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the expediency of providing for the better ordering of the proceedings of the Conclaves, he omitted to attempt anything towards ameliorating that terrible evil and scandal to Home and its priestly government—the state of the city during the interregnum between one Pope's reign and that of his successor. "Let no man say that he has seen Eome," says the historian of a Conclave of this period, "who has not been there during a vacancy of the Holy See! The authority of the tribunals is then at an end, and every one is free to speak and to write and to say openly that which on all accounts at any other time it was necessary to keep concealed." The remark is very characteristic of Eome and its social atmosphere at that period; but it would have been well if the general unloosing of tongues and pens had been all the licence to which the interregnum gave occasion. Here is a passage from Girolamo Gigli, quoted by Cancellieri, who calls him a most accurate writer of the things which happened in his time, giving some account of the state of things during the interregnum between Gregory XV. and Urban VIII. It is abundantly confirmed in all respects by other writers. The interregnum in question, as has been seen, did not continue beyond the normal time. What must the state of Eome have been when the period of utter lawlessness was prolonged for months!
"Not a day passed," says Gigli, "without quarrels, homicides, and ambuscades. Many men and women were found killed in various parts of the city; many headless bodies were found, many, also headless, which had been thrown into the Tiber; many houses were broken into by night and sacked; doors were broken open; women were done violence to, some killed, and others carried off by violence; many young girls were dishonoured, forced, and taken away. All the officers of justice who made any attempt to take any man to prison were either killed or badly wounded and maimed. The governor of Trastevere was stabbed while making the round of his district; and other governors of districts were in great peril of their lives. But many of these disorders and audacious crimes were committed by soldiers whom different lords and princes kept at Eome for their own protection. Such was the case especially with the guards whom the Cardinal of Savoy had brought to Eome with him, by whom a large number of the officers of justice, who had taken one of their band into custody, were slain. In short, the evil went on increasing from day to day, till it was thought that Eome would be brought to a bad pass indeed if the Conclave were to last as long as there was much reason to fear it might!"
Gregory XV. had died in the Quirinal Palace on the evening of Saturday, the 8th of July, 1623; and on the morning of the 19th fifty-two cardinals, after hearing mass in St. Peter's, went into Conclave in the Vatican. Three other cardinals arrived in Eome subsequently, and entered Conclave, making the number fifty-five; but Cardinal Peretti having been obliged to quit it on account of illness, the number of those who took part in the election was eventually fifty-four. Thirty-six, therefore, was the required majority of two-thirds necessary to make an election.
It was expected that the Conclave would be a long and difficult one, for the three following reasons assigned by the narrator of the story of it. In the first place, it was thought that the new rules would have the effect of rendering it more difficult to get together the necessary majority. Private and personal opinions and interests, it was urged, would have greater sway, and authority less, in an election in which the votes were given secretly. And the expectation seems a reasonable one. In the next place, there was very pronounced enmity between the two prominent and natural leaders of the Sacred College. These were Cardinal Borghese, the nephew of Paul V., and Cardinal Ludovisi, the nephew and all-powerful prime minister of Gregory XV. The two men were so different in character and disposition, as well as divided by the circumstances of their position, that it was thought that there could be small hope of their acting together. The third reason for expecting a long Conclave was that there was a specially large number of cardinals who, from their age, influence, and character, might be deemed papabili, or who, at all events, were such in their own opinion. Yet the objections of one kind or another which existed in the case of almost every one of them were such as, it was prognosticated, must render the choice a very difficult one.
Although the two main factions into which this Conclave (the first held under the rules of Gregory XV., which strictly prohibit the formation of factions in the Conclave) was divided consisted of the "creatures" of Paul V., led by his nephew, the Cardinal Borghese, and the "creatures" of Gregory XV., led by his nephew, the Cardinal Ludovisi, those two categories by no means exhausted the whole College. Besides Sforza, -whom nobody thought of for the Papacy, there were still surviving three of the creations of Sixtus V., since whose day no less than seven Popes had reigned! These were Saoli, whom we have met with before, Delmonte, and Borromeo; and all three were considered among the probable candidates. Saoli was esteemed a politician of much insight and judgment, but not much of a churchman. His chance was thought also to be much injured by the unreasonable amount of partiality shown by him to a certain favourite of his, who is not more particularly mentioned. The circumstance is worth mentioning only as a specimen of the sort of matters that were held to influence the Sacred College in the elections. Further, Saoli was known to be on bad terms with the Aldobrandini family, still powerful in the College in the person of a younger Cardinal Ippolito, who had inherited a portion of the influence of his elder relative, the nephew of Clement VIII.
Delmonte was known as a man of licentious life; but more injurious to him, says the conclavist writer, than this reputation, was the fact that his family was connected with that of the French Bourbons. It was also known that his election would have given a great lift to the Medici, a consideration that would have ensured him the utmost opposition on the part of the Cardinal of Savoy. Delmonte laboured also under the disadvantage —no small one on that occasion—of being somewhat over-careful in money matters. Against Borromeo there was little or nothing to be said; but it was thought that his election would not have been agreeable to the Court of Spain, which had, on more than one occasion, in certain matters respecting which it had come into collision with him, as Archbishop of Milan, found him more uncompromising and less accommodating than it could have wished.
Among the surviving "creatures" of Clement VIII. there were also three deemed papabili, the Cardinals Bondini, Ginnasio, and Madruzzi. The first was generally held to be a man of great ability, much administrative experience, and brilliant natural talents. "And this reputation," remarks the conclavist very characteristically, "he had continually endeavoured to augment, very unwisely, not understanding that an exhibition of extraordinary merit, no less than demerit, is influential in removing the Papacy out of a man's grasp." Ho goes on, however, to enumerate a variety of causes of private enmity, which would have the effect of alienating this, that, and the other cardinal from him, which (though the enumeration of them is curious as affording glimpses of the manners of the time, and especially as indicating the minuteness and vast variety of the considerations which influenced the elections, and had to be thought of by the managers of them) would need too much space to be here developed in detail. Ginnasio, though deemed a creatura papabili—a possible Pope—was a man of less mark. He had against him a character for being fond of money; and it was thought that during his residence as legate in Spain he had rendered himself distasteful to the Spanish Court. Of Madruzzo of Trent, we are told that, though he strove to the utmost of his power