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Thus the two parties occupied the two opposite chapels as hostile camps, with the neutral ground of the Sala Regia between them. Thirty-six cardinals went into the Sistine Chapel in favour of Tosco, and twentyfive into the Paoline in favour of Baronius; for the entire number was now sixty-one, having been increased by two cardinals—San Marcello, as has been mentioned, and another who had been ill at the beginning of the Conclave, and had been subsequently able to join it.
And now an infinity of negotiations, messages, persuasions, and seductions began to be put on foot between the two opposite camps. Those in the Paoline Chapel were quite open to proposals; for though the name of Baronius had been used for the breaking up of the unanimity which was on the point of electing Tosco, and the dissentients had entered the Paoline Chapel shouting his name, no sooner had it served their purpose than they abandoned all thought of really electing him.
Visconti having risen from his fall in no very pleasant mood, and entered the Paoline Chapel with Baronius and his friends, began to vent his ill humour on the first mover of the disturbance, accusing him of sowing divisions in the Conclave.
"I neither wish to sow divisions, nor have I any desire to be Pope," replied Baronius; "only put forward some good and proper candidate."
Visconti thereupon would have left the chapel, but the others crowded around him and would not let him go.
"I protest," he cried, "that I am subjected to violence!" and turning to the master of the ceremonies bade him draw up an official protest to that effect.
"Pooh, pooh!" said Montalto; "are not my two friends, Ascoli and Pinelli, detained against their will in the Sistine Chapel? Let every one be left at liberty!"
So Visconti went out and sat down by himself in the Sala Eegia, protesting that he would join in no election that day. "I would not make St. Peter himself Pope after this fashion!" grumbled he. But he had sat only for a very little time in the Sala Eegia before Acquaviva slipped out of the Sistine to him, and after a little persuasion carried him off into that chapel to join the camp of the enemy.
"Gioiosa," as the Italian writer calls the French Cardinal Joycuse, seeing that there was no chance of electing Baronius, wished to leave the Paoline Chapel to return to his allegiance to Tosco; but he made several attempts to get away in vain, for "Montalto and the others threw their arms around him and stayed him with violent entreaties."
Then Aldobrandino goes in person into the enemies' camp in the Sistine to try negotiations. Montalto promises his support to any other candidate if only Aldobrandino will abandon Tosco. This inclines the chief of the Clementine party to recur to his former plan of electing San Clemente; but when he returns to the Paoline Chapel his own party rebel against this, and insist on remaining firm to Tosco. Montalto makes a 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 Boman 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 Begia, 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 his election seemed to offer the least objectionable issue from the difficulties in which the