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The hour had come- come like a glorious beam of sunshine. to bid them to cast aside their sloth, luxury, and pleasures; to nerve their arms, to rouse their every energy to the coming struggle, and never to cease their activity until Europe, the world at large, beheld the tri-coloured flag, the emblem of their nationality, floating in peace, protected by their arms, from the walls of every city in Italy! Yes, the hour of retribution had come ! the hour of action had arrived!
The Count Pompeo Litta, one amongst the number of those assembled there, rose from his seat, and, unfolding a paper he held in his hands, exclaimed
“Nobles and friends ! - According to the agreement we made on the last occasion we met together, we are once more assembled, I trust in spirit and in unity, to carry out the noble object of creating a nationality of our own. That the difficulties to arrive at this end are great, the obstacles many, I need not conceal from you ; but circumstances of a most favourable aspect seem to favour our bold and hazardous undertaking. The secret committee formed by your consent, and of which I have the honour of being secretary, has entrusted me with the document I hold in my hand, to communicate to you its contents. They are as fol.
“ Gentlemen, from the document I have read to you, you will perceive the hopes of our members in attaining their most holy end is far from being so difficult of realisation, when we have the positive assurance, if we rise this day to vindicate our rights, to claim what we have been robbed of, within four or five days hence the brave army of Sardinia will enter Milan, to assist our cause of justice and of patriotism, and to witness our triumph. May God in his mercy will it to be so: ment, whilst I am speaking, the work of independence has already commenced; for not until last night was I informed by a friend present, a member of our Consulta, but whose name I cannot divulge, of the existence of a society, whose ramifications have spread with an extraordinary rapidity throughout the whole of Italy, and whose ob. jects are similar to our own—the independence of country—and whose members are at the present hour hurrying from every part to join the work of justice, which they have determined shall commence this day. On the certainty of this fact, the committee of the Lombarda Consulta, not without due caution, determined to aid in the holy effort, conjointly with the members of the society I have named. But an. other most important fact I must not omit to communicate to you, which is - amongst the members of the society, of which my friend is president, there are no less than some four hundred who are at the present time in the Austrian service, and who, the instant we rise, will immediately desert the ranks of slavery and of shame to join those of freedom and virtue.t That you will receive them as brothers I cannot doubt, who, for a time, have forgotten the duty they owe their country only to awaken from
" • The Directions of the Committee of the
Lombardo Consulta to the Members of
the Society : ""The mission entrusted to our hands has been satisfactorily completed. From every part hope smiles upon the efforts we have all jointly made. The majesty of Piedmont has formed the alliance on the terms understood, and has entered into a solemn engagement. The Pontiff has accorded to us his blessing on our enterprise. These facts are entrusted to the honour of the members of the Lombarda Consulta to hold as sacred trusts, divulged only to inspire them with confidence in the success of their mission. The cominittee has also been assured of immediate assistance from various quarters, directly the manifestations have become openly demonstrated, and have fixed the eighteenth day March of this year as the signal agreed on. The different duties in directing the signals
The document I have translated nearly literally from the original MS. † " That the Italian regiments were, in many instances, falling away from Austria, could be no secret to Charles Albert. The particular agency by which these extensive defectious were prepared and accomplished bas never been made known." - Military Events in Italy.
their dream, dictated by an honcur- Government, have already fled-fled able sense of feeling, to fly to combat without a shot being fired. Their with their brothers in the battle of na- flight is the signal for your
rise_the tional independence. The importance token of the certainty of your triumph. of this fact, joined with others com- Let your motto be the same as used in municated to you by your commit. the days of Peter the Hermit, when it tee, must tend to inspire you not mere- spread from mouth to mouth, and rely with hope, but with the certainty of echoed through every part of Europe, success. At noon, therefore, this day, calling forth an enthusiasm bordering I call upon you, each and all, by the on frenzy—It is the will of God! solemn pledges you have entered into it is the will of God!'" by your hopes of in future enjoying the Loud applause followed the speech real liberties appertaining to man- of the Count Pompeo Litta, and the by the sacred duties you owe to coun- soul-inspiring cry of “ It is the will of try, to home, to family, and religion, God l" resounded in the room. The to meet at the Broletto, * there to enter hour had come, the die was cast: in upon the commencement and end of that startling cry echoed the feelings the glorious consummation of liberty long controlled, but now impossible to to Italy. The Viceroy, the Governor, be subdued - Retribution ! —Justice ! and other members of the Austrian -Freedom!
THE STRUGGLE POR PREEDOM.
“ They never fail who die
In a great cause : the block may soak their gore,
THROUGH the streets of Milan pour a and from voice to voice was echoed countless multitude of people, the the cries of “ Long live the indepengreatest part of whom directed their dence of Italy !" “Down with the posteps towards the Town Hall of Milan. lice!" “ Away with the Tedeschi !" Gloriously grand and noble was the In a mass of confusion along the streets spectacle they offered-one sole feeling, pour that wild multitude, till they one sole hope, one sole thought ani- arrive before the municipal palace. mating their hearts the love of coun- Here they were met by the Podesta try. In them was awoke once more of Milan, the Count Hasati, and the the ancient spirit of nationality, start- various municipal authorities, who ing again from the grave of centuries, placing themselves at their head, the bound of years forgotten in the moved onward towards the palace of spell animating each arm, each heart- the Governor, the Count Spucer. heaven-born Liberty. Lovely is that As they approached their destination, feeling when sincerely felt, for there the two Austrian soldiers who stood neither ambition places its gory hand, guarding the large entrance - door of nor passion, with any of its sinful sen- the palace took alarm, and long acsations, but all is pure, bright, and customed to act upon their own authotrue in its golden rays of love. Bro- rity to insult the people with imputher unites with brother, class with nity, at once fired upon the crowd adclass, animosities, prejudices, all for- vancing towards them. For a mogotten alike--the spirit of true Chris- ment the people paused, and then tianity claiming them as her children, rushed upon their minds the bitter worthy of the intellectuality of mind. memories of a thousand injuries, and Unarmed as they were, still their loud broke from their lips the cry of thoughts were freely given loose to, “ Death to the Tedeschi !" And on.
* The Broletto, a building appropriated to the Municipal Council.
ward, like a mighty stream, poured longer contained, when again, after the multitude, strong in their wight, many a year, waved on bigh the dear in the justness of their cause, and in emblem of their nationality? No, it an instant the two soldiers fell dead is only those who have ever felt the before the fifty arms that struck them galling feeling of slavery, the spectacle to the ground - the first offering at of child, wife, and sister existing and the shrine of Justice! The first blood living merely at the arbitrary will of a was shed — the first charm broken - fearful power—to-morrow perbaps the the spell of fear of long years crush- lash torturing their delicate limbs, the ed. Before them stood Hope, beckon- iron chain covering their arms, the ing with her inspired bund towards rude grip of the soldier insulting their freedom !-bebind chains, slavery, tor- virtue— who can imagine the wild joy ture, and death! Could they pause? of exultation that fills the heart at the No! a thousand times no! And on. very sight of a tattered flag that proward they rush, and in a few mo- mises them a release from scenes dis. ments more the entire guard of the graceful to humanity, to civilisation, palace was disarmed, and stood help- and religion. And with eyes wet with less before the infuriate multitude. tears, and with frantic expressions of Death they deserved; but still that joy, was again and again that banner maddened crowd, even in the first of freedom greeted by the Milanese. triumph of the moment, burning with The poorexile, torn from his home, wanthe oppression of long years, respected dering in the land of strangers, feeling the helpless state of their prisoners, no warm heart beating responsive to and remembering that blood but sul- his own, and capable of understanding lied their holy cause, they paused in the various sensations which momentatheir path of revenge, and spared rily govern his heart, never recalls the the lives of the Germans! Noble re- memory of that moment without a venge! true spirit of liberty! that in feeling of burning and proud joy. He the hour of power spares the hand will yet live to see again the day when that injures! Still their task was but once more that flag, that flag of love, commenced, and they must wring from will float triumphantly in the van of the hands of their oppressors what was battle, never rest till it covers refused to their prayers and entreaties. and for ever the blood-stained banner Up again resounded through the air of the House of Hapsburg! the cry of “ Arms and a civic guard !" But hark! what is that sound that and in the absence of the other Aus- suddenly booms in the distance, like trian authorities the Vice-President, the the vibration of thunder? It is the Conte O'Donnell, tremblingly signed signal gun of the Castle, calling twenthe decrees authorising the police to ty thousand troops to arms, and fired surrender their arms, and the munici- by the order of Marshal Radetzky. It pality to form a civic guard.* With acted like a spark of fire on the peoloud shouts of “ Viva la libertà !" the ple, and instantly, awake to the danger crowd, still headed by the municipal of the moment, uprose high and clear authorities, retraced their steps to- the cry of “To arms ! to arms!" and wards the Broletto. In an instant more,
the multitude crowded to the narrow and from the highest summit of the streets which intersect the Broletto building suddenly floated in the breeze, from the Castle. Then was beheld like a glorious ray of light, the long one of those curious and strange speclost and cherished banner, the national tacles, marking the energy, the spirit, tri-coloured flag of Italy. Could the and determination of a people. Like feelings of a suppressed race be any a light of inspiration, every one seemed
The decrees signed by the Conte O'Donnell were as follows :“The Vice-President, seeing the necessity of maintaining order, authorises the municipality to arm the civic guard.
“CONTE O'DONNELL." " The guard of the police will give up their arms to the municipality immediately.
" CONTE O'DONNELL." "The direction of the police is abandoned, and the security of the city is confided to the municipality
" CONTE O'DONNELL",
to understand the work he had to ac- manity, was heard ; soon to echo complish. The stones and pavement through Europe, startling the despots in the streets were instantly, as if of the world with its wild shout of by magic, torn from their foundation, long-suppressed joy — its bold deterand carried into the houses on either mination to be free. Can the soul be side of the streets. Large pieces of fur. enslaved ? Never! It wings its flight niture, beds, pianofortes, chairs, tables, to paradise - Eternity, its glorious and fifty other miscellaneous articles, own ! were thrown from the houses, and Loud through the air pealed forth barricade after barricade sprung up
the shrill sound of the trumpets, and with the rapidity of lightning. Wo- onward advanced the Austrians to men, and even children, assisted in the attack, The first barricades are the work of preparing to resist the soon reached; and then commenced foe. Noble matrons, wives, sisters, the deadly strife - the strife on which daughters, mingled in the thickest of depended the hopes of an entire peothe crowd, exhorting the men to re- ple. The first obstacles are soon remember they were slaves. • Work !" moved; but the further the Austrians exclaimed a lady of the highest rank advance, the more earnest becomes the to one who paused to take breath, combat, the courage of the Milanese “work if you are worthy of manhood !” rising with each new triumph of their “Do not forget your brother in pri. foe. Fight on, fight on, brave hearts ! son !” uttered a delicate young girl to it is better to die as men than to live another ; “remember how joyful will on as slaves. See how those delicate be your meeting !" Little children of females aid you in the struggle—those seven and eight years of age assisted females so dear to your heart;-the to carry the stones into the houses, mother, the sister, the wife, cheering while quantities boiling water were you on by their presence, dauntless in prepared to be cast upon the beads of the midst of every danger. Unarmed their assailants. Such was the glorious as you are, still see how those terrible animation inspiring the hearts of all, stones, those large masses of pavement, and making every infant a hero- carry death and destruction in the what will not slaves do, to burst the ranks of your foes, often crushing to bondage that chains them to mother death both man and horse. Fight on! earth-the godlike spirit, the heroism yes, fight on! fight for your liberties, of the true soul!
for your manhood, for the dearest ties Before the large space of ground that make life sweet and dear to man, facing the Castle of Milan, a large, for the bold independence that courage imposing body of Austrian troops itself can ever earn. Does not Jus. formed in serried columns. Confident tice stand by your side-does not heain their numbers, and despising the ven smile upon your efforts? Yes; weakness of a people they had long your cause is one worthy of the brightbeen accustomed to look upon as de. est efforts of heroism; and without void of courage and unity, they moved the means of insuring victory, nobly forward to the attack with the certainty are you doing your duty. On, on of an easy victory. Little did they again to the attack; throw stone upon imagine that even a coward becomes stone on the enemy; pour the boiling a hero when driven and goaded to water upon their heads—you may yet desperation by the exercise of a ty triumph in your despair. Hark to ranny passing the bounds of human those frightful screams, to the shouts comprehension — brutality, hatred, its of command, the groans of the dying ! passion; virtue, liberty, its bitterest and then see your brave countryman, foes. The sword of Justice was drawn Martina, who, in his last moments of -its glittering rays waved on high- life, still echoes the only wish of his the children of her choice, stern, pale, heart, “ Long live the independence of and with throbbing hearts, awaited the Italy.” The enemy has paused; Austrian, calling upon Heaven to aid your desperation has startled him. their battle of righteous retribution- But again he advances, no longer as to witness with what truth and sin- formerly, in heavy columns, but now cerity their hearts beat with the love in long lines on either side of the of country and independence. Yes;
streets, protecting himself as well as that cry, that earnest prayer of heart, be can by the numerous balconies embodying the eternal rights of hu- that project from your houses. Again her young.
the fire of musketry is heard ; the bells other on by word and by act, the Mi. pealing loud the call to arms; and the lanese displayed a courage truly heroic. steady discipline of the enemy must No danger seemed too great to enprevail. Every inch of ground dis. counter; no obstacle too difficult to pute as becomes your manhood; for overcome. At length the enemy sucEurope, the world at large, stands a ceeded in planting a petard opposite spectator of your acts. Recall from the great gate, and in a moment more the grave the ancient spirit of your the gate was driven in, and the Ausforefathers, and let it nerve your arms trians were pouring into the building. with the courage of the tigress
defending Hand to band, the oppressor and the Alas! the enemy still oppressed met in desperate fight-no gains ground, and you are driven from quarter asked, no quarter given. Vain street to street. Great God! look the efforts of the Milanese ; fruitless down and aid in their weakness those that hopeless struggle! An armed poor victims of oppression and tor- foe, with overpowering numbers, has ture!
gained the day; and the Broletto is in The combat bad now continued the hands of the Austrians. That nearly four hours, and the Austrian dear standard, reared but a few hours foe had only gained, after a fearful ago - the glorious pledge of your naloss of life, the approach to the Town tionality - disappears from the spot Hall of Milan. Here the battle be- where it but a few moments ago floated came more desperate than ever, as the so triumphantly; and night comes, as Broletto was defended by a small band if in mourning, to weep with you, of the noblest families in Lombardy. Milanese, for the mournful end of that In vain did the enemy make effort glorious struggle so happily begun. after effort to force the massive gates; Weep, yes, weep; the foe 'is triumthey were driven back each time with phant, and on your heads seems gaterrible loss of life. Cheering each thering the vengeance of tomorrow.
GREY-faced Spirit, let us sit,
While before our visioned eyes
Something of the past may rise,
As through a sphere of alchemy.
Come, thou jocund firstling, come
Dusky form, with Indian brow,
We can hear thy piping now,
Adown the sunny silence float.
While slyest lights around his bair
Are sliding, as in thickets there,
He lips the purple drooping grape.
We know thee, too, thou rosy, coy,
Low.lisping, lithe Idalian Boy:
Should draw the nymphs to kiss thy brow.