Guiseppe Mazzini

Guiseppe
Mazzini
1805
1872

Italian Patriot, Writer, Politician, Journalist, Activist for the Unification of Italy

Author Quotes

Human judgment, like Luther's drunken peasant, when saved from falling on one side, topples over on the other.

The cradle of transformation.

I know no more beautiful symbol of the future destiny and mission of art than the death of Byron in Greece. The holy alliance of poetry with the cause of the peoples; the union?still so rare?of thought and action?which alone completes the human Word, and is destined to emancipate the world; the grand solidarity of all nations in the conquest of the rights ordained by God for all his children, and in the accomplishment of that mission for which alone such rights exist?all that is now the religion and the hope of the party of progress throughout Europe, is gloriously typified in this image, which we, barbarians that we are, have already forgotten.

The epoch of individuality is concluded, and it is the duty of reformers to initiate the epoch of association. Collective man is omnipotent upon the earth he treads.

In ourselves, rather than in material nature, lie the true source and life of the beautiful. The human soul is the sun which diffuses light on every side, investing creation with its lovely hues, and calling forth the poetic element that lies hidden in every existing thing.

The Family is the Country of the heart. There is an angel in the Family who, by the mysterious influence of grace, of sweetness, and of love, renders the fulfillment of duties less wearisome, sorrows less bitter. The only pure joys unmixed with sadness which it is given to man to taste upon earth are, thanks to this angel, the joys of the Family.

Insurrection by means of guerrilla bands is the true method of warfare for all nations desirous of emancipating themselves from a foreign yoke. It is invincible, indestructible.

The great men of the earth are but the marking-stones on the road of humanity; they are the priests of its religion.

Insurrection: Insurrection as soon as circumstances allow: insurrection, strenuous, ubiquitous: the insurrection of the masses: the holy war of the oppressed: the republic to make republicans: the people in action to initiate progress. Let the insurrection announce with its awful voice the decrees of God: let it clear and level the ground on which its own immortal structure shall be raised. Let it, like the Nile, flood all the country that it is destined to make fertile.

The mother's first kiss teaches the child love; the first holy kiss of the woman he loves teaches man hope and faith in life.

Labor is the divine law of our existence; repose is desertion and suicide.

The republic, as I at least understand it, means association, of which liberty is only an element, a necessary antecedent. It means association, a new philosophy of life, a divine Ideal that shall move the world, the only means of regeneration vouchsafed to the human race.

Love and respect a woman. Look to her not only for comfort, but for strength and inspiration and the doubling of your intellectual and moral powers. Blot out from your mind any idea of superiority; you have none.

There is no absolute type on earth: the absolute exists in the Divine Idea alone; the gradual comprehension of which man is destined to attain; although its complete realization is impossible on earth; earthly life being but one stage of the eternal evolution of life, manifested in thought and action; strengthened by all the achievements of the past, and advancing from age to ages towards a less imperfect expression of that idea. Our earthly life is one phase of the eternal aspiration of the soul towards progress, which is our law; ascending in increasing power and purity from the finite towards the infinite; from the real towards the ideal; from that which is, towards that which is to come. In the immense storehouse of the past evolutions of life constituted by universal tradition, and in the prophetic instinct brooding in the depths of the human soul, does poetry seek inspiration. It changes with the times, for it is their expression; it is transformed with society, for?consciously or unconsciously?it sings the lay of Humanity; although, according to the individual bias or circumstances of the singer, it assumes the hues of the present, or of the future in course of elaboration, and foreseen by the inspiration of genius. It sings now a dirge and now a cradle song; it initiates or sums up.

Love is the flight of the soul toward God: toward the great, the sublime, and the beautiful, which are the shadows of God upon earth. Love your family; the partner of your life; those around you, ready to share your joys and sorrows; the dead who were dear to you, and to whom you were dear. Love your country. It is your name, your glory, your sign among the peoples. Give to it your thought, your counsel, your blood. You are twenty-four millions of men, endowed with active and splendid faculties; with a tradition of glory which is the envy of the nations of Europe. An immense future is before you. Your eyes are raised to the loveliest heaven, and around you smiles the loveliest land in Europe. You are encircled by the Alps and the sea, boundaries marked out by the finger of God for a people of giants.

We improve with the improvement of Humanity; nor without the improvement of the whole can you hope that your own moral and material conditions will improve. Generally speaking, you cannot, even if you would, separate your life from that of Humanity; you live in it, by it, for it. Your souls, with the exception of the very few men of exceptional power, cannot free themselves from the influence of the elements amid which they exist, just as the body, however robust its constitution, cannot escape from the effects of corrupt air around it. How many of you have the strength of mind to bring up your sons to be wholly truthful, knowing that you are sending them forth to persecution in a country where tyrants and spies bid them conceal or deny two-thirds of their real opinions? How many of you resolve to educate them to despise wealth in a society where gold is the only power which obtains honors, influence, and respect, where indeed it is the only protection from the tyranny and insults of the powerful and their agents? Who is there among you who in pure love and with the best intentions in the world has not murmured to his dear ones in Italy, Do not trust men; the honest man should retire into himself and fly from public life; charity begins at home,?and such-like maxims, plainly immoral, but prompted by the general state of society? What mother is there among you who? has not flung her arms around her son?s neck and striven to dissuade him from perilous attempts to benefit his brothers? And even if you had strength to teach the contrary, would not the whole of society, with its thousand voices, its thousand evil examples, destroy the effect of your words? Can you purify, elevate your own souls in an atmosphere of contamination and degradation? And, to descend to your material conditions, do you think they can be lastingly ameliorated by anything but the amelioration of all? Millions of pounds are spent annually here in England, where I write, by private charity, for the relief of individuals who have fallen into want; yet want increases here every year, and charity to individuals has proved powerless to heal the evil?the necessity of collective organic remedies is more and more universally felt

By the law of God, given by him to humanity, all men are free, are brothers, and are equals.

Love your country. Your country is the land where your parents sleep, where is spoken that language in which the chosen of your heart, blushing, whispered the first word of love; it is the home that God has given you that by striving to perfect yourselves therein you may prepare to ascend to him.

What is the most important duty? One's duty toward one's parent.

Every Age has its own peculiar faith. Any attempt to translate into facts the mission of one Age with the machinery of another, can only end in an indefinite series of abortive efforts. Defeated by the utter want of proportion between the means and the end, such attempts might produce martyrs, but never lead to victory.

Men of great genius and large heart sow the seeds of a new degree of progress in the world, but they bear fruit only after many years.

Without country you have neither name, token, voice, nor rights, no admission as brothers into the fellowship of the Peoples. You are the bastards of Humanity. Soldiers without a banner, Israelites among the nations, you will find neither faith nor protection; none will be sureties for you. Do not beguile yourselves with the hope of emancipation from unjust social conditions if you do not first conquer a Country for yourselves.

Every mission constitutes a pledge of duty. Every man is bound to consecrate his every faculty to its fulfillment. He will derive his rule of action from the profound conviction of that duty.

Nations, like individuals, live and die; but civilization cannot die.

Farewell, a long farewell to the past! The dawn of the future is announced to such as can read its signs, and we owe ourselves wholly to it. But because, in our own day, we are beginning, though vaguely, to foresee this new social poetry, which will soothe the suffering soul by teaching it to rise towards God through humanity; because we now stand on the threshold of a new epoch, which, but for them, we should not have reached; shall we decry those who were unable to do more for us than cast their giant forms into the gulf that held us all doubting and dismayed on the other side? From the earliest times has genius been made the scapegoat of the generations. Society has never lacked men who have contented themselves with reproaching the Chattertons of their day with not being patterns of self-devotion, instead of physical or moral suicides; without ever asking themselves whether they had, during their lifetime, endeavored to place aught within the reach of such but doubt and destitution. I feel the necessity of protesting earnestly against the reaction set on foot by certain thinkers against the mighty-souled, which serves as a cloak for the cavilling spirit of mediocrity. There is something hard, repulsive, and ungrateful in the destructive instinct which so often forgets what has been done by the great men who preceded us, to demand of them merely an account of what more might have been done. Is the pillow of skepticism so soft to genius as to justify the conclusion that it is from egotism only that at times it rests its fevered brow thereon? Are we so free from the evil reflected in their verse as to have a right to condemn their memory? That evil was not introduced into the world by them. They saw it, felt it, respired it; it was around, about, on every side of them, and they were its greatest victims. How could they avoid reproducing it in their works? It is not by deposing Goethe or Byron that we shall destroy either skeptical or anarchical indifference amongst us. It is by becoming believers and organizers ourselves. If we are such, we need fear nothing. As is the public, so will be the poet. If we revere enthusiasm, the fatherland, and humanity; if our hearts are pure, and our souls steadfast and patient, the genius inspired to interpret our aspirations, and bear to heaven our ideas and our sufferings, will not be wanting. Let these statues stand. The noble monuments of feudal times create no desire to return to the days of serfdom.

Author Picture
First Name
Guiseppe
Last Name
Mazzini
Birth Date
1805
Death Date
1872
Bio

Italian Patriot, Writer, Politician, Journalist, Activist for the Unification of Italy