We must now consider the period which is just drawing
to a close as almost the last stage of our national resurrection,
and prepare ourselves to finish worthily the marvelous design of
the elect of twenty generations, the completion of which Providence
has reserved for this fortunate age.
Yes, young men, Italy owes to you an undertaking which has merited
the applause of the universe. You have conquered and you will conquer
still, because you are prepared for the tactics that decide the
fate of battles. You are not unworthy of the men who entered the
ranks of a Macedonian phalanx, and who contended not in vain with
the proud conquerors of Asia. To this wonderful page in our country's
history another more glorious still will be added, and the slave
shall show at last to his free brothers a sharpened sword forged
from the links of his fetters.
To arms, then, all of you! all of you! And the oppressors and the
mighty shall disappear like dust. You, too, women, cast away all
the cowards from your embraces; they will give you only cowards
for children, and you who are the daughters of the land of beauty
must bear children who are noble and brave. Let timid doctrinaires
depart from among us to carry their servility and their miserable
fears elsewhere. This people is its own master. It wishes to be
the brother of other peoples, but to look on the insolent with a
proud glance, not to grovel before them imploring its own freedom.
It will no longer follow in the trail of men whose hearts are foul.
No! No! No!
Providence has presented Italy with Victor Emmanuel. Every Italian
should rally round him. By the side of Victor Emmanuel every quarrel
should be forgotten, all rancor depart. Once more I repeat my battle-cry:
"To arms, all-all of you!" If March, 1861, does not find
one million of Italians in arms, then alas for liberty, alas for
the life of Italy. Ah, no, far be from me a thought which I loathe
like poison. March of 1861, or if need be February, will find us
all at our post-Italians of Calatafimi, Palermo, Ancona, the Volturno,
Castelfidardo, and Isernia, and with us every man of this land who
is not a coward or a slave. Let all of us rally round the glorious
hero of Palestro and give the last blow to the crumbling edifice
of tyranny. Receive, then, my gallant young volunteers, at the honored
conclusion of ten battles, one word of farewell from me.
I utter this word with deepest affection and from the very bottom
of my heart. Today I am obliged to retire, but for a few days only.
The hour of battle will find me with you again, by the side of the
champions of Italian liberty. Let those only return to their homes
who are called by the imperative duties which they owe to their
families, and those who by their glorious wounds have deserved the
credit of their country. These, indeed, will serve Italy in their
homes by their counsel, by the very aspect of the scars which adorn
their youthful brows. Apart from these, let all others remain to
guard our glorious banners. We shall meet again before long to march
together to the redemption of our brothers who are still slaves
of the stranger. We shall meet again before long to march to new