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Memoirs of the Life and Correspondence of Henry Reeve, C.B., D.C.L. In Two Volumes. Volume II.   By: (1830-1915)

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First Page:

MEMOIRS OF THE LIFE AND CORRESPONDENCE OF HENRY REEVE, C.B., D.C.L

BY

JOHN KNOX LAUGHTON, M.A.

HONORARY FELLOW OF GONVILLE AND CAIUS COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE PROFESSOR OF MODERN HISTORY IN KING'S COLLEGE, LONDON

IN TWO VOLUMES

VOL. II.

CONTENTS OF THE SECOND VOLUME

PORTRAIT OF HENRY REEVE AET. 68.

From a Photograph taken by RUPERT POTTER, Esq.

XIII. THE WAR IN ITALY (1859 60)

XIV. LITERATURE AND POLITICS (1860 3)

XV. LAW AND LITERATURE (1863 7)

XVI. CHURCH POLITICS (1868 9)

XVII. THE FRANCO GERMAN WAR (1869 71)

XVIII. THE GREVILLE MEMOIRS (1871 4)

XIX. FOXHOLES (1874 9)

XX. OUTRAGE AND DISLOYALTY (1880 2)

XXI. THE FRENCH ROYALISTS (1883 5)

XXII. RETIREMENT (1886 9)

XXIII. THE ONE MORE CHANGE (1890 5)

LIFE AND CORRESPONDENCE OF HENRY REEVE

CHAPTER XIII

THE WAR IN ITALY

How far the murderous attempt of Orsini, on January 14th, 1858, was connected with the political relations of France and Italy it is as yet impossible to say. It was, and still is, very commonly believed that in his youth Louis Napoleon had been affiliated to one or other of the secret societies of Italy, that he was still pledged to this, was bound to obey its orders, and that Orsini was an agent to remind him that the attainment of high rank, far from releasing him from the bond, rendered it more stringent, as giving him greater power and facility for carrying out the orders he received. The independence of Italy was aimed at; and it had been intimated to the Emperor that Orsini's was only the first of similar messages which, if action was not taken, would be followed by a second, with greater care to ensure its delivery.

All this may or may not have been mere gossip. What is certain is that, during the latter months of 1858, secret negotiations had been going on between the Emperor and Victor Emanuel, the King of Sardinia, or rather his minister, Cavour; and that an agreement had been come to that Austria was to be attacked and driven out of Italy. Accordingly, on January 1st, 1859, at his New Year's reception of the foreign ministers, Louis Napoleon took the opportunity of addressing some remarks to the Austrian Ambassador which, to France and to all Europe, appeared threatening.

Similarly, at Turin, it was allowed to appear that war was intended; and on both sides preparations were hurried on. In France, as in Austria, these were on a very extensive scale. A large fleet of transports was collected at Marseilles; troops were massed on the frontier of Savoy; and, on the part of the Austrians, 200,000 men were assembled in readiness for action. On April 23rd Francis Joseph, without it was said the knowledge of his responsible ministers, sent an ultimatum to Turin, requiring an answer within three days: at the expiration of that time the Austrians would cross the frontier. The allies utilised the delay to complete their preparations; and before the three days had ended the advance of the Franco Sardinian army had begun.

The campaign proved disastrous to the Austrians, whose half drilled and badly fed troops and obsolete artillery were commanded by an utterly incompetent general. They were defeated at Palestro on May 31st; at Magenta on June 4th; and again at Solferino on June 24th. Nothing, it appeared to the Italians and the lookers on, could prevent the successful and decisive issue; the Austrians would be compelled to quit Italy. Suddenly Louis Napoleon announced that he had come to an agreement with the Emperor of Austria and that peace was agreed on. The disappointment and rage of the Italians were very great; but, as Louis Napoleon was resolved, and as Victor Emanuel could not continue the war without his assistance, he was obliged to consent, and peace was concluded at Villafranca on July 11th.

For the next eighteen months much of the correspondence refers to the inception and result of this short war, mixed, of course, with more personal matters, and at the beginning, with news as to the state of Tocqueville's health, which was giving his friends the liveliest anxiety... Continue reading book >>




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