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to play on another field a juster and more honourable part. Austria is in its last agonies, and must perish, and be blotted out from the map of Europe, unless some patriots be soon found, capable of appeasing her internal dissensions.
We know, however, by the example of the Roman empire, that while the heart of a state is corroded and cankered by the most fatal diseases, its arms may be capable of dealing destruction to its neighbours. We are, consequently, not without our fears for Italy, since, if driven to desperation, the powerful army of barbarians still encamped within her borders, may, before their final departure, inflict upon her a terrible vengeance, though they should themselves be involved in the destruction they would dispense to others. It is the fixed opinion of the partisans of Austria, that she will not relinquish a foot of territory in Italy, and that her resolution is to set utterly at defiance both Great Britain and France. Such politicians would reason consistently enough if all Europe were still in its normal condition, because in that case it would be quite practicable for Austria, wielding the passions and prejudices of the whole Germanic body, and backed besides, as it would be by Russia, to menace the balance of power in Christendom, if she were not permitted to carry out her own policy in her own way. But man proposes, and Provi. dence disposes. War is not now made with bayonets alone. The party of progress arms itself with destructive ideas, and sends them, like locust-swarms, over Europe, to eat away the thrones that oppose its predevelopments, and Austria is now engaged in mortal conflict with those invisible domestic enemies, against which the spear and the cuirass are useless, either to wound or protect. There is a propagandism of destruction in Germany which, if means be not speedily found to check it, will dissolve society into its original elements, and create the necessity for an entire reconstruction of it.
We should not, therefore, experience much surprise if, taking their cue from the convulsions which have occurred at Vienna, the Italians also were to organise a new insurrection, which would not, in that case, be confined to Lombardy, but in all likelihood would spread throughout the whole peninsula. What has hitherto prevented this, is the diffusion of that doctrine which, denominated moderation by the unwary, is, in reality, a pestilential formulary, which contains the germs of all that is evil in society. It was long ago laid down as a maxim, that to be weak is to be miserable, doing or suffering; and that which we now denominate moderatism, is organic weakness. The apostles of this pernicious sect, preaching half measures, and teaching half virtues, saw everywhere the seeds of never-ending change and confusion. They convert into truth the satire of the poe, and aim at effecting a political revolution.
• Which ever must be carrying on,
They have spread themselves over the whole surface of Italy, and instilled their maudlin and obsolete maxims into the ears of the whole population. Hence the indecision, the vacillation, and the protracted struggle for independence. Had different principles been imparted to the Italian people when the signal had been given by Milan, there would have been a simultaneous rising throughout Italy. All ranks and conditions of men would have rallied round the national standard. The Austrians would have been stricken, while they were paralysed by consternation, and would have been but too happy to take refuge behind the Alps from the storm.
At present, the great work remains to be accomplished with largely impaired means. When Providence, as it were, held up the beacon of independence to Italy, traced out in characters of fire the track by which it was to be obtained, and supplied the generous and holy impulse required to move the masses, the leaders of the nation were wanting in their duty, and pusillani. mously held back. Eager to obtain from prejudiced and partial Europe, credit for moderation, which, in revolutions means cowardice, they neglected to proclaim a republic, when that inspired word would have gathered together all brave men for its support, and were contented to look to kings for their deliverance. This was the ruin of their cause. Carlo Alberto, true to the character of treachery, which he had long established for himself, affecting to be guided by motives of mere patriotism, undertook the expulsion of the Austrians. It is very commonly believed, and apparently on good grounds, that this prince had long been plotting against Austria in Italy, not from motives of patriotism, but in order to enlarge his own dominions. He had cast an eye of desire upon Lombardy and Venice, and had, perhaps, dreamed--for what will not vain ambition dream that the Austrians, once expelled, he should gradually be able to subjugate the whole peninsula, and take rank amongst the first powers of Europe.
But these visions have been dissipated, and it now remains to be seen what terms the Anglo-French mediation will procure for the Italians, or what, in the event of the failure of that mediation, those inheritors of the territory, if not of the spirit of Rome, will be inclined to secure for themselves. Before the
late insurrection at Vienna, the emperor, according to “The Risorgimento,' of Turin, expressed his readiness to make large concessions; but whether those concessions would have appeared satisfactory under the circumstances then existing, is not the question, since the whole condition of the empire is changed, and everything will henceforward depend on the course which affairs may take at Vienna. This course it is impossible to foresee, for so rapid is the succession of events, so sudden the shifting of the scene, so uncertain and fluctuating the temper of the popular element in central Europe, that all the commonly received rules of judging must be abandoned. However, it may be of some service to place before our readers an epitome of the reported views of the Austrian cabinet, which is said to have accepted the mediation of Great Britain and France, on the fol. lowing basis. “His Imperial Majesty, wishing to benefit the inhabitants of the Lombardo- Venetian kingdom, even to the detriment of his own states, has accepted the Anglo-French mediation, on the following basis. 1. Liberty of the press. 2. National guard. 3. National fuuctionaries. 4. National troops. 5. Evacuation of the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom, by all the soldiers who are not Italians. 6. Delivery of fortresses. 7. Separate administration, with a viceroy, to be chosen from the two sons of the Archduke Regnier; Ernest and Sigismund ; an an. nual contribution of twenty-five millions; residence of the viceroy, five months at Milan, and six months at Venice. 8. A visit each year from his Majesty. 9. Increase of foreign invasion aid of 100,000 men ; but reciprocally, the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom should engage to furnish an army contingent to the monarchy, should it be menaced.'
Warned by the example of a contemporary which had scarcely exulted over the final expulsion of the Austrians from Milan, before they were again complete masters of that city, we carefully abstain from all positive predictions. All we desire to insist on, is this, that there are principles at work in European society, which will manifestly baffle the calculations of those who judge pedantically of the present by the past. We affirm nothing; we only anticipate, and our anticipations are utterly at variance with those which we see generally entertained around us. The common cry, is, the bayonet must settle the question, and suppress that spirit of change, which is rapidly communicating itself from one people to another. There is one difficulty in the way of this settlement, which is, that the men who wield the bayonet, more especially in the Austrian Empire, would appear also to have become infected by the revolutionary virus. Therefore, the question is not to be
settled by the bayonet. It will be settled by the common sense, and common reason, of mankind, in conformity, we trust, with the eternal principles of the Gospel.
It is a proud thing for this country, and for France, to be engaged in the pious work of conciliation. Sicily looks to them in the south, for deliverance, and Lombardy and Venetia, in the north. Let not the hope and faith of these people be reposed in us in vain. An incomplete solution of the difficulty, would merely produce an armistice. Nothing short of entire independence, would satisfy Sicily, or Lombardy, or Venice. Entrusted with arms, they would turn them against their old oppressors. On the first provocation, fresh wars would burst forth, fresh mediations be called for, and ultimately, that general conflagration which we now dread, would become inevitable. In all human concerns, whether small or great, timidity and half-measures effect much more harm than good; for they resemble abortive attempts at damming up a stream, which by creating a momentary obstruction, only augment the force and fury of the current. Some persons look for the denouement of the great revolutionary drama of Christendom, in the armed intervention of the Russian Czar. We are of opinion, that that potentate will think twice, before he exposes his troops to the moral and political influences which would immediately be brought to bear upon them in the South of Europe. Besides, it yet remains to be proved that the Autocrat of the North is in reality, so formidable as he is represented by his partizans. We, for our own part, make light of his menaces, and believe him to be like that colossal image, with feet of clay, spoken of by the prophet, and that if brought into contact with the new doctrines, his power would be shivered to fragments by the shock. The march southward of a Russian army might, for a while, complicate the affairs of Europe, but would not greatly impede the progress of revolution, which affects its conquests more by ideas than by the sword.
Finally, we see, in what is taking place, the development of the true system of Christianity, and the imminent destruction of the Greek and Roman churches. They have flourished much too long already, for the happiness of mankind; and the principles of reformation, we care not whether under the name of protestantism or not, will obviously supplant the worn-out superstitions which have so long enslaved mankind. England may rejoice at the influence which, by her free institutions, she has exerted, in giving an impulse to these changes, for wherever democracy extends, there will, and must exist, a considerable degree of attachment for that country to which it owed its birth and
triumph. Nor should we quarrel with our brethren on the continent if, in organizing their new governments, they do not exactly imitate our constitution, which though suited to our national character could not be transplanted, and made to flourish elsewhere. Throughout the continent there is a strong republican tendency, of which our statesmen have long been conscious. This is especially the case in France and Italy, and to a certain extent in Germany, and we cannot, and ought not to regret the fact, because among the consequences of the establishment of such free governments, will be the triumph of pure Christianity at the expense of catholicism. However other governments may exist without religion, republics cannot, they must be based on faith and virtue, and, therefore, we see no great reason to lament the progress of events on the continent. Already, the spiritual dominion of Rome has received its deathwound, and though the Italians hitherto reject the name of protestantism, they are secretly taking the thing into their heart of hearts, following in this, the example of the Venetian republic, which, more than two centuries ago, violently shook the papal throne, and openly declared its hostility through the mouth of Fra Paoli Sarpi.
Art. II.—Life, Letters, and Literary Remains of John Keats. Edited
by Richard Monckton Milnes. 2 vols. London: Moxon. 1848. Poems, by John Keats. London: Ollier. 1817. Endymion, by John Keats. London : Taylor and Hessey. 1818. Lamia, Isabella, and other Poems, by John Keats. London : Taylor and
The history of English poetry from the commencement of the present century is a study on many accounts well worthy attention. Never, within the short space of forty-eight years, have so many claimants of the poet's fame appeared among us, and never have poetical works produced contemporaneously, presented such marked and striking diversities. Wordsworth, Scott, Byron, Crabbe, Moore, Hood, how utterly dissimilar is each to the other! Coleridge, Southey, Mrs. Hemans, Shelley, VOL. XXIV.