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Chap, strong, of the oppressed against the oppressors. It is VIL the boast, and in many respects the well-founded boast, 1820. of free nations, that by removing the necessity which has origilfof produced it, they alone have succeeded in eradicating this secret socie- dreadful evil from the social system. Where men are permitted to combine openly, and the constitution affords a legitimate channel of complaint, the necessity of secret associations is removed, and with that removal their frequency is much abated. Yet is it not altogether removed: the desire to compass even legitimate ends by unlawful means sometimes perpetuates such societies when the necessity for them no longer exists; and the Ribbonism of Ireland and trades-unions of England remain a standing reproof against free institutions, and a lasting proof that the enjoyment of even a latitudinarian amount of liberty sometimes affords no guarantee against the desire to abuse its powers. In Italy, however, at this time, the despotic nature of the institutions had given such societies a greater excuse—if anything can ever excuse the banding together of men by secret means and guilty acts, to overturn existing institutions.
The Carbonari of Italy arose in a very different Their origin interest from that to which their association was ultiv"odurhTs- mately directed. They were founded, or perhaps taken tory" advantage of, by Queen Caroline, on occasion of the French invasion of Naples in 1808; and it was by their means that the resistance was organised in the Abruzzi and Calabria, which so long counterbalanced the republican influence in the southern parts of the Peninsula. Subsequently they were made use of by Murat at the time of the downfall of Napoleon, to promote his views for the formation of a great kingdom in Italy, which should be free from Tramontane influence, and restore unity, independence, prosperity, and glory to the descendants of the former masters of the world. Being directed now to a definite practicable object, which had long occupied the Italian mind, which had been the dream of
its poets, the aspiration of its patriots—which it was Chap. hoped would rescue it from the effects of the " fatal gift A" of beauty" under which it had so long laboured, and terminate a servitude which clung to it conquering or conquered *—this association now rapidly increased in numbers, influence, and the hardihood of its projects. It continued to grow rapidly during the five years which succeeded the fall of Napoleon and re-establishment of the Bourbon dynasty in Naples; and as the desires of peace had come in place of the passions of war, it had grown up so as to embrace considerable portions of the members, and by far the greater part of the talent and energy of the State. It had comparatively few partisans in the rural districts, among which ancient influences still retained their ascendancy; but in the towns, among the in- «. 3°toe, 3*5; corporations, the universities, the scholars, the army, and the artists, it had nearly spread universally; and it mighti^t^n with truth be said, that among the 642,000 persons who ^aP^'n in Italy were said to be enrolled in its ranks, were to be J^-i"^ found nearly the whole genius, intelligence, and patriotism 299! of the land.1
Governed both by princes of the house of Bourbon, and intimately connected for centuries by political alli- Commence
• . . i« i " .i ., n ment of the
ance, intermarriage of families, and similarity of manners, Neapolitan Naples had for long been influenced in a great degree byrevo atlon' the political events of Spain. Upon a people so situated, actuated by such desires, and of so excitable a temperament, the example of the Spanish revolution operated immediately, and with universal force. The Carbonari over the whole Peninsula were speedily in motion, to effect the same liberation for it as had already been achieved without serious effusion of blood in Spain; and as it was known that the Franc-Communeros of that country had played an important part in its revolution, sanguine hopes were entertained that they might be equally successful in their patriotic efforts. Their great
* " Vincitrice o vinta sempro asservo."
Chap, reliance was on the army, many of the higher officers of Y11' which were already enrolled in their ranks, and which it 1820- was hoped would be generally influenced by the example and rewards obtained by the insurrectionary host in the island of Leon. These hopes were not disappointed; on the 2d July, Morelli and Menichini—the one a simple lieutenant in the army, the other a priest in the town of Nola, but who both held important situations in the society of the Carbonari—assembled the soldiers of the former's troop, raised the cry of " God, the King, and the July2. Constitution;" fraternised with the National Guard, who joined in the same sentiments; and with their united force marched upon Avellino, the chief town of the province, in the hope of inducing its inhabitants to join their cause. This was not long in being effected. Concilii, who commanded the militia of that town, joined the popular j'coibtta cause; Morelli and he proclaimed the Constitution A ^u^u am^s* unanimous shouts, and Concilii was, by acclamaiii. 489,490. tion, declared the head of the patriotic force and the Riego of Naples.1
The news of the insurrection at Nola, followed as it
107. ■ .
Defection was immediately by the defection of the garrison of PepVand' Avellino, threw the court of Naples into the utmost conof^pies!" sternation, and General Campana, who had the command at Salerno, received orders to march without delay on the latter town, while all the disposable force at Naples was ordered to advance in support. But vain are all attempts to extinguish revolt by soldiers who themselves are tainted with the spirit of insurrection. General Carascosa, who commanded the troops which came up from Naples, was no sooner in presence of the insurgents who were marching on Salerno, than he found his men so shaken that he was constrained to retire, to prevent them from openly joining their ranks. The revolutionists advanced accordingly to Salerno, which they occupied in force; and the intelligence of their approach excited such a ferment in Naples that it soon became evident that the maintenance of the government had become impossible, Chap.
A large body of the principal officers in the garrison waited on General Pepe, and entreated him to put him- 182°self at the head of the insurrection, assuring him of the support of the entire army. He yielded without difficulty to their entreaties; and taking the command of a regiment of horse in Naples which had declared for the constitutional cause, he set out amidst loud cheers for, _ „
f i • ii.-i Colletta,
the headquarters of the insurgents, whom he joined ata.348,349; Salerno, where he was immediately saluted by acclama- iiU9o,492. tion General-in-chief.1
Every day now brought intelligence of fresh defections; the whole regiments in the garrison of Naples The king declared for the constitution, and every post announced *wear»tod the junction of some new garrison to the cause of the in- Jotion"6'1" surgents. Numerous crowds constantly surrounded the palace, and with loud cries and threats demanded the instant proclamation of the constitution. The students, the professors, the municipality, the whole intelligent classes, loudly supported the demand; and the king, without guards or support of any kind, moral or physical, found himself constrained to yield to their demands. Anxious to gain time, he consented, after some negotiation, to resign his authority into the hands of his son, the Duke of Calabria, whom he declared his Vicargeneral, with the unlimited authority of "Alter ego." The prince immediately issued a proclamation declaring his acceptance of the Spanish Constitution, under certain conditions; but the silence of the king still excited the alarm of the popular party, and at length his majesty himself issued a proclamation, in which he July 7. ratified the promise made by his son, and engaged to accept the Spanish Constitution, under the reservation of such alterations as the national representation legally convoked might find it necessary to adopt.* The
* " La costituzione del regno delle Due Sicilie Bara la stessa adottata per il regno delle Spagne nelT anno 1812, e sanzionata da S. M. Cattolica nel marzo di VOL. II. 0
Chap, prince, at the same time, issued a decree declaring bis Y1L unconditional acceptance of the Spanish Constitution as 1820. promulgated by His Most Catholic Majesty on the 7th March; and the king two days after solemnly took the oath in presence of all the civil and military authorities of the kingdom.* The whole authority in the kingdom immediately passed into the hands of the revolutionists. General Pepe was declared Commander-in-chief instead of the Austrian General Nugent, who was dismissed. General Felangiers was appointed Governor of Naples; the ministry was entirely changed, and a new one, composed of ardent liberals, appointed; a junta of fifteen persons nominated to control the Government, and the whole appointments solemnly confirmed by the king. Great popular rejoicings and a general illumination tcsi colletto tified the universal joy at these rapid changes; but it Am Hilt! augured ill for the stability of the new order of things, Ant^R^'or *ts adaptation to the people by whom it was adopted, 1820,24ft that they had to send to Spain for a copy of the Constitution to which they had all sworn fealty.1
While military treason was thus overturning monarchy
questo anno; salve lo modificazioni che la rappresentanza nazionale, costituzionalmente convocata, crederà di proporci per adattarla allo circostanze particolari dei reali dominiL" Francesco, Vicario. July 6, 1820.—Colletta, Storia di Napoli, ii. 361.
* The oath taken by the Prince Vicar-general was as follows: "In quanto alla costituzione di Spagna, oggi ancora nostra, io giuro (e alzò la voce più diquel che importava 1' essere udito) di serbarla illesa, ed all' uopo difenderla col sangue."—Colletta, ii 868, 369.
The oath of the king, taken on the 13th in presence of all the authorities of the kingdom, was still'more solemn: "' Io Ferdinando Borbone, per la grazia di Dio e per la costituzione della monarchia napoletana, re, col nome di Ferdinando I. del regno delle Due Sicilie, giuro in nome di Dio e sopra i Santi Evangeli che difenderò e conserverò' . . . (seguivano le basi della coBtituzione: poi diceva). 'Se operassi contra il mio giuramento, e contra qualunque articolo di esso, non dovrò essere ubbidito; ed ogni operazione con cui vi contravvenissi, sarà nulla o di nessun valore. Così facendo, Iddio mi ajuti e mi protegga; altrimenti, me ne dimandi conto.' Il profferito giuramento era scritto. Finito di leggerlo, il re alzò il capo al cielo, fissò gli occhi alla croce o spontaneo disse: 'Onnipotente Iddio che collo sguardo infinito leggi nell' anima e nell' avvenire, se io mentisco o se dovrò mancare al giuramento, tu in questo istante dirigi sul mio capo i fulmini della tua vendetta.' "—colletta, ii. 370, 371.