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forgery of the clumsiest kind. This being
the only charge set up against Poerio, he
ought, in justice, to have been released, and
his accuser committed in his stead. But the
document was simply laid aside, and Poerio
remanded until another accusation more
successful could be prepared. Meanwhile, he
lay for eight months in ignorance of his
crime and fate, in dungeons such as we have
described, every effort being made to entrap
him or other prisoners into statements which
could be used against him at his trial. Pecheneda,
chief of the police, and a cabinet
minister, examined prisoners in secret and
without witnesses for this purpose; and on
one Carafa refusing to make a false charge
against Poerio, though bribed by the promise
of his own release, Pecheneda exclaimed,
?Very well, sir, you wish to destroy yourself;
I leave you to your fate." At last
three witnesses were found willing to charge
Poerio with treasonable acts.

The accusation was, that he was a chief of
the Unita Italiana, a republican sect, and
intended to murder the king. Margherita,
one witness, incautiously deposed that Poerio
had been expelled the society for proposing
to keep up the monarchical constitution, so
that his evidence was, of course, unavailable.
Romeo, another witness, was chief of the sect;
but that was in contradiction of the third
witness, Jervolino; and, besides, Romeo's evidence
inculpated Bozzelli and Torella, who were
both cabinet ministers when that evidence
was given. On Jervolino's statement alone,
therefore, was Poerio to be condemned; no
advantage being allowed him for the
discrepancies in the evidence of other two
witnesses, nor in that of Jervolino himself. This
man had been refused some office by Poerio,
and he now stated that the latter had helped
him instead in getting enrolled in the Unita
Italiana. But he could not recollect the forms
or oath of the sect, or say anything as to the
certificate of initiation alleged to be
indispensable for every member to possess. After
a number of other exposures on cross-
examination, he stated that Poerio had made him a
political confidantamong other occasions, on
the twenty-ninth of May, eighteen hundred
and forty-nine. Poerio produced a written
report on himself, made by Jervolino to the
police as their spy, and proved that it had fallen
into his hands seven days previous to the
alleged conversationthus showing the
absurd improbability of Jervolino's assertion.
The evidence of the sole witness against him,
in fact, had utterly broken down. Yet he
gained no benefit from the circumstance, nor
was he allowed to bring counter-evidence on
his own side, except a single witness, who, if
possible, added to the discredit of the
infamous Jervolino.

All these facts are attested by Mr. Gladstone,
who was present at the proceedings.
Yet by such means it was that Poerio and
his co-accused were condemned, and have
since been made to undergo punishments of
the severest and most degrading kind.
Removed to the Bagno of Nisida, they were
crammed, to the number of forty, into a
room about thirteen feet long, nine wide, and
eight in height, with a single small and un-
glazed window, one side of the apartment
being under the level of the ground. Mr.
Gladstone saw Poerio while here, but could
scarcely recognise him, so changed was he
from confinement and ill-health.

At the present moment Poerio is in a cell
so foul that bread turns green in twenty-four
hours; his constitution is undermined; one
of his companions has died of consumption,
another is paralysed, and Poerio himself has
been operated upon for the tumours raised
by his chains. Chains are a punishment
introduced with special reference to his case,
but with a transparent device to make it
appear otherwise. An order was given to
chain all prisoners at Nisida committed since
a certain date, by which Poerio and his
fellows were included. The chains are double;
one about six feet long connects the prisoners
by their waists, around which a strong
leathern girdle is worn, and from which also
descends the other chain to the ancle, the
combined weight being about thirty-five
pounds for each man. Their felon's dress is
arranged so as to be taken off without
removing the chains, which, in fact, are never
unfastened for any purpose whatever. Thus,
no relief is obtained, except by shifting
the girdle higher and then lower on the waist;
a device which has not protected Poerio from
tumours and sores, to say nothing of the mental
distress a man of his education must feel at
being treated worse than the vilest felon.
Other indignities which neither decency nor
space will permit us to mention, are daily
endured by him, and by others who are
constantly meeting with a similar fate. Body
and mind must at length give way under such
treatment; a result as sure, but more silent
than a public execution, and one which the
Neapolitan government, perhaps, is not
unwilling to produce.

In spite of all this tyranny and ill-usage,
affecting thousands directly, and the whole
nation indirectly, King Bomba is most strict
in his religious duties (as was, occasionally,
the wicked and superstitious Louis the
Eleventh), and a firm supporter of the Church;
which in its turn has supported him. The
worst of men will, if possible, give an appearance
of right and justice to their actions;
an involuntary homage paid to virtue by vice,
Ferdinand the Second, therefore, defends his
system on the grounds of order, and the
divine right of kings; taking care that the
rising generation shall be well instructed in
such doctrines, and look upon constitutional
government as blasphemy. Accordingly, a
catechism has been drawn up by an ecclesiastic,
named Appuzzi, who is, or was, Chief
Commissioner of Public Instruction, and

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