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Home > Mezzofanti > Biography > 1831 > Revolution of Bologna

Soon after this interview, the quiet of Mezzofanti's life was interrupted for a time. The Revolution of Paris in July, 1830, and the events in Belgium and Poland by which it was rapidly followed, were not slow to provoke a response in Italy, The long repressed hopes of the republican party were thus suddenly realised, and the organization of the secret societies became at once more active and more ex-tended. For a time the prudent and moderate policy adopted by Pius VIII. in reference to the events in France, had the effect of defeating the measures of the Italian revolutionists ; but his death on the thirtieth of November in that year, appeared to afford a favourable opportunity for their attempt. During the conclave for the election of his successor, all the preparations were made. The stroke was sudden and rapid. The very day after the election of Gregory XVI., but before the news had been transmitted from Rome, an outbreak took place at Modena. It was followed, on the next day, by a similar proceeding at Bologna, by the calling out of a national guard, and the proclamation of a provisional government. The Papal delegate was expelled from Bologna. The Duke of Modena fled to Mantua. Maria Louisa, Duchess of Parma, took refuge in France. And on the 26th of the same month, deputies from all the revolted states, by a joint instrument, proclaimed the United Republic of Italy !

This success, however, was as short-lived as it had been rapid. The duke of Modena was reinstated by the arms of Austria on the 9th of March. Order was restored about the same date at Parma : and, before the end of the month of March, all traces of the revolutionary movement had for the time disappeared throughout the States of the Church.

It has been customary for the cities and communi of the Papal States on the accession of each new Pontiff, to send a deputation of their most notable citizens to offer their homage and present their congratulations at the foot of the throne. Many of the chief cities had already complied with the established usage. Bologna, restored to a calmer mind, now hastened to follow the example. Three delegates were deputed for the purpose the Marchese Zambeccari, Count Lewis Isolani, and the abate Mezzofanti. They arrived in Rome in the beginning of May, and on the 9th of the same month, were admitted to an audience of the Pope, who received them with great kindness, and inquired anxiously into the condition of Bologna, and the grievances which had given occasion to the recent discontents.

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