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avert this threatened measure, and did succeed in causing it to be delayed for one day—a respite which he calculated on employing in putting his adversaries on a false scent. While still continuing every effort to seduce some one or two voices from the allied party, he caused it to be rumoured in the Conclave that he had abandoned the hope of electing San Clemente, and was now intent on electing Cardinal Tosco, another of his adherents. With a view to throw dust into the vigilant eyes around him, he induced the Cardinal San Marcello, who had not entered the Conclave in consequence of serious illness, to come in. One does not see how this could have been compatible with the strict prohibition of all intercourse with the world outside the Conclave. The conclavist, however, states the fact without observation; and we are left to suppose that the non-intercourse supposed to be assured by so many ostentatious precautions had become, like so many other pretensions and forms at Rome, a mere sham.
The sick man was known to be a very intimate friend of Cardinal Tosco; and Aldobrandino meant it to be supposed by everybody that San Marcello would never have thought of coming into the Conclave in his state were it not for the purpose of securing the election of his friend. Indeed, the poor invalid himself was duped by Aldobrandino, and supposed that it was really to elect Tosco that he was so urgently wanted. But if the sick man was deceived, the lynx-eyed watchfulness of the rest of the Conclave was not. Indeed, the study of these prize-matches of duplicity and cunning, in which the sciences of simulation and dissimulation were
carried to the most polished pitch of perfection, would lead us to the conclusion, that among masters of the craft the arts of defence were generally more than a match for those of attack. The unceasing efforts to deceive seem rarely to have succeeded. Unsleeping perpetual suspicion of every word spoken, and of every apparently insignificant detail of conduct, joined to life-long practice in the knowledge, estimate, and calculation of all the littlenesses, meannesses, selfishnesses, and hypocrisies of human, and more especially of priestly nature, sufficed almost invariably to guard against the strategy of a craft, every turn and double of which was familiar to the objects of it. The open dealing of an honest man might probably have thrown them out entirely.
The allies discovered that it was still San Clemente who was advancing to the Papacy under the mantle of Tosco, as the conclavist expresses it. They determined, therefore, on the next day to proceed, as they had threatened, to the open and avowed resolution of excluding him. This they accordingly did. And our conclavist's account of the meeting held for the purpose gives us a dramatic little peep at Conclave life.
The meeting was held in the cell of Cardinal Bevilacqua, one of the less notable members of the party. And their Eminences were just about to begin the business in hand when two of the youngest cardinals of Aldobrandino's party, Pio and San Cesareo, entered the cell, as if strolling in by chance to visit its occupant. They had been sent on this errand by Aldobrandino in the hope that their unwelcome presence might drive the allies assembled there to put off the
business they were engaged in, and thus gain a little time, which he might be able to put to profit. The young intruders began joking and talking on all sorts of irrelevant matters. But the veterans with whom they had to deal were not to be beaten in that manner. Visconti, Sforza, and Sfondrato turned away together for a moment, and having rapidly decided on their course returned to the general circle; when Visconti, addressing Pio and San Cesareo, said plainly that they were there for the purpose of formally agreeing to the exclusion of Cardinal San Clemente, and that if it pleased their Eminences to remain they would at all events serve as witnesses of the declaration about to be made. He then proceeded to declare, in his own name and in that of all their friends, that they bound themselves together not to elect San Clemente. He rehearsed the names of the allies agreeing in this resolution one by one. When he named Montalto, San Cesareo interrupted him, saying, “Nay, his Eminence of Montalto is present; let him speak for himself !” “No, no!” returned Montalto, smiling; “let Visconti be spokesman; I ratify all he says !” Cardinal Este, when Visconti came to his name, added, “I confirm it; and only wish that I had a dozen votes to make the exclusion more overwhelming." “And now," said Visconti, when he had finished, “we may go to bed!” “Ah, we may !” exclaimed Sfondrato, turning to leave the cell; "and your Eminences,” he added, looking towards Pio and San Cesareo with a laugh as he went, “may now go and elect a Pope, if you can!”
Continuation of the Conclave that elected Paul V. - Aldobrandino
determines to elect Cardinal Tosco.-Points for and against him. - Attempt to elect Tosco by “ Adoration.”-Montalto's Indecision. -Remarkable Scene in the Cell of Cardinal Acquaviva.-Conference between Aldobrandino and Montalto. — The Latter unwillingly agrees to the Election of Tosco, which appears all but certain.Suspense of Tosco.-Remarkable Step taken by Baronius.—He alone by the Ascendancy of his Character prevents the Election of Tosco.--Baronius himself nearly elected.—The “Sala Regia " in the Vatican. — Party Tactics thrown into Confusion.–Tosco's Disappointment.--Extraordinary Scene in the Sala Regia and the Sistine and Paoline Chapels.—Borghese at length proposed by common Accord, and elected as Paul V.
BITTER was Aldobrandino's anger and mortification when his two emissaries returned and made their report. He immediately collected all his own adherents, among whom might now be counted most of the French and Spanish supporters, to consider what was next to be done. The first measure determined on was to proceed to an exclusion of Cardinal Saoli, yet more solemn and formal than that pronounced by their adversaries against San Clemente—a step which would seem to have been prompted entirely by pique and anger, as the election of Saoli had already entirely failed, and there does not appear any indication that the allies had any thought of bringing him forward again. The meeting, however, to the number of twenty-two, decreed the exclusion; and then, having taken the precaution of causing the door and outside of the cell to be so guarded by their conclavists that there was no danger that a trick should be played them, such as they had played on the meeting for the exclusion of San Clemente, they bound themselves by an agreement to give their votes unanimously to any one of those then present whom Aldobrandino might designate. .
It was further determined that the whole strength of the party should be exerted to elect Cardinal Tosco, this time in earnest, and not as a blind to other designs. This was a candidature that seemed to offer much more chances of success than any other which had yet been tried. Tosco was not objected to by the representatives in the Conclave of either Spain or France. It was known that his election would be agreeable both to the Grand Duke of Tuscany and to the Duke of Savoy. He was, moreover, by no means objectionable to many of the party of the allies. The Cardinals D'Este and Sfondrato were both favourable to him; and even Montalto had promised the Grand Duke that he would give Tosco his support if he should be unable to elect any one of his own party. In short, says the conclavist, it seemed as if he had no opposing influences against him, save those of a few scrupulous consciences—especially Baronius and one or two of his friends—who objected to him that he was licentious in his conversation and negligent of his pastoral duties, so much so that, having been for many years Bishop of Tivoli, he had never once been near his see. But, as the conclavist remarks, such objections were nothing against so large an amount of favour.