Having reached the strait, it became necessary to cross it. To have reinstated Sicily
in the great Italian family was certainly a glorious achievement. But what then were we,
in compliance with diplomacy, to leave our country incomplete and maimed? What of the two
Calabrias, and Naples, awaiting us with open arms? And the rest of Italy still enslaved by
the foreigner and the priest? We were clearly bound to pass the strait, despite the utmost
vigilance of the Bourbons and their adherents.
Our entry into the great capital sounds more imposing than it was in reality.
Accompanied by a small staff, I passed through the midst of the Bourbon troops still in
occupation, who presented arms far more obsequiously than they did at that time to their
September 7th, 1860!-which of the sons of Parthenope will not remember that glorious
day? On September 7th fell the abhorred dynasty which a great English statesman had called
'The curse of God', and on its ruins rose the sovereignty of the people, which, by some
unhappy fatality, never lasts long.
... Though the Bourbon army was still in possession of the forts and the principal
points of the city, whence they could easily have destroyed it, yet the applause and the
impressive conduct of this great populace sufficed to ensure their harmlessness on
September 7th, 1860.
I entered Naples with the whole of the southern army as yet a long way off in the
direction of the Straits of Messina, the King of Naples having, on the previous day,
quitted his palace to retire to Capua.
The royal nest, still warm, was occupied by the emancipators of the people, and the
rich carpets of the royal palace were trodden by the heavy boots of the plebeian.
At Naples, as in all places we had passed through since crossing the strait, the
populace were sublime in their enthusiastic patriotism, and the resolute tone assumed by
them certainly had no small share in the brilliant results obtained.
Another circumstance very favourable to the national cause was the tacit consent of the
Bourbon navy, which, had it been entirely hostile, could have greatly retarded our
progress towards the capital. In fact, our steamers transported the divisions of the
southern army along the whole Neapolitan coast without let or hindrance, which could not
have been done in the face of any decided opposition on the part of the navy.