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amount of talent for business, and industry in the transaction of it, were held to confer a right to aspire to the tiara, in the second place; thirdly, the infinitely increased number of wires and wire-pullers produced by an age when audacious violence was no longer the order of the day, when the interests of all European States had become much more complicated and bound up together, and diplomacy was universally understood to signify dissimulation and craft; and lastly, the increased number and variety of the considerations which went to the choosing of a really good and fitting Pope—all tended to complicate the business of the Conclaves. The outlines which mark the doings within them become less bold and distinct. They are finer, more intricate, more constantly crossing each other, and more blurred by the secrecy and frequently unavowed nature of the motives of the actors.

I have said that the amount of virtue to be found in t he Sacred College about the period of which we are speaking had greatly increased. And, indeed, I think that the remark might have been made of an epoch beginning somewhat earlier—from the beginning of the seventeenth century perhaps. But I find the narrator of the Conclave which elected Clement X. in 1670 complaining in no measured terms of the exceeding wickedness of the Koman world—of its avarice, luxury, worldliness, and above all of its irreligion. But such complaints will be recognised by those who have the history of that century and its neighbouring centuries before their eyes, instead of the immediate view of the life around them, as evidences of that improvement which a sense of the necessity of improvement always implies. But the writer, who seems to have composed one division of his narration previously to, and in anticipation of, the Conclave, says much, in a curious exposition of the qualities of the possible candidates—the papabili—and the motives that may be expected to influence the electors, of some considerations of an order entirely new in the history of the Papacy and the Conclaves. No quality has hitherto seemed to all the persons concerned, including the historians of the Conclaves, to give so good a title to aspirations to the tiara as a reputation for boundless "liberality." A Pope who would open wide his hand, and fling the exhaustless treasures of the Church broadcast over all the open-mouthed expectants high and low who were gaping for them—this was the man Kome and the Holy See wanted. But the narrator of the Conclave which elected Clement IV. in 1670 has a singularly changed note. What is wanted is, almost above all else, an economical Pope—one who will not squander the revenues of the Church either by spending or giving. The character which more than one of the soggetti papabili had acquired for parsimony as a private individual is cited as no bad qualification for his election. And in truth such considerations were beginning to make themselves felt at Eome not a moment too soon. The reckless and inordinate profusion of the recent Popes, together with an absolutely ignorant and ruinous financial system, had brought the Apostolic Court almost to the verge of bankruptcy; and had it not been for the rare and little to have been expected good fortune which, six years subsequently to the time we are now speaking of, placed a really capable financier on the Papal throne in the person of Innocent XI., that verge -w ould infallibly have been passed.

In the two hundred years which have elapsed since the elevation of Innocent XI. till the present day, sixteen Popes, including Innocent and Pius IX., have reigned, and accounts which might be rendered both intelligible and amusing might be written of each one of the sixteen Conclaves which have elected them. But at least eight such volumes as the present would be needed for the purpose. It is out of the question, therefore, that any such attempt should be made. To give, however, such a mere statement of names, votes, and the results of them as could be given within any reasonable limits, would be neither intelligible to any good purpose nor amusing, but on the contrary intolerably tedious. It has seemed better, therefore, to endeavour to treat this Conclave which elected Clement X. with some little degree of detail, taking it as a specimen of the sort of elections which have prevailed under the new conditions which the changed face of things in Europe had imposed on the Papacy.


Conclave which elected Alfieri as Clement X.—No fewer than twentyone "Soggetti Papabili."—Barberini. — Ginetti.— Brancacci.— Carpegna. — Facehinetti. — Orimani.— Gabrielli.— Odeschalchi.— Alvizzi.—Cibo.—Ottobuoni.— Spada.— Bonvisi.—Vidoni.—D'Elci. —Celsi.—Litta.—Bonelli.—Altdori.—Nerli.—Bona.—Complaint by the Conclavist of the impiety of the Times.

The Conclave from which Cardinal Emilio Altieri came forth as Clement VI. was an unusually long one. Clement IX. died on the 9th December, 1669; the cardinals went into Conclave duly on the twentieth of that month; but the election was not made till the 29th of April in the following year. Morone says that at the beginning of the Conclave every one was in favour of the Cardinal Altieri, and the whole Eoman world expected him to be elected. But this seems to be hardly consistent with the fact that the Conclave was so long an one. And in fact the special narrator of the Conclave, in all probability a conclavist as usual, gives a very different account of the matter. According to his contemporary statement, no fewer than twenty-one of the cardinals who went into Conclave were deemed to belong to the category of soggetti papabili. It is very intelligible that such a condition of matters should lead to a severe struggle, to manifold complications, and consequently to a Conclave of long duration. But it is impossible to believe that all, or nearly all, the electors were from the first minded to elect the same man, and yet were four months about it.

The conclavist gives us the list of these one-andtwenty papabili, together with the qualities which recommended and the objections which impeded each of them. And the list thus commented serves to afford an excellent insight into the nature and variety of the considerations which were operative on the minds of the electors.

The first on the roll is Cardinal Barberini, now Dean of the Sacred College, by force of seniority, not of years, it will be understood, but of his standing in the College, and eminently papabile by virtue of his character, as well as his connections, influence, and social standing in Eome. He was born in 1597, and was therefore now seventy-three years old. In the words of the conclavist, "his kindness of heart, his wisdom, his experience, vigilance, and zeal, his charity to the poor, his unwearied industry in business, are qualities which would not only merit the Papacy, but in the present conjuncture of circumstances would necessarily fix the choice of the electors on him, if they were not counterbalanced by his obstinacy, capriciousness, instability, and too great selfconfidence." In fact, as the writer goes on to show, both the cardinals and the crowned heads of Europe were too much afraid of him to wish to see him Pope. "Besides, prone to anger as he is, men think that were he to find himself with the tiara on his head and the pontifical mantle on his shoulders, he would not be apt to spare any of those around him if things did not go

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