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other process of voting than that of sudden adoration— a scheme made, as if purposely, for the facilitation of elections made by surprise, and without wisdom or consideration. In this instance the cardinals were frightened at what they had done the instant the act was completed! And well they might be! For Pius Y. was the man who, when the crop of condemnations by the Inquisition was small in any district, immediately drew the conclusion, not that the faith was pure and heresy rare in those parts, but that the inquisitors had been slack in doing their duty!
Borromeo had in all probability, as the conclavist who narrates the story of the Conclave plainly intimates, mismanaged the election in his inexperience of such matters. It seems probable that had he reversed the order of his tactics, and made his first proposal in favour of the Cardinal Alessandrino, reserving his efforts in favour of Moroni till the results of the struggle in the Conclave should have demonstrated the impossibility of arriving at any election without a cordial agreement between him and Farnese, Moroni might have been Pope, for Farnese had no special objection to him.
Character and Disposition of Ugo Boncompagno is dominated by the Spirit of the Age.—Felice Peretti, Sixtus V.—Saying attributed to him.—Urban VII.—Sfondrato, Gregory XIV.—His Character and Practices.—Fachinetti, Innocent IX.—Aldobrandino, Clement Viil. —His Character.—Characteristics of the Conclaves that had elected these Popes.—Camillo Borghese, Paul V.—Conclave which elected him. —Principal Parties in it.—Their relative Strength, and the Manner in which it operated.—Attempt to elect Cardinal Saoli.— Anxiety of Aldobrandino's Party. — First Scrutiny. — Cardinal Bellarmine.—Cardinals Baronius and Borromeo.—Motives for putting forward Bellarmine.—Negotiation between Baronius and Aldobrandino.—Cardinal Montalto at Supper.—Cardinal Camerino put forward, and dropped.—Cardinal San Clemente put forward. —Threatened "Esclusiva."—Cardinal Tosco put forward.—Meeting of Cardinals for the exclusion of San Clemente.
Ugo Boncompagno, of Bologna, succeeded Pius V. as Gregory XIII., after the latter had reigned six years, in 1572. He was a man diametrically opposed in character and disposition to the ascetic Pius, his immediate predecessor, and much of the same nature as the penultimate Pope Pius IV. Though a good and conscientiously religious man, he loved life and its enjoyments, and was of a cheerful disposition. But, as Eanke well remarks, Gregory was a very notable instance of the power over individuals of the dominant spirit of an epoch. An hundred years earlier he would have lived and ruled after the fashion of an Innocent VIIL As it was, he was subject to the tendencies of the time; his mind was dominated by the ascetic atmosphere of the men about him—the Jesuits, the Theatines, and such men as Frumento, Cornaglia, Tolet, and Contavell; and the jovial-tempered Gregory takes his place deservedly in the list of the "zealous Popes." Those who followed him did less violence to their natural dispositions in classing themselves in the same category.
The celebrated swineherd, who became Sixtus V.— that Felice Peretti, whose reply to some blockhead reproaching him with his humble origin, "Yes, but if you had ever been a swineherd, you would have been one still!" has been preserved—had a more marked character of his own—one of those, indeed, which unmistakably stamps its possessor as a ruler of men. He was very far from being a mere monastic ascetic or narrow-minded bigot; but he, too, very incontestably deserves a place in the group of zealous Popes.
Urban VII. (Giambattista Castagna) was a man more of the kind of Pius Y., without his force of character. But he reigned only thirteen days. The Conclave which elected him and that from which his successor, the Cardinal Sfondrato, came forth as Gregory XIV., may be considered to have been one and the same assembly. Sfondrato was also, as the Popes of this period seem to have almost all been by an invincible law, a pious and fanatic devotee. He was a man who fasted twice a week, celebrated mass every day, constantly went through the offices in his breviary on his knees, and then spent an hour with his favourite author, St. Bernard. But Gregory XIV. reigned only ten months; and the Conclave had to begin their work, which had been difficult enough, over again where they had left it; and again to little purpose, for Giannantonio Fachinetti, who was elected as Innocent IX., reigned only two months. When his successor, the Florentine Ippolito Aldobrandino, ascended the throne as Clement VIII. in 1592, the era of the zealous Popes had not yet closed, and Clement was such, not only as a bishop but as a sovereign. He was a man of great abilities, of great power of work, and thoroughly conscientious. His reign of thirteen years was eminently useful to all the best interests of the Church.
The characteristics of all these Conclaves had been very much alike. The main influence which had shaped and ruled them had been the struggle between the Spanish and the French interests, varied, of course, by a multiplicity of considerations arising out of mere private and personal sympathies and antipathies. In all these rapidly recurring struggles the Spanish influence had been victorious. The spirit of Philip II., and that which he had succeeded in impressing on the Spanish people, were more in conformity with those tendencies which recent ecclesiastical events had imparted to the Church than were the ideas and tendencies prevailing in France.
The often observed tendency of a long Papacy to bring about the election of a Pope antagonistic to his predecessor resumed its influence after the close of the reign of Clement; and the French interest was successful in procuring the election of the Florentine Cardinal de' Medici as Leo XI.; but he reigned only twenty-seven days, and the same men had to return to the Conclave to begin a second struggle.
The main features of all these Conclaves were, as has been observed, very similar; and the limits assigned to the present volume must have been very considerably extended for it to have been possible to give the reader as detailed an account of each of them as has been attempted in the case of the first Popes of the zealous group; while at the same time it would have been difficult to interest him in the ever-recurring plots, dissimulations, and manoeuvres which make the staple of the history of all of them. But the Conclave which elected Leo's successor, Camillo Borghese, as Paul V., was a curious and remarkable one, a detailed account of which will serve well as a specimen of the way in which the business of an election was transacted in the early days of what may be called modem times— in the period of Church earnestness which intervened between the audacious scandals and overt heathenism of the Italian renaissance time, and the sleepy times of comfortable easy-going orthodoxy and decorous propriety which succeeded.
Such a detailed account of the Conclave which elected Camillo Borghese I have already written. And as on reading what I then wrote I do not find that I can better it, though doubtless it might be easily bettered, I may as well borrow the passage from the volume entitled "Paul the Pope and Paul the Friar," in which it first appeared.
On the 11th of May, 1605, fifty-nine cardinals went into Conclave. They were divided into no less than four principal parties. The strongest seemed to be that of Cardinal Aldobrandino, the nephew of the last