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Novara-Examination of Passports-Dawn-Monks prefer Dim Light to Clear-Battle of Novara, and its Results-The Ticino-Croats-Austrian Frontier and Dogana-Examination of Books and Baggage-Grandeur of the Alps from this Point-Contrast betwixt the Rivers and the Governments of Italy-Proof from thence of the Fall-Providence "from seeming Evil educing Good"-Rich but Monotonous Scenery of the Plain-Youth of the Alps, and Decay of the Lombard nations-The only Remedy-An Expelled Democrat-First View of Milan.

NOVARA, of course, like all decent towns in Lombardy and elsewhere, at four in the morning was a-bed, and our heavy vehicle, as its harsh echoes broke roughly on the silent streets, sounded strangely loud. We were driven right into a courtyard, to have our passports examined. We had left Turin the evening before, with a clean bill of political health, duly certified by three legations, the Sardinian, the English, and the Austrian; and in so short a journey-not to speak of the flood and fire we had passed through-it was scarce possible that we could have contracted fresh pollution. We were examined anew, however, lest the plague-spot should have broken out upon us. All was found right, and we were let go to a neighbouring restaurant, where we swallowed a cup of cof

fee, our only meal betwixt Turin and Milan. After a full hour's halt, we re-mounted the diligence, and set forth.

On emerging from the streets of the city, I found the east in the glow of dawn. Still, and pure, and calm broke the light; and under its ray the rich plain awoke into beauty, forgetful of the fiery bolts which had smitten it, and the darkness and destruction which had so lately passed across it. "Hail, holy light!" exclaims the bard of "Paradise." Yes, light is holy. It is undefiled and pure, as when "God saw the light that it was good." Man has ravaged the earth and reddened the seas; but light has escaped his contaminating touch, and is still as God made it, unless, indeed, when man imprisons it within the stained glass of the cathedral, and then obligingly helps its dimness by lighting a score or so of tapers. Did no monk ever think of putting a stained window in the east, and compelling the sun to ogle the world through spectacles? "The light is good," said He who created it, as He saw it darting its first pure beam across creation. Not so, says the Puseyite; it is not good unless it is coloured.

I looked with interest on the plains around Novara; for there, albeit no trace of the bloody fray remains, the army of Charles Albert in 1848 met the host of Radetzky; and there the fate of the campaign for Italian independence was decided. The battle which was fought on these plains led to the destruction of King Charles Albert, but not to the destruction of his kingdom of Sardinia,—though why Radetzky did not follow up his victory by a march on Turin, is to this hour a mystery. Nay, though it sounds a little paradoxical, it is probable that this battle, by destroying the king, saved the kingdom. Had Charles Albert survived till the re-action set in in 1849 and 1850, there is too much reason to fear, from his antecedents, that he would have thrown himself into the

current with the rest of the Italian rulers; and so Sardinia would have missed the path of constitutional liberty and material development which it has since, under King Victor Emanuel, so happily pursued. Had that happened, the horizon of Italy, dark as it is at this hour, would have been still darker, and the peninsula, from the Alps to Sicily, would not have contained a single spot where the hunted friends of liberty could have found asylum.

We soon approached the Ticino, the boundary between Sardinia and Austrian Lombardy. The Ticino is a majestic river, here spanned by one of the finest bridges in Italy. It contains eleven arches; is of the granite of Mount Torfano; and, like almost all the great modern works in Italy, was commenced by Napoleon, though finished only after his fall. Here, then, was the gate of Austria; and seated at that gate I saw three Croats,-fit keepers of Austrian order.

I was not ignorant of the hand these men had had in the suppression of the revolution of 1848, and of the ruthless tragedies they were said to have enacted in Milan and other cities of Lombardy; and I rode up to them in the eager desire of scrutinizing their features, and reading there the signs of that ferocity which had given them such wide-spread but evil renown. They sat basking themselves on a bench in front of the Dogana, with their muskets and bayonets glittering in the sun. They were lads of about eighteen, of decidedly low stature, of square build, and strongly muscular. They looked in capital condition, and gave every sign that the air of Lombardy agreed with them, and that they had had their own share at least of its corn and wine. They wore blue caps, gray duffle greatcoats like those used by our Highlanders, light blue pantaloons fitting closely their thick short leg, and boots which rose above the ankle, and laced in front. The

prevailing expression on their broad swarthy faces was not ferocity, but stolidity. Their eyes were dull, and contrasted strikingly with the dark fiery glances of the children of the land. They seemed men of appetites rather than passions; and, if guilty of cruel deeds, were likely to be so from the dull, cold, unreflecting ferocity of the bull-dog, rather than from the warm impulsive instincts of the nobler animals. In stature and feature they were very much the barbarian, and were admirably fitted for being what they were,—the tools of the despot. No wonder that the ideal Italian abominates the Croat.

The Dogana! So soon! 'Twas but a few miles on the other side of the Ticino that we passed through this ordeal. But perhaps the river, glorious as it looks, flowing from the democratic hills of the Swiss, may have infected us with political pravity; so here again we must undergo the search, and that not a mere pro forma one. The diligence vomits forth, at all its mouths, trunks, carpet-bags, and packages, encased, some in velvet, some in fir-deals, and some in brown paper. The multifarious heap was carried into the Dogana, and its various articles unroped, unlocked, and their contents scattered about. One might have thought that a great fair was about to begin, or that a great Industrial Exhibition was to be opened on the banks of the Ticino. The hunt was especially for books,-bad books, which England will perversely print, and Englishmen perversely read. My little stock was collected, bound together with a cord, and sent in to the chief douanier, who sat, Radamanthus-like, in an inner apartment, to judge books, papers, and persons. There is nothing there, thought I, to which even an Austrian official can take exception. Soon I was summoned to follow my little library. The man examined the collection volume by


volume. At last he lighted on a number of the Gazetta del Popolo,-the same which I have already mentioned as given me by the editors in Turin. This, thought I, will prove the

dead fly in my box of ointment. The sheet was opened and "Have you," said the official, any


I could reply with a clear conscience that I had not.

more?" To my

He next took up my

surprise, the paper was returned to me. note-book. Now, said I to myself, this is a worse scrape than the other. What a blockhead I am not to have put the book into my pocket; for, except in extreme cases, the traveller's person is never searched. The man opened the thin volume, and found it inscribed with mysterious and strange characters. It was written in short-hand. He turned over the leaves; on every page the same unreadable signs met the eye. He held it by the top, and next by the bottom: it was equally inscrutable either way. He shut it, and examined its exterior, but there was nothing on the outside to afford a key to the mystic characters within. He then turned to me for an explanation of the suspicious little book. Affecting all the unconcern I could, I told him that it contained only a few commonplace jottings of my journey. He opened the book; took one other leisurely survey of it; then looked at me, and back again at the book; and, after a considerable pause, big with the fate of my book, he made me a bland bow, and handed me the volume. I was equally polite on my part, inly resolving, that henceforward Austrian douanier should not lay finger on my note-book.

The halt here was one of from two to three hours, which were spent in unlading the diligence, opening and locking trunks, for in Austria nothing is done in a hurry, save the trial and execution of Mazzinists. But the long halt was nothing to me: I could not possibly lose time, and I could

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