Black, however, was the present outlook.
Total commercial stagnation and famine increased the sentiment of unmitigated hopelessness which spread through the land.
The poet Monti, who, alas! sang for bread the festival songs of the Austrians as he had sung those of Napoleon, said in private to an Englishman who asked him why he did not give his voice to the liberties of
his country which he desired, though he did not expect to see them: 'It would be vox clamantis in deserto; besides, how can the grievances of Italy be made known? No one dares to write—scarcely to think—
politics; if truth is to be told, it must be told by the English; England is the only tribunal yet open to the complaints of Europe.'
A greater poet and nobler man, Ugo Foscolo, had but lately uttered a wail still more despondent: 'Italy will soon be nothing but a lifeless carcass, and her generous sons should only weep in silence without the impotent complaints and mutual recriminations of slaves.'
That as patriotic a heart as ever beat should have been afflicted to this point by the canker of despair tells of the quagmire—not only political but spiritual—into which Italy was sunk.
Few works have had more effect than his Letters of Jacobo Ortis.
As often happens with books which strongly move contemporaries, the reader may wonder now what was the secret of its power, but if the form and sentiment of the Italian Werther strike us as antiquated, the intense, though melancholy patriotism that pervades it explains the excitement it caused when patriotism was a statutory offence.
Such mutilated copies as were allowed to pass by the censor were eagerly sought; the young read it, women read it—who so rarely read—the mothers of the fighters of to-morrow.
Foscolo's life gave force to his words: when all were flattering Napoleon, he had reminded him that no man can be rightly praised till he is dead, and that his one sure way of winning the praise of posterity was to establish the independence of Italy. The warning was contained in a 'discourse' which Foscolo afterwards printed with the motto from Sophocles: 'My soul groans for my country, for myself and for thee.'
Sooner than live under the Austrians, he went into voluntary exile, and finally took refuge in England, where he was the fêted lion of a season, and then forgotten, and left almost without the necessaries of life.
No one was much to blame; Foscolo was born to misunderstand and to be misunderstood; he hid himself to hide his poverty, which, had it been known, might have been alleviated. His individual tragedy seemed a part of the universal tragedy.
When Garibaldi the greatest general of Italian and maybe world history put an end to the arrogance of the Pope's Vatican states he came up against these fanatical Catholics who dressed in Zouave uniforms. These are by Strategy and Military.This company is Italian and you can find them on the internet.If you have trouble contact me on the email.