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much inclined to let things take their own course; whereas Francesco Bonvisi is a man of an active, resolute, frank, and bold turn of mind, well versed in public affairs, industrious, assiduous in the despatch of business, in such sort that "the conjunction of the suavity of the uncle with the authority of the nephew would form such a compound," that it would be the very thing wanted. Chigi would bo opposed to him, at least till after proof of the impossibility of electing either D'Elci or Celsi. Neither the French nor the Spaniards would specially oppose him. The squadrone would be divided as regarded him; but this, remarks the writer, might do him more good than harm with all those who, disgusted with recent events,* wish for a Pope capable of managing his own affairs.
Next comes Vidoni, fourteenth on the list, born in Cremona, and now in his sixtieth year. He, apparently, would be the Pope, if our conclavist had the making of one in his hands, notwithstanding all the grand things he has said of others. "He alone," says the writer, "possesses all those grand qualities which are needed to constitute a great Pontiff." The austerity of his aspect does not interfere with the remarkable affability of his behaviour to all who are brought to speak with him; and the better he is known the more surely do those who know him find that this kindly manner is the outcome of genuine goodness. His well-known parsimony is, in the present condition of circumstances, a recommendation, since "the Church does not need a Pontiff whose liberalities would consummate her ruin, experience having taught us how pernicious to the people is the prodigality which gives away the property of others." He would be a most vigilant and zealous Pope in ecclesiastical matters, and absolutely indefatigable in the transaction of business. It is not true that he is an unduly severe man. On the contrary, he is prone to pardon—too prone, indeed, as it is asserted that he was when legate at Bologna—a defect which is objected to him with absurd inconsistency, at the same time that he is accused of harsh severity. He has had much experience in the management of State affairs, and the registers of the Papal Secretary's office furnish abundant testimony of his diplomatic successes when employed as nuncio in Poland. It cannot be supposed that he would be otherwise than acceptable to Barberini, seeing that Urban made an uncle of his a cardinal. It was Innocent X. who sent him to Poland, and it must be believed, therefore, that the squadrone volante* would be favourable to his candidature. The good opinion of the Emperor, which he won on that occasion, would probably serve his cause with the Spaniards, while the fact that he was made cardinal at the request of the King of Poland might dispose the French to look favourably on his candidature. This phoenix of a cardinal is the only one in the list to whose candidature our conclavist finds nothing to oppose, and intimates no hostility as threatening. But Cardinal Vidoni did not become Pope.
* He is alluding to the pontificate of Pamfili, Innocent X., and the scandals of Olympia.
* Tho group of cardinals so called, and so often referred to, consisted mainly of the " creatures " of Innocent X.
Cardinal D'Elci, a Tuscan, though born at Madrid, comes next. He is seventy years old. He was nuncio at Venice and at Vienna before he had the purple; and even in those days, on his return from those embassies, shrewd judges had had their eye on him as a man who might some day reasonably aspire to the Papacy, so much credit had he gained in those employments. He is a kindly and popular mannered man too. The greastest objection to him is the character of his nephew, the Archbishop of Pisa, who is well known in Eome as an austere, punctilious, and severe man, very difficult to deal with—not the sort of man, in short, whom the Church needs at the present conjuncture, which demands above all a man vigilant and zealous for the interests of the Holy See, and at the same time well fitted for treating with foreign Courts, a man who will be ready to act suaviter in modo sed fortiter in re. Such qualifications were truly indeed desirable in the struggle with Louis XIV. and the growing pretensions of the Gallican Church, which was then rising menacingly on the Papal horizon; and our author judges that they would not be found in a sufficient degree in D'Elci and his nephew. The elements of success which he has in his favour are the good wishes of the Spanish party, secured to him by his Spanish birth and his connection with that Court, the support of Medici and the Tuscan party, and his place as first on the list of those whom Chigi and the Alexandrines would strive to place on the throne. An obiter dictum of our conclavist, the spiteful significance of which is amusingly illustrative of a phase of Italian feeling which is met with again and again throughout the whole course of Italian and above all of Papal history, shows, however, that this Tuscan favour was not to be reckoned on entirely as an element of success in the Conclave. So highly is D'Elci thought of at Florence, and so celebrated in all Tuscany is the memory of Count Orso, the father of the Cardinal, that it is to be expected, if D'Elci should be elected, that "all that country would be depopulated by reason of the numbers who would throng to Eome to applaud and pay their court to so excellent a sovereign." And although Chigi would rather see him on the throne than any other, that cautious leader will not venture to put him forward as a candidate, unless some opportunity should seem to show greater chances of success than are at present apparent.
Cardinal Celsi, aEoman, bornlike D'Elci in 1G00, and therefore now seventy, is the sixteenth on the list of papabili. This "subject"—questo soggetto—such is the constant Conclave style, where it would be as much out of place to talk of a candidate as to speak of water in a brewery—this subject would have a better chance if he knew less of the "paragraphs of the Eota," and more of the affairs of the great world. Ilis reputation of being a man of immoral life is also against him "with the scrupulous." The only persons anxious to elect him are the Spaniards. Barberini, on these as well as other grounds, would be strongly opposed to him. Many of the squadrone would not vote for him; and even Chigi's adherents would give him an exclusiva, despite what has been said above that Chigi himself would prefer him next to D'Elci. It has been explained that this strongest form of opposition consisted in an open declaration that under no circumstances would the person or party giving the ezclusiva vote for the candidate in question, thus finally and decisively placing enmity between them. Under these circumstances, concludes the conclavist, it is not necessary to pay any further attention to him.
Cardinal Litta, of the noble Milanese family of that name, is very briefly dismissed with the remark, that the Spanish party have such a fear of his indiscreet zeal, that they would oppose him with such determination that, as he strangely phrases it, "it would be superfluous to hope for his election."
Bonelli comes next, eighteenth on the list, a Eoman, born in 1613, and accordingly only fifty-seven. "And certainly," says the conclavist, "if ardour in the hunting field were equally applicable to the pursuit of the Papacy, Bonelli might hope to run it down." The violent and passionate temper of his nephew, the Cardinal Imperiale, who would, if he were made Pope, be the ruling power, is felt to be a great objeotion to him. Nevertheless, Barberini would perhaps accept him because of the decided hostility of the French party to his candidature; the Genoese cardinals would vote for him because he is connected with nearly all of them by ties of relationship; the squadrone would not be opposed to him; and Chigi and his party would remember that he is a "creature of Alexander VII.; and, finally, the Spaniards would probably vote for him in consequence of his having been nuncio at Madrid. Despite all these points in his favour, however, it does not seem that this Nimrod had ever much chance of being elected.