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And so ends that portion of our story which falls within the period that has been called the Middle Ages; if not quite accurately so according to the almanac, yet sufficiently so in respect to the animating spirit of the times, and the influence of that spirit on the Papal Conclaves, to justify the adoption of it as a story-shed dividing the old time from the new.
THE ZEALOUS POPES.
Remarks of Eanke on the Papal History of the Sixteenth Century.— Julius III.—TTia Character.—Conclave which elected him.—View of this Conclave by the Venetian Ambassador.—Delay in Assembling of the Conclaves after Paul IH.'s Death.—Reginald Pole.—Tho Expectation that he would be elected.—Was all but elected.—His own scruples.—His Election lost by them.—Anecdote of his behaviour in Conclave.—Cardinal di San Marcello, afterwards Pope as MarcellusII.—Determined to elect Pole, if possible.—The Emperor appealed to by Letter.—He vetoes Cardinal Salviati.—Election of Del Monte, as Julius HI.—His Character.
I Have given in a former chapter my reasons for drawing a line of division at the death of Paul III. Eanke says,* that the sixteenth century was especially marked by the spirit of religious creation. Even yet, in our own days, we are living on the struggles between various creeds which first broke out in that age. But if it is desired to fix with greater precision the epoch at which the separation of the creeds was consummated, we must not fix it at the first appearance of the reformers. For their opinions did not so soon succeed in establishing themselves; aud for a long time there was room to hope for an agreement on the controverted points. But
* Hist. Popes, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Book iii.
it was about the year 1552 that all attempts at conciliation were seen to have completely failed. A little farther on he remarks, that the most immediate obstacle which the Catholic Church had to contend against, in the effort to effect such a renovation of itself as should avail to stem the advancing tide of reformation, arose, at the very first, from the Popes themselves, from their character and their policy. And it is impossible to take even the most cursory view of the reign of Paul III. without arriving at the conviction that he, though not wholly opposed to the Council of Trent, and not by any means altogether without care for the spiritual interests of the Church (though he was far more prone and more fitted to consider its temporal affairs), must yet be counted among those Popes whose character and policy formed a terrible obstacle to any such renovation.
Nor can it be said that the successor of Paul III., Julius III., in any degree deserved a place in that series of Popes whom I have grouped together, as the subject of this division of my story, under the denomination of The Zealous Popes. In truth Giovanni Maria Del Monte, who became Pope as Julius III., was one of the last of the Popes who could be called "zealous" in any sense. And if I had been writing a compendium of the history of the Popes, with reference to that remarkable tendency to group themselves into series which I have before spoken of, I should certainly have assigned him his place as the last among the preceding group, though he cannot be said to have belonged to the series of sovereign-famUy-founding Popes. But inasmuch as our business is more especially with the Conclaves that