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and the consequences of old grudges which in the times we have been traversing played so large a part in the Conclaves. De Brosses, however, reports some words of the Camerlengo, Cardinal Albani, which may be cited on this point: "These gentlemen from France [the French cardinals] are always in a hurry. They want the work [of the Conclave] done as soon as ever they arrive. When the Pope is elected they remain here a few weeks to amuse themselves; they are feted by everybody, and made much of by the new Pope. Then they go home, and hear no more of the Pope, except from a distance, for the rest of their lives. But I have to remain under the rod! He is my sovereign. He can put me in prison if he pleases. Messieurs "the foreign cardinals must be good enough to allow me to take sufficient time in deciding on my choice to taW care of my own interests." More and more, however, those once terrible and mysterious gatherings came to resemble in their operation the election to the wardenship of a college in an English university. The Popes are in the main amiable and easy-going old gentlemen, not distinguished for ability, or for ascetic sanctity, or for laxity of moral conduct, or for anything, in short. More and more would a man characterized by any one of the above notes be felt by members of the Sacred College to be one unfitted for occupying St. Peter's seat. There have been cardinals of distinguished ability in various lines and departments during this period, but they did not become Popes. The lives of the men who were deemed fitted for the post of the Supreme Pastors of Christendom were passed in enacting their parts in a mass of ceremonial and prescriptions of etichette, which #
had in the course of generations become so intricate and complicated that the professional masters of it alone could find their way and that of their superiors through its mazes, and so onerous that the due performance of " scenic worship," as Carlyle calls it, might entitle an aged ma^ to feel that in accomplishing his
*, task he was labouring severely as well as faithfully in
9 his high and sacred calling.
Of the Conclaves that elected them, what has been said must suffice for* a specimen; for the remianing pages of this volume are needed for the purpose of giving the reader a brief description of the ceremonial of a Conclave as it now is—as it was, rather, thirty years ago, and as it probably will be in all essentials on the next not far-distant occasion. .
TEE CONCLAVE AS IT IS AT PRESENT.
The death of a Pope.—Time to elapse before Conclave.—Cardinal Gaysruck's Journey.—The Mode of constructing cells for the Conclave.—Localities in the interior of the Conclave.—Drawing lots for the cells.—Mode of fitting and furnishing the cells.—The cell of a Eoyal Cardinal.—The Camerlengo.—Mode of living of tho Cardinals.—First day in Conclave.
As soon as ever the breath shall have finally left the body of a dying Pope, the first thing to be done is to advise the Cardinal Camerlingo* of the fact. He has the entire government in his hands during the vacancy of the see. That dignitary immediately repairs to the chamber in which the dead Pope lies, and, striking the dead body on the forehead thrice with a little hammer, calls him thrice by his name—by his original name, not without a picturesque significance. "Giovanni Mastai!" the Camerlengo Cardinal will call thrice as he strikes on the senseless forehead which bore the tiara with a hammer, and getting no answer will take off from the dead man's finger the "ring of the fisherman," and break it!
* Camerlengo, or Camerlingo, derived from "Camera,"meant originally a chamberlain, and secondarily a treasurer. It is still used in the latter sense in monastic communities.