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FOREIGN QUARTERLY REVIEW.
OCTOBER, 1840, AND JANUARY, 1841.
PUBLISHED BY JEMIMA M. MASON,
CORNER OF BROADWAY AND PINE STREET.
ART. I.- Die Römischen Päpste, ihre Kir. | we must love to see manifested in a writer
che und ihr Staat, von Leopold Ranke. of history : his eyes are neither closed to [The Ecclesiastical and General History the imperfections of his own party, nor un. of the Popes of Rome during the Six. observant of the bright qualities that have teenth and Seventeenth Centuries.] 3 adorned many pious Romanists. Justice is vols. Berlin. 1834–1840.
dealt out with evenhandedness on friend and
foe. The fault, the leading fault of Ranke, The work before us in all respects evi- is a tendency to view Protestantism distinct dences the great labour and unwearied toil from Catholicism. In effect they are the bestowed upon it by its learned author. We same. Protestantism and Romanism vary can scarce help expressing both our re- extremely, but the former does not essen, gret and our pleasure that such pure sources tially differ from Catholicism, which Roman. of authentic information have been developed ism unquestionably does. The Confession to one amply able to use them beneficially of Augsburgh negatives no tenet of Catho. for all. We say regret, for who does not licism. The still simpler confession of the lament the limitation that does not enjoy the persecuted Waldenses* retains every ele. liberty of perusing MSS. amid numerous ment of Catholicism. We shall have occa. nations, on which but a few eyes could sion to revert'more than once to this leading alight, calculated to use them with the faith defect in our author.
Ranke commences of the annalist, the wisdom of the philoso. with showing that the Roman emperor pher, and the piety of the believer. Berlin, united church and state in his own person ; Vienna, Venice, Rome, all have ministered but that Christianity emphatically distin to the immense mass of erudition before us. guished that which is God's from that which The Vatican, indeed, was not thoroughly is Cæsar's. We apprehend that Paganism searched, from some religious jealousy to a and Romanism possessed similar features as Protestant historian; but the Borghese, Do. absorbents, but that with the latter there ria, Barberini, and numerous other private was no existence of the state in any mixed records, possibly more valuable than all the question; in such cases the church, like the public documenis, were opened with great rod of Moses, extinguished the inferior liberality to the northern stranger. A principle. The emperor, therefore, appear. work, filling up an hiatus that had existed ed mild in comparison with the ecclesiastic, too long, has been the result of this laborious investigation.. In various passages we are
* The modern reader of this beautiful composi. led to think the writer inclines to the Ro. tion must think with fearful shuddering on the manist, in others to the Protestant persuasion; them: “We have spared neither age, nor sex, nor
declaration of the leader of the expedition against yet he makes candid avowal in his preface rank; we have emitten every one with the edge of of his Protestant views, with a spirit which the sword.” VOL. XXVI.
But Protestantism, we apprehend, asserting check was needed to the ordinary powers, the agency of both, the union of both, draws or else the worship of India would have closer on the Bible, which clearly distinguish- scarce been inferior to that of Christendom : es between the church and the state. Pepin infallibility being assigned not simply to mer felt the inconvenience of a weak state title, but monsters. to his conquered possessions; he sought to amend it by a religious sanction. The keys "If plagues or earthquakes break not heaven's de
sign, of conquered cities were laid by him on the
Why then a Borgia or a Catiline ?" altar of Saint Peter's, and hence arose the only power of the keys. The Bible pas- A compliment justly paid by Pope to the son sages adduced in support of that power, as of that disgrace of the fifteenth century they are applied to all the apostles, cannot Alexander VI., who ascended the papa be limited to one. Charlemagne ratified throne in 1492, and with whom we begit the donations of Pepin ; they were then our view of our author's work, as he livec thankfully received ; little did the uncon- in the sixteenth also. Alexander had evi. scious successors of Gregory II. imagine dently no belief in another world, and there. that the time would ever arrive when the fore determined to make the most of this. states of the church would be claimed by a He was wise in his generation. Machiavell: king on the throne of Charlemagne, on the says of him, “ Non fece mai altro che ingan. ground of this very donation, and no retreat nare uomini, nè mai pensò ad altro, e sem. conceded to the vassal pope from following pre trovò soggetto da poterlo fare; e non fu the policy of his suzerain. Charlemagne mai uomo che avesse maggiore efficacia ir received in consequence the crown of the asseverare, e che con maggiori giurament Western empire. But Charlemagne and affermasse una cosa, e che l'osservasse his successor Lothaire considered the pope meno; nondimanco sempre gli succederono as substantially belonging to the French gli inganni ad votum, perche conosceva bene empire, as Ranke justly shows by the nomi- questa parte del mondo," (Mach. Il Principe nation, on the part of the latter sovereign, of Firenze, 1831.) A naïve confession. Cer. his own judges at Rome, and annulling containly both Pope Alexander and Cæsar fiscations which the pope had imposed. But Borgia possessed in an eminent degree this this notion was certainly not one on which great statesman's quality of being feared as the popes of succeeding centuries designed rulers. Machiavelli, on the subject of wheto govern-it was not held by him whosether the love or fear of the sovereign ought palfrey an emperor led, nor by him who to be the dominant spirit to instil in the kicked off the emperor's crown in 1191. It people, gives it in favour of the latter. was not the notion of 1450. But from the Concludo adunque tornando all'esser te. very assumption of high authority we may muto ed amato che amando gli uomini : date its decline. Still assumption, supported posta loro, e temendo a posta del principe, by even an exterior of 'piety, would have deve un principe savio fondarsi in su quello protracted the papal power for centuries; che è suo, non in su quello che è d' altri ; but when the ecclesiastic possessed more deve solamente ingegnarsi di fuggir l'odic than the ordinary failings of man, pretending come e detto." to tenfold the virtues of his race combined, Overlooking this latter prudent caution of men's eyes, even in he mistiness of the the crafty Florentine, Cæsar Borgia, Machififteenth century, became opened to discern avelli's hero, fell. It was peculiarly unfor. between good and evil.* Some powerful tunate in the case of Alexander, that he who
first attempted nepotism in the papacy in a
large way, should have had such a son to * The Romanists spoke out freely on this sub- make trial of the possibility of the principle. ject, and the coarsest language of the Reformers Alexander and Cæsar succeeded against the hardly equals the celebrated passage in the ": In- Sforzas, the Malatestas, and the Manfredi
, ferno," connected with the gift of Constantine :“Di voi pastor s'accorse 'l Vangelista
and then, with a sang froid peculiar to themQuando colei, che siede sovra l' acque, selves, both threw off the party that had Puttaneggiar co' regi a lui fu vista :
aided them to this pitch of greatness, and, Quella, che con le sette teste pacque, E dalle diece corna ebbe argomento,
unincumbered with the ordinary feeling of Fin che virtute al suo marito piacque,
mortality, butchered their friends. Yet there Fatto y'avete Deo d'oro e d'argento: came even an earthly visitation,
E che altro è da voi all' idolatre
Se non ch' egli uno, e voi n'orate cento? “ Alexander,” says Ranke, “ thus saw his warm. Ahi Costantin, di quanto mal fu matre est wishes fulfilled, the barons of the land annihi. Non la tua conversion, ma quella dote lated, and his house about to found a great heredi. Che da te prese il primo ricco patre.” tary power in Italy. But already he had begun to
Dant. Inf. cant. 19. feel of what excesses hot and unbridled passions
are capable. Cæsar would share his power neither power. The Venetians affirmed that it was with kinsman nor favourite. He had caused his his design to be lord and master in the game brother, who stood in his way, to be murdered and of the world, and the Florentine Machiavelli thrown into the Tiber. His brother-in-law was attacked, and stabbed on the steps of the palace by wrote of him, “No baron was so insignifi. his orders. The wounded man was nursed by his cant as not to despise the papal power for. wife and sisters ; the sister cooked his food, in order merly. Now a king of France stands in before his house, to protect his son-in-law from his awe of it.” Julius added to the see Parma, son ; precautions which Cæsar derided. He said, Piacenza, Reggio.
Piacenza, Reggio. Venice herself tremWhat is not done by noon may be done by even- bled at his attempts. The papacy rose in ing.' When the Prince was recovering from his worldly power, but it was fast sinking in wounds, Cæsar burst into his chamber, drove out the wife and sister, called an executioner, and or.
spiritual ascendency. “My kingdom is not dered the unfortunate prince to be strangled. He of this world,” the great law of him from used his father as a means to power, otherwise he whom that power was claimed, became a was utterly regardless of him. He killed Peroti, statute of excision. Alexander VI., for the Alexander's favourite, while clinging to his patron, indulgence of his own vices and temporal face was sprinkled with his blood. There was a power, had declared officially that indulgen. moment at which Rome and the papal states were ces delivered souls out of purgatory. Urin Cæsar's power. He was a man of the greatest ban II. originally hit on the invention of in: personal beauty; so strong, that at a bull-fight he dulgences as an easy recompense for the cleft the head of the ball with one stroke ; liberal, Crusaders. Leo, the successor to Julius, and not without traits of magnanimity, but volup: instituted a general sale of them. Hume tuous and sanguinary. Rome trembled at his name. Cæsar wanted money and had enemies; every appears to have imagined that no deleteri. night murdered bodies were found in the streets. ous effect was produced by indulgences on Men lived in seclusion and silence; there was none the moral habits; because, to use his own that did not fear that his turn would come. Those whom force could not reach were taken off by words, “A man could both purchase them poison. There was one point on earth where such at a low rate, and hell fire, the magistrate, a state of things was possible, namely, at which and remorse of conscience, still remained as the plenitude of secular power was united to the powerful checks on evil.” But this sagacious pied by Cæsar. There is a perfection even in de writer, in the use of these words, forgets the pravity. Many of the sons and nephews of popes language of indulgences, the pleasing belief attempted similar things, but none ever approached in the plenary power of the pope, not disbe. Cæsar's bad eminence. He was a virtuoso in lieved, on the evidence of Dr. Doyle, in the crime."
nineteenth century, to say nothing of the No important facts become eliminated in twelfth. Now an indulgence perfectly neuthe progress a monster who was narrow
tralized these checks, restoring, according to ing his attention to the committal of every
the form in Seckendorf, the person to that possible crime in the confined limits of an innocence and purity which he possessed in Italian principality, where evil became more baptism, and that when he died, the gates of visible still from its contracted scene of ope- punishment should be shut, and the gates of ration. His death, if we can trust the MS. the paradise of delight should be opened ; account which Ranke has inserted in his and if he died instanter, this grace should be valuable Appendix, which is full of docu in full force when he was at the point of ments of extraordinary interest, was caused death.—Seck. Comment. lib. i. p. 14.* by his head cook. An intended victim, one
To such an extent had this traffic proceedof the richest of the cardinals, gained over this man ; and the pope swallowed a bonne bouche which he designed for his victim, and
* Maimburgh, the Jesuit, describes the sale of had instructed his own cook to prepare. He (Leo) ad indulgentias refugium habuit.
indulgences as follows: "Exemplo Julii Pontificis
Has ubi. was succeeded by Julius II., and in Borgia's que terrarum publicare curavit factas omnibus, quæ case happily that general law held which pecuniam impensam ad structuram St. Petri solve. was observable in all the successors to the rent, potestate vescendi ovis, et casco tempore papal chair, that with the life of the pope the Bona fide agnoscendum est quod Pontifices qui
Quadragesimæ et eligendi sibi confessionarium. power of his descendants terminated. Rus- postea successerunt in dispensatione spirituali hujus sell remarks in his History of Modern thesauri multum cautiores fuerunt. Tczelius ordiEurope, that “ Borgia, without knowing it, nis sui religiosos in partem laborum associaverat. laboured for the patrimony of St. Peter;" urgendo, ita exaggerabant indulgentiarum pretium and in effect he did so, for Julius contrived ut occasionem darent populo credendi certum esse toʻrid himself of Cæsar Borgia, and yet to unumquemque de salute et de liberandis ex purga. secure his possessions.
torio animabus,quam primum soluta pecunia, literas, Bold as was the bull-cleaving Borgia, Ju- quibus concessio indulgentiarum significabatur, re
demisset. Augebat scandalum quod sublegati in lius was equally determined to have no se popinis versarentur et partem nummorum turpiter cond at the game he played for-temporal I prodigerent.-Maimb. de Luther."