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possesses a signal fertility in this respect. For all that, it must be remembered that the elective principle is essential to that political training which every stable Government (like that of British India) must desire to see possessed by its subjects. Mere discussion, without practical action, will be futile. Hitherto such action has been deprecated by some because the people are unprepared. But the people arc not likely to become prepared unless some steps are taken for preparation. Public spirit cannot be created without entrusting the people with a part of their own public business, a part limited at first, but increasing as their fitness shall grow. Unless this be attempted, more and more, there is fear lest the effect of British rule should check such public spirit. A retrospect of the results attained by British rule in India will show what apparent marvels have been accomplished; another marvel now presents itself for accomplishment. After that a long vista of future marvels will be opened to the reforming eye. Even if political risks should accrue, they must be borne in performing the duty which the British Government owes to the people of India. But in that country a trustful policy will be found a wise one, and that which is soundest morally will prove to be the safest politically.
IT has been truly said that every square league of Italian soil deserves our attention and study, and perhaps no part of Italy is more full of lich and varied human interest than the qtiondam republics of Florence, Pisa, Lucca, and Siena, of the last of which I propose to write in this article.
Etruscan vases and other remains have at various times been found in and around Siena; but nothing is known with certainty of its history, until, in the reign of Augustus, we find it spoken of as a Roman military colony. The three hills upon which it stands rise to upwards of one thousand feet above the sea level, and the soil of which they are composed is doubtless the product of volcanic action. Siena has always been subject to earthquakes, which, however, at the worst, never did greater injury than the shaking down of a few chimneys. Formerly they recurred at intervals of forty or fifty years, but latterly they have been much more frequent, ten years rarely passing without their unwelcome advent. During the months of July and August of last year they occasioned great terror in Siena: in one day no fewer than seventy shocks were observed, and thousands of the inhabitants camped out in the squares and gardens, lest their houses should fall upon them. Scientific men tell us that the tufa upon which the city stands being to a great extent hollowed out, there is very little danger of the earthquakes doing real injury; but to unscientific residents, the existence of this hollow space underneath makes the fate of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram seem more painfully probable than if solid earth were below. Be this as it may, in spite of the panic, no damage has actually been done; and the huge masses of the churches and palaces show no rents or cracks, save one or two that are almost as venerable as the buildings themselves.
Siena used to be a more favourite station for English residents than it now is. Before railway days, almost all visitors to Rome from the north passed a day or two in Siena; now the railway conveys them direct from Florence, and the ancient little city is passed by. Those, however, -who follow the older fashion find its interest grow upon them, as the strain and stress of the nineteenth century fades from their mind and they gradually feel more and more at home among the relics of the spirit of the Middle Ages.
In the short space at my disposal, it would be vain for me to do more than briefly glance at one or two interesting episodes in the history of this little Republic, speak of some of the worthies it has produced (a few of whom, by the common consent of Christendom, have been deemed worthy "on fame's eternal roll-call to be filed"), and then describe the " Palio," the August festival of the city.
In a famous passage Macaulay describes the wide-reaching effects of the ambition of Frederick the Great, and how, as its bitter fruit, the natives of Coromandel engaged in internecine slaughter, and Red Indians scalped one another on the great lakes of Canada. In like manner, for hundreds of years, there was constant strife among the republics of Italy, and the flower of their citizens perished either on the battle-field or the scaffold, because of the rivalry of the great factions having their origin in Germany, the Guelphs and Ghihellines. Indeed, the history of the Italian republics throughout the Middle Ages is the record of constant warfare in the interest of the one or the other party. Without, therefore, trying to realize what Siena may have been when the great Etruscan league bore sway throughout Central Italy, or when, haviug become subject to Rome, the conquering legions tramped through its streets on their way to Gaul or Germany or Britain, let us come at once to the mediaeval history of the city, from which period the walls, churches, and palaces date. After the Lombard invasion of Italy, Siena was governed by a representative of the Lombard kings; but when, in 800, Charlemagne destroyed, or, more properly, absorbed into his empire the kingdom of the iron crown, Siena was declared a free city. The lordships and baronies and rich lands he divided, with no niggard hand, among his warlike followers from beyond the Alps, and some of these became the ancestors of the nobility of Siena. The soil, then, as now, rich beyond all northern ideas, and generous of corn, wine, and oil, soon rendered wealthy its fortunate possessors, who, no longer contented with the feudal castles on their estates, began to build palaces in Siena, and built them so solidly that now, after five or six centuries, they stand firm and strong as when erected, and there seems no reason why they should not bid defiance to time and earthquakes for five centuries more. The feudal origin of these palaces, and the fact that the possessors derived their revenues from wide lordships and domains outside the city, in some degree accounts for what for a long time greatly puzzled me. As you walk through the old streets of Siena, every hundred yards, or even much more frequently, you come upon great palazzi, for the most part built of enormously solid masonry, aud often of such vast size that you would think that each one could accommodate a whole regiment. How was it possible, I have often thought, for such houses to be erected and the expenses of such households to be borne in an inland city, shut out from the wealth derived from maritime trade, which made princes of the merchants of Venice, Genoa, and Pisa? True the wealth of many of these great families is a thing of the past. I recently heard of a whole patrician family living in a portion of their huge palace, all being eutirely supported out of the dowry of the wife of the eldest son, who was prohably the daughter of some wealthy plebeian. Yet not one of this interesting family would do a hand's turn of work to save himself from starvation; they are far too sensible of what is due to themselves and to the honour of the family.* Still, it would be a great mistake to suppose that the patrician families of Siena are poor. On the contrary, the most distinguished of them remain possessed of great estates in the country as well as of their stately old palaces in the city. For instance, the Palazzo Tolomei was built in 1205. It is an imposing square Gothic pile of stone, dark with the grime of nearly seven centuries, during which period the family have been leading patricians in Siena, and they still continue to occupy an important position in the city. The Chigis, Piccolominis, Bandinis, and many others, retain their ancient state and greatness. The Piccolomini family gave two Popes to Rome—the celebrated Eneas Sylvius, who wore the tiara as Pius II., and his nephew, Pius III. To this family also belonged that Ascanius Piccolomini, Archbishop of Siena, who, when the prison doors of the Inquisition were opened to Galileo, received the venerable philosopher, and made a home, for him within the walls of the Archiepiscopal Palace. The persecuted philosopher seems to have been quite overcome with the kindness showered upon him by the Archbishop, for he speaks of it in his letters as "inexplicable." To this family also belongs that Ottavio Piccolomini whose defection from Wallenstein forms the subject of Schiller's drama. His portrait may be seeu at the Palazzo Pubblico on a charger at full gallop in somewhat the same truculent attitude in which Napoleon is popularly represented crossing the Alps. The Saracini family, whose massive palace is one of the principal ornaments of the Via della Citta, has during its long history given one Pope and many Cardinals to Rome, It is, however, on the point of . dying out, only one aged childless representative remaining.
* With a city full of huge empty palaces, one would naturally suppose that strangers would be embarrassed in their choice of desirable furnished apartments. So I expected, and put what I thought a likely advertisement in a little Sienese journal, the Lnjxi. Not an answer, however, did I receive, and I am assured that that Sienese patrician must be poor and miserable indeed who would not rather see the palace of his ancestors crumble to ruin than resign a portion of it to the occupation of strangers. 1 have since secured an apartment in the palazzo of a noble family, whose history has been bound up with that of the republic for centuries, and at what in England would be regarded as a ridiculously cheap rate, but under such peculiar circumstances as in no way to militate against the above statement. VOL. XLIII. D D
I am assured that the families who reckon Popes among their predecessors, as for instance the Piccolomini, Chigi, and Saracini, date the greater part of their wealth and greatness from that time. The Popes appear, as a matter of course, to have made use of the vast revenues of the Church to aggrandize their families. We are wont to attribute the political maxim, "To the victors the spoils,"—which has proved so great a curse to the great Transatlantic republic,—to old General Andrew Jackson; but, if the above statement be true, he took no new departure when he laid down the principle, but was following a time-honoured, not to say sacred, precedent. An unwritten law, by which only the eldest son of each patrician house has been allowed to marry, has powerfully contributed to prevent the dispersion of their inherited wealth.
From the time of Barbarossa (1152) until long after the last of the Imperial House of Suabia, the unfortunate Conradin, had perished on the scaffold at Naples (in 1269), Siena was always intensely Ghibelline and anti-papal, although its sturdy independence showed itself, even when Barbarossa was at the height of his power, and came, breathing out vengeance against the Italian free cities, determined to deprive them of their liberty. Siena alone had the courage to shut its gates in the face of the mighty conqueror and to dare him to do his worst. Frederick sent his son Henry with a large army which closely invested the city. The besieged, however, made a simultaneous sortie from the two gates, Fonte Branda and St. Marco, and, attacking the German camp at a place called the Rosaio, routed the Imperialists and put them to flight. But if Siena was Ghibelline in its politics, its great rival and sister republic, Florence, held by the Guelphs.
Under the great Emperor Frederick II., the old quarrel between the Papacy and the Empire broke out with fresh fury, and involved all Italy in strife. Upon his death, Florence first, quickly followed by the whole of Tuscany, with the exception of Siena, threw off its allegiance to the Empire. The leaders of the Ghibelline party in Florence took refuge in Siena, which speedily led to hostilities between the two cities.
To resist the victorious Guelphs, Siena had only the alliance of Pisa; and the little republic, hardly beset, sent pressing requests for succour to Manfred, son of the Emperor Frederick, and King of Naples. On August 11,1259, the King sent a reply, still preserved in the archives of Siena, in which he announced the despatch of as