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endeavouring to make themselves tyrants of Siena, which Cæsar Borgia wanted for himself), and whose candidature, as Bonafede pointed out, would not awaken any suspicions or animosities, because there had never been any intimacy or alliance between Piccolomini and the Borgias, whereas if now elected by their influence he would ... be grateful. Bonafede went off to Piccolomini, who gave him full power to promise in his name all that was wished—"always safeguarding his own honour and that of the Holy See.”
How one can see the decorous faces of the two bargaining dignitaries, and the mutually understood expression of the eye beneath the drooping eyelid, as this saving clause was stipulated and accepted with an “Of course! Of course!” and a deprecatory raising of outstretched palms !
Cæsar Borgia, however, knew what he was about, and drew up articles of agreement, which he made Piccolomini sign before assenting to running him as the Borgia candidate. All this was duly settled, and then Bonafede set himself to detach some of the Italian cardinals (the Borgia party consisted mainly of Spaniards) from Pallavicini, in which he succeeded so well, that “Pallavicini found the 50,000 ducats which Cæsar had lent him, and the 30,000 which he brought into the Conclave in banker's notes, of no avail !” “Pallavicini,” the writer goes on to say, in the very next sentence, “was a most worthy cardinal, and some exaggeration may be suspected therefore in this statement.” Perhaps the sum destined to the purchase of the Papacy by this most worthy cardinal was only fifty or
sixty thousand, and not eighty, as his enemies would have it! "True it is, however,” adds the writer, “that we often have to deplore similar human weakness."
And thus, after ten days of Conclave, Francesco Piccolomini was made Vicegerent of Christ upon earth, “by God's help” and that of Cæsar Borgia, being at the time unable to stand from infirmity, and having one foot so far advanced into the grave that he died on the sixteenth day after the election-having had time, however, it is pleasing to hear, to make that faithful creature, Bonafede, governor of Rome.
And so the work of the Conclave, with all its base bargaining and hypocrisy, had to be done over again ! It was pretty well accomplished, however, before going to Conclave, and was achieved in a very business-like manner without much difficulty. We have an account of the Conclave written by “me, Giorgio Broccardi, Clerk of the Ceremonies.” The writer relates that he was sent for immediately after the death of Pius III., and assisted in putting on the body the pontifical garments, and laying it out on a mattress under a covering of green velvet, nothing being wanted save the cross on his breast, to supply which I made him one out of the four tassels that hung from the corners of the green velvet pall, which I pinned on his breast with four pins." Fifteen cardinals were present at the funeral service, the Spanish and French cardinals excusing themselves for their absence on the ground that they could not venture to pass through the Borgo * because it was full of the Orsini. The Clerk of the Ceremonies tells us that, on the 29th of October, he was sent to warn all the cardinals that the Conclave would begin on the following day. And “on that same day the Cardinal of St. Pietro ad Vincula (Guiliano della Rovere, nephew of Sixtus IV., who was about to become Pope as Julius II.) had an interview with the Duca Valentino (Cesare Borgia) in the Vatican Palace; and, together with the Spanish cardinals of his party, came to certain terms of agreement between them, among which, besides many others which cannot be told, the Cardinal San Pietro promised the Duke that if he were elected Pope by his (the Duke's) means, he would create him Gonfaloniere and General of the Holy Church. And the Duke, on the other hand, promised many things to the Cardinal. And all the cardinals present promised and obliged themselves by oath to give their votes to the said Cardinal of St. Peter.” In Conclave an agreement was at once come to as to what they were going to do, and “I,” says the Clerk of the Ceremonies, “went to his cell to congratulate him, and he promised me the church of Orti, and his mule with its trappings, and his cope and rochet.” And when, after the unanimous election, the new Pope was, according to custom, divested of his robes, our friend George tells us that 6 his Holiness was disrobed of his rochet and cassock, which I took for myself, despite the opposition of the Sacristan.”
* The street that runs between the Bridge of St. Angelo and the
In the whole list of the Conclaves, there is not one more decidedly and notoriously black with simony than this of Julius II. Guicciardini, though strongly prepos
sessed in favour of Julius, and writing favourably of him, yet speaks of his simoniacal elevation to the Papacy as a notorious thing—which, however, Guicciardini was not a man to have deemed any very serious accusation. But the defence put forward by the recent writer of his Life* is not a little amusing. “It would suffice for his disculpation,” says this very naïf defender, “ to cite the constitution, cum tam divino, which the Pope published against the simoniacal election of a Pope!” It is perfectly true that Julius II. thundered against simony in the Conclave as loudly, or more so, than any Pontiff on the list. His Holiness knew well what he was talking of, and, on the principle of setting a thief to catch a thief, was certainly so far the right man in the right place. His conduct in the matter reminds one of those apostles of universal peace and liberty who demand a little war and sharp coercion as a preliminary means for enabling them to enter on their mission. Julius felt that a scruple respecting a little simony ought not to be allowed to stand in the way of the election of one minded to enforce such salutary reforms.
Julius, a great Pope in his way, though that was a way more fitted for a lay than an ecclesiastical ruler, reigned nine years and three months; and then another Conclave elected Leo X., the great Mecænas of the arts and of literature, to whom literature and the arts have been more than sufficiently grateful—the jovial Pope, who, as soon as he felt the tiara on his head, expressed his sense of the tremendously awful nature of the position to which he had been raised by ejaculating, “Since
* Moroni, vol. xxxi. p. 161.
God has given us the Papacy, let us enjoy it !”—and proceeded to do so accordingly.
Julius II. left thirty-two Cardinals in the Sacred College, of whom twenty-five entered Conclave on the 4th of March, 1513. But some days passed before the first scrutiny was held, during which their Eminences were engaged in settling various matters of regulation for the internal management of the Conclave, and especially the rights and privileges of the body of conclavists. The majority of these, who in this Conclave must have been at least fifty, held several meetings of their own, in which they drew up a statement of their demands, especially as to their presentation to certain benefices, all which were agreed to by the cardinals. They also arranged among themselves, by legally executed instrument, that the conclavist of the cardinal who should be elected Pope should pay to the others, his comrades, the sum of 1,500 ducats as the price of their share of the contents and furniture of his patron's cell, which had hitherto been scrambled for in a tumultuous manner. All that the cell of the Pope elect contained was in consideration of this payment to be the sole and legitimate property of the new Pope's conclavist.
Other abuses of the Conclave seem to have engaged the attention of their Eminences before they began their scrutinies, for we learn that the Cardinal Camerlengo, and the Cardinals of Aragon and Farnese, made a searching examination of all the cells and every part of the locality of the Conclave, for the purpose of assuring themselves that there were none present save the cardinals and their conclavists. Nor do I find any mention