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of this punishment, and pausing on the threshold; but now, when the temporal Papacy has been brought to death's door, when only the mere order to ship a few battalions awaits the yielding up of its last gasp, to refuse to give that order out of mere fear of offending its kinsfolk, to insist upon keeping life in the body we have mangled, as a means of evincing our respect for the owner and his friends, surpasses in delicate attention the conduct of the highwayman who, having rifled and hamstrung his victim, observes that the dews of night are falling, and places him under an adjoining shelter that he may not take cold.

Doubtless France, as a Catholic power, has an interest in the destinies of the head of the Latin Churches. But the duties which that interest creates are not discharged by draining his revenues and holding him up as a crowned pauper before the eyes of Europe. Her duties are to keep the chief of that Church respectable, not to degrade him; to make him independent of temporal sovereignties, not the mere puppet of her own. It is evident there is no medium between crowned sovereignty with revenues and uncrowned sovereignty without. To deprive a man of his estates, and at the same time subject him to the responsibilities of kingship, is a refinement of torture which, instead of inflicting by way of bounty on our friends, we should hardly reserve for the bitterest enemy. This, surely, is not the debt of filial piety which France would have us understand it is her duty to discharge to the Holy See. If there be any feeling of duty in the matter, it should urge her, as she has let the substance of sovereignty go, to allow the shadow to depart also, instead of retaining it to plague the possessor with the memory of a past which can no more be revived, and to crush him beneath a load of responsibilities impossible to fulfil. It should urge her to purge the sanctuary of the delusive forms of a kinship which have no meaning except to ally its spiritualities with a caricature of the rotten pomps of this world; to cast from the altar the tinsel rag of sovereignty which she has already rent into pieces; to admit her subjects to become members of a free church, if she cannot of a free commonwealth; to snatch the destinies of her religion from the trammels of a feudal society; to link them to the progressive tendencies of the age; to make her Pontiff respected as the organ of a free nation, instead of leaving him to be the servile instrument of every effete tyranny or raw usurpation.

We know what advantages such a boon would confer upon the French people, and we cannot see what particular inconvenience it would occasion the French ruler. If a regiment of

An Imperial Probability.


Italian troops were admitted into Rome to-morrow, to replace a French regiment withdrawn, the Pope would either stay or retire to Vienna. But in the worst case the Pontiff could cause no more embarrassment to the French Emperor at the Hochstadt than he did to the English Government at the Vatican. There might be an occasional quarrel about investitures, which, if the worst came to the worst, might leave an odd bishopric or two vacant. The Papal nominee, as in Ireland, might also interfere with more virulence to upset a government candidate at an election. But beyond these trifles, we cannot see what the Emperor would have to fear then which he has not to fear now. The weapons of the Pope would be altogether of a spiritual character, and we may rely upon it would be applied against his dynasty with less force at Vienna than they are at present in Rome. The sacred college, upon the demise of Pius IX., would then conform to the necessities of a position guaranteed by the public law of Europe, and choose a successor who would accept actual facts, and prefer to discharge the noble functions they forced upon him, than to skulk behind French bayonets, and look out like an owl from his feudal eyrie upon the rejuvenated aspect of a scoffing world.

The intention of leaving the French troops in Rome till the Papacy pays fealty to the man whom it has excommunicated, and whom it continues to stigmatize in its encyclical letters as a robber and sacrilegious usurper, is nothing more or less than to delegate the settlement of the Italian question to the Greek calends. How is this marvellous reconciliation to be brought about? Let the reader fancy, if he can, Ratazzi, the Church confiscator, exchanging complimentary visits with Antonelli; and Pius IX. passing the wine-cup to Victor Emmanuel, and loading him with panegyric, for having been good enough to relieve him of his estates. No monstrosity of legendary fable-not all the imaginations of the wildest poets who ever ventured into mythical history-could devise any creation to equal such a tissue of incongruities as is involved in this supposition. The Papacy has always been the most obstinate power in the universe; and the French Emperor might as well attempt, with Professor Kingsley, by the mere action of his hand to suspend the law of gravitation, or tear the earth from its axle, as to endeavour to persuade the Pope into a spontaneous surrender of his temporal sovereignty in favour of a man against whom he has exhausted all the thunders of the Vatican. We all know that Paul IV. preferred to give up his spiritual supremacy in England rather than acknowledge the legitimacy of a queen whom his pre

decessor had pronounced a bastard. But here is a man who, having effected forcible entrance into the Pope's estates over the bodies of his defenders, presents him with a piece of paper, and requests him to sign over to him and his heirs, the remainder of the Pontifical dominions. Now, if the Emperor of the French expects these two men to rush into each other's embraces and swear eternal friendship, he is certainly a far greater fool than our Saturday Reviewers ever took him to be, and surpasses in his simplicity the ignorant rustic whom Horace describes as waiting for the river either to cease flowing, or the waters to mount up to their source.

We are therefore not only compelled to dissent from the reasons with which France would justify her occupation of Rome, but we are so sceptical as not to believe that the French executive have any more faith in their diplomatic allegations than ourselves. Religion has always been a convenient screen for the designs of overreaching ambition. The possession of Rome gives the French Emperor power over the two parties into which Italy is divided, and obliges both to approach his footstool with adulation on their lips, though with hatred in their hearts. It is the old story of Tiberius, with the tawny legations of Africa and the Egyptian kings, each incensing him as a god, yet having a most unmistaken idea that he was an incarnate devil. Now, he likes to snuff this sort of senseless flattery; to feel he has the power to bring these craven wretches to his feet; and while he holds Rome his hand is on the throat of Italy, and France, by having the life of Italy in her grasp, acquires an ascendency in the political balance of Europe to which no other nation can aspire. It flatters the vanity of the vainest people on our planet to have Italian ministers coming to their capital to seek their portfolios, Papal legates to beg for a little longer life, and Italian princes to hunger after promises of the restoration of their duchies after certain political exigencies have passed away. The Parisians live upon such things. They furnish food for their salons, and talk for their cabarets, and speculation for their publicists. They have settled the Pope's affairs so often for him that, absorbed in that exciting topic, they have quite lost sight of the confused state of their own finances. The Emperor cannot afford to put an end to a piece which produces such public interest, and employs the pens, the wits, and the tongues of the unquiet portion of his subjects. Though he has played out the play to the last act, he withholds the final dénouement, having nothing to substitute in its place which would create one-half of the excitement. Like a theatrical manager who is hard-up for new pieces, the French

Auctioneer sold under his own hammer.


Emperor keeps perpetually thrumming at the same piece, and does not afford the town the slightest glimpse as to when it is to be withdrawn. The Parisians are very much interested in the performance; but that does not make the disgust less hearty with which the rest of Europe regard this extraction of political capital out of the throes of nations.

This is not a time in which a single party gives up any advantages it has gained without an adequate compensation; and nobody, we believe, except female poets of either sex, would accuse the Bonapartists of being chivalrous in opposition to their age. Rome, it appears, cannot be abandoned without some consideration for the advantages which must be given up along with it, without some requital for the trouble to which the French army have been put, first, in wresting it from the people to give it to the Pope, and then in taking it from the Pope to give it back to the people. Juvenal tells us that in his day everything had its price in Rome; and Dante gives us pretty plainly to understand that, though Rome had changed her religion, she had not changed her venal character. Even modern poets are fond of harping on the same string :

'Röm welche nehmt alles, gibt nicht.'

Well, after everything has been sold in Rome, the auctionmart itself is to be put up for auction. Napoleon seems anxious that the honour of selling Rome to its rightful owners shall not rest with the ancient Gauls alone, but that the modern must repeat the transaction. The Greek Livy tells us that Brennus carried the price home in bags of gold. But now the value must be paid in kind. An island, a vice-regality for a nephew, a maritime port in the Adriatic, are in turn suggested, but declined. A miserable cork plantation* is, after all, a poor compensation for the Rome of the Cæsars; and why should Victor Emmanuel haggle? There are other powers which think they have something to say to the bargain, and will not allow him to subject his kingdom to renewed dislocation, even though he might wish it. Poor Italy, who cannot recover her capitol without undergoing amputation, and who cannot undergo amputation without alienating her best friends, and strengthening the power of her most dangerous rival.

There are, however, some cases in which apparent gains would become real losses, in which a spontaneous renunciation of our private interests is the most gainful policy we could pursue. Such appears to be the Emperor's position with respect to Italy. As long as he holds Rome the Italian question must remain in

* Sardinia.

solution, and the energies of some twenty-seven millions of people paralyzed by the uncertain aspect of a government that knows not whether of the kingdom which it owns to-day it will retain a rood of ground to-morrow. Italy can be of use to no person while it remains a torture and an enigma to itself. If an European war broke out to-morrow, Victor Emmanuel, in the present disordered state of his provinces, however much he might feel disposed to aid his dubious protector, could hardly send ten men to his assistance. With civil war in Naples, with reactionary armies at Rome and Venice, with democratic committees in Genoa and Milan, Victor Emmanuel, instead of sparing any portion of his little army, would have to demand assistance from France to prevent his dislocated kingdom from being blown into a thousand pieces. Whereas, if the Italian question were settled, if the provinces of the peninsula became compact members of a well-jointed State, the commerce of the country would be tripled, a flourishing exchequer would give rise to a powerful fleet and a large army, which might be employed abroad, while a national militia would be sufficient to maintain order and protect the country from invasion at home. The alliance of Italy would then be of the greatest moment to the French Emperor; and that alliance, if he could not command by the ties of kinship, rendered ten times more dear by the memory of past services, he could exact by the superiority of his maritime position at Nice, and of his military position at St. Jean Maurienne. With the keys of the Alps in his hands, both the military and naval armaments of Italy must be as ductile to his wish as any lieutenant at Toulon or any gendarme at Paris. The question then with him ought to be, having Italy at his feet, whether he should leave her to be an entanglement, a real cause of embarrassment to him in the hour of danger, or a powerful ally, ready to place at his disposition the resources of a flourishing nation. If he hesitate much longer, we shall conclude that Providence has visited him with the same insensibility to present contingencies and future dangers which cost the chiefs of the Republic their liberty, and his two predecessors their throne.

Napoleon, as the crowned representative of the French idea of popular right, is the enemy of legitimacy when based upon institutions incompatible with those rights. Neither he nor his race can expect any mercy at the hands of the princes whom he has jolted out of their thrones, and who are all secretly banded together against him. But, by keeping the question of Italian unity in suspense, he leaves the gate open for any casual accident to help one-half of the princes back to their seats, and thus also

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