Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

of those who received him in maggiore, or Lord High Chamber1848-49 with little short of divine lain, had omitted to send carde to honour.

the nobleman in question. He Over these, and some other like wrote politely to the Chamberlain, points, Mr. Trollope has passed in informing him that, by some silence, or with light hand. The inadvertence, he had not received impeachment which is to be cards for the ball, and requesting gathered from his writing lies that they might be sent. The first against the candour and truth- Chamberlain, in dismay, laid the fulness of the Bishop of Imola; letter before the King. “We and a charge of that nature will can't help it, Bisignano,” said not be likely to extract from an his Majesty

“He won't take Italian reader more than a depre- a hint. Of course he has a right catory shrug of the shoulders, to be asked. You can't refuse unless it be an outward movement him. You must send him his of the hands, and perhaps the cards. But you'll see that the words, “ Ma-ma-ma!" In ball will not take place.” Neither later years, how far the action of did it, for in the week tha had the Pope has been automatic, in then still to elapse before the day the simple sense of the word, and fixed, one of the gracious and how far that of an automaton, will amiable princesses—sisters of the probably remain untold by the King, who were 80 deservedly historian. It is a very curious loved and respected—unexpectedly fact that the Catholics of Italy died. attribute to the visible head of It will be admitted, even by their religion that quality of which those who hold a belief in the they entertain the most real and evil eye to be a malignant superlively terror. The Pope is credited stition, that it is not one of those with having the evil eye. Strange attributes that would very naturthings are witnessed, and stranger ally be assigned to any one, are told, throughout Italy, of those especially to a high ecclesiastic, gifted with this goblin power. without some obvious reason. PerThe present writer can give an haps the best outcome of the study instance that occurred within his of the subject is the opinion that own knowledge of the mode in a certain clumsy maladroitness is which the belief was held in the a characteristic of some people, highest society in that country, which leads them continually to do On

a morning visit to a Royal mischief, even without any intenperson in Naples, the visible con- tion so to do. This is the most sternation and trouble which per- rational, or rationalistic, view of turbed the whole circle was so the case. But even this is singugreat that, on receiving permission larly unhappy for a Pope. to withdraw, the writer eagerly Whether, however, in the words asked his companion what was of the Gospel, and according

“Did you not see the to the belief of the Italians, the Marchese come into the

eye of Pius the Ninth was evil, or room? The greatest jettatore (a not, there can be no question that caster of the evil eye) in Naples !" his whole career as a Pontiff has There was a ball then pending at tended to confirm the imputation. the Palace, to attend which all Misfortune has dogged his footthose in the room in question had steps, haunted his friends, and received commands. By a prudent scrupulously avoided those smitten forgetfulness, the maggior-duomo by his maledictions. First, in

amiss.

deed, of his misfortunes may be around them that the old order of ranked the period of his birth. contented submission to self-proIn the Divine government of nounced authority had received a human affairs there does not occur blow which, sooner or later, must that

penury of instruments which · be fatal. For either that authority we are accustomed to assume. In must itself, in concord with the the case of almost every grand movement of the times, condescend step in the progress of science or to shew that its basis was firmly of art, it has become apparent that rooted in truth, or its duration more than one student was on the would be only a question of time. track of the cardinal discovery, The traditional caution, hesitaalthough the merit has been as- tion, and timidity of the Vatican cribed to one fortunate name. policy—timidity until it became Bearing this in mind, we may still clear where a crushing blow might speak of events as they occurred, be inflicted, and then perfect and not as they might have hardihood in its delivery—was occurred. With this reserve, we especially needed under circummay say that the first great mis- stances of such unprecedented peril; fortune of Pius the Ninth was that or rather, we may say, when it he was born after two humble would have become evident to a Englishmen, James Watt and wise statesman that such peril was George Stephenson, saw the light. undoubtedly imminent. But the For the spirit evoked by these spirit of counsel seems to have men and their fellow workers has spread its wings, and deserted the been the origin of a mighty shadowy precincts of St. Peter's, material revolution in human at least from the death of Gregory affairs, compared to which the the Sixteenth. Mr. Trollope political revolution of 1789 was gives a characteristic picture of but a flash of summer lightning. the easy-going sloth of the Stephenson and his fellows un- Austrian Cardinal Gaysruck, chained human thought. They whose delay was the cause of the freed the peasant from his parish

accession

of Cardinal Mastai bonds, the islander from his in- Ferretti to the Holy See. With sular ignorance and prejudice. great interest will be read the They gave man a greater freedom account of the tremulous hesitation of range over the surface of his of the latter prelate himself, when planet than would have been it fell to him, by lot, in the Conafforded him if he had been sud- clave, to announce the votes which denly furnished with wings. By gave him the right to wear the this mighty upstirring of society Fisherman's ring. A little more, from its very depths has been and his chance would have been gradually produced a state of gone. In the indescribable inthings with which it is impossible trigue which accompanies a Papal to deal on the old principle of election, Fortune shews herself, quieta non movere. The waters had even more than elsewhere, to be felt the troubling influence of feminine. A chance thrown away a mighty wind. The bark of the is irreversible. But the bearer of Church could not be guided, either the Austrian veto was too late, by a sleeping steersman or by one the fainting courage of Cardinal who thought that he had to con- Ferretti was restored ; and he had tend only with an ordinary ilaw of the rare satisfaction of announcing wind. It was evident to men who to the Conclave the accession of a could see what was going on number of suffrages which at once

made him the master of his told with fair knowledge of the brethren.

events, and appreciation of their It was an evil choice for Rome connexion and importance. We and for the Church. It was, let us can only glance at the results. hope, one of those evils which First was the flight to Gaeta--effect good for Italy and for the the virtual abdication of Papal world. At a moment in which the sovereignty. Under the hospitality traditional counsel which had of King Ferdinand the Second, if reared the Papal throne to its lofty the Pope neither learned nor forgot eminence was more requisite than much, he at least discovered on at any previous crisis, that throne what allies he could alone lean. was ascended by a man who took That portly sovereign, excelled counsel first of his own vanity, and only by the colossal Nicholas of then of those still more dangerous Russia in height and stature, advisers who flattered that master prostrated himself at full length passion. In these two lines lies on the ground before the fugitive the clue to the disasters of the Pope. His Holiness's residence in Papacy under the pontificate of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies Pius the Ninth.

was a contínual triumph, from Italy was well known to be which he went back to impose the honeycombed with secret associa- iron yoke of the travestied fishertions. The Church, as we have man of Galilee on the Romans, by learned from the careful announce- aid of the bayonets of Imperial ments of Pius the Ninth himself, France. The masquerade in which tars with the same brush the a tinsel Charlemagne re-conferred Carbonaro, the Freemason, and the the rule of Rome on a mock subscriber to the Bible Society. Gregory, would have been irresisA Freemason himself, Mastai tibly ludicrous, had it not been Ferretti may, perhaps, have ima- attended by so much bloodshed. gined that the secret societies Living under the protection of which drew their inspiration from the French bayonets, owing his Mazzini, or from even more dan- status, if not his life, to the mystic gerous enthusiasts, were not, in adventurer to whose wife and real truth, more hostile to law, child Pius the Ninth afterwards order, and national welfare than enjoyed the luxury of shewing an were the members of that most ingratitude eminently Papal, an ancient and most honourable con- unusual locus penitentie was given fraternity. At all events, his first to the restored Pontiff. How he actions as Pope applied the match availed himself of the opportunity to a train that had long been ready let Mr. Trollope tell. The first to explode.

“The new Pontiff shock of the earthquake that overwas exhibiting to the world,” says threw the thronelets of Italy, and Mr. Trollope," the startling, un- the antique chair-a Mohammedan known, and significant phenomenon piece of art, bearing the inscripof a popular Pope. And Austria tion in Arabic, “There is no God was beginning to realise the fact but God, and Mohammed is that those hours of Gaysruck's His Prophet”-of St. Peter, delay at Milan had been some- made itself felt

apwhat portentous in the history of parently trivial occasion. Con

ducting his semi-idiotic

son, We refer the reader to the pages Francis, afterwards the second of of Mr. Trollope for the story of that name, to meet his bright and the change that followed. It is spirited bride at Bari, King Fer

on

an

the world.”

was

dinand the Second was stricken by followed when the vengeance of the intense cold of the season in the reaction had its course-invited his passage over the Appenines. as it was by the miserable incomThe road, excellent as his care had petence of Garibaldi and his made it, was blocked with snow. motley crew. It was the opinion The King alighted, and walked of Cavour, the maker of Italy, for a portion of the way.

The that the incorporation of the peasants, when the Royal train barbaric elements composing the came near a village, spread their Kingdom of the Two Sicilies would cloaks and bedding for the Royal materially thwart and delay the footcloth. But it was of no avail. consolidation of the more civilised The King never again held up his people of the North. Events have head. And the minute guns which, justified the hesitation of the after his painful return to Portici Italian statesman. But the one by sea in the following year, cry that rang through Italy, from announced the decease of Ferdinand the Alps to the Ionian Sea, was. the Second, pealed the knell of Viva Italia Una. The people, or the royalties of Parma, Modena, rather the many distinct peoples, Tuscany, Naples, Rome, and of of that geographical expressiontheir great cognate support, the Italy—uttered that cry from their Austrian Power in Italy. The very hearts, with all the peculiar French Emperor compen- energy of their Southern blood. sating Italy for his maintenance There was nothing to be done but to of the Pope by his attack on attempt to "make Italy," although the Holy Roman Empire. Of all wise men would have wished to that followed the story has yet to defer the operation for another be told in a manner becoming the quarter of a century.

And in the gravity, and at the same time making of Italy the case foreseen adorned by the graces, of a great by Machiavelli occurred. Rome historian. It has been told by a was wanted—and the Pope-King great novelist; but the constant had to go. interposition of the claim quorum It was in the interval that elapsed pars magna fui is enough to in- between the fall of the Bourbon dispose the English reader to take dynasty at Naples and the dishis account of these stirring events astrous extinction of the Buonafrom Alexandre Dumas, The ad- parte comedy at Sedan, that Pius vance of Garibaldi, which was the Ninth threw away the grandest more like a series of incidents from opportunity for consolidating a à fairy legend than those of a spiritual throne that was chapter of European history, would offered to a Bishop of Rome. A have come to a speedy close, over man who stands on the lofty and over again, had a single fri- eminence of sovereign power has gate, or a single regiment, of the the opportunity of throwing more navy and army of the Two Sicilies, far-sighted and piercing glances upheld the honour of their flag. around him, and thus of more surely The intervention of King Victor anticipating coming events, than Emmanuel, when at last General any other human being, with the Fanti crossed the frontier, was a exception, perhaps, of a great sheer act of humanity forced on minister of State. And even the Sardinia, against the wishes of all greatest minister, owing to the the northern statesmen, and ren- short and uncertain tenure of dered necessary to prevent the office which is often more marked Sicilian Vespers that would have in constitutional than

in

ever

even

autocratic governments, is but an passionate desire of the Italian outsider compared with a prince people—when a counsellor like born in the purple. From the Machiavelli was hardly needed uniqueorder of the Papacy, the Pope to whisper from his tomb “the is at a disadvantage in this respect temporal power is doomed," the among the sovereigns of Europe. Pope had an opportunity, to seize He attains power more like a which it was not even necessary minister than like a prince. On the for him to take the initiative. other hand, the long and unswerv- What he had, not to ask for, but ing policy laid down by so many simply to accept, was this: the great Pontiffs had surrounded the neutralisation of Rome, as a sacred Papal throne with a subtlety of or pontifical city; the acknowcounsel not elsewhere to be found. ledgment for the Pope of the rank With this traditional wisdom, as we and immunities of a sovereign ; have said, Pius the Ninth abruptly the power to accredit nuncios, and broke.

It may, therefore, weil to receive ministers, with personal be the case that in looking from inviolability for him and for them; the solitary eminence of his throne the maintenance of his splendid when the neighbouring peaks of council of seventy-two Cardinals

, Italian sovereignty had been sub- each gratified, besides his episcomerged by the rising tide, he pal revenue, with an income of could see nothing but mists, and £1000 a-year; and a civil listlightings, and driving storm. But a privy purse-call it which you if a cool-headed and far-seeing will, of a million sterling per Pope had occupied the Holy See annum, guaranteed by all the at that critical moment, he would Catholic Princes of Europe, and have seized an occasion which pro- perhaps of the New World. That mised to commence a second period was the position on which Pope of twelve centuries of Papal Pius the Ninth unhesitatingly primacy, if not of Papal supremacy.

turned his back. Has he not been The Latin peoples love a stately a sore Pope for the Papacy? rite. Nor is it the Latin peoples A question is hinted at by Mr. alone who are now displaying a Trollope which demands a more strong tendency to the re-establish- careful and thoughtful investigament of pompous ritual where it tion than can be lightly given was overthrown three centuries ambulando. We

have already ago. The Italians would be proud spoken of the fact that a sovereign, that Rome should remain the me- even if not a person of the highest tropolis of Catholic Christendom; intellectual order, is wont to posthat the Roman Bishop should ever sess a keener insight into the continue to be the Primate of the essential necessities of his position, Church. The higher his spiritual and to some extent of the welfare claims, the greater the glory of of his people, than can be attained Italy. Sweep away only the in- by the ablest man of inferior tolerable cancer of sacerdotalism- birth. It is impossible to come into the administration, under the any close proximity to sovereign loftiest pretexts, of the meanest, princes without being impressed falsest, foulest tyranny known to with this truth, which, after all, Europe, and the Romans them- is only accordant with human selves would respect the Pope. nature. But the question has beAt the moment, then, when his fore been raised (and amongst temporal power was the one ob- other persons by the present Prime stacle to the fulfilment of the Minister of England) whether a

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »