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What changes the Pope contemplates, how far he proposes to allow the people to participate in the administration of public affairs through the choice of their own magistrates and the enactment of their own laws, I have until very recently considered doubtful, nor is the extent of the reform he contemplates very distinctly understood now. It will be recollected that a few months ago he called together a council of delegates from the different provinces. I read his opening address to them with great care, supposing it would contain an outline of the political changes he contemplated. He stated that he had called them together for consultation, which seemed to exclude the idea of legislation ; that extravagant expectations had been entertained as to his purposes, and that he intended to transmit to his successors unimpaired the authority he had derived from those who had preceded him. Not long before this annunciation was received, I was invited to attend a public meeting in the city of New York, called to express the general sympahty which was felt in his measures of reform. Not being able to attend, I addressed a letter to the committee of arrangements; and there were several other letters written by gentlemen of distinguished character, and some of them occupying high official stations. Not feeling at that time quite sure of the sequel, I did not indulge in the enthusiastic expressions which some of the letters contained. I endeavored to render the Pope full justice. I desire to do so now. And I must say that the recent intelligence from abroad justifies all the expectations which have been entertained in respect to his contemplated measures of reform. He has already done much for good government in Italy. He arrayed himself boldly at the outset against the influence of Austria, — an influence which, since the general pacification of Europe, in 1815, has been a perfect blight upon the growth and progress of popular freedom. He has resisted fearlessly the designs of that gov- . ernment upon the independence of the Roman people. He has refused to the Austrian troops a passage through his dominions for the purpose of aiding the King of the Two Sicilies in putting down the struggles of the Neapolitan and Sicilian people against the narrow-minded tyranny by which they have been oppressed. He has done more. He has formed a national guard in the Papal States; he has put arms into the hands of the Roman people, and he is preparing them by military exercises for the assertion and maintenance of their own rights. He has, in a word, given an impulse to popular freedom throughout Italy; and it is owing in a great degree to him, that constitutional forms of government have been given to the people of Sardinia, Tuscany, and the Two Sicilies.

The late arrival affords us still more gratifying evidence of his movements. Two papers have been put into my hands, from which I will read brief extracts. The first is from a letter in the “ Courrier des Etats Unis,” dated in Paris, which I will translate literally:

“ The reaction of the revolution in Naples has been felt, as I foresaw, in the other parts of Italy. The King of Sardinia and the Grand-Duke of Tuscany have also given to their subjects a constitution, modelled after the French Charter. Pius the Ninth has promised, in a proclamation and in conversation with those around him, something analogous to it. In the mean time, he has changed his cabinet, and has formed a ministry composed almost entirely of laymen. This is a great reform.”

The other extract is from the letter of the European correspondent of the “ National Intelligencer,” published in this morning's paper. I will read it:

“ The good and conscientions Pope has had misgivings as to his power to grant a reformed constitution to his people, fearing that his doing so would interfere with the oath which he took at his accession to office, to hand down the temporalities of his kingdom uninjured to his successors. He submitted his doubts to a council of ecclesiastics learned in such matters, and the result is, a decision that his yielding to the wishes of the people and the spirit of the times will not be an infringement upon his official oath. It is supposed, therefore, that the people of Rome will soon receive a constitution founded on the same principles as those of Naples, Sardinia, and Florence. His Holiness has advanced a great step, by his employment of well-qualified laymen in high positions in the State, which have hitherto been filled by ecclesiastics. Three vacancies lately occurred, and three liberal-minded laymen succeeded three churchmen. How much does the world owe to Pius IX! His liberal conduct first put the ball of reform in motion: it is not destined to stop until it has regenerated Europe."

Thus it appears that the Roman people are to receive from the Pope a constitutional government. And, what I consider of great importance as a measure of reform, he has already begun to introduce laymen into his political councils. At the general pacification, in 1815, it was understood that the chief ministers of the Pope were to be chosen from the laity. This understanding was violated; and it has been one of the leading causes of public discontent in the Papal States. It has been for a very long period one of the reforms most earnestly sought for ; and it may be hailed as the precursor of an ultimate separation of the ecclesiastic and secular branches of the Papal government, by conferring political offices on laymen, and confining churchmen to the exercise of their ecclesiastical functions, - an arrangement favorable alike to the Church and the State, by promoting the purity of the one and the prosperity of the other.

While the Pope has much to reform, he has much to contend against

— not only from the opposition of those who are hostile to all progress, but from the embarrassed condition of the finances of the Papal States. ago, the revenues were about nine millions of dollars; two millions and a half were derived from internal taxes, chiefly on landed property; about four millions and a half from the customs, excise, &c.; about nine hundred thousand dollars from lotteries, and the residue from miscellaneous sources. Some of these revenues were collected at an enormous expense.

The revenue from lotteries, for instance, which yielded nine hundred thousand dollars in the gross, cost about six hundred thousand in the collection, leaving only three hundred thousand in the treasury as an offset to the

Some ten years



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general demoralization of which they were the cause. In the same year, the expenditures exceeded the revenues about half a million of dollars. Four years ago, I understood the deficiency exceeded a million, and the preceding year a million and a half. From the difficulty of obtaiving statistical information, I could not ascertain the amount of the public debt; but from the interest paid on it, amounting to about two millions and a half of dollars, exceeding one quarter of the entire revenue of the Papal States, it must have exceeded forty millions of dollars. It cannot now, I think, be less than fifty millions. It may be much more.

Sir, this is a very heavy pecuniary burden for a small state. The whole superficial area of the Papal States is about thirteen thousand square miles, — less than one third the area of the State of New York; and a population, according to the raccolta, or census, of 1833, of two million seven hundred thousand souls, — about the same as the population of New York. While Rome has two hundred and ten inhabitants to a square mile, from the difference in surface, New York has but sixty. The population of the Papal States is very unequally distributed. Only about one third of the surface is cultivated, and a considerable portion is very thinly inhabited. I doubt whether the population has much increased during the last fifteen years. In 1833, the city of Rome had about one hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants ; in 1838, it had less than one hundred and fortynine thousand, - a slight decrease.

The Papal States have some commerce; but little is carried on in her own vessels. There are but two harbors for vessels of any considerable burden, — Civita Vecchia, on the Mediterranean, and Ancona, on the Adriatic. The excellence of both ports is due, in a good degree, to the Emperor Trajan. There were other valuable ports once, but they have become useless for large vessels. Terracina, the ancient capital of the Volsci, was formerly a naval station of great importance; but it is now obstructed by deposits of



sand. The Porto d'Anzo, — the ancient Aptium, — about

midway between Terracina and the mouth of the Tiber, is also obstructed, and nearly useless, from the same cause.

There is but one navigable river in the Papal States — the Tiber. As there have been some allusions to it in the course of the debate, I hope I shall be excused if I make some references also to its condition as to commerce and navigability. It empties into the Mediterranean seventeen miles from Rome. As it approaches the sea, it divides into two channels. On the left arm stood the ancient Ostia. It has long since fallen into ruins, and a modern Ostia stands near it; but, from the unhealthiness of the place, it is almost deserted, and the channel of the river is nearly filled up. The right arm is navigable to the sea. On this channel stood the ancient city of Portus ; but only the ruins are now visible, and the modern town of Fiumicino has risen up a mile and a half below. The channel is narrow, deep, and rapid. The description of Virgil, as he makes Æneas first see the Tiber, is still applicable to it. I do not know that I can quote him accurately, but if I do not, there are gentlemen of classical learning on both sides of the Chamber who will correct me:

“fluvio Tiberinus ameno, Vorticibus rapidis et multa flavus arena,

In mare prorumpit." The description is not inaccurate: with rapid whirlpools, and yellow with earth, it bursts into the sea. The current is so rapid that vessels could only stem it with strong winds ; but they are now towed up by steamers. Vessels of small size — among them a steamer — go up to Rome, and at some seasons there is a good deal of freighting done on the river. Indeed, it is navigable for boats to its junction with the Nera, some forty miles above. But from the rapidity of the current near the city and below, deposits of sand are constantly obstructing the passage, and an annual appropriation of money is made to keep it open.

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