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sortie from the Sistine for the purpose of getting his two adherents, Pinelli and Ascoli, out of the Paoline Chapel. But he fails in his attempt, as these two cardinals are detained, much against their will as it would seem, in the hostile camp.
All the rest of that day was occupied in negotiations on a variety of propositions. The leaders of parties and men of most weight on either side are continually passing to and fro from one chapel to the other, trying new combinations, and gradually limiting their pretensions on either side to making sure of the exclusion of those especially obnoxious to them. But every fresh proposal finds some knot or other of cardinals sufficiently strong to secure its rejection.
There was not one of the elder cardinals, remarks the conclavist, who had not for awhile conceived hopes of being elected. But when night overtook the jaded but still busy Conclave in the two chapels, they appeared to be as far from the election of a Pope as ever. Yet both parties seemed determined not to quit their present position before the work was done.
Both the chiefs were afraid that, if they allowed their camp to break up and disperse for the night, some fresh scheme or combination would be hatched before the morning. At present, though neither party could accomplish anything, at least each held the other in check. Some of the older and more infirm cardinals retired to their cells, leaving directions that they should be called instantly should any change in the condition of things take place. Beds and supper were brought into the chapels for many of the others.
Those to whom the Sistine Chapel is familiar as it appears at the pontifical service, when it is the theatre of all the magnificent pomp of the Eoman Church, with its purple dignitaries ranged in decorous order along its sides, may amuse themselves with fancying the picture presented by it, when the same holy, but cross, hungry, weary, bothered, and well-nigh exhausted seniors were picnicking and bivouacking on its pavement—here a knot of three or four snatching a makeshift supper; there a tired eminence snoring on a makeshift pallet; here a trio of the staunchest in earnest whispered talk; and there again a portly dignitary sleepily doffing his purple and scarlet in front of the altar for a few hours' rest at its foot.
At last Aldobrandino and Montalto came once again to a conference, and agreed that, as all combinations for the election of any one of the older cardinals had failed, and there appeared no hope of uniting the suffrages of the Conclave on any one of them, the only solution was to look among the younger men. Several of these were suggested, discussed between them, and for one reason or another rejected. At last Borghese was named; and both the rival chiefs agreed that there seemed to be no objection to him. He was a member of Aldobrandino's party, the "creature" of Clement VIII., personally a friend of Montalto, and was known to be acceptable to the Spanish party. It only remained to ascertain whether the French cardinals would make any strong opposition to his election; for Montalto had, in the course of the various tentatives that followed the breaking up of the regular party divisions at the time of the
proposal of Baronius, become so bound up with Joyeuse by promises and agreements, that he felt himself bound to make his acceptance of Borghese contingent on the consent of the French party.
Cardinal Joyeuse was one of the few who, tired out with the day's work, had left the battle-field of the two chapels and the Sala Eegia, and gone to his cell. Aldobrandino accordingly hurried off to find him there; and meeting on his way Borghese, who was returning to the Paoline Chapel after having been to snatch a morsel of supper in his cell, told him that his present errand was to make him Pope, and conjured him to say no word of the matter till his return. Borghese, who probably put no great faith in the success of any such scheme, even supposing Aldobrandino was sincere in the statement that he intended to attempt it, composedly thanked him for his good will and passed on.
Aldobrandino was, in truth, earnest enough in the matter. It appeared his last chance of making one of his own party Pope. He fell in with Joyeuse in his cell; and finding him, though not altogether indisposed to Borghese, rather cold upon the matter, actually flung himself on his knees before him to entreat his consent. Joyeuse replied that he must first consult Montalto, and at that moment the latter entered the cell. Aldobrandino sprang to his feet, not a little ashamed, says the conclavist, at having been caught in such an attitude by his rival leader in the Sacred College. Montalto, however, joined his representations in favour of Borghese, as bis election seemed to offer the least objectionable issue from the difficulties in which the Conclave found itself. Joycuse thereupon at once consented on behalf of the French interest; and it seemed at last—if, indeed, no such strange incident were to occur at the last moment as that which had pushed Tosco from the steps of the throne when he seemed already to have his foot on them—that the Pope was found.
And thus the history of Europe was made in that little fir-plank cell by those three old men, neither of whom was fitted by any quality of head or heart for the good and righteous government of a parish! And those Venetian interdicts—.preposterous papal pretensions leading to the consolidation of a Gallican Church— Borghese palaces, Borghese gardens, Borghese galleries, the " great" Borghese family—so great as to repudiate with indignation the imputation of blood alliance with St. Catherine of Siena, all canonized saint as she is— Borghese "alliances" and princesses, with so much else—all loomed into potential existence, selected out of the many possibilities around them, as the things that were to be, to the exclusion of the thousand other combinations that were not to be, by the passions, jealousies, and low hopes, cupidities, and fears of those three narrow-hearted old men!
So, on the 10th of May, 1606, the Eoman world learned that it had a new Prince and Pope; the cardinals dispersed to set their minds to new politics, new hopes and fears, new schemes, speculations, and intrigues; all Europe began to canvass the likes and dislikes, dispositions, passions, and character of the obscure Curia lawyer who had mounted St. Peter's throne, as about the most interesting and important subject that could occupy the attention of sovereigns and their counsellors; and the crabbed, rigid, ignorant, pedantic, but in the main conscientious old lawyer himself came forth tiaraed Paul V., in his own honest belief by far, very far, the greatest man on earth.