JULIUS II.: THE FIGHTING POPE
THE single merit which sober historians award to Alexander VI. is that, in forming a powerful principality for his son in central Italy, he was re-establishing the States of the Church and ensuring the protection of the Papacy. The course of events after his death prevents us from acknowledging this claim, and Alexander himself must have been well aware that Caesar Borgia would, if his State endured, protect the Papacy only on condition that he might continue to dominate it. He told Machiavelli that he had made ample preparation to secure his position at the death of his father, but his own illness wrecked his plans. This is untrue. He was quite able to direct his servants and at his father's death they began to enforce his blustering policy. Some forced their way, at the point of the dagger, to the Papal treasury, and carried off the money and plate left by the Pope: leaving his enormous debts to his successor. Others sought to intimidate the cardinals. But Caesar's power in the North at once began to crumble, his enemies gathered in force from all sides, and he was defeated. The cardinals would not assemble until his troops, and those of France, Spain, and Venice, withdrew from Rome.
The chief contest in the Conclave, which began on September 16th, lay between the French Cardinal D'Amboise and Giuliano della Rovere, who returned from Avignon. Neither could secure the necessary majority, and Cardinal Piccolomini, nephew of Pius II., was chosen to occupy the throne until a stronger man could prevail. The more luxurious cardinals may have smiled at the rejoicing with which reformers greeted the aged and virtuous Pius III., for they knew that he suffered from an incurable malady. He died, in fact, ten days after his coronation, or on October 18th, and the struggle was renewed. Giuliano della Rovere now pushed his ambition with equal energy and unscrupulousness. He promised Caesar Borgia, who controlled the extensive Spanish vote, that he would respect his possessions and make him Gonfaloniere of the Church 1 ; he distributed money among the cardinal-voters; he agreed to the capitulation that whoever was elected should summon a council for the purpose of reform within two years, and should not make war on any Power without the consent of two thirds of the cardinals. He worked so well that the Conclave, which met on October 31st, was one of the shortest in the history of the Papacy. Within three hours the sealed window was broken open and the election of Julius II. was announced.
We have in the last chapter followed the romantic early career of Giuliano della Rovere. He was born on December 5, 1443, at Albizzola, near Savona, of a poor and obscure family. His uncle, being first a professor and then General of the Franciscan Order, sent him to be educated in one of the monasteries of that Order. Some historians strangely doubt whether he actually took the religious vows, but it was assuredly not the custom of the friars to keep young men in their
1 Burchard, Diarium, iii., 293.
monasteries to the age of twenty-eight unless they were members of the fraternity. At that age (in 1471) Fra Giuliano and his cousin Fra Pietro heard that their uncle had become Sixtus IV., and they were raised to the cardinalate.
Giuliano did not emulate the vices which carried off his younger cousin within two years. He "lived much as the other prelates of that day did," says Guicciardini, in a sober estimate of his character, and his three known daughters confirm the great historian of the time; but he kept a comparatively moderate palace and spent money on a refined patronage of art and culture. He displayed some military talent when he commanded the Papal troops in Umbria in 1474, and afterwards served as Legate in France ( 1476) and the Netherlands ( 1480). He, as we saw, maintained his position after his uncle's death by corruptly ensuring the election of Innocent VIII. and exercising a paramount influence over that Pontiff. His power inflamed the animosity of his rivals, and at the accession of Alexander VI. he was driven from Italy. From his quiet retreat in Avignon he instigated the French monarch to invade Italy and depose Alexander, and, when Alexander gracefully disarmed Charles, Giuliano returned in disgust to Avignon. It is true that in 1499 he rendered some service to Alexander, in connexion with Cæsar's marriage, but he felt it safer to remain in Avignon until the announcement of Alexander's death recalled his many enemies to Rome. 1
1 Guicciardini Storia d'Italia and Burchard Diarium are the chief authorities, supplemented by the dispatches of the Italian ambassadors. There is a slight and somewhat antiquated biography by M. A. J. Dumesnil ( Histoire de Jules II. , 1873) and an abler study by M.
In 1503, at the date of his election, Julius II. had long outlived his early irregularities, and had no personal vices beyond a fiery temper and a taste for wine which his enemies magnified into a scandal. The familiar portrait by Raphael brings him closer to us than any of the Pontiffs whom we have yet considered. He was then in his sixtieth year, with a scanty sprinkling of grey locks on his massive head, and with an aspect of energy and determination which must have been lessened by the long white beard he grew in later life. Though troubled--like most of the Popes of this period--with gout, he was still erect and dignified, and the cardinals, who had hardly seen him for ten years, can have had little suspicion of the volcanic fires which were concealed by his habitual silence and quiet enjoyment of culture. They soon learned that they had created a master, and they lamented that he united the manners of a peasant with the vigour of a soldier. He consulted none, and he lavished epithets on those who lingered in the execution of his commands. Yet this brusque and abusive soldier was destined, not merely to place the Papal States on a surer foundation than ever, but to do far more even than Leo X. for the artistic enhancement of Rome.
The supreme aim which Julius held in view from the
Brosch ( Papst Julius II. , 1878). J. F. Loughlin has a candid account, chiefly based on Brosch, of his early career in The American Catholic Quarterly Review. 1 Special treatises will be noticed in the course of the chapter, but there is little dispute about the facts I give. Full references will be found in the very ample, if somewhat lenient, study of Dr. Pastor ( vi.), and in the works of Creighton, Gregorovius, and von Reumont.
1 1900, pp. 133 - 147.
beginning of his Pontificate was the restoration of the Papal possessions, but I may dismiss first the actions or events which have a more personal relation. He heard or said mass daily, and paid a strict regard to his ecclesiastical duties. He reorganized the administration of the city and the Campagna, suppressed disorder, purified the tribunals, reformed the coinage, and in many other respects corrected the vices of his predecessor, whom he had loathed. These marañas (halfconverted Spanish Jews), as he called the Borgias, had fouled Italy with their presence. He improved the Papal table, which had been singularly poor under Alexander, but the vicious parasites whom Alexander had encouraged now shrank from the Vatican. At first he indulged the characteristic Papal weakness, nepotism. At his first Consistory ( November 29, 1503) two of the four cardinals promoted were members of his family--his uncle and nephew--and two years later he married his natural daughter Felicia to one of the Orsini, his niece Lucrezia to one of the Colonna, and his nephew Niccolò della Rovere to Giulia Orsini's daughter Laura. One cannot say, as some historians do, that he was no nepotist; though one may admit that, in the words of Guicciardini, "he did not carry nepotism beyond due bounds." To the obligations he had contracted in bargaining for the Papacy he was quite unscrupulously blind, and, although he issued a drastic Bull against simony in 1505 (January 14th), his grand plans imposed on him such an expenditure that he even increased the sale of offices and indulgences until the annual income of the Papacy rose to 350,000 ducats.
Julius at once made it plain that he was not only determined to recover the Papal States, but would override any moral obligation or sentimental prejudice in the pursuit of his object. The treasury was empty, and he had contracted, at the price of several Spanish votes, to respect the person and possessions of Caesar Borgia. But Venice had encouraged the petty lords of Romagna to recover the places which Caesar had wrested from them, and itself had designs on some of the towns. Grasping the pretext that the whole of Romagna was thus in danger, Julius summoned Caesar to surrender the remaining strongholds to the Church. When Caesar refused, he found himself a prisoner of the Pope, instead of Gonfaloniere of his troops, and he seems to have been dazed by the sudden collapse of his brilliant fortune. Spain withdrew the Spanish mercenaries from Caesar's service, Venice occupied Faenza and Rimini, and most of his towns cast off their enforced allegiance. After a futile struggle with the Pope the fallen prince surrendered to Julius his three remaining towns--Cesena, Forli, and Bertinoro--and was allowed to retire to Naples. There, at the treacherous instigation of the Pope,1 he was arrested and sent to Spain. He escaped from Spain two years afterwards, and died in 1507, fighting in a petty war on a foreign soil.
Venice, now at the height of her power and flushed with wealth and conquest, paid little heed when, in the winter of 1503-4, Julius made repeated demands for the restoration of the places she had seized in Romagna. She had, she said, not taken them from the Church, and the Church would, if she restored them, hand them to some other "nephew." The Venetian ambassador at Rome seems to have miscalculated entirely the energy
1 Pastor ( vi., 244 ) quotes from the Vatican archives a letter in which Julius urges the Spanish commander at Naples to arrest Caesar.
of the Pope, and Venice probably thought that her support of his candidature and his lack of troops and resources promised a profitable compromise; nor can we wonder if statesmen failed at times to see the justice of the Roman contention, that seizure by the sword was a legitimate title in princes who gave cities to the Church but wholly invalid in princes who took them from the Church. Venice offered to pay tribute for the towns which had been Papal fiefs. This Julius sharply refused, and he appealed to France, Spain, and the Emperor to assist him. Toward the close of the year ( September 22, 1504) Louis and Maximilian concluded an agreement at Blois to join Julius against Venice, but a quarrel destroyed the compact, and Julius had again to deal with Venice. The Venetians surrendered all but Faenza and Rimini, and Julius, with a protest that the retention of these towns was unjustified, resumed amicable relations with them.
The Pope's next move has won the admiration of many historians, though it has prompted so liberal a judge as Creighton to exclaim that "his cynical consciousness of political wrong-doing" is "as revolting as the frank unscrupulousness of Alexander VI." During the period of disintegration of the Papal States the Baglioni had mastered Perugia and the Bentivogli had taken possession of Bologna. Julius had at his accession confirmed the position at Bologna, but in the spring of 1506 he resolved to recover both cities. France and Spain hesitated to lend their aid for this project, and on August 26th he impetuously ended the slow negotiations by sending a peremptory order to France to assist him and setting out at the head of his troops. With only five hundred horse--though he had sent on 1 V., 28. 18 an envoy to engage Swiss mercenaries-- Julius and nine of his cardinals set out on the long march to Perugia. At Orvieto his anxiety found some relief. Giampaolo Baglione, realizing the force which the Pope would eventually command, came to surrender Perugia, and at the beginning of September Julius sang a solemn mass in the Franciscan convent at Perugia which had once been his home. His energy was now fully aroused, in spite of the discouragement of the word sent by Louis XII. It is said that he already talked of leading his valiant troops against the Turks when he had settled the affairs of Italy. He crossed the hills, in bleak early-winter weather, in spite of gout, at the head of his 2500 men, and boldly sent on to Bentivoglio a sentence of excommunication and interdict. Bentivoglio--more deeply moved by the approach of 4000 French soldiers--fled, and, again without striking a blow, the Pope entered Bologna in triumph on November 11th. 1 After spending five months in the reorganization of government he returned to Rome on March 28th ( 1507) and enjoyed a magnificent ovation. It may give a juster idea of his mental power to add that he had already (on April 18, 1506) laid the first stone of the new St. Peter's designed on so vast a scale by Bramante.
Three months after his return to Rome Julius had fresh and grave reason for anxiety. France and Spain had composed their differences, and in June of that year Ferdinand was to sail from Naples to meet the French
1 The date was fixed by the astrologers, but Burchard says that, in order to show his contempt for their science, Julius unceremoniously entered the town on the previous day. He acted more probably from sheer impatience. More than one event during his Pontificate, including his coronation on November 26, 1503, was arranged by the astrologers.
King at Savona. Julius moved down to Ostia to greet him, and must have been profoundly disturbed when the galley conveying Ferdinand and his young French wife passed the port without a word. He would hear that the two Kings held long and secret conferences at Savona, and that among the five cardinals with them was D'Amboise, Louis's chief minister, who still hungered for the tiara of which Julius had robbed him. There had for some time been bad news from France. Louis was reported as saying: "The Rovere are a peasant family; nothing but the stick on his back will keep the Pope in order." Julius sent Cardinal Pallavicino to Savona, but he was not admitted to the counsels of the monarchs. It was rumoured that they meditated the reform of the Church: which meant a council and an inquiry into the election of Julius II.
Papal diplomacy, which, when Papal interests were endangered, never considered "Italian independence," for a moment now dictated an alliance with the Emperorelect, Maximilian, who had himself proposed to come to Rome for his coronation. There are vague indications that that dreamy monarch already entertained the idea of uniting the tiara with the imperial crown on his own head. 1 However that may be, Julius sent Cardinal Carvajal to dissuade him from coming to Rome, to bring about an alliance of the Christian Powers against the Turks (which would disarm Ferdinand and Louis as regards Julius), and to enter into a special alliance with France and Germany against Venice. The Papal envoy Aretini told the Venetian envoy that, when the danger to Italy from an alliance of Louis and Maximil-
1 See A. Schulte, Kaiser Maximilian I. als Kandidat für den Papstlichen Stuhl ( 1906). The point is disputed.
ian was pointed out, Julius exclaimed: "Perish the whole of Italy provided I get my way." 1 The proposal was, at all events, treacherous; for both Julius and Maximilian had treaties of peace with Venice. But the age of which Machiavelli has codified the guiding principles was insensible to considerations of political honesty. Maximilian attacked Venice and was defeated, because she had the support of France. Then France was poisoned against the prosperous Republic, and the League of Cambrai was formed on December 10, 1508: Maximilian, Louis, and Ferdinand entered into a secret alliance for the destruction of Venice, and the Pope, as well as the Kings of England and Hungary, were invited to join in the act of brigandage.
It is clear that Julius hesitated for some months to join the League; though his hesitation was probably due to some anxiety at the prospect of seeing the victorious armies of France and Germany in Italy once more. He tried to induce the Venetians to restore Faenza and Rimini to him and merit his protection. When they refused, he joined the League (March 23d) and put his spiritual censure on the Venetians. The campaign occupied only a few weeks, and the vast territory of the Republic was divided among the conquerors, the Pope receiving Ravenna and Cervia as well as Faenza and Rimini. But the ill fortune and anxiety of Venice promised him further gains if he would break faith with his allies and deal separately with the Republic. To preserve the remnants of their territory the Venetians approached the Pope. At first he exacted formidable sacrifices, and, when they refused and importuned him, he went to his palace at Civita Vecchia to enjoy the rest, if not the pleasures, which Roman
1 Quoted by Brosch p. 333.
gossip so darkly misrepresented. 1 He perceived, however, that the annihilation of Venice would endanger his own security, and in time he accepted the evacuation of Romagna and the abandonment of the Venetian exercise of authority over the clergy.
Louis XII. learned with great indignation in the summer of 1509 that Julius had not only withdrawn from the League of Cambrai, but was now endeavouring to form a league with Venice, Ferdinand, Maximilian, and Henry VIII. against himself. Henry and Maximilian refused to join, but Julius engaged fifteen thousand Swiss and added these to the Papal and Venetian troops. As the Duke of Ferrara was leagued with the French against Venice, and refused to follow the Pope's political example, Julius issued against him an anathema which a writer of the time describes as making his hair stand on end, and resolved to add Ferrara to the growing Papal States. In August he set out once more, dressed in simple rochet, with the troops, and made the tiring march to Bologna. There his great plans nearly came to a premature end. The Swiss failed him, and the French appeared in force before Bologna, where he lay seriously ill and greatly disedifying his attendants by the vehemence of his rage. No doubt his threats of suicide, which are recorded, were merely vague and rhetorical expressions of his despair. He saved himself, however, by a deceptive negotiation with the French commander until his reinforcements arrived, and, as his health recovered, his vigorous resolution became almost ferocious. The long white beard in Raphael's portrait of him reminds us how, at this time, he swore that he would not shave again until he had driven the French from Italy. Louis was now taking practical steps
1 Priuli ( Diario, ii., 102 ) says that Romans spoke of his "Ganymedes."
toward the summoning of a General Council ,and the temper of the Pope was terrible to witness. In the depth of winter, not yet wholly recovered from his long fever, he rejoined the troops, sharing the hardships of camp-life and stormily scolding his generals for their slowness. He never led troops on the field, but he interfered in the placing of artillery and more than once exposed himself to fire. At the capitulation of Mirandola he shocked his cardinals by ordering that any foreign soldiers found in the town should be put to the sword.
He spent some months thus passing from town to town, infusing his fiery energy into the troops, but his successes and his personal conduct of the war inflamed the indignation of the French King. Louis not only sent reinforcements to his army, but he, with his adherent cardinals, arranged for the holding of a General Council on Italian soil. Perdam Babylonis Nomen ("I will erase the very name of Babylon") was the terrible motto he now placed on his medals. In quick succession the Pope learned that the Bentivogli had recovered Bologna and derisively broken into fragments the magnificent statue of Julius which Michael Angelo had erected: that his favourite Cardinal Alidosi had been assassinated by his (the Pope's) nephew and commander the Duke of Urbino; and that Louis and Maximilian, with the seceded cardinals, had announced a General Council of the Church at Pisa and summoned Julius II. to appear before it.
The attendants who marched by the Pope's closed litter, as he returned to Rome on June 26, 1511, concluded from his unrestrained sobs and groans that his power, if not his life, approached its end. His health was ruined and his troops were scattered. But there was an energy mightier than that of Hildebrand in his worn frame, and with some improvement in his condition he raised his head once more. He had in the spring created eight new cardinals, to replace the seceders, and he now announced that a real Ecumenical Council would assemble at the Lateran on April 19, 1512. That was his answer to Pisa, and to the Papal aspirations of the Cardinal of Rouen and the Emperor-elect. He again fell dangerously ill--so ill that his death was confidently expected. Election-intrigue filled the corridors of the Vatican, and a band of democrats held a meeting in the Capitol and decided, at his death, to restore the republican liberty of Rome. In a few weeks the terrible old man rose from his bed, thin and white but with unbroken energy, and scattered the intriguers. He anathematized the schismatical cardinals, and announced (October 4th) that he had formed a Holy League with Ferdinand of Spain and Venice for the defence of the Church; Maximilian was presently induced to join the League, and before the end of 1511 Henry VIII. was persuaded, by a promise of assistance in his designs on France, to give it his adhesion. Only three months before Julius had apparently lain at the point of death, his new possessions utterly ruined. Now he once more commanded the situation. The schismatical Council of Pisa, which opened on November 1st, turned out a puny French conciliabulum, with fourteen bishops and five abbots to represent the universal Church.
The campaign which began in January need not be followed in detail. After a series of varying engagements the French won a crushing victory at Ravenna, and there was panic at Rome. The cardinals demanded peace with France, but Giulio de' Medici, cousin of
Cardinal Giovanni, who had been captured by the French, now came to describe the exhausted condition of the French army, and Julius resolved to prosecute the war. He opened his General Council at the Lateran on May 3rd, and had at least the satisfaction of seeing seventy Italian bishops respond to his summons. Then, covering his preparations by a pretence of considering the terms which Louis XII. offered him, he engaged further troops, fired his commanders, and induced Maximilian to withdraw the four thousand Tirolese mercenaries from the French ranks. In a few weeks the French were driven out of Italy, the schismatics were forced to transfer their discredited Council to French soil, and the Pope found himself master of Bologna, Ravenna, Rimini, Cesena, Parma, Piacenza, and Reggio. In appraising Julius as founder of the Papal States one must bear in mind the history of this remarkable period. In October, 1511, Julius was stricken and apparently ruined; by the summer of 1512 he was master of the richest provinces of Italy. But he had not left Rome, and his personal action at this juncture was slight in comparison with those tremendous earlier exertions which had ended in disastrous failure.
Julius was far from satisfied, and his conduct in the hour of victory was at the low political level of the time. He assisted the Medici to impose themselves again on Florence, and the Sforza to recover Milan. He then made a lamentable effort to secure Ferrara. The Duke came to Rome, under a safe-conduct of the Papal General Fabrizio Colonna, and of the Spanish ambassador, to plead that he had acted only in honourable discharge of his engagements to France. Julius had approved the safe-conduct, but when the Duke re- fused to surrender his territory to the Church, the Pope affected to discover that he had committed crimes not covered by the safe-conduct and detained him. The Colonna redeemed the credit of Italy by cutting their way through the Papal guards and restoring Alfonso, after romantic adventures, to his duchy. When the poet Ariosto was afterwards sent by Alfonso to make peace with the Pope, he had to fly for his life; Julius, in one of his now frequent outbursts of violence, threatened to have him thrown into the sea.
To the end Julius pursued his tortuous diplomacy. Neither Spain nor Germany wished to see any increase of his power, and he was forced to abandon his designs on Ferrara. He then disrupted his Holy League, and made a fresh alliance with Maximilian against Venice and to the disadvantage of Spain. Julius was concerned about the growing power of Spain in Italy; and we shall hardly be unjust if we suspect that, as Alexander VI. had done, he dreamed of adding Naples to the Papal dominion. But he never entirely recovered his health, and his great schemes were closed by death on February 20, 1513. He was neither a great soldier nor a great statesman. There is no indication that his interference in the military operations was useful, and, as I pointed out, the one permanently successful campaign was fought while he directed an ecclesiastical Council at Rome. In the sphere of politics and diplomacy he relied on cunning and deceit rather than statesmanship, and, if he had not represented a spiritual power to which the nations were bound to return in the end, he would have been mercilessly crushed. He had, also, little ability to organize such possessions as he obtained, and his career is marred by violent outbursts and acts of treachery and cruelty. It is sometimes said that he was the greatest Pope since Innocent III. One imagines the shade of that great spiritual ruler shuddering; and one is disposed to agree with Guicciardini that, if Julius was great, a new meaning must be put on the word. He had wonderful energy, and by good fortune his aim was finally attained.
In view of this strenuous campaign for the recovery of the Papal States, we can expect only a slender record of strictly Pontifical work. Julius attended to the propagation of the faith in the new lands beyond the seas, and he impelled the Inquisitors to check the spread of heresy. That he restrained the Spanish Inquisition, and supported its exclusion from Naples, was not due to humane feeling, but to its exorbitant claims of independent authority. He forbade duelling, and endowed a college of singing for the maintenance of the Papal Choir. His Lateran Council was, of course, a political expedient, but there is evidence that when death closed his career Julius was turning more seriously to plans of reform. In spite of his own Bull against simony, the Curia remained as corrupt as ever, and money was raised in all the evil ways known to it. It is, however, curious and creditable to have to place one great reform to the merit of Julius. He passed so drastic a decree against corruption at Papal elections that the rivals who gathered in Rome after his death did not dare to employ bribery. Julius is probably most deserving of esteem for his artistic work. The literary parasites who swarmed about his successor have associated the glory of late mediæval Rome with the name of Leo X., but discriminating research is convincing historians that Leo did not even sustain the great work of his predecessor. The bold scheme which Julius adopted was due to his artists rather than to his own inspiration, yet he has the distinction--no mean distinction for one immersed, as he was, in an exacting policy--of reflecting at once the vast ideas which were put before him. The new St. Peter's which he was compelled to think of building was not intended at first to be of great dimensions, but he accepted Bramante's design of a church far larger even than the St. Peter's of today, and, in spite of his costly wars, he enabled the architect to employ 2500 workers. He accepted Bramante's designs for a new Vatican and for the Cortile di Damaso. He engaged Michael Angelo to carve a princely marble tomb for himself--his one great luxury--and, when his interest was transferred to the less selfish task of building St. Peter's, he set the artist to the execution of his immortal work on the roof of the Sistine Chapel. Michael Angelo made also, as I have noted, a great statue of Julius at Bologna, but this was destroyed at the return of the Bentivogli. There were many quarrels between the two men, but Michael Angelo found in Julius a manliness and a greatness of conception, if not a feeling for art, the lack of which he bitterly criticized in Leo X.
Cristoforo Romano, Sansovino, Perugino, Signorelli, Pinturicchio, and other great artists were enlisted in the work of making the ecclesiastical quarter of Rome the artistic centre of the world. Some of the finest of the old Greek sculptures which were then being sought in the rubbish of mediæval Italy were bought for the Belvidere, and painters of distinction were richly encouraged. New frescoes and new tombs were ordered in the churches of Rome; the walls and aqueducts were repaired; handsome new streets were laid out; and the cardinals and wealthier citizens were moved to cooperate with the Pontiff in his plans for the exaltation of Rome. We may deplore that the money for these plans was largely obtained by the sale of spiritual offices and indulgences, and we must resent the fact that money obtained by these means was diverted to the purposes of war. But the magnificence of the design and the generosity with which Julius prosecuted it as long as he lived seem to be a more solid and enduring merit than his good fortune--for in the decisive stage it was little more--in recovering a rich dominion which would but serve to enhance the frivolity of his successor.
LEO X. AND THE DANCE OF DEATH
WHEN Julius II. made his last survey of the world in which he had played so vigorous a part, he must have concluded that he had placed the Papacy on a foundation more solid than any that had yet supported it. The Conciliar movement, its most threatening enemy in the mind of the Popes, had been discredited by the failure of its latest effort and by the naked ambitions of those who supported it. The princes of the world had proved less stubborn than in the days of the early Emperors, and the Papacy had now a broad and strong base of secular power. The new culture had been, to a great extent, wooed and won by the Pope's princely patronage of art and embellishment of Rome; and the Inquisition, in one form or other, could silence the intractable. There was still, among the dour and distant northeners, much cavilling at the avarice and luxury of Rome, but, if the succeeding Popes used the Lateran Council to ensure some measure of reform, it would diminish; it had, in any case, not yet proved dangerous. Neither Julius nor any other had the least suspicion that the Papacy was within five years of the beginning of an appalling catastrophe.
We have, however, seen that the opinions which were to bring about that catastrophe had long been diffused in Europe, and a particular conjunction of circumstances might at any time convert them into rebellious action. For more than a century, there had been a critical scrutiny of the bases of Papal power, and to a large extent the Papacy had escaped the consequences by a greater liberality toward rulers and by sharing with them the wealth it extracted from the people. France maintained the Pragmatic Sanction, which Rome detested, and other countries gave rather the impression of federation than of abject submission to a spiritual autocracy. Moreover, while the pressure of the central power was eased, doctrinal rebellion seemed to make little progress. Lollardism was extinct, Hussitism confined to a sect, Savonarolism murdered. Yet the Reformation was coming, and we see now that Luther was but the instrument of its deliverance.
It is impossible here to discuss all the causes of the Reformation, and a few considerations will suffice for my purpose. Printing had been invented and printed sheets were being circulated. Men were now reading-which provokes independent reflection--rather than sitting at the feet of oracular schoolmen. Among the books which poured out from the press, moreover, the Bible--in spite of a popular fallacy on that subject-occupied an important place, even in the vernacular. Further--and this was most important of all--the last great extension of the Papal fiscal system, the granting of indulgences for money, was in one important respect based on a novel speculation of the schoolmen and was not supported by Biblical Christianity. The realization of this stimulated men to get behind the fences of Decretals and scholastic speculations, and to claim a reform which should be something more than the substitution of a good Pope for a bad Pope. Finally the renewed corruption of the Papal Court under Leo X. set this psychological machinery in conscious motion.
Twenty-five cardinals were enclosed in the Sistine Chapel on March 4th for the election of the new Pope. Wealth was now of no direct avail, for all accepted the Bull of Julius condemning bribery. Some of the poorer cardinals, knowing that their votes were not marketable, had tried to secure the treasure (about 300,000 ducats) left by Julius, but the keeper of Sant' Angelo had been incorruptible. Yet we must not emphasize the absence of bribery: there is such a thing as gratitude for favours to come. For nearly a week the enclosed cardinals discussed and negotiated. It is confidently stated that, while the older cardinals were, as usual, divided in allegiance to several of their body, the younger cardinals stood aloof and were secretly resolved to elect Giovanni de' Medici. Cardinal Giovanni lay abed in his little cell--imagine the Sistine Chapel containing thirty-one bedrooms--suffering from fistula. A surgeon was with him in the Conclave, and his condition was unpleasantly felt in the sealed room. A close friend of his, Bernardo Dovizo, or Bibbiena as he was commonly called, canvassed for him, and assured the cardinals of his liberal and grateful disposition, his high origin, and his peaceful intentions. He was only thirty-seven years of age, but the older cardinals may have concluded that his malady compensated for his youth. At the first scrutiny, on March 10th, he was elected, and he took the name of Leo X.
The earlier life of Leo X. has been told in the previous chapters. The second son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, born on December 11, 1475, he was thrust into the ranks of the clergy at the age of seven, he received the title of cardinal at the age of fourteen, and he was openly admitted to the Sacred College two years later. He had received a stimulating education from the Humanist scholars of Florence, and amidst the dissipations of Rome he remained a sober and diligent scholar. He retired to Florence under Alexander VI., and, when his family were driven from power and repeatedly failed to recover it, he travelled in Germany, the Netherlands, and France. Under Julius II., he found some favour and became Legate for Bologna and Romagna. He was captured by the French at the fatal battle of Ravenna, but he made his escape on their retreat from Italy, and soon afterwards became the chief representative of his house on their restoration to Florence. His public record was, therefore, slight, and his time had been mainly devoted to the cultivation of letters and the enjoyment of art, especially music. His interests were so well known that on one of the triumphal arches erected for his coronation it was boldly announced that Venus ( Alexander) and Mars ( Julius) had now made way for Minerva; which a more discerning neighbour had modified by erecting an assurance that Venus lived for ever. It was, and is, believed that his life before he became Pope was free from irregularity. In spite of three fasts a week and a strenuous devotion to the chase, he was an abnormally fat man, and his pale, puffy face was not improved by his large myopic eyes, which saw little without the aid of a glass. But his unfailing smile, his charming manners, his ready wit, his prodigal generosity, and his unalterable love of peace and sunshine promised a genial contrast to the reign of his predecessor, and Rome gave him a princely welcome.
There are three chief aspects of the Pontificate of Leo X. which it is material to consider, and, although it is difficult entirely to separate them, it is convenient to attempt this. There is his political--or more correctly his diplomatic--action, which, though, in that Machiavellian age, it seemed only a degree worse than was customary, impresses the modern mind as almost revolting in its studied duplicity. There is his personal life, which inspired the reformers with volumes of vituperation, while modern writers seem able to regard it without much sentiment. And there is the Pontifical activity which culminates in the struggle with Luther. His relation to mediæval art is less important than is commonly supposed.
Mediæval Italy was no place for a prince of peace, and Leo soon found that, if he were to avoid the sword, he must follow a crooked course. He sincerely loathed the clash of swords. He loved jewels and music and comedies and books; he wanted to spend the Papal treasury in surrounding himself with pretty things and flashes of wit--and he thus spent the whole of Julius's 300,000 ducats in two years. But France and Venice thirsted for revenge and sought his support; while the envoys of Milan, Spain, England, and the Empire claimed his blessing, and his ducats, for the opposite side. While, however, in the actual condition of Italy, the Papal States were safe, a victory of France and Venice would bring perils. Leo secretly joined the Holy League against France, and secretly paid for the service of 45,000 Swiss mercenaries. The policy turned out well. France was driven back, and the leaders of the schismatical cardinals, Carvajal and Sanseverino, came to Rome, and humbly accepted Leo's obedience. France repudiated the schism, and Venice, after a desultory struggle, was pacified.
Leo found some time for domestic matters, of which two may be noted here. On September 23d ( 1513) he created four cardinals, of whom three were relatives and one a literary friend. Bernardo Bibbiena (or Dovizo) had, as I said, promoted his interest in the Conclave, and at earlier times, and was an accomplished literary man; he was also entirely devoid of moral sentiment, composed the most indecent comedy that was enacted at the Vatican, and was a genius at organizing festivities. Innocenzo Cibò, son of Innocent VIII.'s natural son Franceschetto and Leo's sister Maddalena, was a youth who seemed eager to emulate the scandalous repute of his father. Giulio de' Medici, cousin of the Pope, had already received a Papal dispensation from illegitimacy, and the quiet and delicate youth was advanced a little nearer to the Papacy. Lorenzo Pucci, lastly, was quite a distinguished canonist, and a relative of Leo; he was also expert in pushing the sale of indulgences and very solicitous about his own commission.
Leo then regarded the fortunes of the chief lay members of his family. His brother Giuliano, a highly cultivated man of thirty-four, was too much softened by vice and indulgence to carry out the Medici policy at Florence. This policy, embodied in a paper of instructions which there is good reason to ascribe to Leo himself, was entrusted to the Pope's nephew Lorenzo, a vigorous young sportsman. Giuliano was made a Baron of Rome and commander of the Papal army-Leo remarking that he trusted there would be no demand upon his military talent--and it was so confidently rumoured that the Pope proposed to make him King of Naples that Ferdinand was alarmed and had to be reassured. It is still disputed whether Leo really had this intention, or whether he merely proposed to make a small principality in central Italy for his worthless brother; nor, in view of the secrecy and duplicity of the Pope's methods, is the point ever likely to be settled on a documentary basis. It seems consistent both with the course of events and with Leo's character to suppose that he kept both alternatives in mind, but that nepotism was not the first principle of his policy: his fundamental idea was the maintenance of his own luxurious security. 1
In this pleasant promotion of his friends and relatives and their innumerable followers, in the prodigal encouragement of the artists, musicians, poets, and jewellers who flocked to Rome from all parts, Leo spent two years which were only slightly clouded by the rapid exhaustion of the Papal treasury. Meantime, however, the political situation had once more claimed his impatient attention, and we may for the moment confine ourselves to that interesting aspect of his work. Louis, disgusted with the Papacy, approached Ferdinand of Spain and was prepared to abandon to him his claims on Milan, Genoa, and Naples. This prospect of the enclosure of Papal territory in a Spanish vice threw the
1 F. Nitti, Leo X. e la sua politica ( 1892), seeks to defend Leo against the charge of excessive nepotism. He strains the evidence at times, and quite admits that duplicity was the essential feature of the Pope's policy. See also his Documenti ed osservazioni riguardanti la politica di Leone X. ( 1893). A biography of Leo was written by the contemporary Bishop of Nocera, Paolo Giovio, but this Vita Leonis X. is the work of a courtier. Guicciardini ( Storia d'Italia), Sanuto ( Diarii), and Bembo ( Opere) are more critical, and the letters of the Roman ambassadors are valuable. P. de Grassis, Master of Ceremonies at the Papal Court under Julius and Leo, wrote a Diary of Leo X., but there seems to be some reluctance to publish it. The work published by Armellini ( Il diario di Leone X., 1884) is merely a discreet compendium of it. Fabroni Leonis X. Vita is too ancient ( 1797), and The Medici Popes ( 1908)by H. M. Vaughan, is an excellent popular work. Roscoe stately Life and Pontificate of Leo X. ( 1805) is too flattering to its hero and is discredited in places by more recent research.
Pope into a fit of diplomatic activity. He secretly negotiated with Venice and Florence and Ferrara, and sent a legate to England to help to reconcile Henry VIII. with Louis. He trusted to induce these Powers to form a league with him for the purpose of driving the Spaniards out of Italy, and aimed at securing Naples for his brother. 1 In October the French King married Mary Tudor, and the Spanish spectre was laid. But, with the unvarying logic of Papal politics, the fear of Spain was succeeded by a fear of France, and the Pope had recourse to the kind of diplomacy which is characteristic of him, and in which, we are assured, he took great pleasure. He made a secret treaty with s Spain for the defence of Italy, and a secret treaty of alliance with Louis against Spain. 2 He encouraged Louis, who held out to him the prospect of Naples, to attack Italy, and secretly promised to assist Milan and the Emperor against the French if Louis did attack Italy, which he thought improbable. He thus, he thought, secured a principality for Giuliano, whichever side won. "When you have made a league with one man," he used to say, "there is no reason why you should cease to negotiate with his opponent."
This policy, it is recorded, cost Leo sleepless nights, though not on account of moral scruples. Louis pressed him for a definite alliance against Milan, and he tried to evade it by pleading that it was not meet for Christian princes to engage in warfare while the Turk threatened Europe. The death of Louis in January ( 1515) made matters worse, as his successor, Francis I., determined with all the vigour and ambition of youth to press the
1 Sanuto, Diarii, xviii.
2 Guicciardini, xii. There is a copy of his Spanish treaty in the State archives at Florence.
French claims. Leo kept a legate negotiating with Francis, and we learn from the Legate's letters that he offered an alliance on condition that Naples should be surrendered to Giuliano. In the meantime (February 1st), he secretly approved of the league of Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Milan, and Genoa against France, and stipulated that he should have Parma, Piacenza, Modena, and Reggio; he would pay 60,000 ducats a month to the league, and would induce Henry VIII.-partly by making Wolsey a cardinal--to join it. In July he secretly signed the league, yet continued his deceptive correspondence with France. We have still the document in which Leo, after joining the league, offered an alliance to Francis on condition that he renounced his claim to Parma and Piacenza, made peace with Spain with a view to meeting the Turks, and surrendered his claim to Naples "in favour of the Holy See or of a third person approved by the Holy See." 1
During the campaign which followed, Leo wavered according to the news he received. When the French took Milan, he made peace with them; they were to respect the position of the Medici at Florence, and Leo was to renounce the Papal claim to Parma and Piacenza. He had, however, a more creditable object in view than the interest of his family. He met Francis at Bologna, and there can be no doubt that they then agreed to substitute a Concordat for the
1 The instruction is reproduced by Nitti, p. 61. As the document adds that Leo will not allow any prince, "even were it his own brother," to hold "both the head and the tail of Italy" ( Milan and Naples), Nitti and Pastor claim that it shows that nepotism was not the key-note of Leo's policy. It seems strange that, in view of all his admitted duplicity, they can take seriously this phrase of the Pope's. We may admit, however, that the security of the Papal States was the Pope's first consideration.
Pragmatic Sanction of 1438. For the promise of a tithe on his clergy, Francis surrendered their Gallican privileges, and became, as he thought, the real ally of the Pope. Leo ordered the Swiss to refrain from attacking the French in Milan, and listened approvingly to the King's designs on Naples. Within three months, however, the Emperor Maximilian led a body of Swiss troops, in the pay of Henry VIII., to an attack on Milan, and Leo was summoned by Francis to dispatch troops in accordance with their agreement. Carefully retarding the levy of his troops so that they should not arrive in time, and keeping a legate by the side of Maximilian, Leo awaited the result. The expedition failed, and he sought favour with the exasperated Francis by revealing to him that Henry VIII. had secretly paid the Swiss, and by sending once more an insincere command that the Swiss must not dare to attack an ally of the Papacy. He sought to retain the favour of Maximilian by reminding him that he had sent him two hundred Papal horse under Mark Antonio Colonna; and to Francis he protested that Colonna had acted without permission. He then assured Francis that he had sent a legate to induce Maximilian to make peace with France, and he gave secret instructions to the legate that such a peace would not be to the interest of the Papacy.
This is the admitted framework of that diplomacy which Roscoe contrives to dress in such opulent phrases, and it was a policy that Leo never altered. His next step was to seize the duchy of Urbino for his nephew Lorenzo: a step which, after all his apologies, Dr. Pastor admits to have "something repulsive about it." The Duke of Urbino (nephew of Julius II.) had, in spite of his feudal obligations, refused to attack the French at the command of the Pope, and seems to have dis- cussed with Francis the duplicity of the Pope's procedure. Yet his liberality to the Medici in the days of misfortune had been such that Giuliano earnestly joined with Francis I. in imploring Leo to overlook his conduct. Leo harshly refused, and, to the disgust of many, the duchy was subdued and given to Lorenzo. I may conclude this matter by recounting that in 1517 the exiled Duke recovered his territory, and the long struggle for his ejection cost the Papal treasury, according to Guicciardini, 800,000 ducats.
A fresh anxiety clouded the Pope's pleasures when he heard that France, Spain, Germany, and Switzerland had formed an alliance, and that Francis I. and Charles V. (who succeeded Ferdinand on January 23d) were virtually to divide northern and central Italy between them. This project was abandoned, but in the following year an even more serious event alarmed the Pope. The younger cardinals who had pressed his election were generally aggrieved. Fast and luxurious as most of them were, they had expected a larger pecuniary gratitude on Leo's part, and they observed with annoyance that his relatives and his literary admirers secured the greater part of his lavish gifts. In 1517, one of these worldly young cardinals, Petrucci, conceived a particular animosity against Leo, on account of some injustice done to his brother, and there is little room for doubt that he spoke and thought of having the Pope assassinated. Whether or no we trust the romantic story told by Guicciardini and Giovio, that the surgeon who attended the Pope was to poison his wound, we can hardly accept the opposite rumour, that the whole conspiracy was invented by the Pope or his brother in order to secure money. Petrucci was not offered the option of a fine; and Cardinals Riario and Sauli confessed that they knew of the plot. After a dramatic period of inquiry and incrimination Petrucci was, in spite of the protests of cardinals and ambassadors, strangled in his prison, and the flesh of his guilty servants was torn from their bones with red-hot pincers. Cardinal Riario paid 150,000 ducats for his release, and the less wealthy Cardinal Sauli 25,000. Cardinals Soderini and Castellesi fled, when they were impeached, and their property and that of Cardinal Petrucci was seized.
These events caused the gravest scandal throughout Christendom. Cardinal Riario was the Dean of the Sacred College, and many preferred to think that the plot was an invention for the purpose of securing funds rather than that the cardinals had sunk so low. The dilemma was painful, but we can have little doubt that Leo, at least, was convinced of the reality of the plot. Instead of proceeding with greater caution, however, he went on to give a fresh ground of criticism. In a Consistory which he held on June 26th, he told the cardinals that he was going to add no less than twentyseven members to their college. Their stormy protests increased his determination, and on July 1st he promoted thirty-one cardinals. The rumour at once spread through Christendom, and is in substance undoubted, that most of the new cardinals paid large sums of money for the dignity; Sanuto makes individual payments rise as high as 30,000 ducats. Some of them were men of low character, and others were either related to, or had lent money to, the Pope.
We may, however, conclude the political consideration before we discuss these domestic matters. Maximilian induced the Diet of Augsburg to elect his grandson Charles as his successor to the imperial title, and, as a Bull of Julius II. enacted that the investiture of the kingdom of Naples reverted to the Papacy if its holder became King of Rome, the Pope was pressed to give a dispensation from this Bull. Leo pleaded that his "honour" was at stake; but he secretly negotiated with Francis (who bitterly opposed the dispensation) and with Charles, and bargained shamelessly for his refusal or consent. In the end Francis (out of funds raised in the name of a crusade) gave Lorenzo de' Medici 100,000 ducats "for services rendered," and promised a further sum of 100,000 to the Pope. It is an equally undisputed fact that on January 20, 1519, Leo, Lorenzo, and Francis entered into an alliance; the Pope and his nephew were to promote the interests of Francis, and the French King was to protect the Papal States and the estates of the Medici family, and to admit the claims of the Church at Milan. It is, perhaps, the choicest example of Leo's diplomacy--"unparalleled double-dealing," Dr. Pastor calls it--that he secretly drew up a similar treaty with Spain and signed it a fortnight after he had signed the preceding (February 6th).
In the meantime Leo heard that Maximilian had died on January 12th, and he confronted, or evaded, the situation in his distinctive way. He informed his German legate that Charles was already too powerful, and that either Frederic of Saxony (whom he wished to induce to surrender Luther) or Joachim of Brandenburg (a docile noble) ought to have the imperial title. Hearing, however, that these candidates had no prospect, he adopted Francis I. and urged him to defeat Charles. His policy at this stage is not wholly clear, and it is possible that at first he pitted Francis against Charles in the hope of making profit from one or the other. In time he seems seriously to have adopted Francis. He, on March 12th, offered the red hat to the Electors of Trèves and Cologne, and proposed (on the 14th) to make the Archbishop of Mayence (a disreputable prelate) permanent legate for Germany; and he then, on May 4th, issued a Brief to the effect that if three Electors agreed in their choice the election should be valid. His schemes were shaken for a moment by the premature death of Lorenzo, which moved him, in a nervous hour, to exclaim that henceforward he belonged, "not to the house of Medici, but to the house of God." But his associates were not kept long in suspense. He attempted to incorporate Urbino in the Papal States, and, when Francis objected that Urbino belonged to Lorenzo's surviving child (and her French mother), the Pope began to abandon France. He was just in time to approve Charles and promise a dispensation in regard to Naples before that prince was elected to be Emperor.
But the consciousness of his long opposition to Charles weighed upon him, and in September he again made a secret treaty with Francis I.; he would refuse the crown of Naples to Charles and would promote French interests by secular and spiritual weapons in return for the French King's aid against Charles and against "insubordinate vassals." Vassals of Leo X. cannot easily have kept pace with the remarkable policy of their feudal lord, but we are hardly reconciled to the Pope's mingled greed and nepotism. He secured Perugia and some of the smaller places in Ancona and Umbria, and made an unsuccessful attempt to get Ferrara. During all this time, he listened amiably to German proposals for an alliance, and in the first months of 1521 he again duped the two monarchs. In January --and it was repeated in March and April--he gave the representatives of Charles a written assurance that he had no engagements to the disadvantage of that monarch and would not incur any within three months; in the same month (January) he agreed to secure for Francis, for the purpose of an attack on Naples, a free passage through the Swiss lines, and to receive in return Ferrara and a strip of Neapolitan territory.
By this time, however, the shadow of Luther had fallen on the Papal Court. The magnitude of the danger in Germany was by no means appreciated, but Leo was eager to get Luther to Rome and must conciliate the Emperor. In May, hearing that the French were approaching the Swiss and the Duke of Ferrara, he formed an alliance with Charles and prepared to use all his forces to drive his former ally out of Italy. The campaign opened successfully, but Leo did not live to see the issue and profit by it. He caught a chill as he sat at an open window in November watching the popular rejoicing, and died on December 1st, at the age of forty-two. Both the leading authorities, Giovio and Guicciardini, accept the current belief that either the Duke of Ferrara or the late Duke of Urbino had had him poisoned, but it is now generally recognized that the recorded symptoms of his seven days' illness point rather to malaria.
This admitted career of duplicity will not dispose us to expect a domestic atmosphere of virtue and piety at the Vatican, and it is singular that any historian has affected to find such. That Leo heard or said mass daily, and was attentive to his ceremonious obligations, is not, in that age, inconsistent with impropriety of conduct. His lavish charity was a becoming part of his habitual liberality, and his weekly fasts were rather intended to reduce the flesh than to subdue it. On the other hand, some of the frivolous remarks attributed to him have not the least authority. When the Venetian ambassador ascribes to him the saying, "Let us enjoy the Papacy now that God has given it to us," we may or may not have a mere popular rumour, though the phrase is at least a correct expression of Leo's ideal; but that the Pope ever mockingly attributed his good fortune to "the fable about Jesus Christ" is not stated until long after his death, and then only by an English controversialist, the ex-Carmelite Bale. Whether Leo was or was not addicted to sins of the flesh is not a grave matter of historical inquiry, but the evidence seems to me conclusive that, at least in his Pontifical days, he was irregular. 1
The character of life at the Vatican and in Rome under Leo X. was, indeed, such as to prevent us from imputing any moral scruples to the Pope. Leo spent, on the lowest estimate, five million ducats in eight years, and left debts which are variously estimated at from half a million to a million ducats. He must have spent nearly £300,000 per year, and in order to make his official income of about 400,000 ducats meet this strain
1 Dr. Pastor (viii., 81 ) is here less candid than usual. He says that Giovio passes over the whole truth of the accusations brought against the moral conduct of Leo X.," whereas the Bishop of Nocera devotes several very curious pages to the subject (lib. iv., pp. 96-99 in the 1551 edition of the Vita Leonis X.) and ends with a reminder that we can never be quite sure about the secrets of the chamber and an assurance that Leo was at all events less guilty than other Italian princes. The courtly writer seems to me convinced that Leo was addicted to unnatural vice. Vaughan, on the other hand, is wrong in saying that Giovio alone mentioned these vices. Guicciardini (lib. xvi., c.v., p. 254, in the 1832 edition of the Storia d'ltalia ), in the course of a sober characterization of Leo, says that he was generally believed to be chaste before his election, but he was "afterwards found to be excessively devoted to pleasures which cannot be called decent."
he created and sold superfluous offices--they were estimated at 2150 at this death,--pressed the sale of indulgences and the exaction of fees and first-fruits, and borrowed large sums at exorbitant rates of usury; several of his bankers and friends were ruined at his death. A very large proportion of this money went in gifts to literary men and scholars. Leo was a royal spendthrift of the most benevolent and thoughtless nature. All the scribblers of Italy flocked to Rome, and money was poured out without discrimination as long as it lasted. Yet letters and scholarship actually decayed owing to the recklessness of the payments. "The splendour of the Leonine age, so often and so much belauded, is in many respects more apparent than real," says Dr. Pastor, who has several valuable chapters on Leo's relation to letters and art. The Roman University, which the Pope at first supported with great liberality, was suffered to decay, and great artists were not always encouraged. Ariosto was treated harshly, and, while Rafael and his pupils were richly employed, Michael Angelo was little used. Leo did not adequately appreciate sculpture or architecture, and even the building of St. Peter's made very little progress during his Pontificate. It is true that the state of the Papal finances was the chief reason for the neglect of the great architectural and educational plans of his predecessors. The check to the sale of indulgences--brought about by Cardinal Ximenes in Spain as well as by Luther in Germany--was felt severely at Rome. 1 But we read that to the end Leo spent prodigious sums on musicians, decorators, goldsmiths, and jewellers. An inventory
1 It is sometimes pointed out, rather in the way of merit, that Leo received less than some of his predecessors by the issue of indulgences. It was not from want of will on his part.
in the Vatican archives values at 204,655 ducats the jewels he left behind.
It was, in fact, not so much the discriminating promotion of art and culture as a princely luxuriousness that absorbed Leo's funds. He was temperate at table. The cardinals and wealthier Romans continued to enjoy the senselessly rich banquets which they seem to have copied from the most decadent pages of Roman history. Cardinal Cornaro is noted as giving a dinner of sixty-five courses on silver dishes. Banker Chigi, a useful friend of Leo, had his valuable plate thrown into the river after one choice banquet; and on the occasion of his marriage with his mistress (whose finger was held by Leo to receive the ring) he brought luxuries, even live fish, from the ends of Europe. Banker Strozzi gave rival banquets, at which cardinals fraternized with courtesans. Leo approved, and sometimes attended, these banquets (at Chigi's palace), but was personally temperate. He had only one meal each day, and fasting fare on three days in each week, but he spent immense sums on musicians and trinket-makers, and many of his pleasures were in the grossest taste of the time. Men of prodigious appetite--one of them a Dominican friar --were brought to his table to amuse him and his guests by their incredible gluttony. The Pope bandied verses with half-drunken poetasters and patronized the coarsest buffoons as well as the keenest wits. When he went to his country house at Magliana for a few weeks' hunting-in which he displayed extraordinary vigour--he took a troop of his poets, buffoons, musicians, and other parasites. At Carnival time he entered into the wild gaiety of Rome; and comedies of the most licentious character were staged before him. Ariosto's Suppositi (in which Cardinal Cibò took a part), Machiavelli's Mandragola, and Bibbiena's Calandria alternated with Terence and Plautus. The Calandria, written by Cardinal Bibbiena, Leo's chief favourite, the frescoes of whose bathroom seem to have been like those on certain rooms in Pompeii today, is a comedy of thin wit and unrestrained license; the Pope had it presented in the Vatican for the entertainment of Isabella d'Este.
Such was the Pope who presided over the Lateran Council for the reform of the Church, and the historian will hardly be expected to enlarge at any length on its labours. Julius had initiated the council in order to checkmate France and the schismatical cardinals, and it continued its thinly attended sittings, at wide intervals, for four years. Some seventy or eighty Italian bishops attended, and they issued some admirable counsels to the clergy to improve their lives, condemned heretical writings, and voiced the sincere wish that some Christian prince would arrest the advance of the Turks. A committee of the council drew up a stringent and comprehensive scheme for the reform of Church-abuses, but this was lost amid the vehement wrangles of monks, bishops, and cardinals. In the end ( 1514) a very slender reform-bill was issued; nor were the clergy disposed to comply with this when they noticed that, in the following year, Leo himself bestowed a bishopric, and soon afterwards the cardinalate, upon the boy-son of Emmanuel of Portugal, and granted to the father a large share of the proceeds of the issue of indulgences. The council also forbade the printing of books without approbation, and encouraged the spread of banks or pawn-shops (Monti di Pietà) for the poor. On March 16, 1517, Leo, in spite of the murmurs of the reformers and the revolt in Germany, brought to a close his almost futile council. He had no desire whatever for reform, and even the measures which were passed were not enforced. The reforming prelates were deeply saddened by his levity, and, before the close of the council, Gianfrancesco Pico della Mirandola drew up in their name an appalling indictment of the state of the Church and predicted that the refusal to remedy it would bring on them a heavy judgment.
The one work of the Council in which the Pope took a lively interest was the granting of a Concordat to France. The Gallican sentiments of the French prelates and doctors had been embodied in the Pragmatic Sanction (1438), and Rome had not ceased to protest against this cession to local councils of the powers it claimed. By the Concordat of 1516 the King and the Pope virtually divided these powers between them; the King had the right of nomination to bishoprics and abbeys, the Pope received the "first-fruits" (Annates). The Concordat was signed by Leo on September 16, 1516, but was not published until 1518, when it caused fierce indignation at the universities and among the clergy.
Leo had dismissed the reformers of the Lateran Council, and in the spring of 1517, the very year in which Martin Luther nailed his challenge on the door of the castle-church at Wittenberg, turned with relief to his corrupt court. There had, as we saw, long been an outcry in Germany against the corruption of a very large proportion of the clergy and against the Papal fiscal system, yet Leo had light-heartedly maintained the disorders. In 1514 he had, in order to secure the votes of two Electors, conferred the Archbishopric of Mayence upon a young and worldly noble, Albert of Brandenburg, and had (for a payment of 24,000 ducats) per- mitted him still to retain the sees of Magdeburg and Halberstadt. In order to recover the 24,000 ducats, which he had borrowed on the security of a share in the sale of indulgences, the unscrupulous prelate pressed the traffic eagerly, and some of the more enlightened German clergy protested. There were already princes, such as the Elector of Saxony, who refused to allow the Papal envoys in their dominions, and there were writers, like Ulrich von Hutten, who violently assailed their procedure. Leo, however, failed to appreciate the gravity of the situation and proposed to raise large sums, ostensibly for the building of St. Peter's, by granting indulgences.
I have already explained that, though John XXIII. undoubtedly sold absolution "from guilt and from penalty," as the Council of Constance established, the indulgence was, properly speaking, a remission of the punishment due to sins which had been duly confessed. In earlier Papal practice, the indulgence was the commutation into a money-payment of the penance for sin imposed by the Church, but, as the doctrine of Purgatory developed, the indulgence came to be regarded as a remission of the punishment due in Purgatory. Two questions had then arisen on which the schoolmen had exercised their ingenuity: on what ground could the Church claim to remit this punishment, and whether the indulgence could be extended to the dead who were actually suffering in Purgatory? The schoolmen found a satisfactory answer to both questions. Then Boniface IX. decreed that an indulgence might be earned by a payment of money to the Church (the price of a voyage to Rome), and the way was opened for the later abuse. In their commercial zeal the Papal envoys and preachers undoubtedly represented that souls were de- livered from the fire of Purgatory when the coin rang in their collecting boxes.
The Dominican monk Tetzel, who in 1517 was sent to preach the indulgence as Albert of Brandenburg's sub-commissary, was more zealous than scrupulous in his representations, and people of Wittenberg, who had crossed the frontier in order to profit by the indulgence, came home with unedifying reports of his sermons. Martin Luther, then a professor at the Wittenberg University, heard these reports with disdain. There was no defined doctrine of the Church on the subject, and more than one divine had felt, like Luther, that this apparent traffic was as enervating to real piety as it was in itself distasteful. A man of intense and stormy spiritual experience, he sternly combated all that seemed to encourage "sloth" in religious life; his was the more arduous religion of St. Paul and St. Augustine. Conscious, therefore, that the whole practice was based on comparatively recent speculations of the schoolmen, which he had a right to dispute, he challenged Tetzel to justify his "lying fables and empty promises." A war of pamphlets ensued, and, as his opponents naturally appealed to the language in which the Popes had announced indulgences, Luther was compelled to slight the words of the Popes and appeal to the declarations of Councils and the teaching of Scripture. He was still orthodox; the language he used had been heard in the Church for two centuries, and in that age one would as soon have thought of claiming impeccability as infallibility for the Popes.
At the beginning of 1518 it was reported to Rome that the agitation raised by the robust professor was seriously interfering with the indulgences, and Leo, encouraged by the angry Dominicans, directed his superiors to re- strain him. When they failed, he summoned Luther to Rome. The monk, knowing how such trials ended at Rome, appealed to the Elector of Saxony and to Maximilian. The appeal to the Emperor, however, fell at a time when the Papal favour was sought for Charles, and Maximilian encouraged the Pope to take action. Leo ordered Luther to present himself at once before the Papal Legate and prepare for trial at Rome. On the other hand Frederic of Saxony insisted that Luther should be examined in Germany, and the Pope dreaded to irritate an Elector on the eve of an imperial election. Legate Cajetan was therefore empowered to see the rebel at Augsburg, and a series of futile conferences took place on October 12th-14th. Luther wished to argue and justify his thesis: Cajetan was instructed merely to demand his submission. Luther insisted that he should be tried by the learned doctors of Basle, Freiburg, Louvain, and Paris: the legate was charged to assert the Papal authority. On October 18th Luther departed in disgust for Wittenberg; and his temper was not improved by the discovery that Leo had, on August 23d, directed the legate, in case of obstinacy, to declare him heretical. He appealed to a General Council.
Luther was still within the limits of orthodox sentiment and practice, and the protection of the Elector embarrassed the Pope. A more diplomatic envoy, Karl von Militz, a Papal chamberlain, was sent to Germany, and some months were spent in amiable correspondence. Luther promised to be silent if his opponents would keep silence, and wrote a respectful letter to the Pope; to which Leo made a gracious reply. But the truce was little more than a diplomatic regard for Papal interests during the period of the imperial election, and the policy of silence soon proved impossible for both sides. Ulrich von Hutten and other critics encouraged Luther to assail the Papal authority, and the exaggerations of his opponents reacted on the growth of his mind. By the end of 1519 he seems to have concluded, with some firmness, that the Papal system was an unwarranted addition to primitive Christianity, and a formidable movement supported his ideas.
In January ( 1520) Luther's case was submitted to a commission of theologians at Rome, and the Elector was summoned to compel him to retract. Frederic refused, and in June Leo signed the Bull Exsurge Domine ; Luther was to be excommunicated if he did not submit within sixty days, and the secular authorities would incur an interdict if they did not surrender him. It is not of material interest to quarrel with the Pope's procedure: to point out that the disappointed Cajetan was one of the heads of the commission of inquiry, and that Luther's vehement opponent Eck was one of the two legates entrusted with the publication of the Bull. Rome demanded submission; and, if Luther had submitted, some other German would before long have instituted the Reformation. Europe was ripe for schism, and it may be doubted whether even a reform of the Church would have long prevented the growth of a body of men holding the Reformers' view of the bases of Papal authority. On December 10th ( I520) Luther publicly burned the Bull. Even this act was not without orthodox precedent, but Luther was constantly advancing. He was summoned before the Diet of Worms in April ( 1521), and he then stated that the word of neither Popes nor Councils would condemn him; he must be judged by reason and Scripture. But the political situation, which casts its shadow throughout on the development, was now modified. Charles obtained his wish of an alliance with the Papacy against France. This alliance was signed on May 8th: on the 12th the Diet issued the Edict of Worms. Luther was, in accordance with the Pope's second Bull, 1 declared a heretic. He retreated to the Wartburg under the protection of Frederic, and the gravest phase of the struggle opened. 2
Leo died in December, as I have stated, leaving to his successor the terrible legacy of his frivolity in face of a grave calamity. In his last two years he apprehended, to some extent, the magnitude of the German trouble, but he plainly proposed to answer the just demand of reform only by the burning of a few heretics. His entirely dishonourable diplomacy and his costly indulgence of tastes which ill befitted a successor of Leo I. imposed the last unendurable burden on the patience of Europe. For him the Papacy was a principality, and the religious nature of its financial sources makes more contemptible the use to which he put his wealth. Even that artistic splendour which casts a glow over the Papacy before the breaking of the great storm owed to him comparatively little. The middle or secular phase of the development of the Papacy came to an end in the tawdry luxuries and unscrupulous measures of a Pope who has been treated with singular favour at the bar of Catholic history.
1 In Cna Domini, March 28th.
2 The situation in England does not call for consideration in this chapter. Henry VIII. wrote against Luther and, in presenting his book to the Pope, requested a title analogous to that of "the most Catholic King." By a Bull of October 26, 1521, Henry received the title of "Defender of the Faith," which his successors retain.
POPE PAUL III. AND THE COUNTER-REFORMATION
THE period immediately following the death of Leo X. is known as that of the Counter-Reformation. The name which has clung to the great religious schism of the sixteenth century still indicates how essentially it was, in its origin, a protest against the corruption of the mediæval Church. The reform of dogma was an afterthought; and the Reformation would probably have proved one more futile and academic criticism of the mediæval growth of doctrine if it had not primarily appealed to the very general resentment against the practices of the Curia and contempt for the unworthy lives of so large a proportion of the clergy and regulars. The situation, indeed, offers a romantic aspect to the historian. If a strong and entirely religious man, like Cardinal Carafa, had succeeded Leo X., it might have been possible, by a notable improvement in practice, to disarm a very effective proportion of the followers of the Reformers and thus to put back for a century or two the doctrinal revision. Unhappily for the Papacy, Leo X. had filled the Sacred College with men of his own disposition, and thirty years were wasted in fruitless efforts at compromise. In those thirty years, the hesitating criticisms of Luther crystallized into a settled creed which no persuasion could dissolve and no persecution could obliterate.
Hadrian VI., who followed Leo, spent two unhappy years ( 1521-3) in a pitiable and wholly vain attempt to save the authority of the Popes in northern Europe. Sprung from a pious working-class family of the Lowlands, and retaining his simple tastes and stern religious idealism in the evil atmosphere of the higher clergy, he sincerely resented the vices and frivolity of the cardinals. Rome itself now ridiculed so fiercely the contrast between their pretensions and their lives that the worldly cardinals were unable to put into power a man like Leo X., and the learned, venerable, and more or less disdained Hadrian VI. shuddered to find himself at the helm on so stormy a sea. He was not the type of man to save the Church. With simple fidelity, he at once made it clear that the debased policy of his predecessor was abandoned; but he had not the strength to control the crowd of discontented cardinals and prelates, or to frame and carry through a consistent scheme of reform. He was concerned, too, about the financial loss which would be caused by a thorough reform, and the traffic in benefices and indulgences was merely moderated instead of being abolished. The curtailment was in itself a confession that the system was corrupt, and the Reformers scoffed at Hadrian's invitation to return on such a basis, while orthodox Catholics deplored the candour of the admission. Between these antagonistic and weighty forces the slender energy of the well meaning Pontiff was exhausted in two years.
The Pontificate of Clement VII. ( 1523-34) was a compromise; he was a Medicean Pope (Giuliode' Medici), a patron of art and letters, but a man of sober taste and regular life. It was a compromise, too, between a keen intelligence and a flabby will--a sagacious per- ception of the danger and a complete lack of the virility needed to avert it--and eleven further years of impotence permitted the Reformation to take deep and indestructible root in Germany. Clement VII. was, in fact, largely absorbed in the unending political struggle. After some vacillation he allied himself with France against Charles V., and Charles won. Rome had to endure one of the most cruel and most prolonged pillages in its history, and the Pope was for seven months imprisoned in Sant' Angelo. He made peace with Charles, but he had little satisfaction in contemplating the imperial shadow which lay over fallen Italy, while the Turks came ever nearer and no Christian monarch would advance against them. In these circumstances, Protestantism became a creed and spread over the north. Henry VIII. married Anne Boleynand became the " defender" of a new faith; and the revolt spread to Switzerland and Scandinavia. The scanty measures of reform passed by Clement were regarded with disdain by the dissenters, and the artistic Renaissance itself never recovered from the sack of Rome and the overrunning of Italy. It was left to the founders of new religious congregations, especially the Oratorians, Theatines, and Barnabites, and to the reformers of the older orders, to lay the foundations of the Counter-Reformation.
Clement died on September 25, 1534, and the College of Cardinals, which had almost become the curse of the Church, met to elect a successor. Few of these cardinals, even now, grasped with any intelligence the grave situation of their Church. It was, indeed, feared that, while the reform was spreading rapidly in the north, the Conclave would be wrecked by the conflict of the French and Imperialist partisans. The struggle was so menacing that a politically neutral cardinal was forced upon the College, and the graver need of the Church--the need of a Pontiff of the most sincere and spontaneous religion, as well as of large mind and inflexible will--was almost unnoticed.
Alessandro Farnese, who now became Paul III., 1 was a man of high intelligence, fine culture, and great will-power; but he had neither the immaculate record and deep piety which were needed to impress the Reformers nor the political decision which might have compensated for these defects. However much the historian may appreciate the difficulties of the Papacy, he cannot but recognize that the idea of compromising with the Reformers had at least since 1520 been futile. Paul III. had, it is true, no idea of compromise: the dissenters were to surrender every doctrinal and disciplinary claim, or to be extinguished. The great European schism could now have been remedied by no man. But a reform of the Church on other than doctrinal matters might have done much to arrest the spread of Protestantism, and on this Paul compromised. His policy was a reflection of his personality; he was a son of the Renaissance Church, and feebly--in spite of his admitted strength of will--he endeavoured to retain certain pleasant features of the vicious ancien régime with which to soften the asperity of the new ideal which was forced upon him. He was in a sense a Papal Louis XVIII.
We remember Paul as the brother of Alexander VI's doll-like mistress, Giulia Farnese. Born on February
1 For the valuable letters of the Italian ambassadors at the time of the Conclave see L'Elezione del Papa Paolo III. ( 1907) by P. Accame.An almost contemporary biography of Paulis given in the Vitæ et Res Gestæ Romanorum Pontificum of Ciaconius.
29, 1468, he had received early instruction in the new culture from Pomponio Leto at Rome, and had spent his youth in that seminary of the Humanists, the splendid palace of Lorenzo de' Medici at Florence, and then at Pisa University. His wealth was far inferior to the nobility of his descent, and it was not until his young sister had attracted the eye of the voluptuous Pope that he was promoted to the cardinalate ( September 20, 1493). In 1502, he was appointed legate for the March of Ancona, and the more comfortable establishment he could now afford to maintain included a mistress. Four children--Pier Luigi, Paolo, Costanza, and Ranuccio--were born in his palace between 1502 and 1509; and the eldest son and Costanza were familiar figures in Roman society during his later Pontificate.
The more minute inquirer will find the documents transcribed from the Vatican archives, relating to these children, in Pastor. 1 His mistress died at an early age in 1513, and Alessandro (now forty-five years old) is described as moderating his irregularities and as devoting some attention to his bishopric of Parma. Papal historians observe with pride that his irregularities entirely ceased in 1519, when he was ordained priest. The friend of his youth, Leo X., cordially included him in his generous patronage, and he was able to build the Farnese palace and to cultivate ambition. In 1523, he made an effort to secure the tiara, but at the Conclave the cardinals had not the courage to present to the Reformers as Pontiff the father of four children. He stifled his lament that Clement VII. had "robbed him of ten years of the Papacy," and became as amiable a friend of that Pope as he had been .
1 XI., 19 - 20
of his five predecessors; and amidst the fierce clash of political passion he retained a diplomatic neutrality. He shared Clement's bitter days in Sant' Angelo, yet did not quarrel with the Imperialists.
These characteristics marked Alessandro for the throne; and they at the same time ensured that his struggle with Protestantism would be entirely futile. He was now sixty-seven years old, and we easily picture him from Titian's wonderful portrait; frail and worn in flesh and stooping with age; yet his penetrating eyes and large bald dome of a forehead indicated a great energy of will and force of intellect. He was essentially a diplomat, and the cardinals, absorbed for the most part in the political troubles, did not reflect that the rapier of diplomacy was the last weapon with which to meet the stout staves of the northerners. He was an excellent listener, a sparing and deliberate talker, a most skilful postponer of crucial decisions; a " vas dilationis," the Roman wits said, parodying the description of a greater Paul.
Dr. Pastor.thinks that the reforming cardinals--of whom there were now many--had much confidence in his disposition to reform. If they had, their trust is in the main another tribute to his diplomatic skill. He had no idea of reforming the Curia and the Church further than might be exacted of him by unpleasant circumstances.
Shrewd observers must quickly have observed that Paul III. remained at heart a Farnese. His son, Pier Luigi, visited him in Rome soon after his election. Pier Luigi had become a military adventurer, a feeble emulator of Cæsar Borgia, and by taking arms in the Imperialist service, had incurred excommunication under Clement. Paul is said to have received his son in secret and directed him to keep away from Rome. There was to be no open nepotism. But in a few weeks Pier Luigi was back in Rome and was observed to have plenty of money. Paul was crowned on November 3d ( 1534) and announced his intention to reform the Church. On December 18th he bestowed the cardinalate on two of his nephews, Guido Sforza and Alessandro Farnese. Sforza was a youth of seventeen; Alessandro was a fourteen-year old pupil at Bologna, yet he received, besides the red hat, the governorship of Spoleto and such a number of profitable benefices that he was soon able to outshine some of the more ostentatious cardinals; and in the next year he was made ViceChancellor. Both he and Sforza were notoriously immoral. Pier Luigi was made Gonfaloniere, Commander of the Papal troops, and Duke of Castro; and proportionate benefits were showered on all friends and connexions of the Farnese family.
It would not be history to dwell on the "obstinacy" of the Reformers and to fail to emphasize these very pertinent and entirely undisputed facts; but I will dismiss in few words this aspect of Paul's character. Nepotism was one of his most persistent traits, and we shall repeatedly find his direction of Papal policy perverted by a care for the worldly advancement of his family. He was equally unable and unwilling to break with the gayer tradition of the Borgia-Medici court. He loved pageantry and comedy, encouraged the merry riot of the carnival, favoured astrologers, buffoons, and pseudoclassical poets, and liked to dine with fair women. It is, perhaps, not much to say that his private life--at the age of seventy--was irreproachable; but it is not immaterial to observe that he gave an indulgent eye to the conduct of the looser cardinals. Instead of sternly attempting to crush that large body of loose and luxurious cardinals to whom, in the first place, we may trace the catastrophe of the Church, he added, at each promotion, a few to their number. Of the seventy-one cardinals he promoted during his Pontificate the great majority were good men; but a few were of such a character that their election was, in the actual situation of the Church, unpardonable.
These little personal details must be considered first if we are to understand aright the attitude of Paul III. toward reform and the reforming council. From the first he assured his visitors that he intended to reform the Church. Before the end of 1534, he appointed two reform commissions--one on morals and the other on Church offices; though he chilled the zeal of the more ardent cardinals by enjoining them to take into account the circumstances. In the spring of 1535, he prosecuted Cardinal Accolti for grave abuse of his position of legate, but compromised for a fine of 59,000 scudi. The Reformers of Germany had from the first appealed to a council, and Paul declared himself in favour of a council; but he insisted that it must be summoned by him, presided over by his legates, and held in Italy; and this not only the princes of the Schmalkaldic League but the three monarchs concerned emphatically refused. Charles V. saw that such a council would be--as Paul III. well knew--utterly useless as an instrument of reconciliation; Francis I. did not want reconciliation at all, since it would give to Charles command of a united Germany; and Henry VIII., who accepted the title of Head of the English Church in 1534, and in the following year initiated his policy of bloody persecution, had done with Rome. In fact, instead of giving all the negotiations about a council, I would point out that there never was the slightest hope by such a means of ending the schism. Each side was absolutely convinced of the truth of its formulae, and very few, least of all the Pope, thought that compromise was possible or desirable. Luther was quite willing to attend a council, even in Italy; but merely in order to convince the Church of its errors and abominations. The Pope wanted a council merely in order to formulate Catholic doctrine in clear official terms and thus to provide a standard for the condemnation and extermination of the heretics. No Pope could think otherwise.
Paul at length ventured to announce "to the city and the world" that a general council would be held at Mantua on the 23d of May, 1537; but when the Duke of Mantua directed the Pope to send an army to protect his council, the design was abandoned. A Bull next announced that the council would meet at Vicenza on May 1, 1538; but as only five prelates had arrived there when, on May 12th, the three Papal Legates made their imposing entry--after waiting in nervous hope some distance away--that project, also, was abandoned. I would not agree that Paul did not sincerely want a council, but during the first ten years the council he wanted was an impossibility.
Meantime, the idea of reform by commissions was sustaining the half-desperate hopes of the better cardinals at Rome. In February, 1537, the commission drew up so sound and true and large a scheme of reform that the anti-reformers successfully pleaded that it would injure the Church to publish it, and it remains "a scrap of paper" in the Vatican Archives. After much discussion, Paul decided to begin with the reform of the Dataria (an office of the Court which yielded more than 50,000 ducats a year, nearly half the entire income, to the Papal exchequer in connexion with the issue of graces, privileges, dispensations, etc.), and a further long discussion ensued. The discussion lasted some three years, without practical issue, and it was not until the end of 1540 that a few obvious reforms could be carried in some of the departments of the Curia. Characteristic is the story of one of these reforms. Pressed by the sterner cardinals, who wrote grave letters to each other on the Pope's conduct, to put an end to the scandal of non-resident prelates (absentee landlords), Paul summoned eighty of them, who were living in comfort at Rome, to return to their dioceses. There was terrible alarm. But they successfully pleaded that they could not live on the mere incomes of their sees, and they remained in Rome. Paul had to be content with discharging a few officials, directing the clergy to reform their lives and their sermons, and encouraging the new religious congregations: among which was a certain very small community, calling itself the "Company of Jesus," which seemed to him, when it first appeared in Rome, eccentric and of very doubtful value to the Church.
In the meantime, Paul had successfully maintained the political neutrality which he had from the first contemplated. Francis and Charles both sought alliance with him, and he tried instead to reconcile them and avert war. It is to his credit that when Charles, perceiving his weakness, offered, as the price of alliance, the marquisate of Novara to Pier Luigi and a principality in Naples to Pier's son Ottavio, Paul still refused. But the fact that in 1536 he received Charles with great pomp at Rome irritated Francis, and war broke out. 1 In view of the advances of the Turks, Paul went in person to Nice, in the spring of 1538, and reconciled the two monarchs, but his nepotism again mars the merit of this work. He arranged that his grandson Ottavio, a boy of thirteen, should marry the Emperor's natural daughter, Margaret of Austria, a girl-widow of sixteen, who hated the boy; and their connubial arrangements added, for many years, to the scandal or the gaiety of Rome. Paul was also severely blamed for the unscrupulous way in which he wrested the duchy of Camerino from the Varani and gave it to Ottavio. When Francis violently objected to this virtual alliance, Paul married his granddaughter Vittoria to a French prince. Nor were the Reformers pleased when they learned that, in return for the Emperor's natural daughter, the Pope had granted to Charles the right to publish indulgences in Spain, and had given him other privileges which would yield him a million ducats a year of Church money; and that neither Francis nor Charles would help Italy to face the Turks.
The unchecked advance of the Turk had, indirectly, another grave disadvantage for the Papacy. Charles needed the united forces of his dominions to meet the Turks, and the Protestants profited by his need. Whatever may be said about the amiable intentions of Paul III., at an earlier date, he now plainly designed to crush the followers of the Reformers in the field.
1 See, for this aspect of Paul's Pontificate, an article by L. Cardauns, "Paul III., Karl V., und Franz I"., in Quellen und Forschungen aus Italienischen Archiven, Bd. XI., Heft I., pp. 147-244. The writer holds that an alliance with Charles was advisable with a view to crush Protestantism. There is certainly much evidence that Paul wished to discover which of the rival monarchs would do most for his children, yet he assuredly had a sincere desire for neutrality.
He sent his grandson, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, to the courts of Francis and of Charles, and the instructions which he gave him, as well as the letters of the Cardinal himself, show that he sought, not only their support of his Italian council, but the co-operation of the monarchs against the Turks and the Protestants. 1 Both refused, and Charles, in spite of the Pope's vehement objections, consented to the holding of another conference or discussion with the representatives of the Protestants. The conference took place at Hagenau on June 12th, and had, of course, no result, but a fresh attempt was made at Worms in January 1541, and Paul sent Bishop Campeggio and four theologians to meet the Protestant divines. It is needless to discuss the Colloquy in detail, since such experiments never had the least prospect of success, but the next conference is of some interest.
Some of the German princes, like the Duke of Bavaria, had no wish to see a religious reconciliation, since their ambition had a larger chance of success in a disunited Empire; and Francis I. was only too eager to support these princes. 2 Other vassals of the Emperor were irreconcilable Protestants. But there were on both sides a few men of a moderate disposition, who believed that a round-table conference might still secure religious peace, if not the old unity. Charles V. was of this opinion, and he made it a test of the Pope's sincerity that he should co-operate in a last attempt.
1 See Nuntiaturberichte aus Deutschland, edited by W. Friedensberg, V. 140 and 59. Many useful documents will also be found in H. Loemmer's Monumenta Vaticana historiam ecclesiasticam saculi XVI. illustrantia, 1861.
2 See the report of the Venetian ambassador in Le Relazioni degli ambasciatori Veneti, edited by C. Alberi, 1st series.
Cardinal Contarini, a man of impressive character and considerable ability, was sent as legate, and for some time before the opening of the Diet of Ratisbon, he zealously endeavoured to find the dogmatic formulæ which had some prospect of common acceptance. Charles had begged the Pope to confer large powers of concession on his legate, but we now know that Paul gave him but slender authority, couched in the vaguest of language. 1 If any attempt were made to settle important points of doctrine, he was to protest and leave the Diet. In a later instruction, he warned Contarini not to allow the Emperor to suspect that Rome favoured the use of force rather than persuasion, and to say, in regard to the proposal that the Papacy should send 50,000 scudi for the purpose of bribing influential Protestants, that such a design seemed neither decent nor safe, but that the 50,000 scudi would be sent "for distribution," if, and when, a reconciliation was effected. 2 It is plain that Paul foresaw the complete failure of the Colloquy--we must remember that success depended entirely on concession and no Pope could make a concession on doctrine--and intended to make the failure a ground for an appeal to arms.
The Diet opened on April 27, 1541, and in a few weeks Contarini and his friends announced with sincere joy that they had reached a common formula on so delicate a topic as justification. This agreement had been reached by the Papal Legate accepting a semi-heretical formula, which Rome afterwards rejected. But the
1 E. Dietrich, Kardinal Contarini ( 1885), p. 565.
2 This curious side-light on the history of the Reformation is given, in a document reproduced from the secret archives of the Vatican, by Dr. Pastor ( xi., 431 ).
futility of the proceedings soon became apparent. When they went on to discuss transubstantiation and penance, priestly celibacy and monastic vows, the antagonism became acute, and the Colloquy ended in disorder. The Pope rejected all the formulæ approved by his Legate, and wrote him, on June 10th, that he was sending the 50,000 scudi, and would send a larger sum if the Catholics found it necessary to draw the sword against the heretics. Some of the stricter cardinals at Rome, such as Carafa and Toledo, were now convinced that force was necessary.
In September ( 1541) the Pope met the Emperor at Lucca. Charles insisted that the council, whatever form it took, must be held in Germany, but Paul pleaded that he wished to preside in person and that his age forbade so lengthy a journey. We shall hardly be unjust if we regard these pleas as pretexts. The forthcoming council was, in the Pope's view,--an inevitable view,--to be a canonical gathering for the stricter definition of the doctrines already rejected by the Reformers; when that council had formulated the faith, the secular powers must deal with any who dissented from it. Paul still fought for the holding of the council in Italy, where he could overwhelm the Protestant envoys, but as it became entirely certain that not a single Protestant would come to Italy, he spoke of Cambrai, Metz, and other alternatives, and at length consented to Trent. Still there was much friction, and many were not yet convinced that the Pope sincerely desired a reformcouncil. Francis I. angrily exclaimed that this council seemed to be an imperial concern, and he refused to publish the Bull of Convocation. Charles, on the other side, was annoyed to find that in the Bull he was put on a level with that perfidious ally of the infidel, Francis I.31., and he threatened to keep his German prelates from going to Trent. But the Pope energetically overbore all opposition, and the historic Council of Trent was announced for November 1st. In the meantime ( July, 1542), the Pope reconstituted the Inquisition in Italy and put it under the control of the more fanatical cardinals like Carafa. It was empowered to imprison heretics, confiscate their goods, and (with the use of the secular arm) to put them to death. Dr. Pastor deplores that the Vatican authorities still refuse to allow access to the records of the Roman Inquisition, so that we are very imperfectly acquainted with its work.
The Papal Legates arrived at Trent with great pomp, on November 22d, three weeks after the appointed date, yet not a single bishop had appeared. Six weeks later the arrival of two bishops gave them a slender satisfaction, but by the end of March not more than a dozen bishops--and these mostly Italians--had reached the seat of the council. Neither Germans nor French would come, and the Italians thought it prudent not to arrive in a body so as to give to the council a national complexion. In the summer, Paul went to confer with Charles at Parma, but the issue of their conference was a bitter disappointment for the Catholic reformers. Paul proposed to suspend the opening of the council and to transfer it from Trent, and begged the Emperor to bring about a compromise with France, by yielding Milan to the Pope's nephew, Ottavio. Charles refused to assent, and Paul, on his own account. suspended the council and began to look to Francis I. for the aggrandizement of his family.
The events which followed make the historian wonder that any have attempted to clear the character of Paul III. of disgraceful nepotism and insincerity. Charles V. sought alliance with Henry VIII., and Paul sent his nephew, Cardinal Farnese, to the Court of Francis I. In that grave crisis of the Church's fortunes, we have the Catholic Emperor in alliance with Henry VIII., the most Catholic King in alliance with the Turks, and the Pope seeking, with a notoriety which gave great scandal, the enrichment of his illegitimate children and other relatives. Vittoria Farnese, the Pope's granddaughter, was betrothed to the Duke of Orleans, and the Pope promised her, from the patrimony of St. Peter, the duchies of Parma and Piacenza as her dowry. Charles angrily threatened to invade Rome, and the Spanish and German envoys at the Vatican used language which had rarely been heard in the Papal chambers. It is put to the credit of the Pope only that he refused still to disown or condemn Charles, as Francis demanded, and that he earnestly sought to reconcile the monarchs. In September, his efforts bore fruit in the Peace of Crespy. Yet we must recall that, as all acknowledge, Paul was in part concerned for the security of his family in refusing to incur the hostility of Charles; and we know that a secret clause of the Treaty of Crespy compelled Francis and Charles to unite for the purpose of destroying the Protestants as well as the Turks.
It was also stipulated at Crespy that the council should at last begin its labours, and Paul announced that it would open at Trent on March 25, 1545. But the attempt was again abortive, and only two bishops greeted the Papal Legates on the appointed date. The Catholic monarchs did not believe that the Pope was sincere, and the Protestants were violently opposed to a council on the orthodox Catholic lines. Cardinal
Farnese was sent to induce the Emperor to send his German bishops, and we now find Charles leaning more decidedly to the plan of coercion and war. Cardinal Farnese writes in high spirits to his uncle that Charles is, in alliance with the Papacy, about to make war on the Protestants; and it is unhappily characteristic that he adds that this alliance may turn to the great profit of the Farnese family. 1 In fact, the Cardinal returned to Rome with all speed, in disguise, and Paul promised 100,000 ducats and 12,000 men for the war, besides granting Charles a half-year's income of the Spanish Church and permission to raise 500,000 ducats by the sale of monastic property. The eagerness of the Pope at this adoption of a design he had so long cherished may be judged from the fact that his courier to Charles left Rome on June 16th and reached Worms by the 23d. Charles, however, had begun to waver in his brave resolution, and the war was postponed; but the advancement of the Farnesi was not forgotten. The duchies of Parma and Piacenza were now given to Pier Luigi, and the Pope met the violent protests of the cardinals with a statistical "proof" that the duchies were of less value than a few small places which his son surrendered to the Holy See. The annoyance of the reforming prelates was complete when the Pope issued a medal representing a naked Ganymede leaning on an eagle and watering the lily which was the emblem of the Farnese family. 2
Charles would not consent to the removal of the council to Bologna, and it was at length opened at Trent on December 13, 1545, with an attendance of
1 Farnese's letter to the Pope is reproduced by A. von Druffel, Karl V. und die Römische Kurie, ii., 57.
2 It is described in A. Armand, Les Médailleurs Italiens, i., 172.
four archbishops and twenty-one bishops. The first session was purely formal, and the second session (January 7th) was occupied by a violent discussion on procedure. The Emperor feared that a formulation of Catholic doctrines would close the door of the Church definitively against the Germans, and he insisted that the reform of morals and discipline must come first. Paul feared that, if the question of reform came first, the council would almost resolve itself into a trial of the Papacy; and there is good ground to think that, on the other hand, he wanted the doctrines in dispute formulated as a preliminary step to the more drastic condemnation of the Reformers. The conflict ended in compromise: each sitting of the council was to consider both doctrine and reform. The correspondence of the legates with the Pope 1 shows how vehemently Paul fought for his plan, and it was only at their very grave and emphatic assurance that reform must proceed-that deeds, not Bulls, were wanted, as they put it-that he agreed to the compromise.
The fathers of the council, who, at the end of June, had risen in number to about sixty, had held two further sessions, and had discussed only a few dogmas and measures of reform when their labours were again suspended by the outbreak of the religious war. The Protestants had naturally refused to attend the Papal council, and had continued to spread their faith in the north. Paul, therefore, urged Charles to carry out his design of repressing them by arms, and in June ( 1546) a secret treaty was signed by Charles V., the Duke of Bavaria, Ferdinand I., and the Pope uniting their forces for an attack upon the Schmalkaldic dissenters. In order to prevent Charles from again losing
1 See Pallavicini Istoria del Consilio di Trento, blks. vi. and vii.
his resolution, the Pope dishonourably communicated this treaty to the Protestants, nor was Charles less angry with Paul for representing to France, Poland, and Venice that the impending struggle was a religious crusade in which any Catholic people might assist. It was the policy of Charles to place his enterprise on purely secular grounds. There was again grave friction between Charles and the Pope, and the Farnesi mingled with the graver issues a petulant complaint that Charles had done so little for them.
The Protestants, however, were badly organized and were soon defeated. Paul bitterly complained that Charles would not follow up his victory by initiating a policy of persecution in south Germany, and would not, when Henry VIII. died ( 1547), join forces with Francis I. for the invasion of England; and another fiery quarrel ensued. The prelates at Trent conceived that they were menaced by the distant and subdued Protestants, and Paul quickly availed himself of the apprehension to demand a removal to Italy. Charles went so far as to threaten to confiscate the whole of the property of the Church in Germany, but a convenient epidemic broke out at Trent and Paul removed the council to Bologna. Another year was spent in discussion as to the validity of the transfer, and the rumour that the Pope secretly desired to frustrate the work of reform once more gained ground. This is, as I explained, a half-truth. But so little reform was actually achieved during the life of Paul that I need not deal further here with the Council of Trent.
The year 1648 was filled with the acrid conflict of Pope and Emperor. Paul drew nearer to France, and Rome, believing that at length the Pope was about to abandon his policy of neutrality, prepared once more for invasion. Charles made no descent on Italy, but he now took a step which seemed to the Pope almost as scandalous an outrage. He issued his famous Interrim: a document which enacted that, until the points in dispute were settled by a council, priests might marry, the laity might communicate from the chalice, and vague and conciliatory interpretations might be put on the doctrines of the Church. In spite of the intrigues of France, Paul wearily maintained his negotiations with Charles, and, to the last, pressed the ambitions of his family. In October ( 1549), however, his favourite grandson rebelled against his decision in regard to Parma, and the aged Pope abandoned the unhappy struggle. He died on November 10th of that year.
In spite of the efforts of some recent historians, the character of Paul does not stand out with distinction in the Papal chronicle. His lamentable nepotism mars his whole career, and his real reluctance to press the work of reform did grave injury to his Church. He belonged essentially to the earlier phase of the Papacy, and it is apparent that, if he could have extirpated Protestantism by the sword, the Papacy would have returned to the more decent levities of the days of Leo X. As it was, he did comparatively little for either culture or religion. He very cordially employed Michael Angelo and Sangallo, and showed a concern for the antiquities and the monuments of Rome. He had ability, power, and taste; but he had not that fiery will for reform and that deep religious faith which were needed in that hour of danger.
SIXTUS V. AND THE NEW CHURCH
THE Council of Trent, which had been convoked with the formal aim of healing the great schism of Christendom, hardened that schism and made it irremediable. I have already observed how natural it was that the Papacy should refuse to make open confession of its decay, and in some degree surrender its authority, by permitting the Church to reform, not only its members, but its head. The inevitable conception of the Popes was to retain the work of reform in their own hands and to use the council, if council there must be,--we have seen that Popes had reason to look with suspicion on councils,--to secure an agreement on doctrinal standards by which the Inquisitors might judge, and secular princes might exterminate, heretics. They miscalculated the power of the northern rebels and the chances of an unselfish cohesion of the Catholic princes against them. Nearly half of Europe adopted a new version of the Christian faith, and, when the Thirty Years' War finally proved the indestructibility of that creed, the task of the Papacy was narrowed to the ruling and reforming of southern Europe and the spiritual conquest of the new worlds which had appeared beyond the seas. For this fourth phase of Papal development--the period from the consolida- tion of the Reformation to the first outbreak of Modernism in the French Revolution--the Pontificates of Sixtus V. and Benedict XIV. are the most illuminating and significant.
Even the failure of Paul III. did not entirely banish from the Vatican the levity which had been the immediate cause of its disaster. Julius III. ( 1550-1555) at first resumed, somewhat reluctantly, the sittings of the Council of Trent, but he again suspended its work in 1552 and entered upon a period of luxurious ease and frivolous enjoyment which deeply shocked the graver cardinals. At his death the fiery Neapolitan reformer, Cardinal Carafa, who had dictated the more severe decisions of Paul III., received the tiara, and he spent four energetic years ( 1555-1559) in a relentless attack upon heresy in Catholic lands. He made vigorous use of the Inquisition, which Paul III. had (largely at the instigation of St. Ignatius) set up in Rome, and he published a complete Index of Prohibited Books. 1 But his reforms, his heresy-hunts, and his hostility to Spain were enforced with such harshness that the Romans almost cursed his memory when his short Pontificate came to an end. It is a singular illustration of the tenacity of abuses at Rome that even the austere Carafa was a nepotist, and the nephews he favoured were of so unworthy a character that they were executed--though one of them was a cardinal--by his successor.
Pius IV. ( 1559-65) was a more persuasive reformer: a Milanese of lowly origin but of some distinction in canonical scholarship. He guided to their close the
1 See Dr. G. H. Putnam 's Censorship of the Church of Rome (2 vols., 1907), i., 168.
labours of the Council of Trent, 1 and on January 26, 1564, put the Papal seal on the precise formulation of the Roman creed. Pius V. ( 1565-72) brought to the Papal throne the austere ideals of a sincere Dominican monk. He was not content with persecuting the Italians who criticized the Papacy; he did much to reform the Papal Court and the city. Gregory XIII. ( 1572-85), a scholarly Pope, mingled in strange proportion the virtues and vices of his predecessors. His name survives honourably in the Gregorian Calendar, and he did more than any other Pope to encourage the spread of that network of Jesuit colleges throughout southern Europe which proved so effective a hindrance to the advance of Protestantism; but the Te Deum he sang over the foul "St. Bartholomew Massacre" ( 1572) and the condition of infuriated rebellion in which he left the Papal States at his death betray his defects. The Papal income had fallen considerably since the loss of England and north Germany and Scandinavia, yet Gregory wished to pay heavy subsidies to the militant Catholic princes. He imposed such taxes, and aroused such fierce anger by seizing estates after disputing the title-deeds of the owners, that Italy almost slew him with its hatred.
In these circumstances the famous Sixtus V. mounted the Papal throne. Felice Peretti had been born at Grottamare, in the March of Ancona, on December 13, 1521. The unwonted vigour of his character is traced by some to the Dalmatian blood of his ancestors, who, in the preceding century, had fled before the Turks to Italy. They had preserved their robust health, and attained no fortune, by work on the soil, and there is
1 See, besides the work of Pallavicini already quoted, Paolo Sarpi Istoria del Concilio Tridentino.
not the least improbability in the tradition--which some recent writers resent--that Felice at one time tended his father's swine. 1 But at the age of nine he was sent to the friary at Montalto, where he had an uncle, and he proved a good student. He became so excellent a preacher that he was summoned to give the Lenten Sermons at Rome in 1552, and he attracted the notice of St. Ignatius and St. Philip Neri, and of some of the graver cardinals. After presiding over one or two convents of his Order, he was put in charge of the friary at Venice in 1556, and was in the next year made Counsellor to the Inquisition. His ardent nature and strict ideals caused him to use his powers with such harshness that both his brethren and the Venetian government attacked him. He was forced several times to retire, and in 1560 Rome was definitively compelled to withdraw him.
The fact that he had been thwarted by lax brethren and by an (from the Roman point of view) irreligious government commended the fiery monk still further to his reformer-friends. He received a chair at the Sapienza ( Roman University) and was made Counsellor to the Holy Office. In 1565 Cardinal Buoncompagni was sent on a mission to Spain, and, apparently to the Cardinal's disgust, the learned friar was included in his train. The sincerely religious temper of Sixtus V.
1 It is, however, true that the hostile Italian biographer, Gregorio Leti ( Vita di Sisto Quinto, 3 vols., 1693), who tells this must be read with discretion; and we must use equal discretion in reading Tempesti Storia della Vita e Geste di Sisto V. ( 1754), which is inspired by a contrary determination to praise Sixtus. I need recommend only the full and generally judicious biography of Sixtus which we owe to Baron de Hübner ( Sixte Quint, 3 vols., 1870), remarking that in it the panegyrical tendency is more conspicuous than the critical. For a smaller biography M. A. J. Dumesnil's Histoire de Sixte-Quint ( 1869) is excellent.
makes it difficult for some of his biographers to understand his very original character. In spite of his virtue he was quite clearly ambitious,--one must live in the ecclesiastical world to realize how the ambition of power and the ambition to do good fuse with each other in the clerical mind,--he had an atrocious temper, and he retained what higher-born prelates would call the rudeness of a peasant. He quarrelled with Buoncompagni, and, as the mission was never really discharged, he had no opportunity to distinguish himself. However, the new Pope (for whose election Buoncompagni returned prematurely to Rome) was the friendly Dominican colleague, Pius V. Padre Montalto was made Vicar Apostolic over the Franciscan Order--the General having died--and he made a drastic effort to reform the reluctant friars and nuns ( 1566-1568). For this he received the red hat ( 1570) and was entrusted with the task of editing the works of St. Ambrose.
Unhappily for the ambitious cardinal-monk, Pius V. died in 1572, and Cardinal Buoncompagni ascended the throne and took the name of Gregory XIII. He withdrew the pension which Pius had assigned to Felice, and for the next thirteen years the Cardinal had to live in retirement and comparative poverty. In this again the very original character of Peretti reveals itself. One might expect that so stern a monastic reformer would retire to a friary when the Papal Court no longer required his presence, but he retired, instead, to his very comfortable palace and garden on the Esquiline. He had brought his sister Camilla and her son Francesco to live in this palace, and even romance and tragedy entered the friar's home. Francesco had married a beautiful and light-minded Roman girl, and her brother, Paolo Orsini, murdered Francesco in order to set her free for a nobler lover. The uncle could get no redress under Gregory XIII. He curbed his anger, quietly bent over his books, and watched the rising storm in Italy which was to close Gregory's reign.
Gregory died on April 10, 1585, and Cardinal Montalto was enclosed with his colleagues in the Sistine Chapel on April 21St for the making of a new Pope. He was in his sixty-fourth year, and his more malicious biographer would have us believe that he disguised his robustness under a pretence of decrepit age in order to deceive the cardinals. The fact seems to be that he waited quietly, and without taking sides, in his cell until the factions had worn themselves out and the hour had come for choosing a man who had not been regarded as papabile. Most assuredly he deceived the cardinals, though not by any dishonest artifice. For three days the Medici and Colonna and Farnese, and the French and Spanish factions, fought their traditional battle, and not one of the aspirants could get a majority. Then one or two cardinals bethought themselves of this quiet Cardinal Montalto, who had lived away on the Esquiline with his rustic sister for so many years, and who would surely be grateful to any for elevating him to the throne. They visited Montalto and found him humbly and gratefully disposed: they intrigued nervously and rapidly in the little colony: and presently cardinals rushed to do homage to the former swineherd and applaud the Pontificate of Sixtus V. He was duly grateful, for a few days. Lucrative appointments were at once divided amongst his friends and supporters; though some fear seized men when one of the cardinals ventured to bring before the new Pope the murderer of his nephew, and Sixtus, in sombre and terrible accents, bade the Orsini go and rid himself of his cut-throats. He was crowned on May 1st, and he lost little time in applying himself to the drastic schemes of reform which he had, apparently, matured in his peaceful garden on the Esquiline.
Yet the first act of the reformer betrays a defect and compels us to deal at once with the chief irregularity of his conduct. After the unhappy nepotism of Paul IV., that ancient and disreputable practice had been severely condemned, yet we find it flagrantly and immediately revived by Sixtus himself. It was, as we shall see, an essential part of his scheme to reform the College of Cardinals, and he would presently enact that no one should be raised to the cardinalate under the age of twenty-one, and no man with a son or grandson should attain the dignity. Yet within a fortnight of his coronation he announced that his grand-nephew, Alexander Peretti, a boy of thirteen, would be raised to the Sacred College, and another young grand-nephew was appointed Governor of the Borgo of St. Peter's and Captain of the Papal Guard. Their sisters were similarly enriched by noble alliances in later years. This grave impropriety is not excused by references to the ambition and determination of the Pope's sister Camilla; indeed, the wealth which that lady now obtained, and the notoriety with which she invested it in Rome, rather increased the Pope's guilt. He was assuredly not less strong of will than she. The defect shows how deeply rooted the evil was at Rome, when so resolute a reformer yields to it within a few years of the Protestant convulsion of Europe.
With this single concession to the older traditions, however, Sixtus turned energetically to the work of reform. The condition of the Papal States under Gregory XIII. had become scandalous. The leading officials sold the lesser offices to corrupt men, and these in turn recovered their money by receiving bribes to overlook crime. Brigandage of the most licentious character spread over Italy, and even Roman nobles supported bands of swordsmen who would with impunity rid them of an inconvenient husband, force the doors of a virtuous woman's house, or relieve the pilgrim of his money. A law prohibiting the use of firearms had been passed, but it had become the fashion to ignore law and police. The picture which Sixtus himself gives us in his early Bulls is amazing when we recall that, only a few years before, the future of the Church had depended in no small measure on the morals of Rome and Italy.
Sixtus had no cause to spare the memory of his predecessor, and he turned with truculence to the remedy of this disorder. Before the end of April he had four young men belonging to high Roman families hanged on gibbets, like common murderers, for carrying firearms in spite of the decree. At the Carnival he erected two gibbets, one at each end of the Corso, to intimidate roysterers from the use of the knife. On April 30th he, in his Bull Hoc Nostri, enacted the most drastic punishment for brigands and all who should support or tolerate them; and on June 1st he caused the Roman government to put a price on their heads. The nobles of Rome, who had included these picturesque criminals in their suites, were ordered, under the direst penalties, to yield or dismiss them, and even cardinals were threatened with imprisonment if they retained servants of that character. Such was the amazement of Rome that the wits are said to have dressed the statue of St. Peter for a journey and put into its mouth the reply, when St. Paul was supposed to ask the meaning of his travelling costume, that he feared that Sixtus was about to prosecute him for cutting off the ear of the high-priest's servant. From Rome the terror spread throughout the Papal States. Thousandsincluding renegade monks and mothers who prostituted their daughters--were executed or slain, and the bands fled to neutral territory. Thither the merciless hand of the Pope pursued them, and a few liberal concessions to the other Italian Powers induced them to fling back the banditti upon the arms of the Papal troops or the knives of those who sought bloodmoney.
That Sixtus pursued this very necessary campaign with absolute truculence and a disdain of delicacy in the use of means cannot be questioned, but, though the fact does not adorn his character, we know too well the licentious condition of Italy to waste our sympathy on his victims. The most stubborn and audacious outlaws fell in a few years before his attack. At Bologna, for instance, the Pepoli and the Malvezzi had for years sustained one of those terrible feuds which had so long disgraced the central State of Christendom. They laughed at Papal injunctions. Sixtus had Count Pepoli treacherously seized, tried (in his absence) at Rome, and decapitated. His followers, and those of the Malvezzi, scattered in alarm, and Bologna was not merely relieved of oppressive criminals, but was adorned with new buildings and enriched with educational institutions by the triumphant Pope. Later, in order to extinguish the embers of animosity, he promoted one of the Pepoli to the cardinalate. The feuds of the Gaetani, the Colonna, and other old families were similarly trodden out, or healed by marriages with grandnieces of the Pope, and Italy became more sober and more prosperous than it had been for ages. Unhappily, the reform died with Sixtus and anarchy returned.
This campaign occupied a few years, but it had no sooner been launched than Sixtus produced other of the plans he had prepared in his secluded palace. I have shown how deeply the corruption of the College of Cardinals affected the religious history of Europe, and Sixtus began very quickly to reform it. It was, perhaps, not his misunderstood promise of gratitude to the cardinals who had elected him, but some feeling of incongruity with his own conduct in promoting his boy-nephews, which restrained him for a time. However that may be, he turned to the problem in the second year of his Pontificate, and his Bull Postquam Verus 1 laid down severe rules for the sustained improvement of the College. The number of cardinals was restricted to seventy (as is still the rule); illegitimates, and men who had sons and grandsons to favour, were excluded; and a cleric must have attained an age of at least twenty-two years before he could be promoted. In order to distribute and expedite the work of administration, he further divided the cardinals into fifteen "congregations" (some of which already existed), such as those of the Inquisition, of Public Works, of the Vatican Press, and so on.
We can hardly doubt that in this division he had an ulterior aim. The earlier procedure had been for the Pope to lay a question before the whole body of the cardinals and discuss it with them. Sixtus continued to do this, but the cardinals soon found that, although he desired discussion, he turned fiery eyes, and even showered rough and offensive epithets, on any who opposed his plans. He was essentially an autocrat,
1 December 5, 1586.
and the impetuosity which was inseparable from so robust a character made him an unpleasant autocrat. The advantage to him of splitting the cardinals into small groups was that, on any grave question, he had merely to take account of the consultative opinion of a few cardinals. His more admiring biographers record that he rarely dissented from the conclusions of his congregations; in point of fact, he decided grave issues before consulting them, or made his will unmistakably clear to them. His own promotions were generally sound, though he at times strained his regulations in favour of a friend. But he greatly improved the College of Cardinals, and made an admirable effort to exclude from it nationalist influences.
We must not, on the other hand, suppose that these congregations of cardinals count in any degree--except as the mere executive of his will--in the great work of his Pontificate. His own teeming brain and iron will are the sole sources of the mighty achievements of those five years. He had studied the Papal problem on all sides and was prepared at once to remedy a disorder or design a new structure. Agriculture and industry were feeble and unprosperous throughout the Papal States. Ruinous taxation, lawless oppression, and the ease with which one obtained one's bread at the innumerable monasteries, had demoralized the country and ruined the Papal treasury. Sixtus had some of the qualities of an economist--we still possess the careful account book he kept in his days of monastic authority--and he was especially concerned to nurse the Papal income in view of certain grandiose plans which he seems to have held in reserve, so that he applied himself zealously to this problem. It is generally agreed that his work here is a singular compound of shrewdness and blundering. By his restoration of public security he lifted a burden from agriculture, and he made special efforts to encourage the woollen industry and the silk industry. 1 He, at great cost, brought a good supply of water, from an estate twenty miles away, to Rome, and by this means and by the cutting of new roads re-established some population on the hills, which had long been almost deserted. We find Camilla speculating profitably in this extension of the city, but the more important point is that the population of Rome rose in five years from 70,000 to 100,000: still, however, only one tenth of the population of Imperial Rome. The Pope also gave a water-supply to Civita Vecchia and drained its marshes; and he spent--with very little result in this case--200,000 ducats in draining the marshes at Terracina, which he personally inspected in 1588.
Yet the admiration which his biographers bestow on his finance is misplaced. It seems to have been chiefly in his native March of Ancona that he granted relief from the heavy taxes and imposts of his predecessor; the Papal States generally were still ruinously taxed, even in the necessaries of life. His hoarding of specie, partly for excellent but partly for visionary purposes, injured commerce; and such measures as his prohibition of the sale of landed property to foreigners were short-sighted. The rise of the Papal income, which enabled him to store 4,500,000 scudi (about 8,000,000 dollars) in five years, besides spending large sums on public works, was chiefly due to deplorable methods. The income from the issue of indulgences had now fallen very low--it had not wholly ceased, as
1 Bull Quum Sicut, May 28, 1586. Bull Quum Alias, December 17, 1585.
some say, since they are still issued in Spain--and little money came from Spain or France. The fixed Papal income had fallen to 200,000 scudi a year, and in the expenditure of this the friar-pope made an economy of 140,000 scudi a year by reducing table-charges, dismissing superfluous servants, and (as is often forgotten) giving to other servants church-benefices so that they needed no salary. The result was still far too small for the creation of a fund, and Sixtus sold honours and offices as flagrantly as any Pope had done since Boniface IX. He sold positions which had never been sold before, and he created new marketable titles. He debased the coinage and imposed a tax on moneylenders. He carried to a remarkable extent the new Papal system of Monti. 1 He withdrew offices which Gregory XIII. had sold, and transferred them to higher bidders; and he must have known how the officials would recoup themselves.
By these means he raised his hoard, which seems to have been gathered for some visionary grand campaign against the Protestants and the Turks. We at once recall Julius II., but it is a comparison which the work of Sixtus V. cannot sustain; he was not so great a ruler as Julius, and he fell on less prosperous times. I must add, however, that part of his reserve fund was destined for practical uses. In 1586 famine and Turks and pirates caused grave distress in Italy. Sixtus did not even then abolish his heavy taxes on the necessaries
1 Recent Popes had established what was, in effect, a system of life assurance. A large money-payment secured an income for life out of the proceeds of certain taxes. Sixtus multiplied these Monti (as the funds were called) in order to obtain a large sum of money at once, and he thus mortgaged the resources of the Holy See. Ranke, whose chapters on Sixtus are amongst his best,heavily censures the Pope's finance.
of life and the means of distributing them, but he bought 100,000 crowns' worth of corn in Sicily, fixed the price of flour and punished unjust dealers, and set about collecting a fund of a million scudi to meet such emergencies. He was not economist enough to see the roots of the evil, and fair, fertile Italy continued to suffer under the unhappy Papal system.
The Pope's tenderness to the Jews was part of his crude financial policy. A Portuguese Jew, who had fled from the Inquisition, was his chief fiscal adviser, and Sixtus interpreted in the most genial manner the current teaching of theologians, that, since the Jews were irreparably damned on a greater count, they might lend money at interest, and the Papacy might tax their wealth. Baron Huebner, in a moment of unusual candour, corrects some of the less discriminating biographers: Sixtus, he says, "protected the Jews in order to exploit them." 1 Pius V. had expelled the Jews from all parts of the Papal States except Rome and the March of Ancona, and Sixtus, by his constitution Hebræorum Gens, cancelled the restriction and ordered Christians to treat the Jews and their synagogues with respect. We feel that interest led Sixtus on to a more human feeling. He dispensed the unhappy Jews from wearing the odious yellow dress which Christian princes and prelates imposed on them, and for a few years, in that one corner of Europe, they enjoyed the life of human beings.
Sixtus was less lenient to the Jesuits than to the Jews. The primitive fervour of the Society was already dimmed by prosperity or perverted by casuistry, and complaints came to Rome from all parts. Having been a Franciscan monk, Sixtus was not well disposed toward
the new congregation, which had aroused the hostility of the older religious bodies. He used to observe, in his grim, meditative way: "Who are these men who make us bow our heads at the mention of their name?" He referred to the Catholic practice of inclining the head at the mention of the name of Jesus, but he disliked the whole constitution of the Society and resented the privileges it had won from his predecessors. A prolonged quarrel of the worldly and degenerate Jesuits of Spain with General Acquaviva gave him an opportunity to intervene, and he ordered an inquiry into their rules. In 1590 he announced that he would alter the name and the constitutions of the Society. Acquaviva stirred such Catholic monarchs as were docile to his brethren to petition the Pope in their favour, but Sixtus was not prepared to listen to the suggestions, in ecclesiastical affairs, of worldly princes. Acquaviva then persuaded Cardinal Carafa, to whom the inquiry had been entrusted, to prolong his inquiry, and it became a race between the failing energy of the Pope and the intrigues of the Jesuits. Rome witnessed the contest with the interest it had once bestowed on the chariot-races of the Blues and the Greens. The inquiry was transferred to other prelates, and, when these also were suborned, Sixtus peremptorily ordered Acquaviva to request that the name of the Society should be changed. The petition was reluctantly made, the Bull authorizing the change of name was drafted and --Sixtus V. died before he put his name to it. In the circumstances it was inevitably whispered that Jesuit poison had ended the Pope's life, but the legend was as superfluous as it was familiar. 1
The rest of the Pope's administrative work must be
1 See the author's Candid History of the Jesuits ( 1913), pp. 110 - 113.
briefly recorded before we pass to the consideration of his political activity. He attempted to restrict the prodigality of the Romans in dress, food, funeral and wedding expenses, etc., but this sumptuary legislation 1 was not enforced. He found general and disgraceful laxity in the convents of nuns, and enacted a deathpenalty against offenders: the same penalty he, with his habitual truculence, imposed for cheating at cards or dice. He directed the police to cleanse Rome of prostitutes and astrologers, reformed the prisons, 2 made provision for widows and orphans, pressed the redemption of captives, 3 and constructed ten galleys for the defence of the Italian coast against the Turks and pirates. He cleared of debt the Roman University (Sapienza) and restored it to its full activity. He engaged Fontana to crown St. Peter's with its longdeferred cupola, and threw such energy into the work that he almost completed in twenty-two months a task which the builders expected to occupy ten years. He, with equal vigour, set up the obelisks in front of St. Peter's, reconstructed the Lateran Palace in part, and restored the columns of Trajan and Antoninus; though, in a naïve desire to express the triumph of Christianity over Paganism, he put statues of Peter and Paul on the ancient Roman pedestals. 4 He also set up a press in the Vatican Library, which he restored and decorated,
1 Bull Cum Unoquoque, January 1, 1586.
2 Bull Qugæ Ordini, 1589.
3 Bull Cum Benigno, 1585.
4 This edifying mood of the Pope might have been fatal to the ancient Roman remains if he had enjoyed a lengthy Pontificate. When the cardinals timidly curbed his iconoclasm, he replied that he would destroy the uglier of the pagan monuments and restore the remainder. Among these "uglier" monuments were the Septizonium of Severus, the surviving part of which he actually demolished, and the tomb of Cæcilia Metella!
and from this he issued the Latin version of the Bible which the Council of Trent had ordered, as well as the works of St. Ambrose and St. Bonaventure.
The magnitude of this domestic program and the vigour of the sexagenarian Pope are enhanced when we further learn that his brief Pontificate was, as usual, occupied with grave political problems. With German affairs the Papacy had now little concern, but we must record that Sixtus permitted some of the Catholic bishops to allow the laity to communicate in both kinds. To England he devoted more attention, though his violent and undiplomatic methods only made worse the position of the Catholics in that country. Mary Stuart contrived to write to him, after she had been condemned, and he spoke of Elizabeth to the cardinals as "the English Jezabel." He urged Henry III. to intercede for Mary and himself wrote a defence of her. When she was executed, he spurred Philip I. in his designs against England and promised him 500,000 florins when his fleet reached England and a further half million when the Spaniards occupied London. When an English spy was detected at Rome, Sixtus ordered his tongue to be cut out and his hand struck off before he was beheaded. In defiance of his own decree he bestowed the cardinalate on William Allen, and he directed Allen to translate (for distribution in England) the Bull in which he enumerated the dark crimes of Elizabeth, renewed the sentence of excommunication against her, and declared her subjects released from their allegiance. These measures, which only increased the sufferings of the Catholics, betray again the limitation of the Pope's vigorous intelligence, and, when the Armada sank, he turned from Spain to France and realized the futility of his policy.
The chief political problem was, however, the attitude of Rome toward the rival Catholic Powers, Spain and France, and the less important action of Sixtus in Venice (which, as a bulwark against the Protestant north, he sought, in spite of his old grievances, to conciliate), Savoy (where he compelled the Duke to refrain from appointing bishops), Besançon (where he forced upon the reluctant chapter a friar-friend whom he had made Archbishop), Belgium (where he demanded a truce between the University and the Jesuits), and Switzerland (where he attempted in vain to restrain the secular authorities), need not be considered at length. The French problem, complicated by the ambition of Spain, might have given anxious hours to a more astute statesman than Sixtus, and we shall hardly expect a man with so little subtlety to reach a distinguished solution of it.
The ineptness of Catherine de' Medici and the folly and profligacy of her diseased son, Henry III., had brought France to a dangerous pass. Henry of Guise coveted the throne, under a pretence of zeal for the Church: Henry of Navarre grimly awaited his natural succession to it: and Philip of Spain dreamed of annexing France, as well as England, to his swollen dominion. The Spanish representative at Rome, Count Olivarez, who nourished a secret disdain of the peasant-Pope, urged Sixtus to eliminate Henry of Navarre from the competition by excommunication, for having relapsed to the Protestant creed, and, on September 5, 1585, Sixtus issued against him and the Prince of Condé the Bull Ab Immenso. Henry of Navarre retorted cheerfully that the Pope was himself a heretic, and Henry III. angrily drove the Pope's new Nuncio from France; to which Sixtus retorted by expelling from Rome Henry's representative, the Marquis Pisani. To the great delight of Philip and the Catholic League, Henry III., feeble and distracted, humbly submitted, and was compelled to put pressure on the remaining Protestants. Sixtus, in fact, promised Henry a Spanish army from' the Netherlands to assist in coercing the Huguenots, and urged him to co-operate with Philip and with the League (under Guise). In his exclusive, and entirely natural, concern for the orthodoxy of the country, Sixtus failed to understand in any degree its peculiar political condition or the utterly selfish designs of Guise and of Philip. He was impelling the country toward civil war.
In 1587 the Germans invaded France, and Henry of Navarre in turn confronted the troops of the League. Some small initial victories of the League led the Pope to congratulate the Duke of Guise in the most extravagant language, and it was only the fear of exasperating Philip that restrained him from bestowing on the Duke's son the hand of one of his grand-nieces. One cannot suppose that Sixtus failed to see that Guise had ambition, but he showed little penetration of character in admonishing the Duke to recover Paris for Henry III. and to assist that monarch to set up the Inquisition in France and exterminate heresy. The Nuncio's letters show that he was, under the Pope's instructions, absorbed in a futile effort to' reconcile the Duke and the King, and it is said that Sixtus angrily advised the effeminate monarch either to make a friend of Guise or to destroy him. Even Henry III. showed more appreciation of the political situation.
Sixtus turned impatiently toward Spain and encouraged the designs of Philip. On July 15, 1588, he signed a treaty with the League and Spain, and the new alliance promised the complete eradication of heresy from France. The failure of the Armada and the Pope's habitual distrust of Philip clouded the alliance for a time, but Henry III. was not willing to accept the Pope's terms for a transfer of his affections. Sixtus was especially eager to have the decrees of the Council of Trent published in France. To this the Gallican clergy objected, and Henry himself declared that he would publish them only "salvis juribus regis et regni": a phrase which Sixtus, to use his own words, "cursed." Even when, to the Pope's extreme anger, Henry had the Duke and the Cardinal of Guise assassinated, Sixtus remained too irresolute to derive advantage from the King's remorse or apprehension, though the Spaniards and the League gained ground at Rome. Henry III., indeed, entered into alliance with the Protestant Henry against the League, and Sixtus was content to issue a fresh threat of excommunication against the Huguenot
But the assassination of the King in August ( 1589) simplified the situation, and Sixtus definitely allied himself with Spain and the League against Henry IV.: a very natural, but equally impolitic, decision. Venice recognized Henry, and the Pope at first recalled his Nuncio from Venice and then, hearing the success of the new King, ordered him to return. Sixtus was beginning to appreciate the situation, and, when the Duke of Luxemburg came to Rome to tell of Henry's willingness to reconsider his religious position, he was amiably received. The Spaniards made a last violent struggle, and even threatened to arraign the Pope for heresy before a General Council, but Sixtus now saw his way clearly. Throughout the year 1590 he braved the threats of the Spaniards and watched the progress of Henry IV., but the struggle against Spaniards and Jesuits was too exacting for a man of his years and he succumbed to fever on August 24th.
Sixtus must unhesitatingly be included among the great Popes, but it is perplexing to read, as one often does, that he was "one of the greatest of the Popes." The work he accomplished in five years is far greater than most of the Popes achieved, or would have achieved, in twenty years, and at least the greater part of his reform-work in Rome and Italy was of considerable value. Yet even here we must not overlook his defects: he transgressed his own regulations when he would gratify his affections, he enforced reforms with harshness and violence, and he greatly lessened the value of his economic work by hoarding a vast sum for the purpose (apparently) of conducting a visionary grand campaign against Turks and heretics. His political attitude was, as I have shown, injudicious and irresolute. Both in character and statesmanship he falls far short of the greater Popes, and it is, perhaps, some indication of the evil plight of the Church that Sixtus V. should be the ablest man it could produce in a century of grave and persistent danger.
BENEDICT XIV: THE SCHOLAR-POPE
THE seventeen Popes who occupied the Vatican between Sixtus V. and Benedict XIV. do not call for individual notice. With common integrity of life and general mediocrity of intelligence they guarded and administered their lessened inheritance. A few fragments of the lost provinces were regained--Ferrara and Urbino were reunited to the Papal States, and Protestantism was crushed in southern Germany and Poland--but the general situation was unchanged. The Papal conception of European life, the conviction that heresy must and would be only a temporary diversion of the minds of men, was definitely overthrown, and the Church of Rome became one of various flourishing branches of the Christian Church. The interest of the historian passes from the personalities of the Popes to the movements of thought which herald or prepare the next great revolution.
In regard to that specific development of European thought which we call the birth of science we are, perhaps, apt to misread its earlier stages because we find it in its final stage so destructive of old traditions. The Popes of the seventeenth century are too much flattered when they are credited with a distinct perception of the menace of science and a resolute opposition to it. Properly speaking, they had no attitude toward "science," but, as the history of science and the fortune of such men as Giordano Bruno, Galilei, and Vesalius show, they resented and hampered departures from the stock of traditional learning. 1 On the other hand, the period we are considering was marked by the phenomenal material success and the moral degeneration of the greatest force the Counter-Reformation had produced--the Society of Jesus. The Jesuits did far more than the Papacy to arrest the advance of Protestantism and to conquer new lands for the Church, but the diplomatic principles inherited from their founder and the desperate exigencies of a stubborn war led them into a pernicious casuistry, while prosperity led to such relaxation as it had produced in the old religious bodies. In politics the new age was characterized by the decay of Spain and "the Empire," and the rise of France, and the increased power of France led to a revival of the old Gallic defiance, within orthodox limits, of the Papacy, culminating in the famous "Declaration of the Gallican Clergy" ( 1682), and to the powerful lay movements which gathered round Pascal and the Jansenists or Voltaire and the philosophers. Benedict XIV. mounted the Papal throne in the height of these developments, and his attitude of
1 Modern research has easily settled that Galilei was not physically ill-treated, and that there was probably no intention to carry out the formal threat of torture. But this refutation of the excesses of the older anti-Papal historians leaves the serious part of the indictment intact. Galilei was forbidden by the Holy Office in 1616 to advance as a positive discovery his view of the earth's position. In 1632, to the great indignation of Urban VIII., he disregarded this prohibition, which he thought a dead letter, and was condemned by the Inquisition as "vehemently suspected of heresy." The crime against culture is not materially lessened by the fact that the Inquisition lodged the astronomer in its most comfortable rooms.
compromise makes him one of the most singular and interesting Popes of the new era.
Prospero Lorenzo Lambertini was born at Bologna, of good family, on March 31, 1675. At the age of thirteen he entered the Clementine College at Rome, and with the advance of years he became a very industrious student of law--canon and civil--and history. He took degrees in theology and law, and was incorporated in the Roman system as Consultor to the Holy Office, Canon of St. Peter's, and Prelate of the Roman Court. Successive Popes made the indefatigable scholar Archbishop of Theodosia in partibus, Archbishop of Ancona and Cardinal ( 1728), and Archbishop of Bologna ( 1731). Lambertini was a rare type of prelate. He did not, as so many high-born prelates did, relieve the tedium of the clerical estate with the hunt, the banquet, and the mistress. His episcopal duties were discharged with the most rigorous fidelity, his clergy were sedulously exhorted to cultivate learning and virtue, and his leisure was devoted to the composition of erudite treatises on The Beatification of the Servants of God, The Sacrifice of the Mass, The Festivals of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and Canonical Questions. Yet the Cardinal-Archbishop was no ascetic in spirit, and there was much gossip about his conversation. He loved Tasso and Ariosto as much as juridical writings. He liked witty society, and his good stories circulated beyond the little group of his scholarly friends. President de Brosses visited him at Bologna in 1739, the year before he became Pope, and wrote of him:
A good fellow, without any airs, who told us some very
good stories about women (filles) or about the Roman court.
I took care to commit some of them to memory and will find
them useful. He especially liked to tell or to hear stories
about the Regent and his confidant Cardinal Dubois. He
used to say, "Tell me something about this Cardinal del Bosco."
I ransacked my memory, and told him all the
tales I knew. His conversation is very pleasant: he is a
clever man, full of gaiety and well read. In his speech he
makes use of certain expletive particles which are not
cardinalitial. In that and other things he is like Cardinal
Camus; for he is otherwise irreproachable in conduct, very
charitable, and very devoted to his archiepiscopal duties.
But the first and most essential of his duties is to go three
times a week to the Opera. 1
Lambertini's liberty and joviality of speech did not, in spite of his strict virtue and most zealous administration, commend him to the more severe cardinals, and when Clement XII. died, on February 6, 1740, he was not regarded as a candidate for the Papacy. But the struggle of French, Spanish, and Austrian partisans continued for six months without prospect of a settlement, and in the intolerable heat of the summer the cardinals cast about, as usual, for an outsider. Lambertini had humorously recommended himself from time to time. He used to say, President de Brosses reports: "If you want a good fellow [coglione-a particularly gross word] choose me." 2 The Emperor
1 Lettres familières ( 1858), i., 250-1. The President was in Rome during the conclave in the following year and repeated that Lambertini was "licentious in speech but exemplary in conduct" (ii., 399). On a later page (439) he frankly describes the Pope as "indecent in speech." There is a passage in one of the Pope's later letters to Cardinal Tencin which may illustrate his censure. Benedict tells the Cardinal that he has bought a nude Venus for his collection, and finds that the Prince and Princess of Württemberg have, with a diamond ring, scratched their names on a part of the statue which one may not particularize as plainly as the Pope does (Correspondance de Benoít XIV., ii., 268). 2 Lettres familières, ii., 439.
Joseph II., who did not want an inflexible Pope, supported his candidature, and he was assuredly the most distinguished of the cardinals to whom the wearied voters now looked. He was elected on August 17th, and he took the name of Benedict XIV.
He was now sixty-five years old: a round, full-faced, merry little man, with piercing small eyes and an obstinate resolution to live at peace with the world. A few years later, 1 he describes his daily life to his friend Cardinal Tencin. He rises early and takes a cup of chocolate and a crust. At midday he has a soup, an entrée, a roast, and a pear: on "fast" days he reduces himself to a pot-au-feu and a pear, but it does not agree with him to observe the law of abstinence from meat, and he advises the cardinals to follow his example. In the evening he takes only a glass of water with a little cinnamon, and he retires very late. He works hard all day and feels that he is justified in seeking relief in sprightly conversation. Indeed, when one surveys the vast published series of Benedict's Bulls (some of which are lengthy and severe treatises), rescripts, works, and letters, one realizes that his industry was phenomenal. When he had to condemn some volume of the new sceptical literature which was springing up in Europe, he read it himself three times and reflected long on it. His interest ranged from England, whose political affairs he followed closely, to the mountains of Syria and the missions of China. Every branch of Papal administration had his personal attention. He thought little of the cardinals, and often pours genial irony on them in his innumerable letters. Of his two predecessors, Benedict XIII. "had not the least idea of government," and Clement XII. "passed his life in
1 September 29, 1745.
conversation," and "it is with the oxen from this stable [the cardinals promoted by them] that we have to work today. " 1 In finance, politics, administration, liturgy, and all other respects he had inherited a formidable task, and he discharged it in such wise that he died at peace with all except his Roman reactionaries. The Catholic rulers deeply appreciated him. Frederick of Prussia had a genial regard for him. Horace Walpole celebrated his virtues in Latin verse, and one of the Pitts treasured a bust of him. Voltaire, through Cardinal Acquaviva, presented his Mahomet to him in 1746, and the amiable Pope, quite innocent of the satire on Christianity, wrote to tell Voltaire how he had successfully defended his Latin verses. 2
1 Letter to Tencin August 1, 1753 ( ii., 282).
2 The correspondence is reproduced in Artaud de Montor Histoire des Souverains Pontifes ( 1849), vii., 79. Benedict was severely censured by the pious, and he declared to Cardinal Tencin that he "did not find it clear that Voltaire was a stranger to the faith" (i., 246 ). The biography of Benedict, one of the most interesting of the Popes, is still to be written. F. X. Kraus, in his edition of Benedict's letters, reproduces fragments of a pretentious Latin biography by a contemporary, Scarselli, and M. Guarnacci has a sketch in his Vitæ Pontificum Romanorum ( 1751, vol. ii., Col. 487-94). These relate only to his earlier years. A. Sandini ( Vitæ Pontificum Romanorum, 1754) has only three pages on Benedict, and the anonymous Vie du Pape Benoît XIV. ( I7 83)--really written by Cardinal Caraccioli) is not critical. The biographical sketches in Artaud de Montor and Ranke are quite inadequate. But the biographer has now a rich material in Benedict's Bulls (complete Bullarium, 13 vols., 1826 and 1827), works (chief edition, 17 vols., 1839- 1846, and three further works edited by Heiner in 1904), and letters. Of the latter the best editions are those of F. X. Kraus ( Briefe Benedicts XIV. an den Canonicus Pier Francesco Peggi, 1884), Morani ( "Lettere di Benedetto XIV. all' arcidiacono Innocenzo Storani" in the Archivio Storico per le Marche e per l'Umbria, 1885), Fresco ( "Lettere inedite di Benedetto XIV. al Cardinale Angelo Maria Querini" in the Nuovo Archivio Veneto, 1909, tomo xviii., pp. 5-93, and xix, pp. 159 - 215 ), "Lettere inedite di Benedetto XIV. al Cardinale F. Tamburini" in the
Benedict's immediate predecessor, Clement XII., an elderly disciplinarian whose strength was not equal to his pretensions, had left the internal and foreign affairs of the Quirinal--the Popes now dwelt chiefly in that palace--in a condition of strain and disorder, nor was Benedict's Secretary of State, Cardinal Valenti, the man to relieve the Pope of the work of reform. Choiseul, who was then the French representative at Rome, describes Valenti as very able but very lazy: a man of great charm, especially to ladies, and easy morals. Yet the treasury was empty, and the finances were shockingly disorganized. Although Clement XII. had introduced the lottery to support his extravagant expenditure, the Papal income in 1739 fell short of the expenses by 200,000 crowns a year, and the Camera owed between fifty and sixty million crowns--President de Brosses says 380,000,000 francs--to the Monti, or funds out of which the Popes paid life-incomes. Smuggling was so general, even among ambassadors and cardinals, that half the Papal revenue was lost. Cardinals Acquaviva and Albani each granted immunity from excise to four thousand traders: so Benedict wrote to Tencin in 1743. A third of the population of Rome consisted of ecclesiastics who lived on the Papal system, and a third were foreigners of no greater financial value; while the natives could so easily obtain food at the innumerable monasteries, or by begging, that there was little incentive to industry. Benedict XIV. had no financial capacity, but the desperate and ever worsening condition of the treasury spurred him to work. He restricted the immunities
Archivio della R. Societià Romana di Storia Patria, vol. xxxiv. ( 1911), pp. 35 - 73, and E. de Heeckeren ( Correspondance de Benoît XIV. , 2 vols., 1912).
from excise, cut down the extravagant payment of the troops, and severely curtailed the number of his servants. In a few years he had a surplus, which he divided among the impoverished nobles. He then reduced the taxes, had new factories built, and encouraged the introduction of new methods into agriculture. His zeal in suppressing "usury" was not so fortunate, but he restored the Papal finances to such a degree that he could at length indulge his cultural tastes. Sandini gives a list of the monuments he restored at Rome--including the new façade with which he disfigured Sta. Maria Maggiore--and we know from his letters that he was assiduous in collecting classical statues and fine books for the Roman galleries and libraries. He founded four academies at Rome--for the study of Roman history and antiquities, Christian history and antiquities, the history of the Councils, and liturgy-and once in each week presided, at the Quirinal, over a sitting of each academy. To the Roman university (Sapienza) he added chairs of chemistry, mathematics, and art, and he pressed in every way the higher education of the clergy. In 1750 he appointed a woman teacher, Maria Gaetana d'Agnesi, of mathematics at Bologna University, and wrote her a gracious letter commending the ambition of her sex.
Jansenists and philosophers were now fiercely exposing the weaknesses of Papal culture, and Benedict, who freely criticized the errors of his predecessors, attempted some revision of the mass of legends which had been accepted by the Church. In 1741 he appointed a commission to revise the Breviary, but the extensive alterations they proposed to make in the lives of the saints alarmed the reactionaries. On April 26, 1743, we find Benedict wearily complaining to Tencin of the difficulty of reform: "There is now all over the world such a disdain of the Holy See that--I will not say the protest of a bishop, a city, or a nation--but the opposition of a single monk is enough to thwart the most salutary and most pious designs." 1 The French clergy had been compelled in 1680 and 1736 to issue more critical editions of the Breviary, and Benedict wished to provide one for the universal Church. But the bigots were too strong for the Pope and the scheme of reform lies in the dust of the Vatican archives, while the Roman Breviary still contains legends of the most remarkable character. In reforming the Martyrology ( 1748) the Pope was more successful, and he published a new Ceremonial for Bishops ( 1752). He also published an indult permitting any diocese that cared to reduce the number of Church-festivals. The number of days on which men rested from work had become a scandal, and many complaints had reached the Holy See. Benedict's indult was gradually adopted by entire nations.
Of far greater interest is Benedict's attitude toward what we may call foreign affairs, and in this we discover again the more genial side of his character. Those who had known the different aspects of the Pope's personality--the punctilious learning of the ecclesiastic and the bonhomie of the man--must have wondered how he would confront the hereditary problems of the Papacy. Benedict at once made it plain that his policy would be one of deliberate and judicious compromise. Anxious though he was, especially in view of the Italian ambitions of Maria Theresa, about his temporal possessions, he placed his spiritual power and responsibility in the foreground, and on temporal matters he made more
1 I., 49.
concessions than any Pope of equal wit and will had ever made. He was, he told Tencin, "the mortal enemy of secrets and useless mysticism." For disguised Jesuits and intriguing Nuncii he had no employment. He took court after court, with which his predecessor had embroiled the Papacy, and came to an agreement which almost invariably satisfied them; and in the war of the Spanish succession, when Spanish and Austrian troops in turn violated his territory, he remained strictly neutral.
The chief problem in France was the conflict of the Jesuits and the Jansenists, which was complicated by a revival of the Gallican spirit that put difficulties in the way of Papal interference. The Bull Unigenitus, with which Clement XI. had sought to extinguish the controversy, had increased the disorder, and the zealots pressed the Pope to intervene. Parlement would have resented his interference, and it was not until 1755, when the Assembly of the Clergy failed to find a solution, that Louis XV. asked the Pope to make a further declaration. The credit of his moderate Encyclical 1 is not wholly due to him. The French asked him to refrain from pressing the Unigenitus as a standard of faith and merely to demand external respect for it. This agreed with the Pope's moderate disposition, but the Jesuits and other zealots at Rome were enraged, and Choiseul-without Benedict's knowledge, of course--made extensive use of bribery to win the College of Cardinals. Benedict's letters reflect his weariness between the antagonistic parties and frequently express that he is
1 Ex omnibus Christiani orbis, Oct. 16, 1756. It prescribes silence on the disputed issues and leaves it to confessors to determine whether their penitents are so wilfully rebellious against the Bull Unigenitus as to be excluded from the sacraments.
willing to respect Gallican susceptibilities to any extent short of a surrender of the faith. A draft of the Encyclical was submitted to the French court before it was published. Both the Jesuits and the lawyers attacked it, but the Parlement was won to the King by an attempt on his life and the Jesuits soon found all their energy needed to defend their existence.
With Spain the Pope concluded one of the most remarkable Concordats in Papal history. There had gradually been established a custom by which the Papacy appointed to all benefices which fell vacant during eight months of the year, and the bishops and their chapters appointed to vacant benefices during the remaining third of the year. The court had the right of appointment only to benefices in Granada and the Indies. As a natural result, Spanish ecclesiastics crowded to Rome, and it was estimated that the Dataria derived from them about 250,000 crowns a year. Spain resented the arrangement, but the clerical population of Rome clung tenaciously to it. Benedict in 1751 entered into secret negotiations with Spain, and contrived to keep them secret until 1753, when he startled and irritated Rome by publishing his famous Concordat. By this he granted the Spanish King the right to nominate to all except fifty-two benefices in Spain and America. The cardinals bitterly complained that they had not been consulted, while the officials deplored the abandonment of Papal prestige and the cessation of so much profitable employment. Benedict had, however, made a shrewd bargain with Ferdinand VI. The King had to pay a capital sum of 1,143,330 crowns, which, at an interest of three per cent., would cover the yearly loss to the Curia. At a later date the Pope released the Spanish Infanta from the dignity of cardinal, yet permitted him to retain a large part of his clerical income.
A similar agreement ended the long friction with Portugal and (in 1740) gave John V. the right to present to all the episcopal sees and abbeys in his dominions; and in 1748 the Pope further gratified the King with the title of Fidelissimus. The King of Sardinia received, soon after Benedict's succession, the title of Vicar of all the Papal fiefs in his dominions and the right, for an annual payment of 2000 crowns, to gather their revenues. Naples, in turn, was pacified, after many years of dangerous friction. There had been stern quarrels about jurisdiction over the clergy, and by a Concordat of the year 1741 Benedict consented to the creation of a supreme court, with an equal number of clerical and lay judges and an ecclesiastical president, for the trial of such cases. With Venice the Pope was less successful. The decaying Republic had a standing quarrel with Austria about the patriarchate of Aquileia; Austria, which possessed part of the territory, would not acknowledge the authority of the Venetian patriarch. Benedict appointed a Vicar for the Austrian section, and Venice, ever ready to flout Papal orders, drove the Nuncio from the city. The Pope thereupon divided the province into two archbishoprics, but Venice still angrily protested and the dispute remained unsettled at Benedict's death.
Austria gave the Pope his most anxious hours. The joy of Rome at the fidelity of southern Germany was in the eighteenth century clouded by the growth of a spirit akin to Gallicanism: the spirit which would presently be known as Febronianism. Charles VI. had in 1740 left the Empire to his elder daughter, Maria Theresa, and Spain had contested the succession in the hope of winning for itself the provinces of Lombardy and Tuscany. In the war which followed Benedict took no side, but the conflicting armies devastated his territory and approached very near to Rome. His letters to Tencin reflect his distress and anxiety, no less than his helplessness. When the war was over, he sent a representative to the conference at Aix-laChapelle, where his rights were endangered by the contest of the two ambitious queens; Elizabeth of Spain was the last of the Farnese and was disposed to claim for her son the principality which Paul III. had wantonly conferred on his son Pier Luigi. The chief question that interested the Papacy was whether Don Philip should receive the investiture of Parma and Piacenza from Rome or the Empress, and Benedict had the satisfaction of seeing it virtually settled in favour of Rome. On Paul III. himself, and other nepotist Popes, Benedict passes a very severe judgment in his letters. For his part he severely excluded his relatives from Rome, and when a young son of his nephew came to study at the Clementine College, he took care that the boy should receive no particular favour.
It is one of the remarkable features of Benedict's Pontificate that he won considerable respect even in the Protestant lands. Englishmen, perhaps, did not know, as we know from the Pope's letters, how deeply he sympathized with the exiled Stuarts. "James III." lived for some time at Rome on a pension provided by France, Spain, and the Papacy, and Benedict had often to relieve the financial embarrassment of the foolish and extravagant prince. His second son became Cardinal York, and, in conferring the dignity on him, Benedict declared that he would be pleased to withdraw it if ever Providence recalled him to the throne of his fathers. In spite of these amiable sympathies, Benedict was much appreciated by cultivated Englishmen, and in 1753 he reconstituted and enlarged the English hierarchy.
With Frederic of Prussia, also, he had friendly relations. He was the first Pope to recognize the title of "King of Prussia" assumed in 1701 by the Electors of Brandenburg, and in this again he overruled the opposition of the cardinals. In 1744 Frederic begged the Pope to make Scatfgoch, a Breslau canon whom the King liked, coadjutor to the Bishop of Breslau. Scatfgoch talked with scandalous license about religion and morals; it was said at Rome that he dipped his crucifix into his wine to give the Saviour the first drink. Benedict, to Frederic's anger, refused; but three years later, when the bishop died, and the Nuncio reported the conversion of the canon, the Pope gratified Frederic by making him bishop. Frederic permitted the erection of a Catholic chapel at Berlin.
The new Catholic world beyond the seas made more than one claim on the untiring Pope. Immediately after his election we find him sending a Vicar Apostolic to settle the troubles of the Maronites of Syria, and in 1744 he reconciled and regulated the affairs of the Greek Melchites of Antioch. In the farther East a fierce controversy still raged, both in China and India, regarding the heathen rites and practices which the Jesuit missionaries permitted their native converts to retain. Clement XI., Innocent XIII., and Benedict XIII. had successively employed him, when he was an official of the Curia, to prepare a verdict on these "Chinese and Malabar rites," but it was reported that the Jesuits still defied the orders of the Popes. In his private letters to Tencin, Benedict sternly condemns the "tergiversations" of the Jesuit missionaries, but in his Papal pronouncements he is more cautious. His Bulls Ex Quo Singulari, 1 which puts an end to the trouble in China, and Omnium Solicitudinum, 2 which condemns the practices in Malabar ( India), are scholarly and severe treatises. They hardly mention the Jesuits, but they leave no loophole for those casuistic missionaries. From the other side of the globe Benedict received complaints that Christians were still enslaving the American natives, on the pretext of converting them, and he renewed the prohibition issued by Paul III. and Urban VIII.
From all quarters of the globe Benedict received heated complaints about the Jesuits. They permitted the worship of ancestors in China, and closed their eyes to Hindu charms and amulets in India. They conducted great commercial enterprises in North and South America, and struggled bitterly against the bishops in England. France accused them of intensifying the domestic strife of its Church, and Spain and Portugal brought grave charges against them. But Benedict XIV. seems to have dreaded the overweening and doomed Society. Even his private letters are singularly free from direct allusions to them, and more than one Jesuit scholar was employed by him on tasks of importance. His friend Cardinal Passionei, a worldly cardinal, of easy ways, who spent his days in luxurious ease at Frascati, often urged him to reform the Society, but it was not until the last year of his life that he took any step in that direction. Portugal was now approaching its great struggle with the Jesuits, and Benedict, on April 1, 1758, directed Cardinal Saldanha to inspect and report upon the condition of the Jesuit
1 July 1, 1742. 2 September 12, 1744.
houses and colleges in that country. He died a month later, unconscious of the great revolution which the Catholic Powers were preparing to force on the Papacy.
Of the isolated ecclesiastical acts of Benedict it is impossible to give here even a summary. No Pope since the great Pontiffs of the early Middle Ages had enriched his Church with so much (from the Papal point of view) sound legislation: none had had so scientific a command of ecclesiastical affairs or united with it so indefatigable an industry. His Bull Magnæ Nobis Admirationis 1 prescribes, in the case of mixed marriages, the rules which are enforced in the Church today. He forbade monks to practise surgery or dispense drugs; though Europe would have been more completely indebted to him in this respect if he had not made an exception in favour of the atrocious drug known as "theriac" and the foolish compound which went by the name of "apoplectic balsam." He condemned Freemasonry, 2 though his decree was not enforced. But one must glance over the thirteen volumes of his Bullarium and the seventeen volumes of his religious and liturgical works if one would realize his massive industry and devotion to his duties.
In the spring of 1758 his robust constitution yielded to the ravages of gout, labour, and anxiety, and he died on May 3d. He was not, as some say, "the idol of Rome." The cardinals felt the disdain of them which he often expresses in his letters, and many of the clergy regarded him as too severe on them and too pliant to the laity. Neither was he a genius. Clearness of mind, immense industry, and sober ways are the sources of his output. His works are not read today even by ecclesiastics, and it is ludicrous to represent them as his
1 June 29, 1748 2 March 18, 1751.
title to immortality. Yet Benedict XIV. was a great Pope: a wise ruler of the Church at a time when once more, unconsciously, it approached a world-crisis. The magnitude of the change which was taking place in Europe he never perceived, but his policy was wise in the measure of his perception, and his geniality of temperament, united to so wholehearted a devotion to his duty, won some respect for the name of Pope in lands where it had been for two hundred years a thing of contempt.
PIUS VII. AND THE REVOLUTION
BENEDICT XIV. had maintained Papal power and prestige in his Catholic world by prudent concessions to a European spirit which he recognized as having definitely emerged from its mediæval phase. His successors for many decades lacked his penetration; though one may wonder if, without sacrificing essential principles of the Papal scheme, they could have advanced farther along the path of concession to a more and more exacting age. However that may be, they generally clung to the autocratic principles of the Papacy, and as a consequence they ceased to be the leaders of their age and became little more than corks tossed on heaving waters. Not until Leo XIII. do we find a Pope with a human quality of statesmanship. In the intervening Pontificates the barque of Peter drifted on the wild and swollen waters, pathetically bearing still a flag which bore the legend of ruler of the waves.
Clement XIII. ( 1758-1769) and Clement XIV. ( 1769-1774) were occupied with the problem of the Jesuits. One by one the Catholic Powers--Portugal, France, Naples, and Spain--swept the Jesuits from their territory, with a flood of obloquy, and then made a collective demand on the Pope for the suppression of the Society. Clement XIII. had made a futile effort to assert the old dictatorial power; and Catholic nations had retorted by seizing part of the diminished Papal States. France had occupied Avignon and Vennaissin, and Naples had taken Benevento and Pontecorvo. The bewildered Pope found peace in the grave, and the Powers ensured the election of a man who did not regard the suppression of the Society as an impossibility. For four years Ganganelli, Clement XIV., resisted or restrained the pressure of the Catholic Powers, but in 1773 the famous Bull Dominus ac Redemptor Noster disbanded the most effective force of the CounterReformation, plainly endorsing the charge against it of corruption. 1 Pius VI. ( 1775-1798) came vaguely to realize that there was some deep malady in the world which, in bewildering impotence, he contemplated. The hostility to the Jesuits had been a symptom; nor was the symptom more intelligible to so unskilful a physician when the Protestant rulers of Russia and Prussia protected the Jesuits, while the Catholic Powers sternly restrained his wish to restore the Society. Vaguely, also, he realized that there was a deeper infidelity in the world; that the "philosophers" of France and Spain and Italy and the "illumined ones" of Germany were a new thing under the sun; and that the traditions of the Papacy did not help in dealing with such "Catholic" statesmen as Pombal, Aranda, Tanucci, and Choiseul. He had not even the traditional remedy of finding support in the "Roman Empire." Under Joseph II. and Kaunitz, Austria had developed a rebellious
1 It is not true that Clement abstained from passing judgment on the Society; nor, on the other hand, need we regard seriously the statement that he was poisoned by the ex-Jesuits. See the author's Candid History of the Jesuits, pp. 355 and 368.
spirit which rivalled the most defiant phases of Gallicanism. 1
Pius visited Vienna, and trusted that his handsome and engaging presence would reconcile the Emperor to his large pretensions, but the visit was fruitless and the vanity of the Pope was bruised. At least the mass of the people were faithful, Pius thought. Then there came the terrible disillusion of the French Revolution, and resounding echoes of its fiery language in Italy and Spain. Pius made his last blunder--though the most natural course for him to take--by allying himself with Austria and England against the Revolution, and the shadow of Napoleon fell over Italy. Napoleon shattered the Austrian forces and compelled the Pope to sacrifice Avignon and Venaissin, to lose the three Legations ( Bologna, Ferrara, and Romagna), and to pay out of his scanty income 30,000,000 lire. In the following year, 1798, the French inspired a rebellion at Rome. The Romans set up once more feeble images of their ancient "Consuls" and "Ædiles," and the aged Pope was dragged from point to point by the French dragoons until he expired at Valence on August 29, 1798. General Bonaparte had said, contemptuously, that the Papacy was breaking up. There were those who asked if Pius VI. was the last Pope.
But a new act of the strange European drama was opening. Bonaparte was in Egypt, brooding over iridescent dreams of empire, and the treaty of Campo Formio which he had concluded before leaving had
1 In Austria the movement was called Febronianism, as it had begun with a work ( De Statu Ecclesiæ ) published in 1763 by Johann von Hontheim under the pseudonym of "Febronius." Hontheim had learned Gallican sentiments at Louvain. Joseph II. had wisely and firmly adopted the chief principles of the school: religious toleration, restriction of the interference of the Popes, and control of ecclesiastical property.
given Venice (as well as Istria and Dalmatia) to Austria. To Venice, accordingly, forty-six of the scattered and impoverished cardinals made their way, for the purpose of electing a new Pope, and the Conclave was lodged in the abbey of San Giorgio on November 30th. The history of the Papal Conclaves has inspired a romantic and caustic narrative, 1 and the account of the Conclave of 1798-1799 is not one of the least interesting. Austria, which had occupied the northern Papal provinces, and Naples, which had succeeded the French in the south and was now "guarding" Rome, did not desire the election of a Pope who would claim his full temporal dominion. Against them was the solid nucleus of conservative and rigid cardinals, and on the fringe of the struggle were the unattached cardinals, some of whom had a lively concern about this General Bonaparte who had just returned from Egypt. The statesman of the College was Cardinal Consalvi, a very able and accomplished son of a noble Pisan family. Consalvi, as a good noble and churchman, loathed the Revolution, but, when the struggle of voters had lasted three or four months and the two chief parties had reached a deadlock, he listened to the suggestion of Cardinal Maury that the mild "Jacobin" Cardinal Chiaramonti would be the best man to elect. Bonaparte had spoken well of Chiaramonti, and Austria would not resent the election of a lowly-minded Benedictine monk. Whether or no Consalvi suspected that Maury was (at least in part) working for a personal reward, he took up the intrigue, and on March 24th Chiaramonti became Pius VII. They had put an aged and timid monk at the helm on such a sea.
1 Petrucelli della Gattina Histoire diplomatique des Conclaves, 4 vols., 1864-6.
Barnaba Luigi Chiaramonti was born at Cesena, of a small-noble family, on August 14, 1742. He entered the Benedictine Order at the age of sixteen and distinguished himself in his studies. As he was distantly related to Pius VI., who was a flagrant nepotist, he easily earned promotion at Rome. He taught theology and was titular abbot of San Callisto. In time he became Bishop of Tivoli, then Bishop of Imola and Cardinal. He was administering his diocese with due zeal, and more than ordinary gentleness, when the storm of the French invasion broke upon Italy. He was not a politician. He advised his people to submit to the Cisalpine Republic set up by the French, and mediated for them with General Augereau when some of them rebelled. But, when the Austrians came in turn, he advised the people to submit to their "liberators," and, when the French returned, the magistrates of Imola charged him with treachery and he had to plead on his own behalf. However, his colleagues affected to regard him as a Jacobin, and his easy attitude toward the French and the temporal power won him the tiara. He was crowned in San Giorgio on March 21st.
Austria had refused the use of San Marco for the ceremony, because it was nervously anxious to discourage ideas of royalty in the new Pope, and its representative in the Sacred College, Cardinal Hrzan, urged Pius to go from Venice to Vienna, and to make Cardinal Flangini (a Venetian) his Secretary of State. Pius quietly refused, and chose Consalvi. In quick succession the Austrian ambassador offered him the territory they had taken from Lombardy, without the Legations, and then two out of the three Legations (they keeping Romagna), but Consalvi prompted him to refuse, and he set out for Rome. The Austrians would not suffer him to pass through the Papal territory they held, and he had to proceed by boat to Pesaro. But the news that the Neapolitans had retired from Rome, and that the Austrians (chastened by Napoleon) now offered him the three Legations they were unable to keep, cheered the Pontiff on his journey and he entered Rome in triumph. 1
Consalvi, whose firm hand guides that of the Pope during most of his Pontificate, began at once to put in order the chaotic affairs of the Papacy. The treasury was empty, though the four resplendent tiaras had been stripped of their jewels, the taxes were insupportable, and the coinage was shamefully debased. Consalvi removed some of the taxes--though he was forced to restore them at a later date--and, at a cost of 1,500,000 scudi, called in the adulterated coin. He turned with vigour to the affairs of Germany, where the princes who were dispossessed of their territory on the left bank of
1 The chief source of our knowledge of the earlier years of Pius is the sketch of his life by Artaud de Montor. Cardinal Wiseman (another eulogist) covers the ground in the early chapters of his Recollections of the Last Four Popes ( 1858). Dr. E. L. T. Henke Papst Pius VII. ( 1860) is an excellent impartial study, while D. Bertolotti Vita di Papa Pio VII. ( 1881) is less scholarly, and Mary Allies' Pius the Seventh is rather a tract than an historical study. The Pope's relations with Napoleon (after the coronation) are minutely, though far from impartially, studied in H. Welschinger Le Pape et l'Empereur ( 1905) and Father Ilario Rinieri Napoleone e Pio VII. ( 2 vols., 1906): both make some use of unpublished documents. See also F. Rinieri Il Concordato tra Pio VII. e il Primo Console ( 1902). The Pope's Bulls are in the Bullarii Romani Continuatio ( ed. Barberi, vols. xi.-xv). Contemporary documents abound, and one need mention only the Memoirs of Consalvi, Pacca, and Talleyrand, and the Correspondance de Napoleon I. Special studies will be quoted later. Dr. F. Nielsen History of the Papacy in the Nineteenth Century ( 2 vols., 1906) is the best recent study of the period of Pius VII. to Pius IX.: it is scholarly and impartial.
the Rhine by the Treaty of Lunéville 1 proposed to recoup themselves from the ecclesiastical estates on the right bank. 2 But every other interest was soon overshadowed by the relations of Napoleon to Rome, and the story of Pius VII. is almost entirely the story of those singular and tragic relations.
Napoleon had re-entered Italy, and won Marengo, before Pius reached Rome. But experience in the East and consideration of his growing ambition had made Voltaireanism seem to him impolitic, and he now sent a representative to treat with the new Pope as respectfully as if he commanded 200,000 men. They would co-operate in restoring religion in France. Pius timidly expressed some concern at the Mohammedan sentiments Bonaparte had so recently uttered in Egypt, but he and the cardinals assented to the proposal, and Archbishop Spina was sent to Paris in November ( 1800). In view of Napoleon's demands-that the old hierarchy of 158 bishops should be reduced to sixty, that a certain proportion of the Republican (constitutional) bishops should be elected together with a proportion of the emigrant royalists, that no alienated church-property should be restored, and that Christianity should not be established as "the religion of France"--Spina found that his powers were inadequate, and Napoleon sent Cacault to Rome with the draft of a Concordat ( March, 1501). Pius and his cardinals shrank from so formidable a sacrifice, and would negotiate, in time-honoured Roman fashion. But ancient customs did not impress Bonaparte. Cacault reported in May that the Concordat was to be
1 February 9, 1801.
2 This Pius entirely failed to prevent. See Father Leo Koenig Pius VII: Die Sskularisation und das Reichskonkordat ( 1904).
signed in five days, whether it killed the bewildered Pope or no (as Consalvi said it would), or France would set up its Church without his aid. As a compromise, Cacault suggested that Consalvi should accompany him to Paris, and the Quirinal had faith in its great diplomatist. Even Consalvi, however, was nervous and almost powerless before the studied violence of Napoleon, and his diplomatic movements were constantly met with a brusque declaration that Napoleon would detach France, if not Catholic Europe, from the Papacy if the Concordat were not quickly signed. 1
The attitude of Napoleon was not merely despotic. Although France was still overwhelmingly Catholic, as writers on the revolutionary excesses often forget, an important minority, including most of Napoleon's higher officers, were bitterly anti-clerical and opposed any attempt to restore the Church. Napoleon, who felt that the religious sentiment of the majority must be dissociated from the emigrants and bound up once more with a national Church, would have preferred to dispense with Rome and proceed on extreme Gallican principles. But Catholic sentiment would not acquiesce in so violent a procedure, and Napoleon realized the vast gain it would be to him to win the cosmopolitan influence of the Pope. This feeble and timid monk, he thought, needed intimidation, and of that art Napoleon was a master. After a final twenty-four hours' sitting on July 13th-14th, the draft was passed by Consalvi. After a further struggle, and some further modification, it satisfied both parties, and Consalvi sent it, with some satisfaction, to Rome for the Pope's signature.
1 Consalvi's Memoirs are naturally prejudiced, and not reliable. Theiner Histoire des deux Concordals ( 1869) and Séché's Les Origines du Concordat ( 1894) are carefully documented.
The new bishops were to be nominated by Napoleon and instituted by the Pope, and the Catholic faith was to be declared "the religion of the majority. " Freethinkers resented the whole negotiation: Gallicans deplored that the power of the clergy had been divided between the Pope and the Consul: Royalists abroad protested bitterly against the required resignation of the old bishops. Pius felt that this miraculous restoration of the Church was worth the price. He signed the Concordat and blessed the restorer of the faith.
But the Pope and Consalvi obtained a further insight into Napoleon's character when the Concordat was made public on Easter Sunday ( 1802). With it were associated, as if they were part of the agreement, certain "Organic Articles" of the most Gallican description.
No Bull or other document from Rome could be published in France, no Nuncio or Legate exercise his functions, and no Council be held, without the authorization of the secular authorities. All seminary-teachers were to subscribe to the famous principles of 1682, and in case the higher clergy violated those or the laws of the Republic the Council of State might sit in judgment on them. Pius made a futile protest, when he read the seventy-six lamentable articles, but Napoleon soon had the Pope smiling over a gift of two frigates to the Papal navy; and Piuslaicised Talleyrand and raised five French bishops, including Napoleon's half-uncle Fesch, to the cardinalate. A similar Concordat was forced by Napoleon on the Cisalpine Republic in 1803, and Naples was compelled to return Benevento and Pontecorvo. The first phase ended in smiles.
Cardinal Caprara was sent as legate to Paris, and his experiences moderated the Pope's satisfaction. He was quite unable to resist the election of the constitutionaltional tional bishops (the clergy who had adhered to the Republican Constitution, which Rome severely and naturally condemned) and he could not wring from them a formal acknowledgment of their errors. But these matters were soon thrust out of mind by fresh events in France. On May 18, 1804, Napoleon was elected Emperor, and he invited Pius to come to Paris to crown him.
There was a natural hesitation at Rome to flout the Bourbons and their allies by such a recognition of Napoleon, but the long delay was not in substance due to that political scruple; nor was it in any serious degree due, as some writers say, to the recent execution of the Duc d'Enghien, which appears little in Papal documents. Consalvi persuaded the Pope to bargain with Napoleon: to stipulate for the abolition of the Organic Articles, the punishment of the constitutional clergy, and the return of the three Legations. As before, the diplomacy of Consalvi was boisterously swept aside by Napoleon, and on November 2d the aged Pope set out for Paris.
Not a single definite promise had been made, and it seems, from later language of the Pope, that either he or Consalvi regarded the journey with grave distrust. Pius left behind him a document authorizing the cardinals to choose a successor, in case Napoleon violently detained him in France. We may ascribe this foresight to Consalvi, as throughout these earlier years Pius appears to be merely the agent of the wishes of the cardinals.
Napoleon must have noted with satisfaction the ease with which his constant trickery escaped the Pope's eye. On November 25th he, in hunting dress, with studied casualness, met the Pope on the open road at Fontainebleau, arranged that he should himself sit on the right in their joint carriage, and drove him into Paris by night. Every detail had been carefully planned with a view to the avoidance of paying unnecessary honour to the Pope. Pius noticed nothing, and wrote enthusiastically to Italy of Napoleon's goodness and zeal for religion; and indeed the enthusiasm of the faithful Catholics of Paris, when they found a venerable Pope blessing them from the balconies of the Tuileries, might well seem to him to indicate a triumph after the dark decade that had passed. Disillusion came slowly. Josephine, who now knew that she was threatened with divorce, confided to the Pope that there had been no church-celebration of her marriage with Napoleon, and Pius refused to crown them until it took place. Napoleon thundered, but the Pope had a clear principle and the difficulty was met by trickery. Cardinal Fesch was permitted by the Pope to marry them without witnesses, and Napoleon pointed out to friends that he was taking part in the ceremony without internal consent. On the following day, December 2d, the coronation took place at Notre Dame, and Napoleon at one stroke annihilated the prestige of the Pope by crowning himself and Josephine with his own hands.
Another wave of disdain of the Pope passed through foreign lands: "A puppet of no importance," said even Joseph de Maistre . Pius remained gentle and patient.
He had still to win the reward of his sacrifices: to induce the Emperor to restore the Papal States, to modify the Organic Articles, to abolish the law of divorce, enforce the observance of Sunday, and reintroduce the monastic orders. The cardinals had drawn up a pretty program. Napoleon suavely refused every proposition, and sent one of his officers to suggest that Pius would do well to settle at Avignon, and have a palace at Paris.
Pius, now thoroughly alarmed, refused emphatically to stay in France, and disclosed that he had arranged to give him a successor if he were detained. And Pius returned to give the cardinals a roseate account of the resurrection of religion in France and the goodness of the Emperor. When he refused, shortly afterwards, to crown Napoleon King of Italy at Milan, there were those who admired his firmness. It is more likely that he acted on the advice of the disappointed cardinals.
Up to this point Pius VII. had given no indication of personality. One must, of course, appreciate that the restoration of the Church in France would seem to him an achievement worth large sacrifices, yet his childlike joy in Napoleon's insincere caresses, his utter failure to detect the true aims and the trickery of the Emperor, and the entire lack of plan or efficacy in his protests, must have convinced Napoleon, as they convinced hostile Royalists, that he was a mere puppet. He cannot possibly have had the measure of ability with which Cardinal Wiseman would endow him. The same conclusion is forced on us by a consideration of the second part of his relations with Napoleon. Isolated from his abler cardinals, he, like a child, bemoans his inability to form his judgment, and stumbles from error to error. But ten years of defeat have taught him that he is dealing with an enemy of religion, and he reveals a certain greatness of character in his resistance.
In the spring of 1805 the Emperor asked the Pope to dissolve, or declare null, the marriage which his brother Jerome had contracted in America with a Miss Paterson, a Protestant. Pius was eager to do so, if ecclesiastical principles yielded the slightest ground for such an act, but, after a long examination, he was obliged to refuse. Napoleon began to speak of him as a fool. The summer brought war with Austria once more, and in October the French troops marched through the Papal States on their way to Naples, and occupied Ancona. When Pius protested ( November 13, 1805), the Emperor scornfully replied--after an interval of two months--that if its Papal owners were not able or willing to fortify Ancona, he must occupy it: that the Pope and the cardinals prostituted religion by their friendly relations with English and Russian enemies of France: and that he would respect the Pope's spiritual sovereignty, and expected from him respect for the Emperor's political sovereignty. 1 On February 13, ( 1806) Napoleon wrote more explicitly. The Pope must close his harbours against the English, expel from Rome all representatives of the enemies of France, get rid of his bad counsellors ( Consalvi), and remember that Napoleon is Emperor of Rome. 2 Pius, after consulting the cardinals, replied that the "Roman Emperor" was at Vienna, and that the Papacy would not be drawn into a war between France and England. To the French representative in Rome the Pope used a very firm language; he would die rather than yield on what he conceived as a matter of principle. When, some time afterwards, Napoleon annexed Naples, and the Papacy protested that it was a Papal fief, Napoleon rightly gave Consalvi the credit for the opposition and forced him to resign. He had in 1802 restored Benevento and Pontecorvo to Rome: he now gave the former to Talleyrand and the latter to Bernadotte.
It must seem an idle practice to seek apologies for Napoleon's conduct, but we do well to conceive that each man was justified in his procedure. Napoleon was wrong only in his pretexts and his methods. He
1 Correspondance de Napoleon I, xi., 642. 2 Ibid., xii., 477.
was no orthodox Catholic, and had no illusions about the sacred origin of the temporal power. If the Pope chose to be a king, he submitted to the laws of kings.
The Papacy undoubtedly thwarted the work of the Emperor in Italy and aided his enemies. Cardinal Pacca says in his Memoirs that Pius wrote him that he "risked everything for the English." 1 Common opposition to Napoleon brought about a remarkable approach of Rome and England, and the Quirinal had hopes of advantage for the Church in England. The Papal ports were of great service to the English fleet, and therefore of great disservice to the French.
Pius VII. seems never to have realized the elementary fact that Napoleon was not a Christian. He relied too long on the orthodox fiction that, because the Pope was the successor of Peter in spiritual matters, any temporal power taken from him was taken from "The Blessed Peter." Napoleon did not share that illusion, and it is singular that he waited so long before consolidating his Italian kingdom by absorbing the Papal States. The year 1807, when Napoleon was busy with Prussia, passed in recriminations. Pius would, he said, show them that the substitution of Cardinal Casoni as his Secretary of State for Consalvi made no difference. He seemed to be finding his personality, but there were fiery cardinals like Pacca still with him.
In January, 1808, Napoleon ordered General Miollis to occupy Rome, and presently he expelled from Rome all cardinals who were not subjects of the Papal States. Pius, during the night, had a protesting poster fixed on the walls. On April 2d Napoleon annexed Urbino, Ancona, Macerata, and Camerino: on the foolish pretext (among others) that Charlemagne had bestowed
1 Memorie, i., 68.
those provinces on the Papacy for the good of Catholicism, not for the profit of its enemies. Pius sent a long and dignified protest to all bishops in his dominions and broke off diplomatic relations with France. Gabrielli had succeeded Casoni in counselling Pius, and the French now made the singular mistake of arresting Gabrielli and substituting Pacca--a fiery and inflexible opponent of Napoleon. In August Pacca came into violent collision with the French and they went to arrest him. He summoned the Pope, and Pius personally conducted him to the protection of the Quirinal.
In the solitude of the Quirinal they prepared for the last step and drafted an excommunication of Napoleon. 1 At length on June 10, 1809, they received Napoleon's declaration that the Papal States were incorporated in his Empire, and the Bull of excommunication ( Quum Memoranda ) was issued. It did not name Napoleon, and it was at once suppressed by the French, but General Miollis considered that a conditional order for the arrest of the Pope, which Napoleon had sent, now came into force. At three in the morning of July 6th the troops broke into the Quirinal. When General Radet and his officers reached the Audience Chamber, they found the Pope sitting gravely at a table, with a group of cardinals on either side. For several minutes the two groups gazed on each other in tense silence, and at length Radet announced that the Pope must abdicate or go into exile. Taking only his breviary and crucifix, the Pope entered the carriage at four o'clock, and he and Pacca were swiftly driven through the silent streets, and on the long road to Savona. They found that
1 Pacca relates that the English sent a friar to say that they had a frigate ready to take away the Pope and his secretary. Such were the relations of Rome and England.
they had between them only the sum of twenty-two cents, and they laughed.
Pius reached Savona on August 16th ( 1809), and was lodged in the episcopal palace. He refused the 50,000 francs a year and the carriages offered by Napoleon. He refused to walk in Savona, and spent the day in a little room overlooking the walls, or walking in the scanty garden of the house. He had no secretary and his aged hands trembled, but pious Catholics conspired to defeat his guardians (or corrupt his guardians) and his letters and directions went out stealthily over Europe. His cardinals were removed to Paris, and when Napoleon divorced Josephine and married Marie Louise ( April 1, 1810), only thirteen out of the twenty-seven cardinals refused to attend the ceremony. Pius still declined to enter into Napoleon's plans. Metternich sent an Austrian representative to argue with him, but the Pope would not yield his temporal power, and he demanded his cardinals. Cardinals Spina and Caselli, of the moderate party, were sent to persuade him, but the mission was fruitless. Napoleon, who was sorely harassed by the Pope's refusal to institute the new bishops, tried to act without him, and made Maury Archbishop of Paris. Pius sent a secret letter to the Vicar Capitular of Paris, declaring that the appointment was null, and Napoleon angrily ordered a search of his rooms and the removal of books, ink, paper, and personal attendants.
At last, in June, 1811, the strategy of Napoleon succeeded. The Archbishop of Tours and three other bishops presented themselves at Savona with the terrible news that Napoleon had summoned a General Council at Paris and expected the bishops to remedy the desperate condition of the French Church--there were twenty-seven bishops awaiting institution--independently of the Pope. Pius still refused to submit, but day after day the prelates and the Count de Chabrol harrowed him with descriptions of the appalling results of his obstinacy, and on the tenth day they hastened to Paris with the news that Pius had consented on the main point: he would institute the bishops within six months, or, if he failed to do so, the Archbishop would have power to institute them.
What really happened at Savona is the only serious controversy in the life of Pius VII., and this controversy is based entirely on the reluctance of Catholic writers to admit that the Pope erred. The usual theory, based on the work of D'Haussonville, 1 is that Pius fell into so grave a condition, mentally and physically, that he can hardly be regarded as responsible. Recent and authoritative Catholic writers have given a different defence. H. Welschinger 2 seems to suggest that Pius was drugged by his medical attendant, but he goes on to make this fantastic suggestion superfluous by claiming that Pius did not consent at all, either orally or in writing. Father Rinieri, on the other hand, scorns the theory of temporary insanity, holds that the Pope deliberately assented, and claims that the consent was perfectly justified because it was conditional; the Pope agreed if, as the bishops said, his concession would lead to peace and his restoration to liberty. These theories destroy each other, and are severally inadmissible. Welschinger, to exonerate the Pope from weakness, assumes that the Archbishop of Tours lied; for that prelate wrote at once to Paris that they had "drawn up a note in His Holiness's room, and he had accepted
1 L'Église Romaine et le Premier Empire, 5 vols., 1868-1870.
2 Le Pape et l'Empereur ( 1905), pp. 177-196.
it," and on his duplicate of the note he wrote: "This note, drawn up in His Holiness's room, and in a sense under his directions, was approved and agreed to." 1 Indeed, when Welschinger himself quotes the Pope saying, in his fit of repentance, "Luckily I signed nothing," we gather that Pius orally assented. Rinieri, on the other hand, is wrong in making the Pope's assent strictly conditional; the last clause of the note merely states that the Pope is assuroraled that good results will follow. And both writers are at fault when they lay stress on the fact that the note was a mere draft of an agreement. Unless the four bishops lied, Pius VII., under great importunity and predictions of disaster, and in a very poor state of health, consented to a principle which was utterly inconsistent with Papal teaching.
Later events put this beyond question, and make all these speculations ridiculous. It is unquestioned that when, on the following morning, Pius asked for the bishops and learned that they had gone, he fell into a fit of remorse and despair which brought him near to the brink of madness. It is equally unquestioned that Napoleon's council drew up a decree in the sense of the famous Savona note and that on September 20th Pius signed it. Napoleon had been dissatisfied with the Pope's oral consent and his retractation (which the Emperor concealed), and had tried to bully the council into a declaration independently of the Papacy. When he failed, he assured them of the Pope's consent and they passed the decree. Eight bishops and five cardinals took it to Savona, and the Pope subscribed to it. The only plausible defence of Pius is that he granted or delegated the power to the archbishops, instead of merely declaring that the archbishops possessed it.
1 See Rinieri, pp. 165 and 166.
But the Pope's acute remorse shows that he had not deliberately meant this.
Napoleon, however, saw that his scheme had failed in this respect, and he kept the Pope at Savona while he set out on the Russian campaign. After a time the Emperor, alleging that British ships hovered about Savona, ordered the removal of the Pope to Fontainebleau, and he was transferred with such secrecy and discomfort that he almost died in crossing Mont Cenis. At Fontainebleau he maintained his quiet, ascetic life: even afforded the spectacle of a Pope mending his own shirts. The thirteen "black" cardinals--the men who opposed Napoleon and were stripped of their red robes and sent into exile--could not approach him, and he paid little attention to Napoleon's courtiers. In December ( 1812) Napoleon was back from his terrible failure, but he still sought to bluff the aged Pope. In a genial New-Year letter he proposed that Pius should settle at Paris and have two million francs a year: that he would in future permit the Catholic rulers to nominate two thirds of the cardinals: and that the thirteen black cardinals should be censured by the Pope and gracefully pardoned by the Emperor. Pius hesitated; and on the evening of January 18th, when Napoleon suddenly burst into his room and embraced him, the old tears of childlike joy stood in his eyes once more. Napoleon remained and put before him a new Concordat, sacrificing the demands he had made in his letter, but demanding the abdication of the temporal power and six months' limit for the Papal institution of bishops. Harrowing pictures of the Pope's condition and the pressure put on him by Napoleonic prelates are drawn by pious pens. But the fact is not disputed that on January 25th the "martyr-Pope" signed the Concordat and sacrificed the temporal power.
When Pacca and Consalvi and the black cardinals, who were now set at liberty, arrived at Fontainebleau, they shuddered at his surrender, but they could not upbraid the pale, worn, distracted Pontiff. He acknowledged his "sin," as he called it, and asked their advice. By one vote--fourteen against thirteen--the stalwarts decided that he must retract and defy Napoleon, and a remarkable week followed. They drafted a new Concordat, and the Pope wrote a few lines each day, which were taken away in Pacca's pocket to the rooms of Cardinal Pignatelli, who lived outside. The Emperor's spies were defeated, and he had a last burst of rage when the new Concordat was put before him. But the Allies were closing round the doomed adventurer. As they approached, he offered Pius half the Papal States, and made other futile proposals. In January, 1814, Pius was conveyed to Savona: on March 17th he was informed that he was free. Napoleon had fallen.
Consalvi was dispatched to join in the counsels of the Allies, and Pacca, who took his place, set himself joyously to obliterate every trace of the Revolution and Napoleon. Monasteries were reopened, schools and administrative offices restored to the clergy, the Inquisition re-established, the Jews thrust back into the Ghetto: even these new French practices of lighting streets at night and vaccinating people were abolished. Above all things the Society of Jesus must be restored. Pius had in 1801 recognised the Society in Russia 1 and in 1804 he granted it canonical existence in the two Sicilies.The appalling experience of the last twenty-five years had now swept the last trace of
1 By the Brief Catholicæ Fidei, March 7, 1801.
liberalism out of the minds of Catholic monarchs, and on August 17, 1814, the Bull Sollicitudo Omnium restored the Society throughout the world; though Portugal rejected it and France dared not carry it out. A few months later Rome trembled anew, when it heard that Napoleon had left Elba and Murat marched across the Papal States to support him. Pius fled from Rome, rejecting all the overtures of Napoleon and Murat, but the Hundred Days were soon over and reaction reigned supreme. Pius never lost his quaint appreciation of Napoleon. Mme. Letitia, the brothers Lucien and Louis, and Fesch lived in honour at Rome, and, when the mother complained that the English were killing her son at St. Helena, Pius earnestly begged Consalvi to intercede for him. At Napoleon's death in 1821 he directed Fesch to conduct a memorial service.
Meantime Consalvi had won back the Papal States (except Avignon and Venaissin and a strip of Ferrara) at the Vienna Congress, and had returned to moderate the excesses of the reactionary Pacca. Consalvi had no liberal sentiments, but he had intelligence. At least half of the educated Italians were Freethinkers, and the secret society of the Carbonari spread over the country, ferociously combatted by the orthodox Sanfedisti. Italy entered on what the wits called the long struggle of the "cats" and the "dogs": a rife period for brigands. Consalvi, in spite of Pacca and the Zelanti, compromised. He retained many of the Napoleonic reforms, though, when the Spanish revolution of 1820 had its revolutionary echoes all over Italy, he drew nearer to the Holy Alliance for the bloody extirpation of liberalism. Rome prospered once more, and artists and princes flocked to it, but Pius VII. must have felt in his last years that the soil of Europe still heaved and shuddered.
The relations of the Quirinal 1 with other countries were restored in some measure, in face of stern opposition. A new Concordat with France was signed in 1817, but the Legislative Assembly refused to pass it and it did not come into force before the death of Pius. Spain set up a régime of truculent orthodoxy under the sanguinary rule of Ferdinand, and the Revolution of 1820 was crushed for him by the French. Austria made no new Concordat and retained much of the Febronian temper. Prussia signed a favourable Concordat in 1821. Bavaria came to an agreement in 1817, but the liberals defeated it; and Naples and Sardinia were ruled in the spirit of the Holy Alliance. William I. sought a Concordat for the Netherlands, though without result: England endeavoured to bring about an agreement in regard to the Irish bishops, which was defeated by the Irish: and the dioceses of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Charleston, Richmond, and Cincinnati were set up in America.
I do not enter into closer detail, as we recognize in all this work the hand of Consalvi rather than of Pius. The aged Pope continued to rejoice over every symptom, or apparent symptom, of religious recovery, and to miscalculate his age. Even the revolution of 1820 failed to shake orthodox security and led only to a more truculent persecution of the new spirit. Pius had now passed his eightieth year and could not be expected to see what neither Metternich nor Consalvi could see. In the summer of 1823 he fell into his last illness. As he sank, men noticed that he was murmuring " Savona, Fontainebleau," but he died praying quietly on August 17th. It was a strange fate that put Barnaba Luigi Chiara-
1 Almost the only mention of the Vatican at this period is that in 1807 Pius had it prepared for the reception of Napoleon!
monti on a throne in such an age. Whatever churchlore he may have had, he confronted the problems of his age with dim and feeble intelligence, and he was at times, when there was no Pacca or Consalvi to guide him, induced to make concessions which are not consistent with the fond title of "martyr-Pope." He was a good Bishop of Imola.
[ Continue to Ch.XIX ]