페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

ventured to appeal from an inferior functionary to a superior; the impoundings and executions employed in exacting the taxes; cruel expedients, the only use of which was to make the sovereign hated, and his servants wealthy: “Sufferings, most holy father,” he exclaims, “worse than those of the Israelites in Egypt. People not conquered by the sword, but which have become subject to the Roman see, either through the donations of princes, or of their own free accord, are more inhumanly treated than the slaves in Syria or in Africa. Who can behold this without tears ?»*

Another cotemporary writer adds the statement that “the people having no longer silver or copper, or linen or bedding, to satisfy the recklessness of the commissaries, will be obliged to sell themselves as slaves to pay the imposts laid by the Camera.”+ Arbitrary as are said to have been the exactions of the provisional republican government instituted by the French in 1798, at a period of general commotion, when all the foundations of civil government were undermined, they were apparently but little more ruinous to industry and honest trade than the ordinary administration of the hoary government of the pretended successor of St. Peter in times of domestic tranquillity and peace.

Another grievance, perhaps no less effective in producing a universal discontent with the temporal government of these states, is the chronic disorder of the public finances. Long ago a cardinal compared the financial system of the popes to a wearied steed, constantly driven forward to new exertions by the application of the spur, until he falls down at last utterly exhausted. Unable to bring their expenditures within the resources at their command, the popes accumulated a debt, amounting, at the time of the first French occupation, to seventy millions of scudi, or dollars. This indebtedness was assumed by the French government, and in 1811 discharged by means of the moneys obtained from the sale of the clerical possessions.** Not profiting by its dearly purchased experience, the papal government was no sooner restored than it began again to contract a new debt, which is now increased annually by about half a million dollars. Of the revenue, which in 1857

* Rankè, History of the Popes in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth centuries, Book vüi, sec. 11.

f Ibid. See Duppa's Subversion of the Papal Government in 1798, (London, 1807,) passim. Lafon, p. 669. Lyman, p. 60. ** Lafon, p. 670.

was $14,566,000, the net proceeds were only $9,716,638, and of this $5,076,018 went to pay the interest on the national debt.*

The civil list, it has often been said, is small. The higher officials receive only very moderate salaries. Nor does a revenue of fourteen million dollars appear an insupportable grievance in a kingdom of 3,124,758 inhabitants. It must, however, be considered, that much more money is expended in support of the government than would appear from the statistics. The cardinals, for instance, derive their salaries in great part from benefices and fees, which do not come into the public account, but are paid directly to them. Every cardinal must have an income of at least $4,000 from his benefices, and those who do not reach this sum receive $100 a month from the public treasury, commonly known as “the cardinal's pittance.”+ The very large landed estates of the clergy, of religious corporations, and of monastic fraternities, themselves exempted from the burden of taxation, largely augment the proportion which is borne by the remainder of the lands. If commerce were active and profitable, if manufactures flourished, the Roman States with their former extent might sustain even the double of the imposts of four years ago. But trade is fettered with so many injurious restrictions that it is quite insignificant. The imports of 1853 rose only to about $12,000,000, and the exports were a third less. Yet the customs and excises in 1857 were about $8,000,000, of which more than one quarter was consumed in the collection. I

By no means is the healthy development of the resources of the Papal States more restrained than by the objectionable methods employed for the raising of the revenue. Many of the most essential articles of food are farmed out as monopolies, and enrich private capitalists more than the state. Still more objectionable are the lotteries managed by government, and bringing in three or four hundred thousand dollars as clear gain into the public coffers.

No wonder need then be felt that a large portion of the central states of Italy have with alacrity renounced their allegiance to a government that has testified so little regard for the main* Encyclopedia Britannica, 8th edition; art., Papal States. + Dictionnaire des Cardinaux, Intr. | Encyclopedia Britannica, ibid.

tenance of their civil and religious rights, and for the advancement of their material and intellectual interests. The same conviction of the infidelity of the papacy to its trust moved the inhabitants of Bologna, in 1830, to make an ineffectual attempt to shake off the temporal sway of the newly elected pope, Gregory XVI. Long ages had proved the want of adaptation of a theocracy such as that claimed by the pope to answer the just demands of the people. Education was neglected. Common schools existed for the most part on paper only; though it was claimed by the friends of the government that they were established in every commune able to support them. The eight universities—two of them, those of Bologna and of the Sapienza at Rome, among the very oldest in Europe —were shorn of their ancient independence; and the attempt was made to place them as effectually under priestly control as were already the inferior schools. The laymen saw their small territory burdened with heavy imposts in order to support a host of ecclesiastics, * who, without contributing anything to its support, claimed the exclusive management of the government; while at the same time another class of the population, the Jews, were subjected to studied indignity, and were even refused a place in the census of their native country.

The philanthropist may well be allowed to pray that the extraordinary privileges enjoyed by the inhabitants of the provinces lately annexed to the kingdom of Victor Emanuel may soon be extended to every Italian community, and that the Protestant world may recognize in the present time the most fitting opportunity for giving to Italy the pure word of God which has so long been denied to her.

* 21,415 regular clergy, 16,905 secular clergy—that is, 38,320, or one to every 80 inhabitants; not including 8,000 nuns.

FOURTH SERIES, VOL. XIII.—24

ART. II.-ATMOSPHERIC AND OCEANIC CURRENTS.

[SECOND ARTICLE.] Currents and Changes of the Atmosphere and the Sea. By M.

FELIX JULIEN, Lieutenant in the Navy, and formerly a Pupil of the Polytechnic School. One volume, 8vo. Paris : Lacroix &

Baudry. 1860. WHERE do the fragile nautili go? What directing hand guides them from one sea to the other? What breeze fills the violetcolored sails of their frail shell, that plows the waves of the sea, and braves their fury? What mysterious compass directs the flotilla of these slight and graceful Argonauts, which sail in consort toward Cape Horn, and arriving there separate, the one part for the Pacific, the other for the Atlantic Ocean. Too soon, alas ! the ephemeral life that animates these tiny navigators will be extinct, and the light shell, borne to distant seas by force of lower currents, like the leaf carried through the air by the wind, will descend from depth to depth by an insensible fall, even to the bottom of the deep. Some day science will sound the depth to which it has fallen, and this little shell will give the solution of a problem for a long time unsolved, in revealing the existence of the submarine currents that have carried it so far from its natal sea. For as the atmospheric ocean, so the ocean of waters, has its two kinds of currentssurface and submarine. They are both, as yet, but imperfectly understood. The first was noticed early. Captain Duperry, of the French Institute, was the first to make a chart, which Lieutenant Maury has since perfected.

The existence of submarine currents was suspected twentyfive years ago by the penetrating genius of Arago, and has since been established without doubt by scientific reasoning, and above all by the observation of certain facts, the most important and striking of which we will state. Does not the identity of the constituent principles of water from all latitudes prove that invisible currents are charged with the task of continually re-establishing its equilibrium ?

As in the case of the winds, solar heat is the principal agent recognized in the formation of oceanic currents, and the intertropical zone is still the grand laboratory. When the vertical sun of the torrid regions heats the water, a double phenomenon is produced : first, the surface water is evaporated and the oceanic mass is diminished ; secondly, the salts, disengaged by the evaporated water, owing to their specific gravity, are precipitated to the bottom, and carry with them the water that they saturate and make heavier; consequently two currents are formed—the one a surface current, bringing from the north and the south the colder and lighter waters, to supply the place of that which was evaporated; the second submarine, which carries to the north and south the heavy equatorial waters until they are equal in weight and saltness with the surrounding waters.*

It is thus that science has solved the problem of the utility of the salts of the sea, so long unexplained, by recognizing in them the most powerful agents in promoting the currents. This is not all; by a recent and curious experiment Professor Champman has proved that evaporation is greater in fresh than in salt water; the difference is about half per cent., (0.54.) The salts of the sea are not then only necessary in the formation of currents; they have also been destined by Providence to interpose as a protecting screen between the sun and the ocean, in order to modify the evaporating power of the former, and to prevent such an abundant precipitation as to deluge the earth with rains.

What is the origin of the saltness of the sea? Opinion is divided : one party believing that the water-courses wash out the salts from the land and conrey them to the ocean; the other, and Maury with them, relying on geological facts, believe that the sea has always been salty. Maury thinks that if the salts of the sea were separated from the water that contains them, and collected together, they would form a gigantic cube of seventy-six yards in height, whose base would be equal to the superficies of North America. Could such a colossal mass be taken with impunity from the solid earth by the watercourses? Would not its displacement disturb the center of gravity of our planet ? Maury thinks it would. All the seas are not equally salty. The Mediterranean, for

* Lieut. Maury: Physical Geography of the Sea.

« 이전계속 »