Il Politecnico. Repertorio Mensile Di Studj Applicati Alla Prosperità E Coltura Sociale

Milano, 1800. New York : Charles B. Norton, Agent for Libraries, 596, Broadway.
AMONG the best first-fruits of Italian liberty are the free publication and circulation of books; and it is a striking indication of the new order of things in Lombardy, that the publishers at Milan of the monthly journal, “ Il Politecnico,” should at once have established an American agency in New York, and that in successive numbers of their periodical during the present year they should have furnished lists of some of the principal American publications which they are prepared to obtain for Italian readers. It will be a fortunate circumstance for the people of both countries, should a ready means he established for the interchange of their contemporaneous works in literature and science.
The “Politecnico” is not altogether a new journal. Seven volumes of it had been published, and had acquired for it a high reputation and a considerable circulation, when political events put a stop to its issue. The Austrian system of government after 1849 repressed all free expression of thought in Lombardy ; and no encouragement was afforded for the publication of any work not under the control of the administration. With the beginning of the present year the “ Politecnico" was reëstablished, mainly through the influence and under the direction of Dr. Carlo Cattaneo, who had been the chief promoter of the preceding original series. The numbers of the new series give evidence of talent and independence in its conductors and contributors, and contain articles of intrinsic value, beside that which they possess as indications of the present intellectual condition and tendencies of Italy. The journal is wholly devoted to serious studies, its object being the cultivation of the moral and physical sciences with the arts depending on them, and their practical application to promote the national prosperity. That it will carry out its design with ability is guarantied by the character of Cattaneo.
Carlo Cattaneo is a man of unquestioned power of intellect, of strong character, and resolute energy. Already distinguished, not only as a political economist, but as a forcible reasoner in applied politics, he took a leading part in the struggle of 1848 in Milan, and, inspired by ill-will towards Charles Albert and the Piedmontese, was one of the promoters of the disastrous Lombard policy which defeated the hopes of the opponents of Austria at that day. Though an Italian liberal, and unquestionably honest in his patriotic intentions, he was virtually an ally of Radetzky. When the Austrians retook Milan, he was compelled to fly, and took refuge in Lugano, where he compiled three large volumes on the affairs of Italy, from the accession of Pius IX. to the fall of Venice, in which he exhibited his political views, endeavoring to show that the misfortunes of Lombardy were due to the ambitious aud false policy of the unhappy Charles Albert. His distrust of the Piedmontese has not diminished with the recent changes in the affairs of Italy ; and although Lombardy is now united to Piedmont, and the hope of freedom seems to lie in a hearty and generous union of men of all parties in support of the new government, Cattaneo, when in March last he was elected a member of the National Parliament, refused to take his seat, that he might not be obliged to swear allegiance to the King and the Constitution. His political desire seems to be to see Italy not brought under one rule, but composed of a union of states, each preserving its special autonomy. He is a federalist, and does not share in the Unitarian view which prevails with almost all the other prominent Italian statesmen, and which at this moment appears to be the only system that can create a strong, united, independent Italy. It was to him, perhaps, more than to any other single man, that the difficulties which lately arose in the settling of the mode of annexation of Sicily and Naples to the Sardinian kingdom were due; and the small party in Parliament which recently refused to join In the vote of confidence in the ministry of Cavour was led by Ferrari, the disciple of the Milanese Doctor.
But however impracticable Cattaneo may be, and however mistaken and extravagant his political views, he is a man of such vigor of mind, that a journal conducted by him becomes, from the fact of his connection with it, one of the important organs of Italian thought. We trust that the “Politecnico” will find subscribers among those in our country who desire to keep up their knowledge of Italian affairs at a time of such extraordinary interest as the present.