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masses. While such causes continue to give a steady encouragement to brigandage, the most vigorous administration of justice can only check it for a time, and we are not surprised to hear that up to the
present time it continues to triumph in the Roman States.*
Twice in Gregory's reign Rome was visited by the cholera. We do not wonder that Cardinal Wiseman gives us no details of these periods: there was little to dwell on with pleasure. The people were affected by the usual delusions and committed the usual excesses of panic terror, and their rulers did not set them an example of courage or wisdom. In a despotic state the sovereign, on great emergencies, is called on to expose his person with a hardihood which, in constitutional governments, would be felt to be unnecessary and improper. At Vienna the Emperor went the round of the cholera hospitals, conversed with the sick, and gave courage and confidence by his example. The Pope, from whom, as head of the Church, still more might have been expected, barricaded himnself in his palace, and was believed to spend daily a large sum in sanitary fumigations. When the cholera was approaching, though yet far distant, the government had made a great mistake in the direction it sought to give the public mind. To induce caution it had endeavoured to inspire the greatest horror of contagion. To remove the predisposing cause of illness, fear, and to allay the popular irritation, it encouraged an ungrounded confidence. Popular preachers mounted the pulpit to prove theologically' that the cholera could not attack a city so specially favoured by the Virgin Mary as Rome: thus, when the disease actually approached, the people were led to believe themselves the victims of the diabolical malice of man. Rumours were circulated of poisoners who went about spreading pestilence, and persons whose education should have taught them better asserted that the cholera had been sent by the despots of Europe to diminish the numerical strength of liberty-loving Italy. The prevailing idea of all classes was to seek safety by insulation.
the first panic none would attend the sick but those few who were prepared to die in the discharge of their duty : whole families are said to have perished from sheer neglect. In the country villages the dread of contagion was maniacal. Volunteer cordons were established, and no violence, no cruelty, seemed misplaced, which prevented contact with suspected persons. In a frenzy of irrational terror the populace of Cività Castellana were preparing to burn the carriage of Count
* In cases of sudden death, an inquiry, like our coroner's inquest, presided over by some well-paid officer of high rank and character, would be a great additional safeguard to public security.
C, whom they believed to be escaping with his family from the infected capital, and would have effected their purpose if the postilions had not with great gallantry remounted their horses, and dashing through the crowd, conveyed the carriage and its occupants at a gallop out of the town. We must not, however, judge . the alarm of the Italians by our experience of the pestilence in this country
Its ravages in Rome were fearful : the dead cart went about at night even among the palaces of the great to remove the corpses of those who had died in the day, and the horrors of the mediæval plagues were renewed. Whether this visitation produced any revival of spiritual religion we cannot venture to say: of formalism and superstitious observances there was a visible increase. Rows of lights might now be seen before the images of dingy Madonnas which never before could boast a single taper, and the walls were covered with advertisements of nostrums for preventing the cholera, which on examination were found to consist of certain combinations of Aves and prayers warranted to be of sovereign efficacy. One practical good resulted from this scourge: the custom of carrying bodies for interment on
bier was henceforth discontinued, and instead of carelessly and irreverently tumbling them (generally without coffins) into an open vault in the parish church, an extra-mural place of sepulture was provided at S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura.
The portion of the Cardinal's work which contains most of interest and information consists of the notices of learned and eminent men who have lived in Rome during his time; but his portraits all want individuality, and they are drawn as Queen Elizabeth wished to be represented, without shadows. The promotions of Cardinals Mai and Mezzofanti were highly creditable to Gregory's discernment. The services which the one rendered to literature by the discovery and decyphering of palimpsests, and the almost miraculous power of acquiring languages possessed by the other, can hardly be overpraised by our author's partiality. But our author is the first of Mezzofanti's eulogists who has ventured to assert ó that amiable prodigy,' as he calls him, made an adequate use of his acquisitions. It is not indeed to be supposed that he never was enabled to turn to profit his power of addressing almost all believers in their own tongue, but he never seems even to have contemplated any work on the history of languages or grammar, such as the wonderful means at his command would have enabled him alone to complete. He resembled a man whose life is spent in picking locks, but who never finds time to rifle the treasures they guard. The Romans, who are among the wittiest and most clear-sighted people of Europe, nicknamed him Cardinal Pappagallo (Parrot). Vol. 105.-No. 209.
Those amongst us who are old enough to remember a certain Baron Géramb, who in the earlier part of the century figured in London by his coxcombry and his oddities, will be amused to find him reappearing in the Cardinal's pages as a monk of La Trappe, and residing at the Franciscan convent of Castel Gandolfo. The Cardinal further tells us, not as a proof that his eccentricity had turned to downright insanity, but apparently with approbation, that when he made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, he imitated the love of the Magdalen, by anointing the so-called tomb of the Saviour with 'atar-gul, the most precious of perfumes. But of all the minor events in these reigns, none have a greater interest in our author's eyes than the creations of English cardinals. Leo XII. had intended to give a hat to Monsignor Baines, but his design was prevented by death. He had also declared in Consistory that he reserved in pectore' a foreigner of great talent and learning, whose works had rendered eminent service to religion. This was generally supposed to refer to the historian Lingard ; but the Cardinal seems to speak with authority when he tells us that the Abbé de la Mennais was the person designated. Had Leo executed his intention more promptly, who shall say whether the Roman purple would have retained the eloquent visionary within the pale of orthodoxy, or whether the Pope, for the second time* within half a century, would have incurred the scandalous necessity of excommunicating a Prince of the Holy Roman Church? The choice made by Pius VIII. was irreproachable. Mr. Weld, the owner of Lulworth Castle, had not been originally intended for the priesthood, and had taken orders only on the death of his wife; he had always been a zealous Romanist, and had distinguished himself as a benefactor to the Church by his liberality to the French emigrant clergy. His wealth enabled him to support adequately his new dignity, his charity and generosity adorned it. Never perhaps before had so thorough an English country gentleman worn the Cardinal's red stockings; and he became all the more popular among his countrymen by the stories which were in circulation of the difficulty with which he accommodated himself to the rigid etiquettes which segregate a cardinal from the ordinary commerce of mankind. Within the walls of Rome à prince of the Church cannot move for even the shortest distance on foot; on horseback he is never seen, except in the licence and strict incognito of “villeggiatura.' His coach is scarlet and gilt, unless he belongs to an order which
* The Cardinal de Loménie, Archbishop of Sens, was expelled the Sacred College by Braschi for officiating at some of the parodies of religious ceremonies invented during the French revolution.
has taken the vow of poverty, in which case it is brown. No ladies, however nearly related, can be seen within his carriage; two clerical attendants occupy its back seat; and three footmen in state liveries cling together behind it. When he enters a church and says his prayers before an altar, his two black companions kneel in a row behind him, and in a more distant row the three footmen, representing the tail of a comet, or more accurately the pattern of a fan-stick. Cardinal Weld is praised by our author for the handsome style in which he lived, and the large parties which, chiefly perhaps for the amusement of the ladies of his family, he used to collect together at his apartments in the Odescalchi Palace. The rules which regulate a cardinal's social habits vary according to his position in the Church. A cardinal not in priest's orders is not bound by restrictions much more rigid than those which affect other persons of advanced age and inconveniently lofty rank. There is no objection to his attending a ball if given by a person of sufficient consequence, but he plays a decorous rubber of whist, or a solemn game of chess, or holds a little court of his own in one of the ante-rooms. It is understood to be by mere accident if he is occasionally carried by the pressure of the crowd within the door of the ball-room. Thus at the time our author writes, Cardinal Cacciapiatti (not in holy orders might be seen now and then standing on tiptoe within the profane limits to witness the amusement he had renounced when he first assumed the tonsure. Cardinals are more rarely seen in society according to the gravity of the character they wish to maintain, and the dignity of the spiritual rank they hold in the Church. Those who belong to the regular clergy retain the distinctive dress of their respective orders, and seldom appear in public except on great occasions, or at the house of an ambassador, where their presence passes for a political homage to the sovereign he represents. But the most stately and reserved of these cardinals would not admit, nay, he would rather suspect himself the object of an unseemly practical joke if he were offered in society those demonstrations of respect which recent converts to Romanism in this country ostentatiously pay to the hierarchy of their new faith.
The state of the papácy, like that of Europe generally, was one of constant anxiety during Gregory's reign; yet few events occurred that particularly claim notice from his biographer. On occasion of the visit of the Emperor Nicholas the Pope is supposed to have remonstrated with him very freely on his treatment of the Roman Catholic Church in Poland. The late Cardinal Acton was the sole witness of the conference, and he never divulged its purport. Our author founds his conjectural
account of it on the report which was given by an English gentleman, who happened to be somewhere in the palace, of the discomposure of the Emperor when he retired, or as he says 'fled,' to his carriage (p. 510). As this is evidently a favourite passage with our author, we insert it as a specimen of his peculiar style.
He had entered with his usual firm and royal aspect, grand as it was from statue-like features, stately frame, and martial bearing ; free and at his ease, with gracious looks and condescending gestures of salutation. So he passed through the long suite of ante-rooms, the Imperial eagle, glossy, fiery, “ with plumes unruffled, and with eye unquenched," in all the glory of pinions which no Aight had ever wearied, of beak and talon which no prey had yet resisted. He came forth again, with head uncovered, and hair, if it can be said of man, dishevelled; haggard and pale, looking as though in an hour he had passed through the condensation of a protracted fever; taking long strides, with stooping shoulders, unobservant, unsaluting: he waited not for his carriage to come to the foot of the stairs, but rushed out into the outer court, and hurried away from apparently the scene of a discomfiture. It was the eagle dragged from his eyrie among the clefts of the rocks, “ from his nest among the stars,” his feathers crumpled and his eye quelled by a power till then despised.'
We are very willing to believe that the Pope expressed himself with feeling and with warmth, but our author forgets that the account which he gives of the matter is founded only on his own inflated metaphors. It is to the credit of his philanthropy that Gregory published a bull against the slave-trade. Cardinal Wiseman
says, • This splendid decree has done more to put down the trade than negotiations or corvettes' (p. 460). It is too true that negotiations and corvettes have in many cases signally failed — we shall be glad if the Cardinal can prove spiritual weapons have been more successful. But whatever
have been the result, at least the Pope did all he could. He was a sounder theologian than his successor.
He resisted all attempts to induce him to define dogmatically the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary. He knew that the doctrine was incontestably unknown to the early Church, and he hesitated to commit the seat of infallibility to the theory of development. But in no other particular does he seem to have opposed the views of the extreme Church party. In his encyclical letters he thundered against the circulation of the Scriptures; and he denounced the folly, the deliramentum,' of toleration with unflinching logic. Together with four other saints he canonized Alphonso Liguori, who had already been beatified by his predecessors, and thus set the seal of the Church to the most extravagant legend that has