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rule was a tendency to union. The Æthelstan and Norman William, both aims of the Exeter patricians could not gave such special heed to the military have been long reconciled with the aims defences of the city. No city in Engof the sons of Harold, nor could the land has stood more sieges. It stood aims of either have been reconciled for one, perhaps two more, before William's a moment with the aims of the par- own reign was ended, indeed before tizans of the Ætheling Eadgar, of the William had brought the Conquest of sons of Ælfgar, or of the Danish Swe- the whole land to an end by the taking gen. We sympathize with the defen- of Chester. The men of Exeter had ders of Exeter, of York and Ely and withstood William as long as he came Durham, but we feel that, from the before them as a foreign invader; when moment when England lost the one his power was once fully established, man among her own sons who was fit to when the Castle on the Red Mount, guide her, her best fate in the long run reared by the stranger on the earthwas to pass as an undivided kingdom works of earlier days, held down the into the hands of his victorious rival. city in fetters, they seem to have had

With the submission of Exeter to no mood to join in hopeless insurrecWilliam, we might fairly end our tale tions against him. When, a year and a of the place of Exeter in English his half after the great siege, the Castle was tory. It was now ruled for ever that again besieged by the West-Saxon inthe city by the Exe was to be an Eng surgents, the citizens seem to have lish city. It was to be no separate joined the Norman garrison in resistcommonwealth, but a member of the ing their attacks. According to one undivided English kingdom, yet still a account, they had already done the like city that was to remain the undisputed to the sons of Harold and their Irish head of its own district. Its history auxiliaries. The wars of Stephen's from this time, as far as I am concerned reign did not pass without a siege of with it, is less the history of Exeter Exeter, in which King and citizens than the history of those events in joined to besiege the rebellious Lord English history which took place at of Rougemont, and at last to starve Exeter. It still has its municipal, its him out within the towers which ecclesiastical, its commercial history; it legend was already beginning to speak still had to strive for its rights against of as the work of the Cæsars. I pass Earls and Countesses and Bishops ; it on to later times; the Tudor æra saw still, in later days, could bear its share two sieges of the city, one at the hands in the great sea-faring enterprises of of a pretender to the Crown, another at commerce and discovery. But from the the hands of the religious insurgents of entry of William, Exeter has no longer the further West. Twice again in the a separate political being of its own. It wars of the next century do we find is no longer an object to be striven for Exeter passing from one side to the by men of contending nations. It is no other by dint of siege, and at last we longer something which might conceiv- see her receiving an invader at whose ably be cut off from the English realm, coming no siege was needed. The entry either by the success of a foreign of William the Deliverer through the conqueror or by the independence of Western Gate forms the balance, the its own citizens. In the other sense contrast, and yet in some sort the of the words, as pointing out those counterpart, to the entry of William events of English history of which the Conqueror through the Eastern Exeter was the scene, the place of Gate. The city had resisted to the Exeter in English history is one which utmost, when a foreign invader, under yields to that of no city in the land the guise of an English King, came to save London itself. It was with a true demand her obedience. But no eighteen instinct that the two men who open the days' siege, no blinded hostage, no two great æras in local history, English undermined ramparts, were needed when a kinsman and a deliverer came in the same chain as when the other under the guise of a foreign invader. William gave his assent to the Bill of In the army of William of Normandy Rights. In the one case the invader came Englishmen were pressed to complete to conquer, in the other he came to the Conquest of England ; in the army deliver; but in both cases alike the of William of Orange strangers came to effect of his coming was to preserve awake her sons to begin the work of her and not to destroy; the Conqueror deliverance. In the person of the and the Deliverer alike has had his earlier William the Crown of England share in working out the continuous passed away for the first time to a King being of English law and of English wholly alien in speech and feeling ; in national life. The unwilling greeting the later William it in truth came back which Exeter gave to the one William, to one who was, even in mere descent, the willing greeting which she gave to and yet more fully in his native land the other, marked the wide difference in and native speech, nearer than all that the external aspect of the two revolucame between them to the old stock of tions. And yet both revolutions have Hengest and Cerdic. The one was the worked for the same end ; the great first King who reigned over England actors in both were, bowever unwitpurely by the edge of the sword; the tingly, fellow-workers in the same other was the last King who reigned over cause. And it is no small place in England purely by the choice of the English history which belongs to the nation. The coming of each of the city whose name stands out in so men who entered Exeter in such oppo- marked a way in the tale alike of the site characters marks an æra in our revolution of the eleventh century and history. And yet the work of the two of the revolution of the seventeenth. was not wholly alien to each other. It is no small matter, as we draw near The later William came to undo the by the western bridge or by the eastern work of the earlier, so far as it was isthmus, as we pass where once stood evil. to confirm it so far as it was the Eastern and the Western Gate, as good. With the one began the period we tread the line of the ancient of foreign domination which seemed to streets, to think that we are following sweep away our ancient tongue and our the march of the Conqueror or of the ancient law. With the other began Deliverer. It is no small matter, as we that period of internal progress, every enter the minster of Leofric and Warel. step of which has been in truth a return wast and Grandison, to think that on to the old laws of England before the that spot Te Deum was sung alike for Norman set foot upon her shores. the overthrow of English freedom and And yet, after all, William the Con- for its recovery. It is no mean lesson queror did but preserve what William if we learn to connect with the remem

the Deliverer came to restore. His brance of this ancient city, among so · Conquest ruled for ever that England many associations of British, Roman, should remain an undivided Kingdom, and English days, two thoughts which and, in so ruling, it ruled that the old rise above all the rest, the thought that laws and freedom, trampled on indeed there is no city in the land whose name but never trampled out, should live on marks a greater stage in the history of to spring up again in newer forms. the Conquest of England, that there is When the one William renewed the none whose name marks a greater stage Laws of Eadward, it was but a link in the history of her deliverance.



OCTOBER, 1873.



at Rome, should have ended just three years after the poet's death. Seven times the Papal chair at Avignon was destined to be filled in the lifetime of Petrarch. The first Avignonese Pope, Clement V., died in 1314 ; to him succeeded John XXII., and in the last year of his pontificate Petrarch thought his hopes were about to be realized, for he announces in one of his sonnets that

“Burthened with holy keys and Papal robe, His steps CHRIST's earthly Vicar homeward

turns.” 1

The romantic and poetical aspect of Petrarch's character has, for the most part, been alone considered by the generality of readers, but it should be remembered that he was actuated by two other powerful passions—the love of his country and the love of knowledge. With regard to the first, we are not aware of the extent of his political influence until we come to investigate his life. Five hundred years have rolled by since his active mind and eloquent tongue have been at rest from earthly labours; and yet the struggle between the temporal and the spiritual power of the Papal See, which so troubled his mind, has only ceased, if indeed it has ceased, within the last two years. The other struggle for the liberty and independence of his country, which was represented in his time by Rienzi, has been renewed century after century, in all the various phases through which Italy has passed, till quite recently, when, subsiding into quiet and apparent harmony, she has at last become “ Italia una,” very different from the “ Italia mia” to whom Petrarch cried in vain “Pace, pace, pace.”

It is a fact worthy of notice that the seventy years' captivity," as it is called, during which the Papal See was established at Avignon, should have begun one year after the birth of Petrarch (1305), and, with the brief interval of Urban the Fifth's three years' sojourn

No. 168. —VOL. XXVIII.

But these hopes were extinguished by the death of this Pope in the following year.

Petrarch, however, undaunted, at once addressed a Latin Epistle to his successor, Benedict XII., imploring him to return to Rome. But neither the description of her ancient glory nor of her present miserable condition could induce the Pope to return, although he rewarded the author of the learned Epistle by the gift of a canonry in Lombez; while, at the same time, he ordered a magnificent palace to be built for himself at Avignon. He was succeeded by Clement VI., and to him the Romans applied, as they had done to his predecessor, to restore the sacred seat to Rome. Petrarch, at that time in Rome, having just received the laurel crown, was among the ambassadors

i Sonn. vi.:“Il Vicario di Cristo con la soma Delle chiavi e del manto al nido torna.”


chosen by the citizens to present their Italian poet a magician, because he could supplication, and the famous Cola da read Virgil ! Rienzo was another member of the em- But when Urban V., the next Pope, bassy. Both pleaded the cause of Rome wrote to offer him the canonry of Carwith much eloquence before Clement VI. pentras, Petrarch seized the opportunity and Rienzo elaborately exposed the de- in his reply to implore him to return to mands of the citizens :

Rome, pointing out with severe frank1. That the Pope should assume the ness the manifold evils resulting from title and functions of Senator of Rome, the position of the Papal Court at Avi. in order to extinguish the civil wars gnon. This time his entreaties and rekindled by the Roman barons.

monstrances were not without effect, for 2. That he should return to his at Easter in the following year (1368), pontifical chair on the banks of the the Pope, regardless of the complaints of Tiber.

the King of France and of his own Car3. That he should grant permission dinals, who did not like to leave the rich for the jubilee instituted by Boniface palaces which they had built, left Avi. VIII.2 to be held every fifty years, and gnon, and four months afterwards made not at the end of a century.

a solemn entry into Rome. Petrarch Petrarch's eloquence was again re- hastened to express his joy in a letter warded by the gift of the priory of of congratulation to Urban V., who Migliarino, but he complains in his letters invited him to come to Rome. Petrarch that he cannot induce the Pope even to was, however, not allowed to see with wish to see Italy, although he conceded his own eyes his darling wish accomthe point of the jubilee every fifty plished, for, having set out on his years. The poet gave vent to his indig- journey, he fell ill and was obliged to nation against the Papal Court in his return to Arqua. Shortly afterwards letters “sine titulo," in which he un he received the further shock of hearing sparingly condemns, with a courage that the Pope, regardless of the warning worthy of Dante, the corruption of the of Santa Brigitta that he would die if he clergy and times. The higher the clerical returned to Avignon, set off on his repositions occupied, the more vehemence turn to France, and expired immediately does he display in exposing and con- after his arrival at Avignon (1372). demning the evil lives of those who held Petrarch lived during only two years them. It was one of his most earnest of the pontificate of the successor of desires to reform the discipline of the Urban V. (Gregory XI.), not long enough Church, although, like Dante and Savo to witness the end of the seventy years' narola, he had a firm belief in her doc- captivity in 1377. In spite of his hardy trines. The system of Church govern- remonstrances with the Papal Court, he ment, which had been bad in Dante's was constantly offered, by the various time, became much worse, according to Popes, offices of the highest importance, Petrarch, at Avignon, which he compares such as the post of Segretario Apostolico, with the Assyrian Babylon for wicked- which he refused five times. ness and corruption. Innocent VI., a It is true that he accepted four eccleFrench Pope, succeeded to Clement VI. siastical preferments — the canonry of He had no wish to leave his native Lombez, conferred upon him by Benecountry, and was deaf to Petrarch's en dict XII. in 1335 ; the priory of St. treaties. Moreover, he thought the Niccola di Migliarino, in 1342; the

canonry of Coloreto in the church of i There have been many disputes as to

Parma, in 1346, to which was joined the whether Rienzo was companion to Petrarch on archidiaconate of that church in 1350; this embassy, but sufficient reason for giving and the canonry of Padua, procured for credit to the fact is to be found in the new him by Jacopo da Carrara. in 1349. Italian edition of Petrarch's letters by Fracasetti, rol. ii. p. 194.

But he steadily refused any cure of * See Inf. c. xviii.

i Lettere Senili, L. 3.

souls. In one of his letters he observes: monstrances and entreaties is to be seen “I never would, nor will I ever, accept in his descent into Italy in the year any prelacy, neither any cure of souls, 1354. In reply to the joyful letter of however richly endowed the benefice. I congratulation addressed to him on this have enough to do with the care of my occasion by the poet, Charles IV. sumown soul, if indeed, by God's mercy, I moned him to meet him at Mantua. am able to suffice to that.”

Petrarch was there eight days, and witHis political influence was not con- nessed his negotiations with the Lords fined to the Popes only. As he shared of the Lombard League, at whose head Dante's views with respect to the Church, the Emperor was now placed. Charles in like manner he entertained his opi. was very desirous of taking Petrarch nions as to the Emperors of Germany. with him to Rome to witness his coroDistracted from one end to the other by nation; this, however, the poet firmly civil wars between princes, none of whom declined. But, alas the vanity of all were strong enough to keep the peace as earthly hopes, even when they seem to arbiter-harassed by factions, desolated be realized ! Petrarch's two chief proby brigandage, which was encouraged by jects for the restoration of his country the noblez, Petrarch saw no hope for the — the return of the Popes to Rome and restoration of Italy except from with the descent of the Emperor of Germany out; and he echoes Dante's passionate into Italy-whereby he hoped to re-unite cry of “O Alberto tedesco,"1 in his the old factions of Guelph and Ghibelappeals to Charles IV., Emperor of Ger- line, were both accomplished only to be many,to descend into Italy. It was immediately undone. Just as Urban V. most strange that a private individual had fled back to Avignon, leaving Rome should have dared to make himself in a worse condition than he found it, so not only the counsellor but the ad- with Charles IV., who had solemnly sworn monisher and reprover of a powerful to the Pope that he would not sleep in foreign sovereign. But the flame of Rome ; 1 no sooner was the ceremony of patriotism so kindled the soul of Pe- his coronation accomplished in that city, trarch that he considered it a crime to than he hastened to leave it and Italy, remain silent.

upon which he shortly afterwards in“ In the midst of the universal silence tended to make war. Petrarch was emwhich prevailed,” he says in his letter ployed as an ambassador by Galeazzo to Urban V.,“ my conscience urged me Visconti, to turn the Emperor from his so strongly to appeal to the Emperor of purpose, and went to Nuremburg to seek Rome and advise his descent into Italy, him. The Emperor reassured the amthat I felt I should be guilty of a crime bassador by saying that the affairs of if I remained silent.” The reply of the Germany were too pressing to admit of Emperor, which is to be found verbatim his making war upon Italy. Afterwards, in the letters already quoted (vol. ii. in 1357, he invested the poet with the 83), justifies the conduct of Petrarch in dignity of Count Palatine in its full writing to him. Far from being dis- glory, with all its rights and privileges. pleased, the Emperor expresses an earnest It is also on record that he presented desire to know personally the “privile- him with a golden cup. giato abitator d'Elicona ” who wrote to Such, then, was Petrarch's influence him, while the effect of Petrarch's re- over the two great powers of the world

at that time—the Pope and the Emperor 1 Purg. c. vi. 9 When before his election Charles IV. came

—the “two Suns," as Dante calls them, to Avignon to obtain the favour of the Pope, “whose several beams cast light on it is said that on some great festive occasion either way, the world's and God's.” 2 he discerned Laura de Sade, and solemnly

i Historical fact. kissed her forehead in the presence of all the guests as a tribute to her beauty and her fame. - Purg. xvi. :This event Petrarch commemorates in Sonnet “Duo Soli che l'une e l'altra strada facean clxxxi. 3 Lett. Fam. x. 2.

veder del mondo e di Dio.”

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