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It was neither Cavour, nor even Garibaldi, but Mazzini, who planned the rising. Garibaldi, at first, was not told of the new enterprise. Rosolino Pilo, however, the leader appointed for the rising, before starting from Genoa for Sicily, approached him by letter, asking him to officer it. Garibaldi refused, believing things were not ripe. From Sicily, Pilo once more sent a pressing message. To the intermediary, Garibaldi doubtingly said:-But France? But Cavour?' Finally, he resolved upon accepting the command-inchief.
Then only he disembarked with the Thousand-six weeks after the Sicilian insurrection had been begun. In one of the battles in the island, Pilo fell from a bullet. He was truly the pioneer of the movement. Well do I remember his face and figure as I saw him in Mazzini's dwelling where the preparations were discussed.
Cavour had done nothing but confiscate the arms and money destined for the rising. Unable to prevent Garibaldi from starting for Sicily with scanty means, in two rotten vessels, he hoped that 'this fool' (questo pazzo) would come to grief in mid-sea-perhaps be captured by a French cruiser. That was also Farini's belief. Even after Sicily had been conquered, the King wrote, or was made to write, an autograph letter to Garibaldi, ordering him not to eross the straits. During the Liberator's still triumphant progress, Cavour cunningly wrote a few lines with an eye to future possibilities. He also set a powerful intrigue on foot for depriving Garibaldi of the Dictatorship and pocketing his successes. This was all that the wily Piedmontese statesman did.
No one knew better than Garibaldi what Cavour's conduct had been. In his blunt way of speaking, he often gave expression to his contempt. Questa c!' he once exclaimed. With difficulty he was brought to meet Cavour once more. In London also, he showed his aversion to him very strongly in conversation with me.
Rosolino Pilo had started the movement with the pledge that the question of a Republic should not be raised (che non fa questione di repubblica). Garibaldi had accepted with the declaration that the programme should be: Italy and Victor Emmanuel!' On the testimony of Mazzini I have it, however, that the movement was to be continued up to Rome, and that then a CONSTITUENT NATIONAL ASSEMBLY should be convoked there. Venice was not to be touched for the nonce, unless the force of circumstances compelled to do so. A number of men on Garibaldi's staff were reckoned to be won to this plan. Garibaldi himself was said to have consented.
I know that this statement is at variance with others that have been published. I give it as Mazzini distinctly made it to me more than once, before and after the events of 1860. A fact of some importance is, that Garibaldi, towards the end of his government, offered to Aurelio Saffi, Mazzini's best friend and one of Italy's noblest sons, the pro-Dictatorship of Naples. Saffi declined, owing to the
state of public opinion. At all events, this offer seems to be strong evidence of Garibaldi having felt morally bound to Mazzini's version of the original programme. It may be that Cavour, having got wind of it, felt all the more induced to work with might and main for the overthrow of Garibaldi's Dictatorship, on which Napoleon also insisted, who, from fear of England, did not dare to intervene himself.
REVELATIONS ABOUT ASPROMONTE (1862).
ANOTHER proof of the strange want of public information on the inner causes of important historical events may be found in the remarks of two prominent Liberal papers in London, one of which, after Garibaldi's death, spoke of the almost criminal campaign of Aspromonte,' whilst the other said that Mentana did not symbolise a brilliant, nor Aspromonte a rational object.'
In the order of things, Aspromonte ought to have been named first. It certainly was not Garibaldi's object, though he was brought to a stop there. No doubt, that brave, unselfish man has thrown himself into many apparently hopeless campaigns, which, however, in spite of defeat, mostly produced, in the end, some good result for his aims. But the object of the attempt of 1862 was not an irrational one, albeit it broke down quickly on that hill where Victor Emmanuel had a bullet sent into the leg of his friend, the founder of Italian unity.
Of the approach of that rising, and of the reasons which induced Garibaldi to risk his whole fame and name once more, in so unexpected a manner, with the cry of Rome or Death!' I was apprised by him through several confidential communications, made partly in writing, partly by word of mouth by trusty persons sent to London. This time it was he who alone had planned the movement. Mazzini was not initiated into it. Hence the organ of the latter, in answer to an allegation of Rattazzi, had to say, as late as June 5, 1862 :— "The "Unità Italiana" has not revealed anything of Garibaldi's projects; it could not (the italics are those of the journal) reveal anything. Like other papers, ours has simply collected the current rumours, as spread by the papers of the Moderate party, and given them without any guarantee."
I well remember how often the estrangement which had again arisen between the two popular leaders in consequence of the abrupt termination of Garibaldi's Dictatorship in 1860, was the topic of friendly conversation then. For my part, I always thought and said that Garibaldi could not help himself, when suddenly giving up the reins of power; that, owing to the harassing action of the Cavourian party, he had ceased to be master of the situation; and
See Saffi's Letter in the Scritti Editi e Inediti di Giuseppe Mazzini, vol. xi. Preface, cl.
that, therefore, he must not be harshly judged for having left the programme of the rising partly unfulfilled.
Now, the motive which led Garibaldi, in August, 1862, to strike out for the recovery of Rome, was one that redounds greatly to his honour. Before stating his reasons in detail, I must refer to the rumours which arose in spring of that year, as soon as it became known that he intended again forming battalions of volunteers.
The general belief then was, that he meditated an attack upon Southern Tyrol. The Italian Press was full of such statements. Rattazzi was supposed to have suggested the invasion. On this subject I entered into communication with Garibaldi on March 30, 1862. There was special reason to do so, as the Italian Party of Action had been deceived by a so-called 'General Directorate of the German Movement,' which professed to be friendly to the establishment of Bohemia as an independent Slav State, and to the handing over of Trieste and Southern Tyrol to the Italians. I informed Garibaldi of the utterly unrepresentative and even suspicious character of that alleged Directorate;' sending words of distinct warning against any attempt at touching the soil of the German Confederation, as distinguished from the Venetian possessions then still governed by the House of Habsburg, outside the Bund." I had invariably held the same language to Italian friends; for instance, in the pamphlet in which I replied to the Letter on the Position of Germany towards Italy,' which Mazzini had done me the honour of publicly addressing to me in February, 1861.
Trieste united herself, of her own free will, to the German nation five hundred years ago. The southern part of the Tyrol, in which the German tongue has but gradually gone back, has belonged to the German Empire and the Bund since about three hundred Trieste was the only Federal German (now Austrian) port years. in the Adriatic. The Southern Tyrol, on account of its narrow mountain gorge, is well known to be easily made a dangerous means of attack against Germany, especially when combined with an invasion from the Rhenish side. Hence the continued possession of that bit of mountain territory-so old an integral part of the German Empire and Confederation-is apt to save our fatherland, whose central position in Europe lays her open to many simultaneous risks, a good many men in a time of war. The German Tyrolese are fully alive to this state of things. They will not hear of a dismemberment of their land. No statesman can lightly throw such considera
tions to the wind.
Mazzini himself blamed the cession of French-speaking Savoy for similar reasons. As to Germany's interest in the Southern Tyrol,
London Hermann, April 5. 1862.
Answer to Joseph Mazzini, on The Position of Germany towards Italy.' By Karl Blind. London, March, 1861.
In a military sense we have, through the cession of Savoy, no longer any frontier, neither on the side of Austria, nor on the side of France. Milan and Turin are at the mercy of the foreigner.'—Letter of Mazzini to Bertani (1860).
it had acquired an additional urgency in consequence of the Piedmontese dynasty having, by alliance and intermarriage, become so closely united to the Court of the Tuileries as to give up to France the very birthplace of Garibaldi, as well as the cradle of the House of Savoy.
Nor could it be forgotten that, though the principle of Nationality is in the main the correct one, almost every State of Europe shows exceptions to the rule. Belgium, Hungary, Switzerland
even based on the exception, having within their frontiers a variety of races. In the case of Belgium and Hungary, these races are by no means agreed amongst themselves, whilst Switzerland jealously guards her Italian-speaking canton. All this went to show that the Italians would do wisely in restricting their efforts to the annexation of the Venetian territory. Already, in 1859, when Garibaldi warred in the Alpine districts, Germany was on the alert. Had the Peace of Villafranca not been rapidly patched up, the Federal German Army might have stepped in to guard the Southern Tyrol.
Was it advisable, then, to provoke the danger of hostility between two nations inclined to friendship?
Considerations of this kind I urged upon Garibaldi. On May 20, 1862, one of his chief confidential agents, then in London, wrote to
It is quite probable that I shall go back to Italy at once on Friday next. Will you send me a few words for Garibaldi to-morrow, Thursday? . I say this, in case I should not be able to call upon you during the day; for I shall have to run about a great deal. Although the enterprise seems to have collapsed for the moment, there is the chance of the unforeseen; and if such an opportunity presents itself (en cas échéant), I want to be in the line of battle on the day that a battle is to take place. I have written to Garibaldi in detail your conversation, giving your arguments, the importance of which, in point of law and fact, I certainly cannot doubt. He would surely like very much that in your letter you would say something on the contingency of an attack made upon a point of territory not belonging to the German Confederation, as well as to the chances which you may foresee in regard to a rising at Vienna.
There was no chance of a rising, then, at Vienna. Yet I may say that, in the years between 1860 and 1866, a great many more men of good position, whose real opinions were little suspected by the Austrian Government, had freely entered into relations with German exiles abroad who worked for national freedom and union.
On June 2, 1862, Garibaldi astonished many by suddenly announcing that he did not intend an attack on the Tyrol. letter to the President of the Chamber at Turin, he declared the rumours in question to be utterly false, and the alleged conception of such an expedition to be simply a dream. At the same time he darkly hinted at offers that had been made to him by the new Ministry of Rattazzi. He added that Rattazzi had equivocated, or
played false (equivocò fatalmente), by arresting a number of his volunteers. Thereupon a stormy discussion arose. Revelations were threatened, though not fully made. Mr. Crispi exclaimed:-'The Minister (Rattazzi) is one of those men who have the wish to conspire, but who do not possess the boldness, the courage, of the conspirator. He prefers helping on conspiracies up to a certain point, and then to turn them to his own advantage. I declare absolutely that Mr. Rattazzi had promised a million, and arms, for an expedition which was to be made beyond sea (al di là dei mari).
Amidst the hilarity of the House, Rattazzi answered that the million lire had been intended to aid the emigrants from Venice, so that they should be enabled to exercise their industrial capacities abroad!' In his reply, Crispi described an expedition against the Tyrol as even more dangerous than one against Venice, because the former enterprise would rouse against us the German Confederation,' whilst one against Rome would convert France into an enemy. Crispi was on this occasion supposed to be the mouthpiece of Garibaldi.
Later on, Garibaldi suddenly appeared in Sicily, as in 1860, and then crossed over to the mainland. By messenger, he made to me the following startling communication:—
Being invited to come over from Caprera, he had been closeted with Rattazzi, whose Cabinet was then just constituted, and who wished to speak to him on an important affair. From what Garibaldi gathered on this and on another occasion, a strange scheme had been concocted, in which Eastern affairs were curiously blended with Napoleon's Mexican policy, as well as with a plan for a future war to be carried on simultaneously on the Rhine and the Mincio. The details were to this effect. The French Emperor held out a hope to the Italians that he would give them an opportunity, through combined action, for the conquest of those territories which they yet wanted to wrest from Austria. Before embarking upon war in Europe, the Government of Victor Emmanuel was to give a pledge of alliance and friendship by sending an Italian contingent to Mexico. After the expected success of the Mexican war, a joint French and Italian attack was to be made upon the German Confederation (in which Austria was then still included), the Italians sending, also by way of pledge, a contingent of theirs to the French army on the Rhine, whilst a French auxiliary force was to act with the Italians at the Mincio. Garibaldi was offered a special part in this plan of the future. He was to operate from the Dalmatian or Turkish coast in the direction of Hungary, so as to distract Austria there, and thus to facilitate the French attack on the Rhine by preventing Austria from fulfilling, on the western frontier of Germany, the obligations imposed upon her as a member of the German Bund. Arms and a million lire were promised to Garibaldi, if he entered into the scheme.
So far the communication conveyed to me through Garibaldi's confidant, previous to his raising the cry of Rome or Death!'
Had this plan been acted upon, Russia would have obtained an opportunity for some of her own projects on the Danube. Before the war of 1859, Napoleon had sought to gain over Russia to