"To me too," his mother wrote to him,
"nothing seems finer and more glorious than to retaliate on an enemy,
so far as it can be done without the country's ruin. But if this is
not possible, then may our enemies continue and remain what they are,
a thousand times rather than that our country should perish."
Cornelia knew her son; his creed was just the reverse.
would wreak on the wretched government, vengeance at any price, though
he himself and even the commonwealth were to be ruined by it--the
presentiment, that fate would overtake him as certainly as his brother,
drove him only to make haste like a man mortally wounded who throws
himself on the foe.
The mother thought more nobly; but the son--
with his deeply provoked, passionately excited, thoroughly Italian
nature--has been more lamented than blamed by posterity, and posterity
has been right in its judgment.