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cuss here. The turning-point was Goltz's success in extracting from Louis Napoleon himself an assent to Prussian aggrandisement on a scale far in excess of what had been asked of and refused by Drouyn de Lhuys a few hours before. King William could hardly have obtained more had he entered Vienna at the head of his army. It was unreasonable to claim that Prussia should continue fighting, at the risk of being attacked by France on the Rhine, in order to give the Italians a safe opportunity of salving their wounded pride. Bismarck had expressly refused to include the Trentino in the terms of alliance, and the fourth article of the treaty had specially provided that consent to peace or armistice should not be refused when Austria should have consented to cede the LombardoVenetian kingdom.
Hostilities between Italy and Austria were actually suspended on July 25th, but it was not till the 12th of August that an armistice was signed. Ricasoli obstinately insisted on retaining at least so much of the Trentino as was actually in Italian occupation—The honour of Italy,' he exclaimed, is more precious than Venetia'-and would have continued the war, courting almost certain defeat, for Austria was already pouring back her troops over the frontier. But at this point La Marmora took the bit between his teeth. They will blame me,' he said to the King, they will call me traitor, they will indict me.
I care not. I take upon myself all the responsibility,' and, without further authority from the Cabinet, gave orders for withdrawal from the Trentino and for the immediate signature of the armistice, which depended on that step.
A man of limited intellectual capacity, but without fear and without reproach, La Marmora threw Italy into a war for which she was unprepared; his over-anxiety to bind Prussia by a treaty led him into diplomatic entanglements that a shrewder negotiator might have avoided ; his chivalrous adherence to the terms of the alliance rejected an opportunity of grasping without cost or bloodshed all that was eventually won; his desire for a soldier's glory and over-confidence in his own generalship had the largest share in the military discomfiture of his country; but now his fearless moral courage held her back on the very brink of destruction.
The details of the final consignment of Venetia gave rise to much further discussion, and delayed the actual conclusion of peace till October ; but the tenacity with which
VOL, OXCII. NO. 000XCIV.
Ricasoli haggled over them gained no real advantage for Italy, and, indeed, only further detracted from her dignity. After the conclusion of peace Ricasoli's time was principally occupied with the dissolution of the monasteries, and with a futile attempt to win the goodwill of Rome by a Bill relating to the liberty of the Church and the regulation of ecclesiastical property. The scheme
scheme was scornfully rejected by the prelates; although much on the lines of Cavour's earlier proposal, it was disliked by the Chamber, and even by Ricasoli's own colleagues. A general election did not strengthen him. He was again forced by the King to give way to Rattazzi in April 1867. Unable to persuade either Menabrea from the extreme Right, or Crispi from the Left, to join him, the new Premier filled bis Cabinet with nonentities, for who would work with the ‘man of Aspromonte,' disposed as he was to 'conspire
with the party of action, so long as he could count on • being able to abandon it in the difficulties which he had • created ?
The French had left Rome before Christmas, and the obvious course for a Government that meant to do something was to wait until the various agencies which controlled the action of Italian sympathisers in the Roman States had organised a movement in Rome itself, and then to strike promptly, so that France should find herself face to face with a fait accompli before she had time to inter
The principal of these agencies were the Moderate • National Committee' and the Mazzinian Committee of * Action. But they were jealous of each other, and both had neglected the first duty of the revolutionist—they had provided no arms! In truth the Romans were not for the moment sufficiently eager to risk a rising. They preferred to be "liberated' by a force from without, and to keep their own skins whole.
Meanwhile Garibaldi was growing impatient. His friends, Crispi among them, tried in vain to keep him quiet till a more opportune moment. If you attempt a coup de main ‘on the Papal States,' wrote Crispi, 'the French will be in * Italy within three months. It was this perception of obstinate facts that had severed Crispi from the Republicans and alienated him from Mazzini. It marks his passage from the agitator to the statesman. The loss of this faculty of perception some thirty years later led to his downfall.
In spite of good advice Garibaldi had made up his mind that the liberation of Rome could not wait upon the con
venience of the committees or of the Government. It was doubtful what course Rattazzi would take. He was undoubtedly cognisant of Garibaldi's plans, and encouraged the enlistment of volunteers. Of a sudden, presumably in consequence of some threat from Paris, he arrested Garibaldi on his way towards the Roman frontier. Yet he did not check the volunteers, giving the prefects ostensible instructions to stop the movement, but sending cypher telegrams at the same moment to tell them not to interfere. Numerous demonstrations made it troublesome to keep such a prisoner as Garibaldi; he was sent back to Caprera, but without being put on parole or made to give any undertaking. The island was guarded by cruisers, yet the adventurous old hero made good a most exciting escape on the night of October 16, and reached Leghorn in an open boat on the 20th, to find that Rattazzi had instantly resigned on the news of the evasion, and a new administration had not yet been formed. But Rattazzi retained practical control of the offices during this interregnum, and used it to actively facilitate Garibaldi's journey to join his volunteers, who for three weeks past bad been crossing the Papal frontier in small bodies.
On the 27th Menabrea took office, and at once issued a proclamation dissociating the King's Government from any connexion with the enterprise. But it was too late. The French expedition, forced upon the Emperor by the Clerical party, arrived at Civita Vecchia on the 29th, in time to take part in the decisive action of Mentana on November 3, when the Garibaldians were defeated with great loss. The French commander reported home that the chassepôtsthis was their first trial--had done marvels. Thus the convention was no more. Whatever good there was in it was now undone. The bad had already effected its mischief. For all this the country had to thank Rattazzi. Disliked by the Right as a man of the Left, he was now loathed by the Radicals. * Unmask him,' cried Libertini,
unmask him as the fatal man of Novara, more fatal yet at Aspromonte, most fatal of all at Mentana.'
Menabrea's administration, the most conservative Italy has experienced, wonld allow no more playing with fire. Garibaldi was arrested and sent back to Caprera ; democratic societies were broken up. In return the French troops withdrew from Rome to Civita Vecchia. But • Mentana was
a great moral blow to Italy. It raised * the prestige of the Papacy; it half discouraged the
Italians in their aspirations for Rome. ... It had no glory, for the volunteers showed little of the spirit that * won Calatafimi and the Volturno. Indeed, they dwindled so rapidly under trial that Garibaldi falsely suspected Mazzini of suborning them to desert.
The prevailing feeling at the moment was one of passionate wrath with France. This feeling was not shared by the King or the Premier, nor by La Marmora and others whose political experience enabled them better to appreciate the enormous pressure that had been brought to bear on Napoleon by his Catholic party, and the slight to the French nation at large that was involved in attacking Rome without the lapse of a decent interval after the evacuation.
Before long the vicissitudes of European politics again disclosed a possibility of going to Rome with the consent of France. Jealous of the aggrandisement of Prussia, and fearing her further ambitious plans, Napoleon III. had begun to cast about for allies, and naturally looked to Italy and to Austria. The latter country, still smarting from ber defeat of two years before, was now under the guidance of a Liberal and Protestant Premier, Count Beust. A private interchange of letters between the French Emperor and Victor Emmanuel, to which Beust soon became a party, was preparing the ground for a triple alliance. When the King opened his views to Menabrea, the Minister was favourable in principle, but made it a sine qua non that Civita Vecchia should be evacuated. In June 1869 the scheme took shape in formal propositions, which contemplated that the French should never return to Rome on any pretext, while Italy reserved the right to occupy it in certain possible contingencies. But France would not consent to abandon the Pope in any event. On this rock the negotiations struck, and it was only on the very eve of the war of 1870 that their course was again resumed. Lanza had meanwhile replaced Menabrea. Visconti Venosta, who sympathised with France, and Sella, with German leanings, were his most prominent colleagues. The French Government did not consult Italy on the question of the Spanish succession, and brushed aside Beust's attempts to mediate. At last, a few days before hostilities broke out, the Duc de Grammont invited Austria and Italy to enter into the triple alliance which had been rejected in the previous summer. But he offered no inducement, he made no fresh concession about Rome. He only counted on Italian gratitude for French aid in the past, forgetful of Nice, of Savoy, of
Mentana. Victor Emmanuel, who always felt a sense of personal obligation to Louis Napoleon, and was confident of French success, would have accepted the proposal, even on those terms. The generals, especially Cialdini, were impatient to fight on the French side. On the other hand, popular feeling was hostile. There were demonstrations in most of the larger towns on July 17; cheering for Prussia, for neutrality, for Rome; cries of Down with Mentana ! Down with France !'
Ministers besitated, and were of different minds. They were pledged to economies; they could not face public opinion if they accepted an alliance that did not open the road to Rome. Beust, indeed, did his best for them. He telegraphed to Paris :
The Convention of September no longer fits the situation. The day the French leave the Papal States the Italians ought to be able to enter as of right, and with the consent of France and Austria. We shall never have the Italians heart and soul with us unless we extract the thorn of their Roman difficulty. And, frankly, is it not better to see the Holy Father under the protection of the Italian army, rather than the butt of Garibaldian enterprises ?'
But the rulers of France were blind. Under the delusion that they were marching to certain victory they scorned Beust's suggestion. They declared that the Convention of September was the only possible basis of an understanding, and that honour forbade them to withdraw from Civita Vecchia without the formal promise of Italy to respect and carry out the conditions of that treaty.
Whether Italy was ultimately to give military aid to France or not, the right course for an Italian Government surely was to point out firmly that the convention had been broken by both parties. Since the events of 1867 it had neither reality nor meaning. It was obsolete. Altered circumstances redoubled the force of the old objections to it. If Italy, after evacuation, chose to continue to respect Papal territory, she should do so of her own accord, and without prejudice to her freedom of action in contingencies that might arise.
But the weakest possible policy was followed. The Ministry expected France to be victorious, and feared her vengeance in the future if she were not now supported. On August 4 Visconti Venosta formally promised to observe the convention. The King had already given a like pledge to the Emperor. Now, like flashes of lightning, came the news of successive French defeats. Victor Emmanuel