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CORNELIUS O'DOWD UPON MEN AND WOMEN, AND OTHER THINGS
FROM TURIN TO ROME vid FLORENCE.
THERE was a little French vaude His enthusiasm and his blunders, ville which, some years ago, used his ecstasy and his mistakes, make to amuse the audiences of the up a most laughable picture, and all Palais-Royal, and send them home the time the audience can never laughing as they went over its drol- perfectly divest themselves of a leries. It was called 'Le Voyage certain sympathy for one who, if à Dieppe.' The chief incidents of he had really seen the sea, would the piece revolved round a long- have hailed the sight with such a promised trip to Dieppe, which a racy and honest enjoyment. Parisian shopkeeper bad bound Now you will perhaps wonder himself to make, to show his family what it was that could have rethe sea.
It had become the day- minded me of this little bygone dream of their lives, and no subject piece, and, in this age of prolific could be discussed amongst them farce-writing, could have carried me without its reference to Dieppe be- back to the glories of some fifteen ing duly weighed and considered. years ago. I will tell you. 'Le Voy
The happy day at last arrives, age à Dieppe’was brought forcibly to and they start. It was before the my mind by the new Franco-Italian time of railroads. A malicious Treaty. It is said to be among the friend has, however, bribed the prerogatives of kings to avail themcoachman, and instead of taking selves of all the varied acquirethe road to Dieppe, he passes the ments of their subjects; and here whole night in driving round Paris, we have the great Emperor of and ends by depositing the weary France not disdaining to take a and exhausted travellers at a small hint as to his policy from a vaudesuburb, where, from the window of villiste of the « Palais.” The a mean-looking little inn, a toler new treaty may be briefly summed ably extensive pond can be des- up thus : Within two years the cried, duckweeded and dreary, the French army is to be withdrawn distance being closed by a low-ly- from Rome. The Pope is to be ing swamp.
Whatever disappoint- left to his own devices, but Victor ments the others may feel, the Emmanuel is not to molest him. honest Bourgeois himself will admit A secret article, it is alleged, says of none, and he throws aside his that, to give his Holiness a stronger window and exclaims, “Ah, que assurance of his safety, the Italians c'est beau de voir le mer !” and are to transfer the capital to Flobursts forth with an apostrophe to rence, and in this way recognise the the ever-restless sea that would fact that they are not to continue have done honour to a Greek their pretensions to Rome, nor perchorus. He rushes out to the petuate the popular impulse to beach to inhale the invigorating seize on the Eternal City. breezes of the ocean, and comes Here is the Voyage à Dieppe.' back with an appetite for oysters, Here are the poor Italians thirsting which he naturally imagines to be for Rome, as the Bourgeois thirsted the appropriate effect of sea air. for the sea, promising it to them
selves and their wives and daugh- stranger as I was, and in a voice ters these three years back. Here of most insinuating eagerness said, they are driven round and round Scusi, Signor; ma dove la Siall night, and landed at last at Flo- cilia ?”
sir; but rence, that wily cabman, Louis where is Sicily? Napoleon, as he wipes his forehead, Some one may have told the asking them if they're not satisfied anecdote-perhaps I myself - to with the way he drove them, and the Emperor; for certainly he has half hinting that a little token of been trading boldly on this want of their gratitude would not be ill- Italian education. timed or ill-thought of.
If there was no small cleverness A few, it is true, grumble that in thus dealing with the people, this is not Dieppe, and protest the Emperor has shown fully as that the swampy pond of stagnant much adroitness in his treatment water is not the sea ; but the ma of the Pope.
“When at Rome,' jority overbear them, and ask who says the adage,“ do as the Rocan know the place better than the mans ;” and he has followed the coachman? He has pronounced that precept to the letter. He knew this is the spot they ought to be in, that one of the most distinctive and of course none can gainsay him. traits of the Church, in its deal
If it was not that the vaudevil ings with the wicked, is a most liste was before the Emperor, I sensitive regard for human frailty. should call the policy a grand The Church, in fact, accepts hustroke of genius; and, after all, manity for what it is, not what plagiarism only diminishes and it might be, and gently condoles does not destroy the merit. No with sinners over their shortcomthing short of genius, perhaps, ings, blandly hinting that a little could have adapted a practical joke virtue now and then, taken as to a nation, and turned the laugh what doctors call “an alterative," against twenty-two millions of peo rather benefits the constitution, ple. To tell them coolly, “Book and contributes to longevity. That yourselves, ladies and gentlemen; there should, however, be no shock the coach is just ready to start: any to the system - nothing revulsive passengers for Rome ?” and then, in the treatment—the Church isjust as coolly, to draw up on the sues what it calls indulgences Arno, and say “Here you are ! short leases of loose living, renewstep out;' and while they are able sometimes on lives for ever ; straining their eyes to see the Coli- and by means of these, people may seum or St Peter's, he slyly says, experiment whether they can or can“It's a nice place, and you'll like it not divest themselves of the especial when you're used to it."
wickednesses which have hitherto Geography, happily, is no re made their lives so agreeable. quirement of a patriot. I remem In this spirit has the Emperor ber, some years ago, hearing a very decreed two years shall elapse beimpassioned and even eloquent fore he withdraws from Rome. man addressing a crowd of people For two entire years his Holiness on the subject of the Bourbon has got a plenary of every abuse of cruelties in Sicily. Gladstone was what Lord Palmerston called the mild compared to his descriptions worst Government of Europe.” For of prison enormities; and he de two years may the people be crushscribed instruments of torture with ed with taxation, sunk in barbara refinement of horror that Alex- ism, and degraded by superstition. andre Dumas himself might have For two years De Merode may nurse envied. In the very climax of his Brigands and baptise his Jews ; his eloquence, however, he turned and for two years may the wily abruptly towards me, a perfect Antonelli rig the market and gam
ble on the Stock Exchange. To indicating that the time was not, the Pope, two years more of unre- perhaps, very distant when Italians strained malversation and misrule and Austrians might discover with may seem short. Sitting there on what benefits they could be friends a seat where these have been the -how naturally their geographical privileges ratified by centuries of position disposed to relations of use, he may be disposed to think trade and commerce, and how evithat this proceeding is almost sum dent it was that a strong alliance mary; but I doubt if the Romans of the two States would be one of take this view of the case ; and I the very strongest possible guaranrather suspect, if the truth were tees of European peace.
When an known, that they would prefer the able English diplomatist once sug
Plenary” should be shorter, and gested such a policy as the true one his Holiness obliged to take to for Italy, based of course on the responsible habits a little earlier assumption that Austria would cede than the year 1866.
Venice to Italy, there was scarceIt has been long since evident ly a man in Piedmont could comthat Italy could not go on as she prehend what he meant. Now has done. She must either go back the policy makes converts every or go forward ; either go on to com- day. Men see that the French propletion and real unity by annexing tection is the severest slavery that Rome and Venice, or be satisfied to can be endured by a people. Men see the kingdom broken up and learn at last that French assistance, resolved into its former elements, even when lent for 6
an idea," is or something resembling them. the costliest compact that a nation
This necessity all public men in can make. France has strengthened Italy have frankly and freely re- Italy, because she wants or may cognised. It was not merely that want her. Now an Austro-Italian the machinery of Government was league, had it been possible, would working with a degree of wear and not have entailed any such defriction that destroyed half its power, mands. but that to keep up the steam they The policy of France was, howwere driven to burn whatever they ever, always to prevent this good could lay hands on, no matter how understanding, and to this end she valuable or costly.
managed always to put Austria in Italy was maintaining in her “the wrong," a matter never very armed peace a force so far above difficult with a country which, since her means, that war itself would the death of Metternich, has fallen have been less burdensome. As into the hands of the very smallest Austria was playing exactly the capacities of Europe. same game, the ruinous policy was So effectually did France play not alone displayed in heavy im- this game, and so thoroughly did posts and a grinding taxation, but she know how to play it, that when, in the stagnation of trade conse at the moment of the outbreak of quent on inimical feeling and bad the last war in Lombardy, Cavour relations, in frontiers all but closed, was disposed to break the peace the and customhouses very little short first, the Emperor interfered and of fortresses.
said, “No; Austria must be placed A system so injurious to both, as in the position of the disturber of much the enemy of civilisation as European peace: leave it to me, of national wealth, could not fail and she shall be.” to attract the attention of men of Now, I have only gone back on enlightenment both in Austria and these events to remind you that Italy ; and it was remarked that in France has always pursued the the two countries expressions had policy of sowing distrust between fallen from men of mark and station, the two countries; nor is there any
"accommodation in all Europe any shape, and to any extent. He would so derange her plans and dam may sustain the temporal power, or age her interests as an honest and abolish it—he may unite Italy, or loyal good feeling between Austria subdivide it; and as for Austria, and Italy. I will not affect to say he may maintain her in Venetia, that the matter is easy to bring and talk of the sanctity of treaties, about, or that it would not require, or he may, and most probably not alone great ability, but time; will, proclaim the “solidarité of but I will say this, that it was the peoples,” whatever that may be, intention of Cavour himself to have and make war against Venice. attempted it; and had he lived and Meanwhile the Imperial policy has done so, I am equally certain be had a great success.
It has made would not have failed.
Victor Emmanuel unpopular in the Symptoms of such a possible city where he was once adored ; de change in Europe are, however, not it has rendered the government Lihat wanting even now; and I repeat, of Italy a matter of the most ex
men of note and ability are dis treme difficulty ; and it has made **b* posed to think that by this union the Pope's rule all but impos
there would be for Italy at least two sible!
and, what is at this moment all these mighty results, if we did not fast essential
, a possibility of diminish- remember that a very small pinch ing her war expenditure.
of white arsenic would spoil the The Emperor of the French is, largest basin of turtle. For the however, not to be “ countermarch- present I do not believe he has any
ed” now as he had been four years fixed intentions; he has simply amando ago by Cavour; he is up and stir- upset the chess-table, and while
ring. By the Franco-Italian treaty, them
they are picking up the pieces he'll jealousy and distrust between Aus- decide on his game. tria and Italy are re-established. The whole of the Napoleon polEvery one is alarmed, and no one icy in Europe seems based on an
imitation of that well-known memBy stipulating that Italy shall ber of the Turf, who left a false exchange Turin for Florence as a betting-book on his dressing-table, capital, he alarms all those who be- and thus led every one that trusted lieved that, with whatever change it to back the wrong horses. No
might come, they should go to body ever yet knew on what horse 13 Rome; and 'now, by insisting on he stood to win. He may at this
Florence, they see, or think they moment be hedging against Victor see, an abdication of this great Emmanuel, or secretly deciding to claim.
scratch” the Pope. By announcing a withdrawal of He is even capable of bringing the French army from Rome, he out that dark horse Austria, and menaces the Pope with anything declaring her the favourite when all that his subjects may have in store the matches are made. for him.
By the condition that That the Italians have any espenon-intervention is for the future cial reason for rejoicing, I certainly to be maintained, he declares that do not see. Florence is no more he will not permit Austria to come Rome than fleas are lobsters. in; and thus in one brief, very When a poor countryman of mine brief, document he proclaims that -how invariably it is an Irishman nothing in the Peninsula is to be has to be brought in when one
nothing assumed as per- would illustrate the law's oppresmanent. What he may, can, or shall sion ! was once bound over to do in the future, is open to him in keep the peace towards all her Ma
: leare it
only gone di remind me
jesty's subjects, he left the office all the advantages that they proexclaiming, “ Well, then, God help mise themselves.
tot by the first furrener I meet with !” it is true, manage to have two Em- keeper
This is now pretty much Victor perors—a Spiritual and a Temporal Every Emmanuel's case. He has given one—but no European State has nfuen heavy bail that he won't touch the yet tried the experiment; and
perPope—but God help the Austrians! haps, after all, it could only suc
Really, for my own part, I do not ceed in a country where the “happy 1800 believe all this “circular sailing” despatch” is a national usage, and im will ever bring the King to the Vati- where, when you cannot get rid pall can; nor do I imagine, if he did get of the Government, you get rid of how there, that the Italians would reap yourself.
We have had lately in our news- hatreds, and utter uncharitable- ; papers a great deal of nonsense
That some of it very good-natured non In the first place, it is only fairly my
about servants, averring natural and reasonable that they that their faults are rather the should be sources of discomfort and Tere consequences of ill-judging and annoyance, rather than of satisfac- stene inconsiderate treatment by their tion and ease. Their whole life is odb masters, and that, as a class, they a sort of lie. They are peasants per are amiable, honest, sober, affec- thinly lackered with a very dubitionate, and grateful; and that the ous sort of civilisation, that is, social reformation required would they catch up a faint semblance of
-ne be to treat them with greater de- what they see in the drawing-room, ference to their wishes, accord them to enact it below stairs to the acmore liberty, freer time for recrea- companiment of their native coarsetion, and, in general, a higher re ness and barbarism. gard and consideration.
If we are to trust to what old Where the people who write in this people say, they were better formerly fashion met with their phoenix of a –that is, better before they had butler, or that black swan their penny journals and illustrated abcook, I don't know; but my own surdities. This is not impossible. suspicion is, that the glowing There is a sort of feudalism in the eulogiums I have quoted were the principle of the family that works experiences of those who only knew all the better when distinctions of servants in their friends' houses,
and class are well marked; and once approved of them as they did of the maids begin to read 'Eleanor's his claret, or his pheasants, or any Victory,' and 'Lost and Saved,' things that were his.
and discuss the characters with My experiences are certainly all the "young ladies," discipline is the other way, and, next to sickness, endangered, and very seriously I look upon servants as the greatest too. infliction of humanity; and there is I like an ignorant valet, and a no quality I so much envy the rich butler who has to spell out his man, as in the fact that his wealth newspaper. I sleep soundly when removes him to such a distance I know Jeames is not rummaging from their contact, that he knows my letters, and picking up details next to nothing of their tempers or for my biography out of my writhabits, and is never by any accident ing-desk. It is a comfort to me to involved, as poorer men are doomed think that my Review or my Magato be, in their private jealousies, zine is not thumbed by Mr“Fag,"