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1861.] Torpor of Papal Government.
237 negotiate with. If anything is proposed to him which his confessor affirms to be dangerous to his soul, he listens to no arguments. As for Mortara himself, he is a poor creature. A friend of mine went to see him in his convent. All that he could get from him was:
«« Sono venuti i Carabinieri.”.
What is most teasing,' continued Ampère, 'in the Roman Government is not so much its active oppression as its torpidity. It hates to act.
It hates to act. An Englishman had with great difficulty obtained permission to light Rome with gas. He went to the Government in December, and told them that everything was ready, and that the gas would be lighted on the ist of January.
““Could you not,” they answered, “put it off till April ?”
"“But it is in winter,” he replied; "that it is wanted. Every thing is ready. Why should we wait?”
“ It is a new thing,” they replied; "people will be frightened. It may have consequences. At least put it off till March.”
6." But they will be as much frightened in March,” he replied.
““ If it must be done,” they said, “as a kindness to His Holiness and to us put it off till February.”
"There is, however, one sort of oppression which even we should find it difficult to tolerate.
A Monsignore has a young friend without money, but an excellent Catholic and an excellent politician, a fervid believer in the Immaculate Conception and in the excellence of the Papal Government. He wishes to reward such admirable opinions : but the Pope has little to give. Monsignore looks out for some young heiress, sends for her father, describes his pious and loyal protégé, and proposes marriage. Her father objects-says that his daughter cannot afford to marry a poor man, or that she does not wish to marry at all-or that he or she has some other preference.
Monsignore insists. He assures the father that what he is proposing is most favourable to the salvation of his daughter, that he suggests it principally for the benefit of her soul, and that the father's objections are inspired by the Evil One. The father breaks off the conversation and goes home. He finds that his daughter has disappeared. He returns furious to Monsignore, is received with the utmost politeness and is informed that his daughter is perfectly safe under the protection of a cardinal who himself did her the honour of fetching her in his gilded coach. “You have only,” the Monsignore says, “to be reasonable, and she shall be returned to
• The father flies to the cardinal.
““Do not oppose," he is told, "the will of the Pope, who, in this matter, seeks only your daughter's happiness here and hereafter. She is now with me.
If give up your sinful obstinacy she shall be restored to
you will 1861.)
you to-day. If not, it will be our duty to place her in a convent, where she will be taken the utmost care of, but she will not leave it except to marry the person whom His Holiness thinks most fitted to promote the welfare of her soul.”
I have known several cases in which this attempt has been made. With such timid slaves as the Roman nobility it always succeeds.'
Thursday, August 15.-This is the fête of St. Louisthe great fête of Tocqueville. Madame de Tocqueville and Madame de Beaumont spent much of the morning in church
Beaumont and his son walked to the coast to bathe. Minnie, Ampère, and I strolled among the deep shady lanes of the plateau above the castle. Throughout Normandy the fields are small and are divided by mounds planted with trees. The farmhouses, and even the cottages, are built of primitive rock, granite, or old red sandstone. At a distance, peeping out of the trees that surround them, they look pretty, but they have more than the usual French untidiness. The out-houses are roofless, the farmyards are full of pools and dung heaps, which often extend into the road ; and the byroads themselves are quagmires when they do not consist of pointed stones. I was struck by the paucity of the children and the absence of new houses. The population of Normandy is diminishing.
We conversed on the subject of Italy.
'If we are in Rome next winter,' I asked, shall we find the French there ?'
'I think not,' said Ampère ; 'I think that you will find only the Piedmontese.
Every day that Louis Napoleon holds Rome is a day of danger to him, a danger slight perhaps now, but serious if the occupation be prolonged. The Anti-papal party, and it includes almost all that are liberal and all that are energetic, are willing to give him time, but not an indefinite time. They are quiet only because they trust him. He is a magician who has sold himself to the Devil. The Devil is patient, but he will not be cheated. The Carbonari will support Louis Napoleon as long as he is doing their work, and will allow him to do it in his own way and to take his own time, as long as they believe he is doing it. But woe to him if they believe that he is deceiving them. I suspect that they are becoming impatient, and I suspect too, that he is becoming impatient. This quarrel between Mérode and Goyon is significative. I do not believe that Goyon used the words imputed to him. We shall probably keep Civita Vecchia, but we shall give up Rome to the Piedmontese.'
* And will the Pope,' I asked, 'remain ?'
*Not this Pope,' said Ampère, 'but his successor. Nor do I see the great evil of the absence of the Pope from Rome. Popes have often been absent before, sometimes for long periods.'
* Most of my French friends," I said, 'are opposed to Italian Unity as mischievous to France.'
'I do not believe,' he answered, in the submission of Naples to this Piedmontese dynasty, but I shall be de
Throne of Naples.
lighted to see all Italy north of the Neapolitan territory united.
"I do not think that we have anything to fear from the kingdom of Italy. It is as likely to be our friend as to be our enemy. But the Neapolitans, even if left to themselves, would not willingly give up their independence, and Celui-ci is trying to prevent their doing so.'
What do they wish, I asked, and what does he wish ?'
“I believe,' he answered, that their wishes are only negative.
*They do not wish to recall the Bourbons, and they are resolved not to keep the Piedmontese. His wish I believe to be to put his cousin there. Prince Napoleon himself refused Tuscany. It is too small, but he would like Naples, and Louis Napoleon would be glad to get rid of him. What would England say ?'
If we believed,' I said, 'in the duration of a Bonaparte dynasty in France, we should, of course, object to the creation of one in Naples. But if, as we think it probable, the Bonapartists have to quit France, I do not see how we should be injured by their occupying the throne of Naples.
• I should object to them if I were a Neapolitan. All their instincts are despotic, democratic, and revolutionary. But even they are better than the late king was. What chance have the Murats?'
*None,' said Ampère. “They have spoiled their game, if they had a game, by their precipitation. The Emperor has disavowed them, the Neapolitans do not VOL. II.