網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

Another occasion of difference was, that about this time com. plaints were justly made by the Venetians against two Clergymen, the Abbot of Nervesa, and a Canon of Vicenza, for committing such sins as I think not fit to name: nor are these mentioned with an intent to fix a scandal upon any calling; for holiness is not tied to Ecclesiastical Orders,—and Italy is observed to breed the most virtuous and most vicious men of any nation. These two having been long complained of at Rome in the name of the State of Venice, and no satisfaction being given to the Venetians, they seized the persons of this Abbot and Canon, and committed them to prison.

The justice or injustice of such, or the like power, then used by the Venetians, had formerly had some calm debates betwixt the former Pope Clement the Eighth,* and that Republic: I say, calm, for he did not excommunicate them; considering, -as I conceive,—that in the late Council of Trent, it was at last-after many politic disturbances and delays, and endeavours to preserve the Pope's present power,-in order to a general reformation of those many errors, which were in time crept into the Church, de. clared by that Council, “ That though discipline and especial Excommunication be one of the chief sinews of Church-government, and intended to keep men in obedience to it; for which end it was declared to be very profitable ; yet it was also declared, and advised to be used with great sobriety and care, because experience had informed them, that when it was pronounced unad. visedly or rashly, it became more contemned than feared.” And, though this was the advice of that Council at the conclusion of it, which was not many years before this quarrel with the Vene

* Originally named Hippolito Aldobrandini, was born at Fano, 1536, studied at Ferrara and Bologna, was made Cardinal by Sixtus V., and in January 1592, succeeded Innocent IX. as Pontiff. He converted Henry IV. of France, with many more to the Roman faith, and advanced Bellarmine, Baronius, and other learned men to be Cardinals. After a reign of piety, moderation, and wisdom, he died in March 1605; and was succeeded by Leo XI. who lived only twenty-nine days after. His successor was Camillo Borghese, commonly called Pope Paul V. He was born at Rome, in 1552, and being an eminent Doctor of the Civil Law, he rose rapidly in the Papal favour, until he was created Cardinal by Clement VIII. He died at Rome, in January, 1621.

tians ;* yet this prudent, patient Pope Clement dying, Pope Paul the Fifth, who succeeded him,—though not immediately, yet in the same year,—being a man of a much hotter temper, brought this difference with the Venetians to a much higher contention ; objecting those late acts of that State to be a diminution of his just power, and limited a time of twenty-four days for their revocation ; threatening if he were not obeyed, to proceed to the Excommunication of the Republic, who still offered to shew both reason and ancient custom to warrant their actions. But this Pope, contrary to his predecessor's moderation, required absolute obedience without disputes.

Thus it continued for about a year, the Pope still threatening Excommunication, and the Venetians still answering him with fair speeches, and no compliance; till at last the Pope's zeal to the A postolic See did make him to excommunicate the Duke, the whole Senate, and all their dominions, and, that done, to shut up all their Churches; charging the whole clergy to forbear all sacred offices to the Venetians, till their obediencc should render them capable of Absolution.

But this act of the Pope's did but the more confirm the Vene. tians in their resolution not to obey him: and to that end, upon the hearing of the Pope's interdict, they presently published, by sound of trumpet, a Proclamation to this effect :

- That whosoever hath received from Rome any copy of a papal Interdict, published there, as well against the Law of God, as against the honour of this nation, shall presently render it to the Council of Ten, upon pain of Death. And made it loss of estate and Nobility, but to speak in behalf of the Jesuits.”

Then was Duado their Ambassador called home from Rome, and the Inquisition presently suspended by order of the State : and the flood-gates being thus set open any man that had a pleasant or scoffing wit, might safely vent it against the Pope, either by free speaking, or by libels in print; and both became very pleasant to the people.

* This passage from the words, “ I say, calm,” &c. was not in the first edition.

+ From “ But this act of the Pope's" to " very pleasant to the people," did not appear in the first edition.

а

Matters thus heightened, the State advised with Father Paul, holy and learned Friar,—the author of the “ History of the Council of Trent,”—whose advice was, “ Neither to provoke the Pope, nor lose their own right:” he declaring publicly in print, in the name of the State, “ That the Pope was trusted to keep two keys, one of Prudence and the other of Power : and that, if they were not both used together, Power alone is not effectual in an Excom. munication."

And thus these discontents and oppositions continued, till a report was blown abroad, that the Venetians were all turned Prot. estants; which was believed by many, for that it was observed that the English Ambassador was so often in conference with the Senate, and his Chaplain Mr. Bedel, more often with Father Paul, whom the people did not take to be his friend : and also, for that the Republic of Venice was known to give commission to Greg. ory Justiniano, then their Ambassador in England, to make all these proceedings known to the King of England, and to crave a promise of his assistance, if need should require: and in the mean time they required the King's advice and judgment; which was the same that he gave to Pope Clement, at his first coming to the Crown of England ;-that Pope then moving him to an union with the Roman Church ;-namely, “ To endeavour the calling of a free Council, for the settlement of peace in Christendom; and that he doubted not but that the French King, and divers other Princes, would join to assist in so good a work; and, in the mean time, the sin of this breach, both with his and the Venetian dominions, must of necessity lie at the Pope's door.”

In this contention—which lasted almost two years—the Fope grew still higher, and the Venetians more and more resolved and careless; still acquainting King James with their proceedings, which was done by the help of Sir Henry Wotton, Mr. Bedel, and Padre Paulo, whom the Venetians did then call to be one of their consulters of State, and with his pen to defend their just cause ; which was by him so performed, that the Pope saw plainly he had weakened his power by exceeding it, and offered the Ve. netians absolution upon very easy terins; which the Venetians still slighting, did at last obtain by that which was scarce so much as a shew of acknowledging it: for they made an order,

that in that day in which they were absolved, there should be no public rejoicing, nor any bonfires that night, lest the common people might judge, that they desired an absolution, or were ab. solved for committing a fault.

These contests were the occasion of Padre Paulo's knowledge and interest with King James; for whose sake principally, Padre Paulo compiled that eminent History of the remarkable Council of Trent; which history was, as fast as it was written, sent in several sheets in letters by Sir Henry Wotton, Mr. Bedel, and others, unto King James, and the then Bishop of Canterbury, into England, and there first made public, both in English and the universal language.

For eight years after Sir Henry Wotton's going into Italy, he stood fair and highly valued in the King's opinion ; but at last became much clouded by an accident, which I shall proceed to relate.

At his first going Ambassador into Italy, as he passed through Germany, he stayed some days at Augusta ; where having been in his former travels well known by many of the best note for learning and ingeniousness,-those that are esteemed the virtuosi of that nation,—with whom he passing an evening in merriments, was requested by Christopher Flecamore to write some sentence in his Albo ; -a book of white paper, which for that purpose many of the German gentry usually carry about them :-and Sir Henry Wotton consenting to the motion, took an occasion, from some accidental discourse of the present company, to write a pleasant definition of an Ambassador in these very words :

Legatus est vir bonus, peregrè missus ad mentiendum Reipublicæ causâ.

Which Sir Henry Wotton could have been content should have been thus Englished :

“ An Ambassador is an honest man, sent to lie abroad for the good of his country.”

But the word for lie-being the hinge upon which the conceit was to turn—was not so expressed in Latin, as would admit-in the hands of an enemy especially—so fair a construction as Sir

Henry thought in English. Yet as it was, it slept quietly among other sentences in this Albo, almost eight years, till by accident it fell into the hands of Jasper Scioppius,* a Romanist, a man of a restless spirit and a rnalicious pen ; who, with books against King James, prints this as a principle of that religion professed by the King, and his Ambassador Sir Henry Wotton, then at Venice; and in Venice it was presently after written in several glasswindows, and spitefully declared to be Sir Henry Wotton's.

This coming to the knowledge of King James, he apprehended it to be such an oversight, such a weakness, or worse, in Sir Henry Wotton, as caused the King to express much wrath against him : and this caused Sir Henry Wotton to write two apologies, one to Velserust-one of the chiefs of Augusta—in the universal language, which he caused to be printed, and given and scattered in the most remarkable places both of Germany and Italy, as an antidote against the venomous books of Scioppius; and another Apology to King James; which were both so ingenious, so clear, and so choicely eloquent, that his Majesty-who was a pure judge of it—could not forbear at the receipt thereof, to de. clare publicly, “That Sir Henry Wotton had commuted suffi. ciently for a greater offence.”

And now, as broken bones well set become stronger, so Sir Henry Wotton did not only recover, but was much more confirmed in his Majesty's estimation and favour than formerly he had been.

And, as that man of great wit and useful fancy, his friend Dr. Donne, gave in a Will of his—a Will of conceits—his Reputation to his Friends, and his Industry to his Foes, because from

* A learned writer, born in Germany about 1576, who turned Romanist in 1599, on reading the Annals of Baronius. He recommended the extirpation of Protestants to the Catholic Princes, and wrote with much rancour against King James, Scaliger, Casaubon, &c. Towards the end of his life he pretended to prophecy, and sent some of his predictions to Cardinal Mazarine, who disregarded them. He died in 1649, at Padua.

+ Mark Velser, or Welser, was born at Augsburg, June 20, 1558, of a noble and ancient German family. He pursued his studies at Rome under the celebrated Muretus, and upon his return into his native city, having acquired great reputation at the bar, became one of its first magistrates, and was very learned himself, and a great patron of learned men. He died in 1614.

« 上一頁繼續 »