there were, who, ignoring the weakness of their own band, the strength
of the enemy, and the state of the whole Peninsula, demanded to be led
into action, so that, by a decisive victory, they might see the termination
of their misfortunes. In a word, all announced a speedy and inevitable
dissolution . Garibaldi perceived it, and, to avoid any precipitate deter­
mination which might have caused the utter ruin of the corps, he formed
a resolution which did as much honour to his mind as to his heart. In
order to render defection less disastrous even for those who meditated it,
he sought to gain a spot, where the malcontents, leaving the legion, might
obtain less severe terms from the enemy. He would then reorganise the
more resolute, and gain Venice by bye-roads, whither he was so anxious
to proceed.

A very lofty mountain, scarped on the side commanding the Adriatic,
and descending in a gentler slope on the side toward the province of
U rbino, and at the foot of the latter side a zone of land, undulating in hilly
and fertile vallies, with a diameter of about six miles, compose the country
of San Marino, which was remarkable for the antiquity of its castles, as it
was celebrated through its laws and traditions. town, built on the crest
or' the precipice, is the seat of splendid reminiscences ; the traffic in the
native productions renders another town on the northern slopes flourish­
ing . The labour of a people, generous, hospitable, and as virtuous as the
founders of its institutions, renders this country most prolific; and men,
chosen by suffrage, govern it as a Republic. The papal government was
ever a grave obstacle to the expansion of the noble feelings of this people,
educated in fraternity and love; but, although the gloomy intri,"'Ues of
the clerical party have repeatedly assailed it, the right of asylum still
exists there, protected by its traditional antiquity, and the sympathy of
the European governments.

As San Marino was the only country favourable to Garibaldi•s plans, he
strove to reach it without an engagement with the Austrians. But fresh
masses of troops were advancing by various routes to cut off his road
to the cent re of the Romagna. Great .attention was therefore necessary
to deceive them, and save him from being compelled to make flank
marches, or retreat before them. In the present condition of the legions
a combat on such unequal terms must be ruinous. The column marched
the whole of the 29th along abrupt paths, frequently losing themselves in
the woods, or coming up to torrents which they were obliged to ford,
while the rear-guard constantly had the enemy's cavalry at their heels.
Still, on the same evening, the legions arrived intact at Macerata; but
the camp was scarce formed ere imposing forces again menaced them.




They were compelled to start afresh and select a spot where the enemy
could not follow without great hazard.

In spite of the difficulties presented by a march across the most scarped
mountains and by the roughest paths, the legion had always managed to
carry with them the light gun Garibaldi had thought might be useful in
action. "\Vhen there were no hones to drag it, oxen were employed.
Owing to t he indefatigable activity of the artillerymen, this piece sur­
mounted such obstacles that even the witnesses could scarcely credit it.
But such toil was destined to be fruitless. The Garibaldians had arrived
almost at the frontier of San Marino, and entered a hollow among the
precipices, when suddenly a violent shock, produced by the irregularity of
the ground, broke .the axle of the limber, and the gun all but rolled to the
bottom of the precipice. This unforeseen accident checked the legions
exactly at the moment when the vanguard had just reached the opposite
side of the basin, and the last soldiers were beginning their descent into
it. All were, therefore, collected in the basin, and, instead of hastening to
quit it, and abandoning the gun, they were so imprudent, owing to their
extreme we,ariness, as to lie down to sleep.

The general was not present. Wishful to assnre himself how he and
his followers would be received at San Marino, fearing lest the presence
of the Austrians in the neighbourhood, and the fear of an 'lngagement on
neutral ground might cause an asylum to be refused, he had gone on in
front to COJ[lfer with some members of the government and learn their
intentions. The momentary absence of the general could not expose t.he
legions to mwy danger, for the enemy could not possibly catch them up
ere they rellched the frontiers of the Republic. But the delay of at least
two hours, made without the knowledge of the chief, and under pretext of
repairing the gun carriage, allowed the rear guard to come up with the
main body. Hence the troops were left to themselves, and in the mani­
fest risk of being the victims of a surprise.

A body of the enemy, sent from the Romagna against the Garibaldians,
having beeiJl informed by spies of the new direction 'taken, had marched
the whole night to reach the frontier before them. This corps arrived
there on th11 morning of the 30th, and the Garibaldians were just about
quitting the basin, when the enemy suddenly appeared on the heighta
it, and prepared to attack the legion from two sides simulta­
neously. The absence of the chief, and the fear of being cut to pieces in
this trap, would have produced the most fatal consequences had not the
advice of th<e officers been listened to. Enconraged and excited by them,
the soldiers prepared on all aides to quit the basin and gain the heighta,

" 1zedbyGooglc

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