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man for a Pope; and that the cardinals must have been acting under some pressure, or at all events some hallucination, in electing him. The writer, indeed, of the impartial and passionless narrative which I have followed evidently is much of this opinion. He tells us that the cardinals who rebelled against the Pope, and were the authors of the schism, were tired of Urban's * morality; and that his too great severity, rather than any flaw in his title to the Papacy, caused the cardinals who rebelled against him to do so. And a little further on he tells us that it was generally thought that he was himself the cause of all the persecution he suffered, because he was unduly severe, † and that out of his own head, and had more confidence in himself than in others.
Ugly symptoms, in fact, of rebellion and disaffection exhibited themselves immediately after this solemn monition. The Bishop of Arles, who had been Chamberlain to Gregory XI., and had the custody of all the jewels belonging to the papal treasury, went off with them to Anagni, carrying with him also the tiara, with which Urban and many of the Popes, his predecessors, had been crowned. One Peter, the commandant of the Castle of St. Angelo, at the instigation of another of the French cardinals, refused to render up possession of the fortress. The Cardinal of St. Eustace, after having treacherously I persuaded the Pope to give a large sum of money to a company of Breton free-lances, induced
• “Attediati moribus Urbani.”
†“Propterea quod homo ultra quam decebat severus erat, et sui capitis, et sibi magis quam cæteris credens."
I “Per suas virtutes, et subtiles tractatus, ac deceptoria verba, et falsas ac dolosas inductiones."
them as soon as ever they had received the money to turn their arms against the Pope. They too, of course, were desirous of having a French Pope, and were easily made to believe that Urban had not been duly elected. In a word, things were beginning to look very ugly. And at the end of June the Pope seems to have been guilty of a mistake and an imprudence. The cardinals who were hostile to him, making a pretext of the heat in Rome, asked permission to retire to Anagni, which Urban, “wishing to please them,” conceded, and at the same time forgetting what he had so recently said about living and dying in Rome, or, perhaps, coerced by fear, he himself went to Tivoli.
Thus two hostile camps were formed; and very shortly afterwards the disaffected cardinals, breaking into open and avowed schism, declared the election of Urban to have been ab initio void, on the ground that the Conclave had not been held in a safe place, and that the electors had acted under the influence* of fear. And possibly the reader of the foregoing pages may be under the impression that such a statement was not altogether unwarranted by the facts of the case. The northern cardinals, who were not to the manner born, may not have understood the playful ways of the Roman populace, or comprehended that when the crowd in the piazza were bawling Papa Romano volemo, they were only waiting to offer their congratulations to the new Pope by losing no time in wrecking his house. But in reply to all this it must be remembered that the election was completed before the irruption of the populace. Besides, there was the still more conclusive fact of the perfect adhesion of the cardinals to their choice during three months. The rebels, however, proceeded to hold a Conclave, which professed to elect the Cardinal Robert of Geneva Pope, by the name of Clement VII., “but in truth,” says the conclavist, “rather erected an idol, and called him so.”
• “Quia per impressionem, et quod electio non fuit celebrata in loco
And thus began the great schism, which lasted thirtynine years, and was only closed by the irregular election of an undisputed Pontiff in the person of Martin V., by the authority of the Council of Constance, in 1417.
This election, or pretended election, of an Antipope divided all Europe, and was the cause of a long and sad series of evils, as those who engaged in it must have known that it would be. All Italy (except the Count of Fondi and the prefect of the city, who had from the first joined the rebel cardinals in their conspiracy against Urban), all Germany, all England, and Portugal, maintained their allegiance to Urban. France and Spain adhered to the Antipope. “And thus,” says the Conclavist, “followed difficulties and very many errors among Christian people. And what one Pope bound the other loosed. And hence arose legal processes, and deprivations, and anathematizations, to the great disgrace of the Church and of Christendom. From the same cause it came to pass that the same benefice often was given to two persons, and the matter was frequently settled by force of arms, whence followed the deaths of many men, the depopulation of the country, and the destruction of many. Hence, too, followed the great war between the Duke of Burgundy and him of Liege, in which, as it is said, thirty thousand men perished.”
The very important results that followed from the circumstances of this Conclave, and the singularity of them, have seemed to afford a reason for relating the details of it at greater length than can be afforded to the story of many of them. But the history of this conclave of Urban VI., and of the terrible results of it, will be worth remembering when we come to the description of the minute and elaborate precautions and ceremonies, the main object of which has been to render any, even the smallest, irregularity in the action of the Conclaves impossible.
The whole tone and style of the proceedings which have been related contrasts amusingly with the more staid and solemn, but not a whit more sincere or honest, doings of the Conclaves of later times. And there is a flavour of masterful directness and reckless violence mingled with a sort of naïve semi-barbarian simplicity, which, as characteristic of the times, has suggested the heading of this book of my story.
Conclaves during the Period of the Schism. —Council of Pisa.-Abnor
mal and Irregular State of Things in the Church.—Council of Constance.-Decrees which put an end to the Schism, by the Election of Martin V.-Difficulties arising from the Action of the Council of Constance.-Their Effect as regarding Modern Theories of Infallibility.
The notices that have been preserved of the Conclaves which elected the Popes during the period of the schism
—from the election of Urban VI., that is to say, in 1378, to that of Martin V., in 1417—contribute nothing of special interest to a history of the Conclaves. The story of the Church, indeed, during those disastrous years is full enough of interest. But it would require the entirety of a volume as large as the present to give a detailed and intelligible account of the struggles, plottings, and counter-plottings, of the rival Popes, of whom there were at one time three in the field. For the Council of Pisa, 1409 (the legitimacy of which is itself disputed, on the ground that no Pope summoned or presided over it), deposed, or pretended to depose, both Gregory XII. and the Antipope, Benedict XIII., and elected Alexander V. But neither Gregory nor Benedict would consider themselves to be deposed, though the former renewed the offer which he had before made as regarded Benedict, to resign the Papacy if both his rivals would do the