1002. Historical sketch of the revolutionary movements in Modena and the Papal States. 1003. Metternich to Apponyi in Paris, Vienna, February 15, 1831. 1004. Metternich to Apponyi in Paris, Vienna, February 15, 1831. 1005. Metternich to Apponyi in Paris, Vienna, February 19, 1831. 1006. Joseph Bonaparte to Metternich (letter), Point Breye, October 9, 1830 (enclosed in No. 1005).
1002. Italy, undisturbed up to the beginning of February, has at length paid its tribute to the revolutionary principle. The Duchy of Modena and the Papal States have been the first to raise the standard of revolt.
At Modena the government was informed of a conspiracy directed against the person of the Duke; he was warned that the plot was to be carried into effect on Thursday, February 5, and precautionary measures were in consequence taken. And, in fact, about seven in the evening firing was heard at several points, and the conspirators--strangers, for the most part, to the city of Modena--directed their steps in silence to the Menotti mansion. The Duke of Modena could count upon the devotion and fidelity of the troops, and accordingly, after having garrisoned the citadel with a force strong enough to guard it from surprise, his Royal Highness sent forward a detachment of dragoons and pioneers, who silently surrounded the house. As soon as the investment was complete, the conspirators were summoned to surrender; but their only reply was to open a brisk fire from all the windows. The dragoons and pioneers fired in their turn, and endeavoured to break
in the door. A company of a line battalion came to their assistance, but the conspirators kept up their fire. The Duke of Modena now arrived in person on the spot, and again summoned the rebels to surrender, but the latter only continuing to fire, his Royal Highness ordered the cannon to open fire upon the house. The walls were just threatening to fall in, when the conspirators cried out, 'Misercordia e vita in dono!' The Archduke's answer was, 'Con rebelli non tratto!' The conspirators then surrendered at discretion to the number of forty-four.
The population of Modena had stood quite aloof from this attempt, but the conspiracy had some widespread ramifications in many cities and villages of the Duchy. An attempt had been made some days before at Reggio, but it was put down by the troops; from the 4th that city was in open revolt. At Sassuolo and Carpi the conspirators reckoned many adherents, who took up arms against the troops; but they were perplexed at not seeing the signal agreed upon with the Modenese conspirators, and were unable to prevent the arrest of several implicated persons. The Duke of Modena hearing, however, that the revolutionary spirit was spreading in the country places, and had broken out at Mirandola, Bastiglia, and particularly at Reggio, and being further aware that Bologna and the Romagna were about to rise, his Royal Highness felt that his forces were too few to make head against the storm, and retired to Mantua with his family. He had, meanwhile, assigned the several regiments the most favourable positions in the direction of the Austrian frontiers, where they were to await the arrival of adequate reinforcements. On the 6th everything was quiet in Modena, but it appears that at other points in the Duchy they
had endeavoured to organise a so called Provisional Government 'degli Stati Estensi.'
The revolution at Modena is no isolated fact; it is an episode in the vast conspiracy which embraces the whole of Italy.
At Bologna the conspiracy broke out an hour after the election of Gregory XVI. was made known. The Pro-Legate was forced to give way, and a Provisional Government, consisting of Count Pepoli (son-in-law of Murat), MM. Confalonieri, Bevilacqua, Ocioli, Vicini, and Salviani, was organised, and mounted the tricolour cockade (red, green, and white). Ferrara hastened to follow their example: the Pontifical troops were disarmed and replaced by a National Guard, while the Pro-Legate was deposed. The Revolution is spreading in the Romagna, which rose at once in revolt and formed a Government, in which Count Rasponi, another son-in-law of Murat, figures. The conspirators despatched messengers to Ravenna and Forli, and the Revolutionary troops are marching on Ancona.
Modena, which had kept tranquil after the departure of the Duke, was again thrown into revolt by a Bolognese troop led by Count Pepoli. The great majority of the population have conveyed to the Duke their wishes for his immediate return.
Such are the events that have taken place in those countries. This vast network of conspiracy, which has been weaving in France for some time back, bears the visible impress of Bonapartism. The plan, as far as we yet know, is to deprive the Pope of his temporal power, and to form a kingdom of Italy under the Constitutional King of Rome. The new dynasty is already provided, as is proved by the proclamation which has been so freely spread in the north and centre of Italy.
Metternich to Apponyi in Paris, Vienna, February 15, 1831.
1003 . There is nothing Italian in the measures by which the revolts have been accomplished. The Italian Revolution is a Bonapartist Revolution supported by the party of anarchy in France.
We have long, Count, devoted our special attention to the designs of the Bonapartist faction, and unless we shut our eyes to the most conclusive proofs, we are certainly under no error in regard to them. The position of the Emperor our master and his cabinet is a most peculiar one. The bases upon which our Government rests must win for us the confidence of the friends of legitimacy; the ties of relationship between the Imperial family and the late Napoleon obtain us that of the adherents of the former French Empire. The son of Napoleon is living at Vienna; the adherents of the father, in turning their eyes to him, must naturally raise them to the grandfather.
We know the movement in Italy is a Bonapartist one. We are resolved to resist it. The Emperor owes so much to his empire, and to all that is yet left standing in Europe. By this determination we at the same time render the most signal service to King Louis Philippe. If, on the simplest showing, there was an incompatibility between his existence and that of a subordinate member of the Bonapartist family on a throne contiguous to weak and feeble France, how much more real does that incompatibility become in view of an Italy placed beneath the sceptre of Napoleon II! Yet this is the direct object of the party of anarchy; against which we are still struggling.
We have never recognised the so-called principle of non-intervention, and we never will give in to it. What we ask of the French Government is not to hamper protective measures on our part in cases where they are imposed on us by the most urgent considerations.
We enter into the most solemn engagement with it, and with all the European Courts, that no policy of political ambition, of territorial aggrandisement, nor of selfish predominance, shall ever form the motive-spring of our conduct; nothing short of a formal requisition on the part of legally constituted authorities shall induce us to take measures adapted to confirm the complete independence of those authorities. In a word, we shall do nothing but what we consider it our bounden duty to do, in accordance with the most approved principles of international law.
The French Government will be exposed to moral attacks on the part of those who are the enemies of order. It will have to show a firm front against them, or else afford the world a proof that it is but the aegis behind which the faction that is the sworn foe of the general tranquillity may take shelter. We hold that party to be as inveterate a foe of its existence as it is of ours; two bodies attacked by a similar disease ought to contend with or at least resist it, each according to its capacity and means. The manner here counts for nothing.
Our enemy is anarchy; our friends those who oppose it. If the day should come when we are driven into our last entrenchments, or reduced to choose among the evils with which we are threatened by anarchy, we shall have to choose the one which offers the least direct detriment to our own existence; and the means lies ready to our hand.
Here, Ambassador, you have a full and ample confession. It is frank and complete. It should be listened to by those who, under penalty of their own destruction, ought to be the friends of our cause--for that cause is, in reality, their own. Never has the civilised world offered such a spectacle as is to be seen at the present time; ordinary remedies no longer apply to a state of things which is totally beyond the range of ordinary combinations. The question for every Government, and in especial our own, is whether it shall live or perish. We offer life to all who have the desire or the power to live; we shall know how to contend against extinction to our latest breath.
Metternich to Apponyi in Paris, Vienna, February 15, 1831.
1004. 1 authorise you to read the reserved despatch (No. 1003) to General Sebastiani, and to the King himself, should you see any signs of hesitation in the course pursued by the Cabinet. What we ask of it is not to declare against us, and not to assist the Italian Revolutionists. Our geographical position hinders France from striking any actual blow against us, unless, indeed, she declare war against Sardinia or the Germanic Confederation. The present Government will do neither one nor the other; it will be powerless for good, but will not openly countenance what is evil.
The Sardinian States were still quiet so late as the 10th of this month. It will not do to reckon on a continuance of this state of things.
I will send you by the first courier (and they will succeed one another very rapidly) some curious proofs of the earnestness with which the Bonapartists are intriguing in our midst.
Metternich to Apponyi in Paris, Vienna, February 19, 1831.
1005. Referring to my secret despatch of the 15th instant (No. 1004), I have the honour to transmit to you the documents* I promised, which prove beyond a doubt, not only the extent to which the members of the Bonaparte family are pushing their intrigues, but the excessive eagerness they displayed in making overtures to us, at the close of the Revolution of the last days of July. There is little need for me to tell you that no reply whatever has been made to these overtures.
Joseph Napoleon Bonaparte to Metternich (letter); Point Breye, October 9, 1830.
(Enclosed in No. 1005.)
1006. Monsieur, it is now ten years ago that a Duke de Brindisi (?) introduced himself to me in my retreat, as the bearer of a communication from you; since then, M. David Parish has spoken to me of the kindly feelings entertained by you for me and for my family. To the former verbal communication I replied in suitable terms; I begged M. Parish to convey my thanks to you, and have waited till time should give me the opportunity to avail myself of your kindness. That opportunity has now come, and I address myself directly
* Among the documents enclosed are three letters from Joseph Bona- parte, one of which is to the Emperor Francis, a second to the Empress Maria Louise, Duchess of Parma, and the third to Prince Metternich; the latter we append (No. 1006). Besides this, the enclosures also contain some reports from the Austrian Ambassador at Florence, from which it appears that the Prince of Canino had intended to come to Vienna, to support the elevation of the Duke of Reichstadt to the throne of France, but that, with the full concurrence of Metternich, he had been refused a passport.-ED.
to you with the request that you will transmit my letter * to his Imperial and Royal Majesty, and at the same time consider the observations suggested to me by the circumstances of the moment, which render it my duty to neglect nothing that may be of advantage to the son of my brother, the grandson of his Majesty the Emperor, to the welfare of France, the tranquillity of Europe, and even to that of France, if all these things be compatible. That they are, Monsieur, perfectly compatible at the present time, I am as firmly convinced, as that Napoleon II., restored to the aspirations of the French, can alone bring about all these auspicious results. I offer my services to act as his guide; the happiness of my country, the peace of the world, shall be the noble objects of my ambition.
Napoleon II., entering France under the national colours, and guided by a man whose entire love and devotion to his country are well known, is the only person who can hinder the usurpation of the Duke of Orleans, who, having been called to the throne neither by right of succession nor by the distinct and legitimate expression of the national will, can only maintain himself in power by flattering every party in turn, and yielding to the one that offers him the greatest chance of success, at the cost of whatever means. Napoleon would prevent republican agitations from making head in France, Italy, Spain and Germany. Napoleon, Emperor of the French, would be bound, by ties of gratitude, affection and political interests, to Austria,
* In this letter occurs the following sentence: 'Sire, if you entrust to me my brother's son, that son who on his deathbed he declared should follow my advice to re-enter France, I guarantee the success of the enterprise unaided, and with the tricolour scarf, Napoleon II. shall be proclaimed.'
the only continental state with whom he would stand in a similar connection.
The branches of the House of Spain and Naples could offer no opposition to the viewers of the French and Austrian Cabinets when thus united; Italy would remain firm in her allegiance; Germany would prove no source of danger; the new King of England would gladly efface, by a recognition of Napoleon II., the shame incurred by the Government of his country through its conduct to the dying Emperor Napoleon; the successor of Alexander cannot be insensible of the regret manifested, towards the end of his life, by that Prince, for having been instrumental to the scheme of recalling the Bourbons into France; Prussia cannot be desirous of a new revolution in France, knowing as she does that she would be the first to feel the effects of it, and the other Powers cannot have forgotten her conduct during the first war of the Revolution.
M. le Comte Athanase d'Otrante,* should he be fortunate enough to obtain a meeting With you, will enter fully into any explanations you may desire. I have full and entire confidence in his good intentions and capacity.
Accept, Monsieur, my esteem and high consideration
Your Highness's affectionate servant,
JOSEPH NAPOLEON BONAPARTE.
* A son of Fouche, Duke of Otranto (died at Trieste, 1820). There is no doubt that the mission here spoken of has some connection with an occurrence which Prokesch (My Relations with the Duke of Reichstadt) and Montbel (Le Duc de Reichstadt) mention in their memoirs. According to their accounts, there existed a Bonapartist conspiracy, the plan of which was fully matured, to lend the Duke of Reichstadt in triumph to Paris, as soon as Prince Metternich could be induced to allow Napoleon's son to ' escape ' from Vienna. We have no further documentary evidence to attest a fact which the above communications render very probably; but, in any case, the leading part assigned by Prokesch and Montbel to Fouché in the execution of the plan, is based upon a decided error, for the famous ex-minister of Napoleon had then been dead for ten years.-ED.