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against a foreign invader, unless they were enrolled and organised as irregular but still responsible soldiers; or if justifiable in extreme cases, the utmost amount of retaliation would likewise be excusable in the foreign conqueror. If an insurrection of poniards succeeds, that success will justify it in the eyes at least of man; if not, as it seldom does, its failure leaves no room for mercy to the vanquished. Thus when we read that the Austrians are lording it to that degree in Parma, that every citizen found in the streets after ten at night is locked up, and this formal arrest made a medium of political persecution, we have to consider what has taken place in Parma previously, and that the sovereign of that state met his death not long ago by the dagger of one of his subjects. If, with a milder but still severe sway, the French bayonets glitter about the chair of St Peter, it must be borne in mind that the city which they occupy witnessed the assassination of Rossi, at the gate, if not in the presence of him whom it professes to regard as Christ's vicegerent on earth. Thus political expediency, as well as abstract justice, repudiates the doctrine of the dagger, and reads a perpetual lesson to the suffering Italian, in the most legible characters, that the most roundabout of all ways to national regeneration is over the bodies of murdered sentries, and their boxes overturned to make barricades. Let it be known, once for all, through Europe, that the Italians, as one man, have seen the plague of their hearts, and resolved the disuse of the poniard, with all the horrible social doctrines connected with it-let it be seen that, in fact, they are deserving the liberty they wish to achieve, and quite a new kind of sympathy will be created in all the disinterested nations; and Austria herself, to whom their oppression is in some measure a necessity of existence, may be brought in time to listen to reason, and of her own free will effect changes which will confer all the substantial benefits of the most successful revolutions. If there is any nation in Europe which, from its position, is swayed wholly by considerations of self-interest, that nation must be Austria. Austria's position is so delicate that one false


step, one motion of hand or foot, in obedience to impulse, is enough to hurl her into chaos. That yielding to any emotion generous and noble, or mean and vindictive, which might benefit or damage any other power, according to success or failure, would be absolute death and destruction to her, as surely as to the hero of Balzac's peau de chagrin," who held his life on the tenure of apathy. With regard to Austria's rule in Italy, there is very much, as every one knows, to be said against it, and it is prima facie an unnatural and artificial rule, founded solely on political expediency, and contrary to the sympathies of the governed. Still there is a little to be said for it. The iron crown of Lombardy was an old appanage of the House of Hapsburg; and, though the Lombards are Italians in language, they are in great measure Germans by blood, closely related to those "maladetti Tedeschi," whom they curse between their teeth whenever they pass them. The house of Hapsburg seems to have an hereditary right to the iron crown of Lombardy, but the abstraction called Austria has no right to denationalise Lombardy, as it has no right to denationalise Hungary. The King of Hungary, the King of Lombardy, and the Emperor of Austria, though one in person, ought to be, by the precedents of antiquity, three independent sovereigns, and the three countries cannot be made one or two, subjected to the third, without a violation of ancient constitutional rights. There was nothing till lately in the nature of things to prevent each of these countries being governed by separate laws, although united under the same crown. Austria may find that her interest does not lie in centralisation, and that this apparent source of strength is in reality her greatest weakness. But Austria chooses to imperil her existence for the sake of the hegemony of Germany, which she would probably be obliged to yield to Prussia did she not endeavour to carry out the Germanisation of her non-German possessions. Many persons who saw the Austrian sculpture in the Great Exhibition were struck not less with the injustice than the absurdity of the title. It was as if Mummius had

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stolen statues from Corinth and exhibited them as specimens of Latin art. Nothing that has happened or can happen in the political world can give Austria a right to reduce Italy to such narrow dimensions, and to exalt her own horn so high. Still, it is too much to expect of her that she should commit suicide, and by the abnegation of her claims over her Italian, Bohemian, and Hungarian provinces, sink into the position of one of the pettiest states of the Germanic Confederation, which would now be the probable consequence. We have, it must be confessed, little sympathy with Austria in her present difficulties, except so far as we helped to make these by the general settlement of Europe after 1815. The revolution of 1848 was no excuse for the excesses of the counterrevolution of 1849. Because Vienna revolted it was not necessary to denationalise Hungary by a stratagem which consisted in encouraging Ban Jellachich in a rebellion apparently directed against the very government which abetted it. There was a deep treachery in that entire transaction, which has few parallels in the history of human affairs. The house of Hapsburg let its honour slip from its hands between the incapacity of idiocy and minority, and dashed it to pieces at the foot of the unprincipled and hot-headed Schwartzenberg. The imperial-royal power rebelled against itself. The empire of Austria, wishing to annex the kingdom of Hungary, fomented the rebellion of the vassal of that kingdom, and then the Emperor of Austria punished the Hungarians for loyally defending himself, as king of Hungary, by absorbing them into Austria. It was quite as well that Kossuth carried away the crown of Hungary-it was no longer wanted by its wearer, who was, by the machinations of his ministers, virtually a party to his own deposition. The Italian possessions of Austria have been treated much in the same way. Italy is now governed, not as an independent province, united under not the same crown, but the same crowned head, but as a mere appanage of the city of Vienna, which is utterly unworthy of such honour. And what would be the consequences

to the Emperor of Austria of another revolution, and supposing the mob of the Austrian capital to get the upper hand? The democratic and social republic which would probably in that case be set up would force itself on Hungary and Italy, and the house of Hapsburg would find that the loyalty of those provinces existed no longer to grant it an asylum. We cannot imagine any political dilemma more utterly disheartening than that in which the empire of Austria is now placed. If the repressive and brutal system of the counter-revolution is continued, every day of its existence will aggravate it, the finances of the empire will be exhausted in the ef forts necessary to keep up immense armies of occupation, and that exhaustion will lead to fresh exactions, the exactions to fresh discontents, the discontents to the necessity of an increased repressive force, till the subjects of Austria are all resolved into soldiers to be paid, and there are no civilians left to pay them. Then the Prætorians will mutiny, and an ancient name will be of little use to protect a bankrupt dynasty. On the other hand, if Austria attempts to liberalise, and endeavours to establish the beginnings of a constitutional government in her subject provinces, having once been denationalised, those provinces will go down the incline of revolution like an engine without drag, until they are dashed to pieces in a general chaos, for she has destroyed with her own hand those ancient liberties and ideas of provincial rights which alone would make possible a liberal and constitutional cause. very Nemesis of revolution, and that counter-revolution which resembles it in unreasoning violence, and naturally flows from it, that it destroys the ends for which it was professedly undertaken-viz., liberty, equality, and fraternity-if not for ever, at least for as long a future as that in which men now living would be likely to be interested. Nothing but this awful dilemma, on the horns of which it is fixed so painfully, could possibly have induced the Court of Vienna to throw the ancient renown of the Roman Empire, before which the Vatican trembled at its zenith, at the foot of the Vatican in its abasement, in con

It is the


cluding this Concordat, of humiliatIt ing memory, with the Pope. probably reckoned on the clergy of the Roman Church to support, throughout its peoples, its own pretensions as indissoluble from those of the holy father; and no doubt the clergy will perform their part, and by so doing lose their yet remaining hold on the affections of the people, and thus cease to be useful as auxiliaries. As it is, we can see little hope or help for Austria. She cut away the hope of independent existence from Hungary, and destroyed all the old associations of that nation, by bringing Russian intervention upon her she now seems to have cut away all hope of political or social regeneration, by calling in a far more dangerous intervention that of the disciples of Loyola, the enemies of human intelligence. Austria can expect from. us little aid of sympathies in her difficulties now; but it is another question whether we ought to interfere between her and her own subjects. Foreign interference seldom leads to good: it only did harm in the case of Greece. We should have left the Greeks to themselves, and they would no doubt have placed their affairs on a satisfactory basis. But we ought not, with the power we possess, to suffer the interference of other foreign powers. The Egyptians ought to have been forbidden to interfere in the Greek war, and Russia in the Hungarian. Our protest would probably have been sufficient in both cases, and in the latter would have saved us most probably the trouble and expense of the war just concluded. Our duty and place in the affairs of Italy now does not seem so very difficult. Piedmont must be protected as long as she abstains from aggression, at the price, if necessary, of our blood and treasure; her independence and national rights must be guaranteed. Let us leave Austria and her subjects to settle their own affairs, but at the same time stand by and see fair play. There must be no Russian or Prussian interference to save Austrian rule in Italy, or to prop up the King of Naples on his insecure throne. If the subjects of the latter madcap choose to tolerate that he should incarcerate eminent

men merely because they served him as constitutional ministers, we may lament the injustice, but cannot help it; and however much we might be tempted to send a frigate or two to Ischia, and liberate Poerio from his dungeon, it is not quite clear that the benefit the victim would derive from such an act would not be counterbalanced by the dangerous and Transatlantic character of the political precedent. But it would seem a natural and desirable course that we should suspend diplomatic relations with any government which systematically sets justice at defiance, and outrages the common feelings of humanity. Is our Queen necessarily to be supposed on visiting terms with every monster who happens to wear a crown, simply because he wears it; or is some similarity in character to her own to be considered desirable? Austria must be closely watched, but not insulted. She has made a hard bed for herself, and she must lie on it as she best may. By an injudicious sympathy. with Italy, we shall only forge new chains for her, and especially by showing the least encouragement to that insane democratic propaganda which has ended by crushing her soul under the iron heel of Austria and the leaden sceptre of Naples. It is one strong point in favour of Italy that this propaganda is not native to her soil, but undeniably imported from the other side of the Alps. The hydrophobous state of Italy arose from her being bitten by France during her madness; and unfortunately there seems to be a fatal fascination to other nations even in the madness of France, as we know ourselves.

"If France smiles, Italy opens to her both her heart and her arms, because Italy has been and ever will be bewitchied by France. Neither former nor recent perfidy has awed her; on the contrary, there is a certain party that never will be awed, but will always be the cause of fresh disasters; because, impelled by the same feelings which fill the hearts of the French, they aim at an universal equality of social rights and privileges rather than at the liberty of the citizen in the State, and of the nation in the fellowship of Europe; and in the midst of noisy boastings about liberty and fraternity, they subject

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the citizens to the autocracy of the State, and the nation to the phantoms of an universal political fraternity, which in practice resolves itself into the spurious brotherhood of clubs of refugees from every country in Europe, who found their opinions and their practice on the factions of France which stand highest in the annals of modern revolutions. Thus these jugglers make Italy the slave of all the quackeries of France; and some pretend (may God pardon them) that it is only by the Jacobite prætorians she can be saved."*

If we can do Italy no good, let us at least cease to do her harm. We have done sad mischief already by words not backed by deeds, as the poor Sicilians well know. Even now we shall have enough to do to protect Piedmont, and keep her on her legs fortunate if we do not lose our own in doing so; and this must be done, and at any price, unless the name of our national honour is to be a thing of the past. But let Piedmont be secured, let her boundaries be watched and made safe as the boundaries of the yet unburnt part

of a city in conflagration, and Piedmont may in time avail, when she has grown to her full strength, for the regeneration and emancipation of Italy. It is not for the purpose of preaching a wild crusade against the oppressors of these classical countries, or of exciting the utterance of foolish words of encouragement, yet more mischievous, that we have endeavoured to show our obligations to Greece and Italy, and apologise for their shortcomings, but in order to create if possible that real and heartfelt interest in their position and prospects, which should call forth the exercise of sober judgment far more than of passion, because nothing but sober judgment could make our efforts for their good successful. In fact, they have done enough for us in times past to cause us to feel for them as we should feel for an honoured friend or revered relation placed in doubtful, difficult, and delicate circumstances, and to induce us to take the same thoughtful pains for their extrication by fair and legal means.



A CONTRIBUTOR to a large national work of reference was one day extremely puzzled how to find materials for a biography which had been assigned to him. The name was that of one whom he remembered in his youth, famous in politics, and spoken of at every dinner-table; yet all attempts to master the facts of his life ended in grasps at airy shadows; and of his latter days and the time of his death there was no trace. Meeting in the Strand a veteran politician who had survived most of his contemporaries, and was little less active and conspicuous in the neighbourhood of eighty than he had been in the prime of his days, the bewildered contributor thought he had found relief at last in one who had measured swords in the political

world with the deceased. Remarking how odd it was that of the death of one so eminent as Sir R Anot a trace could be found in the Gentleman's Magazine-in the Obituary-in the Annual Register—or in any other of the usual sources of information, he humbly requested some light on the subject. "I think I can direct you to the very best source," said the aged statesman, his face brightening up with its usual sardonic grin; "I just shook hands with him two minutes ago, and if you run smartly you may catch him." He was not dead, but merely forgotten.

The incident illustrates an organic difficulty in biographical literature

the oblivion apt to overtake men of the highest mark and influence in council. He

*FARINI'S History of Rome, 88, ch. v.

"Who makes by force his merit known, And lives to clutch the golden keys, To mould a mighty state's decrees, And shape the whisper of the throne,"

leaders abroad, which yet it is impossible to substantiate into what would be so desirable-the identification of the man by a knowledge of the stock he came of, and the place where he was born. For instance, there is now before us the engraved portrait of a hard-featured, sagacious fellow-countryman. The Latin inscription around it makes the portrait become valuable as identifying a frequent name in the history of Europe during the Thirty Years' War. It is Alexander Erskine, who was minister-at-war to Gustavus Adolphus-no trivial function-and a representative of Sweden in the conferences about the Treaty of Westphalia. He held many governorships and other offices-was a patron of letters, and had a magnificent library. Yet no biographical dictionary, so far as we are aware, affords him a square inch; and in Ersch and Grubers' Encyclopedia-where one finds everything that is neglected elsewhere-the perfection of German diligence has been able to add nothing material to what the ordinary historians tell us of him, except that he studied at Königsberg, and that he died childless. Another Scotsman of the same name, who represented Russia in some of her Eastern negotiations, and had vast influence at the court of the Czar, is still more untraceable through the usual sources of biographical information. We but know of him incidentally, that he belonged to the family of Erskine of Alva, in Clackmannanshire, some one or other of whose descendants may, we daresay, still possess the magnificent silken hangings of a tent given to him by one of the Tartar princes with whom it was his function to treat.

if he be not directly and by name connected with some memorable event, or be immediately laid hold of by historical or biographical literature, may be as totally obliterated from the knowledge of posterity as the footsteps on the sand which the tide has swept. The artist who has done anything worthy of remembrance is sure, after any given period of oblivion, to be resuscitated by some admiring collector who has bought one of his masterpieces a bargain, and picked up an engraving of it with the painter's name followed by the word pinxit. The author is still more secure of getting all his own, at least from posterity. If he has written a book of any kind-we speak of course of authors since the era of printing-he has put himself on record, as it were. Unless it be some Eikon Basilike or Junius's Letters, intended as a public and emphatic abdication of nominal fame, the book is a latent memorial which, if anybody should ever care about the author, will be found in the catalogue of the British Museum, or some other great collection; and should there be nothing else whatever discoverable about him who wrote, yet the book itself will supply a something of an identification and an indication of its author. And yet he may have lived a petty, stupidish sort of life, under the shadow of some great wise statesman, who countenanced and upheld the insignificant scribbler, but is himself forgotten, while the book-maker's name is in all the biographical dictionaries.

Hence it is that, of so distinguished a countryman as William Paterson, we cannot say when and where he died. Our experience of the natural duration of the life of man is all the evidence that he is not at this moment alive to tell us about the origin of the London waterworks and the Bank of Englandthe Scottish African Company and the colonisation of Darien. Hence too it is that we gain slight glances here and there of Scotsmen distinguished as statesmen or political

But even if we could trace their histories with unfailing certainty, we must not expect to find that statesmen and politicians from Scotland were as densely scattered over Europe as the Scottish authors and soldiers. Nations take their public servants-their teachers and their champions, from abroad, but not their masters and rulers, when they can help it. No free or constitutional state can possibly be governed by foreigners. Scotland, though we

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