Even before the plains of the Mincio were deluged with French and Austrian blood, and later, again, when those victories came, there was scarcely a dozen men, in London, who did not feel some jealousy at the French successes, and become somewhat less ardent in the cause of Italian independence, from a fear of the result of these Napoleonic victories. But I never have shared either those jealousies or those fears. Certain facts, however, have lately passed under my eyes, to which I cannot be indifferent, and with which I think the House ought to be made acquainted.
In order to simplify the statement I am about to make, 1 will classify it under four heads, and I will join issue with the Honourable Gentleman Mr. Layard on four points; first, whether there does or does not now exist in the Neapolitan Provinces, a system of personal and domestic espionage; secondly, whether there does or does not exist, either in the Neapolitan States, in Florence, Milan, and Bologna, perfect liberty of the press; I will next ask the House to say, whether there. Layard has spoken; and, lastly, I will call the attention of the House to the state of the Neapolitan prisons, upon which subject, the Honourable Gentleman Mr.
Layard has especially challenged me,-of those prisons, the condition of which, as the Honourable Member for Taunton G. Bentinck has already said, has brought just retribution, upon the infamous Government of the Bourbons. These then are the points, upon which, I will buckle up to the Honourable Gentleman Mr. In the first place, I aver, that a sytem of personal and domestic espionage, is still carried on, in the same way, and with the same agents and formulae, as it was, under the Bourbon. It is not alone, men of low caste who are trying to incite to brigandage and murder, who fall under this system of espionage, but men of birth and education-men who have suffered under Ferdinand and Francis the Second-men whose only crime is, that they differ on some points, from the policy of the Italian Government, without ever seeking to bring about a change of dynasty.
I have the names of those men, and the Honourable Gentleman the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, the Noble Lord, his chief Earl Russell , in another place, or any of their colleagues, are welcome to see those names, but I dare not give them to the House of Commons, for such ifi the paternal nature of the Italian Government-. The partizans of the Italian Government are constantly asserting that there is but one mind in Italy, that there are no Bourbonists to be found, that such a thing as a Muratist cannot be discovered, that republicans have ceased to exist, and that there is but one cry, and that is, for a United Italy under Victor Emmanuel.
If that be so, the cruelty of the Government, is only the more inder fensible. Week- after week unoffending citizens are dragged out of their beds by the police at midnight, are flung into dungeons, not cleanly enough to serve as a cow-house in England, and there lay forgotten for months-nay, for years, untried and uninterrogated.
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Deputy Ferrari, on 18th December, in his place in Parliament, asked, " Who can be safe 'i if the Government has arrogated to itself the right of diving, even into the heart of its "citizens. Deputy Ricciardi, also, after deploring the despotism which Bways the Southern Provinces, said, "I wish to be certain, that " in leaving these walls, I shall not be seized by a gendarme and " conducted into prison. The next point is one which I approach with much diffidence; the statements of the Honourable Gentleman the Under Secretary, having been of such a very decided character.
"leggi razziali" in English
The Honourable Gentleman said last year, and to my surprise he has said it again this evening, that the people of Italy are now enjoying a perfect freedom of the press. In Appendix is given a list of names of newspapers seized up to a recent date. The Quaestor consults nobody, but on his own responsibility can seize and confiscate the sinning newspaper. Now this is in distinct contravention of the Charter of " Carlo Alberto," the law under which the Italians are now supposed to be living. That circular is dated from Turin, the 21st of January, and it is addressed by the Minister, to the Prefects, throughout the country.
Now Sir, if any one at the present day ventures to reflect upon, or disapprove, any one act of the Government, even to lament, as the Chancellor of Exchequer so eloquently lamented in his Budget speech, the present condition of Italian finance, he is sure immediately to be hounded down as a sympathiser with the brigands, or an enemy to the unity of Italy.
I mention this, in order that Honourable Members should thoroughly understand the extract which I am about to make from this ministerial circular. Signor Perruzzi begins by saying, that inasmuch as some persons wish to sap the foundations of Italy, and inasmuch as some persons have Bourbonist sympathies and a reactionary tendency, therefore it is necessary, that "in the limits of the law, an active surveillance, and energetic and constant repression, should take place among the newspapers.
And then follow the words in which this Minister distinctly orders the prefects to break the laws of the country. I will now give the names of the journals, though I regret that my proficiency in the Italian language is not greater. This system is not confined to the Neapolitan provinces, nor has it been in any way relaxed of late, in proof of which I will mention many instances, some of which have occurred since I left Italy.
Within a month, a newspaper at Florence, called the Miova Europa, was seized four times in nine days, and the editor has had to pay a heavy fine, and has been imprisoned for three months. Next day the Campana del Popolo, a newspaper of ultra-liberal sentiments, came to the same untimely end, at the hands of the Police.
The Contemporaneo has also been seized several times. This is at Florence, not at Naples.
Next I come to Milan. Lombardy, which has only just escaped from the iron rule of Austria, and which might be supposed to be full of gratitude to that government which had delivered it from bondage and oppression, and what do I find there? Stansfeld will feel a throe. It contained a noble and loyal declaration of republican principles, signed by the actual Minister for Foreign Affairs, Chevalier Visconti Venusti.
We shall know this evening whether our proprietor has His Excellency the Minister for Foreign Affairs as his companion in the prisoners' dock! The inadvertence was self-evident, and arose from a mistake in the handling of the notes, upon which the speech was founded. The statement was that a journal had been seized at Milan, on 27th March, for reproducing the Republican opinions of the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and as will be seen from the enclosed extracts.
Such was actually the case. The Armonia of Turin, shows clearly, in the following passage, that the editor of the Perseveranza must have been aware, that the introduction of the name of that journal, was owing to an inadvertence; and that the fact of the seizure of a journal at Milan on a certain day and for republishing the opinions of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs is true and could not be controverted.
Upon this ground one of the most liberal newspapers in Italy was seized, and was not allowed to circulate on that day. Prom Lombardy I will now go, to the Romagna, to those provinces, so lately released from the Pontifical rule-from that rule which is often described, by the honourable gentleman, and his colleagues as being such a curse to the population, that they were on that account literally bowed down with gratitude to the saviour of their liberties.
Hear, hear, and laughter. And what do we find there? The Eco di Bologna has been in existence during two years, and, like a Cat, it seems to have a great many lives, for within that short period, it has been seized twenty-four times. At Bologna, however, there seems to be no dearth of editors, for, although the paper was seized twenty-four times, within twenty-three months, and the poor editor tried and condemned to imprisonment, and to pay a fine of 7, francs, yet the Eco di Bologna has not ceased to exist.
Honourable Members, therefore, who talk loudly about the unity of Italy, should bear in mind the fact, that one newspaper has been seized in Milan, for publishing that, which is allowed to circulate freely in the other provinces of the kingdom;. Such is the liberty of the press, with which the honourable gentleman, the Under Secretary of State, is so well satisfied cheers ; and now, having proved to the House that the liberty of the press does not exist in any one of those four annexed districts, I will refer for a moment to the state of the Neapolitan provinces.
In the city of Naples, within the last three years, twenty-seven journals have had violent hands laid upon them by the police, and have altogether disappeared; of these La Napoli e Torino had seventeen numbers seized out of fifty; the Machiavelli five out of eleven, and the Aurora ten put of nineteen.
There are many other examples with which I will not, at this time, trouble the House;. I have stated enough to show that never in the most iron times of the French Kepublic, or immediately after the coup d'etat of , never, was there a more perfect gag placed upon the press, than there is at Naples, at the period of which I am speaking. It is very well for the Honourable Gentleman Mr.
Layard to shake his head in an incredulous manner, but if the Honourable Gentleman is not yet satisfied, if he has not had proofs enough yet, I will gladly furnish the Honourable Gentleman with a few more. Of the newspapers, suppressed at Naples, three have not perished in the ordinary way, heirs was, what a London coroner would call "deaths from violence. The Napoli is the first case, to which I will referj; that is a newspaper, as to which, I have the authority of many warm and ardent supporters of Italian liberty, for saying, has been always conducted with much ability and good taste, and with perfect loyalty to the reigning dynasty.
It has chiefly been given, to the discussion of the financial measures of the Government. To show how justice is administered at Naples, I will tell the House what occurred with reference to this paper.
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On the 8th of January, the office at which this paper was published was assailed at eleven o'clock in the morning, by a mob of two hundred persons; the leader wore the kepi of the National Guard. They broke into the premises, smashed the printingpress, tore the newspapers, scattered the type in the garden, and threatened the editor with death, if he ever published another number of his journal. The editor, to save his neck promised compliance,-but broke his word;. I will not trouble the House, with the details of those outrages, or with any more names, of suppressed newspapers, but I will proceed with the proofs which I am about to give, as to the liberty of action which exists in the Neapolitan States.
On four occasions, I had the opportunity of visiting the prisons, with that gentleman, who gained admission to them by right of his position, as a member of the Turin Parliament. I obtained an order myself from General La Marmora, to whose kindness and courtesy I feel much pleasure in bearing testimony. Now, in visiting the Italian prisons, I had no idea that I could in any way be considered, guilty of conduct offensive to the Piedmontese Government; but such turned out to be the case, for no sooner had I left the Neapolitan territory, than there appeared in the newspapers, not only of Naples, but of Piedmont, attacks and commentaries both upon me and upon the gentleman who had accompanied me in my visits.
It was said that he the gentleman must have been plotting against the Turin Government, indeed so much annoyance was caused to that gentleman, that I have received letters from him, asking me to state, in writing, the reasons and the circumstances under which we had visited the prisons, and to give an assurance that there was nothing disloyal to the Government on the part of this gentleman in. It seems difficult to understand how the taking or not taking of his seat in the Turin Parliament by Signor Dassy can in any way impugn the ' truth of the details of what I saw in the prisons of Naples.
After due consideration, I refused to notice such attacks emanating from such a source, but am happy now, in my place in the House of Commons, to state, on my honour, that the gentleman who accompanied me in my visit to these prisons, has never breathed one word against the dynasty of Victor Emmanuel, and that his detestation of the old regime of the Bourbons, exceeded in intensity, if it were possible, even that of the Honourable Gentleman the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs himself.
The newspaper attacks went on, and the climax arrived but a few days since. The House may imagine how great was my surprise last week, when I received an intimation so remarkable, that at first I could hardly give credence to it; it was neither more nor less than this, -that a gentleman, a member of the Turin Parliament, for accompanying a member of a sister Parliament, to see the prisons in Italy, not only incurred the obloquy of a gagged and fettered press, but had been actually summoned before the Judge Salice to answer an implied charge of conspiring against the Government.
I confess that when I first heard of that occurrence I treated it with ridicule and disbelief; I asked myself why, and above all, in a free country, why should this gentleman incur odium and suspicion for doing a simple act of courtesy to a stranger?
It would. I am about to make an appeal to the House, and I hope my appeal will go forth to the country and have some effect as a caution to the people of England against beingmisled by the eloquent language of the Under Secretary of State, who in speaking of this subject last year, said, "A change which has in three short years transformed, I may almost say, the very life of the people; a change which has raised them from the very verge of slavery to the enjoyment of the fullest liberty; a change, which contrasts as much with that which went before, as would the bursting forth of the glorious sun in its noonday splendour at midnight, contrast with the darkness, which it had suddenly dispelled.
I appeal to the House, whether the state of things that I have just described betokens the existence of that noonday splendour, to which the Honourable Gentleman en eloquently alluded. Before I proceed to my next point, I must remind the House, that last year the Honourable Gentleman the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs taunted the Honourable Baronet, the Member for Dundalk Sir George Bowyer with only being able, after elaborate research, to bring forward one solitary case-that of Count Christen, who had been a prisoner confined six mouths in prison without a trial. Now, Sir, I am about to refer to other cases of a worse character, and before doing so I am anxious again to throw myself upon the indulgence of the house, and to assure them that I am deeply sensible.
But the facts which I am about to relate passed before my eyes; I pledge my honour that they are true, and that I will give no exaggerated statement of them. I went, and saw Mr. Bishop, and certainly there was nothing to find fault with in the treatment which he appeared to be receiving. The Honourable Gentleman, the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, has challenged me to give my impressions of the prison in question, and I am happy to say that I saw nothing to complain of in the treatment of any of those persons who were confined in Santa Maria.
The prison was cleanly, and the food was good, always supposing that the prisoners had been tried and convicted; but I regret to say that such' was not the case. One Hungarian gentleman, named Blumenthal,. From the conversation of those around, he had gathered, that he was suspected of being concerned in some revolutionary proceedings, and he earnestly desired that he might be brought to trial.
Hear, hear, hear. He had no objection to find with his lodging or his food; he had so long despaired of trial, that that poor man had almost ceased to complain!! On leaving the cell of that prisoner, other prisoners, prompted, I suppose, by some instinct which induced them to make their complaints known, gathered around me and my companion, and frequently exclaimed in Italian, "Why are we in prison? Much struck, and somewhat uneasy, at what was going on, I requested the gentleman who accompanied me to ask of the Governor, that question, which the prisoners had put to me.
All honour to that Governor, all honour to the Governors of the different prisons, which I visited, for they were one and all, actuated by philanthropic motives, and detested this system of which they are the unwilling instruments. The Governor to whom I now more particularly allude, replied, that he was unable to answer the question; that he had eighty-three prisoners in his charge, who had never been tried, and that about one-half of these, had never undergone a form of interrogation, which I believe is tantamount to being brought before a magistrate, in this country.
These persons were confined in prison, and were not aware of the crimes with which they were charged. Perhaps, when the House hears of these men who are thus kept in prison without being tried, they may arrive at the conclusion, that they are men of intelligence and wealth, men who could head a revolution, and who would be dangerous to a Government firmly seated in the affections of its people. To talk of such men as these as being conspirators, dangerous to the safety of the Government, and of His Majesty the King of Italy, appears to me to be simply absurd, and an outrage upon common sense.
On leaving this prison, the distinguished gentleman who was with me said, "This is indeed wrong, I am an Italian, a thorough Italian, but this is wrong, and we must inscribe our names in the Visitors' Book to that effect. I said, " It would be a great liberty in a stranger to do anything of the kind;" but my companion was of a different opinion.
We, therefore,. Nuncio Viterlo, confined for eighteen months, 63 years old, crooked, miserable looking, had been questioned, but not tried; knows not what he has done. Many other prisoners, equally miserable, crowded in to give their names, but there was not time to write down more names. Governor deplored system of imprisonment without trial, and of associating convicted and suspected. He receives daily shoals of petitions for trial from prisoners, which he forwards to Turin, and to which he gets no answer. After acknowledging the extreme courtesy of the Governor, and the generally good condition of the prison, the protest went on in the following words:-"But the undersigned cannot help expressing how regretable it is, that some 'prisoners have been detained for months untried, and, as far as they have assured the undersigned, not even interrogated, and without knowing from the authorities the cause of their imprisonment.
Now, I admit, that during my visit to this prison, some little uneasiness had began to creep into my mind, and I began to have some slight misgivings as to that state of liberty and justice, of which I had heard so much. The result was, that I made an application to General La Marmora, and obtained from him authority to visit the other prisons of Naples. The second prison which I visited was that, known as the " Concordia;" it is situated in the upper part of Naples, and is chiefly occupied by persons imprisoned for debt. Now the House will readily imagine, that such men form by no means the most respectable portion of Neapolitan Society; I found these men walking about the gallery of the prison, and in the midst of them,-two convicted felons.
One of whom was undergoing a sentence of imprisonment for life, for homicide, and the other of eighteen years for a grave crime. And here I beg to call the especial attention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to these facts, because, if I am not mistaken, if. Some Honourable Gentlemen around me, I am well aware, do not sympathize much, perhaps, with Roman Catholic Bishops and priests, but they are sufficiently English in their feelings, to sympathize with any one who is treated unjustly, whether Catholic or Protestant, priest or layman.
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There is at present confined in that prison another man, who had been in prison two years, he was an old man, he must have been close upon seventy, he was bowed with years, and was confined to the prison diet, one meal a-day, and nothing but water to drink; ho complained, but he said, "He thought-he hoped-the end was near! The best ensue, the worst eschew, my mind shall be Virtue to use, vice to refuse, thus shall I use me. Italian translation. Credo che la compagnia sia la miglior cura, per superare le fantasie e i pensieri.
Portuguese translation. A juventude deve ter algum galanteio, De bom ou mau algum passatempo. German translation. Zeit verbringen in guter Gesellschaft, liebe ich und werde es lieben bis zu meinem Tod. Diejenigen, die allen Lastern nachgehen, lehne ich ab. Zu meinem Zeitvertreib jage, singe und tanze ich, mein Herz ist voll von bester Kurzweil, wer soll mich daran hindern?
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Gesellschaft mit Ehrlichkeit ist tugendhaft, die Laster sind zu meiden, Gesellschaft kann gut oder schlecht sein, aber jeder Mann hat seinen freien Willen. From ChoralWiki. Jump to: navigation , search. Via Canova 15 CH Lugano. Because of his vast experience in these areas, he also teaches on these subjects and is the author of numerous publications; he is often called upon to act as a member of public or association bodies, or as arbitrator in disputes in these areas. Walter A.
Que voter? Michael E. Nicolas Dutoit, Zurich Schulthess , pp.