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in the Church, and of a bulwark against the rising flood of Atheism." For, as the writer goes on to complain, "there is no sort of impiety which the utter absence of Christian charity and a connivance at heretical interests does not lead to. So that Eome, formerly so holy, has become the very asylum of heresy. Papal censures are no longer feared. Divine worship is neglected. The saints are maltreated and their images trampled on to such a point, that the sacred songs and psalms, with which in better times praise and thanksgiving were rendered to God and his Holy and Immaculate Mother, are in these days reduced to pasquinades!" "And what wonder is it," he proceeds, "if territories are lost, if the Turk advances, if heresy is accredited, and if Christ scourges the world with pestilence, war, and famine, and uses the Turks, his most implacable enemies, to chastise those who place him under the necessity of again purging the Christian world, which has become worse than the Jews who crucified him."
One is curiously reminded of the complaints of an earlier censor:—
"Delicto majorum imnieritus lues, Eomane, donee templa re/eceris, cedesque labentes Deorum, et fceda nigro simulacra fumo" and the rest, in a singularly similar tone of thought and mind.
These are considerations, pursues our author, which would tend to direct the choice of the electors to Father Bona. But .... such a thing is hardly to be thought of. The government of monks has always been abhorrent to the secular priesthood; and least of all would their Eminences place so austere a reformer over them in days when there is so much that needs reforming! And his comparative youth and robust health are against him; for he would be likely enough to live till he had filled the Sacred College with friars. Besides, the crowned heads would never consent to the election of a Pope whose austerity they would dread, and who would prove inflexible in upholding ecclesiastical privileges and immunities.
It will have been seen that from this list of the soggetti papabtli—of those, that is to say, who might by possibility be thought of by the electors—several might fairly be erased on the score that their election was hardly on the cards. But it is abundantly clear that, when this has been done, the papabile material remains sufficiently copious to make the work of election a long, difficult, and extremely uncertain one.
No Chief of a party or party able to make Pope the man they most desired to elect.—Fear of enmity much more operative in the Conclave than enmity.—Multiplicity of considerations over on the increase.—The Conclave which elected Clement X. especially long and difficult.—Moderation of recent Popes as to nepotism operates to increase this.— Saying of the Princess Albani.—Abundant evidence in this Conclave that negotiations with a view to the election were not chocked by the Bulls to that effect.—Searching the Dinners of Cardinals a mere Farce.—Odeschalchi all but elected. —Father Bona wishing to further his Chance, injures it.—-Why Cardinal Pio could not vote for Altieri.— Chigi fails altogether as Head of a Faction.—Anecdote of Cardinal Bazzi.—Message from the King of Spain to the Conclave.—Bemarkable results of it.— Anecdote of Altieri on the Eve of his Election.—Election of Altieri. —Anecdote of De Eetz.
I Have gone through the long list of candidates given in the last chapter, with their qualifications, disqualifications, and reckoning up of their probable supporters and opponents, because the detail, which has in this instance been preserved to us, seemed to afford the means of forming a very fair notion of the sort of considerations on which the preferences of the electors were, or were supposed to be, based, of the extreme complexity of these considerations, and of the remarkable indirectness of the methods by which they operated to an eventual election. It will have been made clear to the reader that it hardly ever occurred, or could occur, especially in the more recent centuries of the Papal history, that any one, or any one group of the electors, was able to place on the throne the man that he, or it, most wished to place there. The necessity of a two-thirds majority, -which makes, in Conclave language, exclusion so very much easier than inclusion—makes it, that is to say, so very much easier for any party in the Sacred College to say that such or such a man shall not be Pope than to secure the election of any individual—necessarily produces the result that has been mentioned. The election is always, at least as regards many if not most of the electors, of the nature of a pis aller. It in some degree resembles the election of that officer to be general-inchief, who, as the story goes, was chosen by the secretly given second votes of all the voters. But in the case of the Conclave these second votes arc not given till more or less overt tentatives have convinced the voter that the attainment of his first preference is hopeless.
Another characteristic of these elections and of the men engaged in them, which is curiously brought out by the stories of the Conclaves, is that the fear of enmity is more largely and widely influential than enmity itself. An elector will not vote for this or that "subject," because he is conscious of having at some former period of his life done something for which he takes it for granted that the individual in question must owe him a grudge. The candidate has never in any way expressed any feeling of the sort. But none the less does the man who is conscious of having injured or affronted him feel that it would be unsafe for him that that man should become Pope! It may well be that he himself would be capable of forgiving such an ill turn received from another, but he is utterly incapable of believing that another should so forget or forgive it! A very large and long experience of the Italians of all classes has shown the present writer many an honest man among them, but he never met with one who believed in the honesty of his fellows. Thus one reads again and again that Cardinal So-and-so might be counted on as a supporter of such a candidate, not because he, the candidate, had done some good thing to the voter, but because the latter, the voter, had in some way or other, and at some time or other, conferred a favour on the candidate! "I placed him under an obligation to me, therefore I can venture to contribute towards raising him to the throne."
It will be observed, further, that, as the years roll on, and we begin to approach modern times, the diversity of considerations which an elector has present to his mind, and must be in greater or lesser degree ruled by, become infinitely more numerous, and the weighing of them a more complex business. At the same time each one of these considerations is less all-important and paramount, less likely to drive the elector swayed by it to violent courses, more capable of being neutralised by antagonistic motives. The considerations belonging to the category, which may be denominated legitimate, are, equally with those of the opposite description, multiplied by the tendencies and complexities of modern life. Not only was the elector, whose object in the exercise of his privilege was the pushing of his own fortunes, the furthering of his own ambition, the gratification of his sentiments and passions, compelled to take a much wider and more detailed survey of all the circumstances of the