The Dawn of Italian Independence: Italy from the Congress of Vienna, 1814, to the Fall of Venice, 1849 - Vol. 2

The Dawn of Italian Independence: Italy from the Congress of Vienna, 1814, to the Fall of Venice, 1849 - Vol. 2

Read FREE!

The Dawn of Italian Independence: Italy from the Congress of Vienna, 1814, to the Fall of Venice, 1849 - Vol. 2

The Dawn of Italian Independence: Italy from the Congress of Vienna, 1814, to the Fall of Venice, 1849 - Vol. 2

Read FREE!

Excerpt

From the day of the amnesty, Pius and his subjects, mutually deceived and mutually deceiving, lived in an Enchanted World. What are those quaint tales of philters which caused deadly enemies to forget their wrath in an ecstasy of love? No witch nor beldam ever brewed potion so magic-strong as that which now fluttered the hearts and exalted the heads of the Romans; and from them the contagion spread over all Italy. Liberals were everywhere willing to see in Pius the Messiah whose coming had been foretold by the prophet Gioberti; and when they shouted their Viva Pio Nono! they meant to express not only their admiration for the Ninth Pius himself, but also their hope that he would fulfil the great mission set down for Gioberti's Pope.

In Rome popular enthusiasm swelled week by week. The appointment of Gizzi -- the beloved Cardinal Gizzi -- as Secretary of State (August 8) seemed to leave no room for doubting Pius's Liberalism. If he stayed in his palace, the crowds assembled under the windows and cheered, and would not be satisfied till he showed himself to them; if he went abroad on foot, a body-guard of admirers respectfully accompanied him; if he drove in his coach, they unhitched the horses and drew the vehicle as proudly as college youths do like duty for a prima donna. By night, long processions of enthusiasts, with torches in their hands and hosannas on their lips, wound up the slope of the Quirinal; by day, on occasions of State ceremony, there were triumphal arches, and streets festooned . . .

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