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holiness, we shall devote them more willingly than ever to the service of one who has done so much for our country and the Church." It was just as well that Pio Nono did not accept this invitation, and also that, when Garibaldi, having with difficulty raised enough money to pay for the passage home of the little company of seventy or eighty Italians who were eager to accompany him, reached Italy in the summer of 1848, Charles Albert in like manner paid no heed to his offer to take service in the Sardinian army. Free from the dictation of both king and pope, he was bound to nothing but his conscience and his duty as a patriot, and left free to work out in his own way his famous share in the liberation of Italy.
He began it, as was right, by renewing his old alliance with Mazzini. That the alliance did not now imply so strong a sympathy between the two men as probably existed when they were associated in their youth is clear from the readiness shown by Garibaldi to serve under either Pio Nono or Charles Albert. Mazzini would not have taken such service, even if thereby he could have materially helped on the Italian cause. The utmost that Mazzini would do was to stand jealously aside while the pope and the king made their feeble attempts to effect a few reforms and to drive the foreigners out of the country, waiting for the time when he could insist on the king and his courtiers, the pope and his ecclesiastics, being also driven out. Garibaldi, though liking none of them, was more tolerant of kings and courtiers, popes and ecclesiastics. He troubled himself less about internal reforms than about securing Italy for the Italians, and to advance that object he was willing to waive any but the most fundamental opinions that he held in favour of political and religious liberty. Hence, in part, the differences that afterwards arose between him and Mazzini. But for those differences, thanks to the failure of his overtures to the pope and the king in the autumn of 1847 and the summer of 1848, there was no occasion when he appeared on the scene.
At that moment Charles Albert was failing in his unskilful attempts to take advantage of the insurrectionary movements throughout the Austrian dominions in Italy. His conversion of his little kingdom into a “constitutional monarchy," in February 1848, had gladdened not only his own subjects but all the Italians who looked to him to deliver them from foreign oppression ; but public confidence in him was declining even before he found himself unable to cope with the Austrian forces.
Milan especially, which had begun the insurrection by expelling its tyrants in March, and where Mazzini's influence was strongest, would
have nothing to do with Charles Albert. It was to Milan that Garibaldi betook himself after his offer to serve under the king had been rejected in July, and there, in the course of a few days, he collected a body of 3,000 volunteers, with which to carry on the war on independent lines. That force would have been multiplied many times had the struggle been prolonged. For such assistance, however, not to his own cause but to the cause of Italy, Charles Albert was not grateful, and, his own troops having been routed by Radetzky, he made the shameful peace of August the 9th, by which the liberation of Italy was delayed for more than ten years. Garibaldi, hurrying up from Bergamo for the relief of Milan, was within a day's march of the city when the armistice was signed. There was nothing left for him but to withdraw to Switzerland, and, after a few straggling but daring engagements with the Austrians near Lago Maggiore, to disband the little army which he had had no time to organise, and which a dangerous attack of fever at length prevented him from even leading to battle.
Garibaldi's first effort to serve his country was thus apparently a failure. In reality, however, it was of immense service to the cause he had at heart. It made him famous throughout Italy as a great soldier, a man who, when the time was ripe for a national upheaval, might be trusted to see that the business was properly done. It emphasised Mazzini's declaration that “the royal war was at an end, and that of the people to begin.” Proof alike of the Italians' appreciation of Garibaldis soldiership, and of Charles Albert's desire, if possible, to use the best means in his power to prevent the prophecy of Mazzini from being fulfilled, was in the offer now made by the king, who had formerly scouted his services, that he should take high rank in the Sardinian army. That offer was, of course, indignantly rejected. To Charles Albert's son, Victor Emmanuel, Garibaldi could hereafter show so much allegiance as was for the benefit of his country; but with Charles Albert himself, the betrayer of Italian independence, he could make no terms. Garibaldi had very quickly discovered the treachery of the king with the intention of serving whom he had crossed the Atlantic. He had also discovered the treachery of the pope whom he had also offered to serve, Pio Nono having by this time entirely repudiated his liberal professions. It is noteworthy, however, that the brilliant failure—in so far as it was a failure—which closed the first period of his warfare for Italy resulted from a direct attack on the authority of the pontiff whom less than two years before he had proposed to help in his work for “the country and the Church."
The revolutionists were in no mood to submit quietly to the reestablishment of Austrian tyranny over nearly all of the old ground, to which Charles Albert had agreed. Mazzini went on plotting, and Garibaldi, as soon as he had recovered from his fever, went on work. ing. He was on his road to Venice when the news arrived that Pio Nono had fled from Rome, intending to come back as soon as he could obtain such foreign assistance as would avenge the death of Rossi and make the ancient capital of Italy more than ever a centre of oppression. The duty of the revolutionists was clear, however much the most sanguine of them must have feared that it was a duty too hard to have as happy results as they desired. Garibaldi at once altered his course, and being in Rome on February the 9th, 1849, when the hastily formed constituent assembly met to decide on future action, he was the first to exclaim, “Long live the Republic !"
The story of what followed is well known. Mazzini naturally took the lead in directing the affairs of the new Roman Republic, by no means so long-lived as its promoters wished, and Garibaldi as naturally took the lead in preparing to defend the city against the invaders who were expected to come from Austria and other parts. Against an Austrian attack he might have held his ground; but neither he nor Mazzini had looked for the treachery of Louis Napoleon, acting in the name of the French Republic. Yet even when Oudinot arrived with his great army of skilled troops at the end of April, the success of Garibaldi's first day's fighting with them at the head of his five thousand volunteers might have been followed by a lasting victory had not Mazzini, still believing that the French Republic was stronger and more honest than its president, agreed to an armistice which in the end was the ruin of the Roman Republic. Mazzini's action in that respect may be excused on the ground of his infatuation and incapacity for the responsible position in which he had been suddenly placed as a ruler instead of a schemer. But no excuse can be found for his supersession of Garibaldi as chief military commander by Roselli. Garibaldi had just signally defeated the Neapolitans at Palestrina, whither he had secretly gone out to surprise the advancing enemy, and had thus begun an exploit which he alone could finish. Roselli, indeed, left him to finish it, his own command being only nominal. None the less on that account, however, was the indignity, and its disgracefulness was all the more plainly shown by the temper in which Garibaldi submitted to it. “Some of my friends," he wrote long afterwards, " urged me not to accept a subordinate post under a man who, only the day before, was my inferior ; but, I confess, these
questions of self-love never trouble me. I am grateful to any one who gives me a chance of fighting, if but as a common soldier, against my country's foes.”
During Garibaldi's absence on his three weeks' raid against the Neapolitans, Oudinot had been waiting outside Rome, for instructions and reinforcements from France. On the 3rd of June, having received both, he resumed hostilities, to which Garibaldi, still acting for his nominal chief, offered desperate resistance during a four weeks' siege, until on the 30th there was nothing left for him but to declare that unless Rome was to be made a second Saragossa, further defence was impossible. On the 3rd of July the French entered the capital, and the papal banner again floated from the castle of St. Angelo. A few hours before that, however, Garibaldi had gathered all that were left of his volunteers—some four thousand in number—and thus addressed them: “Soldiers ! this is what I have to offer you—hunger, thirst, cold, and heat; no pay, no barracks, no rations, but frequent alarms, forced marches, and charges at the point of the bayonet. All who love our country and glory may follow me !” All followed, and it was a noble exodus ; but, with the pope again installed in Rome under the protection of France, and with nearly all the rest of Italy once more under the Austrian yoke or under such contemptible oppression as King Bomba's, the Garibaldians could do no more than endure terrible hardships with heroic patience, and retreat like heroes, fighting as they went, across the Apennines, past Terni and Arezzo, to the small republic of San Marino, where their general discharged them from their oaths of obedience to him, bidding them only remember that “it is better to die than to live as slaves to a foreigner."
Garibaldi, broken-hearted for a time, and believing that all his fighting for Italian independence had been in vain, would gladly have died himself, if honourable death would come to him. Such death did come to his brave wife, Anita, whom he buried on the shore of Ravenna, and to two of the bravest of his comrades, Ugo Bassi, the priest turned patriot, and Ciceruacchio, who, caught by the Austrians, were executed on the day of Pio Nono's pompous return to Rome—a coincidence that Garibaldi remembered when in his “Rule of the Monk” he wrote: “The mitred master of Rome once more ascended his polluted throne, having for footstool the corpses of our compatriots.” But for Garibaldi there was the doom of life, and tedious waiting till the time came for his great work to be accomplished.
In spite of the faulty conduct of the Roman Republic experiment, and of its disastrous ending, this memorable episode really helped on instead of delaying the business that had to be done towards securing independence for Italy. It increased Garibaldi's fame, and he was no less an object of worship to all Italian patriots than he would have been had the results of his exploits been as successful as the exploits themselves were brilliant. It lessened Mazzini's power and influence as a conspirator, without weakening the hold of his sound teachings on the public mind. The Italian nation was thus being educated for the change to be brought about, and fortunately in Cavour it had a statesman well qualified to advance that education and prepare for the change. Cavour, now rising to the highest rank as an European politician, no less than as the chief adviser of Victor Emmanuel, had no sympathy with Mazzini, and would have preferred to build up a new Italy without Garibaldi's aid. But circumstances were stronger than his likings, and even cautious critics must admit that he promoted quite as much as he hindered the adoption of all that was then practicable in Mazzini's theories, and that he made prudent use, if ignobly, of all the service that Garibaldi insisted upon rendering to Italy.
The memory of Garibaldi's exploits in 1848 and 1849 was thus doing good work during the five years in which he himself was absent, chiefly in the United States ; but his influence increased from the time when, in 1854, he returned to his own country, and, making Caprera his home, waited till Cavour and Italy called upon him to render active service on its behalf. What he did during the war of 1859, doing with his irregular forces more to defeat the Austrians than was done by the regular Italian army, is matter of history. The Peace of Villafranca was an approach towards the consummation of his desire to see his country freed from foreign rule, though it was a bitter disappointment to him that, while so much precious territory in other parts was being redeemed by the Italians, his own precious birthplace, Nice, together with Savoy, was surrendered to France. This act of treachery, as he regarded it, for a time alienated him from Cavour. “I have nothing to do with men or political parties,” he said. “My country, and nothing but my country, is my object.”
Pursuit of that object, in defiance of political parties, soon enabled him to achieve the most triumphant exploit of his life. Mazzini and his emissaries did much to stir up the insurrectionary movement in Sicily and Naples which led to the overthrow of King Bomba. Cavour and his diplomatists also assisted in the business, and rendered efficient aid at last in bringing southern Italy under the