to the new wisdom, by extolling to
the skies religious reforms, liberty of conscience,
civil honour, abolition of wills, and numberless other
things, some good, some bad, which were at that
time forced upon nations in opposition to all that
had previously subsisted.
The new constitution, a copy of the vicious French


constitution of 1793, was to give solidity and ever-
lasting duration to the vague ; and many, who com-
prehended nothing of its purport, good-naturedly
believed in the value and effect of the new universal
medicine, for the preparation and administration of
which at first mountebank, but afterwards criminal,
clubs actively operated. Tiiese frivolous pleasures
were very soon disturbed by more sensible practical
measures. Championnet disarmed the people out
of suspicion, and forbade nocturnal amusements ; he
then demanded (for the infinite blessing of modern
freedom was not to be had for nothing) a contribu-
tion of 17^ millions of Neapolitan ducats ; he de-
clared that by right of conquest all the property of
the king, of the churches, of the convents, of the
orders, of the banks, moreover the royal porcelain
manufactory, and the collections from Herculaneum
and Pompeji, belonged to the French. With clas-
sically barbarous erudition, Championnet returned
for answer to the complaining Neapolitans, Vcc
victis !

No wonder if under such circumstances many
minds again turned to the old system, and the
counter-revolution, especially in Calabria, under Car-
dinal Ruffo, made progress. But it became not
decisive till the disasters of the French in Upper
Italy, which led in May, 1799, to the evacuation
of Naples. The hopes of the republicans that,
after the pernicious influence of the foreigners was


done away with, all would unite in behalf of a new
and improved constitution were utterly disappointed.
Before Ruffo's face the greatest horrors were perpe-
trated in Naples, and the convention concluded with
the garrison of the citadel was violated — a pro-
cedure for which the queen and the co-operating
English admiral, Nelson, have been most severely,
and, as it appears, justly blamed.

It is certain that not the people only, but the go-
vernment also, was led to indulge in revenge and
cruelty. Instead of being rendered indulgent to-
wards others by the consciousness of its own faults,
and punishing only a few of the most mischievous,
there ensued numberless apprehensions and severe
imprisonments, inquisitorial forms, tortures, refusal
of legal defenders, rewarding of the most unworthy
assistants — all this was termed just zeal for the good
cause. Every error in political matters, at that
time so frequent and so natural, was considered as
a most heinous offence, and while no allowance was
made for the illusions of noble minds, an open alli-
ance was formed with robbers and murderers. Era
Diavolo, Mamnione, the blood-quaffer, and wretches
of that class, were treated as friends by the king
and queen, and loaded with titles and orders. Spe-
ziale, the chief judge, who afterwards became in-
sane, reminds us by his bloodthirsty and bitterly
cruel conduct of Judge Jefferies, and enemies, cre-
ditors, rivals, found no difficulty in gratifying their


selfishness or wreaking their revenge upon the most
innocent persons. The counter-revolution outdid
the revolution, and it was not clemency and hu-
manity, but political motives, that put an end to
the persecutions after the battle of Marengo,

In the new war of 1805, the former enthusiasm
in behalf of the government was not displayed —
a natural consequence of what has just been re-
lated. On the 23rd of January, 1806, the king
fled, on the 11th of February, the queen, and on
the 14th the French entered Naples a second time.
The era of republics was past : it was decreed that
new kingdoms should be formed out of conquests,
and Joseph Bonaparte was acknowledged as sove-
reign without resistance. He had some qualifica-
tions and attainments, but not that mind and moral
dignity which a king ought to possess.


State of Naples during tbe reign of Joseph Bonapaite — Mu-
rat — His Quarrel with Napoleon — His Fall.

Naples, July 6th.
In what state did Joseph find the country, and
what did he in the two years of his reign, 1806 —
1808 .f* The administration of justice rested on very
different legislations, which seemed to have sprung
rather from accident and caprice than from know-


ledge and real want. There never had been a
question about equalizing the taxes and impositions,
and with arbitrary assessment was often associated an
inordinate increase. Property was in few hands, and
most of it entailed or immoveable, by means of feu-
dal and ecclesiastical laws, majorats, trusts, &c. The
nobles and clergy were wealthy, the people poor,
and the organization of the communes not worth
mentioning. A feeling of the want of greater li-
berty and of many a modification prevailed, but
without perceiving how these were to be brought
about by native energy and native means. A new
king, a new government, appeared almost indis-
pensable, in order to break up domestic intrigues
by superior power and greatness, and to unite all
hopes and all efforts for one general and salutary end.
Unfortunately, however, the mere imitation of
what was French passed in general for the highest
wisdom ; and excessive power of the police, as well
as influence of spies and informers, belonged to the
new patriotism and mode of government, just as a
fondness for robbery and plunder ranged itself un-
der the banners of the former dynasty. Colletta,
therefore, says in his excellent history, of which I
have gratefully availed myself:"* "We were then—

• The Sicilians, nevertlieless, complain that Colletta's his-
tory is extremely inaccurate in regard to their country, and
that, when in office, bis conduct was severe and cruel. Did
not a very clever Florentine, G. C. take a very essential part
in the preparation and composition of that work ?


I hope our pride will not be offended by this ad-
mission — not ripe for more free institutions. In
order to found the liberty of a people, there belong
not laws, but manners. Freedom, moreover, does
not advance by leaps of revolutions, but by the
steady step of improvement, and that legislator is
wise who prepares the way for this progress ; but
not he who drives civil society forward to an ideal
good, with which the comprehension of the mind,
the wishes of the heart, and the habits of life, in no
wise correspond. Let us confess that a little suits
and suffices most of the Italians; they are either
too polished, or not polished enough, for the enter-
prizes of freedom."

But much was then done in Naples, and of this
much a great part may be designated as unavoid-
able, useful development ; such as the regulation
and simplification of the financial system, the abo-
lition of many abuses of the feudal system, the re-
lease of river navigation from pernicious restrictions,
and other improvements, which I shall notice pre-
sently. With the French code of laws, a free field
was opened (to the joy of many theorists and advo-
cates) for the display of eloquence. Salutary laws
were issued for schools, but unfortunately pecuniary
means were wanting for carrying into execution
what was promised. Theoretical aversion, and still
more fiscal cupidity, led to the dissolution of the
convents. Amid these changes, nobody thought of


the poor, and real necessity, as well as immoral sen-
timents, produced cruelties and robberies of every
kind. When Joseph was summoned to Spain, he
had not gained the affection of his subjects, in spite
of all his endeavours ; for it was not till afterwards
that many a law could yield useful fruit, while the
defects of the present forcibly struck the e^'e. Jo-
seph, said his opponents, reigned not as king, but
as his brother's general, enriched foreigners at the
expence of natives, made a partial bankruptcy, and,
at the same time, new debts, sacrificed churches and
convents to the necessities of the day, regardless of
religion and the schools, and forgot that the dissolute
life led by a king is not only derogatory to his dig-
nity but operates detrimentally on extensive circles.

On the 15th of July, 1808, Murat was pro-
claimed king, and, on the 6th of September, he
made his entry into Naples. People did not indeed
expect of him a paternal or an independent govern-
ment, but hoped that through him the kingdom
would be raised to greater importance, and that the
people would gain a beneficial influence by means
of the new constitution. But it was soon perceived
that Naples was to sacrifice herself for French objects,
and that the constitution was an abomination to the
king. It was never carried into execution, though
it conferred neither authority nor influence.

Murat was involved in unbecoming quarrels with
his wife, a woman of superior mind and character,


and in unavoidable disputes with his brother-in-law,
especially about pecuniary payments and the supply
of soldiers.

In the interior, the banditti were exterminated by
the severest measures, and, through the rigorous
application of the new laws, such retribution over-
took the nobility, that many families were impove-
rished and ruined, while upstarts stepped into
their places and Avere enriched at the expense
of the state. The splendour, which every profu-
sion diffuses for the moment, was not wanting here.
New excavations, scientific collections, observato-
ries, botanic gardens, and things of that kind, form-
ing the light side of the picture ; while the darker
back-ground exhibited trebled taxes, stagnation of
trade, and of course an impoverished country.

At the same time there was developed (a conse-
quence of well-founded or exaggerated distrust) a
system of espionage and informing, which penetrated
into all circles, and disgraced even the highest of-
ficers of the crown.

The Neapolitan people, accustomed to change,
and eager for it, had received Murat, (as it had
done other rulers) with demonstrations of joy ; but
he cared Httle for its applause, and favoured the
army exclusively, in order that by means of it he
might maintain his ground against internal and ex-
ternal enemies.


During the ten years'* administration of the
French, says an intelligent writer,* trade and ma-
nufactures flourished only through the barbarous
treatment of foreign and the inordinate consump-
tion of native commodities. An innumerable host
of employes appropriated to itself millions of the
current receipts and of the recently-acquired do-
mains of the state. An army of 60,000 men,
(exclusively of the militia, and other theatrically-
dressed persons) ; officers in ever-varying uniforms ;
an ant-hill of new nobles, vieing with old families,
who could display their former pride at the new
court only in superb, embroidered clothes : in short,
disorder, folly, and profusion of every kind, ope-
rated for the momentary benefit of various trades ;
but agriculture was left, through the interruption
of all commerce, in a wretched situation.

Things soon began to assume a graver aspect,
and, but for the war with Russia, Murat would
have fallen out before he did with Napoleon. The
emperor's declaration after the retreat from Mos-
cow wounded him most deeply, and in a letter to
Queen Caroline, Napoleon wrote, that her husband
was ungrateful, had no capacity for politics, was un-
worthy of his alliance, and deserved the severest
public punishment.

Murat replied in a bolder style than Napoleon

* Sul cabotaggio fra le due Sicilie, p. 61.


and others expected. " The wound which your
majesty has inflicted on my honour } ou cannot heal
again. You have done injustice to an old compa-
nion in arms, who adhered to you in dangers, who
was no unimportant contributor to your victories, a
prop of your greatness, the reviver of your cou-
rage, when it failed on the 18th of Brumaire.

*' You say that whoever has the honour to be-
long to your renowned family ought not to do any-
thing that brings its honour into danger and di-
minishes its glory. And I reply, sire, that your
family has received as much honour from me as I
have gained by marriage with Caroline. A thousand
times do I wish for the return of that time when,
as a mere officer, I had superiors, but not a master.
I have since become king ; but even in this highest
situation, tyrannized over by your majesty, con-
trolled in my household concerns, I feel more than
ever the need of independence, and thirst for liberty.
Thus do you wound, thus do you sacrifice, through
your suspicion, those men who have been most
faithful to you and who have most contributed to
your prosperity. Thus was Fouche sacrificed to
Savary, Talleyrand to Champagny, Champagny to
Bassano, Murat to Beauharnois, who has in your
eyes the merit of silent obedience, or another, which
to you is more welcome because it is more slavish,
namely, that of having cheerfully announced to the
French senate the repudiation of his mother.

192 murat's ambitious schemes.

" I can no longer deny my people some sort of
restoration of commerce as a compensation for the
immense injury which it has sustained from the
maritime war.

" From all that has happened it follows that the
old mutual confidence is changed. It will take
such a form as pleases yourself ; but, be your in-
justice what it may, I still remain your brother and
faithful relative, Joachim/'

After long hesitation Murat once more reconciled
himself with the emperor, saw him for the last time
at Erfurt, but, on his return to Naples, (at the end
of 1813) perceived ominous signs of a hostile dispo-
sition. He hoped by severity or flattery to awe
or to gain the Carbonari, and by negociation to
amuse the foreign powers. At length, on the 14th
of January, 1814, Murat concluded an armistice
with England, and a treaty with Austria, by which
he was recognized as king of Naples. The art of
deception was, according to his notions, the one
thing needful in politics, and yet he deceived none
but himself, especially with the dream of a splendid
union of all Italy, which he was called to accom-

He therefore rashly resolved, after Napoleon's
flight from Elba (February 26th, 1815) upon war,
and advanced with his army to the Po. His in-
vitations to co-operate for the Italian object were
answered with speeches and verses ; but no where


was there any appearance of active participation, or
of that enthusiasm which grudges no sacrifice. So
little was the time deemed favourable, and the king
competent to solve the great problems proposed,
that the persons released by him from Austrian con-
finement chose rather to shun all dangers and to
return quietly to their own homes. The army,
externally so brilliant, lost all hope and courage in
the retreat ; and treachery increased the confusion.
Hence the defeat of the king on the 14th of May
at Tolentino, and his flight on the 22nd. Two
days before he published a constitution, dated back
the 30th of March, as though in the moment of
death this empty form could miraculously impart
new life. In consequence of the convention of
Casalanza, the Austrians entered Naples ; but, in
order to prevent the recurrence of former cruelties,
they insisted on a general amnesty.


State of Naples ou Ferdinand's Rpttirn — The Carbonari —
Revolution of 1820 — Interference of Austria.

Naples, July 7th.

What, on Ferdinand's return, was the state of

the country, the people, and public opinion .'' In

many indignation and hatred, on account of the

oppression, the arbitrary proceedings, the immo-



rality, and the vanity of foreign rule, had struck
such deep root that they totally forgot the defects
of former times, and desired and exerted themselves
to bring about an unconditional re-establishment of
things upon their old footing. Others, whose ex-
perience extended farther back, recollected with
apprehension all the evils which were formerly com-
plained of, and which threatened to spring up afresh.
In fact, true political wisdom would have alike re-
jected and prevented the unconditional retention of
the new, and the unconditional restoration of the old.

Laws, customs, opinions, hopes, aims, had es-
sentially changed during the last ten years : the
mass of the people alone had remained upon the
whole at the same point of intellectual, moral, and
religious cultivation or ignorance. For years, they
had been so often told that they were a set of
worthless wretches, that they almost believed they
had a right to make good the assertion. They
were accustomed to the unlawful gains arising out
of civil disturbances, to the plunder of feudal rights,
to the conveniences of the new equality ; and, on
all these accounts, restless, rapacious, and to be
kept quiet by force alone.

The clergy, full of hopes of an extension of their
power ; the nobility, dissolved as a body, and in
regard to their interests standing nearer to the
people than before. Discipline in the army es-
sentially diminished ; the pretensions of every am-


bitious person, of every man of talent, immoderately
increased. Instead of the former respect for the
existing government, there was fear in proportion
as it showed itself powerful, or attachment according
as it rewarded. Instead of inward affection, there
prevailed outward calculation, and men were more
ready to obey persons than tiie laws. Many deemed
it wise to reconcile arrogance with servility, and to
practise both at once.

Royal proclamations of the 20th and 24th of
May, 1815, transmitted from Messina, heightened
the hopes that were conceived. They recommended
peace and concord, and promised oblivion of the
past. A modest confession of faults ran through
them 5 and, in adverting to fundamental laws of

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