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The propriety of these proceedings rests on the assumption that an increasing white population of 200,000 persons is ripe for self-government and so far ripe for self-defence that it should be required to bear the first brunt of native troubles, only falling back on British troops when the exigency has become too great for its strength, and even then bearing a deterrent amount of the cost of war. If this is so, it readily follows that the bulk of the British troops should be steadily withdrawn. The withdrawal has, of course, to be tempered so as to suit the genuine exigencies of the Cape, and, while this is being done, there ought to be no difficulty in making with respect to Simon's Bay arrangements analogous to those which subsist between Canada and ourselves respecting Halifax. If this policy is right, it is clear that all that has passed places Her Majesty's Government in the best possible position for effecting it. Only it has to be remembered that unless it is really believed in the Colony that the troops are to go, there is no hope of securing an adequate police force. For ourselves we are disposed to believe that even a temporary Imperial subsidy towards the enlargement of such a force would be less mischievous than the continued employment of regular troops. And on this point we remark that the talk of ‘more men from England' is already leading some Colonial politicians to oppose the increase of that mounted police which is the backbone of the Colonial native policy.
And now what is the sum of all that we have said? The management of the natives is in the Cape Colony the cardinal question of government. We have endeavoured to show that in this respect the policy of England has been—not perfect of course-in a matter of such difficulty it would be absurd to claim or expect perfection—but on the whole honourable, wise, and successful. We have not followed the assailant of the late Administration into the convict question, we have not noticed accusations of detail, nor gone out of our way to parry attacks made byinnuendo or juxtaposition, or to correct deceptive colouring. But we have endeavoured, first, to dispose of the general presumption of mismanagement which arises from the secession of the Boers who emigrated and the alleged discontent of those who remained in the Colony; and next, to exhibit fairly the conduct of the British Government in the four comparatively recent transactions in which it has been arraigned—the abandonment of the Orange River territory, the annexation of Basuto Land and the Diamond Fields, and the establishment of Responsible Government.
In doing all this it has been necessary for us to show that
the ideal picture of the Dutch Boers which is now presented to the world is almost as misleading as suppressio veri can make it, and that our inability to keep terms with them is due to a fundamental difference of principle in matters of humanity which is not to their advantage.
This article is a retrospective one, and longer than we could wish. But we cannot conclude it without a single caution, on the subject of Confederation. This is of course an object which Government will never lose sight of. But its dangers are great. It may be easy to confederate, but it is not so easy to confederate safely. A radical alteration in a system of native management which has kept the peace so long at Natal seems to be the very raison d'être of confederation between that colony and the Cape. Such an alteration may be called for by the progress of events; but it is a serious matter, and if it fails, will fail terribly. With regard to the Boers, it seems almost impossible to hope that they will ever loyally conform to our system of frontier management; while the alternative danger is that we may be dragged into theirs with all its discredit and disaster. To this the reviewer appears to reconcile himself without difficulty. It is inconceivable that Lord Carnarvon should do so.
The courage, decision, and humanity which he showed in the case of Langalibeli make it impossible to suppose that for a momentary appearance of advantage he would run the risk of such a calamity. He will not allow any terms which will make us guarantors of iniquity; and we fear that the Boer farmers must be greatly reduced by native victories, or greatly outnumbered by English immigration, before they agree in earnest
to any other.
ART. VII.-1. La Sicilia nel 1876. Per LEOPOLDO FRAN
CHETTI e SIDNEY Sonnino. 2 volumes. Florence :
1876. 2. Relazione della Giunta per l'Inchiesta sulle condizioni della
Sicilia nominata secondo il disposto dell'Articolo 2 della
has recently been published in Florence. Disinterested public spirit is the more welcome in Italian citizens that instances of it are rare in Italian history ; and practical patriotism, acting outside the boundaries of its native province, has
hitherto been not so much uncommon as unheard-of in the peninsula. Two Tuscan gentlemen of position and fortune, whose joint work we have placed at the head of this article, have devoted themselves to the difficult and ungrateful task of examining personally into the condition of Sicily, and have had the courage to publish fully and candidly the result of their investigations. They write without party bias as without provincial prejudice, and their words carry with them the sober conviction of truth. The picture which they draw is profoundly discouraging; but the fact that Italians have been found bold enough to declare the worst, and to warn Italy of the responsibility she assumed in the annexation of the Southern Provinces, is a ray of hope for the future.
When we use the word brigandage to describe the present state of anarchy in Sicily, we include in the same term many forms of the universal spirit of lawlessness and oppression, of which the outrages of organised bands of miscreants, acting under recognised leaders, are the most striking and terrible, but the least deep-seated and incurable symptoms. These, because less intangible, can be more easily met than the vague and shifting elements of disorder and violence of which they are but the natural growth and development. A radical cure is wanted; for, while the very conception of social relations rests, not upon public law, but upon private violence, the pursuit in detail of separate bands of brigands is as ineffectual as the attempt to extirpate some noxious weed by cutting off its shoots and suckers while leaving its fibres to ramify underground, strangling all other vegetation in their poisonous network. Five or six notorious chiefs, commanding each a band of from twenty to forty followers, represent what may be called the standing army of Sicilian brigandage; while behind them is massed an inexhaustible reserve, in which the whole population is linked together in various gradations of defiance to constituted authority. Thus, the numbers and zeal of the volunteers compensate—as England hopes that, in case of need, her citizen-soldiers will do—for the paucity of the regular forces. The rule of the brigands and their adherents-enforced by threats, by violence, by assassination, and, worse still, sanctioned by public opinion-is the de facto government of the island, against which the few officials whose consciences are as yet untainted by the general atmosphere of corruption are powerless to assert the dominion of the law. These are, however, the exceptions; in general, the authority of the executive is only perceptible when it has become an additional instrument of oppression in the hands of a dominant faction,
who wield its power triumphantly to crush their opponents, executing private vengeance under the forms of justice, enriching their adherents out of the public funds, and so completely masters of all local administration as to secure exemption from duty for the goods of their partisans, while adjusting the municipal balance by a double tax on those of their enemies. The subtle genius for intrigue which the Sicilian inherits from his Greek ancestors—the lightning-quickness of emotion and perception which flashes through his veins with his Saracen blood-make him more than a match for the bewildered continental employé, who in the midst of the universal chaos is driven to catch at the first offer of local assistance, and believes himself, perhaps, to be on the road to furthering the ends of justice, while he is in reality the blind tool of an unscrupulous party.
The hereditary hatreds and long vendettas of the Middle Ages are here still active, and a library might be filled with the record of tragedies daily occurring amongst these modern Montecchi and Capuletti—these Sicilian Black and White Cancellieri of the nineteenth century. Not long since, the murder of a member of one of the rival families contending for supremacy in a town in the province of Palermo gave the signal for a communal civil war, carried on by means of assassination. The casualties of this sanguinary feud in a small country town furnished a list of no fewer than thirty-five homicides in the course of one year. Nothing can be imagined more warping to public morality, or more destructive to public security, than these local rivalries, even when they masquerade, as they commonly do, in legal costume, and affect to limit their contentions to the electoral college and the municipal council. Behind the ballot-box invariably lurks the Mafia; for the really effective strength of each faction consists in the number of hired assassins it can command. Impunity for crime committed on their own account is the recognised pay of these licensed miscreants, and the relations of patron and client are faithfully maintained between the local magnates and the local murderers. Thus every village has its Don Rodrigo with his train of bravos, and power practically unlimited except by the presence of a rival of his own stamp.
These things in the nineteenth century, in the Garden of Italy, under the shadow of the Italian tricolor, in the presence of all the paraphernalia of justice! They sound incredible, but we can only refer anyone who desires to convince himself of their truth to the confessedly impartial pages of the book before us, as well as to the debates in the Italian Parliament, and the official reports of the legal authorities at Palermo.
Signor Franchetti opens his part of the work—that on the political and administrative condition of Sicily-with a striking picture of the contrast between the material and moral aspects of the island,
* Where all save the spirit of man is divine;' and imagines the impressions of a traveller newly arrived, as he visits the lovely environs of Palermo, and admires the fertility and luxuriance of the rich champaign of the Golden Shell, sloping in a vast amphitheatre from the mountains to the sea.
Looking on the fair landscape, where Nature has lavished the wild luxuriance of semi-tropical vegetation, and Man has cultivated every inch of the teeming soil to the highest point of fecundity-where golden fruit glows unchanging among unchanging foliage as in the fabled Garden of the Hesperides, and sky and sea roof and frame the scene in vying depths of azure-he is half-disposed to believe all evil reports of Palermo and its district to be so many envious calumnies, and the much-vexed Sicilian question an invention or exaggeration of factious party-spirit. But when entering into conversation with a casual passer-by or fellow-traveller better versed in local knowledge, he hears-as things of common notoriety, as matter of familiar discourse—tales of violence and outrage committed here in the smiling garden, under the broad golden blaze of the southern sun, the landscape begins to assume a sombre tint in his eyes, and the fragrance of the orangeblossom comes to him on the breeze faint as the breath of a charnel-house.
For here under the trees, he is told, a poor bailiff was murdered for no other crime than having been preferred by his employer to the nominee of one of those formidable associations, or camorras, to transgress whose lightest decree is death; at yonder turn of the road a proprietor guilty of a similar offence received intimation, from a bullet fired over his head, of what he must expect if he persisted in contumacy; a little farther on, he hears, a young man, who had been prominent in forwarding works of public beneficence in Palermo, was shot dead in the highway, because his growing popularity threatened to make him a dangerous rival to the miscreants in authority.
The bewildered stranger, listening to the calm narration of such atrocities, can scarcely believe himself in a country nominally forming part of civilised Europe; until his eye catches the waving plumes of the Bersaglieri among the pastoral surroundings of a farm-house, or his ear the clank of sabres as the