ITALIAN LITERATURE, i. Origins. One characteristic fact istinguishes the Italy of the middle ages with regard to its inellectual conditions the tenacity with which the Latin tradition lung to life (see LATIN). At the end of the sth century the northern conquerors invaded Italy. The Roman world crumbled to pieces. A new kingdom arose at Ravenna under Theodoric, and there learning was not extinguished. The liberal arts flourished, the very Gothic kings surrounded themselves with masters of rhetoric and of grammar. The names of Cassiodorus, of Boetius, of Symmachus, are enough to show how Latin thought maintained its power amidst the political effacement of the Roman empire. And this thought held its ground throughout the subsequent ages and events. Thus, while elsewhere all culture had died out, there still remained in Italy some schools of laymen, 1 and some really extraordinary men were educated in them, such as Ennodius, a poet more pagan than Christian, Arator, Fortunatus, Venantius Jovannicius, Felix the grammarian, Peter of Pisa, Paulinus of Aquileia and many others, in all of whom we notice a contrast between the barbarous age they lived in and their aspiration towards a culture that should reunite them to the classical literature of Rome. The Italians never had much love for theological studies, and those who were addicted to them preferred Paris to Italy. It was something more practical, more positive, that had attraction for the Italians, and especially the study of Roman law. This zeal for the study of jurisprudence furthered the establishment of the medieval universities of Bologna, Padua, Vicenza, Naples, Salerno, Modena and Parma; and these, in their turn, helped to spread culture, and to prepare the ground in which the new vernacular literature was afterwards to be developed. The tenacity of classical traditions, the affection for the memories of Rome, the preoccupation with political interests, particularly shown in the wars of the Lombard communes against the empire of the Hohenstaufens, a spirit more naturally inclined to practice than to theory all this had a powerful influence on the fate of Italian literature. Italy was wanting in that combination of conditions from which the spontaneous life of a people springs. This was chiefly owing to the fact that the history of the Italians never underwent interruption, no foreign nation having come in to change them and make them young again. That childlike state of mind and heart, which in other Latin races, as well as in the Germanic, was such a deep source of poetic inspiration, was almost utterly wanting in the Italians, who were always much drawn to history and very little to nature; so, while legends, tales, epic poems, satires, were appearing and spreading on all sides, Italy was either quite a stranger to this movement or took a peculiar part in it. We know, for example, what the Trojan traditions were in the middle ages; and we should have thought that in Italy in the country of Rome, retaining the memory of Aeneas and Virgil they would have been specially developed, for it was from Virgil that the medieval sympathy for the conquered of Troy was derived. In fact, however, it was not so. A strange book made its appearance in Europe, no one quite knows when, the Historia de excidio Trojae, which purported to have been written by a certain Dares the Phrygian, an eye-witness of the Trojan war. In the middle ages this book was the basis of many literary labours. Benoit de Sainte-More composed an interminable French poem founded on it, which afterwards in its turn became a source for other poets to draw from, such as Herbert of Fritzlar and Conrad of Wiirzburg. Now for the curious phenomenon displayed by Italy. Whilst Benoit de Sainte-More wrote his poem in French, taking his material from a Latin history, whilst the two German writers, from a French source, made an almost original work in their own language an Italian, on the other hand, taking Benoit for his model, composed in Latin the Historia destructions Trojae; and this Italian was Guido delle Colonne of Messina, one of the vernacular poets of the Sicilian school, who must accordingly have known well how to use his own language. Guido was an imitator of the Provencals; he understood French, and yet wrote his own book in Latin, nay, changed the romance of the Troubadour into serious history. Much the same thing occurred with the other great legends. That of Alexander the Great (q.v.) gave rise to many French, German and Spanish poems, in Italy, 'See Giesebrecht, De litlerarum studiis apud Italos primis mediacvi saeculis (Berlin, 1845.)
only to the Latin distichs of Qualichino of Arezzo. The whole of Europe was full of the legend of Arthur (q.v.). The Italians contented themselves with translating and with abridging the French romances, without adding anything of their own. The Italian writer could neither appropriate the legend nor colour it with his own tints. Even religious legend, so widely spread in the middle ages, and springing up so naturally as it did from the heart of that society, only put out a few roots in Italy. Jacopo di Voragine, while collecting his lives of the saints, remained only an historian, a man of learning, almost a critic who seemed doubtful about the things he related. Italy had none of those books in which the middle age, whether in its ascetic or its chivalrous character, is so strangely depicted. The intellectual life of Italy showed itself in an altogether special, positive, almost scientific, form, in the study of Roman law, in the chronicles of Farfa, of Marsicano and of many others, in translations from Aristotle, in the precepts of the school of Salerno, in the travels of Marco Polo in short, in a long series of facts which seem to detach themselves from the surroundings of the middle age, and to be united on the one side with classical Rome and on the other with the Renaissance.
The necessary consequence of all this was that the Latin language was most tenacious in Italy, and that the elaboration of the new vulgar tongue was very slow, being in fact p roveafa f preceded by two periods of Italian literature in foreign an( / Fnn languages. That is to say, there were many Italians pnparawho wrote Provencal poems, such as the Marchese tof y Alberto Malaspina (12th century), Maestro Ferrari of P erlolls - Ferrara, Cigala of Genoa, Zorzi of Venice, Sordello of Mantua, Buvarello of Bologna, Nicoletto of Turin and others, who sang of love and of war, who haunted the courts, or lived in the midst of the people, accustoming them to new sounds and new harmonies. At the same time there was other poetry of an epic kind, written in a mixed language, of which French was the basis, but in which forms and words belonging to the Italian dialects were continually mingling. We find in it hybrid words exhibiting a treatment of sounds according to the rules of both languages, French words with Italian terminations, a system of vocalization within the words approaching the Italo-Latin usage, in short, something belonging at once to both tongues, as it were an attempt at interpenetration, at fusion. Such were the Chansons de Gesle, Macaire, the Entree en Espagne written by Niccola of Padua, the Prise de Pampelune and some others. All this preceded the appearance of a purely Italian literature.
In the Franco-Italian poems there was, as it were, a clashing, a struggle between the two languages, the French, however, gaining the upper hand. This supremacy became oialect gradually less and less. As the struggle continued between French and Italian, the former by degrees lost as much as the latter gained. The hybridism recurred, but it no longer predominated. In the Bow d' Antona and the Rainardo e Lesengrino the Venetian dialect makes itself clearly felt, although the language is influenced by French forms. Thus these writings, which G. I. Ascoli has called " miste " (mixed), immediately preceded the appearance of purely Italian works.
It is now an established historical fact that there existed no writing in Italian before the 13th century. It was in the course of that century, and especially from 1250 onwards, ^ h that the new literature largely unfolded and developed , aly itself. This development was simultaneous in the whole peninsula, only there was a difference in the subject-matter of the art. In the north, the poems of Giacomino of Verona and Bonvecino of Riva were specially religious, and were intended to be recited to the people. They were written in a dialect partaking of the Milanese and the Venetian; and in their style they strongly bore the mark of the influence of French narrative poetry. They may be considered as belonging to the popular kind of poetry, taking the word, however, in a broad sense. Perhaps this sort of composition was encouraged by the old custom in the north of Italy of listening in the piazzas and on the highways to the songs of the jongleurs. To the very same crowds who had been delighted with the stories of romance, South Italy.
and who had listened to the story of the wickedness of Macaire and the misfortunes of Blanciflor, another jongleur would sing of the terrors of the Babilonia Infernale and the blessedness of the Gerusalemme celeste, and the singers of religious poetry vied with those of the Chansons de Geste.
In the south of Italy, on the other hand, the love-song prevailed, of which we have an interesting specimen in the Contrasto attributed to Ciullo d'Alcamo, about which modern Italian critics have much exercised themselves. This " contrasto " (dispute) between a man and a woman in Sicilian dialect certainly must not be considered as the most ancient or as the only southern poem of a popular kind. It belongs without doubt to the time of the emperor Frederick II., and is important as a proof that there existed a popular poetry independent of literary poetry. The Contrasto of Ciullo d'Alcamo is the most remarkable relic of a kind of poetry that has perished or which perhaps was smothered by the ancient Sicilian literature. Its distinguishing point was its possessing all the opposite qualities to the poetry of the rhymers of what we shall call the Sicilian school. Vigorous in the expression of feelings, it seems to come from a real sentiment. The conceits, which are sometimes most bold and very coarse, show that it proceeded from the lowest grades of society. Everything is original in Ciullo's Contrasto. Conventionality has no place in it. It is marked by the sensuality characteristic of the people of the South.
The reverse of all this happened in the Siculo-Provencal school, at the head of which was Frederick II. Imitation was the fundamental characteristic of this school, to which Provencal belonged Enzio, king of Sardinia, Pier delle Vigne, School. Inghilfredi, Guido and Odo delle Colonne, Jacopo d'Aquino, Rugieri Pugliese, Giacomo da Lentino, Arrigo Testa and others. These rhymers never moved a step beyond the ideas of chivalry; they had no originality; they did not sing of what they felt in their heart; they abhorred the true and the real. They only aimed at copying as closely as they could the poetry of the Provencal troubadours. 1 The art of the Siculo-Provencal school was born decrepit, and there were many reasons for this first, because the chivalrous spirit, from which the poetry of the troubadours was derived, was now old and on its death-bed; next, because the Provencal art itself, which the Sicilians took as their model, was in its decadence. It may seem strange, but it is true, that when the emperor Frederick II., a philosopher, a statesman, a very original legislator, took to writing poetry, he could only copy and amuse himself with absolute puerilities. His art, like that of all the other poets of his court, was wholly conventional, mechanical, afiected. It was completely wanting in what constitutes poetry ideality, feeling, sentiment, inspiration. The Italians have had great disputes among themselves about the original form of the poems of the Sicilian school, that is to say, whether they were written in Sicilian dialect, or in that language which Dante called " volgare, illustre, aulico, cortigiano." But the critics of most authority hold that the primitive form of these poems was the Sicilian dialect, modified for literary purposes with the help of Provencal and Latin; the theory of the " lingua illustre " has been almost entirely rejected, since we cannot say on what rules it could have been founded, when literature was in its infancy, trying its feet, and lisping its first words. The Sicilian certainly, in accordance with a tendency common to all dialects, in passing from the spoken to the written form, must have gained in dignity; ibut this was not enough to create the so-called " lingua illustre," which was upheld by Perticari and others on grounds rather political than literary.
In the 13th century a mighty religious movement took place in Italy, of which the rise of the two great orders of Saint Francis Religious and Saint Dominic was at once the cause and the lyric effect. Around Francis of Assisi a legend has grown up in which naturally the imaginative element prevails.
Yet from some points in it we seem to be able to infer that its hero had a strong feeling for nature, and a heart open 1 See Gaspary, Die sicilianische Dichterschule des ijten Jahrhunderts (Berlin, 1878).
to the most lively impressions. Many poems are attributed to him. The legend relates that in the eighteenth year of his penance, when almost rapt in ecstasy, he dictated the Cantico del Sole. Even if this hymn be really his, it cannot be considered as a poetical work, being written in a kind of prose simply marked by assonances. As for the other poems, which for a long time were believed to be by Saint Francis, their spuriousness is now generally recognized. The true poet who represented in all its strength and breadth the religious feeling that had made special progress in Umbria was Jacopo dei Benedetti of Todi, known as Jacopone. The story is that sorrow at the sudden death of his wife had disordered his mind, and that, having sold all he possessed and given it to the poor, he covered himself with rags, and took pleasure in being laughed at, and followed by a crowd of people who mocked him and called after him " Jacopone, Jacopone." We do not know whether this be true. What we do know is that a vehement passion must have stirred his heart and maintained a despotic hold over him, the passion of divine love. Under its influence Jacopone went on raving for years and years, subjecting himself to the severest sufferings, and giving vent to his religious intoxication in his poems. There is no art in him, there is not the slightest indication of deliberate effort; there is only feeling, a feeling that absorbed him, fascinated him, penetrated him through and through. His poetry was all inside him, and burst out, not so much in words as in sighs, in groans, in cries that often seem really to come from a monomaniac. But Jacopone was a mystic, who from his hermit's cell looked out into the world and specially watched the papacy, scourging with his words Celestine V. and Boniface VIII. He was put in prison and laden with chains, but his spirit lifted itself up to God, and that was enough for him. The same feeling that prompted him to pour out in song ecstasies of divine love, and to despise and trample on himself, moved him to reprove those who forsook the heavenly road, whether they were popes, prelates or monks. In Jacopone there was a strong originality, and in the period of the origins of Italian literature he was one of the most characteristic writers.
The religious movement in Umbria was followed by another literary phenomenon, that of the religious drama. In 1258 an old hermit, Raniero Fasani, leaving the cavern in which he had lived for many years, suddenly appeared reiiglou* at Perugia. These were very sad times for Italy. The c*rama. quarrels in the cities, the factions of the Ghibellines and the Guelphs, the interdicts and excommunications issued by the popes, the reprisals of the imperial party, the cruelty and tyranny of the nobles, the plagues and famines, kept the people in constant agitation, and spread abroad mysterious fears. The commotion was increased in Perugia by Fasani, who represented himself as sent by God to disclose mysterious visions, and to announce to the world terrible visitations. Under the influence of fear there were formed " Compagnie di Disciplinanti," who, for a penance, scourged themselves till they drew blood, and sang " Laudi " in dialogue in their confraternities. These " Laudi," closely connected with the liturgy, were the first example of the drama in the vulgar tongue of Italy. They were written in the Umbrian dialect, in verses of eight syllables, and of course they have not any artistic value. Their development, however, was rapid. As early as the end of the same 13th century we have the Devozioni del Giovedi e Venerdl Santo, which have some dramatic elements in them, though they are still connected with the liturgical office. Then we have the representation di un Monaco che andi> al servizio di Dio (" of a monk who entered the service of God "), in which there is already an approach to the definite form which this kind of literary work assumed in the following centuries.
In the 13th century Tuscany was peculiarly circumstanced both as regads its literary condition and its political life. The Tuscans spoke a dialect which most closely resembled the mother-tongue, Latin one which afterwards p "efry became almost exclusively the language of literature, and which was already regarded at the end of the 13th century as surpassing the others; " Lingua Tusca magis apta est ad literam sive literaturam ": thus writes Antonio da Tempo of Padua, born about 1275. Being very little or not at all affected by the Germanic invasion, Tuscany was never subjected to the feudal system. It had fierce internal struggles, but they did not weaken its life; on the contrary, they rather gave it fresh vigour and strengthened it, and (especially after the final fall of the Hohenstaufens at the battle of Benevento in 1266) made it the first province of Italy. From 1266 onwards Florence was in a position to begin that movement of political reform which in 1282 resulted in the appointment of the Priori delle Arti, and the establishment of the Arti Minori. This was afterwards copied by Siena with the Magistrate dei Nove, by Lucca, by Pistoia, and by other Guelph cities in Tuscany with similar popular institutions. In this way the gilds had taken the government into their hands', and it was a time of both social and political prosperity. It was no wonder that literature also rose to an unlooked-for height. In Tuscany, too, there was some popular love poetry; there was a school of imitators of the Sicilians, their chief being Dante of Majano; but its literary originality took another line that of humorous and satirical poetry. The entirely democratic form of government created a style of poetry which stood in the strongest antithesis to the medieval mystic and chivalrous style. Devout invocation of God or of a lady came from the cloister and the castle; in the streets of the cities everything that had gone before was treated with ridicule or biting sarcasm. Folgore of San Gimignano laughs when in his sonnets he tells a party of Sienese youths what are the occupations of every month in the year, or when he teaches a party of Florentine lads the pleasures of every day in the week. Cene della Chitarra laughs when he parodies Folgore's sonnets. The sonnets of Rustico di Filippo are half fun and half satire; laughing and crying, joking and satire, are all to be found in Cecco Angiolieri of Siena, the oldest " humorist " we know, a far-off precursor of Rabelais, of Montaigne, of Jean Paul Richter, of Sydney Smith. But another kind of poetry also began in Tuscany. Guittone d'Arezzo made art quit chivalrous for national motives, Provencal forms for Latin. He attempted political poetry, and, although his work is full of the strangest obscurities, he prepared the way for the Bolognese school. In the 13th century Bologna was the city of science, and philosophical poetry appeared there. Guido Guinicelli was the poet after the new fashion of the art. In him the ideas of chivalry are changed and enlarged; he sings of love and, together with it, of the nobility of the mind. The reigning thought in Guinicelli's Canzoni is nothing external to his own subjectivity. His speculative mind, accustomed to wandering in the field of philosophy, transfuses its lucubrations into his art. Guinicelli's poetry has some of the faults of the school of Guittone d'Arezzo: he reasons too much; he is wanting in imagination; his poetry is a product of the intellect rather than of the fancy and the heart. Nevertheless he marks a great development in the history of Italian art, especially because of his close connexion with Dante's lyric poetry.
But before we come to Dante, certain other facts, not, however, unconnected with his history, must be noticed. In the 13th century, there were several poems in the allegorical style. One of these is by Brunette Latini, who, it poetry. is we 'l known, was attached by ties of strong affection to Alighieri. His Tesorello is a short poem, in sevensyllable verses, rhyming in couplets, in which the author professes to be lost in a wilderness and to meet with a lady, who is Nature, from whom he receives much instruction. We see here the vision, the allegory, the instruction with a moral object three elements which we shall find again in the Divina Commedia. Francesco da Barberino, a learned lawyer who was secretary to bishops, a judge, a notary, wrote two little allegorical poems the Documenli d' amore and Del reggimento e dei*coslumi delle donne. Like the Tesorello, these poems are of no value as works of art, but are, on the other hand, of importance in the history of manners. A fourth allegorical work was the Intelligenza, by some attributed to Dino Compagni, but probably not his, and only a version of French poems.
While the production of Italian poetry in the 13th century was abundant and varied, that of prose was scanty. The oldest specimen dates from 1231, and consists of short notices of entries and expenses by Mattasala di Tl!f e '* Spinello dei Lambertini of Siena. In 1253 and 1260 tury. there are some commercial letters of other Sienese. But there is no sign of literary prose. Before we come to any, we meet with a phenomenon like that we noticed in regard to poetry. Here again we find a period of Italian literature in French. Halfway on in the century a certain Aldobrando or Aldobrandino (it is not known whether he was of Florence or of Siena) wrote a book for Beatrice of Savoy, countess of Provence, called Le Regime du corps. In 1267 Martino da Canale wrote in the same " langue d'oil " a chronicle of Venice. Rusticiano of Pisa, who was for a long while at the court of Edward I. of England, composed many chivalrous romances, derived from the Arthurian cycle, and subsequently wrote the travels of Marco Polo, which may perhaps have been dictated by the great traveller himself. And finally Brunetto Latini wrote his Tesoro in French.
Next in order to the original compositions in the langue d'oil come the translations or adaptations from the same. There are some moral narratives taken from religious legends; a romance of Julius Caesar; some short histories of ancient knights; the Tavola rotonda; translations of the Viaggi of Marco Polo and of the Tesoro of Latini. At the same time there appeared translations from Latin of moral and ascetic works, of histories and of treatises on rhetoric and oratory. Up to very recent times it was still possible to reckon as the most ancient works in Italian prose the Cronaca of Matteo Spinello da Giovenazzo, and the Cronaca of Ricordano Malespini. But now both of them have been shown to be forgeries of a much later time. Therefore the oldest prose writing is a scientific book the Composizione del mondo by Ristoro d' Arezzo, who lived about the middle of the 13th century. This work is a copious treatise on astronomy and geography. Ristoro was superior to the other writers of the time on these subjects, because he seems to have been a careful observer of natural phenomena, and consequently many of the things he relates were the result of his personal investigations. There is also another short treatise, De regimine rectoris, by Fra Paolino, a Minorite friar of Venice, who was probably bishop of Pozzuoli, and who also wrote a Latin chronicle. His treatise stands in close relation to that of Egidio Colonna, De regimine principum. It is written in the Venetian dialect.
The 13th century was very rich in tales. There is a collection called the Cento Novelle antiche, which contains stories drawn from Oriental, Greek and Trojan traditions, from ancient and medieval history, from the legends of Brittany, Provence and Italy, and from the Bible, from the local tradition of Italy as well as from histories of animals and old mythology. This book has a distant resemblance to the Spanish collection known as El Conde Lucanor. The peculiarity of the Italian book is that the stories are very short, and that they seem to be mere outlines to be filled in by the narrator as he goes along. Other prose novels were inserted by Francesco Barberino in his work Del reggimento e dei costumi delle donne, but they are of much less importance than the others. On the whole the Italian novels of the 13th century have little originality, and are only a faint reflection of the very rich legendary literature of France. Some attention should be paid to the Lettere of Fra Guittone d'Arezzo, who wrote many poems and also some letters in prose, the subjects of which are moral and religious. Love of antiquity, of the traditions of Rome and of its language, was so strong in Guittone that he tried to write Italian in a Latin style, and it turned out obscure, involved and altogether barbarous. He took as his special model Seneca, and hence his prose assumed a bombastic style, which, according to his views, was very artistic, but which in fact was alien to the true spirit of art, and resulted in the extravagant and grotesque.
2. The Spontaneous Development of Italian Literature. In the year 1282, the year in which the new Florentine constitution New Tuscan School otlyrlc poetry.
of this consist OuUo Cavalcanti.
of the " Arti minori " was completed, a period of literature began that does not belong to the age of first beginnings, but to that of development. With the school of Lapo Gianni, of -Guido Cavalcanti, of Cino da Pistoia and Dante Alighieri, lyric poetry became exclusively Tuscan. The whole novelty and poetic power school, which really was the beginning of Italian art, in what Dante expresses so happily " Quando Amore spira, noto, ed a quel modo Ch' ei detta dentro, vo significando" that is to say, in a power of expressing the feelings of the soul in the way in which love inspires them, in an appropriate and graceful manner, fitting form to matter, and by art fusing one with the other. The Tuscan lyric poetry, the first true Italian art, is pre-eminent in this artistic fusion, in the spontaneous and at the same time deliberate action of the mind. In Lapo Gianni the new style is not free from some admixture of the old associations of the Siculo-Provenfal school. He wavered as it were between two manners. The empty and involved phraseology of the Sicilians is absent, but the poet does not always rid himself of their influence. Sometimes, however, he draws freely from his own heart, and then the subtleties and obscurities disappear, and his verse becomes clear, flowing and elegant.
Guido Cavalcanti was a learned man with a high conception of his art. He felt the value of it, and adapted his learning to it. Cavalcanti was already a good deal out of sympathy with the medieval spirit; he reflected deeply on his own work, and from this reflection he derived his poetical conception. His poems may be divided into two classes those which portray the philosopher, " il sottilissimo dialettico," as Lorenzo the Magnificent called him, and those which are more directly the product of his poetic nature imbued with mysticism and metaphysics. To the first set belongs the famous poem Sulla natura d'amore, which in fact is a treatise on amorous metaphysics, and was annotated later in a learned way by the most renowned Platonic philosophers of the 15th century, such as Marsilius Ficinus and others. In other poems of Cavalcanti's besides this we see a tendency to subtilize and to stifle the poetic imagery under a dead weight of philosophy. But there are many of his sonnets in which the truth of the images and the elegance and simplicity of the style are admirable, and make us feel that we are in quite a new period of art. This is particularly felt in Cavalcanti's Ballate, for in them he pours himself out ingenuously and without affectation, but with an invariable and profound consciousness of his art. Far above all the others for the reality of the sorrow and the love displayed, for the melancholy longing expressed for the distant home, for the calm and solemn yearning of his heart for the lady of his love, for a deep subjectivity which is never troubled by metaphysical subtleties, is the ballata composed by Cavalcanti when he was banished from Florence with the party of the Bianchi in 1300, and took refuge at Sarzana.
The third poet among the followers of the new school was Cino da Pistoia, of the family of the Sinibuldi. His love poems are so sweet, so mellow and so musical that they are only surpassed by Dante. The pains of love are described by him with vigorous touches; it is easy to see that they are not feigned but real. The psychology of love and of sorrow nearly reaches perfection.
As the author of the Vita nuova, the greatest of all Italian poets, Dante also belongs to the same lyric school. In the lyrics of the Vita nuova (so called bv its author to indicate %"'/. that his first meeting with Beatrice was the beginning 1321). for him of a life entirely different from that he had hitherto led) there is a high idealization of love. It seems as if there were in it nothing earthly or human, and that the poet had his eyes constantly fixed on heaven while singing of his lady. Everything is supersensual, aerial, heavenly, and the real Beatrice is always gradually melting more and more into the symbolical one passing out of her human nature and into the divine. Several of the lyrics of the Canzoniere deal with the xiv. 29 a Cino da Pistoia, theme of the " new life "; but all the love poems do not refer to Beatrice, while other pieces are philosophical and bridge over to the Convilo.
The work which made Dante immortal, and raised him above all other men of genius in Italy, was his Divina Commedia. An allegorical meaning is hidden under the literal one of this great epic. Dante travelling through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise, is a symbol of mankind aiming at the double object of temporal and eternal happiness. By the forest in which the poet loses himself is meant the civil and religious confusion of society, deprived of its two guides, the emperor and the pope. The mountain illuminated by the Sun is universal monarchy. The three beasts are the three vices and the three powers which offered the greatest obstacles to Dante's designs: envy is Florence, light, fickle and divided by the Bianchi and Neri; pride is the house of France; avarice is the papal court; Virgil represents reason and the empire. Beatrice is the symbol of the supernatural aid without which man cannot attain the supreme end, which is God.
But the merit of the poem does not lie in the allegory, which still connects it with medieval literature. What is new in it is the individual art of the poet, the classic art transfused for the first time into a Romance form. Dante is above all a great artist. Whether he describes nature, analyses passions, curses the vices or sings hymns to the virtues, he is always wonderful for the grandeur and delicacy of his art. Out of the rude medieval vision he has made the greatest work of art of modern times. He took the materials for his poem from theology, from philosophy, from history, from mythology but more especially from his own passions, from hatred and love; and he has breathed the breath of genius into all these materials. Under the pen of the poet, the dead come to life again; they become men again, and speak the language of their time, of their passions. Farinata degli Uberti, Boniface VIII., Count Ugolino, Manfred, Sordello, Hugh Capet, St Thomas Aquinas, Cacciaguida, St Benedict, St Peter, are all so many objective creations; they stand before us in all the life of their characters, their feelings, their habits.
Yet this world of fancy in which the poet moves is not only made living by the power of his genius, but it is changed by his consciousness. The real chastizer of the sins, the rewarder of the virtues, is Dante himself. The personal interest which he brings to bear on the historical representation of the three worlds is what most interests us and stirs us. Dante remakes history after his own passions. Thus the Divina Commedia can fairly be called, not only the most life-like drama of the thoughts and feelings that moved men at that time, but also the most clear and spontaneous reflection of the individual feelings of the poet, from the indignation of the citizen and the exile to the faith of the believer and the ardour of the philosopher. The Divina Commedia fixed and clearly defined the destiny of Italian literature, to give artistic lustre, and hence immortality, to all the forms of literature which the middle ages had produced. Dante begins the great era of the Renaissance.
Two facts characterize the literary life of Petrarch classical research and the new human feeling introduced into his lyric poetry. Nor are these two facts separate; rather is the one the result of the other. The Petrarch who travelled about unearthing the works of the great Latin writers helps us to understand the Petrarch who, having completely detached himself from the middle ages, loved a real lady with a human love, and celebrated her in her life and after her death in poems full of studied elegance. Petrarch was the first humanist, and he was at the same time the first lyric poet of the modern school. His career was long and tempestuous. He lived for many years at Avignon, cursing the corruption of the papal court; he travelled through nearly the whole of Europe; he corresponded with emperors and popes; he was considered the first man of letters of his time; he had honours and riches; and he always bore about within him discontent, melancholy and incapacity for satisfaction three characteristics of the modern man.
His Canzoniere is divided into three parts the first containing the poems written during Laura's lifetime, the second the poems written after her death, the third the Trionfi. The one and only subject of these poems is love; but the treatment is full of variety in conception, in imagery and in sentiment, derived from the most varied impressions of nature. Petrarch's love is real and deep, and to this is due the merit of his lyric verse, which is quite different, not only from that of the Provencal troubadours and of the Italian poets before him, but also from the lyrics of Dante. Petrarch is a psychological poet, who dives down into his own soul, examines all his feelings, and knows how to render them with an art of exquisite sweetness. The lyrics of Petrarch are no longer transcendental like Dante's, but on the contrary keep entirely within human limits. In struggles, in doubts, in fears, in disappointments, in griefs, in joys, in fact in everything, the poet finds material for his poetry. The second part of the Canzoniere is the more passionate. The Trionfi are inferior; it is clear that in them Petrarch tried to imitate the Divina Commedia, but never came near it. The Canzoniere includes also a few political poems a canzone to Italy, one supposed to be addressed to Cola di Rienzi and several sonnets against the court of Avignon. These are remarkable for their vigour of feeling, and also for showing that Petrarch had formed the idea of Italianitd better even than Alighieri. The Italy which he wooed was different from any conceived by the men of the middle ages, and in this also he was a precursor of modern times and of modern aspirations. Petrarch had no decided political idea. He exalted Cola di Rienzi, invoked the emperor Charles IV., praised the Visconti; in fact, his politics were affected more by impressions than by principles; but above all this reigned constantly the love of Italy, his ancient and glorious country, which in his mind is reunited with Rome, the great city of his heroes Cicero and Scipio.
Boccaccio had the same enthusiastic love of antiquity and the same worship for the new Italian literature as Petrarch. He was the first, with the help of a Greek born in Calabria, to P ut to S etner a Latin translation of the Iliad and 1375). the Odyssey. His vast classical learning was shown specially in the work De genealogia deorum, in which he enumerates the gods according to genealogical trees constructed on the authority of the various authors who wrote about the pagan divinities. This work marked an era in studies preparatory to the revival of classical learning. And at the same time it opened the way for the modern criticism, because Boccaccio in his researches, and in his own judgment was always independent of the authors whom he most esteemed. The Genealogia deorum is, as A. H. Heeren said, an encyclopaedia of mythological knowledge; and it was the precursor of the great humanistic movement which was developed in the isth century. Boccaccio was also the first historian of women in his De darts mulieribus, and the first to undertake to tell the story of the great unfortunate in his De. casibus virorum tiluslrium. He continued and perfected former geographical investigations in his interesting book De montibus, silvis, fontibus, lacubus, fluminibus, stagnis, et paludibus, el de nominibus maris, for which he made use of Vibius Sequester, but which contains also many new and valuable observations. Of his Italian works his lyrics do not come anywhere near to the perfection of Petrarch's. His sonnets, mostly about love, are quite mediocre. His narrative poetry is better. Although now he can no longer claim the distinction long conceded to him of having invented the octave stanza (which afterwards became the metre of the poems of Boiardo, of Ariosto and of Tasso), yet he was certainly the first to use it in a work of some length and written with artistic skill, such as is his Teseide, the oldest Italian romantic poem. The Filostrato relates the loves of Troiolo and Griseida (Troilus and Cressida). It may be that Boccaccio knew the French poem of the Trojan war by Benolt de Sainte-More; but the interest of the Italian work lies in the analysis of the passion of love, which is treated with a masterly hand. The Ninfale fiesolano tells the love story of the nymph Mesola and the shepherd Africo. The Amorosa Visione, a poem in triplets, doubtless owed its origin to the Divina Commedia. The Ameto is a mixture of prose and poetry, and is the first Italian pastoral romance.
The Filocopo takes the earliest place among prose romances. In it Boccaccio tells in a laborious style, and in the most prolix way, the loves of Florio and Biancafiore. Probably for this work he drew materials from a popular source or from a Byzantine romance, which Leonzio Pilato may have mentioned to him. In the Filocopo there is a remarkable exuberance in the mythological part, which damages the romance as an artistic work, but which contributes to the history of Boccaccio's mind. The Fiammetta is another romance, about the loves of Boccaccio and Maria d'Aquino, a supposed natural daughter of King Robert, whom he always called by this name of Fiammetta.
The Italian work which principally made Boccaccio famous was the Decamerone, a collection of a hundred novels, related by a party of men and women, who had retired to a villa near Florence to escape from the plague in 1348. Novel-writing, so abundant in the preceding centuries, especially in France, now for the first time assumed an artistic shape. The style of Boccaccio tends to the imitation of Latin, but in him prose first took the form of elaborated art. The rudeness of the old/abliaux gives place to the careful and conscientious work of a mind that has a feeling for what is beautiful, that has studied the classic authors, and that strives to imitate them as much as possible. Over and above this, in the Decamerone, Boccaccio is a delineator of character and an observer of passions. In this lies his novelty. Much has been written about the sources of the novels of the Decamerone. Probably Boccaccio made use both of written and of oral sources. Popular tradition must have furnished him with the materials of many stories, as, for example, that of Griseida.
Unlike Petrarch, who was always discontented, preoccupied, wearied with life, disturbed by disappointments, we find Boccaccio calm, serene, satisfied with himself and with his surroundings. Notwithstanding these fundamental differences in their characters, the two great authors were old and warm friends. But their affection for Dante was not equal. Petrarch, who says that he saw him once in his childhood, did not preserve a pleasant recollection of him, and it would be useless to deny that he was jealous of his renown. The Divina Commedia was sent him by Boccaccio, when he was an old man, and he confessed that he never read it. On the other hand, Boccaccio felt for Dante something more than love enthusiasm. He wrote a biography of him, of which the accuracy is now unfairly depreciated by some critics, and he gave public critical lectures on the poem in Santa Maria del Fiore at Florence.
Fazio degli Uberti and Federigo Frezzi were imitators of the Divina Commedia, but only in its external form. The former wrote the Dittamondo, a long poem, in which the author supposes that he was taken by the geographer '^'f^ " Solinus into different parts of the world, and that his Commedia. guide related the history of them. The legends of the rise of the different Italian cities have some importance historically. Frezzi, bishop of his native town Foligno, wrote the Quadriregio, a poem of the four kingdoms Love, Satan, the Vices and the Virtues. This poem has many points of resemblance with the Divina Commedia. Frezzi pictures the condition of man who rises from a state of vice to one of virtue, and describes hell, the limbo, purgatory and heaven. The poet has Pallas for a companion.
Ser Giovanni Fiorentino wrote, under the title of Pecorone, a collection of tales, which are supposed to have been related by a monk and a nun in the parlour of the monastery Novellstt of ForH. He closely imitated Boccaccio, and drew on Villani's chronicle for his historical stories. Franco Sacchetti wrote tales too, for the most part on subjects taken from Florentine history. His book gives a life-like picture of Florentine society at the end of the 14th century. The subjects are almost always improper; but it is evident that Sacchetti collected all these anecdotes in order to draw from them his own conclusions and moral reflections, which are to be found at the end of every story. From this point of view Sacchetti's work comes near to the Monalisationes of the middle ages. A third novelist was Giovanni Sercambi of Lucca, who after 1374 wrote a book, in imitation of Boccaccio, about a party of people who were supposed to fly from a plague and to go travelling about in different Italian cities, stopping here and there telling stories. Later, but important, names are those of Massuccio Salernitano (Tommaso Guardato), who wrote the Nowllino, and Antonio Cornazzano whose Proverbii became extremely popular.
It has already been said that the Chronicles formerly believed to have been of the 13th century are now regarded as forgeries of later times. At the end of the 13th century, however, cftroA> we ^ n< ^ a chronicle by Dino Compagni, which, notlen. withstanding the unfavourable opinion of it entertained especially by some German writers, is in all probability authentic. Little is known about the life of Compagni. Noble by birth, he was democratic in feeling, and was a supporter of the new ordinances of Giano della Bella. As prior and gonfalonier of justice he always had the public welfare at heart. When Charles of Valois, the nominee of Boniface VIII., was expected in Florence, Compagni, foreseeing the evils of civil discord, assembled a number of citizens in the church of San Giovanni, and tried to quiet their excited spirits. His chronicle relates the events that came under his own notice from 1280 to 1312. It bears the stamp of a strong subjectivity. The narrative is constantly personal. It often rises to the finest dramatic style. A strong patriotic feeling and an exalted desire for what is right pervade the book. Compagni is more an historian than a chronicler, because he looks for the reasons of events, and makes profound reflections on them. According to our judgment he is one of the most important authorities for that period of Florentine history, notwithstanding the not insignificant mistakes in fact which are to be found in his writings. On the contrary, Giovanni Villani, born in 1300, was more of a chronicler than an historian. He relates the events up to 1347. The journeys that he made in Italy and France, and the information thus acquired, account for the fact that his chronicle, called by him Istoriefiorentine, comprises events that occurred all over Europe. What specially distinguishes the work of Villani is that he speaks at length, not only of events in politics and war, but also of the stipends of public officials, of the sums of money used for paying soldiers and for public festivals, and of many other things of which the knowledge is very valuable. With such an abundance of information it is not to be wondered at that Villani's narrative is often encumbered with fables and errors, particularly when he speaks of things that happened before his own time. Matteo was the brother of Giovanni Villani, and continued the chronicle up to 1363. It was again continued by Filippo Villani. Gino Capponi, author of the Commentari dell' acquisto di Pisa and of the narration of the Tumulto del ciompi, belonged to both the 14th and the 1sth centuries.
The Divina Commedia is ascetic in its conception, and in a good many points of its execution. To a large extent similar is the genius of Petrarch; yet neither Petrarch nor writers. Dante could be classified among the pure ascetics of their time. But many other writers come under this head. St Catherine of Siena's mysticism was political. She was a really extraordinary woman, who aspired to bring back the Church of Rome to evangelical virtue, and who has left a collection of letters written in a high and lofty tone to all kinds of people, including popes. She joins hands on the one side with Jacopone of Todi, on the other with Savonarola. Hers is the strongest, clearest, most exalted religious utterance that made itself heard in Italy in the 14th century. It is not to be thought that precise ideas of reformation entered into her head, but the want of a great moral reform was felt in her heart. And she spoke indeed ex abundantia cordis. Anyhow the daughter of Jacopo Benincasa must take her place among those who from afar off prepared the way for the religious movement which took effect, especially in Germany and England, in the 16th century.
Another Sienese, Giovanni Colombini, founder of the order of Jesuati, preached poverty by precept and example, going back to the religious idea of St Francis of Assisi. His letters are among the most remarkable in the category of ascetic works in the 14th century. Passavanti, in his Specchio della vera penitenza, attached instruction to narrative. Cavalca translated from the Latin the Vile dei santi padri. Rivalta left behind him many sermons, and Franco Sacchetti (the famous novelist) many discourses. On the whole, there is no doubt that one of the most important productions of the Italian spirit of the 14th century was the religious literature.
In direct antithesis with this is a kind of literature which has a strong popular element. Humorous poetry, the poetry of laughter and jest, which as we saw was largely developed Comlc in the 13th century, was carried on in the 14th by poetry. Bindo Bonichi, Arrigo di Castruccio, Cecco Nuccoli, Andrea Orgagna, Filippo de' Bardi, Adriano de' Rossi, Antonio Pucci and other lesser writers. Orgagna was specially comic; Bonichi was comic with a satirical and moral purpose. Antonio Pucci was superior to all of them for the variety of his production. He put into triplets the chronicle of Giovanni Villani (Cenliloquio) , and wrote many historical poems called Serventesi, many comic poems, and not a few epico-popular compositions on various subjects. A little poem of his in seven cantos treats of the war between the Florentines and the Pisans from 1362 to 1365. Other poems drawn from a legendary source celebrate the Reina d' Oriente, Apollonio di Tiro, the Bel Gherardino, etc. These poems, meant to be recited to the people, are the remote ancestors of the romantic epic, which was developed in the 16th century, and the first representatives of which were Boiardo and Ariosto.
Many poets of the 14th century have left us political works. Of these Fazio degli Uberti, the author of Dittamondo, who wrote a Serventese to the lords and people of Italy, a Political poem on Rome, a fierce invective against Charles IV. mad of Luxemburg, deserves notice, and Francesco di amatory Vannozzo, Frate Stoppa and Matteo Frescobaldi. It f etr r- may be said in general that following the example of Petrarch many writers devoted themselves to patriotic poetry. From this period also dates that literary phenomenon known under the name of Petrarchism. The Petrarchists, or those who sang of love, imitating Petrarch's manner, were found already in the 14th century. But others treated the same subject with more originality, in a manner that might be called semi-popular. Such were the Ballale of Ser Giovanni Fiorentino, of Franco Sacchetti, of Niccolo Soldanieri, of Guido and Bindo Donati. Ballate were poems sung to dancing, and we have w/s<oriej very many songs for music of the 14th century. We / n verw . have already stated that Antonio Pucci versified Villani's Chronicle. This instance of versified history is not unique, and it is evidently connected with the precisely similar phenomenon offered by the " vulgar Latin " literature. It is enough to notice a chronicle of Arezzo in terza rima by Gorello de' Sinigardi, and the history, also in terza rima, of the journey of Pope Alexander III. to Venice by Pier de' Natali. Besides this, every kind of subject, whether history, tragedy or husbandry, was treated in verse. Neri di Landocio wrote a life of St Catherine; Jacopo Gradenigo put the gospels into triplets; Paganino Bonafede in the Tesoro dei rustici gave many precepts in agriculture, beginning that kind of Georgic poetry which was fully developed later by Alamanni in his Coltiiiazione, by Girolamo Baruffaldi in the Canapajo, by Rucellai in the Api, by Bartolommeo Lorenzi in the Coltivazione dei monti, by Giambattista Spolverini in the Colliiiazione del riso, etc.
There cannot have been an entire absence of dramatic literature in Italy in the 14th century, but traces of it are wanting, ' although we find them again in great abundance in the Drama 15th century. The 14th century had, however, one drama unique of its kind. In the sixty years (1250 to 1310) which ran from the death of the emperor Frederick II. to the expedition of Henry VII., no emperor had come into Italy. In the north of Italy, Ezzelino da Romano, with the title of imperial vicar, had taken possession of almost the whole of the March of Treviso, and threatened Lombardy. The popes proclaimed a crusade against him, and, crushed by it, the Ezzelini fell. Padua then began to breathe again, and took to extending its dominion.
There was living at Padua Albertino Mussato, born in 1261, a year after the catastrophe of the Ezzelini; he grew up among the survivors of a generation that hated the name of the tyrant. After having written in Latin a history of Henry VII. he devoted himself to a dramatic work on Ezzelino, and wrote it also in Latin. The Eccerinus, which was probably never represented on the stage, has been by some critics compared to the great tragic works of Greece. It would probably be nearer the truth to say that it has nothing in common with the works of Aeschylus; but certainly the dramatic strength, the delineation of certain situations, and the narration of certain events are very original. Mussato's work stands alone in the history of Italian dramatic literature. Perhaps this would not have been the case if he had written it in Italian.
In the last years of the 14th century we find the struggle that was soon to break out between the indigenous literary tradition and the reviving classicism already alive in spirit. As representatives of this struggle, of this antagonism, we may consider Luigi Marsilio and Coluccio Salutati, both learned men who spoke and wrote Latin, who aspired to be humanists, but who meanwhile also loved Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio, and felt and celebrated in their writings the beauty of Italian literature. 3. The Renaissance. A great intellectual movement, which had been gathering for a long time, made itself felt in Italy in the isth century. A number of men arose, all learned, Oro- laborious, indefatigable, and all intent on one great ic'araiag, work. Such were Niccolo Niccoli, Giannozzo Manet ti, Palla Strozzi, Leonardo Bruni, Francesco Filelfo, Poggio Bracciolini, Carlo d'Arezzo, Lorenzo Valla. Manetti buried himself in his books, slept only for a few hours in the night, never went out of doors, and spent his time in translating from Greek, studying Hebrew, and commenting on Aristotle. Palla Strozzi sent into Greece at his own expense to search for ancient books, and had Plutarch and Plato brought for him. Poggio Bracciolini went to the Council of Constance, and found in a monastery in the dust-hole Cicero's Orations. He copied Quintilian with his own hand, discovered Lucretius, Plautus, Pliny and many other Latin authors. Guarino went through the East in search of codices. Giovanni Aurispa returned to Venice with many hundreds of manuscripts. What was the passion that excited all these men ? What did they search after ? What did they look to? These Italians were but handing on the solemn tradition which, although partly latent, was the informing principle of Italian medieval history, and now at length came out triumphant. This tradition was that same tenacious and sacred memory of Rome, that same worship of its language and institutions, which at one time had retarded the development of Italian literature, and now grafted the old Latin branch of ancient classicism on the flourishing stock of Italian literature. All this is but the continuation of a phenomenon that has existed for ages. It is the thought of Rome that always dominates Italians, the thought that keeps appearing from Boetius to Dante Alighieri, from Arnold of Brescia to Cola di Rienzi, which gathers strength with Petrarch and Boccaccio, and finally becomes triumphant in literature and life in life, because the modern spirit is fed on the works of the ancients. Men come to have a more just idea of nature: the world is no longer cursed or despised; truth and beauty join hands; man is born again; and human reason resumes its rights. Everything, the individual and society, are changed under the influence of new facts.
First of all there was formed a human individuality, which was wanting in the middle ages. As J. Burckhardt has said, the man was changed into the individual. He began to feel and assert his own personality, which was constantly condition*, attaining a fuller realization. As a consequence of this, the idea of fame and the desire for it arose. A really cultured class was formed, in the modern meaning of the word, and the conception was arrived at (completely unknown in former times) that the worth of a man did not depend at all on his birth but on his personal qualities. Poggio in his dialogue De nobilitate declares that he entirely agreed with his inter- New social locutors Niccolo Niccoli and Lorenzo de' Medici in the opinion that there is no other nobility but that of personal merit. External life was growing more refined in all particulars; the man of society was created; rules for civilized life were made; there was an increasing desire for sumptuous and artistic entertainments. The medieval idea of existence was turned upside down; men who had hitherto turned their thoughts exclusively to heavenly things, and believed exclusively in the divine right, now began to think of beautifying their earthly existence, of making it happy and gay, and returned to a belief in their human rights. This was a great advance, but one which carried with it the seeds of many dangers. The conception of morality became gradually weaker. The " fay ce que vouldras " of Rabelais became the first principle of life. Religious feeling was blunted, was weakened, was changed, became pagan again. Finally the Italian of the Renaissance, in his qualities and his passions, became the most remarkable representative of the heights and depths, of the virtues and faults, of humanity. Corruption was associated with all that is most ideal in life; a profound scepticism took hold of people's minds; indifference to good and evil reached its highest point.
Besides this, a great literary danger was hanging over Italy. Humanism threatened to submerge its youthful national literature. There were authors who laboriously tried to Literary give Italian Latin forms, to do again, after Dante's dangers time, what Guittone d'Arezzo had so unhappily done oi Latiain the 13th century. Provincial dialects tried to lsm ' reassert themselves in literature. The great authors of the 14th century, Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, were by many people forgotten or despised.
It was Florence that saved literature by reconciling the classical models to modern feeling, Florence that succeeded in assimilating classical forms to the " vulgar " art. Still gathering vigour and elegance from classicism, still drawing from the ancient fountains all that they could supply of good and useful, it was able to preserve its real life, to keep its national traditions, and to guide literature along the way that had been opened to it by the writers of the preceding century. At Florence the most celebrated humanists wrote also in the vulgar tongue, and commented on Dante and Petrarch, and defended them from their enemies. Leone Battista Alberti, the learned Greek and Latin scholar, wrote in the vernacular, and Vespasiano da Bisticci, whilst he was constantly absorbed in Greek and Latin manuscripts, wrote the Vile di uomini illustri, valuable for their historical contents, and rivalling the best works of the 14th century in their candour and simplicity. Andrea da Barberino wrote the beautiful prose of the Reali di Francia, giving a colouring of " romanita " to the chivalrous romances. Belcari and Benivieni carry us back to the mystic idealism of earlier times.
But it is in Lorenzo de' Medici that the influence of Florence on the Renaissance is particularly seen. His mind was formed by the ancients: he attended the class of the Greek Argyropulos, sat at Platonic banquets, took pains to ae , Medici. collect codices, sculptures, vases, pictures, gems and drawings to ornament the gardens of San Marco and to form the library afterwards called by his name. In the saloons of his Florentine palace, in his villas at Careggi, Fiesole and Ambra, stood the wonderful chests painted by Dello with stories from Ovid, the Hercules of Pollajuolo, the Pallas of Botticelli, the works of Filippino and Verrocchio. Lorenzo de' Medici lived entirely in the classical world; and yet if we read his poems we only see the man of his time, the admirer of Dante and of the old Tuscan poets, who takes inspiration from the popular muse, and who succeeds in giving to his poetry the colours of the most pronounced realism as well as of the loftiest idealism, who passes from the Platonic sonnet to the impassioned triplets of the Amori di Venere, from the grandiosity of the Salve to Nencia and to Beoni, from the Canto carnascialesco to the Lauda. The feeling of nature is strong in him at one time sweet and melancholy, at another vigorous and deep, as if an echo of the feelings, the sorrows, the ambitions of that deeply agitated life. He liked to look into his own heart with a severe eye, but he was also able to pour himself out with tumultuous fulness. He described with the art of a sculptor; he satirized, laughed, prayed, sighed, always elegant, always a Florentine, but a Florentine who read Anacreon, Ovid and Tibullus, who wished to enjoy life, but also to taste of the refinements of art.
Next to Lorenzo comes Poliziano, who also united, and with greater art, the ancient and the modern, the popular and the Poliziano. classical style. In his Rispetti and in his Bollale the freshness of imagery and the plasticity of form are inimitable. He, a great Greek scholar, wrote Italian verses with dazzling colours; the purest elegance of the Greek sources pervaded his art in all its varieties, in the Orfeo as well as the Stanze per la giostra.
demies?' The Florentine academy was founded by Cosmo I. de' Medici. Having heard the praises of Platonic philosophy sung by Gemistus Pletho, who in 1439 was at the council of Florence, he took such a liking for those opinions that he soon made a plan for a literary congress which was especially to discuss them. Marsilius Ficinus has described the occupations and the entertainments of these academicians. Here, he said, the young men learnt, by way of pastime, precepts of conduct and the practice of eloquence; here grown-up men studied the government of the republic and the family; here the aged consoled themselves with the belief in a future world. The academy was divided into three classes: that of patrons, who were members of the Medici family; that of hearers, among whom sat the most famous men of that age, such as Pico della Mirandola, Angelo Poliziano, Leon Bat list a Alberti; that of disciples, who were youths anxious to distinguish themselves in philosophical pursuits. It is known that the Platonic academy endeavoured to promote, with regard to art, a second and a more exalted revival of antiquity. The Roman academy was founded by Giulio Pomponio Leto, with the object of promoting the discovery and the investigation of ancient monuments and books. It was a sort of religion of classicism, mixed with learning and philosophy. Platina, the celebrated author of the lives of the first hundred popes, belonged to it. At Naples, the academy known as the Pontaniana was instituted. The founder of it was Antonio Beccadelli, surnamed II Panormita, and after his death the head was II Pontano, who gave his name to it, and whose mind animated it.
Romantic poems were the product of the moral scepticism and the artistic taste of the 15th century. Italy never had any true epic poetry in its period of literary birth. Still j esg any in the Renaissance. It had, Remaatis however, many poems called Cantari, because they contained stories that were sung to the people; and besides there were romantic poems, such as the Buovo d'Antona, the Regina Ancroja and others. But the first to introduce elegance and a new life into this style was Luigi Pulci, who grew up in the house of the Medici, and who wrote the Morgante Maggiore at the request of Lucrezia Tornabuoni, mother of Lorenzo the Magnificent. The material of the Morgante is almost completely taken from an obscure chivalrous poem of the 15th century recently discovered by Professor Pio Rajna. On this foundation Pulci erected a structure of his own, often turning the subject into ridicule, burlesquing the characters, introducing many digressions, now capricious, now scientific, now theological. Pulci's merit consists in having been the first to raise the romantic epic which had been for two centuries in the hands of story-teUers into a work of art, and in having united the serious and the comic, thus happily depicting the manners and feelings of the time. With a more serious intention Matteo Boiardo, count of Scandiano, wrote his Orlando innamorato, in which he seems to have aspired to embrace the whole range of Carlovingian legends; but he did not complete his task. We find here too a large vein of humour and burlesque. Still the Ferrarese poet is drawn to the world of romance by a profound sympathy for chivalrous manners and feelings that is to say, for love, courtesy, valour and generosity. A third romantic poem of the 15th century was the Mambriano by Francesco Bello (Cieco of Ferrara). He drew from the Carlovingian cycle, from the romances of the Round Table, from classical antiquity. He was a poet of no common genius, and of ready imagination. He showed the influence of Boiardo, especially in something of the fantastic which he introduced into his work.
The development of the drama in the 15th century was very great. This kind of semi-popular literature was born in Florence, and attached itself to certain popular festivities that Drama. were usually held in honour of St John the Baptist, patron saint of the city. The Sacra Rappresentazione is in substance nothing more than the development of the medieval Mistero (" mystery-play "). Although it belonged to popular poetry, some of its authors were literary men of much renown. It is enough to notice Lorenzo de' Medici, who wrote San Giovanni e Paolo, and Feo Belcari, author of the San Panunzio, the Abramo ed I sac, etc. From the 15th century, some element of the comic-profane found its way into the Sacra Rappresentazione. From its Biblical and legendary conventionalism Poliziano emancipated himself in his Orfeo, which, although in its exterior form belonging to the sacred representations, yet substantially detaches itself from them in its contents and in the artistic element introduced.
From Petrarch onwards the eclogue was a kind of literature that much pleased the Italians. In it, however, the pastoral element is only apparent, for there is nothing really Ptstonl rural in it. Such is the Arcadia of Jacopo Sannazzaro poe try. of Naples, author of a wearisome Latin poem De Partu Virginis, and of some piscatorial eclogues. The Arcadia is divided into ten eclogues, in which the festivities, the games, the sacrifices, the manners of a colony of shepherds are described. They are written in elegant verses, but it would be vain to look in them for the remotest feeling of country life. On the other hand, even in this style, Lorenzo de' Medici was superior. His Nencia da Barberino, as a modern writer says, is as it were the new and clear reproduction of the popular songs of the environs of Florence, melted into one majestic wave of octave stanzas. Lorenzo threw himself into the spirit of the bare realism of country life. There is a marked contrast between this work and the conventional bucolic of Sannazzaro and other writers. A rival of the Medici in this style, but always inferior to him, was Luigi Pulci in his Beca da Dicomano.
The lyric love poetry of this century was unimportant. In its stead we see a completely new style arise, the Canto carnascialesco. These were a kind of choral songs, which were accompanied with symbolical masquerades, common in Florence at the carnival. They were written in a metre like that of the ballate; and for the most part they were put into the mouth of a party of workmen and tradesmen, who, with not very chaste allusions, sang the praises of their art. These triumphs and masquerades were directed by Lorenzo himself. At eventide there set out into the city large companies on horseback, playing and singing these songs. There are some by Lorenzo himself, which surpass all the others in their mastery of art. That entitled Bacco ed Arianna is the most famous.
Girolamo Savonarola, who came to Florence in 1489, arose to fight against the literary and social movement of the Renaissance. Some have tried to make out that Savonarola Religious was an apostle of liberty, others that he was a precursor reaction. of the Reformation. In truth, however, he was neither ^ n " the one nor the other. In his struggle with Lorenzo de' Medici, he directed his attack against the promoter of classical studies, the patron of pagan literature, rather than against the political tyrant. Animated by mystic zeal, he took the line of a prophet, preaching against reading voluptuous authors, against the tyranny of the Medici, and calling for popular government. This, however, was not done from a desire for civil liberty, but because Savonarola saw in Lorenzo and his court the greatest obstacle to that return to Catholic doctrine which was his heart's xrv. 29 a desire; while he thought this return would be easily accomplished if, on the fall of the Medici, the Florentine republic should come into the hands of his supporters. There may be more justice in looking on Savonarola as the forerunner of the Reformation. If he was so, it was more than he intended. The friar of Ferrara never thought of attacking the papal dogma, and always maintained that he wished to remain within the church of Rome. He had none of the great aspirations of Luther. He only repeated the complaints and the exhortations of St Catherine of Siena; he desired a reform of manners, entirely of manners, not of doctrine. He prepared the ground for the German and English religious movement of the 16th century, but unconsciously. In the history of Italian civilization he represents retrogression, that is to say, the cancelling of the great fact of the Renaissance, and return to medieval ideas. His attempt to put himself in opposition to his time, to arrest the course of events, to bring the people back to the faith of the past, the belief that all the social evils came from a Medici and a Borgia, his not seeing the historical reality, as it was, his aspiring to found a republic with Jesus Christ for its king all these things show that Savonarola was more of a fanatic than a thinker. Nor has he any great merit as a writer. He wrote Italian sermons, hymns (laudi), ascetic and political treatises, but they are roughly executed, and only important as throwing light on the history of his ideas. The religious poems of Girolamo Benivieni are better than his, and are drawn from the same inspirations. In these lyrics, sometimes sweet, always warm with religious feeling, Benivieni and with him Feo Belcari cany us back to the literature of the 14th century.
History had neither many nor very good students in the 15th century. Its revival belonged to the following age. It was mostly written in Latin. Leonardo Bruni of Arezzo wrote the history of Florence, Gioviano Pontano that of Naples, in Latin. Bernardino Corio wrote the history of Milan in Italian, but in a rude way.
Leonardo da Vinci wrote a treatise on painting, Leon Battista Alberti one on sculpture and architecture. But the names of these two men are important, not so much as authors of these treatises, but as being embodiments of another characteristic of the age of the Renaissance versatility of genius, power of application along many and varied lines, and of being excellent in all. Leonardo was an architect, a poet, a painter, an hydraulic engineer and a distinguished mathematician. Alberti was a musician, studied jurisprudence, was an architect and a draughtsman, and had great fame in literature. He had a deep feeling for nature, an almost unique faculty of assimilating all that he saw and heard. Leonardo and Alberti are representatives and almost a compendium in themselves of all that intellectual vigour of the Renaissance age, which in the 16th century took to developing itself in its individual parts, making way for what has by some been called the golden age of Italian literature.
4. Development of the Renaissance. The fundamental characteristic of the literary epoch following that of the Renaissance is that it perfected itself in every kind of art, in particular uniting the essentially Italian character of its language with classicism of style. This period lasted from about 1494 to about 1560; and, strange to say, this very period of greater fruitfulness and literary greatness began from the year 1494, which with Charles VIII. 's descent into Italy marked the beginning of its political decadence and of foreign domination over it. But this is not hard to explain. All the most famous men of the first half of the 16th had been educated in the preceding century. Pietro Pomponazzi was born in 1462, Marcello Virgilio Adriani in 1464, Castiglione in 1468, Machiavelli in 1469, Bembo in 1470, Michelangelo Buonarroti and Ariosto in 1474, Nardi in 1476, Trissino in 1478, Guicciardini in 1482. Thus it is easy to understand how the literary activity which showed itself from the end of the isth centuiy to the middle of the following one was the product of the political and social conditions of the age in which these minds were formed, not of that in which their powers were displayed.
Niccold Machiavelli and Francesco Guicciardini were the chief originators of the science of history. Machiavelli's principal works are the Istorie fiorenline, the Discorsi sulla prima deca di TiloLivio, the Arte delta guerra and the Principe. His merit consists in having been the creator of the experimental science of poli tics in having observed facts, studied histories and drawn consequences from them. His history is sometimes inexact in facts; it is rather a political than an historical work. The peculiarity of Machiavelli's genius lay, as has been said, in his artistic feeling for the treatment and discussion of politics in and for themselves, without regard to an immediate end in his power of abstracting himself from the partial appearances of the transitory present, in order more thoroughly to possess himself of the eternal and inborn kingdom, and to bring it into subjection to himself.
Next to Machiavelli both as an historian and a statesman comes Francesco Guicciardini. Guicciardini was very observant, and endeavoured to reduce his observations to a science. His Storia d'ltalia, which extends from the death of Lorenzo de' Medici to 1534, is full of political wisdom, is skilfully arranged in its parts, gives a lively picture of the character of the persons it treats of, and is written .in a grand style. He shows a profound knowledge of the human heart, and depicts with truth the temperaments, the capabilities and the habits of the different European nations. Going back to the causes of events, he looked for the explanation of the divergent interests of princes and of their reciprocal jealousies. The fact of his having witnessed many of the events he related, and having taken part in them, adds authority to his words. The political reflections are always deep; in the Pensieri, as G. Capponi * says, he seems to aim at extracting through selfexamination a quintessence, as it were, of the things observed and done by him thus endeavouring to form a political doctrine as adequate as possible in all its parts. Machiavelli and Guicciardini may be considered, not only as distinguished historians, but as originators of the science of history founded on observation.
Inferior to them, but still always worthy of note, were Jacopo Nardi (a just and faithful historian and a virtuous man, who defended the rights of Florence against the Medici before Charles V.), Benedetto Varchi, Giambattista Adriani, Bernardo Segni; and, outside Tuscany, Camillo Porzio, who related the Congiura de' baroni and the history of Italy from 1547 to 1552, Angelo] di Costanza, Pietro Bembo, Paolo Paruta and others.
Ariosto's Orlando furioso was a continuation of Boiardo's Innamoralo. His characteristic is that he assimilated the romance of chivalry to the style and models of classicism. Romantic Ariosto was an artist only for the love of his art; his ep ic. sole aim was to make a romance that should please Ariosto the generation in which he lived. His Orlando has ( /<7 ** no grave and serious purpose; on the contrary it creates a fantastic world, in which the poet rambles, indulging his caprice, and sometimes smiling at his own work. His great desire is to depict everything with the greatest possible perfection ; the cultivation of style is what occupies him most. In his hands the style becomes wonderfully plastic to every conception, whether high or low, serious or sportive. The octave stanza reached in him the highest perfection of grace, variety and harmony.
Meanwhile, side by side with the romantic, there was an attempt at the historical epic. Gian Giorgio Trissino of Vicenza composed a'poem called Italia liberate dai Goti. Full Heroic of learning and of the rules of the ancients, he formed epic. himself on the latter, in order to sing of the campaigns of Belisarius; he said that he had forced himself to observe all the rules of Aristotle, and that he had imitated Homer. In this again, we see one of the products of the Renaissance; and, although Trissino's work is poor in invention and without any original poetical colouring, yet it helps one to understand better what were the conditions of mind in the 16th century.
Lyric poetry was certainly not one of the kinds that rose to 1 Storia della repubblica di Firenze (Florence, 1876).
Lyric poetry, any great height in the 16th century. Originality was entirely wanting, since it seemed in that century as if nothing better could be done than to copy Petrarch. Still, even in this style there were some vigorous poets. Monsignore Giovanni Guidiccioni of Lucca (1500-1541) showed that he had a generous heart. In fine sonnets he gave expression to his grief for the sad state to which his country was reduced. Francesco Molza of Modena (1480-1544), learned in Greek, Latin and Hebrew, wrote in a graceful style and with spirit. Giovanni della Casa (1503-1556) and Pietro Bembo (1470-1547), although Petrarchists, were elegant. Even Michelangelo Buonarroti was at times a Petrarchist, but his poems bear the stamp of his extraordinary and original genius. And a good many ladies are to be placed near these poets, such as Vittoria Colonna (loved by Michelangelo), Veronica Gambara, Tullia d'Aragona, Giulia Gonzaga, poetesses of great delicacy, and superior in genius to many literary men of their time.
The 16th century had not a few tragedies, but they are all weak. The cause of this was the moral and religious indifference Tra ed ^ '^ e Italians, the lack of strong passions and vigorous characters. The first to occupy the tragic stage was Trissino with his Sofonisba, following the rules of the art most scrupulously, but written in sickly verses, and without warmth of feeling. The Oresle and the Rosmunda of Giovanni Rucellai were no better, nor Luigi Alamanni's Antigone. Sperone Speroni in his Canace and Giraldi Cintio in his Orbecche tried to become innovators in tragic literature, but they only succeeded in making it grotesque. Decidedly superior to these was the Torrismondo of Torquato Tasso, specially remarkable for the choruses, which sometimes remind one of the chorus of the Greek tragedies.
The Italian comedy of the 16th century was almost entirely modelled on the Latin comedy. They were almost always Comedy alike in the plot, in the characters of the old man, of the servant, of the waiting-maid; and the argument was often the same. Thus the Lucidi of Agnolo Firenzuola, and the Vecchio amoroso of Donato Giannotti were modelled on comedies by Plautus, as were the Sporta by Gelli, the Marito by Dolce, and others. There appear to be only three writers who should be distinguished among the many who wrote comedies Macbiavelli, Ariosto and Giovan Maria Cecchi. In his Mandragora Machiavelli, unlike all the others, composed a comedy of character, creating types which seem living even now, because they were copied from reality seen with a finely observant eye. Ariosto, on the other hand, was distinguished for his picture of the habits of his time, and especially of those of the Ferrarese nobles, rather than for the objective delineation of character. Lastly, Cecchi left in his comedies a treasure of spoken language, which nowadays enables us in a wonderful way to make ourselves acquainted with that age. The. notorious Pietro Aretino might also be included in the list of the best writers of comedy.
The 15th century was not without humorous poetry; Antonio Cammelli, surnamed the Pistoian, is specially deserving of notice, because of his " pungent bonhomie," as Saintefesaiie Beuve called it. But it was Francesco Berni who and satin, carried this kind of literature to perfection in the 16th century. From him the style has been called " bernesque " poetry. In the " Berneschi " we find nearly the same phenomenon that we already noticed with regard to Orlando furioso. It was art for art's sake that inspired and moved Berni to write, as well as Anton Francesco Grazzini, called II Lasca, and other lesser writers. It may be said that there is nothing in their poetry; and it is true that they specially delight in praising low and disgusting things and in jeering at what is noble and serious. Bernesque poetry is the clearest reflection of that religious and moral scepticism which was one of the characteristics of Italian social life in the 16th century, and which showed itself more or less in all the works of that period, that scepticism which stopped the religious Reformation in Italy, and which in its turn was an effect of historical conditions. The Berneschi, and especially Berni himself, sometimes assumed Fiction.
a satirical tone. But theirs could not be called true satire. Pure satirists, on the other hand, were Antonio Vinciguerra, a Venetian, Lodovico Alamanni and Ariosto, the last superior to the others for the Attic elegance of his style, and for a certain frankness, passing into malice, which is particularly interesting when the poet talks of himself.
In the 16th century there were not a few didactic works. In his poem of the Api Giovanni Rucellai approaches to the perfection of Virgil. His style is clear and light, and he adds interest to his book by frequent allusions to the events of the time. But of the didactic works that which surpasses all the others in importance is Baldassare Castiglione's Cortigiano, in which he imagines a discussion in the palace of the dukes of Urbino between knights and ladies as to what are the gifts required in a perfect courtier. This book is valuable as an illustration of the intellectual and moral state of the highest Italian society in the first half of the 16th century.
Of the novelists of the 16th century, the two most important were Anton Francesco Grazzini .and Matteo Bandello the former as playful and bizarre as the latter is grave and solemn. As part of the history of the times, we must not forget that Bandello was a Dominican friar and a bishop, but that notwithstanding his novels were very loose in subject, and that he often holds up the ecclesiastics of his time to ridicule.
At a time when admiration for qualities of style, the desire for classical elegance, was so strong as in the 16th century, much attention was naturally paid to translating Latin and Greek authors. Among the very numerous translations t ioas. of the time those of the Aeneid and of the Pastorals of Longus the Sophist by Annibal Caro are still famous; as are also the translations of Ovid's Metamorphoses by Giovanni Andrea dell' Anguillare, of Apuleius's Golden Ass by Firenzuola, and of Plutarch's Lives and M or alia by Marcello Adriani.
The historians of Italian literature are in doubt whether Tasso should be placed in the period of the highest development of the Renaissance, or whether he should form a period by himself, intermediate between that and the one following. Certainly he was profoundly out of harmony isfs<. with the century in which he lived. His religious faith, the seriousness of his character, the deep melancholy settled in his heart, his continued aspiration after an ideal perfection, all place him as it were outside the literary epoch represented by Machiavelli, by Ariosto, by Berni. As Carducci has well said, Tasso " is the legitimate heir of Dante Alighieri: he believes, and reasons on his faith by philosophy; he loves, and comments on his love in a learned style; he is an artist, and writes dialogues of scholastic speculation that would fain be Platonic." He was only eighteen years old when, in 1562, he tried his hand at epic poetry, and wrote Rinaldo, in which he said that he had tried to reconcile the Aristotelian rules with the variety of Ariosto. He afterwards wrote the Aminta, a pastoral drama of exquisite grace. But the work to which he had long turned his thoughts was an heroic poem, and that absorbed all his powers. He himself explains what his intention was in the three Discorsi written whilst he was composing the Gerusalemme: he would choose a great and wonderful subject, not so ancient as to have lost all interest, nor so recent as to prevent the poet from embellishing it with invented circumstances; he meant to treat it rigorously according to the rules of the unity of action observed in Greek and Latin poems, but with a far greater variety and splendour of episodes, so that in this point it should not fall short of the romantic poem; and finally, he would write it in a lofty and ornate style. This is what Tasso has done in the Gerusalemme liberata, the subject of which is the liberation of the sepulchre of Jesus Christ in the 11th century by Godfrey of Bouillon. The poet does not follow faithfully all the historical facts, but sets before us the principal causes of them, bringing in the supernatural agency of God and Satan. The Gerusalemme is the best heroic poem that Italy can show. It approaches to classical perfection. Its episodes above all are most beautiful. There is profound feeling in it, and everything reflects the melancholy soul of the poet. As regards the style, however, although Tasso studiously endeavoured to keep close to the classical models, one cannot help noticing that he makes excessive use of metaphor, of antithesis, of far-fetched conceits; and it is specially from this point of view that some historians have placed Tasso in the literary period generally known under the name of " Secentismo," and that others, more moderate in their criticism, have said that he prepared the way for it.
5. Period of Decadence. From about 1559 began a period of decadence in Italian literature. The Spanish rule oppressed and corrupted the peninsula. The minds of men were day by day gradually losing their force; every high aspiration was quenched. No love of country could any longer be felt when the country was enslaved to a stranger. The suspicious rulers fettered all freedom of thought and word; they tortured Campanella, burned Bruno, made every effort to extinguish all high sentiment, all desire for good. Cesare Balbo says, " if the happiness of the masses consists in peace without industry, if the nobility's consists in titles without power, if princes are satisfied by acquiescence in their rule without real independence, without sovereignty, if literary men and artists are content to write, paint and build with the approbation of their contemporaries, but to the contempt of posterity, if a whole nation is happy in ease without dignity and the tranquil progress of corruption, then no period ever was so happy for Italy as the hundred and forty years from the treaty of Cateau Cambresis to the war of the itatlsmo. Spanish succession." This period is known in the history of Italian literature as the Secentismo. Its writers, devoid of sentiment, of passion, of thoughts, resorted to exaggeration; they tried to produce effect with every kind of affectation, with bombast, with the strangest metaphors, in fact, with what in art is called mannerism, "barocchism." The utter poverty of the matter tried to cloak itself under exuberance of forms. It seemed as if the writers vied with one another as to who could best burden his art with useless metaphors, with phrases, with big-sounding words, with affectations, with hyperbole, with oddities, with everything that could fix attention on the outer form and draw it off from the substantial element of thought. At the head of the school of the " Secentisti " comes Giovan Battista Marini of Naples, born in 1569, especially known by a Maria l. poem called L'Adone. His aim was to excite wonder by novelties; hence the most extravagant metaphors, the most forced antitheses, the most far-fetched conceits, are to be found hi his book. It was especially by antitheses that he thought he could produce the greatest effect. Sometimes he strings them together one after the other, so that they fill up whole stanzas without a break. Achillini of Bologna followed in Marini's steps. He had less genius, however, and hence his peculiarities were more extravagant, becoming indeed absolutely ridiculous. In general, we may say that all the poets of the 17th century were more or less infected with " Marinism." Thus Alessandro Guidi, although he does not attain to the exaggeration of his master, is emptily bombastic, inflated, turgid, while Fulvio Testi is artificial and affected. Yet Guidi as well as Testi felt the influence of another poet, Gabriello Chiabrera, bornatSavona in 1552. In him the Secentismo took another character. Enamoured as he said he was of the Greeks, he made new metres, especially in imitation of Pindar, treating of religious, moral, historical and amatory subjects. It is easy to understand that a Pindaric style of poetry in the 1yth century in Italy could not but end in being altogether artificial, without anything of those qualities which constitute the greatness of the Greek poet. Chiabrera, though elegant enough in form, proves empty of matter, and, in his vain attempt to hide this vacuity, has recourse to poetical ornaments of every kind. These again, in their turn, become in him a fresh defect. Nevertheless, Chiabrera 's school, in the decadence of the 17th century, marks an improvement; and sometimes he showed that he had lyrical capacities, which in better literary surroundings would have brought forth excellent fruit. When he sings, for example, of the victories of the Tuscan galleys against the Turks and the pirates of the Mediterranean, he rises to grand imagery, and seems quite another poet.
Filicaja the Florentine has a certain lyric elan, particularly in the songs about Vienna besieged by the Turks, which seems to raise him more than the others above the vices of the time; but even in him we see clearly the rhetorical artifice and the falseness of the conceits. And in general all the lyric poetry of the 17th century may be said to have had the same defects, but in different degrees defects which may be summed up as absence of feeling and exaggeration of form. There was no faith; there was no love; and thus art became an exercise, a pastime, a luxury, for a servile and corrupt people.
The belief then arose that it would be sufficient to change the form in order to restore literature, in forgetfulness that every reform must be the effect of a change in social and moral conditions. Weary of the bombastic style of the 17th century, full of conceits and antithesis, men said let us follow an entirely different line, let us fight the turgid style with simplicity. In 1690 the " Academy of Arcadia " was instituted. Its founders were Giovan Maria Crescimbeni and Gian Vincenzo Gravina. The Arcadia was so called because its chief aim and intention were to imitate in literature the simplicity of the ancient shepherds, who were fabulously supposed to have lived in Arcadia in the golden age. As the " Secentisti " erred by an overweening desire for novelty, which made them always go beyond the truth, so the Arcadians proposed to themselves to return to the fields of truth, always singing of subjects of pastoral simplicity. This was obviously nothing else than the substitution of a new artifice for the old one; and they fell from bombast into effeminacy, from the hyperbolical into the petty, from the turgid into the over-refined. The Arcadia was a reaction against Secentismo, but a reaction which, reversing the movement of that earlier epoch, only succeeded in impoverishing still further and completely withering up the literature. The poems of the " Arcadians " fill many volumes, and are made up of sonnets, madrigals, canzonets and blank verse. The one who most distinguished himself among the sonneteers was Felice Zappi, Among the authors of songs Paolo Rolli was illustrious. Innocenzo Frugoni was more famous than all the others, a man of fruitful imagination but of shallow intellect, whose wordy verses nobody now reads.
Whilst the political and social conditions in Italy in the 17th century were such as to make it appear that every light of intelligence, all spirit of liberty, was extinguished, Symptoms there appeared in the peninsula, by that law of reaction of revival. which in great part governs human events, some strong Scletttltlc and independent thinkers, such as Bernardino Telesio, pn Giordano Bruno, Tommaso Campanella, Lucih'o Vanini, who turned philosophical inquiry into fresh channels, and opened the way for the scientific conquests of Galileo Galilei, the great contemporary of Descartes in France and of Bacon in England. Galileo w.as not only a great man of science, but also occupied a conspicuous place in the history of letters. A devoted student of Ariosto, he seemed to transfuse into his prose the qualities of that great poet a clear and frank freedom of expression, a wonderful art of knowing how to say everything with precision and ease, and at the same time with elegance. Galileo's prose is in perfect antithesis to the poetry of his time. Perhaps it is the best prose that Italy has ever had; it is clear, goes straight to the point, is without rhetorical ornaments and without vulgar slips, artistic without appearing to be so.
Another symptom of revival, a sign of rebellion against the vileness of Italian social life, is given us in satire and in particular in that of Salvator Rosa and Alessandro Tassoni. Salvator Rosa, born in 1615, near Naples, was a painter, a musician and a poet. As a poet he showed that he felt the sad condition of his country, showed that he mourned over it, and gave vent to his feeling (as another satire-writer, Giuseppe Giusti, said) in generosi rabbuffi. His exhortation to Italian poets to turn their thoughts to the miseries of their country as a subject for their song their country languishing under the tyrant's hands certain passages where he deplores the effeminacy of Italian habits, a strong apostrophe against Rome, make Salvator Rosa a precursor of the patriotic literature which inaugurated the revival of the 18th century.
Tassoni, a man really quite exceptional in this century, was superior to Rosa. He showed independent judgment in the midst of universal servility, and his Secchia Rapita proved that he was an eminent writer. This is an heroic comic poem, which is at the same time an epic and a personal satire. He was bold enough to attack the Spaniards in his Filippiche, in which he urged Duke Carlo Emanuele of Savoy to persist in the war against them.
6. The Revival in the i8lh Century. Having for the most part freed itself from the Spanish dominion in the 18th century, the political condition of Italy began to improve. Promoters of this improvement, which was shown in many civil reforms, were Joseph II., Leopold I. and Charles I. rpjj e wor ] t O f these princes was copied from the philosophers, who in their turn felt the influence of a general movement of ideas, which was quietly working in many parts of Europe, and which came to a head in the French encyclopedists. Giambattista Vico was a token of the awakening of historical consciousness in Italy. In his Scienza nuova he applied himself Hist H I to tne i nvest te at ' on f the laws governing the progress works?" f tne human race, and according to which events are developed. From the psychological study of man he endeavoured to infer the " comune natura delle nazioni," i.e. the universal laws of history, or the laws by which civilizations rise, flourish and fall.
From the same scientific spirit which animated the philosophical investigation of Vico, there was born a different kind of investigation, that of the sources of Italian civil and literary history. Lodovico Antonio Muratori, after having collected in one entire body (Rerum Italicarum scriptores) the chronicles, the biographies, the letters and the diaries of Italian history from 500 to 1500, after having discussed the most obscure historical questions in the Antiquilales Italicae medii aevi, wrote the Annali d' Italia, minutely narrating facts derived from authentic sources. Muratori's associates in his historical researches were Scipione Maffei of Verona and Apostolo Zeno of Venice. In his Verona illustrata the former left, not only a teasure of learning, but an excellent specimen of historical monograph. The latter added much to the erudition of literary history, both in his Dissertazioni Vossiane and in his notes to the Biblioteca dell' eloquenza italiana of Monsignore Giusto Fontanini. Girolamo Tiraboschi and Count Giovanni Maria Mazzuchelli of Brescia devoted themselves to literary history.
While the new spirit of the times led men to the investigation of historical sources, it also led them to inquire into the mechanism of economical and social laws. Francesco Galiani Science wrote on currency; Gaetano Filangieri wrote a Scienza della legislazione. Cesare Beccaria, in his treatise Dei delitti e delle pene, made a contribution to the reform of the penal system and promoted the abolition of torture. The man in whom above all others the literary revival of the 18th century was most conspicuously embodied was Giuseppe Parini. He was born in a Lombard village in 1729, was mostly educated at Milan, and as a youth was known among the Arcadian poets by the name of Darisbo Elidonio. Even as an Arcadian, however, Parini showed signs of departing from the common type. In a collection of poems that he published at twenty-three years of age, under the name of Ripano Eupilino, there are some pastoral sonnets in which the poet shows that he had the faculty of taking his scenes from real life, and also some satirical pieces in which he exhibits a spirit of somewhat rude opposition to his own times. These poems are perhaps based on reminiscences of Berni, but at any rate they indicate a resolute determination to assail boldly all the literary conventionalities that surrounded the author. This, however, was only the beginning of the battle. Parini lived in times of great social prostration. The nobles and the rich, all given up to ease and to silly gallantry, consumed their lives in ridiculous trifles or in shameless self-indulgence, wasting themselves on immoral " Cicisbeismo," and offering the most miserable spectacle of feebleness of mind and character. It was against this social condition that Parini's muse was Satire: Parini.
directed. Already, improving on the poems of his youth, he had proved himself an innovator in his lyrics, rejecting at once Petrarchism, Secentismo and Arcadia, the three maladies that had weakened Italian art in the centuries preceding his own, and choosing subjects taken from real life, such as might help in the instruction of his contemporaries. In the Odi the satirical note is already heard. But it came out more strongly in the poem Del giorno, in which he imagines himself to be teaching a young Milanese patrician all the habits and ways of gallant life; he shows up all its ridiculous frivoh'ties, and with delicate irony unmasks the futilities of aristocratic habits. Dividing the day into four parts, the Mattino, the Mezzogiorno, the Vespero, the Notte, by means of each of these he describes the trifles of which they were made up, and the book thus assumes a social and historical value of the highest importance. Parini, satirizing his time, fell back upon truth, and finally made art serve the purpose of civil morality. As an artist, going straight back to classical forms, aspiring to imitate Virgil and Dante, he opened the way to the fine school that we shall soon see rise, that of Alfieri, Foscolo and Monti. As a work of art, the Giorno is wonderful for the Socratic skill with which that delicate irony is constantly kept up by which he seems to praise what he effectually blames. The verse has new harmonies; sometimes it is a little hard and broken, not by accident, but as a protest against the Arcadian monotony. Generally it flows majestically, but without that Frugonian droning that deafens the ears and leaves the heart cold.
Gasparo Gozzi's satire was less elevated, but directed towards the same end as Parini's. In his Osservatore, something like Addison's Spectator, in his Gazzetta veneta, in the o<wi /. Hondo morale, by means of allegories and novelties Bantti. he hit the vices with a delicate touch, and inculcated a practical moral with much good sense. Gozzi's satire has some slight resemblance in style to Lucian's. It is smooth and light, but withal it does not go less straight to its aim, which is to point out the defects of society and to correct them. Gozzi's prose is very graceful and lively. It only errs by its overweening affectation of imitating the writers of the 14th century. Another satirical writer of the first half of the 18th century was Giuseppe Baretti of Turin. In a journal called the. Frusta letleraria he took to lashing without mercy the works which were then being published in Italy. He had learnt much by travelling; and especially his long stay in England had contributed to give an independent character to his mind, and made him judge of men and things with much good sense. It is true that his judgments are not always right, but the Frusta letleraria was the first book of independent criticism directed particularly against the Arcadians and the pedants.
Everything tended to improvement, and the character of the reform was to throw off the conventional, the false, the artificial, and to return to truth. The drama felt this influence of the times. Apostolo Zeno and Metastasio (the Arcadian name for Pietro Trapassi, a native of Rome) had endeavoured to make " melodrama and reason compatible." The latter in particular succeeded in giving fresh expression to the affections, a natural turn to the dialogue and some interest to the plot; and if he had not fallen into constant unnatural overrefinement and unseasonable mawkishness, and into frequent anachronisms, he might have been considered as the first dramatic reformer of the 18th century. That honour belongs to Carlo Goldoni, a Venetian. He found comedy either entirely devoted to classical imitation or given up to extravagance, to coups de thf.Alre, to the most boisterous succession of unlikely situations, or else treated by comic actors who recited impromptu on a given subject, of which they followed the outline. In this old popular form of comedy, with the masks of pantaloon, of the doctor, of harlequin, of Brighella, etc., Goldoni found the strongest obstacles to his reform. But at last he conquered, creating the comedy of character. No doubt Moliere's example helped him in this. Goldoni's characters are always true, but often a little superficial. He studied nature, but he did not plunge into psychological depths. In most of his creations, the Dramatic reform.
external rather than the internal part is depicted. In this respect he is much inferior to Moliere. But on the other hand he surpasses him in the liveliness of the dialogue, and in the facility with which he finds his dramatic situations. Goldoni wrote much, in fact too much (more than one hundred and fifty comedies), and had no time to correct, to polish, to perfect his works, which are all rough cast. But for a comedy of character we must go straight from Machiavelli's Mandragora to him. Goldoni's dramatic aptitude is curiously illustrated by the fact that he took nearly all his types from Venetian society, and yet managed to give them an inexhaustible variety. A good many of his comedies were written in Venetian dialect, and these are perhaps the best.
The ideas that were making their way in French society in the 18th century, and afterwards brought about the Revolution Patriotic of 1789, gave a special direction to Italian literature lit ens tun of the second half of the 18th century. Love of ideal and liberty, desire for equality, hatred of tyranny, created j n Italy a literature which aimed at national objects, seeking to improve the condition of the country by freeing it from the double yoke of political and religious despotism. But all this was associated with another tendency. The Italians who aspired to a political redemption believed that it was inseparable from an intellectual revival, and it seemed to them that this could only be effected by a reunion with ancient classicism in other words, by putting themselves in more direct communication with ancient Greek and Latin writers. This was a repetition of what had occurred in the first half of the 15th century. The 17th century might in fact be considered as a new Italian Middle Age without the hardness of that iron time, but corrupted, enervated, overrun by Spaniards and French, an age in which previous civilization was cancelled. A reaction was necessary against that period of history, and a construction on its ruins of a new country and a new civilization. There had already been forerunners of this movement; at the head of them the revered Parini. Now the work must be completed, and the necessary force must once more be sought for in the ancient literature of the two classic nations.
Patriotism and classicism then were the two principles that inspired the literature which began with Alfieri. He worshipped the Greek and Roman idea of popular liberty in arms against the tyrant. He took the subjects of his tragedies almost invariably from the history of these nations, made continual apostrophes against the despots, made his ancient characters talk like revolutionists of his time; he did not trouble himself with, nor think about, the truth of the characters; it was enough for him that his hero was Roman in name, that there was a tyrant to be killed, that liberty should triumph in the end. But even this did not satisfy Alfieri. Before his time and all about him there was the Arcadian school, with its foolish verbosity, its empty abundance of epithets, its nauseous pastoralizing on subjects of no civil importance. It was necessary to arm the patriotic muse also against all this. If the Arcadians, not excluding the hated Metastasio, diluted their poetry with languishing tenderness, if they poured themselves out in so many words, if they made such set phrases, it behoved the others to do just the contrary to be brief, concise, strong, bitter, to aim at the sublime as opposed to the lowly and pastoral. Having said this, we have told the good and evil of Alfieri. He desired a political reform by means of letters; he saved literature from Arcadian vacuities, leading it towards a national end; he armed himself with patriotism and classicism in order to drive the profaners out of the temple of art. But in substance he was rather a patriot than an artist. In any case the results of the new literary movement were copious.
Ugo Foscolo was an eager patriot, who carried into life the heat of the most unbridled passion, and into his art a rather rhetorical Fotcoio. manner, but always one inspired by classical models. The Letlere di Jacopo Orlis, inspired by Goethe's Werther, are a love story with a mixture of patriotism; they contain a violent protest against the treaty of Campo Formio, and an outburst from Foscolo's own heart about an unhappy A/Ofrt (1T49- 1803).
love-affair of his. His passions were sudden and violent; they came to an end as abruptly as they began ; they were whirlwinds that were over in a quarter of an hour. To one of these passions Orlis owed its origin, and it is perhaps the best, the most sincere, of all his writings. Even in it he is sometimes pompous and rhetorical, but much less so than he is, for example, in the lectures Dell' origine e dell' ufficio della letleratura. On the whole, Foscolo's prose is turgid and affected, and reflects the character of the man who always tried to pose, even before himself, in dramatic attitudes. This was indeed the defect of the Napoleonic epoch; there was a horror of anything common, simple, natural; everything must be after the model of the hero who made all the world gaze with wonder at him; everything must assume some heroic shape. In Foscolo this tendency was excessive; and it not seldom happened that, in wishing to play the hero, the exceptional man, the little Napoleon of ladies' drawing-rooms, he became false and bad, false in his art, bad in' his life. The Sepolcri, which is his best poem, was prompted by high feeling, and the mastery of versification shows wonderful art. Perhaps it is to this mastery more than to anything else that the admiration the Sepolcri excites is due. There are most obscure passages in it, as to the meaning of which it would seem as if even the author himself had not formed a clear idea. He left incomplete three hymns to the Graces, in which he sang of beauty as the source of courtesy, of all high qualities and of happiness. Here again what most excites our admiration is the harmonious and easy versification. Among his prose works a high place belongs to his translation of the Sentimental Journey of Sterne, a writer by whom one can easily understand how Foscolo should have been deeply affected. He went as an exile to England, and died there. He wrote for English readers some Essays on Petrarch and on the texts of the Decamerone and of Dante, which are remarkable for the time at which they were written, and which may be said to have initiated a new kind of literary criticism in Italy. Foscolo is still greatly admired, and not without reason. His writings stimulate the love of fatherland, and the men that made the revolution of 1848 were largely brought up on them.
If in Foscolo patriotism and classicism were united, and formed almost one passion, so much cannot be said of Vincenzo Monti, hi whom the artist was absolutely predominant. Yet Monti was a patriot too, but in Tiis own way. He had no one deep feeling that ruled him, or rather the mobility of his feelings is his characteristic; but each of these was a new form of patriotism, that took the place of an old one. He saw danger to his country in the French Revolution, and wrote the Pellegrino apostolico, the Bassvilliana and the Feroniade; Napoleon's victories caused him to write the Prometeo and the Musagonia; in his Fanatismo and his Superstizione he attacked the papacy; afterwards he sang the praises of the Austrians. Thus every great event made him change his mind, with a readiness which might seem incredible, but is yet most easily explained. Monti was above everything an artist; art was his real, his only passion; everything else in him was liable to change, that alone was persistent. Fancy was his tyrant, and under its rule he had no time to reason and to see the miserable aspect of his political tergiversation. It was an overbearing deity that moved him, and at its dictation he wrote. Pius VI., Napoleon, Francis II., were to him but passing shadows, to which he hardly gives the attention of an hour; that which endures, which is eternal to him, is art alone It were unjust to accuse Monti of baseness. If we say that nature in giving him one only faculty had made the poet rich and the man poor, we shall speak the truth. But the poet was indeed rich. Knowing little Greek, he succeeded in making a translation of the Iliad which is remarkable for its Homeric feeling, and in his Bassvilliana he is on a level with Dante. In fine, in him classical poetry seemed to revive in all its florid grandeur.
Monti was born in 1754, Foscolo in 1778; four years later still was born another poet of the same school, Giambattista jyt, / Niccolini. In literature he was a classicist; in politics he was a Ghibelline, a rare exception in Guelph Florence, his Monti.
birthplace. In translating or, if the expression is preferred, imitating Aeschylus, as well as in writing the Discorsi sulla tragedia greca, and on the Sublime e Michelangelo, Niccolini displayed his passionate devotion to ancient literature. In his tragedies he set himself free from the excessive rigidity of Alfieri, and partly approached the English and German tragic authors. He nearly always chose political subjects, striving to keep alive in his compatriots the love of liberty. Such are Nabucco, Antonio Foscarini, Giovanni da Procida, Lodovico il Moro, etc. He assailed papal Rome in Arnaldo da Brescia, a long tragic piece, not suited for acting, and epic rather than dramatic. Niccolini's tragedies show a rich lyric vein rather than dramatic genius. At any rate he has the merit of having vindicated liberal ideas, and of having opened a new path to Italian tragedy.
The literary period we are dealing with had three writers who are examples of the direction taken by historical study. It seems Historians stran e t nat > after the learned school begun by Muratori, there should have been a backward movement here, but it is clear that this retrogression was due to the influence of classicism and patriotism, which, if they revived poetry, could not but spoil history. Carlo Botta, born in 1766, was a spectator of French spoliation in Italy and of the overbearing rule of Napoleon. Hence, excited by indignation, he wrote a History of Italy from 1789 to 1814; and later on he continued Guicciardini's History up to 1 789. He wrote after the manner of the Latin authors, trying to imitate Livy, putting together long and sonorous periods in a style that aimed at being like Boccaccio's, caring little about that which constitutes the critical material of history, only intent on declaiming his academic prose for his country's benefit. Botta wanted to be classical in a style that could no longer be so, and hence he failed completely to attain his literary goal. His fame is only that of a man of a noble and patriotic heart. Not so bad as the two histories of Italy is that of the Guerra dell' indipendenza americana.
Close to Botta comes Pietro Colletta, a Neapolitan born nine years after him. He also in his Storia del reame di Napoli dal 1734 al 1825 had the idea of defending the independence and liberty of Italy in a style borrowed from Tacitus; and he succeeded rather better than Botta. He has a rapid, brief, nervous style, which makes his book attractive reading. But it is said that Pietro Giordani and Gino Capponi corrected it for him. Lazzaro Papi of Lucca, author of the Commentari della riwluzione francese dal 1789 al 1814, was not altogether unlike Botta and Colletta. He also was an historian in the classical style, and treats his subject with patriotic feeling; but as an artist he perhaps excels the other two.
At first sight it seems unnatural that, whilst the most burning political passions were raging, and whilst the most brilliant men of genius in the new classical and patriotic school were at the height of their influence, a question should have arisen about " purism " of language. Yet the phenomenon can be easily accounted for. Purism is another form of classicism and patriotism. In the second half of the 18th century the Italian language was specially full of French expressions. There was great indifference about fitness, still more about elegance of style. Prose then was to be restored for the sake of national dignity, and it was believed that this could not be done except by going back to the writers of the 14th century, to the " aurei trecentisti," as they were called, or else to the classics of Italian literature. One of the promoters of the new school was Antonio Cesari of Verona, who republished ancient authors, and brought out a new edition, with additions, of the Vocabolario della Crusca. He wrote a dissertation Sopra lo stato presente della lingua italiana, and endeavoured to establish the supremacy of Tuscan and of the three great writers Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio. And in accordance with that principle he wrote several books, taking pains to copy the " trecentisti " as closely as possible. But patriotism in Italy has always had something municipal in it; so to this Tuscan supremacy, proclaimed and upheld by Cesari, there was opposed a Lombard school, which would know nothing of Tuscan, and with Dante's De vulgari eloquio returned to the idea of the " lingua illustre."
This was an old question, largely and bitterly argued in the Cinquecento (16th century) by Varchi, Muzio, Castelvetro, Speroni and others. Now the question came up again quite fresh, as if no one had ever discussed it before. At the head of the Lombard school were Monti and his son-in-law Count Giulio Perticari. This gave Monti an occasion to write Proposla di alcune correzioni ed aggiunte al wcabolario della Crusca, in which he attacked the Tuscanism of the Crusca, but in a graceful and easy style, such in fact as to form a prose that is one of the most beautiful in Italian literature. Perticari on the other hand, with a very inferior intellect, narrowed and exasperated the question in two treatises, Degli scrillori del Trecento and Dell' amor patrio di Dante, in which, often disguising or altering the facfs, he only makes confusion where there was none. Meantime, however, the impulse was given. The dispute about language took its place beside literary and political disputes, and all Italy took part in it Basilio Puoti at Naples, Paolo Costa in the Romagna, Marc' Antonio Parenti at Modena, Salvatore Betti at Rome, Giovanni Gherardini in Lombardy, Luigi Fornaciari at Lucca, Vincenzo Nannucci at Florence.
A patriot, a classicist and a purist all at once was Pietro Giordani, born in 1774; he was almost a compendium of the literary movement of the time. His whole life was OtorrfMi a battle fought for liberty. Most learned in Greek and Latin authors, and in the Italian trecentisti, he only left a few writings behind him, but they were carefully elaborated in point of style, and his prose was in his time considered wonderful. Now it is looked on as too majestic, too much laboured in phrases and conceits, too far from nature, too artificial. Giordani closes the literary epoch of the classicists.
7. Nineteenth Century and After. At this point the contemporary period of literature begins. It has been said that the first impulse was given to it by the romantic school, which had as its organ the Conciliatore established in 1818 at Milan, and on the staff of which were Silvio Pellico, Lodovico di Breme, Giovile Scalvini, Tommaso Grossi, Giovanni Berchet, Samuele Biava and lastly Alessandro Manzoni. It need not be denied that all these men were influenced by the ideas that, especially in Germany, at the beginning of the 19th century constituted the movement called Romanticism. Nevertheless, in Italy the course of literary reform took another direction. There is no doubt that the real head of the reform, or at least its most distinguished man, was Alessandro Manzoni. He formulated in a letter of his the objects of the new school, saying that it aspired to try and discover and express " il vero storico " and " il vero morale," not only as an end, but as the widest and eternal source of the beautiful. And it is precisely realism in art that characterizes Italian literature from Manzoni onwards. The Promessi Sposi is the one of his works that has made him immortal. No doubt the idea of the historical novel came to him from Sir Walter Scott, but he succeeded in something more than an historical novel in the narrow meaning of that word; he created an eminently realistic work of art. The romance disappears; no one cares for the plot, which moreover is of very little consequence. The attention is entirely fixed on the powerful objective creation of the characters. From the greatest to the least they have a wonderful verisimilitude; they are living persons standing before us, not with the qualities of one time more than another, but with the human qualities of all time. Manzoni is able to unfold a character in all particulars, to display it in all its aspects, to follow it through its different phases. He is able also to seize one moment, and from that moment to make us guess all the rest. Don Abbondio and Renzo are as perfect as Azzeccagarbugli and II Sarto. Manzoni dives down into the innermost recesses of the human heart, and draws thence the most subtle psychological reality. In this his greatness lies, which was recognized first by his companion in genius, Goethe. As a poet too he had gleams of genius, especially in the Napoleonic ode, // Cinque Maggio, and where he describes human affections, as in some stanzas of the Inni and in the chorus of the Adelchi. But it is on the Promessi Sposi alone that his fame now rests.
The great poet of the age was Leopardi, born thirteen years after Manzoni at Recanati, of a patrician family, bigoted and avaricious. He became so familiar with Greek authors Leopardi. t ng uge( j a f terwar( j s to say that the Greek mode of thought was more clear and living to his mind than the Latin or even the Italian. Solitude, sickness, domestic tyranny, prepared him for profound melancholy. From this he passed into complete religious scepticism, from which he sought rest in art. Everything is terrible and grand in his poems, which are the most agonizing cry in modern literature, uttered with a solemn quietness that at once elevates and terrifies us. But besides being the greatest poet of nature and of sorrow, he was also an admirable prose writer. In his Operette morali dialogues and discourses marked by a cold and bitter smile at human destinies which freezes the reader the clearness of style, the simplicity of language and the depth of conception are such that perhaps he is not only the greatest lyrical poet since Dante, but also one of the most perfect writers of prose that Italian literature has had.
As realism in art gained ground, the positive method in criticism kept pace with it. From the manner of Botta and Colletta history returned to its spirit of learned reHteratun searc ' 1 , as is shown in such works as the Archivio storico italiano, established at Florence by Giampietro Vieusseux, the Storia d' Italia nel media evo by Carlo Troya, a remarkable -treatise by Manzoni himself, Sopra alcuni punti della sloria Jongobardica in Italia, and the very fine history of the Vespri siciliani by Michele Amari. But alongside of the great artists Leopardi and Manzoni, alongside of the learned scholars, there was also in the first half of the 19th century a patriotic literature. To a close observer it will appear that historical learning itself was inspired by the love of Italy. Giampietro Vieusseux had a distinct political object when in 1820 he established the monthly review Antologia. And it is equally well known that his Archivio storico italiano (1842) was, under a different form, a continuation of the Antologia, which was suppressed in 1833 owing to the action of the Russian government. Florence was in those days the asylum of all the Italian exiles, and these exiles met and shook hands in Vieusseux's rooms, where there was more literary than political talk, but where one thought and one only animated all minds, the thought of Italy.
The literary movement which preceded and was contemporary with the political revolution of 1848 may be said to be represented by four writers Giuseppe Giusti, Francesco Domenico Guerrazzi, Vincenzo Gioberti and Cesare Balbo. Giusti wrote epigrammatic satires in popular language. In incisive phrase he scourged the enemies of Italy; his manner seemed very original, but it really was partly imitated from Beranger. He was a telling political writer, but a mediocre poet. Guerrazzi had a great reputation and great influence, but his historical novels, though read wfth ferverish avidity before 1848, are now almost forgotten. Gioberti, a powerful polemical writer, had a noble heart and a great mind; his philosophical works are now as good as dead, but the Primato morale e civile degli Italiani will last as an important document of the times, and the Gesuita moderno will live as the most tremendous indictment ever written against the Jesuits. Balbo was an earnest student of history, and made history useful for politics. Like Gioberti in his first period, Balbo was zealous for the civil papacy, and for a federation of the Italian states presided over by it. His Sommario della sloria d' Italia is an excellent epitome. (A. BA.)
After the year 1850 political literature becomes less important, one of the last poets distinguished in this genre being Francesco dall' Ongaro, with his stornelli politici. For details as to the works * recent writers, reference may be made Httntun. to the separate biographical articles, and here a summary must suffice. Giovanni Prati and Aleardo Aleardi continue romantic traditions. The dominating figure of this later period, however, is Giosufe Carducci, the opponent of the Romantics and restorer of the ancient metres and spirit, who, great as a poet, was scarcely less distinguished as a literary critic and historian. Other classical poets are Giuseppe Chiarini, Domenico Guoli, Arturo Graf, Guide Mazzoni and Giovanni Marradi, of whom the two last named may perhaps be regarded as special disciples of Carducci, while another, Giovanni Pascoli, best known by his Myricae and Poemetti, only began as such. Enrico Panzacchi (b. 1842) was at heart still a romantic. Olindo Guerrini (who wrote under the pseudonym of Lorenzo Stecchetti) is the chief representative of veriomo in poetry, and, though his early works obtained a succes de scandale, he is the author of many lyrics of intrinsic value. Alfredo Baccelli and Mario Rapisardi are epic poets of distinction. Felice Cavallotti is the author of the stirring Marcia de Leonida. Among dialect writers, the great Roman poet Giuseppe Gioachino Belli has found numerous successors, such as Renato Fucini (Pisa), Berto Barbarini (Verona) and Cesare Pascarella (Rome). Among the women poets, Ada Negri, with her socialistic Fatalita and Tempesle, has achieved a great reputation ; and others, such as Vittoria Aganoor, A. Brunacci-Brunamonti and Annie Vivanti, are highly esteemed in Italy.
Among the dramatists, Pietro Cossa in tragedy, Gherardi del Testa, Ferdinando Martini and Paolo Ferrari in comedy, represent the older schools. More modern methods were adopted by Giuseppe Giacosa and Gerolamo Rovetta.
In fiction, the historical romance has fallen into disfavour, though Emilio de Marchi has written some good examples in this genre. The novel of intrigue was cultivated by Anton Giulio Barrili and Salvatore Farina, the psychological novel by Enrico Annibale Butti, the realistic local tale by Giovanni Verga, the mystic philosophical novel by Antonio Fogazzaro. Edmondo de Amicis, perhaps the most widely read of all modern Italians, has written acceptable fiction, though his moral works and travels are more generally known. Of the women novelists, Matilde Serao and Grazia Deledda have become deservedly popular.
Gabriele d' Annunzio has produced original work in poetry, drama and fiction, of extraordinary quality. He began with some lyrics which were distinguished no less by their exquisite beauty of form than by their licence, and these characteristics reappeared in a long series of poems, plays and novels. D'Annunzio's position as a man of the widest literary and artistic culture is undeniable, and even his sternest critics admit his mastery of the Italian tongue, based on a thorough knowledge of Italian literature from the earliest times. But with all his genius, his thought is unhealthy and his pessimism depressing; the beauty of his work is the beauty of decadence.
BIBLIOGRAPHY. Among the more aesthetic accounts of Italian literature, those of Emiliano Giudici (Florence, 1855) and Francesco de S.i net is (Naples, 1870) are still the best. Two histories of real scientific value were interrupted by the death of the authors: that of Adolfo Bartoli (Florence, 1879-1899) breaking off in the 14th century, and that of Gaspary (Berlin, 1884-1889; English version, so far only down to the death of Dante, London, 1901) breaking off before Tasso (a completion being undertaken by Wendriner). Bartoli's article in the 9th edition of this encyclopaedia has been reproduced, with some slight revision, above. Among the many recent Italian works, the most important is the elaborate series of volumes contributing the Storia lett. d' Italia scritta da una societa di professori (1900 sqq.): Giussani, Lett, romana; Novati, Origini delta lingua; Zingarelli, Dante; Volpi, // Trecento; Rossi, // Quattrocento; Flamini, // Cinquecento ; Belli mi, // Seicento; Concari, // Seltecento; Mazzoni, L' Ottocento. Each volume has a full bibliography. Important German works, besides Gaspary, are those of Wilse and Percopo (illustrated; Leipzig, 1899), and of Casini (in Grober's Grundr. der rSm. Phil. , Strassburg, 1896-1899). English students are referred to Symonds's Renaissance in Italy (especially, but not exclusively, vols. iv. and v. ; new ed., London, 1902), and to R. Garnett's History of Italian Literature (London, 1898). (H. O.)
ITALIAN WARS (1848-1870), a generic name for the series of wars for Italian unity which began with the Milan insurrection of the 18th of March 1848 and closed with the capture of Rome by the Italians on the 20th of September 1870. For their Italian political interest see Italy: History. The present article deals with certain campaigns of distinctively military importance, viz. 1848-49, 1839; and 1866, in the first and third of which the centre of gravity of the nationalist movement was the Piedmontese regular army, and in the second the French army commanded by Napoleon III. On the other side the Austrian army was throughout the basis of the established order of things, settled at the Congress of Vienna on the theory that Italy was " a geographical expression." Side by side with these regular armies, each of which was a special type, there fought national levies of widely varying kinds, and thus practically every known form of military service, except the fully organized " nation in arms " (then peculiar to Prussia) made its appearance in the field. Further, these wars constitute the greater part of European military history between Waterloo and Koniggratz a bridge if a broken one between Napoleon and Moltke. They therefore present a considerable technical interest, wholly apart from their historical importance and romantic interest.
AUSTRO-SARDINIAN WAR OF 1848-1849 From about 1846 the spirit of revolt against foreign domination had gathered force, and two years later, when Europe was on the verge of a revolutionary outburst, the struggle for Italian unity was initiated by the insurrection at Milan. At this moment the Austrian army in Lombardy, practically a highly-trained force of long-service professional soldiers, was commanded by Radetzky, one of the greatest generals in Austrian history. Being, however, virtually an army of occupation, it was broken up into many garrisons, and in all was not more than 70,000 strong, so that after five days' fighting in the streets of Milan, Radetzky did as Wellington had proposed to do in 1817 when his army of occupation in France was threatened by a national rising, and withdrew to a concentration area to await reinforcements. This area was the famous Quadrilateral, marked by the fortresses of Mantua, Verona, Peschiera and Legnago, and there, in the early days of April, the scattered fractions of the Austrians assembled. Lombardy and Venetia had followed the example of Milan, and King Charles Albert of Sardinia, mobilizing the Piedmontese army in good time, crossed the frontier, with 45,000 regulars two days after the Austrians had withdrawn from Milan. Had the insurrectionary movements and the advance of the Piedmontese been properly co-ordinated, there can be little doubt that some, at any rate, of the Austrian detachments would have been destroyed or injured in their retreat, but as it was they escaped without material losses. The blow given to Austrian prestige by the revolt of the great cities was, however, so severe that the whole peninsula rallied to Charles Albert. Venice, reserving a garrison for her own protection, set on foot an improvised army 11,000 strong on the mainland; some 5000 Lombards and 9000 insurgents from the smaller duchies gathered on both sides of the Po; 15,000 Papal troops under Durando and 13,000 Neapolitans under the old patriot general Pepe moved up to Ferrara and Bologna respectively, and Charles Albert with the Piedmontese advanced to the Mincio at the beginning of April. His motley command totalled 96,000 men, of whom, however, only half were thoroughly trained and disciplined troops. The reinforcements available in Austria were about 25,000 disciplined troops not greatly inferior in quality to Radetzky's own veterans. Charles Albert could call up 45,000 levies at a few weeks' notice, and eventually all the resources of the patriot party.
The regular war began in the second week of April on the Mincio, the passages of which river were forced and the Austrian advanced troops driven back on the 8th (action of Goito) and gth. Radetzky maintained a careful defensive, and the king's attempts to surprise Peschiera (l4th) and Mantua (igth) were unsuccessful. But Peschiera was closely invested, though it was not forced to capitulate until the end of May. Meantime the Piedmontese army advanced towards Verona, and, finding Radetzky with a portion of his army on their left flank near Pastrengo, swung northward and drove him over the Adige above Verona, but on turning towards Verona they were checked (action of Pastrengo 28th-3Oth April and battle of Santa Lucia di Verona, 6th May).
Meantime the Austrian reinforcements assembled in Carniola under an Irish-born general, Count Nugent von Westmeath (1777- 1862) and entered Friuli. Their junction with the field marshal was in the last degree precarious, every step of their march was contested by the levies and the townsmen of Venetia. The days of rifled artillery were not yet come, and a physical obstacle to the combined movements of trained regulars and a well-marked line of defence were all that was necessary to convert even medieval walled towns into centres of effective resistance. When the spirit of resistance was lacking, as it had been for example in 1799 (see FRENCH REVOLUTIONARY WARS), the importance of the walled towns corresponded simply to their material strength, which was practically negligible. But throughout the campaign of 1848- 1849, the essential moral conditions of defence being present, the Austrians were hampered by an endless series of minor sieges, in which the effort expended was out of all proportion to the success achieved.
Nugent, however, pressed on, though every day weakened by small detachments, and, turning rather than overpowering each obstacle as it was encountered, made his way slowly by Befluno to Vicenza and Treviso and joined Radetzky at Verona **>' on the 251)1 of May. The latter then for a moment took '*f the offensive, passing around the right flank of the loyal army by way of Mantua (actions of Curtatone, 2gth May, " tfraL and Goito, 3Oth May), but, failing of the success he expected he turned swiftly round and with 30,000 men attacked the 20,000 Italians (Papal troops, volunteers, Neapolitans) under Durando, who had established themselves across his line of communication at Vicenza, drove them away and reoccupied Vicenza (9th June), where a second body of reinforcements from Trent, clearing the Brenta valley (Val Sugana) as they advanced, joined him, the king meanwhile being held in check by the rest of Radetzky's army.
After beating down resistance in the valleys of the Brenta and Piave, the field marshal returned to Verona. Charles Albert had now some 75,000 men actually in hand on the line of high ground, S. Giustina-Somma Campagna, and made the mistake of extending inordinately so as to cover his proposed siege of Mantua. Napoleon, fifty years before on the same ground (see FRENCH REVOLUTIONARY WARS), had only with great difficulty solved this same problem by the economical grouping and resolute handling of his forces, and Charles Albert, setting out his forces en cordon, was weak at all points of his long front of 45 m. Thus Radetzky, gathering his forces opposite the king's centre (Spna, Somma Campagna), was able to break it (23rd July). The Piedmontese, however, fell back steadily, and 25,000 of them collected at Villafranca, whence on the 24th they counter-attacked and regained the heights at Custozza and Somma Campagna that they had lost. Radetzky, however, took the offensive again next morning and having succeeded in massing half of his army opposite to one quarter of the Piedmontese, was completely victorious (first battle of Custozza, 24th-25th July). Pursuing vigorously, the Austrians drove the king over the Mincio (action of Volta, 26th-27th), the Chiese, the Adda and the Ticino into his own dominions, Milan being reoccupied without fighting. The smaller bands of patriots were one after the other driven over the borders or destroyed. Venice alone held out to the end. Besieged by land and water, and bombarded as well, she prolonged her resistance until October 1849, long after the war had everywhere else come to an end.
The first campaign for unity had ended in complete failure, thanks to the genius of Radetzky and the thorough training, mobility and handiness of his soldiers. During the winter of 1848-1849 for, to avoid unnecessary waste of his precious veterans, Radetzky let the Piedmontese army retire unmolested over the Ticino Charles Albert took energetic measures to reorganize, refit and augment his army. But his previous career had not fitted him to meet the crisis. With aspirations for unity he sympathized, and to that ideal he was soon to sacrifice his throne, but he had nothing in common with the distinctively revolutionary party, with whom circumstances had allied him. Radicalism, however, was a more obvious if a less real force than nationalism, and Charles Albert made it a fatal concession in appointing the Polish general Albert Chrzanowski (1788-1861) his principal adviser and commander-in-chief an appointment that alienated the generals and the army, while scarcely modifying the sentiments of distrust with which the Liberal party regarded the king. 1 In March the two main armies were grouped in the densely intersected district between Milan, Vercelli and Pavia (see sketch map below), separated by the Ticino, of which the outposts of either side watched the passages. Charles Albert had immediately in hand 65,000 men, some 25,000 more being scattered in various detachments to right and Novara - left. Radetzky disposed of 70,000 men for fiejd operations, besides garrisons. The recovery of Milan, the great city that had been the first to revolt, seemed to the Italians the first objective of the campaign. It was easier indeed to raise the whole country in arms than to crush the field-marshal's regulars, and it was hoped that Radetzky would, on losing Milan, either retire to Lodi and perhaps 1 Several of the French generals Lamoriciere, Bedeau, Changarnier and others who had been prominent in Algeria and in the 1848 revolution in France had been invited to take the command, but had declined it.
to Mantua (as in 1848), or gather his forces for battle before Milan. Radetzky himself openly announced that he would take the offensive, and the king's plans were framed to meet this case also. Two-thirds of the army, 4 divisions, were grouped in great depth between Novara, Galliate and Castelnuovo. A little to the right, at Vespplate and Vigevano, was one division under Durando, and the remaining division under Ramorino was grouped opposite Pavia with orders to take that place if possible, but if Radetzky advanced thence, to fall back fighting either on Mortara or Lomello, 1 while the main body descended on the Austrian flank. The grouping both of Ramorino and of the main body as events proved in the case of the latter cannot be seriously criticized, and indeed one is almost tempted to assume that Chrzanowski considered the case of Radetzky's advance on Mortara more carefully than that of his own advance on Milan. But the seething spirit of revolt did not allow the army that was Italy's hope to stand still at a foreign and untried general's dictation and await Radetzky's coming. On the igth of March orders were issued to the main body for the advance on Milan and on the 20th one division, led by the king himself, crossed the Ticino at San Martino.
But no Austrians were encountered, and such information as was available indicated that Radetzky was concentrating to his left on the Pavia-Lodi road. Chrzanowski thereupon, abandoning (if indeed he ever entertained) the idea of Radetzky's retirement and his own triumphal march on Milan, suspended the advance. His fears were justified, for that evening he heard that Ramorino had abandoned his post and taken his division across the Po. After the war this general was shot for disobedience, and deservedly, for the covering division, the fighting flank-guard on which Chrzanowski's defensive-offensive depended, was thus withdrawn at the moment when Radetzky's whole army was crossing the Ticino at Pavia and heading for Mortara. 2 The four Austrian corps began to file across the Ticino at noon on the 20th, and by nightfall the heads of Radetzky's columns were at Zerbplo, Gambolo and La Cava, the reserve at Pavia, a flank-guard holding the Cava-Casatisma road over the Po against the contingency of Ramorino's return, and the two brigades that had furnished the outposts along the Ticino closing on Bereguardo.
Chrzanowski, however, having now to deal with a foreseen case, gave his orders promptly. To replace Ramorino, the 1st division was ordered from Vespolate through Mortara to Trumello ; the 2nd division from Cerano to push south on Vigevano ; ortara. tne reserve f rom Novara to Mortara; the remainder to follow the 2nd division. Had the 1st division been placed at Mortara instead of Vespolate in the first instance the story of the campaign might have been very different, but here again, though to a far less culpable degree, a subordinate general's default imperilled the army. Durando (21st March), instead of pushing on as ordered to Trumello to take contact with the enemy, halted at Mortara. The reserve also halted there and deployed west of Mortara to guard against a possible attack from San Giorgio. The Sardinian advanced guard on the other road reached Borgo San Siro, but there met and was driven back by Radetzky's II. corps under Lieut. Field Marshal d'Aspre (1789-1850), which was supported by the brigades that now crossed at Bereguardo. But the Italians were also supported, the Austrians made little progress, and by nightfall the Sardinian II., III. and IV. divisions had closed up around Vigevano. Radetzky indeed intended his troops on the Vigevano road to act simply as a defensive flank-guard and had ordered the rest of his army by the three roads, Zerbolo-Gambolo, GropelloTrumello and Lomello-San Giorgio, to converge on Mortara. The rearmost of the two corps on the Gambolo road (the I.) was to serve at need as a support to the flank-guard, and, justly confident in his troops, Radetzky did not hesitate to send a whole corps by the eccentric route of Lomello. And before nightfall an important success had justified him, for the II. corps from Gambolo, meeting Durando outside Mortara had defeated him before the Sardinian reserve, prematurely deployed on the other side of the town, could come to his assistance. The remaining corps of Radetzky's army were still short of Mortara when night came, but this could hardly be well known at the royal headquarters, and, giving up the slight chances of success that a counterstroke from Vigevano on Mortara offered, Chrzanowski ordered a general concentration on Novara. This was effected on the 22nd, on which day Radetzky, pushing out the II. corps towards Vespolate, concentrated the rest at Mortara. That the Italians had retired was clear, but it was not known whither, and, precisely as Napoleon had done before Marengo (see FRENCH REVOLUTIONARY WARS), he sent one corps to seize the king's potential line of retreat, Novara- Vercelli, kept one back at Mortara 1 Students of Napoleonic strategy will find it interesting to replace Ramorino by, say, Lannes, and to post Durando at MortaraVigevano instead of Vespolate- Vigevano, and from these conditions to work out the probable course ofevents.
1 Ramorino's defence was that he had received information that the Austrians were advancing on Alessandria by the south bank of the Po. But Alessandria was a fortress, and could be expected to hold out for forty-eight hours; moreover, it could easily have been succoured by way of Valenza if necessary.
ready, it may be presumed, to grapple an enemy coming from Vigevano and engaged the other three in a single long column, widely spaced out, on the Novara road. Thus it came about that on the 23rd d'Aspre's II. corps encountered Charles Albert's whole army long before the III. and Reserve could join it. The battle of Novara was, nevertheless, as great an event in the history of the Imperial- Royal Army as Marengo in that of the French.
First the II. corps, and then the II. and III. together attacked with the utmost resolution, and as the hours went by more and more of the whitecoats came on the field until at last the ... IV. corps, swinging inward from Robbio, came on to the flank of the defence. This was no mere strategical triumph; the Austrians, regiment for regiment, were more than a match for the Italians and the result was decisive. Charles Albert abdicated, and the young Victor Emmanuel II., his successor, had to make a hasty armistice.
After Novara, the first great struggle for Italian unity was no more than a spasmodic, if often desperate, struggle of small bodies of patriots and citizens of walled towns to avert the inevitable. The principal incidents in the last phase were the siege of Venice, the sack of Brescia by the merciless Haynau and the capture of Rome by a French expeditionary corps under General Oudinot.
THE ITALIAN WAR OF 1859 The campaign of Magenta and Solferino took place ten years later. Napoleon III., himself an ex-carbonaro, and the apostle of the theory of " nationalities," had had his attention and his ambitions drawn towards the Italian problem by the attempt upon his life by Orsini. The general political horizon was by no means clear at the end of 1858, and on the 1st of January 1859 the emperor of the French publicly expressed to the Austrian ambassador his regret that " our relations are not so good as heretofore." This was regarded by all concerned as a prelude to war, and within a short time a treaty and a marriagecontract allied Sardinia with the leading European power. In the smaller Italian states, as before, the governments were on the side of Austria and the " settlement of 1815, " and the peoples on that of United Italy. The French still maintained a garrison in Rome to support the pope. The thorny question of the temporal power versus the national movement was not yet in the foreground, and though Napoleon's support of the former was later to prove his undoing, in 1859 the main enemy was Austria and the paramount factor was the assistance of 200,000 French regulars in solving the immediate problem.
The Sardinian army, reconstituted by La Marmora with the definite object of a war for union and rehabilitated by its conduct in the Crimea, was eager and willing. The French army, proud of its reputation as the premier army in the world, and composed, three-fourths of it, of professional soldiers whose gospel was the " Legend," welcomed a return to the first Napoleon's battle-grounds, while the emperor's ambitions coincided with his sentiments. Austria, on the other hand, did not desire war. Her only motive of resistance was that it was impossible to cede her Italian possessions in face of a mere threat. To her, even more than to France and infinitely more than to Italy, the war was a political war, a " war with a limited aim " or " stronger form of diplomatic note "; it entirely lacked the national and personal spirit of resistance which makes even a passive defence so powerful.
Events during the period of tension that preceded the actual declaration of war were practically governed by these moral conditions. Such advantages as Austria possessed at the outset could only be turned to account, as will presently appear, by prompt action. But her army system was a combination of conscription and the " nation in arms," which for the diplomatic war on hand proved to be quite inadequate. Whereas the French army was permanently on a two-thirds war footing (400,000 peace, 600,000 war) , that of Austria required to be more than doubled on mobilization by calling in reservists. Now, the value of reservists is always conditioned by the temper of the population from which they come, and it is more than probable that the indecision of the Austrian government between January and April 1859 was due not only to its desire on general grounds to avoid war, but also, and perhaps still more, to its hopes of averting it by firmness, without having recourse to the possibly dangerous expedient of a real mobilization. A few years before the method of " bluffing " had been completely successful against Prussia. But the Prussian reservist of 1850 did not want to fight, whereas the French soldier of 1859 desired nothing more ardently.
In these conditions the Austrian preparations were made sparingly, b"ut with ostentation. The three corps constituting the Army of Italy (commanded since Radetzky's death in 1858 by Feldzeugmeister Count Franz Gyulai (1798-1863)), were maintained at war efficiency, but not at war strength (corps averaging 15,000). Instead, however, of mobilizing them, the Vienna government sent an army corps (III.) from Vienna at peace strength in January. This was followed by the II. corps, also at peace strength, in February, and the available field force, from that point, could have invaded Piedmont at once. 1 The initial military situation was indeed all in favour of Austria. Her mobilization was calculated to take ten weeks, it is true, but her concentration by rail could be much more speedily effected than that of the French, who had either to cross the Alps on foot or to proceed to Genoa by sea and thence by one line of railway to the interior. Further, the demands of Algeria, Rome and other garrisons, the complicated political situation and the consequent necessity of protecting the French coasts against an English attack, 2 and still more the Rhine frontier against Prussia and other German states (a task to which the greatest general in the French army, Pelissier, was assigned), materially reduced the size of the army to be sent to Italy. But the Austrian government held its hand, and the Austrian com'mander, apparently nonplussed by the alternation of quiescence and boldness at Vienna, asked for full mobilization and tu rne d his thoughts to the Quadrilateral that had served Radetzky so well in gaining time for the reserves to come up. March passed away without an advance, and it was not until the sth of April that the long-deferred order was issued from Vienna to the reservists to join the II., III., V., VII. and VIII. corps in Italy. And, after all, Gyulai took the field, at the end of April, with most of his units at threequarters of their war strength. 3 On the side of the allies the Sardinians mobilized 5 infantry andT cavalry divisions, totalling 64,000, by the third week in April. A few days later Austria sent an ultimatum to Turin. This was rejected' on the 26th, war being thereupon declared. As for the French, the emperor's policy was considerably in advance of his war minister's preparations. The total of about 130,000 men (all that could be spared out of 500,000) for the Italian army was not reached until operations were in progress; and the first troops only entered Savoy or disembarked in Genoa on the 25th and 26th of April.
Thus, long as the opening had been delayed, there was still a period after both sides had resolved on and prepared for war, during which the Austrians were free to take the Austrian o ff ens i ve . Had the Austrians crossed the frontier instead of writing an ultimatum on the 19th of April, they would have had from a week to a fortnight to deal with the Sardinians. But even the three or four days that elapsed between the declaration and the arrival of the first French soldiers were wasted. Vienna ordered Gyulai to take the offensive on the zyth, but it was not until the 30th that the Austrian general crossed the Ticino. His movements were unopposed, the whole of the Sardinian army having concentrated (by arrangement between La Marmora and Marshal Canrobert) in a flank position between Casale and Alessandria, where it covered Turin indirectly and Genoa, the French disembarkation 1 The Sardinians, at peace strength, had some 50,000 men, and during January and February the government busied itself chiefly with preparations of supplies and armament. Here the delay in calling out the reserves was due not to their possible ill-will, but to the necessity of waiting on the political situation.
'As far as possible Italian conscripts had been sent elsewhere and replaced by Austrians.
port, directly. Gyulai's left was on the 2nd of May opposite the allied centre, and his right stretched as far as Vercelli. 4 On the 3rd he planned a concentric attack on King Victor Emmanuel's position, and parts of his scheme were actually put into execution, but he suspended it owing to news of the approach of the French from Genoa, supply difficulties (Radetzky, the inheritor of the 18th-century traditions, had laid it down that the soldier must be well fed and that the civilian must not be plundered, conditions which were unfavourable to mobility) and the heavy weather and the dangerous state of the rivers.
Gyulai then turned his attention to the Sardinian capital. Three more days were spent in a careful flank march to the right, and on the Sth of May the army (III., V. and VII.) was grouped about Vercelli, with outposts 10-14 m - beyond the Sesia towards Turin, reserves (II. and VIII.) round Mortara, and a flank-guard detached from Benedek's VIII. corps watching the Po. The extreme right of the main body skirmished with Garibaldi's volunteers on the edge of the Alpine country. The Turin scheme was, however, soon given up. Bivouacs, cancelled orders and crossings of marching columns all contributed to exhaust the troops needlessly. On the gth one corps (the V.) had its direction and disposition altered four times, without any change in the general situation to justify this. In fact, the Austrian headquarters were full of able soldiers, each of whom had his own views on the measures to be taken and a certain measure of support from Vienna Gyulai, Colonel Kuhn his chief of staff, and Feldzeugmeister Hess, who had formerly played Gneisenau to Radetzky's Blucher. But what emerges most clearly from the movements of these days is that Gyulai himself distrusted the offensive projects he had been ordered to execute, and catching apparently at some expression of approval given by the emperor, had determined to imitate Radetzky in " a defensive based on the Quadrilateral." His immediate intention, on abandoning the advance on Turin was to group his army around Mortara and to strike out as opportunity offered against the heads of the allied columns wherever they appeared. Meantime, the IX. corps had been sent to Italy, and the I. and XI. were mobilizing. These were to form the I. Army, Gyulai's the II. The latter was by the 13th of May grouped in the Lomellina, one third (chiefly VII. corps) spread 4 The movements of the division employed in policing Lombardy (Urban's) are not included here, unless specially mentioned.
te/to' e " by brigades fanwise from Vercelli along the Sesia and Po to Vaccarizza, two thirds massed in a central position about Mortara. There was still no information of the enemy's distribution, except what was forwarded from Vienna or gathered by the indefatigable Urban's division, which moved from Milan to Biella, thence to Brescia and Parma, and back to Lombardy in search of revolutionary bands, and the latter's doings in the nature of things could not afford any certain inferences as to the enemy's regular armies.
On the side of the allies, the Piedmontese were grouped on the 1st of May in the fortified positions selected for them by Canrobert about Valenza-Casale- Alessandria. The French III. corps arrived on the and and 3rd and the IV. corps on the 7th at Alessandria from Genoa. Unhampered by Gyulai's offensive, though at times and places disquieted by his minor reconnaissances, the allies assembled until on the 16th the French were stationed as follows: I. corps, Voghera and Pontecurone, II., Sale and Bassignana, III., Tortona, IV., Valenza, Guard, Alessandria, and the king's army between Valenza and Casale. The V. French corps under Prince Napoleon had a political mission in the duchies of middle Italy; one division of this corps, however, followed the main army. On the eve of the first collision the emperor Napoleon, commanding in chief, had in hand about 100,000 French and about 60,000 Sardinian troops (not including Garibaldi's enlisted volunteers or the national guard). Gyulai's II. Army was nominally of nearly equal force to that of the allies, but in reality it was only about 106,000 strong in combatants.
The first battle had no relation to the strategy contemplated by the emperor, and was still less a part of the defence scheme framed by Gyulai. The latter, still pivoting on Mortara, h a d between the 14th and igth drawn his army somewhat to the left, in proportion as more and more of the French came up from Genoa. He had further ordered a reconnaissance in force in the direction of Voghera by a mixed corps drawn from the V., Urban's division and the IX. (the last belonging to the I. Army). The saying that " he who does not know what he wants, yet feels that he must do something, appeases his conscience by a reconnaissance in force," applies to no episode more forcibly than to the action of Montebello (20th May) where Count Stadion, the commander of the V. corps, not knowing what to reconnoitre, engaged disconnected fractions of his available 24,000 against the French division of Forey (I. corps), 8000 strong, and was boldly attacked and beaten, with a loss of 1400 men against Forey's 700.
Montebello had, however, one singular result: both sides fell back and took defensive measures. The French headquarters were already meditating, if they had not Flank actually resolved upon, a transfer of all their forces The^Aiihet. ^ rom r 'f?ht to left, to be followed by a march on Milan (a scheme inspired by Jomini). But the opening of the movement was suspended until it became quite certain that Stadion's advance meant nothing, while Gyulai (impressed by Forey's aggressive tactics) continued to stand fast, and thus it was not until the 28th that the French offensive really began. 1 The infantry of the French III. corps was sent by rail from Pontecurone to Casale, followed by the rest of the army, which marched by road. To cover the movement D'Autemarre's division of Prince Napoleon's corps (V.) was posted at Voghera and one division of the king's army remained at Valenza. The rest of the Piedmontese were pushed northward to join Cialdini's division which was already at Vercelli. The emperor's orders were for Victor Emmanuel to push across the Sesia and to take 1 The advantages and dangers of the flank march are well summarized in Colonel H. C. Wylly's Magenta, and Solferino, p. 65, where the doctrinaire objections of Hamley and Rlistow are set in parallel with the common-sense views of a much-neglected English writer (Major Adams, Great Campaigns) and with the clear and simple doctrine of Moltke, that rested on the principle that strategy does not exist to avoid but to give effect to tactics. The waste of time in execution, rather than the scheme, is condemned by General Silvestre.
post at Palestro on the 30th to cover the crossing of the French at Vercelli. This the king carried out, driving back outlying bodies of the enemy in spite of a stubborn resistance and the close and difficult character of the country. Hearing of the fighting, Gyulai ordered the recapture of Palestro by the II. corps, but the Sardinians during the night strengthened their positions and the attack (3ist) was repulsed with heavy loss. These two initial successes of the allies, the failures in Austrian tactics and leadership which they revealed, and the fatigues and privation to which indifferent staff work had exposed his troops, combined to confirm Gyulai in his now openly expressed intention of " basing his defensive on the Quadrilateral." And indeed his only alternatives were now to fall back or to concentrate on the heads of the French columns as soon as they had passed the Sesia about Vercelli. Faithful to his view of the situation he adopted the former course (ist June). The retreat began on the 2nd, while the French were still busied in closing up. Equally with the Austrians, the French were the victims of a system of marching and camping that, by requiring the tail of the columns to close up on the head every evening, reduced the day's net progress to 6 or 7 m., although the troops were often under arms for fourteen or fifteen hours. The difference between the supreme commands of the rival armies lay not in the superior generalship of one or the other, but in the fact that Napoleon III. as sovereign knew what he wanted and as general pursued this object with much energy, whereas Gyulai neither knew how far his government would go nor was entire " master in his own house."
The latter became very evident in his retreat. Kuhn, the chief of staff, who was understood to represent the views of the general staff in Vienna, had already protested against Gyulai's retrograde movement, and on the 3rd Hess appeared from Vienna as the emperor's direct representative and stopped the movement. It was destined to be resumed after a short interval, but meanwhile the troops suffered from the orders and counter-orders that had marked every stage in the Austrian movements and were now intensified instead of being removed by higher intervention. Meanwhile (June 1-2) the allies had regrouped themselves east of the Sesia for the movement on Milan. The IV. corps, driving out an Austrian detachment at Novara, established itself there, and was joined by the II. and Guard. The king's army, supported by the I. and III. corps, was about Vercelli, with cavalry far out to the front towards Vespolate. From Novara, the emperor, who desired to give his troops a rest-day on the 2nd, pushed out first a mixed reconnaissance and then in the afternoon two divisions to seize the crossing of the Ticino, Camou's of the p nac i, Guard on Turbigo, Espinasse's of the II. corps on advance San Martino. Further the whole of the Vercelli ' '* group was ordered to advance on the 3rd to Novara Tlciao - and Galliate, where Napoleon would on the 4th have all his forces, except one division, beyond Gyulai's right and in handier the move on Milan. The division sent to Turbigo bridged the river and crossed in the night of the 2nd/3rd, that at San Martino (on the main road) occupied the bridge-head and also the river bridge itself, though the latter was damaged. Espinasse's division here was during the night replaced by a Guard division and went to join a growing assembly of troops under General MacMahon, which established itself at Turbigo and Robecchetto on the morning of the 3rd. Lastly, in order to make sure that no attack was impending from the direction of Mortara, Napoleon sent General Niel with a mixed reconnoitring force thither, which returned without meeting any Austrian force fortunately for itself, if the fate of the " reconnaissance in force " at Montebello proves anything.
The centre of gravity was now at Buffalora, a village on the main Milan road at the point where it crosses the Naviglio Grande. Here, on the night of the ist, Count Clam-Gallas, commanding the Austrian I. corps (which had just arrived in Italy and was to form part of the future I. Army) had posted a division, with a view to occupying the bridge-head of San Martino. On inspecting the latter Clam-Gallas concluded that it was indefensible, and, ordering the San Martino road and railway bridges to be destroyed (an order which was only partially executed), he called on Gyulai for support, sent out detachments to the right against the French troops reported at Turbigo, and prepared to hold his ground at Buffalora. On receipt of Clam-Gallas's report at the Austrian headquarters, Hess ordered the resumption of the retreat that he had countermanded, but it was already late and many of the troops did not halt for the night till midnight, June 3rd/4th. Gyulai promised them the 4th as a rest-day, but fortune ordered it otherwise. This much at least was in favour of the Austrians, that when the troops at last reached their assigned positions four-fifths of them were within 12 m. of the battlefield. But, as before, the greater part of the army was destined to be chained to " supporting positions " well back from the battlefield.
When day broke on the 4th, the emperor of the French was still uncertain as to Gyulai's whereabouts, and his intention was thereBattle ot ^ ore no mo . re than to secure the passage of the Ticino and Magenta to P;ace his army on both sides of the river, in sufficient strength to make head against Gyulai, whether the latter advanced from Mortara and Vigevano or from Abbiategrasso. He therefore kept back part of the French army and the whole of the Sardinian. But during the morning it became known that Gyulai had passed the Ticino on the evening of the 3rd; and Napoleon then ordered up all his forces to San Martino and Turbigo. The battlefield of Magenta is easily described. It consists of two level plateaux, wholly covered with vineyards, and between them the broad and low-lying valley of the Ticino. This, sharply defined by the bluffs of the adjoining plateaux, is made up of backwaters, channels, water meadows and swampy woods. At Turbigo the band of low ground is ij m. wide, at Buffalora a|. Along the foot of the eastern or Austrian bluffs between Turbigo and Buffalora runs the Grand Canal (Naviglio Grande) ; this, however, cuts into the plateau itself at the latter place and trending gradually inwards leaves a tongue of high ground separate from the main plateau. The NovaraMilan road and railway, crossing the Ticino by the bridge of San Martino, pass the second obstacle presented by the canal by the New Bridges of Magenta, the Old Bridge being 1000 yards south of these. The canal is bridged at several points between Turbigo and Buffalora, and also at Robecco, ij m. to the (Austrian) left of the Old Bridge. Clam-Gallas's main line of defence was the canal between Turbigo and the Old Bridge, skirmishers being posted on the tongue of high ground in front of the New Bridges, which were kept open for their retreat. He had been joined by the II. corps and disposed of 40,000 men, 27,000 more being at Abbiategrasso (2j m. S. of Robecco). Of his immediate command, he disposed about 12,000 for the defence of the New Bridges, 12,000 for that of Buffalora, 8000 at Magenta and 8000 at Robecco; all bridges, except the New Bridges, were broken. Cavalry played no part whatever, and artillery was only used in small force to fire along roads and paths.
Napoleon, as has been mentioned, spent the morning of the 4th in ascertaining that Gyulai had repassed the Ticino. Being desirous merely of securing the passage and having only a small force available for the moment at San Martino, he kept this back in the hope that MacMahon's advance from Turbigo on Magenta and Buffalora would dislodge the Austrians. MacMahon advanced in two columns, 2 divisions through Cuggiono and I through Inveruno. The former drove back the Austrian outposts with ease, but on approaching Buffalora found so serious a resistance that MacMahon broke off the fight in order to close up and deploy his full force. Meantime, however, on hearing the cannonade Napoleon had ordered forward Mellinet's division of the Guard on the New Bridges and Buffalora. The bold advance of this corps d'&ite carried both points at once, but the masses of the allies who had been retained to meet a possible attack from Mortara and Vigevano were still far distant and Mellinet was practically unsupported. Thus the French, turning towards the Old Bridge, found themselves (3.30 P.M.) involved in a close fight with some 18,000 Austrians, and meantime Gyulai had begun to bring up his III. and VII. corps towards Robecco and (with Hess) had arrived on the field himself. The VII. corps, on its arrival, drove Mellinet back to and over the New Bridges, but the French, now broken up into dense swarms of individual fighters, held on to the tongue of high ground and prevented the Austrians from destroying the bridges, while the occupants of Buffalora similarly held their own, and beyond them MacMahon, advancing through orchards and vineyards in a line of battle 2 m. long, slowly gained ground towards Magenta. The III. Austrian corps, meanwhile, arriving at Robecco spread out on both sides of the canal and advanced to take the defenders of the New Bridges in rear, but were checked by fresh French troops which arrived from San Martinc (4 P.M.). The struggle for the New and Old Bridges continued till 6 P.M., more and more troops being drawn into the vortex, but at last the Austrians, stubbornly defending each vineyard, fell back on Magenta. But while nearly all the Austrian reinforcements from the lower Ticino had successively been directed on the bridges, MacMahon had only had to deal with the 8000 men who had originally formed the garrison of Magenta. The small part of the reinforcing troops that had been directed thither by Gyulai before he was aware of the situation, had in consequence no active r61e defined in their orders and (initiative being then regarded as a vice)
they stood fast while their comrades were beaten. But it was not until after sunset that the thronging French troops at last broke into Magenta and the victory was won. The splendid Austrian cavalry (always at a disadvantage in Italy) found no opportunity to redress the balance, and their slow-moving and over-loaded infantry, in spite of its devotion, was no match in broken country for the swift and eager French. The forces engaged were 54,000 French (one-third of the allied army) to 58,000 Austrians (about half of Gyulai's total force). Thus the fears of Napoleon as regards an Austrian attack from Mortara- Vigevano neutralized the Dad distribution of his opponent's force, and Magenta was a fair contest of equal numbers. The victory of the French was palpably the consequence not of luck or generalship but of specific superiority in the soldier. The great result of the battle was therefore a conviction, shared by both sides, that in future encounters nothing but exceptional good fortune or skilful generalship could give the Austrians victory. The respective losses were : French 4000 killed and wounded and 600 missing, Austrians 5700 killed and wounded, 4500 missing.
While the fighting was prolonged to nightfall, the various corps of the Austrian army had approached, and it was Gyulai's intention to resume the battle next day with 100,000 men. But Clam-Gallas reported that the I. and II. corps were fought out, and thereupon Gyulai resolved to retreat on Cremona and Mantua, leaving the great road Milan-Brescia unused, for the townsmen's patriotism was sharpened by the remembrance of Haynau, the Hyena of Brescia." Milan and Pavia were evacuated on the 5th, Hess departed to meet the emperor Francis Joseph (who was coming to take command of the united I. and II. Armies), and although Kuhn was still in favour of the offensive Gyulai decided that the best service he could render was to deliver up the army intact to his sovereign on the Mincio. On the 8th of June Napoleon and Victor Emmanuel made their triumphal entry into Milan, while their corps followed up rather than pursued the retreating enemy along the Lodi and Cremona roads. On the same day, the 8th of June, the I. and II. French corps, under the general command of Marshal Baraguay d'Hilliers, attacked an Austrian rearguard (part of VIII. corps, Benedek) at the village of Melegnano. MacMahon with the II. corps was to turn the right flank, the IV. the left of the defenders, while Baraguay attacked in front. But MacMahon, as at Magenta, deployed into a formal line of battle before closing on the village, and his progress through the vineyards was correspondingly slow. The IV. corps was similarly involved in intricate country, but Baraguay, whose corps had not been present at Magenta, was burning to attack, and being a man aussi dur d ses soldats qu'd, lui-mme, he delivered the frontal attack about 6 P.M. without waiting for the others. This attack, as straightforward, as brusque, and as destitute of tactical refinements as that of the Swiss on that very ground in 1515 (Marignan), was carried out, without " preparation," by Bazaine's division d la baionnette. Benedek was dislodged, but retreated safely, having inflicted a loss of over 1000 men on the French, as against 360 in his own command.
After Melegnano, as after Magenta, contact with the retiring enemy was lost, and for a fortnight the story of the war is simply that of a triumphal advance of the allies and a quiet retirement and reorganization of the Austrians. Up to Magenta Napoleon had a well-defined scheme and executed it with vigour. But the fierceness of the battle itself had not a little effect on his strange dreamy character, and although it was proved beyond doubt that under reasonable conditions the French must win in every encounter, their emperor turned his attention to dislodging rather than to destroying the enemy. War clouds were gathering elsewhere on the Rhine above all. The simple brave promise to free Italy " from the Alps to the Adriatic " became complicated by many minor issues, and the emperor was well content to let his enemy retire and to accelerate that retirement by manoeuvre as far as might be necessary. He therefore kept on the left of his adversary's routes as before, and about the 20th of June the whole allied army (less Cialdini's Sardinian division, detached to operate on the fringe of the mountain country) was closely grouped around Montechiaro on the Chiese. It now consisted of 107,000 French and 48,000 Sardinians (combatants only). The Austrians had disappeared into the Quadrilateral, where the emperor Francis Joseph assumed personal command, with Hess as his chief of staff. Gyulai had resigned the command of the II. Army to Count Schlick, a cavalry general of 70 years of age. The I. Army was under Count Wimpffen. But this partition produced nothing but evil. The imperial headquarters still issued voluminous detailed orders for each corps, and the intervening army staff was a cause not of initiative or of simplification, but of unnecessary delay. The direction of several armies, in fact, is only feasible when general directions (directives as they are technically called) take the place of orders. All the necessary conditions for working such a system uniformity of training, methods and doctrine in the recipients, abstention from interference in details by the supreme command were wanting in the Austrian army of 1859. The I. Army consisted of the III., IX. and XI. corps with one cavalry division and details, 67,000 in all; the II. Army of the I., V., VII. and VIII. corps, one cavalry division and details or 90,000 combatants total 160,000, or practically the same force as the allies. The emperor had made several salutary changes in the administration, notably an order to the infantry to send their heavy equipment and parade full-dress into the fortresses, which enormously lightened the hitherto overburdened infantryman. At this moment the political omens were favourable, and gathering the impression from his outpost reports that the French were in two halves, separated by the river Chiese, the young emperor at last accepted Hess's advice to resume the offensive, in view of which Gyulai had left strong outposts west of the Mincio, when the main armies retired over that river, and had maintained and supplemented the available bridges.
The possibility of such a finale to the campaign had been considered but dismissed at the allied headquarters, where it was thought that if the Austrians took the offensive it would be on their own side, not the enemy's, of the Mincio and in the midst of the Quadrilateral. Thus the advance of the French army on the 24th was simply to be a general move to the line of the Mincio, preparatory to forcing the crossings, coupled with the destruction of the strong outpost bodies that had been left by the Austrians at Solferino, Guidizzolo, etc. The Austrians, who advanced over the Mincio on the 23rd, also thought that the decisive battle would take place on the third or fourth day of their advance. Thus, although both armies rfoved with all precautions as if a battle was the immediate object, neither expected a collision, and Solferino was consequently a pure encounter-battle.
Speaking generally, the battlefield falls into two distinct halves, the hilly undulating country, of which the edge (almost everywhere cliff -like) is defined by Lonato, Castiglione, Cavriana and M . Volta, and the plain of Medole and Guidizzolo. The , . village of Solferino is within the elevated ground, but * close to the edge. Almost in the centre of the plateau is Pozzolengo, and from Solferino and Pozzolengo roads lead to crossing places of the Mincio above Volta (Monzambano-Salionze and Valeggio). These routes were assigned to the Piedmontese (44,000) and the French left wing (I., II. and Guard, 57,000), the plain to the III. and IV. corps and 2 cavalry divisions (50,000). On the other side the Austrians, trusting to the defensive facilities of the plateau, had directed the II. Army and part of the I. (86,000) into the plain, 2 corps of the I. Army (V. and I.) on Solferino-Cavriana (40,000), and only the VIII. corps (Benedek), 25,000 strong, into the heart of the undulating ground. One division was sent from Mantua towards Marcaria. Thus both armies, though disposed in parallel lines, were grouped in very unequal density at different points in these lines.
The French orders for the 2Ath were Sardinian army on Pozzolengo, I. corps Esenta to Solferino, II. Castiglione to Cavriana, IV. with two cavalry divisions, Carpenedolo to Guidizzolo, III. Mezzane to Medole by Castel Goffredo; Imperial Guard in reserve at Castiglione. On the other side the Vlll. corps from Monzambano was to reach Lonato, the remainder of the II. Army from Cavriana, Solferino and Guidizzolo to Esenta and Castiglione, and the I. Army from Medole, Robecco and Castel Grimaldo towards Carpenedolo. At 8 A.M. the head of the French I. corps encountered several brigades of the I. Army in advance of Solferino. The fighting was severe, but the French made no progress. MacMahon advancing on Guidizzolo came upon a force of the Austrians at Casa Morino and (as on former occasions) immediately set about deploying his whole corps in line of battle. Meanwhile masses of Austrian infantry became visible on the edg^e of the heights near Cavriana and the firing in the hills grew in intensity. Marshal MacMahon therefore called upon General Niel on his right rear to hasten his march. The latter had already expelled a small body of the Austrians from Medole and had moved forward to Robecco, but there more Austrian masses were found, and Niel, like MacMahon, held his hand until Canrobert (III. corps) should come up on his right. But the latter, after seizing Castel Goffredo, judged it prudent to collect his corps there before actively intervening. Meantime, however, MacMahon had completed his preparations, and capturing Casa Morino with ease, he drove forward to a large open field called the Campo di Medole; this, aided by a heavy cross fire from his artillery and part of Kiel's, he carried without great loss, Niel meantime attacking Casa Nuova and Robecco. But the Austrians had not yet developed their full strength, and the initial successes of the French, won against isolated brigades and battalions, were a mere prelude to the real struggle. Meanwhile the stern Baraguay d' Hilliers had made ceaseless attacks on the V. corps at Solferino, where, on a steep hill surmounted by a tower, the Austrian guns fired with great effect on the attacking masses. It was not until after midday, and then only because it attacked at the moment when, in accordance with an often fatal practice of those days, the Austrian V. corps was being relieved and replaced by the I., that Forey's division of the I. corps, assisted by part of the Imperial Guard, succeeded in reaching the hill, whereupon Baraguay stormed the village and cemetery of Solferino with the masses of infantry that had gradually gathered opposite this point. By 2 P.M. Solferino was definitively lost to the Austrians.
During this time MacMahon had taken, as ordered, the direction of Cavriana, and was by degrees drawn into the fighting on the heights. Pending the arrival of Canrobert who had been alarmed by the reported movement of an Austrian force on his rear (the division from Mantua above mentioned) and having given up his cavalry to Niel was unable to explore for himself Niel alone was left to face the I. Army. But Count Wimpffen, having been ordered at 1 1 to chanjje direction towards Castiglione, employed the morning in redistributing his intact troops in various " mutually supporting positions," and thus the forces opposing Niel at Robecco never outnumbered him by more than 3 to 2. Niel, therefore, attacking again and again and from time to time supported by a brigade or a regiment sent by Canrobert, not only held his own but actually captured Robecco. About the same time MacMahon gained a foothold on the heights between Solferino and Cavriana, and as above mentioned, Baraguay had stormed Solferino and the tower hill. The greater part of the II. Austrian Army was beaten and in retreat on Valeggio before 3 P.M. But the Austrian emperor had not lost hope, and it was only a despairing message from Wimpffen, who had suffered least in the battle, that finally induced him to order the retreat over the Mincio. On the extreme right Benedek and the VIII. corps had fought successfully all day against the Sardinians, this engagement being often known by the separate name of the battle of San Martino. On the left Wimpffen, after sending his despondent message, plucked up heart afresh and, for a moment, took the offensive against Niel, who at last, supported by the most part of Canroberl's corps, had reached Guidizzolo.
In the centre the Austrian rearguard held out for two hours in several successive positions against the attacks of MacMahon and the Guard. But the battle was decided. A violent storm, the exhaustion of the assailants, and the firm countenance of Benedek, who, retiring from San Martino, covered the retreat of the rest of the II. Army over the Mincio, precluded an effective pursuit.
The losses on either side had been: Allies, 14,415 killed and wounded and 2776 missing, total 17,191; Austrians, 13,317 killed and wounded, 9220 missing, total 22,537. The heaviest losses in the French army were in Kiel's corps (IV.), which lost 4483, and in Baraguay d'Hilliers' (I.), which lost 4431. Of the total of 17,191, 5521 was the share of the Sardinian army, which in the battle of San Martino had had as resolute an enemy, and as formidable a position to attack, as had Baraguay at Solferino. On the Austrian side the IX. corps, which bore the brunt of the fighting on the plain, lost 4349 and the V. corps, that had defended Solferino, 4442. Solferino, in the first instance an encounter-battle in which each corps fought whatever enemy it found in its path, became after a time a decisive trial of strength. In the true sense of the word, it was a soldier's battle, and the now doubly-proved superiority of the French soldier being reinforced by the conviction that the Austrian leaders were incapable of neutralizing it by superior strategy, the war ended without further fighting. The peace of Villafranca was signed on the nth of July.
THE CAMPAIGN OF 1866 In the seven years that elapsed between Solferino and the second battle of Custozza the political unification of Italy had proceeded rapidly, although the price of the union of Italy had been the cession of Savoy and Nice to Napoleon III. Garibaldi's irregulars had in 1860 overrun Sicily, and regular battles, inspired by the same great leader, had destroyed the kingdom of Naples on the mainland (Volturno, ist-2nd October 1860). At Castelfidardo near Ancona on the 18th of September in the same year Cialdini won another victory over the Papal troops commanded by Lamoriciere. In 1866, then, Italy was no longer a " geographical expression," but a recognized kingdom. Only Rome and Venetia remained of the numerous, disunited and reactionary states set up by the congress of Vienna. The former, still held by a French garrison, was for the moment an unattainable aim of the liberators, but the moment for reclaiming Venetia, the last relic of the Austrian dominions in Italy, came when Austria and Prussia in the spring of 1866 prepared to fight for the hegemony of the future united Germany (see SEVEN WEEKS' WAR).
The new Italian army, formed on the nucleus of the Sardinian army and led by veterans of Novara and Solferino, was as strong as the whole allied army of 1859, but in absorbing so many recruits it had temporarily lost much of its efficiency. It was organized in four corps, of which one, under Cialdini, was detached from the main body. Garibaldi, as before, commanded a semiregular corps in the Alpine valleys, but being steadily and skilfully opposed by Kuhn, Gyulai's former chief of staff, he made little or no progress during the brief campaign, on which indeed his operations had no influence. The main Austrian army, still the best-trained part of the emperor's forces, had been, up to the verge of the war, commanded by Benedek, but Benedek was induced to give up his place to the archduke Albert, and to take up the far harder task of commanding against the Prussians in Bohemia. It was in fact a practically foregone conclusion that in Italy the Austrians would win, whereas in Bohemia it was more than feared that the Prussians would carry all before them. But Prussia and Italy were allied, and whatever the result of a battle in Venetia, that province would have to be ceded in the negotiations for peace with g. victorious Prussia. Thus on the Austrian side the war of 1866 in Italy was, even more than the former war, simply an armed protest against the march of events.
The part of Hess in the campaign of Solferino was played with more success in that of Custozza by Major-General Franz, Freiherr von John (1815-1876). On this officer's Second advice the Austrian t army, instead of remaining Custozza. behind the Adige, crossed that river on the 23rd of Battle of June and took up a position on the hills around Pastrengo on the flank of the presumed advance of Victor Emmanuel's army. The latter, crossing the Mincio the same day, headed by Villafranca for Verona, part of it in the hills about Custozza, Somma-Campagna and Castelnuovo, partly on the plain. The object of the king and of La Marmora, who was his adviser, was by advancing on Verona to occupy the Austrian army (which was only about 80,000 strong as against the king's 120,000), while Cialdini's corps from the Ferrara region crossed the lower Po and operated against the Austrian rear. The archduke's staff, believing that the enemy was making for the lower Adige in order to co-operate directly with Cialdini's detachment, issued orders for the advance on the 24th so as to reach the southern edge of the hilly country, preparatory to descending upon the flank of the Italians next day. However, the latter were nearer than was supposed, and an encounterbattle promptly began for the possession of Somma-Campagna and Custozza. The king's army was unable to use its superior numbers and, brigade for brigade, was much inferior to its opponents. The columns on the right, attempting in succession to debouch from Villafranca in the direction of Verona, were checked by two improvised cavalry brigades under Colonel Pulz, which charged repeatedly, with the old-fashioned cavalry spirit that Europe had almost forgotten, and broke up one battalion after another. In . the centre the leading brigades fought in vain for the possession of Custozza and the edge of the plateau, and on the left the divisions that had turned northward from Valeggio into the hills were also met and defeated. About 5 P.M. the Italians, checked and in great disorder, retreated over the Mincio. The losses were Austrians, 4600 killed and wounded and 1000 missing; Italians, 3800 killed and wounded and 4300 missing. The archduke was too weak in numbers to pursue, his losses had been considerable, and a resolute offensive, in the existing political conditions, would have been a mere waste of force. The battle necessary to save the honour of Austria had been handsomely won. Ere long the bulk of the army that had fought at Custozza was transported by rail to take part in defending Vienna itself against the victorious Prussians. One month later Cialdini with* the re-organized Italian army, 140,000 strong, took the field again, and the 30,000 Austrians left in Venetia retreated to the Isonzo without engaging.
In spite of Custozza and of the great defeat sustained by the Italian navy at the hands of Tegetthof near Lissa on the 20th of July, Venetia was now liberated and incorporated in the kingdom of Italy, and the struggle for unity, that had been for seventeen years a passionate and absorbing drama, and had had amongst its incidents Novara, Magenta, Solferino and the Garibaldian conquest of the Two Sicilies, ended in an anti-climax.
Three years later the cards were shuffled, and Austria, France and Italy were projecting an offensive alliance against Prussia. This scheme came to' grief on the Roman question, and the French chassep6t was used for the first time in battle against Garibaldi at Mentana, but in 1870 France was compelled to withdraw her Roman garrison, and with the assent of their late enemy Austria, the Italians under Cialdini fought their way into Rome and there established the capital of united Italy.
BIBLIOGRAPHY. The war of 1848-49 has been somewhat neglected by modern military historians, but the following are useful: Der Feldzug der osterr. Armee in Ilalien 1848-49 (Vienna, 1852) ; Gavenda, Sammlung oiler Armeebefehle u.s.w. mit Bezug auf die Hauptmomente des Krieges 1848-49; Major H. Kunz, Feldziige des F. M. Radetzki in Oberitalien (Berlin, 1900), and Major Adams, Great Campaigns. Both the French and the Austrian governments issued official accounts (Campagne de Napoleon III en Italic 1859, Der Krieg in Italien 1859) of the war of 1859. The standard critical work is Der italienische Feldzug 1859 by the German general staff (practically dictated by Moltke). Prince Kraft zu Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen, who had many friends in the Austrian army, deals with the Magenta campaign in vol. i. of his Letters on Strategy. General Silvestre's tude sur la campagne de 1859 was published in 1909. In English, Col. H. C. Wylly, Magenta and Solferino (1906), and in German General Cammerer, Magenta, and Major Kunz, Von Montebello bis Solferino should be consulted.
For the Italian campaign of 1866 see the Austrian official history, Osterreichs Kdtnpfe 1866 (French translation), and the Italian official account. La Campagna del 1866, of which the volume dealing with Custozza was published in 1909. A short account is given in Sir H. Hozier's Seven Weeks' War, and tactical studies in v. Verdy's Custozza (tr. Henderson), and Sir Evelyn Wood, Achievements of Cavalry. (C. F. A.)
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)