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Conclave found itself. Joyeuse thereupon at once consented on behalf of the French interest; and it seemed at last—if, indeed, no such strange incident were to occur at the last moment as that which had pushed Tosco from the steps of the throne when he seemed already to have his foot on them—that the Pope was found.
And thus the history of Europe was made in that little fir-plank cell by those three old men, neither of whom was fitted by any quality of head or heart for the good and righteous government of a parish! And those Venetian interdicts—preposterous papal pretensions leading to the consolidation of a Gallican Church— Borghese palaces, Borghese gardens, Borghese galleries, the " great" Borghese family—so great as to repudiate with indignation the imputation of blood alliance with St. Catherine of Siena, all canonized saint as she is— Borghese "alliances" and princesses, with so much else—all loomed into potential existence, selected out of the many possibilities around them, as the things that were to be, to the exclusion of the thousand other combinations that were not to be, by the passions, jealousies, and low hopes, cupidities, and fears of those three narrow-hearted old men!
So, on the 10th of May, 1606, the Eoman world learned that it had a new Prince and Pope; the cardinals dispersed to set their minds to new politics, new hopes and fears, new schemes, speculations, and intrigues; all Europe began to canvass the likes and dislikes, dispositions, passions, and character of the obscure Curia lawyer who had mounted St. Peter's throne, as about the most interesting and important subject that could occupy the attention of sovereigns and their counsellors; and the crabbed, rigid, ignorant, pedantic, but in the main conscientious old lawyer himself came forth tiaraed Paul V., in his own honest belief by far, very far, the greatest man on earth.
THE PRINCE POPES.
Close of the Era of the Zealous Popes.—Characteristics of the Group which succeeded them.—Death of Paul V.—Alexander Ludovisi elected as Gregory XV. by the influence of Cardinal Borghese.— Ludovico Ludovisi, the Cardinal Nephew.—Begulations of Gregory XV. for the holding of the Conclave.—Father Theiner's Bemarks concerning them.—Interregnum, Description of.—Death of Gregory XV., and Entry of Cardinals into Conclave.—Conclave expected to be a long one, and why.—Parties in the Conclave.—Cardinal Saoli again.—Cardinal Delmonte.—Borromeo.—Cardinals Bandini, Oinnasio, and Madruzzi.—The Barberini Family.—Character of Maffeo Barberini who became Urban VIII.—Cardinals Gaetani, Sacrato, and San Severino.—Illness in the Conclave of Cardinal Borghese.—He refuses to leave the Conclave.—Barberini named in the impossibility of any other Election, and elected.—Terrible mortality of Cardinals and Conclavists.
The Borghese Pope, Paul V., with his reign of fifteen years, may be said to conclude the series of " the zealous Popes." Not that their successors can be accused of having been otherwise than anxious and vigilant for the power and greatness of the Church over which they ruled, or their more immediate successors for the extension of its territorial limits. But the Church, at least within its own bounds, was no longer a Church militant; and the result of this—invariable in the case of all churches—was that zeal for the faith, as a true faith,