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the state, to liberties, and to formal guarantees of
them, they seemed to offer a constitution, though
they abstained from the mention of it.

Queen Caroline, Murat's consort, saw from the

harbour what festivities were preparing for King

Ferdinand, and heard the songs which the populace,

approaching in boats, were singing in derision of

herself. Murat, nevertheless, conceived that he might

rely on NeapoUtan attachment : he was condemned

to die by men to whom as king he had given their

appointments. For the moment, people were tired

of revolutionizing, and would not, for the sake

of an upstart, plunge the whole nation into new


K 2


This easy victory tended to ruin the government ;
for it now imagined that all dangers were obviated,
showed more and more decidedly an intention of
abolishing even the salutary arrangements adopted
by the government during the preceding ten years,
and of annihilating former opponents by accusations,
degradations, and punishments, instead of conci-
liating and gaining them by an opposite course. After
the departure of the Austrians, (]817) the faults of
the government became more frequent, and though
they were not of such extent and importance as in
other countries revolutionized on that account, still
they put an end to confidence, attachment, and
hope ; and noble-minded as well as over-heated and
self-interested Carbonari strove to shake the not
yet firmly rooted monarchy, and to inspire a fond-
ness for political forms of a different kind. As
about this period the Spanish revolution was ex-
tolled to the skies, and Riego and Quiroga were
represented as heroes, the Neapolitan Carbonari
would not be outdone, and the revolution of 1820
was the consequence.

" There is reason to believe," says General
Carascosa in his Memoirs, " that King Ferdinand,
on his return from Naples, intended to perform what
he had promised. The men who had served under
Murat were, therefore, at first treated with respect,
the sale of the national domains and the new nobility
were confirmed, and the administration was re-



tained. ivlany mistakes were subsequently com-
mitted. Those persons were universally preferred
who had accompanied the king to Sicily, the army
was reformed five times in four years, and adherents
of the Bourbons found pardon for even heinous
offences. Hence great discontent, which was the
more dangerous, as two conquests and two re-
storations had attacked and vitiated the morals of
the people.""

The secret societies, the Calderai, and the Car-
bonari, had been, according to circumstances, alter-
nately protected and persecuted by the different

When the Carbonari, those foes to foreign domi-
nation, saw their hopes relative to the introduction
of a constitution not realized after Ferdinand's
restoration, they regulated anew their almost dis-
solved society, and by the admission of a great
many members so increased their number and in-
fluence, that they had it in their power to impede
all the steps of the government, and to make the
army dependent upon them, especially by means of
the subaltern officers.

On the 2nd of July, 1820, a lieutenant Morelli,
a man of no consequence, at the head of one hun-
dred and fifty men, proclaimed a new — nobody
knows what — constitution. The soldiers sent
ao^ainst him joined the innovators, while all those
who had hitherto been called the exclusively


faithful in Naples lost courage, and the equally
timid king resigned his power to his son. Many
were displeased with the course, though they ap-
pi'oved the aim, of the insurrection, and when the
people shouted, " Live God, live the king, live the
constitution V most expected the fulfilment of their
respective hopes, offices, honours, diminution of
taxes, &c.

^Vhile thousands of the soldiers ordered out left
their posts, the Carbonari hastened to the revolu-
tionary army, and forced the acceptance of the
Spanish constitution, with the purport of which
they were unacquainted, and which was less
adapted to Naples than to Spain. At the head of
what was called the sacred band, the abbe Minichini
entered Naples, habited as a priest, armed as a
soldier, decorated with all the insignia of the lodges.
He was followed without order by a motley mixture
of clergy, monks, and laity, high and low. Carbo-
nari, or others who now wished to pass for such.
As soon as the procession was visible from the
royal palace, the viceroy issued orders that all
should assume the signs of the Carbonari; whether
owing to fear or policy, or because the intention to
deceive was already at the bottom, I cannot decide.

General Pepe addressed a formal speech to the
viceroy, who made this reply: — "The king, the
people, we all, owe our thanks to the constitutional
army, and to you its worthy chiefs. The throne


was not secure ; it now stands firmly founded on the
wiJl and the interests of the people."

After the king had on the 13th of July sworn to
maintain the Spanish constitution, the new prosperity
appeared to be unchangeably founded, and uni-
versal joy and satisfaction seemed to prevail.

The new parliament, (upon the whole between
70 and 80 persons) adopted the Spanish constitu-
tion for the second time, almost without alteration ;
Sicily, on the contrary, would not suffer its future
lot to be prescribed by Naples, In Palermo a
dreadful riot took place ; this was succeeded by
open civil war between the two principal divisions
of the kingdom, l^he parliament, with passionate
partiality, rejected the convention concluded by
General Florestan Fepe with Palermo, and di-
minished the strength of the kingdom at a moment
when other not less serious dangers were impend-

In the first place, the power of the Carbonari and
their lodges grew till it surpassed that of the par-
liament. The well disposed drew back from them
iti proportion as the hot-headed and self-interested
thrust themselves forward, and vied with each
other in proposing violent resolutions. Instead of
the monarchical spirit, which still partially prevailed
at first, the democratic, or rather the anarchical,
gained the ascendency ; and this, regardless of the
actual state of things at home and abroad, cared


not if the hopes originally entertained were gra-
dually dispelled, and gave place to general discon-
tent. Obscure persons, without any merit, aspired
to the first offices, quoting the examples of Mas-
sena and Hoche, when their competence was
doubted. Instead of avoiding all grounds of dis-
cord, under circumstances so new and so difficult,
they maltreated the nobility, insulted the civil and
military officers, and believed, as superficially as
\mseasonably, that liberty consists in constant con-
tradiction and opposition.

Warnings not to change every thing, and thereby
to divide and to weaken, exhortations to correct
the constitution, and to satisfy the foreign powers,
proved of no avail. People cherished the conviction
that the latter would concern themselves no more
about Naples than if it lay in the moon ; and that
any consideration only showed weakness and slavery,
whereas, to dash boldly forward, was the way to
overawe and to deter. And this belief they enter-
tained while the soldiers were running home in
troops, and discipline was so totally disregarded
that lieutenants resolved that their colonel should
be expelled, or even put to death.

Such was the state of things, when, on the 6th of
December, 1820, the king declared that he had
been invited by the allied powers to go to Lay-
bach, and that he would endeavour with all his


might to procure for his people a free constitution,
founded on the following principles : —

1. No privileged orders, but general personal

2. Kight of the representatives of the people to
grant the taxes, to investigate the public revenues
and expenditure, and to take part in the enactment
of laws.

3. Kesponsible ministers, and irremoveable

4. A fixed civil list,

5. Liberty of the press, under certain legal pro-

6. No persecutions on account of the past.
These points, in fact, comprehended all that was

essential, all that could be hoped and wished, and
they derived double weight from the decided ex-
pectation that the foreign powers would declare
their acquiescence in them. The parliament, never-
theless, rejected them, out of arrogance, and a
senseless predilection for the Spanish constitution.
It forgot, that, notwithstanding all the solemn pro-
mises of the timid king, a war in defence of this im-
politic patchwork would be inevitable.

Almost all the ministers resigned, and vehemence
in speech and writing increased, while, in reality,
nothing was done to avert or to overcome the im-
pending dangers. The army, hastily collected, was
weak, without discipline and order, and indisposed



to war. When, therefore, on the Tth of March,
Pepe, too precipitately, and without having made
suitable dispositions, attacked the Austrians at
Rieti, his division of the army dispersed without
resistance, and the second, under General Caras-
cosa, followed its example. The inhabitants of the
Abruzzi received the Austrians vpith open arms,
and on the 23rd of March they entered Naples
without opposition.

The king, instead of landing grounds for cle-
mency in the weakness and pitifulness of his own
conduct, gave free scope to accusations and punish-
ments, and in a short time Naples suffered inex-
pressibly under a two-fold tyranny, the revolu-
tionary and the absolutist. It is difficult to judge
impartially of all these circumstances ; but so much
is certain that the Neapolitans are to be pitied as
well as blamed — the former inasmuch as their grie-
vances were by no means unfounded ; but they had
no formal or legal mode of urginir and obtainins^ a
remedy for them. This almost compelled the
adoption of revolutionar}' expedients. They are
further to be pitied for this reason, that they were
obliged (as at one time under Murat) to fight for
a cause which many deemed foolish or unjust.
Thus they lost at once the reputation of wisdom and
valour. They must be blamed, inasmuch as they
acted without prudence, precaution, and political
moderation, which, after so disorderly a beginning,


were doubly necessary for excuse and justification.
Neither party did what was right ; neither seems
to have gained instruction from experience ; and
thus it is that fire smoulders under embers, till
sooner or later circumstances fan it into a flame.
Colletta, himself a Neapolitan, judges in the grief
of his noble heart more severely than I, a foreigner
dare do. He says : — "In Italy thought and
tongue are free, the heart servile, the arm sluggish,
and in every political occurrence there is scandal
only, but no energy." He truly and prophetically
adds in another place : — " Every revolution, every
tyranny, is impotent. Virtue and cultivation alone
have power to effect permanent improvements. To
them, therefore, rulers and nations ought to direct
their hopes and their efforts."


Naples -CoDstiditioii — Parliament — Clergj' — Convents —
Concordat — Nobility — Agriculture.

Naples, July 8th.
Brief and imperfect as the preceding sketch of
the history of Naples is, still it will facilitate the
comprehension of what has been done during the
last thirty-three years in regard to legislation. The
tendency and spirit of this legislation are so dif-
ferent, according to the position and point of view


of different governments, that I ought perhaps to
arrange my communications under so many divi-
sions, and to brina: together all the changes that
were made under Joseph, Murat, Ferdinand, &c.
But, as this mode of proceeding would frequently
render it necessary to break in pieces that which
belonfjs togfcther, I think it better to give one
general view of all that relates to one subject.

Let us begin with the constitution. Joseph Bo-
naparte conceived that this ticklish point might be
wholly waved, inasmuch as an administration only,
and no real constitution, had till then subsisted in
Naples. In the year 1808, Napoleon, nevertheless,
thought it better to give his brother-in-law, ]\Iurat,
a letter of recommendation in the constitution of the
^^Oth of July. One hundred members, elected from
among the clergy, the nobility, the landed pro-
prietors, the literary and the mercantile classes,
were to form the five benches of the parliament.
No public meetings, but private consultations and
votes : no restraint on the proceedings, upon pain
of rebellion. When the king has heard the par-
liament, he decides.

At his departure, Joseph declared that he was
obliged to vield to cruel necessity, and to withdraw
from a people that he had so much reason to love.
To soothe the sorrow of this beloved object,
Murat wrote as follows : — " It is extremely grati-
fying to us that we are chosen to govern and to


lead back to its ancient glory a people endowed
with the happiest quaUties. The first duty that
we impose on ourselves in this work is to show on
every occasion to all Europe our gratitude towards
the illustrious Emperor Napoleon, and to secure for
our people all the advantages arising from the in-
timate union of its interests with those of the great
French empire. The constitution, which has been
solemnly accepted, shall form the foundation of our
government. It is our wish to be in a few weeks
in the midst of you, with our illustrious consort
Queen Caroline, with our crown-prince Achilles
Napoleon, and with our little family, which we
gladly confide to your attachment and your loyalty."

Such was the new-fanorled liberal and old-
fashioned legitimate declaration of Murat. After
his arrival, ordinances were issued relative to orders,
armorial bearings, the royal genealogy, and the
court dresses ; but, in regard to the constitution,
he gladly accepted a proclamation of the retiring
Joseph, of the 28d of June, containing this pas-
sage : " Till the period shall arrive when the act of
the constitution shall come into activity, every thing
shall remain as it was."

Napoleon was silent, and thus neither the consti-
tution of 1808, nor that made public two days be-
fore Murat's flight, was ever put in force.

On the other hand, King Ferdinand, at his re-
turn on the 20th of May, 1815, promised what


follows : — Personal and civil liberty is secured;
property is sacred ; the sale of the national domains
irrevocable. The taxes to be granted (decretate)
according to the forms which the laws shall pre-
scribe. In the army every one retains his rank,
pay, and honours. Every Neapolitan is admissible
to all offices. The old and the new nobility are
confirmed ; the public debt is guaranteed, and an
unconditional amnesty (without quibbling and with-
out exceptions) is granted.

These assurances were performed only in part,
and of the development of the public law, to which
allusion was made, no further notice w^as taken.
Hence chiefly the revolution of 1820, the accept-
ance of the Spanish constitution on the 7th of July,
and on the 8th the appointment of a commission to
translate it into Italian, that people might learn
what a treasure they had found, for what wisdom
they were so zealous, and what duties they had
sworn to perform. After this tie was broken
nothing more was ever done for public law, and,
in the higher and formal sense of the term, it does
not exist in Naples.

Let us now consider the fortunes of the different
states, and first of the clergy. In this particular
the legislation of Joseph and Murat was closely
copied from the French. Separate jurisdiction
ceased, and nothing was left to the bishop but a
correctional superintendence of the clergy. No


one was to receive ordination without a benefice,
and it was not to be conferred on more than five
persons in a thousand. The church lands were
subjected to all the general laws, (for instance, land-
tax, communal assessments, &;c.) which, of course,
occasioned a material loss to the holders.*

In regard to convents and monastic orders, much
more energetic measures were pursued. In the
preamble to a law concerning their dissolution in
1807, it is said, " The force of circumstances com-
pels every nation to follow more or less slowly the
movement which mind imparts to every age. The
religious orders, which rendered so many services
in times of barbarism, have become less useful
through the very success of their own efforts Our
religion, now glorious and triumphant, needs no
longer to have recourse to the hospitahty of con-
vents against persecutions ; in the bosom of families
too are altars erected, and the secular clergy re-
spond to our confidence and that of our people.
The general diffusion of a fondness for the arts and
sciences, the spirit of war, of commerce, of colonics,
have forced all the governments of Europe to direct
the talents, the activity, and the resources of their
people to these important objects. As we, never-
theless, (so this law proceeds after various other
commendations,) purpose to act towards the con-

* Many cluirch estates were subject to certain taxes so far
back as Kiu^i Charles's time.


vents and monks with justice and benevolence, the
former are dissolved, their possessions shall be sold
for the benefit of the creditors of the state, and an
annuity of 200 dollars (Neapolitan ducats) is
granted to every monk, and of 60 to every lay-
brother."" About 250 convents were in this manner
dissolved. Only a few hospices, and likewise the
archives of Montecassino, Montevergine, and La
Cava were retained ; the r.icndicant monks, from
whom nothing was to be got, were suffered to re-
main in their former state.

In a subsequent law of the year 1809, it is said :
" The force of circumstances imperatively commands
the suppression of all convents without exception.
But, to improve as much as possible the condition of
those who are affected by this measure, every one
in priest's orders shall receive yearly 96 dollars,
every other 48 dollars, and the allowances to the
members of convents already dissolved shall be
diminisiied one-ilfth." The annual allowance of the
professed was afterwards fixed at 120 dollars, that
of lay-brothers at 60, that of nuns at 9, and that of
lay-sisters at 4g.*

Certain as it is that church and monastic pro-
perty was recklessly seized and frequently squan-
dered for reprehensible purposes, and that these
harsh measures were, moreover, aggravated by
scorn ; still, on the other hand, the vast number of
* Biaiicliiiii, iii. 476.


the monks and ninis had had pernicious effects on
the cultivation of the country and the improvement
of the people, so that salutary fruits resulted im-
mediately from these innovations. Since the year
1820, every thing has been moving in the former
contrary direction. Many convents and religious
foundations are restored, many new ecclesiastical
fraternities founded, numberless donations and be-
quests made, the Jesuits received and endowed, and
the government, taking the lead in all this, paying
for or confirming it ; till, perhaps, the ambition and
arrogance of the clergy, awakened by their newly-
regained power, may again produce violent re-

For the regulation of all ecclesiastical matters
for the moment, a concordat was concluded with
the papal court on the 21st of March, 1818, to the
following effect : — l^he Catholic religion is the only
religion of the kingdom ; therefore, the instruction
given in all universities, gymnasiums, and public
and private schools, must accord with all and each
of its doctrines. Beyond the Faro all archbishop-
rics and bishoprics are retained ; but on this side
of it they are subjected to new limitations. Every
bishop shall have a fixed annual income of not less
than 3000 ducati (dollars) ; every director of a
religious foundation not less than 500; a parish
priest in towns of above 5000 inhabitants at least
200, between 2000 and 5000 inhabitants at least


150, and in places under 2000 at least 100

The pope nominates to consistorial abbeys which
are not in the king''s gift. To simple benefices
{henefizj semp/ici di libera collazione con Jhndazione
ed erezione in tiiolo ecclesiastico) the pope nomi-
nates for six months and the bishops for the six
other months. The same regulation applies to
canonries; but all persons appointed must be sub-
jects of the king. The pope grants to the bishops
the right to appoint tried and approved men as
parish priests. If the patronage is vested in the
king or a layman, the bishop inducts the person
nominated, provided that he is found to be com-

Ecclesiastical property not yet sold is to be given
back to the church, and to be administered by four
persons, two nominated by the king and two by the
pope. The latter confirms the possession of church
property already sold. The convents are to be
restored, as far as the existing resources permit.
Possessions not yet disposed of are to be divided
among the convents which are to be again opened,
without any regard to former title to the property.
Monks not restored retain their allowances. The
church has a right to acquire new possessions, and
no ecclesiastical foundation shall be suppressed
without the consent of the holy see. The pope
shall have a right to confer every year benefices to


the amount of 12,000 ducats, on subjects of the
States of the Church.

Ecclesiastical suits, especially such as relate to
matrimonial matters, must be tried in the spiritual
courts. Archbishops and bishops have a right of
spiritual censure over clergy and laity, agreeably to
the resolutions of the Council of Trent. The
former are at liberty to hold intercourse (comuni-
care) with clei'gy and people, and to issue exhorta-
tions and charges on spiritual matters. The
bishops, clergy, and people shall have a right to
apply to the holy see, and to hold communication
with it on all spiritual matters whatever ; conse-
quently, the laws, decrees, and circulars of the
liceat scrivere are annulled.

Whenever the archbishops and bishops find that
books printed in the country or imported from
abroad contain anything contrary to the doctrines
of the church or to moralit}', the government shall
prohibit the sale of them.

The holy see grants permission {accorda Vindulto)
to the king to nominate deserving persons to be
archbishops and bishops. But, before they are
canonically installed in the manner hitherto cus-
tomary, they shall not take the administration upon
themselves, and their installation depends on the
confirmation of the pope. On the 20th of July,
the rights of patronage, lay and ecclesiastical, which
had been abolished, were re-established.


It cannot be said that the above-mentioned fixed
incomes of the clergy (if, however, their number is
necessary, and there is no other endowment) are
too high ; and many other provisions of the con-
cordat appear perfectly consistent with the notions
of the catholic world. But the 18th century would
scarcely have conceded to the pope so much as the
19th has done; and it seems very doubtful whe-
ther the right of nominating bishops, clogged with
such conditions, will always be sufficient to protect
the state and the king from hierarchical encroach-
ments. Many, at least, are already complaining of
the severe restrictions on literature and science,
frequently originating with the clergy ; while
others assert that the court of Rome has often used
its influence to moderate violent passions, and to
keep clergy and laity in order. It is true that the
Neapolitan government does not allow the publica-
tion and application of any j)apal rescripts without
its consent ; and displa3^s such firmness, nay, some-
times severity, (notwithstanding the concordat) in
matters concerning the bishops and clergy, as the
court of Rome would scarcely suffer a Protestant
sovereign to exercise without reprimand.

In order to comprehend what has been done
recently for, or rather against, the nobility and the
feudal svstem, it is necessary to keep previously
subsisting defects constantly in view. Thus Afan

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