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ONE of the most peculiar, useful, and glorious political habits of Englishmen, is that of associating for a certain end ; of forming a body which is to receive funds, appoint officers, become what foreigners call a propaganda, and meet in public to instruct the public, and encourage each other by expressions of feeling and of eloquence, or by argumentative discourses, destined to spread conviction through the press. These means of peaceful and argumentative agitation form one of the noblest products of our free constitution. And it requires a country of much steadiness and wisdom in the practice of freedom to enjoy such an institution without the certainty of its being abused. Other countries have been more free than England, at least in the theory of their charters. But none, save the United States, have ever been able to enjoy the benefit of political associations—and it may be doubted whether, in the United States, it is not grossly abused and turned to evil. There are, however, more ways than one of neutralizing, or bringing into discredit the power of association. It may be turned, for example, into treason ; at a time, too, when all the objects to be obtained by the most successful treason are to be obtained by constitutional and pacific efforts. This is the Irish and the French way of destroying or annulling the right of association. There is also another way—for instance, that of employing the grave extreme of political association for idle, for trifling, or for needless purposes. There are associations which we could name, got up with no higher aim than merely to kill the leisure or gratify the vanity of individuals. The efforts of some single person, who has marked out himself as the paid secretary, who has succeeded in becoming such, and whose activity perpetuates the association for no better reason and to no greater end, have sufficed in a majority of cases to originate them. Of these trifling associations, however, there are fortunately but few and unimportant. Public opinion does justice by them. There are others which have filled the world with their success and their fame, which have enlisted all that was generous, liberal, able, and eloquent in their ranks, which have overwhelmed the public with their appeals, nay more, which have beat down powerful opposition, even that of the prevailing political party, and which have won their way despite of every obstacle in Parliament, and every hesitation on the part of the most practical and eminent men. Such was the Anti-Slave-Trade Association. Yet what have been its results 1 Glorious some, but doubtful others. For it disdained to attempt less than the utter destruction of abuses, which an association of less power and zeal might more wisely have remained content with the resolution to mitigate and correct. Since the palmy days of the Anti-Slave-Trade Association, we have had those of the Anti-Corn-Law League, one of the most just, most noble, and most
ably-worked agitations, that any country has seen. Its very success, and the political elevation of all engaged in it, has tempted a variety of able and of liberal men to institute similar associations without well considering whether the aim justifies such means, and whether the very principles and habits of political association may not be weakened by its application to unfit objects. The Peace Association, whose congress at Paris now attracts public attention, is certainly one of the boldest yet attempted, since its sphere is not merely confined to England, but extends all over Europe. We may, nevertheless, doubt if its members are quite conscious of the degree of political boldness necessary to the right discharge of their self-appointed functions. They must beware, that for the sake of tolerance or favor they are not led to flatter princes and make light of popular interests. That may be the path of peace and toleration to them, but it is not so for the great mass of the people whom they would relieve. Preach mutual peace to France and to England. None will gainsay it. For what possible good or right would come of a war between the two countries 4 But will you at the same time and in the same breath preach peace to Poland, and to Hungary, and to Italy What can peace mean, in an exhortation to the people of these countries, but submission ? If the Peace Association preach that, it will be justly despised. On the other hand, to preach justice, mercy, and truth, in respect of popular rights, to a Czar of Russia or an Emperor of Austria, is a mission more for a war society than for one of peace. Is not, indeed, the new holy alliance a war congress in direct opposition to that of peace : Does it not found its right and permanence upon bayonets and bayonets only 4 Is not the very principle of the new league of government, to which France has disgracefully adhered, the maxim that the army is the true and only support of government, and that the one half or one third of the male population should be kept idle, in arms, in uniform, and in pay, in order to support a chief governor and a dozen politicians in the task of coercing the rest. Armies, in fact, are now avowedly kept for the purposes of police, and not only for police at home, but abroad. Russia would invade Hungary and govern Poland. Austria has stipulated to do the same by Bavaria. The King of Prussia is the great police magistrate of Germany. What is Louis Napoleon but a general of gendarmerie, not only for his own purposes in France, but to do the cardinals' bidding in Rome? If it is this power of mutual oppression that the association whose congress has met in Paris purposes to abet, then give us a war and resistance association, as something more frank, more manly, and more for the interest of humanity at present, and of permanent peace for the future. The wars now prevailing in Europe are those of dynasties against nationalities. We doubt its being in the power or within the scope of the Peace Society either to persuade dynasties to give up those nations which abhor them, or to persuade nationalities to forget what is most riveted in the popular affections. The only solid basis on which to establish peace, would be the allowance to each nationality to develop itself according to its nature and its tendencies. Let there be a French, a German, an Italian, a Sclavonian, and a Russian empire. Each would be too strong to fear the other, each too content to desire conquest. But the will of the nation in these and other things should prevail over the interests and caprices of a dynasty. A dynasty is warlike. A developed nation is never so, unless when provoked or oppressed.
FALL OF ROME.
[The following private letter has lately been published in England. We copy it from the New York Tribune. It is a good commentary upon the late events, and—like everything he has done or written—is honorable to Mazzini.]
RoME has fallen ' It is a great crime and a great error. The crime belongs entirely to France; the error to civilized Europe, and above all to your England. I say to your England, for in the three questions which are now at issue at Rome, and which it is vain to attempt to stifle by brute force, England appears to me, and did appear to us all, to be especially concerned. Three questions,—the question of principle, of international right, of European morality—the political question, properly so called, the balance of power in Europe, influence to be preserved or obtained—and the religious question,-all were, in fact, raised already in Rome before the entrance of the French. The question of principle is, thank God, sufficiently clear. A population of more than two millions of men having peacefully, solemnly, and legally chosen, through a constitutional Assembly, regularly elected, a form of government, is deprived of it by foreign violence, and forced again to submit to the power which had been abolished ; and that without that population having furnished the slightest pretext for such violence, or made the slightest attempt against the peace of neighboring countries.
The calumnies which have been for months systematically circulated against our republic, are of little importance; it was necessary to defame those whom it had been determined to destroy. But I affirm that the republic voted almost unanimously by the Assembly, had the general and spontaneous approbation of the country; and of this the explicit declaration of almost all the municipalities of the Roman States voluntarily renewed at the time of the French invasion, without any initiative on the part of the Roman government, is a decisive proof. I affirm that with the exception of Ancona, where the triumvirate were obliged emergetically to repress certain criminal acts of political vengeance, the republican cause was never sullied by the slightest excess; that never was there any censorship assumed over the press before the siege, never did the occasion
arise for exercising it during the siege; not a single condemnation to death or exile bore witness to a severity which it would have been our right to have exercised, but which the perfect unanimity which reigned among all the elements of the state rendered useless. I affirm that, except in the case of three or four priests, who had been guilty of firing upon our combatants, and who were killed by the people during the last days of the siege, not a single act of personal violence was committed by any fraction of the population against another, and that if ever there was a town presenting the spectacle of a band of brothers pursuing a common end, and bound together by the same faith, it was Rome under the republican rule. The city was inhabited by foreigners from all parts of the world, by the consular agents, by many of your countrymen ; let any one of them arise, and under the guarantee of his own signature, deny, if he can, the truth of what I say. Terror now reigns in Rome; the prisons are choked with men who have been arrested and detained without trial ; fifty priests are confined in the Castle of St. Angelo, whose only crime consists in their having lent their services in our hospitals; the citizens the best known for their moderation are exiled; the army is almost entirely dissolved, the city disarmed, and the “factious” sent away even to the last man ; and yet France dares not consult in a legal manner the will of the populations, but reestablishes the Papal authority by military decree. I do not believe that, since the dismemberment of Poland, there has been committed a more atrocious injustice, a more gross violation of the eternal right which God has implanted in the people —that of appreciating and defining for themselves their own life, and governing themselves in accordance with their own appreciation of it. And I cannot believe that it is well for you or for Europe that such things can be accomplished in the eyes of the world without one nation arising out of its immobility to protest in the name of universal justice. This is to enthrone brute force where, by the power of reason, God alone should reign —it is to substitute the sword and poniard for law—to decree a ferocious war without limit of time or means between oppressors rendered suspicious by their fears, and the oppressed abandoned to the instincts of reaction and isolation. Let Europe ponder upon these things. For if the light of human morality becomes but a little more obscured, in that darkness there will arise a strife that will make those who come after us shudder with dread. The balance of power in Europe is destroyed. It consisted formerly in the support given to the smaller states by the great powers; now they are abandoned. France in Italy, Russia in Hungary, Prussia in Germany, a little later perhaps in Switzerland; these are now the masters of the continent. England is thus made a nullity; the “celså sedet Eolus in arce,” which Canning delighted to quote, to express the moderating function which he wished to reserve for his country, is now a meaningless phrase. Let not your preachers of the theory of material interests, your speculators upon extended markets, deceive themselves ; there is history to teach them that political influence and commercial influence are closely bound together. Political sympathies hold the key of the markets; the tariff of the Roman republic will appear to you, if you study it, to be a declaration of sympathy toward England to which your government has not thought it necessary to respond. And yet, above the question of right, above the question of political interest, both of which were of a nature to excite early the attention of England, there is, as I have said, another question being agitated at Rome of a very different kind of importance, and which ought to have aroused all those who believe in the vital principle of religious reformation—it is that of liberty of conscience. The religious question, which broods at the root of all political questions, showed itself there great and visible in all its European importance. The Pope at Gaeta was the theory of absolute infallible authority exiled from Rome forever; and exiled from Rome was to be exiled from the world. The abolition of the temporal power evidently drew with it, in the minds of all those who understood the secret of the papal authority, the emancipation of men's minds from the spiritual authority. The principle of liberty and of free consent, elevated by the Constituent Assembly into a living, active right, tended rapidly to destroy the absolutist dogma which from Rome aims more than ever to enchain the universe. The high aristocracy of the Roman Catholic clergy well know the impossibility of retaining the soul in darkness, in the midst of light inundating the intelligences of men ; for this reason they carried off their Pope to Gaeta; for this reason they now refuse all compromise. They know that any compromise would be fatal to them ; that they must reënter as conquerors, or not at all. And in the same way that the aristocracy of the clergy felt this inseparability of the two powers, the French government, in its present reactionary march, has felt that the keystone of despotism is at Rome—that the ruin of the spiritual authority of the middle ages was the ruin of its own projects—and that the only method of securing to it a few more years of existence, was to rebuild for it a temporal domination. England has understood nothing of this. She has not understood what there was of sublime and prophetic in this cry of emancipation—in this protestation in favor of human liberty, issuing from the very heart of ancient Rome, in the face of the Vatican. She has not felt that the struggle in Rome was to cut the Gordian knot of moral servitude, against which she has long and vainly opposed her biblical societies, her Christian and evangelical alliances; and that there was being opened, had she but extended a sisterly hand to
the movement, a mighty pathway for the human mind. She has not understood that one bold word, “respect for the liberty of thought,” opposed to the hypocritical language of the French government, would have been sufficient to inaugurate the era of a new religious policy, and to conquer for herself a decisive ascendency upon the continent. Is England beginning to understand these things? You answer me, Yes. I doubt it. Political and religious indifference appears to me to have taken too deep a root with you to be conquered by anything short of those internal crises which become more and more inevitable. But if it be true that the unequal struggle which has been maintained for two months at Rome has borne fruits—if it be true that you begin to understand all that there is of brutal in the league of four powers against the awakening of the Eternal City—all that there is of grand and fruitful for humanity in this cry of country and liberty, rising from among the ruins of the capital—all that there would be of noble, of generous, of profitable for England in responding to this cry, as to that of a sister toward whom a debt of gratitude is owed—you can still do us a great good. You may console—this you have always done—the exile of our combatants, whom the French government tears from their homes, poor, mistaken souls, who dreamed of the fraternity of France, in utter physical destitution and in despair of mind. You can save for us these spirits by preserving them from the attacks of doubt and of unmeasured reaction. You can, by your press, by the voice of your meetings, fix upon the forehead of the French republic the mark of Cain; upon the front of Rome the glory of a martyrdom, which contain the promise of victory; you can give to Europe the consciousness that Italy is being born anew, and to Italy a redoubled faith in herself. You may do more. The Roman question is far from being resolved. France finds herself placed between the necessity of giving way to a new insurrection, and that of prolonging indefinitely the occupation by her troops; thus changing intervention into conquest. Assemble yourselves, associate yourselves, organize a vast agitation for the political and religious independence of the people ; and say to your government, that honor, duty, and the future of England demand that her flag shall not hang idly in atheistic immobility, amid the continued violation of the principle which it represents; that France has not the right to dispose of the Roman States as she pleases; that the will of the Roman people ought to be expressed, and that it cannot be freely expressed while four hostile armies are encamped upon its territories. Call upon France to fulfil her promises. We could not admit—we, the elected of the people—that they should be called upon to express a second time what they had already peacefully, completely, and in the most unfettered manner, declared. We could not commit suicide upon ourselves in our most sacred right. But, since violence has annihilated the consequences of its exercise, it is for you now to
recall France to its engagements, and to say to
her : “All that you are about to do is null and illegal, if the will of the population is not consulted.” And if your government remain silent —is France pursues her career of violence—then it is for you, the people, to aid us, you men of justice and liberty, in the struggle. With or without the aid of the people we will re-commence this struggle. We cannot, we will not, sacrifice our future, and the destinies toward which we are called by God, to the caprices of egotism and of blind force. But the assistance of the people may spare us many bloody sacrifices, much reactionary violence, that we, men of order and peace, have striven to avoid, but which, in the powerlessness of exile, we may not be able to preWent. * * o Joseph MAzzIN1. August 6, 1849.
EXTRACTS FROM MR. walsh's LETTER, 15th AUGUST, To THE JOURNAL of commerce.
THE Paris insurgents, made prisoners in the four days of June, 1848, who were sent to the hulks in the ports of France, and to be transported to Cayenne and Tahiti, are now destined to Algeria. Their number, originally, was upwards of twelve thousand. It is a lucky escape for Tahiti. It is said that the Jews of Buda, the old Hungarian capital, have announced their intention to emigrate to the American Union. The French government is stated to be reorganizing the army of the Alps, as if not quite easy on the Italian question. The recent speech of M. de Falloux, the Minister of Public Instruction, may be pronounced the finest specimen of oratory furnished in the Legislative Assembly during its session of a hundred days. I refer to his reply to M. Jules Favre's declamation about the affair at Rome. It is distinguished by philosophical elevation and force; novel and striking historical views of the popedom, and a broad flow of beautiful diction. The president of the Assembly, when de Falloux was violently interrupted by the Mountain, turned towards the brawlers, and said, “Learn at least to respect the ability of the orator; we should all listen to what does honor to us all.” The lesson is good for every debating body, and the compliment was both happy and well merited in this instance. If de Falloux should continue in public life, his general powers, his resolute spirit, his literary advantages, his rich and fluent elocution, his engaging person and address, will place him on a high eminence. He was born in 1811. If not as a poet, he may yet, as a prose writer, a public speaker, and a statesman, outstrip Lamartune. There is an affinity between the present phasis of this continent, and that of the first years of the old French Revolution, which, in my view, ren
ders applicable, or quotable, the language of Burke, in his masterly epistle to the Empress of Russia, dated in 1791 :
Madam, your glory will be complete, if, after having given peace to Europe by your moderation, you shall bestow stability on all its governments by your vigor and decision. The debt which your imperial majesty's august predecessors have contracted to the ancient manners of Europe, by means of which they civilized a vast empire, will be nobly repaid by preserving those manners from the hideous change with which they are now menaced. By the intervention of Russia the world will be preserved from barbarism and ruin.
Some of your readers may be startled, and even indignant, at this my addition—that the repression of anarchy, the restoration and rescue of political order—the safety of civilization itself—may yet be the work of Russia. Distrust is banished from my mind, by the character, the declarations, and the very obvious interests of Czar Nicholas. Respectfully to utter what we believe to be the truth, is the best homage which can be rendered to real dignity in the sovereign people, or any other sovereign, or at any bar. The number recently issued of the Bulletin of the Paris Geographical Society contains a notice by M. Jomard, in six pages, of Lieutenant Lynch's Expedition to the Dead Sea; also, from the same savant, some pages on the discovery of an ancient city near San Louis de Potosi. He had often expressed the opinion that the “Maya language would furnish the key of the Katowns—that is, of the groups of figures and characters which abound in the admirable monuments of Palenque and Yucatan.” In the United States how much rancorous invective, malignant humor, violent passion, fretful impatience or testiness, is lost in the immensity of space, and the very latitude of universal freedom, and public conscious security. Not so here, in a population of twelve hundred thousand, within a circumference of twenty leagues. Any spark may kindle a conflagration. The smugglers in Spain are now estimated at sixty thousand. At the end of the last century, Count Florida Blanc computed them at one hundred thousand. The Berlin Triple Union has been recognized by all the northern, central, and western states of Germany. Bavaria and Wurtemberg are not indispensable to its success. The best informed observers in Germany think it probable that the governments of Bavaria and Wurtemberg will ere long accede to the PrussoGermanic constitution, as a security against internal dangers. Martial law being withdrawn for Paris, several of the suppressed journals, La Reforme at the head, have reappeared. The National and La Presse, which were spared, but obliged to curb their animosities, are now giving loose to them in the most rancorous and vindictive spirit. Extremely rigorous and reaching as the new code of the press may be deemed, it will be found insufficient for its purposes. This is manifest, from the fresh experience of only a few days. De Lesseps, the late French envoy at Rome, arraigned before the council of state at Paris, has included in his defensive memoir, to that tribunal, some curious particulars of the attempt of the American charge d'affaires, to mediate between the French commander and the Roman rulers. It is my intention to report to you, in some detail, the whole Lesseps case. His copious memoir possesses historical interest; it discloses a singular game between the French ministers, on one hand, and a semi-envoy plenipotentiary on the other; the one having ends which they wished to veil, and selecting an agent whose political predilections and associations might serve as a blind; the other, exerting himself, while he believed the ministry strong, according to the sense in which he supposed they wished him to act; but, as soon as he learned that the Constituent Assembly disavowed, and voted an order of the day to rectify, the proceedings of the military expedition, turning short round, violating his instructions, conceding everything to the rulers of Rome, and seeking to please only the majority of the Constituent Assembly. The National, his former patron, was so deeply irritated by his first course, that it represented him as having literally lost his reason. His singular evolutions and self-contradiction, which so quickly followed the news of the Assembly's vote, rendered the allegation of the National so specious, for his friends, family, and the public in general, that his wife set out in all haste for Rome, to nurse the crazed negotiator. She arrived there the morning after he had departed for Paris with his treaty, by which he truly condemned the French forces to a result as bad as the Candine Forks. He performed the journey from Rome to Paris in four days and a half—the greatest speed known at the time. The ministry had recalled him by telegraph, before his treaty reached them ; which, naturally, they at once rejected. A recognition of the Roman republic was the reverse of their whole scheme. It is not uncharitable to infer from all particulars, that the negotiator colluded with the Triumvirate and their privy council, against the French army before Rome, and the cabinet at Paris. He has never been more than what you call a smart man; his official notes were so feeble and so vulnerable in the topics, that they seem to have been concerted with the Roman republic and its French scribes, for the purpose of enabling it to frame victorious and impressive replies, which were immediately transmitted to the Roman committee of the Mountain in Paris, and their common organ, the National. You will see that the French government has authorized an Englishman, Mr. Jacob Brett, to establish a sub-marine electrical telegraph across the channel between Calais and Bologne and Dover. He is to bear all expenses, and retain his privilege for ten years in case of success, which, truly, would be of vast importance to both coun
Within the three days past this capital has experienced a strong sensation from the various most important news, of which you will have the details in the London papers. The surrender to the Russians of the Hungarian general, Georgey, with a large part of his army, thirty or forty thousand men, seems to decide the struggle. The AustroRussian forces appear to have been victorious in every direction. Few of the better-informed observers here entertained hope of the success of the Hungarian cause, but still fewer expected so sudden and abrupt a catastrophe. The contest was with two of the most powerful empires in the world. Prussia would have thrown herself into it if it had been protracted. A declaration on the side of Hungary by England (which has never been in the least probable) could not have materially influenced the case. Russia, Austria, and Prussia had too much staked on the issue, to desist through the fear of any British hostilities. With France on their backs, the result might have been different, but the yawning gulf of bankruptcy, and the dread of revolutionary paroxysms at home, would alone have sufficed to restrain the French government. In the legations of the northern powers at Paris, a uniform confidence in the Austro-Russian league has prevailed to a degree that could well beget despondency in the most zealous advocate of Hungary; in the French departments of war and foreign affairs there was also an unfeigned, though somewhat fretting, assurance of the inevitable triumph of the league. Our lion in this capital now is the Peace Congress, which was opened yesterday. Multitudes have repaired to the Rue de Rivoli, to see the fifty Quaker families, reported to be inmates of its hotels. All the journals furnish articles more or less civil to the congress, though with very different measures of faith and honor. The Debats has some semi-ironical paragraphs. It observes, “To choose Paris as the centre of a crusade in favor of universal peace, is to carry the war into the very focus or hearth of the enemy.” Louis Philippe is in the enjoyment, in England, of good health and spirits. He is free now, and his nature and his habits before he mounted a throne were such as that he may rejoice in his enlargement. The clever literary critic of the London Morning Chronicle observes of Mr. Samuel Elliot's work on the Liberty of Rome, &c. : “This production, on a first hasty perusal, appears to be characterized by great learning and ability, no less