"I don’t say the old Regno was faultless, that it was a paradise. Wherever men govern each other there is always bound to be some discontent, whatever the country. Human good is relative – everything cannot be quite the same for everybody. Some nations are warlike, others consists of farmers, or of merchants, artists or manufacturers; what suits them is for them to decide. Only bad judges omit to weigh good against evil, since as many blessings as possible and as few ills are the real measure of a country’s prosperity. Political bias magnifies a government’s failings without taking the times and the circumstances into account, and crudely simplistic judgements obscure anything else worthwhile – as if perfection were attainable by human endeavours. Closing one’s eyes to all that is good makes everything else look bad and raises countless questions. Naples had fewer troops than France, fewer ships than London, less liberty than America, not so much of the fine arts as Rome, and less polish than Paris, though those are not the only things which make for happiness. Nonetheless, in relation to its size and status the country had enough of them to be second to none. Commerce, arts and letters, morality, religion, security, comfort, industry, civil rights, all these it had in plenty. People lived pleasantly and inexpensively, with an abundance of entertainment and amusements; anybody who avoided subversive politics enjoyed complete freedom and could do what he liked. In short the realm was the happiest in the world. Countless foreigners who came to it prospered so much that they settled.
"During the last forty years the population increased by a quarter. There was a wealth of public buildings, of good roads, aqueducts, warehouses, free hospitals, bridges of stone, brick or iron, arsenals, arms factories, barracks, foundries, high schools, academies, universities, churches, royal palaces, convents, monasteries, harbours, docks, shipping, fortresses, prisons, orphanages, flourishing industries, scientific farming, prize herds, reclaimed marshes, reservoirs, rivers harnessed for irrigation, botanical gardens, pawnshops, corn exchanges, stock markets and finance houses, freeports, arts and crafts institutes, funded charities, savings banks, insurance agencies, shipping brokers, merchant banks, railways, electric and submarine telegraphs, and every other amenity of civilized life. As for crime, murder was rare. Paupers were few and hunger practically unknown, since there was provision by religious, private, municipal and government charities. There was no paper money, only gold and silver. Taxes were light and expenses small – one lived very well on a modest income. Work was plentiful, prices low and holidays many. There was respect for the gentry, for the law, for authority, safety and order for everyone everywhere.
"Then Gladstone came and called the regime ‘the negation of God,’ fed with lies by the opposition who wanted to bring in their ‘God’, and ruined us…almost unbelievable calumnies were repeated in newspapers all over the world."