OREALD.COM - An Old Electronic Library
eng: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Chapter LIX, of Cassells Illustrated History of England, Volume 8 page 5


Pages: 1 2 3 4 <5>

"As the vivas of the populace rang through the damp air, I thought Garibaldi seemed by far the more popular personage of the two; and I rejoiced that it was so. What born king on earth is as great as he, in his sublime simplicity of character and spotless purity of intention? I asked myself that day, and found no answer. The visit to the relics was soon over. Then bold Victor Emmanuel strode down the middle aisle, his plain, bluff features set in iron rigidity, never moving a muscle, and as Garibaldi walked close to him, we had an excellent opportunity of comparison. Garibaldi, with, his broad, thoughtful brow, deep-sunk, clear eyes, in whose depths no shade of dishonest purpose ever lurked, and calm self-possessed demeanour; and the King, with his dragoon's style and bold glance, with nothing beyond this noticeable about him. These two men - the born king and the kingly subject - were indeed contrasts. As Garibaldi walked down the aisle, the people rushed upon him, kissing him and clasping the very hem of his jacket, like devotees, and then set up once more a shout of long pent-up enthusiasm. The King afterwards presented himself at the balcony, with Garibaldi by his side."

At eleven o'clock on the 8th of November, the King, attended by his Ministers of State and superior officers of his staff, received the Dictator in the throne room of the royal palace. Signor Conforti, the Minister of the Interior under Garibaldi's government, then made the following address to the King, which was composed by the Dictator: - " Sire, - The Neapolitan people in public meeting assembled, have by an immense majority proclaimed you as their king. Nine millions of Italians are united to the other provinces, which have already been smiling under the happy rule of your Majesty; and by this unity has been verified your solemn promise that Italy shall belong to Italians alone." King Victor Emmanuel replied in his usual laconic style, and thus began the constitutional rule of Piedmont, and ended the dictatorial functions of Garibaldi in the peninsula. At the same time Garibaldi issued a long address to his companions in arms, from which the following is an extract: -

" To my companions in arms, - Providence has given Victor Emmanuel to Italy. Every Italian should unite himself to him. All should gather close around him. By the side of the galantuomo every strife should disappear, and every rancour be dissipated. Once again, I repeat my cry to you, to place arms in the hands of all! If the month of March, 1861, does not find a million of Italians under arms - oh, then, poor Liberty! Alas! for an Italian existence. Italians of Catalafami, of Palermo, of the Volturno, of Ancona, of Castelfidardo, and of Isernia, and every man of the land who is neither a slave nor a coward - come one and all, cluster closely around the hero of Palestro; and, under his segis, will we hurl our united strength upon the crumbling ruins of tyranny! Receive, young volunteers, honourable survivors of ten battles, one farewell word. It comes, radiant with affection, from the depths of my soul. I leave you to-day, but for a short time only. The hour of battle will again see me among you, by the side of the soldiers of Italian liberty. We shall soon meet again to march towards the North, carrying thither freedom to our brethren who are still doomed to wear the chains of the stranger. Yes, brethren, we shall soon meet again, to march together to new fields of glory! " Giuseppe Garibaldi."

The King, speaking to General Garibaldi, observed, "So you are resolved to return to Caprera?" "Yes, sire," was the answer. The King then continued, "But how do you intend to get there? There are no steamers running in that direction." "If any necessity occurred, I would ask my friend Admiral Mundy to give me a passage on board an English ship," answered Garibaldi. In the end, the Dictator returned to Caprera in an American merchant steamer, the Washington. The Courtiers who came in the suite of Victor Emmanuel heaped a number of petty insults on the Dictator. Those to whom the General had granted apartments in the royal palaces, received immediate notice from the Piedmontese officials to quit. Orders signed by him were referred to the ministers for confirmation; and when he sent to the royal stables for a carriage to convey him to the station, the Master of the Horse sent him a message that he had none at his disposal, and recommended him to take a fiacre. It must be remembered that Garibaldi remained Dictator of the Two Sicilies until the day before he left; therefore, as a matter of right, the carriages of the ex-King of Naples belonged, for the time at least, to him. Count Arrivabene - one of the most devoted admirers of Cavour - is compelled to confess that that minister, under the evil influence of the so-called party of " order," had determined, from the very first, to humble the party of action in the dust. When Garibaldi became aware that the question was a mere struggle for power, he could not do otherwise than leave the country he had, with so much heroism, delivered from the iron grasp of its oppressors. Basso, his private secretary, was obliged to inform him that all the money which he had at his command - though only the day before Dictator of the richest province of Italy - was 30, saved by him with the greatest economy during the campaign. " Do not be anxious, Basso," answered Garibaldi, with a smile; "we have at Caprera plenty of wood and corn, which we will send to Maddelana for sale." Garibaldi returned to Caprera a much poorer man than he had left it; nearly as poor, indeed, as when he wandered in exile in the South American forests.

<<< Previous page <<<
Pages: 1 2 3 4 <5>

Pictures for Chapter LIX, of Cassells Illustrated History of England, Volume 8 page 5

The Palace at Naples
The Palace at Naples >>>>
Austrian troops in Italy
Austrian troops in Italy >>>>

Home | Privacy Policy | Copyright | About