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to take the initiative, it is because it was necessary that some one should commence the work, and because no one was doing it. They will continue it, till the organized national democracies shall be in a position to make known their sovereign will.
To give the same impulse to the great European organization, to found the apostolate of those ideas which should bring together the members of the human family,—to determine the guarantees to be taken in order that no revolution, by isolating itself, may betray or desert the standard of fraternity, in order that no revolution, through fatal ambitions, may violate the rights of the inner life belonging to every people, in order that no revolution may perish, through abandonment, under the concentration of leagued aristocracies, such are the duties of the present Committee. To it also belongs to prepare men's minds for international brotherhood, until the emancipated nations shall sign their definitive compact.
To it, lastly, to give the signal for the general rising.
The duty of the National Committees will be to elaborate the preparatory measures which may facilitate the internal development of each nation.
Whenever circumstances shall require, the Central Committee will call forth a striking manifestation from the most intelligent and devoted of the men of Democracy.
To form these National Committees two ways are open: in the first the initiative starts from above to embrace the masses, in the second it arises from below to create unity by electing its chiefs. Both ways are good : the choice should depend upon the particular circumstances in which each country finds itself.
Among peoples where organization is already advanced, where the absence of irritating questions and the distinct assertion of a national object render adhesion casy to be foreseen, the first is the most expeditious. Let some known and devoted men personify in themselves the mission of the country; let them boldly make themselves its interpreters. With their hands upon their consciences, and their hearts free from all egotism and personal vanity, let them stand forth as organizers. They will be followed. When authority reveals itself in truth, in sacrifice and resolution, it is acknowledged and obeyed.
Among those, on the contrary, where, the elements being more divided because of the multitude or the rivalry of schools, unification cannot be obtained with sufficient rapidity, let the movement commence from below; let it commence upon every point, whatever it may be, where may be found a germ of devotedness and energy ; wherever men desirous of good and holding faith in the future of the cause, as well as in themselves, shall meet together, let this organization have birth. Let them understand each other, let them rally together, let them little by little propagate the gospel of discipline and organization; let regular relations be established between these fraternal groups. Let them recollect the three herdsmen of Switzerland, the twelve apostles of Christ, and let them work as if the whole cause of the people depended on them.
Everything attests that at the present hour there is an immense want of unification in the heart of the democratic masses; the people will draw after it its heads, the army will choose its chiefs.
And let this work of unity be done in public, in the broad light of day, with the calm and resolute courage of faith, in those parts of Europe where, as in France, the legal methods of expression are not all exhausted ; let it be done in secret, in countries where silence is the common law: the catacombs or the forum,-every place is good in which to work for the triumph of justice.
The inspiration, the counsel, the brotherly word of the Central Committee will never fail those groups of the church militant who are willing to accept its initiative.
To establish everywhere, uvremittingly, close and indissoluble ties between the men of the future, this is what must be done.
Brethren! think of those who suffer, of the peoples who die under the knife ; recollect that every day of torpor permits the aristocrats to print a new stain on the noble flag of the Revolution. Let then all distrust, all coldness, disappear before the grand idea of the common duty. So under our united efforts will vanish the accusation of anarchy flung at us from the enemies' camp. They have only interests, but we, we have principles : interests divide, principles alone rally men together. We then are the party of unity.
In three months Europe must know this. On that day we shall have conquered.
For the Central European Democratic Committee.
The two next addresses were called forth by the late events in Hesse, and the recent congress of the Allied Despots.
TO THE GERMANS. Germans!—You have proved, by your insurrection of 1848, that your souls could be fired by the great principles of liberty which have illumined the world. You have proved it by the blood of your martyrs shed among all Peoples; and since then the heart of Germany has never ceased to beat with the same pulsations as that of Poland, of Ilungary, of Italy, and of France.
You were defeated then because you did not sufficiently understand that the fall of your numerous despots could alone bring forth national unity, that a Democracy one and indisisible could alone give you liberty and independence, that the German nation could not obtain existence at the cost of other nations, tbat it could not be legitimately constituted except by the European union of other peoples, all equally independent and free.
The lesson is, without doubt, cruel: for these despots, whom you have left on their thrones, have sold you to Russia.
Yes, your divisions, the destruction of your liberty, the ruin of your independence, all that oppresses and revolts you, you owe to these despots become the vassals of the Czar.
What are the little armies of your princes but so many divisions of the great Russian army which prepares to invade you? What are these Austrians, these Bavarians, these Prussians who concentrate their forces, but so many Russians in different uniforms and under different flags? Is it not from St. Petersburg that the word of command goes forth ?
If you were not ready to attempt a supreme effort, it might be said that Russia has conquered Germany, and that Europe is Cossack, from the Volga to the Rhine, from the Danube to the shores of the Baltic.
Do not indeed deceive yourselves: this question of Schleswig in which so much generous blood has been lavished—this question of Hesse, where has been offered the memorable example of an army sacrificing itself for right,--all this is of serious and vital interest to the Peoples; but for the leagued aristocracies it is nothing but a bloody game, a mere pretext by which to mask other objects, and to authorize them to convoke the van and rear guard of their janissaries the better to overwhelm you.
Behold this King of Prussia, who rises despite himself, at the cry of a whole People, as if to defend the honour of a nation and the remains of a miserable constitutionalism ! know you what he meditates ? To negotiate, to secure himself a retreat, to appear to yield, under the menace of numbers, to the irresistible forces of Austria, Bavaria, and Russia.
And is, drawn into the current, he is forced to march, do you know whither it will be ? To a defeat prepared and preconcerted. Before long you will hear the cry of treason. In William of Prussia, Charles Albert of Savoy will be revived. What he seeks is not a victory which would bring forth a revolution, but a reverse which may preserve his throne.
Let there, then, be no more doubt; it is absolutism and liberty, tyranny and democracy, which stand face to face.
To be Russian or Democratic, this is the alternative; all the rest is but a pretence. In such a peril, Germans! what must you do ?
Free yourselves from your tyrants, who are the servants of Russia—that you may deliver yourselves from Russia.
They would make you slaves of the foreigner ; then bless the day which may enable you, in a sublime and terrible impulse, to conquer at once your independence as a nation and your rights as citizens.
To be free, O Germans ! you need but remember that you were the free. (the Franks.)
Your fathers,' in the words of Tacitus, 'were invincible because of their union, all their battalions being all formed, as it were, of members of one great family.'
Destroy as they did, all divisions. Have but one family, Democracy; have but one name, the German Republic. In all your valleys, and from hill to hill, let but one song be heard, the song of National Independence, the old German Burdit, and you also shall conquer. London, November, 13th, 1850.
LEDRU-ROLLIN—JOSEPH MAZZINI–A. DARASZ-ARNOLD RUGE.
THE CENTRAL EUROPEAN DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE
Decrees : The following proclamation shall be addressed to the armies of the Holy Alliance of Kings, and translated, for that purpose, into all languages.
Each of the National Committees shall be charged, so far as concerns it, with the execution of the present decree.
Done, November 27th, 1850.
TO THE ARMIES OF THE HOLY ALLIANCE OF KINGS.
Soldiers ! The tyrants who oppress you lift again the banner of their wars. Powerless to defend their despotisms against the propagandism of ideas and of rights, they would once more appeal to the fratricidal policy of battles.
Their pretexts,-you know them; their object is this :
They hope to drown in blood the spirit of freedom which now animates alike the serfs of the Ukraine and the pariahs of western civilization,--they hope, by awakening among you the murderous instincts of the fight, to long postpone the reign of human brotherhood.
Soldiers ! will you consent to this ? Count yourselves, and count them! are they, emperors and kings, valets and accomplices P Scarcely some thousands.
Your division alone makes their strength.
Look at this monarch who, placing his will above eternal reason, thinks himself a God on earth, because he leads, like a vile flock, sixty millions of men, his equals before Humanity. What would become of the power of which he is so proud, if these men would recollect that they owe their blood, some of them to the resurrection of heroic Poland, the martyr-nation, others to the moral rehabilitation of their race, all of them to fratenity and independence ?
And the first of his vassals, this emperor of Austria, but yesterday a child, who has steeped his crown in blood, at Vienna as at Pesth, at Milan as at Venice and at Brescia,– would he reign a day, an hour, if every one of you, Poles, Italians, Hungarians, Austrians, should render yourselves to your own flag, the true flag of honour ?
They have been careful, we know, to take you to a distance from your hearths. It is Hungary which guards Italy; it is Austria which watches over disarmed Hungary; the Italians front the Germans; and Poland, that feeds the armies of its three oppessors, is cast away upon Siberia and Caucasus. They hope thus to remove you from the memories of your families, of your cradles; they mean thus to make use of your age-long rancours, your prejudices, which these despotisms have nourished, and, one by the other, to insure the subjugation of all.
But as if an invisible hand compelled your tyrants to bring you together, you will soon be separated only by the fires of your bivouacs. You can, you ought then to frustrate their machiavelian combinations. Your Country and Humanity command this, for there is but one duty for men as for peoples, for soldiers as for citizens, whether they groan under foreign oppression or, oppressed themselves, become the instruments of oppression : that duty is to be free and to love one another.
Be then as brothers, all you who bear, with the weight of military servitude, the remembrance of a captive country. Even if you are of races hereto enemies, through communicatiog together in a hatred for tyranny, in the love of freedom, you ought to unite yourselves against the common enemy. Let your hands be joined, your hearts respond to cach other; from the detachment to the battalion, from the tent to the camp, let a mysterious and sympathetic net-work extend itself; and soon the army of despotism shall be the army of freedom.
And if,—the isolation, the pitiless rigours of discipline, thwarting your efforts,—you can not organize the revolution in the camp, nor revolt in broad day, then fearlessly desert, one by one, ten by ten, What matters P-But above all, desert pot without your arms, for they will be needed for the conquest of independence.
Do not be stayed by the disgrace which the doctrine of passive obedience attaches to those who break their military oath. Soldiers of your Country and of Humanity! know you when it is that you desert? It is when you chain your reason and your courage to the orders of an unjust thought. On the contrary, it is a return under the flag of honour, when you break these engagements imposed by force, and sanctioned by falschood.
If a general insurrection, if desertion in masses, are impossible for you, well then! instead of smiting those whom they call your enemies, but who are your brothers, die rather as martyrs. History will recollect your names and will honour your obscure devotion, equally with the most splendid actions.
German Soldiers !—you who ought to have but one object—that of creating the great German Nation,—will you serve the cause of kings, to betray your common mother ? Recollect that, conquerors or conquered, slavery awaits you. Shall it then be in vain that generous Germany has armed all her children? Oh! doubtless, those who, having long cowered under the military yoke, have forgotten their country and their home, to make themselves the janissaries of tyranny, will keep their hearts cold and their hards firin to deal death agrecably to a barbarous order. But now it is the whole nation which is aroused, with its masculine genius, with its invincible horror of slavery. There we meet once more that noble youth which, at Vienna, at Berlin, at Stuttgardt, at Baden, at Rastadt, fought for liberty. Can the homicidal traditions of the barracks prevail against the magnanimous inspirations of so many free and valiant hearts ?
There too we meet again the glorious wrecks of the phalanxes of Hungary and of
Poland, with the sons of unhappy Italy. Soldiers of Liberty ! will you strike the martyrs !
Ah, rather organize, from camp to camp, the holy conspiracy which we preach to the soldiers assembled under the same flag. Mingle your ranks, and lift from out your hearts fraternally united one vast cry of enfrachisement.
And yon, soldiers of the Prussian landwehr! would you trust this king who has been ten times traitor to his oaths, after having knelt before the triumphant revolution, after having bareheaded saluted the corpses of the people fallen under the bullets of his satellites ? Nol no! Sentence is pronounced against him and against his race; its execution may not be delayed. He and his, have they not always covenanted with the Russian despot, even as they are doing now?
You hold in your hands the destinies of Germany. Do not then lay down your arms till the Republic shall be proclaimed.
Lastly, do you all, Soldiers of the Holy Alliance of kings, remember the sublime example lately given you by the Hessian army, in which there was not to be found one officer to put down the legitimate resistance of a people strong in its right. Do you remember this: every one of them broke his sword in order that he might not fail in bis duty as a citizen; and yet there has been no blood shed.
Soldiers of the Holy Alliance! do not forget : your enemies are in the palaces of kings. Know you how to will, and the criminal projects of absolutism shall have served only to found the liberty of all peoples, the universal Republic !
LEDRU-ROLLIN-JOSEPH MAZZINI-A. DARASZ--ARNOLD RUGE.
The following document refers to the loan of £400,000, to furnish material for the renewal of the war of Italian independence.
THE CENTRAL EUROPEAN DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE, Having examined the documents relative to the loan of ten millions of francs, put forth by the Italian National Committee,
Considering that 'The men of all countries are brothers, and that the several peoples onght to aid each other, according to their ability, even as citizens of the same state;
“That whoever oppresses a single nation declares himself the enemy of all; •That kings, aristocrats, tyrants, whatever they may be, are slaves in revolt against tho sovereign of the earth, which is Mankind, and against the lawgiver of the universe, which is Nature; (ROBESPIERRE, Declaration of Rights.)
Considering that Italy which has proclaimed and heroically defended her independence, is now attempting a supreme effort to reconquer it ;
That her cause is doubly holy,--that it interests all the peoples whose sovereignty is already attempted or threatened by the coalition of kings,-that it interests the universal conscience, at which the papacy, that eternal instrument of despotism, has just thrown a new and audacious defiance;
--The Italian National Loan is placed under the safeguard of the European democracy.
Until its reimbursement by the Roman Republic, it shall be acknowledged by all the peoples who recover their independence.