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come to offer their congratulations. Other and more formal visiting will follow in due time; but these visite di calore are supposed to represent the enthusiastic rush of friends breathless with delight at the unexpected news. On this occasion the new cardinal is to have a black skull-cap on his head, which he is not to take off to anybody, and he is to hold a somewhat larger black cap in his hand the while. The article which I have called a skull-cap is the berettina. The berretta, which the cardinal holds in his hand, is the squarecornered cap which the clergy use in church. The berretta of a cardinal is of silk for the summer and of cloth for the winter, save in the case of members of the monastic orders, who wear merino in the summer. And if the new dignitary be a canon regular, or a member of any of the monastic orders, his cassock, instead of being purple, must be of the colour of the dress of his order. To those of the newly-created cardinals who are not in Rome, the purple berretta is sent by the hands of a papal ablegate, but the purple berettina by those of one of the Pope's Noble Guard. In some cases where it has been intended to show special favour and distinction, the Hat itself has been sent to cardinals created at a distance from Rome. But this has been very rarely done.
Paul II. (ob. 1471) was the first Pope who granted to the cardinals the use of the purple, or rather scarlet, cap. Bonanni, in the 106th chapter (!) of his learned work on the cardinal’s berretta says this colour reminds the cardinal not only of his superior dignity, but of the martyrdom for which he must be ever prepared for the
defence of the Church! A somewhat better known author, Petrarch, in a letter to the Bishop of Sabina, * speaks of certain cardinals who, "being not only mortal, but well-nigh moribund, are rendered oblivious of their mortality by a little bit of red cloth!”
For a long time the members of the monastic orders were spared this danger, and used caps of the same colour as their cassocks, which they still wear of the colour proper to their order. Gregory XIV. (ob. 1591), however, being moved thereto by the entreaties of Cardinal Bonelli, a Dominican, nephew of Pius V., thought seriously of granting the red cap to the cardinals of the monastic orders, and ordered the “ Congregation of Rites” to examine the question. Five cardinals constituted the congregation, of whom the three oldest reported in favour of the measure. As they were not unanimous, however, on the question, Gregory thought it desirable to take the opinion of the entire College of Cardinals on the point; and a majority of three-quarters of the College being in favour of the innovation, the monastic cardinals got their red caps, and have worn them ever since. Accordingly, Gregory summoned the four monastic cardinals, who at that time belonged to the Sacred College, to the Quirinal, on the 19th of June, 1591, and there, having caused four red caps to be brought on a silver salver, placed them on the heads of the four cardinals kneeling before him without more ado (senza ultra ceremonia); and thus, with their red caps on their heads, they appeared at the mass celebrated that morning at the Church of the Apostles,
* Lib. xv. Epist. 4.
with the applause, says the special historian* of this important concession, of the whole court, no less than if there had been a creation of new cardinals. The importance of this event at Rome maybe measured by the fact that the volume above cited by no means contains the whole literature of the subject. Father Tommaso Gonziani published a letter on the same topic addressed to the Cardinal Alessandrino. There appeared also in 1592, and again in a second edition in 1606, a book “De Bireto rubro, dando S.R.E. Cardinalibus regularibus, responsa prudentum divini, humanique juris, ab Antonia Scappo, in Romana Curia advocato collecta, uno etiam addito ejus responso.” We have also, “Responsum divini humanique juris consultorum de Bireto coccineo Illustriss, S.R.E. Card. regularibus a Pontifice conferendo. Rome, 1606.” Indeed, it was time that this matter should be satisfactorily settled. For already a Franciscan friar, Cardinal of Aracoeli, had been so discontented with the black cap, given him by Paul IV. (ob. 1559), that, after wearing it a year, he had sadly scandalized all Rome by audaciously assuming a red one on no authority but his own, “it being found impossible to make him understand that he ought not to wear red as well as the others”! “For how otherwise," said this Franciscan friar, “should he be saved from coming into contact with the populace ?"
To return to the ceremonial of the day on which the new cardinals have been proclaimed. Half an hour before the time named for their arrival at the Papal palace to receive the berretta, each cardinal sends a carriage—not his state carriage but a more ordinary * Catena, “Discorso della berretta rossa di darsi ai Cardinali religiosi.”
one—with two chaplains and two chamberlains in it to the palace. One of the chamberlains carries wrapped in a purple cloth garnished with a golden fringe the rochet, the band, and the violet-coloured cape, and ordinary episcopal hat of his master. He consigns all these things to the master of ceremonies of the Sacred Palace, who places them in a chamber of the apartment of the cardinal nephew. All these dependents of the new cardinals then wait in the first ante-chamber, and the eldest among them places himself near the door in readiness to open the door of his master's carriage on his arrival. Why rehearse all this trash ? Because at Rome, as Rome was, all these matters were deemed worthy of being minutely and irrevocably settled and appointed; and they are described authoritatively in the learned volumes of those whose mastery of the intricate and complex science of the etiquette of the Pontifical Court made them highly necessary specialists in their own branch of learning. A whole crowd of such facts are needed to give a nineteenth-century Englishman some notion of the social state and peculiarities of the old Papal Rome. And all these minute little services and duties were privileges carrying with them advantages in one kind or another. And the distribution of these privileges and the possibility of sharing in these advantages were matters that came home in one shape or another to half the homes in Rome, in every social class, and formed topics of conversation and interest in that strange little world so curiously shut out from all the subjects that were interesting the other big world outside! The Princess's tirewoman,
while dressing her mistress's hair, would seek to induce her to move her brother the Cardinal to appoint as his senior chamberlain some relative, or more probably some client who had feed the waiting-woman for her advocacy. Some family poor to the extent of all but wanting bread, but respectable by virtue of some family connection with somebody who held some post or office in the retinue or household of some prelate, would speculate on the contingent advantages that might arise to them through certain promotion that might fall to the lot of uncle Beppo, or cousin Giuseppe, Monsignore's intendente di casa, in case Monsignore should be raised to the purple. One gossip calls upon another in quest of a favour. « Cara mia, I should so like to get a look at the new cardinals as they come for their berrette ! Now you know your husband's brother is decano in the family of his Eminence of San Pietro in Vincula that is to be. He will of course be at the carriage door at the Quirinal. If you could get him to let me have a little place in a corner-eh?” These things are patronage, and are valued, and make safe topics of interest and talk for a people!
Well! At the appointed hour the new dignitaries arrive at the palace in their state carriages, accompanied each by his master of the chambers and cupbearer, “or gentleman.” The carriage must have its blinds down, and be preceded by one single servant “without umbrella” (the umbrella which always precedes a prelate on state occasions), and all the other servants of the household (men of course) follow the carriage, except the “sub-dean” (i.e. the servant second in