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to support his Eminence of Eouen. For hadst thou been sound of body, there is none whom we should have judged preferable to thee. But since it has pleased God that it should be thus, it must needs please us also. The Lord, who has promoted thee, will supply the defects of thy feet, and will not chastise us for our ignorance. We adopt thee as Pope; we elect thee as much as it lies with us to do, and we will serve thee faithfully."

Thus was completed the election of Pius II. Again, we may remark, after a fashion, if no purer or more elevated as regards motive, yet simpler, rougher, more direct and open than would have been the case had the actors in it lived a hundred years later. They were still boys—if rather naughty than noble boys—at play.


Death of Pius IT.—Decision to hold the Conclave in the Vatican.— Election of Paul U.—The Handsome Pope.—Election of Sixtus rV. —His Character.—Effect on the Church of the first menaces of Protestantism.— The all-devouring nepotism of Sixtus IV. — Peter Eiario, his Nephew.—Sixtus dies of a Broken Heart.—Epigrams on Sixtus.—Interregnum after the Death of Sixtus.—Conclave -which elected Innocent VOL—Anecdotes.

Pius II. died on the 14th* of August, 1464, at Ancona, whither he had gone to hasten the sailing of the fleet which he had assembled there for the war against the Turks. His entry into Ancona, together with the other main incidents of his life, may be seen very grandly represented on the walls of the Piccolomini Chapel, generally called the library, in the cathedral of Siena, by the frescoes of Pinturicchio. Some of the cardinals had accompanied him to Ancona, and they brought the Pope's body to Pome, and the Conclave took place duly on the appointed day. It is said by the historians that the Conclave was not held at Ancona because it was difficult for many of the older cardinals to go there. But I do not find that any notice was taken of the fact that, according to the Gregorian prescription, the Conclave for the election of the next Pope ought to have been held in the city where his predecessor died. There was some question between the cardinals as to

* Some authorities say the 7th of August.

.where the Conclave should be held; for a party among them alleged, that inasmuch as the castle of St. Angelo was held by a lieutenant of the Pope's nephew, •who was the governor of it, and this nephew was at a distance from Eome, and that they were not certain what his intentions might be, the Conclave could not be held with due independence and liberty in the immediate vicinity of the fortress. But those who had these scruples, having been assured of the perfect loyalty of the intentions of the governor, and another nephew of the Pope, a brother of the governor, and a cardinal, undertaking to answer for him, the Conclave was held at the Vatican, and the idea of holding it in the convent of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, which had been proposed, was abandoned.

The Conclave was a very short and uneventful one, the Venetian Pietro Barbo, a nephew of Eugenius IV., and great nephew of Gregory XII., by his mother Polissena Condulmieri, having been elected, as Paul II., almost without opposition, by accession, after the first scrutiny. One amusing incident followed, however, after the election, but before the Conclave broke up. Barbo, when asked, according to custom, by what name he would become Pope, said that he would be called Pormoso—a not unprecedented name, though the one precedent had to be sought as far back as the ninth century. Now it so happened that Pietro Barbo was a very remarkably handsome man,* and their Eminences,

* A contemporary chronicler says of him that, "not having succeeded -well in literary culture, ho determined to make his pontificato reputable by ornamental pomp, in •which his majestic presence and pre-eminently somewhat scandalised at the proposal, and taking into consideration the marked accordance of the name with the fact, demurred, declaring that such an appellation would savour too much of mundane and personal vanity. Pietro Barbo, perhaps a little ashamed of his choice of appellation, made no difficulty about giving it up, but was unlucky enough to choose a second name which was also objected to. He said, well then, he would be called Marco. But to this it was objected that a Venetian choosing such a name would seem imprudently to declare too strong a partiality for his own nation. So he submitted to take a commoner appellation, and was enthroned as Paul II.

But this splendid lay-figure of a Pope died after a reign of six years and ten months, at the comparatively early age of fifty-three, quite suddenly in the evening of a day in which he had celebrated a consistory with much pomp and in high spirits. It was the 18th of July, 1471. The suddenness of the Pope's death caused the number of cardinals in Eome to be smaller than it would otherwise probably have been, and only seventeen cardinals went into Conclave at the Vatican, on the tenth day after Paul's death, and almost immediately and unanimously, after an entirely uneventful Conclave, elected Francesco della Eovere Pope by the name of Sixtus rv.

But if this Conclave was short and its work easily accomplished, few Conclaves have ever done a deed of

tall and noble person helped him not a little, giving him, as it did, tho appearance of a new Aaron, venorable and reverend beyond that of any other Pontiff."

more far-reaching importance in the history of the Papacy.

Historians and antiquaries have been much troubled by doubts, which appear to be insoluble, as to the parentage of Francesco della Eovere, and the position in life of his parents. He is said, in all probability with good reason, to have been a poor fisher-boy, the son of parents following that occupation on the Ligurian coast at or near to Savona, on the Genoese riviera. But this, the sole point of similarity between him and that first predecessor of his, in whose seat he was so proud to sit, was indignantly repudiated by his biographers and chroniclers as soon as he had been invested with the fisherman's ring. It was then discovered that he was a scion of the old and noble house of della Eovere, and the illustrious bearers of that name were glad enough to enroll a Pope among the glories of their house. The matter in dispute has been the object of much learned research; but I do not know that any one of the supporters of either opinion has put forward the theory that both statements may well have been true, and are by no means incompatible.

Let his birth, however, have been what it may, it is certain that during his early youth and manhood he was a Franciscan friar, and the learning which enabled him to acquire that fame as a preacher and theologian, which obtained the Papacy as its reward, was obtained by convent teaching. And it cannot be denied that Sixtus, when he was made Pope, had the qualities, character, and antecedents which rendered him no unfitting object of the suffrages of his colleagues of the Sacred

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