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Ingenuities--Epping and its Inns—Memorials of the Past
Rabelais-A Highland Tour-Unconscious Plagiarism. :
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HOSE to whom he assigned the duty betrayed their trust in
not seeing that all which was left of Giuseppe Garibaldi, after the feeble breath had parted from the feeble body, was reduced to a small heap of ashes, and lodged, as he had bidden, in a secluded spot in the island home he loved. Rome may well be eager to hold the grave of the man who helped so much to give fresh life to Italy; and if a pompous tomb, adorned by princes and blessed by priests, is set up in the world's show-place, thousands will go thither every year to gaze and gape at it. But it would have been far better had his dead body been dealt with after the manner of the ancient Romans, whom in some aspects he so much resembled, and its purified relics modestly enshrined in Caprera, there to be visited by fewer but only reverent pilgrims.
Garibaldi's heroism was of the old-world type, though all the good it did was done in the service of society in its latest developments.
Garibaldi, Mazzini, Cavour : these, named in the order of their birth, were the three men to whom Italy owes most for its recovery, as yet but partial, from the political and social degradation in which it had lain for centuries before they performed their several parts in converting it into a new nation. In what order they should be named according to their merits is a question that will always be answered diversely by different critics. In the statesman's view Cavour stands first. He alone, of the three, knew how to weigh and balance political forces, how to temporise, and to follow rules
expediency. Whatever reason there may have been for the Mazzinians' and the Garibaldians' condemnation of his tactics, however inferior his ideal may have been to theirs, and however justly
VOL. CCLIII. NO. 1819.
they may have reproached him for thwarting and baulking them, few will now deny that the objects they aimed at would have had much less chance of being realised, even as far as they are at present, but for the restraining influences that he exerted. As a theorist -a vague dreamer, or a wise prophet—Mazzini undoubtedly takes precedence of the other two. It was in his fertile brain that the scheme of a new Italy took shape, and expanded into a stupendous project for the regeneration of all mankind. Garibaldi was neither statesman nor theorist; but he was a soldier, and a captain of soldiers, able to endow all his followers with his own courage, to metamorphose peasants into warriors, to turn wisps of straw into rods of iron for the special tasks he had to perform. Without him, or such a one as him, neither Mazzini nor Cavour could have done much for Italy; and, if he was not the intellectual peer of either, it is not strange that, by the good work done by his brave hand and the brave heart which guided it, he won the highest place in popular esteem, and that when, on the 3rd of June, at the ripe age of seventy-five, he succumbed to the ravages of painful disease, engendered by his wounds and the hardships of his military exploits, not Italy alone but all the world mourned over his death. It was the death of the most memorable soldier, and one of the most memorable patriots, whom other centuries besides this one have known.
The pages of romance are uneventful in comparison with the records of Garibaldi's life. Born in 1807 at Nice, where his father owned or navigated a small coasting vessel, he was destined by his pious mother for the priesthood, and his quick wit enabled him in desultory ways to acquire more learning than he was afterwards credited with. But his preference was for the sea, and as soon as he was his own master he went on longer voyages than were before permitted to him. Some of those voyages, especially to the Black Sea and in Greek, Turkish, and Russian waters, were sufficiently perilous, and he might have risen to be a prosperous master mariner had he not come under the influence of Mazzini, his junior by two years,
but much ahead of him in patriotic aspirations and schemings. Garibaldi never was a schemer, and he adopted only too readily the aspirations of any one who could gain his ear.
It is not strange that he listened to Mazzini's eloquent talk, read his fascinating articles in the proscribed journals, and quickly became one of the most eager and active promoters of the Young-Italy cause.
In the intervals of his trade, and using his skill as a seaman in the interests of the revolutionary movement, he was one of the most daring of the Mazzinian conspirators, until in 1836 he was condemned to
death for participation in an attempt to blow up some barracks at
He was condemned, but not captured, and finding himself an outlaw in Marseilles he resumed his life as a sailor. That life, however, had grown too quiet for him, and, one of his voyages being to Brazil, he there, in common with some other Italian refugees, took part in the struggles of the South American revolutionists against their tyrannical masters. Ten years or more of his life were occupied in wonderful adventures on land and sea, the story of which reads more like a narrative of the sixteenth century, or a myth of far earlier times, than an authentic history of facts that happened forty years ago.
Hard words have been used, and not unreasonably, about the share, apart from its exhibitions of personal valour and endurance, which Garibaldi took in the republican insurrections and wars of Rio Grande do Sul and Monte Video, between 1837 and 1847. There is some excuse for the taunt that it was by privateering, filibustering, and the like, that he prepared himself for the equally lawless proceedings in which he afterwards indulged at home. But let justice be done to him. By nature he was a fighting man, always anxious to achieve as soon and as completely as he could, by daring use of the weapons at his command, the objects which seemed to him worth achieving. For the Mazzinian propaganda, during its first decade, he would have done anything, regardless of risk and toil, looking for his only reward in the advancement of the social and political reformation that he had at heart. But his own outlawry in 1836 was an incident in such violent suppression of the Mazzinian propaganda by Charles Albert that its boldest champions despaired of its immediate revival. Garibaldi felt that at that time he could do nothing better for his country than go back to his sailoring, and sailoring no longer satisfied him. “What most troubles me," he wrote to a friend soon after his arrival in Brazil, “is the knowledge that I am doing nothing to help on our cause. I am tired of dragging on an existence so useless to our country while I am forced to give all my energies to this paltry trade.” As he could not serve Italian republicanism, he found relief in serving South American republicanism, and if the “cause” he now took up was less noble and profitable than that of which Mazzini was the prophet, he at any rate devoted himself to it with honesty of purpose and enthusiastic generosity, in their way as remarkable as were his indomitable courage and skill in conducting the peculiar sort of warfare in which he was engaged. When in 1846 the Montevideans forced him to assume the title of general, and pressed on him and his comrades a grant of land, he unwillingly adopted the title, but refused the more substantial reward. “We Italians of Monte Video,” he declared, “took up arms in the cause of liberty alone, and not for any gain or honour to ourselves.” At a moment when his family was in such dire poverty that he could not altogether refuse a gift of £20 from the Monte Videan Minister of War, he accepted half of the amount on condition that the other half should be handed to the starving widow of one of his followers.
The chance or fate that caused Garibaldi to find his chief occupation during the long years of his exile from Italy in irregular warfare was of excellent service in fitting him for the more important work that fell to him after his return to Europe. His natural aptitude for this sort of warfare was by practice brought to such perfection that he was without a rival in it. With Napoleon Bonaparte, or Moltke, or any other of a hundred famous manipulators of huge mechanical battalions, he is not to be compared; but in the strategy by which small forces of living men, more than making up by implicit faith in him for any la :k of intelligence in themselves, can be directed, he was unequalled. Into a company of a few hundred he could infuse so much of his cwn impetuous courage and readiness in mastering all obstacles that they were strong enough to face and baffle as many thousands, and sometimes make tens of thousands tremble and slink away at the report of their advent. Some of his lieutenants in Italy, and not a few of the rank and file of his followers in the crusade for Italian unity, were men whom he had gathered round him and led to victory during his South American adventures. And foremost among all his recruits and assistants was Anita, the heroic wise -also, as he said, "amiable in domestic life"—to whom he became united in Rio Grande, and who attended him through every danger until her death in 1849.
Thus all that happened to Garibaldi during the first forty years of his life was but schooling for the real business that he had to perform during the next twelve years. Mazzini had been plotting and preaching, not quite in vain, from his exile in Paris and London, while Garibaldi was fighting in South America ; and the difference between the two men appeared in 1847, when, Mazzini holding aloof with a well-grounded distrust from the liberal measures of the new pope Pio Nono, encouraged Garibaldi to offer his services in aid of the pontiff's proposed reforms. He and his friend Anzani wrote a letter to Pio Nono, pointing to their exploits in Monte Video as “proofs of their courage and resignation," and adding, “If to-day our arms, which have been thus exercised in fighting, are acceptable to your