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Title: Renaissance in Italy, Volumes 1 and 2 - The Catholic Reaction
Author: Symonds, John Addington, 1840-1893
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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In Two Parts



   'Deh! per Dio, donna,
Se romper si potria quelle grandi ale?
       *       *       *       *       *
Tu piangi e taci; e questo meglio parmi'

              SAVONAROLA: _De Ruina Ecclesia_




At the end of the second volume of my 'Renaissance in Italy' I indulged
the hope that I might live to describe the phase of culture which closed
that brilliant epoch. It was in truth demanded that a work pretending to
display the manifold activity of the Italian genius during the 15th
century and the first quarter of the 16th, should also deal with the
causes which interrupted its further development upon the same lines.

This study, forming a logically-necessitated supplement to the five
former volumes of 'Renaissance in Italy,' I have been permitted to
complete. The results are now offered to the public in these two parts.

So far as it was possible, I have conducted my treatment of the Catholic
Revival on a method analogous to that adopted for the Renaissance. I
found it, however, needful to enter more minutely into details regarding
facts and institutions connected with the main theme of national

The Catholic Revival was by its nature reactionary. In order to explain
its influences, I have been compelled to analyze the position of Spain
in the Italian peninsula, the conduct of the Tridentine Council, the
specific organization of the Holy Office and the Company of Jesus, and
the state of society upon which those forces were brought to bear.

In the list of books which follows these prefatory remarks, I have
indicated the most important of the sources used by me. Special
references will be made in their proper places to works of a subordinate
value for the purposes of my inquiry.

DAVOS PLATZ: _July_ 1886.


SISMONDI.--Histoire des Republiques Italiennes du Moyen Age.
RANKE.--History of the Popes. 3 vols. English edition: Bohn.
CREIGHTON.--History of the Papacy during the Reformation. 2
   vols. Macmillan.
BOTTA.--Storia d'Italia. Continuata da quella del Guicciardini
   sino al 1789.
FERRARI.--Rivoluzioni d'Italia. 3 vols.
QUINET.--Les Revolutions d'Italie.
GALLUZZI.--Storia del Granducato di Toscana.
PALLAVICINI.--Storia del Concilio Tridentino.
SARPI.--Storia del Concilio. Vols. 1 and 2 of Sarpi's Opere.
DENNISTOUN'S Dukes of Urbino. 3 vols.
ALBERI.--Relazioni degli Ambasciatori Veneti.
MUTINELLI.--Storia Arcana ed Aneddotica d'Italia. Raccontata
   dai Veneti Ambasciatori. 4 vols. Venice. 1858.
MUTINELLI.--Annali Urbani di Venezia.
LITTA.--Famiglie Celebri Italiane.
PHIUPPSON.--La Contre-Révolution Religieuse au XVIme Siècle
   Bruxelles. 1884.
DEJOB.--De l'Influence du Concile de Trente. Paris. 1884.
GIORDANI.--Delia Venuta e Dimora in Bologna del Sommo Pontefice
   Clemente VII. per la Coronazione di Carlo V., Imperatore. Bologna. 1832.
BALBI.--Sommario della Storia d'Italia.
CANTÙ.--Gli Eretici d'Italia. 3 vols. Torino. 1866.
LLORENTE.--Histoire Critique de I'Inquisition d'Espagne. 4 vols.
   Paris. 1818.
LAVALLÉE.--Histoire des Inquisitions Religieuses. 2 vols. Paris.
MCCRIE.--History of the Reformation in Italy. Edinburgh. 1827.
TIRABOSCHI.--Storia della Letteratura Italiana.
DE SANCTIS.--Storia della Letteratura Italiana. 2 vols.
SETTEMBRINI.--Storia della Letteratura Italiana. 3 vols.
CANTÙ.--Storia della Letteratura Italiana. Decreta, etc.,
   Societatis Jesu. Avignon. 1827.
CANTÙ.--Storia della Diocesi di Como. 2 vols.
DANDOLO.--La Signora di Monza e le Streghe del Tirolo. Milano.
BONGHI.--Storia di Lucrezia Buonvisi. Lucca. 1864.
   Archivio Storico Italiano.
BANDI LUCCHESI.--Bologna: Romagnoli. 1863.
BERTOLOTTI.--Francesco Cenci e la sua Famiglia. Firenze. 1877.
GNOLI.--Vittoria Accoramboni. Firenze: Le Monnier. 1870.
DAELLI.--Lorenzino de'Medici. Milano. 1862.
DE STENDHAL.--Chroniques et Nouvelles. Paris. 1855.
GIORDANO BRUNO.--Opere Italiane (Wagner). 2 vols. Leipzig. 1830.
JORDANUS BRUNUS.--Opera Latina. 2 vols. Neapoli. 1879.
BRUNO.--Scripta Latina (Gförer). Stuttgart. 1836.
BERTI.--Vita di Giordano Bruno. Firenze, Torino, Milano. 1868.
BRUNNHOFER.--Giordano Bruno's Weltanschauung und Verhangniss.
   Leipzig. 1882.
PAOLO SARPI.--Opere. 6 vols. Helmstat. 1765.
BIANCHI GIOVINI.--Biografia di Fra Paolo Sarpi. 2 vols. Bruxelles. 1836.
   Lettere di Fra Paolo Sarpi. 2 vols. Firenze. 1863.
CAMPBELL.--Life of Fra Paolo Sarpi. London: Molini and Green. 1869
DEJOB.--Marc-Antoine Muret. Paris: Thorin. 1881.
CHRISTIE.--Etienne Dolet. London: Macmillan. 1880.
RENOUARD.--Imprimerie des Aides.
TORQUATO TASSO.--Opere. Ed. Rosini. 33 vols. Pisa. 1822
   and on.


TASSO.--Le Lettere. Ed. Guasti. 5 vols. Firenze. 1855.
CECCHI.--T. Tasso e la Vita Italiana. Firenze. 1877.
CECCHI.--T. Tasso. Il Pensiero e le Belle Lettere, etc. Firenze. 1877.
D'OVIDIO.--Saggi Critici. Napoli. 1878.
MANSO.--Vita di T. Tasso, in Rosini's edition, vol. 33.
ROSINI.--Saggio sugli Amori di T. Tasso, in edition cited
   above, vol. 33.
GUARINI.--Il Pastor Fido. Ed. Casella. Firenze: Barbèra. 1866.
MARINO.--Adone, etc. Napoli. 1861.
CHIABRERA.--Ed. Polidori. Firenze: Barbèra. 1865.
TASSONI.--La Secchia Rapita. Ed. Carducci. Firenze: Barbèra 1861.
   Il Parnaso Italiano.
BAINI.--Vita di G. P. L. Palestrina.
FELSINA PITTRICE.--2 vols. Bologna. 1841.
LANZI.--History of Painting in Italy. English Edition.
   London. Bohn. Vol. 3.




     Italy in the Renaissance--The Five Great Powers--The Kingdom of
     Naples--The Papacy--The Duchy of Milan--Venice--The Florentine
     Republic--Wars of Invasion closed by the Sack of Rome in
     1527--Concordat between Clement VII. and Charles V.--Treaty of
     Barcelona and Paix des Dames--Charles lands at Genoa--His Journey
     to Bologna--Entrance into Bologna and Reception by
     Clement--Mustering of Italian Princes--Franceso Sforza replaced in
     the Duchy of Milan--Venetian Embassy--Italian League signed on
     Christmas Eve 1529--Florence alone excluded--The Siege of Florence
     pressed by the Prince of Orange--Charles's Coronation as King of
     Italy and Holy Roman Emperor--The Significance of this Ceremony at
     Bologna--Ceremony in S. Petronio--Settlement of the Duchy of
     Ferrara--Men of Letters and Arts at Bologna--The Emperor's Use of
     the Spanish Habit--Charles and Clement leave Bologna in March
     1530--Review of the Settlement of Italy affected by Emperor and
     Pope--Extinction of Republics--Subsequent Absorption of Ferrara and
     Urbino into the Papal States--Savoy becomes an Italian
     Power--Period between Charles's Coronation and the Peace of Cateau
     Cambresis in 1559--Economical and Social Condition of the Italians
     under Spanish Hegemony--The Nation still exists in Separate
     Communities--Intellectual Conditions--Predominance of Spain and
     Rome--Both Cosmopolitan Powers--Leveling down of the Component
     Portions of the Nation in a Common Servitude--The Evils of Spanish



     The Counter-Reformation--Its Intellectual and Moral
     Character--Causes of the Gradual Extinction of Renaissance
     Energy--Transition from the Renaissance to the Catholic
     Revival--New Religious Spirit in Italy--Attitude of Italians toward
     German Reformation--Oratory of Divine Love--Gasparo Contarini and
     the Moderate Reformers--New Religious Orders--Paul III.--His early
     History and Education--Political Attitude between France and
     Spain--Creation of the Duchy of Parma--Imminence of a General
     Council--Review of previous Councils--Paul's Uneasiness--Opens a
     Council at Trent in 1542--Protestants virtually excluded, and
     Catholic Dogmas confirmed in the first Sessions--Death of Paul in
     1549--Julius III.--Paul IV.--Character and Ruling Passions of G. P.
     Caraffa--His Futile Opposition to Spain--Tyranny of His
     Nephews--Their Downfall--Paul devotes himself to Church Reform and
     the Inquisition--Pius IV.--His Minister Morone--Diplomatic Temper
     of this Pope--His Management of the Council--Assistance rendered by
     his Nephew Carlo Borromeo--Alarming State of Northern Europe--The
     Council reopened at Trent in 1562--Subsequent History of the
     Council--It closes with a complete Papal Triumph in 1563--Place of
     Pius IV. in History--Pius V.--The Inquisitor Pope--Population of
     Rome--Social Corruption--Sale of Offices and Justice--Tridentine
     Reforms depress Wealth--Ascetic Purity of Manners becomes
     fashionable--Catholic Reaction generates the
     Counter-Reformation--Battle of Lepanto--Gregory XIII.--His
     Relatives--Policy of enriching the Church at Expense of the
     Barons--Brigandage in States of the Church--Sixtus V.--His Stern
     Justice--Rigid Economy--Great Public Works--Taxation--The City of
     Rome assumes its present form--Nepotism in the Counter-Reformation
     Period--Various Estimates of the Wealth accumulated by Papal
     Nephews--Rise of Princely Roman Families



     Different Spirit in the Holy Office and the Company of Jesus--Both
     needed by the Counter-Reformation--Heresy in the Early
     Church--First Origins of the Inquisition in 1203--S. Dominic--The
     Holy Office becomes a Dominican Institution--Recognized by the
     Empire--Its early Organization--The Spanish Inquisition--Founded in
     1484--How it differed from the earlier Apostolical
     Inquisition--Jews, Moors, New Christians--Organization and History
     of the Holy Office in Spain--Torquemada and his Successors--The
     Spanish Inquisition never introduced into Italy--How the Roman
     Inquisition organized by Caraffa differed from it--_Autos da fé_ in
     Rome--Proscription of suspected Lutherans--The Calabrian
     Waldenses--Protestants at Locarno and Venice--Digression on the
     Venetian Holy Office--Persecution of Free Thought in
     Literature--Growth of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum--Sanction
     given to it by the Council of Trent--The Roman Congregation of the
     Index--Final Form of the Censorship of Books under Clement
     VIII.--Analysis of its Regulations--Proscription of Heretical
     Books--Correction of Texts--Purgation and Castration--Inquisitorial
     and Episcopal Licenses--Working of the System of this Censorship in
     Italy--Its long Delays--Hostility to Sound Learning--Ignorance of
     the Censors--Interference with Scholars in their Work--Terrorism of
     Booksellers--Vatican Scheme for the Restoration of Christian
     Erudition--Frustrated by the Tyranny of the Index--Dishonesty of
     the Vatican Scholars--Biblical Studies rendered nugatory by the
     Tridentine Decree on the Vulgate--Decline of Learning in
     Universities--Miserable Servitude of Professors--Greek dies
     out--Muretus and Manutius in Rome--The Index and its Treatment of
     Political Works--Machiavelli--_Ratio Status_--Encouragement of
     Literature on Papal Absolutism--Sarpi's Attitude--Comparative
     Indifference of Rome to Books of Obscene or Immoral
     Tendency--Bandello and Boccaccio--Papal Attempts to control
     Intercourse of Italians with Heretics



     Vast Importance of the Jesuits in the Counter-Reformation--Ignatius
     Loyola--His Youth--Retreat at Manresa--Journey to
     Jerusalem--Studies in Spain and Paris--First Formation of his Order
     at Sainte Barbe--Sojourn at Venice--Settlement at Rome--Papal
     Recognition of the Order--Its Military Character--Absolutism of the
     General--Devotion to the Roman Church--Choice of Members--Practical
     and Positive Aims of the Founder--Exclusion of the Ascetic,
     Acceptance of the Worldly Spirit--Review of the Order's Rapid
     Extension over Europe--Loyola's Dealings with his Chief
     Lieutenants--Propaganda--The Virtue of Obedience--The _Exercitia
     Spiritualia_--Materialistic Imagination--Intensity and
     Superficiality of Religious Training--The Status of the
     Novice--Temporal Coadjutors--Scholastics--Professed of the Three
     Vows--Professed of the Four Vows--The General--Control exercised
     over him by his Assistants--His Relation to the General
     Congregation--Espionage a Part of the Jesuit System--Advantageous
     Position of a Contented Jesuit--The Vow of Poverty--Houses of the
     Professed and Colleges--The Constitutions and Declarations--Problem
     of the _Monita Secreta_--Reciprocal Relations of Rome and the
     Company--Characteristics of Jesuit Education--Direction of
     Consciences--Moral Laxity--Sarpi's
     Critique--Casuistry--Interference in Affairs of State--Instigation
     to Regicide and Political Conspiracy--Theories of Church
     Supremacy--Insurgence of the European Nations against the Company



     How did the Catholic Revival affect Italian Society?--Difficulty of
     Answering this Question--Frequency of Private Crimes of
     Violence--Homicides and Bandits--Savage Criminal Justice--Paid
     Assassins--Toleration of Outlaws--Honorable Murder--Example of the
     Lucchese Army--State of the Convents--The History of Virginia de
     Leyva--Lucrezia Buonvisi--The True Tale of the Cenci--The Brothers
     of the House of Massimo--Vittoria Accoramboni--The Duchess of
     Palliano--Wife-Murders--The Family of Medici



     Tales illustrative of Bravi and Banditti--Cecco Bibboni--Ambrogio
     Tremazzi--Lodovico dall'Armi--Brigandage--Piracy--Plagues--The
     Plagues of Milan, Venice, Piedmont--Persecution of the
     Untori--Moral State of the Proletariate--Witchcraft--Its Italian
     Features--History of Giacomo Centini




     Italy in the Renaissance--The Five Great Powers--The Kingdom of
     Naples--The Papacy--The Duchy of Milan--Venice--The Florentine
     Republic--Wars of Invasion closed by the Sack of Rome in
     1527--Concordat between Clement VII. and Charles V.--Treaty of
     Barcelona and Paix des Dames--Charles lands at Genoa--His Journey
     to Bologna--Entrance into Bologna and Reception by
     Clement--Mustering of Italian Princes--Francesco Sforza replaced in
     the Duchy of Milan--Venetian Embassy--Italian League signed on
     Christmas Eve, 1529--Florence alone excluded--The Siege of Florence
     pressed by the Prince of Orange--Charles's Coronation as King of
     Italy and Holy Roman Emperor--The Significance of this Ceremony at
     Bologna--Ceremony in S. Petronio--Settlement of the Duchy of
     Ferrara--Men of Letters and Arts at Bologna--The Emperor's Use of
     the Spanish Habit--Charles and Clement leave Bologna in March,
     1530--Review of the Settlement of Italy effected by Emperor and
     Pope--Extinction of Republics--Subsequent Absorption of Ferrara and
     Urbino into the Papal States--Savoy becomes an Italian
     Power--Period between Charles's Coronation and the Peace of Cateau
     Cambresis in 1559--Economical and Social Condition of the Italians
     under Spanish Hegemony--The Nation still Exists in Separate
     Communities--Intellectual Conditions--Predominance of Spain and
     Rome--Both Cosmopolitan Powers--Leveling down of the Component
     Portions of the Nation in a Common Servitude--The Evils of Spanish

In the first volume of my book on _Renaissance in Italy_ I attempted to
set forth the political and social phases through which the Italians
passed before their principal States fell into the hands of despots, and
to explain the conditions of mutual jealousy and military feebleness
which exposed those States to the assaults of foreign armies at the
close of the fifteenth century.

In the year 1494, when Charles VIII. of France, at Lodovico Sforza's
invitation, crossed the Alps to make good his claim on Naples, the
peninsula was Independent. Internal peace had prevailed for a period of
nearly fifty years. An equilibrium had been established between the five
great native Powers, which secured the advantages of confederation and
diplomatic interaction.

While using the word confederation, I do not, of course, imply that
anything similar to the federal union of Switzerland or of North America
existed in Italy. The contrary is proved by patent facts. On a miniature
scale, Italy then displayed political conditions analogous to those
which now prevail in Europe. The parcels of the nation adopted different
forms of self-government, sought divers foreign alliances, and owed no
allegiance to any central legislative or administrative body. I
therefore speak of the Italian confederation only in the same sense as
Europe may now be called a confederation of kindred races.

In the year 1630, when Charles V. (of Austria and Spain) was crowned
Emperor at Bologna, this national independence had been irretrievably
lost by the Italians. This confederation of evenly-balanced Powers was
now exchanged for servitude beneath a foreign monarchy, and for
subjection to a cosmopolitan elective priesthood.

The history of social, intellectual, and moral conditions in Italy
during the seventy years of the sixteenth century which followed
Charles's coronation at Bologna, forms the subject of this work; but
before entering upon these topics it will be well to devote one chapter
to considering with due brevity the partition of Italy into five States
in 1494, the dislocation of this order by the wars between Spain and
France for supremacy, the position in which the same States found
themselves respectively at the termination of those wars in 1527, and
the new settlement of the peninsula effected by Charles V. in 1529-30.

The five members of the Italian federation in 1494 were the kingdom of
Naples, the Papacy, the Duchy of Milan, and the Republics of Venice and
Florence. Round them, in various relations of amity or hostility, were
grouped these minor Powers: the Republics of Genoa, Lucca, Siena; the
Duchy of Ferrara, including Modena and Reggio; the Marquisates of Mantua
and Montferrat; and the Duchy of Urbino. For our immediate purpose it is
not worth taking separate account of the Republic of Pisa, which was
practically though not thoroughly enslaved by Florence; or of the
despots in the cities of Romagna, the March. Umbria, and the Patrimony
of S. Peter, who were being gradually absorbed into the Papal
sovereignty. Nor need we at present notice Savoy, Piemonte, and Saluzzo.
Although these north-western provinces were all-important through the
period of Franco-Spanish wars, inasmuch as they opened the gate of Italy
to French armies, and supplied those armies with a base for military
operations, the Duchy of Savoy had not yet become an exclusively Italian

The kingdom of Naples, on the death of Alfonso the Magnanimous in 1458,
had been separated from Sicily, and passed by testamentary appointment
to his natural son Ferdinand. The bastard Aragonese dynasty was Italian
in its tastes and interests, though unpopular both with the barons of
the realm and with the people, who in their restlessness were ready to
welcome any foreign deliverer from its oppressive yoke. This state of
general discontent rendered the revival of the old Angevine party, and
their resort to French aid, a source of peril to the monarchy. It also
served as a convenient fulcrum for the ambitious schemes of conquest
which the princes of the House of Aragon in Spain began to entertain. In
territorial extent the kingdom of Naples was the most considerable
parcel of the Italian community. It embraced the whole of Calabria,
Apulia, the Abruzzi, and the Terra di Lavoro; marching on its northern
boundary with the Papal States, and having no other neighbors. But
though so large and so compact a State, the semifeudal system of
government which had obtained in Naples since the first conquest of the
country by the Normans, the nature of its population, and the savage
dynastic wars to which it had been constantly exposed, rendered it more
backward in civilization than the northern and central provinces.

The Papacy, after the ending of the schism and the settlement of
Nicholas V. at Rome in 1447, gradually tended to become an Italian
sovereignty. During the residence of the Popes at Avignon, and the
weakness of the Papal See which followed in the period of the Councils
(Pisa, Constance, and Basel), it had lost its hold not only on the
immediate neighborhood of Rome, but also on its outlying possessions in
Umbria, the Marches of Ancona, and the Exarchate of Ravenna. The great
Houses of Colonna and Orsini asserted independence in their
principalities. Bologna and Perugia pretended to republican government
under the shadow of noble families; Bentivogli, Bracci, Baglioni. Imola,
Faenza, Forlì, Rimíni, Pesaro, Urbino, Camerino, Città di Castello,
obeyed the rule of tyrants, who were practically lords of these cities
though they bore the titles of Papal vicars, and who maintained
themselves in wealth and power by exercising the profession of
_condottieri_. It was the chief object of the Popes, after they were
freed from the pressing perils of General Councils, and were once more
settled in their capital and recognized as sovereigns by the European
Powers, to subdue their vassals and consolidate their provinces into a
homogeneous kingdom. This plan was conceived and carried out by a
succession of vigorous and unscrupulous Pontiffs--Sixtus IV., Alexander
VI., Julius II., and Leo X.--throughout the period of distracting
foreign wars which agitated Italy. They followed for the most part one
line of policy, which was to place the wealth and authority of the Holy
See at the disposal of their relatives, Riarios, Delia Roveres, Borgias,
and Medici. Their military delegates, among whom the most efficient
captain was the terrible Cesare Borgia, had full power to crush the
liberties of cities, exterminate the dynasties of despots, and reduce
refractory districts to the Papal sway. For these services they were
rewarded with ducal and princely titles, with the administration of
their conquests, and with the investiture of fiefs as vassals of the
Church. The system had its obvious disadvantages. It tended to indecent
nepotism; and as Pope succeeded Pope at intervals of a few years, each
bent on aggrandizing his own family at the expense of those of his
predecessors and the Church, the ecclesiastical States were kept in a
continual ferment of expropriation and internal revolution. Yet it is
difficult to conceive how a spiritual Power like the Papacy could have
solved the problem set before it of becoming a substantial secular
sovereignty, without recourse to this ruinous method. The Pope, a
lonely man upon an ill-established throne, surrounded by rivals whom
his elevation had disappointed, was compelled to rely on the strong arm
of adventurers with whose interests his own were indissolubly connected.
The profits of all these schemes of egotistical rapacity eventually
accrued, not to the relatives of the Pontiffs; none of whom, except the
Delia Roveres in Urbino, founded a permanent dynasty at this period; but
to the Holy See. Julius II., for example, on his election in 1503,
entered into possession of all that Cesare Borgia had attempted to grasp
for his own use. He found the Orsini and Colonna humbled, Romagna
reduced to submission; and he carried on the policy of conquest by
trampling out the liberties of Bologna and Perugia, recovering the
cities held by Venice on the coast of Ravenna, and extending his sway
over Emilia. The martial energy of Julius added Parma and Piacenza to
the States of the Church, and detached Modena and Reggio from the Duchy
of Ferrara. These new cities were gained by force; but Julius pretended
that they formed part of the Exarchate of Ravenna, which had been
granted to his predecessors by Pepin and Charles the Great. He pursued
the Papal line of conquest in a nobler spirit than his predecessors, not
seeking to advance his relatives so much as to reinstate the Church in
her dominions. But he was reckless in the means employed to secure this
object. Italy was devastated by wars stirred up, and by foreign armies
introduced, in order that the Pope might win a point in the great game
of ecclesiastical aggrandizement. That his successor, Leo X., reverted
to the former plan of carving principalities for his relatives out of
the possessions of their neighbors and the Church, may be counted among
the most important causes of the final ruin of Italian independence.

Of the Duchy of Milan it is not necessary to speak at any great length,
although the wars between France and Spain were chiefly carried on for
its possession. It had been formed into a compact domain, of
comparatively small extent, but of vast commercial and agricultural
resources, by the two dynasties of Visconti and Sforza. In 1494 Lodovico
Sforza, surnamed Il Moro, ruled Milan for his nephew, the titular Duke,
whom he kept in gilded captivity, and whom he eventually murdered. In
order to secure his usurped authority, this would-be Machiavelli thought
it prudent to invite Charles VIII. into Italy. Charles was to assert his
right to the throne of Naples. Lodovico was to be established in the
Duchy of Milan. All his subsequent troubles arose from this transaction.
Charles came, conquered, and returned to France, disturbing the
political equilibrium of the Italian States, and founding a disastrous
precedent for future foreign interference. His successor in the French
kingdom, Louis XII., believed he had a title to the Duchy of Milan
through his grandmother Valentina, daughter of Gian Galeazzo Visconti.
The claim was not a legal one; for in the investiture of the Duchy
females were excluded. It sufficed, however, to inflame the cupidity of
Louis; and while he was still but Duke of Orleans, with no sure prospect
of inheriting the crown of France, he seems to have indulged the fancy
of annexing Milan. No sooner had he ascended the French throne than he
began to act upon this ambition. He descended into Lombardy, overran the
Milanese, sent Lodovico Sforza to die in a French prison, and initiated
the duel between Spain and France for mastery, which ended with the
capture of Francis I. at Pavia, and his final cession of all rights over
Italy to Charles V. by the Treaty of Cambray.

Of all the republics which had conferred luster upon Italy in its
mediaeval period of prosperity Venice alone remained independent. She
never submitted to a tyrant; and her government, though growing yearly
more closely oligarchical, was acknowledged to be just and liberal.
During the centuries of her greatest power Venice hardly ranked among
Italian States. It had been her policy to confine herself to the lagoons
and to the extension of her dominion over the Levant. In the fifteenth
century, however, this policy was abandoned. Venice first possessed
herself of Padua, by exterminating the despotic House of Carrara; next
of Verona, by destroying the Scala dynasty. Subsequently, during the
long dogeship of Francesco Foscari (1423-1457), she devoted herself in
good earnest to the acquisition of territory upon the mainland. Then
she entered as a Power of the first magnitude into the system of purely
Italian politics. The Republic of S. Mark owned the sea coast of the
Adriatic from Aquileia to the mouths of the Po; and her Lombard
dependencies stretched as far as Bergamo westward. Her Italian neighbors
were, therefore, the Duchy of Milan, the little Marquisate of Mantua,
and the Duchy of Ferrara. When Constantinople fell in 1453, Venice was
still more tempted to pursue this new policy of Italian aggrandizement.
Meanwhile her growing empire seemed to menace the independence of less
wealthy neighbors. The jealousy thus created and the cupidity which
brought her into collision with Julius II. in 1508, exposed Venice to
the crushing blow inflicted on her power by the combined forces of
Europe in the war of the League of Cambray. From this blow, as well as
from the simultaneous decline of their Oriental and Levantine commerce,
the Venetians never recovered.

When we turn to the Florentines, we find that at the same epoch, 1494,
their ancient republican constitution had been fatally undermined by the
advances of the family of Medici towards despotism. Lorenzo de'Medici,
who enjoyed the credit of maintaining the equilibrium of Italy by wise
diplomacy, had lately died. He left his son Piero, a hot-headed and rash
young man, to control the affairs of the commonwealth, as he had
previously controlled them, with a show of burgherlike equality, but
with the reality of princely power. Another of his sons, Giovanni,
received the honor of the Cardinalship. The one was destined to
compromise the ascendency of his family in Florence for a period of
eighteen years, the other was destined to re-establish that ascendency
on a new and more despotic basis. Piero had not his father's prudence,
and could not maintain himself in the delicate position of a commercial
and civil tyrant. During the disturbances caused by the invasion of
Charles VIII. he was driven with all his relatives into exile. The
Medici were restored in 1512, after the battle of Ravenna, by Spanish
troops, at the petition of the Cardinal Giovanni. The elevation of this
man to the Papacy in 1513 enabled him to plant two of his nephews, as
rulers, in Florence, and to pave the way whereby a third eventually rose
to the dignity of the tiara. Clement VII. finally succeeded in rendering
Florence subject to the Medici, by extinguishing the last sparks of
republican opposition, and by so modifying the dynastic protectorate of
his family that it was easily converted into a titular Grand Duchy.

The federation of these five Powers had been artificially maintained
during the half century of Italy's highest intellectual activity. That
was the epoch when the Italians nearly attained to coherence as a
nation, through common interests in art and humanism, and by the
complicated machinery of diplomatic relations. The federation perished
when foreign Powers chose Lombardy and Naples for their fields of
battle. The disasters of the next thirty-three years (1494-1527) began
in earnest on the day when Louis XII. claimed Milan and the Regno. He
committed his first mistake by inviting Ferdinand the Catholic to share
in the partition of Naples. That province was easily conquered; but
Ferdinand retained the whole spoils for himself, securing a large
Italian dependency and a magnificent basis of operations for the Spanish
Crown. Then Louis made a second mistake by proposing to the visionary
Emperor Maximilian that he should aid France in subjugating Venice. We
have few instances on record of short-sighted diplomacy to match the
Treaties of Granada and Blois (1501 and 1504), through which this
monarch, acting rather as a Duke of Milan than a King of France,
complicated his Italian schemes by the introduction of two such
dangerous allies as the Austrian Emperor and the Spanish sovereign,
while the heir of both was in his cradle--that fatal child of fortune

The stage of Italy was now prepared for a conflict which in no wise
interested her prosperous cities and industrious population. Spain,
France, Germany, with their Swiss auxiliaries, had been summoned upon
various pretexts to partake of the rich prey she offered. Patriots like
Machiavelli perceived too late the suicidal self-indulgence which, by
substituting mercenary troops for national militia, and by accustoming
selfish tyrants to rely on foreign aid, had exposed the Italians
defenceless to the inroads of their warlike neighbors. Whatever parts
the Powers of Italy might play, the game was really in the hands of
French, Spanish, and German invaders. Meanwhile the mutual jealousies
and hatreds of those Powers, kept in check by no tie stronger than
diplomacy, prevented them from forming any scheme of common action. One
great province (Naples) had fallen into Spanish hands; another (Milan)
lay open through the passes of the Alps to France. The Papacy, in the
center, manipulated these two hostile foreign forces with some advantage
to itself, but with ever-deepening disaster for the race. As in the days
of Guelf and Ghibelline, so now again the nation was bisected. The
contest between French and Spanish factions became cruel. Personal
interests were substituted for principles; cross-combinations perplexed
the real issues of dispute; while one sole fact emerged into
distinctness--that, whatever happened, Italy must be the spoil of the
victorious duelist.

The practical termination of this state of things arrived in the battle
of Pavia, when Francis was removed as a prisoner to Madrid, and in the
sack of Rome, when the Pope was imprisoned in the Castle of S. Angelo.
It was then found that the laurels and the profit of the bloody contest
remained with the King of Spain. What the people suffered from the
marching and countermarching of armies, from the military occupations of
towns, from the desolation of rural districts, from ruinous campaigns
and sanguinary battles, from the pillage of cities and the massacres of
their inhabitants, can best be read in Burigozzo's _Chronicle of Milan_,
in the details of the siege of Brescia and the destruction of Pavia, in
the _Chronicle of Prato_, and in the several annals of the sack of Rome.
The exhaustion of the country seemed complete; the spirit of the people
was broken. But what soon afterwards became apparent, and what in 1527
might have been thought incredible, was that the single member of the
Italian union which profited by these apocalyptic sufferings of the
nation, was the Papacy. Clement VII., imprisoned in the Castle of S.
Angelo, forced day and night to gaze upon his capital in flames and hear
the groans of tortured Romans, emerged the only vigorous survivor of the
five great Powers on whose concert Italian independence had been
founded. Instead of being impaired, the position of the Papacy had been
immeasurably improved. Owing to the prostration of Italy, there was now
no resistance to the Pope's secular supremacy within the limits of his
authorized dominion. The defeat of France and the accession of a Spanish
monarch to the Empire guaranteed peace. No foreign force could levy
armies or foment uprisings in the name of independence. Venice had been
stunned and mutilated by the League of Cambray. Florence had been
enslaved after the battle of Ravenna. Milan had been relinquished,
out-worn, and depopulated, to the nominal ascendency of an impotent
Sforza. Naples was a province of the Spanish monarchy. The feudal
vassals and the subject cities of the Holy See had been ground and
churned together by a series of revolutions unexampled even in the
mediaeval history of the Italian communes. If, therefore, the Pope could
come to terms with the King of Spain for the partition of supreme
authority in the peninsula, they might henceforward share the mangled
remains of the Italian prey at peace together. This is precisely what
they resolved on doing. The basis of their agreement was laid in the
Treaty of Barcelona in 1529. It was ratified and secured by the Treaty
of Cambray in the same year. By the former of these compacts Charles and
Clement swore friendship. Clement promised the Imperial crown and the
investiture of Naples to the King of Spain. Charles agreed to reinstate
the Pope in Emilia, which had been seized from Ferrara by Julius II.; to
procure the restoration of Ravenna and Cervia by the Venetians; to
subdue Florence to the House of Medici; and to bestow the hand of his
natural daughter Margaret of Austria on Clement's bastard nephew
Alessandro, who was already designated ruler of the city. By the Treaty
of Cambray Francis I. relinquished his claims on Italy and abandoned his
Italian supporters without conditions, receiving in exchange the
possession of Burgundy. The French allies who were sacrificed on this
occasion by the Most Christian to the Most Catholic Monarch consisted
of the Republics of Venice and Florence, the Dukes of Milan and Ferrara,
the princely Houses of Orsini and Fregosi in Rome and Genoa, together
with the Angevine nobles in the realm of Naples. The Paix des Dames, as
this act of capitulation was called (since it had been drawn up in
private conclave by Louise of Savoy and Margaret of Austria, the mother
and the aunt of the two signatories), was a virtual acknowledgment of
the fact that French influence in Italy was at an end.[1]

The surrender of Italy by Francis made it necessary that Charles V.
should put in order the vast estates to which he now succeeded as sole
master. He was, moreover, Emperor Elect; and he judged this occasion
good for assuming the two crowns according to antique custom.
Accordingly in July, 1529, he caused Andrea Doria to meet him at
Barcelona, crossed the Mediterranean in a rough passage of fourteen
days, landed at Genoa on August 12, and proceeded by Piacenza, Parma and
Modena to Bologna, where Clement VII. was already awaiting him. The
meeting of Charles and Clement at Bologna was so solemn an event in
Italian history, and its results were so important for the several
provinces of the peninsula, that I may be excused for enlarging at some
length upon this episode.

[Footnote 1: It is significant for the future of Italy that both the
ladies who drew up this agreement were connected with Savoy. Louise,
Duchess of Angoulême, was a daughter of the house. Margaret, daughter of
Maximilian, was Duchess Dowager of Savoy.]

With pomp and pageantry it closed an age of unrivaled intellectual
splendor and of unexampled sufferings through war. By diplomacy and
debate it prescribed laws for a new age of unexpected ecclesiastical
energy and of national peace procured at the price of slavery.
Illustrious survivors from the period of the pagan Renaissance met here
with young men destined to inaugurate the Catholic Revival. The compact
struck between Emperor and Pope in private conferences, laid a basis for
that firm alliance between Spain and Rome which seriously influenced the
destinies of Europe. Finally, this was the last occasion upon which a
modern Caesar received the iron and golden crowns in Italy from the
hands of a Roman Pontiff. The fortunate inheritor of Spain, the Two
Sicilies, Austria and the Low Countries, who then assumed them both at
the age of twenty-nine, was not only the last who wielded the Imperial
insignia with imperial authority, but was also a far more formidable
potentate in Italy than any of his predecessors since Charles the Great
had been.[2]

[Footnote 2: In what follows regarding Charles V. at Bologna I am
greatly indebted to Giordani's laboriously compiled volume: _Della
Venuta e Dimora in Bologna del Sommo Pont. Clemente VII. etc._ (Bologna,

That Charles should have employed the galleys of Doria for the
transhipment of his person, suite, and military escort from Barcelona,
deserves a word of comment. Andrea Doria had been bred in the service of
the French crown, upon which Genoa was in his youth dependent. He
formed a navy of decisive preponderance in the western Mediterranean,
and in return for services rendered to Francis in the Neapolitan
campaign of 1528, he demanded the liberation of his native city. When
this was refused, Doria transferred his allegiance to the Spaniard,
surprised Genoa and reinstated the republic, magnanimously refusing to
secure its tyranny for himself or even to set the ducal cap upon his
head. Charles invested him with the principality of Melfi and made him a
Grandee of Spain. By this series of events Genoa was prepared to accept
the yoke of Spanish influence and customs, which pressed so heavily in
the succeeding century on Italy.

Charles had a body of 2000 Spaniards already quartered at Genoa, as well
as strong garrisons in the Milanese, and a force of about 7000 troops
collected by the Prince of Orange from the _débris_ of the army which
had plundered Rome. While he was on his road from Genoa to Bologna, this
force was already moving upon Florence. He brought with him as escort
some 10,000 men, counting horse and infantry. The total of the troops
which obeyed his word in Italy might be computed at about 27,000,
including Spanish cavalry and foot-soldiers, German lansknechts and
Italian mercenaries. This large army, partly stationed in important
posts of defence, partly in movement, was sufficient to make every word
of his a law. The French were in no position to interfere with his
arrangements. His brother Ferdinand, King of Bohemia and Hungary, was
engaged in a doubtful contest with Soliman before the gates of Vienna.
He was himself the most considerable potentate in Germany, then
distracted by the struggles of the Reformation. Italy lay crushed and
prostrate, trampled down by armies, exhausted by impost and exactions,
terrorized by brutal violence. That Charles had come to speak his will
and be obeyed was obvious.

To greet the king on his arrival at Genoa, Clement deputed two
ambassadors, the Cardinals Ercole Gonzaga and Monsignor Gianmatteo
Giberti, Bishop of Verona. Gonzaga was destined to play a part of
critical importance in the Tridentine Council. Giberti had made himself
illustrious in the Church by the administration of his diocese on a
system which anticipated the coming ecclesiastical reforms, and was
already famous in the world of letters by his generous familiarity with
students.[3] Three other men of high distinction and of fateful future
waited on their imperial master. Of these the first was Cardinal
Alessandro Farnese, who succeeded Clement in the Papacy, opened the
Tridentine Council, and added a new reigning family to the Italian
princes. The others were the Pope's nephews, Alessandro de'Medici, Duke
of Florence designate, and his cousin the Cardinal Ippolito de'Media.
Six years later, Ippolito died at Itri, poisoned by his cousin
Alessandro, who was himself murdered at Florence in 1537 by another
cousin, Lorenzino de'Medici.

[Footnote 3: See _Ren. in It._, vol. v. p. 357.]

It had been intended that Charles should travel to Bologna from Parma
through Mantua, where the Marquis Federigo Gonzaga had made great
preparations for his reception. But the route by Reggio and Modena was
more direct; and, yielding to the solicitations of Alfonso, Duke of
Ferrara, he selected this instead. One of the stipulations of the Treaty
of Barcelona, it will be remembered, had been that the Emperor should
restore Emilia--that is to say, the cities and territories of Modena,
Reggio, and Rubbiera--to the Papacy. Clement regarded Alfonso as a
contumacious vassal, although his own right to that province only rested
on the force of arms by which Julius II. had detached it from the Duchy
of Ferrara. It was therefore somewhat difficult for Charles to accept
the duke's hospitality. But when he had once done so, Alfonso knew how
to ingratiate himself so well with the arbiter of Italy, that on taking
leave of his guest upon the confines of Bologna, he had already secured
the success of his own cause.

Great preparations, meanwhile, were being made in Bologna. The misery
and destitution of the country rendered money scarce, and cast a gloom
over the people. It was noticed that when Clement entered the city on
October 24, none of the common folk responded to the shouts of his
attendants, _Viva Papa Clemente_! The Pope and his Court, too, were in
mourning. They had but recently escaped from the horrors of the Sack of
Rome, and were under a vow to wear their beards unshorn in memory of
their past sufferings. Yet the municipality and nobles of Bologna
exerted their utmost in these bad times to render the reception of the
Emperor worthy of the luster which his residence and coronation would
confer upon them. Gallant guests began to flock into the city. Among
these may be mentioned the brilliant Isabella d'Este, sister of Duke
Alfonso, and mother of the reigning Marquis of Mantua. She arrived on
November 1 with a glittering train of beautiful women, and took up her
residence in the Palazzo Manzoli. Her quarters obtained no good fame in
the following months; for the ladies of her suite were liberal of
favors. Jousts, masquerades, street-brawls, and duels were of frequent
occurrence beneath her windows--Spaniards and Italians disputing the
honor of those light amours. On November 3 came Andrea Doria with his
relative, the Cardinal Girolamo of that name. About the same time,
Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggi, Bishop of Bologna, returned from his legation
to England, where (as students of our history are well aware) he had
been engaged upon the question of Henry VIII.'s divorce from Katharine
of Aragon. Next day Charles arrived outside the gate, and took up his
quarters in the rich convent of Certosa, which now forms the Campo

He was surrounded by a multitude of ambassadors and delegates from the
Bolognese magistracy, by Cardinals and ecclesiastics of all ranks, some
of whom had attended him from the frontier, while others were drawn up
to receive him. November 5 was a Friday, and this day was reckoned lucky
by Charles. He therefore passed the night of the 4th at the Certosa, and
on the following morning made his solemn entry into the city. A
bodyguard of Germans, Burgundians, Spaniards, halberdiers, lansknechts,
men at arms, and cannoneers, preceded him. High above these was borne
the captain-general of the imperial force in Italy, the fierce and cruel
Antonio de Leyva, under whose oppression Milan had been groaning. This
ruthless tyrant was a martyr to gout and rheumatism. He could not ride
or walk; and though he retained the whole vigor of his intellect and
will, it was with difficulty that he moved his hands or head. He
advanced in a litter of purple velvet, supported on the shoulders of his
slaves. Among the splendid crowd of Spanish grandees who followed the
troops, it is enough to mention the Grand Marshal, Don Alvaro Osorio,
Marquis of Astorga, who carried a naked sword aloft. He was armed, on
horseback; and his mantle of cloth of gold blazed with dolphins worked
in pearls and precious stones. Next came Charles, mounted on a bay
jennet, armed at all points, and holding in his hand the scepter.
Twenty-four pages, chosen from the nobles of Bologna, waited on his
bridle and stirrups. The train was brought up by a multitude of secular
and ecclesiastical princes too numerous to record in detail. Conspicuous
among them for the historian were the Count of Nassau, Albert of
Brandenburg, and the Marquis Bonifazio of Montferrat, the scion of the
Eastern Paleologi. As this procession defiled through the streets of
Bologna, it was remarked that Charles, with true Spanish haughtiness,
made no response to the acclamations of the people, except once when,
passing beneath a balcony of noble ladies, he acknowledged their salute
by lifting the cap from his head.

Clement, surrounded by a troop of prelates, was seated to receive him on
a platform raised before the church of San Petronio in the great piazza.
The king dismounted opposite the Papal throne, ascended the steps
beneath his canopy of gold and crimson, and knelt to kiss the Pontiff's
feet. When their eyes first met, it was observed that both turned pale;
for the memory of outraged Rome was in the minds of both; and Caesar,
while he paid this homage to Christ's Vicar, had the load of those long
months of suffering and insult on his conscience. Clement bent down, and
with streaming eyes saluted him upon the cheek. Then, when Charles was
still upon his knees, they exchanged a few set words referring to the
purpose of their meeting and their common desire for the pacification of
Christendom. After this the Emperor elect rose, seated himself for a
while beside the Pope, and next, at his invitation, escorted him to the
great portal of the church. On the way, he inquired after Clement's
health; to which the Pope replied somewhat significantly that, after
leaving Rome, it had steadily improved. He tempered this allusion to his
captivity, however, by adding that his eagerness to greet his Majesty
had inspired him with more than wonted strength and courage. At the
doorway they parted; and the Emperor, having paid his devotions to the
Sacrament and kissed the altar, was conducted to the apartments prepared
for him in the Palazzo Pubblico. These were adjacent to the Pope's
lodgings in the same palace, and were so arranged that the two
potentates could confer in private at all times. It is worthy of remark
that the negotiations for the settlement of Italy which took place
during the next six months in those rooms, were conducted personally by
the high contracting parties, and that none of their deliberations
transpired until the result of each was made public.

The whole of November 5 had been occupied in these ceremonies. It was
late evening when the Emperor gained his lodgings. The few next days
were ostensibly occupied in receiving visitors. Among the first of these
was the unfortunate ex-queen of Naples, Isabella, widow of Frederick of
Aragon, the last king of the bastard dynasty founded by Alfonso. She was
living in poverty at Ferrara, under the protection of her relatives, the
Este family, On the 13th came the Prince of Orange and Don Ferrante
Gonzaga, from the camp before Florence. The siege had begun, but had not
yet been prosecuted with the strictest vigor. During the whole time of
Charles's residence at Bologna, it must be borne in mind that the siege
of Florence was being pressed. Superfluous troops detached from garrison
duty in the Lombard towns were drafted across the hills to Tuscany.
Whatever else the Emperor might decide for his Italian subjects, this at
least was certain: Florence should be restored to the Medicean tyrants,
as compensation to the Pope for Roman sufferings. The Prince of Orange
came to explain the state of things at Florence, where government and
people seemed prepared to resist to the death. Gonzaga had private
business of his own to conduct, touching his engagement to the Pope's
ward, Isabella, daughter and heiress of the wealthy Vespasiano Colonna.

Meanwhile, ambassadors from all the States and lordships of Italy
flocked to Bologna. Great nobles from the South--Ascanio Colonna, Grand
Constable of Naples; Alfonso d'Avalos, Marquis of Vasto; Giovanni Luigi
Caraffa, Prince of Stigliano--took up their quarters in adjacent houses,
or in the upper story of the Public Palace. The Marquis of Vasto arrests
our graze for a moment. He was nephew to the Marquis of Pescara (husband
of Vittoria Colonna), who had the glory of taking Francis prisoner at
Pavia, and afterwards the infamy of betraying the unfortunate Girolamo
Morone and his master the Duke of Milan to the resentment of the Spanish
monarch. What part Pescara actually played in that dark passage of plot
and counterplot remains obscure. But there is no doubt that he employed
treachery, single if not double, for his own advantage. His arrogance
and avowed hostility to the Italians caused his very name to be
execrated; nor did his nephew, the Marquis of Vasto, differ in these
respects from the more famous chief of his house. This man was also
destined to obtain an evil reputation when he succeeded in 1532 to the
government of Milan. Here too may be noticed the presence at Bologna of
Girolamo Morone's son, who had been created Bishop of Modena in 1529.
For him a remarkable fate was waiting. Condemned to the dungeons of the
Inquisition as a heretic by Paul IV., rescued by Pius IV., and taken
into highest favor at that Pontiff's Court, he successfully manipulated
the closing of the Tridentine Council to the profit of the Papal See.

Negotiations for the settlement of Italian affairs were proceeding
without noise, but with continual progress, through this month. The
lodgings of ambassadors and lords were so arranged in the Palazzo
Pubblico that they, like their Imperial and Papal masters, could confer
at all times and seasons. Every day brought some new illustrious
visitor. On the 22nd arrived Federigo Gonzaga, Marquis of Mantua, who
took up his quarters in immediate proximity to Charles and Clement. His
business required but little management. The house of Gonzaga was
already well affected to the Spanish cause, and counted several captains
in the imperial army. Charles showed his favor by raising Mantua to the
rank of a Duchy. It was different with the Republic of Venice and the
Duke of Milan. The Emperor elect had reasons to be strongly prejudiced
against them both--against Venice as the most formidable of the French
allies in the last war; against Francesco Maria Sforza, as having been
implicated, though obscurely, in Morone's conspiracy to drive the
Spaniards from Italy and place the crown of Naples on Pescara's head.
Clement took both under his protection. He had sufficient reasons to
believe that the Venetians would purchase peace by the cession of their
recent acquisitions on the Adriatic coast, and he knew that the
pacification of Italy could not be accomplished without their aid. In
effect, the Republic agreed to relinquish Cervia and Ravenna to the
Pope, and their Apulian ports to Charles, engaging at the same time to
pay a sum of 300,000 ducats and stipulating for an amnesty to all their
agents and dependents. It is not so clear why Clement warmly espoused
the cause of Sforza. That he did so is certain. He obtained a
safe-conduct for the duke, and made it a point of personal favor that he
should be received into the Emperor's grace. This stipulation appears to
have been taken into account when the affairs of Ferrara were decided
at a later date against the Papal interests.

Francesco Maria Sforza appeared in Bologna on the 22nd. This unfortunate
bearer of one of the most coveted titles in Europe had lately lived a
prisoner in his own Castello, while the city at his doors and the
fertile country round it were being subjected to cruelest outrage and
oppression from Spanish, French, Swiss, and German mercenaries. He was a
man ruined in health as well as fortune. Six years before this date, one
of his chamberlains, Bonifazio Visconti, had given him a slight wound in
the shoulder with a poisoned dagger. From this wound he never recovered;
and it was pitiable to behold the broken man, unable to move or stand
without support, dragging himself upon his knees to Caesar's footstool.
Charles appears to have discerned that he had nothing to fear and much
to gain, if he showed clemency to so powerless a suitor. Franceso was
the last of his line. His health rendered it impossible that he should
expect heirs; and although he subsequently married a princess of the
House of Denmark, he died childless in the autumn of 1535. It was
therefore determined, in compliance with the Pope's request, that Sforza
should be confirmed in the Duchy of Milan. Pavia, however, was detached
and given to the terrible Antonio de Leyva for his lifetime. The
garrisons of Milan and Como were left in Spanish hands; and the duke
promised to wring 400,000 ducats as the price of his investiture, with
an additional sum of 500,000 ducats to be paid in ten yearly
instalments, from his already blood-sucked people. It will be observed
that money figured largely in all these high political transactions.
Charles, though lord of many lands, was, even at this early stage of his
career, distressed for want of cash. He rarely paid his troops, but
commissioned the captains in his service to levy contributions on the
provinces they occupied. The funds thus raised did not always reach the
pockets of the soldiers, who subsisted as best they could by marauding.
Having made these terms, Francesco Maria Sforza was received into the
Imperial favor. He returned to Milan, in no sense less a prisoner than
he had previously been, and with the heart-rending necessity of
extorting money from his subjects at the point of Spanish swords. In
exchange for the ducal title, he thus had made himself a tax-collector
for his natural enemies. Secluded in the dreary chambers of his castle,
assailed by the execrations of the Milanese, he may well have groaned,
like Marlowe's Edward--

    But what are Kings, when regiment is gone,
    But perfect shadows in a sunshine day?
    My foemen rule; I bear the name of King;
    I wear the crown; but am controlled by them.

When he died he bequeathed his duchy to the crown of Spain. It was
detached from the Empire, and became the private property of Charles and
of his son, Philip II.

During the month of December negotiations for the terms of peace in
Italy went briskly forward. On the part of Venice, two men of the
highest distinction arrived as orators. These were Pietro Bembo and
Gasparo Contarini, both of whom received the honors of the Cardinalate
from Paul III. on his accession. Of Bembo's place in Italian society, as
the dictator of literature at this epoch, I have already sufficiently
spoken in another part of my work on the Renaissance. Contarini will
more than once arrest our notice in the course of this volume. Of all
the Italians of the time, he was perhaps the greatest, wisest, and most
sympathetic. Had it been possible to avert the breach between
Catholicism and Protestantism, to curb the intolerance of Inquisitors
and the ambition of Jesuits, and to guide the reform of the Church by
principles of moderation and liberal piety, Contarini was the man who
might have restored unity to the Church in Europe. Once, indeed, at
Regensburg in 1541, he seemed upon the very point of effecting a
reconciliation between the parties that were tearing Christendom
asunder. But his failure was even more conspicuous than his momentary
semblance of success. It was not in the temper of the times to accept a
Concordat founded on however philosophical, however politic,
considerations. Contarini will be remembered as a 'beautiful soul,' born
out of the due moment, and by no means adequate to cope with the fierce
passions that raged round him. Among Protestants he was a Catholic, and
they regarded his half measures with contempt. Among Catholics he passed
for a suspected Lutheran, and his writings were only tolerated after
they had been subjected to rigorous castration at the hands of Papal

On Christmas eve the ambassadors and representatives of the Italian
powers met together in the chambers of Cardinal Gattinara, Grand
Chancellor of the Empire, to subscribe the terms of a confederation and
perpetual league for the maintenance of peace. From this important
document the Florentines were excluded, as open rebels to the will of
Charles and Clement. There was no justice in the rigor with which
Florence was now treated. Her republican independence had hitherto been
recognized, although her own internal discords exposed her to a virtual
despotism. But Clement stipulated and Charles conceded, as a _sine qua
non_ in the project of pacification, that Florence should be converted
into a Medicean duchy. For the Duke of Ferrara, whom the Pope regarded
as a contumacious vassal, and whose affairs were still the subject of
debate, a place was specially reserved in the treaty. He, as I have
already observed, had been taken under the Imperial protection; and a
satisfactory settlement of his claims was now a mere question of time.
On the evening of the same day, the Pope bestowed on Charles the Sword
of the Spirit, which it was the wont of Rome to confer on the
best-beloved of her secular sons at this festival. The peace was
publicly proclaimed, amid universal plaudits, on the last day of the
year 1529.

[Footnote 4: See Ranke, vol. i. p. 153, note.]

The chief affairs to be decided in the new year were the reduction of
Florence to submission and the coronation of the Emperor. The month of
January was passed in jousts and pastimes; ceremonial privileges were
conferred on the University of Bologna; magnificent embassies from the
Republic of S. Mark, glowing in senatorial robes of crimson silk, were
entertained; and a singular deputation from the African court of Prester
John obtained audience of the Roman Pontiff. Amid these festivities
there arrived, on January 16, three delegates from Florence, who spent
some weeks in fruitless efforts to obtain a hearing from the arbiters of
Italy. Clement refused to deal with them, because their commonwealth was
still refractory. Charles repelled them, because he wished to gratify
the Pope, and knew that Florence remained staunch in her devotion to the
French crown. The old proverb, 'Lilies with lilies,' the white lily of
Florence united with the golden fleur-de-lys of France, had still
political significance in this day of Italian degradation. Meanwhile
Francis I. treated his faithful allies with lukewarm tolerance. The
smaller fry of Italian potentates, worshipers of the rising sun of
Spain, curried favor with their masters by insulting the republic's
representatives. On their return to Florence, the ambassadors had to
report a total diplomatic failure. But this, far from breaking the
untamable spirit of the Signory and people, prompted them in February to
new efforts of resistance and to edicts of outlawry against citizens
whom they regarded as traitors to the State. Among the proscribed were
Francesco Guicciardini, Roberto Acciaiuoli, Francesco Vettori, and
Baccio Valori. Of these men Francesco Guicciardini, Francesco Vettori,
and Baccio Valori were attendant at Bologna upon the Pope. They all
adhered with fidelity to the Medicean party at this crisis of their
country's fate, and all paid dearly for their loyalty. When Cosimo I.,
by their efforts, was established in the duchy, he made it one of his
first cares to rid himself of these too faithful servants. Baccio Valori
was beheaded after the battle of Montemurlo in 1537 for practice with
the exiles of Filippo Strozzi's party. Francesco Guicciardini, Francesco
Vettori, and Roberto Acciaiuoli died in disgrace before the year
1543--their only crime being that they had made themselves the ladder
whereby a Medici had climbed into his throne, and which it was his
business to upset when firmly seated. For the heroism of Florence at
this moment it would be difficult to find fit words of panegyric. The
republic stood alone, abandoned by France to the hot rage of Clement and
the cold contempt of Charles, deserted by the powers of Italy, betrayed
by lying captains, deluged on all sides with the scum of armies pouring
into Tuscany from the Lombard pandemonium of war. The situation was one
of impracticable difficulty. Florence could not but fall. Yet every
generous heart will throb with sympathy while reading the story of that
final stand for independence, in which a handful of burghers persisted,
though congregated princes licked the dust from feet of Emperor and

Charles had come to assume the iron and the golden crowns in Italy. He
ought to have journeyed to Monza or to S. Ambrogio at Milan for the
first, and to the Lateran in Rome for the second of these investitures.
An Emperor of the Swabian House would have been compelled by precedent
and superstition to observe this form. It is true that the coronation of
a German prince as the successor of Lombard kings and Roman Augusti, had
always been a symbolic ceremony rather than a rite which ratified
genuine Imperial authority. Still the ceremony connoted many mediaeval
aspirations. It was the outward sign of theories that had once exerted
an ideal influence. To dissociate the two-fold sacrament from Milan and
from Rome was the same as robbing it of its main virtue, the virtue of a
mystical conception. It was tantamount to a demonstration that the
belief in Universal Monarchy had passed away. By breaking the old rules
of his investiture, Charles notified the disappearance of the mediaeval
order, and proclaimed new political ideals to the world. When asked
whether he would not follow custom and seek the Lombard crown in Monza,
he brutally replied that he was not wont to run after crowns, but to
have crowns running after him. He trampled no less on that still more
venerable _religio loci_ which attached imperial rights to Rome.
Together with this ancient piety, he swept the Holy Roman Empire into
the dust-heap of archaic curiosities. By declaring his will to be
crowned where he chose, he emphasized the modern state motto of _L'état,
c'est moi_, and prepared the way for a Pope's closing of a General
Council by the word _L'Eglise, c'est moi_. Charles had sufficient
reasons for acting as he did. The Holy Roman Empire ever since the first
event of Charles the Great's coronation, when it justified itself as a
diplomatical expedient for unifying Western Christendom, had existed
more or less as a shadow. Charles violated the duties which alone gave
the semblance of a substance to that shadow. As King of Italy, he had
desolated the Lombard realm of which he sought the title. As Emperor
elect, he had ravished his bride, the Eternal City. As suitor to the
Pope for both of his expected crowns, he stood responsible for the
multiplied insults to which Clement had been so recently exposed. No
Emperor had been more powerful since Charles the Great than this Charles
V., the last who took his crowns in Italy. It was significant that he
man in whose name Rome had suffered outrage, and who was about to detach
Lombardy from the Empire, was by his own will invested at Bologna. The
citizens of Monza were accordingly bidden to send the iron crown to
Bologna. It arrived on February 20, and on the 22nd Charles received it
from the hands of Clement in the chapel of the palace. The Cardinal who
performed the ceremony of unction was a Fleming, William Hencheneor, who
in the Sack of Rome had bought his freedom for the large sum of 40,000
crowns. On this auspicious occasion he cut off half the beard which he
still wore in sign of mourning!

The Duke and Duchess of Urbino made their entrance into Bologna on the
same day. Francesco Maria della Rovere, Duke of Urbino, Prefect of Rome,
and Captain General of the armies of the Church, was one of the most
noted warriors of that time. Yet victory had rarely crowned his brows
with laurels. Imitating the cautious tactics of Braccio, and emulating
the fame of Fabius Cunctator, he reduced the art of war to a system of
manoeuvres, and rarely risked his fortune in the field. It was chiefly
due to his dilatory movements that the disaster of the Sack of Rome was
not averted. He had been expelled by Leo X. from his duchy to make room
for Lorenzo de'Medici, and report ran that a secret desire to witness
the humiliation of a Medicean Pontiff caused him to withhold his forces
from attacking the tumultuary troops of Bourbon. Francesco Maria was a
man of violent temper; nineteen years before, he had murdered the Pope's
Legate, Cardinal Francesco Alidosi, with his dagger, in the open
streets of Bologna. His wife, Eleanora Ippolita Gonzaga, presided with
grace over that brilliant and cultivated Court which Castiglione made
famous by his _Cortegiano_. The Duke and Duchess survive to posterity in
two masterpieces of portraiture by the hand of Titian which now adorn
the Gallery of the Uffizzi.

February 24, which was the anniversary of Charles's birthday, had been
fixed for his coronation as Emperor in San Petronio. This church is one
of the largest Gothic buildings in Italy. Its façade occupies the
southern side of the piazza. The western side, on the left of the
church, is taken up by the Palazzo Pubblico. In order to facilitate the
passage of the Pope and Emperor with their Courts and train of princes
from the palace to the cathedral, a wooden bridge wide enough to take
six men abreast was constructed from an opening in the Hall of the
Ancients. The bridge descended by a gradual line to the piazza,
broadened out into a platform before the front of San Petronio, and then
again ascended through the nave to the high altar. It was covered with
blue draperies, and so arranged that the vast multitudes assembled in
the square and church to see the ceremony had free access to it on all
sides. On the morning of the 24th, the solemn procession issued from the
palace, and defiled in order down the gangway. Clement was borne aloft
by Pontifical grooms in their red liveries. He wore the tiara and a cope
of state fastened by Cellini's famous stud, in which blazed the
Burgundian diamond of Charles the Bold. Charles walked in royal robes
attended by the Count of Nassau and Don Pietro di Toledo, the Viceroy of
Naples, who afterwards gave his name to the chief street in that city.
Before him went the Marquis of Montferrat, bearing the scepter; Philip,
Duke of Bavaria, carrying the golden orb; the Duke of Urbino, with the
sword; and the Duke of Savoy, holding the imperial diadem. This Duke of
Savoy was uncle to Francis I. and brother-in-law to Charles--- his wife,
Beatrice, being a sister of the Empress, and his sister, Louise, mother
of the French king. This double relationship made his position during
the late wars a difficult one. Yet his territory had been regarded as
neutral, and in the pacification of Italy he judged it wise to adhere
without reserve to the victorious King of Spain. It was noticed that
Ferrante di Sanseverino, Prince of Salerno, though known to be in
Bologna, occupied no post of distinction in the imperial train. He was
closely related to the Emperor by his mother, Maria of Aragon, and had
done good service in the recent campaigns against Lautrec. The reason
for this neglect does not appear. But it may be mentioned that some
years later he espoused the French cause, and was deprived of his vast
hereditary fiefs. In his ruin the poet Bernardo, father of Torquato
Tasso, was involved.

To enumerate all the nobles of Spain, Italy and Germany, with the
ambassadors from England, France, Scotland, Hungary, Bohemia and
Portugal; who swelled the Imperial _cortège_; to describe the series of
ceremonies by which Charles was first consecrated as a deacon, anointed,
dressed and undressed, and finally conducted to the Pope for coronation;
to narrate the breaking of the bridge at one point, and the squabbles
between the Genoese and Sienese delegates for precedence, would be
superfluously tedious. The day was well-nigh over when at length Charles
received the Imperial insignia from the Pope's hands. _Accipe gladium
sanctum, Accipe virgam, Accipe pomum, Accipe signum gloriae_! As Clement
pronounced these sentences, he gave the sword, the scepter, the globe,
and the diadem in succession to the Emperor, who knelt before him.
Charles bent and kissed the Papal feet. He then rose and took his throne
beside the Pope. It was placed two steps lower than that of Clement. The
ceremony of coronation and enthronization being now complete, Charles
was proclaimed: _Romanorum Imperator semper augustus, mundi totius
Dominus, universis Dominis, universis Principibus et Populis semper
venerandus_. When Mass was over, Pope and Emperor shook hands. At the
church-door, Charles held Clement's stirrup, and when the Pope had
mounted, he led his palfrey for some paces, in sign of filial

The month of March was distinguished by the arrival of illustrious
visitors. The Duchess of Savoy, with an escort of eighteen lovely maids
of honor, made her pompous entry on the 4th, and took up her quarters in
the Palazzo Pepoli. On the 6th came the Duke of Ferrara, for whom
Charles had procured a safe-conduct from the Pope. During the Emperor's
stay at Bologna, Alfonso d'Este had been assiduous in paying him and his
Court small attentions, sending excellent provisions for the household
and furnishing the royal table with game and every kind of delicacy. The
settlement of his dispute with the Holy See was the only important
business that remained to be transacted. Charles prevailed upon both
Clement and Alfonso to state their cases in writing and to place them in
the hands of jurisconsults, to report upon. There is little doubt that
his own mind was already made up in favor of the duke; but he did not
pass sentence until the following December, nor was the decision
published before April in the year 1531. The substance of the final
agreement was as follows. Modena, Reggio and Rubbiera were declared
fiefs of the Empire, seeing that they had not been included in Pepin's
gift of the Exarchate. Charles confirmed their investiture to Alfonso,
in return for a considerable payment to the Imperial Chancery. He had
previously conferred the town of Carpi, forfeited by Alberto Pio as a
French adherent, on the Duke. Ferrara remained a fief of the Church, and
Clement consented to acknowledge Alfonso's tenure, upon his disbursement
of 100,000 ducats. This decision saved Modena to the bastard line of
Este, when Pope Clement VIII. seized Ferrara as a lapsed fief in 1598.
In the sixty-seven years which passed between the date of Charles's
coronation and the extinction of the duchy, Ferrara enjoyed the fame of
the most brilliant Court in Italy, and shone with the luster conferred
on it by men like Tasso and Guarini.

The few weeks which now remained before Charles left Bologna were spent
for the most part in jousts and tournaments, visits to churches, and
social entertainments. Veronica Gambara threw her apartments open to the
numerous men of letters who crowded from all parts of Italy to witness
the ceremony, of Charles's coronation. This lady was widow to the late
lord of Correggio, and one of the two most illustrious women of her
time.[5] She dwelt with princely state in a palace of the Marsili; and
here might be seen the poets Bembo, Mauro, and Molza in conversation
with witty Berni, learned Vida, stately Trissino, and noble-hearted
Marcantonio Flaminio. Paolo Giovio and Francesco Guicciardini, the chief
historians of their time, were also to be found there, together with a
host of literary and diplomatic worthies attached to the Courts of
Urbino and Ferrara or attendant on the train of cardinals, who, like
Ippolito de'Medici, made a display of culture. Meanwhile the
Dowager-Marchioness of Mantua and the Duchess of Savoy entertained
Italian and Spanish nobles with masqued balls and carnival processions
in the Manzoli and Pepoli palaces. Frequent quarrels between hot-blooded
youths of the rival nations added a spice of chivalrous romance to
love-adventures in which the ladies of these Courts played a too
conspicuous part. What still remained to Italy of Renaissance splendor,
wit, and fashion, after the Sack of Rome and the prostration of her
wealthiest cities, was concentrated in this sunset blaze of sumptuous
festivity at Bologna. Nor were the arts without illustrious
representatives. Francesco Mazzola, surnamed Il Parmigianino, before
whose altar-piece in his Roman studio the rough soldiers of Bourbon's
army were said to have lately knelt in adoration, commemorated the hero
of the day by painting Charles attended by Fame who crowned his
forehead, and an infant Hercules who handed him the globe. Titian, too,
was there, and received the honor of several sittings from the Emperor.
His life-sized portrait of Charles in full armor, seated on a white
war-horse, has perished. But it gave such satisfaction at the moment
that the fortunate master was created knight and count palatine, and
appointed painter to the Emperor with a fixed pension. Titian also
painted portraits of Antonio de Leyva and Alfonso d'Avalos, but whether
upon this occasion or in 1532, when he was again summoned to the
Imperial Court at Bologna, is not certain. From this assemblage of
eminent personages we notice the absence of Pietro Aretino. He was at
the moment out of favor with Clement VII. But independently of this
obstacle, he may well have thought it imprudent to quit his Venetian
retreat and expose himself to the resentment of so many princes whom he
had alternately loaded with false praises and bemired with loathsome

[Footnote 5: See _Ren. in It._ vol. v. p. 289.]

People observed that the Emperor in his excursions through the streets
of Bologna usually wore the Spanish habit. He was dressed in black
velvet, with black silk stockings, black shoes, and a black velvet cap
adorned with black feathers. This somber costume received some relief
from jewels used for buttons; and the collar of the Golden Fleece shone
upon the monarch's breast. So slight a circumstance would scarcely
deserve attention, were it not that in a short space of time it became
the fashion throughout Italy to adopt the subdued tone of Spanish
clothing. The upper classes consented to exchange the varied and
brilliant dresses which gave gayety to the earlier Renaissance for the
dismal severity conspicuous in Morone's masterpieces, in the magnificent
gloom of the Genoese Brignoli, and in the portraits of Roman
inquisitors. It is as though the whole race had put on mourning for its
loss of liberty, its servitude to foreign tyrants and ecclesiastical
hypocrites. Nor is it fanciful to detect a note of moral sadness and
mental depression corresponding to these black garments in the faces of
that later generation. How different is Tasso's melancholy grace from
Ariosto's gentle joyousness; the dried-up precision of Baroccio's
Francesco Maria della Rovere from the sanguine joviality of Titian's
first duke of that name! One of the most acutely critical of
contemporary poets felt the change which I have indicated, and ascribed
it to the same cause. Campanella wrote as follows:

    Black robes befit our age. Once they were white;
      Next many-hued; now dark as Afric's Moor,
      Night-black, infernal, traitorous, obscure,
      Horrid with ignorance and sick with fright.
    For very shame we shun all colors bright,
      Who mourn our end--the tyrants we endure,
      The chains, the noose, the lead, the snares, the lure--
      Our dismal heroes, our souls sunk in night.

In the midst of this mirth-making there arrived on March 20 an embassy
from England, announcing Henry VIII.'s resolve to divorce himself at any
cost from Katharine of Aragon. This may well have recalled both Pope and
Emperor to a sense of the gravity of European affairs. The schism of
England was now imminent. Germany was distracted by Protestant
revolution. The armies of Caesar were largely composed of mutinous
Lutherans. Some of these soldiers had even dared to overthrow a colossal
statue of Clement VII. and grind it into powder at Bologna; and this
outrage, as it appears, went unpunished. The very troops employed in
reducing rebellious Florence were commanded by a Lutheran general; and
Clement began to fear that, after Charles's departure, the Prince of
Orange might cross the Apennines and expose the Papal person to the
insults of another captivity in Bologna. Nor were the gathering forces
of revolutionary Protestants alone ominous. Though Soliman had been
repulsed before Vienna, the Turks were still advancing on the eastern
borders of the Empire. Their fleets swept the Levantine waters, while
the pirate dynasties of Tunis and Algiers threatened the whole
Mediterranean coast with ruin. Charles, still uncertain what part he
should take in the disputes of Germany, left Bologna for the Tyrol on
March 23. Clement, on the last day of the month, took his journey by
Loreto to Rome.

It will be useful, at this point, to recapitulate the net results of
Charles's administration of Italian affairs in 1530. The kingdom of the
Two Sicilies, with the Island of Sardinia and the Duchy of Milan, became
Spanish provinces, and were ruled henceforth by viceroys. The House of
Este was confirmed in the Duchy of Ferrara, including Modena and Reggio.
The Duchies of Savoy and Mantua and the Marquisate of Montferrat, which
had espoused the Spanish cause, were undisturbed. Genoa and Siena, both
of them avowed allies of Spain, the former under Spanish protection, the
latter subject to Spanish coercion, remained with the name and empty
privileges of republics. Venice had made her peace with Spain, and
though she was still strong enough to pursue an independent policy, she
showed as yet no inclination, and had, indeed, no power, to stir up
enemies against the Spanish autocrat. The Duchy of Urbino, recognized
by Rome and subservient to Spanish influence, was permitted to exist.
The Papacy once more assumed a haughty tone, relying on the firm
alliance struck with Spain. This league, as years went by, was destined
to grow still closer, still more fruitful of results.

Florence alone had been excepted from the articles of peace. It was
still enduring the horrors of the memorable siege when Clement left
Bologna at the end of May. The last hero of the republic, Francesco
Ferrucci, fell fighting at Gavignana on August 2. Their general,
Malatesta Baglioni, broke his faith with the citizens. Finally, on
August 12, the town capitulated. Alessandro de'Medici, who had received
the title of Duke of Florence from Charles at Bologna, took up his
residence there in July, 1531, and held the State by help of Spanish
mercenaries under the command of Alessandro Vitelli. When he was
murdered by his cousin in 1537, Cosimo de'Medici, the scion of another
branch of the ruling family, was appointed Duke. Charles V. recognized
his title, and Cosimo soon showed that he was determined to be master in
his own duchy. He crushed the exiled party of Filippo Strozzi, who
attempted a revolution of the State, exterminated its leaders, and
contrived to rid himself of the powerful adherents who had placed him on
the throne. But he remained a subservient though not very willing ally
of Spain; and when he expelled Alessandro Vitelli from the fortress that
commanded Florence, he admitted a Spaniard, Don Juan de Luna, in his
stead. During the petty wars of 1552-56 which Henri II. carried on with
Charles V. in Italy, Siena attempted to shake off the yoke of a Spanish
garrison established there in 1547 under the command of Don Hurtado de
Mendoza. The citizens appealed to France, who sent them the great
Marshal, Piero Strozzi, brother of Cosimo's vanquished enemy Filippo.
Cosimo through these years supported the Spanish cause with troops and
money, hoping to guide events in his own interest. At length, by the aid
of Gian Giacomo Medici, sprung from an obscure Milanese family, who had
been trained in the Spanish methods of warfare, he succeeded in subduing
Siena. He now reaped the fruits of his Spanish policy. In 1557 Philip
II. conceded the Sienese territory, reserving only its forts, to the
Duke of Florence, who in 1569 obtained the title of Grand Duke of
Tuscany from Pope Pius V. This title was confirmed by the Empire in 1575
to his son Francesco.

Thus the republics of Florence and Siena were extinguished. The Grand
Duchy of Tuscany was created. It became an Italian power of the first
magnitude, devoted to the absolutist principles of Spanish and Papal
sovereignty. The further changes which took place in Italy after the
year 1530, turned equally to the profit of Spain and Rome. These were
principally the creation of the Duchy of Parma for the Farnesi
(1545-1559), of which I shall have to speak in the next chapter; the
resumption of Ferrara by the Papacy in 1597, which reduced the House of
Este to the smaller fiefs of Modena and Reggio; the acquisition of
Montferrat by Mantua in 1536; the cession of Saluzzo to Savoy in 1598,
and the absorption of Urbino into the Papal domains in 1631.

It was hoped when Charles and Clement proclaimed the pacification of
Italy at Bologna on the last day of 1529, that the peninsula would no
longer be the theater of wars for supremacy between the French and
Spaniards. This expectation proved delusive; for the struggle soon broke
out again. The people, however, suffered less extensively than in former
years; because the Spanish party, supported by Papal authority, was
decidedly predominant. The Italian princes, whether they liked it or
not, were compelled to follow in the main a Spanish policy. At length,
in 1559, by the Peace of Cateau Cambresis signed between Henri II. and
Philip II., the French claims were finally abandoned, and the Spanish
hegemony was formally acknowledged. The later treaty of Vervins, in
1598, ceded Saluzzo to the Duchy of Savoy, and shut the gates of Italy
to French interference.

Though the people endured far less misery from foreign armies in the
period between 1630 and 1600 than they had done in the period from 1494
to 1527, yet the state of the country grew ever more and more
deplorable. This was due in the first instance to the insane methods of
taxation adopted by the Spanish viceroys, who held monopolies of corn
and other necessary commodities in their hands and who invented imposts
for the meanest articles of consumption. Their example was followed by
the Pope and petty princes. Alfonso II. of Ferrara, for instance, levied
a tenth on all produce which passed his city gates, and on the capital
engaged in every contract. He monopolized the sale of salt, flour,
bread; and imposed a heavy tax on oil. Sixtus V. by exactions of a like
description and by the sale of numberless offices, accumulated a vast
sum of money, much of which bore heavy interest. He was so ignorant of
the first principle of political economy as to lock up the accruing
treasure in the Castle of S. Angelo. The rising of Masaniello in Naples
was simply due to the exasperation of the common folk at having even
fruit and vegetables taxed. In addition to such financial blunders, we
must take into account the policy pursued by all princes at this epoch,
of discouraging commerce and manufactures. Thus Cosimo I. of Tuscany
induced the old Florentine families to withdraw their capital from
trade, sink it in land, create entails in perpetuity on eldest sons, and
array themselves with gimcrack titles which he liberally supplied. Even
Venice showed at this epoch a contempt for the commerce which had
brought her into a position of unrivaled splendor. This wilful
depression of industry was partly the result of Spanish aristocratic
habits, which now invaded Italian society. But it was also deliberately
chosen as a means of extinguishing freedom. Finally, if war proved now
less burdensome, the exhaustion of Italy and the decay of military
spirit rendered the people liable to the scourge of piracy. The whole
sea-coast was systematically plundered by the navies of Barbarossa and
Dragut. The inhabitants of the ports and inland villages were carried
off into slavery, and many of the Italians themselves drove a brisk
trade in the sale of their compatriots. Brigandage, following in the
wake of agricultural depression and excessive taxation, depopulated the
central provinces. All these miseries were exacerbated by frequent
recurrences of plagues and famines.

It is characteristic of the whole tenor of Italian history that, in
spite of the virtual hegemony which the Spaniards now exercised in the
peninsula, the nation continued to exist in separate parcels, each of
which retained a certain individuality. That Italy could not have been
treated as a single province by the Spanish autocrat will be manifest,
when we consider the European jealousy to which so summary an exhibition
of force would have given rise. It is also certain that the Papacy,
which had to be respected, would have resisted an openly declared
Spanish despotism. But more powerful, I think, than all these
considerations together, was the past prestige of the Italian States.
Europe was not prepared to regard that brilliant and hitherto respected
constellation of commonwealths, from which all intellectual culture,
arts of life, methods of commerce, and theories of political existence
had been diffused, as a single province of the Spanish monarchy. The
Spaniards themselves were scarcely in a position to entertain the
thought of reducing the peninsula to bondage _vi et armis_. And if they
had attempted any measure tending to this result, they would undoubtedly
have been resisted by an alliance of the European powers. What they
sought, and what they gained, was preponderating influence in each of
the parcels which they recognized as nominally independent.

The intellectual and social life of the Italians, though much reduced in
vigor, was therefore still, as formerly, concentrated in cities marked
by distinct local qualities, and boastful of their ancient glories. The
Courts of Ferrara and Urbino continued to form centers for literary and
artistic coteries. Venice remained the stronghold of mental unrestraint
and moral license, where thinkers uttered their thoughts with tolerable
freedom, and libertines indulged their tastes unhindered. Rome early
assumed novel airs of piety, and external conformity to austere patterns
became the fashion here. Yet the Papal capital did not wholly cease to
be the resort of students and of artists. The universities maintained
themselves in a respectable position--- far different, indeed, from that
which they had held in the last century, yet not ignoble. Much was
being learned on many lines of study divergent from those prescribed by
earlier humanists. Padua, in particular, distinguished itself for
medical researches. This was the flourishing time, moreover, of
Academies, in which, notwithstanding nonsense talked and foolish tastes
indulged, some solid work was done for literature and science. The names
of the Cimento, Delia Crusca, and Palazzo Vernio at Florence, remind us
of not unimportant labors in physics, in the analysis of language, and
in the formation of a new dramatic style of music. At the same time the
resurgence of popular literature and the creation of popular theatrical
types deserve to be particularly noticed. It is as though the Italian
nation at this epoch, suffocated by Spanish etiquette, and poisoned by
Jesuitical hypocrisy, sought to expand healthy lungs in free spaces of
open air, indulging in dialectical niceties and immortalizing
street-jokes by the genius of masqued comedy.

This most ancient and intensely vital race had given Europe the Roman
Republic, the Roman Empire, the system of Roman law, the Romance
languages, Latin Christianity, the Papacy, and, lastly, all that is
included in the art and culture of the Renaissance. It was time,
perhaps, that it should go to rest a century or so, and watch uprising
nations--the Spanish, English, French, and so forth--stir their stalwart
limbs in common strife and novel paths of pioneering industry.

After such fashion let us, then, if we can contrive to do so, regard
the Italians during their subjection to the Church and Austria. Were it
not for these consolatory reflections, and for the present reappearance
of the nation in a new and previously unapprehended form of unity, the
history of the Counter-Reformation period would be almost too painful
for investigation. What the Italians actually accomplished during this
period in art, learning, science, and literature, was indeed more than
enough to have conferred undying luster on such races as the Dutch or
Germans at the same epoch. But it would be ridiculous to compare
Italians with either Dutchmen or Germans at a time when Italy was still
so incalculably superior. Compared with their own standard, compared
with what they might have achieved under more favorable conditions of
national independence, the products of this age are saddening. The
tragic elements of my present theme are summed up in the fact that Italy
during the Counter-Reformation was inferior to Italy during the
Renaissance, and that this inferiority was due to the interruption of
vital and organic processes by reactionary forces.

It would not be just to condemn Spain and the Papacy because, being
reactionary powers, they quenched for three centuries the genial light
of Italy. We must rather bear in mind that both Spain and the Papacy
were at that time cosmopolitan factors of the first magnitude, with
perplexing world-problems confronting them. Charles bore upon his
shoulders the concerns of the Empire, the burden of the German
revolution, and the distracting anxiety of a duel with Islam. When his
son bowed to the yoke of government, he had to meet the same
perplexities, complicated with Netherlands in revolt, England in
antagonism, and France in dubious ferment. A succession of Popes were
hampered by painful European questions, which the instinct of
self-preservation taught them to regard as paramount. They were fighting
for existence; for the Catholic creed; for their own theocratic
sovereignty. They held strong cards. But against them were drawn up the
battalions of heresy, free thought, political insurgence in the modern
world. The _Zeitgeist_ that has made us what we are, had begun to
organize stern opposition to the Church. It was natural enough that both
the Spanish autocrat and the successor of S. Peter should at this crisis
have regarded Italian affairs as subordinate in importance to wider
matters which demanded their attention. Yet if we shift our point of
view from this high vantage-ground of Imperial and Papal anxieties, and
place ourselves in the center of Italy as our post of observation, it
will be apparent that nothing more ruinous for the prosperity of the
Italian people could have been devised than the joint autocracy accorded
at Bologna to two cosmopolitan but non-national forces in their midst.
An alien monarchy greedy for gold, a panic-stricken hierarchy in terror
for its life, warped the tendencies and throttled the energies of the
most artistically sensitive, the most heroically innovating of the
existing races. However we may judge the merits of the Spaniards, they
were assuredly not those which had brought Italy into the first rank of
European nations. The events of a single century proved that, far from
being able to govern other peoples, Spain was incapable of
self-government on any rational principle. Whatever may have been the
policy thrust upon the chief of Latin Christianity in the desperate
struggle with militant rationalism, the repressive measures which it
felt bound to adopt were eminently pernicious to a race like the
Italians, who showed no disposition for religious regeneration, and who
were yet submitted to the tyranny of ecclesiastical discipline and
intellectual intolerance at every point.

The settlement made by Charles V. in 1530, and the various changes which
took place in the duchies between that date and the end of the century,
had then the effect of rendering the Papacy and Spain omnipotent in
Italy. These kindred autocrats were joined in firm alliance, except
during the brief period of Paul IV.'s French policy, which ended in the
Pope's complete discomfiture by Alva in 1557. They used their aggregated
forces for the riveting of spiritual, political, and social chains upon
the modern world. What they only partially effected in Europe at large,
by means of S. Bartholomew massacres, exterminations of Jews in Toledo
and of Mussulmans in Granada, holocausts of victims in the Low
Countries, wars against French Huguenots and German Lutherans, naval
expeditions and plots against the state of England, assassinations of
heretic princes, and occasional burning of free thinkers, they achieved
with plenary success in Italy. The center of the peninsula, from Ferrara
to Terracina, lay at the discretion of the Pope. The Two Sicilies,
Sardinia and the Duchy of Milan, were absolute dependencies of the
Spanish crown. Tuscany was linked by ties of interest, and by the
stronger bonds of terrorism, to Spain. The insignificant principalities
of Mantua, Modena, Parma could not do otherwise than submit to the same
predominant authority. It is not worth while to take into account the
tiny republics of Genoa and Lucca. Their history through this period,
though not so uneventful, is scarcely less insignificant than that of
San Marino. Venice alone stood independent, still powerful enough to
extinguish Bedmar's Spanish conspiracy in silence, still proud enough to
resist the encroachments of Paul V. with spirit, yet sensible of her
decline and spending her last energies on warfare with the Turk.

At the close of the century, by the Peace of Vervins in 1598 and two
subsequent treaties, Spain and France settled their long dispute. France
was finally excluded from Italy by the cession of Saluzzo to Savoy,
while Savoy at the same moment, through the loss of its Burgundian
provinces, became an Italian power. The old antagonism which, dating
from the Guelf and Ghibelline contentions of the thirteenth century,
had taken a new form after the Papal investiture of Charles of Anjou
with the kingdoms of Sicily and Naples, now ceased. That antique
antagonism of parties, alien to the home interests of Italy, had been
exasperated by the rivalry of Angevine and Aragonese princes; had
assumed formidable intensity after the invasion of Charles VIII. in
1494; and had expanded under the reigns of Louis XII. and Francis I.
into an open struggle between France and Spain for the supremacy of
Italy. It now was finally terminated by the exclusion of the French and
the acknowledged overlordship of the Spaniard. But though peace seemed
to be secured to a nation tortured by so many desolating wars of foreign
armies, the Italians regarded the cession of Saluzzo with despondency.
The partisans of national independence and political freedom had become,
however illogically, accustomed to consider France as their ally.[6]
They now beheld the gates of Italy closed against the French; they saw
the extinction of their ancient Guelf policy of calling French arms into
Italy. They felt that rest from strife was dearly bought at the price of
prostrate servitude beneath Spanish and Austrian Hapsburgs, Spanish
Bourbons, and mongrel princelings bred by crossing these stocks with
decaying scions of Italian nobility. As a matter of fact, this was the
destiny which lay before them for nearly two centuries after the
signing of the Peace of Vervins.

[Footnote 6: See, for instance, temp. Henri IV., _Sarpi's Letters_, vol.
i. p. 233.]

Yet the cession of Saluzzo was really the first dawn of hope for Italy.
It determined the House of Savoy as an Italian dynasty, and brought for
the first time into the sphere of purely Italian interests that province
from which the future salvation of the nation was to come. From 1598
until 1870 the destinies of Italy were bound up with the advance of
Savoy from a duchy to a kingdom, with its growth in wealth, military
resources and political self-consciousness, and with its ultimate
acceptance of the task, accomplished in our days, of freeing Italy from
foreign tyranny and forming a single nation out of many component
elements. Those component elements by their diversity had conferred
luster on the race in the Middle Ages, by their jealousies had wrecked
its independence in the Renaissance, and by their weakness had left it
at the period of the Counter-Reformation a helpless prey to Papal and
Spanish despotism.

The leveling down of the component elements of the Italian race beneath
a common despotism, which began in the period I have chosen for this
work, was necessary perhaps before Italy could take her place as a
united nation gifted with constitutional self-government and
independence. Except, therefore, for the sufferings and the humiliations
inflicted on her people; except for their servitude beneath the most
degrading forms of ecclesiastical and temporal tyranny; except for the
annihilation of their beautiful Renaissance culture; except for the
depression of arts, learning, science, and literature, together with the
enfeeblement of political energy and domestic morality; except for the
loathsome domination of hypocrites and persecutors and informers; except
for the Jesuitical encouragement of every secret vice and every servile
superstition which might emasculate the race and render it subservient
to authority;--except for these appalling evils, we have no right
perhaps to deplore the settlement of Italy by Charles V. in 1530, or the
course of subsequent events. For it is tolerably certain that some such
leveling down as then commenced was needed to bring the constituent
States of Italy into accord; and it is indubitable, as I have had
occasion to point out, that the political force which eventually
introduced Italy into the European system of federated nations, was
determined in its character, if not created, then. None the less, the
history of this period (1530-1600) in Italy is a prolonged, a solemn, an
inexpressibly heart-rending tragedy.

It is the tragic history of the eldest and most beautiful, the noblest
and most venerable, the freest and most gifted of Europe's daughters,
delivered over to the devilry that issued from the most incompetent and
arrogantly stupid of the European sisterhood, and to the cruelty,
inspired by panic, of an impious theocracy. When we use these terms to
designate the Papacy of the Counter-Reformation, it is not that we
forget how many of those Popes were men of blameless private life and
serious views for Catholic Christendom. When we use these terms to
designate the Spanish race in the sixteenth century, it is not that we
are ignorant of Spanish chivalry and colonizing enterprise, of Spanish
romance, or of the fact that Spain produced great painters, great
dramatists, and one great novelist in the brief period of her glory. We
use them deliberately, however, in both cases; because the Papacy at
this period committed itself to a policy of immoral, retrograde, and
cowardly repression of the most generous of human impulses under the
pressure of selfish terror; because the Spaniards abandoned themselves
to a dark fiend of religious fanaticism; because they were merciless in
their conquests and unintelligent in their administration of subjugated
provinces; because they glutted their lusts of avarice and hatred on
industrious folk of other creeds within their borders; because they
cultivated barren pride and self-conceit in social life; because at the
great epoch of Europe's reawakening they chose the wrong side and
adhered to it with fatal obstinacy. This obstinacy was disastrous to
their neighbors and ruinous to themselves. During the short period of
three reigns (between 1598 and 1700) they sank from the first to the
third grade in Europe, and saw the scepter passing in the New World from
their hands to those of more normally constituted races. That the
self-abandonment to sterilizing passions and ignoble persecutions which
marked Spain out for decay in the second half of the sixteenth century,
and rendered her the curse of her dependencies, can in part be ascribed
to the enthusiasm aroused in previous generations by the heroic conflict
with advancing Islam, is a thesis capable of demonstration. Yet none the
less is it true that her action at that period was calamitous to herself
and little short of destructive to Italy.

After the year 1530 seven Spanish devils entered Italy. These were the
devil of the Inquisition, with stake and torture-room, and war declared
against the will and soul and heart and intellect of man; the devil of
Jesuitry, with its sham learning, shameless lying, and casuistical
economy of sins; the devil of vice-royal rule, with its life-draining
monopolies and gross incapacity for government; the devil of an insolent
soldiery, quartered on the people, clamorous for pay, outrageous in
their lusts and violences; the devil of fantastical taxation, levying
tolls upon the bare necessities of life, and drying up the founts of
national well-being at their sources; the devil of petty-princedom,
wallowing in sloth and cruelty upon a pinchbeck throne; the devil of
effeminate hidalgoism, ruinous in expenditure, mean and grasping,
corrupt in private life, in public ostentatious, vain of titles,
cringing to its masters, arrogant to its inferiors. In their train these
brought with them seven other devils, their pernicious offspring:
idleness, disease, brigandage, destitution, ignorance, superstition,
hypocritically sanctioned vice. These fourteen devils were welcomed,
entertained, and voluptuously lodged in all the fairest provinces of
Italy. The Popes opened wide for them the gates of outraged and
depopulated Rome. Dukes and marquises fell down and worshiped the golden
image of the Spanish Belial-Moloch--that hideous idol whose face was
blackened with soot from burning human flesh, and whose skirts were
dabbled with the blood of thousands slain in wars of persecution. After
a tranquil sojourn of some years in Italy, these devils had everywhere
spread desolation and corruption. Broad regions, like the Patrimony of
S. Peter and Calabria, were given over to marauding bandits; wide tracks
of fertile country, like the Sienese Maremma, were abandoned to malaria;
wolves prowled through empty villages round Milan; in every city the
pestilence swept off its hundreds daily; manufactures, commerce,
agriculture, the industries of town and rural district, ceased; the
Courts swarmed with petty nobles, who vaunted paltry titles; and
resigned their wives to cicisbei and their sons to sloth: art and
learning languished; there was not a man who ventured to speak out his
thought or write the truth; and over the Dead Sea of social putrefaction
floated the sickening oil of Jesuitical hypocrisy.



     The Counter-Reformation--Its Intellectual and Moral
     Character--Causes of the Gradual Extinction of Renaissance
     Energy--Transition from the Renaissance to the Catholic
     Revival--New Religious Spirit in Italy--Attitude of Italians toward
     German Reformation--Oratory of Divine Love--Gasparo Contarini and
     the Moderate Reformers--New Religious Orders--Paul III.--His early
     History and Education--Political Attitude between France and
     Spain--Creation of the Duchy of Parma--Imminence of a General
     Council--Review of previous Councils--Paul's Uneasiness--Opens a
     Council at Trent in 1542--Protestants virtually excluded, and
     Catholic Dogmas confirmed in the first Sessions--Death of Paul in
     1549--Julius III.--Paul IV.--Character and Ruling Passions of G.P.
     Caraffa--His Futile Opposition to Spain--Tyranny of his
     Nephews--Their Downfall--Paul Devotes himself to Church Reform and
     the Inquisition--Pius IV.--His Minister Morone--Diplomatic Temper
     of this Pope--His Management of the Council--Assistance rendered by
     his nephew Carlo Borromeo--Alarming State of Northern Europe--The
     Council reopened at Trent in 1562--Subsequent History of the
     Council--It closes with a complete Papal Triumph in 1563--Place of
     Pius IV. in History--Pius V.--The Inquisitor Pope--Population of
     Rome--Social Corruption--Sale of Offices and Justice--Tridentine
     Reforms depress Wealth--Ascetic Purity of Manners becomes
     fashionable--- Piety--The Catholic Reaction generates the
     Counter-Reformation--Battle of Lepanto--Gregory XIII.--His
     Relatives--Policy of Enriching the Church at Expense of the
     Barons--Brigandage in States of the Church--Sixtus V.--His Stern
     Justice--Rigid Economy--Great Public Works--Taxation--The City of
     Rome assumes its present form--Nepotism in the Counter-Reformation
     Period--Various Estimates of the Wealth accumulated by Papal
     Nephews--Rise of Princely Roman Families.

It is not easy to define the intellectual and moral changes which passed
over Italy in the period of the Counter-Reformation[7]; it is still
less easy to refer those changes to distinct causes. Yet some analysis
tending toward such definition is demanded from a writer who has
undertaken to treat of Italian culture and manners between the years
1530 and 1600.

In the last chapter I attempted to describe the depth of servitude to
which the States of Italy were severally reduced at the end of the wars
between France and Spain. The desolation of the country, the loss of
national independence, and the dominance of an alien race, can be
counted among the most important of those influences which produced the
changes in question. Whatever opinions we may hold regarding the
connection between political autonomy and mental vigor in a people, it
can hardly be disputed that a sudden and universal extinction of liberty
must be injurious to arts and studies that have grown up under free

But there were other causes at work. Among these a prominent place
should be given to an alteration in the intellectual interests of the
Italians themselves. The original impulses of the Renaissance, in
scholarship, painting, sculpture, architecture, and vernacular poetry,
had been exhausted.

[Footnote 7: I may here state that I intend to use this term
Counter-Reformation to denote the reform of the Catholic Church, which
was stimulated by the German Reformation, and which, when the Council of
Trent had fixed the dogmas and discipline of Latin Christianity, enabled
the Papacy to assume a militant policy in Europe, whereby it regained a
large portion of the provinces, that had previously lapsed to Lutheran
and Calvinistic dissent.]

Humanism, after recovering the classics and forming a new ideal of
culture, was sinking into pedantry and academic erudition. Painting and
sculpture, having culminated in the great work of Michelangelo, tended
toward a kind of empty mannerism. Architecture settled down into the
types fixed by Palladio and Barozzi. Poetry seemed to have reached its
highest point of development in Ariosto. The main motives supplied to
art by mediaeval traditions and humanistic enthusiasm were worked out.
Nor was this all. The Renaissance had created a critical spirit which
penetrated every branch of art and letters. It was not possible to
advance further on the old lines; yet painters, sculptors, architects,
and poets of the rising generation had before their eyes the
masterpieces of their predecessors, in their minds the precepts of the
learned. All alike were rendered awkward and self-conscious by the sense
of laboring at a disadvantage, and by the dread of academical

In truth, this critical spirit, which was the final product of the
Renaissance in Italy, favored the development of new powers in the
nation: it hampered workers in the elder spheres of art, literature, and
scholarship; but it set thinkers upon the track of those investigations
which we call scientific. I shall endeavor, in a future chapter, to show
how the Italians were now upon the point of carrying the ardor of the
Renaissance into fresh fields of physical discovery and speculation,
when their evolution was suspended by the Catholic Reaction. But here
it must suffice to observe that formalism had succeeded by the operation
of natural influences to the vigor and inventiveness of the national
genius in the main departments of literature and fine art.

If we study the development of other European races, we shall find that
each of them in turn, at its due season, passed through similar phases.
The mediaeval period ends in the efflorescence of a new delightful
energy, which gives a Rabelais, a Shakspere, a Cervantes to the world.
The Renaissance riots itself away in Marinism, Gongorism, Euphuism, and
the affectations of the Hôtel Rambouillet. This age is succeeded by a
colder, more critical, more formal age of obedience to fixed canons,
during which scholarly efforts are made to purify style and impose laws
on taste. The ensuing period of sense is also marked by profounder
inquiries into nature and more exact analysis of mental operations. The
correct school of poets, culminating in Dryden and Pope, holds sway in
England; while Newton, Locke, and Bentley extend the sphere of science.
In France the age of Rabelais and Montaigne yields place to the age of
Racine and Descartes. Germany was so distracted by religious wars, Spain
was so down-trodden by the Inquisition, that they do not offer equally
luminous examples.[8] It may be added that in all these nations the end
of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries are
marked by a similar revolt against formality and common sense, to which
we give the name of the Romantic movement.

[Footnote 8: With regard to Germany, see Mr. T. S. Perry's acute and
philosophical study, entitled _From Opitz to Lessing_ (Boston).]

Quitting this sphere of speculation, we may next point out that the
European system had undergone an incalculable process of transformation.
Powerful nationalities were in existence, who, having received their
education from Italy, were now beginning to think and express thought
with marked originality. The Italians stood no longer in a relation of
uncontested intellectual superiority to these peoples, while they met
them under decided disadvantages at all points of political efficiency.
The Mediterranean had ceased to be the high road of commercial
enterprise and naval energy. Charles V.'s famous device of the two
columns, with its motto _Plus Ultra_, indicated that illimitable
horizons had been opened, that an age had begun in which Spain, England
and Holland should dispute the sovereignty of the Atlantic and Pacific
oceans. Italy was left, with diminished forces of resistance, to bear
the brunt of Turk and Arab depredations. The point of gravity in the
civilized world had shifted. The Occidental nations looked no longer
toward the South of Europe.

While these various causes were in operation, Catholic Christianity
showed signs of re-wakening. The Reformation called forth a new and
sincere spirit in the Latin Church; new antagonisms were evoked, and
new efforts after self-preservation had to be made by the Papal
hierarchy. The center of the world-wide movement which is termed the
Counter-Reformation was naturally Rome. Events had brought the Holy See
once more into a position of prominence. It was more powerful as an
Italian State now, through the support of Spain and the extinction of
national independence, than at any previous period of history. In
Catholic Christendom its prestige was immensely augmented by the Council
of Trent. At the same epoch, the foreigners who dominated Italy, threw
themselves with the enthusiasm of fanaticism into this Revival. Spain
furnished Rome with the militia of the Jesuits and with the engines of
the Inquisition. The Papacy was thus able to secure successes in Italy
which were elsewhere only partially achieved. It followed that the
moral, social, political and intellectual activities of the Italians at
this period were controlled and colored by influences hostile to the
earlier Renaissance. Italy underwent a metamorphosis, prescribed by the
Papacy and enforced by Spanish rule. In the process of this
transformation the people submitted to rigid ecclesiastical discipline,
and adopted, without assimilating, the customs of a foreign troop of

At first sight we may wonder that the race which had shone with such
incomparable luster from Dante to Ariosto, and which had done so much to
create modern culture for Europe, should so quietly have accepted a
retrogressive revolution. Yet, when we look closer, this is not
surprising. The Italians were fatigued with creation, bewildered by the
complexity of their discoveries, uncertain as to the immediate course
before them. The Renaissance had been mainly the work of a select few.
It had transformed society without permeating the masses of the people.
Was it strange that the majority should reflect that, after all, the old
ways are the best? This led them to approve the Catholic Revival. Was it
strange that, after long distracting aimless wars, they should hail
peace at any price? This lent popular sanction to the Spanish hegemony,
in spite of its obvious drawbacks.

These may be reckoned the main conditions which gave a peculiar but not
easily definable complexion of languor, melancholy, and dwindling
vitality to nearly every manifestation of Italian genius in the second
half of the sixteenth century, and which well nigh sterilized that
genius during the two succeeding centuries. In common with the rest of
Europe, and in consequence of an inevitable alteration of their mental
bias, they had lost the blithe spontaneity of the Renaissance. But they
were at the same time suffering from grievous exhaustion, humiliated by
the tyranny of foreign despotism, and terrorized by ecclesiastical
intolerance. In their case, therefore, a sort of moral and intellectual
atrophy becomes gradually more and more perceptible. The clear artistic
sense of rightness and of beauty yields to doubtful taste. The frank
audacity of the Renaissance is superseded by cringing timidity,
lumbering dulness, somnolent and stagnant acquiescence in accepted
formulae. At first the best minds of the nation fret and rebel, and meet
with the dungeon or the stake as the reward of contumacy. In the end
everybody seems to be indifferent, satisfied with vacuity, enamored of
insipidity. The brightest episode in this dreary period is the emergence
of modern music with incomparable sweetness and lucidity.

It must not be supposed that the change which I have adumbrated, passed
rapidly over the Italian spirit. When Paul III. succeeded Clement on the
Papal throne in 1534, some of the giants of the Renaissance still
survived, and much of their great work was yet to be accomplished.
Michelangelo had neither painted the Last Judgment nor planned the
cupola which crowns S. Peter's. Cellini had not cast his Perseus for the
Loggia de'Lanzi, nor had Palladio raised San Giorgio from the sea at
Venice. Pietro Aretino still swaggered in lordly insolence; and though
Machiavelli was dead, the 'silver histories' of Guicciardini remained to
be written. Bandello, Giraldi and Il Lasca had not published their
Novelle, nor had Cecchi given the last touch to Florentine comedy. It
was chiefly at Venice, which preserved the ancient forms of her
oligarchical independence, that the grand style of the Renaissance
continued to flourish. Titian was in his prime; the stars of Tintoretto
and Veronese had scarcely risen above the horizon. Sansovino was still
producing masterpieces of picturesque beauty in architecture.

In order to understand the transition of Italy from the Renaissance to
the Counter-Reformation manner, it will be well to concentrate attention
on the history of the Papacy during the eight reigns of Paul III.,
Julius III., Paul IV., Pius IV., Pius V., Gregory XIII., Sixtus V., and
Clement VIII.[9] In the first of these reigns we hardly notice that the
Renaissance has passed away. In the last we are aware of a completely
altered Italy. And we perceive that this alteration has been chiefly due
to the ecclesiastical policy which brought the Council of Trent to a
successful issue in the reign of Pius IV.

[Footnote 9: These eight reigns cover a space of time from 1534 to

Before engaging in this review of Papal history, I must give some brief
account of the more serious religious spirit which had been developed
within the Italian Church; since the determination of this spirit toward
rigid Catholicism in the second half of the sixteenth century decided
the character of Italian manners and culture. Protestantism in the
strict sense of the term took but little hold upon Italian society. It
is true that the minds of some philosophical students were deeply
stirred by the audacious discussion of theological principles in
Germany. Such men had been rendered receptive of new impressions by the
Platonizing speculations of Ficino and Pico della Mirandola, as well as
by the criticism of the Bible in its original languages which formed a
subordinate branch of humanistic education. They had, furthermore, been
powerfully affected by the tribulations of Rome at the time of Bourbon's
occupation, and had grown to regard these as a divine chastisement
inflicted on the Church for its corruption and ungodliness. Lutheranism
so far influenced their opinions that they became convinced of the
necessity of a return to the simpler elements of Christianity in creed
and conduct. They considered a thorough-going reform of the hierarchy
and of all Catholic institutions to be indispensable. They leant,
moreover, with partiality to some of the essential tenets of the
Reformation, notably to the doctrines of justification by faith and
salvation by the merits of Christ, and also to the principle that
Scripture is the sole authority in matters of belief and discipline.
Thus both the Cardinals Morone and Contarini, the poet Flaminio, and the
nobles of the Colonna family in Naples who imbibed the teaching of
Valdes, fell under the suspicion of heterodoxy on these points. But it
was characteristic of the members of this school that they had no will
to withhold allegiance from the Pope as chief of Christendom. They
shrank with horror from the thought of encouraging a schism or of
severing themselves from the communion of Catholics. The essential
difference between Italian and Teutonic thinkers on such subjects at
this epoch seems to have been this: Italians could not cease to be
Catholics without at the same time ceasing to be Christians. They could
not accommodate their faith to any of the compromises suggested by the
Reformation. Even when they left their country in a spirit of rebellion,
they felt ill at ease both with Lutherans and Calvinists. Like
Bernardino Ochino and the Anti-Trinitarians of the Socinian sect, they
wandered restlessly through Europe, incapable of settling down in
communion with any one of the established forms of Protestantism. Calvin
at Geneva instituted a real crusade against Italian thinkers, who
differed from his views. He drove Valentino Gentile to death on the
scaffold; and expelled Gribaldi, Simone, Biandrata, Alciati, Negro. Most
of these men found refuge in Poland, Transylvania, even Turkey.[10]

There were bold speculators in Italy enough, who had practically
abandoned the Catholic faith. But the majority of these did not think it
worth their while to make an open rupture with the Church. Theological
hair-splitting reminded them only of the mediaeval scholasticism from
which they had been emancipated by classical culture. They were less
interested in questions touching the salvation of the individual or the
exact nature of the sacraments, than in metaphysical problems suggested
by the study of antique philosophers, or new theories of the material

[Footnote 10: See Berti's _Vita di G. Bruno_, pp. 105-108.]

The indifference of these men in religion rendered it easy for them to
conform in all external points to custom. Their fundamental axiom was
that a scientific thinker could hold one set of opinions as a
philosopher, and another set as a Christian. Their motto was the
celebrated _Foris ut moris, intus ut libet_.[11] Nor were ecclesiastical
authorities dissatisfied with this attitude during the ascendancy of
humanistic culture. It was, indeed, the attitude of Popes like Leo,
Cardinals like Bembo. And it only revealed its essential weakness when
the tide of general opinion, under the blast of Teutonic revolutionary
ideas, turned violently in favor of formal orthodoxy. Then indeed it
became dangerous to adopt the position of a Pomponazzo.

[Footnote 11: This maxim is ascribed to the materialistic philosopher

The mental attitude of such men is so well illustrated by a letter
written by Celio Calcagnini to Peregrino Morato, that I shall not
hesitate to transcribe it here. It seems that Morato had sent his
correspondent some treatise on the theological questions then in
dispute; and Calcagnini replies:

'I have read the book relating to the controversies so much agitated at
present. I have thought on its contents, and weighed them in the balance
of reason. I find in it nothing which may not be approved and defended,
but some things which, as mysteries, it is safer to suppress and conceal
than to bring before the common people, inasmuch as they pertained to
the primitive and infant state of the Church. Now, when the decrees of
the fathers and long usage have introduced other modes, what necessity
is there for reviving antiquated practices which have long fallen into
desuetude, especially as neither piety nor the salvation of the soul is
concerned with them? Let us, then, I pray you, allow these things to
rest. Not that I disapprove of their being embraced by scholars and
lovers of antiquity; but I would not have them communicated to the
common people and those who are fond of innovations, lest they give
occasion to strife and sedition. There are unlearned and unqualified
persons who having, after long ignorance, read or heard certain new
opinions respecting baptism, the marriage of the clergy, ordination, the
distinction of days and food, and public penitence, instantly conceive
that these things are to be stiffly maintained and observed. Wherefore,
in my opinion, the discussion of these points ought to be confined to
the initiated, that so the seamless coat of our Lord may not be rent and
torn.... Seeing it is dangerous to treat such things before the
multitude and in public discourses, I must deem it safest to "speak with
the many and think with the few," and to keep in mind the advice of
Paul, "Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God."'[12]

[Footnote 12: _C. Calcagnini Opera_, p. 195. I am indebted for the above
version to McCrie's _Reformation in Italy_, p. 183.]

The new religious spirit which I have attempted to characterize as
tinctured by Protestant opinions but disinclined for severance from
Rome, manifested itself about the same time in several groups. One of
them was at Rome, where a society named the Oratory of Divine Love,
including from fifty to sixty members, began to meet as early as the
reign of Leo X. in the Trastevere. This pious association included men
of very various kinds. Sadoleto, Giberto, and Contarini were here in
close intimacy with Gaetano di Thiene, the sainted founder of the
Theatines, and with his friend Caraffa, the founder of the Roman
Inquisition. Venice was the center of another group, among whom may be
mentioned Reginald Pole, Gasparo Contarini, Luigi Priuli, and Antonio
Bruccioli, the translator of the Bible from the original tongues into
Italian. The poet Marcantonio Flaminio became a member of both
societies; and was furthermore the personal friend of the Genoese
Cardinals Sauli and Fregoso, whom we have a right to count among
thinkers of the same class. Flaminio, though he died in the Catholic
communion, was so far suspected of heresy that his works were placed
upon the Index of 1559. In Naples Juan Valdes made himself the leader of
a similar set of men. His views, embodied in the work of a disciple, and
revised by Marcantonio Flaminio, _On the Benefits of Christ's Death_,
revealed strong Lutheran tendencies, which at a later period would
certainly have condemned him to perpetual imprisonment or exile. This
book had a wide circulation in Italy, and was influential in directing
the minds of thoughtful Christians to the problems of Justification. It
was ascribed to Aonio Paleario, who suffered martyrdom at Rome for
maintaining doctrines similar to those of Valdes.[13] Round him gathered
several members of the great Colonna family, notably Vespasiano, Duke of
Palliano, and his wife, the star of Italian beauty, Giulia Gonzaga.
Vittoria Colonna, Marchioness of Pescara, imbibed the new doctrines in
the same circle; and so did Bernardino Ochino. Modena could boast
another association, which met in the house of Grillenzone; while
Ferrara became the headquarters of a still more pronounced reforming
party under the patronage of the Duchess, Renée of France, daughter of
Louis XII. These various societies and coteries were bound together by
ties of friendship and literary correspondence, and were indirectly
connected with less fortunate reforming theologians; with Aonio
Paleario, Bernardino Ochino, Antonio dei Pagliaricci, Carnesecchi, and
others, whose tragic history will form a part of my chapter on the

[Footnote 13: Though as many as 40,000 copies were published, this book
was so successfully stamped out that it seemed to be irrecoverably lost.
The library of St. John's College at Cambridge, however, contains two
Italian copies and one French copy. That of Laibach possesses an Italian
and a Croat version. Cantù, _Gli Eretici_, vol. i. p. 360.]

It does not fall within the province of this chapter to write an account
of what has, not very appropriately, been called the Reformation in
Italy. My purpose in the present book is, not to follow the fortunes of
Protestantism, but to trace the sequel of the Renaissance, the merging
of its impulse in new phases of European development. I shall therefore
content myself with pointing out that at the opening of Paul III.'s
reign, there was widely diffused throughout the chief Italian cities a
novel spirit of religious earnestness and enthusiasm, which as yet had
taken no determinate direction. This spirit burned most highly in
Gasparo Contarini, who in 1541 was commissioned by the Pope to attend a
conference at Rechensburg for the discussion of terms of reconciliation
with the Lutherans. He succeeded in drawing up satisfactory articles on
the main theological points regarding human nature, original sin,
redemption and justification. These were accepted by the Protestant
theologians at Rechensburg and might possibly have been ratified in
Rome, had not the Congress been broken up by Contarini's total failure
to accommodate differences touching the Pope's supremacy and the
conciliar principle.[14] He made concessions to the Reformers, which
roused the fury of the Roman Curia. At the same time political intrigues
were set on foot in France and Germany to avert a reconciliation which
would have immeasurably strengthened the Emperor's position. The
moderate sections of both parties, Lutheran and Catholic, failed at
Rechensburg. Indeed, it was inevitable that they should fail; for the
breach between the Roman Church and the Reformation was not of a nature
to be healed over at this date. Principles were involved which could not
now be harmonized, and both parties in the dispute were on the point of
developing their own forces with fresh internal vigor.

[Footnote 14: It should be observed, however, that Luther rejected the
article on justification, and that Caraffa in Rome used his influence to
prevent its acceptance by Paul III.]

The Italians who desired reform of the Church were now thrown back upon
the attempt to secure this object within the bosom of Catholicism. At
the request of Paul III. they presented a memorial on ecclesiastical
abuses, which was signed by Contarini, Caraffa, Sadoleto, Pole, Fregoso,
Giberto, Cortese and Aleander. These Cardinals did not spare plain
speech upon the burning problem of Papal misgovernment.

Meanwhile, the new spirit began to manifest itself in the foundation of
orders and institutions tending to purification of Church discipline.
The most notable of these was the order of Theatines established by
Thiene and Caraffa. Its object was to improve the secular priesthood,
with a view to which end seminaries were opened for the education of
priests, who took monastic vows and devoted themselves to special
observance of their clerical duties, as preachers, administrators of the
sacraments, visitors of the poor and sick.

A Venetian, Girolamo Miani, at the same period founded a congregation,
called the Somascan, for the education of the destitute and orphaned,
and for the reception of the sick and infirm into hospitals. The
terrible state in which Lombardy had been left by war rendered this
institution highly valuable. Of a similar type was the order of the
Barnabites, who were first incorporated at Milan, charged with the
performance of acts of mercy, education, preaching, and other forms of
Christian ministration. It may be finally added that the Camaldolese and
Franciscan orders had been in part reformed by a spontaneous movement
within their bodies.

If we compare the spirit indicated by these efforts in the first half of
the sixteenth century with that of the earlier Renaissance, it will be
evident that the Italians were ready for religious change. They sink,
however, into insignificance beside two Spanish institutions which about
the same period added their weight and influence to the Catholic
revival. I mean, of course, the Inquisition and the Jesuit order. Paul
III. empowered Caraffa in 1542 to re-establish the Inquisition in Rome
upon a new basis resembling that of the Spanish Holy Office. The same
Pope sanctioned and confirmed the Company of Jesus between the years
1540 and 1543. The establishment of the Inquisition gave vast
disciplinary powers to the Church at the moment when the Council of
Trent fixed her dogmas and proclaimed the absolute authority of the
Popes. At the same time the Jesuits, devoted by their founder in blind
obedience--_perinde ac cadaver_--to the service of the Papacy,
penetrated Italy, Spain, France, Germany, and the transatlantic

The Pope who succeeded Clement VII. in 1534 was in all ways fitted to
represent the transition which I have indicated. Alessandro Farnese
sprang from an ancient but decayed family in the neighborhood of
Bolsena, several of whose members had played a foremost part in the
mediaeval revolutions of Orvieto. While still a young man of
twenty-five, he was raised to the Cardinalate by Alexander VI. This
advancement he owed to the influence of his sister Giulia, surnamed La
Bella, who was then the Borgia's mistress. It is characteristic of an
epoch during which the bold traditions of the fifteenth century still
lingered, that the undraped statue of this Giulia (representing Vanity)
was carved for the basement of Paul III.'s monument in the choir of S.
Peter's. The old stock of the Farnesi, once planted in the soil of Papal
corruption at its most licentious period, struck firm roots and
flourished. Alessandro was born in 1468, and received a humanistic
education according to the methods of the earlier Renaissance. He
studied literature with Pomponius Laetus in the Roman Academy, and
frequented the gardens of Lorenzo de'Medici at Florence. His character
and intellect were thus formed under the influences of the classical
revival and of the Pontifical Curia, at a time when pagan morality and
secular policy had obliterated the ideal of Catholic Christianity. His
sister was the Du Barry of the Borgian Court. He was himself the father
of several illegitimate children, whom he acknowledged, and on whose
advancement by the old system of Papal nepotism he spent the best years
of his reign. Both as a patron of the arts and as an elegant scholar in
the Latin and Italian languages, Alessandro showed throughout his life
the effects of this early training. He piqued himself on choice
expression, whenever he was called upon to use the pen in studied
documents, or to answer ambassadors in public audiences. To his taste
and love of splendor Rome owes the Farnese palace. He employed Cellini,
and forced Michelangelo to paint the Last Judgment. On ascending the
Papal throne he complained that this mighty genius had been too long
occupied for Delia Roveres and Medici. When the fresco was finished, he
set the old artist upon his last great task of completing S. Peter's.

So far there was nothing to distinguish Alessandro Farnese from other
ecclesiastics of the Renaissance. As Cardinal he seemed destined, should
he ever attain the Papal dignity, to combine the qualities of the
Borgian and Medicean Pontiffs. But before his elevation to that supreme
height, he lived through the reigns of Julius II., Leo X., Adrian VI.,
and Clement VII. Herein lies the peculiarity of his position as Paul
III. The pupil of Pomponius Laetus, the creature of Roderigo Borgia, the
representative of Italian manners and culture before the age of foreign
invasion had changed the face of Italy, Paul III. was called at the age
of sixty-six to steer the ship of the Church through troubled waters and
in very altered circumstances. He had witnessed the rise and progress of
Protestant revolt in Germany. He had observed the stirrings of a new and
sincere spirit of religious gravity, an earnest desire for
ecclesiastical reform in his own country. He had watched the duel
between France and Spain, during the course of which his predecessors
Alexander V. and Julius II. restored the secular authority of Rome. He
had seen that authority humbled to the dust in 1527, and miraculously
rehabilitated at Bologna in 1530. He had learned by the example of the
Borgias how difficult it was for any Papal family to found a substantial
principality; and the vicissitudes of Florence and Urbino had confirmed
this lesson. Finally, he had assisted at the coronation of Charles V.;
and when he took the reins of power into his hands, he was well aware
with what a formidable force he had to cope in the great Emperor.

Paul III. knew that the old Papal game of pitting France against Spain
in the peninsula could not be played on the same grand scale as
formerly. This policy had been pursued with results ruinous to Italy but
favorable to the Church, by Julius. It had enabled Leo and Clement to
advance their families at the hazard of more important interests. But in
the reign of the latter Pope it had all but involved the Papacy itself
in the general confusion and desolation of the country. Moreover, France
was no longer an effective match for Spain; and though their struggle
was renewed, the issue was hardly doubtful. Spain had got too firm a
grip upon the land to be cast off.

Yet Paul was a man of the elder generation. It could not be expected
that a Pope of the Renaissance should suddenly abandon the mediaeval
policy of Papal hostility to the Empire, especially when the Empire was
in the hands of so omnipotent a master as Charles. It could not be
expected that he should recognize the wisdom of confining Papal ambition
to ecclesiastical interests, and of forming a defensive and offensive
alliance with Catholic sovereigns for the maintenance of absolutism. It
could not be expected that he should forego the pleasures and apparent
profits of creating duchies for his bastards, whereby to dignify his
family and strengthen his personal authority as a temporal sovereign. It
is true that the experience of the last half century had pointed in the
direction of all these changes; and it is certain that the series of
events connected with the Council of Trent, which began in Paul III.'s
reign, rendered them both natural and necessary. Yet Paul, as a man of
the elder generation filling the Papal throne for fifteen years during a
period of transition, adhered in the main to the policy of his
predecessors. It was fortunate for him and for the Holy See that the
basis of his character was caution combined with tough tenacity of
purpose, capacity for dilatory action, diplomatic shiftiness and a
political versatility that can best be described by the word trimming.
These qualities enabled him to pass with safety through perils that
might have ruined a bolder, a hastier, or a franker Pope, and to achieve
the object of his heart's desire, where stronger men had failed, in the
foundation of a solid duchy for his heirs.

Paul's jealousy of the Spanish ascendancy in Italian affairs caused him
to waver between the Papal and Imperial, Guelf and Ghibelline, parties.
These names had lost much of their significance; but the habit of
distinction into two camps was so rooted in Italian manners, that each
city counted its antagonistic factions, maintained by various forms of
local organization and headed by the leading families.[15] Burigozzo,
under the year 1517, tells how the whole population of Milan was divided
between Guelfs and Ghibellines, wearing different costumes; and it is
not uncommon to read of petty nobles in the country at this period, who
were styled Captains of one or the other party.

[Footnote 15: See Bruno's _Cena delle Ceneri_, ed. Wagner, vol. i. p.
133, for a humorous story illustrative of the state of things ensuing
among the lower Italian classes.]

The wars between France and Spain revived the almost obsolete dispute,
which the despots of the fifteenth century and the diplomatic
confederation of the five great powers had tended in large measure to
erase. The Guelfs and Ghibellines were now partisans of France and
Spain respectively. Thus a true political importance was regained for
the time-honored factions; and in the distracted state of Italy they
were further intensified by the antagonism between exiles and the ruling
families in cities. If Cosimo de'Medici, for example, was a Ghibelline
or Spanish partisan, it followed as a matter of course that Filippo
Strozzi was a Guelf and stood for France. Paul III. managed to maintain
himself by manipulating these factions and holding the balance between
them for the advantage of his family and of the Church.

He thus succeeded in creating the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza for his
son, Pier Luigi Farnese, that outrageous representative of the worst
vices and worst violences of the Renaissance. It will be remembered that
Julius had detached these two cities from the Duchy of Milan, and
annexed them to the Papal States, on the plea that they formed part of
the old Exarchate of Ravenna. When Charles decided against this plea in
the matter of Modena and Reggio, he left the Church in occupation of
Parma and Piacenza. Paul created his son Duke of Nepi and Castro in
1537, and afterwards conferred the Duchy of Camerino on his grandson,
Ottavio, who was then married to Margaret of Austria, daughter of
Charles V., and widow of the murdered Alessandro de'Medici. The usual
system of massacre, exile, and confiscation had reduced the signorial
family of the Varani at Camerino to extremities. The fief reverted to
the Church, and Paul induced the Cardinals to sanction his investiture
of Ottavio Farnese with its rights and honors. He subsequently explained
to them that it would be more profitable for the Holy See to retain
Camerino and to relinquish Parma and Piacenza to the Farnesi in
exchange. There was sense in this arrangement; for Camerino formed an
integral part of the Papal States, while Parma and Piacenza were held
under a more than doubtful title. Pier Luigi did not long survive his
elevation to the dukedom of Parma. He was murdered by his exasperated
subjects in 1547. His son, Ottavio, with some difficulty, maintained his
hold upon this principality, until in 1559 he established himself and
his heirs, with the approval of Philip II., in its perpetual enjoyment.
The Farnesi repaid Spanish patronage by constant service, Alessandro,
Prince of Parma, and son of Ottavio, being illustrious in the annals of
the Netherlands. It would not have been worth while to enlarge on this
foundation of the Duchy of Parma, had it not furnished an excellent
example of my theme. By this act Paul III. proved himself a true and
able inheritor of those political traditions by which all Pontiffs from
Sixtus IV. to Clement VII. had sought to establish their relatives in
secular princedoms. It was the last eminent exhibition of that policy,
the last and the most brilliant display of nepotistical ambition in a
Pope. A new age had opened, in which such schemes became
impossible--when Popes could no longer dare to acknowledge and
legitimize their bastards, and when they had to administer their
dominions exclusively for the temporal and ecclesiastical aggrandizement
of the tiara.

Nevertheless, Paul was living under the conditions which brought this
modern attitude of the Papacy into potent actuality. He was surrounded
by intellectual and moral forces of recent growth but of incalculable
potency. One of the first acts of his reign was to advance six members
of the moderate reforming party--Sadoleto, Pole, Giberto, Federigo,
Fregoso, Gasparo Contarini, and G.M. Caraffa--to the Cardinalate. By
this exercise of power he showed his willingness to recognize new
elements of very various qualities in the Catholic hierarchy. Five of
these men represented opinions which at the moment of their elevation to
the purple had a fair prospect of ultimate success. Imbued with a
profound sense of the need for ecclesiastical reform, and tinctured more
or less deeply with so-called Protestant opinions, they desired nothing
more intensely than a reconstitution of the Catholic Church upon a basis
which might render reconciliation with the Lutherans practicable. They
had their opportunity during the pontificate of Paul III. It was a
splendid one; and, as I have already shown, the Conference of
Rechensburg only just failed in securing the end they so profoundly
desired. But the Papacy was not prepared to concede so much as they were
anxious to grant: the German Reformers proved intractable; they were
themselves impeded by their loyalty to antique Catholic traditions, and
by their dread of a schism; finally, the militant expansive force of
Spanish orthodoxy, expressing itself already in the concentrated energy
of the Jesuit order, rendered attempts at fusion impossible. The victory
in Rome remained with the faction of _intransigeant_ Catholics; and
this was represented, in Paul III.'s first creation of Cardinals, by
Caraffa. Caraffa was destined to play a singular part in the transition
period of Papal history which I am reviewing. He belonged as essentially
to the future as Alessandro Farnese belonged to the past. He embodied
the spirit of the Inquisition, and upheld the principles of
ecclesiastical reform upon the narrow basis of Papal absolutism. He
openly signalized his disapproval of Paul's nepotism; and when his time
for ruling came, he displayed a remorseless spirit of justice without
mercy in dealing with his own family. Yet he hated the Spanish
ascendancy with a hatred far more fierce and bitter than that of Paul
III. His ineffectual efforts to shake off the yoke of Philip II. was the
last spasm of the older Papal policy of resistance to temporal
sovereigns, the last appeal made in pursuance of that policy to France
by an Italian Pontiff.[16]

[Footnote 16: Paul IV. as Pope was feeble compared with his
predecessors, Julius II. and Leo X.; the Guises, on whom he relied for
resuscitating the old French party in the South, were but
half-successful adventurers, mere shadows of the Angevine invaders whom
they professed to represent.]

The object of this excursion into the coming period is to show in how
deep a sense Paul III. may be regarded as the beginner of a new era,
while he was at the same time the last continuator of the old. The
Cardinals whom he promoted on his accession included the chief of those
men who strove in vain for a concordat between Rome and Reformation; it
also included the man who stamped Rome with the impress of the
Counter-Reformation. Yet Caraffa would not have had the fulcrum needed
for this decisive exertion of power, had it not been for another act of
Paul's reign. This was the convening of a Council at Trent. Paul's
attitude toward the Council, which he summoned with reluctance, which he
frustrated as far as in him lay, and the final outcome of which he was
far from anticipating, illustrates in a most decisive manner his destiny
as Pope of the transition.

The very name of a Council was an abomination to the Papacy. This will
be apparent if we consider the previous history of the Church during the
first half of the fifteenth century, when the conciliar authority was
again invoked to regulate the Papal See and to check Papal encroachments
on the realms and Churches of the Western nations. The removal of the
Papal Court to Avignon, the great schism which resulted from this
measure, and the dissent which spread from England to Bohemia at the
close of the fourteenth century, rendered it necessary that the
representative powers of Christendom should combine for the purpose of
restoring order in the Church. Four main points lay before the powers of
Europe, thus brought for the first time into deliberative and
confederated congress to settle questions that vitally concerned them.
The most immediately urgent was the termination of the schism, and the
appointment of one Pope, who should represent the mediaeval idea of
ecclesiastical face to face with imperial unity. The second was the
definition of the indeterminate and ever-widening authority which the
Popes asserted over the kingdoms and the Churches of the West. The third
was the eradication of heresies which were rending Christendom asunder
and threatening to destroy that ideal of unity in creed to which the
Middle Ages clung with not unreasonable passion. The fourth was a reform
of the Church, considered as a vital element of Western Christendom, in
its head and in its members.

The programme, very indistinctly formulated by the most advanced
thinkers of the age, and only gradually developed by practice into
actuality, was a vast one. It involved the embitterment of national
jealousies, the accentuation of national characteristics, and the
complication of antagonistic principles regarding secular and
ecclesiastical government, which rendered a complete and satisfactory
solution well-nigh impracticable. The effort to solve these problems
had, however, important influence in creating conditions under which the
politico-religious struggles of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
were conducted.[17]

The first Council, opened at Pisa in 1409, was a congress of prelates
summoned by Cardinals for the conclusion of the schism. It deposed two
Popes, who still continued to assert their titles; it elected a third,
Alexander V., who had no real authority. For the rest, it effected no
reform, and cannot be said to have done much more than to give effect to
those aspirations after Church-government by means of Councils which had
been slowly forming during the continuance of the schism.

The second Council, opened at Constance in 1414, was a Council not
convened by Cardinals, but by the universal demand of Europe that the
advances of the Papacy toward tyranny should be checked, and that the
innumerable abuses of the Church and Papal Curia should be reformed. It
received a different complexion from that of Pisa, through the
presidency of the Emperor and the attendance of representatives from the
chief nations. At Constance the Papacy and the Roman Curia stood
together, exposed to the hostile criticism of Europe. The authority of a
General Council was, after a sharp conflict, decreed superior to that of
the Bishop of Rome. Three Popes were forced to abdicate; and a fourth,
Martin V., was elected.

[Footnote 17: The best account of the Councils will be found in
Professor Creighton's admirable _History of the Papacy during the
Reformation_, 2 vols. Longmans.]

The Council further undertook to deal with heresy and with the reform of
the Church. It discharged the first of these offices by condemning Hus
and Jerome of Prague to the stake. It left the second practically
untouched. Yet the question of reform had been gravely raised, largely
discussed, and fundamentally examined. Two methods were posed at
Constance for the future consideration of earnest thinkers throughout
Europe. One was the way suggested by John Hus; that the Church should be
reconstituted, after a searching analysis of the real bases of Christian
conduct, an appeal to Scripture as the final authority, and a loyal
endeavor to satisfy the spiritual requirements of individual souls and
consciences. The second plan was that of inquiry into the existing order
of the Church and detailed amendment of its flagrant faults, with
preservation of the main system. The Council adopted satisfactory
measures of reform on neither of these methods. It contented itself with
stipulations and concordats, guaranteeing special privileges to the
Churches of the several nations. But in the following century it became
manifest that the Teutonic races had declared for the method suggested
by Hus; while the Latin races, in the Council of Trent, undertook a
purgation of the Church upon the second of the two plans. The
Reformation was the visible outcome of the one, the Counter-Reformation
of the other method.

The Council of Constance was thus important in causing the recognition
of a single Pope, and in ventilating the divergent theories upon which
the question of reform was afterwards to be disputed. But perhaps the
most significant fact it brought into relief was the new phase of
political existence into which the European races had entered.
Nationality, as the main principle of modern history, was now
established; and the diplomatic relations of sovereigns as the
representatives of peoples were shown to be of overwhelming weight. The
visionary mediaeval polity of Emperor and Pope faded away before the
vivid actuality of full-formed individual nations, federally connected,
controlled by common but reciprocally hostile interests.[18]

The Council of Basel, opened in 1431, was in appearance a continuation
of the Council of Constance. But its method of procedure ran counter to
the new direction which had been communicated to European federacy by
the action of the Constance congress. There the votes had been taken by
nations. At Basel they were taken by men, after the questions to be
decided had been previously discussed by special congregations and
committees deputed for preliminary deliberations. It soon appeared that
the fathers of the Basel Council aimed at opposing a lawfully-elected
Pope, and sought to assume the, administration of the Church into their
own hands.

[Footnote 18: See above, p. 2, for the special sense in which I apply
the word federation to Italy before 1530, and to Europe at large in the
modern period.]

Their struggle with Eugenius IV., their election of an antipope, Felix
V., and their manifest tendency to substitute oligarchical for Papal
tyranny in the Church, had the effect of bringing the conciliar
principle itself into disfavor with the European powers. The first
symptom of this repudiation of the Council by Europe was shown in the
neutrality proclaimed by Germany. The attitude of other Courts and
nations proved that the Western races were for the moment prepared to
leave the Papal question open on the basis supplied by the Council of

The result of this failure of the conciliar principle at Basel was that
Nicholas V. inaugurated a new age for the Papacy in Rome. I have already
described the chief features of the Papal government from his election
to the death of Clement VII. It was a period of unexampled splendor for
the Holy See, and of substantial temporal conquests. The second Council
of Pisa, which began its sittings, in 1511 under French sanction and
support, exercised no disastrous influence over the restored powers and
prestige of the Papacy. On the contrary, it gave occasion for a
counter-council, held at the Lateran under the auspices of Julius II.
and Leo X., in which the Popes established several points of
ecclesiastical discipline that were not without value to their
successors. But the leaven which had been scattered by Wyclif and Hus,
of which the Council of Constance had taken cognizance, but which had
not been extirpated, was spreading in Germany throughout this period.
The Popes themselves were doing all in their power to propagate dissent
and discontent. Well aware of the fierce light cast by the new learning
they had helped to disseminate, upon the dark places of their own
ecclesiastical administration, they still continued to raise money by
the sale of pardons and indulgences, to bleed their Christian flocks by
monstrous engines of taxation, and to offend the conscience of an
intelligent generation by their example of ungodly living. The
Reformation ran like wild-fire through the North. It grew daily more
obvious that a new Council must be summoned for carrying out measures of
internal reform, and for coping with the forces of belligerent
Protestantism. When things had reached this point, Charles V. declared
his earnest desire that the Pope should summon a General Council. Paul
III. now showed in how true a sense he was the man of a transitional
epoch. So long as possible he resisted, remembering to what straits his
predecessors had been reduced by previous Councils, and being deeply
conscious of scandals in his own domestic affairs which might expose him
to the fate of a John XXIII. Reviewing the whole series of events which
have next to be recorded, we are aware that Paul had no great cause for
agitation. The Council he so much dreaded was destined to exalt his
office, and to recombine the forces of Catholic Christendom under the
absolute supremacy of his successors. The Inquisition and the Company
of Jesus, both of which he sanctioned at this juncture, were to guard,
extend, and corroborate that supreme authority. But this was by no means
apparent in 1540. It is a character of all transitional periods that in
them the cautious men regard past precedents of peril rather than
sanguine expectations based on present chances. A hero, in such passes,
goes to meet the danger armed with his own cause and courage. A genius
divines the future, and interprets it, and through interpretation tries
to govern it. Paul was neither a hero nor a man of genius. Yet he did as
much as either could have done; and he did it in a temper which perhaps
the hero and the genius could not have commanded. He sent Legates to
publish the opening of a Council at Trent in the spring of 1545; and he
resolved to work this Council on the principles of diplomatical
conservatism, reserving for himself the power of watching events and of
enlarging or restricting its efficiency as might seem best to him.[19]

[Footnote 19: The first official opening of the Council at Trent was in
November 1542, by Cardinals Pole and Morone as Legates. It was adjourned
in July, 1543, on account of insufficient attendance. When it again
opened in 1545, Pole reappeared as Legate. With him were associated two
future Popes, Giov. Maria del Monte (Julius III.), and Marcello Cervini
(Marcellus II.) The first session of the Council took place in December,
1545, four Cardinals, four Archbishops, twenty-one Bishops, and five
Generals of Orders attending. Among these were only five Spanish and two
French prelates; no German, unless we count Cristoforo Madrazzo, the
Cardinal Bishop of Trent, as one. No Protestants appeared; for Paul III.
had successfully opposed their ultimatum, which demanded that final
appeal on all debated points should be made to the sole authority of
Holy Scripture.]

It is singular that the Council thus reluctantly conceded by Paul III.
should, during its first sessions and while he yet reigned, have
confirmed the dogmatic foundations of modern Catholicism, made
reconciliation with the Teutonic Reformers impossible, and committed the
secular powers which held with Rome to a policy that rendered the Papal
supremacy incontestable.[20] Face to face with the burning question of
the Protestant rebellion, the Tridentine fathers hastened to confirm the
following articles. First, they declared that divine revelation was
continuous in the Church of which the Pope was head; and that the chief
written depository of this revelation--namely, the Scriptures--had no
authority except in the version of the Vulgate.

[Footnote 20: Throughout the sessions of the Council, Spanish, French,
and German representatives, whether fathers or ambassadors, maintained
the theory of Papal subjection to conciliar authority. The Spanish and
French were unanimous in zeal for episcopal independence. The French and
German were united in a wish to favor Protestants by reasonable
concessions. Thus the Papal supremacy had to face serious antagonism,
which it eventually conquered by the numerical preponderance of the
Italian prelates, by the energy of the Jesuits, by diplomatic intrigues,
and by manipulation of discords in the opposition. Though the Spanish
fathers held with the French and German on the points of episcopal
independence and conciliar authority, they disagreed whenever it became
a question of compromise with Protestants upon details of dogma or
ritual. The Papal Court persuaded the Catholic sovereigns of Spain and
France, and the Emperor, that episcopal independence would be dangerous
to their own prerogatives; and at every inconvenient turn in affairs, it
was made clear that Catholic sovereigns, threatened by the Protestant
revolution, could not afford to separate their cause from that of the

Secondly, they condemned the doctrine of Justification by Faith, adding
such theological qualifications and reservations as need not, at this
distance of time, and on a point devoid of present actuality, be
scrupulously entertained. Thirdly, they confirmed the efficacy and the
binding authority of the Seven Sacraments. It is thus clear that, on
points of dogma, the Council convened by Pope and Emperor committed
Latin Christianity to a definite repudiation of the main articles for
which Luther had contended. Each of these points they successively
traversed, foreclosing every loophole for escape into accommodation. It
was in large measure due to Caraffa's energy and ability that these
results were attained.

The method of procedure adopted by the Council, and the temper in which
its business was conducted, were no less favorable to the Papacy than
the authoritative sanction which it gave to dogmas. From the first, the
presidency and right of initiative in its sessions were conceded to the
Papal Legates; and it soon became customary to refer decrees, before
they were promulgated, to his Holiness in Rome for approval. The decrees
themselves were elaborated in three congregations, one appointed for
theological questions, the second for reforms, the third for supervision
and ratification. They were then proposed for discussion and acceptance
in general sessions of the Council. Here each vote told; and as there
was a standing majority of Italian prelates, it required but little
dexterity to secure the passing of any measure upon which the Court of
Rome insisted. The most formidable opposition to the Papal prerogatives
during these manoeuvres proceeded from the Spanish bishops, who urged
the introduction of reforms securing the independence of the episcopacy.

We find a remarkable demonstration of Paul III.'s difficulties as Pope
of the transition, in the fact that while the Council of Trent was
waging this uncompromising war against Reformers, his dread of Charles
V. compelled him to suspend its sessions, transfer it to Bologna, and
declare himself the political ally of German Protestants. This
transference took place in 1547. His Legates received orders to invent
some decent excuse for a step which would certainly be resisted, since
Bologna was a city altogether subject to the Holy See. The Legates, by
the connivance of the physicians in Trent, managed to create a panic of
contagious epidemic.[21] Charles had won victories which seemed to place
Germany at his discretion. His preponderance in Italy was thereby
dangerously augmented. Paul, following the precedents of policy in which
he had been bred, thought it at this crisis necessary to subordinate
ecclesiastical to temporal interests. He interrupted the proceedings of
the Council in order to hamper the Emperor in Germany. He encouraged the
Northern Protestants in order that he might maintain an open issue in
the loins of his Spanish rival. Nothing could more delicately illustrate
the complications of European politics than the inverted attitude
assumed by the Roman Pontiff in his dealings with a Catholic Emperor at
this moment of time.[22]

[Footnote 21: See Sarpi, p. 249.]

[Footnote 22: Charles, at this juncture, was checkmated by Paul through
his own inability to dispense with the Pope's co-operation as chief of
the Catholic Church. So long as he opposed the Reformation, it was
impossible for him to assume an attitude of violent hostility to Rome.]

The opposition of the Farnesi to Paul's scheme for restoring Parma to
the Holy See in 1549, broke Paul III.'s health and spirits. He died on
November 10, and was succeeded by the Cardinal Giovanni Maria del Monte,
of whose reign little need be said. Julius III. removed the Council from
Bologna to Trent in 1551, where it made some progress in questions
touching the Eucharist and the administration of episcopal sees; but in
the next year its sessions were suspended, owing to the disturbed state
of Southern Germany and the presence of a Protestant army under Maurice
of Saxony in the Tyrol.[23] This Pope passed his time agreeably and
innocently enough in the villa which he built near the Porta del Popolo.
His relatives were invested with several petty fiefs--that of their
birthplace, Monte Sansovino, by Cosimo de'Medici; that of Novara by the
Emperor, and that of Camerino by the Church. The old methods of Papal
nepotism were not as yet abandoned. His successor, Marcello II.,
survived his elevation only three weeks; and in May 1555, Giovanni
Pietro Caraffa was elected, with the title of Paul IV. We have already
made the acquaintance of this Pope as a member of the Oratory of Divine
Love, as a co-founder of the Theatines, as the organizer of the Roman
Inquisition, and as a leader in the first sessions of the Tridentine
Council. Paul IV. sprang from a high and puissant family of Naples. He
was a man of fierce, impulsive and uncompromising temper, animated by
two ruling passions--burning hatred for the Spaniards who were trampling
on his native land, and ecclesiastical ambition intensified by rigid
Catholic orthodoxy. The first act of his reign was a vain effort to
expel the Spaniards from Italy by resorting to the old device of French
assistance. The abdication of Charles V. had placed Philip II. on the
throne of Spain, and the settlement whereby the Imperial crown passed to
his brother Ferdinand had substituted a feeble for a powerful Emperor.
But Philip's disengagement from the cares of Germany left him more at
liberty to maintain his preponderance in Southern Europe. It was
fortunate for Paul IV. that Philip was a bigoted Catholic and a
superstitiously obedient son of the Church. These two potentates,
who began to reign in the same year, were destined, after the
settlement of their early quarrel, to lead and organize the Catholic
Counter-Reformation. The Duke of Guise at the Pope's request marched a
French army into Italy. Paul raised a body of mercenaries, who were
chiefly German Protestants[24]; and opened negotiations with Soliman,
entreating the Turk to make a descent on Sicily by sea. Into such a
fantastically false position was the Chief of the Church, the most
Catholic of all her Pontiffs, driven by his jealous patriotism. We seem
to be transported back into the times of a Sixtus IV. or an Alexander
VI. And in truth, Paul's reversion to the antiquated Guelf policy of his
predecessors was an anachronism. That policy ceased to be efficient when
Francis I. signed the Treaty of Cambray; the Church, too, had gradually
assumed such a position that armed interference in the affairs of
secular sovereigns was suicidal. This became so manifest that Paul's
futile attack on Philip in 1556 may be reckoned the last war raised by a
Pope. From it we date the commencement of a new system of Papal
co-operation with Catholic powers.

[Footnote 23: During the brief and unimportant sessions at Bologna,
Jesuit influences began to make themselves decidedly felt in the
Council, where Lainez and Salmeron attended as Theologians of the Papal
See. Up to this time the Dominicans had shaped decrees. Dogmatic
orthodoxy was secured by their means. Now the Jesuits were to fight and
win the battle of Papal Supremacy.]

[Footnote 24: Sarpi, quoted in his Life by Fra Fulgenzio, p. 83, says
Paul called his Grisons mercenaries 'Angels sent from Heaven.']

The Duke of Alva put the forces at his disposal in the Two Sicilies into
motion, and advanced to meet the Duke of Guise. But while the campaign
dragged on, Philip won the decisive battle of S. Quentin. The Guise
hurried back to France, and Alva marched unresisted upon Rome. There was
no reason why the Eternal City should not have been subjected to another
siege and sack. The will was certainly not wanting in Alva to humiliate
the Pope, who never spoke of Spaniards but as renegade Jews, Marrani,
heretics, and personifications of pride. Philip, however, wrote
reminding his general that the date of his birth (1527) was that of
Rome's calamity, and vowing that he would not signalize the first year
of his reign by inflicting fresh miseries upon the capital of
Christendom. Alva was ordered to make peace on terms both honorable and
advantageous to his Holiness; since the King of Spain preferred to lose
the rights of his own crown rather than to impair those of the Holy See
in the least particular. Consequently, when Alva entered Rome in
peaceful pomp, he did homage for his master to the Pope, who was
generously willing to absolve him for his past offences. Paul IV.
publicly exulted in the abasement of his conquerors, declaring that it
would teach kings in future the obedience they owed to the Chief of the
Church. But Alva did not conceal his discontent. It would have been
better, he said, to have sent the Pope to sue for peace and pardon at
Brussels, than to allow him to obtain the one and grant the other on
these terms.

Paul's ambition to expel the Spaniards from Italy exposed him to the
worst abuses of that Papal nepotism which he had denounced in others. He
judged it necessary to surround himself with trusty and powerful agents
of his own kindred.[25]

[Footnote 25: New men--and Popes were always _novi homines_--are
compelled to take this course, and suffer when they take it. We might
compare their difficulties with those which hampered Napoleon when he
aspired to the Imperial tyranny over French conquests in Europe.]

With that view he raised one of his nephews, Carlo, to the Cardinalate,
and bestowed on two others the principal fiefs of the Colonna family.
The Colonnas were by tradition Ghibelline. This sufficed for depriving
them of Palliano and Montebello. Carlo Caraffa, who obtained the
scarlet, had lived a disreputable life which notoriously unfitted him
for any ecclesiastical dignity. In the days of Sixtus and Alexander this
would have been no bar to his promotion. But the Church was rapidly
undergoing a change; and Carlo, complying with the hypocritical spirit
of his age, found it convenient to affect a thorough reformation, and to
make open show of penitence. Rome now presented the singular spectacle
of an inquisitorial Pope, unimpeachable in moral conduct and zealous for
Church reform, surrounded by nephews who were little better than
Borgias. The Caraffas began to dream of principalities and scepters. It
was their ambition to lay hold on Florence, where Cosimo de'Medici, as
a pronounced ally of Spain, had gained the bitter hatred of their uncle.
But their various misdoings, acts of violence and oppression, avarice
and sensuality, gradually reached the ears of the Pope. In an assembly
of the Inquisition, held in January 1559, he cried aloud, 'Reform!
reform! reform!' Cardinal Pacheco, a determined foe of the Caraffeschi,
raised his voice, and said, 'Holy Father! reform must first begin with
us.' Pallavicini adds the remark that Paul understood well who was meant
by _us_. He immediately retired to his apartments, instituted a
searching inquiry into the conduct of his nephews, and, before the month
was out, deprived them of all their offices and honors, and banished
them from Rome. He would not hear a word in their defence; and when
Cardinal Farnese endeavored to procure a mitigation of their sentence,
he brutally replied, 'If Paul III. had shown the same justice, your
father would not have been murdered and mutilated in the streets of
Piacenza.' In open consistory, before the Cardinals and high officials
of his realm, with tears streaming from his eyes, he exposed the evil
life of his relatives, declared his abhorrence of them, and protested
that he had dwelt in perfect ignorance of their crimes until that time.
This scene recalls a similar occasion, when Alexander VI. bewailed
himself aloud before his Cardinals after the murder of the Duke of
Gandia by Cesare. But Alexander's repentance was momentary; his grief
was that of a father for Absalom; his indignation gave way to paternal
weakness for the fratricide. Paul, though his love for his relatives
seems to have been fervent, never relaxed his first severity against
them. They were buried in oblivion; no one uttered their names in the
Pope's presence. The whole secular administration of the Papal States
was changed; not an official kept his place. For the first time Rome was
governed by ministers in no way related to the Holy Father.

Paul now turned his attention, with the fiery passion that
distinguished him, to the reformation of ecclesiastical abuses. On his
accession he had published a Bull declaring that this would be a
principal object of his reign. Nor had he in the midst of other
occupations forgotten his engagement. A Congregation specially appointed
for examining, classifying, and remedying such abuses had been
established. It was divided into three committees, consisting of eight
Cardinals, fifteen prelates, and fifty men of learning. At the same time
the Inquisition was rigorously maintained. Paul extended its
jurisdiction, empowered it to use torture, and was constant in his
attendance on its meetings and _autos da fé_.[26] But now that his plans
for the expulsion of the Spaniards had failed, and his nephews had been
hurled from their high station into the dust, there remained no other
interest to distract his mind. Every day witnessed the promulgation of
some new edict touching monastic discipline, simony, sale of offices,
collation to benefices, church ritual, performance of clerical duties,
and appointment to ecclesiastical dignities. It was his favorite boast
that there would be no need of a Council to restore the Church to
purity, since he was doing it.[27]

[Footnote 26: Pallavicini, in his history of the Council of Trent (Lib.
xiv. ix. 5), specially commends Paul's zeal for the Holy Office:--'Fra
esse d'eterna lode lo fa degno il tribunal dell'inquisizione, che dal
zelo di lui e prima in autorità di consigliero e poscia in podestà di
principe riconosce il presente suo vigor nell'Italia, e dal quale
riconosce l'Italia la sua conservata integrità della fede: e per quest'
opera salutare egli rimane ora tanto più benemerito ed onorabile quantao
più allora ne fu mal rimerilato e disonorato.']

[Footnote 27: See Luigi Mocenigo in _Rel. degli Amb. Veneti_, vol. x. p.
25.] And indeed his measures formed the nucleus of the Tridentine
decrees upon this topic in the final sessions of the Council. Under this
government Rome assumed an air of exemplary behavior which struck
foreigners with mute astonishment. Cardinals were compelled to preach in
their basilicas. The Pope himself, who was vain of his eloquence,
preached. Gravity of manners, external signs of piety, a composed and
contrite face, ostentation of orthodoxy by frequent confession and
attendance at the Mass, became fashionable; and the Court adopted for
its motto the _Si non caste tamen caute_ of the Counter-Reformation.[28]
Aretino, with his usual blackguardly pointedness of expression, has
given a hint of what the new _régime_ implied in the following satiric

    Carafla, ipocrita infingardo,
      Che tien per coscienza spirituale
      Quando si mette del pepe in sul cardo.

Paul IV. brought the first period of the transition to an end. There
were no attempts at dislodging the Spaniard, no Papal wars, no tyranny
of Papal nephews converted into feudal princes, after his days. He
stamped Roman society with his own austere and bigoted religion. That he
was in any sense a hypocrite is wholly out of the question. But he made
Rome hypocritical, and by establishing the Inquisition on a firm basis,
he introduced a reign of spiritual terror into Italy.

[Footnote 28: 'Roma a paragone delli tempi degli altri pontefici si
poteva riputar come un onesto monasterio di religiosi' (_op. cit._ p.

At his death the people rose in revolt, broke into the dungeons of the
Inquisition, released the prisoners, and destroyed the archives. The
Holy Office was restored, however; and its higher posts of trust soon
came to be regarded as stepping-stones to the Pontifical dignity.

The successor of Paul IV. was a man of very different quality and
antecedents. Giovanni Angelo Medici sprang, not from the Florentine
house of Medici, but from an obscure Lombard stem. His father acquired
some wealth by farming the customs in Milan; and his eldest brother,
Gian Giacomo, pushed his way to fame, fortune, and a title by piracy
upon the lake of Como.[29] Gian Giacomo established himself so securely
in his robber fortress of Musso that he soon became a power to reckon
with. He then entered the imperial service, was created Marquis of
Marignano by the Duke of Milan, and married a lady of the Orsini house,
the sister of the Duchess of Parma. At a subsequent period he succeeded
in subduing Siena to the rule of Cosimo de'Medici, who then
acknowledged a pretended consanguinity between the two families.[30] The
younger brother, Giovanni Angelo, had meanwhile been studying law,
practising as a jurist, and following the Court at Rome in the place of
prothonotary which, as the custom then was, he purchased in 1527. Paul
III. observed him, took him early into favor, and on the marriage of
Gian Giacomo, advanced him to the Cardinalate. This was the man who
assumed the title of Pius IV. on his election to the Papacy in 1559.

[Footnote 29: In my _Sketches and Studies in Italy_ I have narrated the
romantic history of this filibuster.]

[Footnote 30: Soranzo: Alberi, vol. x. p. 67. Pius IV. adopted the arms
of the Florentine Medici, and spent 30,000 scudi on carving them about
through Rome. See P. Tiepolo, _Ib._ p. 174.]

Paul IV. hated Cardinal Medici, and drove him away from Rome. It is
probable that this antipathy contributed something to Giovanni Angelo's
elevation. Of humble Lombard blood, a jurist and a worldling, pacific in
his policy, devoted to Spanish interests, cautious and conciliatory in
the conduct of affairs, ignorant of theology and indifferent to niceties
of discipline, Pius IV. was at all points the exact opposite of the
fiery Neapolitan noble, the Inquisitor and fanatic, the haughty trampler
upon kings, the armed antagonist of Alva, the brusque, impulsive
autocrat, the purist of orthodoxy, who preceded him upon the Papal
throne.[31] His trusted counselor was Cardinal Morone, whom Paul had
thrown into the dungeons of the Inquisition on a charge of favoring
Lutheran opinions, and who was liberated by the rabble in their

[Footnote 31: 'Veramente quasi in ogni parte si può chiamare il rovescio
dell' altro' (_op. cit._ p. 50).]

[Footnote 32: Luigi Mocenigo says of him that Pius 'averlo per un angelo
di paradiso, e adoperandolo per consiglio in tutte le sue cose
importanti.' Alberi, vol. x. p. 40. The case made out against Morone
during the pontificate of Paul IV. may be studied in Cantù, _op. cit._
vol. ii. pp. 171-192, together with his defence in full. It turned
mainly on these articles:--unsound opinions regarding justification by
faith, salvation by Christ's blood, good works, invocation of saints,
reliques; dissemination of the famous book on the _Benefits of Christ's
Death_; practice with heretics. He was imprisoned in the Castle of S.
Angelo from June, 1557 till August, 1559. Suspicions no doubt fell on
him through his friendship with several of the moderate reformers, and
from the fact that his diocese of Modena was a nest of liberal
thinkers--the Grillenzoni, Castelvetro, Filippo Valentini, Faloppio,
Camillo Molza, Francesco da Porto, Egidio Foscarari, and others, all of
whom are described by Cantù, _op. cit._ Disc, xxviii. The charges
brought against these persons prove at once the mainly speculative and
innocuous character of Italian heresy, and the implacable enmity which a
Pope of Caraffa's stamp exercised against the slightest shadow of

This in itself was significant of the new _régime_ which now began in
Rome. Morone, like his master, understood that the Church could best be
guided by diplomacy and arts of peace. The two together brought the
Council of Trent to that conclusion which left an undisputed sovereignty
in theological and ecclesiastical affairs to the Papacy. It would have
been impossible for a man of Caraffa's stamp to achieve what these
sagacious temporizers and adroit managers effected.

Without advancing the same arrogant claims to spiritual supremacy as
Paul had made, Pius was by no means a feeble Pontiff. He knew that the
temper of the times demanded wise concessions; but he also knew how to
win through these concessions the reality of power. It was he who
initiated and firmly followed the policy of alliance between the Papacy
and the Catholic sovereigns.[33] Instead of asserting the interests of
the Church in antagonism to secular potentates, he undertook to prove
that their interests were identical. Militant Protestantism threatened
the civil no less than the ecclesiastical order. The episcopacy
attempted to liberate itself from monarchical and pontifical authority
alike. Pius proposed to the autocrats of Europe a compact for mutual
defence, divesting the Holy See of some of its privileges, but requiring
in return the recognition of its ecclesiastical absolutism. In all
difficult negotiations he was wont to depend upon himself; treating his
counselors as agents rather than as peers, and holding the threads of
diplomacy in his own hands. Thus he was able to transact business as a
sovereign with sovereigns, and came to terms with them by means of
personal correspondence. The reconstruction of Catholic Christendom,
which took visible shape in the decrees of the Tridentine Council, was
actually settled in the Courts of Spain, Austria, France and Rome. The
Fathers of the Council were the mouthpieces of royal and Papal cabinets.
The Holy Ghost, to quote a profane satire of the time, reached Trent in
the despatch-bags of couriers, in the sealed instructions issued to
ambassadors and legates.

[Footnote 33: Soranzo, _op. cit._ p. 75, says: 'Con li principi tiene
modo affatto contrario al suo predecessore; perchè mentre quello usava
dire, il grado dei pontefici esser per mettersi sotto i piedi
gl'imperatori e i re, questo dice che senza l'autorità dei principi non
si può conservare quella dei pontefici.']

We observe throughout the negotiations which crowned the policy of this
Pope with success, the operation not only of a pacific and far-seeing
character, but also of the temper of a lawyer. Pius drew up the
Tridentine decrees as an able conveyancer draws up a complicated deed,
involving many trusts, recognizing conflicting rights, providing for
distant contingencies. It was in fact the marriage contract of
ecclesiastical and secular absolutism, by which the estates of Catholic
Christendom were put in trust and settlement for posterity. In
formulating its terms the Pope granted points to which an obstinate or
warlike predecessor, a Julius II. or a Paul IV., would never have
subscribed his signature. In purely theological matters, such as the
concession of the chalice to the laity and the marriage of the clergy,
he was even willing to yield more for the sake of peace than his Court
and clergy would agree to. But for each point he gave, he demanded a
substantial equivalent, and showed such address in bargaining, that Rome
gained far more than it relinquished. When the contract had been
drafted, he ratified it by a full and ready recognition, and lawyer-like
was punctual in executing all the terms to which he pledged himself.

We must credit Pius IV. with keen insight into the new conditions of
Catholic Europe, and recognize him as the real founder of the modern as
distinguished from the mediaeval Papacy. That transition which I have
been describing in the present chapter remained uncertain in its issue
up to his pontificate. Before his death the salvation of Catholicism,
the integrity of the Catholic Church, the solidity of the Roman
hierarchy, and the possibility of a vigorous Counter-Reformation were
placed beyond all doubt.

It is noticeable that these substantial successes were achieved, not by
a religious fanatic, but by a jurist; not by a saint, but by a genial
man of the world; not by force of intellect and will, but by adroitness;
not by masterful authority, but by pliant diplomacy; not by forcing but
by following the current of events. Since Gregory VII., no Pope had done
so much as Pius IV. for bracing the ancient fabric of the Church and
confirming the Papal prerogative. But what a difference there is between
a Hildebrand and a Giovanni Angelo Medici! How Europe had changed, when
a man of the latter's stamp was the right instrument of destiny for
starting the weather-beaten ship of the Church upon a new and prosperous

Pius IV. was greatly assisted in his work by circumstances, of which he
knew how to avail himself. Had it not been for the renewed spiritual
activity of Catholicism to which I have alluded in this chapter, he
might not have been able to carry that work through. He took no interest
in theology, and felt no sympathy for the Inquisition.[34] But he
prudently left that institution alone to pursue its function of policing
the ecclesiastical realm. The Jesuits rendered him important assistance
by propagating their doctrine of passive obedience to Rome. Spain
supported him with the massive strength of a nation Catholic to the
core; and when the Spanish prelates gave him trouble, he could rely for
aid upon the Spanish crown. His own independence, as a prudent man of
business, uninfluenced by bigoted prejudices or partialities for any
sect, enabled him to manipulate all resources at his disposal for the
main object of uniting Catholicism and securing Papal supremacy. He was
also fortunate in his family relations, having no occasion to complicate
his policy by nepotism. One of the first acts of his reign had been to
condemn four of the Caraffeschi--Cardinal Caraffa, the Duke of Palliano,
Count Aliffe and Leonardo di Cardine--to death; and this act of justice
ended forever the old forms of domestic ambition which had hampered the
Popes of the Renaissance in their ecclesiastical designs. His brother,
the Marquis of Marignano, died in 1555; and this event opened for him
the path to the Papacy, which he would never have attained in the
lifetime of so grasping and ambitious a man.[35] With his next brother,
Augusto, who succeeded to the marquisate, he felt no sympathy.[36] His
nephew Federigo Borromeo died in youth. His other nephew, Carlo
Borromeo, the sainted Archbishop of Milan, remained close to his person
in Rome.[37] But Carlo Borromeo was a man who personified the new spirit
of Catholicism. Sincerely pious, zealous for the faith, immaculate in
conduct, unwearied in the discharge of diocesan duties, charitable to
the poor, devoted to the sick, he summed up all the virtues of the
Counter-Reformation. Nor had he any of the virtues of the Renaissance. A
Venetian Ambassador described him as cold of political temperament,
little versed in worldly affairs, and perplexed when he attempted to
handle matters of grave moment.[38] His presence at the Papal Court, so
far from being perilous, as that of an ambitious Cardinal Nipote would
have been, or scandalous as that of former Riarios, Borgias, and
Caraffas had undoubtedly been, was a source of strength to Pius. It
imported into his immediate surroundings just what he himself lacked,
and saved him from imputations of worldliness which in the altered
temper of the Church might have proved inconvenient.[39] Truly, among
all Pontiffs who have occupied St. Peter's Chair, Pius IV. deserved in
the close of his life to be called fortunate. He had risen from
obscurity, had entered Rome in humble office at the moment of Rome's
deepest degradation. He had lived through troubled times, and for some
years had felt the whole weight of Catholic concerns upon his shoulders.
At the last, he was conscious of having opened a new era for the Church,
and of being able to transmit a scepter of undisputed authority to his
successors. His death-bed was troubled with no remorse, with no
ingratitude of relatives, with no political complications produced by
family ambition or by the sacrifice of his official duties to personal

[Footnote 34: Soranzo, _op. cit._ p. 74.]

[Footnote 35: Soranzo, _op. cit._ p. 71, says: 'II marchese suo fratello
con la moglie gli diede il cappello, e con la morte il papato.']

[Footnote 36: Mocenigo, _op. cit._ p. 52. Soranzo, _op. cit._ p. 93.]

[Footnote 37: Margherita Medici, sister of the Pope, had married
Gilberto Borromeo.]

[Footnote 38: See Mocenigo, _op. cit._ p. 53. Soranzo, _op. cit._ p.

[Footnote 39: Gia. Soranzo (_op. cit._ p. 133) says of Carlo Borromeo,
'ch'egli solo faccia più profitto nella Corte di Roma che tutti i
decreti del Concilio insieme.']

Soon after the election of Pope Pius IV. the state of Europe made the
calling of a General Council indispensable. Paul's impolitic pretensions
had finally alienated England from the Roman Church. Scotland was upon
the point of declaring herself Protestant. The Huguenots were growing
stronger every year in France, the Queen Mother, Catherine de'Medici,
being at that time inclined to favor them. The Confession of Augsburg
had long been recognized in Germany. The whole of Scandinavia, with
Denmark, was lost to Catholicism. The Low Countries, in spite of Philip,
Alva, and the Inquisition, remained intractable. Bohemia, Hungary, and
Poland were alienated, ripe for open schism. The tenets of Zwingli had
taken root in German Switzerland. Calvin was gaining ground in the
French cantons. Geneva had become a stationary fortress, the stronghold
of belligerent reformers, whence heresy sent forth its missionaries and
promulgated subversive doctrines through the medium of an ever-active
press. Transformed by Calvin from its earlier condition of a
pleasure-loving and commercial city, it was now what Deceleia under
Spartan discipline had been to Athens in the Peloponnesian war--a
permanent _epiteichismos_, perpetually garrisoned and on guard to harry
the flanks of Catholics. Faithful to the Roman See in a strict sense of
the term, there remained only Spain, Portugal, and Italy. As the events
of the next century proved, the disaffected nations still offered
rallying-points for the Catholic cause, from which the tide of conquest
was rolled back upon the Reformation. But in 1559 the outlook for the
Church was very gloomy; no one could predict whether a General Council
might not increase her difficulties by weakening the Papal power and
sowing further seeds of discord among her few faithful adherents. Yet
Pius, after an attempt to combine the Catholic nations in a crusade
against Geneva, which was frustrated by the jealousy of Spain, the
internal weakness of France and the respect inspired by Switzerland,[40]
determined to cast his fortunes on the Council. He had several strong
points in his favor. The reigning Emperor, Ferdinand, wielded a power
insignificant when compared with that of Charles V. The Protestants,
though formally invited, were certain not to attend a Council which had
already condemned the articles of their Confession. The cardinal dogmas
of Catholicism had been confirmed in the sessions of 1545-1552. It was
to be hoped that, with skillful management, existing differences of
opinion with regard to doctrine, church-management, and reformation of
abuses, might be settled to the satisfaction of the Catholic powers.

[Footnote 40: See Sarpi, vol. ii. pp. 43, 44.]

The Pope accordingly sent four Legates, the Cardinals Gonzaga,
Seripando, Simoneta, Hosius, and Puteo, to Trent, who opened the
Council on January 15, 1562.[41] As had been anticipated, the
Protestants showed strong disinclination to attend. The French prelates
were unable to appear, pending negotiations with the Huguenots at Poissy
and Pontoise. The German prelates intimated their reluctance to take
part in the proceedings. The Court of France demanded that the chalice
for the laity and the use of the vulgar tongue in religious services
should be conceded. The Emperor also insisted on these points, making a
further demand for the marriage of the clergy. Circumstances both in
France and Germany seemed to render these conditions imperative, if the
rapid spread of Protestant dissent were to be checked and the remnant of
the Catholic population to be kept in obedience. Of ecclesiastics, only
Spaniards and Italians, the latter in a large majority, appeared at
Trent. The Courts of other nations were represented by ambassadors, who
took no part in the deliberations of the Council.[42]

[Footnote 41: Cardinal Puteo was soon replaced by a Papal nephew, the
Cardinal d'Altemps (Mark of Hohen Embs).]

[Footnote 42: At the first session there were five Cardinals, one
hundred and four prelates, including Patriarchs, Archbishops and
Bishops, four Abbots, and four Generals of Orders. These were all
Italians, Spaniards and Portuguese. And yet this Conciliabulum called
itself a General Council, inspired by the Holy Ghost to legislate for
the whole of Latin and Teutonic Christianity.]

In spite of this inauspicious commencement, Pius declared the Council a
General Council, and further decreed that it should be recognized as a
continuation of that Council which had begun at Trent in 1545. This
rendered co-operation of the Protestants impossible, since they would
have been compelled to accept the earlier dogmatic resolutions of the
Fathers. It was decided that no proxies should be allowed to absentees;
that the questions of doctrine and reform should be prepared for
discussion in two separate congregations, and should be taken into
consideration in full sessions simultaneously; finally that the Papal
Legates should alone have the privilege of proposing resolutions to the
fathers. This last point, by which the Court of Rome reserved to itself
the control of all proceedings in the Council, was carried by a clever
ruse. Until too late the Spanish prelates do not seem to have been aware
of the immense power they had conferred on Rome by passing the words
_Legatis proponentibus_.[43] The principle involved in this phrase
continued to be hotly disputed all through the sessions of the Council.
But Pius knew that so long as he stuck fast to it he always held the ace
of trumps, and nothing would induce him to relinquish it.

[Footnote 43: See Sarpi, vol. ii. p. 87.]

Fortified in this position of superiority, Pius now proceeded to
organize his forces and display his tactics. All through the sessions of
the Council they remained the same; and as the method resulted in his
final victory, it deserves to be briefly described. At any cost he
determined to secure a numerical majority in the Synod. This was
effected by drafting Italian prelates, as occasion required, to Trent.
Many of the poorer sort were subsidized, and placed under the
supervision of Cardinal Simoneta, who gave them orders how to vote. A
small squadron of witty bishops was told off to throw ridicule on
inconvenient speakers by satirical interpolations, or to hamper them by
sophistical arguments. Spies were introduced into the opposite camps,
who kept the Legates informed of what the French or Spaniards
deliberated in their private meetings. The Legates meanwhile established
a daily post of couriers, who carried the minutest details of the
Council to the Vatican. When the resolutions of the congregations on
which decrees were to be framed had been drawn up, they referred them to
his Holiness. Without his sanction they did not propose them in a
general session. In this fashion, by means of his standing majority, the
exclusive right of his Legates to propose resolutions, and the previous
reference of these resolutions to himself, Pius was enabled to direct
the affairs of the Council. It soon became manifest that while the
fathers were talking at Trent their final decisions were arranged in
Rome. This not unnaturally caused much discontent. It began to be
murmured that the Holy Ghost was sent from Rome to Trent in carpet-bags.
A man of more imperious nature than Pius might, by straining his
prerogatives, have produced an irreconcilable rupture. But he was aware
that the very existence of the Papacy depended on circumspection. He
therefore used all his advantages with caution, and resolved to win the
day by diplomacy. With this object in view he introduced the further
system of negotiating with the Catholic Courts through special agents.
Instead of framing the decrees upon the information furnished by his
Legates, he in his turn submitted them to Philip, Catherine de'Medici,
and Ferdinand, agreed on terms of mutual concession, persuaded the
princes that their interests were identical with his own, and then
returned such measures to the Council as could be safely passed. In
course of time the Holy Ghost was not packed up at Rome for Trent in
carpet-bags before he had gone round of Europe and made his bow in all

It must not, however, be thought that matters went smoothly for the Pope
at first, or that so novel a method as that which I have described,
whereby the faith and discipline of Christendom were settled by
negotiations between sovereigns, came suddenly into existence. In its
first sessions the Council, to quote the Pope's own words, resembled the
Tower of Babel rather than a Synod of Fathers. The Spanish prelates
contended fiercely for two principles touching the episcopacy: one was
that the residence of bishops in their dioceses had been divinely
commanded; the other, that their authority is derived from Christ
immediately. The first struck at the Pope's power to dispense from the
duty of residence; and if it had been established, it would have ruined
his capital. The second would have rendered the episcopacy independent
of Rome, and have made the Holy Father one of a numerous oligarchy
instead of the absolute chief of a hierarchy. Pius was able to show
Philip that the independence of the bishops must inflict deep injuries
on the crown of Spain. Philip therefore wrote to forbid insistance on
this point. But the Spanish prelates, though coerced, were not silenced,
and the storm which they had raised went grumbling on.

Difficulties of a no less serious nature arose when the French and
Imperial ambassadors arrived at Trent in the spring. They demanded, as I
have already stated, that the chalice should be conceded to the laity;
nor is it easy to understand why this point might not have been granted.
Pius himself was ready to make the concession; and the only valid
argument against it was that it imperiled the uniformity of ritual
throughout all Catholic countries. The Germans further stipulated for
the marriage of the clergy, which the Pope was also disposed to
entertain, until he reflected that celibacy alone retained the clergy
faithful to his interests and regardless of those of their own nations.
At this juncture of affairs, the Roman Court, which was strongly opposed
to both concessions, received material aid from the dissensions of the
Council. The Spaniards would hear nothing of the Eucharist under both
forms. The marriage of the clergy was opposed by French and Spaniards
alike. On the point of episcopal independence, the French supported the
Spaniards; but Pius used the same arguments in France which he had used
in Spain, with similar success. Thus there was no agreement on any of
the disputed questions between Spaniards, Frenchmen and Germans; and
since the ambassadors could neither propose nor vote, and the Italian
prelates were in a permanent majority, Pius was able to defer and
temporize at leisure.

Nevertheless, he began to feel the gravity of the situation. He saw that
the embassies constituted dangerous centers of intrigue and national
organization at Trent. He was not entirely satisfied with his own
Legate, the Cardinal Gonzaga, who supported the divine right of the
episcopacy, and quarreled with his colleagues. The Spaniards, infuriated
at having sacrificed the right of proposing measures, began to talk
openly about the reform of the Papacy. Disagreeable messages reached
Rome from France, and Spain, and Germany, complaining of the Pope's
absolutism in Council, and demanding that the reform of the Church
should be taken into serious and instant consideration. His devoted
adherent, Lainez, General of the Jesuits, embittered opposition by
passionately preaching the doctrine of passive obedience. Two dangers
lay before him. One was that the Council should break up in confusion,
with discredit to Rome, and anarchy for the Catholic Church. The other
was that it should be prolonged in its dissensions by the princes, with
a view of depressing and enfeebling the Papal authority. Other perils
of an incalculable kind threatened him in the announced approach of the
mighty Cardinal of Lorraine, brother to the Duke of Guise, with a
retinue of French bishops released from the Conference at Poissy. Though
he kept on packing the Council with fresh relays of Italians, it was
much to be apprehended that they might be unable to oppose a coalition
between French and Spanish prelates, should that be now effected.

Pius, at this crisis, resolved on two important lines of policy, the
energetic pursuit of which speedily brought the Council of Trent to a
peaceful termination. The first was to meet the demand for a searching
reformation of the Church with cheerful acquiescence; but to oppose a
counter-demand that the secular States in all their ecclesiastical
relations should at the same time be reformed. This implied a threat of
alienating patronage and revenue from the princes; it also indicated
plainly that the tiara and the crowns had interests in common. The
second was to develop the diplomatic system upon which he had already
tentatively entered.

The events of the spring, 1563, hastened the adoption of these measures
by the Pope. Cardinal Lorraine had arrived with his French bishops[44];
and the Papal Legates found themselves involved at once in intricate
disputes on questions touching the Huguenots and the interests of the
Gallican Church. The Italians were driven in despair to epigrams: _Dalla
scabie Spagnuola siamo caduti nel mal Francese_. Somewhat later, the
Emperor dispatched a bulky and verbose letter, announcing his intention
to play the part which Sigismund had assumed at the Council of
Constance. He complained roundly of the evils caused by the reference of
all resolutions to Rome, by the exclusive rights of the Legates to
propose decrees, and by the intrigues of the Italian majority in the
Synod. He wound up by declaring that the reformation of the Church must
be accomplished in Trent, not left to the judgment of the Papal Curia;
and threatened to arrive from Innsbruck by the Brenner. Though Ferdinand
was in a position of ecclesiastical and political weakness, such an
Imperial rescript could not be altogether contemned; especially as
Cardinal Lorraine, soon after his arrival, had made the journey to
Innsbruck on purpose to confer with the Emperor. It therefore behoved
the Pope to act with decision; and an important event happened in the
first days of March, which materially assisted him in doing so. This was
the death of Cardinal Gonzaga, whom Pius determined to replace by the
moderate and circumspect Morone.[45]

[Footnote 44: He reached Trent, November 13, 1562, with eighteen
Bishops, and three Abbots of France, charged by Charles IX. to demand
purified ritual, reformed discipline of clergy, use of vernacular in
church services, and finally, if possible, the marriage of the clergy.]

[Footnote 45: The confusion at Trent in the spring of 1563 is thus
described by the Bishop of Alife: 'Methinks Antichrist has come, so
greatly confounded are the perturbations of the holy Fathers here.'
Phillipson, p. 525.]

Through Ippolito d'Este, Cardinal of Ferrara, he opened negotiations
with the French Court, showing that the wishes of the prelates in the
Council on the question of episcopacy were no less opposed to the crown
than to his own interests. Cardinal Simoneta urged the same point on the
Marquis of Pescara, who governed Milan for Philip, and was well inclined
to the Papal party. Cardinal Morone was sent on a special embassy to the
Emperor.[46] By wise concessions, in which the prerogatives of the
Imperial ambassadors at Trent were considerably enlarged, and a
searching reformation of the Church was promised, Morone succeeded in
establishing a good working basis for the future. It came to be
understood that while the Pope would allow no further freedom to the
bishops, he was well disposed to let his Legates admit the envoys of the
Catholic powers into their counsels. From this time forward the Synod
may be said to have existed only as a mouthpiece for uttering the terms
agreed on by the Pope and potentates. Morone returned to Trent, and the
Emperor withdrew from Innsbruck toward the north.

[Footnote 46: When Morone set out, he told the Venetian envoy in Rome
that he was going on a forlorn hope. 'L'illmo Morone, quando partì per
il Concilio, mi disse che andava a cura disperata e che _nulla speserat_
della religione Cattolica.' Soranzo, _op. cit._ p. 82. The Jesuit
Canisius, by his influence with Ferdinand, secured the success of
Morone's diplomacy.]

The difficulty with regard to France and Germany consisted in this, that
politics forced both King and Emperor to consider the attitude of their
Protestant subjects. Yet both alike were unable to maintain their
position as Catholic sovereigns, if they came to open rupture with the
Papacy. Ferdinand, as we have just seen, had expressed himself contented
with the situation of affairs at Trent. But the French prelates still
remained in opposition, and the French Court was undecided. Cardinal
Morone, upon his arrival at Trent, began to flatter the Cardinal of
Lorraine, affecting to take no measures of importance without consulting
him. This conduct, together with timely compliments to several Frenchmen
of importance, smoothed the way for future agreement; while the couriers
who arrived from France, brought the assurance that Ippolito d'Este's
representations had not been fruitless. Pius, meanwhile, was playing the
same conciliatory game in Rome, where Don Luigi d'Avila arrived as a
special envoy from Philip. The ambassador obtained a lodging in the
Vatican, and was seen in daily social intercourse with his Holiness.[47]
But the climax of this policy was reached when Lorraine accepted the
Pope's invitation, and undertook a journey to Rome. This happened in
September. The French Cardinal was pompously received, entertained in
the palace, and honored with personal visits in his lodgings by the
Pope. Weary of Trent and the tiresome intrigues of the Council, this
unscrupulous prelate was still further inclined to negotiation after the
murder of his brother, Duke of Guise. It must be remembered that the
Guises in France were after all but a potent faction of semi-royal
adventurers, who had risen to eminence by an alliance with Diane de
Poitiers. The murder of the duke shook the foundations of their power;
and the Cardinal was naturally anxious to be back again in France. For
the moment he basked in the indolent atmosphere of Rome, surrounded by
those treasures of antique and Renaissance luxury which still remained
after the Sack of 1527. Pius held out flattering visions of succession
to the Papacy, and proved convincingly that nothing could sustain the
House of Guise or base the Catholic faith in France except alliance with
the Papal See. Lorraine, who had probably seen enough of episcopal
_canaillerie_ in the Council, and felt his inner self expand in the rich
climate of pontifical Rome, allowed his ambition to be caressed,
confessed himself convinced, and returned to Trent intoxicated with his
visit, the devoted friend of Rome.

[Footnote 47: Sarpi says that Don Luigi resided in the lodgings of Count
Federigo Borromeo, a deceased nephew of the Pope.]

Menaces, meanwhile, had been astutely mingled with cajoleries. The
French and the Imperial Courts were growing anxious on the subject of
reform in secular establishments. Pius had threatened to raise the whole
question of national Churches and the monarch's right of interfering in
their administration. This was tantamount to flinging a burning torch
into the powder-magazine of Huguenot and Lutheran grievances. In order
to save themselves from the disaster of explosion, they urged harmonious
action with the Papacy upon their envoys. The Spanish Court, through
Pescara, De Luna, and D'Avalos, wrote dispatches of like tenor. It was
now debated whether a congress of Crowned heads should not be held to
terminate the Council in accordance with the Papal programme. This would
have suited Pius. It was the point to which his policy had led. Yet no
such measure could be lightly hazarded. A congress while the Council was
yet sitting, would have been too palpable and cynical a declaration of
the Papal game. As events showed, it was not even necessary. When
Lorraine returned to Trent, the French opposition came to an end. The
Spanish had been already neutralized by the firm persistent exhibition
of Philip's will to work for Roman absolutism.[48] There was nothing
left but to settle details, to formulate the terms of ecclesiastical
reform, and to close the Council of Trent with a unanimous vote of
confidence in his Holiness. The main outlines of dogma and discipline
were quickly drawn. Numerous details were referred to the Pope for
definition. The Council terminated in December with an act of
submission, which placed all its decrees at the pleasure of the Papal
sanction. Pius was wise enough to pass and ratify the decrees of the
Tridentine fathers by a Bull dated on December 26, 1563, reserving to
the Papal sovereign the sole right of interpreting them in doubtful or
disputed cases. This he could well afford to do; for not an article had
been penned without his concurrence, and not a stipulation had been made
without a previous understanding with the Catholic powers. The very
terms, moreover, by which his ratification was conveyed, secured his
supremacy, and conferred upon his successors and himself the privileges
of a court of ultimate appeal. At no previous period in the history of
the Church had so wide, so undefined, and so unlimited an authority been
accorded to the See of Rome. Thus Pius IV. was triumphant in obtaining
conciliar sanction for Pontifical absolutism, and in maintaining the
fabric of the Roman hierarchy unimpaired, the cardinal dogmas of Latin
Christianity unimpeached and after formal inquisition reasserted in
precise definitions. A formidable armory had been placed at the disposal
of the Popes, who were fully empowered to use it, and who had two mighty
engines for its application ready in the Holy Office and the Company of

[Footnote 48: Yet the Spanish bishops fought to the end, under the
leadership of their chief Guerrero, for the principle of conciliar
independence and the episcopal prerogatives. 'We had better not have
come here, than be forced to stand by as witnesses,' says the Bishop of
Orense. Phillipson, p. 577.]

[Footnote 49: The vague reference of all decrees passed by the
Tridentine Council to the Pope for interpretation enabled him and his
successors to manipulate them as they chose. It therefore happened, as
Sarpi says ('Tratt. delle Mat. Ben.' _Opere_, vol. iv. p. 161), that no
reform, with regard to the tenure of benefices, residence, pluralism,
etc., which the Council had decided, was adopted without qualifying
expedients which neutralized its spirit. If the continuance of benefices
_in commendam_ ceased, the device of _pensions_ upon benefices was
substituted; and a thousand pretexts put colossal fortunes extracted
from Church property, now as before, into the hands of Papal nephews.
Witness the contrivances whereby Cardinal Scipione Borghese enriched
himself in the Papacy of Paul V. The Council had decreed the residence
of bishops in their sees; but it had reserved to the Pope a power of
dispensation; so that those whom he chose to exile from Rome were bound
to reside, and those whom he desired to have about him were released
from this obligation. On each and all delicate points the Papacy was
more autocratic after than before the Council. One of Sarpi's letters
(vol. i. p. 371) to Jacques Leschassier, dated December 22, 1609, should
be studied by those who wish to penetrate the '_reserve ed altre arcane
arti_,' the '_renunzie_', '_pensioni_' and '_altri stratagemmi_,' by
means of which the Papal Curia, during the half-century after the
Tridentine Council, managed to evade its decrees, and to get such
control over Church property in Italy that 'out of 500 benefices not one
is conferred legally.' Compare the passage in the 'Trattato delle
Materie Beneficiarie,' p. 163. There Sarpi says that five-sixths of
Italian benefices are at the Pope's disposal, and that there is good
reason to suppose that he will acquire the remaining sixth.]

After the termination of the Council there was nothing left for Pius but
to die. He stood upon a pinnacle which might well have made him
nervous--lest haply the Solonian maxim, 'Call no man fortunate until his
death,' should be verified in his person. During the two years of peace
and retirement which he had still to pass, the unsuccessful conspiracy
of Benedetto Accolti and Antonio Canossa against his life gave point to
this warning. But otherwise, withdrawn from cares of state, which he
committed to his nephew, Carlo Borromeo, he enjoyed the tranquillity
that follows successful labor, and sank with undiminished prestige into
his grave at the end of 1565. Those who believe in masterful and potent
leaders of humanity may be puzzled to account for the triumph achieved
by this common-place arbiter of destiny. Not by strength but by pliancy
of character he accomplished the transition from the mediaeval to the
modern epoch of Catholicism. He was no Cromwell, Frederick the Great, or
Bismarck; only a politic old man, contriving by adroit avoidance to
steer the ship of the Church clear through innumerable perils. This
scion of the Italian middle class, this moral mediocrity, placed his
successors in S. Peter's chair upon a throne of such supremacy that they
began immediately to claim jurisdiction over kings and nations.
Thirty-eight years before his death, when Clement VII. was shut up in S.
Angelo, it seemed as though the Papal power might be abolished.
Forty-five years after his death, Sarpi, writing to a friend in 1610,
expressed his firm opinion that the one, the burning question for Europe
was the Papal power.[50] Through him, poor product as he was of ordinary
Italian circumstances, elected to be Pope because of his easy-going
mildness by prelates worn to death in fiery Caraffa's reign, it happened
that the flood of Catholic reaction was rolled over Europe. In a certain
sense we may therefore regard him as a veritable _Flagellum Dei_,
wielded by inscrutable fate. It seems that at momentous epochs of
world-history no hero is needed to effect the purpose of the
Time-Spirit. A Gian Angelo Medici, agreeable, diplomatic, benevolent,
and pleasure-loving, sufficed to initiate a series of events which kept
the Occidental races in perturbation through two centuries.

[Footnote 50: _Lettere_, vol. ii. p. 167.]

A great step had been taken in the pontificate of Pius IV. That reform
of the Church, which the success of Protestantism rendered necessary,
and which the Catholic powers demanded, had been decreed by the Council
of Trent. Pius showed no unwillingness to give effect to the Council's
regulations; and the task was facilitated for him by his nephew, Carlo
Borromeo, and the Jesuits. It still remained, however, to be seen
whether a new Pope might not reverse the policy on which the
Counter-Reformation had been founded, and impede the beneficial inner
movement which was leading the Roman hierarchy into paths of sobriety.
Should this have happened, it would have been impossible for Romanism to
assume a warlike attitude of resistance toward the Protestants in
Europe, or to have rallied its own spiritual forces. The next election
was therefore a matter of grave import.

Nothing is more remarkable in the history of the Papacy at this epoch
than the singular contrast offered by each Pontiff in succession to his
predecessor. The conclave was practically uncontrolled in its choice by
any external force of the first magnitude. Though a Duke of Florence
might now, by intrigue, determine the nomination of a Pius IV., no
commanding Emperor or King of France, as in the times of Otto the Great
or Philip le Bel, could designate his own candidate. There was no
strife, so open as in the Renaissance period, between Cardinals
subsidized by Spain or Austria or France.[51] The result was that the
deliberations of the conclave were determined by motives of petty
interests, personal jealousies, and local considerations, to such an
extent that the election seemed finally to be the result of chance or
inspiration. We find the most unlikely candidates, Caraffa and Peretti,
attributing their elevation to the direct influence of the Holy Ghost,
in the consciousness that they had slipped into S. Peter's Chair by the
maladroitness of conflicting factions. The upshot, however, of these
uninfluenced elections generally was to promote a man antagonistic to
his predecessor. The clash of parties and the numerical majority of
independent Cardinals excluded the creatures of the last reign, and
selected for advancement one who owed his position to the favor of an
antecedent Pontiff. This result was further secured by the natural
desire of all concerned in the election to nominate an old man, since it
was for the general advantage that a pontificate should, if possible,
not exceed five years.

[Footnote 51: This does not mean that the Spanish crown had not a
powerful voice in the elections. See the history of the conclaves which
elected Urban VII., Gregory XIV., Innocent IX., Clement VIII., in Ranke,
vol. ii. pp. 31-39. Yet it was noticed by those close observers, the
Venetian envoys, that France and Spain had abandoned their former policy
of subsidizing the Cardinals who adhered to their respective factions.]

The personal qualities of Carlo Borromeo were of grave importance in
the election of a successor to his uncle. He had ruled the Church during
the last years of Pius IV.; and the newly-appointed Cardinals were his
dependents. Had he attempted to exert his power for his own election, he
might have met with opposition. He chose to use it for what he
considered the deepest Catholic interests. This unselfishness led to the
selection of a man, Michele Ghislieri, whose antecedents rendered him
formidable to the still corrupt members of the Roman hierarchy, but
whose character was precisely of the stamp required for giving solidity
to the new phase on which the Church had entered. As Pius IV. had been
the exact opposite to Paul IV., so Pius V. was a complete contrast to
Pius IV. He had passed the best years of his life as chief of the
Inquisition. Devoted to theology and to religious exercises, he lacked
the legal and mundane faculties of his predecessor. But these were no
longer necessary. They had done their duty in bringing the Council to a
favorable close, and in establishing the Catholic concordat. What was
now required was a Pope who should, by personal example and rigid
discipline, impress Rome with the principles of orthodoxy and reform.
Carlo Borromeo, self-conscious, perhaps, of the political incapacity
which others noticed in him, and fervently zealous for the Catholic
Revival, devolved this duty on Michele Ghislieri, who completed the work
of his two predecessors.

Paul IV. had laid a basis for the modern Roman Church by strengthening
the Inquisition and setting internal reforms on foot. Pius IV.,
externally, by his settlement of the Tridentine Council, and by the
establishment of the Catholic concordat, built upon this basis an
edifice which was not as yet massive. Carlo Borromeo and the Jesuits
during the last pontificate prepared the way for a Pope who should
cement and gird that building, so that it should be capable of resisting
the inroads of time and should serve as a fortress of attack on heresy.
That Pope was Michele Ghislieri, who assumed the title of Pius V. in

Before entering on the matter of his reign, it will be necessary to
review the state of Rome at this moment in the epoch of transition, when
the mediaeval and Renaissance phases were fast merging into the phase of
the Counter-Reformation. Old abuses which have once struck a deep root
in any institution, die slowly. It is therefore desirable to survey the
position in which the Papal Sovereign of the Holy City, as constituted
by the Council of Trent, held sway there.

The population of Rome was singularly fluctuating. Being principally
composed of ecclesiastics with their households and dependents;
foreigners resident in the city as suitors or ambassadors; merchants,
tradespeople and artists attracted by the hope of gain; it rose or fell
according to the qualities of the reigning Pope, and the greater or less
train of life which happened to be fashionable. Noble families were
rather conspicuous by their absence than by their presence; for those of
the first rank, Colonna and Orsini, dwelt upon their fiefs, and visited
the capital only as occasion served. The minor aristocracy which gave
solidity to social relations in towns like Florence and Bologna, never
attained the rank of a substantial oligarchy in Rome. Nor was there an
established dynasty round which a circle of peers might gather in
permanent alliance with the Court. On the other hand, the frequent
succession of Pontiffs chosen from various districts encouraged the
growth of an ephemeral nobility, who battened for a while upon the favor
of their Papal kinsmen, flooded the city with retainers from their
province, and disappeared upon the election of a new Pope, to make room
for another flying squadron. Instead of a group of ancient Houses,
intermarrying and transmitting hereditary rights and honors to their
posterity, Rome presented the spectacle of numerous celibate
establishments, displaying great pomp, it is true, but dispersing and
disappearing upon the decease of the patrons who assembled them. The
households of wealthy Cardinals were formed upon the scale of princely
Courts. Yet no one, whether he depended on the mightiest or the feeblest
prelate, could reckon on the tenure of his place beyond the lifetime of
his master. Many reasons, again--among which may be reckoned the
hostility of reigning Pontiffs to the creatures of their predecessors or
to their old rivals in the conclave--caused the residence of the chief
ecclesiastics in Rome to be precarious. Thus the upper stratum of
society was always in a state of flux, its elements shifting according
to laws of chronic uncertainty. Beneath it spread a rabble of inferior
and dubious gentlefolk, living in idleness upon the favor of the Court,
serving the Cardinals and Bishops in immoral and dishonest offices,
selling their wives, their daughters and themselves, all eager to rise
by indirect means to places of emolument.[52] Lower down, existed the
_bourgeoisie_ of artists, bankers, builders, shopkeepers, and artisans;
and at the bottom of the scale came hordes of beggars. Rome, like all
Holy Cities, entertained multitudes of eleemosynary paupers. Gregory
XIII. is praised for having spent more than 200,000 crowns a year on
works of charity, and for having assigned the district of San Sisto (in
the neighborhood of Trinità del Monte, one of the best quarters of the
present city) to the beggars.[53]

[Footnote 52: See Mocenigo, _op. cit._ p. 35; Aretino's _Dialogo della
Corte di Roma_; and the private history of the Farnesi.]

[Footnote 53: Giov. Carraro and Lor. Priuli, _op. cit._ pp. 275, 306.]

Such being the social conditions of Rome, it is not surprising to learn
that during the reign of so harsh a Pontiff as Paul IV., the population
sank to a number estimated at between 40,000 and 50,000. It rose rapidly
to 70,000, and touched 80,000 in the reign of Pius IV. Afterwards it
gradually ascended to 90,000, and during the popular pontificate of
Gregory XIII. it is said to have reached the high figure of 140,000.
These calculations are based upon the reports of the Venetian
ambassadors, and can be considered as impartial, although they may not
be statistically exact.[54]

What rendered Roman society rotten to the core was universal pecuniary
corruption. In Rome nothing could be had without payment; but men with
money in their purse obtained whatever they desired. The office of the
Datatario alone brought from ten to fourteen thousand crowns a month
into the Papal treasury in 1560.[55] This large sum accrued from the
composition of benefices and the sale of vacant offices. The Camera
Apostolica, or Chamber of Justice, was no less venal. A price was set on
every crime, for which its punishment could be commuted into
cash-payment. Even so severe a Pope as Paul IV. committed to his nephew,
by published and printed edict, the privilege of compounding with
criminals by fines.[56] One consequence of this vile system, rightly
called by the Venetian envoy 'the very strangest that could be witnessed
or heard of in such matters,' was that wealthy sinners indulged their
appetites at the expense of their families, and that innocent people
became the prey of sharpers and informers.[57] Rome had organized a vast
system of _chantage_.

[Footnote 54: Alberi, vol. x. pp. 35, 83, 277.]

[Footnote 55: Mocenigo's computation, _op. cit._ p. 29.]

[Footnote 56: _Ibid._ p. 31.]

[Footnote 57: The true history of the Cenci, as written by Bertolotti,
throws light upon these points.] Another consequence was that acts of
violence were frightfully common. Men could be hired to commit murders
at sums varying from ten to four scudi; and on the death of Paul IV.,
when anarchy prevailed for a short while in Rome, an eye-witness asserts
that several hundred assassinations were committed within the walls in a
few days.[58]

[Footnote 58: Mocenigo, _op. cit._ p. 38.]

It was not to be expected that a population so corrupt, accustomed for
generations to fatten upon the venality and vices of the hierarchy,
should welcome those radical reforms which were the best fruits of the
Tridentine Council. They specially disliked the decrees which enforced
the residence of prelates and the limitation of benefices held by a
single ecclesiastic. These regulations implied the withdrawal of wealthy
patrons from Rome, together with an incalculable reduction in the amount
of foreign money spent there. Nor were the measures for abolishing a
simoniacal sale of offices, and the growing demand for decency in the
administration of justice, less unpopular. The one struck at the root of
private speculation in lucrative posts, and deprived the Court of
revenues which had to be replaced by taxes. The other destroyed the arts
of informers, checked lawlessness and license in the rich, and had the
same lamentable effect of impoverishing the Papal treasury. In
proportion as the Curia ceased to subsist upon the profits of simony,
superstition, and sin, it was forced to maintain itself by imposts on
the people, and by resuming, as Gregory XIII. attempted to do, its
obsolete rights over fiefs and lands accorded on easy terms or held by
doubtful titles. Meanwhile the retrenchment rendered necessary in all
households of the hierarchy, and the introduction of severer manners,
threatened many minor branches of industry with extinction.

These changes began to manifest themselves during the pontificate of
Pius IV. The Pope himself was inclined to a liberal and joyous scale of
living. But he was not remarkable for generosity; and the new severity
of manners made itself felt by the example of his nephew Carlo
Borromeo--a man who, while living in the purple, practiced austerities
that were apparent in his emaciated countenance. The Jesuits ruled him;
and, through him, their influence was felt in every quarter of the
city.[59] 'The Court of Rome,' says the Venetian envoy in the year 1565,
'is no longer what it used to be either in the quality or the numbers of
the courtiers. This is principally due to the poverty of the Cardinals
and the parsimony of the Popes. In the old days, when they gave away
more liberally, men of ability flocked from all quarters. This reduction
of the Court dates from the Council; for the bishops and beneficed
clergy being now obliged to retire to their residences, the larger
portion of the Court has left Rome. To the same cause may be ascribed a
diminution in the numbers of those who serve the Pontiff, seeing that
since only one benefice can now be given, and that involves residence,
there are few who care to follow the Court at their own expense and
inconvenience without hope of greater reward. The poverty of the
Cardinals springs from two causes. The first is that they cannot now
obtain benefices of the first class, as was the case when England,
Germany, and other provinces were subject to the Holy See, and when
moreover they could hold three or four bishoprics apiece together with
other places of emolument, whereas they now can only have one apiece.
The second cause is that the number of the Cardinals has been increased
to seventy-five, and that the foreign powers have ceased to compliment
them with large presents and Benefices, as was the wont of Charles V.
and the French crown.' In the last of these clauses we find clearly
indicated one of the main results of the concordat established between
the Papacy and the Catholic sovereigns by the policy of Pius IV. It
secured Papal absolutism at the expense of the college. Soranzo proceeds
to describe the changes visible in Roman society. 'The train of life at
Court is therefore mean, partly through poverty, but also owing to the
good example of Cardinal Borromeo, seeing that people are wont to follow
the manners of their princes. The Cardinal holds in his hands all the
threads of the administration; and living religiously in the retirement
I have noticed, indulging in liberalities to none but persons of his
own stamp, there is neither Cardinal nor courtier who can expect any
favor from him unless he conform in fact or in appearance to his mode of
life. Consequently one observes that they have altogether withdrawn, in
public at any rate, from every sort of pleasures. One sees no longer
Cardinals in masquerade or on horseback, nor driving with women about
Rome for pastime, as the custom was of late; but the utmost they do is
to go alone in close coaches. Banquets, diversions, hunting parties,
splendid liveries and all the other signs of outward luxury have been
abolished; the more so that now there is at Court no layman of high
quality, as formerly when the Pope had many of his relatives or
dependents around him. The clergy always wear their robes, so that the
reform of the Church is manifested in their appearance. This state of
things, on the other hand, has been the ruin of the artisans and
merchants, since no money circulates. And while all offices and
magistracies are in the hands of Milanese, grasping and illiberal
persons, very few indeed can be still called satisfied with the present

[Footnote 59: Giac. Soranzo, _op. cit._ pp. 131-136]

[Footnote 60: Soranzo, _op. cit._ pp. 136-138.]

One chief defect of Pius IV., judged by the standard of the new party in
the Church, had been his coldness in religious exercises. Paolo Tiepolo
remarks that during the last seven months of his life he never once
attended service in his chapel.[61]

[Footnote 61: _Op. cit._ p. 171.]

This indifference was combined with lukewarmness in the prosecution of
reforms. The Datatario still enriched itself by the composition of
benefices, and the Camera by the composition of crimes. Pius V., on the
contrary, embodied in himself those ascetic virtues which Carlo Borromeo
and the Jesuits were determined to propagate throughout the Catholic
world. He never missed a day's attendance on the prescribed services of
the Church, said frequent Masses, fasted at regular intervals, and
continued to wear the coarse woolen shirt which formed a part of his
friar's costume. In his piety there was no hypocrisy. The people saw
streams of tears pouring from the eyes of the Pontiff bowed in ecstacy
before the Host. A rigid reformation of the churches, monasteries, and
clergy was immediately set on foot throughout the Papal States. Monks
and nuns complained, not without cause, that austerities were expected
from them which were not included in the rules to which they vowed
obedience. The severity of the Inquisition was augmented, and the Index
Expurgatorius began to exercise a stricter jurisdiction over books. The
Pope spent half his time at the Holy Office, inquiring into cases of
heresy of ten or twenty years' standing. From Florence he caused
Carnesecchi to be dragged to Rome and burned; from Venice the refugee
Guido Zanetti of Fano was delivered over to his tender mercies; and the
excellent Carranza, Archbishop of Toledo, was sent from Spain to be
condemned to death before the Roman tribunal. Criminal justice,
meanwhile, was administered with greater purity, and the composition of
crimes for money, if not wholly abolished, was moderated. In the
collation to bishoprics and other benefices the same spirit of equity
appeared; for Pius inquired scrupulously into the character and fitness
of aspirants after office.

The zeal manifested by Pius V. for a thorough-going reform of manners
may be illustrated by a curious circumstance related by the Venetian
ambassador in the first year of the pontificate.[62] On July 26, 1566,
an edict was issued, compelling all prostitutes to leave Rome within six
days, and to evacuate the States of the Church within twelve days. The
exodus began. But it was estimated that about 25,000 persons, counting
the women themselves with their hangers-on and dependents, would have to
quit the city if the edict were enforced.[63] The farmers of the customs
calculated that they would lose some 20,000 ducats a year in
consequence, and prayed the Pope for compensation. Meanwhile the roads
across the Campagna began to be thronged by caravans, which were exposed
to the attacks of robbers. The confusion became so great, and the public
discontent was so openly expressed, that on August 17 Pius repealed his
edict and permitted the prostitutes to reside in certain quarters of the

[Footnote 62: Mutinelli, _Storia Arcana_, etc., vol. i. pp. 51-54.]

[Footnote 63: Assuming the population of Rome to have been about 90,000
at that date, this number appears incredible. Yet we have it on the best
of all evidences, that of a resident Venetian envoy.]

Pius IV. had wasted the greater part of his later life in bed,
neglecting business, entertaining his leisure with buffoons and good
companions, eating much and drinking more. Pius V., on the contrary,
carried the habits of the convent with him into the Vatican, and
bestowed the time he spared from devotion upon the transaction of
affairs. He was of choleric complexion, adust, lean, wasted, with sunken
eyes and snow-white hair, looking ten years older than he really was.

Such a Pope changed the face of Rome, or rather stereotyped the change
which had been instituted by Cardinal Borromeo. 'People, even if they
are not really better, seem at least to be so,' says the Venetian envoy,
who has supplied me with the details I have condensed.[64] Retrenchments
in the Papal establishment were introduced; money was scarce; the Court
grew meaner in appearance; and nepotism may be said to have been extinct
in the days of Pius V. He did indeed advance one nephew, Michele
Bonelli, to the Cardinalate; but he showed no inclination to enrich or
favor him beyond due measure. A worn man, without ears, marked by the
bastinado, frequented the palace, and stood near the person of the Pope,
as Captain of the Guard. This was Paolo Ghislieri, a somewhat distant
relative of Pius, who had passed his life in servitude to Barbary
corsairs and had been ransomed by a merchant upon the election of his
kinsman. No other members of the Papal family were invited to Rome.

[Footnote 64: Tiepolo, _op. cit._ p. 172.]

Pius V., while living this exemplary monastic life upon the Papal
throne, ruled Catholic Christendom more absolutely than any of his
predecessors. As the Papacy recognized its dependence on the sovereigns,
so the sovereigns in their turn perceived that religious conformity was
the best safeguard of their secular authority. Therefore the Catholic
States subscribed, one after the other, to the Tridentive Profession of
Faith, and adopted one system in matters of Church discipline. A new
Breviary and a new Missal were published with the Papal sanction.
Seminaries were established for the education of ecclesiastics, and the
Jesuits labored in their propaganda. The Inquisition and the
Congregation of the Index redoubled their efforts to stamp out heresy by
fire and iron, and by the suppression or mutilation of books. A rigid
uniformity was impressed on Catholicism. The Pope, to whom such power
had been committed by the Council, stood at the head of each section and
department of the new organization. To his approval every measure in the
Church was referred, and the Jesuits executed his instructions with
punctual exactness.

It is not, therefore, to be wondered that Pius V. should have opened the
era of active hostilities against Protestantism. Firmly allied with
Philip II., he advocated attacks upon the Huguenots in France, the
Protestants in Flanders, and the English crown. There is no evidence
that he was active in promoting the Massacre of S. Bartholomew, which
took place three months after his death; and the expedition of the
Invincible Armada against England was not equipped until another period
of fifteen years had elapsed. Yet the negotiations in which he was
engaged with Spain, involving enterprises to the detriment of the
English realm and the French Reformation, leave no doubt that both S.
Bartholomew and the Armada would have met with his hearty approval. One
glorious victory gave luster to the reign of Pius V. In 1571 the navies
of Spain, Venice and Rome inflicted a paralyzing blow upon the Turkish
power at Lepanto; and this success was potent in fanning the flame of
Catholic enthusiasm.

The pontificates of Paul IV., Pius IV., and Pius V., differing as they
did in very important details, had achieved a solid triumph for reformed
Catholicism, of which both the diplomatical and the ascetic parties in
the Church, Jesuits and Theatines, were eager to take advantage. A new
spirit in the Roman polity prevailed, upon the reality of which its
future force depended; and the men who embodied this spirit had no mind
to relax their hold on its administration. After the death of Pius V.
they had to deal with a Pope who resembled his penultimate predecessor,
Pius IV., more than the last Pontiff. Ugo Buoncompagno, the scion of a
_bourgeois_ family settled in Bologna, began his career as a jurist. He
took orders in middle life, was promoted to the Cardinalate, and
attained the supreme honor of the Holy See in 1572. The man responded to
his name. He was a good companion, easy of access, genial in manners,
remarkable for the facility with which he cast off care and gave himself
to sanguine expectations.[65] In an earlier period of Church history he
might have reproduced the Papacy of Paul II. or Innocent VIII. As it
was, Gregory XIII. fell at once under the potent influence of Jesuit
directors. His confessor, the Spanish Francesco da Toledo, impressed
upon him the necessity of following the footsteps of Paul IV. and Pius
V. It was made plain that he must conform to the new tendencies of the
Catholic Church; and in his neophyte's zeal he determined to outdo his
predecessors. The example of Pius V. was not only imitated, but
surpassed. Gregory XIII. celebrated three Masses a week, built churches,
and enforced parochial obedience throughout his capital. The Jesuits in
his reign attained to the maximum of their wealth and influence. Rome,
'abandoning her ancient license, displayed a moderate and Christian mode
of living: and in so far as the external observance of religion was
concerned, she showed herself not far removed from such perfection as
human frailties allow.'[66]

[Footnote 65: Paolo Tiepolo, _op. cit._ p. 312.]

[Footnote 66: _Ibid._ p. 214.]

While he was yet a layman, Gregory became the father of one son,
Giacomo. Born out of wedlock, he was yet acknowledged as a member of
the Buoncompagno family, and admitted under this name into the Venetian
nobility.[67] The Pope manifested paternal weakness in favor of his
offspring. He brought the young man to Rome, and made him Governatore di
Santa Chiesa with a salary of 10,000 ducats. The Jesuits and other
spiritual persons scented danger. They persuaded the Holy Father that
conscience and honor required the alienation of his bastard from the
sacred city. Giacomo was relegated to honorable exile in Ancona. But he
suffered so severely from this rebuff, that terms of accommodation were
agreed on. Giacomo received a lady of the Sforza family in marriage, and
was established at the Papal Court with a revenue amounting to about
25,000 crowns.[68] The ecclesiastical party now predominant in Rome,
took care that he should not acquire more than honorary importance in
the government. Two of the Pope's nephews were promoted to the
Cardinalate with provisions of about 10,000 crowns apiece. His old
brother abode in retirement at Bologna under strict orders not to seek
fortune or to perplex the Papal purity of rule in Rome.[69]

[Footnote 67: The Venetians, when they inscribed his name upon the Libro
d'Oro, called him 'a near relative of his Holiness.']

[Footnote 68: This lady was a sister of the Count of Santa Fiora. For a
detailed account of the wedding, see Mutinelli, _Stor. arc._
vol. i. p. 112.]

[Footnote 69: Tiepolo, _op. cit._ pp. 213, 219--221, 263, 266.]

I have introduced this sketch of Gregory's relations in order to show
how a Pope of his previous habits and personal proclivities was now
obliged to follow the new order of the Church. It was noticed that the
mode of life in Rome during his reign struck a just balance between
license and austerity, and that general satisfaction pervaded
society.[70] Outside the city this contentment did not prevail. Gregory
threw his States into disorder by reviving obsolete rights of the Church
over lands mortgaged or granted with obscure titles. The petty barons
rose in revolt, armed their peasants, fomented factions in the country
towns, and filled the land with brigands. Under the leadership of men
like Alfonso Piccolomini and Roberto Malatesta, these marauding bands
assumed the proportion of armies. The neighboring Italian
States--Tuscany, Venice, Naples, Parma, all of whom had found the Pope
arbitrary and aggressive in his dealings with them--encouraged the
bandits by offering them an asylum and refusing to co-operate with
Gregory for their reduction.

[Footnote 70: Giov. Corraro, op. cit. p. 277.]

His successor, Sixtus V., found the whole Papal dominion in confusion.
It was impossible to collect the taxes. Life and property were nowhere
safe. By a series of savage enactments and stern acts of justice, Sixtus
swept the brigands from his States. He then applied his powerful will to
the collection of money and the improvement of his provinces. In the
four years which followed his election he succeeded in accumulating a
round sum of four million crowns, which he stored up in the Castle of
S. Angelo. The total revenues of the Papacy at this epoch were roughly
estimated at 750,000 crowns, which in former reigns had been absorbed in
current costs and the pontifical establishment. By rigorous economy and
retrenchments of all kinds Sixtus reduced these annual expenses to a sum
of 250,000, thus making a clear profit of 500,000 crowns.[71] At the
same time he had already spent about a million and a half on works of
public utility, including the famous Acqua Felice, which brought
excellent water into Rome. Roads and bridges throughout the States of
the Church were repaired, The Chiana of Orvieto and the Pontine Marsh
were drained. Encouragement was extended, not only to agriculture, but
also to industries and manufactures. The country towns obtained wise
financial concessions, and the unpopular resumption of lapsed lands and
fiefs was discontinued. Rome meanwhile began to assume her present
aspect as a city, by the extensive architectural undertakings which
Sixtus set on foot. He loved building; but he was no lover of antiquity.
For pagan monuments of art he showed a monastic animosity, dispersing or
mutilating the statues of the Vatican and Capitol; turning a Minerva
into an image of the Faith by putting a cross in her hand; surmounting
the columns of Trajan and Antonine with figures of Peter and Paul;
destroying the Septizonium of Severus, and wishing to lay sacrilegious
hands on Caecilia Metella's tomb. To mediaeval relics he was hardly less
indifferent. The old buildings of the Lateran were thrown down to make
room for the heavy modern palace. But, to atone in some measure for
these acts of vandalism, Sixtus placed the cupola upon S. Peter's and
raised the obelisk in the great piazza which was destined to be circled
with Bernini's colonnades. This obelisk he tapped with a cross.
Christian inscriptions, signalizing the triumph of the Pontiff over
infidel emperors, the victory of Calvary over Olympus, the superiority
of Rome's saints and martyrs to Rome's old deities and heroes, left no
doubt that what remained of the imperial city had been subdued to Christ
and purged of paganism. Wandering through Rome at the present time, we
feel in every part the spirit of the Catholic Revival, and murmur to
ourselves those lines of Clough:

    O ye mighty and strange, ye ancient divine ones of Hellas!
    Are ye Christian too? To convert and redeem and renew you,
    Will the brief form have sufficed, that a Pope has sat up on the apex
    Of the Egyptian stone that o'ertops you, the Christian symbol?
    And ye, silent, supreme in serene and victorious marble,
    Ye that encircle the walls of the stately Vatican chambers,
    Are ye also baptized; are ye of the Kingdom of Heaven?
    Utter, O some one, the word that shall reconcile Ancient and Modern.

[Footnote 71: See Giov. Gritti, _op. cit._ p. 333.]

Nothing was more absent from the mind of Sixtus than any attempt to
reconcile Ancient and Modern. He was bent on proclaiming the ultimate
triumph of Catholicism, not only over antiquity, but also over the
Renaissance. His inscriptions, crosses, and images of saints are the
enduring badges of serfdom set upon the monuments of ancient and
renascent Italy, bearing which they were permitted by the now absolute
Pontiff to remain as testimonies to his power.

Retrenchment alone could not have sufficed for the accumulation of so
much idle capital, and for so extensive an expenditure on works of
public utility. Sixtus therefore had recourse to new taxation, new
loans, and the creation of new offices for sale. The Venetian envoy
mentions eighteen imposts levied in his reign; a sum of 600,000 crowns
accruing to the Camera by the sale of places; and extensive loans, or
Monti, which were principally financed by the Genoese.[72] It was
necessary for the Papacy, now that it had relinquished the larger part
of its revenues derived from Europe, to live upon the proceeds of the
Papal States. The complicated financial expedients on which successive
Popes relied for developing their exchequer, have been elaborately
explained by Ranke.[73] They were materially assisted in their efforts
to support the Papal dignity upon the resources of their realm, by the
new system of nepotism which now began to prevail. Since the Council of
Trent, it was impossible for a Pope to acknowledge his sons, and few, if
any, of the Popes after Pius IV. had sons to acknowledge.[74]

[Footnote 72: Giov. Gritti, _op. cit._ p. 337.]

[Footnote 73: _History of the Popes_, Book iv. section I.]

[Footnote 74: Giacomo Buoncompagno was born while Gregory XIII. was
still a layman and a lawyer.]

The tendencies of the Church rendered it also incompatible with the
Papal position that near relatives of the Pontiff should be advanced, as
formerly, to the dignity of independent princes. The custom was to
create one nephew Cardinal, with such wealth derived from office as
should enable him to benefit the Papal family at large. Another nephew
was usually ennobled, endowed with capital in the public funds for the
purchase of lands, and provided with lucrative places in the secular
administration. He then married into a Roman family of wealth and
founded one of the aristocratic houses of the Roman State. We possess
some details respecting the incomes of the Papal nephews at this period,
which may be of interest.[75] Carlo Borromeo was reasonably believed to
enjoy revenues amounting to 50,000 scudi. Giacomo Buoncompagno's whole
estate was estimated at 120,000 scudi; while the two Cardinal nephews of
Gregory XIII. had each about 10,000 a year. At the same epoch Paolo
Giordano Orsini, Duke of Bracciano, enjoyed an income of some 25,000,
his estate being worth 60,000, but being heavily encumbered. These
figures are taken from the Reports of the Venetian envoys. If we may
trust them as accurate, it will appear by a comparison of them with the
details furnished by Ranke, that Gregory's successors treated their
relatives with greater generosity.[76] Sixtus V. enriched the Cardinal
Montalto with an ecclesiastical income of 100,000 scudi. Clement VIII.
bestowed on two nephews--one Cardinal, the other layman--revenues of
about 60,000 apiece in 1599. He is computed to have hoarded altogether
for his family a round sum of 1,000,000 scudi. Paul V. was believed to
have given to his Borghese relatives nearly 700,000 scudi in cash,
24,600 scudi in funds, and 268,000 in the worth of offices.[77] The
Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi, nephew of Gregory XV., had a reputed income
of 200,000 scudi; and the Ludovisi family obtained 800,000 in _luoghi di
monte_ or funds. Three nephews of Urban VIII., the brothers Barberini,
were said to have enjoyed joint revenues amounting to half a million
scudi, and their total gains from the pontificate touched the enormous
sum of 105,000,000. These are the families, sprung from obscurity or
mediocre station, whose palaces and villas adorn Rome, and who now rank,
though of such recent origin, with the aristocracy of Europe.

Sixtus V. died in 1590. To follow the history of his successors would be
superfluous for the purpose of this book. The change in the Church which
began in the reign of Paul III. was completed in his pontificate. About
half a century, embracing seven tenures of the Holy Chair, had sufficed
to develop the new phase of the Papacy as an absolute sovereignty,
representing the modern European principle of absolutism, both as the
acknowledged Head of Catholic Christendom and also as a petty Italian

[Footnote 75: Sarpi writes: 'In my times Pius V., during five years,
accumulated 25,000 ducats for the Cardinal nephew; Gregory XIII., in
thirteen years, 30,000 for one nephew, and 20,000 for another; Sixtus
V., for his only nephew, 9,000; Clement VIII., in thirteen years, for
one nephew, 8,000, and for the other, 3,000; and this Pope, Paul V., in
four years, for one nephew alone, 40,000. To what depths are we destined
to fall in the future?' (_Lettere_, vol. i. p. 281). This final question
was justified by the event; for, after the Borghesi, came the Ludovisi
and Barberini, whose accumulations equalled, if they did not surpass,
those of any antecedent Papal families.]

[Footnote 76: The details may be examined in Ranke, vol. ii. pp.

[Footnote 77: Sarpi's Letters supply some details relating to Paul V.'s
nepotism. He describes the pleasure which this Pope took on one day of
each week in washing his hands in the gold of the Datatario and the
Camera (vol. i. p. 281), and says of him, 'attende solo a far danari'
(vol. ii. p. 237). When Paul gave his nephew Scipione the Abbey of
Vangadizza, with 12,000 ducats a year, Sarpi computed that the Cardinal
held about 100,000 ducats of ecclesiastical benefices (vol. i. p. 219).
When the Archbishopric of Bologna, worth over 16,000 ducats a year, fell
vacant in 1610, Paul gave this to Scipione, who held it a short time
without residence, and then abandoned it to Alessandro Ludovisi
retaining all its revenues, with the exception of 2,000 ducats, for
himself as a _pension_ (vol. ii. pp. 158, 300). In the year 1610 Sarpi
notices the purchase of Sulmona and other fiefs by Paul for his family,
at the expenditure of 160,000 ducats (vol. ii. p. 70). In another place
he speaks of another sum of 100,000 spent upon the same object (vol. i.
p. 249, note). Well might he exclaim, 'Il pontefice e attesa ad arrichir
la sua casa' (vol. i. p. 294).]



     Different Spirit in the Holy Office and the Company of Jesus--Both
     needed by the Counter-Reformation--Heresy in the Early
     Church--First Origins of the Inquisition in 1203--S. Dominic--The
     Holy Office becomes a Dominican Institution--Recognized by the
     Empire--Its early Organization--The Spanish Inquisition--Founded in
     1484--How it differed from the earlier Apostolical
     Inquisition--Jews, Moors, New Christians--Organization and History
     of the Holy Office in Spain--Torquemada and his Successors--The
     Spanish Inquisition never introduced into Italy--How the Roman
     Inquisition organized by Caraffa differed from it--_Autos da fé_ in
     Rome--Proscription of suspected Lutherans--The Calabrian
     Waldenses--Protestants at Locarno and Venice--Digression on the
     Venetian Holy Office--Persecution of Free Thought in
     Literature--Growth of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum--Sanction
     given to it by the Council of Trent--The Roman Congregation of the
     Index--Final Form of the Censorship of Books under Clement
     VIII.--Analysis of its Regulations--Proscription of Heretical
     Books--Correction of Texts--Purgation and Castration--Inquisitorial
     and Episcopal Licenses--Working of the System of this Censorship in
     Italy--Its long Delays--Hostility to Sound Learning--Ignorance of
     the Censors--Interference with Scholars in their Work--Terrorism of
     Booksellers--Vatican Scheme for the Restoration of Christian
     Erudition--Frustrated by the Tyranny of the Index--Dishonesty of
     the Vatican Scholars--Biblical Studies rendered nugatory by the
     Tridentine Decree on the Vulgate--Decline of Learning in
     Universities--Miserable Servitude of Professors--Greek dies
     out--Muretus and Manutius in Rome--The Index and its Treatment of
     Political Works--Machiavelli--_Ratio Status_--Encouragement of
     Literature on Papal Absolutism--Sarpi's Attitude--Comparative
     Indifference of Rome to Books of Obscene or Immoral
     Tendency--Bandello and Boccaccio--Papal attempts to Control
     Intercourse of Italians with Heretics.

In pursuing the plan of this book, which aims at showing how the spirit
of the Catholic revival penetrated every sphere of intellectual
activity in Italy, it will now be needful to consider the two agents,
both of Spanish origin, on whose assistance the Church relied in her
crusade against liberties of thought, speech, and action. These were the
Inquisition and the Company of Jesus. The one worked by extirpation and
forcible repression; the other by mental enfeeblement and moral
corruption. The one used fire, torture, imprisonment, confiscation of
goods, the proscription of learning, the destruction or emasculation of
books. The other employed subtle means to fill the vacuum thus created
with spurious erudition, sophistries, casuistical abominations and
false doctrines profitable to the Papal absolutism. Opposed in temper
and in method, the one fierce and rigid, the other saccharine and
pliant, these two bad angels of Rome contributed in almost equal measure
to the triumph of Catholicism.

In the earlier ages of the Church, the definition of heresy had been
committed to episcopal authority. But the cognizance of heretics and the
determination of their punishment remained in the hands of secular
magistrates. At the end of the twelfth century the wide diffusion of the
Albigensian heterodoxy through Languedoc and Northern Italy alarmed the
chiefs of Christendom, and furnished the Papacy with a good pretext for
extending its prerogatives. Innocent III. in 1203 empowered two French
Cistercians, Pierre de Castelnau and Raoul, to preach against the
heretics of Provence. In the following year he ratified this commission
by a Bull, which censured the negligence and coldness of the bishops,
appointed the Abbot of Citeaux Papal delegate in matters of heresy, and
gave him authority to judge and punish misbelievers. This was the first
germ of the Holy Office as a separate Tribunal. In order to comprehend
the facility with which the Pope established so anomalous an
institution, we must bear in mind the intense horror which heresy
inspired in the Middle Ages. Being a distinct encroachment of the Papacy
upon the episcopal jurisdiction and prerogatives, the Inquisition met at
first with some opposition from the bishops. The people for whose
persecution it was designed, and at whose expense it carried on its
work, broke into rebellion; the first years of its annals were rendered
illustrious by the murder of one of its founders, Pierre de Castelnau.
He was canonized, and became the first Saint of the Inquisition. Two
other Peters obtained the like honor through their zeal for the Catholic
faith: Peter of Verona, commonly called Peter Martyr, the Italian saint
of the Dominican order; and Peter Arbues, the Spanish saint, who sealed
with his blood the charter of the Holy Office in Aragon.

In spite of opposition, the Papal institution took root and flourished.
Philip Augustus responded to the appeals of Innocent; and a crusade
began against the Albigenses, in which Simon de Montfort won his
sinister celebrity. During those bloody wars the Inquisition developed
itself as a force of formidable expansive energy. Material assistance to
the cause was rendered by a Spanish monk of the Augustine order, who
settled in Provence on his way back from Rome in 1206. Domenigo de
Guzman, known to universal history as S. Dominic, organized a new
militia for the service of the orthodox Church between the years 1215
and 1219. His order, called the Order of the Preachers, was originally
designed to repress heresy and confirm the faith by diffusing Catholic
doctrine and maintaining the creed in its purity. It consisted of three
sections: the Preaching Friars; nuns living in conventual retreat; and
laymen, entitled the Third Order of Penitence or the Militia of Christ,
who in after years were merged with the congregation of S. Peter Martyr,
and corresponded to the familiars of the Inquisition. Since the
Dominicans were established in the heat and passion of a crusade against
heresy, by a rigid Spaniard who employed his energies in persecuting
misbelievers, they assumed at the outset a belligerent and inquisitorial
attitude. Yet it is not strictly accurate to represent S. Dominic
himself as the first Grand Inquisitor. The Papacy proceeded with caution
in its design of forming a tribunal dependent on the Holy See and
independent of the bishops. Papal Legates with plenipotentiary authority
were sent to Languedoc, and decrees were issued against the heretics, in
which the Inquisition was rather implied than directly named; nor can I
find that S. Dominic, though he continued to be the soul of the new
institution until his death in 1221, obtained the title of Inquisitor.

Notwithstanding this vagueness, the Holy Office may be said to have been
founded by S. Dominic; and it soon became apparent that the order he had
formed, was destined to monopolize its functions. The Emperor Frederick
II. on his coronation, in 1221, declared his willingness to support a
separate Apostolical tribunal for the suppression of heresy. He
sanctioned the penalty of death by fire for obstinate heretics, and
perpetual imprisonment for penitents--forms of punishment which became
stereotyped in the proceedings of the Holy Office.[78] The tribunal, now
recognized as a Dominican institution, derived its authority from the
Pope. The bishops were suffered to sit with the Inquisitors, but only in
such subordinate capacity as left to them a bare title of authority.[79]
The secular magistracy was represented by an assessor, who, being
nominated by the Inquisitor, became his servile instrument. The
expenses of the Court in prosecuting, punishing and imprisoning
heretics, together with the maintenance of the Inquisitors and their
guards, were thrown upon the communes which they visited. Such was the
organization which the Popes, aided by S. Dominic, and availing
themselves of the fanatical passions aroused in the Provençal wars,
succeeded in creating for their own aggrandizement. It is strange to
think that its ratification by the supreme secular power was obtained
from an Emperor who died in contumacy, excommunicated and persecuted as
an arch-heretic by the priests he had supported.

[Footnote 78: See Cantù, _Gli Eretici d'Italia_, vol. i. Discorso 5, and
the notes appended to it, for Frederick's edicts and letters to Gregory
IX. upon this matter of heresy. The Emperor treats of _Heretica
Pravitas_ as a crime against society, and such, indeed, it then appeared
according to the mediaeval ideal of Christendom united under Church and
Empire. Yet Frederick himself, it will be remembered, died under the ban
of the Church, and was placed by Dante among the heresiarchs in the
tenth circle of Hell. We now regard him justly as one of the precursors
of the Renaissance. But at the beginning of his reign, in his peculiar
attitude of Holy Roman Emperor, he had to proceed with rigor against
free-thinkers in religion. They were foes to the mediseval order, of
which he was the secular head.]

[Footnote 79: Sarpi, 'Discorso dell'Origine,' etc. _Opere_, vol. iv. p.

This Apostolical Inquisition was at once introduced into Lombardy,
Romagna and the Marches of Treviso. The extreme rigor of its
proceedings, the extortions of monks, and the violent resistance offered
by the communes, led to some relaxation of its original constitution.
More authority had to be conceded to the bishops; and the right of the
Inquisitors to levy taxes on the people was modified. Yet it retained
its true form of a Papal organ, superseding the episcopal prerogatives,
and overriding the secular magistrates, who were bound to execute its
biddings. As such it was admitted into Tuscany, and established in
Aragon. Venice received it in 1289, with certain reservations that
placed its proceedings under the control of Doge and Council. In
Languedoc, the country of its birth, it remained rooted at Toulouse and
Carcassonne; but the Inquisition did not extend its authority over
central and northern France.[80] In Paris its functions were performed
by the Sorbonne. Nor did it obtain a footing in England, although the
statute 'De Haeretico Comburendo,' passed in 1401 at the instance of the
higher clergy, sanctioned the principles on which it existed.

The wide and ready acceptance of so terrible an engine of oppression
enables us to estimate the profound horror which heresy inspired in the
Middle Ages.[81] On the whole, the Inquisition performed the work for
which it had been instituted. Those spreading sects, known as Waldenses,
Albigenses, Cathari and Paterines, whom it was commissioned to
extirpate, died away into obscurity during the fourteenth century; and
through the period of the Renaissance the Inquisition had little scope
for the display of energy in Italy. Though dormant, it was by no means
extinct, however; and the spirit which created it, needed only external
cause and circumstance to bring it once more into powerful operation.
Meanwhile the Popes throughout the Renaissance used the imputation of
heresy, which never lost its blighting stigma, in the prosecution of
their secular ambition. As Sarpi has pointed out, there were few of the
Italian princes with whom they came into political collision, who were
not made the subject of such accusation.

[Footnote 80: See Christie's _Etienne Dolet_, chapter 21.]

[Footnote 81: Visitors to Milan must have been struck with the
equestrian statue to the Podestà Oldrado da Trezzeno in the Piazza
de'Mercanti. Underneath it runs an epitaph containing among the praises
of this man: _Catharos ut debuit uxit_. An Archbishop of Milan of the
same period (middle of the thirteenth century), Enrico di Settala, is
also praised upon his epitaph because _jugulavit haereses_. See Cantù,
_Gli Eretici d Italia_, vol. i. p. 108.]

The revival of the Holy Office on a new and far more murderous basis,
took place in 1484. We have seen that hitherto there had been two types
of inquisition into heresy. The first, which remained in force up to the
year 1203, may be called the episcopal. The second was the Apostolical
or Dominican: it transferred this jurisdiction from the bishops to the
Papacy, who employed the order of S. Dominic for the special service of
the tribunal instituted by the Imperial decrees of Frederick II. The
third deserves no other name than Spanish, though, after it had taken
shape in Spain, it was transferred to Portugal, applied in all the
Spanish and Portuguese colonies, and communicated with some
modifications to Italy and the Netherlands.[82] Both the second and
third types of Inquisition into heresy were Spanish inventions, patented
by the Roman Pontiffs and monopolized by the Dominican order. But the
third and final form of the Holy Office in Spain distinguished itself
by emancipation from Papal and Royal control, and by a specific
organization which rendered it the most formidable of irresponsible
engines in the annals of religious institutions.

[Footnote 82: Sarpi estimates the number of victims in the Netherlands
during the reign of Charles V. at 50,000; Grotius at 100,000. In the
reign of Philip II. perhaps another 25,000 were sacrificed. Motley
(_Rise of the Dutch Republic_, vol. ii. p. 155) tells how in February
1568 a sentence of the Holy Office, confirmed by royal proclamation,
condemned all the inhabitants of the Netherlands, some three millions of
souls, with a few specially excepted persons, to death. It was customary
to burn the men and bury the women alive. In considering this
institution as a whole, we must bear in mind that it was extended to
Mexico, Lima, Carthagena, the Indies, Sicily, Sardinia, Oran, Malta. Of
the working of the Holy Office in the Spanish and Portuguese colonies we
possess but few authentic records. The _Histoire des Inquisitions_ of
Joseph Lavallée (Paris, 1809) may, however, be consulted. In vol. ii.
pp. 5-9 of this work there is a brief account of the Inquisition at Goa
written by one Pyrard; and pp. 45-157 extend the singularly detailed
narrative of a Frenchman, Dellon, imprisoned in its dungeons. Some
curious circumstances respecting delation, prison life, and _autos da
fé_ are here minutely recorded.]

The crimes of which the second or Dominican Inquisition had taken
cognizance were designated under the generic name of heresy. Heretics
were either patent by profession of some heterodox cult or doctrine; or
they were suspected. The suspected included witches, sorcerers, and
blasphemers who invoked the devil's aid; Catholics abstaining from
confession and absolution; harborers of avowed heretics; legal defenders
of the cause of heretics; priests who gave Christian burial to heretics;
magistrates who showed lukewarmness in pursuit of heretics; the corpses
of dead heretics, and books that might be taxed with heretical opinions.
All ranks in the social hierarchy, except the Pope, his Legates and
Nuncios, and the bishops, were amenable to this Inquisition. The
Inquisitors could only be arraigned and judged by their peers. In order
to bring the machinery of imprisonment, torture and final sentence into
effect, it was needful that the credentials of the Inquisitor should be
approved by the sovereign, and that his procedure should be recognized
by the bishop. These limitations of the Inquisitorial authority
safeguarded the crown and the episcopacy in a legal sense. But since
both crown and episcopacy concurred in the object for which the Papacy
had established the tribunal, the Inquisitor was practically unimpeded
in his functions. Furnished with royal or princely letters patent, he
traveled from town to town, attended by his guards and notaries,
defraying current expenses at the cost of provinces and towns through
which he passed. Where he pitched his camp, he summoned the local
magistrates, swore them to obedience, and obtained assurance of their
willingness to execute such sentences as he might pronounce. Spies and
informers gathered round him, pledged to secrecy and guaranteed by
promises of State-protection. The Court opened; witnesses were examined;
the accused were acquitted or condemned. Then sentence was pronounced,
to which the bishop or his delegate, often an Inquisitor, gave a formal
sanction. Finally, the heretic was handed over to the secular arm for
the execution of justice. The extraordinary expenses of the tribunal
were defrayed by confiscation of goods, a certain portion being paid to
the district in which the crime had occurred, the rest being reserved
for the maintenance of the Holy Office.

Such, roughly speaking, was the method of the Inquisition before 1484;
and it did not materially differ in Italy and Spain. Castile had
hitherto been free from the pest. But the conditions of that kingdom
offered a good occasion for its introduction at the date which I have
named. During the Middle Ages the Jews of Castile acquired vast wealth
and influence. Few families but felt the burden of their bonds and
mortgages. Religious fanaticism, social jealousy, and pecuniary distress
exasperated the Christian population; and as early as the year 1391,
more than 5000 Jews were massacred in one popular uprising. The Jews, in
fear, adopted Christianity. It is said that in the fifteenth century the
population counted some million of converts--called New Christians, or,
in contempt, Marranos: a word which may probably be derived from the
Hebrew Maranatha. These converted Jews, by their ability and wealth,
crept into high offices of state, obtained titles of aristocracy, and
founded noble houses. Their daughters were married with large dowers
into the best Spanish families; and their younger sons aspired to the
honors of the Church. Castilian society was being penetrated with Jews,
many of whom had undoubtedly conformed to Christianity in externals
only. Meanwhile a large section of the Hebrew race remained faithful to
their old traditions; and a mixed posterity grew up, which hardly knew
whether it was Christian or Jewish, and had opportunity for joining
either party.

A fertile field was now opened for Inquisitorial energy. The orthodox
Dominican saw Christ's flock contaminated. Not without reason did
earnest Catholics dread that the Church in Castile would suffer from
this blending of the Jewish with the Spanish breed. But they had a fiery
Catholic enthusiasm to rely upon in the main body of the nation. And in
the crown they knew that there were passions of fear and cupidity, which
might be used with overmastering effect. It sufficed to point out to
Ferdinand that a persecution of the New Christians would flood his
coffers with gold extorted from suspected misbelievers. No merely fabled
El Dorado lay in the broad lands and costly merchandise of these
imperfect converts to the faith. It sufficed to insist upon the peril to
the State if an element so ill-assimilated to the nation were allowed to
increase unchecked. At the same time, the Papacy was nothing loth to
help them in their undertaking. Sixtus V., one of the worst of Pontiffs,
sat then on S. Peter's chair. He readily discerned that a considerable
portion of the booty might be indirectly drawn into his exchequer; and
he knew that any establishment of the Inquisition on an energetic basis
would strengthen the Papacy in its combat with national and episcopal
prerogatives. The Dominicans on their side can scarcely be credited with
a pure zeal for the faith. They had personal interests to serve by
spiritual aggrandizement, by the elevation of their order, and by the
exercise of an illimitable domination.

It was a Sicilian Inquisitor, Philip Barberis, who suggested to
Ferdinand the Catholic the advantage he might secure by extending the
Holy Office to Castile. Ferdinand avowed his willingness; and Sixtus IV.
gave the project his approval in 1478. But it met with opposition from
the gentler-natured Isabella. She refused at first to sanction the
introduction of so sinister an engine into her hereditary dominions. The
clergy now contrived to raise a popular agitation against the Jews,
reviving old calumnies of impossible crimes, and accusing them of being
treasonable subjects. Then Isabella yielded; and in 1481 the Holy Office
was founded at Seville. It began its work by publishing a comprehensive
edict against all New Christians suspected of Judaizing, which offense
was so constructed as to cover the most innocent observance of national
customs. Resting from labor on Saturday; performing ablutions at stated
times; refusing to eat pork or puddings made of blood; and abstaining
from wine, sufficed to color accusations of heresy. Men who had joined
the Catholic communion after the habits of a lifetime had been formed,
thus found themselves exposed to peril of death by the retention of mere
sanitary rules.[83]

[Footnote 83: See Lavallée, _Histoire des Inquisitions_, vol. ii. pp.
341-361, for the translation of a process instituted in 1570 against a
Mauresque female slave. Suspected of being a disguised infidel, she was
exposed to the temptations of a Moorish spy, and convicted mainly on the
evidence furnished by certain Mussulman habits to which she adhered.
Llorente reports a similar specimen case, vol. i. p. 442. The culprit
was a tinker aged 71, accused in 1528 of abstaining from pork and wine,
and using certain ablutions. He defended himself by pleading that,
having been converted at the age of 45, it did not suit his taste to eat
pork or drink wine, and that his trade obliged him to maintain
cleanliness by frequent washing. He was finally condemned to carry a
candle at an _auto da fé_ in sign of penitence, and to pay four ducats,
the costs of his trial. His detention lasted from September, 1529, till
December 18, 1530.]

Upon the publication of this edict, there was an exodus of Jews by
thousands into the fiefs of independent vassals of the crown--the Duke
of Medina Sidonia, the Marquis of Cadiz, and the Count of Arcos. All
emigrants were _ipso facto_ declared heretics by the Holy Office. During
the first year after its foundation, Seville beheld 298 persons burned
alive, and 79 condemned to perpetual imprisonment. A large square stage
of stone, called the Quemadero, was erected for the execution of those
multitudes who were destined to suffer death by hanging or by flame. In
the same year, 2000 were burned and 17,000 condemned to public
penitence, while even a larger number were burned in effigy, in other
parts of the kingdom.

While estimating the importance of these punishments we must remember
that they implied confiscation of property. Thus whole families were
orphaned and consigned to penury. Penitence in public carried with it
social infamy, loss of civil rights and honors, intolerable conditions
of ecclesiastical surveillance, and heavy pecuniary fines. Penitents who
had been reconciled, returned to society in a far more degraded
condition than convicts released on ticket of leave. The stigma attached
in perpetuity to the posterity of the condemned, whose names were
conspicuously emblazoned upon church-walls as foemen to Christ and to
the State.

It is not strange that the New Christians, wealthy as they were and
allied with some of the best blood in Spain, should have sought to avert
the storm descending on them by appeals to Rome. In person or by
procurators, they carried their complaints to the Papal Curia, imploring
the relief of private reconciliation with the Church, special exemption
from the jurisdiction of the Holy Office, rehabilitation after the loss
of civil rights and honors, dispensation from humiliating penances, and
avvocation of causes tried by the Inquisition, to less prejudiced
tribunals. The object of these petitions was to avoid perpetual infamy,
to recover social status, and to obtain an impartial hearing in doubtful
cases. The Papal Curia had anticipated the profits to be derived from
such appeals. Sixtus IV. was liberal in briefs of indulgence, absolution
and exemption, to all comers who paid largely. But when his suitors
returned to Spain, they found their dearly-purchased parchments of no
more value than waste paper. The Holy Office laughed Papal Bulls of
Privilege to scorn, and the Pope was too indifferent to exert such
authority as he might have possessed.

Meanwhile, the Inquisition rapidly took shape. In 1483 Thomas of
Torquemada was nominated Inquisitor General for Castile and Aragon.
Under his rule a Supreme Council was established, over which he
presided for life. The crown sent three assessors to this board; and the
Inquisitors were strengthened in their functions by a council of
jurists. Seville, Cordova, Jaen, Toledo, became the four subordinate
centers of the Holy Office, each with its own tribunal and its own right
of performing _autos da fé_. Commission was sent out to all Dominicans,
enjoining on them the prosecution of their task in every diocese.

In 1484 a General Council was held, and the constitution of the
inquisition was established by articles. In these articles four main
points seem to have been held in view. The first related to the system
of confiscation, fines, civil disabilities, losses of office, property,
honors, rights, inheritances, which formed a part of the penitentiary
procedure, and by which the crown and Holy Office made pecuniary gains.
The second secured secrecy in the action of the tribunal, whereby a door
was opened to delation, and accused persons were rendered incapable of
rational defense. The third elaborated the judicial method, so as to
leave no loophole of escape even for those who showed a wish to be
converted, empowering the use of torture, precluding the accused from
choosing their own counsel, and excluding the bishops from active
participation in the sentence. The fourth multiplied the charges under
which suspected heretics, even after their death might be treated as
impenitent or relapsed, so as to increase the number of victims and
augment the booty.

The two most formidable features of the Inquisition as thus constituted,
were the exclusion of the bishops from its tribunal and the secrecy of
its procedure. The accused was delivered over to a court that had no
mercy, no common human sympathies, no administrative interest in the
population. He knew nothing of his accusers; and when he died or
disappeared from view no record of his case survived him.

The Inquisition rested on the double basis of ecclesiastical fanaticism
and protected delation. The court was _primâ facie_ hostile to the
accused; and the accused could never hope to confront the detectives
upon whose testimony he was arraigned before it. Lives and reputations
lay thus at the mercy of professional informers, private enemies,
malicious calumniators. The denunciation was sometimes anonymous,
sometimes signed, with names of two corroborative witnesses. These
witnesses were examined, under a strict seal of secrecy, by the
Inquisitors, who drew up a form of accusation, which they submitted to
theologians called Qualificators. The qualificators were not informed of
the names of the accused, the delator, or the witnesses. It was their
business to qualify the case of heresy as light, grave, or violent.
Having placed it in one of these categories, they returned it to the
Inquisitors, who now arrested the accused and flung him into the secret
prisons of the Holy Office. After some lapse of time he was summoned for
a preliminary examination. Having first been cautioned to tell the
truth, he had to recite the Paternoster, Credo, Ten Commandments, and a
kind of catechism. His pedigree was also investigated, in the
expectation that some traces of Jewish or Moorish descent might serve to
incriminate him. If he failed in repeating the Christian shibboleths, or
if he was discovered to have infidel ancestry, there existed already a
good case to proceed upon. Finally, he was questioned upon the several
heads of accusation condensed from the first delation and the deposition
of the witnesses. If needful at this point, he was put to the torture,
again and yet again.[84] He never heard the names of his accusers, nor
was he furnished with a full bill of the charges against him in writing.
At this stage he was usually remanded, and the judicial proceedings were
deliberately lengthened out with a view of crushing his spirit and
bringing him to abject submission. For his defence he might select one
advocate, but only from a list furnished by his judges; and this
advocate in no case saw the original documents of the impeachment. It
rarely happened, upon this one-sided method of trial, that an accused
person was acquitted altogether. If he escaped burning or perpetual
incarceration, he was almost certainly exposed to the public ceremony
of penitence, with its attendant infamy, fines, civil disabilities, and
future discipline. Sentence was not passed upon condemned persons until
they appeared, dressed up in a San Benito, at the place of punishment.
This costume was a sort of sack, travestying a monk's frock, made of
coarse yellow stuff, and worked over with crosses, flames, and devils,
in glaring red. It differed in details according to the destination of
the victim: for some ornaments symbolized eternal hell, and others the
milder fires of purgatory. If sufficiently versed in the infernal
heraldry of the Holy Office, a condemned man might read his doom before
he reached the platform of the _auto_. There he heard whether he was
sentenced to relaxation--in other words, to burning at the hands of the
hangman--or to reconciliation by means of penitence. At the last moment,
he might by confession _in extremis_ obtain the commutation of a death
sentence into life-imprisonment, or receive the favor of being strangled
before he was burned. A relapsed heretic, however--that is, one who
after being reconciled had once again apostatized, was never exempted
from the penalty of burning. To make these holocausts of human beings
more ghastly, the pageant was enhanced by processions of exhumed corpses
and heretics in effigy. Artificial dolls and decomposed bodies, with
grinning lips and mouldy foreheads, were hauled to the huge bonfire,
side by side with living men, women, and children. All of them
alike--_fantoccini_, skeletons, and quick folk--were enveloped in the
same grotesquely ghastly San Benito, with the same hideous yellow miters
on their pasteboard, worm-eaten, or palpitating foreheads. The
procession presented an ingeniously picturesque discord of ugly shapes,
an artistically loathsome dissonance of red and yellow hues, as it
defiled, to the infernal music of growled psalms and screams and
moanings, beneath the torrid blaze of Spanish sunlight.

[Footnote 84: The Supreme Council forbade the repetition of torture; but
this hypocritical law was evaded in practice by declaring that the
torture had been suspended. Llorente, vol. i. p. 307.]

Spaniards--such is the barbarism of the Latinized Iberian
nature--delighted in these shows, as they did and do in bull-fights.
Butcheries of heretics formed the choicest spectacles at royal
christenings and bridals.

At Seville the Quemadero was adorned with four colossal statues of
prophets, to which some of the condemned were bound, so that they might
burn to death in the flames arising from the human sacrifice between

In the autumn of 1484 the Inquisition was introduced into Aragon; and
Saragossa became its headquarters in that State. Though the Aragonese
were accustomed to the institution in its earlier and milder form, they
regarded the new Holy Office with just horror. The Marranos counted at
that epoch the Home Secretary, the Grand Treasurer, a Proto-notary, and
a Vice-Chancellor of the realm among their members; and they were allied
by marriage with the purest aristocracy. It is not, therefore,
marvelous that a conspiracy was formed to assassinate the Chief
Inquisitor, Peter Arbues. In spite of a coat-of-mail and an iron
skullcap worn beneath his monk's dress, Arbues was murdered one evening
while at prayer in church. But the revolt, notwithstanding this murder,
flashed, like an ill-loaded pistol, in the pan. Jealousies between the
old and new Christians prevented any common action; and the Inquisition
took a bloody vengeance upon all concerned. It even laid its hand on Don
James of Navarre, the Infant of Tudela.

The Spanish Inquisition was now firmly grounded. Directed by Torquemada,
it began to encroach upon the crown, to insult the episcopacy, to defy
the Papacy, to grind the Commons, and to outrage by its insolence the
aristocracy. Ferdinand's avarice had overreached itself by creating an
ecclesiastical power dangerous to the best interests of the realm, but
which fascinated a fanatically-pious people, and the yoke of which could
not be thrown off. The Holy Office grew every year in pride,
pretensions, and exactions. It arrogated to its tribunal crimes of
usury, bigamy, blasphemous swearing, and unnatural vice, which
appertained by right to the secular courts. It depopulated Spain by the
extermination and banishment of at least three million industrious
subjects during the first 139 years of its existence. It attacked
princes of the blood,[85] archbishops, fathers of the Tridentine
Council. It filled every city in the kingdom, the convents of the
religious, and the palaces of the nobility, with spies. The Familiars,
or lay brethren devoted to its service, lived at charges of the
communes, and debauched society by crimes of rapine, lust, and
violence.[86] Ignorant and bloodthirsty monks composed its provincial
tribunals, who, like the horrible Lucero el Tenebroso at Cordova,
paralyzed whole provinces with a veritable reign of terror.[87] Hated
and worshiped, its officers swept through the realm in the guise of
powerful _condottieri_. The Grand Inquisitor maintained a bodyguard of
fifty mounted Familiars and two hundred infantry; his subordinates were
allowed ten horsemen and fifty archers apiece. Where these black guards
appeared, city gates were opened; magistrates swore fealty to masters of
more puissance than the king; the resources of flourishing districts
were placed at their disposal. Their arbitrary acts remained
unquestioned, their mysterious sentences irreversible. Shrouded in
secrecy, amenable to no jurisdiction but their own, they reveled in the
license of irresponsible dominion. Spain gradually fell beneath the
charm of their dark fascination. A brave though cruel nation drank
delirium from the poison-cup of these vile medicine-men, whose
Moloch-worship would have disgusted cannibals.

[Footnote 85: Llorente, in his introduction to the _History of the
Inquisition_, gives a long list of illustrious Spanish victims.]

[Footnote 86: See Llorente, vol. i. p. 349, for their outrages on

[Footnote 87: For the history of Lucero's tyranny, read Llorente, vol.
i. pp. 345-353. When at last he had to be deposed, it was not to a
dungeon or the scaffold, but to his bishopric of Almeria that this
miscreant was relegated.]

Torquemada was the genius of evil who created and presided over this
foul instrument of human crime and folly. During his eighteen years of
administration, reckoning from 1480 to 1498, he sacrificed, according to
Llorente's calculation, above 114,000 victims, of whom 10,220 were
burned alive, 6,860 burned in effigy, and 97,000 condemned to perpetual
imprisonment or public penitence.[88] He, too, it was who in 1492
compelled Ferdinand to drive the Jews from his dominions. They offered
30,000 ducats for the war against Granada, and promised to abide in
Spain under heavy social disabilities, if only they might be spared this
act of national extermination. Then Torquemada appeared before the king,
and, raising his crucifix on high, cried: 'Judas sold Christ for thirty
pieces of silver. Look ye to it, if ye do the like!' The edict of
expulsion was issued on the last of March. Before the last of July all
Jews were sentenced to depart, carrying no gold or silver with them.
They disposed of their lands, houses, and goods for next to nothing, and
went forth to die by thousands on the shores of Africa and Italy. Twelve
who were found concealed at Malaga in August were condemned to be
pricked to death by pointed reeds.[89]

The exodus of the Jews was followed in 1502 by a similar exodus of
Moors from Castile, and in 1524 by an exodus of Mauresques from Aragon.
To compute the loss of wealth and population inflicted upon Spain by
these mad edicts, would be impossible. We may wonder whether the
followers of Cortez, when they trod the teocallis of Mexico and gazed
with loathing on the gory elf-locks of the Aztec priests, were not
reminded of the Torquemada they had left at home. His cruelty became so
intolerable that even Alexander VI. was moved to horror. In 1494 the
Borgia appointed four assessors, with equal powers, to restrain the
blood-thirst of the fanatic.

[Footnote 88: Llorente, vol. i. p. 229. The basis for these and
following calculations is explained _ib._ pp. 272-281.]

[Footnote 89: _Ibid._ vol. i. p. 263.]

After Torquemada, Diego Deza reigned as second Inquisitor General from
1498 to 1507. In these years, according to the same calculation, 2,592
were burned alive, 896 burned in effigy, 34,952 condemned to prison or
public penitence.[90] Cardinal Ximenez de Cisneros followed between 1507
and 1517. The victims of this decade were 3,564 burned alive, 1,232
burned in effigy, 48,059 condemned to prison or public penitence.[91]
Adrian, Bishop of Tortosa, tutor to Charles V., and afterwards Pope, was
Inquisitor General between 1516 and 1525. Castile, Aragon, and
Catalonia, at this epoch, simultaneously demanded a reform of the Holy
Office from their youthful sovereign. But Charles refused, and the tale
of Adrian's administration was 1,620 burned alive, 560 burned in effigy,
21,845 condemned to prison or public penitence.[92] The total, during
forty-three years, between 1481 and 1525, amounted to 234,526, including
all descriptions of condemned heretics.[93] These figures are of
necessity vague, for the Holy Office left but meager records of its
proceedings. The vast numbers of cases brought before the Inquisitors
rendered their method of procedure almost as summary as that of Fouquier
Thinville, while policy induced them to bury the memory of their victims
in oblivion.[94]

[Footnote 90: Llorente, p. 341.]

[Footnote 91: _Ibid._ p. 360.]

[Footnote 92: Llorente, p. 406.]

[Footnote 93: _Ib._ p. 407.]

[Footnote 94: I know that Llorente's calculations have been disputed:
as, for instance, in some minor details by Prescott (_Ferd. and Isab._
vol. iii. p. 492). The truth is that no data now exist for forming a
correct census of the victims of the Spanish Moloch; and Llorente,
though he writes with the moderation of evident sincerity, and though he
had access to the archives of the Inquisition, does not profess to do
more than give an estimate based upon certain fixed data. However, it
signifies but little whether we reckon by thousands or by fifteen
hundreds. That foul monster spawned in the unholy embracements of
perverted religion with purblind despotism cannot be defended by
discounting five or even ten per cent. Let its apologists write for
every 1000 of Llorente 100, and for every 100 of Llorente 10, and our
position will remain unaltered. The Jesuit historian of Spain, Mariana,
records the burning-of 2000 persons in Andalusia alone in 1482.
Bernaldez mentions 700 burned in the one town of Seville between 1482
and 1489. An inscription carved above the portals of the Holy Office in
Seville stated that about 1000 had been burned between 1492 and 1524.]

Sometimes, while reading the history of the Holy Office in Spain, we are
tempted to imagine that the whole is but a grim unwholesome nightmare,
or the fable of malignant calumny. That such is not the case, however,
is proved by a jubilant inscription on the palace of the Holy Office at
Seville, which records the triumphs of Torquemada. Of late years, too,
the earth herself has disgorged some secrets of the Inquisition. 'A most
curious discovery,' writes Lord Malmesbury in his Memoirs,[95] 'has been
made at Madrid. Just at the time when the question of religious liberty
was being discussed in the Cortes, Serrano had ordered a piece of ground
to be leveled, in order to build on it; and the workmen came upon large
quantities of human bones, skulls, lumps of blackening flesh, pieces of
chains, and braids of hair. It was then recollected that the _autos da
fé_ used to take place at that spot in former days. Crowds of people
rushed to the place, and the investigation was continued. They found
layer upon layer of human remains, showing that hundreds had been
inhumanly sacrificed. The excitement and indignation this produced among
the people was tremendous, and the party for religious freedom taking
advantage of it, a Bill on the subject was passed by an enormous
majority.' Let modern Spain remember that a similar Aceldama lies hidden
in the precincts of each of her chief towns!

[Footnote 95: Vol. ii. p. 399.]

I have enlarged upon the details of the Spanish Inquisition for two
reasons. In the first place it strikingly illustrates the character of
the people who now had the upper hand in Italy. In the second place, its
success induced Paul III., acting upon the advice of Giov. Paolo
Caraffa, to remodel the Roman office on a similar type in 1542. It may
at once be said that the real Spanish Inquisition was never introduced
into Italy.[96] Such an institution, claiming independent jurisdiction
and flaunting its cruelties in the light of day, would not have suited
the Papal policy. As temporal and spiritual autocrats, the Popes could
not permit a tribunal of which they were not the supreme authority. It
was their interest to consult their pecuniary advantage rather than to
indulge insane fanaticism; to repress liberty of thought by cautious
surveillance rather than by public terrorism and open acts of cruelty.
The Italian temperament was, moreover, more humane than the Spanish; nor
had the refining culture of the Renaissance left no traces in the
nation. Furthermore, the necessity for so Draconian an institution was
not felt. Catholicism in Italy had not to contend with Jews and Moors,
Marranos and Moriscoes. It was, indeed, alarmed by the spread of
Lutheran opinions. Caraffa complained to Paul III. that 'the whole of
Italy is infected with the Lutheran heresy, which has been embraced not
only by statesmen, but also by many ecclesiastics.'[97] Pius V. was so
panic-stricken by the prevalence of heresy in Faenza that he seriously
meditated destroying the town and dispersing its inhabitants.[98] Yet,
after a few years of active persecution, this peril proved to be unreal.
The Reformation had not taken root so deep and wide in Italy that it
could not be eradicated. When, therefore, the Spanish viceroys sought
to establish their national Inquisition in Naples and Milan, the
rebellious people received protection and support from the Papacy; and
the Holy Office, as remodeled in Rome, became a far less awful engine of
oppression than that of Seville.

[Footnote 96: Naples and Milan passionately and successfully opposed its
introduction by the Spanish viceroys. But it ruled in Sicily and

[Footnote 97: McCrie, p. 186.]

[Footnote 98: Mutinelli, _Storia Arcana_, vol. i. p. 79.]

It was sufficiently severe, however. 'At Rome,' writes a resident in
1568, 'some are daily burned, hanged, or beheaded; the prisons and
places of confinement are filled, and they are obliged to build new
ones.'[99] This general statement may be checked by extracts from the
despatches of Venetian ambassadors in Rome, which, though they are not
continuous, and cannot be supposed to give an exhaustive list of the
victims of the Inquisition, enable us to judge with some degree of
accuracy what the frequency of executions may have been.[100]

[Footnote 99: McCrie, p. 272.]

[Footnote 100: Mutinelli's _Storia Arcana_, etc. vol. i., is the source
from which I have drawn the details given above.]

On September 27, 1567, a session of the Holy Office was held at S. Maria
sopra Minerva. Seventeen heretics were condemned. Fifteen of these were
sentenced to perpetual imprisonment, the galleys for life, fines, or
temporary imprisonment, according to the nature of their offenses. Two
were reserved for capital punishment--namely, Carnesecchi and a friar
from Cividale di Belluno. They were beheaded and burned upon the bridge
of S. Angelo on October 4. On May 28, 1569, there was an Act of the
Inquisition at the Minerva, twenty Cardinals attending. Four impenitent
heretics were condemned to the stake. Ten penitents were sentenced to
various punishments of less severity. On August 2, 1578, occurred a
singular scandal touching some Spaniards and Portuguese of evil manners,
all of whom were burned with the exception of those who contrived to
escape in time. On August 5, 1581, an English Protestant was burned for
grossly insulting the Host. On February 20, 1582, after an Act of the
Inquisition in due form, seventeen heretics were sentenced, three to
death, and the rest to imprisonment, etc. We must bear in mind that
Mutinelli, who published the extracts from the Venetian dispatches which
contain these details, does not profess to aim at completeness. Gaps of
several years occur between the documents of one envoy and those of his
successor. Nor does it appear that the writers themselves took notice of
more than solemn and ceremonial proceedings, in which the Acts of the
Inquisition were published with Pontifical and Curial pomp.[101] Still,
when these considerations have been weighed, it will appear that the
victims of the Inquisition, in Rome, could be counted, not by hundreds,
but by units. After illustrious examples, like those of Aonio Paleario,
Pietro Carnesecchi, Giordano Bruno, who were burned for Protestant or
Atheistical opinions, the names of distinguished sufferers are few. Wary
heretics, a Celio Secundo Curio, a Galeazzo Caracciolo, a Bernardino
Ochino, a Pietro Martire Vermigli, a Pietro Paolo Vergerio, a Lelio
Socino, escaped betimes to Switzerland, and carried on their warfare
with the Church by means of writings.[102] Others, tainted with heresy,
like Marco Antonio Flaminio, managed to satisfy the Inquisition by
timely concessions. The Protestant Churches, which had sprung up in
Venice, Lucca, Modena, Ferrara, Faenza, Vicenza, Bologna, Naples, and
Siena, were easily dispersed.[103] Their pastors fled or submitted. The
flocks conformed to Catholic orthodoxy. Only in a few cases was extreme
rigor displayed. A memorable massacre took place in the year 1561 in
Calabria within the province of Cosenza.[104] Here at the end of the
fourteenth century a colony of Waldensians had settled in some villages
upon the coast. They preserved their peculiar beliefs and ritual, and
after three centuries numbered about 4000 souls. Nearly the whole of
these, it seems, were exterminated by sword, fire, famine, torture,
noisome imprisonment, and hurling from the summits of high cliffs. A few
of the survivors were sent to work upon the Spanish galleys. Some women
and children were sold into slavery. At Locarno, on the Lago Maggiore, a
Protestant community of nearly 300 persons was driven into exile in
1555; and at Venice, in 1560-7, a small sect, holding reformed opinions,
suffered punishment of a peculiar kind. We read of five persons by name,
who, after being condemned by the Holy Office, were taken at night from
their dungeons to the Porto del Lido beyond the Due Castelli, and there
set upon a plank between two gondolas. The gondolas rowed asunder; and
one by one the martyrs fell and perished in the waters.[105]

[Footnote 101: It is singular that only one contemporary writes from
Rome about Bruno's execution in 1600; whence, I think, we may infer that
such events were too common to excite much attention.]

[Footnote 102: The main facts about these men may be found in Cantù's
_Gli Eretici d'Italia_, vol. ii. This work is written in no spirit of
sympathy with Reformers. But it is superior in learning and impartiality
to McCrie's.]

[Footnote 103: For the repressive measures used at Lucca, see _Archivio
Storico_, vol. x. pp. 162-185. They include the prohibition of books,
regulation of the religious observances of Lucchese citizens abroad in
France or Flanders, and proscription of certain heretics, with whom all
intercourse was forbidden.]

[Footnote 104: An eye-witness gives a heart-rending account of these
persecutions: sixty thrown from the tower of Guardia, eighty-eight
butchered like beasts in one day at Montalto, seven burned alive, one
hundred old women tortured and then slaughtered. _Arch. Stor._, vol. ix.
pp. 193-195.]

[Footnote 105: McCrie, _op. cit._ p. 232-236. The five men were Giulio
Gherlandi of Spresian, near Treviso (executed in 1562), Antonio Rizzetta
of Vicenza (in 1566), Francesco Sega of Rovigo (sentenced in 1566),
Francesco Spinola of Milan (in 1567), and Fra Baldo Lupatino (1556).
McCrie bases his report upon the _Histoire des Martyrs_ (Genève, 1597)
and De Porta's _Historia Reformationis Rhaeticarum Ecclesiarum_.
Thinking these sources somewhat suspicious, I applied to my friend Mr.
H.F. Brown, whose researches in the Venetian archives are becoming known
to students of Italian history. He tells me that all the above cases,
except that of Spinola, exist in the Frari. Lupatino was condemned as a
Lutheran; the others as Anabaptists. In passing sentence on Lupatino,
the Chief Inquisitor remarked that he could not condemn him to death by
fire in Venice, but must consign him to a watery grave. This is
characteristic of Venetian state policy. It appears that, of the
above-named persons, Sega, though sentenced to death by drowning,
recanted at the last moment, saying, 'Non voglio esser negato, ma voglio
redirmi et morir buon Christiano.' Mr. Brown adds that there is nothing
in the archives to prove that he was executed; but there is also nothing
to show that his sentence was commuted. Two other persons involved in
this trial, viz. Nic. Bucello of Padua and Alessio of Bellinzona, upon
recantation, were subjected to public penances and confessions for
different terms of years. Sega's fate must, therefore, be considered
doubtful; since the fact that no commutation of sentence is on record
lends some weight to the hypothesis that he withdrew his recantation,
and submitted to martyrdom. I will close this note by expressing my hope
that Mr. Brown, who is already engaged upon the papers of the Venetian
Holy Office, will make them shortly the subject of a special
publication. Considering how rare are the full and authentic records of
any Inquisition, this would be of incalculable value for students of
history. The series of trials in the Frari extends from 1541 to 1794,
embracing 1562 _processi_ for the sixteenth century, 1469 for the
seventeenth, 541 for the eighteenth, and 25 of no date. Nearly all the
towns and districts of the Venetian State are involved.]

The position of the Holy Office in Venice was so far peculiar as to
justify a digression upon its special constitution. Always jealous of
ecclesiastical interference, the Republic insisted on the Inquisition
being made dependent on the State. Three nobles of senatorial rank were
chosen to act as Assessors of the Holy Office in the capital; and in the
subject cities this function was assigned to the Rectors, or lieutenants
of S. Mark. It was the duty of these lay members to see that justice was
impartially dealt by the ecclesiastical tribunal, to defend the State
against clerical encroachments, and to refer dubious cases to the Doge
in Council. They were forbidden to swear oaths of allegiance or of
secrecy to the Holy Office, and were bound to be present at all trials,
even in the case of ecclesiastical offenders. No causes could be
avvocated to Rome, and no crimes except heresy were held to lie within
the jurisdiction of the court. The State reserved to itself witchcraft,
profane swearing, bigamy and usury; allowed no interference with Jews,
infidels and Greeks; forbade the confiscation of goods in which the
heirs of condemned persons had interest; and made separate stipulations
with regard to the Index of Prohibited Books. It precluded the
Inquisition from extending its authority in any way, direct or indirect,
over trades, arts, guilds, magistrates, and communal officials.[106] The
tenor of this system was to repress ecclesiastical encroachments on the
State prerogatives, and to secure equity in the proceedings of the Holy
Office. Had practice answered to theory in the Venetian Inquisition, by
far the worst abuses of the institution would have been avoided. But as
a matter of fact, causes were not unfrequently transferred to Rome;
confiscations were permitted; and the lists of the condemned include
Mussulmans, witches, conjurors, men of scandalous life, etc., showing
that the jurisdiction of the Holy Office extended beyond heresy in

[Footnote 106: See Sarpi's 'Discourse on the Inquisition,' _Opere_, vol.

[Footnote 107: I owe to Mr. H.F. Brown details about the register of
criminals condemned by the Holy Office, which substantiate my statement
regarding the various types of cases in its jurisdiction.]

The truth is that the Venetians, though they were willing to risk an
open rupture with Rome, remained at heart sound Churchmen devoted to the
principles of the Catholic Reaction. The Republic conceded the fact of
Inquisitorial authority, while it reserved the letter of
State-supervision. Venetian decadence was marked by this hypocrisy of
pride; and so long as appearances were saved, the Holy Office exercised
its functions freely. The nobles who acted as assessors had no sympathy
with religious toleration, being themselves under the influence of
confessors and directors.

How little the subjects of S. Mark at this epoch trusted the good faith
of laws securing liberty of thought in Venice, may be gathered from what
happened immediately after the publication of the Index Expurgatorius in
1596. From an official report upon the decline of the printing trade in
Venice, it appears that within the space of a few months the number of
presses fell from 125 to 40.[108] Printers were afraid to undertake
either old or new works, and the trade languished for lack of books to
publish. Yet an edict had been issued announcing that by the terms of
the Concordat with Clement VIII., the Venetian press would only be
subject to State control and not to the Roman tribunals.[109] The truth
is that, in regard both to the Holy Office and to the Index, Venice was
never strong enough to maintain the independence which she boasted. By
cunning use of the confessional, and by unscrupulous control of opinion,
the Church succeeded in doing there much the same as in any other
Italian city. Successive Popes made, indeed, a show of respecting the
liberties of the Republic. On material points, touching revenue and
State-administration, they felt it wise to concede even more than
complimentary privileges; and when Paul V. encroached upon these
privileges, the Venetians were ready to resist him. Yet the quarrels
between the Vatican and San Marco were, after all, but family disputes.
The Venetians at the close of the sixteenth century proved themselves no
better friends to spiritual freedom than were the Grand Dukes of
Tuscany. Their political jealousies, commercial anxieties, and feints of
maintaining a power that was rapidly decaying, denoted no partiality for
the opponents of Rome--unless, like Sarpi, these wore the livery of the
State, and defended with the pen its secular prerogatives. Therefore,
when the Signory published Clement VIII.'s Index, when copies of that
Index were sown broadcast, while only an edition of sixty was granted to
the Concordat, authors and publishers felt, and felt rightly, that their
day had passed. The art of printing sank at once to less than a third of
its productivity. The city where it had flourished so long, and where it
had effected so much of enduring value for European culture, was gagged
in scarcely a less degree than Rome. We have full right to insist upon
these facts, and to draw from them a stringent corollary. If Venice
allowed the trade in books, which had brought her so much profit and
such honor in the past, to be paralyzed by Clement's Index, what must
have happened in other Italian towns? The blow which maimed Venetian
literature, was mortal elsewhere; and the finest works of genius in the
first half of the seventeenth century had to find their publishers in
Paris.[110] But these reflections have led me to anticipate the proper
development of the subject of this chapter.

[Footnote 108: The document in question, prepared for the use of the
Signoria, exists in MS. in the Marcian Library, Misc. Eccl. et Civ.
Class. VII. Cod. MDCCLXI.]

[Footnote 109: This edict is dated August 24, 1596.]

[Footnote 110: This will be apparent when I come to treat of Marino and

In Italy at large, the forces of the Inquisition were directed, not as
in Spain against heretics in masses, but against the leaders of
heretical opinion; and less against personalities than against ideas.
Italy during the Renaissance had been the workshop of ideas for Europe.
It was the business of the Counter-Reformation to check the industry of
that _officina scientiarum_, to numb the nervous centers which had
previously emitted thought of pregnant import for the modern world, and
to prevent the reflux of ideas, elaborated by the northern races in
fresh forms, upon the intelligence which had evolved them. To do so now
was comparatively easy. It only needed to put the engine of the Index
Librorum Prohibitorum into working order in concert with the

Throughout the Middle Ages it had been customary to burn heretical
writings. The bishops, the universities, and the Dominican Inquisitors
exercised this privilege; and by their means, in the age of manuscripts,
the life of a book was soon extinguished. Whole libraries were sometimes
sacrificed at one fell swoop, as in the case of the 6000 volumes
destroyed at Salamanca in 1490 by Torquemada, on a charge of
sorcery.[111] After the invention of printing it became more difficult
to carry on this warfare against literature, while the rapid diffusion
of Protestant opinions through the press rendered the need for their
extermination urgent. Sixtus IV. laid a basis for the Index by
prohibiting the publication of any books which had not previously been
licensed by ecclesiastical authority. Alexander VI. by a brief of 15O1
confirmed this measure, and placed books under the censorship of the
episcopacy and the Inquisition. Finally, the Lateran Council, in its
tenth session, held under the auspices of Leo X., gave solemn ecumenical
sanction to these regulations.

The censorship having been thus established, the next step was to form a
list of books prohibited by the Inquisitors appointed for that purpose.
The Sorbonne in Paris drew one up for their own use, and even presented
a petition to Francis I. that publication through the press should be
forbidden altogether.[112] A royal edict to this effect was actually
promulgated in 1535. Charles V. commissioned the University of Louvain
in 1539 to furnish a similar catalogue, proclaiming at the same time the
penalty of death for all who read or owned the works of Luther in his
realms.[113] The University printed their catalogue with Papal approval
in 1549.

[Footnote 111: Llorente, vol. i. p. 281.]

[Footnote 112: Christie's _Etienne Dolet_, pp. 220-24.]

[Footnote 113: Llorente, vol. i. p. 463.]

These lists of the Sorbonne and Louvain formed the nucleus of the
Apostolic Index, which, after the close of the Council of Trent, became
binding upon Catholics. When the Inquisition had been established in
Rome, Caraffa, who was then at its head, obtained the sanction of Paul
III. for submitting all books, old or new, printed or in manuscript, to
the supervision of the Holy Office. He also contrived to place
booksellers, public and private libraries, colporteurs and officers of
customs, under the same authority; so that from 1543 forward it was a
penal offence to print, sell, own, convey or import any literature, of
which the Inquisition had not first been informed, and for the diffusion
or possession of which it had not given its permission. Giovanni della
Casa, who was sent in 1546 to Venice with commission to prosecute P.
Paolo Vergerio for heresy, drew up a list of about seventy prohibited
volumes, which was printed in that city.[114] Other lists appeared, at
Florence in 1552, and at Milan in 1554. Philip II. at last, in 1558,
issued a royal edict commanding the publication of one catalogue which
should form the standard for such Indices throughout his States.[115]
These lists, revised, collated, and confirmed by Papal authority, were
reprinted, in the form which ever afterwards obtained, at Rome, by
command of Paul IV. in 1559.

[Footnote 114: In the year 1548. The MS. cited above (p. 192) mentions
another Index of the Venetian Holy Office published in 1554.]

[Footnote 115: Sarpi, _Ist. del Conc. Tial_, vol. ii..p. 90.]

The Tridentine Council ratified the regulations of the Inquisition and
the Index concerning prohibited books, and referred the execution of
them in detail to the Papacy. A congregation was appointed at Rome,
which, though technically independent of the Holy Office, worked in
concert with it. This Congregation of the Index brought the Tridentine
decrees into harmony with the practice that had been developed by
Caraffa as Inquisitor and Pope. Their list was published in 1564 with
the authority of Pius IV. Finally, in 1595 the decrees embodying the
statutes of the Church upon this topic were issued in print, together
with a largely augmented catalogue of interdicted books. This document
will form the basis of what I have to say with regard to the Catholic
crusade against literature.

Not without reason did Aonio Paleario call this engine of the Index 'a
dagger drawn from the scabbard to assassinate letters'--_sica districta
in omnes scriptores_.[116] Not without reason did Sarpi describe it as
'the finest secret which has ever been discovered for applying religion
to the purpose of making men idiotic.'[117]

[Footnote 116: In his _Oratio pro se ipso ad Senenses_. Printed by
Gryphius at Lyons in 1552.]

[Footnote 117: _1st. del Conc. Trid_. vol. ii. p. 91. The passage
deserves to be Paul IV. designated in his transcribed. 'Sotto colore di
fede e religione sono vietati con la medesima severità e dannati gli
autori de'libri da'quali l'autorità del principe e magistrati temporali
è difesa dalle usurpazioni ecclesiastiche; dove l'autorità de' Concilj è
de'Vescovi è difesa dalle usurpazioni della Corte Romana; dove le
ipocrisie o tirannidi con le quali sotto pretesto di religione il popolo
è ingannato o violentato sono manifestate. In somma non fu mai trovato
più bell'arcano per adoperare la religione a far gli uomini insensati.']

Index Expurgatorius sixty-one printing firms by name, all of whose
publications were without exception prohibited, adding a similar
prohibition for the books edited by any printer who had published the
writings of any heretic; so that in fine, as Sarpi says, 'there was not
a book left to read.' Truly he might well exclaim in another passage
that the Church was doing its best to extinguish sound learning

In order to gain a clear conception of the warfare carried on by Rome
against free literature, it will be well to consider first the rules for
the Index of Prohibited Books, sketched out by the fathers delegated by
the Tridentine Council, published by Pius IV., augmented by Sixtus V.,
and reduced to their final form by Clement VIII. in 1595.[119]
Afterwards I shall proceed to explain the operation of the system, and
to illustrate by details the injury inflicted upon learning and

[Footnote 118: _Discorso Sopra l'Inq._ vol. iv. p. 54.]

[Footnote 119: These rules form the Preface to modern editions of the
Index. The one I use is dated Naples, 1862. They are also printed in
vol. iv. of Sarpi's works.]

The preambles to this document recite the circumstances under which the
necessity for digesting an Index or Catalogue of Prohibited Books arose.
These were the diffusion of heretical opinions at the epoch of the
Lutheran schism, and their propagation through the press. The Council of
Trent decreed that a list of writings 'heretical, or suspected of
heretical pravity, or injurious to manners and piety,' should be drawn
up. This charge they committed to prelates chosen from all nations, who,
when the catalogue had been completed, referred it for sanction and
approval to the Pope. He nominated a congregation of eminent
ecclesiastics, by whose care the catalogue was perfected, and rules were
framed, defining the use that should be made of it in future. It issued
officially, as I have already stated, in 1564, the fifth year of the
pontificate of Pius IV., with warning to all universities and civil and
ecclesiastical authorities that any person of what grade or condition
soever, whether clerk or layman, who should read or possess one or more
of the proscribed volumes, would be accounted _ipso jure_ excommunicate,
and liable to prosecution by the Inquisition on a charge of heresy.[120]
Booksellers, printers, merchants, and custom-house officials received
admonition that the threat of excommunication and prosecution concerned
them specially.

[Footnote 120: Paulus Manutius Aldus printed this Index at Venice in

The first rules deal with the acknowledged writings of Protestant
heresiarchs. Those of Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin, whether in their
original languages or translated, are condemned absolutely and without
exception. Next follow regulations for securing the monopoly of the
Vulgate, considered as the sole authorized version of the Holy
Scriptures. Translations of portions of the Bible made by learned men in
Latin may be used by scholars with permission of a bishop, provided it
be understood that they are never appealed to as the inspired text.
Translations into any vernacular idiom are strictly excluded from public
use and circulation, but may, under exceptional circumstances, be
allowed to students who have received license from a bishop or
Inquisitor at the recommendation of their parish priest or confessor.
Compilations made by heretics, in the form of dictionaries,
concordances, etc., are to be prohibited until they have been purged and
revised by censors of the press. The same regulation extends to
polemical and controversial works touching on matters of doctrine in
dispute between Catholics and Protestants. Next follow regulations
concerning books containing lascivious or obscene matter, which are to
be rigidly suppressed. Exception is made in favor of the classics, on
account of their style; with the proviso that they are on no account to
be given to boys to read. Treatises dealing professedly with occult
arts, magic, sorcery, predictions of future events, incantation of
spirits, and so forth, are to be proscribed; due reservation being made
in favor of scientific observations touching navigation, agriculture,
and the healing art, in which prognostics may be useful to mankind.
Having thus broadly defined the literature which has to be suppressed or
subjected to supervision, rules are laid down for the exercise of
censure. Books, whereof the general tendency is good, but which contain
passages savoring of heresy, superstition or divination, shall be
reserved for the consideration of Catholic theologians appointed by the
Inquisition; and this shall hold good also of prefaces, summaries, or
annotations. All writings printed in Rome must be submitted to the
judgment of the Vicar of the Pope, the Master of the Sacred Palace, or a
person nominated by the Pontiff. In other cities the bishop, or his
delegate, and the Inquisitor of the district, shall be responsible for
examining printed or manuscript works previous to publication; and
without their license it shall be illegal to circulate them.
Inquisitorial visits shall from time to time be made, under the
authority of the bishop and the Holy Office, in bookshops or printing
houses, for the removal and destruction of prohibited works. Colporteurs
of books across the frontiers, heirs and executors who have become
depositaries of books, collectors of private libraries, as well as
editors and booksellers, shall be liable to the same jurisdiction, bound
to declare their property by catalogue, and to show license for the use,
transmission, sale, or possession of the same.

With regard to the correction of books, it is provided that this duty
shall fall conjointly on bishops and Inquisitors, who must appoint three
men distinguished for learning and piety to examine the text and make
the necessary changes in it. Upon the report of these censors, the
bishops and Inquisitors shall give license of publication, provided they
are satisfied that the work of emendation has been duly performed. The
censor must submit not only the body of a book, to scrupulous analysis;
but he must also investigate the notes, summaries, marginal remarks,
indexes, prefaces, and dedicatory epistles, lest haply pestilent
opinions lurk there in ambush. He must keep a sharp lookout for
heretical propositions, and arguments savoring of heresy; insinuations
against the established order of the sacraments, ceremonies, usages and
ritual of the Roman Church; new turns of phrase insidiously employed by
heretics, with dubious and ambiguous expressions that may mislead the
unwary; plausible citations of Scripture, or passages of holy writ
extracted from heretical translations; quotations from the authorized
text, which have been adduced in an unorthodox sense; epithets in honor
of heretics, and anything that may redound to the praise of such
persons; opinions savoring of sorcery and superstition; theories that
involve the subjection of the human will to fate, fortune, and
fallacious portents, or that imply paganism; aspersions upon
ecclesiastics and princes; impugnments of the liberties, immunities, and
jurisdiction of the Church; political doctrines in favor of antique
virtues, despotic government, and the so-called Reason of State, which
are in opposition to the evangelical and Christian law; satires on
ecclesiastical rites, religious orders, and the state, dignity, and
persons of the clergy; ribaldries or stories offensive and prejudicial
to the fame and estimation of one's neighbors, together with
lubricities, lascivious remarks, lewd pictures, and capital letters
adorned with obscene images. All such peccant passages are to be
expunged, obliterated, removed or radically altered, before the license
for publication be accorded by the ordinary.

No book shall be printed without the author's name in full, together
with his nationality, upon the title-page. If there be sufficient reason
for giving an anonymous work to the world, the censor's name shall stand
for that of the author. Compilations of words, sentences, excerpts,
etc., shall pass under the name of the compiler. Publishers and
booksellers are to take care that the printed work agrees with the MS.
copy as licensed, and to see that all rules with regard to the author's
name and his authority to publish have been observed. They are,
moreover, to take an oath before the Master of the Sacred Palace in
Rome, or before the bishop and Inquisitor in other places, that they
will scrupulously follow the regulations of the Index. The bishops and
Inquisitors are held responsible for selecting as censors, men of
approved piety and learning, whose good faith and integrity they shall
guarantee, and who shall be such as will obey no promptings of private
hatred or of favor, but will do all for the glory of God and the
advantage of the faithful. The approbation of such censors, together
with the license of the bishop and Inquisitor, shall be printed at the
opening of every published book. Finally, if any work composed by a
condemned author shall be licensed after due purgation and castration,
it shall bear his name upon the title-page, together with the note of
condemnation, to the end that, though the book itself be accepted, the
author be understood to be rejected. Thus, for example, the title shall
run as follows: 'The Library, by Conrad Gesner, a writer condemned for
his opinions, which work was formerly published and proscribed, but is
now expurgated and licensed by superior authority.'

The Holy Office was made virtually responsible for the censorship of
books. But, as I have already stated, there existed a Congregation of
prelates in Rome to whom the final verdict upon this matter Was
reserved. If an author in some provincial town composed a volume, he was
bound in the first instance to submit the MS. to the censor appointed by
the bishop and Inquisitor of his district. This man took time to weigh
the general matter of the work before him, to scrutinize its
propositions, verify quotations, and deliberate upon its tendency. When
the license of the ordinary had been obtained, it was referred to the
Roman Congregation of the Index, who might withhold or grant their
sanction. So complicated was the machinery, and so vast the pressure
upon the officials who were held responsible for the expurgation of
every book imprinted or reprinted in all the Catholic presses, that even
writers of conspicuous orthodoxy had to suffer grievous delays. An
archbishop writes to Cardinal Sirleto about a book which had been
examined thrice, at Rome, at Venice and again at Rome, and had obtained
the Pope's approval, and yet the license for reprinting it is never
issued.[121] The censors were not paid; and in addition to being
overworked and over-burdened with responsibility, they were rarely men
of adequate learning. In a letter from Bartolommeo de Valverde, chaplain
to Philip II., under date 1584, we read plain-spoken complaints against
these subordinates.[122] 'Unacquainted with literature, they discharge
the function of condemning books they cannot understand. Without
knowledge of Greek or Hebrew, and animated by a prejudiced hostility
against authors, they take the easy course of proscribing what they feel
incapable of judging. In this way the works of many sainted writers and
the useful commentaries made by Jews have been suppressed.' A memorial
to Sirleto, presented by Cardinal Gabriele Paleotti, points out the
negligence of the Index-makers and their superficial discharge of
onerous duties, praying that in future men of learning and honesty
should be employed, and that they should receive payment for their
labors.[123] These are the expostulations addressed by faithful
Catholics, engaged in literary work demanded by the Vatican, to a
Cardinal who was the soul and mover of the Congregation. They do not
question the salutary nature of the Index, but only call attention to
the incapacity and ignorance of its unpaid officials.

[Footnote 121: Dejob, _De l'Influence_, etc. p. 60.]

[Footnote 122: Id. _op. cit._ p. 76.]

[Footnote 123: Id. _op. cit._ p. 78.]

Meanwhile, it was no easy matter to appoint responsible and learned
scholars to the post. The inefficient censors proceeded with their work
of destruction and suppression. A commentator on a Greek Father, or the
Psalms, was corrected by an ignoramus who knew neither Greek nor Hebrew,
anxious to discover petty collisions with the Vulgate, and eager to
create annoyances for the author. Latino Latini, one of the students
employed by the Vatican, refused his name to an edition of Cyprian which
he had carefully prepared with far more than the average erudition,
because it had been changed throughout by the substitution of bad
readings for good, in defiance of MS. authority, with a view of
preserving a literal agreement with the Vulgate.[124] Sigonius, another
of the Vatican students, was instructed to prepare certain text-books by
Cardinal Paleotti. These were an Ecclesiastical History, a treatise on
the Hebrew Commonwealth, and an edition of Sulpicius Severus. The MSS.
were returned to him, accused of unsound doctrine, and scrawled over
with such remarks as 'false,' 'absurd.'[125]

[Footnote 124: Dejob, _op. cit._ p. 74.]

[Footnote 125: Id. _op. cit._ p. 54.]

In addition to the intolerable delays of the Censure, and the arrogant
inadequacy of its officials, learned men suffered from the pettiest
persecution at the hands of informers. The Inquisitors themselves were
often spies and persons of base origin. 'The Roman Court,' says Sarpi,
'being anxious that the office of the Inquisition should not suffer
through negligence in its ministers, has confided these affairs to
individuals without occupation, and whose mean estate renders them proud
of their official position.'[126] It was not to be expected that such
people should discharge their duties with intelligence and scrupulous
equity. Pius V., himself an incorruptible Inquisitor, had to condemn one
of his lieutenants for corruption or extortion of money by menaces.[127]
There was still another source of peril and annoyance to which scholars
were exposed. Their comrades, engaged in similar pursuits, not
unfrequently wreaked private spite by denouncing them to the
Congregation.[128] Van Linden indicated heresies in Osorius, Giovius,
Albertus Pighius. The Jesuit Francesco Torres accused Maës, and
threatened Latini. Sigonius obtained a license for his _History of
Bologna_, but could not print it, owing to the delation of secret
enemies. Baronius, when he had finished his Martyrology, found that a
cabal had raised insuperable obstacles in the way of its publication. I
have been careful to select only examples of notoriously Catholic
authors, men who were in the pay and under the special protection of the
Vatican. How it fared with less favored scholars, may be left to the
imagination. We are not astonished to find a man like Latini writing
thus from Rome to Maës during the pontificate of Paul IV.[129]

[Footnote 126: Discorso dell'Origine, etc. dell'Inquisizione,' _Opp._
vol. iv. p. 34.]

[Footnote 127: Mutinelli, _Storia Arcana_, vol. i. p. 277.]

[Footnote 128: Dejob, _op. cit._ pp. 53-57.]

[Footnote 129: Id. _op. cit._ p. 75.]

'Have you not heard of the peril which threatens the very existence of
books? What are you dreaming of, when now that almost every published
book is interdicted, you still think of making new ones? Here, as I
imagine, there is no one who for many years to come will dare to write
except on business or to distant friends. An Index has been issued of
the works which none may possess under pain of excommunication; and the
number of them is so great that very few indeed are left to us,
especially of those which have been published in Germany. This
shipwreck, this holocaust of books will stop the production of them in
your country also, if I do not err, and will teach editors to be upon
their guard. As you love me and yourself, sit and look at your bookcases
without opening their doors, and beware lest the very cracks let
emanations come to you from those forbidden fruits of learning.' This
letter was written in 1559, when Paul proscribed sixty-one presses, and
prohibited the perusal of any work that issued from them. He afterwards
withdrew this interdict. But the Index did not stop its work of

Another embarrassment which afflicted men of learning, was the danger of
possessing books by heretics and the difficulty of procuring them.[130]
Yet they could not carry on their Biblical studies without reference to
such authors as, for example, Erasmus or Reuchlin. The universities
loudly demanded that books of sound erudition by heretics should at
least be expurgated and republished. Yet the process of disfiguring
their arguments, effacing the names of authors, expunging the praises of
heretics, altering quotations and retouching them all over, involved so
much labor that the demand was never satisfied. The strict search
instituted at the frontiers stopped the importation of books,[131] and
carriers refused to transmit them. In their dread of the Inquisition,
these folk found it safer to abstain from book traffic altogether.
Public libraries were exposed to intermittent raids, nor were private
collections safe from such inspection. The not uncommon occurrence of
old books in which precious and interesting passages have been erased
with printer's ink, or pasted over with slips of opaque paper, testifies
to the frequency of these inquisitorial visitations.[132] Any casual
acquaintance, on leaving a man's house, might denounce him as the
possessor of a proscribed volume; and everybody who owned a book-case
was bound to furnish the Inquisitors with a copy of his catalogue.
Book-stalls lay open to the malevolence of informers. We possess an
insolent letter of Antonio Possevino to Cardinal Sirleto, telling him
that he had noticed a forbidden book by Filiarchi on a binder's counter,
and bidding him to do his duty by suppressing it.[133] When this
Cardinal's library was exposed for sale after his death, the curious
observed that it contained 1872 MSS. in Greek and Latin, 530 volumes of
printed Greek books, and 3939 volumes of Latin, among which 39 were on
the Index. But charity suggested that the Cardinal had retained these
last for censure.

[Footnote 130: Sarpi's Letters abound in useful information on this
topic. Writing to French correspondents, he complains weekly of the
impossibility even in Venice of obtaining books. See, for instance,
_Lettere_, vol. i. pp. 286, 287, 360, vol. ii. p. 13. In one passage he
says that the importation of books into Italy is impeded at Innsbruck,
Trento, and throughout the Tyrolese frontiers (vol. i. p. 74). In
another he warns his friends not to send them concealed in merchandise,
since they will fall under so many eyes in the custom-houses and
lazzaretti (vol. i. p. 303).]

[Footnote 131: It was usual at this epoch to send Protestant
publications from beyond the Alps in bales of cotton or other goods.
This appears from the Lucchese proclamations against heresy published in
_Arch. Stor._ vol. x.]

[Footnote 132: I may mention that having occasion to consult
Savonarola's works in the Public Library of Perugia, which has a fairly
good collection of them, I found them useless for purposes of study by
reason of these erasures and Burke-plasters.]

[Footnote 133: Dejob, _op. cit._ p. 43.]

During the period of the Counter-Reformation it was the cherished object
of the Popes to restore ecclesiastical and theological learning. They
gathered men of erudition round them in the Vatican, and established a
press for the purpose of printing the Fathers and diffusing Catholic
literature. But they were met in the pursuance of this project by very
serious difficulties. Their own policy tended to stifle knowledge and
suppress criticism. The scholars whom they chose as champions of the
faith worked with tied hands. Baronio knew no Greek; Latini knew hardly
any; Bellarmino is thought to have known but little. And yet these were
the apostles of Catholic enlightenment, the defenders of the infallible
Church against students of the caliber of Erasmus, Casaubon, Sarpi! An
insuperable obstacle to sacred studies of a permanently useful kind was
the Tridentine decree which had declared the Vulgate inviolable. No
codex of age or authority which displayed a reading at variance with the
inspired Latin version might be cited. Sirleto, custodian of the Vatican
Library, refused lections from its MSS. to learned men, on the ground
that they might seem to impugn the Vulgate.[134] For the same reason,
the critical labors of all previous students, from Valla to Erasmus, on
the text of the Bible were suppressed, and the best MSS. of the Fathers
were ruthlessly garbled, in order to bring their quotations into
accordance with Jerome's translation. Galesini takes credit to himself
in a letter to Sirleto for having withheld a clearly right reading in
his edition of the Psalms, because it explained a mistake in the
Vulgate.[135] We have seen how Latini's Cyprian suffered from the
censure; and there is a lamentable history of the Vatican edition of
Ambrose, which was so mutilated that the Index had to protect it from
confrontation with the original codices.[136] This dishonest dealing not
only discouraged students and paralyzed the energy of critical
investigation; but it also involved the closing of public libraries to
scholars. The Vatican could not afford to let the light of science in
upon its workshop of forgeries and sophistications.

[Footnote 134: Dejob, _op. cit._ p. 50. Also his _Muret_, pp. 223-227.]

[Footnote 135: Dejob, _De l'Influence_, p. 49.]

[Footnote 136: Id. _op. cit._ pp. 96-98.]

A voice of reasonable remonstrance was sometimes raised by even the most
incorruptible children of the Church. Thus Bellarmino writes to Cardinal
Sirleto, suggesting a doubt whether it is obligatory to adhere to the
letter of the Tridentine decree upon the Vulgate.[137] Is it rational,
he asks, to maintain that every sentence in the Latin text is
impeccable? Must we reject those readings in the Hebrew and the Greek,
which elucidate the meaning of the Scriptures, in cases where Jerome has
followed a different and possibly a corrupt authority? Would it not be
more sensible to regard the Vulgate as the sole authorized version for
use in universities, pulpits, and divine service, while admitting that
it is not an infallible rendering of the inspired original? He also
touches, in a similar strain of scholar-like liberality, upon the
Septuagint, pointing out that this version cannot have been the work of
seventy men in unity, since the translator of Job seems to have been
better acquainted with Greek than Hebrew, while the reverse is true of
the translator of Solomon. Such remonstrances were not, however,
destined to make themselves effectively heard. Instead of relaxing its
severity after the pontificate of Pius IV., the Congregation of the
Index grew, as we have seen, more rigid, until, in the rules digested by
Clement VIII., it enforced the strictest letter of the law regarding the
Vulgate, and ratified all the hypocrisies and subterfuges which that

[Footnote 137: This very interesting and valuable letter is printed by
Dejob in the work I have so often cited, p. 391.]

Under the conditions which I have attempted to describe, it was
impossible that Italy should hold her place among the nations which
encouraged liberal studies. Rome had one object in view--to gag the
revolutionary free voice of the Renaissance, to protect conservative
principles, to establish her own supremacy, and to secure the triumph of
the Counter-Reformation. In pursuance of this policy, she had to react
against the learning and the culture of the classical revival; and her
views were seconded not only by the overwhelming political force of
Spain in the Peninsula, but also by the petty princes who felt that
their existence was imperiled.

Independence of judgment was rigorously proscribed in all academies and
seats of erudition. New methods of education and new text-books were
forbidden. Professors found themselves hampered in their choice of
antique authors. Only those classics which were sanctioned by the
Congregation of the Index could be used in lecture-rooms. On the one
hand, the great republican advocates of independence had incurred
suspicion. On the other hand, the poets were prohibited as redolent of
paganism. To mingle philosophy with rhetoric was counted a crime. Thomas
Aquinas had set up Pillars of Hercules beyond which the reason might not
seek to travel. Roman law had to be treated from the orthodox scholastic
standpoint. Woe to the audacious jurist who made the Pandects serve for
disquisitions on the rights of men and nations! Scholars like Sigonius
found themselves tied down in their class-rooms to a weariful routine of
Cicero and Aristotle. Aonio Paleario complained that a professor was no
better than a donkey working in a mill; nothing remained for him but to
dole out commonplaces, avoiding every point of contact between the
authors he interpreted and the burning questions of modern life.
Muretus, who brought with him to Italy from France a ruined moral
reputation with a fervid zeal for literature, who sold his soul to
praise the Massacre of S. Bartholomew and purge by fulsome panegyrics of
great public crimes the taint of heresy that clung around him, found his
efforts to extend the course of studies in Rome thwarted.[138] He was
forbidden to lecture on Plato, forbidden to touch jurisprudence,
forbidden to consult a copy of Eunapius in the Vatican Library. It cost
him days and weeks of pleading to obtain permission to read Tacitus to
his classes. Greek, the literature of high thoughts, noble enthusiasms,
and virile sciences, was viewed with suspicion. As the monks of the
middle ages had written on the margins of their MSS.: _Graeca sunt, ergo
non legenda_, so these new obscurantists exclaimed: _Graeca sunt,
periculosa sunt, ergo non legenda_. 'I am forced,' he cries in this
extremity, 'to occupy myself with Latin and to abstain entirely from
Greek.' And yet he knew that 'if the men of our age advance one step
further in their neglect of Greek, doom and destruction are impending
over all sound arts and sciences.' 'It is my misery,' he groans, 'to
behold the gradual extinction and total decay of Greek letters, in whose
train I see the whole body of refined learning on the point of vanishing

A vigorous passage from one of Sarpi's letters directly bearing on these
points may here be cited (vol. i. p. 170): 'The revival of polite
learning undermined the foundations of Papal monarchy. Nor was this to
be wondered at. This monarchy began and grew in barbarism; the cessation
of barbarism naturally curtailed and threatened it with extinction. This
we already see in Germany and France; but Spain and Italy are still
subject to barbarism. Legal studies sink daily from bad to worse. The
Roman Curia opposes every branch of learning which savors of polite
literature, while it defends its barbarism with tooth and nail. How can
it do otherwise? Abolish those books on Papal Supremacy, and where shall
they find that the Pope is another God, that he is almighty, that all
rights and laws are closed within the cabinet of his breast, that he can
shut up folk in hell, in a word that he has power to square the circle?
Destroy that false jurisprudence, and this tyranny will vanish; but the
two are reciprocally supporting, and we shall not do away with the
former until the latter falls, which will only happen at God's good

[Footnote 138: See Dejob's _Life of Muret_, pp. 231, 238, 274, 320.]

[Footnote 139: _Op. cit_. pp. 262, 481.]

The jealousy with which liberal studies were regarded by the Church
bred a contempt for them in the minds of students. Benci, a professor of
humane letters at Rome, says that his pupils walked about the class-room
during his lectures. With grim humor he adds that he does not object to
their sleeping, so long as they abstain from snoring.[140] But it is
impossible, he goes on to complain, that I should any longer look upon
the place in which I do my daily work as an academy of learning; I go to
it rather as to a mill in which I must grind out my tale of worthless
grain. Muretus, when he had labored twenty years in the chair of
rhetoric at Rome, begged for dismissal. His memorial to the authorities
presents a lamentable picture of the insubordination and indifference
from which he had suffered.[141] 'I have borne immeasurable indignities
from the continued insolence of these students, who interrupt me with
cries, whistlings, hisses, insults, and such opprobrious remarks that I
sometimes scarcely know whether I am standing on my head or heels.'
'They come to the lecture-room armed with poignards, and when I reprove
them for their indecencies, they threaten over and over again to cut my
face open if I do not hold my tongue.' The walls, he adds, are scrawled
over with obscene emblems and disgusting epigrams, so that this haunt of
learning presents the aspect of the lowest brothel; and the professor's
chair has become a more intolerable seat than the pillory, owing to the
missiles flung at him and the ribaldry with which he is assailed. The
manners and conversation of the students must have been disgusting
beyond measure, to judge by a letter of complaint from a father
detailing the contamination to which his son was exposed in the Roman
class-rooms, and the immunity with which the lewdest songs were publicly
recited there.[142] But the total degradation of learning at this epoch
in Rome is best described in one paragraph of Vittorio de'Rossi,
setting forth the neglect endured by Aldo Manuzio, the younger. This
scion of an illustrious family succeeded to the professorship of Muretus
in 1588. 'Then,' says Rossi, 'might one marvel at or rather mourn over,
the abject and down-trodden state of the liberal arts. Then might one
perceive with tears how those treasures of humane letters, which our
fathers exalted to the heavens, were degraded in the estimation of
youth. In the good old days men crossed the seas, undertook long
journeys, traversed the cities of Greece and Asia, in order to obtain
the palm of eloquence and salute the masters of languages and learning,
at whose feet they sat entranced by noble words. But now these fellows
poured scorn upon an unrivaled teacher of both Greek and Latin
eloquence, whose services were theirs for the asking, theirs without the
fatigue of travel, without expense, without exertion. Though he freely
offered them his abundance of erudition in both learned literatures,
they shut their ears against him. At the hours when his lecture-room
should have been thronged with multitudes of eager pupils you might see
him, abandoned by the crowd, pacing the pavement before the door of the
academy with one, or may be two, for his companions.'[143]

[Footnote 140: Dejob, _Marc Antoine Muret_, p. 349.]

[Footnote 141: The original is printed by Dejob, _Marc Antoine Muret_,
pp. 487-489.]

[Footnote 142: The original letter, printed by Dejob, _op. cit._ p. 491,
is signed by Giustiniano Finetti, who seems to have been a professor of
medicine in the Roman University. His son, a youth of sixteen,
complained that the students had demanded and obtained leave to recite a
certain 'lettione che era carnavalesca d'ano et de priapo,' adding that
they were in the habit of holding debates upon the thesis that (LATIN:
'res sodcae erant praeferendae veneri naturali, et reprobabant rem
veneream cum feminis ac audabant masturbationem.') The dialogue which
the students obtained leave publicly to recite was probably similar to
one that might still be heard some years ago in spring upon the quays of
Naples, and which appeared to have descended from immemorial antiquity.]

[Footnote 143: The Latin text is printed in Renouard's _Imprimerie des
Aldes_, p. 473.]

To accuse the Church solely and wholly for this decay of humanistic
learning in Italy would be uncritical and unjust. We must remember that
after a period of feverish energy there comes a time of languor in all
epochs of great intellectual excitement. Nor was it to be expected that
the enthusiasm of the fifteenth century for classical studies should
have been prolonged into the second half of the sixteenth century. But
we are justified in blaming the ecclesiastical and civil authorities of
the Counter-Reformation for their determined opposition to the new
direction which that old enthusiasm for the classics was now
manifesting. They strove to force the stream of learning backward into
scholastic and linguistic channels, when it was already plowing for
itself a fresh course in the fields of philosophical and scientific
discovery. They made study odious, because they attempted to restrain it
to the out-worn husks of pedantry and rhetoric. These, they thought,
were innocuous. But what the intellectual appetite then craved, the
pabulum that it required to satisfy its yearning, was rigidly denied it.
Speculations concerning the nature of man and of the world, metaphysical
explorations into the regions of dimly apprehended mysteries, physics,
political problems, religious questions touching the great matters in
dispute through Europe, all the storm and stress of modern life, the
ferment of the modern mind and will and conscience, were excluded from
the schools, because they were antagonistic to the Counter-Reformation.
Italy was starved and demoralized in order to avert a revolution; and
learning was asphyxiated by confinement to a narrow chamber filled with
vitiated and exhausted air.[144]

[Footnote 144: As Sarpi says: 'Of a truth the extraordinary rigor with
which books are hunted out for extirpation, shows how vigorous is the
light of that lantern which they have resolved to extinguish.'
_Lettere_, vol. i. p. 328.]

Similar deductions may be drawn from the life of Paolo Manuzio in Rome.
He left Venice in 1561 at the invitation of Pius IV., who proposed to
establish a press 'for the publication of books printed with the finest
type and the utmost accuracy, and more especially of works bearing upon
sacred and ecclesiastical literature.'[145] Paolo's engagement was for
twelve years; his appointments were fixed at 300 ducats for traveling
expenses, 500 ducats of yearly salary, a press maintained at the
Pontifical expense, and a pension secured upon his son's life. The
scheme was a noble one. Paolo was to print all the Greek and Latin
Fathers, and to furnish the Catholic world with an arsenal of orthodox
learning. Yet, during his residence in Rome, no Greek book issued from
his press.[146] Of the Latin Fathers he gave the Epistles of Jerome,
Salvian, and Cyprian to the world. For the rest, he published the
Decrees of the Tridentine Council ten times, the Tridentine Catechism
eight times, the _Breviarium Romanum_ four times, and spent the greater
part of his leisure in editing minor translations, commentaries, and
polemical or educational treatises. The result was miserable, and the
man was ruined.

[Footnote 145: See Renouard, _op. cit._ pp. 442-459, for Paulus
Manutius's life at Rome.]

[Footnote 146: _op. cit._ pp. 184-216.]

It remains to notice the action of the Index with regard to secular
books in the modern languages. I will first repeat a significant passage
in its statutes touching upon political philosophy and the so-called
_Ratio Status_: 'Item, let all propositions, drawn from the digests,
manners, and examples of the Gentiles, which foster a tyrannical polity
and encourage what they falsely call the reason of state, in opposition
to the law of Christ and of the Gospel, be expunged.' This, says Sarpi
in his Discourse on Printing, is aimed in general against any doctrine
which impugns ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the civil sphere of
princes and magistrates, and the economy of the family.[147] Theories
drawn from whatever source to combat Papal and ecclesiastical
encroachments, and to defend the rights of the sovereign in his monarchy
or of the father in his, household, are denominated and denounced as
_Ratio Status_. The impugner of Papal absolutism in civil, as well as
ecclesiastical affairs, is accounted _ipso facto_ a heretic.[148] It
would appear at first sight as though the clause in question had been
specially framed to condemn Machiavelli and his school. The works of
Machiavelli were placed upon the Index in 1559, and a certain Cesare of
Pisa who had them in his library was put to the torture on this account
in 1610. It was afterwards proposed to correct and edit them without his
name; but his heirs very properly refused to sanction this proceeding,
knowing that he would be made to utter the very reverse of what he meant
in all that touched upon the Roman Church.

[Footnote 147: Sarpi's Works, vol. iv. p. 4.]

[Footnote 148: Sarpi, _Discorso_, vol. iv. p. 25, on Bellarmino's
doctrine. Sarpi's _Letters_, vol. i. pp. 138, 243. Sarpi says that he
and Gillot had both had their portraits painted in a picture of Hell and
shown to the common folk as foredoomed to eternal fire, because they
opposed doctrines of Papal omnipotence. _Ibid._ p. 151.]

This paragraph in the statutes of the Index had, however, a further and
far more ambitious purpose than the suppression of Machiavelli,
Guicciardini, and Sarpi. By assuming to condemn all political writings
of which she disapproved, and by forbidding the secular authorities to
proscribe any works which had received her sanction, the Church obtained
a monopoly of popular instruction in theories of government. She
interdicted every treatise that exposed her own ambitious interference
in civil affairs or which maintained the rights of temporal rulers.[149]
She protected and propagated the works of her servile ministers, who
proclaimed that the ecclesiastical was superior in all points to the
civil power; that nations owed their first allegiance to the Pope, who
was divinely appointed to rule over them, and their second only to the
Prince, who was a delegate from their own body; and that tyrannicide
itself was justifiable when employed against a contumacious or heretical
sovereign. Such were the theories of the Jesuits--of Allen and Parsons
in England, Bellarmino in Italy, Suarez and Mariana in Spain, Boucher in

[Footnote 149: On this point, again, Sarpi's _Letters_ furnish valuable
details. He frequently remarks that a general order had been issued by
the Congregation of the Index to suppress all books against the writings
of Baronius, who was treated as a saint, vol. i. pp. 3, 147, ii. p. 35.
He relates how the Jesuits had procured the destruction of a book
written to uphold aristocracy in states, without touching upon
ecclesiastical questions, as being unfavorable to their theories of
absolutism (vol. i. p. 122). He tells the story of a confessor who
refused the sacraments to a nobleman, because he owned a treatise
written by Quirino in defense of the Venetian prerogatives (vol. i. p.
113). He refers to the suppression of James I.'s _Apologia_ and De
Thou's _Histories_ (vol. i. pp. 286, 287, 383).]

In his critique of this monstrous unfairness Sarpi says: 'There are not
wanting men in Italy, pious and of sound learning, who hold the truth
upon such topics; but these can neither write nor send their writings to
the press.'[150] The best years and the best energies of Sarpi's life
were spent, as is well known, in combating the arrogance of Rome, and in
founding the relations of State to Church upon a basis of sound common
sense and equity. More than once he narrowly escaped martyrdom as the
reward of his temerity; and when the poignard of an assassin struck him,
his legend relates that he uttered the celebrated epigram: _Agnosco
stilum Curiae Romanae_.

[Footnote 150: In the Treatise on the Inquisition, _Opere_, vol. iv. p.
53. Sarpi, in a passage of his _Letters_ (vol. ii. p. 163), points out
why the secular authorities were ill fitted to retaliate in kind, upon
these Papal proscriptions.]

Sarpi protested, not without good reason, that Rome was doing her best
to extinguish sound learning in Italy. But how did she deal with that
rank growth of licentious literature which had sprung up during the
Renaissance period? This is the question which should next engage us. We
have seen that the Council of Trent provided amply for the extirpation
of lewd and obscene publications. Accordingly, as though to satisfy the
sense of decency, some of the most flagrantly immoral books, including
the _Decameron_, the _Priapeia_, the collected works of Aretino, and
certain mediaeval romances, were placed upon the Index. Berni was
proscribed in 1559; but the interdict lasted only a short time, probably
because it was discovered that his poems, though licentious, were free
from the heresies which Pier Paolo Vergerio had sought to fix upon him.
Meanwhile no notice was taken of the _Orlando Furioso_, and a multitude
of novelists, of Beccadelli's and Pontano's verses, of Molza and
Firenzuola, of the whole mass of mundane writers in short, who had done
so much to reveal the corruption of Italian manners. It seemed as though
the Church cared less to ban obscenity than to burke those authors who
had spoken freely of her vices. When we come to examine the expurgated
editions of notorious authors, we shall see that this was literally the
case. A castrated version of Bandello, revised by Ascanio Centorio degli
Ortensi, was published in 1560.[151] It omitted the dedications and
preambles, suppressed some disquisitions which palliated vicious
conduct, expunged the novels that brought monks or priests into
ridicule, but left the impurities of the rest untouched. A reformed
version of Folengo's _Baldus_ appeared in 1561. The satires on religious
orders had been erased. Zambellus was cuckolded by a layman instead of a
priest. Otherwise the filth of the original received no cleansing
treatment. When Cosimo de'Medici requested that a revised edition of
the _Decameron_ might be licensed, Pius V. entrusted the affair to
Thomas Manrique, Master of the Sacred Palace. It was published by the
Giunti in 1573 under the auspices of Gregory XIII., with the approval
of the Holy Office and the Florentine Inquisition, fortified by
privileges from Spanish and French kings, dukes of Tuscany, Ferrara, and
so forth. The changes which Boccaccio's masterpiece had undergone were
these: passages savoring of doubtful dogma, sarcasms on monks and
clergy, the names of saints, allusions to the devil and hell, had
disappeared. Ecclesiastical sinners were transformed into students and
professors, nuns and abbesses into citizens' wives. Immorality in short
was secularized. But the book still offered the same allurements to a
prurient mind. Sixtus V. expressed his disapproval of this recension,
and new editions were licensed in 1582 and 1588 under the revision of
Lionardo Salviati and Luigi Groto. Both preserved the obscenities of the
_Decameron_, while they displayed more rigor with regard to satires on
ecclesiastical corruption. It may be added, in justice to the Roman
Church, that the _Decameron_ stands still upon the Index with the
annotation _donec expurgetur_.[152] Therefore we must presume that the
work of purification is not yet accomplished, though the Jesuits have
used parts of it as a text-book in their schools, while Panigarola
quoted it in his lectures on sacred eloquence.

[Footnote 151: See Dejob, _De l'Influence, etc._ Chapter III.]

[Footnote 152: _Index_, Naples, Pelella, 1862, p. 87.]

It would weary the reader to enlarge upon this process of stupid or
hypocritical purgation, whereby the writings of men like Doni and
Straparola were stripped of their reflections on the clergy, while their
indecencies remained untouched; or to show how Ariosto's Comedies were
sanctioned, when his Satires, owing to their free speech upon the Papal
Court, received the stigma.[153] But I may refer to the grotesque
attempts which were made in this age to cast the mantle of spirituality
over profane literature. Thus Hieronimo Malipieri rewrote the
_Canzoniere_ of Petrarch, giving it a pious turn throughout; and the
_Orlando Furioso_ was converted by several hands into a religious

[Footnote 153: This treatment of Ariosto is typical. Men of not over
scrupulous nicety may question whether his Comedies are altogether
wholesome reading. But not even a Puritan could find fault with his
Satires on the score of their morality. Yet Rome sanctioned the Comedies
and forbade the Satires.]

[Footnote 154: Curious details on this topic are supplied by Dejob, _op.
cit._ pp. 179-181, and p. 184.]

The action of Rome under the influence of the Counter-Reformation was
clearly guided by two objects: to preserve Catholic dogma in its
integrity, and to maintain the supremacy of the Church. She was eager to
extinguish learning and to paralyze intellectual energy. But she showed
no unwillingness to tolerate those pleasant vices which enervate a
nation. Compared with unsound doctrine and audacious speculation,
immorality appeared in her eyes a venial weakness. It was true that she
made serious efforts to reform the manners of her ministers, and was
fully alive to the necessity of enforcing decency and decorum. Yet a
radical purification of society seemed of less importance to her than
the conservation of Catholic orthodoxy and the inculcation of obedience
to ecclesiastical authority. When we analyze the Jesuits' system of
education, and their method of conducting the care of souls, we
shall see to what extent the deeply seated hypocrisy of the
Counter-Reformation had penetrated the most vital parts of the Catholic
system. It will suffice, at the close of this chapter, to touch upon one
other repressive measure adopted by the Church in its panic. Magistrates
received strict injunctions to impede the journeys of Italian subjects
into foreign countries where heresies were known to be rife, or where
the rites of the Roman Church were not regularly administered.[155] In
1595 Clement VIII. reduced these admonitions to Pontifical law in a
Bull, whereby he forbade Italians to travel without permission from the
Holy Office, or to reside abroad without annually remitting a
certificate of confession and communion to the Inquisitors. To ensure
obedience to this statute would have been impossible without the
co-operation of the Jesuits. They were, however, diffused throughout the
nations of North, East, South, and West. When an Italian arrived, the
Jesuit Fathers paid him a visit, and unless they received satisfactory
answers with regard to his license of travel and his willingness to
accept their spiritual direction, these serfs of Rome sent a delation
to the central Holy Office, upon the ground of which the Inquisitors of
his province instituted an action against him in his absence. Merchants,
who neglected these rules, found themselves exposed to serious
impediments in their trading operations, and to the peril of prosecution
involving confiscation of property at home. Sarpi, who composed a
vigorous critique of this abuse, points out what injury was done to
commerce by the system.[156] We may still further censure it as an
intolerable interference with the liberty of the individual; as an
odious exercise of spiritual tyranny on the part of an ambitious
ecclesiastical power which aimed at nothing less than universal

[Footnote 155: Any correspondence with heretics was accounted sufficient
to implicate an Italian in the charge of heresy. Sarpi's Letters are
full of matter on this point. He always used Cipher, which he frequently
changed, addressed his letters under feigned names, and finally resolved
on writing in his own hand to no heretic. See _Lettere_, vol. ii. pp. 2,
151, 242, 248, 437. See also what Dejob relates about the timidity of
Muretus, _Muret_, pp. 229-231.]

[Footnote 156: 'Treatise on the Inquisition,' _Opere_, vol. iv. p. 45.]



     Vast Importance of the Jesuits in the Counter-Reformation--Ignatius
     Loyola--His Youth--Retreat at Manresa--Journey to
     Jerusalem--Studies in Spain and Paris--First Formation of his Order
     at Sainte Barbe--Sojourn at Venice--Settlement at Rome--Papal
     Recognition of the Order--Its Military Character--Absolutism of the
     General--Devotion to the Roman Church--Choice of Members--Practical
     and Positive Aims of the Founder--Exclusion of the Ascetic,
     Acceptance of the Worldly Spirit--Review of the Order's Rapid
     Extension over Europe--Loyola's Dealings with his Chief
     Lieutenants--Propaganda--The Virtue of Obedience--The _Exercitia
     Spiritualia_--Materialistic Imagination--Intensity and
     Superficiality of Religious Training--The Status of the
     Novice--Temporal Coadjutors--Scholastics--Professed of the Three
     Vows--Professed of the Four Vows--The General--Control exercised
     over him by his Assistants--His relation to the General
     Congregation--Espionage a part of the Jesuit System--Advantageous
     Position of a Contented Jesuit--The Vow of Poverty--Houses of the
     Professed and Colleges--The Constitutions and Declarations--Problem
     of the _Monita Secreta_--Reciprocal Relations of Rome and the
     Company--Characteristics of Jesuit Education--Direction of
     Consciences--Moral Laxity--Sarpi's
     Critique--Casuistry--Interference in affairs of State--Instigation
     to Regicide and Political Conspiracy--Theories of Church
     Supremacy--Insurgence of the European Nations against the Company.

We have seen in the preceding chapters how Spain became dominant in
Italy, superseding the rivalry of confederate states by the monotony of
servitude, and lending its weight to Papal Rome. The internal changes
effected in the Church by the Tridentine Council, and the external power
conferred on it, were due in no small measure to Spanish influence or
sanction. A Spanish institution, the Inquisition, modified to suit
Italian requirements, lent revived Catholicism weapons of repression and
attack. We have now to learn by what means a partial vigor was
communicated to the failing body of Catholic beliefs, how the Tridentine
creed was propagated, the spiritual realm of the Roman Pontiff policed,
and his secular authority augmented. A Spanish Order rose at the right
moment to supply that intellectual and moral element of vitality without
which the Catholic Revival might have remained as inert as a stillborn
child. The devotion of the Jesuits to the Papacy, was in reality the
masterful Spanish spirit of that epoch, masking its world-grasping
ambition under the guise of obedience to Rome. This does not mean that
the founders and first organizers of the Company of Jesus consciously
pursued one object while they pretended to have another in view. The
impulse which moved Loyola was spontaneous and romantic. The world has
seen few examples of disinterested self-devotion equal to that of
Xavier. Yet the fact remains that Jesuitry, taking its germ and root in
the Spanish character, persisting as an organism within the Church, but
separate from the ecclesiastical hierarchy, devised the doctrine of
Papal absolutism, and became the prime agent of that Catholic policy in
Europe which passed for Papal during the Counter-Reformation. The
indissoluble connection between Rome, Spain, and the Jesuits, was
apparent to all unprejudiced observers. For this triad of reactionary
and belligerent forces Sarpi invented the name of the Diacatholicon,
alluding, under the metaphor of a drug, to the virus which was being
instilled in his days into all the States of Europe.[157]

The founder of the Jesuit order was the thirteenth child of a Spanish
noble, born in 1491 at his father's castle of Loyola in the Basque
province of Guipuzcoa.[158] His full name was Iñigo Lopez de Recalde;
but he is better known to history as Saint Ignatius Loyola. Ignatius
spent his boyhood as page in the service of King Ferdinand the Catholic,
whence he passed into that of the Duke of Najara, who was the hereditary
friend and patron of his family. At this time he thought of nothing but
feats of arms, military glory, and romantic adventures.

[Footnote 157: For Sarpi's use of this phrase see his _Lettere_, vol.
ii. pp. 72, 80, 92. He clearly recognized the solidarity between the
Jesuits and Spain. 'The Jesuit is no more separable from the Spaniard
than the accident from the substance.' 'The Spaniard without the Jesuit
is not worth more than lettuce without oil.' 'For the Jesuits to deceive
Spain, would be tantamount to deceiving themselves.' _Ibid._ vol. i. pp.
203, 384, vol. ii. p. 48. Compare passages in vol. i. pp. 184, 189. He
only perceived a difference in the degrees of their noxiousness to
Europe. Thus, 'the worst Spaniard is better than the least bad of the
Jesuits' (vol. i. p. 212).]

[Footnote 158: Study of the Jesuits must be founded on _Institutum
Societatis Jesu_, 7 vols. Avenione; Orlandino, _Hist. Soc. Jesu_;
Crétineau-Joly, _Histoire de la Compagnie de Jésus_; Ribadaneira, _Vita
Ignatii_; Genelli's Life of Ignatius in German, or the French
translation; the Jesuit work, _Imago Primi Saeculi_; Ranke's account in
his _History of the Popes_, and the three chapters assigned to this
subject in Philippson's _La Contre-Révolution Religieuse_. The latter
will be found a most valuable summary.]

He could boast but little education; and his favorite reading was in
_Amadis of Gaul_. That romance appeared during the boy's earliest
childhood, and Spain was now devouring its high-flown rhapsodies with
rapture. The peculiar admixture of mystical piety, Catholic enthusiasm,
and chivalrous passion, which distinguishes _Amadis_, exactly
corresponded to the spirit of the Spaniards at an epoch when they had
terminated their age-long struggle with the Moors, and were combining
propagandist zeal with martial fervor in the conquest of the New World.
Its pages inflamed the imagination of Ignatius. He began to compose a
romance in honor of S. Peter, and chose a princess of blood royal for
his Oriana. Thus, in the first days of youth, while his heart was still
set on love and warfare, he revealed the three leading features of his
character--soaring ambition, the piety of a devotee, and the tendency to
view religion from the point of fiction.

Ignatius was barely twenty when the events happened which determined the
future of his life and so powerfully affected the destinies of Catholic
Christendom. The French were invading Navarre; and he was engaged in the
defense of its capital, Pampeluna. On May 20, 1521, a bullet shattered
his right leg, while his left foot was injured by a fragment of stone
detached from a breach in the bastion. Transported to his father's
castle, he suffered protracted anguish under the hands of unskilled
medical attendants. The badly set bone in his right leg had twice to be
broken; and when at last it joined, the young knight found himself a
cripple. This limb was shorter than the other; the surgeons endeavored
to elongate it by machines of iron, which put him to exquisite pain.
After months of torture, he remained lame for life.

During his illness Ignatius read such books as the castle of Loyola
contained. These were a 'Life of Christ' and the 'Flowers of the Saints'
in Spanish. His mind, prepared by chivalrous romance, and strongly
inclined to devotion, felt a special fascination in the tales of Dominic
and Francis. Their heroism suggested new paths which the aspirant after
fame might tread with honor. Military glory and the love of women had to
be renounced; for so ambitious a man could not content himself with the
successes of a cripple in these spheres of action. But the legends of
saints and martyrs pointed out careers no less noble, no less useful,
and even more enticing to the fancy. He would become the spiritual
Knight of Christ and Our Lady. To S. Peter, his chosen protector, he
prayed fervently; and when at length he rose from the bed of sickness,
he firmly believed that his life had been saved by the intercession of
this patron, and that it must be henceforth consecrated to the service
of the faith. The world should be abandoned. Instead of warring with the
enemies of Christ on earth, he would carry on a crusade against the
powers of darkness. They were first to be met and fought in his own
heart. Afterwards, he would form and lead a militia of like-hearted
champions against the strongholds of evil in human nature.

It must not be thought that the scheme of founding a Society had so
early entered into the mind of Ignatius. What we have at the present
stage to notice is that he owed his adoption of the religious life to
romantic fancy and fervid ambition, combined with a devotion to Peter,
the saint of orthodoxy and the Church. Animated by this new enthusiasm,
he managed to escape from home in the spring of 1522. His friends
opposed themselves to his vocation; but he gave them the slip, took vows
of chastity and abstinence, and began a pilgrimage to our Lady of
Montserrat near Barcelona. On the road he scourged himself daily. When
he reached the shrine he hung his arms up as a votive offering, and
performed the vigil which chivalrous custom exacted from a squire before
the morning of his being dubbed a knight. This ceremony was observed
point by point, according to the ritual he had read in _Amadis of Gaul_.
Next day he gave his raiment to a beggar, and assumed the garb of a
mendicant pilgrim. By self-dedication he had now made himself the Knight
of Holy Church.

His first intention was to set sail for Palestine, with the object of
preaching to the infidels. But the plague prevented him from leaving
port; and he retired to a Dominican convent at Manresa, a little town of
Catalonia, north-west of Barcelona. Here he abandoned himself to the
crudest self-discipline. Feeding upon bread and water, kneeling for
seven hours together rapt in prayer, scourging his flesh thrice daily,
and reducing sleep to the barest minimum, Ignatius sought by austerity
to snatch that crown of sainthood which he felt to be his due. Outraged
nature soon warned him that he was upon a path which led to failure.
Despair took possession of his soul, sometimes prompting him to end his
life by suicide, sometimes plaguing him with hideous visions. At last he
fell dangerously ill. Enlightened by the expectation of early death, he
then became convinced that his fanatical asceticism was a folly. The
despair, the dreadful phantoms which had haunted him, were ascribed
immediately to the devil. In those rarer visitings of brighter visions,
which sometimes brought consolation, bidding him repose upon God's
mercy, he recognized angels sent to lead him on the pathway of
salvation. God's hand appeared in these dealings; and he resolved to
dedicate his body as well as his soul to God's service, respecting both
as instruments of the divine will, and entertaining both in efficiency
for the work required of them.

The experiences of Manresa proved eminently fruitful for the future
method of Ignatius. It was here that he began to regard self-discipline
and self-examination as the needful prelude to a consecrated life. It
was here that he learned to condemn the ascetism of anchorites as
pernicious or unprofitable to a militant Christian. It was here that,
while studying the manual of devotion written by Garcia de Cisneros, he
laid foundations for those famous _Exercitia_, which became his
instrument for rapidly passing neophytes through spiritual training
similar to his own. It was here that he first distinguished two kinds of
visions, infernal and celestial. Here also he grew familiar with the
uses of concrete imagination;, and understood how the faculty of
sensuous realization might be made a powerful engine for presenting the
past of sacred history or the dogmas of orthodox theology under shapes
of fancy to the mind. Finally, in all the experiences of Manresa, he
tried the temper of his own character, which was really not that of a
poet or a mystic, but of a sagacious man of action, preparing a system
calculated to subjugate the intelligence and will of millions. Tested by
self-imposed sufferings and by diseased hallucinations, his sound sense,
the sense of one destined to control men, gathered energy, and grew in,
solid strength: yet enough remained of his fanaticism to operate as a
motive force in the scheme which he afterwards developed; enough
survived from the ascetic phase he had surmounted, to make him
comprehend that some such agony as he had suffered should form the
vestibule to a devoted life. We may compare the throes of Ignatius at
Manresa with the contemporary struggles of Luther at Wittenberg and in
the Wartzburg. Our imagination will dwell upon the different issues to
which two heroes distinguished by practical ability were led through
their contention with the powers of spiritual evil. Protagonists
respectively of Reformation and Counter-Reformation, they arrived at
opposite conclusions; the one championing the cause of spiritual freedom
in the modern world, the other consecrating his genius to the
maintenance of Catholic orthodoxy by spiritual despotism. Yet each alike
fulfilled his mission by having conquered mysticism at the outset of his
world-historical career.

Ignatius remained for the space of ten months at Manresa. He then found
means to realize his cherished journey to the Holy Land. In Palestine he
was treated with coldness as an ignorant enthusiast, capable of
subverting the existing order of things, but too feeble to be counted on
for permanent support. His motive ideas were still visionary; he could
not cope with conservatism and frigidity established in comfortable
places of emolument. It was necessary that he should learn the wisdom of
compromise. Accordingly he returned to Spain, and put himself to school.
Two years spent in preparatory studies at Barcelona, another period at
Alcala, and another at Salamanca, introduced him to languages, grammar,
philosophy, and theology. This man of noble blood and vast ambition,
past the age of thirty, sat with boys upon the common benches. This
self-consecrated saint imbibed the commonplaces of scholastic logic. It
was a further stage in the evolution of his iron character from romance
and mysticism, into political and practical sagacity. It was a further
education of his stubborn will to pliant temper. But he could not divest
himself of his mission as a founder and apostle. He taught disciples,
preached, and formed a sect of devotees. Then the Holy Office attacked
him. He was imprisoned, once at Alcala for forty-two days, once at
Salamanca for three weeks, upon charges of heresy. Ignatius proved his
innocence. The Inquisitors released him with certificates of acquittal;
but they sentenced him to four years' study of theology before he should
presume to preach. These years he resolved to spend at Paris.
Accordingly he performed the journey on foot, and arrived in the capital
of France upon February 2, 1528. He was then thirty-seven years old, and
sixteen years had elapsed since he received his wounds at Pampeluna.

At Paris he had to go to school again from the beginning. The alms of
well-wishers, chiefly devout women at Barcelona, amply provided him with
funds. These he employed not only in advancing his own studies, but also
in securing the attachment of adherents to his cause. At this epoch he
visited the towns of Belgium and London during his vacations. But the
main outcome of his residence at Paris was the formation of the Company
of Jesus. Those long years of his novitiate and wandering were not
without their uses now. They had taught him, while clinging stubbornly
to the main projects of his life, prudence in the choice of means,
temperance in expectation, sagacity in the manipulation of
fellow-workers selected for the still romantic ends he had in view. His
first two disciples were a Savoyard, Peter Faber or Le Fèvre, and
Francis Xavier of Pampeluna. Faber was a poor student, whom Ignatius
helped with money. Xavier sprang from a noble stock, famous in arms
through generations, for which he was eager to win the additional honors
of science and the Church. Ignatius assisted him by bringing students to
his lectures. Under the personal influence of their friend and
benefactor, both of these men determined to leave all and follow the new
light. Visionary as the object yet was, the firm will, fervent
confidence, and saintly life of Loyola inspired them with absolute
trust. That the Christian faith, as they understood it, remained exposed
to grievous dangers from without and form within, that millions of souls
were perishing through ignorance, that tens of thousands were falling
away through incredulity and heresy, was certain. The realm of Christ on
earth needed champions, soldiers devoted to a crusade against Satan and
his hosts. And here was a leader, a man among men, a man whose words
were as a fire, and whose method of spiritual discipline was salutary
and illuminative; and this man bade them join him in the Holy War. He
gained them in a hundred ways, by kindness, by precept, by patience, by
persuasion, by attention to their physical and spiritual needs, by words
of warmth and wisdom, by the direction of their conscience, by profound
and intense sympathy with souls struggling after the higher life. The
means he had employed to gain Faber and Xavier were used with equal
success in the case of seven other disciples. The names of these men
deserve to be recorded; for some of them played a part of importance in
European history, while all of them contributed to the foundation of the
Jesuits. They were James Lainez, Alfonzo Salmeron, and Nicholas
Bobadilla, three Spaniards; Simon Rodriguez d'Azevedo, a Portuguese; two
Frenchmen, Jean Codure and Brouet; and Claude le Jay, a Savoyard. All
these neophytes were subjected by Ignatius to rigid discipline, based
upon his _Exercitia_. They met together for prayer, meditation, and
discussion, in his chamber at the College of S. Barbe. Here he unfolded
to them his own plans, and poured out on them his spirit. At length,
upon August 15, 1534, the ten together took the vows of chastity and
poverty in the church of S. Mary at Montmartre, and bound themselves to
conduct a missionary crusade in Palestine, or, if this should prove
impracticable, to place themselves as devoted instruments, without
conditions and without remuneration, in the hands of the Sovereign

The society was thus established, although its purpose remained
indecisive. The founder's romantic dream of a crusade in Holy Land,
though never realized, gave an object of immediate interest to the
associated friends. Meanwhile two main features of its historical
manifestation, the propaganda of the Catholic faith and unqualified
devotion to the cause of the Roman See, had been clearly indicated.
Nothing proves the mastery which Ignatius had now acquired over his own
enthusiasm, or the insight he had gained into the right method of
dealing with men, more than the use he made of his authority in this
first instance. The society was bound to grow and to expand; and it was
fated to receive the lasting impress of his genius. But, as though
inspired by some prophetic vision of its future greatness, he refrained
from circumscribing the still tender embryo within definite limits which
might have been pernicious to its development.

The associates completed their studies at Paris, and in 1535 they
separated, after agreeing to meet at Venice in the first months of 1537.
Ignatius meanwhile traveled to Spain, where he settled his affairs by
bestowing such property as he possessed on charitable institutions. He
also resumed preaching, with a zeal that aroused enthusiasm and extended
his personal influence. At the appointed time the ten came together at
Venice, ostensibly bent on carrying out their project of visiting
Palestine. But war was now declared between the Turks and the Republic
of S. Mark. Ignatius found himself once more accused of heresy, and had
some trouble in clearing himself before the Inquisition. It was resolved
in these circumstances to abandon the mission to Holy Land as
impracticable for the moment, and to remain in Venice waiting for more
favorable opportunities. We may believe that the romance of a crusade
among the infidels of Syria had already begun to fade from the
imagination of the founder, in whose career nothing is more striking
than his gradual abandonment of visionary for tangible ends, and his
progressive substitution of real for shadowy objects of ambition.

Loyola's first contact with Italian society during this residence in
Venice exercised decisive influence over his plans. He seems to have
perceived with the acute scent of an eagle that here lay the quarry he
had sought so long. Italy, the fountain-head of intellectual
enlightenment for Europe, was the realm which he must win. Italy alone
offered the fulcrum needed by his firm and limitless desire of
domination over souls. It was with Caraffa and the Theatines that
Ignatius obtained a home. They were now established in the States of S.
Mark through the beneficence of a rich Venetian noble, Girolamo Miani,
who had opened religious houses and placed these at their disposition.
Under the direction of their founder, they carried on their designed
function of training a higher class of clergy for the duties of
preaching and the priesthood, and for the repression of heresy by
educational means. Caraffa's scheme was too limited to suit Ignatius:
and the characters of both men were ill adapted for co-operation. One
zeal for the faith inspired both. Here they agreed. But Ignatius was a
Spaniard; and the second passion in Caraffa's breast was a Neapolitan's
hatred for that nation. Ignatius, moreover, contemplated a vastly more
expansive and elastic machinery for his workers in the vineyard of the
faith, than the future Pope's coercive temper could have tolerated.
These two leaders of the Counter-Reformation, equally ambitious, equally
intolerant of opposition, equally bent upon a vast dominion, had to
separate. The one was destined to organize the Inquisition and the
Index. The other evolved what is historically known as Jesuitry.
Nevertheless we know that Ignatius learned much from Caraffa. The
subsequent organization of his Order showed that the Theatines suggested
many practical points in the method he eventually adopted for effecting
his designs.

Some of his companions, meanwhile, journeyed to Rome. There they
obtained from Paul III. permission to visit Palestine upon a missionary
enterprise, together with special privileges for their entrance into
sacerdotal orders. Those of the ten friends who were not yet priests,
were ordained at Venice in June 1537. They then began to preach in
public, roaming the streets with faces emaciated by abstinence, clad in
ragged clothes, and using a language strangely compounded of Italian and
Spanish. Their obvious enthusiasm, and the holy lives they were known to
lead, brought them rapidly into high reputation of sanctity. Both the
secular and the religious clergy of Italy could show but few men at
that epoch equal to these brethren. It was settled in the autumn that
they should all revisit Rome, traveling by different routes, and
meditating on the form which the Order should assume. Palestine had now
been definitely, if tacitly, abandoned. As might have been expected, it
was Loyola who baptized his Order, and impressed a character upon the
infant institution. He determined to call it the Company of Jesus, with
direct reference to those Companies of Adventure which had given
irregular organization to restless military spirits in the past. The new
Company was to be a 'cohort, or century, combined for combat against
spiritual foes; men-at-arms, devoted, body and soul, to our Lord Jesus
Christ and to his true and lawful Vicar upon earth.'[159] An Englishman
of the present day may pause to meditate upon the grotesque parallel
between the nascent Order of the Jesuits and the Salvation Army, and can
draw such conclusions from it as may seem profitable.

[Footnote 159: These phrases occur in the _Deliberatio primorum

Loyola's withdrawal from all participation in the nominal honor of his
institution, his enrollment of the militia he had levied under the name
of Jesus, and the combative functions which he ascribed to it, were very
decided marks of originality. It stamped the body with impersonality
from the outset, and indicated the belligerent attitude it was destined
to assume. There was nothing exactly similar to its dominant conception
in any of the previous religious orders. These had usually received
their title from the founder, had aimed at a life retired from the
world, had studied the sanctification of their individual members, and
had only contemplated an indirect operation upon society. Ignatius, on
the contrary, placed his community under the protection of Christ, and
defined it at the outset as a militant and movable legion of
auxiliaries, dedicated, not to retirement or to the pursuit of
salvation, but to freely avowed and active combat in defense of their
Master's vicegerent upon earth. It was as though he had divined the
deficiencies of Catholicism at that epoch, and had determined to
supplement them by the creation of a novel and a special weapon of
attack. Some institutions of mediaeval chivalry, the Knights of the
Temple, and S. John, for instance, furnished the closest analogy to his
foundation. Their spirit he transferred from the sphere of physical
combat with visible forces, infidel and Mussulman, to the sphere of
intellectual warfare against heresy, unbelief, insubordination in the
Church. He had refined upon the crude enthusiasm of romance which
inspired him at Montserrat. Without losing its intensity, this had
become a motive force of actual and political gravity.

The Company of Jesus was far from obtaining the immediate approval of
the Church. Paul III. indeed, perceived its utility, and showed marked
favor to the associates when they arrived in Rome about the end of 1537.
The people, too, welcomed their ministration gladly, and recognized the
zeal which they displayed in acts of charity and their exemplary
behavior. But the Curia and higher clergy organized an opposition
against them. They were accused of heresy, and attempts to seduce the
common folk. Ignatius demanded full and public inquiry, which was at
first refused him. He then addressed the Pope in person, who ordered a
trial, out of which the brethren came with full acquittal. After this
success, they obtained a hold upon religious instruction in many schools
of Rome. Adherents flocked around them; and they saw that it was time to
give the society a defined organization, and to demand its official
recognition as an Order. It was resolved to add the vow of obedience to
their former vows of chastity and poverty. Obedience had always been a
prime virtue in monastic institutions; but Ignatius conceived of it in a
new and military spirit. The obedience of the Jesuits was to be
absolute, extending even to the duty of committing sins at a superior's
orders. The General, instead of holding office for a term of years, was
to be elected for life, with unlimited command over the whole Order in
its several degrees. He was to be regarded as Christ present and
personified. This autocracy of the General might have seemed to menace
the overlordship of the Holy See, but for a fourth vow which the Company
determined to adopt. It ran as follows: 'That the members will
consecrate their lives to the continual service of Christ and of the
Popes, will fight under the banner of the Cross, and will serve the
Lord and the Roman Pontiff as God's vicar upon earth, in such wise that
they shall be bound to execute immediately and without hesitation or
excuse all that the reigning Pope or his successors may enjoin upon them
for the profit of souls or for the propagation of the faith, and shall
do so in all provinces whithersoever he may send them, among Turks or
any other infidels, to furthest Ind, as well as in the region of
heretics, schismatics, or believers of any kind.'

Loyola himself drew up these constitutions in five chapters, and had
them introduced to Paul III., with the petition that they might be
confirmed. This was in September 1539, and it is singular that the man
selected to bring them under the Pope's notice should have been Cardinal
Contarini. Paul had no difficulty in recognizing the support which this
new Order would bring to the Papacy in its conflict with Reformers, and
its diplomatic embarrassments with Charles V. He is even reported to
have said, 'The finger of God is there!' Yet he could not confirm the
constitutions without the previous approval of three Cardinals appointed
to report on them. This committee condemned Loyola's scheme; and nearly
a year passed in negotiations with foreign princes and powerful
prelates, before a reluctant consent was yielded to the Pope's avowed
inclination. At length the Bull of Sept. 27, 1540, _Regimini militantis
Ecclesiae_, launched the Society of Jesus on the world. Ignatius became
the first General of the Order; and the rest of his life, a period of
sixteen years, was spent in perfecting the machinery and extending the
growth of this institution, which in all essentials was the emanation of
his own mind.

It may be well at this point to sketch the organization of the Jesuits,
and to describe the progress of the Society during its founder's
lifetime, in order that a correct conception may be gained of Loyola's
share in its creation. Many historians of eminence, and among them so
acute an observer as Paolo Sarpi, have been of the opinion that Jesuitry
in its later developments was a deflection from the spirit and intention
of Ignatius. It is affirmed that Lainez and Salmeron, rather than
Loyola, gave that complexion to the Order which has rendered it a mark
for the hatred and disgust of Europe. Aquaviva, the fifth General, has
been credited with its policy of interference in affairs of states and
nations. Yet I think it can be shown that the Society, as it appeared in
the seventeenth century, was a logical and necessary development of the
Society as Ignatius framed it in the sixteenth.[160]

[Footnote 160: Sarpi, though he expressed an opinion that the Jesuits of
his day had departed from the spirit of their founders, spoke thus of
Loyola's worldly aims (_Lettere_, vol. i. p 224): 'Even Father Ignatius,
Founder of the Company, as his biography attests, based himself in such
wise upon human interest as though there were none divine to think

Lainez, who succeeded the founder as General, digested the constitutions
and supplied them with a commentary or Directorium. He defined,
formulated, and stereotyped the system; but the essential qualities of
Jesuitry, its concentration upon political objects, its unscrupulousness
in choice of means to ends, the worldliness which lurked beneath the
famous motto _Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam_, were implicit in Loyola's express
words, and in his actual administration. The framework of the Order, as
he fixed it, was so firmly traced, and so cunningly devised for
practical efficiency, that it admitted of no alteration except in the
direction of more rigid definition. Lainez may, indeed, have emphasized
its tendency to become a political machine, and may have weakened its
religious tone, by his rules for the interpretation of the
constitutions; but we have seen that the development of Loyola's own
ideas ran in this direction. The real strength, as well as the worst
vices of Jesuitry, were inherent in the system from the first; and in it
we have perhaps the most remarkable instance on record, of the evolution
of a cosmopolitan and world-important organism from the embryo of one
man's conception.

The Bull _Regimini militantis Ecclesiae_ restricted the number of the
Jesuits to sixty. If Ignatius did not himself propose this limit, the
restriction may perhaps have suggested his policy of reserving the full
privileges of the Society for a small band of selected members--the very
essence of the body, extracted by processes which will be afterwards
described. Anyhow, it is certain that though the Papal limitation was
removed in 1543, and though candidates flowed on the tide of fashion
toward the Order, yet the representative and responsible Fathers
remained few in numbers. These were distributed as the General thought
fit. He stayed in Rome; for Rome was the chosen headquarters of the
Society, the nucleus of their growth, and the fulcrum of their energy.
From Rome, as from a center, Ignatius moved his men about the field of
Europe. We might compare him under one metaphor to a chess-player
directing his pieces upon the squares of the political and
ecclesiastical chessboard; under another, to a spider spinning his web
so as to net the greatest number of profitable partisans. The fathers
were kept in perpetual motion. To shift them from place to place, to
exclude them from their native soil, to render them cosmopolitan and
pliant was the first care of the founder. He forbade the follies of
ascetic piety, inculcated the study of languages and exact knowledge,
and above all things recommended the acquisition of those social arts
which find favor with princes and folk of high condition. 'Prudence of
an exquisite quality,' he said, 'combined with average sanctity, is more
valuable than eminent sanctity and less of prudence.' Also he bade them
keep their eyes open for neophytes 'less marked by pure goodness than by
firmness of character and ability in conduct of affairs, since men who
are not apt for public business do not suit the requirements of the
Company.' Orlandino tells us that though Ignatius felt drawn to men who
showed eminent gifts for erudition, he preferred, in the difficulties of
the Church, to choose such as knew the world well and were distinguished
by their social station. The fathers were to seek out youths 'of good
natural parts, adapted to the acquisition of knowledge and to practical
works of utility.' Their pupils were, if possible, to have physical
advantages and manners that should render them agreeable. These points
had more of practical value than a bare vocation for piety. In their
dealings with tender consciences, they were to act like 'good fishers of
souls, passing over many things in silence as though these had not been
observed, until the time came when the will was gained, and the
character could be directed as they thought best.'[161] Loyola's dislike
for the common forms of monasticism appears in his choice of the
ordinary secular priest's cassock for their dress, and in his
emancipation of the members from devotional exercises and attendance in
the choir. The aversion he felt for ascetic discipline is evinced in a
letter he addressed to Francis Borgia in 1548. It is better, he writes,
to strengthen your stomach and other faculties, than to impair the body
and enfeeble the intellect by fasting. God needs both our physical and
mental powers for his service; and every drop of blood you shed in
flagellation is a loss.

[Footnote 161: See Philippson, _op. cit._ pp. 61, 62.]

The end in view was to serve the Church by penetrating European society,
taking possession of its leaders in rank and hereditary influence,
directing education, assuming the control of the confessional, and
preaching the faith in forms adapted to the foibles and the fancies of
the age. The interests of the Church were paramount: 'If she teaches
that what seems to us white is black, we must declare it to be black
upon the spot.' There were other precepts added. These, for instance,
seem worth commemoration: 'The workers in the Lord's vineyard should
have but one foot on earth, the other should be raised to travel
forward.' 'The abnegation of our own will is of more value than if one
should bring the dead to life again.' 'No storm is so pernicious as a
calm, and no enemy is so dangerous as having none.' It will be seen that
what is known as Jesuitry, in its mundane force and in its personal
devotion to a cause, emerges from the precepts of Ignatius. We may
wonder how the romances of the mountain-keep of Loyola, the mysticism of
Montserrat, and the struggles of Manresa should have brought the founder
of the Jesuits to these results. Yet, if we analyze the problem, it will
yield a probable solution. What survived from that first period was the
spirit of enthusiastic service to the Church, the vast ambition of a man
who felt himself a destined instrument for shoring up the crumbling
walls of Catholicity, the martial instinct of a warrior fighting at
fearful odds with nations running toward infidelity.

He had no doubt where the right lay. He was a Spaniard, a servant of S.
Peter; and for him the creed enounced by Rome was all in all. But his
commerce with the world, his astute Basque nature, and his judgment of
the European situation, taught him that he must use other means than
those which Francis and Dominic had employed. He had to make his
Company, that forlorn hope of Catholicism, the exponent of a decadent
and rotten faith. He had to adapt it to the necessities of Christendom
in dissolution, to constitute it by a guileful and sagacious method. He
had to render it wise in the wisdom of the world, in order that he might
catch the powers of this world by their interests and vices for the
Church. He was like Machiavelli, endeavoring to save a corrupt state by
utilizing corruption for ends acknowledged sound. And, like Machiavelli,
he was mistaken, because it will not profit man to trust in craft or the
manipulation of evil. Luther was stronger in his weakness than the
creator of the Jesuit machinery, wiser in his simplicity than the
deviser of that subtle engine. But Luther had the onward forces of
humanity upon his side. Ignatius could but retard them by his ingenuity.
We may be therefore excused if we admire Ignatius for the virile effort
which he made in a failing cause, and for the splendid gifts of
organizing prudence which he devoted to a misplaced object.

Under his direction, the members of the Society spread themselves over
Europe, and always with similar results. Wherever they went, hundreds of
adherents joined the Order. Paul III. and Julius III. heaped privileges
upon it, seeing what a power it had become in warfare with heresy.
Ignatius spared no pains to secure his position in Rome, paying court to
Cardinals and prelates, visiting ambassadors and princes, soliciting
their favors and offering the service of his brethren in return.
Profitable negotiations were opened with the King of Spain and the Duke
of Bavaria, which, under cover of reforming convents, led to a partition
of ecclesiastical property between the Jesuits and the State. Good
reasons seemed to justify such acts of spoliation; for the old orders
were sunk in sloth and immorality beyond redemption, while the Company
kept alive all that was sound in Catholic discipline, preaching, and
instruction. In Italy the Jesuits made rapid progress from the first.
Lainez occupied the Venetian territory, opposing Protestant opinions in
Venice itself, at Brescia, and among the mountains of the Valtelline. Le
Jay combated the forces of Calvin and Renée of France at Ferrara.
Salmeron took possession of Naples and Sicily. Piacenza, Modena, Faenza,
Bologna, and Montepulciano received the fathers with open arms. The
Farnesi welcomed them in Parma. Wherever they went, they secured the
good will of noble women, and gained some hold on universities. Colleges
were founded in the chief cities of the peninsula, where they not only
taught gratis, but used methods superior to those previously in vogue.
Rome, however, remained the stronghold of the Company. Here Ignatius
founded its first house in 1550. This was the Collegium Romanum; and in
1555, some hundred pupils, who had followed a course of studies in
Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and theology, issued from its walls. In 1557 he
purchased the palace Salviati, on the site of which now stands the vast
establishment of the Gesù. In 1552 he started a separate institution,
Collegium Germanicum, for the special training of young Germans. There
was also a subordinate institution for the education of the sons of
nobles. These colleges afforded models for similar schools throughout
Europe; some of them intended to supply the society with members, and
some to impress the laity with Catholic principles. Uniformity was an
object which the Jesuits always held in view.

They did not meet at first with like success in all Catholic countries.
In Spain, Charles V. treated them with suspicion as the sworn men of the
Papacy; and the Dominican order, so powerful through its hold upon the
Inquisition, regarded them justly as rivals. Though working for the same
end, the means employed by Jesuits and Dominicans were too diverse for
these champions of orthodoxy to work harmoniously together. The Jesuits
belonged to the future, to the party of accommodation and control by
subterfuge. The Dominicans were rooted in the past; their dogmatism
admitted of no compromise; they strove to rule by force. There was
therefore, at the outset, war between the kennels of the elder and the
younger dogs of God in Spain. Yet Jesuitism gained ground. It had the
advantage of being a native, and a recent product. It was powerful by
its appeals to the sensuous imagination and carnal superstitions of that
Iberian-Latin people. It was seductive by its mitigation of oppressive
orthodoxy and inflexible prescriptive law. Where the Dominican was
steel, the Jesuit was reed; where the Dominican breathed fire and
fagots, the Jesuit suggested casuistical distinctions; where the
Dominican raised difficulties, the Jesuit solved scruples; where the
Dominican presented theological abstractions, the Jesuit offered
stimulative or agreeable images; where the Dominican preached dogma, the
Jesuit retailed romance. It only needed one illustrious convert to plant
the Jesuits in Spain. Him they found in Francis Borgia, Duke of Gandia,
Viceroy of Catalonia, and subsequently the third General of the Order
and a saint. This man placed the university, which he had founded, in
their hands; and about the same time they gained a footing in the
university of Salamanca. Still they continued to retain their strongest
hold upon the people, who regarded them as saviours from the tyranny and
ennui of the established Dominican hierarchy.

Portugal was won at a blow. Xavier and Rodriguez planted the Company
there under the affectionate protection of King John III. When Xavier
started on his mission to the Indies in 1541, Rodriguez took the affairs
of the realm into his hands, controlled the cabinet, and formed the
heir-apparent to their will.

With France they had more trouble. Both the University and the
Parliament of Paris opposed their settlement. The Sorbonne even declared
them 'dangerous in matters of the faith, fit to disturb the peace of the
Church, and to reverse the order of monastic life; more adapted to
destroy than to build.' The Gallican Church scented danger in these
bondsmen of the Papacy; and it was only when they helped to organize the
League that the influence of the Guises gave them a foothold in the
kingdom. Even then their seminaries at Reims, Douai, and S. Omer must be
rather regarded as outposts _epiteichismoi_ against England and
Flanders, than, as nationally French establishments. In France they long
remained a seditious and belligerent faction.[162]

[Footnote 162: It was not till the epoch of Maria de'Medici's Regency
that the Jesuits obtained firm hold on France.]

They had the same partial and clandestine success in the Low Countries,
where their position was at first equivocal, though they early gained
some practical hold upon the University of Louvain. We are perhaps
justified in attributing the evil fame of Reims, Douai, S. Omer, and
Louvain to the incomplete sympathy which existed between the Jesuits and
the countries where they made these settlements. Not perfectly at home,
surrounded by discontent and jealousy, upon the borderlands of the
heresies they were bound to combat, their system assumed its darkest
colors in those hotbeds of intrigue and feverish fanaticism. In time,
however, the Jesuits fixed their talons firmly upon the Netherlands,
through the favor of Anne of Austria; and the year 1562 saw them
comfortably ensconced at Antwerp, Louvain, Brussels, and Lille, in spite
of the previous antipathy of the population. Here, as elsewhere, they
pushed their way by gaining women and people of birth to their cause,
and by showily meritorious services to education. Faber achieved
ephemeral success as lecturer at Louvain.

To take firm hold on Germany had been the cherished wish of Ignatius;
'for there,' to use his own words, 'the pest of heresy exposed men to
graver dangers than elsewhere.' The Society had scarcely been founded
when Faber, Le Jay, and Bobadilla were sent north. Faber made small
progress, and was removed to Spain. But Bobadilla secured the confidence
of William, Duke of Bavaria; while Le Jay won that of Ferdinand of
Austria. In both provinces they avowed their intention of working at the
reformation of the clergy and the improvement of popular
education--ends, which in the disorganized condition of Germany, seemed
of highest importance to those princes. Through the influence of
Bavaria, Bobadilla succeeded in rendering the Interim proclaimed by
Charles V. nugatory; while Le Jay founded the college of the Order at
Vienna. In this important post he was soon succeeded by Canisius,
Ferdinand's confessor, through whose co-operation Cardinal Morone
afterwards brought this Emperor into harmony with the Papal plan for
winding up the Council of Trent. It should be added that Ingolstadt, in
Bavaria, became the second headquarters of the Jesuit propaganda in

The methods adopted by Ignatius in dealing with his three lieutenants,
Bobadilla, Le Jay, and Canisius, are so characteristic of Jesuit policy
that they demand particular attention. Checkmated by Bobadilla in the
matter of the Interim, Charles V. manifested his resentment. He was
already ill-affected toward the Society, and its founder felt the need
of humoring him. The highest grade of the Order was therefore
ostentatiously refused to Bobadilla, until such time as the Emperor's
attention was distracted from the cause of his disappointment. With Le
Jay and Canisius the case stood differently. Ferdinand wished to make
the former Bishop of Triest and the latter Archbishop of Vienna.
Ignatius opposed both projects, alleging that the Company of Jesus could
not afford to part with its best servants, and that their vows of
obedience and poverty were inconsistent with high office in the Church.
He discerned the necessity of reducing each member of the Society to
absolute dependence on the General, which would have been impracticable
if any one of them attained to the position of a prelate. A law was
therefore passed declaring it mortal sin for Jesuits to accept
bishoprics or other posts of honor in the Church. Instead of assuming
the miter, Canisius was permitted to administer the See of Vienna
without usufruct of its revenues. To the world this manifested the
disinterested zeal of the Jesuits in a seductive light; while the
integrity of the Society, as an independent self-sufficing body,
exacting the servitude of absolute devotion from its members, was
secured. Another instance of the same adroitness may be mentioned. The
Emperor in 1552 offered a Cardinal's hat to Francis Borgia, who was by
birth the most illustrious of living Jesuits. Ignatius refrained from
rebuffing the Emperor and insulting the Duke of Gandia by an open
prohibition; but he told the former to expect the Duke's refusal, while
he wrote to the latter expressing his own earnest hope that he would
renounce an honor injurious to the Society. This diplomacy elicited a
grateful but firm answer of _Nolo Episcopari_ from the Duke, who thus
took the responsibility of offending Charles V. upon himself. Meanwhile
the missionary objects of the Company were not neglected. Xavier left
Portugal in 1541 for that famous journey through India and China, the
facts of which may be compared for their romantic interest with Cortes'
or Pizarro's exploits. Brazil, the transatlantic Portugal, was abandoned
to the Jesuits, and they began to feel their way in Mexico. In the year
of Loyola's death, 1561, thirty-two members of the Society were
resident in South America; one hundred in India, China, and Japan; and a
mission was established in Ethiopia. Even Ireland had been explored by a
couple of fathers, who returned without success, after undergoing
terrible hardships. At this epoch the Society counted in round numbers
one thousand men. It was divided in Europe into thirteen provinces:
seven of these were Portuguese and Spanish; three were Italian, namely,
Rome, Upper Italy, and Sicily; one was French; two were German. Castile
contained ten colleges of the Order; Aragon, five; Andalusia, five.
Portugal was penetrated through and through with Jesuits. Rome displayed
the central Roman and Teutonic colleges. Upper Italy had ten colleges.
France could show only one college. In Upper Germany the Company held
firm hold on Vienna, Prag, Munich, and Ingolstadt. The province of Lower
Germany, including the Netherlands, was still undetermined. This
expansion of the Order during the first sixteen years of its existence,
enables us to form some conception of the intellectual vigor and
commanding will of Ignatius. He lived, as no founder of an order, as few
founders of religions, ever lived, to see his work accomplished, and the
impress of his genius stereotyped exactly in the forms he had designed,
upon the most formidable social and political organization of modern

In his administration of the Order, Ignatius was absolute and
autocratic. We have seen how he dealt with aspirants after
ecclesiastical honors, and how he shifted his subordinates, as he
thought best, from point to point upon the surface of the globe. The
least attempt at independence on the part of his most trusted
lieutenants was summarily checked by him. Simon Rodriguez, one of the
earliest disciples of the College of S. Barbe at Paris, ruled the
kingdom of Portugal through the ascendency which he had gained over John
III. Elated by the vastness of his victory, Rodriguez arrogated to
himself the right of private judgment, and introduced that ascetic
discipline into the houses of his province which Ignatius had forbidden
as inexpedient. Without loss of time, the General superseded him in his
command; and, after a sharp struggle, Rodriguez was compelled to spend
the rest of his days under strict surveillance at Rome. Lainez, in like
manner, while acting as Provincial of Upper Italy, thought fit to
complain that his best coadjutors were drawn from the colleges under his
control, to Rome. Ignatius wrote to this old friend, the man who best
understood the spirit of its institution, and who was destined to
succeed him in his headship, a cold and terrible epistle. 'Reflect upon
your conduct. Let me know whether you acknowledge your sin, and tell me
at the same time what punishment you are ready to undergo for this
dereliction of duty.' Lainez expressed immediate submission in the most
abject terms; he was ready to resign his post, abstain from preaching,
confine his studies to the Breviary, walk as a beggar to Rome, and
there teach grammar to children, or perform menial offices. This was all
Ignatius wanted. If he were the Christ of the Society, he well knew that
Lainez was its S. Paul. He could not prevent him from being his
successor, and he probably was well aware that Lainez would complete and
supplement what he must leave unfinished in his life-work. The groveling
apology of such an eminent apostle, dictated as it was by hypocrisy and
cunning, sufficed to procure his pardon, and remained among the archives
of the Jesuits as a model for the spirit in which obedience should be
manifested by them.

Obedience was, in fact, the cardinal and dominant quality of the Jesuit
Order. To call it a virtue, in the sense in which Ignatius understood
it, is impossible. The _Exercitia_, the Constitutions, and the Letter to
the Portuguese Jesuits, all of which undoubtedly explain Loyola's views,
reveal to us the essence of historical Jesuitry, the _fons et origo_ of
that long-continued evil which impested modern society. Let us examine
some of his precepts on this topic. 'I ought to desire to be ruled by a
superior who endeavors to subjugate my judgment and subdue my
understanding.'--'When it seems to me that I am commanded by my superior
to do a thing against which my conscience revolts as sinful, and my
superior judges otherwise, it is my duty to yield my doubts to him,
unless I am constrained by evident reasons.'--'I ought not to be my own,
but His who created me, and his too through whom God governs me.'--'I
ought to be like a corpse, which has neither will nor understanding;
like a crucifix, that is turned about by him that holds it; like a staff
in the hands of an old man, who uses it at will for his assistance or
pleasure.'--'In our Company the person who commands must never be
regarded in his own capacity, but as Jesus Christ in him.'--'I desire
that you strive and exercise yourselves to recognize Christ our Lord in
every Superior.'--'He who wishes to offer himself wholly up to God, must
make the sacrifice not only of his will but of his intelligence.'--'In
order to secure the faithful and successful execution of a Superior's
orders, all private judgment must be yielded up.'--'A sin, whether
venial or mortal, must be committed, if it is commanded by the Superior
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, or in virtue of obedience.' Of
such nature was the virtue of obedience within the Order.[163] It
rendered every member a tool in the hands of his immediate Superior, and
the whole body one instrument in the hand of the General. The General's
responsibility for the oblique acts and evasions of moral law, committed
in the name of this virtue, was covered by the sounding phrase, 'Unto
the greater glory of God.'

[Footnote 163: The letter addressed by Ignatius to the Portuguese
Jesuits, March 22, 1553, on the virtue of obedience, the Constitutions
and the glosses on them called Declarations, and the last chapter of the
_Exercitia_, furnish the above sentences. _See_, too, Philippson, _op.
cit._ pp. 60, 120-124.]

He had also his own duty of obedience, which was to Holy Church. 'In
making the sacrifice of our own judgment, the mind must keep itself ever
whole and ready for obedience to the spouse of Christ, our Holy Mother,
the Church orthodox, apostolical and hierarchical.'[164] Not a portion
of the Catholic creed, of Catholic habits, of Catholic institutions, of
Catholic superstitions, but must be valiantly defended.--'It is our duty
loudly to uphold reliques, the cult of saints, stations, pilgrimages
indulgences, jubilees, the candles which are lighted before altars.' To
criticise the clergy, even though notoriously corrupt, is a sin. The
philosophy of the Church, as expressed by S. Thomas Aquinas, S.
Bonaventura, and others, must be recognized as equal in authority with
Holy Writ. It follows that just as a subordinate was enjoined to sin, if
sin were ordered by his Superior, so the whole Company were bound to
lie, and do the things they disapproved, and preach the mummeries in
which they disbelieved, in virtue of obedience to the Church. They may
not even trust their senses; for 'If the Church pronounces a thing which
seems to us white to be black, we must immediately say that it is

[Footnote 164: Read in the _Exercitia_ (_Inst. Jesu_, vol. iv. p.
167-173) the Rules for right accord with the Orthodox Church. What
follows above is taken from that chapter.]

[Footnote 165: _Exercitia_, ibid. p. 171. In this spirit a Jesuit of the
present century writing on astronomy develops the heliocentric theory
while he professes his submission to the geocentric theory as maintained
by the Church.]

The Jesuits were enrolled as an army, in an hour of grave peril for the
Church, to undertake her defense. They pledged themselves, by this vow
of obedience, to perform that duty with their eyes shut. It was not
their mission to reform or purify or revivify Catholicism, but to
maintain it intact with all its intellectual anachronisms. How well they
succeeded may be judged from the issue of the Council of Trent, in which
Lainez and Salmeron played so prominent a part. That rigid enforcement
of every jot and tittle in the Catholic hierarchical organization, in
Catholic ritual, in the Catholic cult of saints and images, in the
Catholic interpretation of Sacraments, in Catholic tradition as of equal
value with the Bible, and lastly in the theory of Papal Supremacy, which
was the astounding result of a Council convened to alter and reform the
Church, can be attributed in no small measure to Jesuit persistency.

Ignatius attained his object. Obedience, blind, servile, unquestioning,
unscrupulous, became the distinguishing feature of the Jesuits. But he
condemned his Order to mediocrity. No really great man in any department
of human knowledge or activity has arisen in the Company of Jesus. In
course of time it became obvious to any one of independent character and
original intellect that their ranks were not the place for him. And if
youths of real eminence entered it before they perceived this truth,
their spirit was crushed. The machine was powerful enough for good and
evil; but it remained an aggregate of individual inferiorities. Its
merit and its perfection lay in this, that so complex an instrument
could be moved by a single finger of the General in Rome. He
consistently employed its delicate system of wheels and pulleys for the
aggrandizement of the Order in the first place, in the second place for
the control of the Catholic Church, and always for the subjugation and
cretinization of the mind of Europe.

The training of a Jesuit began with study of the _Exercitia
Spiritualia_.[166] This manual had been composed by Loyola himself at
intervals between 1522 and 1548, when it received the imprimatur of Pope
Paul III. He based it on his own experiences at Manresa, and meant it to
serve as a perpetual introduction to the mysteries of the religious
life. It was used under the direction of a father, who prescribed a
portion of its text for each day's meditation, employing various means
to concentrate attention and enforce effect. The whole course of this
spiritual drill extended over four weeks, during which the pupil
remained in solitude. Light and sound and all distractions of the outer
world were carefully excluded from his chamber. He was bidden to direct
his soul inward upon itself and God, and was led by graduated stages to
realize in the most vivid way the torments of the damned and the scheme
of man's, salvation. The first week was occupied in an examination of
the conscience; the second in contemplation of Christ's Kingdom upon
earth; the third in meditation on the Passion; the fourth in an ascent
to the glory of the risen Lord. Materialism of the crudest type mingled
with the indulgence of a reverie in this long spiritual journey. At
every step the neophyte employed his five senses in the effort of
intellectual realization. Prostrate upon the ground, gazing with closed
eyelids in the twilight of his cell upon the mirror of imagination, he
had to _see_ the boundless flames of hell and souls encased in burning
bodies, to _hear_ the shrieks and blasphemies, to _smell_ their sulphur
and intolerable stench, to _taste_ the bitterness of tears and _feel_
the stings of ineffectual remorse.

[Footnote 166: _Inst. Soc. Jesu_, vol. iv. The same volume contains the
Directorium, or rules for the use of the _Exercitia_.]

He had to localize each object in the camera obscura of the brain. If
the Garden of Gethsemane, for instance, were the subject of his
meditation, he was bound to place Christ here and the sleeping apostles
there, and to form an accurate image of the angel and the cup. He gazed
and gazed, until he was able to handle the raiment of the Saviour, to
watch the drops of bloody sweat beading his forehead and trickling down
his cheeks, to grasp the chalice with the fingers of the soul. As each
carefully chosen and sagaciously suggested scene was presented, he had
to identify his very being, soul, will, intellect, and senses, with the
mental vision. He lived again, so far as this was possible through
fancy, the facts of sacred history. If the director judged it advisable,
symbolic objects were placed before him in the cell; at one time skulls
and bones, at another fresh sweetsmelling flowers. Fasting and
flagellation, peculiar postures of the body, groanings and weepings,
were prescribed as mechanical aids in cases where the soul seemed
sluggish. The sphere traversed in these exercises was a narrow one. The
drill aimed at intensity of discipline, at a concentrated and concrete
impression, not at width of education or at intellectual enlightenment.
Speculation upon the fundamental principles of religion was excluded.
God's dealings with mankind revealed in the Old Testament found no place
in this theory of salvation. Attention was riveted upon a very few
points in the life of Christ and Mary, such as every Catholic child
might be supposed to be familiar with. But it was fixed in such a way as
to bring the terrors and raptures of the mystics, of a S. Catharine or a
S. Teresa, within the reach of all; to place spiritual experience _à la
portée de tout le monde_. The vulgarity is only equaled by the ingenuity
and psychological adroitness of the method. The soul inspired with
carnal dread of the doom impending over it, passed into almost physical
contact with the incarnate Saviour. The designed effect was to induce a
vivid and varied hypnotic dream of thirty days, from the influence of
which a man should never wholly free himself. The end at which he
arrived upon this path of self-scrutiny and materialistic realization,
was the conclusion that his highest hope, his most imperative duty, lay
in the resignation of his intellect and will to spiritual guidance, and
in blind obedience to the Church. Thousands and thousands of souls in
the modern world have passed through this discipline; and those who
responded to it best, have ever been selected, when this was possible,
as novices of the Order. The director had ample opportunity of observing
at each turn in the process whether his neophyte displayed a likely

When the _Exercitia_ had been performed, there was an end of asceticism.
Ignatius, as we have seen, dreaded nothing more than the intrusion of
that dark spirit into his Company; he aimed at nothing more earnestly
than at securing agreeable manners, a cheerful temper, and ability for
worldly business in its members.

The novice, when first received into one of the Jesuit houses, was
separated, so far as possible, for two years from his family, and placed
under the control of a master, who inspected his correspondence and
undertook the full surveillance of his life. He received cautiously
restricted information on the constitutions of the Society, and was
recommended, instead of renouncing his worldly possessions, to reserve
his legal rights and make oblation of them when he took the vows. It was
not then made clear to him that what he gave would never under any
circumstances be restored, although the Society might send him forth at
will a penniless wanderer into the world. Yet this was the hard
condition of a Jesuit's existence. After entering the order, he owned
nothing, and he had no power to depart if he repented. But the General
could cashier him by a stroke of the pen, condemning him to destitution
in every land where Jesuits held sway, and to suspicion in every land
where Jesuits were loathed. Before the end of two years, the novice
generally signed an obligation to assume the vows. He was then drafted
into the secular or spiritual service. Some novices became what is
called Temporal Coadjutors; their duty was to administer the property of
the Society, to superintend its houses, to distribute alms, to work in
hospitals, to cook, garden, wash, and act as porters. They took the
three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Those, on the other
hand, who showed some aptitude for learning, were classified as
Scholastics, and were distributed among the colleges of the order. They
studied languages, sciences, and theology, for a period of five years;
after which they taught in schools for another period of five or six
years; and when they reached the age of about thirty, they might be
ordained priests with the title of Spiritual Coadjutors. From this body
the Society drew the rectors and professors of its colleges, its
preachers, confessors, and teachers in schools for the laity. They were
not yet full members, though they had taken the three vows, and were
irrevocably devoted to the service of the order. The final stage of
initiation was reached toward the age of forty-five, after long and
various trials. Then the Jesuit received the title of Professed. He was
either a professed of the three vows, or a professed of the four vows;
having in the latter case dedicated his life to the special service of
the Papacy, in missions or in any other cause. The professed of four
vows constituted the veritable Company of Jesus, the kernel of the
organization. They were never numerous. At Loyola's death they numbered
thirty-five out of a thousand; and it has been calculated that their
average proportion to the whole body is as two to a hundred.[167] Even
these had no indefeasible tenure of their place in the Society. They
might be dismissed by the General without indemnification.

[Footnote 167: Philippson, _op. cit._ p. 142.]

The General was chosen for life from the professed of four vows by the
General Congregation, which consisted of the provincials and two members
of each province. He held the whole Society at his discretion; for he
could deal at pleasure with each part of its machinery. The
constitutions, strict as they appeared, imposed no barriers upon his
will; for almost unlimited power was surrendered to him of dispensing
with formalities, freeing from obligations, shortening or lengthening
the periods of initiation, retarding or advancing a member in his
career. Ideal fixity of type, qualified by the utmost elasticity in
practice, formed the essence of the system. And we shall see that this
principle pervaded the Jesuit treatment of morality. The General resided
at Rome, consecrated solely to the government of the Society, holding
the threads of all its complicated affairs in his hands, studying the
personal history of each of its members in the minute reports which he
constantly received from every province, and acting precisely as he
chose with the highest as well as the lowest of his subordinates.
Contrary to all precedents of previous religious orders, Ignatius framed
the Company of Jesus upon the lines of a close aristocracy with
autocratic authority confided to an elected chief. Yet the General of
the Jesuits, like the Doge of Venice, had his hands tied by subtly
powerful though almost invisible fetters. He was subjected at every hour
of the day and night to the surveillance of five sworn spies, especially
appointed to prevent him from altering the type or neglecting the
concerns of the Order. The first of these functionaries, named the
Administrator, who was frequently also the confessor of the General,
exhorted him to obedience, and reminded him that he must do all things
for the glory of God. Obedience and the glory of God, in Jesuit
phraseology, meant the maintenance of the Company. The other four were
styled Assistants. They had under their charge the affairs of the chief
provinces; one overseeing the Indies, another Portugal and Spain, a
third France and Germany, a fourth Italy and Sicily. Together with the
Administrator, the Assistants were nominated by the General Congregation
and could not be removed or replaced without its sanction. It was their
duty to regulate the daily life of the General, to control his private
expenditure on the scale which they determined, to prescribe what he
should eat and drink, and to appoint his hours for sleep, and religious
exercises, and the transaction of public business. If they saw grave
reasons for his deposition, they were bound to convene the General
Congregation for that purpose. And since the Founder knew that guardians
need to be guarded, he provided that the Provincials might convene this
assembly to call in question the acts of the Assistants. The General
himself had no power to oppose its convocation.

The Company of Jesus was thus based upon a system of mutual and
pervasive espionage. The novice on first entering had all his acts,
habits, and personal qualities registered. As he advanced in his career,
he was surrounded by jealous brethren, who felt it their duty to report
his slightest weakness to a superior. The superiors were watched by one
another and by their inferiors. Masses of secret intelligence poured
into the central cabinet of the General; and the General himself ate,
slept, prayed, worked, and moved about the world beneath the fixed gaze
of ten vigilant eyes. Men accustomed to domesticity and freedom may
wonder that life should have been tolerable upon these terms. Yet we
must remember that from the moment when a youth had undergone the
_Exercitia_ and taken the vows, he became no less in fact than in spirit
_perinde ac cadaver_ in the hands of his superior. The Company replaced
for him both family and state; and in spite of the fourth vow, it is
very evident that the Black Pope, as the General came to be nicknamed,
owned more of his allegiance than the White Pope, who filled the chair
of S. Peter. He could, indeed, at any moment be expelled and ruined. But
if he served the Order well, he belonged to a vast incalculably-potent
organism, of which he might naturally, after such training as he had
received, be proud. The sacrifice of his personal volition and
intelligence made him part of an indestructible corporation, which
seemed capable of breaking all resistance by its continuity of will and
effecting all purposes by its condensed sagacity. Nor was he in the
hands of rigid disciplinarians. His peccadilloes were condoned, unless
the credit of the order came in question. His natural abilities obtained
free scope for their employment; for it suited the interest of the
Company to make the most of each member's special gifts. He had no
tedious duties of the regular monastic routine to follow. He was
encouraged to become a man of the world, and to mix freely with society.
And thus, while he resigned himself, he lived the large life of a
complex microcosm. Nor were men of resolute ambition without the
prospect of eventually swaying an authority beyond that possessed by
princes; for any one of the professed might rise to the supreme power in
the order.

Something must be said about Loyola's interpretation of the vow of
poverty. During his lifetime the Company acquired considerable wealth;
and after his death it became a large owner of estates in Europe. How
was this consistent with the observance of that vow, so strictly
inculcated by the founder on his first disciples, and so pompously
proclaimed in their constitutions? The professed and all their houses,
as well as their churches, were bound to subsist on alms; they preached,
administered the sacraments of the Church, and educated gratis. They
could inherit nothing, and were not allowed to receive money for their
journeys. But here appeared the wisdom of restricting the numbers of the
professed to a small percentage of the whole Society. The same rigid
prohibition with regard to property was not imposed upon the houses of
novices, colleges, and other educational establishments of the Jesuits;
while the secular coadjutors were specially appointed for the
administration of wealth which the professed might use but could not
own.[168] In like manner, as they lived on alms, there was no objection
to a priest of the order receiving valuable gifts in cash or kind from
grateful recipients of his spiritual bounty. A separate article of the
constitutions furthermore reserved for the General the right of
accepting any donation whatsoever, made in favor of the whole Company,
and of assigning capital or revenue as he judged wisest.

[Footnote 168: Quinet calculates that at the close of the sixteenth
century there were twenty-one houses of the professed (incapable of
owning property) to 293 colleges (free from this inability).]

Scholastics, even after they had taken the vow of poverty, were not
obliged to relinquish their private possessions. Sooner or later, it was
hoped that these would become the property of the order. In a word, the
principle of this solemn obligation was so manipulated as to facilitate
the acquisition and accumulation of wealth by the Jesuit like any other
corporation. Only no individual Jesuit owned anything. He was rich or
poor, he wore the clothes of princes or the rags of a mendicant, he
lived sumptuously or begged in the street, he traveled with a following
of servants or he walked on foot, according as it seemed good to his
superiors. The vow of poverty, thus interpreted in practice, meant a
total disengagement from temporalities on the part of every member, an
absolute dependence of each subordinate upon his superior in the

Having thus far treated the organization of the Jesuits as implicit in
Loyola's own conception and administration, I ought to add that it
received definite form from his successor, Lainez. The founder
pronounced the Constitutions in 1553. But they were thoroughly revised
after his death in 1558, at which date they first issued from the press.
Lainez, again, supplemented these laws with a perpetual commentary,
which is styled the Declarations. These contain the bulk of those
easements and indulgent interpretations, whereby the strictness of the
original rules was explained away, and an almost unbounded elasticity
was communicated to the system.

It would be rash to pronounce a decided opinion upon the much disputed
question, whether, in addition to their Constitutions and Declarations,
the Jesuits were provided with an esoteric code of rules known as
_Monita Secreta_.[169] The existence of such a manual, which was
supposed to contain the very pith of Jesuitical policy, has been
confidently asserted and no less confidently denied. In the absence of
direct evidence, it may be worth quoting two passages from Sarpi's
Letters, which prove that this keen-sighted observer believed the
Society to be governed in its practice by statutes inaccessible to all
but its most trusted members. 'I have always admired the policy of the
Jesuits,' he writes in 1608, 'and their method of maintaining secrecy.
Their Constitutions are in print, and yet one cannot set eyes upon a
copy. I do not mean their Rules, which are published at Lyons, for those
are mere puerilities; but the digest of laws which guide their conduct
of the order, and which they keep concealed. Every day many members
leave, or are expelled from the Company; and yet their artifices are not
exposed to view.'[170] In another letter, of the date 1610, Sarpi
returns to the same point. 'The Jesuits before this Aquaviva was elected
General were saints in comparison with what they afterwards became.
Formerly they had not mixed in affairs of state or thought of governing
cities. Since then, they have indulged a hope of controlling the whole

[Footnote 169: A book with this title was published in 1612 at Cracow.
It was declared a forgery at Rome by a congregation of Cardinals.]

[Footnote 170: _Lettere_, vol. i. p. 100.]

And I am sure that the least part of their Cabala is in the Ordinances
and Constitutions of 1570. All the same, I am very glad to possess even
these. Their true Cabala they never communicate to any but men who have
been well tested, and proved by every species of trial; nor is it
possible for those who have been initiated into it, to think of retiring
from the order, since the congregation, through their excellent
management of its machinery, know how to procure the immediate death of
any such initiated member who may wish to leave their ranks.'[171]
Probably the mistake which Sarpi and the world made, was in supposing
that the Jesuits needed a written code for their most vital action.
Being a potent and life-penetrated organism, the secret of their policy
was not such as could be reduced to rule. It was not such as, if reduced
to rule, could have been plastic in the affairs of public importance
which the Company sought to control. Better than rule or statute, it was
biological function. The supreme deliberative bodies of the order
created, transmitted, and continuously modified its tradition of policy.
This tradition some member, partially initiated into their counsels, may
have reduced to precepts in the published _Monita Secreta_ of 1612. But
the quintessential flame which breathed a breath of life into the fabric
of the Jesuits through two centuries of organic activity, was far too
vivid and too spiritual to be condensed in any charter. A friar and a
jurist, like Sarpi, expected to discover some controlling code. The
public, grossly ignorant of evolutionary laws in the formation of social
organisms, could not comprehend the non-existence of this code.
Adventurers supplied the demand from their knowledge of the ruling
policy. But like the _Liber Trium Impostorum_ we may regard the _Monita
Secreta_ of the Jesuits as an _ex post facto_ fabrication.

[Footnote 171: _Lettere_, vol. ii. p. 174.]

There is no need to trace the further history of the Jesuits. Their part
in the Counter-Reformation has rather been exaggerated than
insufficiently recognized. Though it was incontestably considerable, we
cannot now concede, as Macaulay in his random way conceded to this
Company, the _spolia opima_ of down-beaten Protestantism. Without the
ecclesiastical reform which originated in the Tridentine Council;
without the gold and sword of Spain; without the stakes and prisons of
the Inquisition; without the warfare against thought conducted by the
Congregation of the Index; the Jesuits alone could not have masterfully
governed the Catholic revival. That revival was a movement of
world-historical importance, in which they participated. It was their
fortune to find forces in the world which they partially understood; it
was their merit to know how to manipulate those forces; it was their
misfortune and their demerit that they proved themselves incapable of
diverting those forces to any wholesome end. In Italy a succession of
worldly Popes, Paul III., Julius III., Pius IV., and Gregory XIII.,
heaped favors and showered wealth upon the order. The Jesuits
incarnated the political spirit of the Papacy at this epoch; they lent
it a potency for good and evil which the decrepit but still vigorous
institution arrogated to itself. They adapted its anachronisms with
singular adroitness to the needs of modern society. They transfused
their throbbing blood into its flaccid veins, until it became doubtful
whether the Papacy had been absorbed into the Jesuits, or whether the
Jesuits had remodeled the Papacy for contemporary uses. But this
tendency in the aspiring order to identify itself with Rome, this
ambition to command the prestige of Rome as leverage for carrying out
its own designs, stirred the resentment of haughty and _intransigeant_
Pontiffs. The Jesuits were not beloved by Paul IV., Pius V., and Sixtus

It remains, however, to inquire in what the originality, the effective
operation, and the modifying influence of the Jesuit Society consisted
during the period with which we are concerned. It was their object to
gain control over Europe by preaching, education, the direction of
souls, and the management of public affairs. In each of these
departments their immediate success was startling; for they labored with
zeal, and they adapted their methods to the requirements of the age.
Yet, in the long run, art, science, literature, religion, morality and
politics, all suffered from their interference. By preferring artifice
to reality, affectation to sincerity, shams and subterfuges to plain
principle and candor, they confused the conscience and enfeebled the
intellect of Catholic Europe. When we speak of the Jesuit style in
architecture, rhetoric and poetry, of Jesuit learning and scholarship,
of Jesuit casuistry and of Jesuit diplomacy, it is either with languid
contempt for bad taste and insipidity, or with the burning indignation
which systematic falsehood and corruption inspire in honorable minds.

In education, the Jesuits, if they did not precisely innovate, improved
upon the methods of the grammarians which had persisted from the Middle
Ages through the Renaissance. They spared no pains in training a large
and competent body of professors, men of extensive culture, formed upon
one uniform pattern, and exercised in the art of popularizing knowledge.
These teachers were distributed over the Jesuit colleges; and in every
country their system was the same. New catechisms, grammars, primers,
manuals of history, enabled their pupils to learn with facility in a few
months what it had cost years of painful labor to acquire under pompous
pedants of the old _régime_. The mental and physical aptitudes of youths
committed to their charge were carefully observed; and classes were
adapted to various ages and degrees of capacity. Hours of recreation
alternated with hours of study, so that the effort of learning should be
neither irksome nor injurious to health. Nor was religious education
neglected. Attendance upon daily Mass, monthly confession, and
instruction in the articles of the faith, formed an indispensable part
of the system. When we remember that these advantages were offered
gratuitously to the public, it is not surprising that people of all
ranks and conditions should have sent their boys to the Jesuit colleges.
Even Protestants availed themselves of what appeared so excellent a
method; and the Jesuits obtained the reputation of being the best
instructors of youth.[172] It soon became the mark of a good Catholic to
have frequented Jesuit schools; and in after life a pupil who had
studied creditably in their colleges, found himself everywhere at home.
Yet the Society took but little interest in elementary or popular
education. Their object was to gain possession of the nobility, gentry,
and upper middle class. The proletariat might remain ignorant; it was
the destiny of such folk to be passive instruments in the hands of
spiritual and temporal rulers. Nor were they always scrupulous in the
means employed for taking hold on young men of distinction. One instance
of the animosity they aroused, even in Italy, at an early period of
their activity, will suffice. Tuscany was thrown into commotion by the
discovery of their designs upon the boys they undertook to teach.

[Footnote 172: See Sarpi's _Letters_, vol. i. p. 352, for Protestant
pupils of Jesuits. Sarpi's _Memorial to the Signory of Venice on the
Collegio de'Greci in Rome_ exposes the fallacy of their being reputed
the best teachers of youth, by pointing out how their aim is to withdraw
their pupils' allegiance from the nation, the government, and the
family, to themselves.]

'They were so madly bent,' says Galluzzi, 'upon filling the ranks of
their Company with individuals of wealth and birth, that in 1584, in the
single city of Siena, under the pretense of devotion, they seduced
thirty youths of the noblest and richest houses, not without great
injury to their families and grief to their parents. The most notorious
of these cases Was that of two sons of Pandolfo Petrucci, whose name
indicates his high position in the aristocracy of Siena. These young men
they got into their power by inducing them to commit a theft, and then
compelled them to pledge fealty to the Society. Escaping by night in the
direction of Rome, the lads were arrested by the city guards, and
confessed that they had agreed to meet two Jesuits, who were waiting to
conduct them on their journey.'[173]

[Footnote 173: _Storia del Granducato di Toscana_, vol. iv. p. 275.]

It was, indeed, not the propagation of sound principles or liberal
learning, but the aggrandizement of the order and the enforcement of
Catholic usages, at which the Jesuits aimed in their scheme of
education. This was noticeable in their attitude toward literature and
science. Michelet has described their method in a brilliant and exact
metaphor, as the attempt to counteract the poison of free thought and
stimulative studies by means of vaccination. They taught the classics in
expurgated editions, history in drugged epitomes, science in popular
lectures. Instead of banning what M. Renan is wont to style _études
fortes_, they undertook to emasculate these and render them innocuous.
While Bruno was burned by the Inquisition for proclaiming what the
Copernican discovery involved for faith and metaphysics, Father Koster
at Cologne vulgarized it into something pretty and agreeable. While
Scaliger and Casaubon used the humanities as a propaedeutic of the
virile reason, the Jesuits contrived to sterilize and mechanize their
influences by insipid rhetoric. Everywhere through Europe, by the side
of stalwart thinkers, crept plausible Jesuit professors, following the
light of learning like its shadow, mimicking the accent of the gods like
parrots, and mocking their gestures like apes. Their adroit admixture of
falsehood with truth in all departments of knowledge, their substitution
of veneer for solid timber, and of pinchbeck for sterling metal, was
more profitable to the end they had in view than the torture-chamber of
the Inquisition or the quarantine of the Index. Mediocrities and
respectabilities of every description--that is to say, the majority of
the influential classes--were delighted with their method. What could be
better than to see sons growing up, good Catholics in all external
observances, devoted to the order of society and Mother Church, and at
the same time showy Latinists, furnished with a cyclopaedia of current
knowledge, glib at speechifying, ingenious in the construction of an
epigram or compliment? If some of the more sensible sort grumbled that
Jesuit learning was shallow, and Jesuit morality of base alloy, the
reply, like that of an Italian draper selling palpable shoddy for
broadcloth, came easily and cynically to the surface: _Imita bene_! The
stuff is a good match enough! What more do you want? To produce
plausible imitations, to save appearances, to amuse the mind with
tricks, was the last resort of Catholicism in its warfare against
rationalism. And such is the banality of human nature as a whole, that
the Jesuits, those monopolists of Brummagem manufactures, achieved
eminent success. Their hideous churches, daubed with plaster painted to
resemble costly marbles, encrusted with stucco polished to deceive the
eye, loaded with gewgaws and tinsel and superfluous ornament and
frescoes, turning flat surfaces into cupolas and arcades, passed for
masterpieces of architectonic beauty. The conceits of their pulpit
oratory, its artificial cadences and flowery verbiage, its theatrical
appeals to gross sensations, wrought miracles and converted thousands.
Their sickly Ciceronian style, their sentimental books of piety, 'the
worse for being warm,' the execrable taste of their poetry, their flimsy
philosophy and disingenuous history, infected the taste of Catholic
Europe like a slow seductive poison, flattering and accelerating the
diseases of mental decadence. Sound learning died down beneath the
tyranny of the Inquisition, the Index, the Council of Trent, Spain and
the Papacy. A rank growth of unwholesome culture arose and flourished on
its tomb under the forcing-frames of Jesuitry. But if we peruse the
records of literature and science during the last three centuries, few
indeed are the eminences even of a second order which can be claimed by
the Company of Jesus.

The same critique applies to Jesuit morality. It was the Company's aim
to control the conscience by direction and confession, and especially
the conscience of princes, women, youths in high position. To do so by
plain speaking and honest dealing was clearly dangerous. The world had
had enough of Dominican austerity and dogmatism. To do so by open
toleration and avowed cynicism did not suit the temper of the time. A
reform of the monastic orders and the regular clergy had been undertaken
by the Church. Pardoners, palmers, indulgence-mongers, jolly Franciscan
confessors, and such-like folk were out of date. But the Jesuits were
equal to the exigencies of the moment. We have seen how Ignatius
recommended fishers of souls to humor queasy consciences. His successors
expanded and applied the hint.--You must not begin by talking about
spiritual things to people immersed in worldly interests. That is as
simple as trying to fish without bait. On the contrary, you must
insinuate yourself into their confidence by studying their habits, and
spying out their propensities. You must appear to notice little at the
first, and show yourself a good companion. When you become acquainted
with the bosom sins and pleasant vices of folk in high position, you can
lead them on the path of virtue at your pleasure. You must certainly
tell them then that indulgence in sensuality, falsehood, fraud,
violence, covetousness, and tyrannical oppression, is unconditionally
wrong. Make no show of compromise with evil in the gross; but refine
away the evil by distinctions, reservations, hypothetical conditions,
until it disappears. Explain how hard it is to know whether a sin be
venial or mortal, and how many chances there are against its being in
any strict sense a sin at all. Do not leave folk to their own blunt
sense of right and wrong, but let them admire the finer edge of your
scalpel, while you shred up evil into morsels they can hardly see. A
ready way may thus be opened for the satisfaction of every human desire
without falling into theological faults. The advantages are manifest.
You will be able to absolve with a clear conscience. Your penitent will
abound in gratitude and open out his heart to you. You will fulfill your
function as confessor and counselor. He will be secured for the sacred
ends of our Society, and will contribute to the greater glory of
God.--It was thus that the Jesuit labyrinth of casuistry, with its
windings, turnings, secret chambers, whispering galleries, blind alleys,
issues of evasion, came into existence; the whole vicious and monstrous
edifice being crowned with the saving virtue of obedience, and the
theory of ends justifying means. After the irony of Pascal, the
condensed rage of La Chalotais, and the grave verdict of the Parlement
of Paris (1762), it is not necessary now to refute the errors or to
expose the abominations of this casuistry in detail.[174] Yet it cannot
be wholly passed in silence here; for its application materially favored
the influence of Jesuits in modern Europe.

[Footnote 174: Having mentioned the names of these illustrious
Frenchmen, I feel bound to point out how accurately their criticism of
the Jesuits was anticipated by Paolo Sarpi. His correspondence between
the years 1608 and 1622 demonstrates that this body of social corrupters
had been early recognized by him in their true light. Sarpi calls them
'sottilissimi maestri in mal fare,' 'donde esce ogni falsità et
bestemmia,' 'il vero morbo Gallico,' 'peste pubblica,' 'peste del mondo'
(_Letters_, vol. i. pp. 142, 183, 245, ii. 82, 109). He says that they
'hanno messo l'ultima mano a stabilire una corruzione universale' (_ib._
vol. i. p. 304). By their equivocations and mental reservations 'fanno
essi prova di gabbare Iddio' (_ib._ vol. ii. p. 82). 'La menzogna non
iscusano soltanto ma lodano' (_ib._ vol. ii. p. 106). So far, the
utterances which I have quoted might pass for the rhetoric of mere
spite. But the portrait gradually becomes more definite in details
limned from life. 'The Jesuits have so many loopholes for escape,
pretexts, colors of insinuation, that they are more changeful than the
Sophist of Plato; and when one thinks to have caught them between thumb
and finger, they wriggle out and vanish' (_ib._ vol. i. p. 230). 'The
Jesuit fathers have methods of acquiring in this world, and making their
neophytes acquire, heaven without diminution, or rather with
augmentation, of this life's indulgences' (_ib._ vol. i. p. 313). 'The
Jesuit fathers used to confer Paradise; they now have become dispensers
of fame in this world' (_ibid._ p. 363). 'When they seek entrance into
any place, they do not hesitate to make what promises may be demanded of
them, possessing as they do the art of escape by lying with
equivocations and mental reservations' (_ib._ vol. ii. p. 147). 'The
Jesuit is a man of every color; he repeats the marvel of the chameleon'
(_ibid._ p. 105). 'When they play a losing game, they yet rise winners
from the table. For it is their habit to insinuate themselves upon any
condition demanded, having arts enough whereby to make themselves
masters of those who bind them by prescribed rules. They are glad to
enter in the guise of galley-slaves with irons on their ankles; since,
when they have got in, they will find no difficulty in loosing their own
bonds and binding others' (_ibid._ p. 134). 'They command two arts: the
one of escaping from the bonds and obligations of any vow or promise
they shall have made, by means of equivocation, tacit reservation, and
mental restriction; the other of insinuating, like the hedgehog, into
the narrowest recesses, being well aware that when they unfold their
piercing bristles, they will obtain the full possession of the dwelling
and exclude its master' _(ibid_. p. 144). 'Everybody in Italy is well
aware how they have wrought confession into an art. They never receive
confidences under that seal without disclosing all particulars in the
conferences of their Society; and that with the view of using confession
to the advantage of their order and the Church. At the same time they
preach the doctrine that the seal of the confessional precludes a
penitent from disclosing what the confessor may have said to him, albeit
his utterances have had no reference to sins or to the safety of the
soul' (_ib._ vol. ii. p. 108). 'Should the Jesuits in France get hold of
education, they will dominate the university, and eradicate sound
letters. Yet why do I speak of healthy literature? I ought to have said
good and wholesome doctrine, the which is verily mortal to that Company'
(_ibid._ p. 162). 'Every species of vice finds its patronage in them.
The avaricious trust their maxims, for trafficking in spiritual
commodities; the superstitious, for substituting kisses upon images for
the exercise of Christian virtues; the base fry of ambitious upstarts,
for cloaking every act of scoundreldom with a veil of holiness. The
indifferent find in them a palliative for their spiritual deadness; and
whoso fears no God, has a visible God ready made for him, whom he may
worship with merit to his soul. In fine, there is nor perjury, nor
sacrilege, nor parricide, nor incest, nor rapine, nor fraud, nor
treason, which cannot be masked as meritorious beneath the mantle of
their dispensation' (_ibid._ p. 330). 'I apprehend the difficulty of
attacking their teachings; seeing that they merge their own interests
with those of the Papacy; and that not only in the article of Pontifical
authority, but in all points. At present they stand for themselves upon
the ground of equivocations. But believe me, they will adjust this also,
and that speedily; forasmuch as they are omnipotent in the Roman Court,
and the Pope himself fears them' (_ibid._ p. 333). 'Had S. Peter known
the creed of the Jesuits, he could have found a way to deny our Lord
without sinning' (_ibid._ p. 353). 'The Roman Court will never condemn
Jesuit doctrine; for this is the secret of its empire--a secret of the
highest and most capital importance, whereby those who openly refuse to
worship it are excommunicated, and those who would do so if they dared,
are held in check' (_ibid._ p. 105). The object of this lengthy note is
to vindicate for Sarpi a prominent and early place among those candid
analysts of Jesuitry who now are lost in the great light of Pascal's
genius. Sarpi's _Familiar Letters_ have for my mind even more weight
than the famous _Lettres Provinciales_ of Pascal. They were written with
no polemical or literary bias, at a period when Jesuitry was in its
prime; and their force as evidence is strengthened by their obvious
spontaneity. A book of some utility was published in 1703 at Salzburg
(?), under the title of _Artes Jesuiticae_ Christianus Aletophilus. This
contains a compendium of those passages in casuistical writings on which
Pascal based his brilliant satires. Paul Bert's modern work, _La Morale
des Jésuites_ (Paris: Charpentier, 1881), is intended to prove that
recent casuistical treatises of the school repeat those ancient
perversions of sound morals.]

The working of the Company, as we have seen, depended upon a skillful
manipulation of apparently hard-and-fast principles. The Declarations
explained away the Constitutions; and an infinite number of minute
exceptions and distinctions volatilized vows and obligations into ether.
Transferring the same method to the sphere of ethics, they so wrought
upon the precepts of the moral law, whether expressed in holy writ, in
the ecclesiastical decrees, or in civil jurisprudence, as to deprive
them of their binding force. The subtlest elasticity had been gained for
the machinery of the order by casuistical interpretation. A like
elasticity was secured for the control and government of souls by an
identical process. It was no wonder that the Jesuits became rapidly
fashionable as confessors. The plainest prohibitions were as wax in
their hands. The Decalogue laid down as rules for conduct: 'Thou shalt
not steal;' 'Thou shalt not kill;' 'Thou shalt not commit adultery.'
Christ spiritualized these rules into their essence: 'Thou shalt love
thy neighbor as thyself;' 'Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after
her, hath committed adultery already with her in his heart.' It is
manifest that both the old and the new covenant upon which modern
Christianity is supposed to rest, suffered no transactions in matters
so clear to the human conscience. Jesus himself refined upon the
legality of the Mosaic code by defining sin as egotism or concupiscence.
But the Company of Jesus took pains in their casuistry to provide
attenuating circumstances for every sin in detail. By their doctrines of
the invincible erroneous conscience, of occult compensation, of
equivocation, of mental reservation, of probabilism, and of
philosophical sin, they afforded loopholes for the gratification of
every passion, and for the commission of every crime. Instead of
maintaining that any injury done to a neighbor is wrong, they multiplied
instances in which a neighbor may be injured. Instead of holding firm to
Christ's verdict that sexual vice is implicit in licentious desire, they
analyzed the sensual modes of crude voluptuousness, taxed each in turn
at arbitrary values, and provided plausible excuses for indulgence.
Instead of laying it down as a broad principle that men must keep their
word, they taught them how to lie with spiritual impunity and with
credit to their reputation as sons of the Church. Thus the inventive
genius of the casuist, bent on dissecting immorality and reducing it to
classes; the interrogative ingenuity of the confessor, pruriently
inquisitive into private experience; the apologetic subtlety of the
director, eager to supply his penitent with salves and anodynes; were
all alike and all together applied to anti-social contamination in
matters of lubricity, and to anti-social corruption in matters of
dishonesty, fraud, falsehood, illegality and violence. The single
doctrine of probabilism, as Pascal abundantly proved, facilitates the
commission of crime; for there is no perverse act which some casuist of
note has not plausibly excused.

It may be urged that confession and direction, as adopted by the
Catholic Church, bring the abominations of casuistry logically in their
train. Priests who have to absolve sinners must be familiar with sin in
all its branches. In the confessional they will be forced to listen to
recitals, the exact bearings of which they cannot understand unless they
are previously instructed. Therefore the writings of Sanchez, Diana,
Liguori, Burchard, Billuard, Rousselot, Gordon, Gaisson, are put into
their hands at an early age--works which reveal more secrets of
impudicity than Aretino has described, or Commodus can have
practiced--works which recommend more craft and treachery and fraud and
falsehood than Machiavelli accorded to his misbegotten Saviour of
Society. In these writings men vowed to celibacy probe the foulest
labyrinths of sexual impurity; men claiming to stand outside the civil
order and the state, imbibe false theories upon property and probity and
public duty.

The root of the matter is wrong indubitably. It is contrary to good
government that a sacerdotal class, by means of confession and
direction, should be placed in a position of deciding upon conduct. It
is revolting to human dignity that this same class, without national
allegiance, and without domestic ties, should have the opportunity of
infecting young minds by unhealthy questionings and dishonorable
suggestions. But this wrong, which is inherent in the modern Catholic
system, becomes an atrocity when it is employed, as the Jesuits employed
it, as an instrument for moulding and controlling society in their own

While the Jesuits rendered themselves obnoxious to criticism by their
treatment of the individual in his private and social capacity, they
speedily became what Hallam cautiously styles 'rather dangerous
supporters of the See of Rome' in public and political affairs. The
ultimate failure of their diplomacy and intrigue over the whole field of
modern statecraft inclines historians of the present epoch to underrate
their mechanics of obstruction, and to underestimate the many occasions
on which they did successfully retard the progress of civil government
and intellectual freedom. It were wiser to regard them in the same light
as fanatics laying stones upon a railway, or of dynamiters blowing up an
emperor or a corner of Westminster Hall. The final end of the nefarious
traffic may not be attained. But credit can be claimed by those who took
their part in it, for the wreck of express trains, the perturbation of
cities, and the mourning of peaceable families. And thus it was with the
Jesuits. Though the results of their political intrigues had not
corresponded to their hopes, they yet worked appreciable mischief by
the organization of the League in France, and the Thirty Years' War in
Germany, and by their revolutionary theories which infected Europe with
conspiracy and murder. Their method was not original. Machiavelli had
expounded the doctrines they put in practice. He taught that in a
desperate state of the nation, men may have recourse to treachery and
violence. The nation of the Jesuits was a hybrid between their order and
Catholicism. The peril to the Church was imminent; its decadence
demanded desperate remedies. They invoked regicide, revolt, and treason,
to effect an impossible cure.

The political theory of the Jesuits was deduced from their fundamental
principle of obedience to the Church. They maintained that the
ecclesiastical is _jure divino_ superior to the secular power. The Pope
through God's commission and appointment sways the Church; the Church
takes rank above the State, as the soul above the body. Consequently,
the first allegiance of a Christian nation, together with its secular
rulers, belongs of right to the Supreme Pontiff. The people is the real
sovereign; and kings are delegates from the people, with authority which
they can only justly exercise so long as they remain in obedience to
Rome. It follows from these positions that every nation must refuse
fealty to an irreligious or contumacious ruler. In the last resort they
may lawfully remove him by murder; and they are _ipso facto_ in a state
of mortal sin if they elect or recognize a heretic as sovereign. This
theory sprang from the writings of the English Jesuits, Allen and
Parsons. It was elaborated in Rome by Cardinal Bellarmino, applied in
Spain by Suarez and Mariana, and openly preached in France by Jean
Boucher. The best energies of Paolo Sarpi were devoted to combating the
main position of ecclesiastical supremacy. His works had a salutary
effect by delimiting the relations of the Church to the State, and by
demonstrating even to Catholics the pernicious results of acknowledging
a Papal overlordship in temporal affairs. At the same time the boldly
democratic principle of the sovereignty of the people, which the Jesuits
advanced in order to establish their doctrine of ecclesiastical
superiority, provoked opposition. It led to the contrary hypothesis of
the Divine Right of sovereigns, which found favor in Protestant
kingdoms, and especially in England under the Stuart dynasty. When the
French Catholics resolved to terminate the discords of their country by
the recognition of Henri IV., they had recourse to this argument for
justifying their obedience to a heretic. It was felt by all sound
thinkers and by every patriot in Europe, that the Papal prerogatives
claimed by the Jesuits were too inconsistent with national liberties to
be tolerated. The zeal of the Society had clearly outrun its discretion;
and the free discussion of the theory of government which their insolent
assumptions stimulated, weakened the cause they sought to strengthen.
Their ingenuity overreached itself.

This, however, was as nothing compared with the hostility evoked by
their unscrupulous application of these principles in practice. There
was hardly a plot against established rule in Protestant countries with
which they were not known or believed to be connected. The invasion of
Ireland in 1579, the murder of the Regent Morton in Scotland, and
Babington's conspiracy against Elizabeth, emanated from their councils.
They were held responsible for the attempted murder of the Prince of
Orange in 1580, and for his actual murder in 1584. They loudly applauded
Jacques Clément, the assassin of Henri III. in 1589, as 'the eternal
glory of France.'[175] Numerous unsuccessful attacks upon the life of
Henri IV., culminating in that of Jean Chastel in 1594, caused their
expulsion from France. When they returned in 1603, they set to work
again;[176] and the assassin Ravaillac, who succeeded in removing the
obnoxious champion of European independence in 1610, was probably
inspired by their doctrine.[177] They had a hand in the Gunpowder Plot
of 1605, and were thought by some to have instigated the Massaere of S.
Bartholomew. They fomented the League of the Guises, which had for its
object a change in the French dynasty. They organized the Thirty Years'
War, and they procured the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. If it is
not possible to connect them immediately with all and each of the
criminal acts laid to their charge, the fact that a Jesuit in every case
was lurking in the background, counts by the force of cumulative
evidence heavily against them, and explains the universal suspicion with
which they came to be regarded as factious intermeddlers in the concerns
of nations. Moreover, their written words accused them; for the
tyrannicide of heretics was plainly advocated in their treatises on
government. So profound was the conviction of their guilt, that the
death of Sixtus V. in 1590, predicted by Bellarmino, the sudden death of
Urban VII. in the same year, and the death of Clement VIII. in 1805,
also predicted by Bellarmino--these three Popes being ill-affected
toward the order--were popularly ascribed to their agency. But of their
practical intervention there is no proof. Old age and fever must be
credited, in these as in other cases, with the decease of Roman Pontiffs
supposed to have been poisoned.

[Footnote 175: See Mariana, _De Rege_, lib. i. cap. 6. This book, be it
remembered, was written for the instruction of the heir apparent,
afterwards Philip III.]

[Footnote 176: Henri IV. let them return to France, in mere dread of
their machinations against him. See Sully, vol. v. p. 113.]

[Footnote 177: Sarpi, who was living at the time of Henri's murder, and
who saw his best hopes for Italy and the Church of God extinguished by
that crime, at first credited the Jesuits with the deliberate
instigation Ravaillac. He gradually came to the conclusion that, though
they were not directly responsible, their doctrine of regicide had
inflamed the fanatic's imagination. See, in succession, _Letters_, vol.
ii. pp. 78, 79, 81, 83, 86, 91, 105, 121, 170, 181, 192.]

It is not, however, to be wondered that sooner, or later the Jesuits
made themselves insupportable by their intrigues in all the countries
where they were established.[178] Even to the Papacy itself they proved
too irksome to be borne. The Company showed plainly that what they meant
by obedience to Rome was obedience to a Rome controlled and fashioned by
themselves. It was their ambition to stand in the same relation to the
Pope as the Shogûn to the Mikado of Japan. Nor does the analysis of
their opinions fail to justify the condemnation passed upon them by the
Parlement of Paris in 1762. 'These doctrines tend to destroy the natural
law, that rule of manners which God Himself has imprinted on the hearts
of men, and in consequence to sever all the bonds of civil society, by
the authorization of theft, falsehood, perjury, the most culpable
impurity, and in a word each passion and each crime of human weakness;
to obliterate all sentiments of humanity by favoring homicide and
parricide; and to annihilate the authority of sovereigns in the State.'

[Footnote 178: Expelled from Venice in 1606, from Bohemia in 1618, from
Naples and the Netherlands in 1622, from Russia in 1676, from Portugal
in 1759, from Spain in 1767, from France in 1764. Suppressed by the Bull
of Clement XIV. in 1773. Restored in 1814, as an instrument against the

Great psychological and pathological interest, attaches to the study of
the Jesuit order. To withhold our admiration from the zeal, energy,
self-devotion and constructive ability of its founders, would be
impossible. Equally futile would it be to affect indifference before the
sinister spectacle of so world-embracing an organism, persistently
maintained in action for an anti-social end. There is something Roman in
the colossal proportions of Loyola's idea, something Roman in the
durability of the structure which perpetuates it. Yet the philosopher
cannot but agree with the vulgar in his final judgment on the odiousness
of these sacerdotal despots, these unflinching foes not merely to the
heroes of the human intellect, and to the champions of right conduct,
but also to the very angels of Christianity. That the Jesuits should
claim to have been founded by Him who preached the Sermon on the Mount,
that they should flaunt their motto, A.M.D.G., in the sight of Him who
spake from Sinai, is one of those practical paradoxes in which the
history of decrepit religions abounds.



     How did the Catholic Revival affect Italian Society?--Difficulty of
     Answering this Question--Frequency of Private Crimes of
     Violence--Homicides and Bandits--Savage Criminal Justice--Paid
     Assassins--Toleration of Outlaws--Honorable Murder--Example of the
     Lucchese Army--State of the Convents--The History of Virginia de
     Leyva--Lucrezia Buonvisi--The True Tale of the Cenci--The Brothers
     of the House of Massimo--Vittoria Accoramboni--The Duchess of
     Palliano--Wife-Murders--The Family of Medici.

We are naturally led to inquire what discernible effect the Catholic
Revival and the Counter-Reformation had upon the manners and morals of
the Italians as a nation. Much has been said about the contrast between
intellectual refinement and almost savage license which marked the
Renaissance. Yet it can with justice be maintained that, while ferocity
and brutal sensuality survived from the Middle Ages, humanism, by means
of the new ideal it introduced, tended to civilize and educate the race.
Now, however, the Church was stifling culture and attempting to restore
that ecclesiastical conception of human life which the Renaissance had
superseded. Did then her resuscitated Catholicism succeed in permeating
the Italians with the spirit of Christ and of the Gospel? Were the
nobles more quiet in their demeanor, less quarrelsome and haughty, more
law-abiding and less given to acts of violence, than they had been in
the previous period? Were the people more contented and less torn by
factions, happier in their homes, less abandoned to the insanities of
baleful superstitions?

It is obviously difficult to answer these questions with either
completeness or accuracy. In the first place, we have no right to expect
that the religious revival, signalized by the Tridentine Council, should
have made itself immediately felt in the sphere of national conduct. In
the second place, it was not, like the German Reformation, a renewal of
Christianity at its sources, but a resuscitation of mediaeval
Catholicity, in direct antagonism to the intellectual tendencies of the
age. The new learning among northern races disintegrated that system of
ideas upon which mediaeval society rested; but it also introduced
religious and moral conceptions more vital than those ideas in their
decadence. In Italy the disintegrating process had been no less
thorough, nay far more subtle and pervasive. Yet the new learning had
not led the nation to attempt a reconstruction of primitive
Christianity. The Catholic Revival gave nothing vital or enthusiastic to
the conscience of the race. It brought the old creeds, old cult, old
superstitions, old abuses back, with stricter discipline and under a
_régime_ of terror. Meanwhile, it resolutely ranged its forces in
opposition to what had been salutary and life-giving in the mental
movement of the Renaissance. It compelled people who had watched the
dawning of a new light, to shut their eyes upon that dayspring. It
extinguished the studies of the Classical Revival; bade philosophers
return to Thomas of Aquino; threatened thinkers with the dungeon or the
stake who should presume to pass the Pillars of Hercules, when a whole
Atlantic of knowledge had been opened to their curiosity. Under these
circumstances it was impossible that a revolution, so retrograde in its
nature, checking the tide of national energy in full flow, should have
exercised a healthy influence over the Italian temperament at large. We
have a right to expect, what in fact we find, the advent of hypocrisy
and ceremonial observances, but little actual amendment in manners. In
the third place, the question is still further complicated by the
Catholic Revival having been effected concurrently with the
establishment of the Spanish Hegemony. At the end of the first chapter
of this volume I pointed out the evils brought on Italy by her servitude
to a foreign and unsympathetic despot: the decline of commercial
activity, the multiplication of slothful lordlings, the depression of
industry, the diminution of wealth, and the suffering of the lower
classes from pirates, bandits and tax-gatherers. These conditions were
sufficient to demoralize a people. And mediaeval Catholicism, restored
by edict, enforced by the Inquisition, propagated by Jesuits, was not of
the fine enthusiastic quality to counteract them. Servile in its
conception, it sufficed to bridle and benumb a race of serfs, but not
to soften or to purify their brutal instincts.[179]

In this chapter I shall not attempt a general survey of Italian
society.[180] I shall content myself with supplying materials for the
formation of a judgment by narrating some of the most remarkable
domestic tragedies of the second half of the sixteenth century, choosing
those only which rest upon well-sifted documentary evidence, and which
bring the social conditions of the country into strong relief. Before
engaging in these historical romances, it will be well to preface them
with a few general remarks upon the state of manners they will

The first thing which strikes a student of Italy between 1530 and 1600
is that crimes of violence, committed by private individuals for
personal ends, continued steadily upon the increase.[181]

[Footnote 179: The last section of Loyola's _Exercitia_ is an epitome of
post-Tridentine Catholicism, though penned before the opening of the
Council. In its last paragraph it inculcates the fear of God: 'neque
porro is timor solum, quem filialem appellamus, qui pius est ac sanctus
maxime; verum etiam alter, servilis dictus' (_Inst. Soc. Jesu_, vol. iv.
p. 173).]

[Footnote 180: An interesting survey of this wider kind has been
attempted by U.A. Canello for the whole sixteenth century in his _Storia
della Lett. It. nel Secolo XVI_. (Milano: Vallardi, 1880). He tries to
demonstrate that, in the sphere of private life, Italian society
gradually refined the brutal lusts of the Middle Ages, and passed
through fornication to a true conception of woman as man's companion in
the family. The theme is bold; and the author seems to have based it
upon too slight acquaintance with the real conditions of the Middle

[Footnote 181: Galluzzi, in his _Storia del Granducato di Toscana_, vol.
iv. p. 34, estimates the murders committed in Florence alone during the
eighteen months which followed the death of Cosimo I., at 186.]

Compared with the later Middle Ages, compared with the Renaissance, this
period is distinguished by extraordinary ferocity of temper and by an
almost unparalleled facility of bloodshed.[182]

[Footnote 182: In drawing up these paragraphs I am greatly indebted to a
vigorous passage by Signor Salvatore Bonghi in his _Storia di Lucrezia
Buonvisi_, pp. 7-9, of which I have made free use, translating his words
when they served my purpose, and interpolating such further details as
might render the picture more complete.]

The broad political and religious contests which had torn the country in
the first years of the sixteenth century, were pacified. Foreign armies
had ceased to dispute the provinces of Italy. The victorious powers of
Spain, the Church, and the protected principalities, seemed secure in
the possession of their gains. But those international quarrels which
kept the nation in unrest through a long period of municipal wars,
ending in the horrors of successive invasions, were now succeeded by an
almost universal discord between families and persons. Each province,
each city, each village became the theater of private feuds and
assassinations. Each household was the scene of homicide and
empoisonment. Italy presented the spectacle of a nation armed against
itself, not to decide the issue of antagonistic political principles by
civil strife, but to gratify lawless passions--cupidity, revenge,
resentment--by deeds of personal high-handedness. Among the common
people of the country and the towns, crimes of brutality and bloodshed
were of daily occurrence; every man bore weapons for self-defence, and
for attack upon his neighbor. The aristocracy and the upper classes of
the _bourgeoisie_ lived in a perpetual state of mutual mistrust, ready
upon the slightest occasion of fancied affront to blaze forth into
murder. Much of this savagery was due to the false ideas of honor and
punctilio which the Spaniards introduced. Quarrels arose concerning a
salute, a title, a question of precedence, a seat in church, a place in
the prince's ante-chamber, a meeting in the public streets. Noblemen
were ushered on their way by servants, who measured distances, and took
the height of daïs or of bench, before their master committed his
dignity by advancing a step beyond the minimum that was due.
Love-affairs and the code of honor with regard to women opened endless
sources of implacable jealousies, irreconcilable hatreds, and offenses
that could only be wiped out with blood. On each and all of these
occasions, the sword was ready to the right hand; and where this
generous weapon would not reach, the harquebuss and knife of paid
assassins were employed without compunction.[183] We must not, however,
ascribe this condition of society wholly or chiefly to Spanish

[Footnote 183: The lax indulgence accorded by the Jesuit casuists to
every kind of homicide appears in the extracts from those writers
collected in _Artes Jesuiticae_ (Salisburgi, 1703, pp. 75-83).
Tamburinus went so far as to hold that if a man mixed poison for his
enemy, and a friend came in and drank it up before his eyes, he was not
bound to warn his friend, nor was he guilty of his friend's death (_Ib._
p. 135, Art. 651).]

It was in fact a survival of mediaeval habits under altered
circumstances. During the municipal wars of the thirteenth century, and
afterwards during the struggle of the despots for ascendency, the nation
had become accustomed to internecine contests which set party against
party, household against household, man against man. These humors in the
cities, as Italian historians were wont to call them, had been partially
suppressed by the confederation of the five great Powers at the close of
the fifteenth century, and also by a prevalent urbanity of manners. At
that epoch, moreover, they were systematized and controlled by the
methods of _condottiere_ warfare, which offered a legitimate outlet to
the passions of turbulent young men. But when Italy sank into the sloth
of pacification after the settlement of Charles V. at Bologna in 1530,
when there were no longer _condottieri_ to levy troops in rival armies,
when political parties ceased in the cities, the old humors broke out
again under the aspect of private and personal feuds. Though the names
of Guelf and Ghibelline had lost their meaning, these factions
reappeared, and divided Milan, the towns of Romagna, the villages of the
Campagna. In the place of _condottieri_ arose brigand chiefs, who, like
Piccolomini and Sciarra, placed themselves at the head of regiments, and
swept the country on marauding expeditions. Instead of exiles, driven by
victorious parties in the state to seek precarious living on a foreign
soil, bandits, proscribed for acts of violence, abounded. Thus the
habits which had been created through centuries of political ferment,
subsisted when the nation was at rest in servitude, assuming baser and
more selfish forms of ferocity. The end of the sixteenth century
witnessed the final degeneration and corruption of a mediaeval state of
warfare, which the Renaissance had checked, but which the miseries of
foreign invasions had resuscitated by brutalizing the population, and
which now threatened to disintegrate society in aimless anarchy and
private lawlessness.

It must not be imagined that governments and magistracies were slack in
their pursuit of criminals. Repressive statutes, proclamations of
outlawry, and elaborate prosecutions succeeded one another with
unwearied conscientiousness. The revenues of states were taxed to
furnish blood-money and to support spies. Large sums were invariably
offered for the capture or assassination of escaped delinquents; and woe
to the wretches who became involved in criminal proceedings! Witnesses
were tortured with infernal cruelty. Convicted culprits suffered
horrible agonies before their death, or were condemned to languish out a
miserable life in pestilential dungeons. But the very inhumanity of this
judicial method, without mercy for the innocent, from whom evidence
could be extorted, and frequently inequitable in the punishments
assigned to criminals of varying degrees of guilt, taught the people to
defy justice, and encouraged them in brutality. They found it more
tolerable to join the bands of brigands who preyed upon their fields
and villages, than to assist rulers who governed so unequally and
cruelly. We know, for instance, that a robber chief, Marianazzo, refused
the Pope's pardon, alleging that the profession of brigandage was more
lucrative and offered greater security of life than any trade within the
walls of Rome. Thus the bandits of that generation occupied the specious
attitude of opposition to oppressive governments. There were, moreover,
many favorable chances for a homicide. The Church was jealous of her
rights of sanctuary. Whatever may have been her zeal for orthodoxy, she
showed herself an indulgent mother to culprits who demanded an asylum.
Feudal nobles prided themselves on protecting refugees within their
fiefs and castles. There were innumerable petty domains left, which
carried privileges of signorial courts and local justice. Cardinals,
ambassadors, and powerful princes claimed immunity from common
jurisdiction in their palaces, the courts and basements of which soon
became the resort of escaped criminals. No extradition treaties
subsisted between the several and numerous states into which Italy was
then divided, so that it was only necessary to cross a frontier in order
to gain safety from the law. The position of an outlaw in that case was
tolerably secure, except against private vengeance or the cupidity of
professional cut-throats, who gained an honest livelihood by murdering
bandits with a good price on their heads. Condemned for the most part in
their absence, these homicides entered a recognized and not
dishonorable class. They were tolerated, received, and even favored by
neighboring princes, who generally had some grudge against the state
from which the outlaws fled. After obtaining letters of safe-conduct and
protection, they enrolled themselves in the militia of their adopted
country, while the worst of them became spies or secret agents of
police. No government seems to have regarded crimes of violence with
severity, provided these had been committed on a foreign soil. Murders
for the sake of robbery or rape were indeed esteemed ignoble. But a man
who had killed an avowed enemy, or had shed blood in the heat of a
quarrel, or had avenged his honor by the assassination of a sister
convicted of light love, only established a reputation for bravery,
which stood him in good stead. He was likely to make a stout soldier,
and he had done nothing socially discreditable. On the contrary, if he
had been useful in ridding the world of an outlaw some prince wished to
kill, this murder made him a hero. In addition to the blood-money, he
not unfrequently received lucrative office, or a pension for life.

A very curious state of things resulted from these customs. States
depended, in large measure, for the execution of their judicial
sentences in cases of manslaughter and treason, upon foreign murderers
and traitors. Towns were full of outlaws, each with a price upon his
head, mutually suspicious, individually desirous of killing some
fellow-criminal and thereby enriching his own treasury. If he were
successful, he received a fair sum of money, with privileges and
immunities from the state which had advertised the outlaw; and not
unfrequently he obtained the further right of releasing one or more
bandits from penalties of death or prison. It may be imagined at what
cross-purposes the outlaws dwelt together, with crimes in many states
accumulated on their shoulders; and what peril might ensue to society
should they combine together, as indeed they tried to do in Bedmar's
conspiracy against Venice. Meanwhile, the states kept this floating
population of criminals in check by various political and social
contrivances, which grew up from the exigencies and the habits of the
moment. Instead of recruiting soldiers from the stationary population,
it became usual, when a war was imminent, to enroll outlaws. Thus, when
Lucca had to make an inroad into Garfagnana in 1613, the Republic issued
a proclamation promising pardon and pay to those of its own bandits who
should join its standard. Men to the number of 591 answered this call,
and the little war which followed was conducted with more than customary

[Footnote 184: See Salvatore Bonghi, _op. cit._ p. 159.]

Even the ordinary police and guards of cities were composed of fugitives
from other states, care being taken to select by preference those who
came stained only with honorable bloodshed. In 1593 the guard of the
palace of Lucca was reinforced by the addition of forty-three men,
among whom four were bandits for wounds inflicted upon enemies in open
fight; twelve for homicide in duel, sword to sword; five for the murder
of more than one person in similar encounters; one for the murder of a
sister, and the wounding of her seducer; two for mutilating an enemy in
the face; one for unlawful recruiting; one for wounding; one for
countenancing bandits; and sixteen simple refugees.[185] The phrases
employed to describe these men in the official report are sufficiently
illustrative of contemporary moral standards. Thus we read 'Banditi per
omicidi semplici _da buono a buono_, a sangue caldo, da spada a spada,
_o di nemici_.' 'Per omicidio d'una sorella _per causa d'onore_.' To
murder an enemy, or a sister who had misbehaved herself, was accounted

The prevalence of lawlessness encouraged a domestic custom which soon
grew into a system. This was the maintenance of so-called _bravi_ by
nobles and folk rich enough to afford so expensive a luxury. The outlaws
found their advantage in the bargain which they drew with their
employers; for besides being lodged, fed, clothed and armed, they
obtained a certain protection from the spies and professional murderers
who were always on the watch to kill them. Their masters used them to
defend their persons when a feud was being carried on, or directed them
against private enemies whom they wished to injure.

[Footnote 185: Bonghi, _op. cit._ p. 159, note.]

It is not uncommon in the annals of these times to read: 'Messer
So-and-so, having received an affront from the Count of V., employed the
services of three _bravi_, valiant fellows up to any mischief, with whom
he retired to his country house.' Or again: 'The Marquis, perceiving
that his neighbor had a grudge against him on account of the Signora
Lucrezia, thought it prudent to increase his bodyguard, and therefore
added Pepi and Lo Scarabone, bandits from Tuscany for murders of a
priest and a citizen, to his household.' Or again: 'During the vacation
of the Holy See the Baron X had, as usual, engaged men-at-arms for the
protection of his palace.'

In course of time it became the mark of birth and wealth to lodge a
rabble of such rascals. They lived on terms of familiarity with their
employer, shared his secrets, served him in his amours, and executed any
devil's job he chose to command. Apartments in the basement of the
palace were assigned to them, so that a nobleman's house continued to
resemble the castle of a mediaeval baron. But the _bravi_, unlike
soldiery, were rarely employed in honorable business. They formed a
permanent element of treachery and violence within the social organism.
Not a little singular were the relations thus established. The community
of crime, involving common interests and common perils, established a
peculiar bond between the noble and his _bravo_. This was complexioned
by a certain sense of 'honor rooted in dishonor,' and by a faint
reflection from elder retainership. The compact struck between
landowner and bandit parodied that which drew feudal lord and wandering
squire together. There was something ignobly noble in it, corresponding
to the confused conscience and perilous conditions of the epoch.

While studying this organized and half-tolerated system of social
violence, we are surprised to observe how largely it was countenanced
and how frequently it was set in motion by the Church. In a previous
chapter on the Jesuits, I have adverted to their encouragement of
assassination for ends which they considered sacred. In a coming chapter
upon Sarpi, I shall show to what extent the Roman prelacy was implicated
in more than one attempt to take away his life. The chiefs of the
Church, then, instead of protesting against this vice of corrupt
civilization in Italy, lent the weight of their encouragement to what
strikes us now, not only as eminently unchristian, but also as
pernicious to healthy national conditions of existence. We may draw two
conclusions from these observations: first, that religions, except in
the first fervor of their growth and forward progress, recognize the
moral conventions of the society which they pretend to regulate:
secondly, that it is well-nigh impossible for men of one century to
sympathize with the ethics of a past and different epoch. We cannot
comprehend the regicidal theories of the Jesuits, or the murderous
intrigues of a Borghese Pontiff's Court, without admitting that priests,
specially dedicated to the service of Christ and to the propagation of
his gospel, felt themselves justified in employing the immoral and
unchristian means which social custom placed at their disposal for
ridding themselves of inconvenient enemies. This is at the same time
their defense as human beings in the sixteenth century, and their
indictment as self-styled and professed successors of the Founder who
rebuked Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane.

To make general remarks upon the state of sexual morality at this epoch,
is hardly needful. Yet there are some peculiar circumstances which
deserve to be noticed, in order to render the typical stories which I
mean to relate intelligible. We have already seen that society condoned
the murder of a sister by a brother, if she brought dishonor on her
family; and the same privilege was extended to a husband in the case of
a notoriously faithless wife. Such homicides did not escape judicial
sentence, but they shared in the conventional toleration which was
extended to murders in hot blood or in the prosecution of a feud. The
state of the Italian convents at this period gave occasion to crimes in
which women played a prominent part. After the Council of Trent reforms
were instituted in religious houses. But they could not be immediately
carried out; and, meanwhile, the economical changes which were taking
place in the commercial aristocracy, filled nunneries with girls who had
no vocation for a secluded life. Less money was yearly made in trade;
merchants became nobles, investing their capital in land, and securing
their estates on their eldest sons by entails. It followed that they
could not afford to marry all their daughters with dowries befitting the
station they aspired to assume. A large percentage of well-born women,
accustomed to luxury, and vitiated by bad examples in their homes, were
thus thrown on a monastic life. Signor Bonghi reckons that at the end of
the sixteenth century, more than five hundred girls, who had become
superfluous in noble families, crowded the convents in the single little
town of Lucca. At a later epoch there would have been no special peril
in this circumstance. But at the time with which we are now occupied, an
objectionable license still survived from earlier ages. The nunneries
obtained evil notoriety as houses of licentious pleasure, to which
soldiers and youths of dissolute habits resorted by preference.[186]
There appears to have been a specific profligate fanaticism, a
well-marked morbid partiality for these amours with cloistered virgins.
The young men who prosecuted them, obtained a nickname indicative of
their absorbing passion.[187] The attraction of mystery and danger had
something, no doubt, to do with this infatuation; and the fascination
that sacrilege has for depraved natures, may also be reckoned into the
account. To enjoy a lawless amour was not enough; but to possess a woman
who alternated between transports of passion and torments of remorse,
added zest to guilty pleasure. For men who habitually tampered with
magic arts and believed firmly in the devil, this raised romance to
rapture. It was a common thing for debauchees to seek what they called
_peripetezie di nuova idea_, or novel and exciting adventures
stimulative of a jaded appetite, in consecrated places. At any rate, as
will appear in the sequel of this chapter, convent intrigues occupied a
large space in the criminal annals of the day.

_The Lady of Monza_.

Virginia Maria de Leyva was a descendant of Charles V.'s general,
Antonio de Leyva, who through many years administered the Duchy of
Milan, and died loaded with wealth and honors.[188]

[Footnote 186: In support of this assertion I translate a letter
addressed (Milan, September 15, 1622) by Cardinal Federigo Borromeo to
the Prioress of the Convent of S. Margherita at Monza (Dandolo, _Signora
di Monza_, p. 132). 'Experience of similar cases has shown how dangerous
to your holy state is the vicinity of soldiers, owing to the
correspondence which young and idle soldiers continually try to
entertain with monasteries, sometimes even under fair and honorable
pretexts.... Wherefore we have heard with much displeasure that in those
places of our diocese where there are convents of nuns and congregations
of virgins, ordinary lodgings for the soldiery have been established,
called lonely houses (_case erme_), where they are suffered or obliged
to dwell through long periods.' The Bishop commands the Prioress to
admit no soldier, on any plea of piety, devotion or family relationship,
into her convent; to receive no servant or emissary of a soldier; to
forbid special services being performed in the chapel at the instance of
a soldier; and, finally, to institute a more rigorous system of watch
and ward than had been formerly practiced.]

[Footnote 187: In Venice, for example, they were called _Monachini_. But
the name varied in various provinces.]

[Footnote 188: The following abstract of the history of Virginia Maria
de Leyva is based on Dandolo's _Signora di Monza_ (Milano, 1855).
Readers of Manzoni's _I Promessi Sposi_, and of Rosini's tiresome novel,
_La Signora di Monza_, will be already familiar with her in romance
under the name of Gertrude.]

For his military service he was rewarded with the principality of
Ascoli, the federal lordship of the town of Monza, and the life-tenure
of the city of Pavia. Virginia's father was named Martino, and upon his
death her cousin succeeded to the titles of the house. She, for family
reasons, entered the convent of S. Margherita at Monza, about the year
1595. Here she occupied a place of considerable importance, being the
daughter of the Lord of Monza, of princely blood, wealthy, and allied to
the great houses of the Milanese. S. Margherita was a convent of the
Umiliate, dedicated to the education of noble girls, in which,
therefore, considerable laxity of discipline prevailed.[189]

[Footnote 189: Carlo Borromeo found it necessary to suppress the
Umiliati. But he left the female establishment of S. Margherita

Sister Virginia dwelt at ease within its walls, holding a kind of little
court, and exercising an undefined authority in petty affairs which was
conceded to her rank. Among her favorite companions at the time of the
events I am about to narrate, were numbered the Sisters Ottavia Ricci,
Benedetta Homata, Candida Brancolina, and Silvia Casata; she was waited
on by a converse sister, Caterina da Meda. Adjoining the convent stood
the house and garden of a certain Gianpaolo Osio, who plays the
principal part in Virginia's tragedy. He must have been a young man of
distinguished appearance; for when Virginia first set eyes upon him
from a window overlooking his grounds, she exclaimed: 'Is it possible
that one could ever gaze on anything more beautiful?' He attracted her
notice as early as the year 1599 or 1600, under circumstances not very
favorable to the plan he had in view. His hands were red with the blood
of Virginia's bailiff, Giuseppe Molteno, whom he had murdered for some
cause unknown to us. During their first interview (Virginia leaning from
the window of her friend Candida's cell, and Osio standing on his
garden-plot beneath), the young man courteously excused himself for this
act of violence, adding that he would serve her even more devotedly than
the dead Molteno, and begging to be allowed to write her a letter. When
the letter came, it was couched in terms expressive of a lawless
passion. Virginia's noble blood rebelled against the insult, and she
sent an answer back, rebuffing her audacious suitor. The go-betweens in
the correspondence which ensued were the two nuns, Ottavia and
Benedetta, and a certain Giuseppe Pesen, who served as letter-carrier.
Osio did not allow himself to be discouraged by a first refusal, but
took the hazardous step of opening his mind to the confessor of the
convent, Paolo Arrigone, a priest of San Maurizio in Milan. Arrigone at
once lent himself to the intrigue, and taught Osio what kind of letters
he should write Virginia. They were to be courteous, respectful,
blending pious rhetoric with mystical suggestions of romantic passion.
It seems that the confessor composed these documents himself, and
advised his fair penitent that there was no sin in perusing them. From
correspondence, Osio next passed to interviews. By the aid of Arrigone
he gained access to the parlor of the convent, where he conversed with
Virginia through the bars. In their earlier meetings the lover did not
venture beyond compliments and modest protestations of devotion. But as
time went on, he advanced to kisses and caresses, and once he made
Virginia take a little jewel into her mouth. This was a white loadstone,
blessed by Arrigone, and intended to operate like a love-charm. The
girl, in fact, began to feel the influence of her seducer. In the final
confession which she made, she relates how she fought against
temptation. 'Some diabolical force compelled me to go to the window
overlooking his garden; and one day when Sister Ottavia told me that
Osio was standing there, I fainted from the effort to restrain myself.
This happened several times. At one moment I flew into a rage, and
prayed to God to help me; at another I felt lifted from the ground, and
forced to go and gaze on him. Sometimes when the fit was on me, I tore
my hair; I even thought of killing myself.' Virginia was surrounded by
persons who had an interest in helping Osio. Not only the confessor, who
was a man of infamous character, but her friends among the nuns,
themselves accustomed to intrigue of a like nature, led her down the
path to ruin. False keys were made, and one or other of the faithless
sisters introduced the young man into the convent at night. When
Virginia resisted, and enlarged upon the sacrilege of breaking cloister,
Arrigone supplied her with a printed book of casuistry, in which it was
written that though it might be sinful for a nun to leave her convent,
there was no sin in a man entering it. At last she fell; and for seven
years she lived in close intimacy with her lover, passing the nights
with him, either in his own house or in one of the cells of S.
Margherita. On one occasion, when he had to fly from justice, the girls
concealed him in their rooms for fifteen days. The first fruit of this
amour was a stillborn child; after giving birth to which, Virginia sold
all the silver she possessed, and sent a votive tablet to Our Lady of
Loreto, on which she had portrayed a nun and baby, kneeling and weeping.
'Twice again I sent the same memorial to our Lady, imploring the grace
of liberation from this passion. But the sorceries with which I was
surrounded, prevailed. In my bed were found the bones of the dead, hooks
of iron, and many other things, of which the nuns were well informed.
Nay, I would fain have given up my life to save my soul; and so great
were my afflictions, that in despair I went to throw myself into the
well, but was restrained by the image of the Virgin at the bottom of the
garden, for which I had a special devotion.' In course of time she gave
birth to a little girl, named Francesca, who frequented the convent,
and whom Osio legitimated as his child.

It was impossible that a connection of long standing, known to several
accomplices, and corroborated by the presence of the child Francesca,
should remain hidden from the world. People began to speak about the
fact in Monza. A druggist, named Reinaro Soncini, gossiped somewhat too
openly. Osio had him shot one night by a servant in his pay.

And now the lovers were engaged in a career of crime, which brought them
finally to justice. Virginia's waiting-woman Caterina fell into disgrace
with her mistress, and was shut up in a kind of prison by her orders.
The girl declared that she would bring the whole bad affair before the
superior authorities, and would do so immediately, seeing that Monsignor
Barca, the Visitor of S. Margherita, was about to make one of his
official tours of inspection.

This threat cost Caterina her life. About midnight, while a
thunder-storm was raging, Virginia, accompanied by her usual associates,
Ottavia, Benedetta, Silvia, and Candida, entered the room where the girl
was confined. They were followed by Osio, holding in his hand a heavy
instrument of wood and iron, called _piede di bicocca_, which he had
snatched up in the convent outhouse. He found Caterina lying face
downward on the bed, and smashed her skull with a single blow. The body
was conveyed by him and the nuns into the fowl-house of the sisters,
whence he removed it on the following night by the aid of Benedetta into
his own dwelling. From evidence which afterwards transpired, Osio
decapitated the corpse, concealed the body in a sort of cellar, and
flung the head into an empty well at Velate.

The disappearance of Caterina just before the visitation of Monsignor
Barca, roused suspicion; and, though a murder was not immediately
apprehended, the guilty associates felt that the cord of fate was being
drawn around them. In the autumn of 1607 the tempest broke upon their
heads. Virginia was removed from Monza to the convent called Del
Bocchetto at Milan; and on November 27 the depositions of the abbess,
prioress, and other members of S. Margherita were taken regarding Osio's
intrigues, the assassination of Soncini, and the disappearance of

Among the nuns who had abetted Osio, the two most criminally implicated
were Ottavia and Benedetta. Their evidence, if closely scrutinized, must
reveal each secret of the past. It was much to Osio's interest,
therefore, that they should not fall into the hands of justice; nor had
he any difficulty in persuading them to rely on his assistance for
contriving their escape to some convent in the Bergamasque territory. We
may wonder, by the way, what sort of discipline was then maintained in
nunneries, if two so guilty sisters counted upon safe entrance into an
asylum, provided only they could leave the diocese of Milan for
another.[190] On the night of Thursday, November 30, 1607, Osio came to
the wall of the convent garden, and began to break a hole in it, through
which Ottavia and Benedetta crept. The three then prowled along the city
wall of Monza, till they found a breach wide enough for exit. Afterwards
they took a path beside the river Lambro, and stopped for awhile at the
church of the Madonna delle Grazie. Here the sisters prayed for
assistance from our Lady in their journey, and recited the _Salve
Regina_ seven times. Then they resumed their walk along the Lambro, and
at a certain point Ottavia fell into the river. In her dying depositions
she accused Osio of having pushed her in; and there seems little doubt
that he did so; for while she was struggling in the water, he disengaged
his harquebuss from his mantle and struck her several blows upon the
head and hands.

[Footnote 190: In ecclesiastical affairs the diocese of Milan exercised
jurisdiction over that of Bergamo, although Bergamo was subject in civil
affairs to Venice. This makes the matter more puzzling.]

She pretended to be dead, and was carried down the stream to a place
where she contrived to crawl to land. Some peasants came by, whose
assistance she implored. But they, observing that she was a nun of S.
Margherita by her dress, refused to house her for the rest of the night.
They gave her a staff to lean on, and after a painful journey she
regained the church of the Grazie at early dawn. Ottavia's wounds upon
the head, face, and right hand, inflicted by the stock of Osio's gun,
were so serious that after making a clean breast to her judges, she died
of them upon December 26, 1607.

When Osio had pushed Ottavia into the Lambro, and had tried to smash her
brains out with his harquebuss, he resumed his midnight journey with
Sister Benedetta. They reached an uninhabited house in the country about
five or six miles distant from Monza. Here Osio shut Benedetta up in an
empty room with a stone bench running along the wall. She remained there
all Friday, visited once by her dreaded companion, who brought her
bread, cheese, and wine. She abstained from touching any of this food,
in fear of poison. About nine in the evening he returned, and bade her
prepare to march. They set out again, together, in the dark; and after
walking about three miles they came to a well, down which Osio threw
her. The well was deep, and had no water in it. Benedetta injured her
left side in the fall; and when she had reached the bottom, her would-be
murderer flung a big stone on her which broke her right leg. She
contrived to protect her head by gathering stones around it, and lay
without moaning or moving, in the fear that Osio would attempt fresh
violence unless he thought her dead. From the middle of Friday night,
until Sunday morning, she remained thus, exploring with her eyes the
surface of her dungeon. It was dry and strewn with bones. In one corner
lay a round black object which bore the aspect of a human skull. As it
eventually turned out, this was the head of Caterina, whom Benedetta
herself had helped to murder, and which Osio had thrown there. On
Sunday, during Mass, the men of the village of Velate were in church,
when they heard a voice from outside calling out, 'Help, help! I am at
the bottom of this well!' The well, as it happened, was distant some
dozen paces from the church door, and Benedetta had timed her call for
assistance at a lucky moment. The villagers ran to the spot, and drew
her out by means of a man who went down with a rope. She was then taken
to the house of a gentleman, Signor Alberico degli Alberici, who, when
no one else was charitable enough to receive her, opened his doors to
the exhausted victim of that murderous outrage. It may be remarked that
the same surgeon who had been employed to report on Ottavia's wounds,
now appeared to examine Benedetta. His name was Ambrogio Vimercati.
Benedetta was taken to the convent of S. Orsola, where her friend
Ottavia lay dying; and after making a full confession, she eventually
recovered her health, and suffered life-long incarceration in her old

Osio was still at large. On December 20, he addressed a long letter to
the Cardinal Federigo Borromeo, in which he vainly attempted to defend
himself, and throw the blame on his associates. It is a loathsome
document, blending fulsome protestations and fawning phrases, with
brutal denouncements of his victims, and treacherous insinuations. One
passage deserves notice. 'Who was it,' he says, 'who suggested my
correspondence with Virginia? The priest Paolo Arrigone, that ruin of
the monastery! The Canon Pisnato, who is now confessor to the nuns of
Meda; in his house you will find what will never be discovered in mine,
presents from nuns, incitements to amours, and other such things. The
priest Giacomo Bertola, confessor of the nuns of S. Margherita; who was
his devotee? Sacha!--and he stayed there all the day through. These men,
being priests, are not prosecuted; they are protected by their cloth,
forsooth! It is only of poor Osio that folk talk. Only he is persecuted,
only he is a malefactor, only he is the traitor!' Arrigone, as a matter
of fact, was tried, and condemned to two years' labor at the galleys,
after the expiration of which term he was not to return to Monza or its
territory. This seems a slight sentence; for the judges found him
guilty, not only of promoting Osio's intrigue with Virginia, by
conducting the correspondence, and watching the door during their
interviews in the parlor, but also of pursuing the Signora himself with
infamous proposals.

In his absence Osio was condemned to death on the gibbet. His goods were
confiscated to the State. His house in Monza was destroyed, and a
pillar of infamy recording his crimes, was erected on its site. A
proclamation of outlawry was issued on April 5, 1608, under the seal of
Don Pietro de Acevedo, Count of Fuentes, and governor of the State of
Milan, which offered 'to any person not himself an outlaw, or to any
commune, that shall consign Gianpaolo Osio to the hands of justice, the
reward of a thousand scudi from the royal ducal treasury, together with
the right to free four bandits condemned for similar or less offenses;
and in case of his being delivered dead, even though he shall be slain
in foreign parts, then the half of the aforesaid sum of money, and the
freedom of two bandits as above. And if the person who shall consign him
alive be himself an outlaw for similar or less offenses, he shall
receive, beside the freedom of himself and two other bandits, the half
of the aforesaid sum of money; and in the case of his consignment after
death, the freedom of himself and of two other bandits as aforesaid.' I
have recited this _Bando_, because it is a good instance of the
procedure in use under like conditions. Justice preferred to obtain the
culprit alive, and desired to receive him at honest hands. But there was
an expectation of getting hold of him through less reputable agents.
Therefore they offered free pardon to a bandit and a couple of
accomplices, who might undertake the capture or the murder of the
proscribed outlaw in concert, and in the event of his being produced
alive, a sum of money down. Osio, apparently, spent some years in
exile, changing place, and name, and dress, living as he could from hand
to mouth, until the rumor spread abroad that he was dead. He then
returned to his country, and begged for sanctuary from an old friend.
That friend betrayed him, had his throat cut in a cellar, and exposed
his head upon the public market place.

Virginia was sentenced to perpetual incarceration in the convent of S.
Valeria at Milan. She was to be 'inclosed within a little dungeon, the
door of which shall be walled up with stones and mortar, so that the
said Virginia Maria shall abide there for the term of her natural life,
immured both day and night, never to issue thence, but shall receive
food and other necessaries through a small hole in the wall of the said
chamber, and light and air through an aperture or other opening.' This
sentence was carried into effect. But at the expiration of many years,
her behavior justified some mitigation of the penalty. She was set at
large, and allowed to occupy a more wholesome apartment, where the
charity of Cardinal Borromeo supplied her with comforts befitting her
station, and the reputation she acquired for sanctity. Her own family
cherished implacable sentiments of resentment against the woman who had
brought disgrace upon them. Ripamonte, the historian of Milan, says that
in his own time she was still alive: 'a bent old woman, tall of stature,
dried and fleshless, but venerable in her aspect, whom no one could
believe to have been once a charming and immodest beauty.' Her
associates in guilt, the nuns of S. Margherita, were consigned to
punishments resembling hers. Sisters Benedetta, Silvia and Candida
suffered the same close incarceration.

_Lucrezia Buonvisi_.

The tale of Lucrezia Buonvisi presents some points of similarity to that
of the Signora di Monza.[191]

[Footnote 191: _Storia di Lucrezia Buonvisi_, by Salvatore Bonghi,
Lucca, 1864. This is an admirably written historical monograph, based on
accurate studies and wide researches, containing a mine of valuable
information for a student of those times.]

Her father was a Lucchese gentleman, named Vincenzo Malpigli, who passed
the better portion of his life at Ferrara, as treasurer to Duke Afonsono
II. He had four children; one son, Giovan Lorenzo, and three daughters,
of whom Lucrezia, born at Lucca in 1572, was probably the youngest.
Vincenzo's wife sprang from the noble Lucchese family of Buonvisi, at
that time by their wealth and alliances the most powerful house of the
Republic. Lucrezia spent some years of her girlhood at Ferrara, where
she formed a romantic friendship for a nobleman of Lucca named
Massimiliano Arnolfini. This early attachment was not countenanced by
her parents. They destined her to be the wife of one of Paolo Buonvisi's
numerous sons, her relatives upon the mother's side. In consequence of
this determination, she was first affianced to an heir of that house,
who died; again to another, who also died; and in the third place to
their brother, called Lelio, whom she eventually married in the year
1591. Lelio was then twenty-five years of age, and Lucrezia nineteen.
Her beauty was so distinguished, that in poems written on the ladies of
Lucca it received this celebration in a madrigal:--

    Like the young maiden rose
      Which at the opening of the dawn,
        Still sprinkled with heaven's gracious dew,
      Her beauty and her bosom on the lawn
    Doth charmingly disclose,
        For nymphs and amorous swains with love to view;
    So delicate, so fair, Lucrezia yields
    New pearls, new purple to our homely fields,
        While Cupid plays and Flora laughs in her fresh hue.

Less than a year after her marriage with Lelia Buonvisi, Lucrezia
resumed her former intimacy with Massimiliano Arnolfini. He was scarcely
two yeara her elder, and they had already exchanged vows of fidelity in
Ferrara. Massimiliano's temper inclined him to extreme courses; he was
quick and fervent in all the disputes of his age, ready to back his
quarrels with the sword, and impatient of delay in any matter he had
undertaken. Owing to a feud which then subsisted between the families of
Arnolfini and Boccella, he kept certain _bravi_ in his service, upon
whose devotion he relied. This young man soon found means to open a
correspondence with Lucrezia, and arranged meetings with her in the
house of some poor weavers who lived opposite the palace of the
Buonvisi. Nothing passed between them that exceeded the limits of
respectful courtship. But the situation became irksome to a lover so
hot of blood as Massimiliano was. On the evening of June 5, in 1593, his
men attacked Lelio Buonvisi, while returning with Lucrezia from prayers
in an adjacent church. Lelio fell, stabbed with nineteen thrusts of the
poignard, and was carried lifeless to his house. Lucrezia made her way
back alone; and when her husband's corpse was brought into the palace,
she requested that it should be laid out in the basement. A solitary
witness of this act of violence, Vincenzo di Coreglia, deposed to having
raised the dying man from the ground, put earth into his mouth by way of
Sacrament, and urged him to forgive his enemies before he breathed his
last. The weather had been very bad that day, and at nightfall it was
thundering incessantly.

Inquisition was made immediately into the causes of Lelio's death.
According to Lucrezia's account, her husband had reproved some men upon
the road for singing obscene songs, whereupon they turned and murdered
him. The corpse was exposed in the Church of the Servi, where multitudes
of people gathered round it; and there an ancient dame of the Buonvisi
house, flinging herself upon her nephew's body, vowed vengeance, after
the old custom of the _Vocero_, against his murderers. Other members of
the family indicated Massimiliano as the probable assassin; but he
meantime had escaped, with three of his retainers, to a villa of his
mother's at S. Pancrazio, whence he managed to take the open country
and place himself in temporary safety. During this while, the judicial
authorities of Lucca were not idle. The Podestà issued a proclamation
inviting evidence, under the menace of decapitation and confiscation of
goods for whomsoever should be found to have withheld information. To
this call a certain Orazio Carli, most imprudently, responded. He
confessed to having been aware that Massimiliano was plotting the
assassination of somebody--not Lelio; and said that he had himself
facilitated the flight of the assassins by preparing a ladder, which he
placed in the hands of a _bravo_ called Ottavio da Trapani. This
revelation delivered him over, bound hand and foot, to the judicial
authorities, who at the same time imprisoned Vincenzo da Coreglia, the
soldier present at the murder.

Massimiliano and his men meanwhile had made their way across the
frontier to Garfagnana. Their flight, and the suspicions which attached
to them, rendered it tolerably certain that they were the authors of the
crime. But justice demanded more circumstantial information, and the
Podestà decided to work upon the two men already in his clutches. On
June 4, Carli was submitted to the torture. The rack elicited nothing
new from him, but had the result of dislocating his arms. He was then
placed upon an instrument called the 'she-goat,' a sharp wooden trestle,
to which the man was bound with weights attached to his feet, and where
he sat for nearly four hours. In the course of this painful exercise,
he deposed that Massimiliano and Lucrezia had been in the habit of
meeting in the house of Vincenzo del Zoppo and Pollonia his wife, where
the _bravi_ also congregated and kept their arms. Grave suspicion was
thus cast on Lucrezia. Had she perchance connived at her husband's
murder? Was she an accomplice in the tragedy?

Lucrezia's peril now became imminent. Her brother, Giovan Lorenzo
Malpigli, who remained her friend throughout, thought it best for her to
retire as secretly as possible into a convent. The house chosen was that
of S. Chiara in the town of Lucca. On June 5, she assumed the habit of
S. Francis, cut her hair, changed her name from Lucrezia to Umilia, and
offered two thousand crowns of dower to this monastery. Only four days
had elapsed since her husband's assassination. But she, at all events,
was safe from immediate peril; for the Church must now be dealt with;
and the Church neither relinquished its suppliants, nor disgorged the
wealth they poured into its coffers. The Podestà, when news of this
occurrence reached him, sent at once to make inquiries. His messenger,
Ser Vincenzo Petrucci, was informed by the Abbess that Lucrezia had just
arrived and was having her hair shorn. At his request, the novice
herself appeared--'a young woman, tall and pale, dressed in a nun's
habit, with a crown upon her head.' She declared herself to be 'Madonna
Lucretiina Malpigli, widow of Lelio Buonvisi.' The priest who had
conducted her reception, affirmed that 'the gentle lady, immediately
upon her husband's death, conceived this good prompting of the spirit,
and obeyed it on the spot.'

For the moment, Lucrezia, whom in future we must call Sister Umilia, had
to be left unmolested. The judges returned to the interrogation of their
prisoners. Vincenzo del Zoppo and his wife Pollonia, in whose house the
lovers used to meet, were tortured; but nothing that implied a criminal
correspondence transpired from their evidence. Then the unlucky Carli
was once more put to the strappado. He fell into a deep swoon, and was
with difficulty brought to life again. Next his son, a youth of sixteen
years, was racked with similar results. On June 7, they resolved to have
another try at Vincenzo da Coreglia. This soldier had been kept on low
diet in his prison during the last week, and was therefore ripe,
according to the judicial theories of those times, for salutary
torments. Having been strung up by his hands, he was jerked and shaken
in the customary fashion, until he declared his willingness to make a
full confession. He had been informed, he said, that Massimiliano
intended to assassinate Lelio by means of his three bravi, Pietro da
Castelnuovo, Ottavio da Trapani, and Niccolo da Pariana. He engaged to
stand by and cover the retreat of these men. It was Carli, and not
Massimiliano, who had made overtures to him. On being once more
tortured, he only confirmed this confession. Carli was again summoned,
and set upon the 'she-goat,' with heavy weights attached to his feet.
The poor wretch sat for two hours on this infernal machine, the sharp
edges and spikes of which were so contrived as to press slowly and
deeply upon the tenderest portions of his body.[192] But he endured this
agony without uttering a word, until the judges perceived that he was at
the point of death. Next day, the 8th of June, Coreglia was again
summoned to the justice-chamber. Terrified by the prospect of future
torments, and wearied out with importunities, he at last made a clean
breast of all he knew. It was not Carli, but Massimiliano himself, who
had engaged him; and he had assisted at the murder of Lelio, which was
accomplished by two of the bravi, Ottavio and Pietro. Coreglia said
nothing to implicate Sister Umilia. On the contrary he asserted that she
seemed to lose her senses when she saw her husband fall.

[Footnote 192: Campanelia, who was tortured in this way at Naples, says
that on one occasion a pound and a half of his flesh was macerated, and
ten pounds of his blood shed. 'Perduravi horis quadraginta, funiculis
arctissimis ossa usque secantibus ligatus, pendens manibus retro
contortis de fune super acutissimum lignum qui (?) carnis sextertium (?)
in posterioribus mihi devoravit et decem sanguinis libras tellus
ebibit.' Preface to _Atheismus Triumphatus_.]

The General Council, to whom the results of these proceedings were
communicated, published an edict of outlawry against Massimiliano and
his three _bravi_. A price of 500 crowns was put upon the head of each,
wherever he should be killed; and 1,000 crowns were offered to any one
who should kill Massimiliano within the city or state of Lucca. At the
same time they sent an envoy to Rome requesting the Pope's permission to
arrest Umilia, on the ground that she was gravely suspected of being
privy to the murder, and of entering the convent to escape justice. A
few days afterwards, the miserable witnesses, Carli and Coreglia, were
beheaded in their prison.

The Chancellor, Vincenzo Petrucci, left Lucca on June 12, and reached
Rome on the 14th. He obtained an audience from Clement VIII. upon the
15th. When the Pope had read the letter of the Republic, he struck his
palm down on his chair, and cried: 'Jesus! This is a grave case! It
seems hardly possible that a woman of her birth should have been induced
to take share in the murder of her husband.' After some conversation
with the envoy, he added: 'It is certainly an ugly business. But what
can we do now that she has taken the veil?' Then he promised to
deliberate upon the matter, and return an answer later. Petrucci soon
perceived that the Church did not mean to relinquish its privileges, and
that Umilia was supported by powerful friends at court. Cardinal
Castrucci remarked in casual conversation: 'She is surely punished
enough for her sins by the life of the cloister.' A second interview
with Clement on June 21 confirmed him in the opinion that the Republic
would not obtain the dispensation they requested. Meanwhile the Signory
of Lucca prepared a schedule of the suspicions against Umilia, grounded
upon her confused evidence, her correspondence with Massimiliano, the
fact that she had done nothing to rescue Lelio by calling out, and her
sudden resort to the convent. This paper reached the Pope, who, on July
8, expressed his view that the Republic ought to be content with leaving
Umilia immured in her monastery; and again, upon the 23rd, he pronounced
his final decision that 'the lady, being a nun, and tonsured and
prepared for the perfect life, is not within the jurisdiction of your
Signory. It is further clear that, finding herself exposed to the
calumnies of those two witnesses, and injured in her reputation, she
took the veil to screen her honor.' On August 13, Petrucci returned to

Clement conceded one point. He gave commission to the Bishop of Lucca to
inquire into Umilia's conduct within the precincts of the monastery. But
the council refused this intervention, for they were on bad terms with
the Bishop, and resented ecclesiastical interference in secular causes.
Moreover, they judged that such an inquisition without torture used, and
in a place of safety, would prove worse than useless. Thus the affair

Meanwhile we may relate what happened to Massimiliano and his _bravi_.
They escaped, through Garfagnana and Massa, into the territory of
Alfonso Malaspina, Marquis of Villafranca and Tresana. This nobleman,
who delighted in protecting outlaws, placed the four men in security in
his stronghold of Tresana. Pietro da Castelnuovo was an outlaw from
Tuscany for the murder of a Carmelite friar, which he had committed at
Pietrasanta a few days before the assassination of Lelio. Seventeen
years after these events he was still alive, and wanted for grave crimes
committed in the Duchy of Modena. History knows no more about him,
except that he had a wife and family. Of Niccolo da Pariana nothing has
to be related. Ottavio da Trapani was caught at Milan, brought back to
Lucca, and hanged there on June 13, 1604, after being torn with pincers.
Massimiliano is said to have made his way to Flanders, where the
Lucchese enjoyed many privileges, and where his family had probably
hereditary connections.[193] Like all outlaws he lived in perpetual
peril of assassination. Remorse and shame invaded him, especially when
news arrived that the mistress, for whom he had risked all, was turning
to a dissolute life (as we shall shortly read) in her monastery. His
reason gave way; and, after twenty-two years of wandering, he returned
to Lucca and was caught. Instead of executing the capital sentence which
had been pronounced upon him, the Signory consigned him to perpetual
prison in the tower of Viareggio, which was then an insalubrious and
fever-stricken village on the coast. Here, walled up in a little room,
alone, deprived of light and air and physical decency, he remained
forgotten for ten years from 1615 to 1625. At the latter date report
was made that he had refused food for three days and was suffering from
a dangerous hemorrhage. When the authorities proposed to break the wall
of his dungeon and send a priest and surgeon to relieve him, he declared
that he would kill himself if they intruded on his misery. Nothing more
was heard of him until 1629, when he was again reported to be at the
point of death. This time he requested the assistance of a priest; and
it is probable that he then died at the age of sixty-nine, having
survived the other actors in this tragedy, and expiated the passion of
his youth by life-long sufferings.

[Footnote 193: I may here allude to a portrait in our National Gallery
of a Lucchese Arnolfini and his wife, painted by Van Eyck.]

When we return to Sister Umilia, and inquire how the years had worn with
her, a new chapter in the story opens. In 1606 she was still cloistered
in S. Chiara, which indeed remained her home until her death. She had
now reached the age of thirty-four. Suspicion meanwhile fell upon the
conduct of the nuns of S. Chiara; and on January 9, in that year, a
rope-ladder was discovered hanging from the garden wall of the convent.
Upon inquiry, it appeared that certain men were in the habit of entering
the house and holding secret correspondence with the sisters. Among
these the most notorious were Piero Passari, a painter, infamous for
vulgar profligacy, and a young nobleman of Lucca, Tommaso Samminiati.
Both of them contrived to evade justice, and were proclaimed, as usual,
outlaws. In the further course of investigation the strongest proofs
were brought to light, from which it appeared that the chief promoter
of these scandals was a man of high position in the state, advanced in
years, married to a second wife, and holding office of trust as
Protector of the Nunnery of S. Chiara. He was named Giovanbattista Dati,
and represented an ancient Lucchese family mentioned by Dante. While
Dati carried on his own intrigue with Sister Cherubina Mei, he did his
best to encourage the painter in promiscuous debauchery, and to foster
the passion which Samminiati entertained for Sister Umilia Malpigli.
Dati was taken prisoner and banished for life to the island of Sardinia;
but his papers fell into the hands of the Signory, who extracted from
them the evidence which follows, touching Umilia and Samminiati. This
young man was ten years her junior; yet the quiet life of the cloister
had preserved Umilia's beauty, and she was still capable of inspiring
enthusiastic adoration. This transpires in the letters which Samminiati
addressed to her through Dati from his asylum in Venice. They reveal,
says Signor Bonghi, a strange confusion of madness, crime, and

[Footnote 194: Here again I have very closely followed the text of
Signor Bonghi's monograph, pp. 112-115.]

Their style is that of a delirious rhetorician. One might fancy they had
been composed as exercises, except for certain traits which mark the
frenzy of genuine exaltation. Threats, imprecations, and blasphemies
alternate with prayers, vows of fidelity and reminiscences of past
delights in love. Samminiati bends before 'his lady' in an attitude of
respectful homage, offering upon his knees the service of awe-struck
devotion. At one time he calls her 'his most beauteous angel,' at
another 'his most lovely and adored enchantress.' He does not conceal
his firm belief that she has laid him under some spell of sorcery; but
entreats her to have mercy and to liberate him, reminding her how a
certain Florentine lady restored Giovan Lorenzo Malpigli to health after
keeping him in magic bondage till his life was in danger.[195] Then he
swears unalterable fealty; heaven and fortune shall not change his love.
It is untrue that at Florence, or at Venice, he has cast one glance on
any other woman. Let lightning strike him, if he deserts Umilia. But she
has caused him jealousy by stooping to a base amour. To this point he
returns with some persistence. Then he entreats her to send him her
portrait, painted in the character of S. Ursula. At another time he
gossips about the nuns, forwarding messages, alluding to their several
love-affairs, and condoling with them on the loss of a compliant
confessor. This was a priest, who, when the indescribable corruptions of
S. Chiara had been clearly proved, calmly remarked that there was no
reason to make such a fuss--they were only affairs of gentlefolk, _cose
di gentilhuomini_. The rival of whom Samminiati was jealous seems to
have been the painter Pietro, who held the key to all the scandals of
the convent in his hand. Umilia, Dati, and Samminiati at last agreed 'to
rid their neighborhood of that pest.' The man had escaped to Rovigo,
whither Samminiati repaired from Venice, 'attended by two good fellows
thoroughly acquainted with the district.'

[Footnote 195: It appears that violent passion for a person was commonly
attributed at that epoch to enchantment. See above, the confession of
the Lady of Monza, p. 320.]

But Pietro got away to Ferrara, his enemy following and again missing
him. Samminiati writes that he is resolved to hunt 'that rascal' out,
and make an end of him. Meanwhile Umilia is commissioned to do for
Calidonia Burlamacchi, a nun who had withdrawn from the company of her
guilty sisters, and knew too many of their secrets. Samminiati sends a
white powder, and a little phial containing a liquid, both of which, he
informs Umilia, are potent poisons, with instructions how to use them
and how to get Calidonia to swallow the ingredients. Then 'if the devil
does not help her, she will pass from this life in half a night's time,
and without the slightest sign of violence.'

It may be imagined what disturbance was caused in the General Council by
the reading of this correspondence. Nearly all the noble families of
Lucca were connected by ties of blood or marriage with one or other of
the culprits; and when the relatives of the accused had been excluded
from the session, only sixty members were left to debate on further
measures. I will briefly relate what happened to the three outlaws.
Venice refused to give up Samminiati at the request of the Lucchese,
saying that 'the Republic of S. Mark would not initiate a course of
action prejudicial to the hospitality which every sort of person was
wont to enjoy there.' But the young man was banished to Candia, whither
he obediently retired. Pietro, the painter, was eventually permitted to
return to the territory but not the town of Lucca. Dati surrounded
himself with armed men, as was the custom of rich criminals on whose
head a price was set. After wandering some time, he submitted, and took
up his abode in Sardinia, whence he afterwards removed, by permission of
the Signory, to France. There he died. With regard to the nuns, it
seemed at first that the ends of justice would be defeated through the
jealousies which divided the civil and ecclesiastical authorities in
Lucca. The Bishop was absent, and his Vicar refused to institute a
criminal process. Umilia remained at large in the convent, and even
began a new intrigue with one Simo Menocchi. At last, in 1609, the Vicar
prepared his indictment against the guilty nuns, and forwarded it to
Rome. Their sentence was as follows: Sister Orizia condemned to
incarceration for life, and loss of all her privileges; Sister Umilia,
to the same penalties for a term of seven years; Sisters Paola,
Cherubina, and Dionea, received a lighter punishment. Orizia, it may be
mentioned, had written a letter with her own blood to some lover; but
nothing leads us to suppose that she was equally guilty with Umilia,
who had entered into the plot to poison Sister Calidonia.

Umilia was duly immured, and bore her punishment until the year 1616, at
which time the sentence expired. But she was not released for another
two years; for she persistently refused to humble herself, or to request
that liberation as a grace which was her due in justice. Nor would she
submit to the shame of being seen about the convent without her monastic
habit. Finally, in 1618, she obtained freedom and restoration to her
privileges as a nun of S. Chiara. It may be added, as a last remark,
that, when the convent was being set to rights, Umilia's portrait in the
character of S. Ursula was ordered to be destroyed, or rendered fit for
devout uses by alterations. Any nun who kept it in her cell incurred the
penalty of excommunication. In what year Umilia died remains unknown.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Cenci_.

Shifting the scene to Rome, we light upon a group of notable misdeeds
enacted in the last half of the sixteenth century, each of which is well
calculated to illustrate the conditions of society and manners at that
epoch. It may be well to begin with the Cenci tragedy. In Shelley's
powerful drama, in Guerrazzi's tedious novel, and Scolari's digest, the
legend of Beatrice Cenci has long appealed to modern sympathy. The real
facts, extracted from legal documents and public registers, reduce its
poetry of horror to comparatively squalid prose.[196] Yet, shorn of
romantic glamour, the bare history speaks significantly to a student of
Italian customs. Monsignore Cristoforo Cenci, who died about the year
1562, was in holy orders, yet not a priest. One of the clerks of the
Apostolic Camera, a Canon of S. Peter's, the titular incumbent of a
Roman parish, and an occupant of minor offices about the Papal Court and
Curia, he represented an epicene species, neither churchman nor layman,
which the circumstances of ecclesiastical sovereignty rendered
indispensable. Cristoforo belonged to a good family among that secondary
Roman aristocracy which ranked beneath the princely feudatories and the
Papal bastards. He accumulated large sums of money by maladministration
of his official trusts, inherited the estates of two uncles, and
bequeathed a colossal fortune to his son Francesco. This youth was the
offspring of an illicit connection carried on between Monsignore Cenci
and Beatrice Amias during the lifetime of that lady's husband. Upon the
death of the husband the Monsignore obtained dispensation from his
orders, married Beatrice, and legitimated his son, the inheritor of so
much wealth. Francesco was born in 1549, and had therefore reached the
age of thirteen when his father died. His mother, Beatrice, soon
contracted a third matrimonial union; but during her guardianship of the
boy she appeared before the courts, accused of having stolen clothing
from his tutor's wardrobe.

[Footnote 196: _Francesco Cenci e la sua Famiglia_. Per A. Bertolotti,
Firenze, 1877.]

Francesco Cenci disbursed a sum of 33,000 crowns to various public
offices, in order to be allowed to enter unmolested into the enjoyment
of his father's gains: 3,800 crowns of this sum went to the Chapter of
S. Peter's.[197] He showed a certain precocity; for at the age of
fourteen he owned an illegitimate child, and was accused of violence to
domestics. In 1563 his family married him to Ersilia, a daughter of the
noble Santa Croce house, who brought him a fair dowry. Francesco lived
for twenty-one years with this lady, by whom he had twelve children.
Upon her death he remained a widower for nine years, and in 1593 he
married Lucrezia Petroni, widow of a Roman called Velli. Francesco's
conduct during his first marriage was not without blame. Twice, at
least, he had to pay fines for acts of brutality to servants; and once
he was prosecuted for an attempt to murder a cousin, also named
Francesco Cenci. On another occasion we find him outlawed from the
States of the Church. Yet these offences were but peccadilloes in a
wealthy Roman baron; and Francesco used to boast that, with money in his
purse, he had no dread of justice. After the death of his wife Ersilia,
his behavior grew more irregular. Three times between 1591 and 1594 he
was sued for violent attacks on servants; and in February of the latter
year he remained six months in prison on multiplied charges of unnatural
vice. There was nothing even here to single Francesco Cenci out from
other nobles of his age.[198] Scarcely a week passed in Rome without
some affair of the sort involving outrage, being brought before the
judges. Cardinals, prelates, princes, professional men and people of the
lowest rank were alike implicated. The only difference between the
culprits was that the rich bought themselves off, while the destitute
were burned. Eleven poor Spaniards and Portuguese were sent to the stake
in 1578 for an offence which Francesco Cenci compounded in 1594 by the
payment of 100,000 crowns. After this warning and the loss of so much
money, he grew more circumspect, married his second wife Lucrezia, and
settled down to rule his family. His sons caused him considerable
anxiety. Giacomo, the eldest, married against his father's will, and
supported himself by forging obligations and raising money. Francesco's
displeasure showed itself in several lawsuits, one of which accused
Giacomo of having plotted against his life. The second son, Cristoforo,
was assassinated by Paolo Bruno, a Corsican, in the prosecution of a
love affair with the wife of a Trasteverine fisherman. The third son,
Rocco, spent his time in street adventures, and on one occasion laid his
hands on all the plate and portable property that he could carry off
from his father's house. This young ruffian, less than twenty years of
age, found a devoted friend in Monsignore Querro, a cousin of the family
well placed at court, who assisted him in the burglary of the Cenci
palace. Rocco was killed by Amilcare Orsini, a bastard of the Count of
Pitigliano, in a brawl at night. The young men met, Cenci attended by
three armed servants, Orsini by two. A single pass of rapiers, in which
Rocco was pierced through the right eye, ended the affair.

[Footnote 197: He was afterwards forced, in 1590, to disgorge a second
sum of 25,000 crowns.]

[Footnote 198: Prospero Farinaccio, the advocate of Cenci's murderers,
was himself tried for this crime (Bertolotti, _op. cit._ p. 104). The
curious story of the Spanish soldiers alluded to above will be found in
Mutinelli, _Stor. Arc_. vol. i. p. 121. See the same work of Mutinelli,
vol. i. p. 48, for a similar prosecution in Rome 1566; and vol. iv. p.
152 for another involving some hundred people of condition at Milan in
1679. Compare what Sarpi says about the Florentine merchants and Roman
_cinedi_ in his _Letters_, date 1609, vol. i. p. 288. For the manners of
the Neapolitans, _Vita di D. Pietro di Toledo (Arch. Stor. It_., vol.
ix. p. 23). The most scandalous example of such vice in high quarters
was given by Pietro de'Medici, one of Duke Cosimo's sons. _Galluzzi_,
vol. v. p. 174, and Litta's pedigree of the Medici. The _Bandi
Lucchesi_, ed. S. Bonghi, Bologna, 1863, pp. 377 381, treats the subject
in full; and it has been discussed by Canello, _op. cit._ pp. 20-23. The
_Artes Jesuiticae_, op. cit. Articles 62, 120, illustrate casuistry on
the topic.]

In addition to his vindictive persecution of his worthless eldest son,
Francesco Cenci behaved with undue strictness to the younger, allowing
them less money than befitted their station and treating them with a
severity which contrasted comically with his own loose habits. The
legend which represents him as an exceptionally wicked man, cruel for
cruelty's sake and devoid of natural affection, receives some color from
the facts. Yet these alone are not sufficient to justify its darker
hues, while they amply prove that Francesco's children gave him
grievous provocation. The discontents of this ill-governed family
matured into rebellion; and in 1598 it was decided on removing the old
Cenci by murder. His second wife Lucrezia, his eldest son Giacomo, his
daughter Beatrice, and the youngest son Bernardo, were implicated in the
crime. It was successfully carried out at the Rocca di Petrella in the
Abruzzi on the night of September 9. Two hired _bravi_, Olimpio Calvetti
and Marzio Catalani, entered the old man's bedroom, drove a nail into
his head, and flung the corpse out from a gallery, whence it was alleged
that he had fallen by accident. Six days after this assassination
Giacomo and his brothers took out letters both at Rome and in the realm
of Naples for the administration of their father's property; nor does
suspicion seem for some time to have fallen upon them. It awoke at
Petrella in November, the feudatory of which fief, Marzio Colonna,
informed the government of Naples that proceedings ought to be taken
against the Cenci and their cut-throats. Accordingly, on December 10, a
ban was published against Olimpio and Marzio. Olimpio met his death at
an inn door in a little village called Cantalice. Three desperate
fellows, at the instigation of Giacomo de'Cenci and Monsignore Querro,
surprised him there. But Marzio fell into the hands of justice, and his
evidence caused the immediate arrest of the Cenci. It appears that they
were tortured and that none of them denied the accusation; so that
their advocates could only plead extenuating circumstances. To this fact
may possibly be due the legend of Beatrice. In order to mitigate the
guilt of parricide, Prospero Farinacci, who conducted her defense,
established a theory of enormous cruelty and unspeakable outrages
committed on her person by her father. With the same object in view, he
tried to make out that Bernardo was half-witted. There is quite
sufficient extant evidence to show that Bernardo was a young man of
average intelligence; and with regard to Beatrice, nothing now remains
to corroborate Farinaccio's hypothesis of incest. She was not a girl of
sixteen, as the legend runs, but a woman of twenty-two;[199] and the
codicils to her will render it nearly certain that she had given birth
to an illegitimate son, for whose maintenance she made elaborate and
secret provisions. That the picture ascribed to Guido Reni in the
Barberini palace is not a portrait of Beatrice in prison, appears
sufficiently proved. Guido did not come to Rome until 1608, nine years
after her death; and catalogues of the Barberini gallery, compiled in
1604 and 1623, contain no mention either of a painting by Guido or of
Beatrice's portrait. The Cenci were lodged successively in the prisons
of Torre di Nona, Savelli, and S. Angelo. They occupied wholesome
apartments and were allowed the attendance of their own domestics. That
their food was no scanty dungeon fare appears from the _menus_ of
dinners and suppers supplied to them, which include fish, flesh, fruit
salad, and snow to cool the water. In spite of powerful influence at
court, Clement VIII. at last resolved to exercise strict justice on the
Cenci. He was brought to this decision by a matricide perpetrated in
cold blood at Subiaco, on September 5, 1599. Paolo di S. Croce, a
relative of the Cenci, murdered his mother Costanza in her bed, with the
view of obtaining property over which she had control. The sentence
issued a few days after this event. Giacomo was condemned to be torn to
pieces by red hot pincers, and finished with a _coup de grâce_ from the
hangman's hammer. Lucrezia and Beatrice received the slighter sentence
of decapitation; while Bernardo, in consideration of his youth, was let
off with the penalty of being present at the execution of his kinsfolk,
after which he was to be imprisoned for a year and then sent to the
galleys for life. Their property was confiscated to the Camera
Apostolica. These punishments were carried out.[200] But Bernardo, after
working at Cività Vecchia until 1606, obtained release and lived in
banishment till his death in 1627. Monsignor Querro, for his connivance
in the whole affair, was banished to the island of Malta, whence he
returned at some date before the year 1633 to Rome, having expiated his
guilt by long and painful exile. In this abstract of the Cenci tragedy,
I have followed the documents published by Signor Bertolotti. They are
at many points in startling contradiction to the legend, which is
founded on MS. accounts compiled at no distant period after the events.
One of these was translated by Shelley; another, differing in some
particulars, was translated by De Stendhal. Both agree in painting that
lurid portrait of Francesco Cenci which Shelley has animated with the
force of a great dramatist.[201] Unluckily, no copy of the legal
instructions upon which the trial was conducted is now extant. In the
absence of this all-important source of information, it would be unsafe
to adopt Bertolotti's argument, that the legend calumniates Francesco in
order to exculpate Beatrice, without some reservation. There is room for
the belief that facts adduced in evidence may have partly justified the
prevalent opinion of Beatrice's infamous persecution by her father.

[Footnote 199: De Stendhal's MS. authority says she was sixteen,
Shelley's that she was twenty.]

[Footnote 200: De Stendhal's MS. describes how Giacomo was torn by
pincers; Shelley's says that this part of the sentence was remitted.]

_The Massimi_.

The tragedy of the Cenci, about which so much has been written in
consequence of the supposed part taken in it by Beatrice, seems to me
common-place compared with that of the Massimi.[202]

[Footnote 201: The author of De Stendhal's MS. professes to have known
the old Cenci, and gives a definite description of his personal

[Footnote 202: Litta supplies the facts related above.]

Whether this family really descended from the Roman Fabii matters but
little. In the sixteenth century they ranked, as they still rank, among
the proudest nobles of the Eternal City. Lelio, the head of the house,
had six stalwart sons by his first wife, Girolama Savelli. They were
conspicuous for their gigantic stature and herculean strength. After
their mother's death in 1571, their father became enamoured of a woman
inferior at all points, in birth, breeding, and antecedents, to a person
of his quality. She was a certain Eufrosina, who had been married to a
man called Corberio. The great Marc Antonio Colonna murdered this
husband, and brought the wife to Rome as his own mistress. Lelio Massimo
committed the grand error of so loving her, after she had served
Colonna's purpose, that he married her. This was an insult to the honor
of the house, which his sons could not or would not bear. On the night
of her wedding, in 1585, they refused to pay her their respects; and on
the next morning, five of them entered her apartments and shot her dead.
Only one of the six sons, Pompeo Massimo, bore no share in this
assassination. Him, the father, Lelio, blessed; but he solemnly cursed
the other five. After the lapse of a few weeks, he followed his wife to
the grave with a broken heart, leaving this imprecation unrecalled.
Pompeo grew up to continue the great line of Massimo. But disaster fell
on each of his five brothers, the flower of Roman youth, exulting in
their blood, and insolence, and vigor.--The first of them, Ottavio, was
killed by a cannon-ball at sea in honorable combat with the Turk.
Another, Girolamo, who sought refuge in France, was shot down in an
ambuscade while pursuing his amours with a gentle lady. A third,
Alessandro, died under arms before Paris in the troops of General
Farnese. A fourth, Luca, was imprisoned at Rome for his share of the
step-mother's murder, but was released on the plea that he had avenged
the wounded honor of his race. He died, however, poisoned by his own
brother, Marcantonio, in 1599.[203] Marcantonio was arrested on
suspicion and imprisoned in Torre di Nona, where he confessed his guilt.
He was shortly afterwards beheaded on the little square before the
bridge of S. Angelo.

_Vittoria Accoramboni_.

Next in order, I shall take the story of Vittoria Accoramboni. It has
been often told already,[204] yet it combines so many points of interest
bearing upon the social life of the Italians in my period, that to omit
it would be to sacrifice the most important document bearing on the
matter of this chapter. As the Signora di Monza and Lucrezia Buonvisi
help us to understand the secret history of families and convents, so
Vittoria Accoramboni introduces us to that of courts.

[Footnote 203: This fratricide, concurring with the matricide of S.
Croce, contributed to the rigor with which the Cenci parricide was
punished in that year of Roman crimes.]

[Footnote 204: _The White Devil_, a tragedy by John Webster, London,
1612; De Stendhal's _Chroniques et Nouvelles_, Vittoria Accoramboni,
Paris 1855; _Vittoria Accoramboni_, D. Gnoli, Firenze, 1870; _Italian
Byways_, by J.A. Symonds, London, 1883. The greater part of follows
above is extracted from my _Italian Byways_.]

It will be noticed how the same machinery of lawless nobles and
profligate _bravi_, acting in concert with bold women, is brought into
play throughout the tragedies which form the substance of our present

Vittoria was born in 1557, of a noble but impoverished family, at Gubbio
among the hills of Umbria. Her biographers are rapturous in their
praises of her beauty, grace, and exceeding charm of manner. Not only
was her person most lovely, but her mind shone at first with all the
amiable luster of a modest, innocent, and winning youth. Her father,
Claudio Accoramboni, removed to Rome, where his numerous children were
brought up under the care of their mother, Tarquinia, an ambitious
woman, bent on rehabilitating the decayed honors of her house. Here
Vittoria in early girlhood soon became the fashion. She exercised an
irresistible influence over all who saw her, and many were the offers of
marriage she refused. At length a suitor appeared whose condition and
connection with the Roman ecclesiastical nobility rendered him
acceptable in the eyes of the Accoramboni. Francesco Peretti was
welcomed as the successful candidate for Vittoria's hand. His mother,
Camilla, was sister to Felice, Cardinal of Montalto; and her son,
Francesco Mignucci, had changed both of his names to Felice Peretti in
compliment to this illustrious relative.[205]

It was the nephew, then, of the future Sixtus V., that Vittoria
Accoramboni married on June 28, 1573. For a short while the young couple
lived happily together. According to some accounts of their married
life, the bride secured the favor of her powerful uncle-in-law, who
indulged her costly fancies to the full. It is, however, more probable
that the Cardinal Montalto treated her follies with a grudging
parsimony; for we soon find the Peretti household hopelessly involved in
debt. Discord, too, arose between Vittoria and her husband on the score
of levity in her behavior; and it was rumored that even during the brief
space of their union she had proved a faithless wife. Yet she contrived
to keep Francesco's confidence, and it is certain that her family
profited by their connection with the Peretti. Of her six brothers,
Mario, the eldest, was a favorite courtier of the great Cardinal d'Este.
Ottavio was in orders, and through Montalto's influence obtained the See
of Fossombrone. The same eminent protector placed Scipione in the
service of the Cardinal Sforza. Camillo, famous for his beauty and his
courage, followed the fortunes of Filibert of Savoy, and died in France.
Flaminio was still a boy, dependent, as the sequel of this story shows,
upon his sister's destiny.

[Footnote 205: I find a Felice Peretti mentioned in the will of Giacomo
Cenci condemned in 1597. But this was after the death of this Peretti,
whom I shall continue to call Francesco.]

Of Marcello, the second in age and most important in the action of this
tragedy, it is needful to speak with more particularity. He was young,
and, like the rest of his breed, singularly handsome--so handsome,
indeed, that he is said to have gained an infamous ascendency over the
great Duke of Bracciano, whose privy chamberlain he had become. Marcello
was an outlaw for the murder of Matteo Pallavicino, the brother of the
Cardinal of that name. This did not, however, prevent the chief of the
Orsini house from making him his favorite and confidential friend.
Marcello, who seems to have realized in actual life the worst vices of
those Roman courtiers described for us by Aretino, very soon conceived
the plan of exalting his own fortunes by trading on his sister's beauty.
He worked upon the Duke of Bracciano's mind so cleverly that he brought
this haughty prince to the point of an insane passion for Peretti's
young wife; and meanwhile he so contrived to inflame the ambition of
Vittoria and her mother, Tarquinia, that both were prepared to dare the
worst of crimes in expectation of a dukedom. The game was a difficult
one to play. Not only had Francesco Peretti first to be murdered, but
the inequality of birth and wealth and station between Vittoria and the
Duke of Bracciano rendered a marriage almost impossible. It was also an
affair of delicacy to stimulate without satisfying the Duke s passion.
Yet Marcello did not despair. The stakes were high enough to justify
great risks; and all he put in peril was his sister's honor, the fame
of the Accoramboni, and the favor of Montalto. Vittoria, for her part,
trusted in her power to ensnare and secure the noble prey both had in

Paolo Giordano Orsini, born about the year 1637, was reigning Duke of
Bracciano. Among Italian princes he ranked almost upon a par with the
Dukes of Urbino; and his family, by its alliances, was more illustrious
than any of that time in Italy. He was a man of gigantic stature,
prodigious corpulence, and marked personal daring; agreeable in manners,
but subject to uncontrollable fits of passion, and incapable of
self-restraint when crossed in any whim or fancy. Upon the habit of his
body it is needful to insist, in order that the part he played in this
tragedy of intrigue, crime, and passion may be well defined. He found it
difficult to procure a charger equal to his weight, and he was so fat
that a special dispensation relieved him from the duty of genuflexion in
the Papal presence. Though lord of a large territory, yielding princely
revenues, he labored under heavy debts; for no great noble of the period
lived more splendidly, with less regard for his finances. In the
politics of that age and country, Paolo Giordano leaned towards France.
Yet he was a grandee of Spain, and had played a distinguished part in
the battle of Lepanto. Now, the Duke of Bracciano was a widower. He had
been married in 1553 to Isabella de'Medici, daughter of the Grand, Duke
Cosimo, sister of Francesco, Bianca Capello's lover, and of the
Cardinal Ferdinando. Suspicion of adultery with Troilo Orsini had fallen
on Isabella; and her husband, with the full concurrence of her brothers,
removed her in 1576 from this world by poison.[206] No one thought the
worse of Bracciano for this murder of his wife. In those days of
abandoned vice and intricate villany, certain points of honor were
maintained with scrupulous fidelity. A wife's adultery was enough to
justify the most savage and licentious husband in an act of
semi-judicial vengeance; and the shame she brought upon his head was
shared by the members of her own house, so that they stood by,
consenting to her death. Isabella, it may be said, left one son,
Virginio, who became, in due time, Duke of Bracciano.

It appears that in the year 1581, four years after Vittoria's marriage,
the Duke of Bracciano satisfied Marcello of his intention to make her
his wife, and of his willingness to countenance Francesco Peretti's
murder. Marcello, feeling sure of his game, now introduced the Duke in
private to his sister, and induced her to overcome any natural
repugnance she may have felt for the unwieldy and gross lover. Having
reached this point, it was imperative to push matters quickly on toward

[Footnote 206: The balance of probability leans against Isabella in this
affair. At the licentious court of the Medici she lived with
unpardonable freedom. Troilo Orsini was himself assassinated in Paris by
Bracciano's orders a few years afterwards.]

But how should the unfortunate Francesco be entrapped? They caught him
in a snare of peculiar atrocity, by working on the kindly feelings which
his love for Vittoria had caused him to extend to all the Accoramboni.
Marcello, the outlaw, was her favorite brother, and Marcello at that
time lay in hiding, under the suspicion of more than ordinary crime,
beyond the walls of Rome. Late in the evening of April 18, while the
Peretti family were retiring to bed, a messenger from Marcello arrived,
entreating Francesco to repair at once to Monte Cavallo. Marcello had
affairs of the utmost importance to communicate, and begged his
brother-in-law not to fail him at a grievous pinch. The letter
containing this request was borne by one Dominico d'Aquaviva, _alias_ Il
Mancino, a confederate of Vittoria's waiting-maid. This fellow, like
Marcello, was an outlaw; but when he ventured into Rome he frequented
Peretti's house, and he had made himself familiar with its master as a
trusty bravo. Neither in the message, therefore, nor in the messenger
was there much to rouse suspicion. The time, indeed, was oddly chosen,
and Marcello had never made a similar appeal on any previous occasion.
Yet his necessities might surely have obliged him to demand some more
than ordinary favor from a brother. Francesco immediately made himself
ready to start out, armed only with his sword and attended by a single
servant. It was in vain that his wife and his mother reminded him of the
dangers of the night, the loneliness of Monte Cavallo, its ruinous
palaces and robber-haunted caves. He was resolved to undertake the
adventure, and went forth, never to return. As he ascended the hill, he
fell to earth, shot with three harquebusses. His body was afterwards
found on Monte Cavallo, stabbed through and through, without a trace
that could identify the murderers. Only, in the course of subsequent
investigations, Il Mancino (February 24, 1582) made the following
statements:--That Vittoria's mother, assisted by the waiting woman, had
planned the trap; that Marchionne of Gubbio and Paolo Barca of
Bracciano, two of the Duke's men, had despatched the victim. Marcello
himself, it seems, had come from Bracciano to conduct the whole affair.
Suspicion fell immediately upon Vittoria and her kindred, together with
the Duke of Bracciano; nor was this diminished when the Accoramboni,
fearing the pursuit of justice, took refuge in a villa of the Duke's at
Magnanapoli a few days after the murder.

A cardinal's nephew, even in those troublous times, was not killed
without some noise being made about the matter. Accordingly, Pope
Gregory XIII. began to take measures for discovering the authors of the
crime. Strange to say, however, the Cardinal Montalto, notwithstanding
the great love he was known to bear his nephew, begged that the
investigation might be dropped. The coolness with which he first
received the news of Francesco Peretti's death, the dissimulation with
which he met the Pope's expression of sympathy in a full consistory, his
reserve while greeting friends on ceremonial visits of condolence, and,
more than all, the self-restraint he showed in the presence of the Duke
of Bracciano, impressed the society of Rome with the belief that he was
of a singularly moderate and patient temper. It was thought that the man
who could so tamely submit to his nephew's murder, and suspend the arm
of justice when already raised for vengeance, must prove a mild and
indulgent ruler. When, therefore, in the fifth year after this event,
Montalto was elected Pope, men ascribed his elevation in no small
measure to his conduct at the present crisis. Some, indeed, attributed
his extraordinary moderation and self-control to the right cause.
'_Veramente costui è un gran frate_!' was Gregory's remark at the close
of the consistory when Montalto begged him to let the matter of
Peretti's murder rest. '_Of a truth, that fellow is a consummate
hypocrite_!' How accurate this judgment was, appeared when Sixtus V.
assumed the reins of power. The priest who, as monk and cardinal, had
smiled on Bracciano, though he knew him to be his nephew's assassin,
now, as Pontiff and sovereign, bade the chief of the Orsini purge his
palace and dominions of the scoundrels he was wont to harbor, adding
significantly, that if the Cardinal Felice Peretti forgave what had been
done against him in a private station, the same man would exact
uttermost vengeance for disobedience to the will of Sixtus. The Duke of
Bracciano judged it best, after that warning, to withdraw from Rome.

Francesco Peretti had been murdered on April 16, 1581. Sixtus V. was
proclaimed on April 24, 1585. In this interval Vittoria underwent a
series of extraordinary perils and adventures. First of all, she had
been secretly married to the Duke in his gardens of Magnanapoli at the
end of April 1581. That is to say, Marcello and she secured their prize,
as well as they were able, the moment after Francesco had been removed
by murder. But no sooner had the marriage become known, than the Pope,
moved by the scandal it created, no less than by the urgent instance of
the Orsini and Medici, declared it void. After some while spent in vain
resistance, Bracciano submitted, and sent Vittoria back to her father's
house. By an order issued under Gregory's own hand, she was next removed
to the prison of Corte Savella, thence to the monastery of S. Cecilia in
Trastevere, and finally to the Castle of S. Angelo. Here at the end of
December 1581, she was put on her trial for the murder of her first
husband. In prison she seems to have borne herself bravely, arraying her
beautiful person in delicate attire, entertaining visitors, exacting
from her friends the honors due to a duchess, and sustaining the
frequent examinations to which she was submitted with a bold, proud
front. In the middle of the month of July her constancy was sorely tried
by the receipt of a letter in the Duke's own handwriting, formally
renouncing his marriage. It was only by a lucky accident that she was
prevented on this occasion from committing suicide. The Papal court
meanwhile kept urging her either to retire to a monastery or to accept
another husband. She firmly refused to embrace the religious life, and
declared that she was already lawfully united to a living husband, the
Duke of Bracciano. It seemed impossible to deal with her; and at last,
on November 8, she was released from prison under the condition of
retirement to Gubbio. The Duke had lulled his enemies to rest by the
pretense of yielding to their wishes. But Marcello was continually
beside him at Bracciano, where we read of a mysterious Greek enchantress
whom he hired to brew love-philters for the furtherance of his ambitious
plots. Whether Bracciano was stimulated by the brother's arguments or by
the witch's potions need not be too curiously questioned. But it seems
in any case certain that absence inflamed his passion instead of cooling

Accordingly, in September 1583, under the excuse of a pilgrimage to
Loreto, he contrived to meet Vittoria at Trevi, whence he carried her in
triumph to Bracciano. Here he openly acknowledged her as his wife,
installing her with all the splendor due to a sovereign duchess. On
October 10 following, he once more performed the marriage ceremony in
the principal church of his fief; and in the January of 1584 he brought
her openly to Rome. This act of contumacy to the Pope, both as feudal
superior and as Supreme Pontiff, roused all the former opposition to his
marriage. Once more it was declared invalid. Once more the Duke
pretended to give way. But at this juncture Gregory died; and while the
conclave was sitting for the election of the new Pope, he resolved to
take the law into his own hands, and to ratify his union with Vittoria
by a third and public marriage in Rome. On the morning of April 24,
1585, their nuptials were accordingly once more solemnized in the Orsini
palace. Just one hour after the ceremony, as appears from the
marriage-register, the news arrived of Cardinal Montalto's election to
the Papacy. Vittoria lost no time in paying her respects to Camilla,
sister of the new Pope, her former mother-in-law. The Duke visited
Sixtus V. in state to compliment him on his elevation. But the reception
which both received proved that Rome was no safe place for them to live
in. They consequently made up their minds for flight.

A chronic illness from which Bracciano had lately suffered furnished a
sufficient pretext. This seems to have been something of the nature of a
cancerous ulcer, which had to be treated by the application of raw meat
to open sores. Such details are only excusable in the present narrative
on the ground that Bracciano's disease considerably affects our moral
judgment of the woman who could marry a man thus physically tainted, and
with her husband's blood upon his hands. At any rate, the Duke's _lupa_
justified his trying what change of air, together with the sulphur
waters of Abano, would do for him.

The Duke and Duchess arrived in safety at Venice, where they had engaged
the Dandolo palace on the Zueca. There they only stayed a few days,
removing to Padua, where they had hired palaces of the Foscari in the
Arena and a house called De'Cavalli. At Salò, also, on the Lake of
Garda, they provided themselves with fit dwellings for their princely
state and their large retinues, intending to divide their time between
the pleasures which the capital of luxury afforded and the simpler
enjoyments of the most beautiful of the Italian lakes. But _la gioia dei
profani è un fumo passaggier_. Paolo Giordano Orsini, Duke of Bracciano,
died suddenly at Salò on November 10, 1585, leaving the young and
beautiful Vittoria helpless among enemies. What was the cause of his
death? It is not possible to give a clear and certain answer. We have
seen that he suffered from a horrible and voracious disease, which after
his removal from Rome seems to have made progress. Yet though this
malady may well have cut his life short, suspicion of poison was not, in
the circumstances, quite unreasonable. The Grand Duke of Tuscany, the
Pope, and the Orsini family were all interested in his death. Anyhow, he
had time to make a will in Vittoria's favor, leaving her large sums of
money, jewels, goods, and houses--enough, in fact, to support her ducal
dignity with splendor. His hereditary fiefs and honors passed by right
to his only son, Virginio.

Vittoria, accompanied by her brother, Marcello, and the whole court of
Bracciano, repaired at once to Padua, where she was soon after joined by
Flaminio, and by the Prince Lodovico Orsini. Lodovico Orsini assumed the
duty of settling Vittoria's affairs under her dead husband's will. In
life he had been the duke's ally as well as relative. His family pride
was deeply wounded by what seemed to him an ignoble, as it was certainly
an unequal, marriage. He now showed himself the relentless enemy of the
Duchess. Disputes arose between them as to certain details, which seem
to have been legally decided in the widow's favor. On the night of
December 22, however, forty men, disguised in black and fantastically
tricked out to elude detection, surrounded her palace. Through the long
galleries and chambers hung with arras, eight of them went, bearing
torches, in search of Vittoria and her brothers. Marcello escaped,
having fled the house under suspicion of the murder of one of his own
followers. Flaminio, the innocent and young, was playing on his lute and
singing _Miserere_ in the great hall of the palace. The murderers
surprised him with a shot from one of their harquebusses. He ran,
wounded in the shoulder, to his sister's room. She, it is said, was
telling her beads before retiring for the night. When three of the
assassins entered, she knelt before the crucifix, and there they stabbed
her in the left breast, turning the poignard in the wound, and asking
her with savage insults if her heart was pierced. Her last words were,
'Jesus, I pardon you.' Then they turned to Flaminio, and left him
pierced with seventy-four stiletto wounds.

The authorities of Padua identified the bodies of Vittoria and Flaminio,
and sent at once for further instructions to Venice. Meanwhile it
appears that both corpses were laid out in one open coffin for the
people to contemplate. The palace and the church of the Eremitani, to
which they had been removed, were crowded all through the following day
with a vast concourse of the Paduans. Vittoria's dead body, pale yet
sweet to look upon, the golden hair flowing around her marble shoulders,
the red wound in her breast uncovered, the stately limbs arrayed in
satin as she died, maddened the populace with its surpassing loveliness.
'_Dentibus fremebant_.' says the chronicler, when they beheld that
gracious lady stiff in death. And of a truth, if her corpse was actually
exposed in the chapel of the Eremitani, as we have some right to assume,
the spectacle must have been impressive. Those grim gaunt frescoes of
Mantegna looked down on her as she lay stretched upon her bier, solemn
and calm, and, but for pallor, beautiful as though in life. No wonder
that the folk forgot her first husband's murder, her less than comely
marriage to the second. It was enough for them that this flower of
surpassing loveliness had been cropped by villains in its bloom.
Gathering in knots around the torches placed beside the corpse, they
vowed vengeance against the Orsini; for suspicion, not unnaturally, fell
on Prince Lodovico.

The Prince was arrested and interrogated before the court of Padua. He
entered their hall attended by forty armed men, responded haughtily to
their questions and demanded free passage for his courier to Virginio
Orsini, then at Florence. To this demand the court acceded; but the
precaution of waylaying the courier and searching his person was very
wisely taken. Besides some formal despatches which announced Vittoria's
assassination, they found in this man's boot a compromising letter,
declaring Virginio a party to the crime, and asserting that Lodovico had
with his own poignard killed their victim. Padua placed itself in a
state of defense, and prepared to besiege the palace of Prince Lodovico,
who also got himself in readiness for battle. Engines, culverins, and
fire-brands were directed against the barricades which he had raised.
The militia was called out and the Brenta was strongly guarded.
Meanwhile the Senate of S. Mark had despatched the Avogadore, Aloisio
Bragadin, with full power, to the scene of action. Lodovico Orsini, it
may be mentioned, was in their service: and had not this affair
intervened, he would in a few weeks have entered on his duties as
Governor for Venice of Corfu.

The bombardment of Orsini's palace began on Christmas Day. Three of the
Prince's men were killed in the first assault; and since the artillery
brought to bear upon him threatened speedy ruin to the house and its
inhabitants, he made up his mind to surrender. 'The Prince Luigi,'
writes one chronicler of these events, 'walked attired in brown, his
poignard at his side, and his cloak slung elegantly under his arm. The
weapon being taken from him he leaned upon a balustrade, and began to
trim his nails with a little pair of scissors he happened to find

On the 27th he was strangled in prison by order of the Venetian
Republic. His body was carried to be buried, according to his own will,
in the church of S. Maria dell'Orto at Venice. Two of his followers were
hanged next day. Fifteen were executed on the following Monday; two of
these were quartered alive; one of them the Conte Paganello, who
confessed to having slain Vittoria, had his left side probed with his
own cruel dagger. Eight were condemned to the galleys, six to prison,
and eleven were acquitted.

Thus ended this terrible affair, which brought, it is said, good credit,
and renown to the lords of Venice through all nations of the civilized
world. It only remains to be added that Marcello Accoramboni was
surrendered to the Pope's vengeance and beheaded at Ancona, where also
his mysterious accomplice, the Greek sorceress, perished.

_The Duchess of Palliano_.

It was the custom of Italians in the 16th and 17th centuries to compose
and circulate narratives of tragic or pathetic incidents in real life.
They were intended to satisfy curiosity in an age when newspapers and
law reports did not exist, and also to suit the taste of ladies and
gentlemen versed in Boccaccio and Bandello. Resembling the London
letters of our ancestors, they passed from hand to hand, rarely found
their way into the printing office, and when they had performed their
task were left to moulder in the dust of bookcases. The private archives
of noble families abound in volumes of such tales, and some may still be
found upon the shelves of public libraries. These MS. collections
furnish a mine of inexhaustible riches to the student of manners. When
checked by legal documents, they frequently reveal carelessness,
inaccuracy, or even willful distortion of facts. The genius of the
Novella, so paramount in popular Italian literature of that epoch,
presided over their composition, adding _intreccio_ to disconnected
facts, heightening sympathy by the suggestion of romantic motives,
turning the heroes or the heroines of their adventures into saints, and
blackening the faces of the villains. Yet these stories, pretending to
be veracious and aiming at information no less than entertainment,
present us with even a more vivid picture of customs than the Novelle.
By their truthful touches of landscape and incident painting, by their
unconscious revelation of contemporary sentiment in dialogue and ethical
analysis of motives, they enable us to give form and substance to the
drier details of the law-courts. One of these narratives I propose to
condense from the transcript made by Henri Beyle, for the sake of the
light it throws upon the tragedy of the Caraffa family.[207] It opens
with an account of Paul IV.'s ascent to power and a description of his
nephews. Don Giovanni, the eldest son of the Count of Montorio, was
married to Violante de Cardona, sister of the Count Aliffe. Paul
invested him with the Duchy of Palliano, which he wrested from Marc
Antonio Colonna. Don Carlo, the second son, who had passed his life as a
soldier, entered the Sacred College; and Don Antonio, the third, was
created Marquis of Montebello. The cardinal, as prime minister, assumed
the reins of government in Rome. The Duke of Palliano disposed of the
Papal soldiery. The Marquis of Montebello, commanding the guard of the
palace, excluded or admitted persons at his pleasure. Surrounded by
these nephews, Paul saw only with their eyes, heard only what they
whispered to him, and unwittingly lent his authority to their
lawlessness. They exercised an unlimited tyranny in Rome, laying hands
on property and abusing their position to gratify their lusts. No woman
who had the misfortune to please them was safe; and the cells of
convents were as little respected as the palaces of gentlefolk. To
arrive at justice was impossible; for the three brothers commanded all
avenues, civil, ecclesiastical, and military, by which the Pope could be

Violante, Duchess of Palliano, was a young woman distinguished for her
beauty no less than for her Spanish pride. She had received a thoroughly
Italian education; could recite the sonnets of Petrarch and the stanzas
of Ariosto by heart, and repeated the tales of Ser Giovanni and other
novelists with an originality that lent new charm to their style.[208]
Her court was a splendid one, frequented by noble youths and gentlewomen
of the best blood in Naples. Two of these require particular notice:
Diana Brancaccio, a relative of the Marchioness of Montebello; and
Marcello Capecce, a young man of exceptional beauty. Diana was a woman
of thirty years, hot-tempered, tawny-haired, devotedly in love with
Domiziano Fornari, a squire of the Marchese di Montebello's household.
Marcello had conceived one of those bizarre passions for the Duchess, in
which an almost religious adoration was mingled with audacity,
persistence, and aptitude for any crime. The character of his mistress
gave him but little hope. Though profoundly wounded by her husband's
infidelities, insulted in her pride by the presence of his wanton
favorites under her own roof, and assailed by the importunities of the
most brilliant profligates in Rome, she held a haughty course, above
suspicion, free from taint or stain, Marcello could do nothing but sigh
at a distance and watch his opportunity.

[Footnote 207: 'La Duchesse de Palliano,' in _Chroniques et Nouvelles_,
De Stendhal (Henri Beyle).]

[Footnote 208: This touch shows what were then considered the
accomplishments of a noble woman.]

At this point, the narrator seems to sacrifice historical accuracy for
the sake of combining his chief characters in one intrigue.[209]

[Footnote 209: It was a street-brawl, in which the Cardinal Monte played
an indecent part, that finally aroused the anger of Paul IV. De
Stendhal's MS. shifts the chief blame on to the shoulders of Cardinal
Caraffa, who indeed appears to have been in the habit of keeping bad

Though he assumes the tone of a novelist rather than a chronicler, there
has hitherto been nothing but what corresponds to fact in his
description of the Caraffa Cabal. He now explains their downfall; and
opens the subject after this fashion. At the beginning of the year 1559,
the Pope's confessor ventured to bring before his notice the scandalous
behavior of the Papal nephews. Paul at first refused to credit this
report. But an incident happened which convinced him of its truth. On
the feast of the Circumcision--a circumstance which aggravated matters
in the eyes of a strictly pious Pontiff--Andrea Lanfranchi, secretary to
the Duke of Palliano, invited the Cardinal Caraffa to a banquet. One of
the loveliest and most notorious courtesans of Rome, Martuccia, was
also present; and it so happened that Marcello Capecce at this epoch
believed he had more right to her favors than any other man in the
capital. That night he sought her in her lodgings, pursued her up and
down, and learned at last that she was supping with Lanfranchi and the
Cardinal. Attended by armed men, he made his way to Lanfranchi's house,
entered the banquet room, and ordered Martuccia to come away with him at
once. The Cardinal, who was dressed in secular habit, rose, and, drawing
his sword, protested against this high-handed proceeding. Martuccia, by
favor of their host, was his partner that evening. Upon this, Marcello
called his men; but when they recognized the Cardinal nephew, they
refused to employ violence. In the course of the quarrel, Martuccia made
her escape, followed by Marcello, Caraffa, and the company. There ensued
a street-brawl between the young man and the Cardinal; but no blood was
spilt, and the incident need have had but slight importance, if the Duke
of Palliano had not thought it necessary to place Lanfranchi and
Marcello under arrest. They were soon released, because it became
evident that the chief scandal would fall upon the Cardinal, who had
clearly been scuffling and crossing swords in a dispute about a common
prostitute. The three Caraffa brothers resolved on hushing the affair
up. But it was too late. The Pope heard something, which sufficed to
confirm his confessor's warnings; and on January 27, he pronounced the
famous sentence on his nephews. The Cardinal was banished to Cività
Lavinia, the Duke to Soriano, the Marquis to Montebello. The Duchess
took up her abode with her court in the little village of Gallese. It
was here that the episode of her love and tragic end ensued.

Violante found herself almost alone in a simple village among mountains,
half-way between Rome and Orvieto, surrounded indeed by lovely forest
scenery, but deprived of all the luxuries and entertainments to which
she was accustomed. Marcello and Diana were at her side, the one eager
to pursue his hitherto hopeless suit, and the other to further it for
her own profit. One day Marcello committed the apparent imprudence of
avowing his passion. The Duchess rejected him with scorn, but disclosed
the fact to Diana, who calculated that if she could contrive to
compromise her mistress, she might herself be able to secure the end she
had in view of marrying Domiziano. In the solitude of those long days of
exile the waiting-woman returned again and again to the subject of
Marcello's devotion, his beauty, his noble blood and his manifold good
qualities. She arranged meetings in the woods between the Duchess and
her lover, and played her cards so well that during the course of the
fine summer weeks Violante yielded to Marcello. Diana now judged it wise
to press her own suit forward with Domiziano. But this cold-blooded
fellow knew that he was no fit match for a relative of the Marchioness
of Montebello. He felt, besides, but little sentiment for his fiery
_innamorata_. Dreading the poignard of the Caraffas, if he should
presume to marry her, he took the prudent course of slipping away in
disguise from the port of Nettuno. Diana maddened by disappointment,
flew to the conclusion that the Duchess had planned her lover's removal,
and resolved to take a cruel revenge. The Duke of Palliano was residing
at Soriano, only a few miles from Gallese. To bring him secret
information of his wife's intrigue was a matter of no difficulty. At
first he refused to believe her report. Had not Violante resisted the
seductions of all Rome, and repelled the advances even of the Duke of
Guise? At last she contrived to introduce him into the bedroom of the
Duchess at a moment when Marcello was also there. The circumstances were
not precisely indicative of guilt. The sun had only just gone down
behind the hills; a maid was in attendance; and the Duchess lay in bed,
penciling some memoranda. Yet they were sufficient to arouse the Duke's
anger. He disarmed Marcello and removed him to the prisons of Soriano,
leaving Violante under strict guard at Gallese.

The Duke of Palliano had no intention of proclaiming his jealousy or of
suggesting his dishonor, until he had extracted complete proof. He
therefore pretended to have arrested Marcello on the suspicion of an
attempt to poison him. Some large toads, bought by the young man at a
high price two or three months earlier, lent color to this accusation.
Meanwhile the investigation was conducted as secretly as possible by the
Duke in person, his brother-in-law Count Aliffe, and a certain Antonio
Torando, with the sanction of the Podestà of Soriano. After examining
several witnesses, they became convinced of Violante's guilt. Marcello
was put to the torture, and eventually confessed. The Duke stabbed him
to death with his own hands, and afterwards cut Diana's throat for her
share in the business. Both bodies were thrown into the prison-sewer.
Meanwhile Paul IV. had retained the young Cardinal, Alfonso Caraffa, son
of the Marquis of Montebello, near his person. This prelate thought it
right to inform his grand-uncle of the occurrences at Soriano. The Pope
only answered: 'And the Duchess? What have they done with her?' Paul IV.
died in August, and the Conclave, which ended in the election of Pius
IV., was opened. During the important intrigues of that moment, Cardinal
Alfonso found time to write to the Duke, imploring him not to leave so
dark a stain upon his honor, but to exercise justice on a guilty wife.
On August 28, 1559, the Duke sent the Count Aliffe, and Don Leonardo del
Cardine, with a company of soldiers to Gallese. They told Violante that
they had arrived to kill her, and offered her the offices of two
Franciscan monks. Before her death, the Duchess repeatedly insisted on
her innocence, and received the Sacrament from the hands of Friar
Antonio of Pavia. The Count, her brother, then proceeded to her
execution. She covered her eyes with a handkerchief, which she, with
perfect _sang froid_, drew somewhat lower in order to shut his sight
out. Then he adjusted the cord to her neck; but, finding that it would
not exactly fit, he removed it and walked away. The Duchess raised the
bandage from her face, and said: "Well! what are we about then?" He
answered: "The cord was not quite right, and I am going to get another,
in order that you may not suffer." When he returned to the room, he
arranged the handkerchief again, fixed the cord, turned the wand in the
knot behind her neck, and strangled her. The whole incident, on the part
of the Duchess, passed in the tone of ordinary conversation. She died
like a good Christian, frequently repeating the words _Credo, Credo_.

Contrary to the usual custom and opinion of the age, this murder of an
erring wife and sister formed part of the accusations brought against
the Duke of Palliano and Count Aliffe. It will be remembered that they
were executed in Rome, together with the elder Cardinal Caraffa, during
the pontificate of Pius IV.


It would be difficult to give any adequate notion of the frequency of
wife-murders at this epoch in the higher ranks of society. I will,
however, mention a few, noticed by me in the course of study. Donna
Pellegrina, daughter of Bianca Capello before her marriage with the
Grand Duke of Tuscany, was killed at Bologna in 1598 by four masked
assassins at the order of her husband, Count Ulisse Bentivoglio. She had
been suspected or convicted of adultery; and the Court of Florence sent
word to the Count, 'che essendo vero quanto scriveva, facesse quello che
conveniva a cavaliere di honore.' In the light of open day, together
with two of her gentlewomen and her coachman, she was cut to pieces and
left on the road.[210] In 1690 at Naples Don Carlo Gesualdo, son of the
Prince of Venosta, assassinated his wife and cousin Donna Maria
d'Avalos, together with her lover, Fabricio Caraffa, Duke of Andri. This
crime was committed in his palace by the husband, attended by a band of
cut-throats.[211] In 1577, at Milan, Count Giovanni Borromeo, cousin of
the Cardinal Federigo, stabbed his wife, the Countess Giulia
Sanseverina, sister of the Contessa di Sala, at table, with three mortal
wounds. A mere domestic squabble gave rise to this tragedy.[212] In
1598, in his villa of Zenzalino at Ferrara, the Count Ercole Trotti,
with the assistance of a bravo called Jacopo Lazzarini, killed his wife
Anna, daughter of the poet Guarini. Her own brother Girolamo connived at
the act and helped to facilitate its execution. She was
accused--falsely, as it afterwards appeared from Girolamo's
confession--of an improper intimacy with the Count Ercole Bevilacqua. I
may add that Count Ercole Trotti's father, Alfonso, had murdered his own
wife, Michela Granzena, in the same villa.[213]

[Footnote 210: Mutinelli, _Storia Arcana_, vol. ii. p. 64.]

[Footnote 211: _Ib._ vol. ii. p. 162.]

[Footnote 212: _Ib._ vol. i. p. 343.]

_The Medici_.

The history of the Medicean family during the sixteenth century
epitomizes the chief features of social morality upon which I have been
dwelling in this chapter. It will be remembered that Alessandro de'
Medici, the first Duke of Florence, poisoned his cousin Ippolito, and
was himself assassinated by his cousin Lorenzino. To the second of these
crimes Cosimo, afterwards Grand Duke of Tuscany, owed the throne of
Florence, on which, however, he was not secure until he had removed
Lorenzino from this world by the poignard of a bravo. Cosimo maintained
his authority by a system of espionage, remorseless persecution, and
assassination, which gave color even to the most improbable of

[Footnote 213: _I Guarini, Famiglia Nobile Ferrarese_ (Bologna,
Romagnoli, 1870), pp. 83-87.]

[Footnote 214: In addition to the victims of his vengeance who perished
by the poignard, he publicly executed in Florence forty-two political

But it is not of him so much as of his children that I have to speak.
Francesco, who reigned from 1564 till 1587, brought disgrace upon his
line by marrying the infamous Bianca Capello, after authorizing the
murder of her previous husband. Bianca, though incapable of bearing
children, flattered her besotted paramour before this marriage by
pretending to have borne a son. In reality, she had secured the
co-operation of three women on the point of child-birth; and when one of
these was delivered of a boy, she presented this infant to Francesco,
who christened him Antonio de'Medici. Of the three mothers who served
in this nefarious transaction, Bianca contrived to assassinate two, but
not before one of the victims to her dread of exposure made full
confession at the point of death. The third escaped. Another woman who
had superintended the affair was shot between Florence and Bologna in
the valleys of the Apennines. Yet after the manifestation of Bianca's
imposture, the Duke continued to recognize Antonio as belonging to the
Medicean family; and his successor was obliged to compel this young man
to assume the Cross of Malta, in order to exclude his posterity from the
line of princes.[215]

[Footnote 215: See Mutinelli, _Storia Arcana_, vol. ii. pp.54-56, for
Antonio's reception into the Order.]

The legend of Francesco's and Bianca's mysterious death is well known.
The Duchess had engaged in fresh intrigues for palming off a spurious
child upon her husband. These roused the suspicions of his brother
Cardinal Ferdinando de'Medici, heir presumptive to the crown. An angry
correspondence followed, ending in a reconciliation between the three
princes. They met in the autumn of 1587 at the villa of Poggio a Cajano.
Then the world was startled by the announcement that the Grand Duke had
died of fever after a few days' illness, and that Bianca had almost
immediately afterwards followed him to the grave. Ferdinand, on
succeeding to the throne, refused her the interment suited to her rank,
defaced her arms on public edifices, and for her name and titles in
official documents substituted the words, 'la pessima Bianca.' What
passed at Poggio a Cajano is not known. It was commonly believed in
Italy that Bianca, meaning to poison the Cardinal at supper, had been
frustrated in her designs by a blunder which made her husband the victim
of this plot, and that she ended her own life in despair or fell a
victim to the Cardinal's vengeance. This story is rejected both by Botta
and Galluzzi; but Litta has given it a partial credence.[216] Two of
Cosimo's sons died previously, in the year 1562, under circumstances
which gave rise to similar malignant rumors. Don Garzia and the Cardinal
Giovanni were hunting together in the Pisan marshes, when the latter
expired after a short illness, and the former in a few days met with a
like fate. Report ran that Don Garzia had stabbed his brother, and that
Cosimo, in a fit of rage, ran him through the body with his own sword.
In this case, although Litta attaches weight to the legend, the balance
of evidence is strongly in favor of both brothers having been carried
off by a pernicious fever contracted simultaneously during their
hunting expedition.[217] Each instance serves however, to show in what
an atmosphere of guilt the Medicean princes were enveloped. No one
believed that they could die except by fraternal or paternal hands. And
the authentic crimes of the family certainly justified this popular
belief. I have already alluded to the murders of Ippolito, Alessandro,
and Lorenzino. I have told how the Court of Florence sanctioned the
assassination of Bianca's daughter by her husband at Bologna.[218] I
must now proceed to relate the tragic tales of the princesses of the

Pietro de'Medici, a fifth of Cosimo's sons, had rendered himself
notorious in Spain and Italy by forming a secret society for the most
revolting debaucheries.[219] Yet he married the noble lady Eleonora di
Toledo, related by blood to Cosimo's first wife. Neglected and outraged
by her husband, she proved unfaithful, and Pietro hewed her in pieces
with his own hands at Caffaggiolo. Isabella de'Medici, daughter of
Cosimo, was married to the Duke of Bracciano. Educated in the empoisoned
atmosphere of Florence, she, like Eleonora di Toledo, yielded herself to
fashionable profligacy, and was strangled by her husband at

[Footnote 216: I refer, of course, to Galluzzi's _Storia del Gran
Ducato_, vol. iv. pp. 241-244. Botta's _Storia d'Italia_, Book xiv., and
Litta's _Famiglie Celebri_ under the pedigree of Medici.]

[Footnote 217: See Galluzzi, _op. cit._ vol. iii. p, 25, and Botta, _op.
cit._ Book xii.]

[Footnote 218: See above, p. 381.]

[Footnote 219: Litta may be consulted for details; also Galluzzi, _op.
cit._ vol. v. p. 174.]

[Footnote 220: It maybe worth mentioning that Virginio Orsini,
Bracciano's son and heir, married Donna Flavia, grand niece of Sixtus
V., and consequently related to the man his father murdered in order to
possess Vittoria Accoramboni. See Mutinelli, _Storia Arcana_, vol. ii.
p. 72.]

Both of these murders took place in 1576. Isabella's death, as I have
elsewhere related, opened the way for the Duke of Bracciano's marriage
with Vittoria Accoramboni, which had been prepared by the assassination
of her first husband, and which led to her own murder at Padua.[221]
Another of Cosimo's daughters, Lucrezia de'Medici, became Duchess of
Ferrara, fell under a suspicion of infidelity, and was possibly removed
by poison in 1561.[222] The last of his sons whom I have to mention, Don
Giovanni, married a dissolute woman of low birth called Livia, and
disgraced the name of Medici by the unprincely follies of his life.
Eleonora de'Medici, third of his daughters, introduces a comic element
into these funereal records. She was affianced to Vincenzo Gonzaga, heir
of the Duchy of Mantua. But suspicions, arising out of the circumstances
of his divorce from a former wife, obliged him to prove his marital
capacity before the completion of the contract. This he did at Venice,
before a witness, upon the person of a virgin selected for the
experiment.[223] Maria de'Medici, the only child of Duke Francesco,
became Queen of France.

[Footnote 221: See above, pp. 361-369.]

[Footnote 222: Galluzzi, vol. iii. p. 5, says that she died of a putrid
fever. Litta again inclines to the probability of poison. But this must
counted among the doubtful cases.]

[Footnote 223: See Galluzzi, _op. cit._ vol. iv. pp. 195-197, for the
account of a transaction which throws curious light upon the customs of
the age. It was only stipulated that the trial should not take place
upon a Friday. Otherwise, the highest ecclesiastics gave it their full
approval.] The history of her amours with Concini forms an episode in
French annals.

If now we eliminate the deaths of Don Garcia, Cardinal Giovanni, Duke
Francesco, Bianca Capello, and Lucrezia de'Medici, as doubtful, there
will still remain the murders of Cardinal Ippolito, Duke Alessandro,
Lorenzino de'Medici, Pietro Bonaventuri (Bianca's husband), Pellegrina
Bentivoglio (Bianca's daughter), Eleonora di Toledo, Francesco Casi
(Eleonora's lover), the Duchess of Bracciano, Troilo Orsini (lover of
this Duchess), Felice Peretti (husband of Vittoria Accoramboni), and
Vittoria Accoramboni--eleven murders, all occurring between 1535 and
1585, an exact half century, in a single princely family and its
immediate connections. The majority of these crimes, that is to say
seven, had their origin in lawless passion.[224]

[Footnote 224: I have told the stories in this chapter as dryly as I
could. Yet it would be interesting to analyze the fascination they
exercised over our Elizabethan playwrights, some of whose Italian
tragedies handle the material with penetrative imagination. For the
English mode of interpreting southern passions see my _Italian Byways_,
pp. 142 _et seq._, and a brilliant essay in Vernon Lee's _Euphorion_.]



     Tales illustrative of Bravi and Banditti--Cecco Bibboni--Ambrogio
     Tremazzi--Lodovico dall'Armi--Brigandage--Piracy--Plagues--The
     Plagues of Milan, Venice, Piedmont--Persecution of the
     Untori--Moral State of the Proletariate--Witchcraft--Its Italian
     Features--History of Giacomo Centini.

The stories related in the foregoing chapter abundantly demonstrate the
close connection between the aristocracy and their accomplices--bravos
and bandits. But it still remains to consider this connection from the
professional murderer's own point of view. And for this purpose, I will
now make use of two documents vividly illustrative of the habits,
sentiments, and social status of men who undertook to speculate in
bloodshed for reward. They are both autobiographical; and both relate
tragedies which occupied the attention of all Italy.

_Cecco Bibboni_.

The first of these documents is the report made by Cecco Bibboni
concerning his method adopted for the murder of Lorenzino de'Medici at
Venice in 1546. Lorenzino, by the help of a bravo called Scoroncolo, had
assassinated his cousin Alessandro, Duke of Florence, in 1537. After
accomplishing this deed, which gained for him the name of Brutus, he
escaped from the city; and a distant relative of the murdered and the
murderer, Cosimo de'Medici, was chosen Duke in Alessandro's stead. One
of the first acts of his reign was to publish a ban of outlawry against
Lorenzino. His portrait was painted according to old Tuscan usage head
downwards, and suspended by one foot, upon the wall of Alessandro's
fortress. His house was cut in twain from roof to pavement, and a narrow
passage was driven through it, which received the name of Traitor's
Alley, _Chiasso del Traditore_. The price put upon his head was
enormous--four thousand golden florins, with a pension of one hundred
florins to the murderer and his heirs in perpetuity. The man who should
kill Lorenzino was, further, to enjoy amnesty from all offenses and to
exercise full civic rights; he was promised exemption from taxes, the
privilege of carrying arms with two attendants in the whole domain of
Florence, and the prerogative of restoring ten outlaws at his choice. If
he captured Lorenzino and brought him alive to Florence, the reward
would be double in each item. There was enough here to raise cupidity
and stir the speculative spirit. Cecco Bibboni shall tell us how the
business was brought to a successful termination.[225]

[Footnote 225: For the Italian text see _Lorenzino de'Medici_, Daelli,
Milano, 1862. The above is borrowed from my _Italian Byways_.]

'When I returned from Germany,' begins Bibboni, 'where I had been in
the pay of the Emperor, I found at Vicenza Bebo da Volterra, who was
staying in the house of M. Antonio da Roma, a nobleman of that city.
This gentleman employed him because of a great feud he had; and he was
mighty pleased, moreover, at my coming, and desired that I too should
take up my quarters in his palace.'

Bibboni proceeds to say how another gentleman of Vicenza, M. Francesco
Manente, had at this time a feud with certain of the Guazzi and the
Laschi, which had lasted several years, and cost the lives of many
members of both parties and their following. M. Francesco, being a
friend of M. Antonio, besought that gentleman to lend him Bibboni and
Bebo for a season; and the two _bravi_ went together with their new
master to Celsano, a village in the neighborhood. 'There both parties
had estates, and all of them kept armed men in their houses, so that not
a day passed without feats of arms, and always there was some one killed
or wounded. One day, soon afterwards, the leaders of our party resolved
to attack the foe in their house, where we killed two, and the rest,
numbering five men, entrenched themselves in a ground-floor apartment;
whereupon we took possession of their harquebusses and other arms, which
forced them to abandon the villa and retire to Vicenza; and within a
short space of time this great feud was terminated by an ample peace.'
After this Bebo took service with the Rector of the University in Padua,
and was transferred by his new patron to Milan. Bibboni remained at
Vicenza with M. Galeazzo della Seta, who stood in great fear of his
life, notwithstanding the peace which had been concluded between the two
factions. At the end of ten months he returned to M. Antonio da Roma and
his six brothers, 'all of whom being very much attached to me, they
proposed that I should live my life with them, for good or ill, and be
treated as one of the family; upon the understanding that if war broke
out and I wanted to take part in it, I should always have twenty-five
crowns and arms and horse, with welcome home, so long as I lived; and in
case I did not care to join the troops, the same provision for my

From these details we comprehend the sort of calling which a bravo of
Bibboni's species followed. Meanwhile Bebo was at Milan. 'There it
happened that M. Francesco Vinta, of Volterra, was on embassy from the
Duke of Florence. He saw Bebo, and asked him what he was doing in Milan,
and Bebo answered that he was a knight errant.' This phrase--derived, no
doubt, from the romantic epics then in vogue--was a pretty euphemism for
a rogue of Bebo's quality. The ambassador now began cautiously to sound
his man, who seems to have been outlawed from the Tuscan duchy, telling
him he knew a way by which he might return with favor to his home, and
at last disclosing the affair of Lorenzino. Bebo was puzzled at first,
but when he understood the matter, he professed his willingness, took
letters from the envoy to the Duke of Florence, and, in a private
audience with Cosimo, informed him that he was ready to attempt
Lorenzino's assassination. He added that 'he had a comrade fit for such
a job, whose fellow for the business could not easily be found.'

Bebo now traveled to Vicenza, and opened the whole matter to Bibboni,
who weighed it well, and at last, being convinced that the Duke's
commission to his comrade was _bonâ fide_, determined to take his share
in the undertaking. The two agreed to have no accomplices. They went to
Venice, and 'I,' says Bibboni, 'being most intimately acquainted with
all that city, and provided there with many friends, soon quietly
contrived to know where Lorenzino lodged, and took a room in the
neighborhood, and spent some days in seeing how we best might rule our
conduct.' Bibboni soon discovered that Lorenzino never left his palace;
and he therefore remained in much perplexity, until, by good luck,
Ruberto Strozzi arrived from France in Venice, bringing in his train a
Navarrese servant, who had the nickname of Spagnoletto. This fellow was
a great friend of the bravo. They met, and Bibboni told him that he
should like to go and kiss the hands of Messer Ruberto, whom he had
known in Rome. Strozzi inhabited the same palace as Lorenzino. 'When we
arrived there, both Messer Ruberto and Lorenzino were leaving the house,
and there were around them so many gentlemen and other persons, that I
could not present myself, and both straightway stepped into the
gondola. Then I, not having seen Lorenzino for a long while past, and
because he was very quietly attired, could not recognize the man
exactly, but only as it were between certainty and doubt. Wherefore I
said to Spagnoletto, "I think I know that gentleman, but don't remember
where I saw him." And Messer Ruberto was giving him his right hand. Then
Spagnoletto answered, "You know him well enough; he is Messer Lorenzino.
But see you tell this to nobody. He goes by the name of Messer Dario,
because he lives in great fear for his safety, and people don't know
that he is now in Venice." I answered that I marveled much, and if I
could have helped him, would have done so willingly. Then I asked where
they were going, and he said, to dine with Messer Giovanni della Casa,
who was the Pope's Legate. I did not leave the man till I had drawn from
him all I required.'

Thus spoke the Italian Judas. The appearance of La Casa on the scene is
interesting. He was the celebrated author of the _Capitolo del Forno_,
the author of many sublime and melancholy sonnets, who was now at Venice
prosecuting a charge of heresy against Pier Paolo Vergerio, and paying
his addresses to a noble lady of the Quirini family. It seems that on
the territory of San Marco he made common cause with the exiles from
Florence, for he was himself by birth a Florentine, and he had no
objection to take Brutus-Lorenzino by the hand.

After the noblemen had rowed off in their gondola to dine with the
Legate, Bibboni and his friend entered their palace, where he found
another old acquaintance, the house-steward, or _spenditore_ of
Lorenzino. From him he gathered much useful information. Pietro Strozzi,
it seems, had allowed the tyrannicide one thousand five hundred crowns a
year, with the keep of three brave and daring companions (_tre compagni
bravi e facinorosi_), and a palace worth fifty crowns on lease. But
Lorenzino had just taken another on the Campo di San Polo at three
hundred crowns a year, for which swagger (_altura_) Pietro Strozzi had
struck a thousand crowns off his allowance. Bibboni also learned that he
was keeping house with his uncle, Alessandro Soderini, another
Florentine outlaw, and that he was ardently in love with a certain
beautiful Barozza. This woman was apparently one of the grand courtesans
of Venice. He further ascertained the date when he was going to move
into the palace at San Polo, and, 'to put it briefly, knew everything he
did, and, as it were, how many times a day he spit.' Such were the
intelligences of the servants' hall, and of such value were they to men
of Bibboni's calling.

In the Carnival of 1546 Lorenzino meant to go masqued in the habit of a
gypsy woman to the square of San Spirito, where there was to be a joust.
Great crowds of people would assemble, and Bibboni hoped to do his
business there. The assassination, however, failed on this occasion, and
Lorenzino took up his abode in the palace he had hired upon the Campo
di San Polo. This Campo is one of the largest open places in Venice,
shaped irregularly, with a finely curving line upon the western side,
where two of the noblest private houses in the city are still standing.
Nearly opposite these, in the south-western angle, stands, detached, the
little old church of San Polo. One of its side entrances opens upon the
square; the other on a lane which leads eventually to the Frari. There
is nothing in Bibboni's narrative to make it clear where Lorenzino hired
his dwelling. But it would seem from certain things which he says later
on, that in order to enter the church his victim had to cross the
square. Meanwhile Bibboni took the precaution of making friends with a
shoemaker, whose shop commanded the whole Campo, including Lorenzino's
palace. In this shop he began to spend much of his time; 'and oftentimes
I feigned to be asleep; but God knows whether I was sleeping, for my
mind, at any rate, was wide awake.'

A second convenient occasion for murdering Lorenzino soon seemed to
offer. He was bidden to dine with Monsignor della Casa; and Bibboni,
putting a bold face on, entered the Legate's palace, having left Bebo
below in the loggia, fully resolved to do the business. 'But we found,'
he says, 'that they had gone to dine at Murano, so that we remained with
our tabors in their bag.' The island of Murano at that period was a
favorite resort of the Venetian nobles, especially of the more literary
and artistic, who kept country-houses there, where they enjoyed the
fresh air of the lagoons and the quiet of their gardens.

The third occasion, after all these weeks of watching, brought success
to Bibboni's schemes. He had observed how Lorenzino occasionally so far
broke his rules of caution as to go on foot, past the church of San
Polo, to visit the beautiful Barozza; and he resolved, if possible, to
catch him on one of these journeys. 'It so chanced on February 28, which
was the second Sunday of Lent, that having gone, as was my wont, to pry
out whether Lorenzino would give orders for going abroad that day, I
entered the shoemaker's shop, and stayed awhile, until Lorenzino came to
the window with a napkin round his neck--for he was combing his hair
--and at the same moment I saw a certain Giovan Battista Martelli, who
kept his sword for the defense of Lorenzino's person, enter and come
forth again. Concluding that they would probably go abroad, I went home
to get ready and procure the necessary weapons, and there I found Bebo
asleep in bed, and made him get up at once, and we came to our
accustomed post of observation, by the church of San Polo, where our men
would have to pass.' Bibboni now retired to his friend the shoemaker's,
and Bebo took up his station at one of the side doors of San Polo: 'and,
as good luck would have it, Giovan Battista Martelli came forth, and
walked a piece in front, and then Lorenzino came, and then Alessandro
Soderini, going the one behind the other, like storks, and Lorenzino, on
entering the church, and lifting up the curtain of the door, was seen
from the opposite door by Bebo, who at the same time noticed how I had
left the shop, and so we met upon the street as we had agreed, and he
told me that Lorenzino was inside the church.'

To any one who knows the Campo di San Polo, it will be apparent that
Lorenzino had crossed from the western side of the piazza and entered
the church by what is technically called its northern door. Bebo,
stationed at the southern door, could see him when he pushed the heavy
_stoia_ or leather curtain aside, and at the same time could observe
Bibboni's movements in the cobbler's shop. Meanwhile Lorenzino walked
across the church and came to the same door where Bebo had been
standing. 'I saw him issue from the church and take the main street;
then came Alessandro Soderini, and I walked last of all; and when we
reached the point we had determined on, I jumped in front of Alessandro
with the poignard in my hand, crying, "Hold hard, Alessandro, and get
along with you, in God's name, for we are not here for you!" He then
threw himself around my waist, and grasped my arms, and kept on calling
out. Seeing how wrong I had been to try to spare his life, I wrenched
myself as well as I could from his grip, and with my lifted poignard
struck him, as God willed, above the eyebrow, and a little blood
trickled from the wound. He, in high fury, gave me such a thrust that I
fell backward, and the ground besides was slippery from having rained a
little. Then Alessandro drew his sword, which he carried in its
scabbard, and thrust at me in front, and struck me on the corselet,
which for my good fortune was of double mail. Before I could get ready I
received three passes, which, had I worn a doublet instead of that
mailed corselet, would certainly have run me through. At the fourth pass
I had regained my strength and spirit, and closed with him, and stabbed
him four times in the head, and being so close he could not use his
sword, but tried to parry with his hand and hilt, and I, as God willed,
struck him at the wrist below the sleeve of mail, and cut his hand off
clean, and gave him then one last stroke on his head. Thereupon he
begged for God's sake spare his life, and I, in trouble about Bebo, left
him in the arms of a Venetian nobleman, who held him back from jumping
into the canal.'

Who this Venetian nobleman, found unexpectedly upon the scene, was, does
not appear. Nor, what is still more curious, do we hear anything of that
Martelli, the bravo, 'who kept his sword for the defense of Lorenzino's
person.' The one had arrived accidentally, it seems. The other must have
been a coward and escaped from the scuffle.

'When I turned,' proceeds Bibboni, 'I found Lorenzino on his knees. He
raised himself, and I in anger, gave him a great cut across the head,
which split it in two pieces, and laid him at my feet, and he never
rose again.'

Bebo, meanwhile, had made off from the scene of action. And Bibboni,
taking to his heels, came up with him in the little square of San
Marcello. They now ran for their lives till they reached the traghetto
di San Spirito, where they threw their poignards into the water,
remembering that no man might carry these in Venice under penalty of the
galleys. Bibboni's white hose were drenched with blood. He therefore
agreed to separate from Bebo, having named a rendezvous. Left alone, his
ill luck brought him face to face with twenty constables (_sbirri_). 'In
a moment I conceived that they knew everything, and were come to capture
me, and of a truth I saw that it was over with me. As swiftly as I could
I quickened pace and got into a church, near to which was the house of a
Compagnia, and the one opened into the other, and knelt down and prayed
commending myself with fervor to God for my deliverance and safety. Yet
while I prayed, I kept my eyes well opened and saw the whole band pass
the church, except one man who entered, and I strained my sight so that
I seemed to see behind as well as in front, and then it was I longed for
my poignard, for I should not have heeded being in a church.' But the
constable, it soon appeared, was not looking for Bibboni. So he gathered
up his courage, and ran for the Church of San Spirito, where the Padre
Andrea Volterrano was preaching to a great congregation. He hoped to go
in by one door and out by the other, but the crowd prevented him, and he
had to turn back and face the _sbirri_. One of them followed him, having
probably caught sight of the blood upon his hose. Then Bibboni resolved
to have done with the fellow, and rushed at him, and flung him down with
his head upon the pavement, and ran like mad, and came at last, all out
of breath to San Marco.

It seems clear that before Bibboni separated from Bebo they had crossed
the water, for the Sestiere di San Polo is separated from the Sestiere
di San Marco by the Grand Canal. And this they must have done at the
traghetto di San Spirito. Neither the church nor the traghetto are now
in existence, and this part of the story is therefore obscure.[226]

[Footnote 226: So far as I can discover, the only church of San Spirito
in Venice was a building on the island of San Spirito, erected by
Sansavino, which belonged to the Sestiere di S. Croce, and which was
suppressed in 1656. Its plate and the fine pictures which Titian painted
there were transferred at that date to S. M. della Salute. I cannot help
inferring that either Bibboni's memory failed him, or that his words
were wrongly understood by printer or amanuensis. If for S. Spirito, we
substitute S. Stefano, the account would be intelligible.]

Having reached San Marco, he took a gondola at the Ponte della Paglia,
where tourists are now wont to stand and contemplate the Ducal Palace
and the Bridge of Sighs. First, he sought the house of a woman of the
town who was his friend; then changed purpose, and rowed to the palace
of the Count Salici da Collalto. 'He was a great friend and intimate of
ours, because Bebo and I had done him many and great services in times
past. There I knocked; and Bebo opened the door, and when he saw me
dabbled with blood, he marveled that I had not come to grief and fallen
into the hands of justice; and, indeed, had feared as much because I had
remained so long away.' It appears, therefore, that the Palazzo Collalto
was their rendezvous. 'The Count was from home; but being known to all
his people, I played the master and went into the kitchen to the fire,
and with soap and water turned my hose, which had been white, to a grey
color.' This is a very delicate way of saying that he washed out the
blood of Alessandro and Lorenzino!

Soon after the Count returned, and 'lavished caresses' upon Bebo and his
precious comrade. They did not tell him what they had achieved that
morning, but put him off with a story of having settled a _sbirro_ in a
quarrel about a girl. Then the Count invited them to dinner; and being
himself bound to entertain the first physician of Venice, requested them
to take it in an upper chamber. He and his secretary served them with
their own hands at table. When the physician arrived, the Count went
downstairs; and at this moment a messenger came from Lorenzino's mother,
begging the doctor to go at once to San Polo, for that her son had been
murdered and Soderini wounded to the death. It was now no longer
possible to conceal their doings from the Count, who told them to pluck
up courage and abide in patience. He had himself to dine and take his
siesta, and then to attend a meeting of the Council.

About the hour of vespers, Bibboni determined to seek better refuge.
Followed at a discreet distance by Bebo, he first called at their
lodgings and ordered supper. Two priests came in and fell into
conversation with them. But something in the behavior of one of these
good men roused his suspicions. So they left the house, took a gondola,
and told the man to row hard to S. Maria Zobenigo. On the way he bade
him put them on shore, paid him well, and ordered him to wait for them.
They landed near the palace of the Spanish embassy; and here Bibboni
meant to seek sanctuary. For it must be remembered that the houses of
ambassadors, no less than those of princes of the Church, were
inviolable. They offered the most convenient harboring-places to
rascals. Charles V., moreover, was deeply interested in the vengeance
taken on Alessandro de'Medici's murderer, for his own natural daughter
was Alessandro's widow and Duchess of Florence. In the palace they were
received with much courtesy by about forty Spaniards, who showed
considerable curiosity, and told them that Lorenzino and Alessandro
Soderini had been murdered that morning by two men whose description
answered to their appearance. Bibboni put their questions by and asked
to see the ambassador. He was not at home. 'In that case,' said Bibboni,
'take us to the secretary. Attended by some thirty Spaniards, 'with
great joy and gladness,' they were shown into the secretary's chamber.
He sent the rest of the folk away, 'and locked the door well, and then
embraced and kissed us before we had said a word, and afterwards bade us
talk freely without any fear.' When Bibboni had told the whole story, he
was again embraced and kissed by the secretary, who thereupon left them
and went to the private apartment of the ambassador. Shortly after he
returned and led them by a winding staircase into the presence of his
master. The ambassador greeted them with great honor, told them he would
strain all the power of the empire to hand them in safety over to Duke
Cosimo, and that he had already sent a courier to the Emperor with the
good news.

So they remained in hiding in the Spanish embassy; and in ten days' time
commands were received from Charles himself that everything should be
done to convey them safely to Florence. The difficulty was how to
smuggle them out of Venice, where the police of the Republic were on
watch, and Florentine outlaws were mounting guard on sea and shore to
catch them. The ambassador began by spreading reports on the Rialto
every morning of their having been seen at Padua, at Verona, in Friuli.
He then hired a palace at Malghera, near Mestre, and went out daily with
fifty Spaniards, and took carriage or amused himself with horse exercise
and shooting. The Florentines, who were on watch, could only discover
from his people that he did this for amusement. When he thought that he
had put them sufficiently off their guard, the ambassador one day took
Bibboni and Bebo out by Canaregio to Malghera, concealed in his own
gondola, with the whole train of Spaniards in attendance. And though on
landing, the Florentines challenged them, they durst not interfere with
an ambassador or come to battle with his men. So Bebo and Bibboni were
hustled into a coach, and afterwards provided with two comrades and four
horses. They rode for ninety miles without stopping to sleep, and on the
day following this long journey reached Trento, having probably threaded
the mountain valleys above Bassano, for Bibboni speaks of a certain
village where the people talked half German. The Imperial Ambassador at
Trento forwarded them next day to Mantua; from Mantua they came to
Piacenza; thence passing through the valley of the Taro, crossing the
Apennines at Cisa, descending on Pontremoli, and reaching Pisa at night,
the fourteenth day after their escape from Venice.

When they arrived at Pisa, Duke Cosimo was supping. So they went to an
inn, and next morning presented themselves to his Grace. Cosimo welcomed
them kindly, assured them of his gratitude, confirmed them in the
enjoyment of their rewards and privileges, and swore that they might
rest secure of his protection in all parts of his dominion. We may
imagine how the men caroused together after this reception. As Bibboni
adds, 'We were now able for the whole time of life left us to live
splendidly, without a thought or care.' The last words of his narrative
are these: 'Bebo, from Pisa, at what date I know not, went home to
Volterra, his native town, and there finished his days; while I abode in
Florence, where I have had no further wish to hear of wars, but to live
my life in holy peace.'

So ends the story of the two _bravi_. We have reason to believe, from
some contemporary documents which Cantù has brought to light, that
Bibboni exaggerated his own part in the affair. Luca Martelli, writing
to Varchi, says that it was Bebo who clove Lorenzino's skull with a
cutlass. He adds this curious detail, that the weapons of both men were
poisoned, and that the wound inflicted by Bibboni on Soderini's hand was
a slight one. Yet, the poignard being poisoned, Soderini died of it. In
other respects Martelli's brief account agrees with that given by
Bibboni, who probably did no more, his comrade being dead, than claim
for himself, at some expense of truth, the lion's share of their heroic

_Ambrogio Tremazzi_.[227]

[Footnote 227: The text is published, from Florentine Archives, in
Gnoli's _Vittoria Accoramboni_, pp. 404-414.]

In illustration of this narrative, and in evidence that it stands by no
means solitary on the records of that century, I shall extract some
passages from the report made by Ambrogio Tremazzi of Modigliana
concerning the assassination of Troilo Orsini. Troilo it will be
remembered, was the lover of the Medicean Duchess of Bracciano. After
the discovery of their amours, and while the lady was being strangled by
her husband, with the sanction of her brother Troilo escaped to France.
Ambrogio Tremazzi knowing that his murder would be acceptable to the
Medici, undertook the adventure; moved, as he says, 'solely by the
desire of bringing myself into favorable notice with the Grand Duke; for
my mind revolted at the thought of money payments, and I had in view the
acquisition of honor and praise rather, being willing to risk my life
for the credit of my Prince, and not my life only, but also to incur
deadly and perpetual feud with a powerful branch of the Orsini family.'
On his return from France, having successfully accomplished the mission,
Ambrogio Tremazzi found that the friends who had previously encouraged
his hopes, especially the Count Ridolfo Isolami, wished to compromise
his reward by the settlement of a pension on himself and his associate.
Whether he really aimed at a more honorable recognition of his services,
or whether he sought to obtain better pecuniary terms, does not appear.
But he represents himself as gravely insulted; 'seeing that my tenor of
life from boyhood upwards has been always honorable, and thus it ever
shall be.' After this exordium in the form of a letter addressed to one
Signor Antonio [Serguidi], he proceeds to render account of his
proceedings. It seems that Don Piero de'Medici gave him three hundred
crowns for his traveling expenses; after which, leaving his son, a boy
of twelve years, as hostage in the service of Piero, he set off and
reached Paris on August 12, 1577. There he took lodgings at the sign of
the Red Horse, near the Cordeilliers, and began at once to make
inquiries for Troilo. He had brought with him from Italy a man called
Hieronimo Savorano. Their joint investigations elicited the fact that
Troilo had been lately wounded in the service of the King of France, and
was expected to arrive in Paris with the Court. It was not until the eve
of All Saints' day that the Court returned. Soon afterwards, Ambrogio
was talking at the door of a house with some Italian comedians, when a
young man, covered with a tawny-colored mantle, passed by upon a brown
horse, bearing a servant behind him on the crupper. This was Troilo
Orsini; and Ambrogio marked him well. Troilo, after some minutes'
conversation with the players, rode forward to the Louvre. The _bravo_
followed him and discovered from his servant where he lodged.
Accordingly, he engaged rooms in the Rue S. Honoré, in order to be
nearer to his victim.

Some time, however, elapsed before he was able to ascertain Troilo's
daily habits. Chance at last threw them together. He was playing
_primiero_ one evening in the house of an actress called Vittoria, when
Troilo entered, with two gentlemen of Florence. He said he had been
absent ten days from Paris. Ambrogio, who had left his harquebuss at
home, not expecting to meet him, 'was consequently on that occasion
unable to do anything.' Days passed without a better opportunity, till,
on November 30, 'the feast of S. Andrew, which is a lucky day for me, I
rose and went at once to the palace, and, immediately on my arrival, saw
him at the hour when the king goes forth to mass.' Ambrogio had to
return as he went; for Troilo was surrounded by too many gentlemen of
the French Court; but he made his mind up then and there 'to see the end
of him or me.' He called his comrade Hieronimo, posted him on a bridge
across the Seine, and proceeded to the Court, where Troilo was now
playing racquets with princes of the royal family. Ambrogio hung about
the gates until Troilo issued from the lodgings of Monseigneur de
Montmorenci, still tracked by his unknown enemy, and thence returned to
his own house on horseback attended by several servants. After waiting
till the night fell, Troilo again left home on horseback preceded by his
servants with torches. Ambrogio followed at full speed, watched a
favorable opportunity, and stopped the horse. When I came up with him, I
seized the reins with my left hand and with my right I set my harquebuss
against his side, pushing it with such violence that if it had failed to
go off it would at any rate have dislodged him from his seat. The gun
took effect and he fell crying out "Eh! Eh!" In the tumult which
ensued, I walked away, and do not know what happened afterwards.'
Ambrogio then made his way back to his lodgings, recharged his
harquebuss, ate some supper and went to bed. He told Hieronimo that
nothing had occurred that night. Next day he rose as usual, and returned
to the Court, hoping to hear news of Troilo. In the afternoon, at the
Italian theatre, he was informed that an Italian had been murdered, at
the instance, it was thought, of the Grand Duke of Florence. Hieronimo
touched his arm, and whispered that he must have done the deed; but
Ambrogio denied the fact. It seems to have been his object to reserve
the credit of the murder for himself, and also to avoid the possibility
of Hieronimo's treachery in case suspicion fell upon him. Afterwards he
learned that Troilo lay dangerously wounded by a harquebuss. Further
details made him aware that he was himself suspected of the murder, and
that Troilo could not recover. He therefore conferred upon the matter
with Hieronimo in Notre Dame, and both of them resolved to leave Paris
secretly. This they did at once, relinquishing clothes, arms, and
baggage in their lodgings, and reached Italy in safety.

_Lodovico dall'Armi_.

The relations of trust which _bravi_ occasionally maintained with
foreign Courts, supply some curious illustrations of their position in
Italian society. One characteristic instance may be selected from
documents in the Venetian Archives referring to Lodovico dall'Armi.[228]
This man belonged to a noble family of Bologna; and there are reasons
for supposing that his mother was sister to Cardinal Campeggi, famous in
the annals of the English Reformation. Outlawed from his native city for
a homicide, Lodovico adopted the profession of arms and the management
of secret diplomacy. He first took refuge at the Court of France, where
in 1541 he obtained such credit, especially with the Dauphin, that he
was entrusted with a mission for raising revolt in Siena against the
Spaniards.[229] His transactions in that city with Giulio Salvi, then
aspiring to its lordship, and in Rome with the French ambassador, led to
a conspiracy which only awaited the appearance of French troops upon the
Tuscan frontier to break out into open rebellion. The plot, however,
transpired before it had been matured; and Lodovico took flight through
the Florentine territory. He was arrested at Montevarchi and confined in
the fortress of Florence, where he made such revelations as rendered the
extinction of the Sienese revolt an easy matter. After this we do not
hear of him until he reappears at Venice in the year 1545. He was now
accredited to the English ambassador with the title of Henry VIII.'s
'Colonel,' and enjoyed the consideration accorded to a powerful
monarch's privy agent.

[Footnote 228: See Rawdon Brown's _Calendar of State Papers_, vol. iv.]

[Footnote 229: See Botta, Book IV., for the story of Lodovico's
intrigues at Siena.]

His pension amounted to fifty crowns a month, while he kept eight
captains at his orders, each of whom received half that sum as pay.
These subordinates were people of some social standing. We find among
them a Trissino of Vicenza and a Bonifacio of Verona, the one entitled
Marquis and the other Count. What the object of Lodovico's residence in
Italy might be, did not appear. Though he carried letters of
recommendation from the English Court, he laid no claim to the rank of
diplomatic envoy. But it was tolerably well known that he employed
himself in levying troops. Whether these were meant to be used against
France or in favor of Savoy, or whether, as the Court of Rome suggested,
Henry had given orders for the murder of his cousin, Cardinal Pole, at
Trento, remained an open question. Lodovico might have dwelt in peace
under the tolerant rule of the Venetians, had he not exposed himself to
a collision with their police. In the month of August he assaulted the
captain of the night guard in a street brawl; and it was also proved
against him that he had despatched two of his men to inflict a wound of
infamy upon a gentleman at Treviso. These offenses, coinciding with
urgent remonstrances from the Papal Curia, gave the Venetian Government
fair pretext for expelling him from their dominions. A ban was therefore
published against him and fourteen of his followers. The English
ambassador declined to interfere in his behalf, and the man left Italy.
At the end of August he appeared at Brussels, where he attempted to
excuse himself in an interview with the Venetian ambassador. Now began a
diplomatic correspondence between the English Court and the Venetian
Council, which clearly demonstrates what kind of importance attached to
this private agent. The Chancellor Lord Wriothesley, and the Secretary
Sir William Paget, used considerable urgency to obtain a suspension of
the ban against Dall'Armi. After four months' negotiation, during which
the Papal Court endeavored to neutralize Henry's influence, the Doge
signed a safe-conduct for five years in favor of the bravo. Early in
1546 Lodovico reappeared in Lombardy. At Mantua he delivered a letter
signed by Henry himself to the Duke Francesco Gonzaga, introducing 'our
noble and beloved familiar Lodovico Dall'Armi,' and begging the Duke to
assist him in such matters as he should transact at Mantua in the king's
service.[230] Lodovico presented this letter in April; but the Duchess,
who then acted as regent for her son Francesco, refused to receive him.
She alleged that the Duke forbade the levying of troops for foreign
service, and declined to complicate his relations with foreign powers.
It seems, from a sufficiently extensive correspondence on the affairs of
Lodovico, that he was understood by the Italian princess to be charged
with some special commission for recruiting soldiers against the French.

[Footnote 230: This letter is dated February 16, 1546.]

The peace between England and France, signed at Guines in June,
rendered Lodovico's mission nugatory; and the death of Henry VIII. in
January 1547 deprived him of his only powerful support. Meanwhile he had
contrived to incur the serious displeasure of the Venetian Republic. In
the autumn of 1546 they outlawed one of their own nobles, Ser Mafio
Bernardo, on the charge of his having revealed state secrets to France.
About the middle of November, Bernardo, then living in concealment at
Ravenna, was lured into the pine forest by two men furnished with tokens
which secured his confidence. He was there murdered, and the assassins
turned out to be paid instruments of Lodovico. It now came to light that
Lodovico and Ser Mafio Bernardo had for some time past colluded in
political intrigue. If, therefore, the murder had a motive, this was
found in Lodovico's dread of revelations under the event of Ser Mario's
capture. Submitted to torture in the prisons of the Ten, Ser Mafio might
have incriminated his accomplice both with England and Venice. It was
obvious why he had been murdered by Lodovico's men. Dall'Armi was
consequently arrested and confined in Venice. After examination,
followed by a temporary release, he prudently took flight into the Duchy
of Milan. Though they held proof of his guilt in the matter of Ser
Mafio's murder, the Venetians were apparently unwilling to proceed to
extremities against the King of England's man. Early in February,
however, Sir William Paget surrendered him in the name of Lord
Protector Somerset to the discretion of S. Mark. Furnished with this
assurance that Dall'Armi had lost the favor of England, the Signory
wrote to demand his arrest and extradition from the Spanish governor in
Milan. He was in fact arrested on February 10. The letter announcing his
capture describes him as a man of remarkably handsome figure, accustomed
to wear a crimson velvet cloak and a red cap trimmed with gold. It is
exactly in this costume that Lodovico has been represented by Bonifazio
in a picture of the Massacre of the Innocents. The bravo there stands
with his back partly turned, gazing stolidly upon a complex scene of
bloodshed. He wears a crimson velvet mantle, scarlet cap and white
feather, scarlet stockings, crimson velvet shoes, and rose-colored silk
underjacket. His person is that of a gallant past the age of thirty,
high-complexioned, with short brown beard, spare whiskers and moustache.
He is good to look at, except that the sharp set mouth suggests cynical
vulgarity and shallow rashness. On being arrested in Milan, Lodovico
proclaimed himself a privileged person _(persona pubblica)_, bearing
credentials from the King of England; and, during the first weeks of his
confinement, he wrote to the Emperor for help. This was an idle step.
Henry's death had left him without protectors, and Charles V. felt no
hesitation in abandoning his suppliant to the Venetians. When the usual
formalities regarding extradition had been completed, the Milanese
Government delivered Lodovico at the end of April into the hands of the
Rector of Brescia, who forwarded him under a guard of two hundred men to
Padua. He was hand-cuffed; and special directions were given regarding
his safety, it being even prescribed that if he refused food it should
be thrust down his throat. What passed in the prisons of the State,
after his arrival at Venice, is not known. But on May 14, he was
beheaded between the columns on the Molo.

Venice, at this epoch, incurred the reproaches of her neighbors for
harboring adventurers of Lodovico's stamp. One of the Fregosi of Genoa a
certain Valerio, and Pietro Strozzi, the notorious French agent, all of
whom habitually haunted the lagoons, roused sufficient public anxiety to
necessitate diplomatic communications between Courts, and to disquiet
fretful Italian princelings. Banished from their own provinces, and
plying a petty Condottiere trade, such men, when they came together on a
neutral ground, engaged in cross-intrigues which made them politically
dangerous. They served no interest but that of their own egotism, and
they were notoriously unscrupulous in the means employed to effect
immediate objects. At the same time, the protection which they claimed
from foreign potentates withdrew them from the customary justice of the
State. Bedmar's conspiracy in 1617-18 revealed to Venice the full extent
of the peril which this harborage of ruffians involved; for though
grandees of the distinction of the Duke of Ossuna were involved in it,
the main agents, on whose ambition and audacity all depended, sprang
from those French, English, Spanish, and Italian mercenaries, who
crowded the low quarters of the city, alert for any mischief, and
inflamed with the wildest projects of self-aggrandizement by policy and
bloodshed. Nothing testifies to the social and political decrepitude of
Italy in this period more plainly than the importance which folk like
Lodovico Dall'Armi acquired, and the revolutionary force which a man
like Jaffier commanded.

_Brigands, Pirates, Plague_.

After collecting these stories, which illustrate the manners of the
upper classes in society and prove their dependence upon henchmen paid
to subserve lawless passions, it would be interesting to lay bare the
life of the common people with equal lucidity. This, however, is a more
difficult matter. Statistics of dubious value can indeed be gathered
regarding the desolation of villages by brigands, the multitudes
destroyed by pestilence and famine, and the inroads of Mediterranean
pirates. I propose, therefore, to touch lightly upon these points, and
especially to use our records of plague in different Italian districts
as tests for contrasting the condition of the people at this epoch with
that of the same people in the Middle Ages.

Brigandage, though this was certainly a curse of the first magnitude to
Central and Southern Italy, cannot be paralleled, either for the
miseries it inflicted, or for the ferocity it stimulated, with the
municipal warfare of the twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.
In those internecine struggles whole cities disappeared, and fertile
districts were periodically abandoned to wolves. The bands of an Alfonso
Piccolomini or a Sciarra Colonna plundered villages, exacted black mail,
and held prisoners for ransom.[231] But their barbarities were
insignificant, when compared with those commonly perpetrated by
wandering companies of adventure before the days of Alberigo da
Barbiano; nor did brigands cost Italy so much as the mercenary troops,
which, after the Condottiere system had been developed, became a
permanent drain upon the resources of the country. The raids of Tunisian
and Algerian Corsairs were more seriously mischievous; since the whole
sea-board from Nice to Reggio lay open to the ravages of such incarnate
fiends as Barbarossa and Dragut, while the Adriatic was infested by
Uscocchi, and the natives of the Regno not unfrequently turned pirates
in emulation of their persecutors.[232]

[Footnote 231: See Mutinelli, _Storia Arcana_, vol. ii. p. 167, for the
pillage of Lucera by Pacchiarotto.]

[Footnote 232: Sarpi's _History of the Uscocchi_ may be consulted for
this singular episode in the Iliad of human savagery. See Mutinelli,
_op. cit._ vol. ii. p. 182, on the case of the son and heir of the Duke
of Termoli joining them; and _ibid._ p. 180 on the existence of pirates
at Capri.]

Yet even these injuries may be reckoned light, when we consider what
Italy had suffered between 1494 and 1527 from French, Spanish, German
and Swiss troops in combat on her soil. The pestilences of the Middle
Ages notably the Black Death of 1348, of which Boccaccio has left an
immortal description, exceeded in virulence those which depopulated
Italian cities during the period of my history. But plagues continued to
be frequent; and some of these are so memorable that they require to be
particularly noticed. At Venice in 1575-77, a total of about 50,000
persons perished; and in 1630-31, 46,490 were carried off within a space
of sixteen months in the city, while the number of those who died at
large in the lagoons amounted to 94,235.[233] On these two occasions the
Venetians commemorated their deliverance by the erection of the
Redentore and S. Maria della Salute, churches which now form principal
ornaments of the Giudecca and the Grand Canal. Milan was devastated at
the same periods by plagues, of which we have detailed accounts in the
dispatches of resident Venetian envoys.[234] The mortality in the second
of these visitations was terrible. Before September 1629, fourteen
thousand had succumbed; between May and August 1630, forty-five thousand
victims had been added to the tale.[235]

[Footnote 233: Mutinelli, _Annali Urbani di Venezia_, pp.

[Footnote 234: Mutinelli, _Storia Arcana_, vol. i. p. 310-340, and vol.
xiv. pp. 30-65.]

[Footnote 235: It is worth mentioning that Ripamonte calculates the
mortality from plague in Milan in 1524 at 140,000.]

At Naples in the year 1656, more than fifty thousand perished between
May and July; the dead were cast naked into the sea, and the Venetian
envoy describes the city as _'non più città ma spelonca di
morti_.'[236] In July his diary is suddenly interrupted, whether by
departure from the stricken town, or more probably by death, we know
not. Savoy was scourged by a fearful pestilence in the years 1598-1600.
Of this plague we possess a frightfully graphic picture in the same
accurate series of the State documents.[237] Simeone Contarini, then
resident at Savigliano, relates that more than two-thirds of the
population in that province had been swept away before the autumn of
1598, and that the evil was spreading far and wide through Piedmont. In
Alpignano, a village of some four hundred inhabitants, only two
remained. In Val Moriana, forty thousand expired out of a total of
seventy thousand. The village of San Giovanni counted but twelve
survivors from a population of more than four thousand souls. In May
1599, the inhabitants of Turin were reduced by flight and death to four
thousand; and of these there died daily numbers gradually rising through
the summer from 50 to 180. The streets were encumbered with unburied
corpses, the houses infested by robbers and marauders. Some incidents
reported of this plague are ghastly in their horror. The infected were
treated with inhuman barbarity, and retorted with savage fury, battering
their assailants with the pestiferous bodies of unburied victims.

[Footnote 236: Mutinelli, _op. cit._ vol. in. pp. 229-233. Botta has
given an account of this plague in the twenty-sixth book of his

[Footnote 237: Mutinelli, _op. cit._ vol. ii. pp. 287-307.]

To the miseries of pestilence and its attendant famine were added
lawlessness and license, raging fires, and what was worst of all, the
dark suspicion that the sickness had been introduced by malefactors.
This belief appears to have taken hold upon the popular mind during the
plague of 1598 in Savoy and in Milan.[238] Simeone Contarini reports
that two men from Geneva confessed to having come with the express
purpose of disseminating infection. He also gives curious particulars of
two who were burned, and four who were quartered at Turin in 1600 for
this offense.[239] 'These spirits of hell,' as he calls them, indicated
a wood in which they declared that they had buried a pestilential liquid
intended to be used for smearing houses. The wood was searched, and some
jars were discovered. A surgeon at the same epoch confessed to having
meant to spread the plague at Mondovi. Other persons, declaring
themselves guilty of a similar intention, described a horn filled with
poisonous stuff collected from the sores of plague-stricken corpses,
which they had concealed outside the walls of Turin. This too was
discovered; and these apparent proofs of guilt so infuriated the people
that every day some criminals were sacrificed to judicial vengeance.

[Footnote 238: See Mutinelli, _op. cit._ p. 241 and p. 289. We hear of
the same belief at Milan in 1576, _op. cit._ vol. i. pp. 311-315.]

[Footnote 239: _Ibid._ p. 309. See also vol. iii. p. 254 for a similar

The name given to the unfortunate creatures accused of this diabolical
conspiracy was _Untori_ or the Smearers. The plague of Milan in 1629-30
obtained the name of 'La Peste degli Untori' (as that of 1576 had been
called 'La Peste di S. Carlo'), because of the prominent part played in
it by the smearers.[240] They were popularly supposed to go about the
city daubing walls, doors, furniture, choir-stalls, flowers, and
articles of food with plague stuff. They scattered powders in the air,
or spread them in circles on the pavement. To set a foot upon one of
these circles involved certain destruction. Hundreds of such _untori_
were condemned to the most cruel deaths by justice firmly persuaded of
their criminality. Exposed to prolonged tortures, the majority confessed
palpable absurdities. One woman at Milan said she had killed four
thousand people. But, says Pier Antonio Marioni, the Venetian envoy,
although tormented to the utmost, none of them were capable of revealing
the prime instigators of the plot. So thoroughly convinced was he,
together with the whole world, of their guilt, that he never paused to
reflect upon the fallacy contained in this remark. The rack-stretched
wretches could not reveal their instigators, because there were none;
and the acts of which they accused themselves were the delirious
figments of their own torture-fretted brains. We possess documents
relating to the trial of the Milanese _untori_, which make it clear that
crimes of this sort must have been imaginary. As in cases of
witchcraft, the first accusation was founded upon gossip and delation.
The judicial proceedings were ruled by prejudice and cruelty. Fear and
physical pain extorted confessions and complicated accusations of their
neighbors from multitudes of innocent people.[241] Indeed the parallel
between these unfortunate smearers and no less wretched witches is a
close one. I am inclined to think that, as some crazy women fancied they
were witches, so some morbid persons of this period in Italy believed in
their power of spreading plague, and yielded to the fascination of
malignity. Whether such moral mad folk really extended the sphere of the
pestilence to any appreciable extent remains a matter for conjecture;
and it is quite certain that all but a small percentage of the accused
were victims of calumny.

After taking brigandage, piracy, and pestilence into account, the
decline of Italy must be attributed to other causes. These I believe to
have been the extinction of commercial republics, the decay of free
commonwealths, iniquitous systems of taxation, the insane display of
wealth by unproductive princes, and the diversion of trade into foreign
channels. Florence ceased to be the center of wool manufacture, Venice
lost her hold upon the traffic between East and West.[242] Stagnation
fell like night upon the land, and the population suffered from a
general atrophy.

[Footnote 240: Mutinelli, _op. cit._ vol. ii. pp. 51-65.]

[Footnote 241: Cantù's _Ragionamenti sulla Storia Lombarda del Secolo
XVII._ Milano, 1832. The trial may also be read in Mutinelli, _Storm
Arcana_, vol. iv. pp. 175-201. Mutinelli inclines to believe in the
_Untori_. So do many grave historians, including Nani and Botta. See
Cantù, _Storia degli Italiani_, Milano, 1876, vol. ii. p. 215.]

[Footnote 242: Mr. Ruskin has somewhere maintained that the decline of
Venice was not due to this cause, but to fornication. He should read the
record given by Mutinelli (_Diari Urbani_, p. 157), of Venetian
fornication in 1340, at the time when the Ducal Palace was being covered
with its sculpture. The public prostitutes were reckoned then at 11,654.
Adulteries, rapes, infanticides were matters of daily occurrence. Yet
the Renaissance had not begun, and the expansion of Venice, which roused
the envious hostility of Europe, had yet to happen.]

_The Proletariate_.

In what concerns social morality it would be almost impossible to define
the position of the proletariate, tillers of the soil, and artisans, at
this epoch. These classes vary in their goodness and their badness, in
their drawbacks and advantages, from age to age far less than those who
mold the character of marked historical periods by culture. They enjoy
indeed a greater or a smaller immunity from pressing miseries. They are
innocent or criminal in different degrees. But the ground-work of
humanity in them remains comparatively unaltered; and their moral
qualities, so far as these may be exceptional, reflect the influences of
an upper social stratum. It is clear from the histories related in this
chapter that members of the lowest classes were continually mixing with
the nobles and the gentry in the wild adventures of that troubled
century. They, like their betters, were undergoing a tardy
metamorphosis from mediaeval to modern conditions, retaining vices of
ferocity and grossness, virtues of loyalty and self-reliance, which
belonged to earlier periods. They, too, were now infected by the
sensuous romance of pietism, the superstitious respect for sacraments
and ceremonial observances which had been wrought by the Catholic
Revival into ecstatic frenzy. They shared those correlative yearnings
after sacrilegious debauchery, felt those allurements of magic arts,
indulged that perverted sense of personal honor which constituted
psychological disease in the century which we are studying. It can,
moreover, be maintained that Italian society at no epoch has been so
sharply divided into sections as that of the feudalized races. In this
period of one hundred years, from 1530 to 1630, when education was a
privilege of the few, and when Church and princes combined to retard
intellectual progress, the distinction between noble and plebeian,
burgher and plowman, though outwardly defined, was spiritually and
morally insignificant. As in the Renaissance, so now, vice trickled
downwards from above, infiltrating the masses of the people with its
virus. But now, even more decidedly than then, the upper classes
displayed obliquities of meanness, baseness, intemperance, cowardice,
and brutal violence, which are commonly supposed to characterize

I had thought to throw some light upon the manners of the Italian
proletariate by exploring the archives of trials for witchcraft. But I
found that these were less common than in Germany, France, Spain, and
England at a corresponding period. In Italy witchcraft, pure and simple,
was confined, for the most part, to mountain regions, the Apennines of
the Abruzzi, and the Alps of Bergamo and Tyrol.[243] In other provinces
it was confounded with crimes of poisoning, the procuring of abortion,
and the fomentation of conspiracies in private families. These facts
speak much for the superior civilization of the Italian people
considered as a whole. We discover a common fund of intelligence, vice,
superstition, prejudice, enthusiasm, craft, devotion, self-assertion,
possessed by the race at large. Only in districts remote from civil life
did witchcraft assume those anti-social and repulsive features which are
familiar to Northern nations. Elsewhere it penetrated, as a subtle
poison, through society, lending its supposed assistance to passions
already powerful enough to work their own accomplishment. It existed,
not as an endemic disease, a permanent delirium of maddened peasants,
but as a weapon in the arsenal of malice on a par with poisons and
provocatives to lust.

I might illustrate this position by the relation of a fantastic attempt
made against the life of Pope Urban VIII.[244]

[Footnote 243: Dandolo's _Streghe Tirolesi_, and Cantù's work on the
Diocese of Como show how much Subalpine Italy had in common in Northern
Europe in this matter.]

[Footnote 244: See _Rassegna Settimanale_, September 18, 1881.]

Giacomo Centini, the nephew of Cardinal d'Ascoli, fostered a fixed idea,
the motive of his madness being the promotion of his uncle to S. Peter's
Chair. In 1633 he applied to a hermit, who professed profound science in
the occult arts and close familiarity with demons. The man, in answer to
Giacomo's inquiries, said that Urban had still many years to live, that
the Cardinal d'Ascoli would certainly succeed him, and that he held it
in his power to shorten the Pope's days. He added that a certain Fra
Cherubino would be useful, if any matter of grave moment were resolved
on; nor did he reject the assistance of other discreet persons. Giacomo,
on his side, produced a Fra Domenico; and the four accomplices set at
work to destroy the reigning Pope by means of sorcery. They caused a
knife to be forged, after the model of the Key of Solomon, and had it
inscribed with Cabalistic symbols. A clean virgin was employed to spin
hemp into a thread. Then they resorted to a distant room in Giacomo's
palace, where a circle was drawn with the mystic thread, a fire was
lighted in the center, and upon it was placed an image of Pope Urban
formed of purest wax. The devil was invoked to appear and answer whether
Urban had deceased this life after the melting of the image. No infernal
visitor responded to the call; and the hermit accounted for this failure
by suggesting that some murder had been committed in the palace. As
things went at that period, this excuse was by no means feeble, if only
the audience, bent on unholy invocation of the power of evil, would
accept it as sufficient. Probably more than one murder had taken place
there, of which the owner was dimly conscious. The psychological
curiosity to note is that avowed malefactors reckoned purity an
essential element in their nefarious practice. They tried once more in a
vineyard, under the open heavens at night. But no demon issued from the
darkness, and the hermit laid this second mischance to the score of bad
weather. Giacomo was incapable of holding his tongue. He talked about
his undertaking to the neighbors, and promised to make them all
Cardinals when he should become the Papal nephew. Meanwhile he pressed
the hermit forward on the path of folly; and this man, driven to his
wits' end for a device, said that they must find seven priests together,
one of whom should be assassinated to enforce the spell. It was natural,
while the countryside was being raked for seven convenient priests by
such a tattler as Giacomo, that suspicions should be generated in the
people. Information reached Rome, in consequence of which the persons
implicated in this idiotic plot were conveyed thither and given over to
the mercies of the Holy Office. The upshot of their trial was that
Giacomo lost his head, while the hermit and Fra Cherubino were burned
alive, and Fra Domenico went to the galleys for life. Several other men
involved in the process received punishments of considerable severity.
It must be added in conclusion that the whole story rests upon the
testimony of Inquisitorial archives, and that the real method of Giacomo
Centini's apparent madness yet remains to be investigated. The few facts
that we know about him, from his behavior on the scaffold and a letter
he wrote his wife, prejudice me in his favor.

Enough, and more than enough, perhaps, has been collected in this
chapter, to throw light upon the manners of Italians during the
Counter-Reformation. It would have been easy to repeat the story of the
Countess of Cellant and her murdered lovers, or of the Duchess of Amalfi
strangled by her brothers for a marriage below her station. The
massacres committed by the Raspanti in Ravenna would furnish a whole
series of illustrative crimes. From the deeds of Alfonso Piccolomini,
Sciarra and Fabrizio Colonna details sufficient to fill a volume with
records of atrocious savagery could be drawn. The single episode of
Elena Campireali, who plighted her troth to a bandit, became Abbess of
the Convent at Castro, intrigued with a bishop, and killed herself for
shame on the return of her first lover, would epitomize in one drama all
the principal features of this social discord. The dreadful tale of the
Baron of Montebello might be told again, who assaulted the castle of the
Marquis of Pratidattolo, and, by the connivance of a sister whom he
subsequently married, murdered the Marquis with his mother, children,
and relatives. The hunted life of Alessandro Antelminelli, pursued
through all the States of Europe by assassins, could be used to
exemplify the miseries of proscribed exiles. But what is the use of
multiplying instances, when every pedigree in Litta, every chronicle of
the time, every history of the most insignificant township, swarms with
evidence to the same purpose? We need not adopt the opinion that society
had greatly altered for the worse. We must rather decide that mediaeval
ferocity survived throughout the whole of that period which witnessed
the Catholic Revival, and that the piety which distinguished it was not
influential in curbing vehement passions.

The conclusions to be drawn from the facts before us seem to be in
general these. The link between government and governed in Italy had
snapped. The social bond was broken, and the constituents that form a
nation were pursuing divers aims. On the one hand stood Popes and
princes, founding their claims to absolute authority upon titles that
had slight rational or national validity. These potentates were
ill-combined among themselves, and mutually jealous. On the other side
were ranged disruptive forces of the most heterogeneous kinds--remnants
from antique party-warfare, fragments of obsolete domestic feuds, new
strivings after freer life in mentally down-trodden populations,
blending with crime and misery and want and profligacy to compose an
opposition which exasperated despotism. These anarchical conditions were
due in large measure to the troubles caused by foreign campaigns of
invasion. They were also due to the Spanish type of manners imposed upon
the ruling classes, which the native genius accepted with fraudulent
intelligence, and to which it adapted itself by artifice. We must
further reckon the division between cultured and uncultured people,
which humanism had effected, and which subsisted after the benefits
conferred by humanism had been withdrawn from the race. The retirement
of the commercial aristocracy from trade, and their assumption of
princely indolence in this period of political stagnation, was another
factor of importance. But the truest cause of Italian retrogression
towards barbarism must finally be discerned in the sharp check given to
intellectual evolution by the repressive forces of the Counter-Reformation.




ACADEMIES, Italian, the flourishing time of, i. 52.

ACCIAIUOLI, Roberto, i. 33.

ACCOLTI, Benedetto, conspirator against Pius IV., i. 132.

ACCORAMBONI, Claudio (father of Vittoria), i. 356.

---Marcello (brother of Vittoria):
  intrigues for the marriage of his sister with the
  Duke of Bracciano, i. 358 _sqq._;
  procures the murder of her husband, 362;
  employs a Greek enchantress to brew love-philters, 365;
  his death, 372.

---Tarquinia (mother of Vittoria), i. 356.

---Vittoria, the story of, i. 355 _sqq._;
  her birth and parentage, 356;
  marriage with Felice Peretti, 357;
  intrigue with the Duke of Bracciano, 360;
  the murder of her husband, 362;
  her marriage with Bracciano, 364;
  annulled by the Pope, 364, 366;
  the union renounced by the Duke, 365;
  put on trial for the murder of Peretti, _ib._;
  their union publicly ratified by the Duke, 366;
  flight from Rome, _ib._;
  death of Bracciano, 367;
  her murder procured by Lodovico Orsini, 369.

'ACTS of Faith,' i. 107, 176, 187.

ADMINISTRATOR, the (Jesuit functionary), i. 273.

'ADONE,' Marino's:
  its publication, ii. 264;
  critique of the poem, 266 _sqq._

ALBANI, Francesco, Bolognese painter, ii. 355, 358.

ALEXANDER VI., Pope, parallel between, and Pope Paul IV., i. 106.

ALFONSO II., Duke of Ferrara:
  sketch of his Court, ii. 28 _sqq._;
  his second marriage, 30;
  treatment of Tasso, 38, 51, 53, 58, 60 _sqq._;
  his third marriage, 66;
  estimate of the reasons why he imprisoned Tasso, 66 _sqq._

ALFONSO the Magnanimous:
  arrangements under his will, i. 4.

ALIDOSI, Cardinal Francesco, murder of, i. 36.

ALLEGORY, hypocrisy of the, exemplified in Tasso, ii. 44;
  in Marino, 272;
  in Ortensi's moral interpretations of Bandello's
 _Novelle_, 272 _n._

ALTEMPS, Cardinal d' (Mark of Hohen Ems), legate at Trent, i. 119 _n._

ALVA, Duke of, defeat of the Duke of Guise by, i. 103.

'AMADIS of Gaul,' the favorite book of Loyola in his youth, i. 232.

AMIAS, Beatrice, mother of Francesco Cenci, i. 346.

'AMINTA,' Tasso's pastoral drama, first production of, ii. 39;
  its style, 114.

ANGELUZZO, Giovanni, Tasso's first teacher, ii. 12.

ANIMA Mundi, Bruno's doctrine of, ii. 177.

ANTONIANO, a censor of the _Gerusalemme Liberata_, ii. 43.

---Silvio, a boy _improvvisatore_, anecdote of, ii. 328.

AQUAVIVA, the fifth General of the Jesuits, i. 248.

AQUITAINE, Duke of, Guercino's painting of in Bologna, ii. 367.

ARAGONESE Dynasty, the, in Italy, i. 4.

ARBUES, Peter, Saint of the Inquisition in Aragon, i. 161, 178.

ARETINO, Pietro, i. 42, 70;
  satire of on Paul IV., 108.

'ARIE Divote,' Palestrina's, ii. 335.

ARISTOTLE'S Axiom on Taste, ii. 371, 374.

ARMADA, Spanish, i. 149.

ARMI, Lodovico dall', a _bravo_ of noble family, i. 409;
  accredited at Venice as Henry VIII.'s 'Colonel,' 410;
  his career of secret diplomacy, 411;
  negotiations between Lord Wriothesley and Venice regarding
  the ban issued against him, 412;
  his downfall, 413;
  personal appearance, 414;
  execution, 415.

ARNOLFINI, Massimiliano, paramour of Lucrezia Buonvisi, i. 331;
  procures the assassination of her husband, 332;
  flight from justice, 332;
  outlawed, 336;
  his wanderings and wretched end, 339.

ART of Memory, Bruno's, ii. 139.

ART of Poetry, Tasso's Dialogues on the, ii. 22, 24;
  influence of its theory on Tasso's own work, 25.

ASSISTANTS, the (Jesuit functionaries), i. 273.

ASTORGA, Marquis of, i. 22.

AURORA, the Ludovisi fresco of, ii. 368.

AVILA, Don Luigi d', i. 128.


BAGLIONI, Malatesta, i. 46.

BAINI'S _Life of Palestrina_, ii. 316 _sqq._

BALBI, Cesare, on Italian decadence, ii. 3.

BANDITTI, tales illustrative of, i. 388 _sqq._

'BANDO' (of outlawry), recitation of the terms of a, i. 328.

BARBIERI, Giovanni Francesco, _see_ IL GUERCINO.

BARCELONA, the Treaty of, i. 15.

BARNABITES, Order of the:
  their foundation, i. 80.

BAROCCIO, Federigo, ii. 349.

BAROZZA, a Venetian courtezan, i. 394, 396.

BASEL, Council of, i. 94.

BEARD, unshorn, worn in sign of mourning, i. 36.

BEDELL, William (Bishop of Kilmore), on Fra Paolo and
  Fra Fulgenzio, ii. 231.

BEDMAR'S conspiracy, ii. 186.

BELLARMINO, Cardinal, on the inviolability of the Vulgate, i. 212;
  relations of, with Fra Paolo Sarpi, ii. 213, 222;
  his censure of the _Pastor Fido_, 251.

BELRIGUARDO, the villa of, Tasso at, ii. 53.

BEMBO, Pietro, i. 30, 41.

BENDEDEI, Taddea, wife of Guarini, ii. 245.

BENTIVOGLI, the semi-royal offspring of King Enzo of Sardinia, ii. 304.

  his account of how he murdered Lorenzino de'Medici, i. 488 _sqq._;
  his associate, Bebo, details of the life of a _bravo_, 389;
  tracking an outlaw, 392;
  the wages of a tyrannicide, 394;
  the _bravo's_ patient watching, 395;
  the murder, 397;
  flight of the assassins, 399;
  their reception by Count Collalto, 401;
  they seek refuge at the Spanish embassy, 402;
  protected by Charles V.'s orders, 403;
  conveyed to Pisa, 404;
  well provided for their future life, _ib._

BITONTO. Pasquale di, one of the assassins of Sarpi, ii. 212.

BLACK garments of Charles V., the, i. 43.

BLACK Pope, the, i. 275.

BLOIS, Treaty of, i. 12.

BOBADILLA, Nicholas, associate of Ignatius Loyola, i. 240;
  his work as a Jesuit in Bavaria, 258.

BOLOGNA and Modena, humors of the conflict between, ii. 304.

BOLOGNESE school of painters, the, ii. 343 _sqq._;
  why their paintings are now neglected, 375 _sqq._;
  mental condition of Bolognese art, 376.

BONELLI, Michele, nephew of Pius V., i. 147.

BONIFAZIO of Montferrat, Marquis, one of the Paleologi, i. 23.

BORGIA, Francis (Duke of Gandia), third General of the Jesuits, i. 256;
  prevented by Loyola from accepting a Cardinal's hat, 260.

  his character, i. 115;
  a possible successor to Pius IV., 135;
  ruled in Rome by the Jesuits, 142;
  his intimacy with Sarpi, ii. 194.

---Federigo, i. 115;
  letter of, forbidding soldiers' visits to convents, 316 _n._

BRANCACCIO, Diana, treachery of, towards the Duchess of Palliano, i. 378;
  her murder, 379.

'BRAVI,' maintenance of by Italian nobles, i. 313;
  tales illustrative of, 388 _sqq._;
  relations of trust between _bravi_ and foreign Courts, 409.

BRIGANDAGE in Italy, i. 416.

BROWN, Mr. H.F., his researches in the Venetian archives, i. 189 _n._

BRUCCIOLI, Antonio, translator of the Bible into Italian, i. 76.

BRUNO, Giordano:
  his birth, and training as a Dominican, ii. 129;
  early speculative doubts, 130;
  _Il Candelajo_, 131, 183;
  early studies, 133;
  prosecution for heresy, 134;
  a wandering student, 135;
  at Geneva, 136;
  Toulouse, 137;
  at the Sorbonne, 138;
  the Art of Memory, 139, 154;
  _De Umbris Idearum_, _ib._;
  relations with Henri III., 140;
  Bruno's person and conversation, 141;
  in England, _ib._;
  works printed in London, 142;
  descriptions of London life, _ib._;
  opinion of Queen Elizabeth, 143;
  lecturer at Oxford, 144;
  address to the Vice-Chancellor, 146;
  academical opposition, 147;
  the Ash-Wednesday Supper, _ib._;
  in the family of Castelnau, 148;
  in Germany, 149;
  Bruno's opinion of the Reformers, _ib._;
  the _De Monade_ and _De Triplici Minimo_, 150;
  Bruno in a monastery at Frankfort, 151;
  invited to Venice, 153;
  a guest of Mocenigo there, 154;
  his occupations, 156;
  denounced by Mocenigo and imprisoned by the Inquisition, 157;
  the heads of the accusation, 157 _sqq._;
  trial, 159;
  recantation, 160;
  estimate of Bruno's apology, 161;
  his removal to and long imprisonment at Rome, 163;
  his execution, 164;
  evidence of his martyrdom, 164 _sqq._;
  Schoppe's account, 165;
  details of Bruno's treatment in Rome, 167;
  the burning at the stake, 167 _sq._;
  Bruno a martyr, 168;
  contrast with Tasso, 169;
  Bruno's mental attitude, 170 _sq._;
  his championship of the Copernican system, 172;
  his relation to modern science and philosophy, 173;
  conception of the universe, 173 _sqq._;
  his theology, 175;
  the _Anima Mundi_, 177;
  anticipations of modern thought, 178, 182;
  his want of method, 180;
  the treatise on the Seven Arts, 182;
  Bruno's literary style, 182 _sqq._;
  his death contrasted with that of Sarpi, 239 _n._

BRUSANTINI, Count Alessandro (Tassoni's 'Conte Culagna'), ii. 301, 306.

BUCKET, the Bolognese, ii. 305.

BUONCOMPAGNO, Giacomo, bastard, son of Gregory XIII., i. 150.

---Ugo, _see_ GREGORY XIII.

BUONVISI, Lucrezia, story of, i. 330;
  intrigue with Arnolfini, 331;
  murder of her husband, 332;
  Lucrezia suspected of complicity, 334;
  becomes a nun (Sister Umilia), _ib._;
  the case against her, 338;
  amours of inmates of her convent, 340;
  Umilia's intrigue with Samminiati, _ib._;
  discovery of their correspondence, 341;
  trial and sentences of the nuns, 344;
  Umilia's last days, 345.

---Lelio, assassination of, i. 332.

BURGUNDIAN diamond of Charles the Bold, the, i. 38.


CALCAGNINI, Celio, letter of, on religious controversies, i. 74.

CALVAERT, Dionysius, a Flemish painter in Bologna, ii. 355.

CALVETTI, Olimpio (one of the assassins of Francesco Cenci), i. 350.

CALVIN, i. 73;
  his relation to modern civilization, ii. 402.

CAMBRAY, Treaty of (the Paix des Dames), i. 9, 15.

CAMERA Apostolica, the, venality of, i. 140.

CAMERINO, Duchy of, i. 86.

CAMPANELLA, on the black robes of the Spaniards in Italy, i. 44.

CAMPEGGI, Cardinal Lorenzo, i. 21.

CAMPIREALI, Elena, the tale of, i. 428.

CANELLO, U.A., on Italian society in the sixteenth century, i. 304 _n._

CANISIUS, lieutenant of Loyola in Austria, i. 259;
  appointed to the administration of the see of Vienna, 260.

CANOSSA, Antonio, conspirator against Pius IV., i. 132.

CAPELLO, Bianca, the story of, i. 382.

CAPPELLA, Giulia (Rome), school for training choristers, ii. 316.

CARACCI, the, Bolognese painters, ii. 345, 349 _sqq._

CARAFFA, Cardinal, condemned to death by Pius IV., i. 115.

---Giovanni Pietro (afterwards Pope Paul IV.),
  causes the rejection of Contarini's
  arrangement with the Lutherans, i. 78;
  helps to found the Theatines, 79;
  made Cardinal by Paul III., 88;
  hatred of Spanish ascendency, 89;
  becomes Pope Paul IV., 102;
  quarrel with Philip II., 102 _sqq._;
  opens negotiations with Soliman, 103;
  reconciliation with Spain, 104;
  nepotism, _ib._;
  indignation against the misdoings of his relatives, 106;
  ecclesiastical reforms, 107 _sq._;
  zeal for the Holy Office, 107 _n._;
  personal character, 108;
  his death, _ib._;
  his earlier relations with Ignatius Loyola, 242.

CARAFFESCHI, evil character of the, i. 105;
  four condemned to death by Pius IV., 115, 318.

CARAVAGGIO, Michelangelo Amerighi da, Italian Realist painter, ii. 363 _n._

CARDINE, Aliffe and Leonardo di (Caraffeschi),
  condemned to death by Pius IV., i. 115.

CARDONA, Violante de (Duchess of Palliano), story of, i. 373 _sqq._;
  her accomplishments, 374;
  character, _ib._;
  passion of Marcello Capecce for her, _ib._;
  her character compromised through Diana Brancaccio, 378;
  murder of Marcello and Diana by the Duke, _ib._;
  death of Violante at the hands of her brother, 380.

CARLI, Orazio:
  description of his being put to the torture, i. 333 _sq._

CARLO Emmanuele of Savoy, Italian hopes founded on, ii. 246, 286;
  friend of Marino, 262;
  kindness to Chiabrera, 290;
  treatment of Tassoni, 298.

CARNESECCHI, condemned by the Roman Inquisition to be burned, i. 145.

CARPI, attached to Ferrara, i. 40.

CARRANZA, Archbishop of Toledo, condemned by the
  Roman Inquisition to be burned, i. 145.

CASA, Giovanni della (author of the _Capitolo del Forno_), i. 393, 395.

CASTELNAU, Michel de, kindness of towards Giordano Bruno, ii. 141, 148.

---Marie de, Bruno's admiration for, ii. 148.

---Pierre de, the first Saint of the Inquisition, i. 161.

CATALANI, Marzio (one of the assassins of Francesco Cenci), i. 350.

CATEAU Cambrésis, the Peace of, i. 48.

CATHOLIC Revival, the inaugurators of, at Bologna, i. 16;
  transition from the Renaissance to, 65;
  new religious spirit in Italy, 67;
  the Popes and the Council of Trent, 96 _sqq._;
  a Papal triumph, 130;
  the Catholic Reaction generated the Counter-Reformation, 133;
  its effect on social and domestic morals, 301 _sqq._

CELEBRITY, vicissitudes of, ii. 368.

CELIBACY, clerical, the question of, at Trent, i. 123.

CELLANT, Contessa di, the model of Luini's S. Catherine, ii. 360 _n._

'CENA delle Ceneri, La,' Bruno's, i. 85 _n._; ii. 140, 142, 183.

CENCI, Beatrice, examination of the legend of, i. 351 _sqq._

---Francesco: bastard son of Cristoforo Cenci, i. 346;
  his early life, _ib._;
  disgraceful charges against him, 348;
  compounds by heavy money payment for his crimes, _ib._;
  violent deaths of his sons, _ib._;
  severity towards his children, 349;
  his assassination procured by his wife and three children, 350;
  the murderers denounced, _ib._;
  their trial and punishments, 351.

---Msgr. Christoforo, father of Francesco Cenci, i. 346.

CENTINI, Giacomo: story of his attempts by sorcery on the
  life of Urban VIII., i. 425.

CESI, Msgr., invites Tasso to Bologna, ii. 22.

CHARLES V., his compact with Clement VII., i. 15;
  Emperor Elect, 16;
  relations with Andrea Doria, 17;
  at Genoa, 18;
  his journey to Bologna, 20;
  his reception there, 22;
  the meeting with Clement, 23;
  mustering of Italian princes, 25;
  negotiations on Italian affairs, 26 _sqq._;
  a treaty of peace signed, 31;
  the difficulty with Florence, 32;
  the question of the two crowns, 34 _sqq._;
  description of the coronation, 37 _sqq._;
  the events that followed, 39 _sqq._;
  the net results of Charles's administration of Italian affairs, 45 _sqq._;
  his relations with Paul III., 100;
  his abdication, 102;
  he protects the assassins of Lorenzino de'Medici, 403.

CHARLES VIII., of France: his invasion of Italy, i. 8.

CHIABRERA, Gabriello: his birth, ii. 287;
  educated by the Jesuits, _ib._;
  his youth, 288;
  the occupations of a long life, 289;
  courtliness, 290;
  ode to Cesare d'Este, 291;
  Chiabrera's aim to remodel Italian poetry on a Greek pattern. 292 _sqq._;
  would-be Pindaric flights, 296;
  comparison with Marino and Tassoni, _ib._

CIOTTO, Giambattista, relations of, with Giordano Bruno, ii. 152 _sqq._

CISNEROS, Garcia de, author of a work which suggested
  S. Ignatius's _Exercitia_, i. 236.

CLEMENT VII.: a prisoner in S. Angelo, i. 14;
  compact with Charles V., 15;
  their meeting at Bologna, 16 _sqq._;
  negotiations with the Emperor Elect, 26 _sqq._;
  peace signed, 31.

CLEMENT VIII.: his Concordat with Venice, i. 193;
  Index of Prohibited Books issued by him, _ib._;
  his rules for the censorship of books, 198 _sqq._;
  he confers a pension on Tasso, ii. 76.

CLOUGH, Mr., lines of, on 'Christianized' monuments in Papal Rome, i. 154.

COADJUTORS, Temporal and Spiritual (Jesuit grades), i. 271.

COLLALTO, Count Salici da, patron of the _bravo_ Bibboni, i. 400.

COLONNA, the, reduced to submission to the Popes, i. 7.

---Vespasiano, Duke of Palliano, i. 77.

---Vittoria, i. 77;
  letter to, from Tasso in his childhood, ii. 15.

COMANDINO, Federigo, Tasso's teacher, ii. 19.


CONCLAVES, external influences on, in the election of Popes, i. 134.

CONFEDERATION between Clement VII. and Charles V., i. 31.

'CONFIRMATIONS,' Fra Fulgenzio's, ii. 201.

CONSERVATISM and Liberalism, necessary contest between, ii. 386.

'CONSIDERATIONS on the Censures,' Sarpi's, ii. 201.

CONSTANCE, Council of, i. 92.

CONTARINI, Gasparo: his negotiations between Catholics
  and Protestants, i. 30;
  treatment of his writings by Inquisitors, 31;
  suspected of heterodoxy, 72;
  intimacy with Gaetano di Thiene, 76;
  his concessions to the Reformers repudiated by the Curia, 78;
  memorial on ecclesiastical abuses, 79.

---Simeone: his account of a plague at Savigliano, i. 419 _sq._

'CONTRIBUTIONS of the Clergy, Discourse upon the,' Sarpi's, ii. 221.

COPERNICAN system, the, Bruno's championship of, ii. 172.

COREGLIA, one of the assassins of Lelio Buonvisi, i. 333 _sqq._

CORONATION of Charles V., description of, i. 34 _sqq._;
  notable people present at, 39 _sqq._

CORSAIRS, Tunisian and Algerian, raids of, on Italian coasts, i. 417.

COSCIA, Giangiacopo, guardian of Tasso's sister, ii. 16.

COSIMO I. of Tuscany, the rule of, i. 46, 47.

COSTANTINI, Antonio, Tasso's last letter written to, ii. 77;
  sonnet on the poet, 78.

COTERIES, religious, in Rome, Venice, Naples, i. 75 _sqq._

COUNTER-REFORMATION: its intellectual and moral character, i. 63;
  the term defined, 64 _n._;
  decline of Renaissance impulse, 65;
  criticism and formalism in Italy, _ib._;
  contrast with the development of other European races, 66;
  transition to the Catholic Revival, 67;
  attitudes of Italians towards the German Reformation, 71;
  free-thinkers, 73;
  the Oratory of Divine Love, 76;
  the Moderate Reformers, _ib._;
  Gasparo Contarini, 78;
  new Religious Orders, 79;
  the Council of Trent, 97, 119;
  Tridentine Reforms, 107, 134;
  asceticism fashionable in Rome, 108, 142;
  active hostilities against Protestantism, 148;
  the new spirit of Roman polity, 149 _sqq._;
  work of the Inquisition, 159 _sqq._;
  the Index, 195 _sqq._;
  twofold aim of Papal policy, 226;
  the Jesuits, 229 _sqq._;
  an estimate of the results of the Reformation
  and of the Counter-Reformation, ii. 385 _sqq._

COURIERS, daily post of, between the Council of Trent
  and the Vatican, i. 121.

COURT life in Italy, i. 20, 37, 41, 51; ii. 17, 29, 65, 201, 251.

CRIMES of violence, in Italy in the sixteenth century, i. 304 _sqq._

CRIMINAL procedure, of Italian governments in the sixteenth
  century, i. 308 _sqq._

CRITICISM, fundamental principles of, ii. 370;
  the future of, 374.

CROWNS, the iron and the golden, of the Emperor, i. 34.

CULAGNA, Conte di, _see_ BRUSANTINI.

CURIA, the, complicity of, with the attempts on Sarpi's life, ii. 213.


'DATATARIO:' amount and sources of its income, i. 140.

DATI, Giovanbattista, amount of, with nuns, i. 341 _sq._

'DECAMERONE,' Boccaccio's expurgated editions of, issued
  in Rome, i. 224 _sq._

DELLA CRUSCANS, the, attack of, on Tasso's poetry, ii. 35, 72, 117 _n._

'DE Monade,' Bruno's, ii. 150, 152 _n._, 167.

DEPRES, Josquin, the leader of the contrapuntal style in music, ii. 316.

'DE Triplici Minimo,' Bruno's, ii. 150, 152 _n._, 167.

'DE Umbris Idearum,' Bruno's, ii. 139.

DEZA, Diego, Spanish Inquisitor, i. 182.

DIACATHOLICON, the, meaning of the term as used by Sarpi, i. 231; ii. 202.

DIALOGUES, Tasso's, ii. 22, 112.

DIRECTORIUM, the (Lainez' commentary on the constitution
  of the Jesuits), i. 249.

DIVINE Right of sovereigns, the: why it found favor
  among Protestants, i. 296.

DOMENICHINO, Bolognese painter, ii. 355;
  critique of Mr. Ruskin's invectives against his work, 359 _sqq._

DOMINICANS, the, ousted as theologians by the Jesuits at Trent, i. 101;
  their reputation for learning, ii. 130.

DOMINIS, Marcantonio de, publishes in England
  Sarpi's _History of the Council of Trent_, ii. 223.

DONATO, Leonardo, Doge of Venice, ii. 198.

DORIA, Andrea:
  his relations with Charles V., i. 18.

---Cardinal Girolamo, i. 21.


ECLECTICISM in painting, ii. 345 _sqq._, 375 _sqq._

ECONOMICAL stagnation in Italy, i. 423.

ELIZABETH, Queen (of England), Bruno's admiration of, ii. 143.

EMANCIPATION of the reason, retarded by both the Reformation and the
    Counter-Reformation, ii. 385 _sqq._

EMIGRANTS from Italy, regulations of the Inquisition regarding, i. 227.

ENZO, King (of Sardinia), a prisoner at Bologna, ii. 304.

EPIC poetry, Italian speculations on, ii. 24;
  Tasso's Dialogues on, 26.

'EROICI Furori, Gli,' Bruno's, ii. 142, 183.

ESPIONAGE, system of among the Jesuits, i. 273.

ESTE, Alfonso d' (Duke of Ferrara), relations of, with Charles V., i. 40.

---Cardinal Ippolito d', i. 127 _sq._

---Cardinal Luigi d', Tasso in the service of, ii. 12, 27.

---Don Cesare d', Chiabrera's Ode to, ii. 291.

---House of, their possessions in Italy, i. 45. 48.

---Isabella d', at the coronation of Charles V.. i. 21.

---Leonora d', the nature of Tasso's attachment to, ii. 31 _sqq._, 36, 40,
    51, 54 _n._, 56, 68;
  her death, 71.

---Lucrezia d', Tasso's attachment to, ii. 32, 39;
  her marriage, 35;
  her death, 40 _n._

EVOLUTION in relation to Art, ii. 371 _sqq._

'EXERCITIA Spiritualia' (Loyola's), i. 236;
  manner of their use, 267 _sqq._

EXTINCTION of republics in Italy, i. 45 _sqq._


FABER, Peter, associate of Loyola, i. 239;
  his work as a Jesuit in Spain, 258.

FARNESE, Alessandro, _see_ PAUL III.

---Giulia, mistress of Alexander VI., i. 81.

---Ottavio (grandson of Paul III.), Duke of Camerino, i. 86.

---Pier Luigi (son of Paul III.), Duke of Parma, i. 86.

FEDERATION, Italian, the five members of the, i. 3 _sqq._;
  how it was broken up, 11.

FERDINAND, Emperor, successor of Charles V., i. 102, 118;
  his relations with Canisius and the Jesuits, 259.

FERRARA, i. 7;
  settlement of the Duchy of, by Charles V., i. 40;
  life at the Court of, ii. 29, 65, 247, 251.

FERRUCCI, Francesco, i. 46.

FESTA, Costanzo, the _Te Deum_ of, ii. 329.

FINANCES of the Papacy under Sixtus V., i. 152.

FIORENZA, Giovanni di, one of the assassins of Sarpi, ii. 212.

FLAMINIO, Marcantonio, i. 76.

FLEMISH musicians in Rome, ii. 316 _sqq._

  condition of the Republic in 1494, i. 10;
  Siege of the town (1530), 30 _sq._;
  capitulation, 46;
  under the rule of Spain, _ib._;
  extinction of the Republic, 47;
  the rule of Cosimo I., 49.

FORMALISM, the development of, i. 66.

FOSCARI, Francesco, the dogeship of, i. 9.

FRANCIS I.: his capture at Pavia, i. 9, 13.

FRECCI, Maddalò de', the betrayer of Tasso's love-affairs, ii. 51.

FREDERICK II., Emperor: his edicts against heresy, i. 163.

FREETHINKERS, Italian, i. 73 _sq._

FULGENZIO, Fra, the preaching of at Venice, ii. 207;
  his biography of Sarpi, _ib._

FULKE GREVILLE, a supper at the house of, described
  by Giordano Bruno, ii. 142, 147.


GALLICAN CHURCH, the: its interests in the Council of Trent, i. 126.

GALLUZZI'S record of Jesuit attempts to seduce youth, i. 284.

GATTINARA, Cardinal, Grand Chancellor of the Empire, i. 31.

GAMBARA, Veronica, i. 41.

GENERAL Congregation of the Jesuits, functions of the, i. 273.

GENERAL of the Jesuits, position of, in regard to the Order, i. 272.

GENOA, becomes subject to Spain, i. 18.

GENTILE, Valentino, i. 73.

GERSON'S _Considerations upon Papal Excommunications_,
  translated by Sarpi, ii. 200.

'GERUSALEMME Conquistata,' Tasso's, ii. 75, 114 _sq._, 124.

'GERUSALEMME Liberata:' at first called _Gottifredo_, ii. 35;
  its dedication, 38, 47 _sq._;
  submitted by Tasso to censors, 43;
  their criticisms, 43 _sq._, 50;
  successful publication of the poem, 71;
  its subject-matter, 92;
  the romance of the epic, 93;
  Tancredi, the hero, 94;
  imitations of Dante and Virgil, 95 _sqq._;
  artificiality, 100;
  pompous cadences, 101;
  oratorical dexterity, 102;
  the similes and metaphors, _ib._;
  Armida, the heroine, 106.

GHISLIERI, Michele, _see_ PIUS V.

---Paolo, a relative of Pius V., i. 147.

GIBERTI, Gianmatteo, Bishop of Verona, i. 19.

GILLOT, Jacques, letter from Sarpi to, on the relations
  of Church and State, ii. 203.

GIOVANNI FRANCESCO, Fra, an accomplice in the attacks on Sarpi, ii. 214.

'GLI ETEREI,' Academy of, at Padua, ii. 26.

GOLDEN crown, the, significance of, i. 34.


GONZAGA, Cardinal Ercole, ambassador from Clement VII.
  to Charles V., i. 19.

---Cardinal Scipione, a friend of Tasso, ii. 26, 42, 46, 67, 73.

---Don Ferrante, i. 25.

---Eleanora Ippolita, Duchess of Urbino, i. 37.

---Federigo, Marquis of Mantua, i. 26.

---Vincenzo, obtains Tasso's release, ii. 73;
  the circumstances of his marriage, i. 386.

'GOTTIFREDO.' Tasso's first title for the _Gerusalemme Liberata_, ii. 35.

GOUDIMEL, Claude: his school of music at Rome, ii. 323.

GRANADA, Treaty of, i. 12.

GRAND style (in art), the so-called, ii. 379.

GREGORY XIII., Pope (Ugo Buoncompagno): his early career
  and election, i. 149;
  manner of life, 150;
  treatment of his relatives, 151;
  revival of obsolete rights of the Church, 152;
  consequent confusion in the Papal States, _ib._

GRISON mercenaries in Italy, i. 103 _n._

GUARINI, on the death of Tasso, ii. 69 _n._;
  publishes a revised edition of Tasso's lyrics, 72;
  Guarini's parentage, 244;
  at the Court of Alfonso II. of Ferrara, 245;
  a rival of Tasso, _ib._;
  engaged on foreign embassies, 246;
  appointed Court poet, 247;
  domestic troubles, 249;
  his last years, 251;
  his death, _ib._;
  argument of the _Pastor Fido_, _ib._;
  satire upon the Court of Ferrara, 254;
  critique of the poem, 255;
  its style, 256;
  comparison with Tasso's _Aminta_, 275.

GUELF and Ghibelline contentions: how they ended in Italy, i. 57.

GUICCIARDINI, Francesco, i. 33.

GUISE, Duke of: his defeat by Alva, i. 103;
  his murder, 129.

GUZMAN, Domenigo de (S. Dominic), founder of the Dominican Order, i. 162.


HEGEMONY, Spanish, economical and social condition of
  the Italians under, i. 50;
  the evils of, 61.

HENCHENEOR, Cardinal William, i. 36.

HENRI III., favor shown to Giordano Bruno by, ii. 139.

HENRI IV., the murder of, i. 297.

HENRY VIII.: his divorce from Katharine of Aragon, i. 44.

HEROICO-comic poetry, Tassoni's _Secchia Rapita_,
  the first example of, ii. 303.

'HISTORY of the Council of Trent,' Sarpi's, ii. 222 _sqq._


HOLY Roman Empire, the, ii. 393.

HOMATA, Benedetta, attempted murder of by Gianpaolo Osio, i. 323 _sqq._

HOMICIDE, lax morality of the Jesuits in regard to, i. 306 _n._

HOSIUS, Cardinal, legate at Trent, i. 118.

HUMANISM, the work of, ii. 385, 391;
  what it involved, 392;
  Rationalism, its offspring, 404.

HUMANITY, the past and future of, ii. 408 _sqq._


IL BORGA, a censor of the _Gerusalemme Liberata_, ii. 43.

'IL Candelajo,' Giordano Bruno's comedy, ii. 131, 183.

IL GUERCINO (G.F. Barbieri), Bolognese painter, ii. 365;
  his masterpieces, 367.

'IL PADRE di Famiglio,' Tasso's Dialogue, ii. 63.

'IL Pentito,' Tasso's name as one of Gli Eterei, ii. 26.

INGEGNERI, Antonio, a friend of Tasso, ii. 64;
  publishes the _Gerusalemme_, 71.

INDEX Expurgatorius:
  its first publication at Venice, i. 192;
  effects on the printing trade there, 193;
  the Index in concert with the Inquisition, 194;
  origin of the Index, 195;
  local lists of prohibited books, _ib._;
  establishment of the Congregation of the Index, 197;
  Index of Clement VIII., 198;
  its preambles, _ib._;
  regulations, 199 _sq._;
  details of the censorship and correction of books, 201;
  rules as to printers, publishers, and booksellers, 203;
  responsibility of the Holy Office, 204;
  annoyances arising from delays and ignorance on the part of censors, 205;
  spiteful delators of charges of heresy, 207;
  extirpation of books, 208;
  proscribed literature, 209;
  garbled works by Vatican students, 210;
  effect of the Tridentine decree about the Vulgate, 212;
  influence of the Index on schools and lecture-rooms, 213;
  decline of humanism, 218;
  the statutes on the _Ratio Status_, 220;
  their object and effect, 221;
  the treatment of lewd and obscene publications, 223;
  expurgation of secular books, 224.

INQUISITION, the, i. 159 _sqq._;
  the first germ of the Holy Office, 161;
  developed during the crusade against the Albigenses, _ib._;
  S. Dominic its founder, 162;
  introduced into Lombardy, etc., 164;
  the stigma of heresy, 165;
  three types of Inquisition, 166;
  the number of victims, 166 _n._;
  the crimes of which it took cognizance, 167;
  the methods of the Apostolical Holy Office, 168;
  treatment of the New Christians in Castile, 169, 171;
  origin of the Spanish Holy Office, 170;
  opposition of Queen Isabella, 171;
  exodus of New Christians, 172;
  the punishments inflicted, _ib._;
  futile appeals to Rome, 173;
  constitution of the Inquisition, 174;
  its two most formidable features, 175;
  method of its judicial proceedings, 176;
  the sentence and its execution, 177;
  the holocausts and their pageant, _ib._;
  Torquemada's insolence, 179;
  the body-guard of the Grand Inquisitor, 180;
  number of Torquemada's victims, 181;
  exodus of Moors from Castile, 182;
  victims under Torquemada's successors, _ib._;
  an Aceldama at Madrid, 184;
  the Roman Holy Office, _ib._;
  remodelled by Giov. Paolo Caraffa, 185;
  'Acts of Faith' in Rome, 186;
  numbers of the victims, 187;
  in other parts of Italy, 188;
  the Venetian Holy Office, 190;
  dependent on
  the State, _ib._;
  Tasso's dread of the Inquisition, ii. 42, 45, 49, 51;
  the case of Giordano Bruno, 134, 157 _sqq._;
  Sarpi denounced to the Holy Office, 195.

INTELLECTUAL and social activity in Italian cities, i. 51.

INTERDICT of Venice (1606), ii. 198 _sqq._;
  the compromise, 205.

INVASION, wars of, in Italy, i. 11 _sqq._

IRON crown, the, sent from Monza to Bologna, i. 36.

'ITALIA Liberata,' Trissino's, ii. 24, 303.

ITALIA Unita, ii. 407.

  its political conditions in 1494, i. 2 _sqq._;
  the five members of its federation, 3;
  how the federation was broken up, 11;
  the League between Clement VII. and Charles V., 31;
  review of the settlement of Italy effected by Emperor
  and Pope, 45 _sqq._;
  extinction of republics, 47;
  economical and social condition of the Italians under
  Spanish hegemony, 48;
  intellectual life, 51;
  predominance of Spain and Rome, 53 _sqq._;
  Italian servitude, 58;
  the evils of Spanish rule, 59 _sqq._;
  seven Spanish devils in Italy, 61;
  changes wrought by the Counter-Reformation, 64 _sqq._;
  criticism and formalism, 65;
  transition from the Renaissance to the Catholic Revival, _ib._;
  attitude of Italians towards the German Reformation, 71.


JESUITS, Order of:
  its importance in the Counter-Reformation, i. 229;
  the Diacatholicon, 231;
  works on the history of the Order, 231 _n._;
  sketch of the life of Ignatius Loyola, 231 _sqq._;
  the first foundation of the _Exercitia_, 236;
  Peter Faber and Francis Xavier, 239;
  the vows taken by Ignatius and his neophytes at Paris, 240;
  their proposed mission to the Holy Land, 241;
  their visits to Venice and Rome, 242 _sq._;
  the name of the Order, 244;
  negotiations in Rome, 245;
  the fourth vow, 246;
  the constitutions approved by Paul III., 247;
  the Directorium of Lainez, 249;
  the original limit of the number of members, _ib._;
  Loyola's administration, 250;
  asceticism deprecated, 251;
  worldly wisdom of the founder, 253;
  rapid spread of the Order, 254;
  the Collegium Romanum, 255;
  Collegium Germanicum, _ib._;
  the Order deemed rivals by the Dominicans in Spain, _ib._;
  successes in Portugal, 256;
  difficulties in France, 257;
  in the Low Countries, _ib._;
  in Bavaria and Austria, 258;
  Loyola's dictatorship, 259;
  his adroitness in managing distinguished members of his Order, 260;
  statistics of the Jesuits at Loyola's death, _ib._;
  the autocracy of the General, 261;
  Jesuit precepts on obedience, 263 _sq._;
  addiction to Catholicism, 266;
  the spiritual drill of the _Exercitia Spiritualia_, 267;
  materialistic imagination, 268;
  psychological adroitness of the method, 269;
  position and treatment of the novice, 270;
  the Jesuit Hierarchy, 271;
  the General, 272;
  five sworn spies to watch him, 273;
  a system of espionage through the Order, 274;
  position of a Jesuit, _ib._;
  the Black Pope, 275;
  the working of the Jesuit vow of poverty, 275 _sq._;
  revision of the Constitutions by Lainez, 277;
  the question about the _Monita Secreta_, 277 _sqq._;
  estimate of the historical importance of the Jesuits, 280 _sq._;
  their methods of mental tyranny, 281;
  Jesuitical education, 282;
  desire to gain the control of youth, 283;
  their general aim the aggrandizement of the Order, 284;
  treatment of _études fortes_, _ib._;
  admixture of falsehood and truth, 285;
  sham learning and sham art, 286;
  Jesuit morality, 287;
  manipulation of the conscience, 288;
  casuistical ethics, 290;
  system of confession and direction, 293;
  political intrigues and doctrines, 294 _sqq._;
  the theory of the sovereignty of the people, 296;
  Jesuit connection with political plots, 297;
  suspected in regard to the deaths of Popes, 298;
  the Order expelled from various countries, 299 _n._;
  relations of Jesuits to Rome, 299;
  their lax morality in regard to homicide, 306 _n._, 314;
  their support of the Interdict of Venice, ii. 198 _sqq._

JEWS, Spanish, wealth and influence of, i. 169;
  adoption of Christianity, _ib._;
  attacked by the Inquisition, 170;
  the edict for their expulsion, 171;
  its results, 172.

  results of his martial energy, i. 7.

---III., Pope (Giov. Maria del Monte), i. 101.


KEPLER, high opinion of Bruno's speculations held by, ii. 164.

KINGDOMS and States of Italy in 1494, enumeration of, i. 3.


'LA Cuccagna,' a satire by Marino, ii. 263.

LAINEZ, James, associate of Ignatius Loyola, i. 240;
  his influence on the development of the Jesuits, 248;
  his commentary on the Constitutions (the Directorium), 249;
  his work in Venice, etc., 254;
  abject submission to Loyola, 262.

LATERAN, Council of the, i. 95.

LATIN and Teutonic factors in European civilization, ii. 393 _sqq._

LATINI, Latino, on the extirpation of books by the Index, i. 208.

LEGATES, Papal, at Trent, i. 97 _n._, 119.

LE JAY, Claude, associate of Ignatius Loyola, i. 240;
  his work as a Jesuit at Ferrara, 254;
  in Austria. 258.

LEONI, Giambattista, employed by Sarpi to write against
  the Jesuits, ii. 200.

LEPANTO, battle of, i. 149.

LESCHASSIER, Sarpi's letters to, ii. 229, 235.

'LE Sette Giornate,' Tasso's, ii. 75, 115, 124.

LEYVA, Antonio de, at Bologna, i. 22.

---Virginia Maria de (the Lady of Monza):
  birth and parentage, i. 317;
  a nun in a convent of the Umiliate, 318;
  her seduction by Gianpaolo Osio, 318 _sqq._;
  birth of her child, 321;
  murder of her waiting-woman by Osio, 322;
  the intrigue discovered, 323;
  attempted murder by Osio of two of her associates, 324;
  Virginia's punishment and after-life, 329.

LONDON, Bruno's account of the life of the people of, ii. 142;
  social life in, 143.

LORENTE'S History of the Inquisition, cited, 171 _sqq._;
  his account of the number of victims of the Holy Office, i. 181, 183 _n._

LORRAINE, Cardinal:
  his influence in the Council of Trent, i. 125 _sq._

LO SPAGNOLETTO (Giuseppe Ribera), Italian Realist painter, ii. 363.

LOUISA of Savoy, one of the arrangers of the Paix des Dames, i. 16.

LOUIS XII.: his descent into Lombardy, and its results, i. 9;
  allied with the Austrian Emperor and the King of Spain, i. 12.

LOYOLA, Ignatius, founder of the Jesuits:
  his birth and childhood, i. 231;
  his youth and early training, _ib._;
  illness at Pampeluna, 232;
  pilgrimage to Montserrat, 234;
  retreat at Manresa, _ib._;
  his romance and discipline, 235;
  journey to the Holy Land, 237;
  his apprenticeship to his future calling, _ib._;
  imprisoned by the Inquisition, 238;
  studies theology in Paris, _ib._;
  gains disciples there, 239;
  his methods with them, _ib._;
  with ten companions takes the vows of chastity and poverty, 240;
  Ignatius at Venice, 241;
  his relations with Caraffa and the Theatines, 242;
  in Rome, 243;
  the name of the new Order, 244;
  its military organization, 245;
  the project favored by Paul III., _ib._;
  the Constitution approved by the Pope, 247;
  his worldly wisdom, 248 _n._;
  Loyola's creative force, 249;
  his administration, 250 _sq._;
  dislike of the common forms of monasticism, 251;
  his aims and principles, 252;
  comparison with Luther, 253;
  rapid spread of the Order, 254;
  special desire of Ignatius to get a firm hold on Germany, 258;
  his dictatorship, 259;
  adroitness in managing his subordinates, 260;
  autocratic administration, 261;
  insistence on the virtue of obedience, 263;
  devotion to the Roman Church, 265;
  the _Exercitia Spiritualia_, 267 _sqq._;
  Loyola's dislike of asceticism, 270;
  his interpretation of the vow of poverty, 275;
  his instructions as to the management of consciences, 287 _sq._;
  his doctrine on the fear of God, 304 _n._

LUCERO EL TENEBROSO, the Spanish Inquisitor, i. 180.

LUINI'S picture of S. Catherine, ii. 360.

LULLY, Raymond:
  his Art of Memory and Classification of the Sciences,
  adapted by Giordano Bruno, ii. 139.

LUNA, Don Juan de, i. 47.

LUTHER, Bruno's high estimate of, ii. 149;
  his relation to modern civilization, 402.

LUTHERAN soldiers in Italy, i. 44.

LUTHERANISM in Italy, i. 185.


MACAULAY, Lord, on Sarpi's religious opinions, ii. 227 _n._;
  critique of his survey of the Catholic Revival, 400 _sqq._

MAIN events in modern history, the, ii. 383 _sqq._

MALATESTA, Roberto, leader of bandits in the Papal States, i. 152.

MALIPIERO, Alessandro, a friend of Sarpi, ii. 210.

MALVASIA, Count C.C., writings of, on the Bolognese painters, ii. 350 _n._

MANRESA, Ignatius Loyola at, i. 234.

MANRIQUE, Thomas, Master of the Sacred Palace, an expurgated
  edition of the _Decamerone_ issued by, i. 224.

MANSO, Marquis:
  his _Life of Tasso_, ii. 54, 56, 58, 64, 70, 115;
  friend of Marino in his youth, 261.

MANTUA, raised to the rank of a duchy, i. 27.

MANUZIO, Aldo (the younger), ill-treatment of, in Rome, i. 217 _sq._

  works produced at his press in Rome, i. 220;
  a friend of Chiabrera, ii. 287.

MARCELLUS II., Pope (Marcello Cervini), i. 97, 101.

MARGARET of Austria, one of the arrangers of the Paix des Dames, i. 16.

MARIANAZZO, a robber chief, refusal of pardon by, i. 309.

MARIGNANO, Marquis of (Gian Giacomo Medici), i. 109, 115.

MARINISM, i. 66; ii. 299, 302.

MARINO, Giovanni Battista:
  his birth and parentage, ii. 260;
  escapades of his youth in Naples, 261;
  at the Court of Carlo Emanuele, 262;
  his life in Turin, _ib._;
  at the Court of Maria de'Medici, 263;
  successful publication of the _Adone_, 264;
  return to Naples, 265;
  critique of the _Adone_, 266 _sq._;
  the Epic of Voluptuousness, 268;
  its effeminate sensuality, 268 _sq._;
  cynical hypocrisy, 270;
  the character of Adonis, 272;
  ugliness and discord, 273;
  Marino's poetic gifts, 274;
  great variety of episodes, 276;
  unity of theme, 277;
  purity of poetic style rarely attained, 279;
  false rhetoric, 280;
  Marinism, 281;
  verbal fireworks, 282;
  Marino's real inadequacy, 285;
  the _Pianto d'Italia_, 286;
  comparison of Marino with Chiabrera, 296.

MARTELLI, Giovan Battista, a _bravo_ attendant on
  Lorenzino de'Medici, i. 396.

MARTUCCIA, a notorious Roman courtesan, i. 375.

MASANIELLO, cause of the rising of, in Naples, i. 49.

MASSACRE of S. Bartholomew, i. 55, 149.

MASSIMI, Eufrosina (second wife of Lelio Massimi), the
  murder of, i. 354 _sq._

---Lelio: violent deaths of the five sons whom he cursed, i. 355 _sq._

'MATERIE Beneficiarie, Delle,' Sarpi's, ii. 219.

MAXIMILIAN, Emperor, allied against Venice with Louis XII., i. 12.

MAZZOLA, Francesco (Il Parmigianino), i. 42.

MEDA, Caterina da (waiting-woman of Virginia de Leyva), murder of, i. 322.

MEDIAEVAL habits, survival of, in Italy in the sixteenth century, i. 306.

MEDICI, de', family of:
  their advances towards Despotism, i. 10;
  violent deaths of members, 382 _sqq._;
  eleven murdered in a half-century, 387.

---Alessandro, Duke of Florence, i. 19, 46, 388.

---Cosimo, i. 46;
  made Grand Duke of Tuscany, 47.

---Giovanni, i. 11.

---Ippolito, i. 19.

---Lorenzino, assassination of his cousin Alessandro
  (Duke of Florence) by, i. 388;
  details of his own murder, 389 _sqq._

---Lorenzo, i. 10.

---Maria, the Court of, as Regent of France, ii. 263.

---Piero, i. 10.

MEDICI, Gian Giacomo (brother of Pius IV.), i. 50, 109.

---Giovanni Angelo, _see_ PIUS IV.

---Margherita (sister of Pius IV.), mother of Carlo Borromeo, i. 115 _n._

MENDOZA, Don Hurtado de, i. 47.

MERSENNE, evidence of, as to the burning of Giordano Bruno, ii. 164 _n._

METAPHYSICAL speculators in Italy, i. 73.

METAURUS, the, Tasso's ode to, ii. 63.

METEMPSYCHOSIS, Bruno's doctrine of, ii. 160.

MEXICO, the early Jesuits in, i. 260.

MIANI, Girolamo, founder of the congregation of the Somascans, i. 79;
  his relations with Loyola, 242.

MICANZI, Fulgenzio, _see_ FULGENZIO, FRA.

MILAN, Duchy of:
  its state in 1494, i. 8.

MOCENIGO, Giovanni:
  his character, ii. 152;
  invites Giordano Bruno to Venice, 153;
  the object of the invitation, 154;
  their intercourse, 155;
  Bruno denounced to the Inquisition by Mocenigo, 157.

---Luigi, on the relations between Pius IV. and Cardinal Morone, i. 110 _n._

MODENA and Bologna, humors of the conflict between, ii. 304.

MONOPOLIES, system of, in Italy, i. 49.

MONTALTO, Cardinal, nephew of Sixtus V., i. 157.

MONTEBELLO, Baron, the tale of, i. 428.

MONTECATINO, Antonio, an enemy of Tasso at Ferrara, ii. 48, 50, 60, 62;
  his downfall, 66.

MONTE OLIVETO, the monastery of, Tasso at, ii, 74.


MORALS, social and domestic, in Italy, effect of the
  Catholic Revival on, i. 301 _sqq._;
  outcome of the Tridentine decrees, 302;
  hypocrisy and ceremonial observances, 303;
  sufferings of the lower classes, _ib._;
  increase of crimes of violence, 304;
  mistrust between the aristocracy and the _bourgeoisie_, 306;
  survival of mediaeval habits, _ib._;
  brigandage, 307;
  criminal procedure, 308;
  mutual jealousy of States afforded security to refugee homicides, 309;
  toleration of outlaws, 310;
  the Lucchese army of bandits, 311;
  honorable murder, 312;
  maintenance of _bravi_, _ib._;
social violence countenanced by the Church, 314;
  sexual morality, 315;
  state of convents, 316;
  profligate fanaticism, _ib._;
  convent intrigues, 318 _sqq._

MORATO, Peregrino, letter from Celio Calcagnini to, i. 74.

MORNAY, Duplessis, Sarpi's letters to, ii. 229.

MORONE, Cardinal, i. 26;
  Papal legate at Trent, 97 _n._;
  imprisoned by Paul IV., 110;
  relations with Pius IV., _ib._;
  liberal thinkers among his associates, 111 _n._;
  his work in connection with the Council of Trent, 127.

---Girolamo, i. 26, 72.

MUNICIPAL wars, Italian, ii. 304.

MURDERS in Italy in the sixteenth century, i. 305 _sqq._

  his difficulties as a professor in Rome, i. 214, 216.

MURTOLA, Gasparo, attempted assassination of the poet Marino by, ii. 263.

MUSIC, Italian, decadence of, in the sixteenth century, ii. 315;
  foreign musicians in Rome, 316;
  the contrapuntal style, 317;
  licenses allowed to performers, _ib._;
  the medleys prepared by composers, _ib._;
  disgraceful condition of Church music, 318;
  orchestral _ricercari_, 320 _n._;
  Savonarola's opinion of the Church music of his time, _ib._;
  musical aptitude of the people, 322;
  lack of a controlling element of correct taste, _ib._;
  advent of Palestrina, _ib._;
  the Congregation for the Reform of Music, 325;
  rise of the Oratorio, 334;
  music in England in the sixteenth century, 338;
  rise of the Opera, 340.

MUSICIANS, Italian, of the seventeenth cenutry, ii. 243.


NAPLES, kingdom of, separated from Sicily, i. 4;
  its extent, _ib._;
  in the hands of Spain, 12.

NASSAU, Count of, i. 38.

NATURE, the study of, among Italian philosophers, ii. 128.

  the Caraffas, i. 104 _sq._;
  the Borromeos, 115;
  the Ghislieri, 147;
  Gregory XIII.'s relatives, 151;
  estimate of the incomes of Papal nephews, 156 _sqq._

NEW Christians, the, in Spain, _see_ JEWS.

NOBILI, Flaminio de', a censor of the _Gerusalemme Liberata_, ii. 43.

NOLA, survival of Greek customs in, ii. 132.

NOVICES, Jesuit, position of, i. 271.

NUNNERIES, state of, in the sixteenth century, i. 315 _sqq._


OMERO, Fuggiguerra, sobriquet chosen by Tasso in his wanderings, ii. 64.

OPERA, rise of the, in Florence, ii. 341.

ORANGE, Prince of, leader of the Spanish army in
  the siege of Florence, i. 18.

ORATORIO (Musical), the:
  its origins in Rome, ii. 334.

ORATORY of Divine Love, the, i. 76.

ORSINI, the, reduced to submission to the Popes, i. 7.

---Paolo Giordano (Duke of Bracciano):
  his passion for Vittoria Accoramboni, i. 358;
  his gigantic stature and corpulence, 359;
  poisons his first wife, 360;
  treatment by Sixtus V., 363;
  secret marriage with Vittoria, 364;
  renounces the marriage, 365;
  ratifies the union by public marriage, 366;
  flight from Rome, _ib._:
  death of the Duke, 367.

---Prince Lodovico:
  procures the murder of Vittoria Accoramboni and her brother, i. 368;
  siege of his palace, 370;
  his violent death, 371.

---Troilo, lover of the Duchess of Bracciano, i. 360;
  details of his murder by Ambrogio Tremazzi, 405 _sqq._

OSIO, Gianpaolo:
  his intrigue with Virginia de Leyva, i. 318 _sqq._;
  murders her waiting-woman, 322;
  attempts to murder two other nuns, 324;
  his letter of defence to Cardinal Federigo Borromeo, 326;
  condemned to death and outlawed, 327;
  terms of the _Bando_, 328;
  his end, 329.

OSORIO, Don Alvaro, Grand Marshal of Spain, i. 22.

OUTLAWRY in Italy in the sixteenth century, i. 307 _sqq._

OXFORD, Giordano Bruno's reception at, ii. 144.


PACHECO, Cardinal, the foe of the Caraffeschi, i. 105.

PADUAN school of scepictism, the, influence of, on Tasso, ii. 20.

PAGANELLO, Conte, assassin of Vittoria Accoramboni, i. 371.

PAINTING in the late years of the sixteenth century, ii. 344;
  Eclecticism, 345;
  influence of the Tridentine Council, 347;
  the Mannerists, 348;
  Baroccio, 349;
  the Caracci, 350 _sqq._;
  studies of the Bolognese painters, 352;
  academical ideality, 354;
  Guido, Albani, Domenichino, 355 _sqq._;
  criticism of Domenichino's work, 359;
  the Italian Realists, 363 _sqq._;
  Lo Spada, 364;
  Il Guercino, 365;
  critical reaction against the Eclectics, 368;
  fundamental principles of criticism, 370 _sqq._

PAIX des Dames, i. 9, 16.

PALAZZO Vernio, Academy (musical) of the, ii. 340;
  distinguished composers of its school, 341.

  his opinion of the Index, i. 197, 214.

PALESTRINA, Giovanni Pier Luigi:
  his birth and early musical training, ii. 323;
  uneventful life of the _Princeps Musicae_, 324;
  relations with the Congregation for Musical Reform, 325;
  the legend and the facts about
  _Missa Papae Marcelli_, 326 _sqq._, 331 _n._;
  Palestrina's commission, 331;
  the three Masses in competition, 332;
  the award by the Congregation and the Pope, 334;
  Palestrina's connection with S. Filippo Neri, 334;
  _Arie Divote_ composed for the Oratory, 335 _sq._;
  character of the new music, 335;
  influence of Palestrina on Italian music, 336;
  estimate of the general benefit derived by music from him, 337 _sq._

PALLAVICINI, on Paul IV.'s seal for the Holy Office, i. 107 _n._

PALLAVICINO, Matteo, murder of, by Marcello Accoramboni, i. 358.


---Duke of (nephew of Paul IV.), murders committed by, i. 379;
  his execution, 380.

PANCIROLI, Guido, Tasso's master in the study of law, ii. 20.

PAPACY, the, its position after the sack of Rome, i. 13;
  tyranny of, arising from the instinct of self-preservation, 54;
  dislike of, for General Councils, 90;
  manipulation of the Council of Trent, 97 _sqq._, 119 _sqq._;
  its supremacy founded by that Council, 131;
  later policy of the Popes, 149 _sqq._, 226.

PAPAL States, the:
  their condition in 1447, i. 5;
  attempts to consolidate them into a kingdom, 6.

PARMA and Piacenza, creation of the Duchy of, by Paul III., i. 86.

PARMA, Duchy of, added to the States of the Church, i. 7.

PARMIGIANINO, Il, painting of Charles V. by, i. 42.

PARRASIO, Alessandro, one of the assassins of Sarpi, ii. 212.

PART-SONGS, French Protestant, influence of, on Palestrina, ii. 324.

PASSARI, Pietro, amours of, with the nuns of S. Chiara, Lucca, i. 340 _sq._

'PASTOR Fido,' Guarini's, critique of, ii. 252 _sqq._

PAUL III., Pope, sends Contarini to the conference at Rechensburg, i. 78;
  receives a memorial on ecclesiastical abuses, 79;
  establishes the Roman Holy Office, 80;
  sanctions the Company of Jesus, _ib._;
  his early life and education, 81;
  love of splendor, 82;
  peculiarity of his position, _ib._;
  the Pope of the transition, 84;
  jealous of Spanish ascendency in Italy, 85;
  creates the Duchy of Parma for his son, 86 _sqq._;
  members of the moderate reforming party made Cardinals, 88;
  his repugnance to a General Council, 90;
  indiction of a Council to be held at Trent, 97;
  difficulties of his position, 100;
  his death, 101;
  his connection with the founding of the Jesuit Order, 245.


PAUL V., Pope:
  details of his nepotism, i. 157 _n._;
  places Venice under an interdict, ii. 198.

PAVIA, the battle of, 13.

PELLEGRINI, Cammillo, panegyrist of Tasso, ii. 72.

PEPERARA, Laura, Tasso's relations with, ii. 31.

PERETTI, Felice (nephew of Sixtus V.), husband of Vittoria
  Accoramboni, i. 357;
  his murder, 358.

PESCARA, Marquis of, husband of Vittoria Colonna, i. 25.

'PESTE di S. Carlo, La,' i. 421.

'PETRARCA, Considerazioni sopra le Rime, del,' Tassoni's, ii. 298, 300.

PETRONI, Lucrezia, second wife of Francesco Cenci, i. 348 _sq._

PETRONIO, S., Bologna, reception of Charles V. by Clement VII. at, i. 23;
  the Emperor's coronation at, 37 _sqq._

PETRUCCI, Pandolfo, seduction of two sons of, by the Jesuits, i. 284.

PHILIP II. of Spain:
  his quarrel with Paul IV., i. 102;
  the reconciliation, 104.

PHILOSOPHERS of Southern Italy in the sixteenth century, ii. 126 _sqq._

PIACENZA, added to the States of the Church, i. 7.

PICCOLOMINI, Alfonso, leader of bandits in the Papal States, i. 152.

'PIETRO Soave Polano,' anagram of 'Paolo Sarpi Veneto,' ii. 223.

PIGNA (secretary to the Duke of Ferrara), a rival of Tasso, ii. 34, 45, 48.

PINDAR, the professed model of Chiabrera's poetry, ii. 291, 294.

PIRATES, raids of, on Italy, i. 417.

PISA, first Council of, i. 92;
  the second, 95.

PIUS IV., Pope (Giov. Angelo Medici):
  his parentage, i. 109;
  Caraffa's antipathy to him, 110;
  makes Cardinal Morone his counsellor, _ib._;
  negotiations with the autocrats of Europe, 111;
  his diplomatic character, 112;
  the Tridentine decrees, _ib._;
  keen insight into the political conditions of his time, 113;
  independent spirit, 115;
  treatment of his relatives, _ib._;
  his brother's death helped him to the Papacy, _ib._;
  the felicity of his life, 116;
  the religious condition of Northern Europe in his reign, 117;
  re-opening of the Council of Trent, 119;
  his management of the difficulties connected with the Council, 127 _sqq._;
  use of cajoleries and menaces, 129;
  success of the Pope's plans, 130;
  his Bull of ratification of the Tridentine decrees, 131;
  his last days, 132;
  estimate of the work of his reign, 133 _sqq._;
  his lack of generosity, 142;
  coldness in religious exercises, 144;
  love of ease and good companions, 147.

PIUS V., Pope (Michele Ghislieri):
  his election, i. 137;
  influence of Carlo Borromeo on him, 137, 145, 147;
  ascetic virtues, 145;
  zeal for the Holy Office, 145;
  edict for the expulsion of prostitutes from Rome, 146;
  his exercise of the Papal Supremacy, 148;
  his Tridentine Profession of Faith, _ib._;
  advocates rigid uniformity, 148;
  promotes attacks on Protestants, _ib._

  in Venice, i. 418;
  at Naples and in Savoy, _ib._;
  statistics of the mortality, 418 _n._;
  disease supposed to be wilfully spread by malefactors, 420.

POETRY, Heroic, the problem of creating, in Italy, ii. 80.

POLAND, the crown of, sought by Italian princes, ii. 246.

POLE, Cardinal Reginald, i. 76;
  Papal legate at Trent, 97 _n._

POMA, Ridolfo, one of the assassins of Sarpi, ii. 212.

POMPONIUS LAETUS, the teacher of Paul III., i. 81, 82.

POPULAR melodies employed in Church music in the
  sixteenth century, ii. 318.

PORTRAIT of Charles V. by Titian, i. 42.

'PRESS, Discourse upon the,' Sarpi's, ii. 220.

'PRINCEPS Musicae,' the title inscribed on Palestrina's tomb, ii. 325.

  effects of the Index Expurgatorius on the trade in Venice, i. 192;
  firms denounced by name by Paul IV., 198, 208.

PROFESSED of three and of four vows (Jesuit grades), i. 271 _sq._

PROLETARIATE, the Italian, social morality of in the
  sixteenth century, i. 224 _sqq._

PROSTITUTES, Roman, expulsion of by Pius V., i. 146.

PROTESTANT Churches in Italy, persecution of, i. 186.

PROTESTANTISM in Italy, i. 71.

PROVINCES, Jesuit, enumeration of the, i. 161.

PUNCTILIO in the Sei Cento, ii. 288.

PURISTS, Tuscan, Tassoni's ridicule of, ii. 308.

PUTEO, Cardinal, legate at Trent, i. 119.


QUEMADERO, the Inquisition's place of punishment at Seville, i. 178.

QUENTIN, S., battle of, i. 103.

QUERRO, Msgr., an associate of the Cenci family, i. 349, 350, 352.


'RAGGUAGLI di Parnaso,' Boccalini's, ii. 313.

RANGONI, the, friends of Tasso and of his father, ii. 6, 23.

'RATIO Status,' statutes of the Index on the, i. 220.

RATIONALISM, the real offspring of Humanism, ii. 404.

RAVENNA, exarchate of, i. 7.

REALISTS, Italian school of painters, ii. 363 _sqq._

RECHENSBURG, the conference at, i. 78, 88

'RECITATIVO,' Claudio Monteverde the pioneer of, ii. 341.

REFORMATION, the: position of Italians towards its doctrines, i. 72.

REFORMING theologians in Italy, i. 76 _sq._

RELIGIOUS Orders, new, foundation of, in Italy, i. 79 _sq._

RELIGIOUS spirit of the Italian Church in the sixteenth century, i. 71.

RENAISSANCE and Reformation: the impulses of both
  simultaneously received by England, ii. 388.

RENÉE of France, Duchess of Ferrara, i. 77.

RENI, Guido, Bolognese painter, ii. 355;
  his masterpieces, 358.

REPUBLICAN governments in Italy, i. 5.

RETROSPECT over the Renaissance, ii. 389 _sqq._

REYNOLDS, Sir Joshua, admiration of, for the Bolognese
  painters, ii. 359, 375.


RICEI, Ottavia, attempted murder of, by Gianpaolo Osio, i. 323 _sqq._

'RICERCARI,' employment of, in Italian music, ii. 343.

RINALDO, Tasso's, first appearance of, ii. 22;
  its preface, 82;
  its subject-matter, 84;
  its religious motive, 86;
  its style, 86 _sqq._

RODRIGUEZ d'Azevedo, Simon, associate of Ignatius Loyola, i. 240;
  his work as a Jesuit in Portugal, 256, 262.

ROMAN University, the, degraded condition of, in the sixteenth
  century, i. 216.

ROME, fluctuating population of, i. 137;
  eleemosynary paupers, 139;
  reform of Roman manners after the Council of Trent, 141;
  expulsion of prostitutes, 146;
  Roman society in Gregory XIII.'s reign, 152;
  the headquarters of Catholicism, ii. 397;
  relations with the Counter-Reformation, 398;
  the complicated correlation of Italians with Papal Rome, 399;
  the capital of a regenerated people, 408.

RONDINELLI, Ercole, Tasso's instructions to, in regard to his MSS., ii. 35.

ROSSI, Bastiano de', a critic of the _Gerusalemme Liberata_, ii. 72.

---Porzia de' (mother of Torquato Tasso):
  her parentage, ii. 5, 7;
  her marriage, 7;
  her death, probably by poison, 9;
  her character, 12;
  Torquato's love for her, 15.

---Vittorio de':
  his description of the ill-treatment of Aldo Manuzio in Rome, i. 217 _sq._

ROVERE, Francesco della (Duke of Urbino), account of, i. 36.

RUBBIERA, a fief of the Empire, i. 40.

RUSKIN, Mr., on the cause of the decline of Venice, i. 423 _n._;
  invectives of, against Domenichino's work, ii. 359.


SACRED Palace, the Master of the:
  censor of books in Rome, i. 201.

SALMERON, Alfonzo, associate of Ignatius Loyola, i. 240;
  in Naples and Sicily, 254.

SALUZZO ceded to Savoy, i. 56.

SALVIATI, Leonardo, a critic of the _Gerusalemme Liberata_, ii. 72.

SAMMINIATI, Tommaso, intrigue and correspondence of, with
  Sister Umilia (Lucrezia Buonvisi), i. 341 _sqq._;
  banished from Lucca, 344.

S. ANNA, the hospital of, Tasso's confinement at, ii. 66 _sqq._

SAN BENITO, the costume of persons condemned by the Inquisition, i. 177.

SANSEVERINO, Amerigo, a friend of Bernardo Tasso, ii. 14.

---Ferrante di, Prince of Salerno, i. 38; ii. 6 _sqq._

SANTA CROCE, Ersilia di, first wife of Francesco Cenci, i. 347.

SANVITALE, Eleonora, Tasso's love-affair with, ii. 48.

SARDINIA, the island of, a Spanish province, i. 45.

SARPI, Fra Paolo:
  his birth and parentage, ii. 185;
  his position in the history of Venice, 186;
  his physical constitution, 189;
  moral temperament, 190;
  mental perspicacity, 191;
  discoveries in magnetism and optics, 192;
  studies and conversation, 193;
  early entry into the Order of the Servites, _ib._;
  his English type of character, 194;
  denounced to the Inquisition, 195;
  his independent attitude, 196;
  his great love for Venice, 197;
  the interdict of 1606, 198;
  Sarpi's defence of Venice against the Jesuits, 199 _sqq._;
  pamphlet warfare, 201;
  importance of this episode, 202;
  Sarpi's theory of Church and State, 203;
  boldness of his views, 205;
  compromise of the quarrel of the interdict, _ib._;
  Sarpi's relations with Fra Fulgenzio, 207;
  Sarpi warned by Schoppe of danger to his life, 208;
  attacked by assassins, 209;
  the _Stilus Romanae Curiae_, 211;
  history of the assassins, 212;
  complicity of the Papal Court, 213;
  other attempts on Sarpi's life, 214 _sq._;
  his opinion of the instigators, 216;
  his so called heresy, 218;
  his work as Theologian to the Republic, 219;
  his minor writings, 221;
  his opposition to Papal Supremacy, _ib._;
  the _History of the Council of Trent_, 222;
  its sources, 223;
  its argument, 224;
  deformation, not reformation, wrought by the Council, 225;
  Sarpi's impartiality, 226;
  was Sarpi a Protestant? 228;
  his religious opinions, 229;
  views on the possibility of uniting Christendom, 230;
  hostility to ultra-papal Catholicism, 231;
  critique of Jesuitry, 233;
  of ultramontane education, 235;
  the Tridentine Seminaries, 235;
  Sarpi's dread lest Europe should succumb to Rome, 237;
  his last days, 238;
  his death contrasted with that of Giordano Bruno, 239 _n._;
  his creed, 239;
  Sarpi a Christian Stoic, 240.

SARPI, citations from his writings, on the Papal
  interpretation of the Tridentine decrees, i. 131 _n._;
  details of the nepotism of the Popes, 156 _n._, 157 _n._;
  denunciation of the Index, 197 _n._, 206, 208 _n._;
  on the revival of polite learning, 215;
  on the political philosophy of the statutes of the Index, 221;
  on the Inquisition rules regarding emigrants from Italy, 227 _sq._;
  his invention of the name 'Diacatholicon,' 231;
  on the deflection of Jesuitry from Loyola's spirit and intention, 248;
  on the secret statutes of the Jesuits, 278;
  denunciations of Jesuit morality, 289 _n._;
  on the murder of Henri IV., 297 _n._;
  on the instigators of the attempts on his own life, ii. 215 _n._;
  on the attitude of the Roman Court towards murder, 216;
  on the literary polemics of James I., 229;
  on Jesuit education and the Tridentine Seminaries, 237.

SAVONAROLA'S opinion of the Church music of his time, ii. 320 _n._

SAVOY, the house of:
  its connection with important events in Italy, i. 16 _n._, 38, 56;
  becomes an Italian dynasty, 58.

'SCHERNO DEGLI DEI,' Bracciolini's, ii. 313.

SCHOLASTICS (Jesuit grade), i. 271.

SCHOPPE (Scioppius), Gaspar:
  sketch of his career, ii. 165, 208;
  his account of Bruno's heterodox opinions, 166;
  description of the last hours of Bruno, 167.

'SECCHIA RAPITA, LA,' Tassoni's, ii. 301 _sqq._

SECONDARY writers of the Sei Cento, ii. 313.

SEI CENTO, the, decline of culture in Italy in, ii. 242;
  its musicians, 243.

SEMINARIES, Tridentine, ii. 235.

SERIPANDO, Cardinal, legate at Trent, i. 118.

SERSALE, Alessandro and Antonio, Tasso's nephews, ii. 72.

---Cornelia (sister of Tasso), ii. 7, 9, 15 _sq._, 55, 64;
  her children, 72.

SERVITES, General of the, complicity of, in the attempts on
  Sarpi's life, ii. 214.

SETTLEMENT of Italy effected by Charles V. and Clement VII.,
  net results of, i. 45 _sqq._

'SEVEN Liberal Arts, On the,' a lost treatise by Giordano
  Bruno, ii. 156, 182.

SFORZA, Francesco Maria, his relations with Charles V., i. 28.

---Lodovico (Il Moro, ruler of Milan), invites Charles VIII.
  into Italy, i. 8.

SICILY, separated from Naples, i. 4.

SIENA, republic of, subdued by Florence, i. 47.

'SIGNS of the Times, The,' a lost work by Giordano Bruno, ii. 136.

SIGONIUS: his _History of Bologna_ blocked by the Index, i. 207.

SIMONETA, Cardinal, legate at Trent, i. 118, 121.

SIXTUS V., Pope:
  short-sighted hoarding of treasure by, i. 153;
  his enactments against brigandage, 152;
  accumulation of Papal revenues, _ib._;
  public works, 153;
  animosity against pagan art, _ib._;
  works on and about S. Peter's, 154;
  methods of increasing revenue, 155;
  nepotism, 157;
  development of the Papacy in his reign, 158;
  his death predicted by Bellarmino, 298;
  his behavior after the murder of his nephew (Felice Peretti), 362.

SODERINI, Alessandro, assassinated together with his nephew
  Lorenzino de'Medici, i. 398.

SOLIMAN, Paul IV.'s negotiations with, i. 103.

SOMASCAN Fathers, Congregation of the, i. 79.

S. ONOFRIO, Tasso's death at, ii. 78;
  the mask of his face at, 116.

SORANZO, on the character of Pius IV., i. 111 _n._;
  on Carlo Borromeo, 116 _n._;
  on the changes in Roman society in 1565, 143.

'SPACCIO della Bestia Trionfante, Lo,' Giordano Bruno's,
  ii. 132 _n._, 140, 165, 183 _sq._

SPADA, Lionello, Bolognese painter, ii. 364.

  its position in Italy after the battle of Pavia, i. 14.

SPANIARDS of the sixteenth century, character of, i. 59.

SPERONI, Sperone:
  his criticism of Tasso's _Gerusalemme_, ii. 44;
  a friend of Chiabrera, 287.

SPHERE, the, Giordano Bruno's doctrine of, ii. 135, 144 _sq._

STENDHAL, De (Henri Beyle):
  his _Chroniques et Nouvelles_ cited:
    on the Cenci, i. 351 _sq._;
    the Duchess of Palliano, 373.

STERILITY of Protestantism, ii. 401.

STROZZI, Filippo, i. 46.

---Piero, i. 47.


TASSO, Bernardo (father of Torquato), i. 38;
  his birth and parentage, ii. 5;
  the _Amadigi_, 7, 11, 18, 35;
  his youth and marriage, 7;
  misfortunes, _ib._;
  exile and poverty, 8;
  death of his wife, 9;
  his death, 10, 35;
  his character, _ib._;
  his _Floridante_, 35.

---Christoforo (cousin of Torquato), ii. 14.

  his relation to his epoch, ii. 2;
  to the influences of Italian decadence, 4;
  his father's position, 6;
  Torquato's birth, 7;
  the death of his mother, 9, 15;
  what Tasso inherited from his father, 11;
  Bernardo's treatment of his son, _ib._;
  Tasso's precocity as a child, 12;
  his early teachers, _ib._;
  pious ecstasy in his ninth year, 13;
  with his father in Rome, 14;
  his first extant letter, 15;
  his education, 16;
  with his father at the Court of Urbino, 17;
  mode of life here, 18;
  acquires familiarity with Virgil, 19;
  studies and annotates the _Divina Commedia_, _ib._;
  metaphysical studies and religious doubts, 20;
  reaction, _ib._;
  the appearance of the _Rinaldo_, 21;
  leaves Padua for Bologna, _ib._;
  Dialogues on the Art of Poetry, 22, 24, 26;
  flight to Modena, 22;
  speculations upon Poetry, 23;
  Tasso's theory of the Epic, 24;
  he joins the Academy 'Gli Eterei' at Padua, as 'Il Pentito,' 26;
  enters the service of Luigi d'Este, 27;
  life at the Court of Ferrara, 28;
  Tasso's love-affairs, 31;
  the problem of his relations with Leonora and Lucrezia
  d'Este, 32 _sqq._, 48, 51;
  quarrel with Pigna, 34;
  his want of tact, _ib._;
  edits his _Floridante_, 35;
  visit to Paris, _ib._;
  the _Gottifredo_ (_Gerusalemme Liberata_), 35, 38, 42, 48, 50;
  his instructions to Rondinelli, _ib._;
  life at the Court of Charles IX., 36;
  rupture with Luigi d'Este, 38;
  enters the service of Alfonso, Duke of Ferrara, _ib._;
  renewed relations with Leonora, _ib._;
  production and success of _Aminta_, 39;
  relations with Lucrezia d'Este (Duchess of Urbino), _ib._;
  his letters to Leonora, 41;
  his triumphant career, _ib._;
  submits the _Gerusalemme_ to seven censors, 43;
  their criticisms, _ib._;
  literary annoyances, 44;
  discontent with Ferrara, 45;
  Tasso's sense of his importance, _ib._;
  the beginning of his ruin, 46;
  he courts the Medici, 47;
  action of his enemies at Ferrara, 48;
  doubts as to his sanity, 49;
  his dread of the Inquisition, _ib._;
  persecution by the courtiers, 50;
  revelation of his love affairs by Maddalò de'Frecci, 51;
  Tasso's fear of being poisoned, _ib._;
  outbreak of mental malady, 52;
  temporary imprisonment, _ib._;
  estimate of the hypothesis that Tasso feigned madness, 53;
  his escape from the Convent of S. Francis, 54;
  with his sister at Sorrento, 55;
  hankering after Ferrara, 56;
  his attachment to the House of Este, 57;
  terms on which he is received back, 58;
  second flight from Ferrara, 61;
  at Venice, Urbino, Turin, 63;
  'Omero Fuggiguerra,' 64;
  recall to Ferrara, 65;
  imprisoned at S. Anna, 66;
  reasons for his arrest, 67;
  nature of his malady, 69;
  life in the hospital, 71;
  release and wanderings, 73;
  the _Torrismondo_, _ib._;
  work on the _Gerusalemme Conquistata_ and
  the _Sette Giornate_, 75;
  last years at Naples and Rome, 76;
  at S. Onofrio, 76;
  death, 78;
  imaginary Tassos, 79;
  condition of romantic and heroic poetry in Tasso's youth, 80;
  his first essay in poetry, 81;
  the preface to _Rinaldo_, 82;
  subject-matter of the poem, 84;
  its religious motive, 86;
  Latinity of diction, _ib._;
  weak points of style, 88;
  lyrism and idyll, 89;
  subject of the _Gerusalemme Liberata_, 92;
  its romance, 94;
  imitation of Virgil, 97;
  of Dante, 97, 99;
  rhetorical artificiality, 100;
  sonorous verses, 101;
  oratorical dexterity, 102;
  similes and metaphors, _ib._;
  majestic simplicity, 104;
  the heroine, 106;
  Tasso, the poet of Sentiment, 108;
  the _Non so che_, 109 _sq._;
  Sofronia, Erminia, Clorinda, 109 _sqq._;
  the Dialogues and the tragedy _Torrismondo_, 113;
  the _Gerusalemme Conquistata_ and
  _Le Sette Giornate_, 115, 124;
  personal appearance of Tasso, 115;
  general survey of his character, 116 _sqq._;
  his relation to his age, 120;
  his mental attitude, 122;
  his native genius, 124.

TASSONI, Alessandro:
  his birth, ii. 297;
  treatment by Carlo Emmanuele, 298;
  his independent spirit, _ib._;
  aim at originality of thought, 299;
  his criticism of Dante and Petrarch, 300;
  the _Secchia Rapita_:
    its origin and motive, 301;
    its circulation in manuscript copies, 302;
  Tassoni the inventor of heroico-comic poetry, 303;
  humor and sarcasm in Italian municipal wars, 304;
  the episode of the Bolognese bucket, _ib._;
  irony of the _Secchia Rapita_, 306;
  method of Tassoni's art, _ib._;
  ridicule of contemporary poets, 307;
  satire and parody, 308;
  French imitators of Tasso, 310;
  episodes of pure poetry, 311;
  sustained antithesis between poetry and melodiously-worded slang, 312;
  Tassoni's rank as a literary artist, _ib._

TAXATION, the methods of, adopted by Spanish Viceroys in Italy, i. 49.

TENEBROSI, the (school of painters), ii. 365.

TESTI, Fulvio, Modenese poet, ii. 314.

TEUTONIC tribes, relations of with the Italians, ii. 393;
  unreconciled antagonisms, 394;
  divergence, 395;
  the Church, the battle-field of Renaissance and Reformation, 395.

THEATINES, foundation of the Order of, i. 79.

THEORY, Italian love of, in Tasso's time, ii. 25;
  critique of Tasso's theory of poetry, 26, 42.

THIENE, Gaetano di, founder of the Theatines, i. 76.

THIRTY Divine Attributes, Bruno's doctrine of, ii. 139.

TINTORETTO'S picture of S. Agnes, ii. 361.

TITIAN, portrait of Charles V. by, i. 42.

TOLEDO, Don Pietro di, Viceroy of Naples, i. 38; ii. 7.

---Francesco da, confessor of Gregory XIII., i. 150.

TORQUEMADA, the Spanish Inquisitor, i. 173, 179, 181.

TORRE, Delia, the family of, ancestors, of the Tassi, ii. 5.

'TORRISMONDO,' Tasso's tragedy of, ii. 73, 113 _sq._

TORTURE, cases of witnesses put to, i. 333 _sqq._

TOUCH, the sense of, Marino's praises of, ii. 270.

TOULOUSE, power of the Inquisition in, ii. 137.

TRAGIC narratives circulated in manuscript in the
  sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, i. 372.

'TREATISE on the Inquisition,' Sarpi's, ii. 220.

---'on the Interdict,' Sarpi's, ii. 201.

TREMAZZI, Ambrogio:
  his own report of how he wrought the murder of Troilo
  Orsini, i. 405 _sqq._;
  his notions about his due reward, 406.

TRENT, Council of:
  Indiction of, by Paul III., i. 97;
  numbers of its members, 97 _n._, 119 _n._;
  diverse objects of the Spanish, French, and German
  representatives, 98, 122;
  the articles which it confirmed, 98;
  method of procedure, 99, 120;
  the Council transferred to Bologna, 100;
  Paul IV.'s measures of ecclesiastical reform, 107;
  the Council's decrees actually settled in the four Courts, 112, 119;
  its organization by Pius IV., 118 _sqq._;
  inauspicious commencement, 119;
  the privileges of the Papal legates, 120;
  daily post of couriers to the Vatican, 121;
  arts of the Roman Curia, 122;
  Spanish, French, Imperial Opposition, 123;
  clerical celibacy and Communion under both forms, _ib._;
  packing the Council with Italian bishops, 125;
  the interests of the Gallican Church, 126;
  interference of the Emperor Ferdinand, _ib._;
  confusion in the Council, 126 _n._;
  envoys to France and the Emperor, 127;
  cajoleries and menaces, 129;
  action of the Court of Spain, 130;
  firmness of the Spanish bishops, 130 _n._;
  Papal Supremacy decreed, 131;
  reservation in the Papal Bull of ratification, 131 _and note_;
  Tridentine Profession of Faith (Creed of Pius V.), 148.

TUSCANY, creation of the Grand Duchy of, i. 47.

TWO SICILIES, the kingdom of the, i. 45.

'TYRANNY of the kiss,' the, exemplified in the _Rinaldo_, ii. 90;
  in the _Pastor Fido_, 255;
  in the _Adone_, 272.


UNIVERSAL Monarchy, end of the belief in, i. 34.

UNIVERSE, Bruno's conception of the, ii. 173 _sqq._

UNIVERSITIES, Italian, i. 51.

'UNTORI, La Peste degli,' i. 421;
  trial of the _Untoti_, 421.

URBAN VIII., fantastic attempt made against the life of, i. 425 _sq._

URBINO, the Court of, life at, ii. 17 _sq._


  his work _On the Benefits of Christ's Death_, i. 76.

VALORI, Baccio, i. 33.

VASTO, Marquis of, i. 25.

VENETIAN ambassadors' despatches cited:
  on the manners of the Roman Court in 1565, i. 142, 147;
  the expulsion of prostitutes from Rome, 146.

VENICE, the Republic of, its possessions in the fifteenth century, i. 9;
  relations with Spain in 1530, 45;
  rise of a contempt for commerce in, 49;
  the constitution of its Holy Office, 190;
  Concordat with Clement VIII., 193;
  Tasso at, ii. 19 _sq._;
  its condition in Sarpi's youth, 185;
  political indifference of its aristocracy, 186;
  put under interdict by Paul V., 198.

VENIERO, Maffeo, on Tasso's mental malady, ii. 52, 63.

VERONA, Peter of (Peter Martyr), Italian Dominican Saint
  of the Inquisition, i. 161.

VERVINS, the Treaty of, i. 48, 56.

VETTORI, Francesco, i. 33.

VIRGIL, Tasso's admiration of, ii. 25;
  translations and adaptations from, 98.

VISCONTI, the dynasty of, i. 8.

---Valentina, grandmother of Louis XII. of France, i. 8.

VITELLI, Alessandro, i. 46.

VITELLOZZI, Vitellozzo, influence of, in the reform of
  Church music, ii. 325.

VITI, Michele, one of the assassins of Sarpi, ii. 212.

'VOCERO,' the, i. 332.

VOLTERRA, Bebo da, associate of Bibboni in the murder of
  Lorenzino de'Medici, i. 390 _sqq._

  results of its being declared inviolable, i. 210.


WALDENSIANS in Calabria, the, i. 188.

WITCHCRAFT, chiefly confined to the mountain regions of Italy, i. 425;
  mainly used as a weapon of malice, _ib._;
  details of the sorcery practised by Giacomo Centini, 425 _sqq._

WIFE-MURDERS in Italy in the sixteenth century, i. 380 _sq._, 385.


XAVIER, Francis, associate of Ignatius Loyola, i. 239;
  his work as a Jesuit in Portugal, 256;
  his mission to the Indies, 260.

XIMENES, Cardinal, as Inquisitor General, i. 182.


ZANETTI, Guido, delivered over to the Roman Inquisition, i. 145.



In Two Parts



    _'Il mondo invecchia,
    E invecchiando intristisce_'

    TASSO, _Aminta_, Act 2, sc. 2





       *       *       *       *       *



     Tasso's Relation to his Age--Balbi on that Period--The Life of
     Bernardo Tasso--Torquato's Boyhood--Sorrento, Naples, Rome,
     Urbino--His first Glimpse of the Court--Student Life at Padua and
     Bologna--The _Rinaldo_--Dialogues on Epic Poetry--Enters the
     Service of Cardinal d'Este--The Court of Ferrara--Alfonso II. and
     the Princesses--Problem of Tasso's Love--Goes to France with
     Cardinal d'Este--Enters the Service of Duke Alfonso--The
     _Aminta_--Tasso at Urbino--Return to Ferrara--Revision of the
     _Gerusalemme_--Jealousies at Court--Tasso's Sense of His own
     Importance--Plans a Change from Ferrara to Florence--First Symptoms
     of Mental Disorder--Persecutions of the Ferrarese Courtiers--Tasso
     confined as a Semi-madman--Goes with Duke Alfonso to
     Belriguardo--Flies in Disguise from Ferrara to Sorrento--Returns to
     Court Life at Ferrara--Problem of his Madness--Flies again--Mantua,
     Venice, Urbino, Turin--Returns once more to Ferrara--Alfonso's
     Third Marriage--Tasso's Discontent--Imprisoned for Seven Years in
     the Madhouse of S. Anna--Character of Tasso--Character of Duke
     Alfonso--Nature of the Poet's Malady--His Course of Life in
     Prison--Released at the Intercession of Vincenzo Gonzaga--Goes to
     Mantua--The _Torrismondo_--An Odyssey of Nine Years--Death at Sant
     Onofrio in Rome--Constantini's Sonnet



     Problem of Creating Heroic Poetry--The Preface to Tasso's
     _Rinaldo_--Subject of _Rinaldo_--Blending of Romantic Motives with
     Heroic Style--Imitation of Virgil--Melody and Sentiment--Choice of
     Theme for the _Gerusalemme_--It becomes a Romantic Poem after
     all--Tancredi the real Hero--Nobility of Tone--Virgilian
     Imitation--Borrowings from Dante--Involved Diction--Employment of
     Sonorous Polysyllabic Words--Quality of Religious Emotion in this
     Poem--Rhetoric--Similes--The Grand Style of Pathos--Verbal
     Music--The Chant d'Amour--Armida--Tasso's Favorite Phrase, _Un non
     so che_--His Power over Melody and Tender Feeling--Critique of
     Tasso's Later Poems--General Survey of his Character



     Scientific Bias of the Italians checked by Catholic
     Revival--Boyhood of Bruno--Enters Order of S. Dominic at
     Naples--Early Accusations of Heresy--Escapes to Rome--Teaches the
     Sphere at Noli--Visits Venice--At Geneva--At Toulouse--At
     Paris--His Intercourse with Henri III.--Visits England--The French
     Ambassador in London--Oxford--Bruno's Literary Work in
     England--Returns to Paris--Journeys into Germany--Wittenberg,
     Helmstädt, Frankfort--Invitation to Venice from Giovanni
     Mocenigo--His Life in Venice--Mocenigo denounces him to the
     Inquisition--His Trial at Venice--Removal to Rome--Death by Burning
     in 1600--Bruno's Relation to the Thought of his Age and to the
     Thought of Modern Europe--Outlines of his Philosophy



     Sarpi's Position in the History of Venice--Parents and
     Boyhood--Entrance into the Order of the Servites--His Personal
     Qualities--Achievements as a Scholar and a Man of Science--His Life
     among the Servites--In Bad Odor at Rome--Paul V. places Venice
     under Interdict--Sarpi elected Theologian and Counselor of the
     Republic--His Polemical Writings--Views on Church and State--The
     Interdict Removed--Roman Vengeance--Sarpi attacked by Bravi--His
     Wounds, Illness, Recovery--Subsequent History of the
     Assassins--Further Attempts on Sarpi's Life--Sarpi's Political and
     Historical Works--History of the Council of Trent--Sarpi's Attitude
     towards Protestantism His Judgment of the Jesuits--Sarpi's
     Death--The Christian Stoic



     Dearth of Great Men--Guarini a Link between Tasso and the
     Seventeenth Century--His Biography--The _Pastor Fido_--Qualities of
     Guarini as Poet--Marino the Dictator of Letters--His Riotous Youth
     at Naples--Life at Rome, Turin, Paris--Publishes the _Adone_--The
     Epic of Voluptuousness--Character and Action of Adonis--Marino's
     Hypocrisy--Sentimental Sweetness--Brutal Violence--Violation of
     Artistic Taste--Great Powers of the Poet--Structure of the
     _Adone_--Musical Fluency--Marinism--Marino's Patriotic
     Verses--Contrast between Chiabrera and Marino--An Aspirant after
     Pindar--Chiabrera's Biography--His Court Life--Efforts of Poets in
     the Seventeenth Century to attain to Novelty--Chiabrera's
     Failure--Tassoni's Life--His Thirst to Innovate--Origin of the
     _Secchia Rapita_--Mock-Heroic Poetiy--The Plot of this Poem--Its
     Peculiar Humor--Irony and Satire--Novelty of the Species--Lyrical
     Interbreathings--Sustained Contrast of Parody and Pathos--The Poet



     Italy in Renaissance produces no National School of Music--Flemish
     Composers in Rome--Singers and Orchestra--The Chaotic, Indecency
     of this Contrapuntal Style--Palestrina's Birth and Early
     History--Decrees of the Tridentine Council upon Church Music--The
     Mass of Pope Marcello--Palestrina Satisfies the Cardinals with his
     New Style of Sacred Music--Pius IV. and his Partiality for
     Music--Palestrina and Filippo Neri--His Motetts--The Song of
     Solomon set to Melody--Palestrina, the Saviour of Music--The
     Founder of the Modern Style--Florentine Essays in the Oratorio



     Decline of Plastic Art--Dates of the Eclectic Masters--The
     Mannerists--Baroccio--Reaction started by Lodovico Caracci--His
     Cousins Annibale and Agostino--Their Studies--Their Academy at
     Bologna--Their Artistic Aims--Dionysius Calvaert--Guido Reni--The
     Man and his Art--Domenichino--Ruskin's Criticism--Relation of
     Domenichino to the Piety of his Age--Caravaggio and the
     Realists--Ribera--Lo Spagna--Guercino--His Qualities as
     Colorist--His Terribleness--Private Life--Digression upon
     Criticism--Reasons why the Bolognese Painters, are justly now



     The Main Events of European History--Italy in the
     Renaissance--Germany and Reformation--Catholic Reaction--Its
     Antagonism to Renaissance and Reformation--Profound Identity of
     Renaissance and Reformation--Place of Italy in European
     Civilization--Want of Sympathy between Latin and Teutonic
     Races--Relation of Rome to Italy--Macaulay on the Roman Church--On
     Protestantism--Early Decline of Renaissance Enthusiasms--Italy's
     Present and Future




     Tasso's Relation to his Age--Balbi on that Period--The Life of
     Bernardo Tasso--Torquato's Boyhood--Sorrento, Naples, Rome,
     Urbino--His first Glimpse of the Court--Student Life at Padua and
     Bologna--The _Rinaldo_--Dialogues on Epic Poetry--Enters the
     Service of Cardinal d'Este--The Court of Ferrara--Alfonso II. and
     the Princesses--Problem of Tasso's Love--Goes to France with
     Cardinal d'Este--Enters the Service of Duke Alfonso--The
     _Aminta_--Tasso at Urbino--Return to Ferrara--Revision of the
     _Gerusalemme_--Jealousies at Court--Tasso's Sense of His own
     Importance--Plans a Change from Ferrara to Florence--First Symptoms
     of Mental Disorder--Persecutions of the Ferrarese Courtiers--Tasso
     confined as a Semi-madman--Goes with Duke Alfonso to
     Belriguardo--Flies in Disguise from Ferrara to Sorrento--Returns to
     Court Life at Ferrara--Problem of his madness--Flies again--Mantua,
     Venice, Urbino, Turin--Returns once more to Ferrara--Alfonso's
     Third Marriage--Tasso's Discontent--Imprisoned for Seven years in
     the madhouse of S. Anna--Character of Tasso--Character of Duke
     Alfonso--Nature of the Poet's Malady--His Course of Life in
     Prison--Released at the Intercession of Vincenzo Gonzaga--Goes to
     Mantua--The _Torrismondo_--An Odyssey of nine Years--Death at Sant
     Onofrio in Rome--Constantini's Sonnet.

It was under the conditions which have been set forth in the foregoing
chapters that the greatest literary genius of his years in Europe, the
poet who ranks among the four first of Italy, was educated, rose to
eminence, and suffered. The political changes introduced in 1530, the
tendencies of the Catholic Revival, the terrorism of the Inquisition,
and the educational energy of the Jesuits had, each and all, their
manifest effect in molding Tasso's character. He represents that period
when the culture of the Renaissance was being superseded, when the
caries of court-service was eating into the bone and marrow of Italian
life, when earlier forms of art were tending to decay, or were passing
into the new form of music. Tasso was at once the representative poet of
his age and the representative martyr of his age. He was the latter,
though this may seem paradoxical, in even a stricter sense than Bruno.
Bruno, coming into violent collision with the prejudices of the century,
expiated his antagonism by a cruel death. Tasso, yielding to those
influences, lingered out a life of irresolute misery. His nature was
such, that the very conditions which shaped it sufficed to enfeeble,
envenom, and finally reduce it to a pitiable ruin.

Some memorable words of Cesare Balbi may serve as introduction to a
sketch of Tasso's life. 'If that can be called felicity which gives to
the people peace without activity; to nobles rank without power; to
princes undisturbed authority within their States without true
independence or full sovereignty; to literary men and artists numerous
occasions for writing, painting, making statues, and erecting edifices
with the applause of contemporaries but the ridicule of posterity; to
the whole nation ease without dignity and facilities for sinking
tranquilly into corruption; then no period of her history was so
felicitous for Italy as the 140 years which followed the peace of
Cateau-Cambrèsis. Invasions ceased: her foreign lord saved Italy from
intermeddling rivals. Internal struggles ceased: her foreign lord
removed their causes and curbed national ambitions. Popular revolutions
ceased: her foreign lord bitted and bridled the population of her
provinces. Of bravi, highwaymen, vulgar acts of vengeance, tragedies
among nobles and princes, we find indeed abundance; but these affected
the mass of the people to no serious extent. The Italians enjoyed life,
indulged in the sweets of leisure, the sweets of vice, the sweets of
making love and dangling after women. From the camp and the
council-chamber, where they had formerly been bred, the nobles passed
into petty courts and moldered in a multitude of little capitals. Men
bearing historic names, insensible of their own degradation, bowed the
neck gladly, groveled in beatitude. Deprived of power, they consoled
themselves with privileges, patented favors, impertinences vented on the
common people. The princes amused themselves by debasing the old
aristocracy to the mire, depreciating their honors by the creations of
new titles, multiplying frivolous concessions, adding class to class of
idle and servile dependents on their personal bounty. In one word, the
paradise of mediocrities came into being.'

Tasso was born before the beginning of this epoch. But he lived into
the last decade of the sixteenth century. In every fiber of his
character he felt the influences of Italian decadence, even while he
reacted against them. His misfortunes resulted in great measure from his
not having wholly discarded the traditions of the Renaissance, though
his temperament and acquired habits made him in many points sympathetic
to the Counter-Reformation. At the same time, he was not a mediocrity,
but the last of an illustrious race of nobly gifted men of genius.
Therefore he never patiently submitted to the humiliating conditions
which his own conception of the Court, the Prince, the Church, and the
Italian gentleman logically involved at that period. He could not be
contented with the paradise of mediocrities described by Balbi. Yet he
had not strength to live outside its pale. It was the pathos of his
situation that he persisted in idealizing this paradise, and expected to
find in it a paradise of exceptional natures. This it could not be. No
one turns Circe's pigsty into a Parnassus. If Tasso had possessed force
of character enough to rend the trammels of convention and to live his
own life in a self-constructed sphere, he might still have been
unfortunate. Nature condemned him to suffering. But from the study of
his history we then had risen invigorated by the contemplation of
heroism, instead of quitting it, as now we do, with pity, but with pity
tempered by a slight contempt.

Bernardo, the father of Torquato Tasso, drew noble blood from both his
parents. The Tassi claimed to be a branch of that ancient Guelf house of
Delia Torre, lords of Milan, who were all but extirpated by the Visconti
in the fourteenth century. A remnant established themselves in mountain
strongholds between Bergamo and Como, and afterwards took rank among the
more distinguished families of the former city. Manso affirms that
Bernardo's mother was a daughter of those Venetian Cornari who gave a
queen to Cyprus.[1] He was born at Venice in the year 1493; and, since
he died in 1568, his life covered the whole period of national glory,
humiliation, and attempted reconstruction which began with the invasion
of Charles VIII. and ended with the closing of the Council of Trent.
Born in the pontificate of Alexander VI., he witnessed the reigns of
Julius II., Leo X., Clement VII., Paul IV., Pius IV., and died in that
of Pius V.

All the illustrious works of Italian art and letters were produced while
he was moving in the society of princes and scholars. He saw the
Renaissance in its splendor and decline. He watched the growth,
progress, and final triumph of the Catholic Revival. Having stated that
the curve of his existence led upward from a Borgia and down to a
Ghislieri Vicar of Christ, the merest tyro in Italian history knows what
vicissitudes it spanned.

[Footnote 1: This is doubtful. Serrassi believed that Bernardo's mother
was also a Tasso.]

Though the Tassi were so noble, Bernardo owned no wealth. He was left
an orphan at an early age under the care of his uncle, Bishop of
Recanati. But in 1520 the poignard of an assassin cut short this
guardian's life; and, at the age of seventeen, he was thrown upon the
world. After studying at Padua, where he enjoyed the patronage of Bembo,
and laid foundations for his future fame as poet, Bernardo entered the
service of the Modenese Rangoni in the capacity of secretary. Thus began
the long career of servitude to princes, of which he frequently
complained, but which only ended with his death.[2] The affairs of his
first patrons took him to Paris at the time when a marriage was arranged
between Renée of France and Ercole d'Este. He obtained the post of
secretary to this princess, and having taken leave of the Rangoni, he
next established himself at Ferrara. Only for three years, however; for
in 1532 reasons of which we are ignorant, but which may have been
connected with the heretical sympathies of Renée, induced him to resign
his post. Shortly after this date, we find him attached to the person of
Ferrante Sanseverino, Prince of Salerno, one of the chief feudatories
and quasi-independent vassals of the Crown of Naples. In the quality of
secretary he attended this patron through the campaign of Tunis in 1535,
and accompanied him on all his diplomatic expeditions.

[Footnote 2: He speaks in his letters of the difficulty 'di sottrarre il
collo all difficile noioso arduo giogo della servitù dei Principi.'
_Lettere Ined._ Bologna, Romagnoli, p. 34.]

The Prince of Salerno treated him more as an honored friend and
confidential adviser than as a paid official. His income was good, and
leisure was allowed him for the prosecution of his literary studies. In
this flourishing state of his affairs, Bernardo contracted an alliance
with Porzia de'Rossi, a lady of a noble house, which came originally
from Pistoja, but had been established for some generations in Naples.
She was connected by descent or marriage with the houses of Gambacorti,
Caracciolo, and Caraffa. Their first child, Cornelia, was born about the
year 1537. Their second, Torquato, saw the light in March 1544 at
Sorrento, where his father had been living some months previously and
working at his poem, the _Amadigi_.

At the time of Torquato's birth Bernardo was away from home, in
Lombardy, France, and Flanders, traveling on missions from his Prince.
However, he returned to Sorrento for a short while in 1545, and then
again was forced to leave his family. Married at the mature age of
forty-three, Bernardo was affectionately attached to his young wife, and
proud of his children. But the exigencies of a courtier's life debarred
him from enjoying the domestic happiness for which his sober and gentle
nature would have fitted him. In 1547 the events happened which ruined
him for life, separated him for ever from Porzia, drove him into
indigent exile, and marred the prospects of his children. In that year,
the Spanish Viceroy, Don Pietro Toledo, attempted to introduce the
Inquisition, on its Spanish basis, into Naples. The population resented
this exercise of authority with the fury of despair, rightly judging
that the last remnants of their liberty would be devoured by the foul
monster of the Holy Office. They besought the Prince of Salerno to
intercede for them with his master, Charles V., whom he had served
loyally up to this time, and who might therefore be inclined to yield to
his expostulations. The Prince doubted much whether it would be prudent
to accept the mission of intercessor. He had two counsellors, Bernardo
Tasso and Vincenzo Martelli. The latter, who was an astute Florentine,
advised him to undertake nothing so perilous as interposition between
the Viceroy and the people. Tasso, on the contrary, exhorted him to
sacrifice personal interest, honors, and glory, for the duty which he
owed his country. The Prince chose the course which Tasso recommended.
Charles V. disgraced him, and he fled from Naples to France, adopting
openly the cause of his imperial sovereign's enemies. He was immediately
declared a rebel, with confiscation of his fiefs and property. Bernardo
and his infant son were included in the sentence. After twenty-two years
of service, Bernardo now found himself obliged to choose between
disloyalty to his Prince or a disastrous exile. He took the latter
course, and followed Ferrante Sanseverino to Paris. But Bernardo Tasso,
though proving himself a man of honor in this severe trial, was not of
the stuff of Shakespeare's Kent; and when the Prince of Salerno
suspended payment of his salary he took leave of that master. Some
differences arising from the discomforts and irritations of both exiles
had early intervened between them. Tasso was miserably poor. 'I have to
stay in bed,' he writes, 'to mend my hose; and if it were not for the
old arras I brought with me from home, I should not know how to cover my
nakedness.'[3] Besides this he suffered grievously in the separation
from his wife, who was detained at Naples by her relatives--'brothers
who, instead of being brothers, are deadly foes, cruel wild beasts
rather than men; a mother who is no mother but a fell enemy, a fury from
hell rather than a woman.'[4] His wretchedness attained its climax when
Porzia died suddenly on February 3, 1556. Bernardo suspected that her
family had poisoned her; and this may well have been. His son Torquato,
meanwhile had joined him in Rome; but Porzia's brothers refused to
surrender his daughter Cornelia, whom they married to a Sorrentine
gentleman, Marzio Sersale, much to Bernardo's disgust, for Sersale was
apparently of inferior blood. They also withheld Porzia's dowry and the
jointure settled on her by Bernardo--property of considerable value
which neither he nor Torquato were subsequently able to recover.

[Footnote 3: _Lett. Ined_. p. 100]

[Footnote 4: _Letter di Torquato Tasso_, February 15, 1556, vol. II. p.

In this desperate condition of affairs, without friends or credit, but
conscious of his noble birth and true to honor, the unhappy poet
bethought him of the Church. If he could obtain a benefice, he would
take orders. But the King of France and Margaret of Valois, on whose
patronage he relied, turned him a deaf ear; and when war broke out
between Paul IV. and Spain, he felt it prudent to leave Rome. It was at
this epoch that Bernardo entered the service of Guidubaldo della Rovere,
Duke of Urbino, with whom he remained until 1563, when he accepted the
post of secretary from Guglielmo, Duke of Mantua. He died in 1569 at
Ostiglia, so poor that his son could scarcely collect money enough to
bury him after selling his effects. Manso says that a couple of
door-curtains, embroidered with the arms of Tasso and De'Rossi, passed
on this occasion into the wardrobe of the Gonzaghi. Thus it seems that
the needy nobleman had preserved a scrap of his heraldic trophies till
the last, although he had to patch his one pain of breeches in bed at
Rome. It may be added, as characteristic of Bernardo's misfortunes, that
even the plain marble sarcophagus, inscribed with the words _Ossa
Bernardi Tassi_ which Duke Guglielmo erected to his memory in S. Egidio
at Mantua, was removed in compliance with a papal edict ordering that
monuments at a certain height above the ground should be destroyed to
save the dignity of neighboring altars!

Such were the events of Bernardo Tasso's life. I have dwelt upon them
in detail, since they foreshadow and illustrate the miseries of his more
famous son. In character and physical qualities Torquato inherited no
little from his father. Bernardo was handsome, well-grown, conscious of
his double dignity as a nobleman and poet. From the rules of honor, as
he understood them, he deviated in no important point of conduct. Yet
the life of courts made him an incorrigible dangler after princely
favors. The _Amadigi_, upon which he set such store, was first planned
and dedicated to Charles V., then altered to suit Henri II. of France,
and finally adapted to the flattery of Philip II., according as its
author's interests with the Prince of Salerno and the Duke of Urbino
varied. No substantial reward accrued to him, however, from its
publication. His compliments wasted their sweetness on the dull ears of
the despot of Madrid. In misfortune Bernardo sank to neither crime nor
baseness, even when he had no clothes to put upon his back. Yet he took
the world to witness of his woes, as though his person ought to have
been sacred from calamities of common manhood. A similar dependent
spirit was manifested in his action as a man of letters. Before
publishing the _Amadigi_ he submitted it to private criticism, with the
inevitable result of obtaining feigned praises and malevolent
strictures. Irresolution lay at the root of his treatment of Torquato.
While groaning under the collar of courtly servitude, he determined
that the youth should study law. While reckoning how little his own
literary fame had helped him, he resolved that his son should adopt a
lucrative profession. Yet no sooner had Torquato composed his _Rinaldo_,
than the fond parent had it printed, and immediately procured a place
for him in the train of the Cardinal Luigi d'Este. It is singular that
the young man, witnessing the wretchedness of his father's life, should
not have shunned a like career of gilded misery and famous indigence.
But Torquato was born to reproduce Bernardo's qualities in their
feebleness and respectability, to outshine him in genius, and to
outstrip him in the celebrity of his misfortunes.

In the absence of his father little Torquato grew up with his mother and
sister at Sorrento under the care of a good man, Giovanni Angeluzzo who
gave him the first rudiments of education. He was a precocious infant,
grave in manners, quick at learning, free from the ordinary
naughtinesses of childhood. Manso reports that he began to speak at six
months, and that from the first he formed syllables with precision. His
mother Porzia appears to have been a woman of much grace and sweetness,
but timid and incapable of fighting the hard battle of the world. A
certain shade of melancholy fell across the boy's path even in these
earliest years, for Porzia, as we have seen, met with cruel treatment
from her relatives, and her only support, Bernardo, was far away in
exile. In 1552 she removed with her children to Naples, where Torquato
was sent at once to the school which the Jesuits had opened there in the
preceding year. These astute instructors soon perceived that they had no
ordinary boy to deal with. They did their best to stimulate his mental
faculties and to exalt his religious sentiments; so that he learned
Greek and Latin before the age of ten, and was in the habit of
communicating at the altar with transports of pious ecstasy in his ninth
year.[5] The child recited speeches and poems in public, and received an
elementary training in the arts of composition. He was in fact the
infant prodigy of those plausible Fathers, the prize specimen of their
educational method. As might have been expected, this forcing system
overtaxed his nerves. He rose daily before daybreak to attack his books,
and when the nights were long he went to morning school attended by a
servant carrying torches.

[Footnote 5: 'Sentendo in me non so qual nuova insolita contentezza,'
'non so qual segreta divozione.' _Lettere_, vol. ii. p. 90.]

Without seeking to press unduly on these circumstances, we may fairly
assume that Torquato's character received a permanent impression from
the fever of study and the premature pietism excited in him by the
Jesuits in Naples. His servile attitude toward speculative thought, that
anxious dependence upon ecclesiastical authority, that scrupulous
mistrust of his own mental faculties, that pretense of solving problems
by accumulated citations instead of going to the root of the matter,
whereby his philosophical writings are rendered nugatory, may with
probability be traced to the mechanical and interested system of the
Jesuits. He was their pupil for three years, after which he joined his
father in Rome. There he seems to have passed at once into a healthier
atmosphere. Bernardo, though a sound Catholic, was no bigot; and he had
the good sense to choose an able master for his son--'a man of profound
learning, possessed of both the ancient languages, whose method of
teaching is the finest and most time-saving that has yet been tried; a
gentleman withal, with nothing of the pedant in him.'[6] The boy was
lucky also in the companion of his studies, a cousin, Cristoforo Tasso,
who had come from Bergamo to profit by the tutor's care.

[Footnote 6: Bernardo's _Letter to Cav. Giangiacopo Tasso_, December 6,

The young Tasso's home cannot, however, have been a cheerful one. The
elderly hidalgo sitting up in bed to darn a single pair of hose, the
absent mother pining for her husband and tormented by her savage
brother's avarice, environed the precocious child of ten with sad
presentiments. That melancholy temperament which he inherited from
Bernardo was nourished by the half-concealed mysteriously-haunting
troubles of his parents. And when Porzia died suddenly, in 1556, we can
hardly doubt that the father broke out before his son into some such
expressions of ungovernable grief as he openly expressed in the letter
to Amerigo Sanseverino.[7] Is it possible, then, thought Torquato, that
the mother from whose tender kisses and streaming tears I was severed
but one year ago,[8] has died of poison--poisoned by my uncles? Sinking
into the consciousness of a child so sensitive by nature and so early
toned to sadness, this terrible suspicion of a secret death by poison
incorporated itself with the very essence of his melancholy humor, and
lurked within him to flash forth in madness at a future period of life.
That he was well acquainted with the doleful situation of his family is
proved by his first extant letter. Addressed to the noble lady Vittoria
Colonna on behalf of Bernardo and his sister, this is a remarkable
composition for a boy of twelve.[9] His poor father, he says, is on the
point of dying of despair, oppressed by the malignity of fortune and the
rapacity of impious men. His uncle is bent on marrying Cornelia to some
needy gentleman, in order to secure her mother's estate for himself.
'The grief, illustrious lady, of the loss of property is great, but that
of blood is crushing. This poor old man has naught but my sister and
myself; and now that fortune has deprived him of wealth and of the wife
he loved like his own soul, he cannot bear that that man's avarice
should rob him of his beloved daughter, with whom he hoped to end in
rest these last years of his failing age. In Naples we have no friends;
for my father's disaster makes every one shy of us: our relatives are
our enemies. Cornelia is kept in the house of my uncle's kinsman
Giangiacopo Coscia, where no one is allowed to speak to her or give her

[Footnote 7: Dated February 13, 1556.]

[Footnote 8: See _Opere_, vol. iv. p. 100, for Tasso's description of
the farewell to his mother, which he remembered deeply, even in later

[Footnote 9: _Lettere_, vol. i. p. 6.]

In the midst of these afflictions, which already tuned the future poet's
utterance to a note of plaintive pathos and ingenuous appeal for aid,
Torquato's studies were continued on a sounder plan and in a healthier
spirit than at Naples. The perennial consolation of his troubled life,
that delight in literature which made him able to anticipate the lines
of Goethe--

    That naught belongs to me I know,
    Save thoughts that never cease to flow
      From founts that cannot perish,
    And every fleeting shape of bliss
    Which kindly fortune lets me kiss,
      Or in my bosom cherish--

now became the source of an inner brightness which not even the
'malignity of fortune,' the 'impiety of men,' the tragedy of his
mother's death, the imprisonment of his sister, and the ever-present
sorrow of his father, 'the poor gentleman fallen into misery and
misfortune through no fault of his own,' could wholly overcloud. The boy
had been accustomed in Naples to the applause of his teachers and
friends. In Rome he began to cherish a presentiment of his own genius. A
'vision splendid' dawned upon his mind; and every step he made in
knowledge and in mastery of language enforced the delightful conviction
that 'I too am a poet.' Nothing in Tasso's character was more tenacious
than the consciousness of his vocation and the kind of self-support he
gained from it. Like the melancholy humor which degenerated into
madness, this sense of his own intellectual dignity assumed extravagant
proportions, passed over into vanity, and encouraged him to indulge
fantastic dreams of greatness. Yet it must be reckoned as a mitigation
of his suffering; and what was solid in it at the period of which I now
am writing, was the certainty of his rare gifts for art.

The Roman residence was broken by Bernardo's journey to Urbino in quest
of the appointment he expected from Duke Guidubaldo. He sent Torquato
with his cousin Cristoforo meanwhile to Bergamo, where the boy enjoyed a
few months of sympathy and freedom. This appears to have been the only
period of his life in which Tasso experienced the wholesome influences
of domesticity. In 1557 his father sent for him to Pesaro, and Tasso
made his first entrance into a Court at the age of thirteen. This event
decided the future of his existence. Urbino was not what it had been in
the time of Duke Federigo, or when Castiglione composed his Mirror of
the Courtier on its model. Yet it retained the old traditions of gentle
living, splendor tempered by polite culture, aristocratic urbanity
refined by arts and letters. The evil days of Spanish manners and
Spanish bigotry, of exhausted revenues and insane taxation, were but
dawning; and the young prince, Francesco Maria, who was destined to
survive his heir and transfer a ruined duchy to the mortmain of the
Church, was now a boy of eight years old. In fact, though the Court of
Urbino labored already under that manifold disease of waste which
drained the marrow of Italian principalities, its atrophy was not
apparent to the eye. It could still boast of magnificent pageants,
trains of noble youths and ladies moving through its stately palaces and
shady villa-gardens, academies of learned men discussing the merits of
Homer and Ariosto and discoursing on the principles of poetry and drama.
Bernardo Tasso read his _Amadigi_ in the evenings to the Duchess. The
days were spent in hunting and athletic exercises; the nights in
masquerades or dances. Love and ambition wore an external garb of
ceremonious beauty; the former draped itself in sonnets, the latter in
rhetorical orations. Torquato, who was assigned as the companion in
sport and study to the heir-apparent, shared in all these pleasures of
the Court. After the melancholy of Rome, his visionary nature expanded
under influences which he idealized with fatal facility. Too young to
penetrate below that glittering surface, flattered by the attention paid
to his personal charm or premature genius, stimulated by the
conversation of politely educated pedants, encouraged in studies for
which he felt a natural aptitude, gratified by the comradeship of the
young prince whose temperament corresponded to his own in gravity, he
conceived that radiant and romantic conception of Courts, as the only
fit places of abode for men of noble birth and eminent abilities, which
no disillusionment in after life was able to obscure. We cannot blame
him for this error, though error it indubitably was. It was one which he
shared with all men of his station at that period, which the poverty of
his estate, the habits of his father, and his own ignorance of home-life
almost forced upon his poet's temperament.

At Urbino Tasso read mathematics under a real master, Federigo
Comandino, and carried on his literary studies with enthusiasm. It was
probably at this time that he acquired the familiar knowledge of Virgil
which so powerfully influenced his style, and that he began to form his
theory of epic as distinguished from romantic poetry. After a residence
of two years he removed to Venice, where his father was engaged in
polishing the _Amadigi_ for publication. Here a new scene of interest
opened out for him; and here he first enjoyed the sweets of literary
fame. Bernardo had been chosen secretary by an Academy, in which men
like Veniero, Molino, Gradenigo, Mocenigo, and Manuzio, the most learned
and the noblest Venetians, met together for discussion. The slim lad of
fifteen was admitted to their sessions, and surprised these elders by
his eloquence and erudition. It is noticeable that at this time he
carefully studied and annotated Dante's _Divine Comedy_, a poem almost
neglected by Italians in the Cinque Cento. It seemed good to his father
now that he should prosecute his studies in earnest, with the view of
choosing a more lucrative profession than that of letters or
Court-service. Bernardo, while finishing the _Amadigi_, which he
dedicated to Philip II., sent his son in 1560 to Padua. He was to become
a lawyer under the guidance of Guido Panciroli. But Tasso, like Ovid,
like Petrarch, like a hundred other poets, felt no inclination for
juristic learning. He freely and frankly abandoned himself to the
metaphysical conclusions which were being then tried between Piccolomini
and Pendasio, the one an Aristotelian dualist, the other a materialist
for whom the soul was not immortal. Without force of mind enough to
penetrate the deepest problems of philosophy, Tasso was quick to
apprehend their bearings. The Paduan school of scepticism, the logomachy
in vogue there, unsettled his religious opinions. He began by
criticising the doubts of others in his light of Jesuit-instilled
belief; next he found a satisfaction for self-esteem in doubting too;
finally he called the mysteries of the Creed in question, and debated
the articles of creation, incarnation, and immortality. Yet he had not
the mental vigor either to cut this Gordian knot, or to untie it by
sound thinking. His erudition confused him; and he mistook the lumber of
miscellaneous reading for philosophy. Then a reaction set in. He
remembered those childish ecstasies before the Eucharist: he recalled
the pictures of a burning hell his Jesuit teachers had painted; he
heard the trumpets of the Day of Judgment, and the sentence 'Go ye
wicked!' On the brink of heresy he trembled and recoiled. The spirit of
the coming age, the spirit of Bruno, was not in him. To all appearances
he had not heard of the Copernican discovery. He wished to remain a true
son of the Church, and was in fact of such stuff as the Catholic Revival
wanted. Yet the memory of these early doubts clung to him, principally,
we may believe, because he had not force to purge them either by severe
science or by vivid faith. Later, when his mind was yielding to
disorder, they returned in the form of torturing scruples and vain
terrors, which his fervent but superficial pietism, his imaginative but
sensuous religion, were unable to efface. Meanwhile, with one part of
his mind devoted to these problems, the larger and the livelier was
occupied with poetry. To law, the _Brod-Studium_ indicated by his
position in the world, he only paid perfunctory attention. The
consequence was that before he had completed two years of residence in
Padua, his first long poem, the _Rinaldo_, saw the light. In another
chapter I mean to discuss the development of Tasso's literary theories
and achievements. It is enough here to say that the applause which
greeted the _Rinaldo_, conquered his father's opposition. Proud of its
success, Bernardo had it printed, and Torquato in the beginning of his
nineteenth year counted among the notable romantic poets of his

At the end of 1563, Tasso received an invitation to transfer himself
from Padua to Bologna. This proposal came from Monsignor Cesi, who had
recently been appointed by Pope Pius IV. to superintend public studies
in that city. The university was being placed on a new footing, and to
secure the presence of a young man already famous seemed desirable. An
exhibition was therefore offered as an inducement; and this Tasso
readily accepted. He spent about two years at Bologna, studying
philosophy and literature, planning his Dialogues on the Art of Poetry,
and making projects for an epic on the history of Godfred. Yet in spite
of public admiration and official favor, things did not go smoothly with
Tasso at Bologna. One main defect of his character, which was a want of
tact, began to manifest itself. He showed Monsignor Cesi that he had a
poor opinion of his literary judgment, came into collision with the
pedants who despised Italian, and finally uttered satiric epigrams in
writing on various members of the university. Other students indulged
their humor in like pasquinades. But those of Tasso were biting, and he
had not contrived to render himself generally popular. His rooms were
ransacked, his papers searched; and finding himself threatened with a
prosecution for libel, he took flight to Modena. No importance can be
attached to this insignificant affair, except in so far as it
illustrates the unlucky aptitude for making enemies by want of _savoir
vivre_ which pursued Tasso through life. His real superiority aroused
jealousy; his frankness wounded the self-love of rivals whom he treated
with a shadow of contempt. As these were unable to compete with him in
eloquence, or to beat him in debate, they soothed their injured feelings
by conspiracy and calumny against him.

In an age of artifice and circumspection, while paying theoretical
homage to its pedantries, and following the fashion of its compliments,
Tasso was nothing if not spontaneous and heedless. This appears in the
style of his letters and prose compositions, which have the air of being
uttered from the heart. The excellences and defects of his poetry,
soaring to the height of song and sinking into frigidity or baldness
when the lyric impulse flags, reveal a similar quality. In conduct this
spontaneity assumed a form of inconsiderate rashness, which brought him
into collision with persons of importance, and rendered universities and
Courts, the sphere of his adoption, perilous to the peace of so
naturally out-spoken and self-engrossed a man. His irritable
sensibilities caused him to suffer intensely from the petty vengeance of
the people he annoyed; while a kind of amiable egotism blinded his eyes
to his own faults, and made him blame fortune for sufferings of which
his indiscretion was the cause.

After leaving Bologna, Tasso became for some months house-guest of his
father's earliest patrons, the Modenese Rangoni. With them he seems to
have composed his Dialogues upon the Art of Poetry. For many years the
learned men of Italy had been contesting the true nature of the Epic.
One party affirmed that the ancients ought to be followed; and that the
rules of Aristotle regarding unity of plot, dignity of style, and
subordination of episodes, should be observed. The other party upheld
the romantic manner of Ariosto, pleading for liberty of fancy, richness
of execution, variety of incident, intricacy of design. Torquato from
his earliest boyhood had heard these points discussed, and had watched
his father's epic, the _Amadigi_, which was in effect a romantic poem
petrified by classical convention, in process of production. Meanwhile
he carefully studied the text of Homer and the Latin epics, examined
Horace and Aristotle, and perused the numerous romances of the Italian
school. Two conclusions were drawn from this preliminary course of
reading: first, that Italy as yet possessed no proper epic; Trissino's
_Italia Liberata_ was too tiresome, the _Orlando Furioso_ too
capricious; secondly, that the _spolia opima_ in this field of art would
be achieved by him who should combine the classic and romantic manners
in a single work, enriching the unity of the antique epic with the
graces of modern romance, choosing a noble and serious subject,
sustaining style at a sublime altitude, but gratifying the prevalent
desire for beauty in variety by the introduction of attractive episodes
and the ornaments of picturesque description. Tasso, in fact, declared
himself an eclectic; and the deep affinity he felt for Virgil, indicated
the lines upon which the Latin language in its romantic or Italian stage
of evolution might be made to yield a second Aeneid adapted to the
requirements of modern taste. He had, indeed, already set before himself
the high ambition of supplying this desideratum. The note of prelude had
been struck in _Rinaldo_; the subject of the _Gerusalemme_ had been
chosen. But the age in which he lived was nothing if not critical and
argumentative. The time had long gone by when Dante's massive cathedral,
Boccaccio's pleasure domes, Boiardo's and Ariosto's palaces of
enchantment, arose as though unbidden and unreasoned from the maker's
brain. It was now impossible to take a step in poetry or art without a
theory; and, what was worse, that theory had to be exposed for
dissertation and discussion. Therefore Tasso, though by genius the most
spontaneous of men, commenced the great work of his life with criticism.
Already acclimatized to courts, coteries, academies, formed in the
school of disputants and pedants, he propounded his _Ars Poetica_ before
establishing it by an example. This was undoubtedly beginning at the
wrong end; he committed himself to principles which he was bound to
illustrate by practice. In the state of thought at that time prevalent
in Italy, burdened as he was with an irresolute and diffident
self-consciousness, Tasso could not deviate from the theory he had
promulgated. How this hampered him, will appear in the sequel, when we
come to notice the discrepancy between his critical and creative
faculties. For the moment, however, the Dialogues on Epic Poetry only
augmented his fame.

Scipione Gonzaga, one of Tasso's firmest and most illustrious friends,
had recently established an Academy at Padua under the name of Gli
Eterei. At his invitation the young poet joined this club in the autumn
of 1564, assumed the title of Il Pentito in allusion to his desertion of
legal studies, and soon became the soul of its society. His dialogues
excited deep and wide-spread interest. After so much wrangling between
classical and romantic champions, he had transferred the contest to new
ground and introduced a fresh principle into the discussion. This
principle was, in effect, that of common sense, good taste and instinct.
Tasso meant to say: there is no vital discord between classical and
romantic art; both have excellences, and it is possible to find defects
in both; pedantic adherence to antique precedent must end in frigid
failure under the present conditions of intellectual culture; yet it
cannot be denied that the cycle of Renaissance poetry was closed by
Ariosto; let us therefore attempt creation in a liberal spirit, trained
by both these influences. He could not, however, when he put this theory
forward in elaborate prose, abstain from propositions, distinctions,
deductions, and conclusions, all of which were discutable, and each of
which his critics and his honor held him bound to follow. In short,
while planning and producing the _Gerusalemme_, he was involved in
controversies on the very essence of his art. These controversies had
been started by himself and he could not do otherwise than maintain the
position he had chosen. His poet's inspiration, his singer's
spontaneity, came thus constantly into collision with his own deliberate
utterances. A perplexed self-scrutiny was the inevitable result, which
pedagogues who were not inspired and could not sing, but who delighted
in minute discussion, took good care to stimulate. The worst, however,
was that he had erected in his own mind a critical standard with which
his genius was not in harmony. The scholar and the poet disagreed in
Tasso; and it must be reckoned one of the drawbacks of his age and
education that the former preceded the latter in development. Something
of the same discord can be traced in contemporary painting, as will be
shown when I come to consider the founders of the Bolognese Academy.

At the end of 1565 Tasso was withdrawn from literary studies and society
in Padua. The Cardinal Luigi d'Este offered him a place in his
household; and since this opened the way to Ferrara and Court-service,
it was readily accepted. It would have been well for Tasso, at this
crisis of his fate, if the line of his beloved Aeneid--

    Heu, fuge crudeles terras, fuge littus avarum--

that line which warned young Savonarola away from Ferrara, had sounded
in his ears, or met his eyes in some Virgilian _Sortes_. It would have
been well if his father, disillusioned by the _Amadigi's_ ill-success,
and groaning under the galling yoke of servitude to Princes, had
forbidden instead of encouraging this fatal step. He might himself have
listened to the words of old Speroni, painting the Court as he had
learned to know it, a Siren fair to behold and ravishing of song, but
hiding in her secret caves the bones of men devoured, and 'mighty poets
in their misery dead.' He might even have turned the pages of Aretino's
_Dialogo delle Corti_, and have observed how the ruffian who best could
profit by the vices of a Court, refused to bow his neck to servitude in
their corruption. But no man avoids his destiny, because few draw wisdom
from the past and none foresee the future. To Ferrara Tasso went with a
blithe heart. Inclination, the custom of his country, the necessities of
that poet's vocation for which he had abandoned a profession, poverty
and ambition, vanity and the delights of life, combined to lure him to
his ruin.

He found Ferrara far more magnificent than Urbino. Pageants, hunting
parties, theatrical entertainments, assumed fantastic forms of splendor
in this capital, which no other city of Italy, except Florence and
Venice upon rare occasions, rivaled. For a long while past Ferrara had
been the center of a semi-feudal, semi-humanistic culture, out of which
the Masque and Drama, music and painting, scholarship and poetry,
emerged with brilliant originality, blending mediaeval and antique
elements in a specific type of modern romance. This culminated in the
permanent and monumental work began by Boiardo in the morning, and
completed by Ariosto in the meridian of the Renaissance. Within the
circuit of the Court the whole life of the Duchy seemed to concentrate
itself. From the frontier of Venice to the Apennines a tract of fertile
country, yielding all necessaries of life, corn, wine, cattle, game,
fish, in abundance, poured its produce into the palaces and castles of
the Duke. He, like other Princes of his epoch, sucked each province dry
in order to maintain a dazzling show of artificial wealth. The people
were ground down by taxes, monopolies of corn and salt, and sanguinary
game-laws. Brutalized by being forced to serve the pleasures of their
masters, they lived the lives of swine. But why repaint the picture of
Italian decadence, or dwell again upon the fever of that phthisical
consumption? Men like Tasso saw nothing to attract attention in the
rotten state of Ferrara. They were only fascinated by the hectic bloom
and rouged refinement of its Court. And even the least sympathetic
student must confess that the Court at any rate was seductive. A more
cunningly combined medley of polite culture, political astuteness,
urbane learning, sumptuous display, diplomatic love-intrigue and genial
artistic productiveness, never before or since has been exhibited upon a
scale so grandiose within limits so precisely circumscribed, or been
raised to eminence so high from such inadequate foundations of
substantial wealth. Compare Ferrara in the sixteenth with Weimar in the
eighteenth century, and reflect how wonderfully the Italians even at
their last gasp understood the art of exquisite existence!

Alfonso II., who was always vainly trying to bless Ferrara with an heir,
had arranged his second sterile nuptials when Tasso joined the Court in
1565. It was therefore at a moment of more than usual parade of splendor
that the poet entered on the scene of his renown and his misfortune. He
was twenty-one years of age; and twenty-one years had to elapse before
he should quit Ferrara, ruined in physical and mental health,--_quantum
mutatus ab illo_ Torquato! The diffident and handsome stripling, famous
as the author of _Rinaldo_, was welcomed in person with special honors
by the Cardinal, his patron. Of such favors as Court-lacqueys prize,
Tasso from the first had plenty. He did not sit at the common table of
the serving gentlemen, but ate his food apart; and after a short
residence, the Princesses, sisters of the Duke, invited him to share
their meals. The next five years formed the happiest and most tranquil
period of his existence. He continued working at the poem which had then
no name, but which we know as the _Gerusalemme Liberata_. Envies and
jealousies had not arisen to mar the serenity in which he basked. Women
contended for his smiles and sonnets. He repaid their kindness with
somewhat indiscriminate homage and with the verses of occasion which
flowed so easily from his pen. It is difficult to trace the history of
Tasso's loves through the labyrinth of madrigals, odes and sonnets which
belong to this epoch of his life. These compositions bear, indeed, the
mark of a distinguished genius; no one but Tasso could have written them
at that period of Italian literature. Yet they lack individuality of
emotion, specific passion, insight into the profundities of human
feeling. Such shades of difference as we perceive in them, indicate the
rhetorician seeking to set forth his motive, rather than the lover
pouring out his soul. Contrary to the commonly received legend, I am
bound to record my opinion that love played a secondary part in Tasso's
destinies. It is true that we can discern the silhouettes of some
Court-ladies whom he fancied more than others. The first of these was
Laura Peperara, for whom he is supposed to have produced some sixty
compositions. The second was the Princess Leonora d'Este. Tasso's
attachment to her has been so shrouded in mystery, conjecture and
hair-splitting criticism, that none but a very rash man will pronounce
confident judgment as to its real nature. Nearly the same may be said
about his relations to her sister, Lucrezia. He has posed in literary
history as the Rizzio of the one lady and the Chastelard of the other.
Yet he was probably in no position at any moment of his Ferrarese
existence to be more than the familiar friend and most devoted slave of
either. When he joined the Court, Lucrezia was ten and Leonora nine
years his senior. Each of the sisters was highly accomplished, graceful
and of royal carriage. Neither could boast of eminent beauty. Of the
two, Lucrezia possessed the more commanding character. It was she who
left her husband, Francesco Maria della Rovere, because his society
wearied her, and who helped Clement VIII. to ruin her family, when the
Papacy resolved upon the conquest of Ferrara. Leonora's health was
sickly. For this reason she refused marriage, living retired in studies,
acts of charity, religion, and the company of intellectual men.
Something in her won respect and touched the heart at the same moment;
so that the verses in her honor, from whatever pen they flowed, ring
with more than merely ceremonial compliment. The people revered her like
a saint; and in times of difficulty she displayed high courage and the
gifts of one born to govern. From the first entrance of Tasso into
Ferrara, the sisters took him under their protection. He lived with them
on terms of more than courtly intimacy; and for Leonora there is no
doubt that he cherished something like a romantic attachment. This is
proved by the episode of Sofronia and Olindo in the _Gerusalemme_, which
points in carefully constructed innuendoes to his affection. It can
even be conceded that Tasso, who was wont to indulge fantastic visions
of unattainable greatness, may have raised his hopes so high as
sometimes to entertain the possibility of winning her hand. But if he
did dally with such dreams, the realities of his position must in sober
moments have convinced him of their folly. Had not a Duchess of Amalfi
been murdered for contracting a marriage with a gentleman of her
household? And Leonora was a grand-daughter of France; and the cordon of
royalty was being drawn tighter and tighter yearly in the Italy of his
day. That a sympathy of no commonplace kind subsisted between this
delicate and polished princess and her sensitively gifted poet, is
apparent. But it may be doubted whether Tasso had in him the stuff of a
grand passion. Mobile and impressible, he wandered from object to object
without seeking or attaining permanence. He was neither a Dante nor a
Petrarch; and nothing in his _Rime_ reveals solidity of emotion. It may
finally be said that had Leonora returned real love, or had Tasso felt
for her real love, his earnest wish to quit Ferrara when the Court grew
irksome, would be inexplicable. Had their _liaison_ been scandalous, as
some have fancied, his life would not have been worth two hours'
Purchase either in the palace or the prison of Alfonso.

Whatever may be thought of Tasso's love-relations to these sisters--and
the problem is open to all conjectures in the absence of clear
testimony--it is certain that he owed a great deal to their kindness.
The marked favor they extended to him, was worth much at Court: and
their maturer age and wider experience enabled them to give him many
useful hints of conduct. Thus, when he blundered into seeming rivalry
with Pigna (the Duke's secretary, the Cecil of that little state), by
praising Pigna's mistress, Lucrezia Bendidio, in terms of imprudent
warmth, it was Leonora who warned him to appease the great man's anger.
This he did by writing a commentary upon three of Pigna's leaden
Canzoni, which he had the impudence to rank beside the famous three
sisters of Petrarch's Canzoniere. The flattery was swallowed, and the
peril was averted. Yet in this first affair with Pigna we already hear
the grumbling of that tempest which eventually ruined Tasso. So eminent
a poet and so handsome a young man was insupportable among a crowd of
literary mediocrities and middle-aged gallants. Furthermore the
brilliant being, who aroused the jealousies of rhymesters and of lovers,
had one fatal failing--want of tact. In 1568, for example, he set
himself up as a target to all malice by sustaining fifty conclusions in
the Science of Love before the Academy of Ferrara. As he afterwards
confessed, he ran the greatest risks in this adventure; but who, he
said, could take up arms against a lover? Doubtless there were many
lovers present; but none of Tasso's eloquence and skill in argument.

In 1569, Tasso was called to his father's sickbed at Ostiglia on the Po.
He found the old man destitute and dying. There was not money to bury
him decently; and when the funeral rites had been performed by the help
of money-lenders, nothing remained to pay for a monument above his
graven What the Romans called _pietas_ was a strong feature in
Torquato's character. At crises of his life he invariably appealed to
the memory of his parents for counsel and support. When the Delia
Cruscans attacked his own poetry, he answered them with a defense of the
_Amadigi_; and he spent much time and pains in editing the _Floridante_,
which naught but filial feeling could possibly have made him value at
the worth of publication.

In the spring of the next year, Lucrezia d'Este made her inauspicious
match with the Duke of Urbino, Tasso's former playmate. She was a woman
of thirty-four, he a young man of twenty-one. They did not love each
other, had no children, and soon parted with a sense of mutual relief.
In the auturmn Tasso accompanied the Cardinal Luigi d'Este into France,
leaving his MSS. in the charge of Ercole Rondinelli. The document drawn
up for this friend's instructions in case of his death abroad is
interesting. It proves that the _Gerusalemme_, here called _Gottifredo_,
was nearly finished; for Tasso wished the last six cantos and portions
of the first two to be published. He also gave directions for collection
and publication of his lovesonnets and madrigals, but requested
Rondinelli to bury 'the others, whether of love or other matters which
were written in the service of some friend,' in his grave. This last
commission demands comment. That Tasso should have written verses to
oblige a friend, was not only natural but consistent with custom. Light
wares like sonnets could be easily produced by a practiced man of
letters, and the friend might find them valuable in bringing a fair foe
to terms. But why should any one desire to have such verses buried in
his grave? The hypothesis which has been strongly urged by those who
believe in the gravity of Tasso's _liaison_ with Leonora, is that he
used this phrase to indicate love-poems which might compromise his
mistress. We cannot, however, do more than speculate upon the point.
There is nothing to confirm or to refute conjecture in the evidence
before us.

Tasso met with his usual fortunes at the Court of Charles IX. That is to
say, he was petted and caressed, wrote verses, and paid compliments. It
was just two years before the Massacre of S. Bartholomew, and France
presented to the eyes of earnest Catholics the spectacle of truly
horrifying anarchy. Catherine de'Medici inclined to compromise matters
with the Huguenots. The social atmosphere reeked with heresy and
cynicism. In that Italianated Court, public affairs and religious
questions were treated from a purely diplomatic point of view. Not
principle, but practical convenience ruled conduct and opinion. The
large scale on which Machiavellism manifested itself in the discordant
realm of France, the apparent breakdown of Catholicism as a national
institution, struck Tasso with horror. He openly proclaimed his views,
and roundly taxed the government with dereliction of their duty to the
Church. An incurable idealist by temperament, he could not comprehend
the stubborn actualities of politics. A pupil of the Jesuits, he would
not admit that men like Coligny deserved a hearing. An Italian of the
decadence, he found it hard to tolerate the humors of a puissant nation
in a state of civil warfare. But his master, Luigi d'Este, well
understood the practical difficulties which forced the Valois into
compromise, and felt no personal aversion for lucrative transaction with
the heretic. Though a prince of the Church, he had not taken priest's
orders. He kept two objects in view. One was succession to the Duchy of
Ferrara, in case Alfonso should die without heirs.[10]

[Footnote 10: Cardinal Ferdinando de'Medici succeeded in a like position
to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. But Luigi d'Este did not survive his

The other was election to the Papacy. In the latter event France, the
natural ally of the Estensi, would be of service to him, and the Valois
monarchs, his cousins, must therefore be supported in their policy.
Tasso had been brought to Paris to look graceful and to write madrigals.
It was inconvenient, it was unseemly, that a man of letters in the
Cardinal's train should utter censures on the Crown, and should profess
more Catholic opinions than his patron. Without the scandal of a public
dismissal, it was therefore contrived that Tasso should return to Italy;
and after this rupture, the suspicious poet regarded Luigi d'Este as his
enemy. During his confinement in S. Anna he even threw the chief blame
of his detention upon the Cardinal.[11]

After spending a short time at Rome in the company of the Cardinals
Ippolito d'Este and Albano, Tasso returned to Ferrara in 1572. Alfonso
offered him a place in his own household with an annual stipend worth
about 88 _l_. of our money. No duties were attached to this post, except
the delivery of a weekly lecture in the university. For the rest, Tasso
was to prosecute his studies, polish his great poem, and augment the
luster of the court by his accomplishments.[12] It was of course
understood that the _Gerusalemme_, when completed, should be dedicated
to the Duke and shed its splendor on the House of Este. Who was happier
than Torquato now? Having recently experienced the discomforts of
uncongenial service, he took his place again upon a firmer footing in
the city of his dreams. The courtiers welcomed him with smiles. He was
once more close to Leonora, basking like Rinaldo in Armida's garden,
with golden prospects of the fame his epic would achieve to lift him
higher in the coming years.

[Footnote 11: See _Lettere_, vol. ii. p. 80: to Giacomo Buoncompagno.]

[Footnote 12: 'Egli mi disse, allor che suo mi fece: Tu canta, or che
se' 'n ozio.']

No wonder that the felicity of this moment expanded in a flower of
lyric beauty which surpassed all that Tasso had yet published. He
produced _Aminta_ in the winter of 1572-3. It was acted with
unparalleled applause; for this pastoral drama offered something
ravishingly new, something which interpreted and gave a vocal utterance
to tastes and sentiments that ruled the age. While professing to exalt
the virtues of rusticity, the _Aminta_ was in truth a panegyric of Court
life, and Silvia reflected Leonora in the magic mirror of languidly
luxurious verse. Poetry melted into music. Emotion exhaled itself in
sensuous harmony. The art of the next two centuries, the supreme art of
song, of words subservient to musical expression, had been indicated.
This explains the sudden and extraordinary success of the _Aminta_. It
was nothing less than the discovery of a new realm, the revelation of a
specific faculty which made its author master of the heart of Italy. The
very lack of concentrated passion lent it power. Its suffusion of
emotion in a shimmering atmosphere toned with voluptuous melancholy,
seemed to invite the lutes and viols, the mellow tenors, and the trained
soprano voices of the dawning age of melody. We may here remember that
Palestrina, seven years earlier in Rome, had already given his Mass of
Pope Marcello to the world.

Lucrezia d'Este, now Duchess of Urbino, who was anxious to share the
raptures of _Aminta_, invited Tasso to Pesaro in the summer of 1573,
and took him with her to the mountain villa of Casteldurante. She was an
unhappy wife, just on the point of breaking her irksome bonds of
matrimony. Tasso, if we may credit the deductions which have been drawn
from passages in his letters, had the privilege of consoling the
disappointed woman and of distracting her tedious hours. They roamed
together through the villa gardens, and spent days of quiet in the
recesses of her apartments. He read aloud passages from his unpublished
poem, and composed sonnets in her honor, praising the full-blown beauty
of the rose as lovelier than its budding charm. The duke her husband,
far from resenting this intimacy, heaped favors and substantial gifts
upon his former comrade. He had not, indeed, enough affection for his
wife to be jealous of her. Yet it is indubitable that if he had
suspected her of infidelity the Italian code of honor would have
compelled him to make short work with Tasso.[13]

[Footnote 13: This is how he wrote in his Diary about Lucrezia. 'Finally
the Duke decided upon his marriage with Donna Lucrezia d'Este, which
took place, though little to his taste, for she was old enough to have
been his mother.' 'The Duchess wished to return to Ferrara, where she
subsequently chose to remain, a resolution which gave no annoyance to
her husband; for, as she was unlikely to bring him a family, her absence
mattered little.' 'February 15, 1598. Heard that Madame Lucrezia d'Este,
Duchess of Urbino, my wife, died at Ferrara during the night of the
11th.' (Dennistoun's _Dukes of Urbino_, vol. iii. pp. 127, 146, 156.)
Francesco Maria had been attached in Spain to a lady of unsuitable
condition, and his marriage with Lucrezia was arranged to keep him out
of a _mésalliance_.]

Meanwhile it seemed as though Leonora had been forgotten by her servant.
We possess one letter written to her from Casteldurante on September 3,
1573, in which he encloses a sonnet, disparaging it by comparison with
those which he believes she has been receiving from another poet
(Guarino probably), and saying that, though the verses were written, not
for himself, but 'at the requisition of a poor lover, who, having been
for some while angry with his lady, now is forced to yield and crave for
pardon,' yet he hopes that they 'will effect the purpose he
desires.'[14] Few of Tasso's letters to Leonora have survived. This,
therefore, is a document of much importance; and it is difficult to
resist the conclusion that he was indirectly begging Leonora to forgive
him for some piece of petulance or irritation. At any rate, his position
between the two princesses at this moment was one of delicacy, in which
a less vain and more cautious man than Tasso might have found it hard to
keep his head cool.

[Footnote 14: _Lettere_, vol. i, p. 47. The sonnet begins, 'Sdegno,
debil guerrier.']

Up to the present time his life had been, in spite of poverty and
domestic misfortunes, one almost uninterrupted career of triumph. But
his fiber had been relaxed in the irresponsible luxurious atmosphere of
Courts, and his self-esteem had been inflated by the honors paid to him
as the first poet of his age in Europe. Moreover, he had been
continuously over-worked and over-wrought from childhood onwards. Now,
when he returned to Ferrara with the Duchess of Urbino at the age of
twenty-nine, it remained to be seen whether he could support himself
with stability upon the slippery foundation of princely favor, whether
his health would hold out, and whether he would be able to bring the
publication of his long expected poem to a successful issue.

In 1574 he accompanied Duke Alfonso to Venice, and witnessed the
magnificent reception of Henri III, on his return from Poland. A fever,
contracted during those weeks of pleasure, prevented him from working at
the epic for many months. This is the first sign of any serious failure
in Tasso's health. At the end of August 1574, however, the _Gerusalemme_
was finished, and in the following February he began sending the MS. to
Scipione Gonzaga at Rome. So much depended on its success, that doubts
immediately rose within its author's mind. Will it fulfill the
expectation raised in every Court and literary coterie of Italy? Will it
bear investigation in the light of the Dialogues on Epic Poetry? Will
the Church be satisfied with its morality; the Holy Office with its
doctrine? None of these diffidences assailed Tasso when he flung
_Aminta_ negligently forth and found he had produced a masterpiece. It
would have been well for him if he had turned a deaf ear to the doubting
voice on this occasion also. But he was not of an independent character
to start with; and his life had made him sensitively deferent to
literary opinion. Therefore, in an evil hour, yielding to Gonzaga's
advice, he resolved to submit the _Gerusalemme_ in MS. to four
censors--Il Borga, Flaminio de'Nobili, vulpine Speroni with his
poisoned fang of pedantry, precise Antoniano with his inquisitorial
prudery. They were to pass their several criticisms on the plot,
characters, diction, and ethics of the _Gerusalemme_; Tasso was to
entertain and weigh their arguments, reserving the right of following or
rejecting their advice, but promising to defend his own views. To the
number of this committee he shortly after added three more scholars,
Francesco Piccolomini, Domenico Veniero, and Celio Magno.[15] Not to
have been half maddened by these critics would have proved Tasso more or
less than human. They picked holes in the structure of the epic, in its
episodes, in its theology, in its incidents, in its language, in its
title. One censor required one alteration, and another demanded the
contrary. This man seemed animated by an acrid spite; that veiled his
malice in the flatteries of candid friendship. Antoniano was for cutting
out the love passages: Armida, Sofronia, Erminia, Clorinda, were to
vanish or to be adapted to conventual proprieties. It seemed to him more
than doubtful whether the enchanted forest did not come within the
prohibitions of the Tridentine decrees. As the revision advanced,
matters grew more serious. Antoniano threw out some decided hints of
ecclesiastical displeasure; Tasso, reading between the lines, scented
the style of the Collegium Germanicum.

[Footnote 15: Tasso consulted almost every scholar he could press into
his service. But the official tribunal of correction was limited to the
above named four acting in concert with Scipione Gonzaga.]

Speroni spoke openly of plagiarism--plagiarism from himself
forsooth!--and murmured the terrible words between his teeth, 'Tasso is
mad!' He was in fact driven wild, and told his tormentors that he would
delay the publication of the epic, perhaps for a year, perhaps for his
whole life, so little hope had he of its success.[16] At last he
resolved to compose an allegory to explain and moralize the poem. When
he wrote the _Gerusalemme_ he had no thought of hidden meanings; but
this seemed the only way of preventing it from being dismembered by
hypocrites and pedants.[17] The expedient proved partially successful.
When Antoniano and his friends were bidden to perceive a symbol in the
enchanted wood and other marvels, a symbol in the loves of heroines and
heroes, a symbol even in Armida, they relaxed their wrath. The
_Gerusalemme_ might possibly pass muster now before the Congregation of
the Index. Tasso's correspondence between March 1575 and July 1576 shows
what he suffered at the hands of his revisers, and helps to explain the
series of events which rendered the autumn of that latter year
calamitous for him.[18] There are, indeed, already indications in the
letters of those months that his nerves, enfeebled by the quartan fever
under which he labored, and exasperated by carping or envious criticism,
were overstrung.

[Footnote 16: _Lettere_, vol. i. p. 114.]

[Footnote 17: _Ib_. vol. i. p. 192.]

[Footnote 18: Vol. i. pp. 55-215.]

Suspicions began to invade his mind. He complained of headache. His
spirits alternated between depression and hysterical gayety. A dread
lest the Inquisition should refuse the imprimatur to his poem haunted
him. He grew restless, and yearned for change of scene.

The events of 1575, 1576, and 1577 require to be minutely studied: for
upon our interpretation of them must depend the theory which we hold of
Tasso's subsequent misfortunes. It appears that early in the year 1575
he was becoming discontented with Ferrara. A party in the Court, led by
Pigna, did their best to make his life there disagreeable. They were
jealous of the poet's fame, which shone with trebled splendor after the
production of _Aminta_. Tasso's own behavior provoked, if it did not
exactly justify their animosity. He treated men at least his equals in
position with haughtiness, which his irritable temper rendered
insupportable. We have it from his own pen that 'he could not bear to
live in a city where the nobles did not yield him the first place, or at
least admit him to absolute equality'; that 'he expected to be adored by
friends, served by serving-men, caressed by domestics, honored by
masters, celebrated by poets, and pointed out by all.'[19]

[Footnote 19: _Lettere_, vol. iii. p. 41, iv. p. 332.]

He admitted that it was his habit 'to build castles in the air of
honors, favors, gifts and graces, showered on him by emperors and kings
and mighty princes'; that 'the slightest coldness from a patron seemed
to him a tacit act of dismissal, or rather an open act of
violence.'[20] His blood, he argued, placed him on a level with the
aristocracy of Italy; but his poetry lifted him far above the vulgar
herd of noblemen. At the same time, while claiming so much, he
constantly declared himself unfit for any work or office but literary
study, and expressed his opinion that princes ought to be his
tributaries.[21] Though such pretensions may not have been openly
expressed at this period of his life, it cannot be doubted that Tasso's
temper made him an unpleasant comrade in Court-service. His
sensitiveness, as well as the actual slenderness of his fortunes,
exposed him only too obviously to the malevolent tricks and petty
bullyings of rivals. One knows what a boy of that stamp has to suffer at
public schools, and a Court is after all not very different from an

Such being the temper of his mind, Tasso at this epoch turned his
thoughts to bettering himself, as servants say. His friend Scipione
Gonzaga pointed out that both the Cardinal de'Medici and the Grand Duke
of Tuscany would be glad to welcome him as an ornament of their
households. Tasso nibbled at the bait all through the summer; and in
November, under the pretext of profiting by the Jubilee, he traveled to
Rome. This journey, as he afterwards declared, was the beginning of his
ruin.[22] It was certainly one of the principal steps which led to the
prison of S. Anna.

[Footnote 20: _Lettere_, vol. iii. p. 164, v. p. 6.]

[Footnote 21: _Ib._ vol. iii. pp. 85, 86, 88, 163, iv. pp. 8, 166, v. p.

[Footnote 22: Letter to Fabio Gonzaga in 1590 (vol. iv. p. 296).]

There were many reasons why Alfonso should resent Tasso's entrance into
other service at this moment. The House of Este had treated him with
uniform kindness. The Cardinal, the duke and the princesses had
severally marked him out by special tokens of esteem. In return they
expected from him the honors of his now immortal epic. That he should
desert them and transfer the dedication of the _Gerusalemme_ to the
Medici, would have been nothing short of an insult; for it was notorious
that the Estensi and the Medici were bitter foes, not only on account of
domestic disagreements and political jealousies, but also because of the
dispute about precedence in their titles which had agitated Italian
society for some time past. In his impatience to leave Ferrara, Tasso
cast prudence to the winds, and entered into negotiations with the
Cardinal de'Medici in Rome. When he traveled northwards at the beginning
of 1576, he betook himself to Florence. What passed between him and the
Grand Duke is not apparent. Yet he seems to have still further
complicated his position by making political disclosures which were
injurious to the Duke of Ferrara. Nor did he gain anything by the offer
of his services and his poem to Francesco de'Medici. In a letter of
February 4, 1576, the Grand Duke wrote that the Florentine visit of that
fellow, 'whether to call him a mad or an amusing and astute spirit, I
hardly know,'[23] had been throughout a ridiculous affair; and that
nothing could be less convenient than his putting the _Gerusalemme_ up
to auction among princes. One year later, he said bluntly that 'he did
not want to have a madman at his Court.'[24] Thus Tasso, like his
father, discovered that a noble poem, the product of his best pains, had
but small substantial value. It might, indeed, be worth something to the
patron who paid a yearly exhibition to its author; but it was not a gem
of such high price as to be wrangled for by dukes who had the cares of
state upon their shoulders. He compromised himself with the Estensi, and
failed to secure a retreat in Florence.

[Footnote 23: _Lettere_, vol. iii. p. viii.]

Meanwhile his enemies at Ferrara were not idle. Pigna had died in the
preceding November. But Antonio Montecatino, who succeeded him as ducal
secretary, proved even a more malicious foe, and poisoned Alfonso's mind
against the unfortunate poet. The two princesses still remained his
faithful friends, until Tasso's own want of tact alienated the
sympathies of Leonora. When he returned in 1576, he found the beautiful
Eleonora Sanvitale, Countess of Scandiano, at Court. Whether he really
fell in love with her at first sight, or pretended to do so in order to
revive Leonora d'Este's affection by jealousy, is uncertain.[25] At any
rate he paid the countess such marked attentions, and wrote for her and
a lady of her suite such splendid poetry, that all Ferrara rang with
this amour. A sonnet in Tasso's handwriting, addressed to Leonora d'Este
and commented by her own pen, which even Guasti, no credulous believer
in the legend of the poet's love, accepts as genuine, may be taken as
affording proof that the princess was deeply wounded by her servant's

[Footnote 24: _Lettere_, vol. iii. p. xxx. note 34.]

[Footnote 25: Guarino, in a sonnet, hinted at the second supposition.
See Rosini's _Saggio sugli Amori_, &c. vol. xxxiii. of his edition of
Tasso, p. 51.]

[Footnote 26: _Lettere_, vol. iii. p. xxxi.]

It is obvious that, though Tasso's letters at this period show no signs
of a diseased mind, his conduct began to strike outsiders as insane.
Francesco de'Medici used the plain words _matto_ and _pazzo_. The
courtiers of Ferrara, some in pity, some in derision, muttered 'Madman,'
when he passed. And he spared no pains to prove that he was losing
self-control. In the month of January 1577, he was seized with scruples
of faith, and conceived the notion that he ought to open his mind to the
Holy Office. Accordingly, he appeared before the Inquisitor of Bologna,
who after hearing his confession, bade him be of good cheer, for his
self-accusations were the outcome of a melancholy humor. Tasso was, in
fact, a Catholic molded by Jesuit instruction in his earliest childhood;
and though, like most young students, he had speculated on the
groundwork of theology and metaphysic, there was no taint of heresy or
disobedience to the Church in his nature. The terror of the Inquisition
was a morbid nightmare, first implanted in his mind by the experience of
his father's collision with the Holy Office, enforced by Antoniano's
strictures on his poem, and justified to some extent by the sinister
activity of the institution which had burned a Carnesecchi and a
Paleario. However it grew up, this fancy that he was suspected as a
heretic took firm possession of his brain, and subsequently formed a
main feature of his mental disease. It combined with the suspiciousness
which now became habitual. He thought that secret enemies were in the
habit of forwarding delations against him to Rome.

All through these years (1575-1577) his enemies drew tighter cords
around him. They were led and directed by Montecatino, the omnipotent
persecutor, and hypocritical betrayer. In his heedlessness Tasso left
books and papers loose about his rooms. These, he had good reason to
suppose, were ransacked in his absence. There follows a melancholy tale
of treacherous friends, dishonest servants, false keys, forged
correspondence, scraps and fragments of imprudent compositions pieced
together and brought forth to incriminate him behind his back. These
arts were employed all through the year which followed his return to
Ferrara in 1576. But they reached their climax in the spring of 1577. He
had lost his prestige, and every servant might insult him, and every cur
snap at his heels. Even the _Gerusalemme_, became an object of derision.
It transpired that the revisers, to whom he had confided it, were
picking the poem to pieces; ignoramuses who could not scan a line, went
about parroting their pedantries and strictures. At the beginning of
1576 Tasso had begged Alfonso to give him the post of historiographer
left vacant by Pigna. It was his secret hope that this would be refused,
and that so he would obtain a good excuse for leaving Ferrara.[27] But
the duke granted his request. In the autumn of that year, one of the
band of his tormentors, Maddalò de'Frecci, betrayed some details of his
love-affairs. What these were we do not know. Tasso resented the insult,
and gave the traitor a box on the ears in the courtyard of the castle.
Maddalò and his brothers, after this, attacked Tasso on the piazza, but
ran away before they reached him with their swords. They were outlawed
for the outrage, and the duke of Ferrara, still benignant to his poet,
sent him a kind message by one of his servants. This incident weighed on
Tasso's memory. The terror of the Inquisition blended now with two new
terrors. He conceived that his exiled foes were plotting to poison him.
He wondered whether Maddalò's revelations had reached the duke's ears,
and if so, whether Alfonso would not inflict sudden vengeance. There is
no sufficient reason, however, to surmise that Tasso's conscience was
really burdened with a guilty secret touching Leonora d'Este. On the
contrary, everything points to a different conclusion. His mind was
simply giving way. Just as he conjured up the ghastly specter of the
Inquisition, so he fancied that the duke would murder him. Both the
Inquisition and the duke were formidable; but the Holy Office mildly
told him to set his morbid doubts at rest, and the duke on a subsequent
occasion coldly wrote: 'I know he thinks I want to kill him. But if
indeed I did so, it would be easy enough.' The duke, in fact, had no
sufficient reason and no inclination to tread upon this insect.

[Footnote 27: _Lettere_, vol. i. p. 139.]

In June 1577, the crisis came. On the seventeenth evening of the month
Tasso was in the apartments of the Duchess of Urbino. He had just been
declaiming on the subject of his imaginary difficulties with the
Inquisition, when something in the manner of a servant who passed by
aroused his suspicion. He drew a knife upon the man--like Hamlet in his
mother's bedchamber. He was immediately put under arrest, and confined
in a room of the castle. Next day Maffeo Veniero wrote thus to the Grand
Duke of Tuscany about the incident. 'Yesterday Tasso was imprisoned for
having drawn a knife upon a servant in the apartment of the Duchess of
Urbino. The intention has been to stay disorder and to cure him, rather
than to inflict punishment. He suffers under peculiar delusions,
believing himself guilty of heresy and dreading poison; which state of
mind arises, I incline to think, from melancholic blood forced in upon
the heart and vaporing to the brain. A wretched case, in truth,
considering his great parts and his goodness!'[28]

Tasso was soon released, and taken by the duke his villa of Belriguardo.
Probably this excursion was designed to soothe the perturbed spirits of
the poet. But it may also have had a different object. Alfonso may have
judged it prudent to sift the information laid before him by Tasso's
enemies. We do not know what passed between them. Whether moral pressure
was applied, resulting in the disclosure of secrets compromising Leonora
d'Este, cannot now be ascertained; nor is it worth while to discuss the
hypothesis that the Duke, in order to secure his family's honor, imposed
on Tasso the obligation of feigning madness.[29] There is a something
not entirely elucidated, a sediment of mystery in Tasso's fate, after
this visit to Belriguardo, which criticism will not neglect to notice,
but which no testing, no clarifying process of study, has hitherto
explained. All we can rely upon for certain is that Alfonso sent him
back to Ferrara to be treated physically and spiritually for
derangement; and that Tasso thought his life was in danger. He took up
his abode in the Convent of S. Francis, submitted to be purged, and
began writing eloquent letters to his friends and patrons.

[Footnote 28: _Lettere_, vol. i. p. 228.]

[Footnote 29: This is Rosini's hypothesis in the Essay cited above. The
whole of his elaborate and ingenious theory rests upon the supposition
that Alfonso at Belriguardo extorted from Tasso an acknowledgment of his
_liaison_ Leonora, and spared his life on the condition of his playing a
fool's part before the world. But we have no evidence whatever adequate
to support the supposition.]

Those which he addressed to the Duke of Ferrara at this crisis, weigh
naturally heaviest in the scale of criticism.[30] They turn upon his
dread of the Inquisition, his fear of poison, and his diplomatic
practice with Florence. While admitting 'faults of grave importance' and
'vacillation in the service of his prince,' he maintains that his secret
foes have exaggerated these offenses, and have succeeded in prejudicing
the magnanimous and clement spirit of Alfonso. He is particularly
anxious about the charge of heresy. Nothing indicates that any guilt of
greater moment weighed upon his conscience.[31] After scrutinizing all
accessible sources of information, we are thus driven to accept the
prosaic hypothesis that Tasso was deranged, and that his Court-rivals
had availed themselves of a favorable opportunity for making the duke
sensible of his insanity.

After the middle of July, the Convent of S. Francis became intolerable
to Tasso. His malady had assumed the form of a multiplex fear, which
never afterwards relaxed its hold on his imagination. The Inquisition,
the duke, the multitude of secret enemies plotting murder, haunted him
day and night like furies. He escaped, and made his way, disguised in a
peasant's costume, avoiding cities, harboring in mountain hamlets, to

[Footnote 30: _Lettere_, vol. i. 257-262.]

[Footnote 31: Those who adhere to the belief that all Tasso's troubles
came upon him through his _liaison_ with Leonora, are here of course
justified in arguing that on _this_ point he could not write openly to
the Duke. Or they may question the integrity of the document.]

Manos, who wrote the history of Tasso's life in the spirit of a
novelist, has painted for us a romantic picture of the poet in a
shepherd's hut.[32] It recalls Erminia among the pastoral people.
Indeed, the interest of that episode in the _Gerusalemme_ is heightened
by the fact that its ill-starred author tested the reality of his
creation ofttimes in the course of this pathetic pilgrimage. Artists of
the Bolognese Academy have placed Erminia on their canvases. But, up to
the present time, I know of no great painter who has chosen the more
striking incident of Tasso exchanging his Court-dress for sheepskin and
a fustian jacket in the smoky cottage at Velletri.

He reached Sorrento safely--'that most enchanting region, which at all
times offers a delightful sojourn to men and to the Muses; but at the
warm season of the year, when other places are intolerable, affords
peculiar solace in the verdure of its foliage, the shadow of its woods,
the lightness of the fanning airs, the freshness of the limpid waters
flowing from impendent hills, the fertile expanse of tilth, the serene
air, the tranquil sea, the fishes and the birds and savory fruits in
marvelous variety; all which delights compose a garden for the intellect
and senses, planned by Nature in her rarest mood, and perfected by art
with most consummate curiosity.'[33] Into this earthly paradise the
wayworn pilgrim entered.

[Footnote 32: Rosini's edition of Tasso, vol. xxx. p. 144.]

[Footnote 33: Manso, _ib._ p. 46.]

It was his birthplace; and here his sister still dwelt with her
children. Tasso sought Cornelia's home. After a dramatic scene of
suspense, he threw aside his disguise, declared himself to be the poet
of Italy and her brother; and for a short while he seemed to forget
Courts and schools, pedants and princes, in that genial atmosphere.

Why did he ever leave Sorrento? That is the question which leaps to the
lips of a modern free man. The question itself implies imperfect
comprehension of Tasso's century and training. Outside the Court, there
was no place for him. He had been molded for Court-life from childhood.
It was not merely that he had no money; assiduous labor might have
supplied him with means of subsistence. But his friends, his fame, his
habits, his ingrained sense of service, called him back to Ferrara. He
was not simply a man, but that specific sort of man which Italians
called _gentiluomo_--a man definitely modified and wound about with
intricacies of association. Therefore, he soon began a correspondence
with the House of Este. If we may trust Manso, Leonora herself wrote
urgently insisting upon his return.[34] Yet in his own letters Tasso
says that he addressed apologies to the duke and both princesses.
Alfonso and Lucrezia vouchsafed no answer. Leonora replied coldly that
she could not help him.[35]

[Footnote 34: Manso, _ib._ p. 147.]

[Footnote 35: _Lettere_, vol. i. p. 275.]

Anyhow, Ferrara drew him back. It is of some importance here to
understand Tasso's own feeling for the duke, his master. A few months
later, after he had once more experienced the miseries of Court-life,
he wrote: 'I trusted in him, not as one hopes in men but as one trusts
in God.... I was inflamed with the affection for my lord more than ever
was man with the love of woman, and became unawares half an idolater....
He it was who from the obscurity of my low fortunes raised me to the
light and reputation of the Court; who relieved me from discomforts, and
placed me in a position of honorable ease; he conferred value on my
compositions by listening to them when I read them, and by every mark of
favor; he deigned to honor me with a seat at his table and with his
familiar conversation; he never refused a favor which I begged for;
lastly, at the commencement of my troubles, he showed me the affection,
not of a master, but of a father and a brother.'[36] These words, though
meant for publication, have the ring of truth in them. Tasso was
actually attached to the House of Este, and cherished a vassal's loyalty
for the duke, in spite of the many efforts which he made to break the
fetters of Ferrara. At a distance, in the isolation and the ennui of a
village, the irksomeness of those chains was forgotten. The poet only
remembered how sweet his happier years at Court had been. The sentiment
of fidelity revived. His sanguine and visionary temperament made him
hope that all might yet be well.

Without receiving direct encouragement from the duke, Tasso accordingly
decided on returning.

[Footnote 36: _Lettere_, vol. i. p. 278, ii. p. 26.]

His sister is said to have dissuaded him; and he is reported to have
replied that he was going to place himself in a voluntary prison.[37] He
first went to Rome, and opened negotiations with Alfonso's agents. In
reply to their communications, the duke wrote upon March 22, 1578, as
follows: 'We are content to take Tasso back; but first he must recognize
the fact that he is full of melancholic humors, and that his old notions
of enmities and persecutions are solely caused by the said humors. Among
other signs of his disorder, he has conceived the idea that we want to
compass his death, whereas we have always received him gladly and shown
favor to him. It can easily be understood that if we had entertained
such a fancy, the execution of it would have presented no difficulty.
Therefore let him make his mind up well, before he comes, to submit
quietly and unconditionally to medical treatment. Otherwise, if he means
to scatter hints and words again as he did formerly, we shall not only
give ourselves no further trouble about him, but if he should stay here
without being willing to undergo a course of cure, we shall at once
expel him from our state with the order not to return.'[38] Words could
not be plainer than these. Yet, in spite of them, such was the
allurement of the cage for this clipped singing-bird, that Tasso went
obediently back to Ferrara. Possibly he had not read the letter written
by a greater poet on a similar occasion: 'This is not the way of coming
home, my father! Yet if you or others find one not beneath the fame of
Dante and his honor, that will I pursue with no slack step. But if none
such give entrance to Florence, I will never enter Florence. How! Shall
I not behold the sun and stars from every spot of earth? Shall I not be
free to meditate the sweetest truths in every place beneath the sky
unless I make myself ignoble, nay, ignominious to the people and the
state of Florence? Nor truly will bread fail.' These words, if Tasso had
remembered them, might have made his cheek blush for his own servility
and for the servile age in which he lived. But the truth is that the
fleshpots of Egyptian bondage enticed him; and moreover he knew, as
half-insane people always know, that he required treatment for his
mental infirmities. In his heart of hearts he acknowledged the justice
of the duke's conditions.

[Footnote 37: Manso, p. 147. Here again the believers in the Leonora
_liaison_ may argue that by prison he meant love-bondage, hopeless
servitude to the lady from whom he could expect nothing now that her
brother was acquainted with the truth.]

[Footnote 38: _Lettere_, vol. i. p. 233.]

An Epistle or Oration addressed by Tasso to the Duke of Urbino, sets
forth what happened after his return to Ferrara in 1578.[39]

[Footnote 39: _Lettere_, i. pp. 271-290.]

He was aware that Alfonso thought him both malicious and mad. The first
of these opinions, which he knew to be false, he resolved to pass in
silence. But he openly admitted the latter, 'esteeming it no disgrace to
make a third to Solon and Brutus.' Therefore he began to act the madman
even in Rome, neglecting his health, exposing himself to hardships, and
indulging intemperately in food and wine. By these means, strange as it
may seem, he hoped to win back confidence and prove himself a discreet
servant of Alfonso. Soon after reaching Ferrara, Tasso thought that he
was gaining ground. He hints that the duke showed signs of raising him
to such greatness and showering favors upon him so abundant that the
sleeping viper of Court envy stirred. Montecatino now persuaded his
master that prudence and his own dignity indicated a very different line
of treatment. If Tasso was to be great and honored, he must feel that
his reputation flowed wholly from the princely favor, not from his
studies and illustrious works. Alfonso accordingly affected to despise
the poems which Tasso presented, and showed his will that: 'I should
aspire to no eminence of intellect, to no glory of literature, but
should lead a soft delicate and idle life immersed in sloth and
pleasure, escaping like a runaway from the honor of Parnassus, the
Lyceum and the Academy, into the lodgings of Epicurus, and should harbor
in those lodgings in a quarter where neither Virgil nor Catullus nor
Horace nor Lucretius himself had ever stayed.' This excited such
indignation in the poet's breast that: 'I said oftentimes with open face
and free speech that I would rather be a servant of any prince his enemy
than submit to this indignity, and in short _odia verbis aspera movi_.'
Whereupon, the duke caused his papers to be seized, in order that the
still imperfect epic might be prepared for publication by the hated
hypocritical Montecatino. When Tasso complained, he only received
indirect answers; and when he tried to gain access to the princesses, he
was repulsed by their doorkeepers. At last: 'My infinite patience was
exhausted. Leaving my books and writings, after the service of thirteen
years, persisted in with luckless constancy, I wandered forth like a new
Bias, and betook myself to Mantua, where I met with the same treatment
as at Ferrara.'

This account sufficiently betrays the diseased state of Tasso's mind.
Being really deranged, yet still possessed of all his literary
faculties, he affected that his eccentricity was feigned. The duke had
formed a firm opinion of his madness; and he chose to flatter this whim.
Yet when he arrived at Ferrara he forgot the strict conditions upon
which Alfonso sanctioned his return, began to indulge in dreams of
greatness, and refused the life of careless ease which formed part of
the programme for his restoration to health. In these circumstances he
became the laughing-stock of his detractors; and it is not impossible
that Alfonso, convinced of his insanity, treated him like a Court-fool.
Then he burst out into menaces and mutterings of anger. Having made
himself wholly intolerable, his papers were sequestrated, very likely
under the impression that he might destroy them or escape with them into
some quarter where they would be used against the interests of his
patron. Finally he so fatigued everybody by his suspicions and
recriminations that the duke forebore to speak with him, and the
princesses closed their doors against him.

From this moment Tasso was a ruined man; he had become that worst of
social scourges, a courtier with a grievance, a semi-lunatic all the
more dangerous and tiresome because his mental powers were not so much
impaired as warped. Studying his elaborate apology, we do not know
whether to despise the obstinacy of his devotion to the House of Este,
or to respect the sentiment of loyalty which survived all real or
fancied insults. Against the duke he utters no word of blame. Alfonso is
always magnanimous and clement, excellent in mind and body, good and
courteous by nature, deserving the faithful service and warm love of his
dependents. Montecatino is the real villain. 'The princes are not
tyrants--they are not, no, no: he is the tyrant.'[40]

After quitting Ferrara, Tasso wandered through Mantua, Padua, Venice,
coldly received in all these cities; for 'the hearts of men were
hardened by their interests against him.' Writing from Venice to the
Grand Duke in July, Maffeo Veniero says: 'Tasso is here, disturbed in
mind; and though his intellect is certainly not sound, he shows more
signs of affliction than of insanity.'[41]

[Footnote 40: _Lettere_, ibid. p. 289.]

[Footnote 41: _Lettere_, ibid. p. 233.]

The sequestration of his only copy of the _Gerusalemme_ not unnaturally
caused him much distress; and Veniero adds that the chief difficulty
under which he labored was want of money. Veniero hardly understood the
case. Even with a competence it is incredible that Tasso would have been
contented to work quietly at literature in a private position.[42] From
Venice he found his way southward to Urbino, writing one of his
sublimest odes upon the road from Pesaro.[43]

[Footnote 42: Tasso declares his inability to live outside the Court.
'Se fra i mali de l'animo, uno de'più gravi è l'ambizione, egli ammalò
di questo male già molti anni sono, nè mai è risanato in modo ch'io
abbia potuto sprezzare affatto i favori e gli onori del mondo, e chi può
dargli' (_Lettere_, vol. iii. p. 56). 'Io non posso acquetarmi in altra
fortuna di quella ne la quale già nacqui' (_Ibid._ p. 243).]

[Footnote 43: It is addressed to the Metaurus, and begins: 'O del grand,

Francesco Maria della Rovere received him with accustomed kindness; but
the spirit of unrest drove him forth again, and after two months we find
him once more, an indigent and homeless pedestrian, upon the banks of
the Sesia. He wanted to reach Vercelli, but the river was in flood, and
he owed a night's lodging to the chance courtesy of a young nobleman.
Among the many picturesque episodes in Tasso's wanderings none is more
idyllically beautiful than the tale of his meeting with this handsome
youth. He has told it himself in the exordium to his Dialogue _Il Padre
di Famiglia_. When asked who he was and whither he was going, he
answered: 'I was born in the realm of Naples, and my mother was a
Neapolitan; but I draw my paternal blood from Bergamo, a Lombard city.
My name and surname I pass in silence: they are so obscure that if I
uttered them, you would know neither more nor less of my condition. I am
flying from the anger of a prince and fortune. My destination is the
state of Savoy.' Upon this pilgrimage Tasso chose the sobriquet of
_Omero Fuggiguerra_. Arriving at Turin, he was refused entrance by the
guardians of the gate. The rags upon his back made them suspect he was a
vagabond infected with the plague. A friend who knew him, Angelo
Ingegneri, happened to pass by, and guaranteed his respectability. Manso
compares the journey of this penniless and haggard fugitive through the
cities of Italy to the meteoric passage of a comet.[44] Wherever he
appeared, he blazed with momentary splendor. Nor was Turin slow to hail
the lustrous apparition. The Marchese Filippo da Este entertained him in
his palace. The Archbishop, Girolamo della Rovere, begged the honor of
his company. The Duke of Savoy, Carlo Emanuele, offered him the same
appointments as he had enjoyed at Ferrara. Nothing, however, would
content his morbid spirit. Flattered and caressed through the months of
October and November he began once more in December to hanker after his
old home. Inconceivable as it may seem, he opened fresh negotiations
with the duke; and Alfonso, on his side, already showed a will to take
him back. Writing to his sister from Pesaro at the end of September,
Tasso stay that a gentleman had been sent from Ferrara expressly to
recall him.[45] The fact seems to be that Tasso was too illustrious to
be neglected by the House of Este. Away from their protection, he was
capable of bringing on their name the slur of bad treatment and
ingratitude. Nor would it have looked well to publish the _Gerusalemme_
with its praises of Alfonso, while the poet was lamenting his hard fate
in every town of Italy. The upshot of these negotiations was that Tasso
resolved on retracing his steps. He reached Ferrara again upon February
21, 1579, two days before Margherita Gonzaga, the duke's new bride, made
her pompous entrance into the city. But his reception was far from being
what he had expected. The duke's heart seemed hardened. Apartments
inferior to his quality were assigned him, and to these he was conducted
by a courtier with ill-disguised insolence. The princesses refused him
access to their lodgings, and his old enemies openly manifested their
derision for the kill-joy and the skeleton who had returned to spoil
their festival. Tasso, querulous as he was about his own share in the
disagreeables of existence, remained wholly unsympathetic to the trials
of his fellow-creatures. Self-engrossment closed him in a magic
prison-house of discontent.

[Footnote 44: _Op. cit._ p. 143.]

[Footnote 45: _Lettere_, vol. i. p. 268.]

Therefore when he saw Ferrara full of merry-making guests, and heard
the marriage music ringing through the courtyards of the castle, he
failed to reflect with what a heavy heart the duke might now be entering
upon his third sterile nuptials. Alfonso was childless, brotherless,
with no legitimate heir to defend his duchy from the Church in case of
his decease. The irritable poet forgot how distasteful at such a moment
of forced gayety and hollow parade his reappearance, with the old
complaining murmurs, the old suspicions, the old restless eyes, might be
to the master who had certainly borne much and long with him. He only
felt himself neglected, insulted, outraged:

                Questa è la data fede?
    Son questi i miei bramati alti ritorni?[46]

Then he burst out into angry words, which he afterwards acknowledged to
have been 'false, mad and rash.'[47] The duke's patience had reached its
utmost limit. Tasso was arrested, and confined in the hospital for mad
folk at S. Anna. This happened in March 1579. He was detained there
until July 19, 1586, a period of seven years and four months.

[Footnote 46: From the sonnet, _Sposa regal_ (_Opere_ vol. iii. p.

[Footnote 47: _Lettere_, vol. ii. p. 67.]

No one who has read the foregoing pages will wonder why Tasso was
imprisoned. The marvel is rather that the fact should have roused so
many speculations. Alfonso was an autocratic princeling. His favorite
minister Montecatino fell in one moment from a height of power to
irrecoverable ruin. The famous preacher Panigarola, for whom he
negotiated a Cardinal's hat, lost his esteem by seeking promotion at
another Court, and had to fly Ferrara. His friend, Ercole Contrario, was
strangled in the castle on suspicion of having concealed a murder. Tasso
had been warned repeatedly, repeatedly forgiven; and now when he turned
up again with the same complaints and the same menaces, Alfonso
determined to have done with the nuisance. He would not kill him, but he
would put him out of sight and hearing. If he was guilty, S. Anna would
be punishment enough. If he was mad, it might be hoped that S. Anna
would cure him. To blame the duke for this exercise of authority, is
difficult. Noble as is the poet's calling, and faithful as are the
wounds of a devoted friend and servant, there are limits to princely
patience. It is easier to blame Tasso for the incurable idealism which,
when he was in comfort at Turin, made him pine 'to kiss the hand of his
Highness, and recover some part of his favor on the occasion of his

Three long letters, written by Tasso during the early months of his
imprisonment, discuss the reasons for his arrest.[49] Two of these are
directed to his staunch friend Scipione Gonzaga, the third to Giacomo
Buoncompagno, nephew of Pope Gregory XIII. Partly owing to omissions
made by the editors before publication, and partly perhaps to the
writer's reticence, they throw no very certain light even on his own
opinion.[50] But this much appears tolerably clear. Tasso was half-mad
and altogether irritable. He had used language which could not be
overlooked. The Duke continued to resent his former practice with the
Medici, and disapproved of his perpetual wanderings. The courtiers had
done their utmost to prejudice his mind by calumnies and gossip, raking
up all that seemed injurious to Tasso's reputation in the past acts of
his life and in the looser verses found among his papers. It may also be
conceded that they contrived to cast an unfavorable light upon his
affectionate correspondence with the two princesses. Tasso himself laid
great stress upon his want of absolute loyalty, upon some lascivious
compositions, and lastly upon his supposed heresies. It is not probable
that the duke attached importance to such poetry as Tasso may have
written in the heat of youth; and it is certain that he regarded the
heresies as part of the poet's hallucinations. It is also far more
likely that the Leonora episode passed in his mind for another proof of
mental infirmity than that he judged it seriously. It was quite enough
that Tasso had put himself in the wrong by petulant abuse of his
benefactor and by persistent fretfulness. Moreover, he was plainly
brain-sick. That alone justified Alfonso in his own eyes.

[Footnote 48: _Lettere_, vol. ii. 34.]

[Footnote 49: _Ibid._ pp. 7-62, 80-93.]

[Footnote 50: We are met here as elsewhere in the perplexing problem of
Tasso's misfortunes with the difficulty of having to deal with mutilated
documents. Still the mere fact that Tasso was allowed to correspond
freely with friends and patrons, shows that Alfonso dreaded no
disclosures, and confirms the theory that he only kept Tasso locked up
out of harm's way.]

And brain-sick Tasso was, without a shadow of doubt.[51] It is hardly
needful to recapitulate his terror of the Inquisition, dread of being
poisoned, incapacity for self-control in word and act, and other signs
of incipient disease. During the residence in S. Anna this malady made
progress. He was tormented by spectral voices and apparitions. He
believed himself to be under the influence of magic charms. He was
haunted by a sprite, who stole his books and flung his MSS. about the
room. A good genius, in the form of a handsome youth, appeared and
conversed with him. He lost himself for hours together in abstraction,
talking aloud, staring into vacancy, and expressing surprise that other
people could not see the phantoms which surrounded him. He complained
that his melancholy passed at moments into delirium (which he called
_frenesia_), after which he suffered from loss of memory and
prostration. His own mind became a constant cause of self-torture.
Suspicious of others, he grew to be suspicious of himself. And when he
left S. Anna, these disorders, instead of abating, continued to afflict
him, so that his most enthusiastic admirers were forced to admit that
'he was subject to constitutional melancholy with crises of delirium,
but not to actual insanity.'[52] At first, his infirmity did not
interfere with intellectual production of a high order, though none of
his poetry, after the _Gerusalemme_ was completed in 1574, rose to the
level of his earlier work. But in course of time the artist's faculty
itself was injured, and the creations of his later life are unworthy of
his genius.

[Footnote 51: A letter written by Guarini, the old friend, rival and
constant Court-companion of Tasso at Ferrara, upon the news of his death
in 1595, shows how a man of cold intellect judged his case. 'The death
by which Tasso has now paid his debt to nature, seems to me like the
termination of that death of his in this world which only bore the outer
semblance of life.' See Casella's _Pastor Fido_, p. xxxii. Guarini means
that when Tasso's mind gave way, he had really died in his own higher
self, and that his actual death was a release.]

[Footnote 52: Tasso's own letters after the beginning of 1579, and
Manso's Life (_op. cit._ pp. 156-176), are the authorities for the
symptoms detailed above. Tasso so often alludes to his infirmities that
it is not needful to accumulate citations. I will, however, quote two
striking examples. 'Sono infermo come soleva, e stanco della infermita,
la quale è _non sol malattia del corpo ma de la mente_' (_Lettere_, vol.
iii. p. 160). 'Io sono poco sano e tanto maninconico che _sono riputato
matto da gli altri e da me stesso_' (_Ib._ p. 262).]

The seven years and four months of Tasso's imprisonment may be passed
over briefly. With regard to his so-called dungeon, it is certain that,
after some months spent in a narrow chamber, he obtained an apartment of
several rooms. He was allowed to write and receive as many letters as he
chose. Friends paid him visits, and he went abroad under surveillance in
the city of Ferrara. To extenuate the suffering which a man of his
temper endured in this enforced seclusion would be unjust to Tasso.
There is no doubt that he was most unhappy. But to exaggerate his
discomforts would be unjust to the duke. Even Manso describes 'the
excellent and most convenient lodgings' assigned him in S. Anna,
alludes to the provision for his cure by medicine, and remarks upon the
opposition which he offered to medical treatment. According to this
biographer, his own endeavors to escape necessitated a strict watch upon
his movements.[53] Unless, therefore, we flatly deny the fact of his
derangement, which is supported by a mass of testimony, it may be
doubted whether Tasso was more miserable in S. Anna than he would have
been at large. The subsequent events of his life prove that his release
brought no mitigation of his malady.

[Footnote 53: _Op. cit._ p. 155.]

It was, however, a dreary time. He spent his days in writing letters to
all the princes of Italy, to Naples, to Bergamo, to the Roman Curia,
declaiming on his wretchedness and begging for emancipation. Occasional
poems flowed from his pen. But during this period he devoted his serious
hours mainly to prose composition. The bulk of his Dialogues issued from
S. Anna. On August 7, 1580, Celio Malaspina published a portion of the
_Gerusalemme_ at Venice, under the title of _Il Gottifredo di M.
Torquato Tasso_. In February of the following year, his friend Angelo
Ingegneri gave the whole epic to the world. Within six months from that
date the poem was seven times reissued. This happened without the
sanction or the supervision of the luckless author; and from the sale of
the book he obtained no profit. Leonora d'Este died upon February 10,
1581. A volume of elegies appeared on this occasion; but Tasso's Muse
uttered no sound.[54] He wrote to Panigarola that 'a certain tacit
repugnance of his genius' forced him to be mute.[55] His rival Guarini
undertook a revised edition of his lyrics in 1582. Tasso had to bear
this dubious compliment in silence. All Europe was devouring his poems;
scribes and versifiers were building up their reputation on his fame.
Yet he could do nothing. Embittered by the piracies of publishers,
infuriated by the impertinence of editors, he lay like one forgotten in
that hospital. His celebrity grew daily; but he languished, penniless
and wretched, in confinement which he loathed. The strangest light is
cast upon his state of mind by the efforts which he now made to place
two of his sister's children in Court-service. He even tried to
introduce one of them as a page into the household of Alfonso.
Eventually, Alessandro Sersale was consigned to Odoardo Farnese, and
Antonio to the Duke of Mantua. In 1585 new sources of annoyance rose.
Two members of the Delia Crusca Academy in Florence, Leonardo Salviati
and Bastiano de'Rossi, attacked the _Gerusalemme_. Their malevolence was
aroused by the panegyric written on it by Cammillo Pellegrini, a
Neapolitan, and they exposed it to pedantically quibbling criticism.
Tasso replied in a dignified apology. But he does not seem to have
troubled himself overmuch with this literary warfare, which served
meanwhile to extend the fame of his immortal poem. At this time new
friends gathered round him. Among these the excellent Benedictine,
Angelo Grillo, and the faithful Antonio Costantini demand commemoration
from all who appreciate disinterested devotion to genius in distress. At
length, in July 1586, Vincenzo Gonzaga, heir apparent to the Duchy of
Mantua, obtained Tasso's release. He rode off with this new patron to
Mantua, leaving his effects at S. Anna, and only regretting that he had
not waited on the Duke of Ferrara to kiss his hand as in duty bound.[56]
Thus to the end he remained an incorrigible courtier; or rather shall we
say that, after all his tribulations, he preserved a doglike feeling of
attachment for his master?

[Footnote 54: _Lacrime di diversi poeti volgari_, &c. (Vicenza, 1585).]

[Footnote 55: _Lettere_, vol. ii. p. 103. The significance of this
message to Panigarola is doubtful. Did Tasso mean that the contrast
between past and present was too bitter? 'Most friendship is feigning,
most loving mere folly.']

[Footnote 56: All the letters written from Mantua abound in references
to this neglect of duty.]

The rest of Tasso's life was an Odyssey of nine years. He seemed at
first contented with Mantua, wrote dialogues, completed the tragedy of
_Torrismondo_ and edited his father's _Floridante_. But when Vincenzo
Gonzaga succeeded to the dukedom, the restless poet felt himself
neglected. His young friend had not leisure to pay him due attention. He
therefore started on a journey to Loreto, which had long been the object
of his pious aspiration. Loreto led to Rome, where Scipione Gonzaga
resided as Patriarch of Jerusalem and Cardinal. Rome suggested Southern
Italy, and Tasso hankered after the recovery of his mother's fortune.
Accordingly he set off in March 1588 for Naples, where he stayed, partly
with the monks of Monte Oliveto, and partly with the Marchese Manso.
Rome saw him again in November; and not long afterwards an agent of the
Duke of Urbino wrote this pitiful report of his condition. 'Every one is
ready to welcome him to hearth and heart; but his humors render him
mistrustful of mankind at large. In the palace of the Cardinal Gonzaga
there are rooms and beds always ready for his use, and men reserved for
his especial service. Yet he runs away and mistrusts even that friendly
lord. In short, it is a sad misfortune that the present age should be
deprived of the greatest genius which has appeared for centuries. What
wise man ever spoke in prose or verse better than this madman?[57] In
the following August, Scipione Gonzaga's servants, unable to endure
Tasso's eccentricities, turned him from their master's house, and he
took refuge in a monastery of the Olivetan monks. Soon afterwards he was
carried to the hospital of the Bergamasques. His misery now was great,
and his health so bad that friends expected a speedy end.[58] Yet the
Cardinal Gonzaga again opened his doors to him in the spring of 1590.
Then the morbid poet turned suspicious, and began to indulge fresh hopes
of fortune in another place. He would again offer himself to the
Medici. In April he set off for Tuscany, and alighted at the convent of
Monte Oliveto, near Florence. Nobody wanted him; he wandered about the
Pitti like a spectre, and the Florentines wrote: _actum est de eo_.[59]
Some parting compliments and presents from the Grand Duke sweetened his
dismissal. He returned to Rome; but each new journey told upon his
broken health, and another illness made him desire a change of scene.
This time Antonio Costantini offered to attend upon him. They visited
Siena, Bologna and Mantua. At Mantua, Tasso made some halt, and took a
new long poem, the _Gerusalemme Conquistata_, seriously in hand. But the
demon of unrest pursued him, and in November 1591 he was off again with
the Duke of Mantua to Rome. From Rome he went to Naples at the beginning
of the following year, worked at the _Conquistata_, and began his poem
of the _Sette Giornate_.[60] He was always occupied with the vain hope
of recovering a portion of his mother's estate. April saw him once more
upon his way to Rome. Clement VIII. had been elected, and Tasso expected
patronage from the Papal nephews.[61]

[Footnote 57: _Lettere_, vol. iv. p. 147.]

[Footnote 58: _Ibid._ p. 229.]

[Footnote 59: _Lettere_, vol. iv. p. 315.]

[Footnote 60: Yet he now felt that his genius had expired. 'Non posso
più fare un verso: la vena è secca, e l'ingegno è stanco' (_Lettere_,
vol. v. p. 90).]

[Footnote 61: During the whole period of his Roman residence, Tasso,
like his father in similar circumstances, hankered after ecclesiastical
honors. His letters refer frequently to this ambition. He felt the
parallel between himself and Bernardo Tasso: 'La mia depressa
condizione, e la mia infelicità, quasi ereditaria' (vol. iv. p. 288).]

He was not disappointed. They received him into their houses, and for a
while he sojourned in the Vatican. The year 1593 seems, through their
means, to have been one of comparative peace and prosperity. Early in
the summer of 1594 his health obliged him to seek change of air. He went
for the last time to Naples. The Cardinal of S. Giorgio, one of the
Pope's nephews, recalled him in November to be crowned poet in Rome. His
entrance into the Eternal City was honorable, and Clement granted him a
special audience; but the ceremony of coronation had to be deferred
because of the Cardinal's ill health.

Meanwhile his prospects seemed likely to improve. Clement conferred on
him a pension of one hundred ducats, and the Prince of Avellino, who had
detained his mother's estate, compounded with him for a life-income of
two hundred ducats. This good fortune came in the spring of 1595. But it
came too late; for his death-illness was upon him. On the first of April
he had himself transported to the convent of S. Onofrio, which overlooks
Rome from the Janiculan hill. 'Torrents of rain were falling with a
furious wind, when the carriage of Cardinal Cinzio was seen climbing the
steep ascent. The badness of the weather made the fathers think there
must be some grave cause for this arrival. So the prior and others
hurried to the gate, where Tasso descended with considerable difficulty,
greeting the monks with these words: 'I am come to die among you.''[62]
The last of Tasso's letters, written to Antonio Costantini from S.
Onofrio, has the quiet dignity of one who struggles for the last time
with the frailty of his mortal nature.[63]

'What will my good lord Antonio say when he shall hear of his Tasso's
death? The news, as I incline to think, will not be long in coming; for
I feel that I have reached the end of life, being unable to discover any
remedy for this tedious indisposition which has supervened on the many
others I am used to--like a rapid torrent resistlessly sweeping me away.
The time is past when I should speak of my stubborn fate, to mention not
the world's ingratitude, which, however, has willed to gain the victory
of bearing me to the grave a pauper; the while I kept on thinking that
the glory which, despite of those that like it not, this age will
inherit from my writings, would not have left me wholly without guerdon.
I have had myself carried to this monastery of S. Onofrio; not only
because the air is commended by physicians above that of any other part
of Rome, but also as it were upon this elevated spot and by the
conversation of these devout fathers to commence my conversation in
heaven. Pray God for me; and rest assured that as I have loved and
honored you always in the present life, so will I perform for you in
that other and more real life what appertains not to feigned but to
veritable charity. And to the Divine grace I recommend you and myself.'

[Footnote 62: Manso _op. cit._ p. 215.]

[Footnote 63: This letter proves conclusively that, whatever was the
nature of Tasso's malady, and however it had enfeebled his faculties as
poet, he was in no vulgar sense a lunatic.]

On April 25, Tasso expired at midnight, with the words _In manus tuas,
Domine_, upon his lips. Had Costantini, his sincerest friend, been
there, he might have said like Kent:

             O, let him pass! he hates him much
    That would upon the rack of this tough world
    Stretch him out longer.

But Costantini was in Mantua; and this sonnet, which he had written for
his master, remains Tasso's truest epitaph, the pithiest summary of a
life pathetically tragic in its adverse fate--

    Friends, this is Tasso, not the sire but son;
    For he of human offspring had no heed,
    Begetting for himself immortal seed
    Of art, style, genius and instruction.

    In exile long he lived and utmost need;
    In palace, temple, school, he dwelt alone;
    He fled, and wandered through wild woods unknown;
    On earth, on sea, suffered in thought and deed.

    He knocked at death's door; yet he vanquished him
    With lofty prose and with undying rhyme;
    But fortune not, who laid him where he lies.

    Guerdon for singing loves and arms sublime,
    And showing truth whose light makes vices dim,
    Is one green wreath; yet this the world denies.

The wreath of laurel which the world grudged was placed upon his bier;
and a simple stone, engraved with the words _Hic jacet Torquatus
Tassus_, marked the spot where he was buried.

The foregoing sketch of Tasso's life and character differs in some
points from the prevalent conceptions of the poet. There is a legendary
Tasso, the victim of malevolent persecution by pedants, the mysterious
lover condemned to misery in prison by a tyrannous duke. There is also a
Tasso formed by men of learning upon ingeniously constructed systems;
Rosini's Tasso, condemned to feign madness in punishment for courting
Leonora d'Este with lascivious verses; Capponi's Tasso, punished for
seeking to exchange the service of the House of Este for that of the
House of Medici; a Tasso who was wholly mad; a Tasso who remained
through life the victim of Jesuitical influences. In short, there are as
many Tassos as there are Hamlets. Yet these Tassos of the legend and of
erudition do not reproduce his self-revealed lineaments. Tasso's letters
furnish documents of sufficient extent to make the real man visible,
though something yet remains perhaps not wholly explicable in his



     Problem of Creating Heroic Poetry--The Preface to Tasso's
     _Rinaldo_--Subject of _Rinaldo_--Blending of Romantic Motives with
     Heroic Style--Imitation of Virgil--Melody and Sentiment--Choice of
     Theme for the _Gerusalemme_--It becomes a Romantic Poem after
     all--Tancredi the real Hero--Nobility of Tone--Virgilian
     Imitation--Borrowings from Dante--Involved Diction--Employment of
     Sonorous Polysyllabic Words--Quality of Religious Emotion in this
     Poem--Rhetoric--Similes--The Grand Style of Pathos--Verbal
     Music--The Chant d'Amour--Armida--Tasso's Favorite Phrase, _Un non
     so che_--His Power over Melody and Tender Feeling--Critique of
     Tasso's Later Poems--General Survey of his Character.

In a previous portion of this work, I attempted to define the Italian
Romantic Epic, and traced the tale of Orlando from Pulci through Boiardo
and Ariosto to the burlesque of Folengo. There is an element of humor
more or less predominant in the _Morgante Maggiore_, the _Orlando
Innamorato_, and the _Orlando Furioso_. This element might almost be
regarded as inseparable from the species. Yet two circumstances
contributed to alter the character of Italian Romance after the
publication of the _Furioso_. One of these was the unapproachable
perfection of that poem. No one could hope to surpass Ariosto in his own
style, or to give a fresh turn to his humor without passing into broad
burlesque. The romantic poet had therefore to choose between sinking
into parody with Folengo and Aretino, or soaring into the sublimities of
solemn art. Another circumstance was the keen interest aroused in
academic circles by Trissino's unsuccessful epic, and by the discussion
of heroic poetry which it stimulated. The Italian nation was becoming
critical, and this critical spirit lent itself readily to experiments in
hybrid styles of composition which aimed at combining the graces of the
Romantic with the dignity of the Heroic poem. The most meritorious of
these hybrids was Bernardo Tasso's _Amadigi_, a long romance in octave
stanzas, sustained upon a grave tone throughout, and distinguished from
the earlier romantic epics by a more obvious unity of subject. Bernardo
Tasso possessed qualities of genius and temper which suited his proposed
task. Deficient in humor, he had no difficulty in eliminating that
element from the _Amadigi_. Chivalrous sentiment took the place of
irony; scholarly method supplied the want of wayward fancy.

It was just at this point that the young Torquato Tasso made his first
essay in poetry. He had inherited his father's temperament, its want of
humor, its melancholy, its aristocratic sensitiveness. At the age of
seventeen he was already a ripe scholar, versed in the critical
questions which then agitated learned coteries in Italy. The wilding
graces and the freshness of the Romantic Epic, as conceived by Boiardo
and perfected by Ariosto, had forever disappeared. To 'recapture that
first fine careless rapture' was impossible. Contemporary conditions of
society and thought rendered any attempt to do so futile. Italy had
passed into a different stage of culture; and the representative poem of
Tasso's epoch was imperatively forced to assume a different character.
Its type already existed in the _Amadigi_, though Bernardo Tasso had not
the genius to disengage it clearly, or to render it attractive. How
Torquato, while still a student in his teens at Padua, attacked the
problem of narrative poetry, appears distinctly in his preface to
_Rinaldo_. 'I believe,' he says, 'that you, my gentle readers, will not
take it amiss if I have diverged from the path of modern poets, and have
sought to approach the best among the ancients. You shall not, however,
find that I am bound by the precise rules of Aristotle, which often
render those poems irksome which might otherwise have yielded you much
pleasure. I have only followed such of his precepts as do not limit your
delight: for instance, in the frequent use of episodes, making the
characters talk in their own persons, introducing recognitions and
peripeties by necessary or plausible motives, and withdrawing the poet
as far as possible from the narration. I have also endeavored to
construct my poem with unity of interest and action, not, indeed, in any
strict sense, but so that the subordinate portions should be seen to
have their due relation to the whole.' He then proceeds to explain why
he has abandoned the discourses on moral and general topics with which
Ariosto opened his Cantos, and hints that he has taken Virgil, the
'Prince of Poets,' for his model. Thus the Romantic Epic, as conceived
by Tasso, was to break with the tradition of the Cantastorie, who told
the tale in his own person and introduced reflections on its incidents.
It was to aim at unity of subject and to observe classical rules of art,
without, however, sacrificing the charm of variety and those delights
which episodes and marvelous adventures yielded to a modern audience.
The youthful poet begs that his _Rinaldo_ should not be censured on the
one hand by severely Aristotelian critics who exclude pleasure from
their ideal, or on the other by amateurs who regard the _Orlando
Furioso_ as the perfection of poetic art. In a word, he hopes to produce
something midway between the strict heroic epic, which had failed in
Trissino's _Italia Liberata_ through dullness, and the genuine romantic
epic, which in Ariosto's masterpiece diverged too widely from the rules
of classical pure taste. This new species, combining the attractions of
romance with the simplicity of epic poetry, was the gift which Tasso at
the age of eighteen sought to present in his _Rinaldo_ to Italy. The
_Rinaldo_ fulfilled fairly well the conditions propounded by its author.
It had a single hero and a single subject--

    Canto i felici affanni, e i primi ardori,
      Che giovinetto ancor soffrì Rinaldo,
      E come il trasse in perigliosi errori
      Desir di gloria ed amoroso caldo.

The perilous achievements and the passion of Rinaldo in his youth form
the theme of a poem which is systematically evolved from the first
meeting of the son of Amon with Clarice to their marriage under the
auspices of Malagigi. There are interesting episodes like those of young
Florindo and Olinda, unhappy Clizia and abandoned Floriana. Rinaldo's
combat with Orlando in the Christian camp furnishes an anagnorisis;
while the plot is brought to its conclusion by the peripeteia of
Clarice's jealousy and the accidents which restore her to her lover's
arms. Yet though observant of his own classical rules, Tasso remained in
all essential points beneath the spell of the Romantic Epic. The changes
which he introduced were obvious to none but professional critics. In
warp and woof the _Rinaldo_ is similar to Boiardo's and Ariosto's tale
of chivalry; only the loom is narrower, and the pattern of the web less
intricate. The air of artlessness which lent its charm to Romance in
Italy has disappeared, yielding place to sustained elaboration of
Latinizing style. Otherwise the fabric remains substantially
unaltered--like a Gothic dwelling furnished with Palladian
window-frames. We move in the old familiar sphere of Paladins and
Paynims, knights errant and Oriental damsels, magicians and distressed
maidens. The action is impelled by the same series of marvelous
adventures and felicitous mishaps. There are the same encounters in war
and rivalries in love between Christian and Pagan champions; journeys
through undiscovered lands and over untracked oceans; fantastic
hyperboles of desire, ambition, jealousy, and rage, employed as motive
passions. Enchanted forests; fairy ships that skim the waves without
helm or pilot; lances endowed with supernatural virtues; charmed gardens
of perpetual spring; dismal dungeons and glittering palaces, supply the
furniture of this romance no less than of its predecessors. Rinaldo,
like any other hero of the Renaissance, is agitated by burning thirst
for fame and blind devotion to a woman's beauty. We first behold him
pining in inglorious leisure[64]:--

    Poi, ch'oprar non poss'io che di me s'oda
      Con mia gloria ed onor novella alcuna,
      O cosa, ond' io pregio n'acquisti e loda,
      E mia fama rischiari oscura e bruna.

The vision of Clarice, appearing like Virgil's Camilla, stirs him from
this lethargy. He falls in love at first sight, as Tasso's heroes always
do, and vows to prove himself her worthy knight by deeds of unexampled
daring. Thus the plot is put in motion; and we read in well-appointed
order how the hero acquired his horse, Baiardo, Tristram's magic lance,
his sword Fusberta from Atlante, his armor from Orlando, the trappings
of his charger from the House of Courtesy, the ensign of the lion
rampant on his shield from Chiarello, and the hand of his lady after
some delays from Malagigi.

[Footnote 64: Canto i. 17.]

No new principle is introduced into the romance. As in earlier poems of
this species, the religious motive of Christendom at war with Islam
becomes a mere machine; the chivalrous environment affords a vehicle for
fanciful adventures. Humor, indeed, is conspicuous by its absence.
Charles the Great assumes the sobriety of empire; and his camp, in its
well-ordered gravity, prefigures that of Goffredo in the
_Gerusalemme_.[65] Thus Tasso's originality must not be sought in the
material of his work, which is precisely that of the Italian romantic
school in general, nor yet in its form, which departs from the romantic
tradition in details so insignificant as to be inessential. We find it
rather in his touch upon the old material, in his handling of the
familiar form. The qualities of style, sympathy, sentiment, selection in
the use of phrase and image, which determined his individuality as a
poet, rendered the _Rinaldo_ a novelty in literature. It will be
therefore well to concentrate attention for a while upon those
subjective peculiarities by right of which the _Rinaldo_ ranks as a
precursor of the _Gerusalemme_.

The first and the most salient of these is a pronounced effort to
heighten style by imitation of Latin poets. The presiding genius of the
work is Virgil. Pulci's racy Florentine idiom; Boiardo's frank and
natural Lombard manner; Ariosto's transparent and unfettered modern
phrase, have been supplanted by a pompous intricacy of construction.

[Footnote 65: Canto vi. 64-9.]

The effort to impose Latin rules of syntax on Italian is obvious in
such lines as the following:[66]

    Torre ei l'immagin volle, che sospesa
      Era presso l'altar gemmato e sacro,
      Ove in chiaro cristal lampade accesa
      Fea lume di Ciprigna al simulacro:

or in these:

    Umida i gigli e le vermiglie rose
    Del volto, e gli occhi bei conversa al piano,
    Gli occhi, onde in perle accolto il pianto uscia,
    La giovinetta il cavalier seguia.

Virgil is directly imitated, where he is least worthy of imitation, in
the details of his battle-pieces. Thus:[67]

    Si riversa Isolier tremando al piano,
    Privo di senso e di vigore ignudo,
    Ed a lui gli occhi oscura notte involve,
    Ed ogni membro ancor se gli dissolve.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Quel col braccio sospeso in aria stando,
    Nè lo movendo a questa o a quella parte,
    Chè dalla spada ciò gli era conteso,
    Voto sembrava in sacro tempio appeso.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Mentre ignaro di ciò che 'l ciel destine,
    Così diceva ancor, la lancia ultrice
    Rinaldo per la bocca entro gli mise,
    E la lingua e 'l parlar per mezzo incise.

This Virgilian imitation yields some glowing flowers of poetry in longer
passages of description. Among these may be cited the conquest of
Baiardo in the second canto, the shipwreck in the tenth, the chariot of
Pluto in the fourth, and the supper with queen Floriana in the ninth.

[Footnote 66: Canto iii. 40, 45.]

[Footnote 67: Canto ii. 22, iv. 28, 33.]

The episode of Floriana, while closely studied upon the Aeneid, is also
a first sketch for that of Armida. Indeed, it should be said in passing
that Tasso anticipates the _Gerusalemme_ throughout the _Rinaldo_. The
murder of Anselmo by Rinaldo (Canto XI.) forecasts the murder of
Gernando by his namesake, and leads to the same result of the hero's
banishment. The shipwreck, the garden of courtesy, the enchanted boat,
and the charmed forest, are motives which reappear improved and
elaborated in Tasso's masterpiece.[68]

While Tasso thus sought to heighten diction by Latinisms, he revealed
another specific quality of his manner in _Rinaldo_. This is the
inability to sustain heroic style at its ambitious level. He frequently
drops at the close of the octave stanza into a prosaic couplet, which
has all the effect of bathos. Instances are not far to seek:[69]

    Già tal insegna acquistò l'avo, e poi
    La portàr molti de'nipoti suoi.
       *       *       *       *       *
    E a questi segni ed al crin raro e bianco
    Monstrava esser dagli anni oppresses e stanco.
       *       *       *       *       *
    Fu qui vicin dal saggio Alchiso il Mago,
    Di far qualch'opra memorabil vago.
       *       *       *       *       *
                         Io son Rinaldo,
    Solo di servir voi bramoso e caldo.

[Footnote 68: _Rinaldo_, cantos x. vii.]

[Footnote 69: Canto i. 25, 31, 41, 64.]

The reduplication of epithets, and the occasional use of long sonorous
Latin words, which characterize Tasso's later manner, are also
noticeable in these couplets. Side by side with such weak endings should
be placed some specimens, no less characteristic, of vigorous and noble

              Nel cor consiston l'armi,
    Onde il forte non e chi mai disarmi.
       *       *       *       *       *
                Si sta placido e cheto,
    Ma serba dell'altiero nel mansueto.

If the _Rinaldo_ prefigures Tasso's maturer qualities of style, it is no
less conspicuous for the light it throws upon his eminent poetic
faculty. Nothing distinguished him more decidedly from the earlier
romantic poets than power over pathetic sentiment conveyed in melodious
cadences of oratory. This emerges in Clarice's monologue on love and
honor, that combat of the soul which forms a main feature of the lyrics
in _Aminta_ and of Erminia's episode in the _Gerusalemme_.[71] This
steeps the whole story of Clizia in a delicious melancholy,
foreshadowing the death-scene of Clorinda.[72] This rises in the
father's lamentation over his slain Ugone, into the music of a threnody
that now recalls Euripides and now reminds us of mediaeval litanies.[73]
Censure might be passed upon rhetorical conceits and frigid affectations
in these characteristic outpourings of pathetic feeling. Yet no one can
ignore their liquid melody, their transference of emotion through sound
into modulated verse.

[Footnote 70: _Rinaldo_, Canto ii. 28, 44.]

[Footnote 71: Canto ii. 3-11.]

[Footnote 72: Canto vii. 16-51.]

[Footnote 73: Canto vii. 3-11.]

That lyrical outcry, finding rhythmic utterance for tender sentiment,
which may be recognized as Tasso's chief addition to romantic poetry,
pierces like a song through many passages of mere narration. Rinaldo,
while carrying Clarice away upon Baiardo, with no chaste intention in
his heart, bids her thus dry her tears:[74]

    Egli dice: Signora, onde vi viene
      Sì spietato martir, sì grave affanno?
      Perchè le luci angeliche e serene
      Ricopre della doglia oscuro panno?
      Forse fia l'util vostro e 'l vostro bene
      Quel ch'or vi sembra insupportabil danno,
      Deh! per Dio, rasciugate il caldo pianto.
      E l'atroce dolor temprate alquanto.

It is not that we do not find similar lyrical interbreathings in the
narrative of Ariosto. But Tasso developed the lyrism of the octave
stanza into something special, lulling the soul upon gentle waves of
rising and falling rhythm, foreshadowing the coming age of music in
cadences that are untranslateable except by vocal melody. In like
manner, the idyl, which had played a prominent part in Boiardo's and in
Ariosto's romance, detaches itself with a peculiar sweetness from the
course of Tasso's narrative. This appears in the story of Florindo,
which contains within itself the germ of the _Aminta_, the _Pastor Fido_
and the _Adone_.[75] Together with the bad taste of the artificial
pastoral, its preposterous costume (stanza 13), its luxury of tears
(stanza 23), we find the tyranny of kisses (stanzas 28, 52), the
yearning after the Golden Age (stanza 29), and all the other apparatus
of that operatic species. Tasso was the first poet to bathe Arcady in a
golden afternoon light of sensuously sentimental pathos. In his idyllic
as in his lyrical interbreathings, melody seems absolutely demanded to
interpret and complete the plangent rhythm of his dulcet numbers.
Emotion so far predominates over intelligence, so yearns to exhale
itself in sound and shun the laws of language, that we find already in
_Rinaldo_ Tasso's familiar _Non so che_ continually used to adumbrate
sentiments for which plain words are not indefinite enough.

[Footnote 74: Canto iv. 47.]

[Footnote 75: Canto v. 12-57.]

The _Rinaldo_ was a very remarkable production for a young man of
eighteen. It showed the poet in possession of his style and displayed
the specific faculties of his imagination. Nothing remained for Tasso
now but to perfect and develop the type of art which he had there
created. Soon after his first settlement in Ferrara, he began to
meditate a more ambitious undertaking. His object was to produce the
heroic poem for which Italy had long been waiting, and in this way to
rival or surpass the fame of Ariosto. Trissino had chosen a national
subject for his epic; but the _Italia Liberata_ was an acknowledged
failure, and neither the past nor the present conditions of the Italian
people offered good material for a serious poem. The heroic enthusiasms
of the age were religious. Revived Catholicism had assumed an attitude
of defiance. The Company of Jesus was declaring its crusade against
heresy and infidelity throughout the world. Not a quarter of a century
had elapsed since Charles V. attacked the Mussulman in Tunis; and before
a few more years had passed, the victory of Lepanto was to be won by
Italian and Spanish navies. Tasso, therefore, obeyed a wise instinct
when he made choice of the first crusade for his theme, and of Godfrey
of Boulogne for his hero. Having to deal with historical facts, he
studied the best authorities in chronicles, ransacked such books of
geography and travel as were then accessible, paid attention to
topography, and sought to acquire what we now call local coloring for
the details of his poem. Without the sacrifice of truth in any important
point, he contrived to give unity to the conduct of his narrative, while
interweaving a number of fictitious characters and marvelous
circumstances with the historical personages and actual events of the
crusade. The vital interest of the _Gerusalemme Liberata_ flows from
this interpolated material, from the loves of Rinaldo and Tancredi, from
the adventures of the Pagan damsels Erminia, Armida and Clorinda. The
_Gerusalemme_ is in truth a Virgilian epic, upon which a romantic poem
has been engrafted. Goffredo, idealized into statuesque frigidity,
repeats the virtues of Aeneas; but the episode of Dido, which enlivens
Virgil's hero, is transferred to Rinaldo's part in Tasso's story. The
battles of Crusaders and Saracens are tedious copies of the battle in
the tenth Aeneid; but the duels of Tancredi with Clorinda and Argante
breathe the spirit and the fire of chivalry. The celestial and infernal
councils, adopted as machinery, recall the rival factions in Olympus;
but the force by which the plot moves is love. Pluto and the angel
Gabriel are inactive by comparison with Armida, Erminia and Clorinda.
Tasso in truth thought that he was writing a religious and heroic poem.
What he did write, was a poem of sentiment and passion--a romance. Like
Anacreon he might have cried:

    thelô legein Atreidas
    thelô de Kadmon adein,
    ha barbitos de chordais
    Erôta mounon êchei.

He displayed, indeed, marvelous ingenuity and art in so connecting the
two strains of his subject, the stately Virgilian history and the
glowing modern romance, that they should contribute to the working of a
single plot. Yet he could not succeed in vitalizing the former, whereas
the latter will live as long as human interest in poetry endures. No one
who has studied the _Gerusalemme_ returns with pleasure to Goffredo, or
feels that the piety of the Christian heroes is inspired. He skips canto
after canto dealing with the crusade, to dwell upon those lyrical
outpourings of love, grief, anguish, vain remorse and injured affection
which the supreme poet of sentiment has invented for his heroines; he
recognizes the genuine inspiration of Erminia's pastoral idyl, of
Armida's sensuous charms, of Clorinda's dying words, of the Siren's
song and the music of the magic bird: of all, in fact, which is not
pious in the poem.

Tancredi, between Erminia and Clorinda, the one woman adoring him, the
other beloved by him--the melancholy graceful modern Tancredi, Tasso's
own soul's image--is the veritable hero of the _Gerusalemme_; and by a
curious unintended propriety he disappears from the action before the
close, without a word. The force of the poem is spiritualized and
concentrated in Clorinda's death, which may be cited as an instance of
sublimity in pathos. It is idyllized in the episode of Erminia among the
shepherds, and sensualized in the supreme beauty of Armida's garden.
Rinaldo is second in importance to Tancredi; and Goffredo, on whom Tasso
bestows the blare of his Virgilian trumpet from the first line to the
last, is poetically of no importance whatsoever. Argante, Solimano,
Tisaferno, excite our interest, and win the sympathy we cannot spare the
saintly hero; and in the death of Solimano Tasso's style, for once,
verges upon tragic sublimity.

What Tasso aimed at in the _Gerusalemme_ was nobility. This quality had
not been prominent in Ariosto's art. If he could attain it, his ambition
to rival the _Orlando Furioso_ would be satisfied. One main condition of
success Tasso brought to the achievement. His mind itself was eminently
noble, incapable of baseness, fixed on fair and worthy objects of
contemplation. Yet the personal nobility which distinguished him as a
thinker and a man, was not of the heroic type. He had nothing Homeric
in his inspiration, nothing of the warrior or the patriot in his nature.
His genius, when it pursued its bias, found instinctive utterance in
elegy and idyl, in meditative rhetoric and pastoral melody. In order to
assume the heroic strain, Tasso had recourse to scholarship, and gave
himself up blindly to the guidance of Latin poets. This was consistent
with the tendency of the Classical Revival; but since the subject to be
dignified by epic style was Christian and mediaeval, a discord between
matter and manner amounting almost to insincerity resulted. Some
examples will make the meaning of this criticism more apparent. When
Goffredo rejects the embassy of Atlete and Argante, he declares his firm
intention of delivering Jerusalem in spite of overwhelming perils. The
crusaders can but perish:

    Noi morirem, ma non morremo inulti. (i. 86.)

This of course is a reminiscence of Dido's last words, and the
difference between the two situations creates a disagreeable
incongruity. The nod of Jove upon Olympus is translated to express the
fiat of the Almighty (xiii. 74); Gabriel is tricked out in the plumes
and colors of Mercury (i. 13-15); the very angels sinning round the
throne become 'dive sirene' (xiv. 9); the armory of heaven is described
in terms which reduce Michael's spear and the arrows of pestilence to
ordinary weapons (vii. 81); Hell is filled with harpies, centaurs,
hydras, pythons, the common lumber of classical Tartarus (iv. 5); the
angel sent to cure Goffredo's wound culls dittany on Ida (xi. 72); the
heralds, interposing between Tancredi and Argante, hold pacific scepters
and have naught of chivalry (vi. 51). It may be said that both Dante
before Tasso, and Milton after him, employed similar classical language
in dealing with Christian and mediaeval motives. But this will hardly
serve as an excuse; for Dante and Milton communicate so intense a
conviction of religious earnestness that their Latinisms, even though
incongruous, are recognized as the mere clothing of profoundly felt
ideas. The sublimity, the seriousness, the spiritual dignity is in their
thought, not in its expression; whereas Tasso too frequently leaves us
with the certainty that he has sought by ceremonious language to realize
more than he could grasp with the imagination. In his council of the
powers of hell, for instance, he creates monsters of huge dimensions and
statuesque distinctness; but these are neither grotesquely horrible like
Dante's, nor are they spirits with incalculable capacity for evil like

    Stampano alcuni il suol di ferine orme,
    E in fronte umana ban chiome d'angui attorte;
    E lor s'aggira dietro immensa coda,
    Che quasi sferza si ripiega e snoda.

Against this we have to place the dreadful scene of Satan with his
angels transformed to snakes (_Par. Lost_, x. 508-584), and the
Dantesque horror of the 'vermo reo che 'l mondo fora' (_Inf._ xxxiv.
108). Again when Dante cries--

                  O Sommo Giove,
    Che fosti in terra per noi crocifisso!

we feel that the Latin phrase is accidental. The spirit of the poet
remains profoundly Christian. Tasso's Jehovah-Jupiter is always 'il Re
del Ciel'; and the court of blessed spirits which surrounds his 'gran
seggio,' though described with solemn pomp of phrase, cannot be compared
with the Mystic Rose of Paradise (ix. 55-60). What Tasso lacks is
authenticity of vision; and his heightened style only renders this
imaginative poverty, this want of spiritual conviction, more apparent.

His frequent borrowings from Virgil are less unsuccessful when the
matter to be illustrated is not of this exalted order. Many similes
(vii. 55, vii. 76, viii. 74) have been transplanted with nice propriety.
Many descriptions, like that of the approach of night (ii-96), of the
nightingale mourning for her young (xii. 90), of the flying dream (xiv.
6), have been translated with exquisite taste. Dido's impassioned
apostrophe to Aeneas reappears appropriately upon Armida's lips (xvi.
56). We welcome such culled phrases as the following:

                   l'orticel dispensa
    Cibi non compri alia mia parca mensa (vii. 10).

    Premer gli alteri, e sollevar gl'imbelli (x. 76).

    E Tisaferno, il folgore di Marte (xvii. 31).

    Va, vedi, e vinci (xvii. 38).

    Ma mentre dolce parla e dolce ride (iv. 92).

    Chè vinta la materia è dal lavoro (xvi. 2).

    Non temo io te, nè tuoi gran vanti, o fero:
    Ma il Cielo e il mio nemico amor pavento (xix. 73).

It may, however, be observed that in the last of these passages Tasso
does not show a just discriminative faculty. Turnus said:

                     Non me tua fervida terrent
    Dicta, ferox: Di me terrent et Jupiter hostis.

From Jupiter to Amor is a descent from sublimity to pathos. In like
manner when Hector's ghost reappears in the ghost of Armida's mother,

    Quanto diversa, oimè, da quel che pria
    Visto altrove (iv. 49),

the reminiscence suggests ideas that are unfavorable to the modern

In his description of battles, the mustering of armies, and military
operations, Tasso neither draws from mediaeval sources nor from
experience, but imitates the battle-pieces of Virgil and Lucan,
sometimes with fine rhetorical effect and sometimes with wearisome
frigidity. The death of Latino and his five sons is both touching in
itself, and a good example of this Virgilian mannerism (ix. 35). The
death of Dudone is justly celebrated as a sample of successful imitation
(iii. 45):

    Cade; e gli occhi, ch'appena aprir si ponno,
    Dura quiete preme e ferreo sonno.

The wound of Gerniero, on the contrary, illustrates the peril of
seeking after conceits in the inferior manner of the master (ix. 69):

    La destra di Gerniero, onde ferita
    Ella fu pria, manda recisa al piano;
    Tratto anco il ferro, e con tremanti dita
    Semiviva nel suol guizza la mano.

The same may be said about the wound of Algazèl (ix. 78) and the death
of Ardonio (xx. 39). In the description of the felling of the forest
(iii. 75, 76) and of the mustering of the Egyptian army (xvii. 1-36)
Tasso's Virgilian style attains real grandeur and poetic beauty.

Tasso was nothing if not a learned poet. It would be easy to illustrate
what he has borrowed from Lucretius, or to point out that the pathos of
Clorinda's apparition to Tancredi after death is a debt to Petrarch. It
may, however, suffice here to indicate six phrases taken straight from
Dante; since the _Divine Comedy_ was little studied in Tasso's age, and
his selection of these lines reflects credit on his taste. These are:

    Onorate l'altissimo campione! (iii. 73: _Inf._ iv.)

    Goffredo intorno gli occhi gravi e tardi (vii. 58: _Inf._. iv.).

                   a riveder le stelle (iv. 18: _Inf._ xxxiv.).

    Ond' è ch'or tanto ardire in voi s'alletti? (ix. 76: _Inf._ ix.)

    A guisa di leon quando si posa (x. 56: _Purg._ vi.)

                  e guardi e passi (xx. 43: _Inf._ in.)

As in the _Rinaldo_, so also in the _Gerusalemme_, Tasso's classical
proclivities betrayed him into violation of the clear Italian language.
Afraid of what is natural and common, he produced what is artificial and
conceited. Hence came involved octaves like the following (vi. 109):

      Siccome cerva, ch'assetata il passo
    Mova a cercar d'acque lucenti e vive,
    Ove un bel fonte distillar da un sasso
    O vide un fiume tra frondose rive,
    Se incontra i cani allor che il corpo lasso
    Ristorar crede all'onde, all'ombre estive,
    Volge indietro fuggendo, e la paura
    La stanchezza obbliar face e l'arsura.

The image is beautiful; but the diction is elaborately intricate,
rhetorically indistinct. We find the same stylistic involution in these
lines (xii. 6):

    Ma s'egli avverrà pur che mia ventura
    Nel mio ritorno mi rinchiuda il passo,
    D'uom che in amor m'è padre a te la cura
    E delle fide mie donzelle io lasso.

The limpid well of native utterance is troubled at its source by
scholastic artifices in these as in so many other passages of Tasso's
masterpiece. Nor was he yet emancipated from the weakness of _Rinaldo_.
Trying to soar upon the borrowed plumes of pseudo-classical sublimity,
he often fell back wearied by this uncongenial effort into prose. Lame
endings to stanzas, sudden descents from highly-wrought to pedestrian
diction, are not uncommon in the _Gerusalemme_. The poet, diffident of
his own inspiration, sought inspiration from books. In the magnificence
of single lines again, the _Gerusalemme_ reminds us of _Rinaldo_. Tasso
gained dignity of rhythm by choosing Latin adjectives and adverbs with
pompous cadences. No versifier before his date had consciously employed
the sonorous music of such lines as the following:--

    Foro, tentando inaccessibil via (ii. 29).

    Ond' Amor l'arco inevitabil tende (iii. 24).

    Questa muraglia impenetrabil fosse (iii. 51).

    Furon vedute fiammeggiare insieme (v. 28).

    Qual capitan ch'inespugnabil terra (v. 64).

    Sotto l'inevitabile tua spada (xvi. 33).

    Immense solitudini d'arena (xvii. I).

The last of these lines presents an impressive landscape in three
melodious words.

These verbal and stylistic criticisms are not meant to cast reproach on
Tasso as a poet. If they have any value, it is the light they throw upon
conditions under which the poet was constrained to work. Humanism and
the Catholic Revival reduced this greatest genius of his age to the
necessity of clothing religious sentiments in scholastic phraseology,
with the view of attaining to epic grandeur. But the Catholic Revival
was no regeneration of Christianity from living sources; and humanism
had run its course in Italy, and was ending in the sands of critical
self-consciousness. Thus piety in Tasso appears superficial and
conventional rather than profoundly felt or originally vigorous; while
the scholarship which supplied his epic style is scrupulous and timid.

The enduring qualities of Tasso as a modern poet have still to be
indicated; and to this more grateful portion of my argument I now
address myself. Much might be said in the first place about his
rhetorical dexterity--the flexibility of language in his hands, and the
copiousness of thought, whereby he was able to adorn varied situations
and depict diversity of passions with appropriate diction. Whether Alete
is subtly pleading a seductive cause, or Goffredo is answering his
sophistries with well-weighed arguments; whether Pluto addresses the
potentates of hell, or Erminia wavers between love and honor; whether
Tancredi pours forth the extremity of his despair, or Armida heaps
reproaches on Rinaldo in his flight; the musical and luminously polished
stanzas lend themselves without change of style to every gradation of
the speaker's mood. In this art of rhetoric, Tasso seems to have taken
Livy for his model; and many of his speeches which adorn the graver
portions of his poem are noticeable for compact sententious wisdom.

In fancy Tasso was not so naturally rich and inventive as the author of
_Orlando Furioso_. Yet a gallery of highly-finished pictures might be
collected from his similes and metaphors. What pride and swiftness mark
this vision of a thunderbolt:

    Grande ma breve fulmine il diresti,
    Che inaspettato sopraggiunga e passi;
    Ma del suo corso momentaneo resti
    Vestigio eterno in dirupati sassi (xx. 93).

How delicately touched is this uprising of the morning star from ocean:

    Qual mattutina Stella esce dell'onde
    Rugiadosa e stillante; o come fuore
    Spuntò nascendo già dalle feconde
    Spume dell'ocean la Dea d'amore (xv. 60).

Here is an image executed in the style of Ariosto. Clorinda has received
a wound on her uncovered head:

    Fu levissima piaga, e i biondi crini
    Rosseggiaron così d'alquante stille,
    Come rosseggia l'or che di rubini
    Per man d'illustre artefice sfaville (iii. 30).

Flowers furnish the poet with exquisite suggestions of color:

    D'un bel pallor ha il bianco volto asperso,
    Come a gigli sarian miste viole (xii. 69).

    Quale a pioggia d'argento e mattutina
    Si rabbellisce scolorita rosa (xx. 129).

Sometimes the painting is minutely finished like a miniature:

      Così piuma talor, che di gentile
    Amorosa colomba il collo cinge,
    Mai non sì scorge a sè stessa simile,
    Ma in diversi colori al sol si tinge:
    Or d'accesi rubin sembra un monile,
    Or di verdi smeraldi il lume finge,
    Or insieme li mesce, e varia e vaga
    In cento modi i riguardanti appaga (xv. 5).

Sometimes the style is broad, the touch vigorous:

      Qual feroce destrier, ch'al faticoso
    Onor dell'arme vincitor sia tolto,
    E lascivo marito in vil riposo
    Fra gli armenti e ne'paschi erri dìsciolto,

    Se il desta o suon di tromba, o luminoso
    Acciar, cola tosto annitrendo è volto;
    Già già brama l'arringo, el'uom sul dorso
    Portando, urtato riurtar nel corso (xvi. 28).

I will content myself with referring to the admirably conceived simile
of a bulky galleon at sea attacked by a swifter and more agile vessel
(xix. 13), which may perhaps have suggested to Fuller his famous
comparison of Shakespeare and Ben Jonson in their wit encounters.

But Tasso was really himself, incomparable and unapproachable, when he
wrote in what musicians would call the _largo e maestoso_ mood.

    Giace l'alta Cartago; appena i segni
    Dell'alte sue ruine il lido serba.
    Muoino le città, muoino i regni;
    Copre i fasti e le pompe arena ed erba;
    E l'uomo d'esser mortal par che si sdegni!
    Oh nostra mente cupida e superba! (xv. 20).

This is perfect in its measured melancholy, the liquid flow of its
majestic simplicity. The same musical breadth, the same noble sweetness,
pervade a passage on the eternal beauty of the heavens compared with the
brief brightness of a woman's eyes:

                           oh quante belle
    Luci il tempio celeste in sè raguna!
    Ha il suo gran carro il di; le aurate stelle
    Spiega la notte e l'argentata luna;
    Ma non è chi vagheggi o questa o quelle;
    E miriam noi torbida luce e bruna,
    Che un girar d'occhi, un balenar di riso
    Scopre in breve confin di fragil viso (xviii. 15).

This verbal music culminates in the two songs of earthly joy, the
_chants d'amour_, or hymns to pleasure, sung by Armida's ministers
(xiv. 60-65, xvi. 12, 13). Boiardo and Ariosto had painted the
seductions of enchanted gardens, where valor was enthralled by beauty,
and virtue dulled by voluptuous delights. It remained for Tasso to give
that magic of the senses vocal utterance. From the myrtle groves of
Orontes, from the spell-bound summer amid snows upon the mountains of
the Fortunate Isle, these lyrics with their penetrative sweetness, their
lingering regret, pass into the silence of the soul. It is eminently
characteristic of Tasso's mood and age that the melody of both these
honeyed songs should thrill with sadness. Nature is at war with honor;
youth passes like a flower away; therefore let us love and yield our
hearts to pleasure while we can. _Sehnsucht_, the soul of modern
sentiment, the inner core of modern music, makes its entrance into the
sphere of art with these two hymns. The division of the mind, wavering
between natural impulse and acquired morality, gives the tone of
melancholy to the one chant. In the other, the invitation to
self-abandonment is mingled with a forecast of old age and death. Only
Catullus, in his song to Lesbia, among the ancients touched this note;
only Villon, perhaps, in his Ballade of Dead Ladies, touched it among
the moderns before Tasso. But it has gone on sounding ever since through
centuries which have enjoyed the luxury of grief in music.

If Tancredi be the real hero of the _Gerusalemme_, Armida is the
heroine. The action of the epic follows her movements. She combines the
parts of Angelica and Alcina in one that is original and novel. A
sorceress, deputed by the powers of hell to defeat the arms of the
crusaders, Armida falls herself in love with a Christian champion. Love
changes her from a beautiful white witch into a woman.[76] When she
meets Rinaldo in the battle, she discharges all her arrows vainly at the
man who has deserted her. One by one, they fly and fall; and as they
wing their flight, Love wounds her own heart with his shafts:

    Scocca I' arco più volte, e non fa piaga
    E, mentre ella saetta, amor lei piaga (xx. 65).

Then she turns to die in solitude. Rinaldo follows, and stays her in the
suicidal act. Despised and rejected as she is, she cannot hate him. The
man she had entangled in her wiles has conquered and subdued her nature.
To the now repentant minister of hell he proposes baptism; and Armida

    Sì parla, e prega; e i preghi bagna e scalda
    Or di lagrime rare, or di sospiri:
    Onde, siccome suol nevosa falda
    Dov'arde il sole, o tepid' aura spiri,
    Così l'ira che in lei parea sì salda,
    Solvesi, e restan sol gli altri desiri.
    _Ecco l'ancilla tua_; d'essa a tuo senno
    Dispon, gli disse, e le fia legge il cenno (xx. 136).

[Footnote 76: I may incidentally point out how often this motive has
supplied the plot to modern ballets.]

This metamorphosis of the enchantress into the woman in Armida, is the
climax of the _Gerusalemme_. It is also the climax and conclusion of
Italian romantic poetry, the resolution of its magic and marvels into
the truths of human affection. Notice, too, with what audacity Tasso has
placed the words of Mary on the lips of his converted sorceress!
Deliberately planning a religious and heroic poem, he assigns the spoils
of conquered hell to love triumphant in a woman's breast. Beauty, which
in itself is diabolical, the servant of the lords of Hades, attains to
apotheosis through affection. In Armida we already surmise _das ewig
Weibliche_ of Goethe's Faust, Gretchen saving her lover's soul before
Madonna's throne in glory.

What was it, then, that Tasso, this 'child of a later and a colder age,'
as Shelley called him, gave of permanent value to European literature?
We have seen that the _Gerusalemme_ did not fulfill the promise of
heroic poetry for that eminently unheroic period. We know that neither
the Virgilian hero nor the laboriously developed theme commands the
interest of posterity. We feel that religious emotion is feeble here,
and that the classical enthusiasm of the Renaissance is on the point of
expiring in those Latinistic artifices. Yet the interwoven romance
contains a something difficult to analyze, intangible and
evanescent--_un non so che_, to use the poet's favorite phrase--which
riveted attention in the sixteenth century, and which harmonizes with
our own sensibility to beauty. Tasso, in one word, was the poet, not of
passion, not of humor, not of piety, not of elevated action, but of
that new and undefined emotion which we call Sentiment. Unknown to the
ancients, implicit in later mediaeval art, but not evolved with
clearness from romance, alien to the sympathies of the Renaissance as
determined by the Classical Revival, sentiment, that _non so che_ of
modern feeling, waited for its first apocalypse in Tasso's work. The
phrase which I have quoted, and which occurs so frequently in this
poet's verse, indicates the intrusion of a new element into the sphere
of European feeling. Vague, indistinct, avoiding outline, the phrase _un
non so che_ leaves definition to the instinct of those who feel, but
will not risk the limitation of their feeling by submitting it to words.
Nothing in antique psychology demanded a term of this kind. Classical
literature, in close affinity to sculpture, dealt with concrete images
and conscious thoughts. The mediaeval art of Dante, precisely,
mathematically measured, had not felt the need of it. Boccaccio's
clear-cut intaglios from life and nature, Petrarch's compassed melodies,
Poliziano's polished arabesques, Ariosto's bright and many colored
pencilings, were all of them, in all their varied phases of Renaissance
expression, distinguished by decision and firmness of drawing.
Vagueness, therefore, had hitherto found no place in European poetry or
plastic art. But music, the supreme symbol of spiritual infinity in art,
was now about to be developed; and the specific touch of Tasso, the
musician-poet, upon portraiture and feeling, called forth this quality
of vagueness, a vagueness that demanded melody to give what it refused
from language to accept. Mendelssohn when some one asked him what is
meant by music, replied that it had meanings for his mind more
unmistakable than those which words convey; but what these meanings
were, he did not or he could not make clear. This certainty of
sentiment, seeming vague only because it floats beyond the scope of
language in regions of tone and color and emotion, is what Tasso's _non
so che_ suggests to those who comprehend. And Tasso, by his frequent
appeal to it, by his migration from the plastic into the melodic realm
of the poetic art, proved himself the first genuinely sentimental artist
of the modern age. It is just this which gave him a wider and more
lasting empire over the heart through the next two centuries than that
claimed by Ariosto.

It may not be unprofitable to examine in detail Tasso's use of the
phrase to which so much importance has been assigned in the foregoing
paragraph. We meet it first in the episode of Olindo and Sofronia.
Sofronia, of all the heroines of the _Gerusalemme_, is the least
interesting, notwithstanding her magnanimous mendacity and Jesuitical
acceptance of martyrdom. Olindo touches the weaker fibers of our
sympathy by his feminine devotion to a woman placed above him in the
moral scale, whose love he wins by splendid falsehood equal to her own.
The episode, entirely idle in the action of the poem, has little to
recommend it, if we exclude the traditionally accepted reference to
Tasso's love for Leonora d'Este. But when Olindo and Sofronia are
standing, back to back, against the stake, Aladino, who has decreed
their death by burning, feels his rude bosom touched with sudden pity:

    Un non so che d'inusitato e molle
    Par che nel duro petto al re trapasse:
    Ei presentillo, e si sdegnò; nè voile
    Piegarsi, e gli occhi torse, e si ritrasse (ii. 37).

The intrusion of a lyrical emotion, unknown before in the tyrant's
breast, against which he contends with anger, and before the force of
which he bends, prepares us for the happy _dénouement_ brought about by
Clorinda. This vague stirring of the soul, this _non so che_, this
sentiment, is the real agent in Sofronia's release and Olindo's

Clorinda is about to march upon her doom. She is inflamed with the
ambition to destroy the engines of the Christian host by fire at night;
and she calls Argante to her counsels:

    Buona pezza è, signor, che in sè raggira
    Un non so che d'insolito e d'audace
    La mia mente inquieta; o Dio l'inspira,
    O l'uom del suo voler suo Dio si face (xii. 5).

Thus at this solemn point of time, when death is certainly in front,
when she knows not whether God has inspired her or whether she has made
of her own wish a deity, Clorinda utters the mystic word of vague
compulsive feeling.

Erminia, taken captive by Tancredi after the siege of Antioch, is
brought into her master's tent. He treats her with chivalrous courtesy,
and offers her a knight's protection:

    Allora un non so che soave e piano
    Sentii, ch'al cor mi scese, e vi s'affisse,
    Che, serpendomi poi per l'alma vaga,
    Non so come, divenne incendio e piaga (xix. 94).

At that moment, by the distillation of that vague emotion into vein and
marrow, Erminia becomes Tancredi's slave, and her future is determined.

These examples are, perhaps, sufficient to show how Tasso, at the
turning-points of destiny for his most cherished personages, invoked
indefinite emotion to adumbrate the forces with which will contends in
vain. But the master phrase rings even yet more tyrannously in the
passage of Clorinda's death, which sums up all of sentiment included in
romance. Long had Tancredi loved Clorinda. Meeting her in battle, he
stood her blows defenseless; for Clorinda was an Amazon, reduced by
Tasso's gentle genius to womanhood from the proportions of Marfisa.
Finally, with heart surcharged with love for her, he has to cross his
sword in deadly duel with this lady. Malign stars rule the hour: he
knows not who she is: misadventure makes her, instead of him, the victim
of their encounter. With her last breath she demands baptism--the good
Tasso, so it seems, could not send so fair a creature of his fancy as
Clorinda to the shades without viaticum; and his poetry rises to the
sublime of pathos in this stanza:

      Amico, hai vinto: io ti perdon: perdona
    Tu ancora: al corpo no, che nulla pave;
    All'alma sì: deh! per lei prega; e dona
    Battesmo a me ch'ogni mia colpa lave.
    In queste voci languide risuona
    Un non so che di flebile e soave
    Ch'al cor gli serpe, ed ogni sdegno ammorza,
    E gli occhi a lagrimar gl'invoglia e sforza (xii. 66).

Here the vague emotion, the _non so che_, distils itself through
Clorinda's voice into Tancredi's being. Afterwards it thrills there like
moaning winds in an Aeolian lyre, reducing him to despair upon his bed
of sickness, and reasserting its lyrical charm in the vision which he
has of Clorinda among the trees of the enchanted forest. He stands
before the cypress where the soul of his dead lady seems to his
misguided fancy prisoned; and the branches murmur in his ears:

    Fremere intanto udia continuo il vento
    Tra le frondi del bosco e tra i virgulti,
    E trarne un suon che flebile concento
    Par d'umani sospiri e di singulti;
    E un non so che confuso instilla al core
    Di pietà, di spavento e di dolore (xiii. 40).

The master word, the magic word of Tasso's sentiment, is uttered at this
moment of illusion. The poet has no key to mysteries locked up within
the human breast more powerful than this indefinite _un non so che_.

Enough has been said to show how Tasso used the potent spell of
vagueness, when he found himself in front of supreme situations. This
is in truth the secret of his mastery over sentiment, the spell whereby
he brings nature and night, the immense solitudes of deserts, the
darkness of forests, the wailings of the winds and the plangent litanies
of sea-waves into accord with overstrained humanity. It was a great
discovery; by right of it Tasso proved himself the poet of the coming

When the _Gerusalemme_ was completed, Tasso had done his best work as a
poet. The misfortunes which began to gather round him in his
thirty-first year, made him well-nigh indifferent to the fate of the
poem which had drained his life-force, and from which he had expected so
much glory. It was published without his permission or supervision. He,
meanwhile, in the prison of S. Anna, turned his attention to prose
composition. The long series of dialogues, with which he occupied the
irksome leisure of seven years, interesting as they are in matter and
genial in style, indicate that the poet was now in abeyance. It remained
to be seen whether inspiration would revive with freedom. No sooner were
the bolts withdrawn than his genius essayed a fresh flight. He had long
meditated the composition of a tragedy, and had already written some
scenes. At Mantua in 1586-7 this work took the form of _Torrismondo_. It
cannot be called a great drama, for it belongs to the rigid declamatory
species of Italian tragedy; and Tasso's genius was romantic, idyllic,
elegiac, anything but genuinely tragic. Yet the style is eminent for
nobility and purity. Just as the _Aminta_ showed how unaffected Tasso
could be when writing without preconceived theories of heightened
diction, so the _Torrismondo_ displays an unstrained dignity of simple
dialogue. It testifies to the plasticity of language in the hands of a
master, who deliberately chose and sustained different styles in
different species of poetry, and makes us regret that he should have
formed his epic manner upon so artificial a type. The last chorus of
_Torrismondo_ deserves to be mentioned as a perfect example of Tasso's
melancholy elegiac pathos.

Meanwhile he began to be dissatisfied with the _Gerusalemme_, and in
1588 he resolved upon remodeling his masterpiece. The real vitality of
that poem was, as we have seen, in its romance. But Tasso thought
otherwise. During the fourteen years which elapsed since its completion,
the poet's youthful fervor had been gradually fading out. Inspiration
yielded to criticism; piety succeeded to sentiment and enthusiasm for
art. Therefore, in this later phase of his maturity, with powers
impaired by prolonged sufferings and wretched health, tormented by
religious scruples and vague persistent fear, he determined to eliminate
the romance from the epic, to render its unity of theme more rigorous,
and to concentrate attention upon the serious aspects of the subject.
The result of this plan, pursued through five years of wandering, was
the _Gerusalemme Conquistata_, a poem which the world has willingly let
die, in which the style of the _Gerusalemme Liberata_ is worsened, and
which now serves mainly to establish by comparison the fact that what
was immortal in Tasso's art was the romance he ruthlessly rooted out. A
further step in this transition from art to piety is marked by the poem
upon the Creation of the World, called _Le Sette Giornate_. Written in
blank verse, it religiously but tamely narrates the operation of the
Divine Artificer, following the first chapter of Genesis and expanding
the motive of each of the seven days with facile rhetoric. Of action and
of human interest the poem has none; of artistic beauty little. The
sustained descriptive style wearies; and were not this the last work of
Tasso, it would not be mentioned by posterity.

Tasso has already occupied us through two chapters. Before passing
onward I must, however, invite the reader to pause awhile and
reconsider, even at the risk of retrospect and repetition, some of the
salient features of his character. And now I remember that of his
personal appearance nothing has hitherto been said. 'Tasso was tall,
well-proportioned, and of very fair complexion. His thick hair and beard
were of a light-brown color. His head was large, forehead broad and
square, eyebrows dark, eyes large, lively and blue, nose large and
curved toward the mouth, lips thin and pale.' So writes Manso, the
poet's friend and biographer, adding: 'His voice was clear and sonorous;
but he read his poems badly, because of a slight impediment in his
speech, and because he was short-sighted.' I know not whether I am
justified in drawing from this description the conclusion that Tasso
was, physically, a man of mixed lymphatic and melancholic temperament,
of more than ordinary sensitiveness. Imperfection, at any rate, is
indicated by the thin pale lips, the incoherent utterance and the
uncertain vision to which his friend in faithfulness bears witness. Of
painted portraits representing Tasso in later life there are many; but
most of these seem to be based upon the mask taken from his face after
death, which still exists at S. Onofrio. Twenty-one years ago I gazed
upon this mask, before I knew then more than every schoolboy knows of
Tasso's life and writings. This is what I wrote about it in my Roman
diary: 'The face is mild and weak, especially in the thin short chin and
feeble mouth.[77] The forehead round, and ample in proportion to the
other features. The eyes are small, but this may be due to the
contraction of death. The mouth is almost vulgar, very flat in the upper
lip; but this also ought perhaps to be attributed to the relaxation of
tissue by death.

Tasso was constitutionally inclined to pensive moods. His outlook over
life was melancholy.[78]

[Footnote 77: Giov. Imperiale in the _Museum Historicum_ describes him
thus: 'Perpetuo moerentis et altius cogitantis gessit aspectum, _gracili
mento_, facie decolori, conniventibus cavisque oculis.']

[Footnote 78: 'La mia fiera malinconia' is a phrase which often recurs
in his letters.]

The tone of his literary work, whether in prose or poetry, is
elegiac--musically, often querulously plaintive. There rests a shadow of
dejection over all he wrote and thought and acted. Yet he was finely
sensitive to pleasure, thrillingly alive to sentimental beauty.[79]
Though the man lived purely, untainted by the license of the age, his
genius soared highest when he sang some soft luxurious strain of love.
He was wholly deficient in humor. Taking himself and the world of men
and things too much in earnest, he weighed heavily alike on art and
life. The smallest trifles, if they touched him, seemed to him
important.[80] Before imaginary terrors he shook like an aspen. The
slightest provocation roused his momentary resentment. The most
insignificant sign of neglect or coldness wounded his self-esteem.
Plaintive, sensitive to beauty, sentimental, tender, touchy,
self-engrossed, devoid of humor--what a sentient instrument was this for
uttering Aeolian melodies, and straining discords through storm-jangled

[Footnote 79: 'Questo segno mi ho proposto: piacere ed onore'
(_Lettere_, vol. v. p. 87).]

[Footnote 80: It should be said that as a man of letters he bore with
fools gladly, and showed a noble patience. Of this there is a fine
example in his controversy with Della Cruscans. He was not so patient
with the publishers and pirates of his works. No wonder, when they
robbed him so!]

From the Jesuits, in childhood, he received religious impressions which
might almost be described as mesmeric or hypnotic in their influence
upon his nerves. These abode with him through manhood; and in later
life morbid scruples and superstitious anxieties about his soul laid
hold on his imagination. Yet religion did not penetrate Tasso's nature.
As he conceived it, there was nothing solid and supporting in its
substance. Piety was neither deeply rooted nor indigenous, neither
impassioned nor logically reasoned, in the adult man.[81] What it might
have been, but for those gimcrack ecstasies before the Host in boyhood,
cannot now be fancied. If he contained the stuff of saint or simple
Christian, this was sterilized and stunted by the clever fathers in
their school at Naples.

During the years of his feverishly active adolescence Tasso played for a
while with philosophical doubts. But though he read widely and
speculated diffusely on the problems of the universe, he failed to
pierce below the surface of the questions which he handled. His own
beliefs had been tested in no red-hot crucible, before he recoiled with
terror from their analysis. The man, to put it plainly, was incapable of
honest revolt against the pietistic fashions of his age, incapable of
exploratory efforts, and yet too intelligent to rest satisfied with
gross dogmatism or smug hypocrisy. Neither as a thinker, nor as a
Christian, nor yet again as that epicene religious being, a Catholic of
the Counter-Reformation, did this noble and ingenuous, but weakly nature
attain to thoroughness.

[Footnote 81: Tasso's diffuse paraphrase of the _Stabat Mater_ might be
selected to illustrate the sentimental tenderness rather than strength
of his religious feeling.]

Tasso's mind was lively and sympathetic; not penetrative, not fitted for
forming original or comprehensive views. He lived for no great object,
whether political, moral, religious, or scientific. He committed himself
to no vice. He obeyed no absorbing passion of love or hatred. In his
misfortunes he displayed the helplessness which stirs mere pity for a
prostrate human being. The poet who complained so querulously, who wept
so copiously, who forgot offense so nonchalantly, cannot command

There is nothing sublimely tragic in Tasso's suffering. The sentiment
inspired by it is that at best of pathos. An almost childish
self-engrossment restricted his thoughts, his aims and aspirations, to a
narrow sphere, within which he wandered incurably idealistic, pursuing
prosaic or utilitarian objects--the favor of princes, place at Courts,
the recovery of his inheritance--in a romantic and unpractical
spirit.[82] Vacillating, irresolute, peevish, he roamed through all the
towns of Italy, demanding more than sympathy could give, exhausting
friendship, changing from place to place, from lord to lord. Yet how
touching was the destiny of this laureled exile, this brilliant wayfarer
on the highroads of a world he never understood! Shelley's phrase, 'the
world's rejected guest' exactly seems to suit him.

[Footnote 82: The numerous plaintive requests for a silver cup, a ring,
a silk cloak and such trifles in his later letters indicate something
quite childish in his pre-occupations.]

And yet he allowed himself to become the spoiled child of his
misfortunes. Without them, largely self-created as they were, Tasso
could not now appeal to our hearts. Nor does he appeal to us as Dante,
eating the salt bread of patrons' tables, does; as Milton, blind and
fallen on evil days; as Chatterton, perishing in pride and silence; as
Johnson, turning from the stairs of Chesterfield; as Bruno, averting
stern eyes from the crucifix; as Leopardi, infusing the virus of his
suffering into the veins of humanity; as Heine, motionless upon his
mattress grave. These more potent personalities, bequeathing to the
world examples of endurance, have won the wreath of never-blasted bays
which shall not be set on Tasso's forehead. We crown him with frailer
leaves, bedewed with tears tender as his own sentiment, and aureoled
with the light that emanates from pure and delicate creations of his

Though Tasso does not command admiration by heroism, he wins compassion
as a beautiful and finely-gifted nature inadequate to cope with the
conditions of his century. For a poet to be independent in that age of
intellectual servitude was well-nigh impossible. To be light-hearted and
ironically indifferent lay not in Tasso's temperament. It was no less
difficult for a man of his mental education to maintain the balance
between orthodoxy and speculation, faith and reason, classical culture
and Catholicism, the Renaissance and the Counter-Reformation. He
belonged in one sense too much, and in another sense too little, to his
epoch. One eminent critic calls him the only Christian of the Italian
Renaissance, another with equal justice treats him as the humanistic
poet of the Catholic Revival.[83]

Properly speaking, he was the genius of that transition from the
Renaissance to the Counter-Reformation, on which I dwelt in the second
chapter of this work. By natural inclination he belonged to the line of
artists which began with Boccaccio and culminated in Ariosto. But his
training and the bias of the times in which he lived, made him break
with Boccaccio's tradition. He tried to be the poet of the Council of
Trent, without having assimilated hypocrisy or acquired false taste,
without comprehending the essentially prosaic and worldly nature of that
religious revolution. He therefore lived and worked in a continual
discord. This may not suffice to account for the unhingement of his
reason. I prefer to explain that by the fatigue of intellectual labor
and worry acting on a brain predisposed for melancholia and overtasked
from infancy. But it does account for the moral martyrdom he suffered,
and the internal perplexity to which he was habitually subject.

[Footnote 83: Carducci, in his essay _Dello Svolgimento della
Letteratura Nazionale_, and Quinet, in his _Révolutions d'ltalie_.]

When Tasso first saw the light, the Italians had rejected the
Reformation and consented to stifle free thought. The culture of the
Renaissance had been condemned; the Spanish hegemony had been accepted.
Of this new attitude the concordat between Charles and Clement, the
Tridentine Council, the Inquisition and the Company of Jesus were
external signs. But these potent agencies had not accomplished their
work in Tasso's lifetime. He was rent in twain because he could not
react against them as Bruno did, and could not identify himself with
them as Loyola was doing. As an artist he belonged to the old order
which was passing, as a Christian to the new order which was emerging.
His position as a courtier, when the Augustan civility of the earlier
Medici was being superseded by dynastic absolutism, complicated his
difficulties. While accepting service in the modern spirit of
subjection, he dreamed of masters who should be Maecenases, and fondly
imagined that poets might still live, like Petrarch, on terms of
equality with princes.

We therefore see in Tasso one who obeyed influences to which his real
self never wholly or consciously submitted. He was not so much out of
harmony with his age as the incarnation of its still unharmonized
contradictions. The pietism instilled into his mind at Naples; the
theories of art imbibed at Padua and Venice; the classical lumber
absorbed during his precocious course of academical studies; the
hypocritical employment of allegory to render sensuous poetry decorous;
the deference to critical opinion and the dictates of literary
lawgivers; the reverence for priests and princes interposed between the
soul and God: these were principles which Tasso accepted without having
properly assimilated and incorporated their substance into his spiritual
being. What the poet in him really was, we perceive when he wrote, to
use Dante's words, as Love dictates; or as Plato said, when he submitted
to the mania of the Muse; or as Horace counseled, when he indulged his
genius. It is in the _Aminta_, in the episodes of the _Gerusalemme_, in
a small percentage of the _Rime_, that we find the true Tasso. For the
rest, he had not the advantages enjoyed by Boiardo and Ariosto in a less
self-conscious age, of yielding to natural impulse after a full and
sympathetic study of classical and mediaeval sources. The analytical
labors of the previous century hampered his creativeness. He brought to
his task preoccupations of divers and self-contradictory
pedantries--pedantries of Catholicism, pedantries of scholasticism,
pedantries of humanism in its exhausted phase, pedantries of criticism
refined and subtilized within a narrow range of problems. He had,
moreover, weighing on his native genius the fears which brooded like
feverish exhalations over the evil days in which he lived--fears of
Church-censure, fears of despotic princes, fears of the Inquisition,
fears of hell, fears of the judgment of academies, fears of social
custom and courtly conventionalities. Neither as poet nor as man had he
the courage of originality. What he lacked was character. He obeyed the
spirit of his age, in so far as he did not, like young David, decline
Saul's armor and enter into combat with Philistinism, wielding his
sling and stone of native force alone. Yet that native force was so
vigorous that, in spite of the panoply of prejudice he wore, in spite of
the cumbrous armor lent him by authority, he moved at times with superb
freedom. In those rare intervals of personal inspiration he dictated the
love-tales of Erminia and Armida, the death-scene of Clorinda, the
pastoral of Aminta and Silvia--episodes which created the music and the
painting of two centuries, and which still live upon the lips of the
people. But inasmuch as his genius labored beneath the superincumbent
weight of precedents and deferences, the poet's nature was strained to
the uttermost and his nervous elasticity was overtaxed. No sooner had he
poured forth freely what flowed freely from his soul, than he returned
on it with scrupulous analysis. The product of his spirit stood before
him as a thing to be submitted to opinion, as a substance subject to the
test of all those pedantries and fears. We cannot wonder that the
subsequent conflict perplexed his reason and sterilized his creative
faculty to such an extent that he spent the second half of his life in
attempting to undo the great work of his prime. The _Gerusalemme
Conquistata_ and the _Sette Giornate_ are thus the splendid triumph
achieved by the feebler over the stronger portions of his nature, the
golden tribute paid by his genius to the evil genius of the age
controlling him. He was a poet who, had he lived in the days of Ariosto,
would have created in all senses spontaneously, producing works of
Virgilian beauty and divine melancholy to match the Homeric beauty and
the divine irony of his great peer. But this was not to be. The spirit
of the times which governed his education, with which he was not
revolutionary enough to break, which he strove as a critic to assimilate
and as a social being to obey, destroyed his independence, perplexed his
judgment, and impaired his nervous energy. His best work was
consequently of unequal value; pure and base metal mingled in its
composition. His worst was a barren and lifeless failure.



     Scientific Bias of the Italians checked by Catholic
     Revival--Boyhood of Bruno--Enters Order of S. Dominic at
     Naples--Early Accusations of Heresy--Escapes to Rome--Teaches the
     Sphere at Noli--Visits Venice--At Geneva--At Toulouse--At
     Paris--His Intercourse with Henri III.--Visits England--The French
     Ambassador in London--Oxford--Bruno's Literary Work in
     England--Returns to Paris--Journeys into Germany--Wittenberg,
     Helmstädt, Frankfort--Invitation to Venice from Giovanni
     Mocenigo--His Life in Venice--Mocenigo denounces him to the
     Inquisition--His Trial at Venice--Removal to Rome--Death by Burning
     in 1600--Bruno's Relation to the Thought of his Age and to the
     Thought of Modern Europe--Outlines of his Philosophy.

The humanistic and artistic impulses of the Renaissance were at the
point of exhaustion in Italy. Scholarship declined; the passion for
antiquity expired. All those forms of literature which Boccaccio
initiated--comedy, romance, the idyl, the lyric and the novel--had been
worked out by a succession of great writers. It became clear that the
nation was not destined to create tragic or heroic types of poetry.
Architecture, sculpture and painting had performed their task of
developing mediaeval motives by the light of classic models, and were
now entering on the stage of academical inanity. Yet the mental vigor of
the Italians was by no means exhausted. Early in the sixteenth century
Machiavelli had inaugurated a new method for political philosophy;
Pompanazzo at Padua and Telesio at Cosenza disclosed new horizons for
psychology and the science of nature. It seemed as though the
Renaissance in Italy were about to assume a fresh and more serious
character without losing its essential inspiration. That evolution of
intellectual energy which had begun with the assimilation of the
classics, with the first attempts at criticism, with the elaboration of
style and the perfection of artistic form, now promised to invade the
fields of metaphysical and scientific speculation. It is true, as we
have seen, that the theological problems of the German Reformation took
but slight hold on Italians. Their thinkers were already too far
advanced upon the paths of modern rationalism to feel the actuality of
questions which divided Luther from Zwingli, Calvin from Servetus, Knox
from Cranmer. But they promised to accomplish master-works of
incalculable magnitude in wider provinces of exploration and
investigation. And had this progress not been checked, Italy would have
crowned and completed the process commenced by humanism. In addition to
the intellectual culture already given to Europe, she might have
revealed right methods of mental analysis and physical research. For
this further step in the discovery of man and of the world, the nation
was prepared to bring an army of new pioneers into the field--the
philosophers of the south, and the physicists of the Lombard

Humanism effected the emancipation of intellect by culture. It called
attention to the beauty and delightfulness of nature, restored man to a
sense of his dignity, and freed him from theological authority. But in
Italy, at any rate, it left his conscience, his religion, his
sociological ideas, the deeper problems which concern his relation to
the universe, the subtler secrets of the world in which he lives,

These _novi homines_ of the later Renaissance, as Bacon called them,
these _novatori_, as they were contemptuously styled in Italy, prepared
the further emancipation of the intellect by science. They asserted the
liberty of thought and speech, proclaimed the paramount authority of
that inner light or indwelling deity which man owns in his brain and
breast, and rehabilitated nature from the stigma cast on it by
Christianity. What the Bible was for Luther, that was the great Book of
Nature for Telesio, Bruno, Campanella. The German reformer appealed to
the reason of the individual as conscience; the school of southern Italy
made a similar appeal to intelligence. In different ways Luther and
these speculative thinkers maintained the direct illumination of the
human soul by God, man's immediate dependence on his Maker, repudiating
ecclesiastical intervention, and refusing to rely on any principle but
earnest love of truth.

Had this new phase of the Italian Renaissance been permitted to evolve
itself unhindered, there is no saying how much earlier Europe might have
entered into the possession of that kingdom of unprejudiced research
which is now secured for us. But it was just at the moment when Italy
became aware of the arduous task before her, that the Catholic reaction
set in with all its rigor. The still creative spirit of her children
succumbed to the Inquisition, the Congregation of the Index, the decrees
of Trent, the intellectual submission of the Jesuits, the physical force
of Spanish tyranny, and Roman absolutism. Carnesecchi was burned alive;
Paleario was burned alive; Bruno was burned alive: these three at Rome.
Vanini was burned at Toulouse. Valentino Gentile was executed by
Calvinists at Berne. Campanella was cruelly tortured and imprisoned for
twenty-seven years at Naples. Galileo was forced to humble himself
before ignorant and arrogant monks, and to hide his head in a country
villa. Sarpi felt the knife of an assassin, and would certainly have
perished at the instigation of his Roman enemies but for the protection
guaranteed him by the Signory of Venice. In this way did Italy--or
rather, let us say, the Church which dominated Italy--devour her sons of
light. It is my purpose in the present chapter to narrate the life of
Bruno and to give some account of his philosophy, taking him as the most
illustrious example of the school exterminated by reactionary Rome.

Giordano Bruno was born in 1548 at Nola, an ancient Greek city close to
Naples. He received the baptismal name of Filippo, which he exchanged
for Giordano on assuming the Dominican habit. His parents, though
people of some condition, were poor; and this circumstance may perhaps
be reckoned the chief reason why Bruno entered the convent of S. Dominic
at Naples before he had completed his fifteenth year. It will be
remembered that Sarpi joined the Servites at the age of thirteen, and
Campanella the Dominicans at that of fourteen. In each of these
memorable cases it is probable that poverty had something to do with
deciding a vocation so premature. But there were other inducements,
which rendered the monastic life not unattractive, to a young man
seeking knowledge at a period and in a district where instruction was
both costly and difficult to obtain. Campanella himself informs us that
he was drawn to the order of S. Dominic by its reputation for learning
and by the great names of S. Thomas Aquinas and Albertus Magnus. Bruno
possibly felt a similar attraction; for there is nothing in the temper
of his mind to make us believe that he inclined seriously to the
religious life of the cloister.

During his novitiate he came into conflict with the superiors of his
convent for the first time. It was proved against him that he had given
away certain images of saints, keeping only the crucifix; also that he
had told a comrade to lay aside a rhymed version of the Seven Joys of
Mary, and to read the lives of the Fathers of the Church instead. On
these two evidences of insufficient piety, an accusation was prepared
against him which might have led to serious results. But the master of
the novices preferred to destroy the document, retaining only a
memorandum of the fact for future use in case of need.[84] Bruno, after
this event, obeyed the cloistral discipline in quiet, and received
priest's orders in 1572.

At this epoch of his life, when he had attained his twenty-fourth year,
he visited several Dominican convents of the Neapolitan province, and
entered with the want of prudence which was habitual to him into
disputations on theology. Some remarks he let fall on transubstantiation
and the Divinity of Christ, exposed him to a suspicion of Arianism, a
heresy at that time rife in southern Italy. Bruno afterwards confessed
that from an early age he had entertained speculative doubts upon the
metaphysics of the Trinity, though he was always prepared to accept that
dogma in faith as a good Catholic. The Inquisition took the matter up in
earnest, and began to institute proceedings of so grave a nature that
the young priest felt himself in danger. He escaped in his monk's dress,
and traveled to Rome, where he obtained admittance for a short while to
the convent of the Minerva.

[Footnote 84: The final case drawn up against Bruno as heresiarch makes
it appear that his record included even these boyish errors. See the
letter of Gaspar Schopp in Berti.]

We know very little what had been his occupations up to this date. It is
only certain that he had already composed a comedy, _Il Candelajo_:
which furnishes sufficient proof of his familiarity with mundane
manners. It is, in fact, one of the freest and most frankly satirical
compositions for the stage produced at that epoch, and reveals a
previous study of Aretino. Nola, Bruno's birthplace, was famous for the
license of its country folk. Since the day of its foundation by
Chalkidian colonists, its inhabitants had preserved their Hellenic
traditions intact. The vintage, for example, was celebrated with an
extravagance of obscene banter, which scandalized Philip II.'s viceroy
in the sixteenth century.[85] During the period of Bruno's novitiate,
the ordinances of the Council of Trent for discipline in monasteries
were not yet in operation; and it is probable that throughout the
thirteen years of his conventual experience, he mixed freely with the
people and shared the pleasures of youth in that voluptuous climate. He
was never delicate in his choice of phrase, and made no secret of the
admiration which the beauty of women excited in his nature. The
accusations brought against him at Venice contained one article of
indictment implying that he professed distinctly profligate opinions;
and though there is nothing to prove that his private life was vicious,
the tenor of his philosophy favors more liberty of manners than the
Church allowed in theory to her ministers.[86]

[Footnote 85: See 'Vita di Don Pietro di Toledo'_ (Arch. Stov._ vol. ix.
p. 23)]

[Footnote 86: See the passage on polygamy in the _Spaccio della Bestia_.
I may here remark that Campanella, though more orthodox than Bruno,
published opinions upon the relations of the sexes analogous to those of
Plato's Republic in his _Citta del Sole_. He even recommended the
institution of brothels as annexes to schools for boys, in order to
avoid the worse evil of unnatural vice in youth.]

It is of some importance to dwell on this topic; for Bruno's character
and temper, so markedly different from that of Sarpi, for example,
affected in no small measure the form and quality of his philosophy. He
was a poet, gifted with keen and lively sensibilities, open at all pores
to the delightfulness of nature, recoiling from nothing that is human.
At no period of his life was he merely a solitary thinker or a student
of books. When he came to philosophize, when the spiritual mistress,
Sophia, absorbed all other passions in his breast, his method of
exposition retained a tincture of that earlier phase of his experience.

It must not be thought, however, that Bruno prosecuted no serious
studies during this period. On the contrary, he seems to have amassed
considerable erudition in various departments of learning: a fact which
should make us cautious against condemning conventual education as of
necessity narrow and pedantic. When he left Naples, he had acquired
sufficient knowledge of Aristotle and the Schoolmen, among whom he paid
particular attention to S. Thomas and to Raymond Lully. Plato, as
expounded by Plotinus, had taken firm hold on his imagination. He was
versed in the dialectics of the previous age, had mastered mediaeval
cosmography and mathematics, and was probably already acquainted with
Copernicus. The fragments of the Greek philosophers, especially of
Pythagoras and Parmenides, whose metaphysics powerfully influenced his
mind, had been assimilated. Perhaps the writings of Cardinal Cusa, the
theologian who applied mathematics to philosophy, were also in his hands
at the same period. Beside Italian, he possessed the Spanish language,
could write and speak Latin with fluency, and knew something of Greek.
It is clear that he had practiced poetry in the vernacular under the
immediate influence of Tansillo. Theological studies had not been wholly
neglected; for he left behind him at Naples editions of Jerome and
Chrysostom with commentaries of Erasmus. These were books which exposed
their possessors to the interdiction of the Index.

It seems strange that a Dominican, escaping from his convent to avoid a
trial for heresy, should have sought refuge at S. Maria Sopra Minerva,
then the headquarters of the Roman Inquisition. We must, however,
remember that much freedom of movement was allowed to monks, who found a
temporary home in any monastery of their order. Without money, Bruno had
no roof but that of a religious house to shelter him; and he probably
reckoned on evading pursuit till the fatigues of his journey from Naples
had been forgotten. At any rate, he made no lengthy stay in Rome. News
soon reached him that the prosecution begun at Naples was being
transferred to the metropolis. This implied so serious a danger that he
determined to quit Rome in secret. Having flung his frock to the
nettles, he journeyed--how, we do not know--to Genoa, and thence to Noli
on the Riviera. The next time Bruno entered the Dominican convent of S.
Maria sopra Minerva, it was as a culprit condemned to death by the

At Noli Bruno gained a living for about five months by teaching grammar
to boys and lecturing in private to some gentlefolk upon the Sphere. The
doctrine of the Sphere formed a somewhat miscellaneous branch of
mediaeval science. It embraced the exposition of Ptolemaic astronomy,
together with speculations on the locality of heaven, the motive
principle of the world, and the operation of angelical intelligences.
Bruno, who professed this subject at various times throughout his
wanderings, began now to use it as a vehicle for disseminating
Copernican opinions. It is certain that cosmography formed the basis of
his philosophy, and this may be ascribed to his early occupation with
the sphere. But his restless spirit would not suffer him to linger in
those regions where olive and orange and palm flourish almost more
luxuriantly than in his native Nola. The gust of travel was upon him. A
new philosophy occupied his brain, vertiginously big with incoherent
births of modern thought. What Carlyle called 'the fire in the belly'
burned and irritated his young blood. Unsettled, cast adrift from
convent moorings, attainted for heresy, out of sympathy with resurgent
Catholicism, he became a Vagus Quidam--a wandering student, like the
Goliardi of the Middle Ages. From Noli he passed to Savona; from Savona
to Turin; from Turin to Venice. There his feet might perhaps have found
rest; for Venice was the harbor of all vagrant spirits in that age. But
the city was laid waste with plague. Bruno wrote a little book, now
lost, on 'The Signs of the Times,' and lived upon the sale of it for
some two months. Then he removed to Padua. Here friends persuaded him to
reassume the cowl. There were more than 40,000 monks abroad in Italy,
beyond the limits of their convent. Why should not he avail himself of
house-roof in his travels, a privilege which was always open to friars?
From Padua he journeyed rapidly again through Brescia, Bergamo and Milan
to Turin, crossed Mont Cenis, tarried at Chambéry, and finally betook
himself to Geneva.

Geneva was no fit resting-place for Bruno. He felt an even fiercer
antipathy for dissenting than for orthodox bigotry. The despotism of a
belligerent and persecuting sectarian seemed to him more intolerable,
because less excusable, than the Catholic despotism from which he was
escaping. Galeazzo Caracciolo, Marquis of Vico, who then presided over
the Italian refugees in Geneva, came to visit him. At the suggestion of
this man Bruno once more laid aside his Dominican attire, and began to
earn his bread by working as a reader for the press--a common resort of
needy men of learning in those times. But he soon perceived that the
Calvinistic stronghold offered no freedom, no security of life even, to
one whose mind was bent on new developments of thought. After two
months' residence on the shores of Lake Leman he departed for Toulouse,
which he entered early in 1577.

We cannot help wondering why Bruno chose that city for his refuge.
Toulouse, the only town in France where the Inquisition took firm root
and flourished, Toulouse so perilous to Muret, so mortal to Dolet and
Vanini, ought, one might have fancied, to have been avoided by an
innovator flying from a charge of heresy.[87] Still it must be
remembered that Toulouse was French. Italian influence did not reach so
far. Nor had Bruno committed himself even in thought to open rupture
with Catholicism. He held the opinion, so common at that epoch, so
inexplicable to us now, that the same man could countermine dogmatic
theology as a philosopher, while he maintained it as a Christian. This
was the paradox on which Pomponazzo based his apology, which kept
Campanella within the pale of the Church, and to which Bruno appealed
for his justification when afterwards arraigned before the Inquisitors
at Venice.

[Footnote 87: On the city, university and Inquisition of Toulouse in the
sixteenth century see Christie's _Etiennne Dolet_--a work of sterling
merit and sound scholarship.]

It appears from his own autobiographical confessions that Bruno spent
some six months at Toulouse, lecturing in private on the peripatetic
psychology; after which time he obtained the degree of Doctor in
Philosophy, and was admitted to a Readership in the university. This
post he occupied two years. It was a matter of some moment to him that
professors at Toulouse were not obliged to attend Mass. In his dubious
position, as an escaped friar and disguised priest, to partake of the
Sacrament would have been dangerous. Yet he now appears to have
contemplated the possibility of reconciling himself to the Church, and
resuming his vows in the Dominican order. He went so far as to open his
mind upon this subject to a Jesuit; and afterwards at Paris he again
resorted to Jesuit advice. But these conferences led to nothing. It may
be presumed that the trial begun at Naples and removed to Rome, combined
with the circumstances of his flight and recusant behavior, rendered the
case too grave for compromise. No one but the Pope in Rome could decide

There is no apparent reason why Bruno left Toulouse, except the
restlessness which had become a marked feature in his character. We find
him at Paris in 1579, where he at once began to lecture at the Sorbonne.
It seems to have been his practice now in every town he visited, to
combine private instruction with public disputation. His manners were
agreeable; his conversation was eloquent and witty. He found no
difficulty in gaining access to good society, especially in a city like
Paris, which was then thronged with Italian exiles and courtiers.
Meanwhile his public lectures met with less success than his private
teaching. In conversation with men of birth and liberal culture he was
able to expound views fascinating by their novelty and boldness. Before
an academical audience it behoved him to be circumspect; nor could he
transgress the formal methods of scholastic argumentation.

Two principal subjects seem to have formed the groundwork of his
teaching at this period. The first was the doctrine of the Thirty Divine
Attributes, based on S. Thomas of Aquino. The second was Lully's Art of
Memory and Classification of the Sciences. This twofold material he
worked up into a single treatise, called _De Umbris Idearum_, which he
published in 1582 at Paris, and which contains the germ of all his
leading speculations. Bruno's metaphysics attracted less attention than
his professed Art of Memory. In an age credulous of occult science, when
men believed that power over nature was being won by alchemy and magic,
there was no difficulty in persuading people that knowledge might be
communicated in its essence, and that the faculties of the mind could be
indefinitely extended, without a toilsome course of study. Whether Bruno
lent himself wittingly to any imposture in his exposition of mnemonics,
cannot be asserted. But it is certain that the public were led to expect
from his method more than it could give.

The fame of his Art of Memory reached the king's ears; and Henri III.
sent for him. 'The king, says Bruno, 'had me called one day, being
desirous to know whether the memory I possessed and professed, was
natural or the result of magic art. I gave him satisfaction; by my
explanations and by demonstrations to his own experience, convincing
him that it was not an affair of magic but of science.' Henri, who might
have been disappointed by this result, was taken with his teacher, and
appointed him Reader Extraordinary--a post that did not oblige Bruno to
hear Mass. The Ordinary Readers at Paris had to conform to the usages of
the Catholic Church. On his side, Bruno appears to have conceived high
admiration for the king's ability. In the _Cena della Ceneri_ and the
_Spaccio della Bestia Trionfante,_ composed and published after he had
left France, he paid him compliments in terms of hyperbolical laudation.
It would be vain to comment on these facts. No one conversant with
French society at that epoch could have been ignorant of Henri's
character and vicious life. No one could have pretended that his
employment of the kingdom's wealth to enrich unworthy favorites was
anything but dishonorable, or have maintained that his flagrant
effeminacy was beneficial to society. The fantastic superstition which
the king indulged alternately with sensual extravagances, must have been
odious to one whose spiritual mistress was divine Sophia, and whose
religion was an adoration of the intellect for the One Cause. But Henri
had one quality which seemed of supreme excellence to Bruno. He
appreciated speculation and encouraged men of learning. A man so
enthusiastic as our philosopher may have thought that his own teaching
could expel that Beast Triumphant of the vices from a royal heart
tainted by bad education in a corrupt Court. Bruno, moreover, it must be
remembered, remained curiously inappreciative of the revolution effected
in humanity by Christian morals. Much that is repulsive to us in the
manners of the Valois, may have been indifferent to him.

Bruno had just passed his thirtieth year. He was a man of middling
height, spare figure, and olive complexion, wearing a short
chestnut-colored beard. He spoke with vivacity and copious rhetoric,
aiming rather at force than at purity of diction, indulging in trenchant
metaphors to adumbrate recondite thoughts, passing from grotesque images
to impassioned flights of declamation, blending acute arguments and
pungent satires with grave mystical discourses. The impression of
originality produced by his familiar conversation rendered him agreeable
to princes. There was nothing of the pedant in his nature, nothing about
him of the doctor but his title.

After a residence of rather less than four years in Paris, he resolved
upon a journey to England. Henri supplied him with letters of
introduction to the French ambassador in London, Michel de Castelnau de
la Mauvissière. This excellent man, who was then attempting to negotiate
the marriage of Elizabeth with the Duke of Anjou, received Bruno into
his own family as one of the gentlemen of his suite. Under his roof the
wandering scholar enjoyed a quiet home during the two years which he
passed in England--years that were undoubtedly the happiest, as they
were the most industrious, of his checkered life. It is somewhat strange
that Bruno left no trace of his English visit in contemporary
literature. Seven of his most important works were printed in London,
though they bore the impress of Paris and Venice--for the very
characteristic reason that English people only cared for foreign
publications. Four of these, on purely metaphysical topics, were
dedicated to Michel de Castelnau; two, treating of moral and
psychological questions, the famous _Spaccio della Bestia_ and _Gli
eroici Furori_, were inscribed to Sidney. The _Cena delle Ceneri_
describes a supper party at the house of Fulke Greville; and it is clear
from numerous allusions scattered up and down these writings, that their
author was admitted on terms of familiarity to the best English society.
Yet no one mentions him. Fulke Greville in his Life of Sidney passes him
by in silence; nor am I aware that any one of Sidney's panegyrists, the
name of whom is legion, alludes to the homage paid him by the Italian

On his side, Bruno has bequeathed to us animated pictures of his life in
London, portraying the English of that period as they impressed a
sensitive Italian.[88] His descriptions are valuable, since they dwell
on slight particulars unnoticed by ambassadors in their dispatches. He
was much struck with the filth and unkempt desolation of the streets
adjacent to the Thames, the rudeness of the watermen who plied their
craft upon the river, and the stalwart beef-eating brutality of
prentices and porters. The population of London displayed its antipathy
to foreigners by loud remarks, hustled them in narrow lanes, and played
at rough-and-tumble with them after the manners of a bear-garden. But
there is no hint that these big fellows shouldering through the crowd
were treacherous or ready with their knives. The servants of great
houses seemed to Bruno discourteous and savage; yet he says nothing
about such subtlety and vice as rendered the retainers of Italian nobles
perilous to order. He paints the broad portrait of a muscular and
insolently insular people, untainted by the evils of corrupt
civilization. Mounting higher in the social scale, Bruno renders
deserved homage to the graceful and unaffected manners of young English
noblemen, from whom he singles Sidney out as the star of cultivated

[Footnote 88: The 'Cena delle Ceneri,' _Op. It._ vol. i. pp. 137-151].

[Footnote 89: Signor Berti conjectures that Bruno may have met Sidney
first at Milan. But Bruno informs us that he did not become acquainted
with him till he came to London: 'Tra' quali è tanto conosciuto, per
fama prima quanbo eravamo in Milano et in Francia, e poi per experienza
or che siamo ne la sua patria' (_Op. It._ vol. i. p. 145).]

What he says about the well-born youth of England, shows that the flower
of our gentlefolk delighted Southern observers by their mixture of
simplicity and sweetness with good breeding and sound sense. For the
ladies of England he cannot find words fair enough to extol the beauties
of their persons and the purity of their affections. Elizabeth herself
he calls a goddess, _diva_, using phrases which were afterwards recited
in the terms of his indictment before the Inquisition. What pleased him
most in England, was the liberty of speech and thought he there
enjoyed.[90] Society was so urbane, government was so unsuspicious, that
a man could venture to call things by their proper names and speak his
heart out without reserve. That Bruno's panegyric was not prompted by
any wish to flatter national vanity, is proved by the hard truths he
spoke about the grossness of the people, and by his sarcasms on Oxford
pedants. He also ventured to condemn in no unmeasured terms some customs
which surprised him in domestic intercourse. He drew, for instance, a
really gruesome picture of the loving-cup, as it passed round the table,
tasted by a mixed assemblage.[91]

A visit paid by Bruno to Oxford forms a curious episode in his English
experiences. He found that university possessed by pedants and ignorant
professors of the old learning. 'Men of choice,' he calls them,
'trailing their long velvet gowns, this one arrayed with two bright
chains of gold around his neck, that one, good heavens! with such a
valuable hand--twelve rings upon two fingers, giving him the look of
some rich jeweler.'[92] These excellent dons, blest in the possession of
fat fellowships, felt no sympathy for an eccentric interloper of Bruno's
stamp. They allowed him to lecture on the Soul and the Sphere.

[Footnote 90: Preface to 'Lo Spaccio della Bestia' (_Op. It._ vol. ii.
p. 108).]

[Footnote 91: _Op. It._ vol. i. p. 150.]

[Footnote 92: _Op. It._ vol. i. p. 123.]

They even condescended to dispute with him. Yet they made Oxford so
unpleasant a place of residence that after three months he returned to
London. The treatment he experienced rankled in his memory. 'Look where
you like at the present moment, you will find but doctors in grammar
here; for in this happy realm there reigns a constellation of pedantic
stubborn ignorance and presumption mixed with a rustic incivility that
would disturb Job's patience. If you do not believe it, go to Oxford,
and ask to hear what happened to the Nolan, when he disputed publicly
with those doctors of theology in the presence of the Polish Prince
Alasco.[93] Make them tell you how they answered to his syllogisms; how
the pitiful professor, whom they put before them on that grave occasion
as the Corypheus of their university, bungled fifteen times with fifteen
syllogisms, like a chicken in the stubble. Make them tell you with what
rudeness and discourtesy that pig behaved; what patience and humanity he
met from his opponent, who, in truth, proclaimed himself a Neapolitan,
born and brought up beneath more genial heavens. Then learn after what
fashion they brought his public lectures to an end, those on the
Immortality of the Soul and those on the Quintuple Sphere.'[94] The Soul
and the Sphere were Bruno's favorite themes. He handled both at this
period of life with startling audacity.

[Footnote 93: See Wood, _Ath. Oxon._ p. 300.]

[Footnote 94: _Op. It._ vol. i. p. 179.]

They had become for him the means of ventilating speculations on
terrestrial movement, on the multiplicity of habitable worlds, on the
principle of the universe, and on the infinite modes of psychical
metamorphosis. Such topics were not calculated to endear him to people
of importance on the banks of Isis. That he did not humor their
prejudices, appears from a Latin epistle which he sent before him by way
of introduction to the Vice Chancellor.[95] It contains these pompous
phrases: 'Philotheus Jordanus Brunus Nolanus magis laboratae theologiae
doctor, purioris et innocuae sapientiae professor. In praecipuis Europae
academiis notus, probatus et honorifice exceptus philosophus. Nullibi
praeterquam apud barbaros et ignobiles peregrinus. Dormitantium animarum
excubitor. Praesuntuosae et recalcitrantis ignorantiae domitor. Qui in
actibus universis generalem philantropiam protestatur. Qui non magis
Italum quam Britannum, marem quam foeminam, mitratum quam coronatum,
togatum quam armatum, cucullatum hominem quam sine cucullo virum: sed
ilium cujus pacatior, civilior, fidelior et utilior est conversatio
diligit.' Which may thus be Englished: 'Giordano Bruno of Nola, the
God-loving, of the more highly-wrought theology doctor, of the purer and
harmless wisdom professor. In the chief universities of Europe known,
approved, and honorably received as philosopher. Nowhere save among
barbarians and the ignoble a stranger. The awakener of sleeping souls.
The trampler upon presuming and recalcitrant ignorance. Who in all his
acts proclaims a universal benevolence toward man. Who loveth not
Italian more than Briton, male than female, mitred than crowned head,
gowned than armed, frocked than frockless; but seeketh after him whose
conversation is the more peaceful, more civil, more loyal, and more
profitable.' This manifesto, in the style of a mountebank, must have
sounded like a trumpet-blast to set the humdrum English doctors with
sleepy brains and moldy science on their guard against a man whom they
naturally regarded as an Italian charlatan. What, indeed, was this more
highly-wrought theology, this purer wisdom? What call had this
self-panegyrist to stir souls from comfortable slumbers? What right had
he to style the knowledge of his brethren ignorance? Probably he was but
some pestilent fellow, preaching unsound doctrine on the Trinity, like
Peter Martyr Vermigli, who had been properly hissed out of Oxford a
quarter of a century earlier. When Bruno arrived and lectured, their
worst prognostications were fulfilled. Did he not maintain a theory of
the universe which even that perilous speculator and political schemer,
Francis Bacon, sneered at as nugatory?

[Footnote 95: Printed in the _Explicatio triginta Sigillarum_.]

In spite of academical opposition, Bruno enjoyed fair weather, halcyon
months, in England. His description of the Ash Wednesday Supper at Fulke
Greville's, shows that a niche had been carved out for him in London,
where he occupied a pedestal of some importance. Those gentlemen of
Elizabeth's Court did not certainly exaggerate the value of their
Italian guest. In Italy, most of them had met with spirits of Bruno's
stamp, whom they had not time or opportunity to prove. He was one among
a hundred interesting foreigners; and his martyrdom had not as yet set
the crown of glory or of shame upon his forehead. They probably accepted
him as London society of the present day accepts a theosophist from
Simla or Thibet. But his real home at this epoch, the only home, so far
as I can see, that Bruno ever had, after he left his mother at the age
of thirteen for a convent, was the house of Castelnau. The truest chords
in the Italian's voice vibrate when he speaks of that sound Frenchman.
To Mme. de Castelnau he alludes with respectful sincerity, paying her
the moderate and well-weighed homage which, for a noble woman, is the
finest praise. There is no rhetoric in the words he uses to express his
sense of obligation to her kindness. They are delicate, inspired with a
tact which makes us trust the writer's sense of fitness.[96] But Bruno
indulges in softer phrases, drawn from the heart, and eminently
characteristic of his predominant enthusiastic mood, when he comes to
talk of the little girl, Marie, who brightened the home of the
Castelnaus. 'What shall I say of their noble-natured daughter? She has
gazed upon the sun barely one luster and one year; but so far as
language goes, I know not how to judge whether she springs from Italy or
France or England! From her hand, touching the instruments of music, no
man could reckon if she be of corporate or incorporeal substance. Her
perfected goodness makes one marvel whether she be flown from heaven, or
be a creature of this common earth. It is at least evident to every man
that for the shaping of so fair a body the blood of both her parents has
contributed, while for the tissue of her rare spirit the virtues of
their heroic souls have been combined.'[97]

[Footnote 96: _Op. It._ vol. i. p. 267.]

[Footnote 97: _Loc. cit._ p. 267.]

It was time to leave these excellent and hospitable friends. 'Forth from
the tranquil to the trembling air' Bruno's unquiet impulse drove him. He
returned to Paris at the end of 1585, disputed before the Sorbonne with
some success of scandal, and then, disquieted by the disorders of the
realm, set out for Germany. We find him at Marburg in the following
year, ill-received by the University, but welcomed by the Prince. Thence
we follow him to Mainz, and afterwards to Wittenberg, where he spent two
years. Here he conceived a high opinion of the Germans. He foresaw that
when they turned their attention from theology to science and pure
speculation, great results might be expected from their solid
intellectual capacity. He seems in fact to have taken a pretty accurate
measure of the race as it has subsequently shown itself. Wittenberg he
called the German Athens. Luther, he recognized as a hero of humanity,
who, like himself, defied authority in the defense of truth. Yet he felt
no sympathy for the German reformers. When asked by the Inquisitors at
Venice what he thought about these men, he replied: 'I regard them as
more ignorant than I am. I despise them and their doctrines. They do not
deserve the name of theologians, but of pedants.' That this reply was
sincere, is abundantly proved by passages in the least orthodox of
Bruno's writings. It was the weakness of a philosopher's position at
that moment that he derived no support from either of the camps into
which Christendom was then divided. Catholics and Protestants of every
shade regarded him with mistrust.

A change in the religious policy of Saxony, introduced after the death
of the Elector Augustus, caused Bruno to leave Wittenberg for Prague in
1588. From Prague he passed to Helmstädt, where the Duke Heinrich Julius
of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel received him with distinction, and bestowed on
him a purse of eighty dollars.[98] Here he conceived two of his most
important works, the _De Monade_ and _De Triplici Minimo_, both written
in Latin hexameters.[99] Why he adopted this new form of exposition is
not manifest. Possibly he was tired of dialogues, through which he had
expressed his thought so freely in England. Possibly a German public
would have been indifferent to Italian. Possibly he was emulous of his
old masters, Parmenides and Lucretius.

[Footnote 98: It is a curious fact that the single copy of Campanella's
poems on which Orelli based his edition of 1834, came from

[Footnote 99: They were published at Frankfort, and dedicated to the
friendly Prince of Wolfenbüttel.]

At Helmstädt he came into collision with Boetius, the rector of the
Evangelical church, who issued a sentence of excommunication against
him. Like a new Odysseus, he set forth once again upon his voyage, and
in the spring of 1590 anchored in Frankfort on the Main. A convent (that
of the Carmelites) sheltered him in this city, where he lived on terms
of intimacy with the printers Wechel and Fischer, and other men of
learning. It would appear from evidence laid before the Venetian
Inquisitors that the prior of the monastery judged him to be a man of
genius and doctrine, devoid of definite religion, addicted to fantastic
studies, and bent on the elaboration of a philosophy that should
supersede existing creeds.[100] This was a not inaccurate portrait of
Bruno as he then appeared to conservatives of commonplace capacity. Yet
nothing occurred to irritate him in the shape of persecution or
disturbance. Bruno worked in quiet at Frankfort, pouring forth thousands
of metaphysical verses, some at least of which were committed to the
press in three volumes published by the Wechels.

[Footnote 100: Britanno's Deposition, Berti's _Vita di G.B._ p. 337.]

Between Frankfort and Italy literary communications were kept open
through the medium of the great fair, which took place every year at
Michaelmas.[101] Books formed one of the principal commodities, and the
Italian bibliopoles traveled across the Alps to transact business on
these important occasions. It happened by such means that a work of
Bruno's, perhaps the _De Monude_, found its way to Venice.[102] Exposed
on the counter of Giambattista Ciotto, then plying the trade of
bookseller in that city, this treatise met the eyes of a Venetian
gentleman called Giovanni Mocenigo. He belonged to one of the most
illustrious of the still surviving noble families in Venice. The long
line of their palaces upon the Grand Canal has impressed the mind of
every tourist. One of these houses, it may be remarked, was occupied by
Lord Byron, who, had he known of Bruno's connection with the Mocenighi,
would undoubtedly have given to the world a poem or a drama on the fate
of our philosopher. Giovanni Mocenigo was a man verging on middle life,
superstitious, acknowledging the dominion of his priest, but alive in a
furtive way to perilous ideas. Morally, he stands before us as a twofold
traitor: a traitor to his Church, so long as he hoped to gain illicit
power by magic arts; a traitor to his guest, so soon as he discovered
that his soul's risk brought himself no profit.[103] He seems to have
imagined that Bruno might teach him occult science or direct him on a
royal way to knowledge without strenuous study. Subsequent events proved
that, though he had no solid culture, he was fascinated by the
expectation of discovering some great secret. It was the vice of the age
to confound science with sorcery, and Bruno had lent himself to this
delusion by his whimsical style. Perhaps the booksellers, who then
played a part scarcely less prominent than that of the barbers in
diffusing gossip, inflamed Mocenigo's curiosity by painting the author
of the puzzling volume in seductive colors. Any how this man sent two
letters, one through Ciotto, and one direct to Bruno, praying him to
visit Venice, professing his desire for instruction, and offering him an
honorable place of residence.

[Footnote 101: Sarpi mentions the return of Ciotto from the fair
(_Lettere_, vol. i. p. 527).]

[Footnote 102: Ciotto, before the Inquisition, called the book _De
Minimo Magno et Mensura_. It may therefore have been the _De Triplici
Minimo et Mensura_, and not the _De Monade_ (_Vita di G.B._ p. 334).]

[Footnote 103: Mocenigo told Ciotto: I wish first to see what I can get
from him of those things which he promised me, so as not wholly to lose
what I have given him, and afterwards I mean to surrender him to the
censure of the Holy Office' (Berti, p. 335).]

In an evil hour Bruno accepted this invitation. No doubt he longed to
see Italy again after so many years of exile. Certainly he had the right
to believe that he would find hospitality and a safe refuge in Venice.
Had not a Venetian noble pledged his word for the former? Was not the
latter a privilege which S. Mark extended to all suppliants? The
Republic professed to shield even the outlaws of the Inquisition, if
they claimed her jurisdiction. There was therefore no palpable
imprudence in the step which Bruno now took. Yet he took it under
circumstances which would have made a cautious man mistrustful. Of
Mocenigo he knew merely nothing. But he did know that writs from the
Holy Office had been out against himself in Italy for many years, during
which he had spent his time in conversing with heretics and printing
works of more than questionable orthodoxy.[104] Nothing proves the force
of the vagrant's impulse which possessed Bruno, more than his light and
ready consent to Giovanni Mocenigo's proposal.

He set off at once from Frankfort, leaving the MS. of one of his
metaphysical poems in Wechel's hands to print, and found himself at the
end of 1591 a guest of his unknown patron. I have already described what
Mocenigo hoped to gain from Bruno--the arts of memory and invention,
together with glimpses into occult science.[105] We know how little
Bruno was able to satisfy an in satiable curiosity in such matters. One
of his main weaknesses was a habit of boasting and exaggerating his own
powers, which at first imposed upon a vulgar audience and then left them
under the impression that he was a charlatan. The bookseller Ciotto
learned from students who had conversed with him at Frankfort, that 'he
professed an art of memory and other secrets in the sciences, but that
all the persons who had dealt with him in such matters, had left him

[Footnote 104: Mere correspondence with heretics exposed an Italian to
the Inquisition. Residence in heretical lands, except with episcopal
license, was forbidden. The rules of the Index proscribed books in which
the name of a heretic was cited with approval.]

[Footnote 105: Bruno speaks himself of 'arte della memoria et inventiva'
(_op. cit._ p. 339). Ciotto mentions 'la memoria et altre scientie'
(_ib._ p. 334).]

[Footnote 106: _Op. cit._ p. 335.]

Another weakness in his character was extraordinary want of caution.
Having lived about the world so long, and changed from town to town,
supporting himself as he best could, he had acquired the custom of
attracting notice by startling paradoxes. Nor does he seem to have cared
to whom he made the dangerous confidence of his esoteric beliefs.
His public writings, presumably composed with a certain
circumspection--since everybody knows the proverb _litera scripta
manet_--contain such perilous stuff that--when we consider what their
author may have let fall in unguarded conversation--we are prepared to
credit the charges brought against him by Mocenigo. For it must now be
said that this man, 'induced by the obligation of his conscience and by
order of his confessor,' denounced Bruno to the Inquisition on May 23,

When the two men, so entirely opposite in their natures, first came
together, Bruno began to instruct his patron in the famous art of memory
and mathematics. At the same time he discoursed freely and copiously,
according to his wont, upon his own philosophy. Mocenigo took no
interest in metaphysics, and was terrified by the audacity of Bruno's
speculations. It enraged him to find how meager was Bruno's vaunted
method for acquiring and retaining knowledge without pains. In his
secret heart he believed that the teacher whom he had maintained at a
considerable cost, was withholding the occult knowledge he so much
coveted. Bruno, meanwhile, attended Andrea Morosini's receptions in the
palace at S. Luca, and frequented those of Bernardo Secchini at the sign
of the Golden Ship in the Merceria. He made friends with scholars and
men of fashion; absented himself for weeks together at Padua; showed
that he was tired of Mocenigo; and ended by rousing that man's
suspicious jealousy. Mocenigo felt that he had been deceived by an
impostor, who, instead of furnishing the wares for which he bargained,
put him off with declamations on the nature of the universe. What was
even more terrible, he became convinced that this charlatan was an
obstinate heretic.

Whether Bruno perceived the gathering of the storm above his head,
whether he was only wearied with the importunities of his host, or
whether, as he told the Inquisitors, he wished to superintend the
publication of some books at Frankfort, does not greatly signify. At any
rate, he begged Mocenigo to excuse him from further attendance, since he
meant to leave Venice. This happened on Thursday, May 21. Next day,
Mocenigo sent his bodyservant together with five or six gondoliers into
Bruno's apartment, seized him, and had him locked up in a ground-floor
room of the palace. At the same time he laid hands on all Bruno's
effects, including the MS. of one important treatise _On the Seven
Liberal Arts_, which was about to be dedicated to Pope Clement VIII.
This, together with other unpublished works, exists probably in the
Vatican Archives, having been sent with the papers referring to Bruno's
trial from Venice when he was transported to Rome. The following day,
which was a Saturday, Mocenigo caused Bruno to be carried to one of
those cellars (_magazzeni terreni_) which are used in Venice for storing
wood, merchandise or implements belonging to gondolas. In the evening, a
Captain of the Council of Ten removed him to the dungeons of the
Inquisition. On the same day, May 23, Mocenigo lodged his denunciation
with the Holy Office.

The heads of this accusation, extracted from the first report and from
two subsequent additions made by the delator, amount to these. Though
Bruno was adverse to religions altogether, he preferred the Catholic to
any other; but he believed it to stand in need of thorough reform. The
doctrines of the Trinity, the miraculous birth of Christ, and
transubstantiation, were insults to the Divine Being. Christ had seduced
the people by working apparent miracles. So also had the Apostles. To
develop a new philosophy which should supersede religions, and to prove
his superiority in knowledge over S. Thomas and all the theologians, was
Bruno's cherished scheme. He did not believe in the punishment of sins;
but held a doctrine of the transmigration of souls, and of the
generation of the human soul from refuse. The world he thought to be
eternal. He maintained that there were infinite worlds, all made by God,
who wills to do what he can do, and therefore produces infinity. The
religious orders of Catholicism defile the earth by evil life,
hypocrisy, and avarice. All friars are only asses. Indulgence in carnal
pleasures ought not to be reckoned sinful. The man confessed to having
freely satisfied his passions to the utmost of his opportunities.

On being questioned before the Inquisitors, Mocenigo supported these
charges. He added that when he had threatened Bruno with delation, Bruno
replied, first, that he did not believe he would betray his confidence
by making private conversation the groundwork of criminal charges;
secondly, that the utmost the Inquisition could do, would be to inflict
some penance and force him to resume the cowl. These, which are
important assertions, bearing the mark of truth, throw light on his want
of caution in dealing with Mocenigo, and explain the attitude he
afterwards assumed before the Holy Office.

Mocenigo's accusations in the main yield evidences of sincerity. They
are exactly what we should expect from the distortion of Bruno's
doctrines by a mind incapable of comprehending them. In short, they are
as veracious as the image of a face reflected on a spoon. Certain gross
details (the charges, for example, of having called Christ a _tristo_
who was deservedly hung, and of having sneered at the virginity of Mary)
may possibly have emanated from the delator's own imagination.[107]

[Footnote 107: They remind us of the blasphemies imputed to Christopher

Bruno emphatically repudiated these; though some passages in his
philosophical poems, published at Frankfort, contain the substance of
their blasphemies. A man of Mocenigo's stamp probably thought that he
was faithfully representing the heretic's views, while in reality he was
drawing his own gross conclusions from skeptical utterances about the
origin of Christianity which he obscurely understood. It does not seem
incredible, however, that Bruno, who was never nice in his choice of
language, and who certainly despised historical Christianity, let fall
crude witticisms upon such and other points in Mocenigo's presence.

Bruno appeared before the Venetian Inquisition on May 29. His
examination was continued at intervals from this date till July 30. His
depositions consist for the most part of an autobiographical statement
which he volunteered, and of a frank elucidation of his philosophical
doctrines in their relation to orthodox belief. While reading the
lengthy pages of his trial, we seem to overhear a man conversing
confidentially with judges from whom he expected liberal sympathy. Over
and over again, he relies for his defense upon the old distinction
between philosophy and faith, claiming to have advocated views as a
thinker which he does not hold as a Christian. 'In all my books I have
used philosophical methods of definition according to the principles and
light of nature, not taking chief regard of that which ought to be held
in faith; and I believe they do not contain anything which can support
the accusation that I have professedly impugned religion rather than
that I have sought to exalt philosophy; though I may have expounded many
impieties based upon my natural light.'[108] In another place he uses
the antithesis, 'speaking like a Christian and according to
theology'--'speaking after the manner of philosophy.'[109] The same
antithesis is employed to justify his doctrine of metempsychosis:
'Speaking as a Catholic, souls do not pass from one body into another,
but go to paradise or purgatory or hell; yet, following philosophical
reasonings, I have argued that, the soul being inexistent without the
body and inexistent in the body, it can be indifferently in one or in
another body, and can pass from one into another, which, if it be not
true, seems at any rate probable according to the opinion of

[Footnote 108: _Op. cit._ p. 352.]

[Footnote 109: _Ibid._ p. 355.]

[Footnote 110: _Ibid._ p. 362.]

That he expected no severe punishment appears from the terms of his
so-called recantation. 'I said that I wished to present myself before
the feet of his Holiness with certain books which I approve, though I
have published others which I do not now approve; whereby I meant to say
that some works composed and published by me do not meet with my
approbation, inasmuch as in these I have spoken and discussed too
philosophically, in unseemly wise, not altogether as a good Christian
ought; in particular I know that in some of these works I have taught
and philosophically held things which ought to be attributed to the
power, wisdom and goodness of God according to the Christian faith,
founding doctrine in such matters on sense and reason, not upon
faith.'[111] At the very end of his examination, he placed himself in
the hands of his judges, 'confessing his errors with a willing mind,'
acknowledging that he had 'erred and strayed from the Church,' begging
for such castigation as shall not 'bring public dishonor on the sacred
robe which he had worn,' and promising to 'show a noteworthy reform, and
to recompense the scandal he had caused by edification at least equal in
magnitude.'[112] These professions he made upon his knees, evincing
clearly, as it seems to me, that at this epoch he was ready to rejoin
the Dominican order, and that, as he affirmed to Mocenigo, he expected
no worse punishment than this.

In attempting to estimate Bruno's recantation, we must remember that he
felt no sympathy at all for heretics. When questioned about them, he was
able to quote passages from his own works in which he called the
Reformation a Deformation of religion.[113] Lutheran and Calvinist
theologians were alike pedants in his eyes.[114] There is no doubt that
Bruno meant what he said; and had he been compelled to choose one of the
existing religions, he would have preferred Catholicism. He was, in
fact, at a period of life when he wished to dedicate his time in quiet
to metaphysical studies. He had matured his philosophy and brought it
to a point at which he thought it could be presented as a peace-offering
to the Supreme Pontiff. Conformity to ecclesiastical observances seemed
no longer irksome to the world-experienced, wide-reaching mind of the
man. Nor does he appear to have anticipated that his formal submission
would not be readily accepted. He reckoned strangely, in this matter,
without the murderous host into whose clutches he had fallen.

[Footnote 111: _Op. cit._ p. 349]

[Footnote 112: _Ibid._ p. 384]

[Footnote 113: _Ibid._ p. 364]

[Footnote 114: _Ibid._ p. 363]

Searching interrogations touching other heads in the evidence against
him, as blasphemous remarks on sacred persons, intercourse with
heretics, abuse of the religious orders, dealings in magic arts,
licentious principles of conduct, were answered by Bruno with a frank
assurance, which proves his good conscience in essentials and his firm
expectation of a favorable issue to the affair. Mocenigo had described
him as _indemoniato_; and considering the manifest peril in which he now
stood, there is something scarcely sane in the confidence he showed. For
Mocenigo himself he reserved words of bitterest scorn and indignation.
When questioned in the usual terms whether he had enemies at Venice, he
replied: 'I know of none but Ser Giovanni Mocenigo and his train of
servants. By him I have been grievously injured, more so than by living
man, seeing he has murdered me in my life, my honor and my property,
having imprisoned me in his own house and stolen all my writings, books,
and other effects. And this he did because he not only wished that I
should teach him everything I know, but also wished to prevent my
teaching it to any one but him. He has continued to threaten me upon the
points of life and honor, unless I should teach him everything I

The scene closes over Bruno in the Venetian Inquisition on July 30,
1592. We do not behold him again till he enters the Minerva at Rome to
receive his death-sentence on February 9, 1600. What happened in the
interval is almost a blank. An exchange of letters took place between
Rome and Venice concerning his extradition, and the Republic made some
show of reluctance to part with a refugee within its jurisdiction. But
this diplomatic affair was settled to the satisfaction of both parties,
and Bruno disappeared into the dungeons of the Roman Inquisition in the
month of January 1593.

Seven years of imprisonment was a long period.[116]

[Footnote 115: _Op. cit._ p. 378.]

[Footnote 116: These years were not all spent at Rome. From the Records
of the Inquisition, it appears that he arrived in Rome on February 27,
1598, and that his trial in form began in February 1599. The Pope
ratified his sentence of death on January 20, 1600; this was publicly
promulgated on February 8, and carried into effect on the subsequent
17th. Where Bruno was imprisoned between January 1593, and February 1598
is not known.]

We find it hard to understand why Bruno's prosecution occupied the Holy
Office through this space of time. But conjectures on the subject are
now useless. Equally futile is it to speculate whether Bruno offered to
conform in life and doctrine to the Church at Rome as he had done at
Venice. The temptation to do so must have been great. Most probably he
begged for grace, but grace was not accorded on his own terms; and he
chose death rather than dishonor and a lie in the last resort, or rather
than life-long incarceration. It is also singular that but few
contemporaries mention the fact of his condemnation and execution. Rome
was crowded in the jubilee year of 1600. Bruno was burned in open
daylight on the Campo di Fiora. Yet the only eye-witness who records the
event, is Gaspar Schoppe, or Scioppius, who wrote a letter on the
subject to his friend Rittershausen. Kepler, eight years afterwards,
informed his correspondent Breugger that Bruno had been really burned:
'he bore his agonizing death with fortitude, abiding by the asseveration
that all religions are vain, and that God identifies himself with the
world, circumference and center.' Kepler, it may be observed, conceived
a high opinion of Bruno's speculations, and pointed him out to Galileo
as the man who had divined the infinity of solar systems in their
correlation to one infinite order of the universe.[117]

[Footnote 117: Doubts have recently been raised as to whether Bruno was
really burned. But these are finally disposed of by a succinct and
convincing exposition of the evidence by Mr. R.C. Christie, in
_Macmillan's Magazine_, October 1885. In addition to Schoppe and Kepler,
we have the reference to Bruno's burning published by Mersenne in 1624;
but what is far more important, the _Avviso di Roma_ for February
19,1600, records this event as having occurred upon the preceding
Thursday. To Signor Berti's two works, _Documenti intorno a G. Bruno_
(Roma, 1880), and _Copernico e le vicende_, etc. (Roma, 1876), we owe
most of the material which has been lucidly sifted by Mr. R.C.

Scioppius was a German humanist of the elder Italianated type, an
elegant Latin stylist, who commented indifferently on the _Priapeia_ and
the Stoic philosophy. He abjured Protestantism, and like Muretus, sold
his pen to Rome. The Jesuits, in his pompous panegyric, were first
saluted as 'the praetorian cohort of the camp of God.' Afterwards, when
he quarreled with their Order, he showered invectives on them in the
manner of a Poggio or Filelfo. The literary infamies of the fifteenth
century reappeared in his polemical attacks on Protestants, and in his
satires upon Scaliger. Yet he was a man of versatile talents and
considerable erudition. It must be mentioned in his honor that he
visited Campanella in his prison, and exerted himself for his
liberation. Campanella dedicated his _Atheismus Triumphatus_ to
Scioppius, calling him 'the dawn-star of our age.' Schoppe was also the
first credible authority to warn Sarpi of the imminent peril he ran from
Roman hired assassins, as I hope to relate in my chapter upon Sarpi's
life. This man's letter to his friend is the single trustworthy document
which we possess regarding the last hours of Bruno. Its inaccuracies on
minor points may be held to corroborate his testimony.

Scioppius refers to Bruno's early heresies on Transubstantiation and the
Virginity of Mary. He alludes to the _Spaccio della Bestia Trionfante_,
as though it had been a libel on the Pope.[118]

[Footnote 118: 'Londinam perfectus, libellum istic edit de Bestia
triumphante, h.e. de Papa. quem vestri honoris causa bestiam appellare

He then enumerates Bruno's heterodox opinions, which had been recited
in the public condemnation pronounced on the heresiarch. 'Horrible and
most utterly absurd are the views he entertained, as, for example, that
there are innumerable worlds; that the soul migrates from body to body,
yea into another world, and that one soul can inform two bodies; that
magic is good and lawful; that the Holy Spirit is nothing but the Soul
of the World, which Moses meant when he wrote that it brooded on the
waters; that the world has existed from eternity; that Moses wrought his
miracles by magic, being more versed therein than the Egyptians, and
that he composed his own laws; that the Holy Scriptures are a dream, and
that the devils will be saved; that only the Jews descend from Adam and
Eve, the rest of men from that pair whom God created earlier; that
Christ is not God, but that he was an eminent magician who deluded
mankind, and was therefore rightly hanged, not crucified; that the
prophets and Apostles were men of naught, magicians, and for the most
part hanged: in short, without detailing all the monstrosities in which
his books abound, and which he maintained in conversation, it may be
summed up in one word that he defended every error that has been
advanced by pagan philosophers or by heretics of earlier and present
times.' Accepting this list as tolerably faithful to the terms of
Bruno's sentence, heard by Scioppius in the hall of Minerva, we can see
how Mocenigo's accusation had been verified by reference to his
published works. The _De Monade_ and _De Triplici_ contain enough
heterodoxy to substantiate each point.

On February 9, Bruno was brought before the Holy Office at S. Maria
sopra Minerva. In the presence of assembled Cardinals, theologians, and
civil magistrates, his heresies were first recited. Then he was
excommunicated, and degraded from his priestly and monastic offices.
Lastly, he was handed over to the secular arm, 'to be punished with all
clemency and without effusion of blood.' This meant in plain language to
be burned alive. Thereupon Bruno uttered the memorable and monumental
words: 'Peradventure ye pronounce this sentence on me with a greater
fear than I receive it.' They were the last words he spoke in public. He
was removed to the prisons of the State, where he remained eight days,
in order that he might have time to repent. But he continued obdurate.
Being an apostate priest and a relapsed heretic, he could hope for no
remission of his sentence. Therefore, on February 17, he marched to a
certain and horrible death. The stake was built up on the Campo di
Fiora. Just before the wood was set on fire, they offered him the
crucifix.[119] He turned his face away from it in stern disdain. It was
not Christ but his own soul, wherein he believed the Diety resided, that
sustained Bruno at the supreme moment.

[Footnote 119: We may remember that while a novice at Naples, he first
got into trouble by keeping the crucifix as the only religious symbol
which he respected, when he parted with images of saints.]

No cry, no groan, escaped his lips. Thus, as Scioppius affectedly
remarked, 'he perished miserably in flames, and went to report in those
other worlds of his imagination, how blasphemous and impious men are
handled by the Romans.'

Whatever we may think of the good taste of Bruno's sarcasms upon the
faith in which he had been bred--and it is certain that he never rightly
apprehended Christianity in its essence--there is no doubt he died a
valiant martyr to the truth as he conceived it. 'His death like that of
Paleario, Carnesecchi, and so many more, no less than countless exiles
suffered for religious causes, are a proof that in Italy men had begun
to recognize their obligation to a faith, the duty of obedience to a
thought: an immense progress, not sufficiently appreciated even by
modern historians.'[120] Bruno was a hero in the battle for the freedom
of the conscience, for the right of man to think and speak in

[Footnote 120: These pregnant words are in Berti's _Vita di G.B._ p.

[Footnote 121: He well deserves this name, in spite of his recantation
at Venice; for it seems incredible that he could not by concessions have
purchased his life. As Breugger wrote with brutal crudity to Kepler:
'What profit did he gain by enduring such torments? If there were no God
to punish crimes, as he believed, could he not have pretended any thing
to save his life?' We may add that the alternative to death for a
relapsed apostate was perpetual incarceration; and seven years of prison
may well have made Bruno prefer death with honor.]

Just five years before this memorable 17th of February, Tasso had passed
quietly away in S. Onofrio. 'How dissimilar in genius and fortune,'
exclaims Berti, 'were these men, though born under the same skies,
though in childhood they breathed the same air! Tasso a Christian and
poet of the cross; Bruno hostile to all religious symbols. The one,
tired and disillusioned of the world, ends his days in the repose of the
convent; the other sets out from the convent to expire upon the
scaffold, turning his eyes away from the crucifix.'[122] And yet how
much alike in some important circumstances of their lives were these two
men! Both wanderers, possessed by that spirit of vagrancy which is the
outward expression of an inner restlessness. The unfrocked friar, the
courtier out of service, had no home in Italy. Both were pursued by an
oestrum corresponding to the intellectual perturbations which closed the
sixteenth century, so different from the idyllic calm that rested upon
Ariosto and the artists of its opening years. Sufficient justice has not
yet been done in history to the Italian wanderers and exiles of this
period, men who carried the spirit of the Renaissance abroad, after the
Renaissance had ended in Italy, to the extremest verges of the civilized
world. An enumeration of their names, an examination of their services
to modern thought, would show how puissant was the intellectual
influence of Italy in that period of her political decadence.[123]

[Footnote 122: _op. cit._ p. 70.]

[Footnote 123: Both Berti and Quinet have made similar remarks, which,
indeed, force themselves upon a student of the sixteenth century.]

Bruno has to be treated from two distinct but interdependent points of
view--in his relation to contemporary thought and the Renaissance; and
in his relation to the evolution of modern philosophy--as the critic of
mediaeval speculation and the champion of sixteenth-century enthusiasm;
and also as the precursor of Descartes, Spinoza, Leibnitz, Schelling,
Hegel, Darwin.

From the former of these two points of view Bruno appears before us as
the man who most vitally and comprehensively grasped the leading
tendencies of his age in their intellectual essence. He left behind him
the mediaeval conception of an extra-mundane God, creating a finite
world, of which this globe is the center, and the principal episode in
the history of which is the series of events from the Fall, through the
Incarnation and Crucifixion, to the Last Judgment.[124] He substituted
the conception of an ever-living, ever-acting, ever-self-effectuating
God, immanent in an infinite universe, to the contemplation of whose
attributes the mind of man ascends by study of Nature and interrogation
of his conscience. The rehabilitation of the physical world and of
humanity as part of its order, which the Renaissance had already
indirectly effected through the medium of arts and literature and modes
of life, found in Bruno an impassioned metaphysical supporter. He
divinized Nature, not by degrading the Deity to matter, but by lifting
matter to participation in the divine existence. The Renaissance had
proclaimed the dignity of man considered as a mundane creature, and not
in his relation to a hypothetical other-world. It abundantly manifested
the beauty and the joy afforded by existence on this planet, and
laughingly discarded past theological determinations to the contrary of
its new Gospel. Bruno undertook the systematization of Renaissance
intuitions; declared the divine reality of Nature and of man;
demonstrated that we cannot speculate God, cannot think ourselves,
cannot envisage the universe, except under the form of one living,
infinite, eternal, divinely-sustained and soul-penetrated complex. He
repudiated authority of every sort, refusing to acknowledge the decrees
of the Church, freely criticising past philosophers, availing himself of
all that seemed to him substantial in their speculations, but appealing
in the last resort to that inner witness, that light of reason, which
corresponds in the mental order to conscience in the moral. As he
deified Nature, so he emancipated man as forming with Nature an integral
part of the supreme Being. He was led upon this path to combat Aristotle
and to satirize Christian beliefs, with a subtlety of scholastic
argumentation and an acerbity of rhetoric that now pass for antiquated.
Much that is obsolete in his writings must be referred to the polemical
necessities of an age enthralled by peripatetic conceptions, and
saturated with the ecclesiastical divinity of the schoolmen.

[Footnote 124: This theological conception of history inspired the
sacred drama of the Middle Ages, known to us as Cyclical Miracle Plays.]

These forces of the philosophy he sought to supersede, had to be
attacked with their own weapons and by methods adapted to the spirit of
his age. Similar judgment may be passed upon his championship of the
Copernican system. That system was the pivot of his metaphysic, the
revelation to which he owed his own conception of the universe. His
strenuous and ingenious endeavors to prove its veracity, his elaborate
and often-repeated refutations of the Ptolemaic theory, appear to modern
minds superfluous. But we must remember what a deeply-penetrating,
widely-working revolution Copernicus effected in cosmology, how he
dislocated the whole fabric upon which Catholic theology rested, how new
and unintelligible his doctrine then seemed, and what vast horizons he
opened for speculation on the destinies of man. Bruno was the first
fully to grasp the importance of the Copernican hypothesis, to perceive
its issues and to adapt it to the formation of a new ontology.
Copernicus, though he proclaimed the central position of the sun in our
system, had not ventured to maintain the infinity of the universe. For
him, as for the elder physicists, there remained a sphere of fixed stars
inclosing the world perceived by our senses within walls of crystal.
Bruno broke those walls, and boldly asserted the now recognized
existence of numberless worlds in space illimitable. His originality
lies in the clear and comprehensive notion he formed of the Copernican
discovery, and in his application of its corollaries to the Renaissance
apocalypse of deified nature and emancipated man. The deductions he drew
were so manifold and so acute that they enabled him to forecast the
course which human thought has followed in all provinces of speculation.

This leads us to consider how Bruno is related to modern science and
philosophy. The main point seems to be that he obtained a vivid mental
picture (_Vorstellung_) of the physical universe, differing but little
in essentials from that which has now come to be generally accepted. In
reasoning from this concept as a starting-point, he formed opinions upon
problems of theology, ontology, biology and psychology, which placed him
out of harmony with medaeival thought, and in agreement with the thought
of our own time. Why this was so, can easily be explained. Bruno, first
of all philosophers, adapted science, in the modern sense of that term,
to metaphysic. He was the first to perceive that a revolution in our
conception of the material universe, so momentous as that effected by
Copernicus, necessitated a new theology and a new philosophical method.
Man had ceased to be the center of all things; this globe was no longer
'the hub of the universe,' but a small speck floating on infinity. The
Christian scheme of the Fall and the Redemption, if not absolutely
incompatible with the new cosmology was rendered by it less conceivable
in any literal sense. Some of the main points on which the early
Christians based their faith, and which had hardened into dogmas
through the course of centuries--such, for instance, as the Ascension
and the Second Advent--ceased to have their old significance. In a world
where there was neither up nor down, the translation of a corporeal
Deity to some place above the clouds, whence he would descend to judge
men at the last day, had only a grotesque or a symbolic meaning; whereas
to the first disciples, imbued with theories of a fixed celestial
sphere, it presented a solemn and apparently well-founded expectation.
The fundamental doctrine of the Incarnation, in like manner, lost
intelligibility and value, when God had to be thought no longer as the
Creator of a finite cosmos, but as a Being commensurate with infinity.
It was clear to a mind so acute as Bruno's that the dogmas of the Church
were correlated to a view of the world which had been superseded; and he
drew the logical inference that they were at bottom but poetical and
popular adumbrations of the Deity in terms concordant with erroneous
physical notions. Aristotle and Ptolemy, the masters of philosophy and
cosmography based upon a theory of the universe as finite and
circumscribed within fixed limits, lent admirable aid to the theological
constructions of the Middle Ages. The Church, adopting their science,
gave metaphysical and logical consistency to those earlier poetical and
popular conceptions of the religious sense. The _naïf_ hopes and
romantic mythologies of the first Christians stiffened into syllogisms
and ossified in the huge fabric of the _Summa_. But Aristotle and
Ptolemy were now dethroned. Bruno, in a far truer sense than Democritus
before him,

    Processit longe flammantia moenia mundi.

Bolder even than Copernicus, and nearer in his intuition to the truth,
he denied that the universe had 'flaming walls' or any walls at all.
That 'immaginata circonferenza,' 'quella margine immaginata del cielo,'
on which antique science and Christian theology alike reposed, was the
object of his ceaseless satire, his oft-repeated polemic. What, then,
rendered Bruno the precursor of modern thought in its various
manifestations, was that he grasped the fundamental truth upon which
modern science rests, and foresaw the conclusions which must be drawn
from it. He speculated boldly, incoherently, vehemently; but he
speculated with a clear conception of the universe, as we still
apprehend it. Through the course of three centuries we have been engaged
in verifying the guesses, deepening, broadening and solidifying the
hypotheses, which Bruno's extension of the Copernican theory, and his
application of it to pure thought, suggested to his penetrating and
audacious intellect, Bruno was convinced that religion in its higher
essence would not suffer from the new philosophy. Larger horizons
extended before the human intellect. The soul expanded in more
exhilarating regions than the old theologies had offered. The sense of
the Divine in Nature, instead of dwindling down to atheism, received
fresh stimulus from the immeasurable prospect of an infinite and living
universe. Bruno, even more than Spinoza, was a God-intoxicated man. The
inebriation of the Renaissance, inspired by golden visions of truth and
knowledge close within man's grasp, inflamed with joy at escaping from
out-worn wearying formula into what appeared to be the simple intuition
of an everlasting verity, pulses through all his utterances. He has the
same cherubic confidence in the renascent age, that charms us in the
work of Rabelais. The slow, painful, often thwarted, ever more dubious
elaboration of modern metaphysic in _rapport_ with modern science--that
process which, after completing the cycle of all knowledge and sounding
the fathomless depth of all ignorance, has left us in grave
disillusionment and sturdy patience--swam before Bruno in a rapturous
vision. The Inquisition and the stake put an end abruptly to his dream.
But the dream was so golden, so divine, that it was worth the pangs of
martyrdom. Can we say the same for Hegel's system, or for Schopenhauers
or for the encyclopaedic ingenuity of Herbert Spencer?

Bruno imagined the universe as infinite space, filled with ether, in
which an infinite number of worlds, or solar systems resembling our own,
composed of similar materials and inhabited by countless living
creatures, move with freedom. The whole of this infinite and complex
cosmos he conceived to be animated by a single principle of thought and
life. This indwelling force, or God, he described in Platonic
phraseology sometimes as the Anima Mundi, sometimes as the Artificer,
who by working from within molds infinite substance into an infinity of
finite modes. Though we are compelled to think of the world under the
two categories of spirit and matter, these apparently contradictory
constituents are forever reconciled and harmonized in the divine
existence, whereof illimitable activity, illimitable volition, and
illimitable potentiality are correlated and reciprocally necessary
terms. In Aristotelian language, Bruno assumed infinite form and
infinite matter as movements of an eternal process, by which the
infinite unity manifests itself in concrete reality. This being the
case, it follows that nothing exists which has not life, and is not part
of God. The universe itself is one immeasurable animal, or animated
Being. The solar systems are huge animals; the globes are lesser
animals; and so forth down to the monad of molecular cohesion. As the
universe is infinite and eternal, motion, place and time do not qualify
it; these are terms applicable only to the finite parts of which it is
composed. For the same reason nothing in the universe can perish. What
we call birth and death, generation and dissolution, is only the passage
of the infinite, and homogeneous entity through successive phases of
finite and differentiated existence; this continuous process of exchange
and transformation being stimulated and sustained by attraction and
repulsion, properties of the indwelling divine soul aiming at

Having formed this conception, Bruno supported it by metaphysical
demonstration, and deduced conclusions bearing on psychology, religion,
ethics. Much of his polemic was directed against the deeply-rooted
notion of a finite world derived from Aristotle. Much was devoted to the
proof of the Copernican discovery. Orthodox theology was indirectly
combated or plausibly caressed. There are consequently many pages in his
dialogues which do not interest a modern reader, seeing that we have
outlived the conditions of thought that rendered them important. In the
process of his argument, he established the theory of a philosophical
belief, a religion of religions, or 'religione della mente,' as he
phrased it, prior to and comprehensive of all historical creeds. He
speculated, as probabilities, the transmigration of souls, and the
interchangeability of types in living creatures. He further postulated a
concordance between the order of thought and the order of existence in
the universe, and inclined to the doctrine of necessity in morals. Bruno
thus obtained _per saltum_ a prospect over the whole domain of knowledge
subsequently traversed by rationalism in metaphysics, theology and
ethics. In the course of these demonstrations and deductions he
anticipated Descartes' position of the identity of mind and being. He
supplied Spinoza with the substance of his reasoned pantheism; Leibnitz
with his theory of monadism and pre-established harmony. He laid down
Hegel's doctrine of contraries, and perceived that thought was a
dialectic process. The modern theory of evolution was enunciated by him
in pretty plain terms. He had grasped the physical law of the
conservation of energy. He solved the problem of evil by defining it to
be a relative condition of imperfect development. He denied that
Paradise or a Golden Age is possible for man, or that, if possible, it
can be considered higher in the moral scale than organic struggle toward
completion by reconciliation of opposites through pain and labor. He
sketched in outline the comparative study of religions, which is now
beginning to be recognized as the proper bas