their lives, must finally demand the ex- | Parties, sects, and associations have flourpenses of a state funeral from her tardy ished in Italy owing to the necessity of gratitude, in order to go down with de- combining the weak against the strong in cency to the tomb; laborious officials who times when a system of oppression was handle affairs of immense importance with ably organized, and favored by a general scrupulous integrity while they and their indifference. But these societies and families lead parsimonious lives, and pro- mysterious brotherhoods gratified, too, fessionals who conscientiously pursue the sentimental and dramatic tendencies their calling for the benefit of others, of the people, and for the reasons indicated without considering what recompense above have often missed their mark, and they may receive. On the other hand, have consumed great part of the national this feeling produces parasites of various energy with altogether insignificant reclasses, insupportable beggars who fre-sults. The associations have survived quent the churches and highways without the causes which gave rise to them, and regarding their profession as dishonor- in the unfettered liberty now enjoyed by able, and who are indeed treated with Italy there is certainly no longer any reakindness and familiarity by the public, son for prolonging their existence, which which is influenced by a Christian tradi- is no longer in conformity with the spirit tion. But the bad effect of what is essen- of the times. They are now merely tially a noble sentiment may also be unproductive, but they foster a love of traced in the bulk of the people, included mystery in young men, and simulate the between these two extremes; in this case dramatic effects of conspiracy, a quality its effect is negative and somewhat hurt- which tends to their survival. ful to the economic development of the nation. In the first place it throws a certain discredit on commercial life, which is the most essential element of modern life. Moreover, it condemns all those to poverty who take any part in public life, whether it be that of ministers of state or of the humblest government officials, who find it hard to exist at all. The pay and salaries of Italian officials are on a scale involving the necessity of heroic moderation, and it is a state of things which may be called phenomenal. A man who may not perhaps have saved his country, but who has done much to increase its greatness and prosperity, is usually obliged to content himself with a chamber on the second floor, and to dine for five francs at some small restaurant, to the end of his life. It is easy to perceive the depressing effect of such a mode of life on his general condition, as well as on the prosperity of the country.

Another predominant feeling tends to make the productions of the Italian intellect less practical, and to give a dramatic, if not tragic cast to their characters. Mental satisfaction is more important in their eyes than material success. This characteristic phenomenon of the popular temperament exercises a great influence on the form which party spirit assumes in Italy; the object they have proposed to attain becomes secondary as soon as its pursuit is begun, and gives place to their personal satisfaction. Men become absorbed by details or by the contemplation of their own heroism, and their professed object is often the last thing they think of.

Like many other customs which are only the survival of a past state of things, this phase is gradually disappearing, in spite of its apparent recrudescence, and its end is foreshadowed by the very fact of the wide diffusion of such societies. While the members of these associations are politically insignificant in other countries, they retain in Italy the mysterious and obsolete usages of fanatics. I am justified in calling them obsolete, since the terrible associations which have recently been formed to spread destruction and death have, to the honor of our country, taken no root here. Our country has reason to be satisfied that, in spite of the existence of so many parties and secret societies, the most intricate political questions have been solved almost without effusion of blood.

When we descend from the lofty regions of public and political life to the humbler details of ordinary life, we are again aware of the predominance of sentiment over reality. It appears chiefly in a certain disproportion between the end and its means which may often be observed, not only in practical life, but in the opinions by which it is actuated. Any one who attains his object by means disproportionate to their effect is more interesting than one who only employs adequate means, since in the latter case the effect is dimin ished by the apparent ease with which success is achieved. Thus the volunteer is more admired than the soldier, and the sailor who carries oranges from Palermo to New Orleans in a sailing vessel arouses more interest than the seamen of our navy

or the passengers on board a steam-vessel. | and even in those with strangers, a devoAny enterprise, even a civic festival, gives greater pleasure to the multitude, and excites more enthusiasm, if it is a sudden thought and hastily prepared, than if it has been carefully planned beforehand. It must be admitted that the Italians have a gift for producing remarkable results in a short time and with slight preparation, yet it is easy to estimate the difficulties and delays which accrue in public life, and still more in industrial and commercial affairs, from this habit of mind.

The same tendency has conduced to fill the convents in past times, and it has filled and continues to fill the prisons. Its influence is still predominant, especially in private life. Love, jealousy, and vengeance continue to affect certain classes of society to a degree disproportionate to their actual importance. Tales of love have an invincible attraction for our lower classes, and there is a whole literature of tales of vengeance. Jealousy takes the same important place, and it has become the subject of legislation. A man who does not know how to avenge an affront, to obtain justice for himself, and demand life for life, is unmanly in the pop. ular estimation, especially in southern and central Italy. A woman would refuse to smile upon a man who allowed himself to be insulted with impunity. This mode of feeling, which manifests itself in the higher classes in the frequency of duels, is in the lower orders the principal cause of crimes of violence. It is confirmed by the national quickness of temperament, and by the little respect for law which dates from earlier times, when legal justice was full of abuses. For this reason a naturally humane and gentle people takes an unfavorable place in the statistics of crime, in which violent offences occupy an exceptional place.

tion and love which puts those classes to shame who might do likewise at small personal inconvenience. The reserved and defensive spirit which characterizes the modern civilization of many countries is unknown in Italian life. The joys and sorrows of life are readily shared with relations, friends, and neighbors. He who has more than one loaf is ready to give to the neighbor who is destitute, knowing that he shall be relieved in a like necessity. Insensibility to the sufferings of others, a want of compassion or heartlessness, as it is called, is an unpardonable sin in Italy, while much is forgiven to the compassionate. There is no country where the plea for forgiveness to the Magdalen is more readily accepted.

This same people, if their honor or that of their wives is concerned, or even if their passions are aroused by argument or contradiction, will stain some friendly dwelling with blood, without incurring the censure of the multitude. It is this mor bid condition of public opinion which produces the evil; nor can it be cured by legislation, but it must be traced back to its source. On the day when the striker is regarded as an ordinary criminal, the number of crimes committed in Italy will be materially diminished, since deliberate offences, committed from motives of selfinterest, are comparatively few. The first effect of an act of violence is commonly to ruin the position and future of the delinquent, who has preferred the satisfaction of his dominant passion to any other consideration.

What we have said of the lower classes, and on matters which specially concern them, applies in a measure to all classes and all contingencies of life. Well-ordered lives have not unfrequently been compromised by their uncontrollable pasAs, however, the Italians have not sion for some worthless thing. An exact adopted destructive societies, so also they acquaintance with this side of the national could not possibly be guilty of the dragon character is indispensable in dealing both nades, nor of the excesses of the Conven- with public and private men. A word may tion and of the Commune. And we con- be enough to obtain what could not be stantly encounter instances of kindness procured with a million of francs, nor and humanity, especially in the lower would a million compensate for the harm classes, which call for our admiration. which that word may do. We are reFrom their special qualities the people minded of Macchiavelli's description of may be said to be capable of all good as the people, which has passed into a provwell as of all evil. And among their pre-erb. And yet those who truly know the vailing sentiments, in addition to those we have already indicated, the highest place is taken by what is termed humanity.

The lower classes are not only peculliarly sensible of the bonds of kindred, but they display in their family relations,

Italian people know that they are not so calculating as is supposed. It is when we contemplate only one side of their character that we can accept Macchiavelli's estimate of them.

There is another characteristic, more or

less common to the people, which, like | survived in mute, instinctive habits, which the former, is productive both of good and afforded proofs of their former influence, evil; I mean their mental productiveness rather than of their present vitality, and versatility. Probably no other nation Hence the Italians were accused of inis endowed with such keen perception and difference to speculative philosophy, and lively imagination, and, when their pas- of being more given to superstition than sions are not aroused, their just judgment, to religion. But tradition was still imor what is commonly called good sense, is planted in the depths of the national conremarkable. Although we are accustomed science, and the later meaning of these to it, we are constantly struck afresh by customs was again revealed to the hearts the precocity of children's intelligence, of men of culture, of priests, and statesand by the sagacity of observation in the men, who were more or less consciously uneducated. In no other country can a influenced by the general attraction tomoderately intelligent man make himself wards that form of civilization which is master of a subject of which he has no based on the conception of the one God, previous knowledge in so short a time. distinct from nature, and the effective This facility is full of resources in critical providence of the world; of man consistmoments, but on the other hand it renders ing of spirit and matter, whose will is free, its possessor less aware of the necessity and the master of his body; of man's imof exerting that constant and orderly ap- mediate responsibility towards God; of plication which can alone achieve the compensation in another life for the incomplete mastery of a subject, both in justice and inequalities which are manitheory and practice. So it is that the fest here; and finally, of the superiority dilettante is much better received in Italy of words to things, of art over nature, in than the affarista. This hasty and super- short, of the ideal over reality. ficial view is commonly applied to politics and government, by which both, and especially the last, frequently suffer.

At the time of the French Revolution, many of the new ideas became current in Italy; some of them proposed to separate The facile and versatile mind, when philosophy from religion, others to introapplied to sentiment or the dominant duce new philosophies, and others again, passion, displays ready wit. Macchiavelli although these were only a small minority, in his "Principe" declared this to be the to bring in the forms of a new religion. art which he who wished to reign must But the national type was so predominant cultivate. Every Italian can easily mark that although these theories were succesout a course for himself, in order to attain sively adopted, especially by the urban the objects so eagerly desired. But in populations, yet they had only a negative proportion as the objects which men set effect, and a firm basis of faith was never before them are enlarged, the feelings and expelled from the national conscience. passions of the individual lose their force Hence came the moral and political inand efficacy; and the art of satisfying consistency of all the dissidents, who our personal desire then loses its impor- never succeeded in classifying themselves tance. And since the phase which ren- in a reasonable or rational form, so that dered the Italian quick-witted and self- they remained isolated individuals, howinterested tends to disappear, he now ever numerous they might be. Thus they shows himself to be rather a man of feel-formed a party of negation, presenting ing and passion than one swayed by his interests.

only destructive elements, with nothing to build up in place of what they destroyed. We touched upon the faith and philos- As a natural consequence of this isolation, ophy which the people have in common. the religious opponent soon became an Neither the Reformation nor the philos- irreligious atheist, the naturalist became ophy which resulted from it ever took root a materialist, and both parties were drawn in Italy. The heritage handed down to into scepticism. All the infinite gradathe Latin peoples and carefully guarded tions of thought which have been formuby them is the ideal philosophy of Soc-lated since the Reformation, developed by rates and Plato, with its development in the long exercise of free thought among the highest ideal; the one religion which the Teutonic races, which have their contemplates and includes all created source in the want of idealism in their things in a perfect order, which embraces the past, present, and future. Doubtless in times of political decadence and of the degradation of general culture, these grand objects lost some of their lustre, and only

earliest traditions, have not been accepted in Italy. Our devotion to the ideal and the absolute produced the "Divina Commedia" and other masterpieces of literature and of the arts, Catholic morality and

Roman jurisprudence, while it left us de- | by mischievous and ill-advised application. fenceless in the difficulties of every-day life, often rendered us unequal to the complicated transactions of our modern existence, and has not permitted us to attain to that condition of prosperity which is the most decisive result of modern civilization.

It may be asserted without fear of contradiction, that whenever it is sought to realize an ideal the inexorable logic of nature produces a reaction, and a conflict ensues in which the attempt to attain to the absolutely good generally ends in failure. The history of France for the last hundred years is a proof of this, and it would be the same in Italy if she did not possess certain qualities which neutralize the efforts of her school of doctrinaires.

One manifestation of this phase of Italian thought is undoubtedly to be found in our conceptions of the State. Italy was not indeed the first to formulate the idea, since she adopted it en bloc from the rev- We have already borne testimony to olutionary ideas of France. The Revolu- the good sense of our countrymen, a qualtion which overthrew political order and ity which is due to their quickness of profoundly agitated all social conditions mind, and which is habitually present was always under the influence of ideal except when their violent passions are philosophy, and the devotion of the French excited. This quality has always acted people to the ideal and the absolute is as a safety-valve, to correct in practice unchanged, although under their present the excessive pressure of theory. This conditions its only effect is to maintain compensation has often preserved and them in a permanent state of restlessness will, as we hope, still preserve Italy from and unsatisfied aspirations. To the Rev- the ultimate and sometimes formidable olution the State, as it exists in modern consequences of the application of her nations, both in its nature and in popular ideals. It has not done so, however, opinion, is due. Among Græco-Latin na- without reacting on the national charactions there is always a tendency to exalt ter; she has been constrained to make the State into an abstract idea, and this innumerable accommodations and transinot merely in its form and basis, but even tions in order to conciliate that which she in its application to the representatives of presumed to be her duty with what she the State. The French, and also the Ital- has actually accomplished, the written ian legitimist, although the latter is less law with the exigencies of common life, embittered, are only to be found in these and theory with practice. This habit of races, and the same may be said of the liberal interpretation, resulting from the republican. Devotion to a political idea application of an ideal system to the vari tends to diminish its practical usefulness. ous institutions of actual life, has saved The effect of this conception of the gov- Italy in many dangerous crises, and has ernment becomes still more apparent in also been the cause of not a few disorders, its ordinary and constant action. This and of a still larger number of accusations, abstraction of the State which takes its directed against the institutions themconcrete form in the government, whether selves, and against the morality of the it be the product of historical development whole nation. or of an isolated fact, becomes an idea which advances towards certain ideal ends irrespective of the conditions of real life, and often even in opposition to them. Time was when its highest ideal was to maintain the principles of authority, thus converting the means into an end. Now the vindication of the rights of man takes the first place: equality, labor, instruction, and the indefinite progress of man, thus converting ends into means.

In spite of this the system is still pursued, both with respect to public and private life. We will cite some instances in the former case which plainly show its influence. First, the State was formerly one with the dominant religious principle, and the application of this conception was absolute; the State is now declared with equal decision to be altogether apart from religion. In the present state of the opinion and conscience of the people the old All these theories of philosophical sci- foundation is abandoned, and we are ence, which ought to be combined into an taught to rely on that negative power objective ideal so far as the complex rela- which is able to destroy the past, but is tions of social life permit, become in Italy less adapted to constitute a new order of party questions, which it is sought to morality and politics. Thus, while the carry into immediate application, without State has alienated on one side most of considering the possible hindrances in the the conservative elements of the country, way; more harm than good is often done, on the other she is at a loss to find in the and the highest conceptions are vitiated|opposite party formulas which will secure

sequence of an irresistible impulse; and the last thought which occurs to either of these classes is the safety of the public, the protection of the lives and rights of citizens, which things are the justification, cause, and end of all government.

Neither do these men care whether the habits of the people justify these humanitarian experiments. They do not study the statistics of crime any more than they observe the laws of nature. They try the experiment of applying their ideal to the nation as if they were at work in a scientific laboratory, and then pass on.

a stable order of things. Many of the difficulties of our present government are due to this cause. The same logical and absolute criterion is applied to our economic system, which, partly on account of the urgent necessities of a state of revolution, partly to do honor to our theories, has been wholly ordered with reference to a State which has inherited the functions of a universal providence. The means of communication, the management of towns, education, and public health, manufactures, commerce, and even amusements are all protected and governed more or less directly by the public It is for these reasons that the principal departments, and ultimately by the State. needs of our newly constituted nation I need hardly point out the diminution of have hitherto remained unsatisfied. After personal and independent action which all the sufferings and bitter trials she has issues from this system in all the different passed through in order to attain to a branches of life, and the way in which normal state of things, she longs for moral they restrict the national expansion. It order, prosperity, and justice. Her legis. is more important to note that this official lators are full of good will and good faith, distribution of a certain portion of good and yet all the moral questions which things to every one is more costly than were at issue throughout her revolution profitable. Property, manufactures, and are still under discussion, nor has any commerce are paralyzed beneath the bur- thing efficacious been substituted for den of social conditions which are both them. The country is more heavily burcostly and bureaucratic, and the development of national prosperity is checked instead of dispensing its benefits to the nation in a more effectual way than can be accomplished by the costly and complicated action of the State.

dened than it has ever been, and the Draconian punishments of our former governments have been replaced by a systematic indulgence which in some cases verges on impunity, although both extremes are equally pernicious to public morality.

Many other instances might be adduced if these did not suffice to represent the mode of thought which characterizes the dawn of our new Italy. These considerations concern our present state, and the way in which the country has been influ enced by several factors, and especially by the impulse of reaction from the past which marked the first moments of her

Another effect of applying an ideal system to the functions of the State appears in the administration of justice. All the theoretical and abstract discussions on crime and punishment which have occupied, and still properly occupy the field of science have in Italy entered into the field of politics, and have assumed the positive and vehement form dictated by party spirit. Thus, favored by a reaction from the opposite extreme, humanitarian theo-reconstruction. ries have been adopted and hastily pressed to their ultimate consequences. The true nature of things does not enter into the thoughts of these ideologists and doctrinaires. All that is natural, necessary, and consequently legitimate in legal punishment, which in a state of civilization takes the place of private vengeance in order to protect social life, is set aside and neglected by the humanitarians and phrenologists, who constitute themselves the apologists of the human species. Some pursue their idea of a possible humanity which shall be full of affection and of mutual forgiveness; others carry on their physiological and psychological experiments in the analysis of crimes which they hold to have been committed in con

Just because this state of things is the result of the transition from old to new Italy, there is a constant tendency towards some fresh modification. It may be seen from what has been said that the condition of Italy is due to an infinite concourse of circumstances, depending on her special history and on the general politics of Europe; these cause her to be a century behind the political and economic move. ment which has produced the modern form of civilization. Now that she is placed on a level with other nations many of these characteristic phenomena tend slowly to disappear. A future is beginning of which we see the dawn, and the present is a period of transition.

The distinctions between different prov.

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