then by the 8implon to Geneva. As an account of Garibaldi and his
force, and the atate of the country by an eyewitness, may interest your
readers, I send a copy of my journal for the three days during "W"hich we
in or near the seat of war.

"Afte.r t"W"o days' journey down the Ticino "W"e reached Lugano at dark,
in a perfect torrent of rain, "W"hich had poured the whole afternoon,
and cl1r0ve to the Hotel du Pare, wet and uncomfortable. Our livdy
visions of a warm supper and comfortable bed were at once dispelled by
the disagreeable announcement that the houae 1I"1WI full and not a bed to
be hail; 200 people from the seat of war, principally Lombardese nobility,
had there found harbour; even the sen-ants' rooms were occupied. At
the Hotels du and Corona the answer was the same, and there we
were, wet and miserable in the street, with a small crowd round the
carriage. After vain inquiries for inferior accommodation my friend
returned to the Hotel du Pare, and appealed to the tender feelings of
the landlord, who very kindly turned into bed-rooms two saloons used by
the staff of the Swiss Commander-in-chief, a kindness for which we felt
most to lUm and them.

"On inquiry we were at once told most decidedly that wo could not
reach Como; that, even if we could, it would be most dangerous to go
among such a set of brigands ; ene gentleman and two ladies had
been ]>risoners two daysaad nightl with sentries over them-all English,
there snd then in the hotel; ta-t :t.Re Austrians were iD. great f()ft)f­
within twenty milea of Como, -.rida a railW"By to the outposts, and that
firing ofheavy guns had been heard that day. Our guide, J011eph Fetier,
on making inquiry of his friends among the Swiss soldiers, received the
s..l.e !

. Only one-an elderly French gentleman-gave us any
eo.fairt, and he aaid that the English might go anywhere, but then so
might madmen. One tJmag was plain enough, that in Lugano they knew
less ahout the war tbau we did, and 11·e determined to see for ourselves.

Lugano andChuso, the frontier town, the country is strongly
oocup· ied by Swiss troops, who keep watch and ward as ifin face of an
enemy ; patrols and sstries everywhere; a church at Melide is turned
into a blolTaek ior the guard. The populatian in the midst of it all quietly
pursue tbe:r usual occupations, and I observed that when a trooper, "W"hom
\l"e in fnll trot from the frontier, passed some girls gathering mulberry

eave11 from the trees on the roadside, they did not even turn ther heads.
Ten miles 'from the frontier we were told that the Austrians had driven
out Garibaldi with great loss, and our driver was kindly informed, ""bile
we stopped to purchase cherries, that his horses would be seized by either




aide. We om'Belvee felt quiteaaf'e. Fetieraud the .,omw;ln'seemed to be of
the same opi11ion, and at once auented io our order to go on till we were
stopped. Were the Austriana in occupation we could only be turned
back ; where:u, ifGanoaldi still held his ground, it was not likely .that,
even if such nrllians as reported, his men would practice brigandage in
the two milE's between Chasso and his head-quarters, aud upon English
too. We bowled along the broad smooth road, worthy

of Engla.nd,

through Chasso, and over the bridge, when we were at once pulled up.
It was a morning after the rain, and numbers of ladies and gen­
tlemen, prin,oipally refugees from the seat of war, we understood, were
sauntering a.bout. On the left was a guardhouse, with a.n unusual
number of VEirJ bright muskets; on the right, a short distance along the
road, were 1:hree A1l8trian Douaniers, in all the dignity of sword and
uniform, who looked quietly on, while two out of a number of men in
plain clothes, sta.nding about the guardhouse, came forward and asked for
our pusport11. It was Garibaldi's outpost. The first was a tall good­
looking man of thirty, dressed in a brown shooting coat, with black grey

. trousers and waistcoat, and felt hat, all having had hard usage, but still
tidy; the seeond an intelligent-looking ma.n of fifty, with a rod nose, and

the appearan.ce

of a well-to-do shoemaker, with a small shop and a large
family ; he just looked the man emphatically to have laid down the law
for twenty years to his neighbours upon the unity of Italy and tyranny
of Austria, a.nd then turned out to support words by deeds. :Fetier
produced hie: license as guide, and explained who and what we were, and
we handed n letter from the landlord of tho hotel, stating that we were
to return to Lugano that night. He said that he would give us a receipt
for oar passports and give them up on ourreturn. He gave us the receipt
with a polite' bow, and we went on our way rejoicing. We fo1md tho
people as quietly at work as on the Swiss side, and numbers going and
returning tc:1 Como, from whom we learned that on taking posseuion
Garibaldi had at once organized the administration of tho district.

"We drov«l through quiet streets crowded with armed men to the Albergo
del Angelo, :md were received and shown rooms just as we should have
been a. year only there was a guard in the gateway, and we passed a
room full of officers writing, for the general had here taken up his head­
quarters. ·we did not consider that it would be a serious breach of the
neutrality of the nation, if we paid our respects to the Garibaldi who
Rome, and who, amid all the blunders a.nd disasters of 1848,
saowed that only time and opportunity were wanting to develope in the
Italians a single-minded heroism and constancy worthy of a.ncient Rome.


u. cizedbyGooglc
Previous Page Next Page