Bentivoglio, of an old Milanese family.
With M. Alexander Trotti
he visited the Superga, the burial-place of the kings of Piedmont
Here he took what Lord Aberdeen had told him was the best view of the Alps
He was struck with the tranquillity of the city, and observed in the gallery, which he much enjoyed, artists copying the old masters as in time of peace.
He wrote to Dr. Howe
I am fresh from Turin, where I saw much that would interest you, beginning with the Comte de Cavour, who is now acting such a transcendent part in the world's history.
He received me in his bedroom.
I found him calm and full of confidence in the future.
He did not doubt that the Austrians would be driven out of Italy this summer; and when I referred to the strength of that prodigious triangle Peschera, Verona, and Mantua, he said that he thought all these fortifications could be taken.
He hoped that Italy would take the place that belonged to her, and that when free she might once more produce great men. I took the liberty of saying that his career showed that the mould was not lost or broken.
By the way, they tell in society at Turin, and with great pride, that the Austrian general who was charged with the three days ultimatum, when he called to take his conge; of the Prime Minister at the end of the third day, said that his mission had at least one personal satisfaction,—that it gave him the honor of making the personal acquaintance of the first statesman of the age. I saw people in Turin of all shades of political opinion and social position.
The Marchioness Arconati invited me to meet at her house persons who could tell me about affairs.
I found the ladies, grades dames all, engaged in making lint for the hospitals, and most happy that the crisis long desired had at length come.
They did not doubt the result.
Victory seemed to be already stooping to them; and before them was the beautiful idea of Italy redeemed from the foreigner.
It was hoped then to organize a kingdom of Alta Italia, with Piedmont, Lombardy, Venice, Parma, Modena, and Florence, and a population of twelve millions, and a cluster of great cities such as no other country can show,—all vivified by the new influence. . . . Disliking the emperor as I do, I am yet disposed to believe that various circumstances, among which are early education, friendly sympathy for Italy, and a desire to do a generous deed that may make people remember with less bitterness the coup detat,—these and other things conspire for the moment to keep him faithful to the idea of Italian independence.
But this is a great moment in history,—nothing like it since 1815.
To W. W. Story
Let me say that a note which Cavour wrote me in French was written in the clear round hand of his country,—so different from the French, which is small and flowing, like their language.
This national peculiarity of handwriting is curious to observe, particularly in its relation to the language.
He was calm as if he felt himself master of the situation, and asked me to observe the tranquillity of Turin, with not a soldier to be seen. . . . He asked me to observe that, though now invested with absolute power, their government