Senators and Deputies, gentlemen!
The work to which we consecrated our life is accomplished. After long trials of
expiation Italy is restored to herself and to Rome. Here, where our people, after
centuries of separation, find themselves for the first time solemnly reunited in the
person of their representatives: here where we recognize the fatherland of our dreams,
everything speaks to us of greatness; but at the same time it all reminds us of our
duties. The joy that we experience must not let us forget them. . . .
We have proclaimed the separation of Church and State. Having recognized the absolute
independence of the spiritual authority, we are convinced that Rome, the capital of Italy,
will continue to be the peaceful and respected seat of the Pontificate....
Economic and financial affairs, moreover, claim our most careful attention. Now that
Italy is established, it is necessary to make it prosperous by putting in order its
finances; we shall succeed in this only by persevering in the virtues which have been the
source of our national regeneration. Good finances will be the means of re-enforcing our
military organization. Our most ardent desire is for peace, and nothing can make us
believe that it can be troubled. But the organization of the army and the navy, the supply
of arms, the works for the defense of the national territory, demand long and profound
Senators and deputies, a vast range of activity opens before you; the national unity
which is today attained will have, I hope, the effect of rendering less bitter the
struggles of parties, the rivalry of which will have henceforth no other end than the
development of the productive forces of the nation.
I rejoice to see that our population already gives unequivocal proofs of its love of
work. The economic awakening is closely associated with the political awakening. The banks
multiply, as do the commercial institutions, the expositions of the products of art and
industry, and the congresses of the learned. We ought, you and I, to favor this productive
movement while giving to professional and scientific education more attention and
efficiency, and opening to commerce new avenues of communication and new outlets.
The tunnel of Mont Cenis is completed; we are on the point of undertaking that of the
St. Gotthard. The commercial route, which, crossing Italy, terminates at Brindisi and
brings Europe near to India, will thus have three ways open to railway traffic across the
Alps. The rapidity of the journeys, the facility of exchanges, will increase the amicable
relations which already unite us to other nations, and will make more productive than ever
the legitimate competition of labor and the national rivalry in advancing civilization.
A brilliant future opens before us. It remains for us to respond to the blessings of'
Providence by showing ourselves worthy of bearing among the nations the glorious names of
Italy and Rome.