ePub 版

THE VATICAN PALACE "Each cardinal in the Conclave is assigned a small apartment, consisting of a bedroom, dressing room, and sitting-room,

and is, figuratively speaking, imprisoned therein until a new Pope is elected be no decision that day, and, moving with the to fling itself against the colossal façade of · multitude, we crossed the Tiber and hurried St. Peter's to be returned increased a hun

home, planning the hour at which we would dredfold. Cries of " Viva Papa! Viva Papa!" arrive on the morrow.

filled the air, as with one accord the crowd Shortly after nine o'clock on the following surged toward the church of the fisherman. day we joined the waiting multitude that On all sides were heard discussions as to seemed to outnumber that of the previous whether the blessing would be given within day. Many individuals had brought camp- or without the church, for by this first stools, books, and luncheon, and one or two blessing of the populace the policy of the delightful old ladies had come with their new Pope would be decided ; if the blessing knitting, clearly signifying their intention of took place in the church, the new Pope spending the day. Newsboys ran here and showed thereby that he would follow the there calling war news of the most depress- example of his immediate predecessors and ing kind. The fountains flung their streams remain a voluntary prisoner within the Vatialoft in the air, and, where the drops of water can ; but should this significant blessing be caught the sun, two rainbows arched the given from the balcony in front of the basins like gayly painted handles to enormous church, it would show that the new Pontiff baskets.

would adopt the old way and make himself By eleven the square was a dense mass of free to come and go wherever and whensweltering humanity ; many late comers were ever he saw fit. forced to take positions where the smoke- The throng surged steadily toward the pipe from which issued the first signal of the entrance of San Pietro. The Mater, Patricia, election was not visible. By a few minutes and I surged with it. Had we so wished, after the hour the thin stream of black we were powerless to do otherwise, for we smoke that had daily issued from the pipe were literally lifted off our feet, and we were was turned, as if by a miracle, into a column willing victims. of purest white; simultaneously a tremendous As we came in from the garish light of midroar, like that of an angry sea, arose, and grew day, the church seemed dimly lighted. At the louder and louder, until one felt that it must west end the window of gold spilled its yellow be heard throughout the universe. It seemed light upon the mosaic floor, while before the


twisted pillars of the high altar's baldac- ance with the ritual, he receives the kiss of chino the eighty-seven tiny lights which burn peace from each one of the cardinals. unceasingly before the tomb of St. Peter At the pension table d'hôte on the day of twinkled like stars reflected in a placid stream. the election it was the all-absorbing topic; for Above all heads the vastness of the dome the time being even the war was forgotten. soared toward the sky, turning the multitude Our host, a charming Roman gentleman, had into a swarm of pygmies by its size.

the honor of knowing his Holiness quite weil At last, high upon a balcony, the newly when he was the Under-Secretary of State elected Pope appeared, hardly visible in the under Leo XIII. Benedict XV is an aristodim light within the church. The streams of crat by birth, our host informed us, and had applause that greeted him—streams of ap- been intended for the law. At the youthful plause that swept through the vast structure age of seventeen he went to his father and like a mighty hurricane, echoed and re- said, “I wish to become a priest."

"Well, echoed in the towering dome, thrown back my son," replied his father, half jestingly, upon us, their volume multiplied unbelievably “study law first; when you have graduated, -left no doubt of his welcome.

we can speak of theology.” From that day the One final

cry of “Viva Papa !" came from lad who was to be Benedict XV never menthe nave, a stupendous " Sh!" from the tioned his desire to join the priesthood until expectant crowd, then absolute quiet. From he was graduated, when, coming to his father, far above came the voice of Cardinal della his legal diploma in his hand, he said: “Here Volpe announcing that the Sacred College in is my diploma. As you see, I have graduConclave had elected Cardinal Giacoma della ated with honor. I am now going to join Chiesa to the Holy See, and that he had the priesthood.” Which he did. taken the name of Benedict XV. Deafen- The new Pope is a native of Genoa, where ing cheers greeted the announcement, and he was born November 21, 1854. After went in and on as if loth to cease. When finishing his school course he went to the quiet was more restored, the Papal University of Genoa, where he took his blessing was publicly given for the first degree in jurisprudence in 1875. A few time by the new Pope.

months later he entered the Capranica ColPatricia, who had “become acquainted," lege to study theology, took his degree there, as she termed it, with a perfectly good and was almost immediately appointed prelItalian, informed us that the blessing had ate and sent with Cardinal Rampolla to been previously bestowed on the assembled Madrid. He was appointed Secretary of cardinals. She had also gleaned other interest- State by Cardinal Rampolla, was summoned ing information. It appeared that each cardinal to Rome as copyist, then became Underin the Conclave is assigned a small apartment, Secretary of State. On the elevation of consisting of a bedroom, dressing-room, and Pope Pius X to the Holy See he was sitting-room, and is, figuratively speaking, replaced by Cardinal Merry del Val, and was imprisoned therein until a new Pope is made Archbishop of Bologna. He had been elected. He may talk with no one. Food a cardinal only a few months, having been and drink are passed to him through a small elected at the last consistory. “And," conopening. An election is not infrequently à cluded our host, who is not only an Italian long-drawn-out procedure; again it is quickly of the Italians, but a Catholic of the Cathoover ; but no cardinal knows who has been lics," he has none of the simplicity of his chosen until the cardinals are all assembled, predecessor. He is an aristocrat, a believer when the announcement is formally made to in the power of rulers, both temporal and the chosen one. “Do you accept ?” he is asked. spiritual. I know him so well that I shall "I accept,” he replies ; " it is the will of God." watch him with the keenest interest. But of He is then asked what name he has selected, one thing I am sure : under Benedict XV all and, after his choice has been made known, the simplicity of the Vatican under Pius X he blesses the assembled Conclave and an- will disappear. It will be interesting to see other Pope has been added to the long list of what he will do." men who have made and unmade so much The evening papers told of the arrival of of the history of the civilized world. As soon Cardinal Gibbons, of Baltimore, and Cardinal as the election is proclaimed the new Pope, O'Connell, of Boston. The papers went on robed in pontifical vestments, mounts the to say that these two princes of the Church throne in the Sistine Chapel, where, in accord- had landed, in Italy at the same time. The

[ocr errors]

first named came on to the Eternal City by train, arriving in time for the Papal benediction, but too late to take part in the Conclave. The Bostonian left for Rome by motor, thinking thereby to save time and trouble, but the god of machines and the spirit of the road ordained otherwise, and Cardinal O'Connell arrived to find everything over except the coronation. Behold,” concluded the Italian newspapers," the triumph of simplicity!"

“ The Mater was greatly elated to learn of the arrival of our Cardinal, for on him she staked her chances of being present at the coronation. All our besiegings of the American College had been resultless; we had got no farther than the flower-bedecked court with its gurgling fountain and its far from gurgling custodian. Here we had met with a discouraging series of negatives.

“ Are there any invitations to the coronation ?" we asked by way of overture.

“No," was the brief reply of the doorkeeper.

“Will there be any ?” inquired the Mater. "No," said the man, closing the door.

" Are visitors to be admitted ?" I hastened to ask, thrusting my foot in the diminishing opening

"No," again said the doorkeeper.

" Will Cardinal Gibbons be able to procure invitations for us?" inquired Patricia, in the tone she usually reserves for eligible young

upstairs to a spacious, softly lighted salon, its wainscoted walls and vaulted ceiling but dimly seen in the light that percolated through the drawn blinds. I had not waited long when Cardinal Gibbons's secretary appeared, a handsome young man with a winning smile and a frank, manly American way about him. In answer to my request, he said that as yet they had received no invitations, but expected some when the Cardinal returned from the Vatican, which would not be until late, but he would give him my card at once and see what could be done.

Invitations were to be very limited, he added; but would I come back at six or seven o'clock ? I might find invitations awaiting me. And, with a hearty hand-shake that cheered me far more than the words, I departed. At the luncheon table Patricia and I acknowledged defeat, and every one said or looked “I told you so." But the Mater was still optimistic. At seven I went to find the coveted invitations awaiting me. Dinner that night was a festa for us. The Mater went so far as to order a bottle of Orvieto to celebrate her triumph, to say nothing of the humbling of all the other table d'hôters.

The next day, Sunday, the morning of the coronation, dawned warm and clear. We partook of our Continental breakfast on the terrace overlooking the Eternal City.

The Mater and Patricia appeared in black semi-evening gowns with strange, Spanishlooking scarfs of black lace draped over their heads. They distinctly suggested a somber sort of cozy corner, but the effect was charming, nevertheless. Patricia was rather suggestive of masked balls and moonlit nights in the Alhambra ; but somehow the Mater's costume seemed not at all bizarre; the effect of the black scarf against her gray hair was distinctive and charming. It mattered not whether the costume was becoming or the reverse, for one had had to wear it or stay at home, and rather than have missed the coronation the Mater would have sallied forth in a ballet skirt and pink stockings. As for myself, I wore evening clothes and white tie, and felt like a waiter in a cheap café.

Our cab had been ordered for half-past eight, but, being a Roman cab, it came a quarter of an hour earlier and waited, with the taxi ticking expensively. By half-past eight we were ready to start, and as I told the cocchiere to drive to the Bronze Doors of the Vatican—the entrance we were instructed



No,” said the man, a shade more pleasantly.

“ Shall we return later and see if there are any invitations ?" I asked, principally for the pleasure of hearing him reiterate that discouraging "No."

"No," said the doorkeeper. I withdrew my foot.

"Is there anything else you could say «No'to?" asked the Mater, politely, preparing to embark in a waiting cab.

No," answered the doorkeeper, without the vestige of a smile. And then he closed the door.

The evening papers announced where Cardinal Gibbons might be found; he was established in a huge building in the Street of the Four Fountains, near the Via Nazionale, and there I went, card in hand. This was Saturday morning, and the coronation had been set for the morrow, Sunday, at half after nine in the morning. From the busy street I passed into a cool courtyard, beautiful with trees, plants, and flowers, and conducted





to use—he seemed greatly impressed and coronation. At one end were four long asked if we were going to the coronation of marble steps ; at the base of these rested the the new Pope. I answered in the affirma- sedia gestatoria, the chair in which the Pope tive, and off we started at a breakneck speed, is borne high above the throng ; in letters of down through the Piazza di Spagna, past the gold across the back was the name of Leo flower-covered Spanish Stairs, along the XIII, the well-beloved. Against the wall Tiber, where the new quays make Rome stood the immense candles in holders of gold almost Parisian, across the Bridge of Sant' and the two lofty triumphal feather fans Angelo, past Hadrian's Tomb, where our which are carried on high by bearers attired modest taxicab joined an interminable line of in red tunics embroidered with silk-fans of other cabs, private carriages, and motors the exact pattern and design of those seen in stretching toward St. Peter's as far as the frescoes of pre-Christian periods. eye could reach.

From where the sedia gestatoria rested on Patricia and the Mater commented on the a silk rug a straight aisle led toward the absence of the bright blues, greens,

and Sistine Chapel, passing beneath the delightoranges of the Italian uniforms, but no mem- fully pagan cupids holding aloft a baldacchino ber of the Italian army is permitted to enter of marble. This aisle was outlined with the Vatican in uniform, for since the separa- benches, before which the Papal Guard stood tion of Church and State the Vatican has in an almost solid row as far as the eye never in any way acknowledged the Italian

could see. On either side the good-natured Government. When this Government came crowd moved here and there, a laughing, into power, it offered the Papacy 2,750,000 cheery crowd of men and women in black lire ($550,000) per annum, which has never and white ; many of the men, tall, erect, been accepted; the accumulation lapses to the handsome, were officers in the Italian army, Government every five years, and cannot who may not wear their uniforms, nor even a afterwards be recovered.

national medal, in the Papal territory. Even at this early hour the Piazza of St. These black and white costumes made an Peter's was thronged, and as our carriage effective background for the various Papal moved slowly along the snakelike line that officers and men, who moved to and fro, coiled toward Bernini's right-hand colonnade imparting to the ceremony a color that we we seemed to be floating through a sea of do not have at home; the whole pontifical upturned faces, so thick were the people family-assistant prelates, the patriarchs, the massed about our carriage wheels. At last archbishops, and the bishops—with vestments the colonnade was reached. Here a line of and miters of gold; the Camerieri Segreti carabiniere kept back the crowd, but these Partecipanti in violet silk, the Camerieri Government policemen may not cross the Partecipanti of the cape and the sword in threshold of the Vatican ; there the Papal black velvet Renaissance costumes, with ruffs gendarmes have full sway.

and golden chains; the whole innumerable With this well-dressed, chattering Italian ecclesiastical suite, the chaplains, the prelates throng we passed through the Bronze Doors, of every class and degree; the gendarmes, where we and our invitations were closely with their enormous busbies ; the Palatine inspected by a tall Swiss Guard, in his queerly Guards in blue trousers and black tunics ; jumbled uniform of yellow, black, and red, the Swiss Guards uniformed in red, yellow, unchanged since the time of Michael Angelo, and black, with breastplates of silver ; and whose design they are.

We then mounted the renowned Noble Guards, superb in their by the Scala Regia, that famous and really high boots, white pigskins, scarlet tunics, beautiful stairway designed by the Bernini of gold laces and helmets. What a gorgeous the colonnades and built by Pope Urban VIII. sight it was ! We rushed through the Sala Regia, built The twilight of the Sistine Chapel lay beduring the reign of Paul III by Antonio di yond, clearly visible, but the dense crowd Sangallo, and used as a hall of audience for blocked the way. The Mater, Patricia, and Ambassadors. We had but a glance at I were ushered to seats on the long line of Vasari's famous frescoes, which include that of benches along which the Pope and his suite “The Return of Gregory XI from Avignon.”

Patricia had been improving her The Sala Ducale was a mass of humanity, time by making eyes at a tall, good-looking for through this long, rather ornate room Noble Guard—she denied the accusation, his Holiness would pass on his way to his but both the Mater and I saw her-and it

must pass.


« 上一頁繼續 »