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military tendency, I may remark that military dis-
cipline imparts a firmness and a law which a life of
idleness has not, and which an individual seldom
imposes upon himself. Then, too, the peaceful
years of indulgence were succeeded by the graver
season of war, which put aside the spirit of frivolity,
and furnished occasion for the exercise of genuine
virtue. One may well doubt whether it was and is
better for the individual and for all, for personal


development, and for the stamina and vital energy
of the whole nation, that the younger branches of
the Italian nobility should voluntarily enter, or be
sent to, the convent. Among a people thoroughly
brave and fond of war, (for instance the French)
the practice of substitutes in the army will not be
detrimental to the mihtary spirit ; but, in Italy,
especially in the south, an education in this way
needful for all, and which in Prussia has essentially
raised military courage and military talent, is want-


Italy — Survey of the individual States — Sicily — Naples.

Miinich, September I2th.

If the observations contained in my last tviro let-
ters are placed beside those thrown out here and
there in former ones, they will perhaps serve to fill
up many a chasm. Having touched upon some
general Italian matters, it may not be amiss to re-
view once more the individual states, to remind you
of their peculiarities, and of their present existence
or non-existence.

If we begin with the south, with Sicily, we shall
find that the inhabitants are to be charged rather
with too great than loo little love of coimtry. This,
however, tends in no respect to diminish the per-


ception of the defects of the present, or the feeUng
of them ; on the contrary, it causes people to place
the poetic glory of the past in a doubly bright light,
and to lay the chief blame of the darkness of later
times on the Neapolitan government. To prove
to what unjust lengths suspicion and obloquy have
extended, I need only mention that many gave full
credit to the rumour that the government had pur-
posely transplanted the cholera to Sicily, out of re-
venge, and to punish the inhabitants.

Let us, however, set this abortion of fear and
passion wholly aside, we shall meet with manifold
constructions of present circumstances, which prove
bitter animosity. l£ the government, say very
many, would not exactly poison the inhabitants,
yet it is evident that it would fain plunge them into
poverty and misery, that it would ruin them in an
unprecedented manner, in order that distress may
produce blind submission, or despair drive to in-
surrection, and afford a pretext for the utmost
stretch of arbitrary tyranny. The government,
add others, will, without knowing it, be strengthened
in these atrocious measures by the Carbonari, who
still keep their ground in the Neapolitan dominions.
During periods of former danger, Sicily was a safe
retreat for the sovereign, a point cTappui, from
which Naples might always be recovered. If, on
the contrary, Sicily is estranged from its rulers, and
driven into enmity and insurrection, the Neapo-


litan revolutionists have nothing behind them to
fear, and have double strength for the execution of
their plans. They wish Sicily to make the begin-
ning, that they may follow with more convenience
and safety. With all these notions are combined
hopes or dreams of complete independence, of Eu-
ropean revolutions, of English assistance, nay, with
some, of Enghsh sovereignly — which, in fact, might
perhaps furnish the readiest means of meliorating
the state of the unfortunate island.

Ireland, the English Sicily, might be startled at
such ideas ; but there peculiar causes of misgovern-
ment exist, and the futurity of Sicily is far more
hopeless than that of Ireland. The more I reflect
upon this subject with profound sympathy, the more
I am puzzled. So total a transformation and re-
generation as Sicily needs are utterly impossible.
The country people and the town people, the clergy
and the nobility, the monastic system, the adminis-
tration, and the constitution, must all be changed,
renewed throughout, and pass through a purifying
fire, a purgatory, which each awards to the other,
without being willing to undergo it himself.

The most incomprehensible party, and at the
same time the most to blame, is the government,
as I have already shown by some of the most striking
proofs out of a great many. The latest history of
Europe presents abundance of examples of incon-
venient, stupid, criminal, forms of government, and

35f) NAPLES.

has led many to seek relief in a good administration
alone. But whoever wishes to learn what distress,
what ruin ensue, when the forms of the constitution
are one and all arbitrarily thrown aside and a per-
verse, selfish bureaucracy seats itself upon the throne
— let him go to Sicily. Not that there is an abso-
lute lack of intelligent and disinterested functionaries
of praiseworthy and useful measures ; but one must
be more than a Hercules to cleanse this Augean

If people submit to all this, if they are not driven
to the extremity of resistance, it is not owing to
attachment, confidence, piety, conscience, but fear
lest the Sicilian populace, when once let loose,
might keep no bounds in their vengeance, but
plunder and murder even those who should have
set them in motion against the detested Neapolitans.
Such is the state of things and of the guarantees of
the social relations in Sicily, according to the ad-
mission of Sicilians themselves.

In Naples, owing to the more cheerful, light-
hearted disposition of the people, things do not
wear so grave an aspect ; and then these are the
rulers and the leaders of the ton in regard to the
Sicilians, But that even here there is to be found
scarcely one who loves, respects, and defends the
government, is so painful and so alarming to the
sympathizing observer, that it requires all the
exuberant riches of wonderfully beautiful nature to


make him forget them at least for a few hours. The
contrast between that which is given by God and
that which is the work of man is then doubly
glaring, and sounds like an undissolved discord
amidst the harmony of nature.

There is, nevertheless, a remarkable difference
between the ways in which things are viewed by
the older and the younger Neapolitans. The for-
mer were once persecuted, suffered from several
revolutions^ long for repose, and are thankful to the
government if this is insured to them even by cen-
surable means. The younger, on the other hand,
know nothing of older times from immediate ex-
perience, deem it no merit in the government that
it abstains from persecution, are of opinion that
the attempts at improvement were set about in a
foolish manner, and live in the conviction that they
should have managed every thing more cleverly and
successfully, that at any rate the probable gain
would be greater than the loss to be apprehended.
This party is daily increasing, while the former is
diminishing. Placed between the two, the govern-
ment pursues no decisive course, aims at no precise
object, and imagines that by means of the police
(which is always but negative, and operates only
upon individuals) it can preserve and restore the
health of the whole. There is so much that is
incoherent, incongruous, contradictory, in the laws
and their application, that it is very difficult or


rather impossible to find out the why and the
wherefore. To this is to be added (as it is asserted)
an unhappy shyness of the government pf distin-
guished talents. Burke was quite right when he
observed that mere talent inclines toward Jacobinism.
But instead of exercising and clarifying it by prac-
tical activity, it is almost invariably thrust back and
nearly driven into discontent. This dislike of su-
perior intellect, this preference of shallow medio-
crity, operates the more mischievously, since there
is in Naples by no means any lack of eminent and
accomphshed men. But from the point to which
they are confined, many merely exchange enthu-
siasm for passion, and fancy that, with their natural
levity, firmness and character may well be dispensed
with. And yet the history of Naples itself most
clearly shows that without these neither individuals
nor nations can accomplish any great object.

If in Sicily revolutionary explosions are re-
pressed through fear of the native populace, to this
fear is added in Naples that of the Austrians. " In
the whole history of the world," said a Neapolitan
to me, " there is nothing greater, wiser, more tem-
perate, more admirable, than — the Neapolitan revo-
lution of 1820. This miraculous work the Au-
strians destroyed." But even those who regard this
so-called miraculous work as a piece of insanity, do
not thank the Austrians for destroying it. Above
all, the government is ashamed of its weakness, and


that it was supported and reinstated by foreign force
alone. Most certainly the Austrians will not suf-
fer any focus of insurrection, any revolutionary con-
stitutions, in South Italy ; but it is unreasonable to
assert that they promoted, that they adopted,
senseless measures, which are the reverse of those
so laudably carried into effect by them in the king-
dom of Lombardy ? Thus, for instance, the mis-
chievous disposition to centralize and to fashion Na-
ples and Sicily after one pattern, is precisely con-
trary to the course pursued by the Austrian go-
vernment in its dominions.

" It is totally out of our power," said an Austrian,
holding a high official situation to me, " to exercise
any salutary influence in Naples : the government
would pay more attention to the suggestions of the
Bey of Tunis than toour's." — In this way it fancies
that it displays independence, and at the s,ame time
employs the bugbear of the Austrians against its
subjects, discontented, unfortunately not without


Slates of the Cluircii — Tuscauv — Piedmont.

Miiiiich, September I3th.

Of no state is it so difficult to form an opinion as
of the Roman, because the temporal and spiritual


authorities are so intermixed, and praise and cen-
sure are pronounced from the most different points
of view ; but censure in such preponderating mea-
sure, that one is doubtful whether it is founded on
general truth or general prejudices. In the first
place, not a few reject all and every spiritual autho-
rity, so that the most exemplary government of a
pope would find no favour in their sight because he
is a spiritual prince. Here the first question that
forces itself upon us is, whether Rome would not
be a great loser if it were only a temporal city,
and no longer the centre of Calhcjlic Christen-
dom, or if the pope were rendered subordinate to a
temporal ruler. Assuredly the pope is essentially
upheld by his ecclesiastical position and by foreign
protection. If an insurmountable wall were raised
around the States of the Church, the great majority
of the inhabitants, especially in the Legations,
would declare against the papal government and
forthwith put an end to it, This state of things, to
whatever cause it may be oAving, is a most deplo-
rable one, and how it is to be remedied is a subject
that requires the gravest and profoundest investi-
gation. For it is scarcely to be conceived that the
government can long continue to go on in its own
strength in the same manner as it has hitherto done.
If one cheerfully concedes to the spiritual element
the full and preponderating right in the States of
the Church, still one cannot suppress the weighty


doubt, whether it is absolutely necessary to place
the administration in all its branches in the hands
of ecclesiastics. Salutary it certainly is not, any
more than in one of the military states, as they are
called, to fill offices without exception with military
men. Might it not be possible to retain the spiri-
tual and ecclesiastical character in all essential points,
and at the same time to comply with many, by no
means unreasonable, demands of the laity, and thus
restore that content which unfortunately is now
wanting ?

It is true that, besides personal changes, many
must be made in things, not to arrive at an ar-
bitrary and revolutionary result, but at a result
really suitable to the times. The popes of later
times have certainly not been deficient in good-will,
and their history is more pure, more commendable,
than that of many of their predecessors in former
periods ; but history has too often proved, and in
this case also, that good-will does not comprise in
itself the true art of government. The papal go-
vernment ought, in ecclesiastical as well as temporal
respect, to stand at the head of universal develop-
ment. Whether it is truly so in the former case is
a point on which, as it is well known, opinions
differ ; the pre-eminence in the latter, on the other
hand, nobody ventures to claim for it.

Though the loud censure of the jurisprudence,
the financial system, the course of business, the

VOL. II. 11


official appointments, may be, after the fashion of
the present day exaggerated, still it is certainly not
wholly unfounded, and a sweeping denial is less ad-
visable than a prudent melioration. Unfortunately,
petty trials occasionally lead to the inference of
great want of tact, and manifest a misconception of
the times into which Gregory VIT, and Innocent III.
would not have fallen. In proud confidence in
themselves, they would not have scrupled to expose
their lives, writings, and deeds, openly to the world,
and to present them to universal history ; trusting
to the rock upon which the church is founded, if
they had not ascribed great importance to little per-
sons and little things, or treated the study of nature
as dangerous to religion. An insight into older
and later errors, confession of faults, communica-
tion of every thing historical, would rather strengthen
than injure the papacy. For, by this very course,
that which is defective separates itself, falls to the
ground, and loses its importance ; while that which
is good and right appears in a brighter and more
vigorous form. Whoever denies this is, in reality,
a renegade from Catholicism ; he despairs of the
church and the state of the church, and leaves both
to perish, without belief in their right, power,
and incessant regeneration. The too active, as well
as the wholly inactive votaries of ecclesiastical autho-
rity, play alike into the hands of their enemies.
As you enter Tuscany, every thing assumes a


more cheerful, contented aspect. The noble views,
useful activity, paternal beneficence of the grand-
duke are universally acknowledged, and with this
acknowledgment is happily associated personal at-
tachment, without which every connexion between
sovereign and subjects is defective and heartless.
The country appears like a fortunate island, which
has indeed been visited by the severest hurricanes,
but is physically and morally protected from all
minor tempests. Every where are displayed a har-
mony, a union, a concordance, a noble moderation,
which frequently reminded me of Xenophon. But
Xenophon represents only one side of Hellenism,
and stands on the most perilous limit where one
easily sinks below the due measure, and enviable
mediocrity is transformed into weakness. Owing
to many little obstacles and impediments, every thing
in Tuscany does not advance so much as might be
wished. The once so boisterous natures are become,
one may say, too tame, and that steeled character,
that force of inspiration, which once called forth
such men as Dante and Michael Angelo, seem to be

It is otherwise in Piedmont. The Piedmontese,
said a Neapolitan to me, are no Italians ; certainly
they are no Neapolitans. One is surprised at the
energy of their character, their extraordinary in-
dustry, the earnestness of literary inquiry, the re-
gularity in the economy of the state, the efficiency

II 2


of the army, the freshness of the people. Nothing
decayed, superannuated, no mere past, but a pre-
sent and a future also.

Sardinia, in particular, has been called in a praise-
worthy manner to new and infallible advances
through the wisdom of the king and the activity of
Count Villa Marina ; while the rulers of Sicily, be-
fore so ill, are hurrying her by all sorts of blunders
to absolute death.

The greater the interest and pleasure with which
the observer remarks those advances, the more he
must wish that two dangers which threaten from
opposite sides may be obviated. It is to be hoped
that the Sardinian government may not suffer itself,
out of just aversion to unchristian ungodliness, to
be seduced to see the christian only in certain forms
and tendencies, which, kept under curb and rein,
have to be sure a natural existence and a certain
worth, but which, placed legislatively and despoti-
cally at the head, subjugate the state, check the
development of nations, and recognize no other
standard, no other direction for present and fu-
ture, than the past, and this only in so far as it just
pleases and ensures advantages to them.

A strong aversion, nay, bitter hatred to this dan-
ger leads to the vicinity of another. Though,
namely, the disposition to French notions and ob-
jects has, for many reasons, greatly decreased, yet
some still forget the maxim, Timeo Danaos dona


Jerentes — and others, throngh constant occupation
with French literature, contract notions which have
often proved injurious to the French themselves,
and are not at all suited to other nations. Increasing
acquaintance with German and English literature
will, it is to be hoped, restore the equilibrium, and
the peculiar national development will then proceed
with greater freedom.


Lombardo-Venetian Kingdom — Unity of Italy — Revolutions
— Advances— Hopes and Wishes.

Munich, September 16th.

If the opinions of the Italians on many Italian
governments are severe, there is a further great and
peculiar cause of discontent in regard to the Lom-
bardo-Venetian kingdom. I shall state the charges
in their gravest form. — The Austrians (so say the
most zealous) are odious foreigners, who are endea-
vouring to debase the national character by vile
means (espionnag-e, secret police, &c.) in order to
confirm their dominion; who raise the most unworthy
to the highest posts, and force every clever Italian
to withdraw from public life. To such no choice is
left but degradation or death.

Such are the most violent charges expressed in the
strongest terms. Before I enter upon any investi-


gation of them, I must remark that, in four visits to
Lombardy, I have every time found that the num-
ber and vehemence of the complainants had de-
creased, till very lately an equally clever and zealous
Italian said to me in full earnest : " The Austrian
government is so excellent in every respect that we
have nothing whatever to complain of. But this is
a great misfortune, because it deprives us of all mo-
tives and means for setting the multitude in motion,
and bringing about a new era."

Let us now proceed to the consideration of de-
tails, with that conscientiousness which sucli impor-
tant subjects and such strong contrasts require. The
house of Austria, it is true, is not of Italian, any more
than of Hungarian or Bohemian origin, any more
than the Russian reigning family originally belonged
to Russia, the Swedish to Sweden, the English to
England, the Prussian to Prussia, the Spanish to
Spain, the Neapolitan to Naples. From such nu-
merous and remarkable phenomena one might per-
haps infer a more profound law, or discover in them
a higher dispensation, by which the interests of va-
rious nations are adjusted, prejudices removed, fresh
life infused. Moreover, the Austrian rule in Italy
has not arisen solely from arbitrary will and vio-
lence; it has added antiquity to ancient right; it
has not, by any means, inundated the country with
Germans, or ever aimed at forcing the Italians into
other forms. On the other hand, it may be urged


that the complaints of the Lombards have no re-
ference to the descent of the reigning house, but to
this point, that it has not become completely nation-
alized, completely indigenous, as is the case with
the Hapsburgers in Florence, and the Bourbons in
Naples. Hence Milan continues to be but a sub-
ordinate centre, while Europe (to mention only one
circumstance) sends ambassadors to Florence.

In the last place, these complaints set up this prin-
ciple, that the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom ought
not to be regarded as a member of a greater whole,
but to obtain a totally separate existence, a perfect
independence. It is certainly a subject for the
gravest consideration of the Austrian government,
whether and how far it can comply with these natural
wishes, and anticipate still more the other Italian
governments in regard to real, praiseworthy libe-
rality (for instance in the matter of the censorship).
The demand that it should abdicate the sovereignty
and resijrn it into the hands of I know not whom,
is, however, unjust, incapable of execution, and of
such a nature that the requisitionists (placed them-
selves in similar circumstances) would never comply
with it. Most assuredly, that wished-for indepen-
dence did not in any way exist at the time of the
French rule in Italy ; and many measures, censured
as ambiguous or cruel, resorted to by the Austrians
in sheer self-defence, have been thrown aside (as in


the case of the amnesty just granted) as soon as they
ceased to be absolutely necessary.

The assertion that Austria aims at debasing the
national character is, (independently of its intrinsic
absurdity and injustice) directly contradicted by
her efforts for improving the system of pubhc in-
struction, and the universal attestations of the ex-
cellence of her mode of government. If the Aus-
trian government is not at this moment the best
and the most liberal in all Italy, is it not better than
that of ancient Rome over conquered nations, than
the English in Ireland, and the Russian in Po-
land ?

This, I may be told, is a very slender consola-
tion, and a bad native government is, undoubtedly,
preferable to a good government by foreigners.
But in this case there is at least a prospect that
this foreign government may be gradually trans-
formed into a native one, because the Austrians are
enemies of all centrahzation, and disposed to ap-
point natives in every country under their sway.

The hope of effecting by violence, by great revo-
lutions, a salutary transformation of one's country
is brilliant, indeed, but generally illusory. He
pursues the less specious but safer and more com-
mendable course, who commences the regeneration
with himself, and relinquishes the mischievous notion
that the force of circumstances compels him to re-
nounce his duties, because they are not to be ful-


filled in the form of the glorious. If the young
nobility of Milan should deem it more dignified to
ride about, to carry on love-intrigues, to lounge in
theatres, and to rail against the government in
coffee-houses, than to employ, to exert, to train
themselves in subordinate spheres for higher ones,
it would be they who (in opposition to the wishes
of Austria) would undermine their own and the
national character, and render a regeneration of
Italy more and more impossible.

The idea, so frequently expressed, that this re-
generation of Italy consists in its formation into one
state, in a Frenchified centralization, with a ruling
capital, and the new-fangled glory of journals and
pamphlets * — this idea is unpractical, impracticable,
ruinous. To advert to one point only : the principal
cities, each of which has so much to advance in its
own behalf, would never acknowledge the supre-
macy of the one that might be selected ; the favoured
city would perish by inflammatory fever, and the
others by consumption ; and the great, the exclu-
sive richness of Italian development would wholly
disappear. How absurd, how anti-national, this
plan, abstractedly so specious, really is, has recently
been proved by the unfortunate experiment made in

* I am by no means disposed, on account of the abuse of

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