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Title: Il nipotismo di Roma, or, The History of the Popes Nephews - from the time of Sixtus IV. to the death of the last Pope, Alexander VII
Author: Leti, Gregorio
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Il nipotismo di Roma, or, The History of the Popes Nephews - from the time of Sixtus IV. to the death of the last Pope, Alexander VII" ***

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Transcribed from the 1669 John Starkey edition by David Price, email

                        [Picture: Book title page]

NOTE: This book is from 1669 and hence the spelling, grammar and
punctuation are not those of modern English: instead they are as they
appear in the book.—DP.

                  [Picture: Pope Alexander the Seventh]

                         _Il Nipotismo di Roma_:

                                  OF THE

                    From the time of _Sixtus_ the IV.
                      to the Death of the last Pope
                           _ALEXANDER_ the VII.

                                * * * * *

                              In two Parts.

                                * * * * *

                 Written Originally in _Italian_, in the
                   year 1667. and Englished by _W. A._

                                * * * * *

             Printed for _John Starkey_, at the _Miter_ near
                  _Temple-Bar_ in _Fleet-street_, 1669.

                                * * * * *

The Author to the READER.

Kind Reader,

_I should have much to say to thee_, _and not a few Ceremonies to
Complement thee withall_, _if two Considerations did not make me resolve
to hold my peace_, _and abstain from that courtship_, _which would become
a Preface_.  _The_ first _is_, _because I will not_ (_as the Proverb
sayes_) reckon without mine Hoste, _and fill thy ears with excuses_,
_before I know whether thy intention be to hear them or no_.  Secondly,
_because I think it will not be amiss to forbear Ceremonies in the
presence of so many_, _whose business it hath been to be most
accomplish’d in performing of them_.  _What danger would there be for
once_, _to let a Reader judge of a Book_, _without all those troublesome
informations from the Author_: _For in a word_, _either the Reader hath
parts and learning_, _and then his own judgment needs no instruction from
the Authors_; _or he hath none_, _and is illiterate_, _and then the
Author loses his time in __excusing himself to one_, _whose abilities
cannot reach his subject_: _But this our age being so far different from
ancient times_, _wherein little notice was taken of the Author_, _though
much of the thing written_, _it will be as just for him to inform his
Reader_, _as for a Suppliant to inform his Judge_, _though never so
learned_, _and to be recommended to him_, _though his case be never so
just_.  _A Friend of mine_, _calls the Advice to the Reader_, _the Sauce
of the Book_, _because it is that part_, _which gives us a stomach to
read the rest_.  _I must confess_, _it is for his satisfaction that I
give you mine_; _I know not how excellent it may prove to thy Palate_:
_but my intention_, _is not_, _at least_, _to put too much Salt in it_;
_and indeed_, _with what can I season it_, _or what Ingredients have I
left to compound it withall_?  _If I praise my own work_, _I shall incur
the censure of an interested Judge_; _if I dispraise it_, _I shall do my
self an injury_.  _To tell thee that this Book comes from_ Rome _is in
vain_, _because the very Title of it discovers the place of its birth_;
_and to entreat thee to read it_, _would be just the way to stifle thy
curiosity_; _for now adayes_, _every body desires the reading of those
Books which are prohibited_; _and I am certain_, _that it were a good
way_, _to incite the publick curiosity of the world __for any Books_, _to
intreat them that they would be pleased to let them alone_, _for that_,
_without doubt_, _would encrease their desire of seeing it_.  _I think I
had best do as those Hunters_, _who for fear of raising the Partridge too
soon_, _talk to one another so softly_, _and so low_, _that they scarce
hear themselves speak_.  _Therefore_, _Reader_, _take notice_, _this is
that famous_ Nipotismo di Roma, _so much desired and wished for by all
the ingenious of_ Europe, _before it was brought forth by the Author_.
_I give thee warning to read it in private_, _and keep it to thy self_;
_for if the news of thy reading it come to the_ Inquisitors _ears_,
_without doubt thou runnest the hazard of an Excommunication_; _for they
have sworn_, _to indure no Books in_ Italy, _but those that shall flatter
the_ Court of Rome.  _It is indeed a good policy for them_, _and for
those Church men_, _who having pretensions to the highest Ecclesiastical
Honours_, _stand all day before the_ Nipotismo _with their Caps in their
hands_.  _I know_, _that in_ Rome _this History will produce the same
effect that our Nails do upon a Sore_, _that is_, _the more they scratch
it_, _the worse they make it_: _Yet the itching pleases every body_, _and
the more we scratch_, _the more we have a mind to scratch still_.
_Neither do I doubt_, _but that there will be some __flatterers and false
friends of the_ Nephews _of the_ Popes, _who will express their dislike
of this Treatise_; _but it will be only in appearance_, _and not from
their hearts_, _which may be forgiven them_, _for seldome in_ Rome _do
the Tongue and the Heart correspond_.

_In the dayes of_ Innocent _the eighth_, _some body made a Book_,
_intituled_, The Abuses of the Churchmen, _very satyrical_, _for in it
were all the Ecclesiasticks Vices_, _but none of their Vertues_, _which
indeed was somewhat severe_: _This Book was put into the_ Popes _hands_
(_who by judging things without passion_, _shewed himself to deserve his
elevation to so great a dignity_) _for having read it in the presence of
some_ Prelates _of the_ holy Office, _he turned to them_, _and said_,
This Book speaks truth; and if we have a mind that the Author should be
found a lyar, we had best reform our selves first.  _I wish to God_,
_that in this our Age_, _there were many such_ Innocents, _and that all
men were of so sound a judgment_, _as to profit by good things_, _and
laugh only at ill ones_, _or rather avoid them_: _For my part_, _I
think_, _that if ever there hath been a Book in this world free from a
flattering design and interest_, _that this is one of those_; _for the
Church of God will profit by it_, _the_ Romans _will draw no small
pleasure nor less __advantage from the reading of it_; _and_, _I hope_,
_that it will be a kind of Looking-glass to the_ Nephews _that are to
come_, _whereby they may guide their actions_, _and steer their
intentions to a better course then their Predecessors_.  _There passed_,
_not long ago_, _by this Town_, _a certain_ Prelate _of_ Tuscany, _to
whom I gave a sight of this_ Manuscript _before it was printed_; _he took
such delight in perusing of it_, _that he entreated me to hasten the
publication of it_, _with these words_, For Gods sake, Sir, inrich _Rome_
with so great a Treasure as this is; bestow so good an example upon
Princes Politicks, and illustrate all _Christendome_ with the
demonstration of so much zeal: _This was the opinion of a sincere_
Prelate.  _But besides_, _it is most certain_, _that the_ Nephews, _as
well those that now bear sway_, _as those that are out of date_, _and
those that are to come_, _if they will judge without pre-occupation_,
_will find_, _that this History is of no small concern to the promoting
of their interest_, _considering_, _that the good which is said of them
doth much surpass the ill_, _and_, _that it demonstrates how necessary a
thing the_ Nipotismo _is to the_ City of Rome.  _I do not pretend to any
thanks or retribution for the good that shall happen to them_; _neither
would I be content_, _that the harm_, _if there __be any_, _should
reflect upon me_.  _As for the Book_, _Reader_, _it is in thy hands_,
_and must stand or fall by thy verdict_: _I therefore only desire thee to
pronounce sincerely_, _whether it be not as necessary for all_ Europe _as
for the City of_ Rome.  _I promise thee another Work_, _much more worthy
thy curiosity_, _and fit for any body that hath a publick Employment_,
_which is_ Il Cardinalismo, _a Work_, _which speaking in general only of
that Dignity_, _doth yet nevertheless now and then descend to
particulars_.  _In a word_, _I call the_ Cardinalismo, _and the_
Nipotismo, _Brothers_; _but the_ Cardinalismo _is the eldest_, _because
first conceived by me_; _in a moneth it will be Printed_; _if thou wilt
have it_, _thou mayest_, _and I can assure you_, _it will please you


The First Part.


The Contents.

_IN which is treated_, _of the difference that there is between the
ancient and New_ Rome.  _Of the manner of Governing of the ancient_
Romans.  _And of the manner of the_ Popes _governing_.  _Of the murmurs
of the Gentiles_, _Hereticks_, _and Catholicks_, _against the Church of_
Rome _and the Popes_.  _How to come to the knowledge of present state of_
Rome _by the said murmurs_.  _Of the time in which people began to talk
ill of the_ Popes, _and of the cause of this their libertie_.  _Of the_
Popes _first bringing their kindred into_ Rome.  _Of __the Infallibility
of the_ Popes _in admitting their kindred to the Government of the State
of the Church_.  _Of the causes that ruin’d the old_ Roman
_Commonwealth_: _and of those that lessen the Honour and Grandeur of the
Church_ of Rome.  _Why Christ chose to be Born in a time of Peace_.  _Of
the Succession of_ Peter _to Christ_.  _Of the Apostles to_ Peter; _and
of the_ Popes _to the Apostles_.  _Of the Holiness of Church-men in the
primitive Church_.  _Why the vertue of doing Miracles is failed in the
Popes_.  _Why for many Ages the_ Popes _Kindred did not much care to own
their Relation to him_.  _How the Church came first to be so Rich_.  _Of
the Court of_ Rome.  _Of the Politick Wit of Church-men_.  _Of the
advantage that Politicians gain in frequenting_ Rome.  _And of some
particular maximes of_ Innocent _the Tenth_, _which were of utility to

                                * * * * *

_ROME_ alone amongst all the other Cities of the World can brag of the
reputation, of having been alwayes esteemed the Mother of Nations, the
whole Universe having almost alwayes taken a pride in paying to her a
Tribute of filial Duties, in acknowledgment of which she has also opened
her breasts, and pressed her Duggs for the nourishment of those who
desired to encrease by their obedience to Her, and be free from those
dangers to which they are subject that have not Parents or powerful

The glories of _Rome_ were never equalled, no more then _Rome_ it self.
_Rome_ hath been seen in all the Cities of the World, not only
commanding, but triumphing; and in _Rome_ have been seen at divers times,
not only Cities, but whole Provinces, nay, whole Kingdomes, obeying, and
submitting.  _Rome_ seems to be born to rule the World, and with a great
deal of reason, since not only it hath done, but doth still exerce its
Empire over a great part of it.

It ruled while it was a Commonwealth; and not content with that Empire
which nature, or to say better, the valour of its Citizens had purchased
for it, it proposed to acquire all that it could think on, and still the
acquisitions seemed small in comparison of that which remained to be

It rul’d in the time of the _Roman_ Emperours, who made Lawes, and
domineered over mankind as they pleased; nay, which was worse, tyranny it
self came often from _Rome_ to infect the rest of the Universe which was
subject to this seat of Tyrants.

But why should we recall past Ages, and renew those wounds, which though
not healed, are nevertheless worn out by the length of time; why should
we praise _Rome_ for having ruled the World, if now at this present it
rules it more then ever, and domineers over it in a new manner.

In the time of the Commonwealth, in the time of the Emperours, _Rome_
never pretended to command consciences, and exact from soules that
Tribute which now they pay to the _Vatican_.

Every City had its Bishop, every Village its Curate, and every Church its
Preacher, who in his Sermons did not make it his business to exalt
_Rome_; neither did the Bishop, nor the Curate expect the rules of
governing their flock from _Rome_.

But now quite contrary maximes have prevailed; for _Rome_, not content
with the temporal power, hath perverted the order of Government, and made
the temporal submit to the spiritual, contrary to the received custome of
so many Ages.

If the Commonwealth subdued Nations, if the _Roman_ Emperours commanded
over kingdomes, they did it in such a manner, that those that obeyed
seemed to have had more content then those that commanded; for they let
them enjoy the liberty of their souls, and required only from them a
Civil Obedience in compliance with the interest of the State.

But the _Popes_ having confounded and mingled together the temporal and
spiritual power, laying the stress upon the spiritual, do oblige Princes
and people to so exact an obedience, that the only mention of it is able
to scare our hearts and minds.

The _Popes_ shutting of Paradise and Heaven when they please, their
opening of Hell when they think good, are things that oblige whole
Nations to forget the Obedience due to their natural Princes, and to
prostrate themselves at his Holinesses his feet.  The Commonwealth which
ruled with so much wisdome and Policie, the Emperours who governed with
the strength of Arms, and the Tyrants who domineered with cruelty, had
they but known these secret maximes, might have humbled Nations and
reduced Cities with a great deal less paines, and more security.

The _Popes_ having being armed with the Soveraigne Authority over
consciences, have so increased the glories of _Rome_, that there is
scarce a corner in _Europe_, not a place in _Asia_, not a desart in
_Africa_, nor a hidden solitude in _America_, where the name of the
_Pope_ hath not penetrated, and where there is not some discourse of

The _Gentiles_ praise the _Popes_, and despise _Rome_; the Hereticks
praise _Rome_, and despise the _Popes_; and the Catholicks despise both
_Rome_ and _Popes_ with a greater, though secreter, disdain, then either
the _Gentiles_ or the Hereticks, of which I shall give the reasons.

The _Pagans_ attribute all the mischief of _Rome_ to that great number of
Church-men with which this City is pestred.  The Hereticks, on the other
side, lay all the Church-mens disorders upon the _Pope_; and therefore
the Hereticks are willing enough to be reconcil’d to _Rome_; but by no
means will endure the _Pope_.  The _Pagans_, on the contrary, are content
to be friends with the _Pope_, but not with _Rome_.

This proceeds from the distinctions that the Heathens make in the person
of the _Popes_, separating the spiritual from the temporal, and Religion
from Civil Government; therefore in the time of _Sixtus_ the V. and
_Gregory_ the XV. the _Persians_ and _Japponeses_ sent their Ambassador
to _Rome_, taking no small pride in the _Popes_ friendship, whom they
esteemed as one of the powerfullest Princes of _Italy_, and for his
greatness desired his Amity; their maxime being to make alliances with
the most potent Princes of the World; they thought they could not better
address themselves then to him, whom all the other Christian Princes did
adore and reverence as their head.

The Hereticks destroy all this, being neither disposed to acknowledg the
_Pope_ as a temporal Prince, nor as a spiritual Pastor; so that with
them, Popedome, Principality, Religion, Civil Government, all goes down,
when they speak of the _Pope_.

Nay, I know a Gentleman of that Religion, who can by no means be
perswaded that the _Pope_ is master of _Rome_, and Prince of the
Ecclesiastick State, though all the Princes of the world acknowledg him
to be so, and for all this, the Protestant Gentleman cannot be brought to
believe it, but stands firme upon the Negative.

Of the same humour was a great Lord in _Spain_, who could never be
convinced, that _Henry_ the fourth was King of _France_, though he knew
that his own King did acknowledge him for such, and had sent an
Embassadour to him, that all differences upon that subject were lay’d,
and that all the Crowns in _Europe_ did own him to be lawful King.  And
yet for all this the good Don could never believe that which all the
world was sure of, and he died in this incredulous humour.

Now as for the murmurs that the _Gentiles_, the Hereticks, and the
Catholicks have against _Rome_, there is this difference between them.
The Heathens murmure upon what they hear; the Hereticks against those
things that they do not believe; and the Catholicks against those things
they see; and certainly of them all the Catholicks murmurs are the worst:
for the eyes being as it were the treasurers of the heart, do furnish it
so abundantly with the impressions which they receive, that it never is
dispossessed of them afterwards; the Proverb being very true, which
sayes, _That in vain we fly from that which we carry in our hearts_.
Therefore the Catholicks, murmuring boldly, because they see the abuses
of _Rome_, are much more believed then the others.

But indeed to speak truth, if we ballance the reasons that these three
sorts of persons have to talke disadvantagiously of _Rome_, we shall find
that the Hereticks have the greatest and most weighty arguments of their

But before I prove this, it is necessary to give notice that I make a
distinction betwixt Hereticks and Protestants, though the Church of
_Rome_ does confound both these denominations; for they are Hereticks who
deny the true Religion for a false one, which they set up without any
foundation of reason, thinking that their own opinion is enough.

The Protestants are those that abhorre innovations, and do tie themselves
to the sense of the Holy Scripture, denying every thing they find not in
those Sacred Records: and for my part, I intend to speak only of the
Protestants, not of the Hereticks.

Let us return to our subject; and say, that the _Popes_ do neither good
nor harme to the Heathens; to the Catholicks they do both good and evil;
and to the Protestants alwayes ill, and never good.  Looking upon the
Heathens as neater, upon the Catholicks as their friends, and upon the
Protestants as their greatest enemies.

From thence it proceeds that the Catholicks are more scandalized at the
_Popes_ errours; for they being friends are admitted to dive into the
bottom of the disorders: The Protestants seeing that the _Popes_ do not
only suspect them, but openly profess enmity with them, do busie all
their industry in penetrating into those hidden mysteries of the Court of
Rome, that they may not be surprised, but have wherewith to defend
themselves in their disputes: and therefore that which they report of the
Court of _Rome_ is most ordinarily true.

The Heathens let _Rome_ alone as long as _Rome_ lets them alone; and they
talke according to the informations they receive from Catholicks and

Whosoever therefore intends to draw a quintessence of truth out of so
many different relations, must not give credit only to what the
Catholicks say; for they being friends and dependants of the _Pope_,
cannot do less for their own reputation, as well as for his, then to hide
the abuses and palliate the disorders of his Court; neither ought he to
take his informations from the Protestants alone, because they, being
prepossessed with an aversion to the _Pope_, cannot chuse but be blinded
by their pre-occupation, and say more then is true, in discredit of the
proceedings of his Court.

The method of History would require a strict examination of the relations
of both parties in matter of fact, and a ballance of their opinions in
matter of policy, and upon so mature a discussion it were fit to frame
the body of the History, and found the maximes of policy; for the History
would then be true, and the maximes certain.

This hath alwayes been my way of writing, insomuch that many, both
Protestants and Catholicks, have not been able to distinguish my Religion
in my works, nor know whether the Author were Protestant or Catholick;
and this because of the sincerity with which I praise, in both parties,
that which deserves commendation, and blame vice, let it be where it
will, and in what place and person soever.

But to say true, this present age hath so corrupted and perverted the art
of writing, that some write only to flatter, and others to satyrize; and
there is no ingenious Catholick but must confess, that there are
publish’d every day more Libels by the Catholicks against _Rome_, then
Satyres by the Protestants against the Popes; therefore now adayes the
wiser sort of men give more credit to a Protestants relation, then to a
Catholicks, meeting with less passion in the first then in the last,
against the Popes and _Rome_.

I have been a great while in Protestant Countries, and have likewise made
no small stay in _Rome_, where I have heard a thousand and a thousand
times, both Romans and Protestants, discourse of the Popes Nephews, and
their actions; but I must confess, that in _Geneva_ it self I never heard
any discourse so full of liberty, nor so satyrical, as those which the
Romans, nay the Prelates themselves have vented in my presence,
concerning the Popes and the Ecclesiastick authority.

Nay, I’le say more, and it is a thing I am very sure of, having heard it
often said by persons of great understanding; the Protestant Gentlemen
that travel to _Rome_ are much more scandalized at the Romans proceedings
towards the Popes, then the Catholick Gentlemen, who travel in Protestant
Countries, are to hear the Pope defam’d and ill spoken of amongst them.

The Protestants, when they talk with Catholicks, because they cannot
reasonably expect to be believed, do conceal the greatest part of the
imperfections of the Popes kindred; but the Catholicks say a great deal
more then becomes them, thinking thereby to show their aversion to vice.

More then all this, I say, that of all that is said in _Rome_ concerning
the Popes actions, and his kindred, there is none of it comes from the
North, but from _Rome_ it self; but on the contrary, even all that is
said in the North, springs from _Rome_, and is not born in the
Protestants Country.

The Romans make the Pasquins in _Rome_, and then to excuse themselves lay
them upon the Protestants: thus the Pope is abused and deceived by the
Romans themselves; so that then we may say with a great deal of reason,
that out of _Rome_ it self springs the source of all the harm it

I wonder now no longer to see the change of stile which I have observed
in Writers from age to age, since in the Court of _Rome_ they change
their way of living and speaking from day to day.

In the time that the Popes had golden consciences, and wooden walls, when
with bare feet and clothed with sackcloth they went from door to door,
accepting the charity of the faithful for their sustenance, and that full
of zeal they administred themselves the Sacraments, exposing their lives
for the safety of their flock.  When the Popes applyed themselves only to
their pastoral charge, without concerning themselves in Princes temporal
interests: _Rome_ in those dayes knew nothing of other Princes Courts,
neither did the Courts of Princes concern themselves for _Rome_; there
was so little mention made of the Popes, that the Church-men and Bishops
did scarce know where to find them in their most important necessities.

It would have been indeed a great sacriledge to have spoken ill of a
Pope, who from morning to evening did nothing but visit the sick,
distribute the Sacraments, comfort the people, and serve the Altar with
true zeal and piety.

But when once the face of things was changed, and that the Popes, weary
of serving to the Altars, resolved to be served by the Altars themselves,
when thinking it too low an employment to visit the sick, they pretended
to be visited themselves by the greatest Princes, and have their feet
kissed by them; these _Popes_, who were at first the edification of whole
Nations, became a scandal to all the Kingdoms, for both Princes and
people being surprised with this sudden change, and wondring at this new
scene of grandeur, gave themselves up to seek into the reason of this
alteration, and as it often happens, that in the Enquiries into one
defect we discover another, so the world found out in the Popes change so
many new subjects for murmuring and discontent, that from thence ensued
Schismes and Heresies, with an infinite prejudice to the Church of

If the Popes would have been content to have been the heads of the Church
in holiness and good life, and not in majesty and grandeur, the world
would never have conceived so many sinister thoughts of their actions;
therefore if there be murmurs in _Rome_, and the rest of Christendome,
the Popes may thank themselves, for the fault is not in those that
murmur, but in those that furnish them with a lawful subject for their

But let us speak truth: In the time that the Popes left to the Emperours
the secular care of government, and all the interests of the temporal
state, holiness and good life did shine in the Popes, as well as in the
Church and Church-men; miracles were frequent, and Saints multiplied as
fast as tyrant Emperours.

But as soon as the Popes usurped the civil power, and began to meddle
with state matters, their holiness disappeared, miracles vanished, and by
a strange mutation the Emperors became Saints, and the Popes as
passionate for the temporal interest as the greatest Tyrants.

The Hereticks go further, and say, that the Popes are really Tyrants, as
having introduced the Inquisition, which by constraining mens consciences
to an exteriour worship of what they abhor, does more severely punish the
breach of one of the Popes Orders, then it does the violation of one of
Gods Commandements.

To this the Popes oppose, as a defence, the reason of policy, that
obliges them to establish the Inquisition, leaving to their Divines the
task of answering the other more sharp objection; who having no other way
to extricate themselves from that difficulty, have written, to confute
the Hereticks, such vast volumns of Controversie, that they being not
able to read them, remain in their obstinacy, with no small dammage to
the Pope and his Divines.

But this strange change of the Popes, from spiritual to temporal, and
from holy Bishops to Politick Princes, is not so much to be attributed to
the Popes themselves, as to their Nephews and kindred, there is the
source and origin of the disease; for while the Popes lead a private
life, and let their Nephews alone in their own homes, they were eminent
for their zeal to the true Religion; but they had no sooner introduced
them into _Rome_, but forgetting themselves, they fell to idolizing their
Nephews, and for the increase of their greatness, employed not only the
gold of the Church, but even all the pains and fatigues of the Popedom,
nay even the consciences of their whole flock.

Experience teaches us, that many Popes, and particularly those of the
greatest reputation, in the beginning of their Popedome did not only
renounce their kindred, and refuse to own them, but with a solemn oath
did protest to the Cardinals, that they would govern alone, and not admit
their kindred upon any pretext whatsoever; so far they were from giving
them a share in the government.

_Alexander_ the seventh, who now lives, was one of those for a time, and
from him we may conclude of the thoughts of the rest; for in the
beginning of his Pontificat he shewed himself to be so averse from his
kindred, that some thought him a Saint, or at least a man much above the
frailties of humane nature.

_Don Mario_ his Brother, _Don Agostino_ his Nephew, and the Cardinal that
now is, did every day offer up their prayers to Heaven, for a change in
their Uncles inclination; the Ambassadors of Princes and the Cardinals,
did nothing but weary themselves out in alledging to his Holiness the
necessity of introducing his kindred, that it would be not only
honourable, but of great advantage to the State and Church.

Yet the good Pope remaining unshaken in his opinion, was resolved to deny
all their Instances, nay, often would be exceedingly scandalized at those
that pressed him to it, saying, he could not in conscience condescend to
their desires; as one day being importun’d upon the same occasion by
Father _Palavicino_, a Jesuit, and his Confessor, who now is Cardinal, he
answered him in these words, _Your obligation_, _father_, _is to absolve
from sins_, _and not invite to commit them_.

Of this humour hath not been _Alexander_ alone, but in the lives of the
Popes there are many other such examples, as that of _Adrian_ the sixth,
and _Pius_ the fifth, who were wont to say, _that they would make it
their task to perswade the world that they could live without kindred_.

Now I would fain know, from whence proceeded in them this humour, so
opposite to the others? if from an aversion and a kind of hatred to their
relations, then certainly it was a sin, since we have as a Commandment
from God, _Despise not thy own flesh_; if to make shew of an apparent
zeal, that was worse, for they were guilty both before the world and God
Almighty; if out of a design of first bestowing kindnesses on their
Friends before they gave themselves up to their Nephews, it was a
preposterous charity, which ought to have begun nearer home.

It remains then to conclude, that certainly these Popes, who made this
profession of disowning their Relations, did it, because they were really
perswaded, that the errors of their predecessors did proceed from this
principle of admitting their kindred to a share in the government, and
therefore they thought fit to free themselves from so great an

Therefore to save the reputation of the Papal dignity, I am forced to
say, that those Popes, who at first did profess an aversion to their
kindred, and yet afterwards admitted them, were certainly seised with
some melancholy humors and capriciousness, which made them commit such
errors.  It must not seem strange if I call them errors, since reason it
self must needs call them so; for first, to be perswaded that their
predecessors had failed in admitting their kindred into _Rome_, and in
giving up the government of the Church into their hands; then, to swear
and protest to keep theirs at a distance, that they may be freed from the
like miscarriages; and after all this, not onely to call them into
_Rome_, give them the Keys of the treasure, and put all the
administration of the temporal and spiritual into their hands, whereby to
make themselves Princes, but also to give them an absolute authority over
the Church, the Popedome, nay, the very person of the Pope; this is
certainly to demonstrate, that the Pope hath the power of making that to
be good and just, which he hath condemn’d for bad & mischievous; which if
the people of Rome, or the Courtiers, do believe, certainly people of
judgment and sound understanding do not.

As for me, I have not hitherto denyed that opinion of the Roman Divines,
_viz. that the Popes cannot erre_; but when once I came to see the
falsity of it proved in the person of _Alexander_ the seventh, certainly
I have had a mind to curse those Divines, that flatter thus the Popes,
not out of a design to serve the Church, but to make themselves great;
and we know very well, that there are now many of them living, who have
been made Cardinals, meerly because they had writ to the advantage and
honour of the Pope, which thing still stirs up others to do the same; but
let them write what they will, all the world shall never perswade me, but
that the proceeding of _Alexander_ towards his kindred, in calling them
to him, contrary to his oath, is as great an error as ever Pope

Yet let us do them the favour to interpret their Doctrine their own way,
and allow of their distinction, that is, that the Popes are infallible in
matters of faith, but not in matters of policy; let it be so; but if we
do them this kindness, I hope they will be so civil as to requite it with
another: we desire them then to tell us a little; The Popes Nephews, have
they not the same authority as the Popes themselves, who invest them with
it as soon as they are admitted into the _Vatican_, they govern all
affairs, politick, civil, Ecclesiastick, and in a word, sacred, prophane,
divine, all things pass through their hands.  Then with them sometimes
the Popes may erre, even in matters of faith, since often in matters of
faith they trust their Nephews, who being men subject to passions, are
admitted by all to be capable of error.

I would fain ask you, whether _Alexander_ the seventh, who had so great
an aversion to his kindred at first, had the assistance of the holy
Ghost, or whether he had it not?

If you answer he had it not, I am well pleased, and do profess with you,
that I think that policy and humane reasons were the causes of his

But if he had the holy Ghost, how then can you reconcile his first
refusing to admit the calling his Nephews to his assistance? for either
it was good or bad to admit them to his help in so great a charge; if
good, then he failed at first in keeping them away, and shewing himself
so alienated from them; if bad, then he failed at last, in repealing his
first resolution, and betraying the Church and its riches into their

The holy Ghost is infallible, and to believe the contrary is a high
impiety; how is it then that the _Popes_ have the holy Ghost, and yet
cannot abstain from failing? certainly to me it appears a kind of
Blasphemy and prophanation of the honour of the Divinity.  We know that
the holy Ghost inspires nothing but what is good, and yet we see that the
_Popes_ do commit ill.  The Protestants do utterly deny this opinion, and
demonstrate by good proofs, that the Pope neither hath, nor can have the
holy Ghost in a more particular manner then other men; but for my part I
believe that the holy Ghost is in the Popes when he pleases, and they
receive him when they can.

So to save the reputation of Pope _Alexander_ the seventh, I’le say, that
in the beginning of his Pontificat he had not the holy Ghost, for if he
had, he would have received his kindred; but the holy Ghost begun to take
possession of the Pope, just at the same time that his kindred took
possession of _Rome_, and of the Church; and therefore the good man was
much to blame to keep the holy Ghost and his kindred out so long
together, since by this means he deprived himself of the riches of the
Spirit, and his Relations of the riches of this world: But now he hath
mended his error, and made amends for all.  Many believe that the Popes
erre with their kindred, and their kindred with them; but for my part I
believe that the Apostles did not erre, because that they received the
holy Ghost from Jesus Christ himself; but the Popes do erre because they
receive the holy Ghost from the Divines, who give it them, how and when
they please: I know what I say.

Often _Rome_ hath lost the order of its government, because it was become
a prey to the ambition of its Subjects; and as often it hath been brought
upon the brim of its ruine, by gold and riches.

Old _Rome_ had much ado to preserve it self by an infinite number of
severe Laws, and at last did make a shift betwixt good and bad times, to
rub out some Ages, till new _Rome_ came and took its place.  By old
_Rome_ I mean that _Rome_ that was founded by _Romulus_, and ended at the
time of our Saviour: and by new _Rome_ I understand _Rome_ that was born
in Christ, and lives even now in him.  Now if the ancient City of _Rome_
came to its ruine through ambition and covetousness, it will become us to
consider what effects these very same things do produce in our new

When we speak of _Rome_, we speak of a City that desires to be
acknowledged by all Nations, as the head of Christendom.  Now let us see
the difference between the Pagan and the Christian _Rome_, the old and
the new.

In the time that our Saviour was born in _Bethlehem_, to destroy this old
_Rome_ of the Heathens, and give the foundation of this new Christian
City, _Augustus_ not only commanded, that all the Nations of the Roman
Empire should be numbred, to shew, that with the coming of Christ there
was a new Empire begun, but likewise he brought all the world into a calm
peace and tranquility; so that our Saviour no sooner appeared, but peace
was the joy and comfort of the whole Universe.  Christ chose to be born
in a time of peace, and not of war and misery, for two causes: First, to
set a difference betwixt the new and old _Rome_; the old having been
founded in blood and dissention, under the government of _Romulus_ a
Pagan, it was more then just, that the new should begin with peace, under
the dominion of the King of Kings, the holy One of _Israel_.  Secondly,
to the end that the Successors of the Apostles, who were to reside in
_Rome_, might not one day excuse their faults, with alledging the
beginnings of the Christian Religion for example; and therefore our
Saviour took possession of _Rome_ in peace, and delivered it to those
Popes, who were to govern _Rome_ and _Christendome_.

To Christ succeeded Peter, to _Peter_ the Popes, as the Divines of _Rome_
teach, and do endeavour to prove, against the Protestants, as a principal
point of Religion.

The Popes then took possession of this new _Rome_, with the holiness of
life; and when first they established this Ecclesiastical Senate, they
chose out men so holy, and of so good a life, that the Citizens willingly
submitted to prostrate themselves at the feet of such Governours.

Ambition was then so far from the hearts of the Bishops, that not only
many Prelates did renounce their Bishopricks, but also many retir’d from
the _Vatican_, where they were adored, into deserts and solitudes, to
serve God their Creator without trouble.

Gold had not yet found the way to _Rome_, because there was no hand that
would receive it, no Treasurer to keep it, and all its glittering was
much below that vertue, which did so eminently shine in those that were
the Guardians of _Rome_.  Woe would have been to that man, who should
have opened himself a door to preferment in the Church with a golden Key;
the Excommunications, the Laws, the pains of this and the next world,
were fulminated against Simony, which was as much abhorred by all the
Church-men ther, as it is now practised.

In one thing alone old _Rome_ did not agree in its beginnings with the
new; for one promoted to its highest honours, those Citizens who had shed
their blood, and could produce noble scars received in the defence of
their Country; but the other bestowed Offices and Ecclesiastical
Dignities upon those, who in consideration of another world did despise
this, and mortified their flesh and affections.  The _Roman_ Empire rise
by Valours, the _Roman_ Church by Holiness.

The Actions of those, that pretended to any place of publick employment
in old _Rome_, were examined by the Senate; and the services, which the
State had received from these Candidates, were as it were ballanced with
the honour they ambitioned, and the weight of the place they stood for:
and if those services were such, as to be able to weigh down these scales
of equity, the Candidate was sure to obtain his desires; if they proved
too light, he was forced to stay, and with new Endeavours encrease the
obligation the publick had to him already.

Just in the same manner did the Popes at first proceed in the
distribution of the charges of the Church; for having ballanced the
holiness of life, and excellency of parts of him who was to be admitted,
with the weightiness of the place; if the goodness of life was so
eminent, as to surpass the exigency of the Office, the Demandant was
without delay preferred, otherwise he was sent away with shame and

The Conquests of Kingdoms, and the subduing of Provinces, were the Keys,
with which the _Romans_ opened to themselves the door of honour, and an
entrance into the Senate; but in new _Rome_, persecutions, martyrdoms,
and mortifications, were the fore-runners of Christian Dignities, and the
only way to Bishopricks and Popedoms.

While the Popes lived thus, and that this age of holiness lasted, it was
with a great deal of reason, that the rest of the world called their
_Rome_, _Roma la Santa_, _Rome_ the holy: The Popes were looked upon to
be more like Angels then Men, not only because their actions were
altogether heavenly, but because that living in this world, without
owning any of their kindred, they seemed rather sent from Heaven, then
taken from the midst of mankind.

There hath been some Popes, who while they were Bishops and Cardinals did
reckon an incredible number of Nephews and Cozens; and yet no sooner were
they promoted to the highest Prelature, but all their kindred vanished
and disappeared, as if they had never had any.

If in those times you had asked any of them if they were a-kin to the
Pope, he would have denyed it openly, so little did the Popes care for
their kindred, and their kindred for them: The cause of this was, that
the Popes did not measure in their kindred their deserts, by any carnal
affection they had for them, but compared their merits by the Standard of
Christian perfection; so that if a Kinsman of a Pope should have happened
to have had, for competitour in any place, one not much above him in
learning and piety, yet without doubt he should have yielded to this his
Competitour, and gone without his pretensions.

Hence it came, that the Popes kindred, that they might not receive
affronts in _Rome_, did forbear to come at the City; and least the world
should by their absence conclude of the meanness of their deserts, they
would give it out, that they were in no wayes related to the Pope, whose
kindred they were, saving thus their honour without honour.

In those times, the Popes did often resist the Emperours tyrannical
proceedings, and withstood their injuries, not with Armies and Fleets,
but with Zeal and Piety they did boldly oppose their vices and
corruptions; as amongst others, _Gregory_ the seventh excommunicated the
Emperour _Henry_, and banished him from all commerce with the rest of his
Christians, only because he had received I know not what sum of money
from a Bishop, who us’d his favour to be preferr’d to a vacant

_Rome_ was then truly holy without ambition, and without gold; and
glorious were the Popes, who with their zeal and good actions made
barbarous Kings tremble, and Tyrants humble themselves to the yoak of
Christian Religion; and indeed who would not obey that Pope, that should
prefer true merit and deserts before Relations and Kindred, Vertue before
Vice, Learning before Ignorance, Zeal before Ambition, Poverty before
Riches, his flock before his Kindred, and Justice before Favour and

But if hitherto we have spoken of _Rome_ without corruption, and of Popes
full of zeal and holiness, so we must now consider _Rome_ under another
habit, that is, not holy, but wicked, not pure and innocent, but defiled
and full of ambition and avarice.

While the Popes lived in this retired manner, devested of all earthly
affections to their kindred, and inclin’d only to recompence deserts and
goodness, _Rome_ was happy and holy; but as soon as Christian modesty
began to be banish’d by worldly pomps, that favour took place of merit,
that ambition overpowered humility, and covetousness laughed at charity,
the Popes began to lose their credit, _Rome_ its goodness, the Church its
Saints, and there started up another Church, another _Rome_, and other

And no sooner did the love of riches take possession of _Rome_, but
_Christendom_ was engaged in desperate Schisms, with no small affliction
to the real and pious part of the Christian world.

Two hundred and twenty six years after the birth of Christ, the Popes
began to change their poverty into riches, and with them introduced
ambition into the Church; this was done in the time of _Urban_ the first,
who ordained, that the Church should possess land, riches, power,
command, and all other conveniencies, to the end that Church-men might be
rewarded out of the revenues of the Church it self.

Before _Urban’s_ time, Ecclesiasticks were to trust to the alms of the
faithful, and their charity; and whilst that lasted, they thought of
nothing else then the conduct of Souls, having no care to take, either
for the encrease or conservation of their Fortunes; but as soon as they
saw the Church enriched with Abbyes, Canonicates, and other revenues,
they fell to disputing among themselves, every one desiring the
possession of the richest benefice.

_Urban_ in doing this had neverthelesse no ill intention; and if his
Successors had followed his steps, the revenues of the Church had
certainly animated _Romes_ greatness, and yet deminish’d nothing of the
Churches riches.

When I speak of the riches of the Church, I mean, not the temporal, but
the spiritual riches, as St. _Laurence_ understood it, when being asked
by the Emperour where were the riches of the Church, he produced before
him a multitude of poor impotent beggars, but of a good life.

Therefore the Church became poor in Saints, and rich in ambitious
Ecclesiasticks, who did now employ that time which they used to spend in
the Churches, and at the feet of our Saviour, with the Popes and Bishops,
in reckoning up the Revenues of their Abbies, and procuring preferments
to themselves and others.

The bringing of temporal riches into the Church was a poison which
infected the Church, and made the Church-men swell, ’till at last they
were ready to burst with their own venome.  As the Church encreased in
revenues, _Rome_ decreased in Holiness and Holy men, and Saints forsook
it when once Courtiers and men of business came into it.  I meane living
Saints; for as for dead Saints there are too many in it still, it being a
part of its Trade to doe now for Gold and Riches, that which before was
done by poverty and self-denial, I mean, Canonising of Saints.

Before the Church enjoyed temporal revenues, there was modesty in the
Church-mens Apparel, but with the introduction of riches, pride, pomp,
and vanity took place; then were invented Mitets, Scarlet Robes with long
Traines, Copes, and Tippets; so that with the expense that one is at now
to cloath a Prelate or a Cardinal many poor might be fed and covered, and
particularly poor Priests, who are faine to beg from Laicks that which
their own Prelates should bestow upon them.

Though things were carryed on with this corruption, yet was it not come
to that pass that the Popes durst bring their Nephewes to the Sterne, and
Government of St. _Peters_ Vessel; they were content to rule the temporal
and spiritual without controle, but did not think of entayling the
Popedome upon their kindred, which made their Nephews and Relations keep
at a distance, being unwilling to be seen in _Rome_ without command and

_Nicholas_ the third in the year 1229, went about to make two of his
Nephewes of the House of the _Ursins_ Kings, one of _Toscany_, and the
other _Lumbardy_, to the end that one should keep the _Germans_ in awe,
who have one part of the _Alpes_, and the other the _French_, who were
then Masters of the Kingdomes of _Naples_ and _Sicily_: and that he might
compass his designe with lesse trouble, he perswaded _Peter_ King of
_Arragon_ to undertake the recovery of the Kingdome of _Sicily_, to which
he had a right by _Constantine_ his Wife.

But all these designes soon vanished and were buried in the Tombe of the
_Popes_ brain, where they were first conceived.  ’Tis true, that many
say, that the _Pope_ did this, only to satisfie the pressing instances of
his Nephewes: but because he affected more the quiet of the Church, then
the advancement of his kindred, he persisted not in his enterprise, but
just as long as was necessary to make his Kindred believe he had once
well resolved it; and thus the _Ursins_, who aspired to so much Grandeur,
remained disappointed, and the _Pope_ was pleased in the demonstration he
had given them of His kindness.

The _Popes_ were not yet perfect in the art of raising their kindred; the
carnal love of their Relations did but begin a combat with the spiritual
zeal for the Church, and as yet the last was too hard for the first, and
in all occasions did carry it before their kindness for their Relations.

From _Nicolas_ to _Sixtus_ the Fourth, who was created in the year 1471,
the _Popes_ did by little and little humanise themselves, and lay aside
that rude severity to themselves, and to their kindred, who now began to
come very willingly to _Rome_, being sure to meet with kinder receptions
then heretofore had been shewed to precedent _Popes_ Relations; and when
once they were in _Rome_ and in sight of their Uncle, he to prevent them
from leading an idle life, would give them entrance into the Vatican, and
honour them with places of Honour and Profit.

Withall this things were carried so closely, that though the Church did
receive some detriment, yet the people of _Rome_, and the other Christian
Nations had no great occasion of scandal given them neither from the
Nephews, nor from the Popes.  The first of which were well pleased with
any thing that was given them; and the last, that is, the _Popes_, were
so provident as to be liberal only of what was superfluous, and not of
that which the Church and _Rome_ could not spare.

But in the time of _Sixtus_, Ambition and Covetousness introduced
themselves so openly, with the utter destruction of the modesty and
decorum of the Church, together with the subversion of Christian Piety,
occasioned all by his filling the _Vatican_ with such a company of
Nephewes, that from that time forward we must reckon the birth and growth
of the _Nipotismo_; in the History of which, before we engage any
further, it will not be amiss to give a Character of the Court of _Rome_,
which now at present is maintained by, and depends entirely upon the

One of the greatest extravagancies that I meet withall in the World, is
the error of those who are perpetually exclaiming against Courts; and
generally ’tis observed, that few of those that are of this Humour, have
been Courtiers, or if they have, yet have they not made any considerable
stay in them.  But for Gods sake, what kind of thing was the World,
before there were any Courts? nothing but the refuge of baseness, the
quintessence of ignorance, an apparent blindness, and in a word, a
barbarous throne of Vices, and all sorts of ill actions.

Many complain of the Court, but few of themselves, for not having been
able to maintain the ground, and keep the place they had once in it; as
if the Court were bound to descend to a compliance with every particular
mans humour, and not particular men rather frame themselves to a
condescendency for the Court.

Who is it that frames and constitutes a Court? ’tis the Prince, without
whom there is no such thing.  But who brings Vices to the Court?  The
Courtiers; and yet though the Courtiers be bad, and the Prince good, all
the fault is laid upon the Prince.

Princes seldome fayle to recompense those services which they receive
from their Courtiers, and without this quality they would not long be
Princes.  ’Tis true, that some are more reserv’d, others more liberal in
their rewards; but still the defect is not in the Prince, but in the
courtier, whose ambition is not to be ruled by his Princes judgment, and
against whom he exclaimes for not contenting him.

To the ambition or desire of honour is alwayes added an avidity or desire
of riches in Courtiers: these two monsters being the natural production
of Courts.

The Court is to the World, as a furnace to Gold, to purifie, and refine
mens wits.  Whensoever any bodies ingenuity is under a cloud, and not
known, let him come to Court, for there without doubt he will be prest to
an exact trial of his skill; and let him use it all in hiding himself,
and drawing as it were a vayle over his designs, yet he shall find the
Court to be the true Touch-stone of mens actions, and he shall be known,
for what he is really, and not for what he would seem to be.

This general discourse is only, that we may descend with more light and
instruction to particulars.  All other Courts, are streams, and rivers;
but the Court of _Rome_ is the head and source of them all; and as
ordinarily we find out the head by following the stream, so I thought it
fit to say something in general of Courts, before I came to the
description of the Court of _Rome_.  Among all Nations in the World, the
_Italians_ are the most famous for managing State Affairs, and being
naturally inclined to be good Politicians.  Neither do the Princes of the
North deny this advantage to the Courts of our _Italian_ Princes, who in
the Government of their States, are masters of so much conduct, and
subtilty, that none but very excellent and experienced geniuses can
penetrate the depth of their Counsels.

But those maximes and Court slights, which in _Italy_ are ordinary, are
as it were natural and inseparable from the Church-men of the Court of
_Rome_; which City, upon this score, is become famous in all forreign
Countries, not as a place that teaches, and instructs Church-men, but as
one that is taught and perfected by them.

He that desires to see politick stratagems, and all that subtilty can
compass, let him not forsake _Rome_, where he shall soon learn how State
Affairs ought to be managed.

I alwayes had a great opinion of the cunning and abilities of Church-men
in matter of Government; but when once I came to _Rome_, and began to
know by experience something of their wayes, I must confess, that my
imagination was far short of the reality of what I had conceived.

It was no hard matter for _Rome_, both the old, and the new, to be
mistress of the World, and give Lawes to Nations, since it hath alwayes
been the School of true policies, as having even in its birth drained all
the rest of the world of its cunning, and impoverished, it in slights to
enrich its self.

For the space of fifteen Ages, the Church-men have already demonstrated
to the world their abilities, and subtilty; and that so much the more to
the wonder of all, because their beginnings have been so different from
the means they have us’d, shifting from one thing to another, and
changing upon all occasions, as Seamen do their Sailes with the wind, so
that they seem to be born entirely for their own profit.

In the first Ages of the Church, the Court of _Rome_ thought it
convenient to comply with the Courts of other Princes, and this slight
had its effect, while the Emperours Tyrannised over _Rome_; but their
Tyranny being destroyed, the Court of _Rome_ chang’d its way, and desired
a compliance from all other Courts to its self.

Yet this proceeding too, having by little and little, intricated, and
perplex’d the Court, and Courtiers, they were fain to come back to their
first complyance, and by all Arts appease the male-contents, and keep
those that were affectionate from being alienated: but now the face of
things is so changed, and the nature of transactions so perverted, that
they which now command in the Court of _Rome_ have invented new wayes how
to carry themselves, and correspond with Princes, very intricate, and
different from those that were us’d in past Ages.

Therefore there are very few who having resided in this Court, do at last
forsake it to return home, but they have a great deal of reason to
complaine and be ill satisfied of its proceedings; not only because they
had not found so much favour as they had expected; but because they found
that they had been meerly deluded with faire promises, and at last, as it
were laughed at for their paines.  For the Courtiers of _Rome_ have a
particular maxime, either of perplexing, or of jeering those that come to
negotiate with them.  The truth is, they have been so subtle in providing
for their interest, and have brought things to that pass, that they seem
to be able to be without those, who can by no means be without them; upon
which score the Ministers of some Princes were wont to say; _That
Negotiations in the Court of Rome were a mischeif to those that were
employed in them_, _but a very necessary one_: And in a word; The Court
of _Rome_ cannot be better compared, then to a Labyrinth, out of which,
many think they are going, when they do but just enter it.

Many have compared it to the Monky, that hugs its young ones to death;
for just so do the Churchmen, who embrace every one with a paternal
affection; but in those embraces, they that receive them, find their
ruin.  Therefore have a Care of _Romes_ kindness.  Others do compare it
to a Tree laden with fruit, that to look upon, seems ripe and fair, which
when you come to taste, you find soure and crabbed.

For my part, I think the Court of _Rome_ is like those pills that
Physitians give to their patients, which are all gold without, that they
may not displease the sick person by exposing to his view Cassia, or
Antimony, &c. and he, poor man, trusting to this glorious exteriour
swallowes the Pill, and in the swallowing of it often perceives the

So _Rome_, or rather the Church-men in _Rome_, cover every thing with the
gold of their inventions and slights, giving thus to Princes and Nations
most bitter medicines covered with the zeal of Religion, which they have
no sooner swallowed, but they find that there was nothing but an
appearance of good in it.

In the Court of _Rome_ it often falls out, that he that makes as if he
knew all mens intrigues is altogether ignorant, and he that feigns to
know nothing, knowes all.  The exterior shew of goodness runs like a
stream in the sight of all, but it springs from a head of mischeif, which
is seen by few, because there they seldome give the sting without the

Nothing is done in _Rome_ without the zeal of Religion; and yet the zeale
of Religion is that which prevailes least in all things.  For they make a
great distinction between those things that they desire, and those that
they ought to do.  They employ all their resolution and their prudence
towards the compassing of the first, but they seldome performe the last,
as not being inclin’d to make their wills stoop to their duty.

These maximes, or the like, are common in all the Princes Courts, both
within and without _Italy_; but _Rome_ is the Seminary of these Arts, in
which the Church-men are masters.

He that goes to negotiate in _Rome_ as a publick Minister from some
Prince or State, must first have made some stay in it as a private
person; and for my part, I am perswaded, that to have good success in
such an employment, one stands in need of that double spirit which
_Eliseus_ asked _Elias_ for; since that Church-men are so double-souled,
as to use nothing but slights and subtilties in their negotiations.

He that can live four or five years in the Court of _Rome_, without
meeting with such impediments as shall make him stumble and go neer to
fall, may live a whole Age in any other Princes Court without trouble.

We see every day by experience, that many excellent Politicians,
Ministers of Princes, and States, who in other Courts had got a great
deal of credit and reputation, by managing business to their Princes
content, are no sooner come to _Rome_, but in an instant they lose all
that honour that they had taken so much pains for.  And indeed many are
they that come to the Court of _Rome_ with a great deal of credit, but
few come off and leave it with honour and reputation.

In a Climate subject to so many sudden changes, they that live in it must
expect thunder and lightning, as well as fair weather.  There
negotiations must needs be hard, where the face of things is changed
every day.

Many publick Ministers lose themselves in _Rome_, because they know well
where they are, but not with whom they are: for whilst they think they
have to do with a Monarchy, of a sudden they meet with a Republick and a
Senate; and when they imagine to be engaged with a commonwealth and a
Senate, they find they have to do with a Monarchy: so that like a ball
they are tossed from the Monarch to the Senate, and back again: Because
indeed, the government of _Rome_ is a Monarchy without a Head, and a
Commonwealth without Counsellors.  And thus even they that reside long in
_Rome_ are often puzzled in such sudden changes.

The Government of the Popes is much different from that of all other
Princes; because that they that are raised to this eminent degree do
often come to it, so raw and ignorant of Policies, that they are a great
while before they can attain to any perfection in their charge, which
when they have done at others expences, it is time for them to leave the
world and their government to their Successours, who most commonly are of
the same past fortune, introducing Church-men to this so high a command,
and nature hurrying them away from the throne before they are fit for it.

I do not wonder, that in the Court of _Rome_, through a long experience,
even the dullest and rawest Politicians do become at last most expert;
since that from all the parts of the World, _Rome_ receives none but the
wisest and most able Statesmen to negotiate with her.

One of my friends compares this Court to the Sea; for as it receives in
its bosome all the Rivers of the Earth, and being by them filled and
swelled, fills them again from whom it received its plenty.  So _Rome_
doth as it were suck from the rest of the World, their purest milk of
policies, and distributes it again, like a kind mother, to all those that
are content with the appellation of its children.

Indeed as for the sucking part, I think my friend is much in the right;
for Church-mens lips are so fit for this function, that they lose not one
drop; but as for the distributive part, they make it a more difficult
thing then he or others would imagine.

Neither do I wonder at it, for when they deal with others, they alwayes
propose to them the zeal of Religion, and the interest of Christian
Piety: While under the pretext of these, they hide their self-policy, to
use it in time and place convenient: Which no body can discover but
themselves.  The truth is, that a good Politician may receive some
benefit, by diving into that which they so much endeavour to hide; but he
shall never be advantaged by any thing that they shall willingly reveal
to him, their undoubtted maxime being never to discover any thing but
such as they need not, or that cannot be beneficial to others.

To give a great proof of what I say; I remember, that an Embassadour of
an _Italian_ Prince, a wise and able man, being returned home after seven
years stay in his imployment at _Rome_, could give to his master for all
account of his Embassy, nothing but ambiguous words, equivocal enigmes,
and uncertain answers; whereupon his Prince not understanding him,
required a better information at his hands, and was thus answered by him.

Serenissime Prince: _The School of_ Rome _hath furnished me with no other
Lectures_, _then what I_ _have already layed open to your Highness_:
_Therefore with all due submission_, _I beseech your Highness to have
compassion of me_, _if I appear before you so barren and so empty_; _for
in seven years time I have not been able to obtain from these Church-men
any solid substance_, _to fill my self withal_.  This ’tis that befalls
most Ambassadors and Agents in _Rome_.

                                * * * * *

_Innocentius_ the Tenth had brought the Court into such a confusion; that
in his time no body knew where to begin any business: For he did so
little care to trouble himself with the important affairs of
Christendome; that most commonly he refused to meddle, even in those
which concerned his pastoral function.  His troublesome houres were when
he was forced to give audience to a forrain Embassadour, and to be rid of
business; his maximes were, To deny all favours, to answer all requests
with a negative, and never to come to a final resolution in any thing
that might please his enemies; though the thing in its self was very
beneficial to the Church and State.  If he had any inclination to do
good, it appeared only in what he did to his own family, and in the care
he took to embellish the City of _Rome_.  But the ill he did was not
contained in such easie limits, it spread its self over all Christendome,
which did lament to see the Church provided of so extravagant a Pastor.

In the beginning of his pontificat, he shewed himself much enclined to be
well informed of the state of _Rome_, and the Church Territories; which
vigilance of his, at last redounded to the prejudice of all his officers.
For they thinking at first, that his proceeding came from the love of
justice, and good order, came all to _Rome_ with instructions and
memorials, wherein their wants and the necessities of their places were
set out: but all in vain; for when they expected answer and satisfaction,
they found that the intention of the Pope was, to refuse all, and to
resolve nothing; so that then every one avoided, not only the presence of
the Pope, but _Rome_ it self, and all business in it.

This is the general disposition of the Court of _Rome_, and of Church-men
in common; though the Popes _Nephews_ do often give it another face,
according as their designs and thoughts are, which being as different as
the humours of one Pope from another; fortune, not merit, raising both
Popes and Nephews to this great command; we may say, that things in
_Rome_ are rather performed by masked and counterfit persons, then by
natural ones: As one of my friends, who lives well, and is one of the
best Church-men in the Court of _Rome_, is used to say, that when once he
had put on the habit of a Priest, he could hardly discern his own nature,
nor know himself with comparison to what he was before.  Which shewes
evidently, that Church-men have certain close wayes of treating,
particular to themselves, that must make those that have to do with them,
stand upon their guard, and use all their policy.


The Contents.

_IN which is discoursed_, _of the first bringing the_ Nipotismo _into_
Rome, _which happened under_ Sixtus _the fourth_, _too much inclined to
favour his kindred_.  _Of the lascivious life_, _and of the death of
Cardinal_ Peter _his Nephew_.  _Of the government of the Church
transferred to_ Jerom Peter’s _brother_.  _Of the number of_ Sixtus _his
Nephews_.  _Of the selling of many Jewels_.  _Of the murmurs of the_
Romans _against this Pope_.  _Of the succession of_ Innocent _the eighth
to the Popedome_.  _How he was naturally averse from his kindred_.  _What
he did for some of his Nephews_.  _Of the assumption of_ Alexander _the
sixth to the Popedome_.  _How he made his Bastards great_.  _Of the
crimes committed by him_.  _Of the family of the_ Sforzas, _being from_
Milan.  _Of the actions of Duke_ Valentine.  _How the Pope passed his
time_.  _Of his death_, _caused by poyson_.  _How DUKE_ Valentine
_carried himself after the death of his Father Pope_ Alexander.  _Of the
succession of_ Pius _the third to the Popedome_, _and of his short life_.
_Of what happened to his kindred_.  _Of_ Julius _the second that
succeeded_ Pius.  _Of his way of carrying himself towards his Nephews_.
_Of the Popedome fallen to_ Leo _the tenth_.  _Of his mind entirely bent
to favour the Family of the_ Medici.  _How_ Adrian _the sixth succeeded
to_ Leo _the tenth_.  _Of the severity he shewed to his kindred_.  _Of
the election of_ Clement _the seventh for Pope_.  _Of his great ambition
to raise his Family_.  _How_ Paul _the third was chosen Pope_.  _How he
likewise was inclined to make his kindred great_, _and by what means_.
_Of that which_ Julius _the third did in favour of his Family_: _and how
his life was inclined to pleasures and delight_.  _Of the resolution of_
Marcellus _the second_, _to give nothing to his kindred_.  _How_ Paul
_the fourth was made Pope_.  _Of his kindness to his kindred_.  _How_
Pius _the fifth was not naturally inclined to do his kindred good_.
_How_ Gregory _the thirteenth was of a quite contrary disposition_.
_How_ Sixtus _the fifth was made Pope_, _and how he was inclined to
favour his kindred_.  _Of the short life of_ Urban _the seventh_, Sixtus
_his successour_.  _Of the election of_ Gregory _the_ _fourteenth_.
_What was his inclination to his Nephews_.  _Of the election of_ Innocent
_the ninth_.  _Of his proceedings and death_.  _Of the election of
Clement the eighth_: _and of what he did for his kindred_.  _Of the
desire of_ Leo _the eleventh_, _successour to_ Clement, _to make his
family great_.  _Of the election of_ Paul _the fifth_.  _Of his life and
actions_, _and how he advanced his kindred_.  _How_ Gregory _the
fifteenth succeeded to_ Paul _the fifth_, _and of his great affection to
his kindred_.

                                * * * * *

NOW we must look back, and return to _Sixtus_ the 4th, who first opened a
door to the _Nipotismo_, and who by introducing his kindred, brought at
the same time ambition and riches into Rome; the riches were for his
Nephews, and the ambition he left as an inheritance to all Church-men;
and it is now one of the greatest mischiefs that oppresseth the Church.

’Tis not to be wondred at, that I begin the History of the _Nipotismo_,
from the time of _Sixtus_ the fourth, since he was the first that
delivered up _Rome_ and the Popedom in prey to his Nephews, to the wonder
and astonishment of the whole world.

He was then the first introducer of the _Nipotismo_, and so indulgent a
one, that to favour his kindreds interest, he had forgot himself, and the
Church, thinking of nothing, but of the means how to advance them to
their satisfaction, from whence the murmurs of the people were so great
in _Rome_, that many Confessors were fain to give over their Function,
that they might not hear the peoples complaints against the Pope and his
kindred: So that it was spread through _Europe_, that _Rome_ had as many
Popes as _Sixtus_ had Nephews.

This Pope, immediately after his election, made two Cardinals; _viz.
Peter Riario_, whom many suspected to be his Bastard, having alwayes been
educated, with great care by him, in the same Monastery; the other was
_Julian_, son of _Raphad de la Rovere_, brother to the Pope, and had been
first Bishop of _Carpentras_, then was made Cardinal by his Brother, and
at last came to be Pope, under the name of _Julius_ the second, as we
shall relate in due place.

_Sixtus_ gave to the Cardinal, _Peter Riario_, all that was in his power
to give, adding Abby upon Abby, and revenue upon revenue, till he had
made him so rich in Church lands, that he lived most splendidly, and
seemed to be born to waste a greater fortune; Plays, Balls, Dances, and
such pastimes, were the ornament which he bestowed upon his
Ecclesiastical dignity, being perswaded, that pomp and vanity were
becoming the majesty of a Cardinal.

He lived but two years in this loose life; in which time ’tis thought he
spent, in Treats, and Balls, and such like diversions, above two hundred
thousand Duckats of gold, besides seventy thousand which he owed at his
death, and which were never payed: He dyed at the age of 28 years, to the
great regret of his Uncle, his disease having been caused by his
debauchery, as the Physitians testified.

Six months before he dyed, the Pope, whose continual study it was, how to
make him great, declared and proclaim’d him his Legat over all _Italy_;
not that any urgent business did require such a Function, but only that
he might give him an occasion of shewing his Grandeur, and receiving more
pleasure in those triumphs and receptions, he was upon this score to have
bestowed upon him by the _Italian_ Princes; who to humour the Pope,
forgot no honour they could think of, towards the person of his Legat;
and could not indeed have done more to the Pope himself; particularly in
_Venice_, _Milan_, and _Padua_, he was received with so extraordinary a
pomp, that it was almost incredible.

Great was the delight which he took in these publick honours; but much
greater were the pleasures, which he tasted in secret, having ordinarily,
amongst his Attendants, five or six Russians, whose business it was to
satisfie his appetite, though never so inordinate.  Being at last come
back to _Rome_, to the possession of his old Mistresses, he ended his
dayes amongst them, and went to a new world, whether of pleasure or of
pain, God knows.

But the Popes affection to his kindred was not buryed in his grave; for
he made his Brother _Jerome_ succeed in his favour and fortune, which he
rather increased then diminished; for he made him Lord and Soveraign of
_Inola_ and _Forli_; and gave him the government of all the state of the
Church, besides other important Offices.

This _Jerome_ was a quite contrary disposition to his Brother; being
naturally severe in words and deeds, and averse from all pleasures but
hunting.  He married _Catharina_, natural daughter to _Galeazzo_, Duke of
_Milan_; and _Sixtus_ made _Ascanius_, the son of the said Duke, Cardinal
into the bargain, contrary to the young mans inclination, which was
rather to marriage, then to a single life.

But the inordinate passion of this Pope did not rest in all this; for his
ambition of having kindred to advance was such, that not being content
with that great number of true Nephews that he had, he substituted and
adopted some, that were no relation to him at all; to whom he gave an
infinity of places and commands.

He gave to _Leonard_, his brothers son, a natural daughter of King
_Ferdinand_ in marriage, and made him Prefect of _Rome_: And he being
dead, he immediately transferred that honour and place to another Nephew,
called _John de la Rovere_, brother to the Cardinal _Julian_; giving him
besides, the Propriety of the States of _Sora_ and _Sinigaglia_.

This _John_ had by _Giovanna_, daughter to _Frederick_, Duke of _Urbin_,
a son, who was _Francesco Maria della Rovere_, who after the death of
_Guido Ubaldo_, his Uncle, who dyed without male issue, succeeded by
adoption, and in the right of his Wife, to the Dukedom of _Urbin_.

Besides these, _Sixtus_ made Cardinals the two brothers, _Christopher_,
and _Dominic_, _de la Rovere_, who lived in _Turin_, under the protection
of the Duke of _Savoy_, though they were Soveraigns of _Vico Nuovo_, and
other Estates in _Italy_.

Besides, he made _Jerome Batto_, his sisters Son, Cardinal, as likewise
_Raphael Samson_, son to a sister of _Pictro Riario_, whom he promoted to
that dignity, when he was but seventeen years old, upon condition, that
he should change his name, and take that of the Popes Family.

This Pope had so much kindred, and was so inclined to advance them, that
he often granted the same thing to two different persons, having forgot
that he had granted it to the first.

But amongst all his inventions to enrich them, this was one of the best:
In the beginning of his Pontificat, he made, as if he had a design to pay
the debts, left upon the Church by the precedent Popes, _Eugenius_,
_Nicolas_, _Calistus_, _Pius_, and _Paul_; but pretending want of money
to do it, he compassed his design by this means.

_Paul_ the second, his predecessour, had alwayes had a great inclination
for the publick pomp and state of the Popedom, and therefore strove to
make the Ornaments of the Popes person and head the richest that was
possible for him; to which end, in the Miter, which serves at their
Coronation, and other publick ceremonies, he had caused above the worth
of a million in precious stones to be set, having bought up (all the
world over) the best Diamonds, Saphires, Rubyes, Emeraulds, Chrysolites,
_&c._ that could be had for money; so that afterwards, when he came out
in publick, he looked like another _Aaron_, with a Majesty more divine
then humane, being himself very tall, and of a comely port and presence.

_Sixtus_, who having been brought up in the severity of a Monastick life,
did little esteem that outward pomp, which _Paul_, his predecessour, so
much prized, caused these precious Stones to be sold, under pretence of
discharging such debts, as the Church was lyable to for his

The Jewels were soon sold, and the money consigned into the hands of his
Nephews; but the debts were never payed, though the Jewels had been sold
to that end: And that which is worth relating is, that the Pope answered
every one, that came to demand any thing due to them; that he had already
payed the others, that he was sorry it was not their fortune to come
sooner, and that the money had proved short to discharge so many debts:
So that the poor Creditors were fain to go away cheated, and yet knew not
whom to complain of.

The _Romans_ murmured strangely, against this greediness of the Pope and
his kindred, and so much the more, because that they had not yet been
accustomed to see a Popes passion; for his kindred make him rob and
plunder the Church.  They wondred what example _Sixtus_ could have for
his proceedings, for none of his predecessours had hitherto shewed so
little moderation, but in providing for their kindred, had kept some
measures.  Neither could his education furnish him with this ambition and
covetousness; for he had been brought up in a Convent, amongst Religious
persons, who professed voluntary poverty, and to whose principles he
seemed to be so inured, as not to be able to forsake them: for all the
while he managed publick business, before he was a Cardinal, it was with
a great deal of candour and disinteressment that he did it; and when he
came to be made Cardinal, he was so far from keeping a Court, and living
in that splendour, which others thought became that dignity, that his
family and Retinue looked rather like a Convent, then like a train of
Attendants.  But as soon as he was Pope, he changed of a sudden, and
lived like a Prince, never troubling himself at what the world said of
him, but cared only to please himself, and make his kindred great.

                                * * * * *

_Sixtus_ being dead, _Innocentius_ the eighth was made Pope, in the year
1484. being of the noble Family of _Cibo_, which hath had many eminent
persons in it.  This Pope, remembring the complaints of the _Romans_
against his predecessour, for being too indulgent to his kindred,
resolved to be very cautious in that point, and give no occasion of
scandal that way: Which he observed so well, that when any one of his
kindred came to _Rome_, and that he had notice of it, he would say, _Our
kindred had much better stay in_ Geneva _without us_, _then come to_ Rome
_for our sakes_; and indeed he was very reserved to them: For to
_Mauritius Cibo_, who was a very accomplish’d Gentleman, he gave nothing,
but the Government of the Dutchy _Spoleto_, and made him President of the
State of the Church Employments, which in those dayes were not of any
great honour or profit, though now they are both rich and honourable.

So he made _Lawrens Cibo_, his Nephew, Cardinal, but with very little
authority, forbidding him to meddle with publick business of importance,
without being called to it.  And yet was he forced, as it were, to honour
him thus far; for many whispering about the Court, that he was a Bastard,
he was fain to shew the world, that he did own him, as being lawfully
born of one of his Cozens; which he proved by a process and strict
examination before Cardinal _Balbo_, a _Venetian_, and one, who had no
wayes interest to favour the family of _Cibo_.

The greatest advantage that this Pope procured his Family, was, that he
married _Francesco Cibo_ with _Magdalen_ of _Medicis_, sister of _Leo_
the tenth that was afterwards, giving him the County of _Anguillara_,
which was not of any importance in those dayes, and making him Captain
General of the Forces of the Church: And in this he ended all the favours
that he ever shewed his Family, which was very noble besides.

                                * * * * *

_Alexander_ the sixth succeeded _Innocentius_ in the Popedom, who was a
barbarous, lascivious Pope, making no difficulty of bringing desolation
upon the Church, and imbrewing his hands in innocent bloud, to advance
and make great his kindred.  In the reign of this Pope, the _Romans_ used
to say, _That the Emperours had taught tyranny_, _and the Popes practised

He was cruel, covetous, and insatiable, in heaping riches together: He
spent his retired hours all in lascivious pleasures, taking great delight
to be embraced and caress’d by fair Ladies; whence the numbers of his
Bastards was very great; many taking from thence occasion to say, _That
he __had filled_ Rome _with Bastards_, _and_ Spain _with Whores_.  ’Tis
true, that he declared for his Heirs only, four male children, and two
female: And though he used to change Ladies often, for variety and
greater pleasure, yet he gave himself up to _Vanoccia_, a Roman Curtizan,
whom he loved as his lawful Wife, and with whom he would sport and toy in
publick, keeping her at his table, and in his house, as if she had been
his true Wife, and this while he was Archbishop and Cardinal.

Being made Pope, in the year 1492. the second of _August_, he introduced
into _Rome_, not a _Nipotismo_, but rather a _Filiolismo_, nay indeed, a
_Bastardismo_, that is, a company of Bastards, whom he brought with him,
in his return from his Legation in _Spain_: And his first way to make him
great was, by force of Arms, making league with this Prince, then with
that, then with another, but still upon these conditions, to give
Principalities, which he nam’d, to his bastard sons.

For this end, he joyned in a Confederacy, which proved fatal to all
_Italy_, with _Lewis_ the twelfth of _France_, with the Catholick King,
the _Venetians_, and the _Florentines_; the Conditions of which League
were, that they should dispossess the true and ancient Owners of the
Provinces of _La Romagna_, _La Marca_, and _Umbria_; and that the whole
should be made over to _Cesar Borgia_, the Popes son; who to this end had
laid aside his Cardinals Cap, and taken in marriage _Charlotte_ of
_Albret_, daughter to the King of _Navarre_, and allyed to the French
King, and divers other great Princes.

But this design having taken no effect, because of the dispute, that rise
between the _French_ and the _Spaniard_, about the dividing of the
Kingdom of _Naples_, which at last ended in the utter ruine of the
_French_, the _Spaniards_ remaining Masters of the whole Kingdom; the
Pope thought it was easier for him to compass his ends, and establish the
Grandeur of his Bastards by great and powerful Alliances.

From hence proceeded, that having promised his daughter _Lucretia_, while
he was Cardinal, to a certain _Spaniard_; as soon as he was Pope, he took
her away from him, and bestow’d her in marriage upon _John Sforza_, Lord
of _Pesaro_, with whom being also fallen out, he took her away from him,
and bestowed her upon _Lewis_ of _Arragon_, natural son to King
_Alfonse_; joyning thus two bastards, that they might not reproach one
another: And he likewise dying some months after his marriage, he gave
her to _Alfonse d’Este_, Duke of _Ferrare_, with whom she lived and dyed.
’Twas in the pomp of her Wedding, that the Pope caused to be celebrated
in _Rome_, Turnaments and Tiltings, together with the representation of a
hunting Match; and many say, that in the Ball and Dances the Pope danced
every night, masked, with some of his intimate Friends.

Of his sons, he made _Godfrey_, the youngest Prince of _Squillace_, a
City in _Ulterior Calabria_, and the Country of Saint _Cassiodorus_: He
made _Cesar_, who was the second, Cardinal; and his eldest, named _John_,
was by the great entreaties and instances of the Pope, made Duke of
_Candia_ in_ Spain_, much against the inclination of the Catholick King;
for this _John_ he procured in marriage a bastard daughter of _Alfonse_,
King of _Naples_; and thus he filled the _Vatican_ with bastards,
whereupon _Pasquin_, with a great deal of reason, call’d it, _Il

_Cesar_, his second son, being troubled to see his brother _John_ above
him, and more beloved by his Father, resolved to take him out of the way;
so one night, as _John_ was going in _Rome_ about some business, he
caused him to be set upon by some of his Confidents, who having stabb’d
him, cast him half alive headlong into the _Tyber_; and the same evening
(a barbarous action) they had supped together, very brotherly, at their
Mother _Vanoccias_ house.

The Pope, who was afraid of incurring the same danger from his son, whose
temper he knew to be wicked enough for such an undertaking, was forced to
dissemble this inhumane action of the Cardinal, and to make no pursuits
nor informations about the death of his eldest son.

_Cesar_, being thus delivered of his brother, began to give himself up to
the life of a Souldier, and the practise of Arms, without any
consideration of his being a Cardinal: for his great motive in murdering
his brother was, that he might attain to the dignity of _Gonfalonier_, or
Standard-bearer of the Church, and Captain General of the Popes Armies;
so that a little after his Fratricide, he layed off his Cardinals Habit,
and the Pope invested him with all the honours of his dead brother.

Thus being made General of the Popes Army, he united with the _French_,
and married _Charlotte_ of _Albret_, and had for her portion the Dutchy
of _Valenza_, from whence he was called over, after Duke _Valentine_, as
being a particular acquisition of his own.

With the help of _Lewis_ the twelfth, and of his Father the Pope, he
gained a great estate in _Italy_; his Father being still ready to supply
him with vast sums of money, which he spent to purchase greatness.

Having driven the Family of the _Sforza’s_ out of _Milan_, and put them
in prison; by the help of the _French_ King, he made himself Master, with
great cruelty, of all the Cities of _La Romagna_, except _Bologna_,
banishing and murdering the ancient and true Lords and Masters of them.

The first seized upon _Forli_ and _Imola_, causing the poor young
_Riarri_, who were Lords of those places, to fly for safety; and taking
prisoner their Mother _Catharine_, whom he carried in triumph to _Rome_;
exposing to the eyes of the _Romans_ his barbarous cruelties.

From _Forli_ he passed to _Faenza_, which City he took by force, putting
to death _Astorre Manfredi_, who was Lord of it.

He did the same by _Arimino_ and _Pesaro_, forcing _Nulatesta_, and _John
Sforza_, to avoid by flight, the infamy and cruelty of the death they
were sure to undergo, if they fell into his hands.

After this, he besieged _Sinigaglia_, and took it by force, committing
infinite acts of inhumanity in it.

With the same course of Victory, though with craft and deceit mingled
with force, he deprived _Guido Ubaldo di Feltro_ of his Dutchy of
_Urbin_, making him fly to _Mantua_, not without danger of falling into
his net by the way.

After this, he lead his Army against the City of _Camerino_, which he
took by force, and put to a cruel death _Giulio Cesare_, and _Venantio
Varrani_, who were, and had been, long in possession of it.  And with the
same ardour and ambition, he fell to persecuting all the neighbouring
Princes, in hopes to deprive them of their States.

At last, he turned his rage upon the chiefest Families of _Rome_,
beginning with the noble Family of the _Gaetani_, who were in possession
of great Estates in the Country of the _Volai_, putting to death
_Honorato_ and _Cola Gaetani_.

Next, he fell upon the _Colonna’s_ Family, and having dispossessed them
of their Lands, forced them to fly to _Apulia_, and _Sicily_, where they
were extremely pitied by that people, who had a perfect knowledge of
their rare deserts.

But while he thought to do the same to the _Ursins_, they having leagued
themselves with other Princes, raised an Army in their defence; and
having at last encountred his, defeated it, and forced him to fly to
_Imola_, or, as some say, to _Rome_, where the Pope, being frightned with
this sudden blow, had recourse to craft and dissimulation; he treats with
the Confederates; gives them such Conditions, that they themselves, even
triumphant, could hardly expect: And having thus lull’d them asleep, and
made them lay down Armes; in the mean while, _Borgia_ having recovered
himself, and got a new Army, fell upon them most cruelly; and persecuting
them separately, put to death some, banish’d others; and in a word, used
all barbarous means to compass their ruine.

All this while the Pope was taking his delight in the _Vatican_, in
_Vanoccia’s_ armes; receiving every day, with new joy and satisfaction,
the news of his Sons crimes.

The Revenue of the Church being not sufficient to maintain such an Army
as _Cesar Borgia’s_ was, and withall, to supply the expence of his Court,
which was truly Royal and Prince-like; _Alexander_ made a new Colledge of
fourscore Writers of Briefs, selling every place for two hundred and
fifty Crowns of Gold; receiving besides into _Rome_ those _Moors_, that
the King of _Spain_ had driven out of his Dominions, who to enjoy their
liberty, gave him great sums of money: And yet all this seeming
inconsiderable, he sold divers Cardinals Caps, and at last, for fear of
being unprovided of money in some urgent necessity, he resolved to
dispatch with poyson, the richest Prelates of the Court, and amongst them
some very rich Cardinals, whose Estates he intended to make himself heir
to, and so satiate the barbarous greediness of his son.

But Divine Providence, taking compassion of the innocency of so many
persons, disappointed this barbarous design most miraculously; for just
in the execution of it, the Pope himself was, by the mistake of his
Cup-bearer, sent out of the World, and his son _Cesar_ in extreme danger:
And thus it happened.

_Alexander_ invited to a Treat, in his Garden of _Belocdere_, all the
richest Cardinals and Prelates, under pretence of honouring them; and had
secretly given order to mingle some poyson with most exquisite Wines that
they were to drink.  But the Cup-bearer, in pouring out his Wine into
Glasses, mistook, and poysoned the Pope and his Son _Cesar_.  ’Tis true,
that some do believe, that the Cup-bearer did it on purpose, being glad
to be the Instrument, that should deliver the State and Church from so
much misery, in which they were involved under this Popes tyranny.

_Cesar_ perceiving himself to be poysoned, presently had recourse to
Remedies, and with vomiting, being strong, and in the flower of his age,
freed himself from the poyson, though very violent: ’Tis true, that he
remained impotent, and unfit for action, so that his Army immediately
crumbled away, for want of his personal assistance to keep them together.

But the Pope, who was already seventy two years old, was not able to
resist the strength of the poyson, though all the Remedies imaginable,
were put in use to save him.  So he dyed in the _Vatican_, in the year
one thousand five hundred and three.

As soon as the Pope was dead, _Cesar_, his son, caused himself, and all
the Popes Treasure, to be transported to the _Vatican_, under the guard
of twelve thousand Souldiers, with an intention, to force the Cardinals
to make a Pope of his liking: But he failed in his design; for the
Cardinals met in the Convent of _La Minerva_: And _Cesar_ having set
_Michrelletto Correglia_, his great Captain, to besiege them, the people
of _Rome_, moved with indignation against such a violence offered to the
Cardinals, rose in Armes for their defence; whereupon _Borgia_ resolved
to retire to _Nepe_ with his Army, and leave the Cardinals their liberty:
Who being free, and having celebrated the Popes Obsequies, went into the
Conclave to choose his Successor; and after some dispute, agreed in the
Person of Cardinal _Picolomini_, one of the eminentest Prelates of the
Court, who took the name of _Pius_ the third.

                                * * * * *

The news of this Election being come to _Siena_, which was the Popes
native Country, _Pandolfo Petrucci_, who was Tyrant of this City, was
extremely troubled at it, doubting not, but that the Pope would soon
drive him away, and set his Country at liberty; so that to be rid of his
fear, he procur’d a Chirurgion to poyson a Sore that the Pope had in one
of his Legs; which was done, and the poor Pope dyed, some seven and
twenty dayes after his creation.

The _Picolomini_ Nephews and Relations to his Holiness, were already
flown to _Rome_, like so many Bees, but before they could get within the
gates, they receiv’d the sad news of their Uncles death; so that they
were fain to return to _Siena_ upon the same Horses, upon which they came
to _Rome_.  ’Twas certainly believed, that this Pope would have made
another _Nipotismo_ in _Rome_, for he was very tender hearted and kind to
his kindred.

To _Pius_ succeeded _Jules_, the second brother to _Sixtus_ the fourth,
who was chosen with so publick a consent and applause, that he was almost
proclaim’d Pope before he went into the Conclave; the people receiv’d the
news of his Election, with extraordinary demonstration of joy, because of
the great esteem they had for his person, _Alexander_ having kept him in
banishment from _Rome_, for the space of ten years together, to the
displeasure of the whole Court of _Rome_.

_Jules_ proved a man of a great Soul, and a noble and constant Defender
of the Church, and little inclin’d to make his kindred great.  ’Tis true,
he did own a great deal of kindness for his Relations, but much more for
the Church: And did say, _That he would have bestowed upon them all that
he had_, _if all that he had were not the Churches_.  Therefore he would
never give them any State belonging to the Church; and if _Francesco
Maria_, his brothers son, did obtain the Dutchy of _Urbin_, it was,
because that _Guido Ubaldo da Feltra_, his Kinsman, did adopt him.  Some
say, that it was by the Popes perswasions, that _Guido Ubaldo_ did this;
which though it were true, yet it did not any wayes prejudice the Church:
And if he did bestow _Pesaro_ on the same _Francesco Maria_, which State
was lately fallen to the Church by the death of _Gio. Sforza_, who dyed
without Heirs, it was to pay to the said _Francesco Maria_ certain debts,
which he pretended due to him from the Church.

Besides, he never gave any extraordinary Authority to four Cardinals of
his own kindred and creating; who were very much displeased and
discontented at this his severity.

He answered one day two of his Relations, who were very pressing for an
Office, which he would not grant; _You ought to be content with what my
Brother did_, _who lov’d the house of_ La Rovere _better then the

In his time Rome was almost without a _Nipotismo_: but no sooner was
_Leo_ the tenth raised to this great honour, but things began to run in
another stream; for this Pope, though otherwise very worthy of such an
Elevation, yet was he no sooner settled in his Dignity, but he began to
project the greatness and advancement of the house of the _Medicis_.  And
first he bestowed upon _Julian_, his Brother, the Office of
_Gonfaloniero_, or Standard-bearer to the Church, together with other
charges and places: Then he called most of his kindred to _Rome_, making
them Cardinals, and bestowing Dignities upon them.  So that the
_Nipotismo_ began to take a new possession of _Rome_ and the Church.

_Leo_ undertook, by the means of the Emperour _Maximilian_, to make his
brother _Julian_ Lord of _Siena_ and _Lucca_, pretending to add to his
Domination the Dutchies of _Urbino_ and _Ferrara_: But _Julian_ dying in
the interim, the Pope transferred his kindness upon his brother
_Lawrens_, and attempted the execution of this his design in his favour,
by the means of the Emperour _Charles_ the fifth, who was newly come to
the Empire.  Besides, he put into his hands the government of the City of
_Florence_, with this condition, that he should undertake nothing,
without the advice and consent of the Citizens.

Then he enriched him with all the Honours and Offices his brother had
enjoyed in the Church-State; and yet desirous every day to make him
greater, and to satisfie the instant prayers of his Mother _Alfonsina_.
He made war with _Francesco Maria della Rovere_, Duke of _Urbin_; and
having sent an Army against him, under the command of _Renzo di Lere_, he
took his Dutchy from him, and invested with the title of Duke of _Urbin
Lawrens_ his Nephew; the poor Duke and his Lady being constrained to fly
to _Mantua_ for refuge.

With the same intention, though not with the same success, he strove to
pick a quarrel with _Alfonse_, Duke of _Ferrara_; but he being a Prince
experienced in war, and under the protection of a strong City, easily
defeated the Popes design and artifices.

_Lawrens_ being dead, the Pope sent the Cardinal of _Medicis_ to
_Florence_, to govern that City; and in him first began to relent that
great ardour, with which he had hitherto pursued the advancement of his
Family, giving himself over to other Employments, much more necessary,
and more becoming a Prelate, whose care was not only to be bounded within
the walls of _Rome_, but over all _Christendome_.

                                * * * * *

_Adrian_ the sixth was _Leo’s_ Successour, he had been the Emperour
_Charles_ the fifth his Tutor, and was created Pope the year of our Lord
1529. being then in _Victoria_, a City of _Spain_: As soon as he received
the news of his Election, he embarqued at _Terracona_, and came to
_Genoa_; where having received the Complements of Ambassadours of all
parts, he came in great triumph to _Rome_.

This Pope was indeed too severe with his kindred; and under him, the
Court of _Rome_ pass’d from one extremity to another: for his
Predecessours gave all to their Nephews, and he refus’d to give them even
that which they deserved; and for this reason he was blam’d, not only by
the Court, and forraign Ambassadours, but also by the common people, as
being unnatural and clownish.

There was in _Siena_ one of his Cozens sons, maintained there in his
studies by the Pope; who being moved with the ambition of rising under
his Uncles Pontificat, came to _Rome_ without order; but the Pope no
sooner had notice of it, but he commanded (without being prevail’d upon
to see him) that he should instantly be carried back again upon a hackney
Horse; giving order to his Confessor, to tutor him sharply for being so
bold; and bidding him remember to take from his Uncle, an example of
modesty and temperance, and apply himself strongly to his study, and the
practise of vertue, which would advance him without help of his kindred,
or at least very little.

Many others of his kindred, even his Nephews, came from _Germany_ to
_Rome_, with a design to enrich their fortunes, as other Popes Relations
had done; but they soon found they had abus’d themselves, for the Pope,
angry at their journey, sent them all back, with no other Present, then
each of them a woollen Sute, and just as much money as would suffice to
bear their charges.  Nay, even to one, who out of necessity was come a
foot, he refused to give any more then would just defray his expences on
foot back again.  ’Tis true, that some Cardinals were very Noble to them.
This Pope was continually blaming the Prodigality of those who had
bestowed such great riches upon the Church.  In the year that this Pope
liv’d, _Rome_ was so afflicted and visited with Warre, Famine, and
Plague, that it cannot be remembred without tears, and the people very
unjustly laid all the fault upon the Pope, all mouths being open to
clamour against him, and sing the Latin Verse:

                     _Semper de Sextis diruta Roma fuit_.

To _Adrian_ succeeded _Clement_ the Seventh of the Family of the
_Medici_, who conserving the wonted ambition of this Family encreased
their revenues and power with all his industry, insomuch that after he
had been imprison’d and extraordinarily ill us’d by the Emperour
_Charles_ the Fifth, he nevertheless entred into a confederacy with him,
upon condition that he should give his bastard Daughter _Margaret_ in
Marriage to _Alexander_ of _Medici_, _Lawrens_ his Son, and by force of
Arms oblige the _Florentines_ to acknowledge him for their Lawful Prince.
All this was accordingly executed, the Emperor having sent the Prince of
_Orange_ with a very great Army to settle the _Medici_ in their new

And _Clement_ not content with this; as soon as the Emperour was gone
into _Spain_, made a new league with _Francis_ the First of _France_, and
to strengthen it, _Henry_ the Second, the Daulphin of _France_, married
_Catharina_ of _Medicis_ Daughter to _Laurens_; the wedding was kept at
_Marseillis_, where the King and the Pope were both present.

The Pope having thus happily setled his family, returned to _Rome_, and
there died: In _September_ 1534. and in the same year, in the Month of
_October_, _Paul_ the Third was chosen to fill his place, with great joy
and applause of the people of _Rome_.  He was _Alexander Farnese_
Cardinal, and one who shewed himself worthy of so eminent a dignity.

His first work was to find out means to advance his Family; and therefore
in _December_ following he created two of his Nephews Cardinals; one
_Alexander Fernese_, Son to _Pietro luigi Farnese_ his own Son, for the
Pope had been married before he was Cardinal; and the other _Guido
ascanso Forza Costanza_ his daughters Son.  _Alexander_ being suddenly
dead, the Cardinal _Hippolito Medici_ was made Vice-Chancellour of the
Church, and Vice-Chamberlain after the death of Cardinal _Spinola_.  Thus
from day to day, as places and offices became vacant, the Popes Nephews
were sure to have them.

_Paul_ was very desirous to procure a meeting between the Emperour and
the King of _France_, where he desir’d to be present in person also;
which thing being carried on by his Legat, Cardinal _Carpi_ was well
accepted and agreed of by both _Princes_, the Town of _Nizza_ in
_Provence_, but belonging to the Duke of _Savoy_: was chosen for the
place of meeting, as being conveniently situated upon the Sea side.

The Pope, though old, was the first that came to the place appointed,
having endured very great inconveniencies in his journey; and yet he was
disappointed at last of his desires; for these two Princes having
penetrated into the Popes design, found that it was not out of any love
to Christendome, but only out of a fond affection to his family that he
had desir’d their company.  So they refused to see one another in his
presence, but came separatly, and kiss’d the Popes feet with no small
mortification to his Holiness, being thus deluded and almost derided.

And indeed this interparly was not desired nor procur’d by the Pope,
either with a design of appeasing the differences in Religion, or of
making a League betwixt the Christian Princes against the Turk, though
this were the pretext, but with a purpose to get _Margaret_ of _Austria_,
the widdow of _Alexander Medici_, for _Octavio Farneze_ his Grandchild;
and following the example of _Clement_ the Seventh, give _Victoria_,
afterwards married to _Guido Ubaldo_ Duke of _Urbin_, his Neece, to some
Prince of the blood of _France_, having chosen out the Duke of
_Vendosme_, who was a young Prince of great merit and hopes: but for this
time the Pope was forced to return to _Rome_ without having effected his
designs, as the King of _France_ went to his own Kingdome, and the
Emperour to _Marseilles_, where he visited the _French_ King.

Some time after the Pope obtained from the Emperour the City of _Novarre_
for his Son _Pietro Luigi_, and made up the match between his Grandchild
_Octavio_ and the Princess _Margaret_ Daughter to the Emperour, and
widdow of _Alexander Medici_; this done, the Pope undertook the recovery
of the City of _Lamerino_, which he pretended to be devoted to the Church
by the death of _Giovani Maria Varrano_, who had receiv’d the investiture
of that place from _Leo_ the Tenth, and dyed without any male children,
and upon this Title made warre against the young _Guido Ubaldo da
Feltro_, who by the Womens side pretended a right to it, but not being
able to maintain it, was fain to fly and leave the place to the Pope, who
having taken it, presently gave the investiture to his Grand-child
_Octavio Farneze_, making him Duke of _Camerino_, and Receivour General
of the Church, having before made him Prefect of _Rome_ in the place of
the Duke of _Urbin_.

But this Popes ambition swell’d much higher, for he went about to buy the
Dutchy of _Millan_ of the Emperour with the Churches money, and make an
unalienable Patrimony of the Family of the _Farnezes_.  But the Emperour,
though very necessitous and extreamly sollicited by the Pope with a vast
summe of ready mony, was nevertheless so prudent as not to dismember from
his Empire so considerable a part of it.

Besides this the Pope gave to his Son _Pietro Luigi_, against the consent
of almost all the Cardinals, the noble Cities of _Parma_ and _Placentia_
in _Lombardy_, which were Fiefs of the Church.  The said _Pietro Luigi_
was murdered by the principal Citizens of _Placentia_ in a conjuration
layed and carried on by the Emperours order; who all along refused to
confirm _Pietro Luigi_ in this new Principality, the Pope pretending that
the Emperour should acknowledge him for lawful Lord and Master of these
Cities; which he was so far from doing, that he endeavour’d to take them
from him; whereupon the Pope was forced, that he might support his Son,
to side with the _French_, who failed not to settle his Grand-child
_Octavio_, though with this condition that he should renounce _Camerino_,
and restore it to the Church, and be content with _Parma_ and
_Placentia_, for which he should pay every year seven thousand Crowns to
the Apostolick Chamber.

Thus the Nipotismo was in great credit and Authority in _Pauls_ time: for
this Pope spared nothing to make them great, alienating the Churches
Lands, and maintaining them in the possession of their acquisitions with
the Churches Mony, which stirr’d the indignation of all Christendome, and
made the Hereticks, who by this time were multiplied like Grashoppers,
take from them an occasion to deny the Popes authority and primacy.

_Julius_ the third, who succeeded _Paul_, preserv’d his Nipotismo in a
handsome condition and rank, but was not so furiously transported with
Ambition to settle them in Dukedomes and Principalities.  His humour was
gay and merry, a good companion, and one that lov’d to eat and drink well
with his friends.

And yet though this jovial inclination of his made him little enclin’d to
warlike attempts, he nevertheless sent great Succours to the Duke of
_Florence_, _Cosino_, in his Warre against the _Sienezes_: and this
because the said Duke had promis’d him to make his Brother _Baldwin_
Marquis of _Monte san Sabino_; which thing was not only executed, but
besides, the Dukes Daughter was promised in Marriage to _Fabian de monti
Baldovin_ his Son; she was afterwards married to _Alfonse_ Duke of

_Giulio_ made also five of his Nephews Cardinals, to wit, _Christopher di
Monte_, _Fulvio de la Corgna_, _Innocentia de Monte_, _Geronimo
Simoncello_, and _Roberto de Monte pulcrano_.  To these he was very
liberal, but to say true, not prodigal, as his Predecessors had been.
’Tis true, he did what he could, to make his Brother _Baldwin_ Duke of
_Camerino_, and deprive the Church of so good a State, but the Cardinals
oppos’d him so vigorously, that he was fain to desist from his design.

_Julius_ being dead, the very name of the Nipotismo dyed with him, for in
the year 1555 _Marcelius_ the Second was made Pope; who would never
endure, that any of his kindred should come neer _Rome_, no not his own
Brother.  Nay more, he would never suffer that two Nephewes of his, who
before his Election liv’d with him, following their Studies in _Rome_
under his care, should receive any visits as his Nephews; and he forbid
him to stir out of doors, least in going to School they should be owned
in the streets, and receive the Complements of persons of quality.

They that knew much of his mind while he was Cardinal, said after his
death, That his intention was altogether bent to apply some remedy to the
ambition of the Popes; and that he had particularly resolved to give to
his Brother and Kindred but just as much as would maintain them like
ordinary Gentlemen; but not so much as a simple Barony, much less
Dukedomes and Principalities; and to this he would have the advice and
consent of the whole Colledge of Cardinals, having a firme purpose of
making most secure decrees, by which the Popes should be bound, and
kindred from giving any thing to their Kindred without the consent of all
the Cardinals.

But while he was intent upon so good a work, he was surprized by death
twenty dayes after his election; so that in so short a time he did
neither good nor harme to the Church.

To him succeeded _Paul_ the Fourth, of the House and Family of _Caraffa_
in the same year 1555.  This Pope was one of the most fantasticall ill
humour’d men that all the World could afford.  He presently made his
Brothers Son _Carlo Caraffa_ Cardinal; and to him he gave so much
Authority, that it seemed that the Popes Will depended upon his pleasure.
He excommunicated _Mark Antonia Colomna_, _and Ascanio_ his Son, under
divers pretexts, but indeed only to take from them those offices and
honours which they had in _Rome_, and to seize upon all their Revenues
within the Territories of the Church; which was severely executed; the
Pope at the same time giving the investiture of all their estates to
_Giovani_, Count of _Montorio_ his Brothers Son, giving him the Title of
Duke of _Paliano_, which place he immediatly went about to fortifie, that
it might hold out against the forces the Colonesses were raising to
recover their lands, as at last they did.

A little after he made _Antonio Caraffa_ the Earles brother, Marquess of
_Montebello_, a place which he had deprived the right owner, the Earl of
_Bagno_, of, as being contumacious, and for having, as the Pope said,
ingrossed that money which the King of _France_ had sent for the War in

The Nephewes of this Pope became at last so insolent by their Uncles
indulgence, that they did rob, spoyl, ravish, kill, and in a word commit
all sorts of crimes with impunity; Exercising so many cheats and frauds
upon the poor people, that not only they made all the World cry out
against them, but at last moved the indignation of their own Uncle, and
provoked him to be severe to them, driving them away out of _Rome_, and
depriving them of all honour and dignity.

                                * * * * *

_Pius_ the Fourth of _Milan_, of the Family of the _Medici_, but of that
branch that was then setled in _Milan_, was chosen _Pauls_ Successor; and
no sooner had he taken possession of the Popedome, but he fell to frame a
process and impeachment against the Nipotismo of his Predecessor, with a
design to punish them severely; which he executed, but with an affront to
the holy Character of a Pope, for he made as if he had pardon’d them all
their misdemeanours, which he confirmed with an Oath; to which the
_Caraffas_ trusting, came to _Rome_, but no sooner were they there, but
by the Popes order, they were clap’d up in prison, and having undergone a
new tryal, were all condemned to die.  The Cardinal _Carlo Caraffa_ was
strangled, the Earls of _Montorio_ and of _Alife_, and _Leonardo di
Cardine_ were beheaded.  Thus the City was as it were purged of these
abominations which this Nipotismo had defiled it with.

After this the good Pope _Pius_, that he might not come short of the
Piety of his Predecessors, introduced a new Nipotismo; for above five and
twenty Nephewes, brothers and sisters children, came in upon him, of whom
he refus’d none, but raised as high as it was possible for him to do,
making them all rich, and allying them with great families; but his
kindness did particularly extend to _Giovani Antonio Sarbellone_ his
Nephew, who seemed to be born to heap riches together.

                                * * * * *

But _Pius_ the Fifth, who succeeded _Pius_ the Fourth, was not at all of
this Humour, for he was absolutely averse from any such unjust wayes of
advancing his kindred, having hardly condescended to make _Michael
Bonello_ his Sisters son Cardinal; and certainly he had never done it, if
all the Cardinals unanimously had not raised in him a Scruple of
Conscience, by saying, That he refused to promote one who was most worthy
of that Honour.  Therefore at last, and as it were by force, he declar’d
him Cardinal, but with a strict Order not to meddle with state affairs
without Commission.

                                * * * * *

_Gregory_ the Thirteenth of the Family of the _Buon Compagni_, who was
chosen Pope after the death of _Pius_ in the year 1572. followed not so
good a path, but declin’d to a great indulgence for his Relations.
First, he presently made _Philippo Buoncompagno_ his Nephew Cardinal, to
whom he gave many Abbyes which were vacant in his Predecessors time.

Besides he call’d about him all his Nephewes, and Cozens, to whom he gave
Offices, Dignities, Governments and Lordships, enough to make him great.
’Tis true, he shewed no great ambition of making them great Princes,
because he saw little posibility of a good success, but he heaped Abbies
and Prelatures upon them as many as they pleased.

                                * * * * *

He dyed 1585 the tenth of _April_, and had for Successor upon the 24th of
the same Month _Sixtus_ the Fifth of the poor family of the _Peretti_
having been a Monk of that conventual Order, of which _Sixtus_ the fourth
who lov’d his kindred so well was.

In his first beginning he seem’d a little averse from his kindred, not
that he despised them, but he shewed no desire of making them Princes;
but they that made any foundation upon this exteriour were much deceiv’d,
for there never was a Pope that had a greater love for his relations then
this; and all well considered, we shall find, that _Sixtus_ the fifth
gave away much more to his Nipotismo, then _Sixtus_ the Fourth; for his
Family of _La Rovere_, was very Noble, and liv’d splendidly before his
assumption to the pontificat, whereas the Family of _Peretti_ was so
poor, that they had not bread to eat, being fain to beg here and there.

One of _Sixtus_ the Fifth his Sisters was a Laundress in _Escoli_, and
come to see her Brother in _Rome_ upon an Ass, which was led by a Halter
by her eldest Son, and with all this he left him all rich and great.  He
lov’d this Sister of his _Camila_ most tenderly, insomuch that he could
never see her enough; and for her sake in the first month of his
Popedome, he made one of her Sons Cardinal, giving him his own Cardinals
Cap, and calling him by the name of Cardinal _Moncealto_, though he was
but one and twenty years old.  To him _Sixtus_ gave in Abbyes and
Church-lands above five and thirty thousand Duckats a year, which was no
small revenue, in the hands of one, who lov’d much to be thrifty.

To the other brother, who had led the Asse, he gave the chiefest offices
and places of _Rome_, and married him with great pomp and solemnity, to a
rich Roman Lady.

He assigned 20 thousand Crowns a year to his said sister _Camilla_, who
drawing allwayes before her Eyes, her ancient poor condition, could never
be brought to lead a great Ladyes life, but liv’d allwayes like a country

Her two Daughters were both married, one to _Virginio Urtino_, and the
other to the high Constable of the Kingdome of _Naples_; _Colonna_, to
one of which he gave for portion, a hundred thousand Crowns, and made a
Cardinal of the family of the _Colonna_, together with great Offices and

Besides this, he made _Alexander Beretto_ his brothers Son Cardinal, and
assign’d him a revenue of twenty thousand Duckats in Offices within
_Rome_, and in the Popes Territories, in which he had great number of

In a word, _Sixtus_ when he dyed left to his Family the sum of a hundred
and fifty thousand Duckats yearly revenue, besides money in specie, and
the wonder of this was, that it was all done without any prejudice to the
Church, but so much to the contrary; for he surpassed in the stateliness
of his edifices in _Rome_, the ancient Romans, and yet left behind him
five millions of Crowns to the Church, to the astonishment of all

                                * * * * *

There is little or nothing to be said of _Urban_ the seventh, who
succeeded _Sixtus_ in the year 1590, because he liv’d but 13 dayes after
his election: But his kindred of the house of _Castagna_, in _Genoa_,
having suddenly heard the news of his elevation, hastened to _Rome_; but
three dayes journey from _Genoa_, they receiv’d the newes of his death:
Whereupon they were forced to return home, and keep close for a great
while, to avoyd the derision and mocking of their Enemies.  And this was,
because that they had gone out of the City in great pompe and state;
beginning allready to carry themselves like so many Princes: but their
pretensions vanishd with the Popes death.

Nevertheless the Pope in so short a time shewed himself kind, for he left
them some considerable Legacies, having given away to the company of the
Nuntiata, whose Protector he had been, all that was in his power to

                                * * * * *

But that which _Urban_ could not compass in thirteen dayes, _Gregory_ the
fourteenth his Successor did in ten months.  This Pope was of the family
_Sfondrata_ of _Milan_, and very desirous of adding to the greatness of
his family.  And because that _Paulo Emilio Sfondrato_ was at the time of
his creation in _Milan_, the Pope refus’d to dispatch any business before
his coming to Rome, where presently he was made Cardinal, and had twelve
thousand Crowns a year assigned him the same day, besides a great number
of Abbies and Offices which his Uncle gave him a little after.

The Pope was used to pass most part of his time with this Cardinal; no
business passing, but what was sifted between them; the Pope often saying
to him, Nephew, make a good purse before I die: And the Nephew, who
understood the means did not fail to obey him, and out of every hundred
take ninety for himself; the rest he left to the Church, and that was
alwayes the worst money.

Two moneths after, he made the Count _Sfondrati_, another of his Nephews,
General of the holy Church, and sent him to the Wars of _France_, having
first married him with the daughter of the Prince of _Massa_, and made
him Duke of _Monte Marciano_, which Dutchy the Pope pretended to be
devolved to the Church, ever since the death of _Alfonso Picolomini_,
Duke of the said place, whom the great Duke of Florence put to death; and
the Pope immediately confiscated all that he enjoyed in the Territories
of the Church, pretending, that the said _Alfonso_ was a Rebel to the
Church: Whereupon he gave his Nephew the investiture of the Dutchy.

                                * * * * *

_Innocentius_ the ninth succeeded to _Gregory_ the fourteenth, in the
year 1509. who lived but two months, and by consequence was not in a
capacity of leaving much to his Relations; many of them nevertheless were
already come from _Bologne_, the Popes native Country; amongst whom he
made one Cardinal, and that was _Antonio Fachinetti_; but he gave him no
other Office, then that of a Referendary, there being no other of any
consideration vacant.  ’Tis true, I believe, that he thought not of dying
so soon, for else he would have provided more largely for this Cardinal,
and the rest of his kindred; His death was very unwelcome to them, all
having begun already to build Castles in the air; but particularly to one
of them, who pretended to be General of the Churches Forces, to marry a
Princess, and be revenged of all his Enemies; but he came so far short of
all, that instead of the equipage of a Gentleman, that he came to _Rome_
in, he returned in a poor plight to _Bologna_.

                                * * * * *

A month after, _Clement_ the eighth, of the House of _Aldobrandino_ of
_Florenee_, was chosen Pope, with an incredible joy of all the people of
_Rome_: He himself was born in the City of _Fano_.

This Pope found his Family full of noble and ancient Blood, but as empty
of Riches; therefore calling them to him, he began, by his Predecessours
example, to give them Offices, Places, and Dignities, but with a certain
moderation, and not precipitating his Favours, as the others had done,
but giving to day one thing, and to morrow another, he contented them all
without scandal.

In his first promotion of Cardinals, he created two of his Nephews, _viz.
Pietro Aldobrandino_, his Brothers Son, and _Cintbio Passero di
Sinigaglia_, his Sisters Son; and with the help of these two, the Pope
did govern all the Church Affairs, desiring every thing should pass by
their hands, particularly through Cardinal _Pietro Aldobrandino_, whom he
lov’d most cordially, calling him, _the Idol of his heart_; and often,
for fear of contradicting him, he would let him do as he listed.

The charge of General of the Church, was given to _Giovanni Francesco
Aldobrandino_, another of his Nephews; in which place he enjoyed, not
only all of the Prerogatives and Priviledges that had been granted to the
other Nephews of Popes, but besides, his Holiness encreased his pay by
two thousand Crowns a year, and invented new priviledges for him.

In the year 1595. he bought the Marquisat of _Meldola_, which he bestowed
upon _Octavio Aldobrandino_, another of his Nephews, declaring him
absolute Soveraign of the said place; but yet made him stay in _Rome_,
that he might be at hand, & lose no occasions of getting something else
from him: at last _Alfonso d’ Este_, last Duke of Ferrara, happening to
dye in the year 1597. the Pope thought to take this Principality for
himself, as being devolv’d to the Church, and resolv’d to give the
investiture to his Nephew _Octavio_; so having held a publick Consistory,
in which he declared, that the Dutchy of _Ferrara_ was become the
Churches patrimony; and immediately ordered Cardinal _Aldobrandino_ to
raise a powerful Army, and put himself in possession of the said Dutchy,
by driving out _Cesar_ of _Este_, who was Heir by the Will of the late
Duke, and was actually in possession: But the Pope pretended, that he
being a Bastard, was incapable of inheriting.

The Cardinal soon got together a great Army, and so frighted _Don Cesar_,
that he was forced to fly to _Modena_, and leave _Ferrara_ to the Pope;
and the Cardinal _Aldobrandino_, after some Articles agreed on between
his Uncle and _Don Cesar_, entred the place, and took possession of it in
the name of the Church, with little joy to the Inhabitants, who lost a
good Master to fall into the hands of Church-men, who change every day
their Governours.

As soon as the news of the rendition of _Ferrara_ came to the Popes ears,
he began, by all means, to procure the investiture for his Nephew
_Octavio_, for whom he thought the Marquisat of _Meldola_ but

But he met with a strange repugnancy in all the Cardinals for his design;
they having, by a common consent and union, resolved to oppose the Popes
desire, and not endure, that the Church should be depriv’d of so
considerable a City, which it had but newly acquired.

The Pope foreseeing, by this reluctancy of the Cardinals, that it was a
business hardly to be carried in a publick Consistory, forbore to speak
of it there, but took another course; for calling the Cardinals one by
one into his chamber, he there signified to them his desire; but they all
refused to consent, or be any wayes accessary to the alienating so
considerable a piece of the Popedome.  So that the Pope thought it was
not safe to do it without them, and by force, for fear of leaving his
Nephew involv’d in a continual War, against all the succeeding Popes, and
_Don Cesar_: and therefore he resolv’d to go in person, and take
possession in the name of the Church.

A little after, he made another of his Nephews Cardinal, who was
_Silvestro Aldobrandino_, Prior of _Rome_, to whom he gave an infinite
number of Benefices.  Thus _Clement_ did every day do his endeavour to
procure riches for his Family, either in lands or moveables, who of their
side were as ready to receive, as their Uncle could be to give,
particularly when it was ready money.

                                * * * * *

_Leo_ the eleventh, who succeeded to _Clement_, had not the same good
fortune; for being chosen in the year 1665. he liv’d but five and twenty
dayes: In which time he projected much, but executed little; amongst
other things, he gave out, that his design was not to advance his
kindred, but only to continue them in their quality, and make their
Estates plentiful and easie; which is a certain moderation, which most of
the Popes do affect to shew in their first administration of the Popedom;
for even _Sixtus_ the fourth, who gave with so profuse a hand, did still
pretend, that he did nothing but what was lawful, and to the advantage of
the Church.

This Pope had many Relations in the Family of the _Medici_, but in that
branch which was not come to be Princes; but his Darling amongst them,
was _Alexander Medici_, son to his brother _Bernardetto_, which
_Alexander_ had a son of twenty years old, called _Octaviano_, which was
the Popes Fathers name: Whereupon the Pope sent for him, with an
intention to make him Cardinal, and keep him by him: but the very same
day that he came to _Rome_, the Pope dyed, without being able to promote
him to that degree of honours which was a great affliction to all the

                                * * * * *

Now let us speak of _Paul_ the fifth, of the Family of _Borghese_, made
Pope in 1605. who in an instant filled _Rome_ with _Borgheses_.

The Pope was of a most kind nature, and particularly to his kindred;
amongst whom, while he was Cardinal, he was wont to spend all his
Revenue; but his greatest passion was for _Scipion Carafelli_, his
Sisters son, whom he had brought up from a child; and him he made
Cardinal, as soon as he was made Pope himself, giving him the name of
Cardinal _Borghese_; by which name he was ordinarily called, and did
subscribe himself.

This Cardinal, was the interpreter of his Uncles mind, the Mediator of
his favours, and the Coadjutor in all weighty matters of the State and
Church: They that expected any kindnesses from the Pope, were not to
purchase them any other way, then by the means of him, who commanded and
governed the Pope and all things.

The Pope, desiring to follow his Predecessours steps, and employ his
private riches to the publick ornament of the City, took care to provide
his Ecclesiastical Nephews of Benefices and Church lands; and his secular
Kinsmen of Places and Dignities, as they became vacant.

The plenty, into which this Pope brought his Family, was such, that they
themselves did scarce know how to dispose of it, there flowing in upon
them, every day, vast sums of money from all parts of the world, to
procure, by their means, the Popes favour: Whereupon they, seeing no end
of their riches, began, out of a complacence to the Popes humour (who
delighted in the ornament of the City) to build certain publick Edifices,
so noble and stately, that the King of _France_, who hath a Kingdom so
rich, and powerful, and hereditary, would scarce have undertaken the
like, at the expence of his whole Kingdom.

The Cardinal begun the Fabrick of that _Palazzo Borghese_, in the _Campo
Martio_, which is not yet ended; and to perfect it, according to the
first design, it would require the value of half the Churches
Territories; nay, it is said, that in the foundation alone, were spent
above two hundred thousand Crowns, for they were fain to demolish great
numbers of houses, and level hills, before they could bring the ground to
that true evenness, which the design required.

The Popes brothers began two Country houses of pleasure at the same time,
one hard by _Rome_, and a little without the _Porta Ponciana_; the other
at _Frascati_, in the little hills called _Mendragone_: and we may easily
conclude what treasure was expended in these, by what the _Spanish_
Ambassadour said one day to a Gentleman of the Family of _Borghese_, who
waited upon him thither; for the Gentleman having shewed one of these
houses, asked his opinion of it? and had for answer these words, _My King
would not have undertaken in such calamitous times as these are_, _so
great a fabrick for his diversion in_ Madrid.

His Holiness was so overjoyed, to see such princely inclinations in his
kindred, that he did nothing but study night and day, how he should
enrich them more and more.  ’Tis true, he needed not to trouble himself
much; for his Cardinal _Borghese_; who had the Popedom at his
disposition, took all the incomes for himself, and the Family of the
_Borgheses_, allowing the Pope a small matter, to please himself with the
mending of a Street, or a Church, or some publick Edifice; this Pope
having surpassed all his Predecessors, in erecting new Edifices, and
procuring by all wayes the ornament of the City.

In those dayes the _Nipotismo_ was most triumphant, all the former Popes
Nephews having never been invested with so absolute an authority, as that
of the Cardinal _Borghese_, and the rest of his Nephews.

_Paul_ lived sixteen years in the Chair of the Popes, so that the
_Nipotismo_ had time to give root and foundation to their greatness, as
indeed they did, but forgot to strike a nail into the Wheel of Fortune,
to hinder it from turning about; and therefore not long after, it began
to slide downwards, as we shall declare in time and place.

At last, in the year 1621. _Paul_ dyed, to the great grief of the
_Romans_, who lamented very much his loss; and indeed he was a very good
Pastour, though he were a little too liberal of the Wool of his Flock to
his Kindred; for he left to the Prince of _Salmona_ alone his Nephew,
above a hundred thousand Crowns yearly revenue; to the Cardinal as much,
besides the vast sums of money layed out in those Buildings we have
mentioned; they were thought also, to have vast sums of ready money,
unknown to their Uncle; the Cardinal alone being supposed to have above a
million in _specie_: So that _Paul_ left not a farthing to the Church.

                                * * * * *

His Successour was _Gregory_ the fifteenth, of _Bologna_, of the noble
Family _Ludovisio_, pretty rich, but very abundant in Relations and

This Pope, before he began to mannage the publick Affairs of
_Christendom_, resolved first to establish the particular Interest of his
House and Family; therefore having seen the example of _Leo_ the tenth,
who by reason of the shortness of his life, could not bestow the dignity
of Cardinal upon any of his Relations; three dayes after his creation, he
made _Ludovico Ludovisio_, his brothers son, Cardinal; and the same day
he made _Ocatio Ludovisio_, his brother, General of the Church, though he
were absent; and as soon as he came to _Rome_, he made him Duke of
_Fiano_, and assigned him other Lands bought with the Churches money.

The same day he distributed amongst some other Nephews, many considerable
Offices, both within and without _Rome_, though most of those, upon whom
they were conferred were absent, so that it may be said of the
_Nipotismo_ of this Pope that it was great almost before it was born, or
at least in its cradle, entring into power and command before it entred
into _Rome_.

The Cardinal _Ludovisio_ was he that governed the weighty Affairs, his
Uncle depending upon him most absolutely; so that often of Negotiations,
and Court business, he would communicate little or nothing to the Pope;
and when his Uncle, out of curiosity, would sometimes go about to inform
himself how things stood; his Nephew would presumptuously answer him, and
say, _What need you trouble your head_, _eat and drink_, _and let me
alone to serve you_.

Every step of this Cardinal was towards the advancement of his Family;
and the Pope, not only did let him alone, but would often exhort him to
make hast, least of a sudden he should be depriv’d of the means: which
fell out; for the Pope liv’d but seven and twenty moneths; in which time,
the _Ludovisi_ minded their business so well, that at their Uncles
decease they had amongst them, two hundred and fifty thousand Crowns
yearly revenue, besides ready money, and that which they spent in publick
buildings: So that this _Nipotismo_ does deserve the title, of the most
subtle & diligent of all the precedent _Nipotismo’s_, if we consider the
proportion of their riches, and measure the shortness of the time that
they were purchased in.

With all this they much studied publick applause, and to gain to
themselves the good will of the people, and _Roman_ Nobility; shewing
great respect for them, and offering their service willingly upon all
occasions.  ’Tis true, there was not much credit given to these
demonstrations, because that the _Romans_ were already accustomed to see
such Scenes of dissimulation: But nevertheless, their Uncle, neither
alive nor dead was not prosecuted with _Pasquinades_; his government, or
rather his Nephews, having not been so tyrannical as covetous.  And since
the _Romans_ leave them in peace, so will we too, and conclude this book
with the death of _Gregory_ the fifteenth.


The Contents.

_IN which is treated_, _of the election of_ Urban _the eighth to the
Popedome_.  _Of the creation and disposition of Cardinal_ Barbarino _a_
Capucin.  _Of the Places and Offices given to_ Don Tadeo.  _Of the
promotion of the two Brothers_, Francesco _and_ Antonio Barbarini, _to be
Cardinals_.  _Of their avidity in getting money_.  _Of some Prelates
offended and moved to indignation_, _to see that their services were so
little recompenced by the Pope_.  _Of the Cardinal_ Filomarini, _made
__Arch-Bishop_ of Naples.  _Of the inclination of the_ Barbarini, _to
carry all things with a high hand_.  _Of some Pasquins made against
them_.  _Of the great hatred the_ Romans _did bear them_.  _Of the design
of the_ Barbarini _to make themselves great Princes_.  _Of the Title of
Cardinal_ Padrone _given to_ Francesco Barbarino.  _Of the Duke of_ Parma
_his journey to_ Rome.  _Of the title of Eminency given to the Cardinal_.
_Of the great riches the_ Barbarini _were in possession of after the
death of_ Urban.  _Of the reasons_, _why Cardinal_ Francesco Barbarini
_might hope to be Pope_.  _Of there being three Cardinals of this name
all at a time_.  _How_ Innocentius _the tenth was_ Urban’s _Successour_.
_Of all that passed about the Cardinalship_, _marriage and banishment of
the Prince_ Pamphilio, _the Popes Nephew_.  _Of the authority and
government of_ Donna Olympya: _and of her may treating affairs_.  _Of_
Innocentius’s _nearest Relatives_.  _Of the promotion of_ Astalli _to the
Cardinalship_.  _Of the Railleries_, _Pasquins_, _and Discourses_, _that
were held about this promotion_.  _Of_ Astalli his banishment, and _the
promotion of_ Azzolini.  _Of_ Innocentius, _and the assumption of_
Alexander _to the Popedome_.  _Of Don_ Mario’s _journey towards Rome_,
_stopped by an express order from the Pope_.  _Of the affront that_ Don
Mario _received_, _in being forced to return to_ Siena.  _Of the honour
that the Popes kindred did receive in Siena_.  _Of the respect showed
them by the State of_ Venice, _and the great Duke of_ Tuscany.  _Of the
Popes resolution to receive none of his kindred in_ Rome.  _Of some
presents sent to_ Don Mario _and_ Don Agostino, _in_ Siena.  _Of the
Popes design and purpose to call all his Relations to_ Rome: _and of all
that past in the execution of it_.  _Of an Event full of curiosity_,
_about the History of the Council of_ Trent, _made by Father_ Palavicino,
_a Jesuite_.  _Of the murmurs and Pasquins of the_ Romans _too_, _when
they saw the_ Nipotismo _in possession of the Church and City_.  _Of the
number of the Popes Relations_.  _Of the Offices_, _charges and places
that they possess_, _and by what means they grow rich_.  _Of the
jealousie that is between them_.  _Of_ Don Agostino _his marriage_.  _Of
the great affection the Pope bears him_.  _And of some other
particularities full of curiosity and policy_.

ALL that we have hitherto related, is nothing but the Vigil or Eve of the
_Nipotismo_; now begins the Festival day, in the time of _Urban_ the
eighth, of the Family of the _Barbarini_, who succeeded _Gregory the_
fifteenth, contrary to every bodies expectation, in the year 1623. in the
month of _August_.

As soon as the news of his Elevation came to _Florence_, those few
remnants of the Family, who were then under the protection of the great
Duke, flew, like so many Bees to _Rome_ (and the Bees are the
_Barbarini’s_ Coat of Armes) to suck the Honey of the Church, but they
left not behind them their Stings, wherewithall in sucking it, they stung
it most bitterly.

_Urban_ in the beginning, shewed not much tenderness for his kindred,
though he did openly own, that he would call them about him: And indeed,
in this his beginning, and as it were the blossom of his Popedom, he did
one of the worthiest actions of his life, which was the giving of a
Cardinals Cap to _Francesco Barbarini_, his Nephew, a Personage truly
worthy so great an honour being endowed with the singular qualities of an
exemplary life and integrity, which made him worthy, and more then
worthy, of the Popedom it self.

The year after, which was 1624. he made Cardinal, his brother, that was a
_Capucin_, and went by the name of brother _Antony Barbarin_, whom the
Pope loved entirely; he gave him the title of Cardinal of Saint
_Oposrius_, but he had been so accustomed to the strictness of a
_Capucines_ life, that being raised to this great dignity, he demeaned
himself with the same meanness as before; he had much ado to custom
himself to that great Cope which the Cardinals wear; neither would their
wide large Sleeves agree with him, and he had given order to have them
made close and streight, after the _Capucins_ fashion: But that that was
most ridiculous was, that when he saluted any body, instead of putting
off his Hat, he would only put it back with a nod, as the Monks do their
Hoods; so that once, in the presence of the Venetian Ambassadour it fell
backwards; to the ground, with no small laughter of the Assistants: Thus
he was the diversion of the whole Colledge of Cardinals.

_Don Tadeo_, the Popes other brother, was made General of the Churches
Forces, Prefect of _Rome_ and in the long reign of his brother, had so
many Civil and Military Offices conferr’d upon him, that he could not
remember them himself; the rather, because that he never car’d to
exercise the functions of them, so he might receive the revenue, which he
forgot not to put up carefully; that is, in a word, he took a good
account of the profit, but could give none of the satisfying the
obligation those Offices laid upon him.

In the year 1668. the seventh of _February_, the Pope, that he might more
and more fortifie the Family of the _Barbarines_, created another
Cardinal of that name, _viz. Antonio Barbarino_, _Francesco’s_ brother,
under the title of _Santa Maria in Aquino_.

These two brothers, though elevated to the same dignity, were
nevertheless of a different humour; for one made it his business, to
edifie the publick by good actions; and the other, did nothing but
scandalize all the world by his vicious deportments; insomuch, that
whosoever will weigh the vertues of the one against the vices of the
other, shall see, that the ill actions of Cardinal _Antonio_, are far
heavier then the good ones of his brother, though his brothers piety be
very great.

’Tis true, that when once Cardinal _Antonio_ began to frequent the
_French_, that he changed, as it were his nature, for of a covetous hater
of Learning, he became a generous promoter of Ingenuity, and very
officious to all sorts of persons; so that now we may say, that he is a
noble Prince, and a good Cardinal, whereas before he was esteemed an ill
bred Gentleman, and a wicked Cardinal, and as much blame and dishonour as
he contracted then, so much reputation and credit hath he now gained.

_Urban_ in the beginning shew’d a most exact diligence, in the government
of the Church; and in truth, Cardinal _Francesco_, and he, did take no
small pains in reforming the abuses, as well of the Clergy and Monks, as
of the Court and temporal administration; so that forraign Princes and
Nations were very much edified, by the Popes zeal, and Cardinal
_Francesco_ his sincerity, by which he did endeavour to please every

But after five or six years time passed thus in the continual cares of
the Pontificat, he began to grow weary, not of doing good, but of doing
it so often; therefore leaving the mannagement of the most important
Affairs to his Nephews, he began to take his ease, and they taking
possession of business, did at the same time engross their Uncles
inclinations and intentions, that they did, as it were, bind his will to

Then the desire of growing rich did so blind them, that night and day
they did think of nothing else, but of the means to make themselves
Princes eternize their family, and fill their Coffers with treasure.

As soon as any Abbey was vacant, it was immediately conferr’d upon one of
them, and then as soon as any other good Benifice fell out, it was
presented to the other; so that between them, they had all that was rich
and worth speaking of, at last both Cardinals, being so full that they
could hold no more, would bestow vacant Benifices upon their little
Nephews: nay, to above five or six of _Urban’s_ little Cozens, were given
Benefices while they were yet in their Cradles; the precedent Popes
Decrees being despised, and by these proceedings, the very bread taken
out of the mouths of those Prelates, that had served the Church with zeal
and care; which was enough almost to make them desperate, seeing little
children, scarce born, preferred to them, who had so much deserts.  More
then this, I think it may be said, that some Benefices were disposed of
to those that were not yet born; for in the Articles of marriage of one
of the _Barbarines_ with a Lady of the family of _Colonna_, one was,
_That a certain Abby should be given to the first-born_; so that in the
time of this good Pope, Church lands were bestowed on those, who were not
yet in the world, but by imagination; and those that had really, and with
great pains, serv’d the Church, were altogether depriv’d of their reward.

A certain Prelate of _Bologne_, who with great zeal had bestirred him in
his Ecclesiastical employment, went to _Rome_ to receive his recompence,
and having presented himself to the _Barbarines_, was desired to stay a
little while: This little while proved the space of eight years, in which
an infinity of Benefices were vacant, but the good Prelate could get none
of them, because that the _Barbarines_ divided all amongst themselves, he
seeing this, resolved to return home empty as he came; and as he was
going out of _Rome_, some body from the _Barbarines_ told him, that he
ought to expect a little longer, and take a little more patience: To
whom, with tears in his eyes, he answered, _They must be Saints_, _and
not men_, _who can see the bread eaten from their mouths by the_
Barbarines, _and not be cast into despair_.

Another, who had stayed as long to no purpose resolved at last to be
gone; and being importun’d by his friend to stay a little longer,
answered him thus, _If the Church_, _dear friend_, _had as many
Popedomes_, _as the Pope hath Nephews and Cozens_, _and that there one
that did not see some where_, _I might have some hopes_; _but since there
is but one Popedom_, _I should be a fool to expect any part of it from
those_, _who do not think it enough to divide among themselves_.

Of these examples, I believe, I could make half a dozen Volumes in folio,
and all of persons that are now living; but I will not weary the Reader
with the Lecture of them; Let it suffice for him to know, that _Urban_
never gave any thing for a recompence, to those that had served the
Church except his Nephews had first refused it; and they refused so
little, that in the end, all _Urban’s_ rewards amounted to nothing.

If any body could brag of a considerable fortune made under the
_Barbarini_, it was a sign, that such a one had serv’d them, and not the

Thus in the year 1641. the Pope made _Ascanio Filomarino_ Cardinal, and
Archbishop of _Naples_, though the service he had done the Church, did
scarce deserve him a simple Canonicat, so far was he from meriting an
Archbishoprick, yet _Urbin_ promoted him, because he had done most
eminent service to the _Barbarines_ family: And indeed, in this _Urban_
cannot but be thanked, for enriching the Church (though his design were
not such) with a person adorned with so many excellent qualities, which
made him worthy of the Popedom it self, having, since this his elevation,
edified, not only his Flock, but all _Christendome_, and rendred most
singular service to the House of _Austria_, in the revolt of _Naples_,
and the business of _Massinello_, in the year 1647.

If the _Barbarines_ pretend to the contrary, that they have advanced and
promoted those who had a true zeal for the Church, they will do well to
produce their names: But I desire my Reader to take this precaution, and
observe, that if any body was rewarded, under pretence of having served
the Church, there was the Cheat; for they that pretended most to serve
the Church, were they, that in effect did work the _Barbarines_ designs
and interests to an issue: Upon this account, in one promotion, were made
Cardinals the following Prelates, _Gio. Baptista Pamphilio_, who was
since _Innocentius_ the tenth, _Gio. Francesco Palotta_, and _Gio.
Francesco de Contiguidii da Bagno_; the first, because he had been Nuntio
in _Spain_, the second in _Germany_, and the third in _France_; yet the
Pope could never be brought to make _Monsignor Visconti_, who was Nuntio
in _Polonia_, Cardinal, for all the great instances of that King, though
the said _Visconti_ was a most worthy Prelate, and one who had done the
Church more service in his Employment, then all the other three together;
and yet for all that, he remained excluded, while the others were
admitted to that honour.

Why then was this affront done to _Visconti_?  I’le tell you; while he
was in _Polonia_, he serv’d the Church, and not the _Barbarines_; and the
others, in their Nuntiatures, did the quite contrary.

Naturally _Urban_ was averse from making of Cardinals; and if some urgent
necessity did not force him, could hardly be brought to it; and yet for
his family, he made no difficulty of breaking the precedent Popes
Decrees, and the Laws of the Church, which forbid to make two brothers
Cardinals, while they are both alive: but he did this only to satisfie
his Nephews; and at last, was brought by them to make great numbers of
other Cardinals; for they, being towards the end of the Pontificat weary
of heaping together, began to think, how they should preserve their
treasure and power; and therefore, to fortifie their party, they obliged
their Uncle, to make a numerous promotion of their Creatures.

If ever the _Romans_ murmured and made Pasquins, it was in the time of
his _Nipotismo_; for when the _Barbarines_ took away from the Church
called the _Rotunda_, that excellent piece of workmanship of _Bronze_,
(for which we have no name but Bell-metal) to make that piece of
Architecture and Pillars, which adorns the Altar in Saint _Peters_
Church, which is one of the most noble and magnificent Works that ever
was undertook, all the people cryed in the streets, _Quod non fecerunt
Barbari_, _secerunt Barbarini_; and they thought they had a great deal of
reason to exclaim thus against them, because it was certainly affirmed,
that the _Barbarines_ had diverted above half the metal to their private
use in their Palace; and some say, that they made racks for their
Chimneys of it, but I scarce believe it.

But that Pasquin, which was made in the time that _Gustave Adolse_, King
of _Swede_, invaded _Germany_, was fuller of curiosity; for there were
certain Images in paper, that represented the Church of God, all naked
upon a little bed, and full of the wounds she had received from
_Gustave_, and covered over with Flies or Bees, which were the
_Barbarines_ Armes; near the bed, was the Emperour upon his knees,
craving aid from the Church, that he might fight for the Church; from
whom he did receive this answer; _I have nothing to give thee_, _O my
Defender_, _for the Flies have sucked me even to the very bones_, making
allusion to the _Barbarines_ Armes.

Another time were found in the streets of _Rome_, a great quantity of
Pictures; in every one of which was drawn a poor Prelate, asking Alms
from the Church to content himself withall; to whom the Church made
answer, _For my part_, _I have not a farthing_, _the_ Barbarines _have
taken all from me_.

Almost at the same time, was seen a Medal, which represented _Pasquin_,
loaden with Swords, Musquets, Daggers, and other Weapons, with an
inscription that said,

                          _To drive away the Flies_;

which thing displeased the Barbarines beyond measure, conceiving that all
this was nothing but a design to make the people rise in Armes against
them; so that though they set a good face upon it, yet secretly they
disposed things to their defence, in case of a sedition.

And certainly had it not been, that the _Romans_ did every day look for
the Popes death, there would have happened some revolution, for the
hatred of the people to the _Barbarines_ encreased more and more the
longer the Pope lived; one thing particularly exciting publick envy and
jealousie, which was, that the _Barbariens_ did every day plant their
Armes in some place or another of the City, to eternize their Name and

One of my friends had the curiosity, to reckon all the Bees (that is, the
_Barbarines_ Armes) that the _Barbarines_ had placed here and there, as
well in the City, as in the State of the Church, and found their number
to be above ten thousand, in Painting, Stone and Marble.

The _Barbarines_ tryed to make themselves great Princes; and trusting to
the great sums of money which they had got together, thought they might
make themselves Masters of a good part of _Italy_: Their first design
was, to put themselves in possession of the Dutchy of _Urbin_, which in
the year 1631. was fallen to the Church, by the death of _Francisco Maria
della Rovere_; but they found the Cardinals very averse, and resolved not
to consent to the alienation of so considerable a part of the Popedom;
they thought therefore that it was better to let it alone, considering
the injuries they had already done to _Venice_, and the great Duke of
_Tuscany_, who without doubt would have crossed their design.

But to be at once revenged of their Enemies, and draw respect from their
Friends, they fram’d a design of driving the _Spaniards_ out of the
Kingdom of _Naples_, and giving the Crown of that Kingdom to _Don Tadeo_;
this they thought, by reason of the decaying State that the House of
_Austria_ was then in, that they might bring to pass with little or no
trouble; but when the business came to be weighed, and discussed, in the
presence of a Prelate, of great esteem and credit, of their party, he
told them, _That the_ Neapolitans _had received such ill impressions of
the Pope and his Family_, _that they would sooner give themselves to the_
Turk, _then to the Barbarines_.

After this, they began to molest _Odoardo Farneze_, Duke of _Parma_, a
Prince who had deserved better from the Church; and their design was, to
deprive him absolutely of _Parma and Placentia_, and give them to _Don
Tadeo_; but they met with greater obstacles then they expected, for the
_Italian_ Princes, his Neighbours, being allarm’d at the _Barbarines_
greatness, opposed them smartly; and the Duke himself, being a noble
couragious Prince, not only made a stout resistance, but drove them and
their Army back to _Rome_; from which place he might have chased and
expelled the _Barbarines_ themselves, if he had been as malicious as

This Enterprise having thus failed, they fell to courting the Republick
of _Luca_; but in their courtship they were a little preposterous, by
shewing their desire of Empire, before they had gained their Mistresses
affections; for having excommunicated her, the _Lucheses_, being
advertised of their good intentions, prevented, by timely remedies, the
execution of them: And thus the _Barbarines_ were, fain to give over with
shame that which they had begun with rashness.

Perceiving at last, that none of these Ambitious plots would hit, and
that all Princes and the Cardinals themselves began to be weary of their
long tyranny; they conceived a thought of making the Popedome hereditary
in their family, which thing seemed at first feasible, because that most
of the Cardinals that had been created at their recommendation, had a
very good opinion of Cardinal _Francisco_; and besides, they had a secret
way of compassing this their design, which, though very wicked, was yet
well enough invented; and that was, to give to every Cardinal of their
creatures, who were much above the two thirds of the Colledge; some one
City of the Popedome, which they should enjoy for their lifetime, as
Soveraign Princes, and so make as many Princes as Cardinals, but above
all, they had resolved to present Cardinal _Richelieu_, with the whole
state of _Avignon_, that they might have assistance from the _French_, in
the rest of their enterprize.

They had betwixt them, divers conferences and meetings upon this new
project, and _Don Tadeo_ made every thing so easie, that it was a great
pleasure to hear him discourse upon it; but Cardinal _Francesco_, who
judged according to the rules of conscience and true policy, laughed it
out of doors, and order’d there should be no more mention made of it.
This design being thus crushed in the Cradle, to the great displeasure of
those that had conceived it, the _Barbarines_ layed aside all thoughts of
becoming Princes, and continued in their wonted way of gathering riches,
in which they met with all success and facility, by reason of the great
experience they had of the interests and business of the Church.  And
certainly there scarce ever was a more able and capable Nipotismo then
this, for no sooner were they in possession of the management of the
affairs of _Europe_, but they shewed themselves master Politicians.

And indeed the authority which _Urban_ gave to Cardinal _Francesco_ was
not ordinary; and though the precedent Popes, had in effect given all
power to their Nephewes, yet were they contented with the substance of
the thing, and did not affect new names, and titles.  But _Urban_
thought, it was not enough to give the power, except he gave with it the
vanity, and appearance of honour; therefore his Nephew _Francesco_, to be
Cardinal _Padroen_, that is, Cardinal, Master, and Lord, a title never
heard of before in _Rome_; for the Popes his Predecessors, when they
spoke of their Nephewes would say, for example, _the Cardinal_ Ludovisio
_our Nephew_, _the Cardinal_ Borghese _our Nephew_: but _Urban_ from
morning to evening, had nothing in his mouth, but the Cardinal _Padrone_,
as, _call the Cardinal_ Padrone, _where is the Cardinal_ Padrone, _spake
to the Cardinal Padrone_, _&c._ so that nothing was heard up and down,
but Cardinal _Padrone_, to the astonishment of the Embassadours of
Christian Princes, who thought themselves honoured enough, to call
themselves the Popes Sons, and own him as Father, while he in the
presence of their Embassadours, gives the title of _Padrone_ to his
Nephew; nay, in the presence of some Princes themselves, he used this
Title, as it happened to the Duke of _Parma_, which occurrence, as
memorable, I shall here relate.

_Odoardo Farneze_, Duke of _Parma_, was come in the year 1626, into his
little state of _Caprarola_, for the giving of some Orders which requir’d
his presence; there he received an invitation by a letter from the Pope,
brought by _Monsignor Fausto_, the Popes Steward, who waited upon him
with the Popes Coaches.

The Dukes intention was not to go to _Rome_, not that he had any aversion
to the Pope but because that he was well informed of the teacherous
proceedings of the _Barbarines_ towards many Princes, and particularly
towards himself.

Nevertheless, for fear, least a denial should be interpreted, as a
disrespect to the Popes Majesty; (particularly, having been once before
as far as the Gates of _Rome_, without going into the City) and seeing
himself so fairly invited, he resolved to go as he was in the habit of a
Travellor, and with a slender Court.

The Pope indeed received him with all demonstrations of kindness, but the
_Barbarines_ using their wonted dissimulation, after they had given him
some publike signes of respect and civility, did likewise afford him some
occasion of complaint; of which the Duke being much offended, thought he
could do no less, then signifie it to the Pope at his departure, and
complain of the proceedings of the Cardinal _Padrone_ towards a Prince of
his quality; but he did not give him the Title of _Padrone_, but only of
Cardinal _Barbarino_.

The Pope was displeased, to see the Duke thus angred, and went about to
appease him, but in vain; for having said that he knew that the Cardinal
_Padrone_ had a very great esteem for his person, the Duke interrupted
him, and said, _Most Holy Father_; _for my part_, _I know no other
Padrone than your holiness_.

This answer was quick, and biting, having been made to the Pope himself,
who thereby saw his Title of _Padrone_ laughed at; and indeed the Duke
had a great deal of reason to mortifie thus the _Barbarines_, who
pretended to treat him more like their subject, then like a Prince.

But the _Barbarines_ ambition stayed not in the Title of Cardinal
_Padrone_; they took exceptions against the quality of _Illustrissime_,
with which hitherto the Cardinals had been content for so many Ages, but
pretending higher, strove to find out some terme that should not be
inferiour to the Title of excellency, which Soveraign Princes in _Italy_,
and other places, did then take.

This important point was often discussed, and canvassed by _Urban_, and
the _Barbarines_, and more then four or five singular Titles came into
their fancies; at last they pitched upon the word _Eminency_, which in
effect he gave to the Cardinals, not so much for their sake, as for his
Nephews.  The Princes no sooner heard of it, but that they might be even
with him, they took the Title of _Highness_, the _Barbarines_ remaining
much mortifyed at it.

But the best of it was, that at first _Urban_ had no mind that any of the
Cardinals should use the Title of _Eminency_, except those of his family;
but afterwards foreseeing that the world would laugh at him, he made his
decree general for all the Cardinals.

All this while it seemed as if the _Barbarines_ had chained good fortune
to their desires, all things succeeding according to their wishes; and
indeed they were become so high in their commands, that they despised
every body, and could hardly brook that any Crown in _Europe_ should
oppose, or not condescend to the satisfying of their insatiable

Never Prince was more absolute in a conquest, then the _Barbarines_ were
in their administration of the Church and City of _Rome_; they laughed at
any body; let those that would talke and prate; but nothing but derision
and scorn was the share of those that went about to contradict them.

’Tis true, they had the good fortune to meet with little or no
opposition, for in the whole consistory of the Cardinals, there were but
five, who were not their Creatures, _viz. Medici_, _Savelli_, _Carassa_,
_Lauci_, and _Capponial_, creatures of _Paul_ the fifth, and these too
being of a quiet spirit, and not undertaking, durst never oppose them
stifly: The others who had been made Cardinals by them did nothing but
subscribe to the _Barbarines_ pleasure whatever it was, so they lorded it
over the Church and State, nay, over all Christendome, as absolute
Monarchs of the World.

This uncontrouled power having lasted three and twenty years, _Urban_
their Uncle died, leaving the Church in disorder, the State in debt, and
his family in possession of such vast riches, that even the Stewards that
managed them, could hardly believe the truth of their accounts.  Two
hundred and seven and twenty Governments, Dignities, Offices, Abbies, and
Benefices of the richest sort, were then in the family of the
_Barbarines_; the Revenue of which was so great, that I believe the
_Barbarines_ never computed it, though they receiv’d it.

The Catholick King, who is master of so many Provinces, and who takes a
pride in filling whole sheets of Paper with his Titles, could not produce
halfe so many as the _Barbarines_ could have done after the death of
their Uncle.

As for summes of ready mony it is not to be imagined how great they are
that they have.  ’Tis believed, that Cardinal _Francesco_ alone hath
under ground, above two millions of Crowns in Gold; Besides what the
Cardinal _Antonio_ hath hidden and spent in his long Exile; And besides
what _Don Tadeo_ sent to _Palestrina_, to be buried in a new vault under
ground; and it is very certain, that about two months before _Urban_
dyed, there were met in two nights above threescore and ten Mules, loaden
with mony, going to _Palestrina_, where _Don Tadeo_ was to receive them.

But we have another argument of the _Barbarines_ prodigious riches.  For
if _Sixtus_ the Fifth, in five years time, could spend five Millions of
Crowns, in buildings and founding of Colledges, and leave five millions
more to the Church, and yet give away three Millions at least to his
kindred.  And if _Gregory_ the Fifteenth in two years time spent vast
summs, for the succour of the _Valteline_ and the _Emperour_, and in the
embelishing of _Rome_, and yet left to his Relations the value of above
three Millions of Crowns.  Then I say, let any body judge what riches the
Family of the _Barbarines_ are in possession of.  They that for the space
of three and twenty year have had the whole Popedome at their
disposition; and who in all that time never spent for the Church, or in
publick Edifices, above four Millions of Crowns in Gold; and yet the
people was never more oppressed: therefore we must conclude, That their
riches are immense; and if we may calculate them by comparison of what
the other Popes Nephews have got, they must have above thirty Millions of
Crowns; and they that judge well, will not think it too much.

The power of this Nipotismo expired not with their Uncle; and though
under his Successor they suffered a sharp Persecution, yet are they even
now at this time so recovered of it, that they still deserve the Title of
the Nipotismo _Di Roma_, there being three Cardinals of them alive, a
thing which was never seen before, and will scarce be seen hereafter in
_Rome_, that there should be three Cardinals of the same Name and Family;
and that which is most considerable is, that they are now in great esteem
with the _Romans_.  _Francesco_, who is the Elder Brother, being
respected as a Saint; and if he be alive when the Sea of _Rome_ shall be
vacant, he will go near to get the Popedome once more into his family,
and the Cardinals ought to choose him for three reasons.

First, Because of the purity of his life, neither can it be said, that he
Counterfits Piety, and feigns devotion, as many others have done.
Because, it is not possible, that a man shall equally deceive the World
in his Infancy, his youth, his riper years, and his old age; therefore,
certainly, since this Cardinal hath appear’d, even from his youth, to be
what he now is, we ought to conclude him to be of an unfeigned integrity.

The second reason, for which Cardinal _Francesco_ deserves to be Pope, is
his great experience in Ecclesiastick and Civil affairs, there being no
Cardinal now alive, that is half so well instructed in them as he: so
that upon this score Christendome would be sure to be well provided of a

The third reason is, That the _Barbarines_ being already exceedingly
rich, they would not now be so subject to that great avidity of heaping
treasure upon treasure as they were at first.  But I reckon without mine
host, and would do better to leave these thoughts to the Cardinals, who
will have time enough to examine them, since _Alexander_ hath of late
taken new forces, and is not like to dye yet.

The second Cardinal of this Family, that is _Antonio_, hath by his change
of life, wiped away that scandalous impression, which his first
demeanours, under the Pontificat of his Uncle, had given of him.  And
indeed, in that time he did lead a life too full of liberty and
debauchery, and did not only scandalize all _Europe_, but by his proud
carriage disobliged the Embassadours of many Princes, and made the
_Romans_ hate him so, that at midnight they would cry out in the streets,
_il Cardinal Antonio serve in Roma di demonio_: but as I have said
already, After he once began to frequent the _French_, and follow their
humour, he changed his nature, and the _Romans_ changed their note to his
advantage, seeing him become generous, full of affability and civility,
and much enclin’d to promote learning, so that now they cry _Antonio
Barbarino_, _sembra un angelo divino_.  But for the Popedome, he need not
expect it; for all the Miracles in the World, will not take away
altogether an ill impression from the _Italians_, when once it hath had a
foundation in their minds.

_Charles Barbarino_, who is the third, is very obsequious to his Uncle
_Francesco_, who does with a great deal of care give him such
instructions, as may breed Vertue and Piety in him.  Many think that most
of his good qualities are feigned; but for my part, I think, we ought to
judg well of exteriour probity, and leave the secret of dissimulation to
him that knowes the heart; though most say, That he is _Cardinal_ Antonio
_within_; _and Cardinal_ Francesco _without_.

                                * * * * *

But now it is time to leave the _Barbarines_, and come to _Donna
Olympia’s_ brother in Law, that is _Innocentius_ the Tenth, who was
chosen in 1649, contrary to the worlds expectation; not but that he was
endowed with sufficient good qualities for so high a post: but that is
the least thing that is considered by the Nipotismo, who in the creation
of a new Pope are very careful not to advance one who should prove the
enemy of their family.

In this Conclave, the _Barbarines_ had resolved to give their votes; and
those of their party, rather to Cardinal _Medici_, then to Cardinal
_Pamphilio_; and the sooner, because, that upon the point that the
Cardinals were to go into the Conclave, there were divers Pasquins made,
and amongst the others this, _Quardateri di far Papa_ Pamphilio _che vi
Mandarebbe tutti in Esilio_; and this other, _Pamphilio Mandara le Mosche
in Esilio_: So that the chiefest aime of the Nipotismo was to procure the
exclusion of _Pamphilio_, not only by means of their creatures, but also
by a formal opposition from _France_, which the Cardinal _Antonio_ was
very earnest for in that Court; but the more he bestirred himself for
this exclusion, the more prognosticks there were of a contrary success.

_Innocentius_ being then chosen in spight of the _Barbarines_, began to
persecute them most furiously, and with so much rage and passion, that
though at first no body pittyed them, yet at last it was thought too
severe a proceeding: In the mean time _Rome_ was furnished immediately
with another Nipotismo, as if it had been a perpetual custome and
tradition of the Church not to be without one.

This Pope had but one Nephew, called _Camillo Pamphilio_; who by him was
made Cardinal in the first promotion with the Title of _Padrone_, though
he were very unfit for so weighty an Employment.  But _Innocent_ did
think to instruct him by little, and shape him for business.  ’Tis true,
that in his Remonstrances, he would be so sharp and crabbed, following
the Nature of his Temper, that the Cardinal, farre from learning any
thing, was put out of conceit with business, and began to hate it
extreamly; and because the Pope continued every day to reproach him with
his incapacity and dulness, the poor Cardinal was often forced to feign
sickness, and pretend some incommodity to avoyd giving of Audience to
Ambassadours, and publick Ministers; thus would he be whole dayes without
daring to appear in his Uncles presence, in which time he did nothing but
contrive how he should be rid of this yoak; which though of Gold, seemed
to him to be of Iron, looking upon himself as upon the greatest slave of
the World.

And at last he began to think, that the precedent Popes having declar’d
some one of their Nephews, Princes, and married them advantagiously, it
would not be amiss that his Uncle should do as much for him.  And indeed,
when the newes was published, that _Camillo Pamphilio_ was made Cardinal,
most wise men wondred at it; Considering, that whereas, all the desires
of the precedent Popes had been to eternize their name and family, by
marriages with Princesses and persons of great quality; yet that
_Innocentius_ having but this Nephew in the World, as the only bud of the
_Pamphilian_ family, should not only condescend, but, as it were force
him, be a Cardinal, and renounce Marriage; shewing therein an avidity for
present honour, but little or no care for his posterity.

But Cardinal _Pamphilio_ considered better of it, and seeing that all the
Nipotismo consisted in him alone, resolved to act all the parts of it,
and play sometimes the Cardinal and Politician, sometimes the Prince and
the gallant, and so make up a perfect Nipotismo.

To help him in the execution of his design there happened the fairest
occasion that ever was; for at that very time, the Princess of _Rossana_,
being become a Widdow, and having the happy qualities of rich, young, and
beautiful; he thought he might gain her; and indeed it succeeded
accordingly: for this Lady, though she were demanded in Marriage by
divers Soveraign Princes, was pleased to place all her affections upon
the Cardinal _Camillo_, who courted her secretly with a resolution to
marry her.

Neither is it to be wondred at that so accomplish’d a Lady, should
encline to bestow her self upon one who was so far from being lovely: For
her end in it was ambition, supposing that by this marriage, she would
insinuate her self into the Popes favour, and by her beauty and taking
carriage, attract his kindness, and so be mistress of the Church, the
state, the Pope, and her husband.

But things fell out farre different to her expectation, for no sooner had
the Pope the newes of the match, and that they were promised to one
another, but he immediatly banish’d them both from _Rome_.

The Princess made some resistance, and refused to obey this his order;
saying in her defence, That _he had liberty to banish his Nephews_, _as
much as he pleased_, _but not the Roman Princesses_.  Neither would she
depart the City, the same day her Husband left it; but some time after
she followed, saying, that it was not to obey the Pope, but to go to her

There was no body in Court or City, who did not pity this Ladies case,
and tax the Pope not only of ingratitude towards a princess, who had
refused great Princes to marry his Nephew, but also layed brutishness and
dulness to his charge, as one who could not see the infinite advantages
this match did bring to his family; and to say true, there was nothing in
this alliance, that could with any reason move the Popes indignation
against his Nephew, who was the only support of the family, and who for
his natural defects and incapacity of business, ought rather to have been
excused, then reproached with this so advantagious a change of condition;
where the fortune, the beauty, the youth, and the parts of the Lady were
incomparable qualities, which might be sufficient to make a Queen,
besides fecundity, which soon after she shewed.

Yet for all this, the Pope did stop his eares to all reason, and guided,
or rather miss-led by his own fancy, and the perswasions of _Donna
Olympia_, continued his severity towards this new married couple.

If we may guess at the reasons of this so extraordinary a proceeding, I
believe the chiefest was, because, that this Pope by an extravagant
capriccio had resolv’d to introduce his Sister in Law, in the place of
the other Popes Nipotismo’s; and he accordingly gave to _Donna Olympia_,
an absolute authority, not only over the Church and State, but over his
own person, not daring to take any resolution without this Ladies leave.

And this was a thing without Example; for if _Alexander_ the sixth gave
himself up to _Vanoccia_ the _Roman_ Courtisan, by whom he had many
bastards, yet he never suffer’d her to have any hand in the Government,
but would divert himself in his houres of recreation with her.  Whereas
_Donna Olympia_ was called to the _Vatican_, not to serve _Innocentius_,
but to command him, which she did with so much authority, that she seemed
to be the Pope, and he to be neither a man, nor a Pope.

If ever the Church was shamefully set out, and satyrically painted by the
Hereticks, it was in this time; for there was not any place where the
publick discourse was not about this extravagant fancy of the Popes to
renounce his own Nephew, and give himself and the Popedome, into the
hands of a Woman, heretofore—and now grown ambitious and covetous.

Catholicks and Hereticks together were astonish’d, and did murmure to
see, that he who called himself the head of the Church, should be subject
to the appetite of a woman; and that to her ambitious desires, he should
be content to sacrifice his own Nephew, and deprive himself of that help
and succour, which according to the example of his predecessors, he might
have expected from him.

If there were any Offices vacant, or places empty in the Court, nothing
was to be determin’d about them, without the advice of _Donna Olympia_;
nay, if there were Benefices to be conferr’d, the Officers of the
_Datary_ or _Chancery_ durst not expediate the Bulls for them, having
receiv’d an express order from his holiness, to suspend the expedition of
all business, ’till his sister in Law was instructed of it, and gave her
consent.  If any Bishopricks were to be provided with able Pastors; all
the competitors made it their business to Court her; and that which was
worst, was, that they ordinarily carried it, who offered most money, and
not they that had greatest deserts; though it were true, That the more
the person was unfit, the more was he fain to give to be admitted.

But this Womans pride, carried her to that point of insolence, that not
thinking it enough to have had a Cardinals Cap for one of her young
Nephews, altogether unworthy of so high a Dignity, but pretended besides,
that in all promotions, her voyce and consent should be expected, and
followed: From hence proceeded that the Courtiers, seeing her exercise
this power, either, out of fear, or hope, did frequent her Palace, and
daily go to wait upon her, not daring to put any end to business already
begun, or begin any other, before they had acquainted her with every
particularity of it.

_Cardinal Panzirolo_ himself, Secretary of State to _Innocentius_, and
oppressed with multitude of affairs, and the indisposition of his body,
was not free from this base Courtship; but that he might humour his
master, who was infinitely pleased to see _Donna Olympia_ obeyed, was
fain to go in person very often to wait upon her, and give her an account
of all the secret negotiations of the Court, and of every thing that
passed through his hands: after which she would from time to time, go to
the _Vatican_, followed with a numerous company of Coaches, and her hands
full of Papers, which she had already drawn up, as she would have them
pass, and there stay whole houres with the Pope, in discussing, and
ripening other business that was next to fall in order.

The wits of the Court seeing this, could not forbear so good a subject
for _Pasquins_, but made them with all sharpness, yet as secretly as they
could, they being well inform’d of the danger, oft exposing the defects
of those that Rule: and though every body were mov’d with indignation to
see the Pope so much mistake himself, as to preferre the company of a
Woman to that of his Nephew, and the Princess of _Rossana_ his Wife, the
only prop of the Family of _Pomphilio_; yet _Innocent_ was so
prepossessed against them, that he would not hear of his Nephewes
submissions and excuses.

These murmurs and satyrical Discourses were all this while, either
concealed from the Pope, or at least dissembled by him; as being
unresolved of the means that should bridle so many tongues, and stop the
mouthes of all Christendome; particularly, of the Protestants, who made
very good sport with this female Government, not only laughing at the
Pope, who by the assistance of the holy Ghost could not discern that
which was the ruin of his reputation and family, but also by immodest
representations, and contumehous pictures, giving the world to
understand, that they were fully informed of the disorders of the Church
of _Rome_.

But at last the Pope, not being able to endure any longer the secret
reproofs, and publick affronts which he received from Embassadours, and
Princes themselves, as well as from the greatest part of the Cardinals;
resolv’d to dismiss from the Court this ambitious sister in Law, whose
unbridled licence he had hitherto countenanced, and to take away from her
all sort of command and power.

Thus _Donna Olympia_ being banished from Court, and the _Vatican_ purged
of her corruptions, the Pope bethought himself of introducing a
Nipotismo, that the Church might not loose its prescription.

But before we begin to discourse of the particularities of this new
Nipotismo, it will not be amiss to give an account of all the Popes
kindred & relations, and begin with his nearest.  He had one Nephew, and
two Neeces, besides a sister, of whom we shall say but little as, well
because she led a Nuns life in a Convent, as, because that _Donna
Olympia_, out of a natural jealousie between Women, took care to keep her
from receiving any kindnesses or favours from the Pope.

                                * * * * *

The Prince _Camillo Pamphilio_, though after three years banishment, he
were at last recall’d to _Rome_ with his Lady, was nevertheless in so ill
a predicament with his Uncle, who never was able to forget those tales
which _Donna Olympia_ had continually entertained him with, to his
Nephews disadvantage, that he was in _Rome_, as if he had been at the
_Indies_, never coming neer the Pope or Court, at which he was not much
troubled, as one who cared not to be concern’d in business, and thought
himself happy enough in all private enjoyment of so lovely a Lady as his

Of the two sisters, the Popes Neeces, the eldest was married to _D.
Andrea Giustiniani_, who himself was a great favourite of fortune: For
the Marquess _Giustiniani_, a person of great quality and estate, seeing
himself without any heirs of his family and name, cast his Eyes by chance
upon this Gentleman who was then very poor and low, and though, as it
afterwards proved, he was of the same branch of the _Giustiniani_ with
the Marquess; yet it was at such a distance, that neither of them did
believe themselves at all a-kin; he was then thus fortunately instituted
Heir to a very great estate, by which means the way to _Grandeur_ being
made easie to him, he found no difficulty in obtaining in marriage the
neece of Cardinal _Pamphilio_, who being immediatly after chosen Pope,
the Prince _Giustiniani_ saw himself of a sudden become a part of the
_Roman_ Nipotismo, enjoying those honours and prerogatives which the
_Romans_ do use to observe towards persons of that quality.

But the Pope had no real kindness for him, and having given him some
profitable offices, refused to introduce him into the management of
business, but left him to play the good husband in his own estate.  And
indeed employments of another nature had been lost upon him, for besides
that he had alwayes retain’d something of his meanness when he was poor;
there was nothing laudable in him but a natural bounty; and the Pope
being well inform’d, did abstain from using his service in any thing of

The other sister was married to _Don Nicolo Ludovisio_, Prince of
_Piombino_, Nephew of _Gregory_ the fifteenth, and brother to that
Cardinal _Ludovisio_, who in _Gregory’s_ time govern’d all things.  This
prince had enclin’d to this match, out of an opinion of making great
advantages by it, as seeing at that time that Cardinal _Camillo_ was made
Cardinal, and altogether unfit for business, so that he flattered himself
with an opinion of being the only Nephew, and governing the Pope and

But when it came to the push, he found he had misreckoned; for _Donna
Olympia_, his mother in law, disappointed all his ambition by hers, not
being dispos’d to suffer that any body should rule but her self: So that
the Prince was reduced to a meer complacence and obedience to her
commands.  Neither was it to any purpose that sometimes he would complain
of the difficulties he found to be admitted to the Popes audience, and
receive those marks of kindness which seem’d due to so neer a relation,
for _Donna Olympia_ answer’d him in a haughty manner, That _it was honors
enough for him that he had been preferr’d to marry her Daughter before so
many competitors of as great a quality as himself_.  Whereupon the Prince
being unwilling to come to a rupture with one who had so great an
influence upon the Pope, would hold his tongue and be quiet.

Yet from time to time he was forced amongst his private friends, to give
a vent to his grief by telling them, That the Popes Alliance had brought
him into the disgrace of the _French_; whereupon his principality of
_Piombino_ was by them made a Theater of their fury, for not being able
to do the Pope mischeif openly, as they would have wished, they did
content their spight in ruining a place belonging to so neer a relation
as he was to the Pope.  So that the loss and dammage he receiv’d, by
being thus allyed was certain; whereas the advantages were uncertain and
inconsiderable, consisting only in some incomes from his place of General
of the Galleys, and some such offices which he little esteemed.

But when _Donna Olympia_ fell once from that heighth of favour, then this
Prince being very sure, that the Pope could not subsist without some body
to help him in so great a charge; and knowing himself to be in as neer a
degree as any body, and as fit for the employment, began to conceive
hopes of being called to Court, and admitted to the management of
business.  And here again, The poor Prince was deceived; for _Innocent_
had all along conceived such an ill opinion, and received from _Donna
Olympia_ such disadvantagious impressions of him, that he would never see
him, but when he had a mind to be merry, making the Prince serve as a
Buffoon to his diversion, and never so much as mentioning any serious
matter in his presence.

For all this the Popes relations were fully perswaded, That the Pope must
of necessity bestow the Title of Nephew upon some body; and seeing that
among his kindred none would please him, they went insinuating sometimes
one, sometimes another into the Popes affections. Innocent of his side
was in perpetual conferences with Cardinal _Pantiallo_ about the same
business, so that every hour of the day they were examining the good
qualities of one or other to choose the most deserving.

In this scarcity of subjects fit for the employment, the Prince
_Ludovisio_ thought, that the honour might fall upon the person of
Cardinal _Albergati_, who went by the name of _Ludovisio_, but he soon
found an exclusion in the Popes mind, as being ignorant and uncapable of
such a place.

The Jesuite _Fabio Albergati_, brother to the said Cardinal, was the
fitter man, as being endowed with learning, experience, and great wisdome
in the managing of business; but the Pope declar’d, That he would not
make two brothers of the same family Cardinals.

So that at last, of all those that had been brought upon the Stage, there
remained none but he that Cardinal _Panzirolo_ brought on, who was a
prodigious off-spring of fortune, and the wonder of Christendome, which
was astonish’d to see a Pope so averse from his relations as to declare a
supposed Nephew for Cardinal, and Padrone: but before we engage in the
particularities of this singular event, we will say something to instruct
the Reader about it.

There never was acted upon the Theater of the Court of _Rome_ so
unexpected and strange a Scene, which therefore deserves to be reckoned
amongst the prodigious effects of Fortune; for the Pope having no
consanguinity with him, and he being without deserts, experience, or any
remarkable quality that might make him conspicuous, nay, being scarce
known, or at least not familiarly to the Pope; he was nevertheless of a
sudden exalted and promoted to the degree of Cardinal, Nephew, and
Padrone, as if he had been the head of the _Pamphilian_ Family: And to
deserve all this, there was no quality but that, being born of a Noble
Family, which nevertheless at that time was so far indebted and decayed,
that he was not to expect any assistance in his fortune from them.

His name, not to hold the _Lector_ any longer in suspense, was _Camillo
Astalli_, a young Gentleman of about seven and twenty years old, of a
comely aspect, and a handsome winning carriage, though guilty sometimes
of too many complements, and in a word accomplish’d, as they ordinarily
are, whose highest ambition carries them no further in _Rome_ then some
Office or Prelature.

And that which most surprized the Court, was to see one exalted thus,
under pretence of serving and helping the Pope in the administration of
State Affairs; one who was an absolute novice to all negotiations and
policy, by reason of the few occasions he had had to learn any thing of
that nature.

But the occasion of his coming to court and making himself known, was,
the alliance which the Marquess his brother had contracted with a Neece
of _Donna Olympia’s_, for she being ambitious had alwayes embrac’d the
occasions of marrying her relations into noble families, as having a
design to honour, by such props, her own family of _Maldachini_, to whom
that flower of nobility was denyed, which was an affliction to a Popes
sister in Law, and a sister in Law that govern’d with an absolute

As it fell out, it was very fortunate for the house of _Astalli_, that
they were allyed with her; because that they wanted riches to maintain
their gentility the more, since they had at the invitation of _Donna
Olympia_ bought the place of Clerk of the Apostolick chamber, which
office had absorb’d the greatest part of their Patrimony; so that, if by
chance the possessor of it did fail to make a fortune, or did dye
suddenly, the whole family did run the hazard of being begger’d for ever.

But all fell out luckily; for _Astalli_, having by meanes of his office
and alliance got an entrance into the Court, addicted himself
particularly to worship and court Cardinal _Panzirollo_, the Secretary of
State, who had a great Empire over the Pope; and that which was most
fortunate, was, that this Cardinal answer’d the young mans affection with
the like on his side, being gained by his obsequious carriage; at which
all the Court was much surprized, considering that Cardinal _Panzirollo_
had alwayes discovered an inveterate hatred against any one that was in
favour with _Innocent_.

Here the contrary fell out, for _Panzirollo_ made it his task, to
insinuate this young Gentleman into the Popes affections, which at last
he did so far, that the Pope was infinitely pleased with his comely garb
and handsome carriage; and when it came to be debated, whom he should
choose to ease him of a part of those cares and fatigues which accompany
the Popedom, seeing none of his own Relations qualified for the
Employment, he followed Panzirollo’s directions, and preferr’d this young
man before all the other pretendants; so without any more to do, he was
created Cardinal, declared Nephew, proclaim’d _Padrone_, and had the name
of _Pamphilio_ given him, together with the key of the Popes Closet, to
go out and in when he pleased.

As soon as this news was spread through _Rome_, the Politicians following
the humor of the Town, began to discourse of what would follow, and
endeavoured to penetrate the secret causes of the Popes aversion to his
Kindred, that should move him thus to set up a counterfeit Nephew: In the
mean time, the true _Nipotismo_ were all met in _Donna Olympia’s_ house,
there to condole with one another, upon this affront and shame which had
befallen them.

_Donna Olympia_, who above all was enraged at this so strange a mutation
of government, and who doubted not, as it was true, but that Cardinal
_Panzirollo_ was the Author of it, went to him, and shewed her resentment
in menaces and threats, with all the passion a woman was capable of.  The
Cardinal being satisfied, that he had obtained his desire, was not much
moved at her reproaches, and those of her kindred, but answering her with
his ordinary gravity and flegm, told her, _That things did not_, _as she
might think_, _depend upon his councels_, _but upon the Popes
inclinations_, _who lov’d to do what he pleased_, _and nothing else_.

All this while _Rome_ was in a perpetual vicissitude of tears and joy; of
joy, to hear the new counterfeit _Nipotismo’s_ transports; of grief and
sorrow, to hear the complaints of the old and real _Nipotismo_.

Ambassadours came laughing and merry from one Visit, to go sad and full
of tears to another.  The Priests, adherents to the old _Nipotismo_, said
Mass, and implored patience from Heaven for them in their sufferings; and
the flatterers of the new, offered thanksgivings, and prayed for help
from Heaven for the continuation of its power: while the new and false
_Nipotismo_ went triumphant through _Rome_, and received the respects of
every one, the true and real one was fain to sculk and lye close in the
shadow of its afflictions and disgrace.

The Railleries, the Pasquins, and the Discourses about this new way of
enriching the Church with a _Nipotismo_, were infinite, there being no
body that could imagine, from what Wits could spring so many different
Conceits, bad and good, as were publish’d upon this new subject.

The Cardinal _Sforza_, who had alwayes assum’d to himself the liberty of
saying any thing; as soon as he heard the news of this resolution of the
Popes, was the first that began to make _Pasquins_, for the next day, in
presence of four of the chiefest Cardinals of the Colledge, he said these
very words, _Now that the Pope_ Innocent _hath introduced the custome of
making false Nephews_, _the other Popes will never fail of Nephews_, _for
they will make whole Regiments of them_, _and fill with such a generation
our Colledge of Cardinals_.

But the words of a certain Prelate of _Parma_ were more sharp and biting,
which were these, _I foresee_, said he, _that one day the Popes will
throw Dice for their_ Nipotismo, _and take what comes uppermost_, _and so
the affairs of the Church will be managed at an adventure_.

Yet for all this, the new Nephew had all the interest of the Church and
State put into his hands, though with some limitation, for the Pope
communicated all things to him, and particularly matters of State; not so
much to lay the weight of them upon him, as to instruct him how he should
mannage them, for he durst not yet trust to his small experience, for
fear of being deceiv’d.  Thus _Astalli_ had properly nothing but the name
and honour of Cardinal _Padrone_, subscribing to all the Nuntioes,
Legates and Governours Commissions, and receiving Embassadours, when the
Pope was indisposed, though still with the obligation of reporting every
thing to his Holiness.

As long as Cardinal _Panzirollo_ liv’d, _Astalli’s_ fortune was
prosperous and good, because that the Popes kindred durst not by any
means go about to supplant him, though they hated him perfectly, knowing
that the Cardinals perswasions would still prevail with their Uncle more
then their credit; whereupon they dissembled their design, and, according
to the custom of _Rome_, seem’d to rejoyce for that thing which they most

But no sooner had Cardinal _Panzirollo_ yeilded up his last breath, but
_Astalli_ began to perceive the decay of his fortune, and to mistrust
that which afterwards befell him; for no sooner had this Cardinal shut
his eyes, but the Popes kindred went about to undo him, and easily
compass’d their intention, the Pope beginning to revive that affection,
which he had formerly born to his Sister in law.  One morning then, as
the Cardinal _Padrone_ was rising out of his bed, he receiv’d a Message
from the Pope, whereof the bearer told him, _That by his Holinesses Order
he was banished from_ Rome, _and forbidden the Popes presence for ever_;
_that he should lay aside the title of Cardinal_ Padrone, _and renounce
the name of Nephew as well as that of_ Pamphilio.  And in a word, not
only all his Revenue was seised on, but he could not get leave to
transport any thing of his houshold-stuffe or moveables.  So that the
poor Cardinal was fain to forsake _Rome_, seeing that all _wayes_ to
justifie himself were shut up, and all the favour he could obtain was,
that he might depart in the night, to avoid the derision and mocking of
the people.

The motive of this so severe a sentence, with which _Astalli_ was
treated, as if he had been guilty of high Treason, was this; The
_Barbarines_ having been recall’d and reconcil’d to the Pope, were now
great with him, and at their perswasion, _Innocent_ had begun to think of
taking the Kingdom of _Naples_ from the _Spaniard_; upon which subject
there were often Conferences held between him, the _Barbarines_, and his
Kindred, excluding still from their Counsels the Cardinal _Astalli_; who
thereby perceiving, that the Popes Kindness for him did begin to abate,
thought it would be prudently done, to provide in time some other
protection, that so his fall might be less, and he might have something
to hang by, which might hinder him from falling to the bottom of that
precipice, which was digging for him.

Having therefore penetrated into these secret designs of the Pope, he
gave the _Spaniards_ notice of them closely, and the advice came no
sooner to the Catholick Kings ears, but he immediately gave such Orders
in the Kingdom of _Naples_, as quite disappointed the _Barbarines_ plot,
by shutting that door, which was to give an entrance to the execution of
their design.

_Azzolini_, a Confident and Spy of _Donna Olympia’s_, took upon him to
discover who it was that had betrayed them, and after an exact search
found, that it could be no body but _Astalli_; whereupon the Pope
banish’d him, and made _Azzolini_ Cardinal for his recompence.

This sudden fall of the false Nephew opened all the mouthes in _Rome_,
who did not know of the reason of it, to exclaim against the Popes
inconstancy: but no sooner was the _Nipotismo_ down, but that _Donna
Olympia_ raised her self upon its ruines; for the Pope a weary of being
alone, call’d his Sister in Law once more to him, and gave her back again
all her former power, and more, if more could be, the true _Nipotismo_
remaining neglected, and despised in all these changes; for except some
Offices and Places which they got, they were little more advanced in the
Popes favour; and in those places, they had, it is true, a liberty of
getting money by all Arts, but still with the condition of dependance
upon _Donna Olympia_.

The avidity of the _Barbarines_ was but a shadow of what this Lady
perform’d in reallity; for under her government, Cardinalships,
Bishopricks, Abbies, Canonicates, and generally, all Church revenues were
sold, as in a Market, to him that bid most: She little cared how full the
Town was of murmurs, if her purse were full of Gold; and that which was
most intollerable was, that not only the meritorious and deserving people
were neglected, but banished from _Rome_.

There was no more talk then of the Pope, all the discourse was of _Donna
Olympia_, many taking occasion to say, _That it were fit likewise to
introduce the women to the administration of the Sacrament_, _since that_
Donna Olympia _was Pope_.

At last it pleased Almighty God to deliver the Church from so great a
scandal, and so unheard of one before this age, which gave so fair an
occasion to the Hereticks of inveighing against the Church of _Rome_,
with a great deal of reason.

_Innocent_ dyed in the year 1655. having reigned ten years, four months,
and some dayes; so that then the Sister in law, and the _Nipotismo_, were
fain to leave the _Vatican_ to the Pope that should be chosen, who was
_Alexander_ the seventh, who now lives and rules the Church.

The Cardinals thought of little less then of making _Alexander Pope_, who
went by the name of _Fabio Chigi_ of _Siena_, not that he was destitute
of those qualities which make a Cardinal worthy of that Elevation, but
because that he was newly made Cardinal, and too young to be a
Competitour for such a place; with all this, after three moneths time
employed in the Conclave, he was at last chosen, when he thought least of

As soon as the news was spread in the Town, people began to discourse
about the new _Nipotismo_, which was to govern the City, the State, and
the Church; and there many began to reckon up such a number of kindred,
that they affirm’d, there would not be room for them in _Rome_ it self,
much less was the Popedom sufficient to enrich such a company of hungry
Relations, and raise a family, which, though of antient Nobility, was
nevertheless very poor.

The ambitious, and those that desir’d to be in favour with these new
Masters, rid post to _Siena_, not only to carry this happy news, but also
to have the priviledge of offering their service first.

_Don Mario_, the Popes brother, as soon as he heard of his exaltation,
immediately, without so much as putting on new clothes, as his Wife would
have had him, caused a Horse to be sadled, and with two servants took his
journey towards _Rome_; having first receiv’d from one and the other a
number of submissive complements, not without the title of Excellence.

He was thus going on, and making Castles in the Air; insomuch that he did
scarce see those that came to meet him on his way, seeming a man in an
extasie, and a body without a soul, which without doubt was gone before
to take possession of his future greatness; when at some miles distance
from _Siena_, he met a Gentleman, from the Pope, with Letters to him, in
which his Holiness did most strictly command, that neither he, nor any of
his Relations should stir from _Siena_ to go towards _Rome_, under pain
of incurring their brothers indignation for ever.

At this news, the poor _Don Mario_ was as if he had been thunder-struck;
so that if at first he seemed a body without a soul, it was almost true
now, for all his blood retired to his heart, and left him pale, like a
Ghost, though otherwise corpulent enough; he was in doubt whether he
should infringe these so severe commands, and continue on his way, or
else obey and go home again; the first seemed dangerous, the second
shameful; but at last, after some reluctancy within himself, he resolv’d
to return by night to _Siena_, being asham’d to enter the City by day.

Being come home he communicated his Letter to all the kindred; and though
it seemed a very severe one to them, yet had they some little glimpse of
hope in the ambiguous sense of these words, _Do not stir from_ Siena, _in
no wise_, _till you receive a new Order from us_: from this they took
occasion, not to despair of their fortune, guessing, that this proceeding
was not a defect of kindness in the Pope, but some new politick trick.

                                * * * * *

The Great Duke of _Florence_, in the mean time, forgot not to send a
Gentleman to visit _Don Mario_, and to present him with such things, as
he thought they might need in that occasion; and by his example, many
Cardinals and Princes did the same thing; particularly, all the persons
of quality of _Tuscany_ failed not, every one of them, to wait upon the
family of the _Chigi_.  ’Tis true, that the Popes Order carried, _that
they should not change their way of living_, _nor receive visits as his
Relations_; but that was too hard to be executed, since it was not in
their power, to hinder those that had a mind to it, from doing them that

                                * * * * *

The Republick of _Venice_, whose maxime it is to keep the Popes for
friends (though they often have been so ungrateful, and so little
sensible of the service that this State does to the Church and all
_Christendom_, as to trouble its quiet) having receiv’d the news of the
election, assembled the Senate, to deliberate of the demonstrations of
joy, which they should shew to the Pope.

There it was resolved unanimously, _That the House of_ Chigi _should be
declared Noble of_ Venice, _with all the Prerogatives that the Senate
uses to bestow on such occasions_; which was done accordingly, and the
Letters Patent were sent to the Pope and his kindred in _Siena_, with the
usual formes, being followed immediately after by a solemn and stately

Thus the Popes kindred did receive continually great honour in _Siena_,
though it were some mortification to them, to see themselves depriv’d of
that command and authority, which they thought did belong to them, _de
jure_, as being a Popes Relations.

In the mean time, this neglect and denial, which the Pope seem’d to make
of his dearest Kindred, got him such a reputation through the world, that
nothing was more discoursed of, then of his holiness and purity of life;
the vulgar did expect no less then miracles from him; and hearing say,
that he had alwayes upon his table a dead mans Scull, and under his bed
his Coffin, they could not choose, but be confirmed in the opinion of his

But the wiser sort, and the judicious, were not so easily deceiv’d; but
reckoning, that it was either policy, or a particular melancholy, which
had flown into the Popes head, but had not root in his heart, they
alwayes said, _Let us see what the end will be_.

And indeed, after some time it was observed, that the Pope did as the
Traveller, who being in a small vessel, which was surpriz’d by a terrible
storm at Sea, resolv’d, that he might save his life, to throw all that he
had into the Sea, having then tyed his baggage with a rope, he threw it
over board, but still kept in his hand, the end of the rope to which his
baggage was tyed.  Just thus did _Alexander_, for though it seemed to the
eyes of the vulgar, that he had despised and thrown over board his
Kindred, yet from time to time he would hold out his hand, and send them
money, and all other things that were necessary, there passing never a
day, but they had news from him, and he from them.

And once particularly (and this is a thing which I am an eye witness of;
neither do I think, that _Don Mario_ himself can deny it, if he will be
sincere) the Pope feigning to send them some Mules, loaden with Wax for
certain Churches, sent them indeed Mules loaden with money; which cheat
was so great, that the Muletiers themselves perceiv’d it, complaining of
the extraordinary heaviness of their burdens; and indeed, what should
they have done with so much Wax, for there would have been enough, if it
had been really Wax, to have lighted the _French_ Court a whole year.

Another time, he took an occasion of sending some Silver vessels, and
some Silk stuffs, to be employed in Ornaments for Churches, with order,
that they should be recommended to _Don Mario_, to dispose of them
according to the Popes intention; but _Don Mario_, in opening the boxes,
found above four Purses full of Gold, Gold all newly coin’d, with the
Stamp of the Popes-head upon them.

The Embassadours of Princes, and the Cardinals, having perceiv’d, that
all this apparent aversion to his Kindred, was but jugling and
hypocrisie, made it their business, to induce him by prayers and
entreaties to change his resolution; particularly, having observ’d, that
the Popes design was, to be thus urged and pressed, that he might gain
reputation in the world, and be furnished with an excuse, whensoever, at
their request, he should introduce his banished Relations.  And indeed,
they had gain’d so much upon him, that he did begin to hearken to their
reasons with a milder countenance, and less reluctancy: Yet there was one
thing which hindred him from coming to the execution of this his design,
which was the Oath he had taken before the Crucifix in the beginning of
his Popedom, not to receive his Kindred in _Rome_; but the Jesuites, who
were his Confessors, and who are as subtle Philosophers as learned
Casuists, found out an evasion, which much pleased his Holiness; for it
gave him leave to comfort his kindred, to yield to the Prayers and
Sollicitations of Princes, and to ease himself of a part of the weight
and cares of government.

They told him then, that indeed it would have been a breach of his Oath,
to receive his kind in _Rome_; but that he might, with a safe conscience,
go and meet them half a dayes journey of _Rome_, and so not at all
endanger his soul: was much liked, and put in execution by the _Pope_,
though it seemed to the Court a ridiculous evasion, which became the
subject of their laughter and drollery for a great while.

The Pope being then at last resolved, Orders were dispatch’d to _Siena_
to the _Nipotismo_, which was there assembled, in expectation of this
news as if they had waited for Manna from Heaven.  So _Don Mario_, his
Wife and Children, and _Don Agostino_, with a numerous attendance, left
_Siena_ and took their journey towards _Calstel Gandelfe_, a House of
pleasure of the Popes, where they met his Holiness, who receiv’d them,
and embraced them with the greatest demonstrations affection and kindness
that was possible; and after some short stay there, came back to _Rome_
with them in triumph.

                                * * * * *

In the interim, it is worth the Readers curiosity, to be inform’d of an
accident that befell _Padre Pallavicino_, the Popes Confessor, a Jesuite,
in hopes of obtaining a Cardinal Cap, which at last he got, had
undertaken to write the Story of the Councel of _Trent_; which indeed may
justly be call’d his, for the greatest part of it is not history and
relation, but an abundance of words, which he endeavours to prove, that
the history of _Fra. Paulo_, upon the same subject, was and is false, but
he stumbles at every step he goes, and is so ill furnish’d with
Arguments, that for my part I must confess, that I never believ’d _Fra.
Paulo’s_ History to be real, sincere and true, but since I read the
Jesuites: and he that will profit by them let him read them both with an
equal disinteressment.

Now in this History, Father _Palavicino_ had taken occasion to praise the
Pope _Alexander_ in divers places, and extoll him to the Skyes, as an
Angel rather then a man, for denying his own blood and relations, and
keeping them at such a distance from him.

The sheets were printed, and the book was coming out, when the Pope went
to receive his kindred at Castle Gandolfe, and had brought them to
_Rome_: This cast the Father into a strange perplexity; and the rather,
because that the Pope, before he undertook his journey, had asked him his
advice about the business as being his Confessour; seeing himself in a
strange Labyrinth, he was mightily confounded; for if he councelled him
to receive them, that was to give his book the lye; and if he exhorted
him to continue in his first resolution, that was the way to offend the
Pope and his Kindred, and lose all his own fortune.

At last he resolved:

Which he did, by counselling the Pope to receive his kindred, and by
printing over again those sheets which made mention of the Popes
alienation from all humane affections.  But the Printer refused to do it
at his expences; so that the good Father was fain to have recourse to
some of his devout Children, who out of charity payed for the reprinting
of about twenty sheets.

                                * * * * *

No sooner had this new _Nipotismo_ taken possession of the _Vatican_, but
the people began to murmur against the Pope, making Pasquins, and setting
them up in every street.  Thus he, who before was a Saint and an Angel,
was now become an Hypocrite and a Devil; and the belief of the _Romans_,
concerning the Popes infallibility, was much changed, from that which
they had receiv’d before from the Divines; for now they believ’d at
least, that if the Pope could not erre by himself, yet his Nephews could
make him erre: The Pope, who was before ador’d by the common people,
became now contemptible, insomuch, that going one day to consecrate the
Church of the _Peace_, which had been rebuilt by him he receiv’d a vile
affront; for the Curate of that Church, having rais’d a triumphal Arch
before it, over which was the Popes Picture, with this Inscription,
_Orietur in diebus nistris justitia & abundantia pacis_, some bold
persons had the conscience to put an _M_ before _orietur_, and change the
_C_ of _pacis_ into an _N_; so that then there was, _Monrictur __in
diebus nostris justitia & abundantia ranis_.  In the Academy of the Wits,
they did recite and show Epigrams, which were very offensive to the Popes
and his Families reputation, though all were allegorically veil’d over:
In a word, they were counted the most ingenious, who could invent the
sharpest sayings upon the introduction of the _Nipotismo_.

But before we go any further, it will not be amiss, to see in what
persons, and how qualified, the _Nipotismo_ did consist: And I consider
it in two wayes, that which is nearest in consanguinity, and another,
which is related at a greater distance, and we will omit the women, that
we may not be mistaken by so great a number as there would be with them.

Six Males from that _Nipotismo_, which is of a very near consanguinity to
the Pope, that is, speaking of those that have at this present part in
the government of _Rome_, and omitting the little children.

These are then first, _Don Mario_, the Popes eldest brother; the Cardinal
_Flavio Chigi_, who is, _Don Mario’s_ Son; _Don Agostino_, and _Don
Sigismond_, who are Brothers, and Sons of another of the Popes Brothers,
who dyed before _Alexander’s_ exaltation to the Popedom; and two other
Brothers, who are Sons to one of the Popes Sisters that was married in
the family of the _Bichi_; so that in all, there are one Brother, and
five Nephews, which make a pretty compleat _Nipotismo_.

_Don Mario_ is five years older then the Pope, and though by consequence
he be threescore and ten, yet he is strong and lusty.  The Pope and he
are very different in their constitution, humour, and actions; for the
first is tall, the other low; the Pope is inclin’d to learning, _Don
Mario_ is strangely ignorant; the Pope is lean, and _Don Mario_ is fat;
the Pope is noble and generous, and _Don Mario_ is covetous and
miserable, thinking of nothing, but of gathering and heaping together of
money, little troubling himself at the peoples murmurings; and yet they
cry out more against him, then ever they did against _Don Tadeo_, nay,
more then they did against _Donna Olympia_ her self; he hath invented so
many new subtleties to get money out of those Offices which are
ordinarily bestowed upon the Popes nearest Relations, that the
_Barbarines_, who thought themselves masters in that Craft, do remain
astonish’d to see themselves outdone by a new beginner.

The Pope shewes him the respect due to an elder Brother, and that is all;
’tis true, that of late he hath afforded him more liberty, and a greater
share in the Government then he was wont to have, and he uses it to his
advantage, missing no occasion to improve his fortune; nay, he is so
passionately bent to getting, that he ordinarily uses to say of a thing
he does not like, _There is nothing to be got there_.

The good opinion which the Pope hath of his integrity, is the poison
which corrupts all the present Government; for being prepossess’d to his
advantage, he lets him do any thing, so he do but maintain plenty of Corn
and Meat in _Rome_, and keep the people from murmuring; but things do not
go well, nor with any honour to the Pope, for if _Don Mario_ was honest
and sincere in _Siena_, he no sooner came to _Rome_, but he chang’d his
nature, and made it his business to grow rich by any means whatsoever;
though the people send their cryes up to Heaven against him, they come
not to the Popes eares, who all this while thinks, that _Don Mario_ of
_Rome_ is _Don Mario_ of _Siena_, and there’s the mischeif.

The Cardinal _Flavio Chigi_ his Son deserves neither to be praised, nor
blamed for any thing that regards the Government of the Church, in which
he is little concern’d; for having the Title of _Padrone_, or _Master_,
he exercises his mastership in taking his pleasure, avoiding with all
possible means to have any hand in business, least he should perplex his
mind, and be diverted from the taste of sensual delights, to which he
hath given himself up.

In his Uncles last fit of sickness, that he might not be liable to the
imputation of ignorance or incapacity, he bestirr’d himself pretty well,
and perform’d the duties belonging to so important a place as his is.
His assiduity and care appeared much, and the Embassadours, and people of
business were pretty well satisfyed with the goodwill he shewed, being
the apter to bear with the smallness of his sufficiency.

But as soon as his Uncle was upon his feet again, the Nephew began to
withdraw his neck from the yoke, and not only gave over giving of
audience, but feigned himself sick, that no body might trouble him.  ’Tis
true, that he was really so sometimes out of debauchery, and is forced to
keep his bed in good earnest.  The Physicians then do never acquaint the
Pope with the true cause of his indisposition, though often question’d
upon it, because they are afraid of irritating him against his Nephew;
who on his side gives them large presents to oblige them to secresie.

He doth not much care to gather riches and treasure, for three reasons.
The first is, because his Father is already too much enclin’d that way.
The second, because he hath no desire to leave any thing to his Cozen
_Don Agostino_.  And the third, because he hath no Nephewes to provide
for, that branch of his family ending in him.  So that he is content with
the revenue of his place, which is above 200000 Crowns a year, which he
spends nobly amongst his Comerades and Mistresses; it being a common
report, that he hath already half a dozen Bastards by divers Courtisans;
but for my part I believe they belie him, and lay their children to his
charge, as being the ablest to keep them.  He would without doubt enjoy
his health better then he does if he were temperate, for he is not above
five and thirty years old, of a Sanguine temper, with a good mixture of
Melancholy, the colour of his beard and haire being the same with his

In his Legation in _France_ he got reputation, shewing himself noble and
splendid, as also liberal on divers occasions; and certainly he would
have been prodigal in his presents, if those Prelates that were with him
had not counsel’d him to the contrary; so that he indeed lived after the
_French_ fashion, but his dependants after the _Italian_, that is,

_Don Agostino_, Son to _Augusto Chigi_, and _Don Sigismond_, his Brother,
are much in the Popes favour, and he hath for him much more real love,
then for _Don Mario_, or the Cardinal _Flavio_ his Son.

Of _Don Sigismond_ there is little to be said, only that the Pope doth
every day bestow upon him some considerable benefice, waiting only till
he be of age to make him Cardinal, being now in the year 1667 but 17
years old, which keeps the Pope from admitting him to that honour, though
it is thought, that in the first promotion he will not fail to be created
Cardinal, and indeed with great deal more reason then Cardinal
_Maldachini_ who was promoted for _Donna Olympia’s_ sake, at 18 years
old, though much more unworthy of it then _Don Sigismondo_.  ’Tis
thought, that if the Pope should dye before he were made Cardinal, his
inclinations would rather encline him to marriage then to a Batchelors
life.  But I am not of that opinion, for _Don Agostino_ his Brother hath
prevented him in that, by giving, and procuring for him no other but
Church Revenues; as Abbyes, and other Benefices, of which, if he should
go to marry, he must be devested, and then he would be so poor that he
would not meet with a match suitable to his quality.

As for _Don Agostino_, Fortune seems to have espoused his interest; for
from his first coming to _Rome_ till this present time, all things have
succeeded very Prosperously, and much to his satisfaction, having met
with a match according to his desire, and a principality, which was his
hearts wish; so he hath nothing left to long for.

This abundance of content hath so taken possession of his Soul, that it
hath quite blotted out the remembrance of his former poor condition,
insomuch that being puff’d up with pride and insolence, he scornes to
take notice of the civilities that the Gentlemen of _Rome_ offer him when
he goes through the streets; whereupon he hath contracted the Names of
haughty and arrogant, and with them the hatred of almost all the

He never had any inclination to learning; but he hath a good natural
disposition for all those exercises which become a Gentleman, and in
which he behaves himself very handsomly; he is about 30 years of Age, of
a jovial disposition, loving company and mirth, and little troubling
himself to purchase riches and treasure, being sure that there are enough
to do it for him.

And indeed _Don Mario_, and the rest of the kindred, think of getting
what they can every one for themselves; but the Pope takes no care, but
for _Don Agostino_, whose purse he has resolv’d to fill as full as he
can; and we may conjecture of the Popes tender affection for _Don
Agostino_ by three things which he hath done for him since his coming to

The first was, that the Nipotismo had no sooner taken possession of the
Vatican, but it pretended to give Lawes, not only to _Rome_, but to the
Pope himself, and that in the dispensation of his favours to: and thus it

_Don Mario_, the Popes elder brother, being the head of the Family, did
pretend, that one being to marry to preserve the Family, it did belong to
his Son _Flavio_, and the rather, because his inclination did lead him
that way; but the Pope, who had a great affection for the memory of his
brother _Augusto_, refused to condescend to _Don Mario’s_ desire, but
declared _Flavio_ Cardinal Padrone, and resolved to marry _Don Agostino_,
little troubling himself at his elder brothers grumbling.

From hence sprung some dissention, which from day to day encreases
between the family of _Don Agostino_, and that of _Don Mario_, to the
Popes great discontent, who to sweeten a little the bitterness of this
Pill, gave _Don Mario_ leave to call his Daughters, and their husbands to
_Rome_; where he desir’d they should be respected as his Relations, and
he accorded to _Don Agostino_, that his brother _Sigismond_ might also be
sent for, to whom he gave good Church Revenues.  This seem’d to have
pleased them all, and exteriourly they shewed content and satisfaction,
but secretly, and in their hearts, they do like right _Italians_, that
is, preserve the memory of their injuries, and a desire to be reveng’d.
And to begin; The Cardinal _Flavio_ little cares to get riches; and if he
do get, he spends it most prodigally, being resolved to leave _Don
Agostino_ as little as he can.

This dissipation which the Cardinal makes of his revenue, cannot choose
but displease _Don Agostino_, seeing that it is not so much the Cardinals
inclinations, as a desire to offend him that causes this prodigality;
whereupon he infers likewise, that that vast heap of treasure which _Don
Mario_ hath got together, will not be for him, but for his Daughters, who
are married into others Families; and I believe in this he is not
mistaken, for _Don Mario’s_ affection to his Daughters is very great.

The Pope in the mean time can scarce show any kindness to any one of
them; but it is presently taken ill by the others.  _Doth my Cozen_,
sayes _Don Agostino_, _think it so inconsiderable a thing to be Cardinal_
Padrone, _and mannage all State affairs_, _to have the disposal of all
favours at Court_, _to treat with Embassadours_, _to have the keyes of
the Popes Closet_, _to govern the Chancery and Secretary at his
pleasure_?  _What can he desire more then to be a second Pope_!

But the Cardinal answers all this by saying, that the care of business,
and the Title of _Padrone_ are not things given him out of a design to
honour him, for they are his perpetual torment, and keep him from rest in
the day time, and sleep in the night.  _But doth my Cozen_, sayes the
Cardinal, _think it little to have been made Prince of a Principality
hereditary to his Family_, _to have married a lovely Princess_, _with the
enjoyment of all pleasures_, _the applause of the Court_, _and the
liberty of living as he pleases_? _are these things to be compared to the
weight of a Cardinals employment_, _in whose death all dyes with him_,
_and hath not the satisfaction to see himself re-produced in this world_?

In these duels of competition is the present Nipotismo perpetually
engaged; depriving themselves of the enjoyment of that happiness which
their good fortune hath so liberally bestowed upon them.  ’Tis true, that
these complaints are made but to their neerest friends and confidents.

_Don Agostino_, to say true, is much more in the right, then the
Cardinal, the Pope being much more oblig’d to advance him then any of
them; for he is Son to that _Augusto_, brother of the Pope, who
maintain’d the Pope at his expenses in the University, supplying him
afterwards with good summes of mony from time to time, without which he
had undoubtedly been stopt in his course, and never been able to arrive
to that pitch of Grandeur he is now in: Therefore _Don Mario_ is unjust,
and _Don Agostino_ very just in his complaints; for the kindness which
the Pope receiv’d from his Father, can expect no less then a Noble
retribution to the Son, whereas all that the Pope doth for _Don Mario_
and his Son, ’tis out of pure favour, without any desert.

These jealousies, however they may be prejudicial to the Popes Family,
yet are they very advantagious to the Church; for if they were all
agreed, woe would be to _Rome_, and the Church: such would be sucked by
them all, like so many Bees; but being divided, they stand in fear of one
another, and dare not do unbeseeming actions: for while _Don Mario_ would
have all to himself, and leave nothing for his Nephew, and that on the
other side, the Nephew would have all for himself, and deprive his Uncle
and Cozen of their share, they hinder one another, and _Rome_ and the
Church fare the better for it.

The second demonstration of singular affection, which the Pope bears to
_Don Agostino_, is his Marriage: for as soon as he saw him, he liked him
so well, that he resolv’d to match with the greatest fortune of Rome,
which was then the Princess _Borghese_, daughter to the Princess of
_Rossano_, very rich, and having but one sickly brother, and therefore
looked upon as an heiress; but however, her portion was two hundred
thousand crowns in mony, besides the hereditary estate, which was in her
brothers hands.

This match did not at first succeed with that easiness that was imagin’d,
though the Pope employed in the compassing of it, the Jesuites Rhetorick;
for the Prince Uncle, to the young Lady, had a greater inclination for
the Son of the Great Constable _Colonna_, an accomplish’d young
Gentleman, and already much in the Ladies favour.  Therefore to avoid the
match, he pretended, that indeed he did take it as a great honour to have
his Neece so allyed to his Holiness, but did desire to see _Don Agostino_
better provided for, and in possession of some eminent rank in the world,
that his neece might still maintain the degree of Princess she had
already.  Upon this the Pope did every day straine himself to make his
Nephew appear greater and greater, giving places of great profit and
honour, and endeavouring to buy him a Principality, which at last he
effected; and though it were some disgust to him to see the Prince stand
thus upon his termes, and make no other account of the honour of his
Alliance; yet seeing that there was not in _Rome_ such another match to
be found out, he did continually keep some Irons in the fire.  Above all
others, Father _Palavicinio_ a Jesuite did bestir himself in it, and as
he was one day pressing the Prince, who told him, that _Don Agostino_ was
not yet sufficiently provided for; he answer’d, _If the Pope should dye
to day_ Don Agostino _would have ready money enough_, _to buy ten

While things were thus treating, the Prince _Borghese_, Tutour to the
young Lady, died suddenly, so that she fell into the Tutelage of the
Princess her Grandmother, a Lady of incomparable Piety, and one who
shames by her good life, even the Nuns themselves, she does so much
outdoe them.

The Princess of _Rossano_ is her Daughter, and Mother to the young Lady,
and she to get the Popes favour, and have some part in the _Vatican_,
which she hath alwayes been ambitious of, accepted the Propositions, and
contributed much to the Conclusion of the Match, which was almost broke
off, in which _Don Agostino_ hath a great deal of reason to be happy,
having a lovely, handsome Lady, with two hundred thousand Crowns to her

The Pope was transported with joy; and being naturally generous, he
resolv’d that the wedding should be kept with all the magnificence
imaginable, having assigned to _Don Agostino_ a hundred thousand Crowns
for the expences of it, which he accordingly layed out most nobly.
Besides this summe which was spent in Bals, Feastings, and Banquets, he
presented the Bride with Diamonds, Pearls, and the Rose, which every year
is given to some Princess to the value of 20000 Crowns, and yet in this
very time the Catholick Religion was much endanger’d in _Germany_.

_Don Agostino_ after his wedding was over became so arrogant, that not
being able to contain his passion, he was heard to say these words, _That
he had a greater joy to have got the better of his Rival_ Colonna, _then
to have obtain’d so great a Princess for Wife_: which coming to the
_Colonnesses_ Ears, the Constable the Father made answer, That _his Son
had reason to have desir’d the Princess_, _because he had merit enough to
obtain her_; _but that_ Don Agostino _was beholding to his Uncles
authority_, _without which he had never had her_.

And indeed the young _Colonna_ lost nothing by staying; three or four
year after he married Cardinal _Mazarines_ Neece, the Princess _Maria
Mancini_, a most accomplish’d Lady, and one who brought him above a
hundred thousand Crowns to her portion.

As for the third demonstration of the Popes love to _Don Agostino_, it
appear’d in the great ardour and desire he showed to make him a Prince;
’tis true, that the articles of Marriage carried, that out of the Ladies
portion there should be bought a Principality, as if _Don Agostino_ had
not so much deserv’d the Princess as the Popes Nephew, as in the
consideration of his being a Prince which was a little infamous to the

And yet for all this the Pope would not suffer that the Principality
should be bought out of the Princesse’s portion, but with a new
generosity gave to _Don Agostino_ seventy thousand Crowns, with which he
bought the Principality of _Farneze_, in the Patrimony of St. _Peter_,
and was declared Prince, not only by the Pope, but by the Emperour, the
said Principality being a feef of the Empire.

To these three effects of kindness adde the desire that the Pope hath to
gather riches for _Don Agostino_, for whom he knowes that none of the
rest will provide, and certainly you will conclude him to be a very
loving Uncle.

The other two Nephews are, as I have said, Sons to one of the Popes
sisters, married in the Family of _Bichi_; one of whom is Cardinal and
Bishop of _Osimo_; and the other Knight of _Malta_, and General of the
Popes Gallies.

The Cardinal at his first coming to _Rome_ was not very acceptable to the
Pope; as well because he thought he had done enough in promoting him to
the dignity of Cardinal, as, because he wanted capacity for any high
employment.  ’Tis true, that he had not been long at Court, but he began
to lay aside a certain simplicity, which seemed natural to him, and with
which he govern’d very well his Bishoprick, and endeavour’d to learn the
Arts of Government and Negotiation, whereupon his Cozen _Floro_ gave a
good Character of him to the Pope, not out of any design to oblige him,
but out of a lazy principle which made him glad to find out any body upon
whom he might lay a part of his burden, and this recommendation was not
without good effects for Cardinal _Bichi_, for since that time the Pope
hath admitted him into divers particular Congregations, and does make use
of him in some occurrences, but very seldome the said Cardinal, being not
in truth a man of any great wisdome.

The other Brother, who is Prior of his Order, and General of the Popes
Galleys seems to be more favourably looked upon for the Pope; often calls
him to him, and grants him many more favours then to the other.

This Gentleman hath got a great reputation in the World of a very
ingenious person, and well versed in all Sciences, but for my part I
could never find out the root, whence did spring so much desert, for he
never did any thing in the world worthy an applause: he hath been sent
above four times with his Galleys to the help of the _Venetians_ in
_Candia_, where he never did any thing like a Knight of _Malta_; for he
was alwayes afraid of fighting, even when he was cover’d by the
_Venetian_ Galleys, who alwayes were the first that engaged their lives
and honour.

And all this proceeded, because he did not trust his people that he had
aboard; and he did not trust them, because he knew they had reason to
hate him, as having defrauded them of their pay; for he did appropriate
to himself most of that mony which the Pope allowed for the entertaining
of his Soldiers and Stewes, who never were worse provided for then under
this Noble Gentlemans command.

But I think that it is the complements which the prior _Bichi_ makes to
every body that deceives them, and they are so taken with his Civility as
naturally the _Romans_ are, that they in revenge give him those qualities
which he is far from possessing.

His intention is to be Cardinal, whereupon every time he goes to see his
brother he puts on his Brothers red Hat, and tryes it, to see how it sits
upon his head.  But I am afraid he will loose his longing; for the
Nipotismo of the _Chigi_ are much against it; and the Pope himself hath
declar’d that he will not make two Brothers Cardinals at the same time.
Withall this the Prior Courts his Cozens with the profoundest respect,
and the greatest submission that the lowest Courtier in _Rome_ would
employ, and all to no purpose; for they all see that he aimes at the red
Cap, which they are resolv’d to hinder him from attaining.  And the
reason why they are so averse to his promotion is, because they know him
to be humorous, and apt to sow discord and dissention amongst them, which
I believe he would go neer to do, if he had the liberty of talking, which
a Cardinal hath.

Now if we will say something of the Women, who also serve to make up the
Nipotismo, we must begin with the Lady _Berenice Don Mario’s_ Wife.

This Lady is of the Noble Family of _La Civia_, one of the considerablest
of the City of _Siena_, but ill provided for by Fortune.  Her husband
loves her, and indeed she hath qualities that do deserve his love, being
very witty, and civil, she had not been two year in _Rome_, but she was
mistress of all the Court Arts, and way of living, to the great
satisfaction of Embassadors, and Princes; who according to the custome of
the Court go to wait upon her sometimes, where they are not a little
surpriz’d to hear her discourse so well and easily of things which they
only which have been bred all their life amongst Queens and Princesses
can talk of, and they are the more pleased, because she does shew amidst
all this capacity a great deal of modesty, which gaines the affection and
respect of those that have occasion to treat with her.

_Don Mario_ her Husband is above eighteen years older then she, who is
not above three and fifty, and is so fresh at that age, that one would
scarce give her forty, she being subject to no infirmity at all.  At her
first coming to _Rome_, the Pope declar’d, that he would see her very
seldome, giving her leave to demand any favour by her Husbands means, but
nothing by word of mouth; and he did this to show, what a horrour he had
for that impudence, with which _Donna Olympia_ used the Pope _Innocent_,
to his great dishonour, and is thought, that one of the great reasons,
that made this Pope keep his Kindred at such a distance for a great
while, was, because he was afraid of bringing his Brothers Wife into the
_Vatican_ with his Brother, the very name of a Sister in law being a most
odious thing to the _Romans_, for _Donna Olympia’s_ sake; but indeed,
_Donna Berenice_ is another sort of woman, and one who shews modesty and
reservedness in all her carriage, being unwilling to meddle with any
thing to which she is not call’d.

There is nothing to be said of this Ladies Daughters, except that the
Popedom is come in good time into the Family of the _Chigi_, for else
they and their Husbands had been brought very low; for when they were
married they had nothing, and their Husbands but very little, which was
almost consum’d by the charge of children coming on every day.

The Pope, to content the Father and Mother, gave these Ladies leave to
appear in _Rome_, where they were receiv’d and treated very obligingly,
by their brother the Cardinal _Padrone_, and were also visited by all the
_Roman_ Nobility, and by the Ambassadours and Princes.

_Don Agostino_ was also very kind to them, though with reserve, being
somewhat jealous to see them so near the Pope, whose benevolence and good
will he would fain ingross for the Masculine line of the Family: And in
publick the Pope did not give any demonstrations of particular favour to
them, that he might not increase _Don Agostino’s_ jealousies, and the
Courts murmurs; but in private he bestowed upon each of them three
thousand Crowns; and in giving them this money, he said two or three
times, That _what he did was out of charity_; _and that it was not his
design to dissipate and spend the Churches Revenue upon his Kindred_: And
these Ladies, who were born in _Siena_, and not in _Spain_, were not so
scrupulously addicted to preserve the honour of their Gentility, as to
refuse such Almes, as a _Spaniard_ would have done: And I believe,
Reader, that you would be of the same mind, and be well pleased, if any
body would give you a good sum of money, for the love of God, and out of
pure charity.

Besides this, _Don Mario_, and his Lady, have without doubt, been liberal
to them out of that heap of Treasure, which they so well know how to get
together; so that these Ladies journey to _Rome_, hath been, no doubt, a
golden journey for them, which we may conjecture, by the state they live
in now at _Siena_, having bought divers Lands and Houses.

This is all that hitherto can be said of this _Nipotismo_: But besides
these, the Pope hath another _Nipotismo_, of a remoter consanguinity; who
are so many, that they are innumerable; and the Pope hath been hitherto
averse to their coming to _Rome_, I believe, because he is unwilling to
disoblige the nearest _Nipotismo_; but if his Pontificate last, as it is
thought it may, the Pope, who is naturally inclin’d to do good, may by
little and little give them a share in his good fortune, by Employments,
Benefices, or some wayes.

Neither doth the Pope for all this, set aside his own content, which is,
to erect noble Buildings and stately Edifices, wherefore he hath doubled
the Workmen, in that vast Enterprize of Saint _Peter’s_ Church, being
very desirous to see it finished; and having often said to some
Cardinals, his Confidents, that he should not dye content, if he dyed
before that were ended.

The _Nipotismo_ is strangely displeased at this expensive humour of the
Popes, seeing him every day changing and streightning some Street, and
mending some publick Edifice, for they would that that money were spared
for them and the family of the _Chigi_.  Some dayes ago, Don Mario, and
Don Agostino, went about to put some other less expensive design into the
Popes head, and particularly to oblige him, to give over the Porch of
Saint _Peter_, which is of so vast a charge: but the Pope is not to be
remov’d from his inclination, and takes it very ill, that they should
controul him in his pleasure, he, who not only doth not controul them,
but hath given them all the means they have; and he persists in this
resolution the rather, because he is resolved to have the glory of this
Enterprize, and not leave it to his Successour, who by a little addition
would perfect so great a Work, and then place his Armes in the front of
it as his.

Of late, _Alexander_ hath been fain to furnish to another expence, which
is the Legation of the Cardinal _Padrone_, to meet the Empress at
_Milan_; and the _Spaniards_ pretend, that he appear’d in greater
Splendour, then he did at the Court of _France_, as well to win their
good will, as to please his own ambition, in being seen in such pomp, in
a place where most Ambassadours of Princes were to meet, nay, and many
Princes themselves.

To say truth, the Pope deserves no small praises for his noble
inclination, in honouring sometimes one Prince, sometimes another, but
particularly for the zeal and piety he hath shewed, in the choice of
those persons that he hath promoted to be Cardinals; for in three or four
promotions he hath alwayes picked out those, who were most worthy of this
eminent Dignity, having in that little regard to any bodies
recommendation, if the Subjects themselves did not answer the expectation
conceiv’d of them; and whosoever would enquire into the life of these his
Creatures, will be satisfied of their integrity and learning, and
confess, that many of them are worthy of the Popedom, and it may be, it
may fall upon some of them, after the death of _Alexander_, who now
thinks of little less then of dying; for at his first coming to be Pope,
he thought so much of it, that now being weary of those thoughts, he
thinks of nothing but living.

All his drift now is, to oblige the Cardinals to a good correspondence
with _Don Agostino_, but he perpetually disobliging them with his haughty
carriage, ’tis thought, that after the Popes death they will little
regard his recommendations in the choice of a Successour, if things do
not much change.

I would say something of the future Conclave; but I think it is to no
purpose, for the Pope doth little think of leaving this world, though the
Cardinals pretenders do every day long for his death, that they may bring
another _Nipotismo_ in play.  And some are very much convinced, that he
cannot live long, considering the augmentation of his late
indispositions; whereupon those Cardinals, that compose the flying
Squadron, have often met in secret, to agree about a Successour; but
indeed, I think that we ought to wish, that _Alexander_ may live yet, for
in the present conjuncture of affairs, his death would do no less then
bring trouble to _Italy_ and all _Christendome_, which God forbid.

The Pope doth every day endeavour to get a protection for his
_Nipotismo_, and would fain have the _Spaniards_ declare Cardinal _Chigi_
Protector of that Crown; and the Popes Nuntio in _Spain_ hath made great
instances to obtain it, that they, the Family of the _Chigi_, might be
strengthened: but I do not think he will obtain it, for the _Spaniards_
are too great lovers of themselves to protect a decaying Power, which
will rather be a burden then a help to their Monarchy.

                                * * * * *


                                * * * * *

The Second Part.


_TO satisfie the curiosity of an infinite number of Persons_, _who_,
_having seen scarce any thing else of the_ Nipotismo _besides the Title_,
_do enquire after the Book with much earnestness_, _I have made hast to
Print this Second Part_, _that so you might have it compleat_; _and I
doubt not but you will be infinitely pleased with it_.  _It is true_, _my
intention was_, _in conformity to the Authors_, _to have waited yet a
little longer_; _because that Affairs in_ Rome _seem inclinable to a
change_: _But it was beyond my power to keep the Rain_, _which was
already in the air_, _from falling to the ground_; _and I was forced to
yield to the curiosity of so many Inquisitive persons_.  _To which the
Author was the more willing_, _because he had a desire to be rid of this_
Nipotismo, _that he might give himself up to the composing of some other
Books of no less curiosity_: _And I_, _on my side_, _have been desirous
to free my Press_, _that I might set __it on work again for a Book_,
_which no doubt will be very welcome to you_.

_It is Intituled_, Europa Morta, _and comes from an Author who is a sworn
Enemy of Flattery_.  _The Subject of the Book is all Politicks_, _and
very sharply handled_, _shewing the defects of all the Kingdoms and
Republicks of_ Europe, _which they are now subject to for want of men of
that worth and vertue_, _in whom it was anciently so abounding_.

_Divers Persons_, _that have read the_ Manuscript, _are very pressing for
the publishing of it_; _which I hope will be done within this two months
at least_.  _And I doubt not but I shall satisfie that expectation which
I now raise in you_; _for there you shall meet with the relation of some
Accidents which hitherto have been kept close from the ears of the
Vulgar_.  _In it Praises are dispensed with measure_, _and blame with
justice_; _and so I hope this_ Nipotismo _will custom you to the Lecture
of such Books_, _and make your pleasure the greater when you shall meet
with the_ Europa Morta, _which is Universal_.



The Contents.

_IN which is treated_, _of the mischief which the Popedome brings upon
the_ Popes.  _Of two particular Examples about that_.  _Of two Protestant
Gentlemen that went to_ Rome _to see the Court_, _and the Church-mens way
of living_, _and what came of it_.  _Of the scandal which the Hereticks
receive from the_ Popes _Kindred_.  _Of the particular reasons which move
the_ Popes _to the advancement of their Kindred_: _which are the love
they bear to their own Bloud_, _the conservation of their Persons_, _and
the Policy of their Government_.  _Of the aime of those_ Popes _that
introduc’d the title of Cardinal_ Padrone.  _Of the difficulties which
the Princes find in having access and treating with the_ Pope.  _Of a
particular case in_ Sixtus _the fifth’s time_.  _Of the care the_ Popes
_take to prevent their being poysoned_.  _Of the miseries of the
Ecclesiastick State_.  _Of the mischief the Church endures because the_
Popedom _is not Hereditary_.  _Of the_ Popes Nephews, _who look upon the_
Popedom _as their own_.  _Of the principal reasons which oblige the_
Popes _to call their Kindred about them_.  _Of the difficulty the_ Popes
_would meet with in diving into Princes Secrets without the assistance of
their_ Nephews.  _How_ Urban _did instruct his_ Nephews.  _How Cardinal_
Astalli _was introduced into the_ Nipotismo.  _Of the opinion of
Cardinal_ Mazarine _about that business_.  _Of the great Authority which_
Gregory _the_ 15th. _gave to Cardinal_ Ludovisio _his_ Nephew.  _Of the
Republick of_ Venice, _which obliges the Kindred of their dead Duke to
satisfie by Fines for those Errors which the Duke did commit while he was
alive_.  _Of some particularities about the Accident that befel the Duke
of_ Crequy.  _Of a Discourse held to_ Monsignor Rasponi _by the_ Pope.
_Of the way that the_ Popes _have to conceal the Secrets of their Court_.
_Of the reasons why the said Court is so Magnificent_.  _Of the
Friendships of the Cardinals towards Princes_, _and of the Correspondence
of Princes with the said Cardinals_.  _Of the passage of a certain
Cardinal from the Spanish Faction to the French_.  _Of the Spiritual
Power of the_ Pope, _and how it is upheld by the Temporal_; _and Of the
nature of Money in Church-mens hands_.

ALL that we have said hitherto, is but the Foundation of what we have to
say: For to what end would it be to have seen the _Nipotismo_ in Rome, if
we did not see _Rome_ in the _Nipotismo_?  And we have been curious to
pry into that which the _Popes_ have done for their Kindred, we may much
more justly examine that which the Kindred does for the _Popes_.

A _German_ Prelate, who now lives, and has some Opinions very different
from the profession he makes of a Church-man; That is, Who is more
Heretick than Catholick, does upon all occasions, and whensoever he
happens into any company, where there is a liberty of talking, profess
his mind in few words, and without any ambiguity, by saying, _That the_
Popes _Kindred acquire this world by their Uncles Indulgence_; _and that
the Uncle loses the other world by his Nephews Vices_.

This opinion, which by many Catholicks would be condemned as Heretick,
has nevertheless a great foundation in reason; and I am sure that the
most able and ingenious men of the Court of _Rome_ do allow of it, and
maintain it, as being a Prelate’s opinion.

_David_, who was King, Priest, and Prophet, was continually in fear of
being damned for others sins; and, as we see, did every day desire of God
to be delivered from that imputation: And yet the _Popes_ not only do not
apprehend that they may be damned for their Kindreds sins, but do furnish
them with the means of offending his Divine Majesty.  Certainly, the
_Pope’s_ Relations would take another course if they thought they were
out of the way to Heaven; neither would they be so covetous in heaping
riches together, if they knew that the treasure of the Church is but in
trust, and not in propriety to the _Popes_.

The Duke _Valentine_, Son to _Alexander_ the 6th. did commit all sort of
crimes imaginable, breaking both Divine and Humane Laws without any
regard or consideration.  But that which was worst of all, was, that he
covered his Vices with the Cloak of the _Popes_ Authority; Saying,
whensoever he was about to commit a crime: _That he did very well know
what he was about to do was just_; _for his Father_, _who did give him
leave to do it_, _had the Holy Ghost_.

This is the mischief that the Popedom does to the _Popes_; or rather,
that the _Popes_ do to the Popedom.  For to say true, the Popedom would
be holy if the _Popes_ were so too: But they do not desire it, or they
cannot desire it, being governed by their Relations: if not as Popes, at
least as private persons.

To this purpose I remember a Story which hapned about twenty years ago,
and to which I give the greater credit; because I have it from a worthy
Person, and one who heard the words which were said.

A _Swedish_ Gentleman had left _Stockholm_, the Capital of the Kingdom,
with a design to travel over all _Europe_, as Gentry uses to do: But his
principle aim was to be instructed in the way of Worship of the Church of
_Rome_, and be well informed of the difference between the Protestant and
Catholick Religion, with a resolution to follow that which he should like
best; and he thought no place fitter for his design than _Rome_, as being
the City which gives the rule to others, having in it the Head of the
Church, and an infinity of Church-men and Prelates.

In his way thither he met with another _German_, a Protestant, who had
the same design; whereupon having contracted a great Friendship together,
they continued their journey, and hapned to come to _Rome_ in the
beginning of the holy Week, which is the week before _Easter_.

Being lodged, they began by little and little to frequent the Churches,
see the Ceremonies, enquire into the _Pope’s_ Power, into his Court, and
a thousand other particularities, all relating to the same end.  The
Magnificence of the _Pope’s_ Habit, the rich Ornaments of the Altars, the
variety of Ceremonies, the Majesty of the Cardinals, and Prelates, the
Devotion of the Monks and Fryars, and the great concourse of people to
the Churches, did at first surprize these young Gentlemen; and inflame in
them that desire which curiosity had already kindled.

Having observed all these things with great care and exactness, they
began to inform themselves of the Civil Power of the _Pope_; of the
Entrigues of the Court; of the Government of the City and State.  And in
their exact Inquisition they found that indeed all that Policy and Humane
Wit could produce was to be seen in the Church-Government, and did not
much disapprove of it: But no sooner had they (following still their
first curiosity) pryed into the business of the _Nipotismo_, and
discovered the interests of the Nephew towards the Uncle, and the Uncle
towards the Nephew; but they presently resolved to return home, and live
and die in the Protestant Religion.

The _German_, whether it was that he had dived into the secret of the
_Nipotismo_, or for some other reason, was not altogether averse from
changing his Religion; though by no means he would not remain in _Rome_:
But the _Swede_ was so scandalized at the Church-mens lives, that having
conceived a perfect hatred for them, he said to the _German_, _That he
would never be the Subject of a Bishop who should be the Slave of his own

Of this Gentleman’s opinion there are many, not only in Protestant
Countries, but in the middle of _Italy_ it self; and I wish to God, that
many of those sins, which lie so heavy upon the _Romans_ consciences, had
not been occasioned by the scandal which they continually receive from
the _Nipotismo_.

That which I have related of a _Swede_ is not much different from what I
have to say of an English or Scottish man, I know not well which; but I
am a very fit person to relate the Story, for I was present at the
dispute which he had with a French Bishop: which was thus:

This Stranger had been two years in _Rome_, in which time he had had
divers occasions of being known to the _Pope_ and his Nephews, as
likewise of knowing them; and had been infinitely scandalized to see the
small care the _Pope_ did take to correct his Nephews extravagancies both
in Morals and Polities: But above all, he was much grieved to see that
the _Pope_ had taken out of the Treasure of the Church the richest Jewels
to bestow them upon his Nephews; and that they made no scruple of robbing
the Church to enrich themselves.  Having met in _France_ with this French
Bishop, they fell upon the discourse of Religion.  The Bishop perceiving
the ill impressions he had received at _Rome_, thought it was a part of
his duty to endeavour to blot them out of this Gentleman’s mind, by
telling him, _That it was impossible to be saved out of the Church of_
Rome.  But all that he could say was to no purpose, for the Protestant
could scarce afford him audience, but impatiently interrupting him, told
him, _That it was a hard matter that the_ Pope _could save others_,
_since he did give his own Nephews a most inevitable occasion of

Every day the Casuists are disputing, _whether or no a Thief may be saved
without restitution of his theft if he be in a possibility to do it_?
And they all agree, that he must either make amends by restitution, or be
damned.  If this be so, how is it possible for the _Pope’s_ Nephews, if
the greatest part of their Revenues are the spoils of the Church, and got
by unlawful means, the _Popes_ having raised that very money, which they
are so proud of, either out of dead mens graves, or the veines of the

Though this be true, and that the mischief, which the _Popes_ receive
from their Kindred be very great; yet it is a necessary one, and so
necessary, that many are of opinion, that those _Popes_ who do forbear
advancing their Relations are but small Politicians.

Three Reasons do particularly move the _Popes_ to call their Relations to
them: First, The affection which naturally we bear to our bloud and
kindred, The conservation of their Persons, and the Policy of their

For the first, I hold him little better than a Beast, that has no tye of
Consanguinity upon him, having many Relations that need his help; none
but barbarous people are ignorant of those Laws of nature, and are not
altogether deprived of the use of them neither.

This love to ones Relations encreases as the Relations themselves do
multiply.  And we may say, that love naturally descends; for in old
people their love is greatest to their Grand-children, and the fifth
generation still carry the old mans affections from the third and fourth.
From hence proceeds, that the _Popes_, who ordinarily are old, are so
passionate for the advancement of their Nephews, for whom often they
hazard their reputations in this world, and their souls in the next.

With our Kindred there is no _Medium_ to be observed; we must either love
them tenderly, and do for them all that lies in our power: Or we must
hate them perfectly, and become cruel.  It is not possible to be
indifferent, and do them neither good nor evil; that would be to be
neither man nor beast, which is impossible.

There has been some _Popes_, who in the beginning of their Reign, out of
Zeal and Piety, have shewed themselves averse from their Kindred; not
only refusing to favour them, but seeking out all occasions of mortifying
them.  But what folly, what devillish policy, what false hypocrisie is
this?  For my part, I call such a disposition a vicious humour, which
soon passes out of them, or destroys them, Nature it self being offended
at this so unnatural a proceeding.

_Adrian_ the sixth, _Marcel_ the second, _Urban_ the seventh, _Leo_ the
tenth, were all _Popes_ very severe to their kindred, having all sworn
solemnly at their Election never to admit their Kindred into _Rome_.  And
_Adrian_ the sixth was so extravagant that he persecuted them: For he
refused to give a recompense to one of his Relations who had done the
Church very good service, only because he was his Relation.

But Divine Providence, which delights not to see Nature despis’d,
reveng’d this indiscreet Zeal upon these _Popes_; for they all liv’d but
a very little after their Creation.  _Adrian_ liv’d but one year:
_Marcello_, _Urban_, and _Leo_ liv’d all three together, not two Months

So _Innocent_ the Eighth, _Julius_ the Second, _Pius_ the Fifth, and our
_Alexander_ that now reigns, were at first strangely averse from their
Kindred, which was interpreted by the People for nothing but Hypocrisie
and Policy, that they might acquire the Title of Saints and Holy Men;
for, a little after they were setled in their Kingdom, and in the Opinion
of the Vulgar, they all found out some excuse or another to authorize
their change; and particularly our _Alexander_, who is now as kind as he
was severe at first.  And for my part I must confess, that I always
laughed at _Alexander_, for his pretended zeale, in keeping his Relations
at a distance; and I never began to have a true respect for him, and
believe him really a Saint, till he had brought them to _Rome_.

And if Christ himself has left us written in the Gospel, _That we ought
not to despise our own Flesh_, how can any _Pope_ justifie an aversion to
his Kindred?

Therefore I do not like that Answer of our _Pope Alexander_ to the
Cardinal _Medicis_, who did make it his business to oblige the _Pope_ to
call _Don Mario_ to _Rome_; for he answered this Cardinal’s Prayers and
Entreaties with these words of Christ, _They are our Brothers and Sisters
that do the Will of the Lord_; as if his Brother had done the Will of the
Devil.  And in the Example of Christ he was mistaken; for he did not
despise his Brothers, as having never had any; wherefore his Words were
mystical, and contained some more secret sense.  But we see that Christ
himself did shew particular favour to his Relations, as to the two
_Johns_, the _Baptist_, and the _Apostle_; declaring one to be the
greatest of Prophets, and giving to the other the liberty of laying his
head in his lap.  But more than that, he recommended his proper Mother
the Blessed Virgin, to the Apostle _John_; and all the Evangelists own,
that he was Christ’s Favourite, and his Beloved.

After this Example, we need no other; and no body can be so bold as to
pretend, That it is Piety not to own ones Relations, if Christ himself
lov’d his so dearly.

But the _Popes_ are not so much to blame, as those that blame the _Popes_
for their affections to their Kindred: For, alas! the _Popes_ are Men, as
we are; and, as such, ought to be allowed something of our fragility.
But in what a _Labyrinth_ are they engaged?  For if they are really
averse and cruel to their own Blood, then Nature, Heaven, the Example of
Christ, and all the Reason of the World, does condemn them for inhumane,
ungrateful, and barbarous.

And if they are kind, and do receive them into _Rome_, advance them, give
them Places and Honours, then Pasquins, Murmurs, Raileries, Affronts, and
a thousand Tales of them, are the recompense they are to expect from the
Vulgar, who send their Cries to Heaven, and their Complaints about the
World against them.

Those _Popes_ that first invented the Title of _Cardinal Padrone_, had it
may be a mind to imitate our Saviour, who declared _John_ the Evangelist
his Cosin, to be his Favorite and beloved Disciple: For _Gregory_ the
Fifteenth was wont to call his Nephew _Ludovisio_, his beloved _John_,
though his Name was _Lewis_; and he did so to shew, That since Christ
declared in favour of his Cosin, the _Popes_ might also declare in favour
of their Nephews.

For my part, I am of opinion, that let them do what they will, it is not
in their power not to love their Relations, and to abstain from doing of
them all the good imaginable.  And we have seen the experience of this in
_Alexander_ the Seventh, who made as if he had had no affection for them;
but Nature soon made him lay aside this Mask, and profess himself a Man,
as the rest.

This is then one of the Reasons that move the _Popes_ to be so tender of
their Kindreds Advantages: But there is a second, which is not any ways
inferiour to this, which is the preservation of their proper Person.

One of the greatest misfortunes of a Princely Life, is the perpetual care
and sollicitude they are in, of preserving themselves.  Their Goodness is
often the subject of their Neighbours Envy.  If they be wicked, they are
hated by their own Subjects.  So that often they are in doubt which they
shall chuse to be, Good or Bad.

Was there a greater Prince than _Henry_ the Third of _France_?  Was there
ever any thing more magnanimous and good, than _Henry_ the Fourth his
Successor?  And yet their Greatness, their Bounty, and their Generosity,
could not preserve their Persons, but saw their blood shed most miserably
by the hands of barbarous Murderers.

But was there ever a better Prince in the World than the late King of
_England_, _Charles_ the First, who had no fault but that he was too
good?  And yet such Royal Goodness could not preserve him (I tremble to
speak of it) from the barbarous hands of his own Subjects; and upon an
ignominious Scaffold, was forced to lose his Life by a fatal Ax.

What are Kingdoms and States, to any body, if they must be perpetually
from morning to night busied about their own preservation?  And what a
misfortune to a Man is a Kingdom, if to preserve himself from his own
Subjects, he must be fain to raise Cittadels and build Castles in all the
places where he goes, that he can never sleep, if Guards and Sentinels do
not watch for him?  Certainly a Subject’s condition, that takes his rest
without fear, is much more to be valued, than the perpetual perplexity of
a fearful Prince.

The _Popes_ nevertheless are these unfortunate Men, and are more exposed
to the danger of being made away, than all the Princes of _Christendom_.
For if any body be so bold and wicked as to wish and desire the death of
a Prince whose Crown is Hereditary; yet he stops in his Enterprise, and
considers, That he must fear the Sons Vengeance.  Those Men who consented
to the death, or, to say better, pronounced Sentence upon the late King
of _England_, wheresoever they are now, they do without doubt repent
their Action; and if they had ever thought of the happy Restauration of
_Charles_ the Second, they had dealt otherwise with his Father.  So that
I must say, by the leave of those _Cromwellian_ Politicians, That they
were but pittiful ones that could not foresee that.  Wo be to those that
offend a Prince, in hopes that his Heir will forget the offence.

This Reason procures some Security to Princes of an Hereditary Kingdom,
and makes the _Popes_ endeavour to find out some means also to secure
themselves by their Kindred: For it is well known how many _Popes_ have
been poysoned and made away, sometimes by Emperours, sometimes by the
People, sometimes by particular Persons; and yet no body has ever taken
upon them to revenge their death.  And why?  Because that their Kindred,
not being Heirs of their Power, are not in a capacity to shew their
resentment; and are much more busied in getting into the next _Pope’s_
favour, who is ordinarily their Enemy, than in revenging their Uncle’s

The Cardinals themselves, who for their own Interest are not much
concerned in the _Pope’s_ preservation, do not trouble themselves to
inquire by what means he came to his end; ’tis enough for them that the
Popedom is vacant, and that they have the Authority of chusing a
Successor, who must be one of themselves.

The _Popes_ Lives are a perpetual War; for without they are set upon by
the Cares and Troubles of their Employment, and within by the fear of
death, which is so great in them, that they are afraid of the very Air
they breath.

_Sixtus_ the Fifth went one day to the Convent of the Apostles, which was
assigned to the Fryars of the Order he had bin of: and coming in of a
sudden without giving any warning, met in their Refectory with a Brother
who was eating a Mess of Beans very hungrily.  The good _Pope_ remembring
his ancient condition, sat down by him upon a wooden Form, and fell to
eating with as great an appetite as the Brother, and made him fill the
Dish up again when they had emptied it.

The _Pope’s_ Followers wondered, and were much surprized at his Phancy,
or rather extravagant Appetite; but he taking no notice of them,
continued to eat on with his wooden Spoon, the Beans that were very well
oyled.  At last having emptied the Dish a second time, and thanked the
Brother for his kindness, he turned to his Followers and said, _This Dish
of Beans will make me live two years longer than I should have done_;
_for I have eaten them with pleasure_, _and without fear_.  Then lifting
up his hands and eyes to Heaven, he blessed God that had given a _Pope_
once in his life an occasion of eating a meals Meat in quiet.

_Pius_ the Fifth, who was very lean, was used to say, _That it was
impossible that the_ Popes _should ever grow fat_, _for that Nature in
them was never supplied but in fear_.  And yet this _Pope_ was one of the
holiest and best; though it is true, That Holiness is subject to Envy,
and therefore obliged to preserve it self against the malignity of its

And indeed the diligence which the _Popes_ use in preserving themselves,
is such, that it cannot chuse but communicate to them a continual
apprehension of some imminent danger: for they do not only watch what
they eat, but they never eat any thing which has not been first tasted by
those that dress it, and serve it up; chusing ordinarily upon a sudden,
and not bespeaking that which they like.

_Paul_ the Fourth was wont to give the greatest part of his Dinner to
those that stood by, and make them eat it in his presence; and then often
he would take some of that which they had left: So that the whole Court
was in perpetual fear, seeing the _Pope_ so timerous.

But fear is not only inseparable from them at Table, but at the Altar
too; where they never eat the consecrated Host, before they have given a
part of it to the Sacristan there present, whose care it is to provide
them, and to eat that part which he receives from the _Pope_; who having
divided it into two parts, gives him sometimes the right side, sometimes
the left, as he pleases.

The same precaution is used in the taking of the Cup or Chalice, which
the _Pope_ never tastes, till the Sacristan has drunk some of it before
him.  So that it is evident, That the _Popes_ do use many more
preventions than any other Prince.

Now if it be thus with them, can they do better than to call about them
their proper Kindred, into whose hands they may commit their Persons?
Who will take a greater care of their preservation, than they who hope
for Riches and Honour to their Family?  And who will take the pains to
contribute to the lasting of any Empire, but he that has the greatest
share in the enjoyments of it?

Those _Popes_ who at first seemed averse from their Relations, having in
a small time come to know the difficulty of their own preservation in the
hands of Strangers, have immediately called them to _Rome_, and thrown
themselves into their Arms, as a place of Refuge against so many who had
an interest to destroy them; and by all sorts of Favours, sought to make
it their Kindreds Interest to love and take care of them.

It may be that _Urban_ the Eighth, who lived 23 Years _Pope_, had not
attained to half that Age, if the _Barberins_ had not used all imaginable
means to prolong his life; which else would have been plotted against by
both Princes and private persons.  But no body durst undertake that which
seemed impossible.  And without doubt, the care they took of him, did
exceed the desire he had of living; for old age was become a burden to
him at last.

_Innocent_ the Tenth, after the Design of getting the Kingdom of _Naples_
from the _Spaniard_ was discovered, stood in perpetual fear, lest, to be
revenged, they should plot his death; which it may be they had done, if
_Donna Olympia_ had not taken the care to dress his Meat, and feed him
with her own hands: and in acknowledgment of her kindness, he would often
say to her, _Sister_, _do you take care of me_, _and I’le take care that
the Popedom shall be yours_.

_Pius_ the Third, of the Family of _Picolomini_ of _Siena_, had not died
by poyson, procured him by _Pandolfo Petruccii_ Tyrant of the said place,
if he had had some of his Relations neer him; whereupon he was forced to
trust his life in Strangers hands, and lose it miserably, before he could
see any of his Kindred about him.

But here some body will say, _That indeed it would not be amiss that the_
Pope _should resign the care of his Person to his Kindred_, _but not give
them an unlimited Power over Church and State_; _That it is fit they do
not want necessaries_, _but that he should not go about to content their
insatiability_.  To this we will answer in time and Place; it is enough
for the present to have proved, That they are the most necessary
Instruments of the _Popes_ preservation.  And because the obligation of
him that receives his life from another is infinite, therefore the
_Popes_ do think, that they cannot repay but by infinite Gifts and
Favours.  Now we will pass to the third Reason, which is, The Reason of

The State or Politick Government of the Church, is the most unfortunate
and miserable in the World; for it is neither Commonwealth nor Monarchy:
and as an ingenious Prelate said, _It is neither from God nor the Devil_.
And the causes of its Misery are divers; but particularly one is, Because
the Supreme Governour always dying without Heirs, there is no body left
to take pity of the grievances which are continually introduc’d by the
Governours of Provinces who rule as they please.

Many compare all the Ecclesiastick State to a Town taken by an Enemy, who
being out of hopes to keep it any time falls to plundering and destroying
it, carrying away all that’s good; and leaving to the poor Citizens
nothing but the liberty of venting their complaints: Just so do the
Church-men who are in authority in one _Pope’s_ life; for foreseeing that
their power is like to expire with him, and be resigned up to his
Successor, they make Hay while the Sun shines, and use all manner of
Extortions and Violences in their respective places for fear else of
departing with their hands empty.  And the people are so far from
obtaining redress from those that succeed them, that they had rather be
under the Government of their old Masters; for the new ones come with
intention to do as much, if not worse, than the others.

In the time of _Francesco Maria della Rovere_, last Duke of _Urbin_, his
Creatures seeing him past hopes of having any Heirs; and that after his
death the Estate was like to fall to the Church, as being a Feife of it,
they applyed themselves to make their advantage by all means; that is,
they plunder’d and ruin’d it, that they might leave it bare to the
Church-men their Successors.  Particularly, when they saw the Duke
languishing in a decrepit Age, they then bestirr’d themselves, and flew
about like so many Bees to suck the rest of the Honey: But he hapning to
live longer than they expected they were at a loss, and had drained all
the State so dry; that they themselves were fain to sit and look upon the
desolate condition of that Dukedom without being able to make it worse.

It came thus lean and impoverished into the Church-mens hands, who, for
all they have such good Stomachs, were fain to forbear eating for the
first seven years, till it had gathered a little flesh again; and then
they fell to devouring of it afresh, and have since continued to do so:
no sooner perceiving it to be a little recruited, but they extenuate it
with Taxes, Impositions, and Extortions.

That which hapned once to the Dutchy of _Urbin_, happens often to the
whole state of the Church; for as soon as the Governours, and other
subordinate Officers, see the _Pope_ drawing to his end, and by
consequence that their time of getting is also ready to expire, every new
_Pope_ advancing new Creatures, there is no sort of Violence, Theft,
Robbery, or Extortion that they do not commit in their respective
charges: which they no sooner resign to new Officers, but that they who
come in poor, and must maintain the _Decorum_ of their places, invent
some new way of vexing the poor people, and enriching themselves; giving
afterwards a little respite to the people to breath in, and by that time
the _Pope_ is a dying, and then they fall on a fresh.

So that it appears that the Popedom being Elective and not Hereditary,
causes all these misfortunes to the State and people; for this makes
every body think of the present, and none of the future, there being no
future amongst Church-men.

But if this inconveniency be great, it would without doubt prove much
more intolerable, if the _Pope_ had no Kindred to help them in the
Government of the State and Church; For though it seem that a _Nipotismo_
is directly bent upon its own profit and advantage: yet for divers
reasons and respects they do preserve many places from ruine, and many
Subjects from oppression.  Whereas if the _Pope_ were without them, he
would be forced to trust to a great number of Governours, who would every
one be as greedy, and as absolute as a Nephew; and Lord it as high with
the title of _Dominus Dominantium_.

The Nephews, who are few in number, take upon them to be both Shepherds,
and Shearers; Treasurers, and Extorters: so that they suffer no body to
grow rich but for them, nor to rise but by their means and to their
profit, nor to take from others except it be to present them.  For woe be
to those Ministers of State, or subordinate Officers, that dare
contradict a Nephew’s Will; or do any thing without their Order.

Now this being so, it is evident that it is more easie to satisfie one
mans avidity than a hundreds.  If the Nephews were not, every Prelate,
every Bishop, every Abbot, every Cardinal, would treat the Church as the
Jews did our Saviour’s Garments; that is, divide it amongst them: and it
may be, would leave nothing for their Successors; for their Maximes are
indeed to live well themselves, but not to provide that others may do so

The _Nipotismo_ looks upon the Popedom as their own, and so they have
some consideration for a thing in which they pretend a propriety.  When
once their Purse is full they let it breath, and recover its forces.
’Tis true that that seldom falls out; for we have seen the _Barbarins_,
enjoy the state of the Church for three and twenty years: and yet shew as
much avidity when they were upon the point to leave it, as when they
first entred upon it.

Besides this, if _Rome_ were without a _Nipotismo_, the Government of the
City would be every day in new hands; every Church-man’s ambition being
to climbe up to the top of the Wheel, and supplant him that stands next
to the Soveraign Power.  So that the Church would be in one Pontificate,
tossed like a ball from one to the other; and that most commonly by very
unskilful persons: the mystery of Church-Government being a thing not to
be mastered but by those who stay long in it, and acquire great
experience in the management of affairs.

Moreover, if the State were governed by different Persons under the Reign
of one _Pope_, it would be a very hard matter to find out the Author of
the Peoples miseries, every one having his Predecessors actions for an
excuse; so that men would also lose that poor consolation of being able
to show their Tormenters: But it is not so when a _Nipotismo_ governs,
for then as they have the Honour, and Riches; so must they endure the
Reproaches, and Complaints made against their Government, which the
_Romans_ do without mercy, making the air sound and repeat their murmurs
with a thousand Echoes.

These reasons do sometimes prevail upon the _Pope’s_ Kindred to make them
abstain from doing all the mischief they would do; or at least they
suffer not others to commit crimes and faults which they know will be
laid to their charge: and of the imputation of which they shall be sure
to be heirs as well as of their Uncle’s riches.

And indeed, how would it be possible for the State of the Church, which
is a Monarchy, to be governed well if it were governed as a Republick.
For in Commonwealths the Governours are the Citizens and Natives
themselves, who being sure that the State they govern, is their own, do
administer with Justice and Equity; first, as reaping a benefit by their
moderation; And secondly, as being sure to expect a punishment when they
are out of their charges: But the _Pope_ having the disposing of all
places and charges, does often advance Strangers; who have no design but
of making their own Fortune, and who, when once removed from their
dignities, may either leave the State, or else procure impunity by a part
of those riches which they have extorted from the poor people.  It is
much better therefore that there should be a _Nipotismo_, into whose
hands the _Popes_ may trust their Government and Person; and who by the
purchase which they make of great Estates do, as it were, settle
themselves within the State: and may fear the being called to an account
for their violences, if they exceed measure.

There are three other reasons which seem to conclude very strongly in
favour of a _Nipotismo_, which are these:

That the _Pope_ may more easily discover the interests of Foreign
Princes; That he may be able to govern with more care and affection; And
that he may be able to carry on the Negotiations of his Court with more

And indeed, it would not only be difficult, but almost impossible for the
_Pope_ to dive into the hidden interests and designs of Foreign Princes
without a _Nipotismo_; For how could he trust Strangers with his secrets,
if he could not be assured that they would reciprocally reveal to him all
theirs.  The Ministers of State would be easily corrupted to betray the
_Pope_ their Master, and incline much more to oblige Princes, upon whom,
because of their hereditary and settled condition, they might relie, than
to be faithful to one who might fail every moment; and with him all their
hopes and expectations.

Besides, the Princes themselves would hardly condescend to reveal their
secrets, and treat of important matters in the Court of _Rome_, when they
should know and see that they must confide in strangers, whom another
Prince might bribe and corrupt to their disadvantage; For just so far do
Soveraigns trust the _Pope_ as they see about him people, in whom he may
trust himself.

_Urban_ the eighth deserves no small praises for his Policy, all along
his Reign: but particularly, for his method and way of treating with the
Soveraigns of _Europe_; whose secrets were all revealed to him, whereas
none of his were revealed to them again.  For the same means, which he
used to discover others designs, help him to conceal his own.

For having created his two Nephews Cardinals, and gave them instructions
worthy such a politick head as his was, he made one of them declare for
_Spain_, and the other for _France_; each of them making demonstration of
an extraordinary kindness for the Crown they protected.  Which thing
proved most fortunate to the _Pope_, and successful in the design he had,
to be Master of the secrets of both Kings.

Now that this was a design of the Uncle, and no particular inclination of
the Nephews, appears easily; because that Cardinal _Antonio_, who sided
with the French, had never had any communication with this Nation before
his being made Cardinal: neither had he received from them any kindness
that could endear him to their Party: Nay, indeed he had rather reason to
encline to the Spaniards, from whom he had received many courtesies worth
acknowledging; but he followed in this his Uncle’s suggestions.

The Cardinal _Francesco_ on the other side who had never any great
inclination for _Spain_, and who in the services he did do them, did not
appear with that violence that Cardinal _Antonio_ did; for the _French_
would nevertheless in obedience to his Uncle often declare for them: and
in some occasions show a great deal of affection and desire to oblige a
Crown, which did seek after his protection.

_Urban_ having thus assigned the care of the interest of these two Potent
Princes to his Nephews, could not chuse but be perfectly informed of
their designs, and secret intrigues of their Courts; whose Ministers and
Ambassadours in order to a further discovery of the _Pope’s_
inclinations, were forced to communicate before hand a great part of
their secrets to the Cardinal, Protector of their Kingdom, in hopes by
his means of diving further into that which was yet hidden to them: but
most commonly they got little light and intelligence by it, for the
Nephews following exactly their Uncle’s Instructions, did endeavour to
pump every body else, and keep themselves close.  Their Uncle in the mean
time well informed on both hands, was sure to take just measures; and by
an even carriage so to entertain the affections of both Kings, as to make
them both his Friends: and really one who could govern a Popedom so well,
and easily, betwixt so opposed and different Interests, did deserve to
govern as long as _Urban_ did.

_Innocentius_ might have been named for one of the greatest Politicians
in the world, if his Sister-in-law had not lead him astray; or rather if
he had been guilty of an unparalell’d inconstancy in changing so often
his _Nipotismo_.

For they that were disgraced did immediately reveal to Princes all the
secrets of his Court, and they who came in their room could never
penetrate into the hidden designs of Forreign Courts; for the Princes of
those Kingdoms and States durst not trust them with any thing, as being
alwayes afraid, lest they should be turned off as the first.

And in effect, as soon as the news of the adoption of Cardinal _Astalli_
was spread abroad, there were many that laid great wagers, that he would
not conserve himself in his post long; and the grounds they went upon,
was the unconstant humour of the Pope, which no body could trust to.

Cardinal _Mazarine_ himself being weary of so many extravagant changes in
the _Nipotismo_ of _Innocentius_, and seeing _Astalli_ fallen out of his
favour, and the _Barberins_ in his place, said to one of his Confidents,
in the presence of a French Protestant, these words, _I have never relyed
much upon the Cardinal_ Astalli; _and I shall now scarce rely upon the
Pope himself_.  Many Princes both of _Italy_ and _Germany_ were of
Cardinal _Mazarine’s_ minde in this, and became very cautious in all
their negotiations; avoiding all occasions of treating with his Holiness,
as knowing that nothing could be well managed in such divisions, and

Thus we see, that not only the _Popes_ must have near them those that
have the title of Nephews; but they must be really such, as by
consanguinity may be obliged to the same interest with the _Pope_, if he
means that others should trust them.  This is the only way to make the
_Popes_ appear Sovereigns, as really they desire to be; and any other way
they will seem rather to be the Heads of a Commonwealth than absolute

It is fit therefore, that they should be allowed a _Nipotismo_ for their
own and others safety; but it is not just that they should so indulge
this _Nipotismo_, as to set it above themselves, and become its slaves.
Let them treat with Princes, but let them not become so themselves, and
usurp the _Pope’s_ Authority, so far as to use it without his knowledge,
and often contrary to the Interests of the Church and State.

Let them not do as _Gregory_ the 15th. who had given to the Cardinal
_Ludovisio_ his Nephew, so great an Authority of doing and saying what he
pleased, without so much as consulting his Uncle, that he was really
become _Pope_, and the _Pope_ as if he had been the Nephew; and if ever
he come and give him part of any secret negotiation, it was because the
thing was so intricate, that he either could not, or durst not undertake
to come to execution, without being first fortified with his Uncle’s
advice and approbation.

But the best was, that the _Pope_ himself did not dare to ask him any
questions about business, or inform himself otherwise; but sometimes
would be whole weeks together without so much as seeing the face of an
Ambassadour, or publick Minister: his Nephew in the mean time giving
Audience, and concluding all business with them.

And the _Pope_ was so customed to this usage, that it never came into his
minde to be offended at it; but would very contentedly make amends for
those faults which his Nephew did often commit in his administration: and
whensoever he did see his Nephew come into his presence, he would say,
_Nephew_, _I am sure ’tis some very hard and intricate business that
brings you hither_, _for else we should scarce be repaired to for
counsel_.  And he had a great deal of reason to say so, for his Nephew
did never communicate to him any negotiation, except he had first spoiled
it, and brought himself to a _non-plus_; and then the _Pope_ would oblige
the Congregations of the Cardinals to take the business into their care,
and set right again that which had been spoiled by his inability.

The second reason for the _Nipotismo_ is, that the _Popes_ may be able to
govern with more care and affection.  There is nothing that forces more a
Prince to answer the ends of Government, and to oblige his people, than
when he considers that the Government is to descend to his Heirs; for a
Prince without a Successor does often dissipate and spoil that which he
would preserve, if he had any body to leave it to.

The State of _Venice_ which never established any Law without having
first deliberated upon it, and sifted it in their Council of _Pregadi_,
does think fit to oblige the kindred of the dead Duke to answer for their
Kinsman’s misdemeanours and miscarriages; fining them in great summes of
money for a reparation of his faults: so that often they are fain to
endure for the dead Duke those punishments, which his Dignity when he was
alive, and his death, have preserved him from.

The effect of this is, that the Dukes of _Venice_ do comport themselves
with all moderation and equity, following exactly those rules of
Government which they receive from the State; And the fear they are in of
leaving their Relations engaged in a painful satisfaction for their
faults, does oblige them to study night and day how they may serve the
publick: in doing which, they do at the same time oblige their Countrey,
themselves, and their Kindred; whereas else they might be subject to
follow their own private interests, to the prejudice and detriment of all
the Commonwealth.

The _Popes_ have almost the same fear upon them, and by consequent the
like obligation; for the only consideration of leaving their Relations
engaged with too powerful enemies, has often made them desist from
enterprizes, which would have proved fatal to their State, and all

_Urban_ the 8th. did often protest, that if it had not been out of a
kindeness to his Nephews, he would either have hazarded the Popedom, or
have brought Princes to his will.

The _Popes_ know very well by experience, that there is no way to
preserve their _Nipotismo_ from the persecution which ordinarily they are
to expect from their Successours; whensoever their Successors are such as
come with pre-occupation against them, and finde in the Government of the
Church and State so many abuses, which do quicken their indignation
against the precedent _Nipotismo_.

This is a very great tye upon them in their administration, which appears
if once they come to cast it off.

_Paul_ the 4th. who had much of a barbarous and inhumane humour in him,
more becoming a Souldier than a Pope; as soon as he had banished his
Nephew from _Rome_, did do things with a great deal more resolution and
insolence than before: insomuch that it seemed, as if he had a minde to
reduce all the world under his Laws, and force Christendom to follow the
dictates of his _Capriccio_.

The Ministers of Princes who had to do with him, did extremely complain
of this his proceeding; for he did no less than threaten them all upon
every occasion: and one day particularly as the Spanish Ambassador was
complaining to him of some occasion of disgust which his Holiness had
given the Crown of _Spain_, he answered him in a fume, _That he had now
no Nephews to care for_; _and that suppos’d_, _That his actions did
deserve to be blamed_, _he little cared_: _for with his death all
resentments would vanish_: meaning he was no longer concerned for his
Relations, for whose sake he had all this while contained himself within
the limits of the Papal Dignity.

Some say that _Julius_ the second did bear a great affection to his
Kindred, but did forbear any demonstrations of kindeness to them out of a
more solid Principle of Love; which was, That they might not receive any
reproaches or injuries after his death, for those faults which he might
have committed in his life time: for having resolved to do nothing but
make War, and lead a Souldiers life, as indeed he did, he would
infallibly have drawn the revenge of all his Enemies upon his kindred, to
whom therefore he shewed himself averse.

And indeed it was wisely done of him, and kindely; for it was impossible
but so warlike a humour as his was, must needs offend many Princes, who
all would have been revenged upon his _Nipotismo_, as Authors, and
Partakers of their Uncle’s Designs.

If _Urban_ had done the same thing, the persecution of the _Barberins_
had not been at all, or at least had not been so violent; but the great
Authority with which they appeared under him, did make Princes believe
that all the _Pope’s_ actions were of their plotting and managing.

So, when the Duke of _Parma_, and the Princes his allyes made War against
the Church, they declared to all the world that they had no design to
offend the _Pope_; but only to be revenged of the _Barberins_, whose
ambition they accused as the Motive of the War.

Quite contrary, All the errors and miscarriages of _Innocent_ the 10th.
were never imputed to his Nephew the Prince _Pamphilio_; for every body
knew well, that he had no share in the administration of the Government,
and yet he is in possession of all those riches and vast summes of money
which _Donna Olympia_ his Mother had got together: and no doubt if she
were now alive, she would certainly be in very great danger, if it were
only, because of that opinion which Princes had conceived of the
Authority with which she rul’d, and was thought to have a hand in all the
transactions of her Brother’s Pontificate.

And on the other side, that tender affection which the Pope did bear to
his Sister-in-law, was very useful towards the abating something of the
violence of the _Pope’s_ temper, diverting him from all thoughts of War,
and keeping him from entring into Leagues and Confederacies with Princes,
with whom he desired to live in peace.

When the revolution of _Naples_ happened, which was the greatest occasion
that ever any _Pope_ had to possess himself of that Kingdom, he was so
far from attempting it, that he would never so much as say a word, or
enter into deliberation about it; not that he wanted courage or desire:
but only because he would not leave _Donna Olympia_, and his Kindred,
involved in an irreconcilable War with _Spain_, and in danger of ruining
themselves for ever.

Our _Alexander_ has alwayes used the same precautions, for when _Don
Agostino_ in the heighth of his insolence and pride disobliged so openly
the Family of _Colonna_, by making his Uncle the Cavalier _De la Ciaia_
take up that place in the Theatre, which the High Constable _Colonna_ had
hired for himself.

The _Pope_ was infinitely offended at so rash an action, not out of any
consideration for the merit of the Family of the _Colonna_; but because
he knew that such an accident could not choose but be followed by an open
enmity betwixt the two Families of _Chiggi_ and _Colonna_: therefore
without any delay the _Pope_ gave order, that all the means of
reconciliation should be sought out.  And finding that _Don Agostino_
stood too much upon his terms, and would not be brought to make any
satisfaction to the Constable, the _Pope_ grew passionate; and sending
for him, forced him to a present complyance, using some reproaches: and
amongst others, these words, _You commit extravagant follies_, _and I
__must be put to the trouble of making amends for them_, _to free you
from the danger of their consequences_.  And a little after, _You do
nothing but procure mischief to your self and me_, _while I make it my
business to do you good_.

I will not say any thing of the business of the Duke of _Crequy_, for it
is most certain, that without the consideration of his Kindred, the
_Pope_ had never condescended to an agreement so advantageous for

Witness the _Pope’s_ own expressions to those Ambassadours and Cardinals,
who for the quiet of _Italy_ did endeavour to take up the business.  The
Venetian Ambassadour above all did concern himself very much in the
business, following the Orders of his Senate; which does wisely fore-see
and endeavour to take away all causes of a War in _Italy_: and as he was
pressing the _Pope_ upon the business, his Holiness answered him, _That
it was a great affliction to him that he had introduced his Kindred into_
Rome; _for else he would either have broke himself_, _or have made_
France _bend_.

But the Ambassadour who was very ready in all occasions, but particularly
prepared upon this, answered him, _If your Holiness had never brought
your Kindred into_ Rome, _this accident had not happened_.

To which the _Pope_ replyed suddenly, _Well then_, _we must make all well
again_, _to the Churches prejudice_, _and our Kindreds advantage_.

The like discourse he had with _Monsignor Rasponi_ (who now is Cardinal)
and was then created Plenipotentiary for the Treaty of _Pisa_, after he
had in vain been sent to _Lyons_, to make an agreement; for there the
business was crossed with a thousand difficulties, amongst which the
precedency was one.

The _Pope_ was brought into such a Labyrinth, that he did almost lose his
wits in seeking how to come out of it; for on one side the affection of
his Family did continually solicite him to yield to the great pretensions
of the French King; on the other, the _Decorum_ and honour of his
Pontificate, which would be blurr’d with the infamy of having given away
so much of the Dignity and Profits of the Church, did make him resolve to
be constant, and bate nothing of that respect and Majesty which the
_Popes_ do use to expect from Princes: and the rather, because he had
alwayes shewed himself a singular defender of the Pontifical Dignity, and
could not endure to be forced to submit to a Crown for which he had never
had any great inclination.

For all this, at last, the interest of his Kindred carried it before
those of the Church; and after he had worn out all the slights and arts
that the Court of _Rome_ could furnish him withal, he was forced at last
to come to an agreement, as infamous for the See of _Rome_, as it was
honourable for _France_.

Whereupon some of the most zealous Cardinals having vented their
complaints in the Consistory it self, blaming _Monsignor Rasponi_ for
signing the Treaty, He was obliged to excuse himself to every one of them
in a particular Visit, by saying _That he had an express Order from his
Holiness for what he had done_; _who had declared his resolution of
yielding to any conditions_, _rather than of leaving his Family engaged
against so powerful an Enemy as France_.  To which purpose he related to
some of his particular friends, the very words which the _Pope_ spoke to
him when he went to take his leave of him to go to _Pisa_, to treat with
the Duke of _Crequy_, which were these, _Be discreet and yield up
something of the Popedom_, _to save our Family_; _and not leave them and
the Church in an obligation of maintaining a dangerous War in_ Italy.

Thus it appears that it is not so much that universal care of a Father,
that makes the _Popes_ maintain a good correspondence with Christian
Princes; as the fear of leaving Enemies to their Families, and bringing
ruine upon their Relations.

We all know that every _Pope_ either out of envy or some other motive is
well pleased to lessen, if not utterly to destroy the Family of his
Predecessor; and of this we have had many experiences since two ages.
Therefore also the _Popes_, to prevent this misfortune, do ordinarily
endeavour to get, while they are alive, the protection of some eminent
Christian Prince, for their Family; under whose wings they may shelter
themselves in a time of calamity.

And if this be, we may conclude, that all the affection, the care, and
the desire which the _Popes_ have of advancing their Kindred, does at
last turn to a general benefit and profit for Christendom; and if you
except one inconvenience, which is, that they impoverish the Church, and
carry away all its treasure, it were and is better for all other
considerations, that the _Popes_ do govern conjoyntly with their
_Nipotismo_, than without it: which is proved by a third reason; which
is, that without a _Nipotismo_ the Negotiations and business of the Court
could never be carried with secresie enough.

I am in doubt whether it be harder to keep a thing secret in the Court of
a Prince, than in the Council of a Commonwealth; for in the Commonwealth
the great number of Counsellors make the keeping of a Secret a very
difficult thing: and in the Court of Princes, the envy of those
Courtiers, who are excluded from the management of Affairs, is so
sharp-sighted, and does so pry and penetrate into the most hidden
Mysteries of the Court, to the end they may either hurt the Prince
through his Counsellors, or the Counsellors through the Prince, that it
is almost impossible to keep any thing hidden from them.

I am of opinion, that for one reason the Secrets of a Commonwealth are
better concealed, which is; because that those that are conscious to
them, are themselves the Princes and Masters of the State: but in a
Monarchy, the Prince being forced to trust some of his Subjects, it is
much more dangerous for him and for his business; for he becomes slave
and dependent of those who should be his.  Divers Histories will furnish
us with examples to prove what we say; and if that be true, and that yet
nevertheless it is very hard to keep counsel in a Commonwealth, it is
easily inferr’d, how difficult a thing it is to do it in a Monarchy.

But what shall we say then of the state of the Church, of which no body
can tell whether it be Commonwealth, or Monarchy, the _Popes_ appearing
sometimes absolute like Princes, and other while dependent like Dukes of
Commonwealths; and without doubt the _Popes_ could never be able to
conceal so many private and publick interests without that trust and
relyance, which they have in their _Nipotismo_: and this particularly for
two reasons.  The first is thus.

The Court of _Rome_ taken in all its latitude, is without doubt the
greatest of _Europe_, and the most magnificent of Christendom; for it
yields to no other in the great number of Ambassadours, and publick
Ministers which reside in it.

For the _Popes_, that they may the better conserve the title of Universal
Father, which they affect, do by all means procure to have as many
Ambassadors of Christian Princes near them as they can.  But that very
thing by which this Court seems to be most honoured, does also carry with
it an evident danger; for these Ambassadours and Residents being
unwilling to stay in _Rome_, without procuring some considerable
advantage to the Princes that send them, are perpetually watching for
occasions to discover the _Popes_ most secret designs: so that they are
in effect so many spyes, who the more they are in number, the more do
they encrease the difficulty of preserving and concealing the Secrets of
the Court.

Before I speak of the second Reason, which makes the Court of _Rome_ so
suspicious a place for Secrets, I must say something about the Cardinals,
and their Office, and Employment.

The Cardinals are the _Pope’s_ Counsellors, who by the Dignity of their
place, and the Majesty of their Habit, do much augment the pomp and
splendor of the Court.  The _Popes_ do every day give them new
Priviledges and Prerogatives, by the means of which they are respected
like so many Kings.

This makes Forreign Princes endeavour to get their friendship by all
means, giving them both secret and publick allowances and Pensions, in
consideration of these Prerogatives, and of the power which they have to
chuse the _Pope_; who must necessarily be one of their number.

But if Princes shew a promptitude and readiness to win the Cardinals
affections, they are themselves reciprocally courted by the Cardinals for
divers reasons; As first, for the Emolument of their Pensions; Next, that
they may not obstruct their way to the Popedom by an open Exclusion in
the Conclave; And last of all, that they may live in greater reputation
and esteem in _Rome_, Where those Cardinals are most valued that
entertain an exact correspondence with Princes: particularly if it be
with any of the two Crowns of _Europe_, that is, _France_, or _Spain_;
upon whose Brigues and Interests does ordinarily depend the election of
the _Pope_.

Now it is to be believed, that these Princes do not prodigally spend
their Treasure without receiving a continual Interest for it; which
Interest is an exact information of all that is done, treated, and
managed in the Court of _Rome_: And of this the Cardinals acquit
themselves with great industry and diligence.

So we see, how intricate and troublesome the Government of _Rome_ would
become to the _Popes_; if they had not Confidents, that is, Nephews, on
whom they might relie; and to whom they might trust their secrets without

For indeed, a _Pope_ without Kindred must renounce Monarchy, and resolve
to be only as the Head of a Commonwealth; which would be just to give
himself up into the hands of the Cardinals, and be at their discretion:
Which if it were, every body may easily infer how dangerous it would
prove to the _Pope’s_ Authority, and how unbeseeming the greatness and
_decorum_ of his place and dignity.  Besides that, probably things would
fall into confusion and disorder, while every Cardinal would be more
intent to satisfie his own ends; and, as they say, draw the water to his
Mill, than to mind the necessities of the State and Church.

If the _Pope_ could do nothing without the counsel and assent of the
Cardinals, How would he be able to treat any Leagues, make Wars, or
Peace?  Which are things so incident to the nature of a great State, such
as the _Pope’s_ is, that it can seldom be without them.  There would be
framed a thousand difficulties in the very beginnings of Negotiations;
and the Enemy would know all before you had resolved any thing.  Every
Cardinal would support his Prince and Country, and at last they would all
be so embarassed and confounded, that they would either be in danger of
losing themselves for the Church, or of exposing the Church to mischief
to save themselves.

How would it be fit, that the _Pope_ should advise with the Senate of
Cardinals, if they themselves are his and the Churches greatest enemies,
If they have not only promised, but sworn fidelity to the Party of those
Princes that give them Pensions and Revenues?  How then can they follow
the _Pope’s_ directions, or consent to his designs?  Certainly they must
either cheat the Prince, that they may be true to the Church; or be false
to the Church, that they may not be ungrateful to those Princes, whose
money they have taken.

There are some Cardinals that would not care, if all were lost, so they
did but save their Family, which is under the protection of some Prince;
and avoid themselves the reproach of ingratitude from their Benefactors.

The greatest part of the Cardinals are either of the _French_ or
_Spanish_ Faction, and each of them makes it his greatest glory to defend
the Pretensions of the Crown he protects, whether just or unjust; so that
often between them they neglect and ruine the Interests of the Church and
_Pope_.  How were it possible then for the _Pope_ either to preserve
himself or the Church in its Prerogatives, if he would take and follow
the counsel of those whose interest makes them the Enemies to both;
though they pretend, that what they do is only out of a tender
consideration of the publick good.

To this purpose I remember that a certain _Italian_ Cardinal, being weary
of holding for many years on the _Spaniards_ side, gave himself to the
_French_ by the mediation of a better Pension which they promised him.
And indeed the Cardinals, whatsoever they pretend, have no other
inclination to either party than what their Interest leads them to; For
he that gives highest Pensions, and the best Benefices, is sure to have

This Cardinal, having thus renounced the _Spaniard_, did go about to take
away the imputation of inconstancy and self-interest; and would say in
all companies, _That he had no other end in doing so_, _but a desire to
be able to serve the Church and_ Pope _the better_.

But another Cardinal, of great experience and prudence, hearing him one
day discourse after this rate, could not forbear saying these words to
him, _I wish to __God that your Eminence_, _that have never been able to
do the Church any service while you were a true_ Spaniard, _may do her
some now you are a counterfeit_ Frenchman.  And this he said in the
presence of divers Cardinals and Embassadours.

Let us then conclude, that the State and Church can never be well
governed, as to the point in hand, if the _Popes_ be without Nephews to
relye on, and in whose secrecy they may confide.

_Innocentius_ the tenth was so convinced of this truth, that finding
himself deprived of those helps which he could not receive from his
lawful Kindred by reason of their inabilities; and withal seeing that he
was exposed to the unsatiable avarice of a woman, his Sister-in-Law, he
was fain to take the young _Astalli_ and declare him Cardinal Nephew, and
_Padrone_, giving him the name of _Pamphilio_; and in a word, made him in
_Rome_, as _Pharaoh_ was in _Ægypt_, the Governour of all things.

But what hapned?  This young Cardinal not being able to comply with the
_Pope’s_ humours, and having no tye of Consanguinity upon him, was rather
a Traytor to him than a Nephew; for he did reveal to the _Spaniards_,
from whom he did secretly receive good Pension, all that passed through
his hands, or that could come to his knowledge: caring not how he
hazarded and engaged the _Pope’s_ Honour and Reputation.

Particularly, at that time that the _Pope_ and the _Barberins_ together,
did consult how they should fall upon the Kingdom of _Naples_ and divide
it among themselves, _Astalli_ all day long did set spies, and endeavour
himself to discover their Counsels; and then secretly in the night did
give the _Spaniards_ notice of all; who, being thus well instructed, did
easily prevent their Enemies designs, by taking away all those means
which the Pretendants relied upon for the execution of their Enterprize.

Upon this the _Pope_ enraged against _Astalli_, banished him from _Rome_,
took away from him all that he had so liberally given him, except the
quality of Cardinal; of which he could not be deprived but for great
crimes, and that by a fair trial too.

Now if the _Pope Innocent_ could not trust one whom he had raised from
nothing; and if the secrets of his Court were revealed and published by a
Cardinal so much obliged to him, How can other _Popes_ trust Cardinals
that are as it were their enemies by being too much other Princes

These are the reasons that force the _Popes_ to call their Kindred about
them, and shew them all demonstrations of kindness; and I think they are
such as prove that the _Pope_ cannot govern according to the rules of
good Policy, if their Kindred be not with them, and have not a share in
their fortune.

And if it be so, Why do we murmur so much against the _Popes_ for
spending the Treasure of the Church in maintaining the greatness of their
Nephews? since it is certain that their Pomp and State is the Churches.
And to what shall its Treasure be useful, except it serve to make the
Majesty of the Popedom appear to the eyes of the world?  For there is no
doubt, that if the _Pope’s_ Spiritual Authority were not held up and
maintained by his Temporal Power, it would soon be ruined and despised.
For now adaies the reputation of riches and strength is that, which
breeds respect for the Popedom; as in the Primitive Ages of the Church it
was upheld by holiness of life, and good example.

Poor Church-men are indeed respected still by some devout Women, and the
Vulgar: But they are despised in the Courts of Princes; where the Rich
are welcome, and honourably received.  A poor Church-man must wear a
Hair-cloth, Fast, do Penitence, and work Miracles to be known and
respected: But a rich one, without more ado, shall immediately be saluted
and welcomed even where he is unknown.

Why are the Jesuites so in vogue in the World, and desired in Courts, as
if Princes could not be without them.  The Vulgar adore them, Noblemen
respect them, and Magistrates grant them protection and priviledges.  Is
it that they serve the Church better than other Church-men?  No
certainly: For the Orders of Saint _Francis_ and Saint _Dominick_ have
spent more bloud in the profession of the Christian Faith in a Day, than
the Jesuites in an Age; neither do they live a more exemplary or a
stricter life than others.  How comes it to pass then, that they are so
powerful?  I will tell you; Money is the Key which opens all doors to
these good Fathers, by which they purchase Credit, Power, and Authority,
even amongst Church-men, and in the Court of _Rome_.

The _Popes_ by this, seeing how important a thing Riches are in the hands
of Church-men, do very wisely strive to furnish their _Nipotismo_ with
them; that as they are to treat and manage the greatest affairs of
Christendom: so they may do it with the Pompe and State, that so Eminent
an Employment does require.


The Contents.

_IN which is discoursed_, _of all the good and ill that the_ Pope’s
_Nephews have done the Church ever since_ Sixtus _the Fourth_.  _Of the
Church of Christ_, _compared to a Field_.  _Of those that first bestowed
Riches upon the Church_.  _Of the insatiability of the_ Nipotismo _in
general_.  _Of the Princes that murmur against the mischiefs caused by
the_ Pope’s _Nephews in_ Christendom.  _Of the honour that Princes
receive in bestowing Revenues upon the Church_.  _How the Scandal was
first introduced in the Church_.  _Of the Complaints made against the_
Popes.  _Of the_ Primum movens, _that gives Motion to the Sphere of the_
Nipotismo.  _Of a Comparison betwixt the Gospel and the Churchmen_.  _Of
a Dispute between __a_ Papist _Preacher_, _and a_ Protestant.  _Of the
Spirit of the_ Nipotismo, _inclined to gather Riches_.  _Of the
impossibility of serving God and the World_.  _Of the Excommunication of
the_ Lucheses _by_ Urban _the Eighth_.  _Why men are so easily
corrupted_.  _Of an Accident that befel St_. Francis _of_ Assiza.  _Of
another that befel St_. Francis _of_ Paola.  _Of a false Opinion_,
_maintained by some Divines_.  _Of a Discourse held by_ Ferdinand, _Great
Duke of_ Toscany, _to a Pilgrim that was going to_ Rome.  _Of the great
number of Decrees that have been made to reform the Church-men_.  _Of the
People that complain of the_ Nipotismo.  _How all_ Christendom _is
scandalized by it_.  _How the Monks exclaim against it_, _because it
starves them_.  _How often Princes withdraw from_ Rome _discontented_.
_Of the_ Popes _that cannot reform the Abuses of the Church_, _except
they begin with their Nephews_.  _Of_ Alexander _the Seventh_, _and his
austere Life_.  _How the good Example he gave in the beginning of his_
Pontificate, _was of great profit to the Church_.  _Of some_ Protestants
_that went to_ Rome _on purpose_, _upon the noise of his exemplary Life_.
_How he left off hating_, _and fell to loving his Kindred_.  _Of_ Don
Mario, _the Head of this_ Nipotismo.  _Of the Disorder that was in_ Rome,
_about the Accident that befel the Duke of_ Crequy.  _Of the damage done
to the Church by it_.  _Of_ Don Agostino, _and his high Carriage_.  _Of
the Cardinal_ Padrone _his inclination to sensual Pleasure_.  _Of the
Taxes and Oppression of the_ Pope’s _Subjects_.  _Of a particular Opinion
about the Peoples Vices_.  _Of the pitiful condition of the Church in_
Innocentius _the Tenth’s time_.  _Of the Renunciation of the Cardinals
Cap_, _made by the __Prince_ Pamphilio.  _How_ Donna Olympia _did carry
her self towards the_ Nipotismo.  _Of the Princes_ Ludovisio _and_
Giustiniani.  _Of the_ Nipotismo _of_ Urban _the Eighth_.  _Of the
Praises given to this_ Nipotismo, _by those who have writ the Life of_
Urban.  _Of the Policy of the Nephews of the_ Popes.  _Of the most
remarkable Passages of the Life of_ Urban.  _How the Writers did
dissemble all the ill done by him_.  _Of the_ Barberins _Proceedings
towards the Emperour and King of_ Poland.  _Of the scandal which the_
Protestants _themselves did receive from their Dealings_.  _Of the
Designs of_ Gregory _the Fifteenth_, _to destroy the_ Protestants.  _How
Cardinal_ Ludovisio _his Nephew was of another Opinion_.  _Of the pains
that_ Gregory _took to get into his hands_ Marc Anthony de Dominis, _who
was fled to_ London.  _How the Prince Elector’s Library was given to the_
Pope.  _Of the Zeal of_ Paul _the Fifth towards the defence of the
Ecclesiastick Jurisdiction_.  _Of the hatred he bore to the State of_
Venice.  _How dangerous the Excommunication of the_ Venetians _was to
all_ Italy.  _Of the great constance of the_ Venetian _Senate_.  _Of the
Troubles of the Church in the_ Pontificate _of_ Clement _the Eighth_.
_How he opposed himself to_ Henry _the Fourth King of_ France.  _Of that
King’s Resolution_.  _Of the Proceedings of_ Sixtus _the Fifth towards
his Kindred_.  _How he banished one of his Relations_.  _Of his_
Nipotismo, _that did the Church neither good nor harm_.  _Of the
Resolution of_ Sixtus, _to Excommunicate_ Henry _the Third of_ France.
_How the Cardinals opposed it_.  _Of that King’s Death_.  _How_ Sixtus
_did not much care to assist the League in_ France.  _Of some
Particularities of the_ Nipotismo _of_ Gregory _the Fifteenth_.  _Of the
great disorder that was in_ Rome _in the time of_ Paul _the Fourth_.  _Of
the Cardinal_ Caraffa _that died last_: _And of some other
Particularities about other_ Popes.

THAT which we have said in the precedent Book, is rather a Panegyrick for
the _Popes_ and their Nephews, than a true dis-interessed Relation,
becoming a History: Therefore lest our _Nipotismo_ should lose its Soul,
and that which will make it live, we must fall into our wonted
indifference; and by saying all the ill, and all the good that can be
said of the _Nipotismo_, perswade our Reader, as it is true, That we have
no other Design, than to relate freely and without interest its concerns.

Thus doing, the _Popes_ will have no reason to complain; since the ill
that is said, will be recompensed by the good; and the _Romans_, or my
other Readers, will not tax the Author of partiality or flattery, since
he so freely writes all that comes to his knowledge for the instruction
of the Publick.

Therefore we will treat in this Book, of all the good and all the
mischief, that the Nephews of the _Popes_ have done to the Church, ever
since _Sixtus_ the Fourth.  Their good actions shall be set out, that the
Memory of the dead may be revived, and due Honour given to the living
that deserve it.  And their ill deeds shall not be forgotten, that they
may be hated by all Mankind; and that the Nephews of the _Popes_ to come,
hearing the blame they undergo, may learn to esteem good actions, and
avoid ill ones.

But the greatest difficulty that I find in the execution of this my
design, will be, how to separate the good Corn from the Tares: for all
that the _Nipotismo_ does, is thought good and just by them, though never
so wicked; and the _Romans_, on the contrary, will scarce allow of any of
their actions, though never so virtuous.

Christ has often compared in his Gospel the Church to a Field; and indeed
it was a very fit Metaphor: for, like a Field, it has always been either
sowed, or mowed; and it is a hard matter to know, whether the number of
the Sowers does exceed that of the Mowers, though their Employment be
very different.

But certainly we may say, That the _Popes_ Nephews have always been the
Mowers, and the rest of Christian Princes the Sowers.  And as Princes
have made no difficulty of taxing themselves and their Subjects, and
parting with the dearest fruits of their labours, to give to the Church;
so the _Pope’s_ Nephews have made no scruple of dissipating and spending
in their Pastimes and Pleasures, that which Princes had spared out of
their own Treasure for them.

What would _Constantine_, _Pepin_, _Charlemagne_, the Countess
_Mathilda_, and so many other Princes say, if they should come into the
World again, to see those Lands and Revenues, which they so charitably
gave to the Church, divided, and cast lots for, as his Vestments?  Truly
I think, that they would now think it as a pious Work, to take from the
Church-men by force, that which they had before given so willingly: and
this because they would deliver so many People from the intolerable
oppression of these _Nipotismo’s_.  And indeed their insatiability is
such, that the Church and the State, ruined and spoiled as it is by so
many hungry _Nipotismo’s_, would scarce suffice for their maintenance, if
Forreign Princes did not take a pride in enriching the Church by great
Revenues, which are all devoured by the hungry _Nipotismo’s_; who are
very justly compared to the _Hydra’s_ Heads, whereof one was no sooner
cut off, but there sprung seven worse and more envenomed in the place.

It is a kind of a Miracle to me, to hear Princes murmur at the disorders
the _Nipotismo’s_ commit, in robbing the Church, and perverting the use
of its Riches; And yet to see those very same Princes contribute out of
their own Revenues, and their Peoples Sweat and Labour, towards the
enriching of those that they blame.

I think it would be as great a piece of Justice to punish those that are
robb’d, as to chastise him that commits the Theft: For if so, the number
of Thieves would diminish infinitely; since every body then would take as
much care in preserving, as the Thief could use Art in stealing.  Whereas
now every one relying upon the surety of the Publick Laws, and the
punishment that attends those that violate them, does as it were give an
occasion of offending against them; and as the Proverb says, _The
Occasion makes the Thief_; which is as much as to say, That they that are
negligent in preserving their own, are the cause that others have a mind
to it.

If Princes following this Truth, did shut up their Treasures, and stop
that Stream of Wealth which flows from their States to _Rome_, while they
see that it is all ill us’d, and employed to the ruine of the Church and
True Religion; certainly the _Pope’s_ Nephews would not commit so many
Scandals: neither would the World have so much reason to murmur against

But our Complaints are not like to cease, while Princes shall think it
honourable and pious to oppress their Subjects, that they may supply the
Court of _Rome_: And, on the other side, the _Nipotismo_ shall make no
scruple of taking any thing from the Church and State, and alledge for
their excuse, _That they take nothing but what is the superfluous part of
the Churches Revenue_.

What do so many Abbies, Pensions, and other Revenues, which Princes
bestow upon Church-men, serve for; but to weaken so much their own
States, and strengthen another Princes? to make that which is Sacred,
Profane? turn Crosses into Swords, and Humility into Pride and Majesty?
And when they have bestowed thus their Gifts and Presents upon those that
do not need them, they are not only forsaken in their greatest distress
by Church-men; but are set upon by them, and brought to their ruin, that
the Church may have the Soveraignty over their People, in the Place of
the lawful Princes.

All the disorders and scandals of the Church, State, and Church-men, take
their rise from their Riches.  When the Church was poor, Church-men were
holy, having nothing to employ their minds about, but the Rules of a Good
Life: but since once Riches came amongst them, farewell Holiness of Life;
they have not the leisure; they are too much taken up with telling their
Money, buying and selling Estates and Princedoms; they forget those
spiritual Riches of the Soul, and mind only those that relate to the
Pleasures of the Body.

Riches came in by little and little upon the Church, and by the same
degrees Sanctity and Holiness of Life went out.  They that read the
History of the Church, cannot chuse but have discerned all along the
truth of what I say.

And yet every one knowing this, and being so forward to complain and
murmur against the _Popes_ avarice, and their Nephews prodigality; no
body thinks of blaming those that by continual Gifts do every day supply
and furnish them with these Instruments of Wickedness.

Christ has declared definitively, and pronounced with his own mouth, in
the sixth Chapter of Saint _Matthew_, _That it is impossible to serve God
and Mammon_.  Now _Mammon_ being interpreted Riches by most, nay by all,
the conclusion is, _That it is impossible to serve God and Riches_.

The _Popes_, on the other side, do by their continual practice prove to
the World, in enriching their Families, that they are firmly perswaded,
that one may at the same time serve God, and the _Mammon_ or Riches of
this World; or else certainly they would give over tormenting themselves,
to make their Kindred great.

Riches are that _Primum Movens_ which set the Sphere of the _Nipotismo_ a
going; and we may say, That in this Heaven of theirs, they are no less
devout than poor simple Women are, to purchase that which is promised
them by the Church of_ Rome_: For as the one falls down before a
Crucifix, and adores the Altar, to gain Indulgences; so do the _Pope’s_
Nephews prostrate themselves before their Treasures, and believe that
they obtain the pardon of all their faults, in worshipping the Coffers in
which they have buried the Churches Riches.

Now if Christ has said, _That there is no serving God and Riches_, How
can the _Popes_ give their Nephews leave to serve Riches and God?  Have
the _Popes_ the Power of giving our Saviour the Lie?  For what is it
else?  For either they believe not Christ’s Words to be true, or else
they are resolved to contradict them in their Practice; both which are
abominable to any rational or serious Christian: though I believe that in
_Italy_ there are thousands who, frighted by the Inquisition, would
rather answer, _That Christ was mistaken in his Doctrine_, than say,
_That the_ Pope _does amiss in his Practice_.

About four years ago I was in _Bagni del Vallé_, a Town so called; where,
amongst others, was a Father of the Order of Saint _Augustine_, by name
Father _Paolo Segani_, who called himself a Preacher; though for my part
I believe he was so far from being a good Divine, that he was scarce
Master of the Rules of _Grammar_ in the _Latin_ Tongue.

This good Father was one day engaged in a Dispute with a Protestant
Gentleman, about the Infallibility of the _Pope_; and there were many of
both Religions present, amongst whom I was one.  The _Protestant_ was a
_Frenchman_, called _Jean Antony Guerin_, a Doctor of Physick, and a very
ingenious Gentleman; but one who excelled in the knowledge of the Holy
Scripture, and did so well understand all the hard Passages of it, that
the Ministers of his Religion did often take great pleasure to hear him
discourse with so much ability about it.

The Dispute on the Catholick’s side was most spent in Words, he being
able to answer to all the Protestant’s Reasons with nothing but a
Negative, and say, _It is not true_, _That is false_.

But at last, as they grew warm, the Protestant pressing closer upon him,
put this Question to him, on purpose because he saw him so ignorant.
_Whether or no it were easier for Christ to have err’d in delivering his
Gospel_, _than for the_ Pope _to erre in his Decrees_?

At this the Monk smiled, and thinking to hit the nail on the head,
answer’d him boldly, _That he believed that Christ_, _as Man_, _might
have erred_; _but that the_ Pope, _as God_, _could not erre_.

At this Answer the Protestant burst out a laughing, and so did some
_Swisser_ Ladies, who without doubt had more wit and discernment in
matters of Religion, than this impertinent Monk.  And thus the Dispute
ceased; the Protestant contenting himself to have shewed the others
Ignorance, and the Monk thinking he had answer’d most invincibly.

And indeed, in what Soul or Mind can this Opinion be receiv’d, That the
_Pope_ is more infallible than Christ; That God should fail in his Words,
and a _Pope_ be infallible in His Decrees?  O Blasphemy, and horrible
Error in the poor abus’d People! who give more credit to the _Pope’s_
words, than to Christ’s own Gospel.

It has been observed, that in the _Popes_ Families there has been Saints,
even amongst their inferiour rank of their Servants; and yet there never
was any of their Nephews Saints.  I have turned over great Volumes of the
Church-History, a purpose to see if amongst that great number of men, who
are said to has performed Miracles, there were any one of a Nipotismo to
be found amongst them: But truly I lost my pains; for the _Popes_, who
have filled up the _Roman_ Kalendar with thousands of Saints, have not
yet been able to place one of their Nephews there.  And indeed, how is it
possible that they, that live in delight and greatness, should have room
amongst those that have purchased their place in heaven by sufferings and

And me-thinks, it is a sad thing to observe for the Nephews, that all the
harm the Church has received was from those amongst them that shewed the
strongest Propension to Riches and Power: whereas all the good that has
been done by them comes from those amongst them that have been moderate,
and contented with ordinary riches.  And now if we measure the good by
these moderate men, and the ill by the insatiable, the number of the last
being much greater than that of the first, will demonstrate to us that
the damage the Church receives from the _Nipotismo_ is much greater then
the good they ever did or will do to it.

In the time that _Urban_ the eighth Excommunicated the _Lucheses_ for
going about to repress the Insolence of Church-men in their State; all
the _Italian_ Princes sided with them, not out of any particular
affection to them, but out of a politick reason, they being all concern’d
in the loss of _Lucca_, for thereby the Ecclesiastick State and the pride
of the _Nipotismo_ would have been encreased.  And yet no body for all
this durst say any thing against the _Pope’s_ Person or Authority, but
lay all the fault upon the _Nipotismo_; As one day I heard a Senator of
_Venice_ discoursing in these words:

_Italy has little reason to complain of the_ Popes, _but it has a great
deal to murmur against their Nephews_.  Urban _would be good and holy if_
Francesco Antonio _and_ Tadeo Barberini _were not devils_; _but as his
affection blinds him to them_, _so does their pride blind them in their
conduct towards Princes_.  _Because they __have a Vail drawn over their
eyes_, _they think that all the world must be one colour_.  _And they are
so busied from morning to night in disposing of that vast Treasure which
they have already gathered_, _and in inventing new waies to purchase
more_, _that they think not of getting the favour of those Princes who
will remain such when the_ Barberins _shall cease to be Lords and
Masters_.  _If their Interest had not so great an Empire over them they
would govern the Church better_; _and in a word_, _the Church would be in
them_, _and not they in the Church_.

But what a strange Sacrilegious opinion is that which is maintained by
the Divines of the Church of _Rome_? viz. _That one who has got his
riches by Extortions_, _and oppressing of the poor_, _and any wicked
way_, _is not obliged to a restitution to the poor_: _But it is enough if
when he dies he leaves his Estate to some Church_, _founds a Monastery_,
_or an Hospital_; as if it were lawful to transgress the Law of God, and
bring ones self into a state of damnation to satisfie that covetous and
insatiable humour of the Church-men.

If the Walls of _Rome_ could speak, and the Fabricks of so many stately
Cloysters had mouths to make themselves heard; if those vast Palaces of
the _Nipotismos_ were animated; Oh! How many tender-hearted Christians
would be fain to forsake the City, and retire into desarts, that they
might not hear the stones complain for the poor, and lament their

_Ferdinand_, Second Duke of _Toscany_, having a great deal of reason to
complain of the _Barberins_ proceedings towards him, said one day to one
who was about to go in Pilgrimage to _Rome_: _That the holiest Temple
__that he should see there would be the_ Barberins _Palace_, _for that it
was cemented and built with the bloud of many Martyrs_.

If any body in _Rome_ should steal but the value of six pence in his
greatest necessity from a Priest, without doubt the _Nipotismo_, who has
the Government of the City in their hands, would cause him to be hang’d
immediately: and yet they that rob and spoyl the Church go off free, and
without any punishment.

Every day there comes out some new Order from the Datary-Office for the
reformation of the abuses committed by Church-men in their employments;
and the _Popes_ do give often particular Commissions to This and That
Cardinal to enquire into the lives of the Monks, and take away those
Scandals which do every day encrease: And yet for all this the _Romans_
observe, that the more the Decrees of Reformation are, the more are the
Vices multiplied; the disease being so stabborn and inveterate, that it
grows worse when the Physician goes about to apply remedies to it.

The _Pope’s_ subjects curse the _Nipotismo_ for their Tyranny and
Extortions.  Christendom is scandalized to see that they little believe
that Religion of which they make so great Profession.  The Church weeps
and sheds tears to see its bowels gnawn and torn by the _Nipotismo_.  The
State, weakned by so many Taxes and Oppressions, sends its cries to
Heaven against them.  The Monks exclaim, seeing that the _Nipotismo’s_
Avarice deprives them of their Profit, and makes them contribute towards
the maintenance of their Grandeur.  Princes and Embassadours retire
discontented from _Rome_, not being able to endure the _Nipotismo’s_
insolence.  The Altars themselves are often forsaken and stand empty, the
Nephews refusing to grant Indulgences without money.

Certainly these abuses, these disorders, these scandals should drive the
_Popes_ out of _Rome_.  That Gardener that does only cut the top of the
Weeds, and not root them out, is but an ill Gardener.  But how can the
_Popes_ reform the abuses of the Church, if they do not begin with their
Nephews?  For it would also else be a very preposterous Reformation that
should begin with the Effect, and leave the Cause untouched.  Some say,
that the _Popes_ are holy in the Reformations of the Breviary, and the
chastizing of the _Romans_ for their faults: But they are devils in
leaving the crimes of their Nephews unpunished; for they trusting to
their Uncles Indulgence, do slack the Reins, which should curb the
natural inclination which we all have to do ill.

But it is now time to enter into a particular Narration of the good and
hurt the Church has received from the _Nipotismo_; and as we begun their
History at _Sixtus_ the fourth, and continued it down to _Alexander_ the
seventh now reigning: So we will now begin at _Alexander_, and trace it
backwards up to _Sixtus_ the fourth.

The first mischief, and indeed the most considerable one, caused by the
_Nipotismo_ of _Alexander_, was the change made by them in the _Pope_;
whom from godly, pious, and inclin’d to mortification, they have made
sensual and ambitious.

_Alexander_ in the first months of his elevation to the Popedom had so
taken upon him the profession of an Evangelical life, that he was wont to
season his meat with ashes, to sleep upon a hard Couch, to hate Riches,
Glory, and Pomp; taking a great pleasure to give audience to Embassadours
in a Chamber full of dead mens skuls, and in the sight of his Coffin,
which stood there to put him in mind of his death.

The Cardinals, the Princes, the Prelates, the _Romans_ were all touched
with so pious an Example, and did begin to think of reforming their
lives.  The Hereticks themselves did bear that respect to his Holiness,
as to prostrate themselves in the streets, when he went through _Rome_,
not so much in fear of his Majesty, as in honour of his Vertue.  Divers
French Protestants came on purpose to _Rome_ to know whether his words
did answer his reputation, and if he did really lead the life he was said
to lead.  The noyse of his Sanctity being so great in _France_, that it
was almost impossible to believe all that was said of it.

Thus lived _Alexander_, while he lived without a _Nipotismo_: But no
sooner had they set their feet in _Rome_ but the _Pope_ changed his
nature, or rather came to himself; for instead of Humility, succeeded
Vanity; his Mortification vanished, and his hard Couch, was changed into
a soft Feather-bed; his dead-mens skuls, into so many Jewels; and his
thoughts of death, into eternal designs of Ambition and Grandeur: Filling
up his empty Coffin with Money, as if he had a design to corrupt death,
and purchase life with Riches.

Hereupon a publick Minister, returning from his Audience the very same
day that the _Nipotismo_ came to _Rome_; and having felicitated his
Holiness upon their arrival, said, as soon as he came home, to one of his
friends these very words: _He is not of the same humour he was wont to
be_; _he was us’d to stand with __his eyes fixed upon the ground_, _and
now he does nothing but fix them upon_ Don Agostino; _Heretofore we did
hear him sigh_ often, _and now he is as inclined to laugh_.  _I am afraid
the_ Nipotismo _has already spoyled him_.

This is the first harm that they have done the Church.  I do not know
what good they may do hereafter, but hitherto they have done so little
that it is invisible; whereas the mischief they are Authors of, is
obvious to all eyes.  _Don Mario_, who is the _Pope’s_ Brother, and the
Head of the _Nipotismo_, does exercise his place of Governour of _Rome_
with so much Tyranny, that the City it self is become odious to many
Families of quality, who have left and removed to other Towns, that they
might not be any longer subject to one who gives occasion of complaint to
the People, the Gentry, and Strangers; For he is not only averse from
doing curtesies, and inexorable in punishments; but he is inclin’d to
disgust all those who, having to do with him, do not appease his angry
genius with money.

Besides, assuming to himself, in the Government of the _Borgo_, a greater
Authority than does belong to him of right, he does, as it were eclipse
and stifle the jurisdiction of the Governour of _Rome_; who often is
forced to own those faults of which he is innocent, _Don Mario_ laying
upon him all the miscarriages, and taking to himself all the profit of
both places.  For proof of this I will bring an example which will never
be forgot by Posterity.

In the time that the Duke of _Crequy_ received that affront to see his
Coach assaulted and fired upon by the _Pope’s_ Guards; the _Cardinal
Imperiale_, who was then Governour of _Rome_, was so innocent of this
accident, that he did not so much as know of it till it was past, and
then he found that _Don Mario_ had so engag’d him in it, that there was
no retiring; and indeed though he have since made a Journey into _France_
to justifie himself: nevertheless the French Court, who cannot forget the
affront done the King and Nation, can less avoid remembring of Cardinal
_Imperiale_, who was charged as the Author of it.

And yet they are very well informed that the design was laid by _Don
Mario_, and the execution only charged upon Cardinal _Imperiale_, who has
been fain to endure that humiliation and punishment which did belong to
the other.

Indeed if the _Pope_ had not in good time made satisfaction for the
Injury, the _French_ King was resolved to seek his reparation by his
Sword; not against the _Pope_, who knew nothing of the business till
after it was brought about; but against his Brother, who had set
_Imperiale_ upon the execution of it.

But in the reparation, the Church was the most endammaged; for besides
the loss of its honour, and that respect which was wont to be borne to
it, it received a very great blow in its strength and riches: for not
only the _Pope’s Nuncio_ was immediately sent away from the French Court,
but also his Vice-Legat was driven from _Avignon_, and the Court of
_Rome_ was forced to entertain an Army all the time of the Treaty, and
before, for fear of being surpriz’d by the Kings Forces; and when it did
come to an agreement, it was concluded in a dishonourable and shameful
way for _Rome_, and for the Church.  This is the good and profit that the
Signor _Don Mario_ has brought to the Church; and yet in the Articles of
Peace there was little or no mention made of his person.

The _Pope_, for all this, is so pre-possessed with a good opinion of him,
that he does give him thereby an occasion, and almost an invitation of
committing more _mischief_, than he would do otherwise.

But if _Don Mario_ has been useless, or rather prejudicial to the Church,
certainly _Don Agostino_, his Nephew, has been little better: He is one
that would seem to be born to an Empire; and were it _Alexander’s_ or
_Cæsar’s_ he did enjoy, he would not show a more lofty carriage, nor
affect a greater insolence.

When he goes through the City, he does so little regard any body, that he
is scarce induced to salute those Gentlemen that civilly do prevent him
by pulling off their hats first: but he never begins to any body, no not
to a Prince; which is so odious, that for that only pleasure of seeing
his pride abated, the Romans do wish the _Pope’s_ death.

He did, what lay in his power, to make an eternal Enemy of the Family of
the _Colonna’s_; which is the noblest and best beloved of _Rome_, and
countenanced by the greatest Monarchs of Christendom; and if the _Pope_
had not wisely caused satisfaction to be made for the affront done to the
_Colonnas_ at the Theatre, the Family of the _Chigi_ would have incurred
the enmity of a House, which in time might have been revenged, or at
least in the quarrel the City of _Rome_ would have been divided, and in a
kinde of War within its self.

The Cardinal _Padrone_ too on his side giving himself too much up to
sensual pleasures, is the cause of great disorders in the Court and
Church; for all the Congregations of Cardinals, of which he is the head,
are much puzled how to deal with, and humour a man, who cares for nothing
less than that which is committed to his care.  Some of the Cardinals and
Prelates take example by him, and do commit great scandals; for which
they excuse themselves by saying, _That the Cardinal_ Padrone _does
commit greater_.  And thus betwixt them the poor Church is ill serv’d in
both its Temporal and Spiritual.

I have nothing to say of the other Nephews and Kindred of the _Pope_; for
supposed they had good inclinations, they have little or no occasion to
bring them to effect for the publick good, they being not admitted to any
publick employment.  And indeed it would be but loss of time for any body
to summe up the good this _Nipotismo_ has done the Church; for it is so
little, and their ill actions are so many, that it would be stifled by
them, like good Corn by Tares.

The people is more oppressed than ever, the City is ill provided, and all
things are dear and scarce; the Prelates are discontented, and the money
it self is condemned to a perpetual confinement in _Don Mario’s_, and the
_Nipotismo’s_ Coffers.

It is a strange thing to see, that the _Popes_ should have the power to
perswade others to renounce their fortunes, to run into Monasteries, to
embrace Pilgrimages, and Mortifications; and yet not be able to perswade
a little moderation to their Nephews, and make them content themselves
with that lawful encrease of their Fortunes, which every body is well
pleased to allow them: but they must still be laying taxes upon the
people, and discontent upon Princes and States.

I have a friend that is of opinion, that by the means of Indulgences, the
peoples vices do daily diminish.  I know not whether it be true or no,
but I am sure that the _Nipotismos_ do daily increase, they little caring
for Indulgences, and being of opinion, that the _Pope_ is obliged to open
them the door of Paradise by force.  And though this may be taken as a
facetious conceit, yet I am certain that the _Nipotismos_ in good earnest
do little frequent Churches, but are more employed in getting of money,
and taking their pleasure.

But now it is time to speak of _Innocentius_ the 10th. his _Nipotismo_,
of which it may be said, that it did a little good, and no hurt; because
it was alwayes under the _Popes_ disgrace, and _Donna Olympia’s_
oppression; so that none of it were able to show either their malice or
their bounty, if they had any: for that good which they did do, may be as
well interpreted to proceed from a design of winning the peoples favour,
to whom only they could have recourse in their disgrace, as from any good
Principles of their own.

But however it were, the poor Church was never the better; for what
between _Innocentio’s Capriccios_, and _Donna Olympia’s_ tyranny, it was
most miserably governed; and the Court brought into such a disorder, that
the like was never seen before, nor I hope will not be hereafter: since
the impression and mark of those blows which it received then are still
to be seen in the face of the Church, and will appear to fright all those
that should go about to bring a like scandal upon it.

And first the renunciation of the Cardinals Cap made by Prince
_Pamphilio_, though it were in it self a very necessary action, for the
preservation of the _Pamphilian_ Family, was nevertheless scandalous and
injurious to the Churches reputation; the more because being made without
his Uncle’s consent, it so looked as if this eminent Dignity of Cardinal
were a thing to make sport with, and a profession as easily cast off
without shame, as it is ordinarily conferred without merit.

But this had been but an inconsiderable fault, which would have been
forgiven without pain in this disorderly age, if all Christendom had not
been offended by the tyrannical government of the proud _Donna Olympia_;
who having usurped that power which the _Popes_ do ordinarily confer on
the _Nipotismo_, had brought them to such a desperate case, that they did
almost revolt against their Uncle; whose humorsome fancy did make such
work by displacing one, and putting in another, sometimes a true,
sometimes a false Nephew, and sometimes governing without any at all,
that the most patient and unconcern’d spectator could not behold so
capricious a Prince without indignation.

_The Nipotismo_ being by _Donna Olympia’s_ means depriv’d of the power of
doing good, had nevertheless the faculty of doing mischief left them; and
the Lady would have been well pleased with it, for she did seek after all
occasions of making them odious to the _Pope_, and to every body else:
but they perceiving her design, became good, or at least innocent, out of
spight, that the imputation of all the miscarriages might fall upon her
alone, they being not disposed to bear a part of the pain, who had none
in the pleasure.

For this reason the Prince _Pamphilio_ was alwayes most obliging and
ready to serve the Church, and those that requir’d his assistance; giving
therein demonstrations of his good nature, and hopes that he might one
day rule better with his natural simplicity and equity, then _Donna
Olympia_ with her refin’d, but wicked policies.

So the two Princes _Ludovisio_, and _Giustiniani_ did behave themselves
with all care and circumspection, out of a design of pleasing the vulgar;
since they could not be admitted to please their Uncle, whose affections
they had lost, without having any thing laid to their charge that might
deserve so severe a punishment.  Let us therefore conclude the innocence
of this _Nipotismo_, who never had the power of doing any good, nor the
convenience of doing any harm to the Church; which nevertheless was
severely handled by that impudent and covetous _Donna Olympia_.

Now let us go a step higher, and come to the _Nipotismo_, of _Urban_, or
the reign of the _Barberins_; who seemed to be born for the Empire of the
world: and of them indeed there is much to be said.  For in the space of
three and twenty years, there was occasion for every one of them to show
his parts and inclinations, and make the world acquainted with their

They that have writ the life of _Urban_, having proposed to themselves no
other design than that of pleasing the _Barberins_, do make perpetual
Encomiums of his good actions, but pass silently all his ill ones, that
they might not lose that favour, which to purchase they had undertaken to
transmit such gross flatteries to posterity.

There is no doubt but _Urban_ did very much advantage the Church and
State, enriching them with a great number of Hospitals, Churches,
Colledges, Libraries, Castles, Forts, Altars, Temples, Canonizations, and
Beatifications: but if we consider the greatness of his visible Revenue,
for the space of three and twenty year, we shall finde that his expences
are inconsiderable compared to it.

I am acquainted with a Roman, who had the curiosity for two years
together to inform himself of all the expences of the _Barberins_ in the
Pontificate of their Uncle, that is, of all the money they had laid out
both for the Church and their own Family, and found by computation, that
the publick expense consisted in nine millions and a half of Crowns; and
their visible private one in twelve.

Let it not seem strange to any one, if I say visible, for every body
knows, that the great policy of the _Nipotismo_ consists in hiding their
own expenses, and publishing those that they are at for the Church; whose
rotten Walls they ordinarily plaister over with a little Lime and Water,
while they build new ones for themselves, covering them with some sad
colour that they may hide the expense.

They that will please themselves, let them read the Life of _Urban_,
which has been inserted among the rest of the Lives of the _Popes_,
composed by _Platina_, and there they will meet with such a quantity of
his good works, that they cannot chuse but esteem him as one of the
holiest _Popes_ that ever was; but they that are otherwise inform’d, are
mov’d to laugh both at the _Pope_ and the Author.

There you shall meet with nothing but, that the _Pope_ visited such a
Church, confirmed such a Decree of his Predecessor, gave the people his
Benediction from the Church of St. _Jean_ of _Lateran_, visited the
Hospital of the Trinity, made a great exhortation to the Bishops, excited
the Monks to reform, beautified St. _Andrè Avellino_, received
Ambassadors with great state, opened the Holy Year with Magnificence,
consecrated the Church of the _Vatican_, gave the title of Cardinalate to
the Church of St. _Charles_, re-built the Colledge of the Grecians, _&c._

But all this while not a word of the Progress of _Gustave Adolfe_ in
_Germany_, of the Turk in the other parts of Christendom (while the
_Pope_ lets them both alone) of the excommunication of the Duke of
_Parma_, of that of the State of _Lucca_, of the affront done to the
State of _Venice_, of the disrespect show’d to the Crown of _France_ in
divers occasions, of the War begun in _Italy_, of the Catholick Religion
declining in _Poland_, of the Artifices used in the War of the
_Valtolina_, and in a word, of so many miscarriages, and offences given
to _Rome_, the State, and all Christendom, by the extravagant passions of
the _Barberins_: Of all this I say there is not a syllable, nor the least

Every one knows that _Germany_, the Empire, and the Catholick Religion
were upon the brim of their ruine, for want of succour; and yet at that
very time the _Barberins_, did make War upon the Princes of _Italy_, with
the treasure of the Church; their minde being more bent upon the raising
of their Family, than upon the conservation of Christendom.

And the mischief was, that they did so besiege the _Pope_, that there was
no means of informing him of the deplorable state of the Affairs of
Christendom; for neither the Emperour, nor the King of _Poland_ could
ever obtain any answer to their demands, which I believe never came to
the knowledge of the _Pope_, no more than their dangers.  The _Nipotismo_
answering their Ambassadors conformably to their own interest, without
any regard to the Fatherly and Pastoral care, to which their Uncle was
bound by the duty of his place.

But that which was worst of all, was, that they did not openly refuse
their help, but by delayes and promises keeping still the Emperour and
King of _Poland_ in hopes, they made them neglect to make peace with
their Enemies, and refuse those conditions, which else they would have
accepted, had not the _Barberins_ entertain’d them with the hopes now of
an Army, then of a great summe of Money; and at last disappointed them of

However the people of the State belonging to the Church were the worse
for it; for the _Barberins_ taking occasion from the obligation the
_Pope_ was in, to assist these Princes, did thereupon lay most heavy
Taxes and Impositions upon both Church-men and Layes: The simple people
stirred up by the exhortations of some Preachers who made it their
business to declare in their Sermons, That God could not be better
pleased then by that assistance given to the distressed Catholicks, did
sell all their Jewels and preciousest Houshold-stuff to give away to
those that had the Commission of gathering their Benevolence.

Out of these summes which were thus raised, the _Barberins_ did send it
may be one or two in the hundred, and this after so long waiting, and by
such chargeable wayes, that half of the money was absorbed in the
exchange: which the Emperour and King of _Poland_ having perceived, they
were fain to give over their soliciting the _Barberins_, and defend
themselves as well as they could.

The Protestants themselves, though much rejoycing at the decaying state
of the Catholick Religion in _Germany_, were nevertheless infinitely
scandalized at the _Pope’s_ proceedings, saying, as it was true, _That
the_ Barberins _did the Catholicks more mischief by denying them succour
with such dilatory wayes_, _than the Protestants by the force of Arms_.

In a word, I think it is not a hard thing to perswade that the
_Barberins_ in the time of their reign did the Church a great deal of
mischief; it would be much a harder to convince any body of the good they
have done: and it is so difficult a business, that for my part I shall
not undertake it; only I will give the _Barberins_ this good counsel,
which is, that if they desire to make posterity lose the memory of their
ill conduct under their Uncle, they endeavour to get Cardinal _Francesco
Barberino_ made _Pope_ after the death of _Alexander_; for so it may be,
that as in their Uncle’s time they did much more hurt then good, they
will under Cardinal _Francesco_, who is pious and vertuous do more good
than hurt.

There is an example of this already in the two _Popes_ of the Family of
_la Rovere_; _Sixtus_ the 4th. and _Julius_ the second; for in the time
of _Sixtus_ the _Nipotismo_ was most highly guilty towards the Church,
and did much harm, and little good; but under _Julius_ it did much good,
and little harm: so the same thing may happen for the _Barberins_, if
_Francesco_ be made _Pope_.

_Gregory_ the 15th. who was _Urban’s_ Predecessor, lived to do mischief
enough, but it seems had no time to do good: of the four parts of the
Popedom his Nephew had three, and he one.

All this Popes thoughts were bent upon the Protestants ruine,
particularly, he had a spight to _Geneva_, calling it the nest of the
Devil; and therefore he pressed the Duke of _Savoy_ to besiege it,
promising him great succors of men and money.  He likewise assisted with
all might and main the Emperour in his War against the Protestants of
_Germany_.  He failed not to solicit the King of _France_ to torment and
molest the _Huguenots_ of his Kingdom, and prevailed with him to do it:
which cost him dear, and had like to have proved fatal to his Monarchy,
though at last he remained victorious.

The Cardinal _Ludovisio_ his Nephew, quite contrary, did what lay in his
power, to quell in his Uncle, this unmeasurable desire of ruining the
Protestants, and engaging all Christendom into bloody Wars; but the
_Pope_ would never hearken to any thing that he could say about that
particular, answering him alwayes in these words, _’Tis enough that I let
you do what you will with the Catholicks_; _pray let me have the liberty
of doing what I please against the Hereticks our enemies_.

His Remonstrances to Ambassadors upon this Subject, were so frequent at
every audience that they were tired with them; and when sometimes the
Cardinal _Ludovisio_ would interpose, and say something to qualifie the
heat of the _Pope’s_ exaggerations, he would command him to hold his
tongue; and sometimes say to him, you have a touch of an Heritick in you.

He did all his endeavours by a thousand plots and Artifices, to reduce
_England_ again under the obedience of the Church of _Rome_, but all to
no purpose: at last, seeing himself disappointed in this his main design
after such pains and expense, he resolved to get back to _Rome_.  _Marc
Antony de Dominis_, who in the time of _Paul_ the fifth _Gregories_
Predecessor, had left _Italy_, and was fled into England; where, having
declared himself Protestant, he did write many shrewd books against the
_Pope_, and the Court of _Rome_, as one who was well informed of all its

The _Pope_, the better to compass his intention, sent to _London_ certain
Prelates disguised, who had been heretofore intimate with _Marc Antony_.
These, coming to him secretly, promised him not only the _Pope’s_ and the
Churches pardon; but also assured him, that he should be made Cardinal at
the next promotion.  The Archbishop, trusting to the Oaths and Engagement
of these Prelates, left _England_, and return’d once more to _Rome_,
where he made a recantation of all his Errours, as they call’d them; But
a little after, being carefully watched by the _Pope’s_ Spies, they took
hold of some words that he said; and having clapt him up in the
Inquisition Prison, began to question him for Heresie; and without doubt
he had undergone the dreadful fire of the _Roman_ Purgatory, if timely
death had not prevented the _Pope’s_ revenge.

In a word, this _Pope_ had undertaken the ruine of all Protestant
Princes; wherefore he sent great Succours to the Emperour in his war
against the Prince _Palatine_ of _Rhine_, who after some resistance was
driven out of his Country, and proclaimed Traytor to the Empire:
whereupon his dignity of Prince Elector was conferred upon _Maximilian_,
Duke of _Baviere_, a Catholick Prince, much protected by the _Pope_.

And the Emperour, in acknowledgment of the _Pope’s_ zeal and affection,
presented him with the Prince _Palatines_ Library, esteemed, for the
great number of Manuscripts in all Tongues, one of the most famous of all
_Europe_: The _Pope_, having thanked his Imperial Majesty, caused the
Library to be transported to _Rome_ with great charge and expence; and as
soon as it came, he solemnly sanctified it with his blessing, and so laid
it up.

_Paul_ the fifth was almost of the same humour, though he did not
undertake things so rashly, but would wisely consider the good and evil
that might come of them.  It is believed, that in his time an infinite
number of Hereticks return’d to the Church of _Rome_; but I am sure, that
above a hundred _Italian_ Families forsook their Country, and withdrew
into Protestant Princes Territories, where they might freely follow the
Rites of their Religion.  Particularly, they went to _Geneva_, where
great numbers resorted every day, and above all many _Lucheses_, of which
some are now aggregated amongst the principal Families of that City.

This _Pope_, though so zealous for the Church, was nevertheless very
Indulgent to his Family, who did usurp a power and authority, as
prejudicial to the Church as it was offensive to Princes; with whom the
_Borgheses_, as well as the _Barberins_, would often enter into contest.

In the time of this _Pope_, _Italy_ had like to have seen sixteen Cities
of it become Protestants, as Monsieur _De Lion_, the French King’s
Embassadour told the _Pope_; and thus the occasion was:

Paul _and his Kindred_, _for I know not what reasons_, _did bear a secret
grudge to the State of_ Venice, _and did wait for nothing more than for
some occasion of shewing their spleen_; _and it falling out that the
State of_ Venice, _according to their ancient Form of Government_, _did
put some Church-men in Prison_; _the_ Pope _upon the notice of it
excommunicated not only the Senate_, _but the whole Nation of the_
Venetians, _as if they had been guilty of their Magistrates fault_.  _But
these wise Senators were not so easily daunted_, _but resolving either to
preserve their power and authority within their Government_, _or to
hazard the ruine of it_, _set some of their Divines on work to write
against the_ Pope’s _authority_, _and his Excommunication_; _which
writings did then_, _and have since produced so great an effect in the
minds of most men_, _that now there is not any little Prince of_ Italy
_that cares for the_ Popes _Excommunication_, _as it has been clearly
seen by the examples of the Duke of_ Parma, _the Commonwealth of_ Lucca,
_the Duke_ Charles _of_ Lorain, _and many others_.

The constancy of the _Venetians_ was invincible in this occasion, and so
great, that they sent the _Pope_ word, _That if he did not recall his
Excommunication they would provide for their own preservation by such
remedies as should become the dignity of their State_, _and its ancient

And that they might the sooner bring the _Pope_ to their desires, they
politickly sent to _Geneva_ to require that City to send them some of
their most able Ministers to instruct them in the Protestant Religion.
This Artifice having frighted the _Pope_ into a condescendency, he was
fain to come to an agreement very disadvantageous for the honour of the
Sea of _Rome_.

If this _Pope_ had not been so unjustly severe towards the State of
_Venice_, he would have left a much better name behind him.  For to say
truth, he did the Church much more good than evil: but it was, and will
be, a great spot to his reputation to have gone about to undo the Bulwark
of Christendom: for such has the State of _Venice_ alwaies been reputed.

We must be forced to skip _Leo_ the eleventh (for his short life gave him
no time to do good, and hindred him from doing any harm to the Church)
and come to _Clement_ the eighth, who was a _Pope_ that lived both with
his Kindred, and for them a good while.

Christendom was involved in great troubles when he came to the
Pontificate, there being nothing but Wars and Divisions.  The Turks did
assault _Germany_, and the Protestants did torment the rest of the
Catholick Princes; besides that, the banish’d Criminals of the Kingdom of
_Naples_ had made themselves Masters of a great part of it, and spread
themselves over all the Country.  The _Pope’s_ main end, amongst all
these disorders, was first to provide for his Kindred; and that care took
up so much of his time and treasure, that he was not in a condition to
succour those Princes that were fighting for the defence of that Religion
of which he was the Head.  In the mean time the _Spaniards_, who had a
mind to hinder Henry King of Navar from possessing the Crown of France,
which he was lawful Heir of; foreseeing that of themselves they would not
be able to resist _Henry’s_ Right, nor hold out against so generous and
warlike a Prince, they did their utmost Endeavours to get the Pope on
their side, and declare against the King of Navar, as against an
Heretick, and by consequent incapable of receiving the Crown.

At first, the _Pope_ refused to engage openly in a business which would
be necessarily expensive and troublesom; and therefore for a while he let
the _Spaniards_ alone, hoping that of themselves they would be strong
enough to effect the Work without him: But they having perceived his
intention, soon made a breach in it by the means of the _Nipotismo_,
which they gained; and at whose perswasion the _Pope_ sent an Army under
the Conduct of _Appio Conti_, who was kill’d in an Encounter by some of
_Henry’s_ Forces.

The Catholick Princes of the Realm of France, who were on Henry’s side,
together with the greatest part of the Nation, sent upon this the Marquis
of _Pisani_ to _Rome_, to desire the Pope to recall his Army, and not to
oppose a Prince who had promised to be instructed in the Catholick
Religion: But the _Pope_ not only refused their Request, but would not so
much as endure that the Marquis should set his foot in any part of the
State of the Church.

Things being in this posture, _Henry_ at last resolved to dash all his
Adversaries Machines to pieces at one blow; and therefore he solemnly
renounced his Heresie, and was reconciled to the Church: So in spite of
the _Pope_ and the _Spaniards_, he obtained a Crown, which could never
have encompassed a more worthy Head than his.  After this, the _Pope’s_
Army was fain to retire, having done little or nothing.

The same hapned in _Flanders_, whither he sent another Army to help the
_Spaniards_ against the _United Provinces_, who, since the death of the
Duke of _Parma_, had obtained many Victories; but it was with as little
success as the first: So that the _Pope_, weary of spending the Treasure
of the Church to no purpose, commanded his Forces home, leaving the
_Spaniards_ to look after their own Affairs.

The Expences of this _Pope_ were exorbitant; for he did undertake every
thing rashly, and more out of _Capriccio_, than ripe judgment and
deliberation: So that he undoubtedly did the Church more hurt than good.

There is little to be said of _Innocent_ the Ninth, _Gregory_ the
Fourteenth, and _Urban_ the Seventh; for the greatest mischief they did
the Church, was, that they liv’d so little.  We will therefore come to
_Sixtus_ the Fifth.

The _Nipotismo_ of this _Pope_ was one of the most innocent ones that
ever was seen; for he hindred them from taking any part in the
Government: So that they were in the Court, like Beggars at a Church
door, of whom few People take notice.

Not that he was so severe, as to hinder them from a share in his Fortune;
for he did bestow large Revenues upon them all: observing nevertheless,
to refuse always every thing that they begg’d, and to give them when they
least thought of it.  He did much affect this sort of Generosity, or
rather Soverainty; for he never suffered any of his Relations to put
their hands into his Coffers; nay, he was so absolute, that once he
banished a Kinsman of his, because he found his House better furnished,
than it could be by those Gratifications which he had received from the
_Pope_, who used no more words with him but these, _We have given you so
much_, _and you have so much_; _How came you by the rest_?  And so
without delay he banish’d him, and divided his Fortune amongst his other

If the Nephews of other _Popes_ become rich, it is by the abuse they make
of that Authority which they usurp in the _Pope’s_ Name.  But it was not
so with the _Nipotismo_ of _Sixtus_; for he never gave blindly, but with
his eyes open, and discreetly: And if there were any Error committed in
their growing rich, it was the _Pope_ that was the Author of it, and not
they, who were meerly passive, and did but receive their Uncles

There is no doubt, but that under this _Pope_ the Church received much
more benefit than damage; for the _Nipotismo_ having no Power, could not
be otherwise than good and innocent; and the _Pope_ himself was so wise
and vertuous a Prince, that there were few Miscarriages in his time; if
we except that only occasion, in which _Sixtus_, by his too hasty
Excommunication of King _Henry_ the Third of _France_, brought the Church
in danger of losing for ever so noble and flourishing a part of
_Christendom_; as it had hapned already, by the rashness of one _Pope_,
that the Kingdom of _England_ was entirely lost, only because _Clement_
the Seventh would not yield a little of his Authority.  And indeed, I
think, the greatest blemish upon the Reputation of _Sixtus_ is, that he
suffer’d himself to be so far transported with anger, as to Excommunicate
_Henry_ the Third of _France_, for having caused the Cardinal of _Guise_
to be killed, and the Cardinal of _Bourbon_ to be shut up in a close
Prison, with the Archbishop of _Lyons_, who were indeed all three
Traytors to the Kingdom, and Conspirators against the Royal Person of
_Henry_.  The Consistory of Cardinals did oppose this violent Resolution
of _Sixtus_, by remonstrating to him the terrible consequence of it, and
the danger that all the Church would incur by the loss of so noble a
Christian Kingdom.

But the _Pope_ laughing at all this, answered the Cardinals in this
manner; _If therefore you will have it so_, _we will bring it to pass_,
_that from henceforward you shall be neither honour’d nor reverenc’d by
Princes nor Kings_; _but despis’d_, _vilified_, _and exposed to the hands
both of the Oppressor_, _and the Executioner_.  _Certainly_, _if the
killing of Cardinals be conniv’d at_, _and pass’d over without resentment
and chastisement_, _it may very easily become the Case of every one of
you_.  _However_, _we will rather do that which Justice requires_,
_though you little care that Reason be done for the Violence committed_,
_not so much against you_, _as the Sacred Purple_.

Nevertheless, the _Pope_ was wary, not to precipitate things so suddenly;
but suffered five Months to pass, after the death of the Cardinal of
_Guise_: during which interval, he made by Letters several Admonitions to
the King; all which proved to no purpose, the King being resolute not to
free the Cardinal out of Prison, which the _Pope_ so vehemently urged.
Whereupon, seeing he could not prevail, he thundered out the greater
Excommunication, with all the accustomed Forms, against the King, and
against all those who in the said matter should afford Counsel to, or in
any manner whatsoever assist him.  Besides which, he also cited the said
King to make his personal Appearance at _Rome_, within the term of
seventy days, there to give account of the Death of the Cardinal of
_Guise_, and the Imprisonment of the Cardinal of _Bourbon_.

The King conceived great indignation upon this proceeding of the _Pope_,
and began to advise with the Prelates, Bishops, and Counsellors of
greatest trust with him, how to ward off such a Storm; and things were
carried so far, that the Council-Royal seem’d resolv’d to create a
Patriarch in _France_, particularly for the _Gallicane_ Church, who
should not in any wise be subject to, or have so much as the least
Communication with the Church of _Rome_: And ’tis likely the _French_,
who affect Novelties, would not have been backward to close with this

But whilst Matters went on in this manner, it so came to pass, that the
King, as he lay with a great Army at S. _Cloud_, two Leagues from
_Paris_, was on the first day of _August_, in the year 1569. wounded in
the belly with a two-edged Knife, by a Dominican Fryar named _Jaques
Clement_ Native of the City of _Lans_, and of the age of twenty three
years, as he was receiving Letters from the hand of the said Friar, who
was upon his knees; of which Wound he died within fourteen hours, in
regard his Entrals were pierc’d, having imploy’d this short in ordering
such things as concerned his Soul.

This Murder hapned seventy eight days after the Summons by the _Pope_ for
his Appearance at _Rome_, within seventy days; and his Holiness rejoyced
not a little at it, since hereby the displeasure, which the Consistory of
Cardinals, the People, and Nobility had conceiv’d against him, as one
that car’d not much to see the destruction of a Kingdom, which would
breed disturbance to the common quiet of _Italy_, from Age to Age, both
by Sea and Land.

Great were the Stirs which succeeded in _France_ after the King’s death;
inasmuch as _Henry_ King of _Navar_, next Heir to the Crown, began to
endeavour the possession thereof, by warring against the Lords of the
_Ligue_, who were back’d and upheld by the _Spaniards_, by whom the
Succession of _Henry_ was infinitely opposed.

In these Commotions and Broils of _France_, the _Pope_ gave not those
Assistances to the _Ligue_, which they expected and required; and this
upon several accounts, but especially because he would not condescend to
the Instances of the Cardinals and the _Spaniards_, who much solicited
him; giving them this answer, _When we were against the dead_ Henry, _all
you were our Opponents_; _Now that you would persecute the living_ Henry,
_we will not side with you_, _for the sake of our own Interest_.

It was not a little displeasing to the King of _Spain_, that the _Pope_
did not succour the _Ligue_, nor declare Excommunicate those Princes and
Prelates that followed the side of _Navar_; so that the King resolv’d to
make some Protestations to the _Pope_ concerning this Tergiversation.
But his Holiness wanted not Pretexts to fence with, and in a manner made
sport with those _Spanish_ Cardinals, who importun’d him either to unite
with the _Ligue_, or send considerable Assistance to it.

_Gregory_ the Thirteenth had Nephews, who did not degenerate from the
Name of _Buoncompagno_; that is to say, they little car’d to do good, and
less to do evil.  Nevertheless, according to the Instinct which seems
natural to _Pope’s_ Nephews, this Family of _Buoncompagno_ could not
restrain it self from disgusting some of the principal Persons of the
City, by the death of two Gentlemen, pretended to be slain by accident,
through the indiscretion of the _Sbirri_ or Serjeants.  A Policy observed
by all Nephews, to colour their vindicative Outrages upon all occasions.

From hence it may be gathered, That the intention of the _Buoncompagni_
propended more to Evil than to Good; and accordingly they fail’d not to
give Instances of the former, though ’tis hard to find any of the latter.

But if Nephewship ever did good in _Rome_, ’twas in the time of _Pius_
the Fifth, when all the Proceedings of the Nephews were directed to Good,
in regard they wanted Spirit to gainsay the good intention of this
_Pope_; who could not endure to see them in _Rome_, out of a jealousie,
that being fatned with the Treasure of the Church, they might fall into
the same wicked Road, which had been trodden out by so many others.

_Paul_ the Fourth (for there is not much to be said of _Pius_ the Fourth)
took not the same course; for he advanc’d a Nephew, who for the space of
neer five years, knew not how to do any thing but evil, and evil so
enormous, that his Uncle was forced to drive him out of _Rome_, and his
Successor to put him to death in _Rome_.

In the beginning of this _Pope’s_ Reign, the Murthers, Rapes, Violences,
Robberies, Cheats, Injustices, and a thousand other Enormities and Vices,
which surrounded the Ecclesiastical State, to the damage of all
_Christendom_, were attributed to the _Pope_, who had set up his Kindred
in _Rome_; whom after the _Pope_ had banished the City, his Holiness’s
Reputation seem’d to revive in the hearts of the Catholicks, who had been
scandalized at him, and now saw, that all the Mischiefs were to be
attributed to the _Pope’s_ wicked Relations.

’Tis a strange thing, That amongst so many Nephews great and small of the
House of _Caraffa_, into whose hand the _Pope_ had put the Government of
the Church, there should not be one into whose head ever came so much as
a single thought to do any manner of good to the Church, to
_Christendom_, or to the afflicted State Ecclesiastical.

The mischief which the Nephews of _Pope Caraffa_ brought to the Church,
or rather to the whole World, was so great, that to this present day the
People of _Rome_ retain a certain impression of hatred against all that
bear the Name of _Caraffa_, however Noble Gentlemen; it not being
possible for any so much as to behold one of them, without regret and

Cardinal _Caraffa_ was twice in danger (I say, in danger; for in him the
_Papacy_ would have been endanger’d) to be _Pope_; Once at the time of
the Election of _Innocent_, and before at that of _Urban_; But at both
times he was excluded, for the sole consideration of his being of the
Family of _Caraffa_; the very Name whereof, in remembrance of the Nephews
of _Paul_ the Fourth, remains extremely odious both to small and great.

Otherwise, the Cardinal in himself was a Person of merit, and vertue
sufficient, to enable to ascend to such a Dignity, as well as those
others that have ascended in his place.  Some excluded him, because they
doubted lest the _Caraffi_ would turn once again to the _Sicut erat_,
that is, to aggrandize themselves at the cost of the Church, and the
damage of all _Christendom_; and so much the more, in regard the number
of the said Cardinal’s Nephews was so great, that even himself could
hardly count them; notwithstanding that he did what he could to make it
believed, that he was wholly free from personal interest, as well as that
of blood.

Long would the discourse be, and infinite the words, if I were obliged to
give account of the Nephews of all the _Popes_, one after another
(according to the order begun) down to _Sixtus_ the fourth: to whom, as
being the Introducer, not of the _Nipotismo_ it self into _Rome_, but of
the Pride and boundless Authority thereof, may be justly attributed all
the Evil, which, for the two last Ages, the Nephews of _Popes_ have
caused to the Church.

Wherefore, I will for the present omit to make a distinct survey of the
mischiefs of the other; partly, because I know not readily how to
discover the good of any; and partly, because my heart will not suffer me
to view, without tears, the Evil of all; which is the more grievous,
because irremediable.

What might I say of _Marcellus_ the second, who lived but a short time,
and gave no authority to his Nephews?  Or what of _Julius_ the third, who
minded nothing else but Feasting, sometimes with one, sometimes with
another; and kept his Kindred at _Rome_, rather to accompany him to
Entertainments, than to assist him in the Government of the Church, which
he little heeded?

What Discourse shall I make of _Paul_ the Third, who would have had the
_Farnesian_ Lillies turned the State of the Church into one sole Garden
for their own use?  Or of _Clement_ the Seventh, who out of a _Capriccio_
lost the Kingdom, by refusing to grant _Henry_ the Eighth of _England_ a
Divorce from _Catherine_, and a Licence to marry _Anne Bouillon_, with
whom he was in love?  What praise shall I attribute to _Adrian_ the
Sixth, a great Enemy to his own Relations, and perpetually averse from
the introducing of a _Nipotismo_?

What shall I say of _Leo_ the Tenth, of the most Noble Family of the
_Medici_?  Where shall I find the good which he did to the Church,
spoiling other Princes of their States, to transfer them to his own
House?  What Title shall we give to _Julius_ the Second, of whom it was
not known whether he were inclin’d to the hatred or love of his
Relations?  What shall I say of _Pius_ the Third, who liv’d not long
enough to receive the Visits of his Kindred?

But if there be not much to be said of the forementioned _Popes_, there
is a super-abundance of matter to be said of _Alexander_ the Sixth, whose
very memory raises horror in the breasts of the _Romans_, even to this
day.  It seems God Almighty thought fit to chastise _Christendom_ with
the barbarity of this _Pope_, who, not contented with his own cruel,
covetous, and insatiable nature, introduc’d a _Nipotismo_ not
degenerating from the manners of their Uncle.

Amongst the other _Popes_ and their Nephews, was seen, though in the
midst of much ill, some spark and glimmering of good; whereas in the
Person of _Alexander_ and his Nephews, was never perceptible the least
ray of good, amidst a vast Ocean of evil; deplorable even by future Ages,
not only to those which were so unhappy as to see him living.

Some strongly believed, That this _Barbarian Pope_ had sworn himself, and
caus’d his Kindred likewise to swear, _Never to do good to the Church_.
And they had reason to think so, whilst no sort of Reason prevailed with
him, or any of them, who acted all things with an Authority not otherwise
limited than by their own unbridled Passion.

He would not allow that the City of _Rome_ should enjoy certain holy
priviledges peculiar to it alone; and therefore in the year 1500, having
publish’d an Universal _Jubile_, he granted more Indulgences to those
that staid at home than to those who, as the custom is, came to visit the
Churches of _Rome_, ordain’d for that purpose.

Nevertheless, some were willing to think that he did this out of good
policy, as doubting lest, all the people of Christendom being already
offended with the wicked carriage of his Sons, there might happen at
_Rome_, amidst the variety and confusion of sundry Nations, some
resolution to the prejudice of all his House.  But such reasons had no
place in his mind; for those that came to _Rome_, were led thither by
devotion; and the diversity of Nations hinders the Union of a People that
would take Arms against their Lord.

The principal cause lay in his own humour, which was cruel and totally
averse from doing good to any others besides his own Relations: And
whereas by so great a concourse the _Romans_ were likely to gain
something by the traffick of holy Merchandise, to wit, Medals, Crowns,
and other consecrated works, besides the Rent of Lodgings, and sale of
Provisions; He would not that they should enjoy this benefit, although
the hindrance of it was accompanied with loss both to himself, the Church
of St. _Peter_, and the Office of the Datary.

All the good he did to the Church, was, that he shew’d himself very
liberal to Writers and Learned men of all sorts; not out of any natural
inclination towards them, but only to oblige them to write well of
himself and his Kindred.  And accordingly there were some infamous
Writers (as I may deservedly call them) who made comparison between his
Raign and that of _Alexander_, with a parallel of the qualities of these
two persons.  Amongst the rest one made a Book, intituled, _The glories
of the Papacy of_ Alexander _the Sixth and the_ Borgian _Family_.  God
give a thousand ill years to such Writers, who flatter falsly, and at
their pleasure make Angels of Devils, and Saints of Tyrants.

An other good thing which this _Pope_ seem’d to do to the City of _Rome_,
was, that there being a great dearth in the State, he caused great plenty
of corn to be brought from _Sicily_, and by this means render’d the City
very plentifully stored.  But ’twas not any affection for the people that
induc’d him to it, but he did it out of consideration of great profit to
himself; for he sold corn at _Rome_ for double the price it cost in
_Sicily_, trading with the Churches money, and putting the gain into the
purse of his Bastards.  Whence it may be concluded, that he never had any
intention to do good to the publick.

_Innocent_ the eighth, of the house of _Cibo_, was as benign and inclin’d
to do good, as _Alexander_ was cruel and addicted to do evil.  The truth
is, _Innocent_, who gave neither Offices nor Riches to his Relations, but
with moderation (as I have said in due place) was a _Pope_ worthy of that
time, when Christendom seem’d to be threatned with most heavy calamities.

This man studied from morning to night how to procure benefit to the
Church, ease to the People, and comfort to the Catholicks; so that no
sooner was any thing mention’d to him, but he presently answer’d, _So be
that it bring good to the Publick_.  From whence it may easily be
gather’d, that all his motions tended to do good, and were far from the
design of doing evil.

He rewarded all those Cardinals who had nominated and promoted him to the
Papal Chair.  To the Monastick Orders he granted particular favours and
priviledges, especially to that of St. _Dominique_ and St. _Francis_.  He
lightned the Church, and likewise the Palace and Court of all superfluous
expenses.  He us’d great charity towards the Poor.  He lov’d his Country,
and caus’d most ample satisfaction to be given to the _Genoeses_ who had
been ill treated during the vacancy of the See.  He honour’d, and
requir’d others to honour all extraneous Nations of the World; insomuch
that the Turk himself sent an Embassadour to him with some Presents,
meerly because he had understood this generous demeanour of the _Pope_;
amongst which Presents was the Title of the Holy Cross, and the Spear
which pierc’d the side of our Saviour.  Thus the _Romans_ report and
believe; and accordingly I write it.

He readily pardon’d injuries receiv’d, provided his Pardon were desir’d
with humility; and he receiv’d Embassadours with so great curtesies, that
in those days, the Princes of Christendom knew not how to do a greater
favour to a deserving Officer of State than to send him Embassadour to
_Rome_, to negotiate with so worthy and good a _Pope_.

He re-bless’d the _Venetians_, who had been interdicted by his
Predecessor; and although a _Genoese_, yet he omitted not to bestow
divers favours on the Senate; being wont to say, _That Popes may receive
great honour by keeping good correspondence with the Republick_, _and
great shame by breaking with it_.  Whence during his Government he entred
into League with the _Venetians_, not in order to raise war against any,
but only for procuring an Universal peace, and the tranquillity of all

He suppress’d all those Tyrants who in several places tyrannis’ed over
the State Ecclesiastical.  He reduc’d unto friendship the disunited
hearts of the _Romans_, particularly, the Families of _Colonna_,
_Orsini_, _Margoni_, and _Santa Croce_, which were all embroil’d together
in civil feuds; and he commanded all Governours of the State to use their
utmost endeavour for extinguishing all other intestine combustions.

He reduc’d all the Kings and Princes of _Europe_ to an Universal Peace
(and believe me, ’tis little less than a miracle to unite together so
many disunited minds.)  And indeed since the daies of _Augustus Cæsar_,
never was there seen in _Europe_ so great a peace and concord between all
Princes: who attributed this blessed tranquillity to the pious intention
and good conduct of the _Pope_.

He brought to pass, that three the most powerful Armies that ever
appeared in the world were rais’d for the destruction of the Turk; two by
Land, whereof one was commanded by the Emperour, the other by the King of
_Hungary_; and the third was a very mighty Fleet commanded by the _Pope_
in Person, accompanied with the Kings of _France_, _Spain_, and
_England_, besides part of the Colledge of Cardinals, and a great number
of Princes.

But whilst all things were putting in order, and eight months of the year
allotted for preparation already elapsed, this great _Pope_ fell sick;
and his death shortly ensuing hindered Christendom from the most glorious
expedition that ever was (or perhaps will be) undertaken against _Asia_;
and so much the more in that _Alexander_ the Sixth was his Successor.

These examples are alledged by me, to shame those _Popes_ who are so
infinitely strangers to the spirit and qualities of _Innocent_.  The
Church indeed much needs in these daies such a _Pope_ as he to remedy the
innumerable disorders and scandals which are so dayly multiply’d in
_Rome_ and the whole State by this practice of advancing Nephews.  But
since the death of that _Pope_ so well dispos’d to do good, there have
succeeded in the Papacy a multitude of Wretches, inclin’d to nothing but
to do mischief, and to avert whatever good might accidentally come to

The chief mischief I find in the Papacy, is, that the unworthy examples
of so many _Popes_ addicted to do hurt to the Church, far exceeds the
good example of _Innocent_, who hath had few (or none) like himself, in
constant seeking good, and averting evil, not only from _Rome_, but also
from all Christendom.

In this present Age, _Popes_ strike in with the most, and relinquish the
fewest; that is, they follow evil because many have follow’d it, and they
despise good because they see it embrac’d by few; accounting it better to
hazard their lives amongst a herd of Wolves than to be secure in the
company of Sheep.

Greater mischief could not befall the Church, than that which hath befaln
it through the strange changes either of the Nature or Disposition of the
Successors of _Innocent_ the eighth, to the admiration of all but the
_Popes_ themselves; who never wonder at any thing, conceiving that they
have authority sufficient to sanctifie wicked actions.

Now to make a little comparison between the actions of _Innocent_ the
eighth with those of _Urban_ the eighth, _Innocent_ the tenth and
_Alexander_ the seventh, the three last _Popes_; it appears that these
latter were wholly bent upon sumptuous Buildings, beautifying of Altars,
repairing of Walls, and other external Ornaments; whereas _Innocent_ on
the contrary slighted all Pomps and Magnificences, seeking only the
substantial and internal good of the Church.  The former plotted from
morning to night how to sow division amongst Princes: but _Innocent_
spent all his nights in considering how to unite all States and Kingdoms,
for the common benefit of Christendom.

Nor is there much need to believe that the _Popes_, who shall succeed
_Alexander_, will be apt to imitate _Innocent_ the eighth.  For in the
whole Colledge of Cardinals ’tis not possible to find even but one of the
like _disposition_; and I am confident there may be found above fifty of
the humour of _Urban_, and above as many more of that of _Innocent_ the
tenth, as also no less number of that of _Alexander_ the seventh;
although there be not in all much above threescore Cardinals.

They would think it a sin to imitate good Examples for this reason, if
for no other, that they have seen the same imitated by few.  And the
truth is, good examples are so scarce, that the _Popes_ have not had,
these forty years, time to seek them; the same being in a manner hid from
their eyes, and strangers to the City of _Rome_, from whence goodness
seems utterly banish’d, and wickedness recall’d thither with promise of
great rewards.

Great Volumes might be filled with the History of _Sixtus_ the fourth,
who was the man, that first made his Nephews absolute Lords of the
Church: If I should set down all the good and evil committed by the said
_Pope_ during his Reign.  But it would be superfluous, since all the
Church receiv’d by that _Pope’s_ actions, is summarily contain’d in the
Introduction and Advancement of his Nephews.  A thing extremely
scandalous to all Ages, and withal so mischievous that ’tis impossible
ever to be laid aside; in regard the _Romans_ themselves are so
accustom’d to it, being like Lepers, that feel neither the Iron nor the
fire which corrodes their bowels.

It comes here into my mind, that travelling once from _Rome_ to
_Loretto_, in the same Litter with a very aged _Roman_ Gentleman, I fell
to discourse with him about sundry things pertaining to the Papal
Government; and particularly I had the curiosity to ask him, How it could
be consistent with the spirit of true _Romans_ to suffer so patiently the
Dominion of the _Pope’s_ Nephews, who were so addicted to scrape up
wealth, affront most Princes, overturn all things, and tyrannise both in
Temporals and Spirituals, with an authority so absolute, uncontroulable,
and even contrary to reason, that their Government seems rather Turkish
than Christian?

He answer’d me with a smile, _That the Romans were become callous_, that
is insensible; alluding to their spirits, which alike endure all things
from the hands of Nephews, who by several waies tend to the destruction
of whatever they meddle with.

God forgive that scandalous resolution of _Sixtus_ the fourth to
introduce (I will not say the _Nipotismo_, but) the Insolence, Vanity,
Ambition, Avarice, and the too great Liberty of the _Nipotismo_: For the
Church had formerly seen _Pope’s_ Nephews in the _Vatican_, but not till
then the Vices in their Nephews, which peradventure (if not without all
peradventure) were brought in by the aforesaid _Pope_ by means of the
conniv’d-at Liberty which he suffered his Relations to take, and for that
having no regard to the future, but minding wholly the present, he went
in the direct road to the destruction both of Church and State.

This was that _Pope_, who made war against the _Colonneses_, quarrell’d
the _Venetians_, and committed several other exorbitances, for no other
reason but the sake of his Kindred; who, during his thirteen long years
Popedom, were never any one of them the Authors of least advantage to the
Church, but altogether addicted to spend and spoil, to waste and poure
out their Prodigalities at her cost.

More might be said, but to what purpose is it to rub old sores whilst
every day produces new and fresh occasions of grief and trouble?

Where are those Primitive times, when the lives of the Ecclesiasticks
were solely dedicated to the publick good, and they possess’d nothing as
their own; but whatever was surplus to what was necessary to sustain
Nature, was all disposed of to the poor, with so holy and overflowing
Zeal from the true fountain of perfect Charity that it refresh’d even the
very sight of the beholders?

One of the greatest evils which the _Nipotismo_ hath constantly caus’d
hath been their little regard to do good to the poor.  The _Romans_ do
and ever have observ’d (and would to God they had not observ’d throughout
all ages) that the least charity is that which comes from the houses of
the _Pope’s_ Nephews, who themselves have nothing but what they receive
as it were by a general Alms; which is no sooner got into their clutches
but it becomes transformed into hereditary Principalities, and into a
Revenue not temporal, but perpetual and eternal.

But methinks they ought at least to cover these substantial wickednesses
with an appearance of good, by giving the poor the remains of their
superfluities; and not suffer them to clamour at their Palace doors, from
whence they are so often driven by the violence of their servants.

But the truth is, the _Romans_ give so little credit to the good they
should do, having been witnesses themselves to so much of their ill; that
it is not possible for them to believe that what they give in Alms
proceeds from a good and charitable heart, but from hypocrisie and

If there was ever a charitable Cardinal in _Rome_, certainly ’tis
Cardinal _Francisco_, who is indeed the most Eleemosynary person in the
world: which I know, as not only having seen his publick, but his private
Alms.  And yet notwithstanding, there is not a _Roman_ but believes this
to be a meer design, to gain the hearts of those who may be able to
advance him to the Papacy.  And to say the truth, The principal vertue
that shined in _Alexander_, when he was Cardinal, was the great charity
he shewed to the poor, giving them almost his whole Revenue; which was
mention’d in design of his advantage in the Conclave.  But he was no
sooner chosen _Pope_ but that humour left him, and ever after he held for
the height of Charity, what he did to enrich his Kindred, who were
indifferently poor, and stood in need enough of the Alms of the

I conclude this Book with affirming, that the mischiefs which the
_Nipotismo_ have occasion’d, and still do continue to the Church, are
more easie to be seen with the Eye, than writ with the Pen; and therefore
those who have been at _Rome_ will have more satisfaction in the reading
it, than those to whom it will be very difficult to be believ’d, nay,
even to be conceiv’d in their imagination.

                                * * * * *


The Contents.

_OF the difficulty which the Ministers of Princes meet with in treating
with the Nephews of the_ Pope.  _Of those things that prevail most in
the_ Nipotismo.  _Of the policy of the Church-men_.  _Of the way the
Court of_ Rome _useth to make others to conform to their designs_.  _What
Graces are hard to be found in_ Rome.  _Of what they ought to be provided
of_, _that would dispatch their business well with the_ Pope.  _Of the_
Roman _Climate_, _subject to variation_.  _Of the causes why some
Ministers lose themselves in_ Rome.  _Of the manner how the_ Pope _calls
the Cardinals_.  _Of the_ Popes, _who understand not Court-affairs_.  _Of
the Papacy of_ Gregory _the fifteenth_, _troublesome to those who were to
negotiate with him_.  _Of __some Ministers_, _who play their
State-affairs at hazard_.  _Of the Assembly of the Cardinals_, _which
serves the_ Pope _for false pretext_.  _Of the intricacy that was found
in the time of_ Urban _the eighth_.  _Of the manner of the_ Pope’s
_Negotiations with the Ministers of Princes_.  _Of Negotiations never to
be concluded_.  _Of the Answer of_ Seigneur de Lion _to his Friend_.  _Of
the Policies of the_ Barbarini.  _Of the disgust_, _the Republick of_
Venice _receiv’d from the_ Barbarini.  _Of the dissatisfaction of the_
Lucheses, _the Crown of_ Poland, _and the_ Bollougneses.  _Of the cheats
put upon the two Crowns of_ Spain _and_ France.  _How the_ Barbarini
_serv’d the King of_ Portugal, _in reference to the Bishop of_ Lamego
_his Embassadour_.  _Of some Examples of the Contrivances of_ Pope
Innocent.  _Of the Duke of_ Parma’s _Army going into the Field_.  _Of the
humour of_ Urban _the eighth_, _to deny favours to all_.  _Of the
affronts_, _which Princes do receive from the Court of_ Rome.  _Of the
nature of the Ecclesiasticks_.  _Of the Catholick Crown_, _that admits in
their State none but of the_ Roman _Faith_.  _Of the damage_ the
Spaniards _receive_, _by suffering themselves to be governed by the Court
of_ Rome.  _Of the displeasures that do arise betwixt_ Rome _and_ Spain.
_Of the Northern Policy_, _and of_ Italy, _which laughs at the Spanish
Zeal_.  _How many Princes are disgusted_, _to see the_ Spaniards _humble
themselves so to the_ Pope.  _How many Ministers are deceiv’d_, _who
confide in Cardinals_.  _Of the effect of the Protection of Cardinals to
Princes_.  _Of the interest of the Cardinals to advance the Papacy_.  _Of
the Corruption of the Colledge of Cardinals_.  _What qualified persons
they chuse to be Cardinals_.  _Of the_ Pope, _how he shews himself a
Monarch_, _when he __pleaseth_, _and Head of a Commonwealth when he
listeth_.  _Of_ Alexander _the seventh’s applying himself to publick
business_.  _Of his Ambition to undertake more than his constitution
could endure_.  _Of the answers which Embassadours receive from the
Cardinal_ Padrone.  _Of the secresie and craft of the Court of_ Rome.
_How Cardinals use to reveal secrets to Princes their Friends_.  _How
little the_ Pope _trusts the Cardinals_.  _Of Papal Excommunications_.
_Of the fear of the Church-men_.  _Of the Title of_ Universal Father _in
the person of the_ Pope.  _Of a pleasant Example of_ Paschal _the
second_, _applied to his Successors_.  _How_ Popes _treat Leagues with
Princes_.  _Of the sudden change of the Nephews of the_ Pope, _from a low
to a high degree_.  _Of the effects which that produceth_.  _What the
Kindred of_ Alexander _did in_ Sienna.  _Of the disgust which Ministers
receive by treating with unexpert persons_.  _Of the time that is lost in
studying the nature of the_ Nipotismo.  _Of a strange example which befel
an Embassador who negotiated with Cardinal_ Capaccino, _Brother to_ Urban
_the eighth_.  _Of a_ burlesque _and biting Answer_, _given by the same
Embassadour_, _to the same Cardinal_.  _Of the answer of the Embassadour_
Justiniani, _made to one who asked him_, _if he went to negotiate with
Cardinal_ Astalli.  _Of some Examples of the Covetousness of_ Pope
Boniface, _prejudicial to the Negotiators of the Court_.  _Of_ Clement
_the seventh_.  _Of_ Paul _the fourth_.  _Of_ Sixtus _the fifth_.  _Of_
Urban _the eighth_.  _Of the names_, _the Nephews give the hours they
spend in publick business_.  _Of a Reproof that_ Gregory _the fourteenth
gave to his Nephew_.  _Of that Peevish way wherewith the_ Pope’s _Nephews
negotiate with Embassadours_.  _Of the __Reason_, _why the Family of the_
Popes _do not continue long in Grandeur_.  _Of a similitude of Trees
applied to the Nephews of the_ Pope.  _Of the wonder that ariseth in the
world_, _to see the houses of the_ Popes _decay_.  _Of some Families that
are yet in being_.  _Of the difference between those Families that give
being to_ Popes, _and those that receive their being from them_.  _Of
the_ Popes _which came out of the house of_ Colonna.  _Of the Glory of
the House of_ Rovere, _how it failed in_ Urbino, _how long it continued
in its Grandeur_.  _Of two_ Popes _that came from the House of_ Cibo _in_
Genoa.  _How that Family despised the being citizens of_ Rome.  _Of the
Family of_ Alexander _the sixth_.  _How it was divided into two
branches_; _one in_ Italy, _the other in_ Spain.  _Why that in Italy
failed before that of_ Spain.  _Of the Family of_ Picolomini.  _Of the
force of_ Leo _the tenth_, _used to render the House of_ Medici _potent_.
_Of the time that the Familie of_ Medici _supported themselves in
Grandeur before_ Clement _the seventh_.  _How they are deceiv’d_, _who
believe the Grandeur of the house of_ Medici _proceeds from the papacy_.
_Of the destruction of the Commonwealth of_ Florence _necessary to the
Ecclesiastical State_.  _The example of this Family ought not to serve
for a pattern to those who discourse of the ruine of the Families of the_
Popes.  _Of the Family of_ Farnese.  _How they first came into_ Italy.
_Of valiant men in the world_.  _Of services performed by the House of_
Farnese.  _Some examples concerning the same_.  _A notable saying of_
Eugenio _the fourth concerning the_ Farnese.  _Of the Ambition the_ Popes
_had to be served by them_.  _Of the ingratitude of_ Urban _the eighth_,
_and_ Innocent _the tenth_, _towards the Family of_ Farnese.  _Of the
__interest that moved_ Paul _the third_, _to make them great_.  _Of the
great persecution it hath receiv’d_, _for above these forty years_.  _Of
the Government of_ Parma _and_ Piacenza, _how it came to the hands of
the_ Farnesi.  _Of the house of_ Monte, _how little a while it lasted in
great splendor_, _although raised by_ Julius _the third_.  _Of the House
of_ Caraffa.  _Of its fall_; _how near to the birth of its good fortune_.
_Of the disdain of_ Paul _the fourth_, _and_ Pius _the fourth_, _to the
Caraffies_.  _Of the glory in which the House of_ Caraffa _shines now in_
Naples.  _Of the House of_ Buon Compagnii _of_ Gregory _the thirteenth_.
_Of the House of_ Perotti _of_ Sixtus _the fifth_.  _To what greatness
raised_.  _How long it continued in that state_.  _Of its failing_.  _Of
the House of_ Sfondrata _of_ Gregory _the fourteenth_.  _Of its rise_,
_and fall_.  _Of the house of_ Aldobrandina, _what it was_, _and what it
is_.  _Of the Family of_ Burghesi, _and_ Ludovisi, _and of some other
particulars touching the failing of the Pontificial Families_.

THE difficulties, which the Ministers of Princes meet with in their
treaties with the _Pope’s_ Nephews, are so great, that the most refined
Wits and politick Heads of the Universe cannot easily fathom them; every
one losing himself in an Abyss of wonder to see the Court of _Rome_, in
all her own concerns, and with all persons, so selfish and singular,
whilst she alone glories in the Title of Universal.

It would be no great matter, if the Nephews would rest satisfied with
embroyling and discomposing the minds only of the Principal Ministers of
State; and did not likewise make themselves the unhappy instruments of
bringing Treaties and Negotiations of the greatest weight to irreparable
confusion: the ruine whereof must necessarily draw the consequence of
damage to the Pontifical State, disorder to Christianity, and perpetual
distaste to those Princes, who know themselves obliged to send their
Agents to a Court, where they shall rather receive occasion of disgust
than profit.  For the Church-men cannot treat with any Prince, without
wounding his reputation with secret reproaches and back-biting language.

There are two things, Ignorance and malice (the usual Patrimony of
_Popes_ Nephews) which are predominant in the _Nipotismo_, which subvert
and drown even those appearances of good, that might otherwise be found
in the Court of _Rome_: And the mischief of it is, that these two are
inseparable, and go alwaies hand in hand together in the _Nipotismo_;
their ignorance is not accompanied with that honest simplicity which
often is seen in some of weak understanding; but quite contrary, an
ignorant Nephew no sooner marches into the _Vatican_ (which thing God
knows too often happens) but Artificial Malice displaies her Banners; and
if by chance within the Camp there happens to be found out any one that’s
good and vertuous, she doth her utmost to make him pass for an ignorant
lackwit.  Whence the Church, Christendom, and the Court do all suffer by
the malice and ignorance of those Lordly Nephews, who matter not by which
of these two abject qualities they govern.

There have been several Princes in our Age, who finding themselves
deluded in some of their affairs, have blam’d their own Officers, judging
the errors which occasioned their damage, and were indeed committed by
the _Nipotismo_, to be caused by the inability of their Ministers; as if
it had been in their power to overwhelm the Course of nature, and thwart
a malicious Ignorance.

_Odoardo Farnese_, Duke of _Parma_, a Prince truly worthy of a Crown,
seeing the business of _Castro_, and his other Affairs with the Church,
not to succeed according to his desire, rebuked his Minister who was at
_Rome_, believing him a person of very slender experience in the
management of the matters committed to his charge.

But when it hapned that his occasions drew himself thither, and
consequently oblig’d him to treate personally with the Nephews of _Pope
Urban_, he speedily reform’d the ill impression made in his mind against
his Ministers, knowing then very well, by his own experience, that all
the damages, he sustain’d in that affair, were derived from the ill-will
was borne him by the _Barberini_: Whereupon as he went from _Rome_ he let
these words fall, _That the Church indeed is a holy body_, _of which the
Princes are the Members_, _and the_ Pope _the Head_; _but the Nephews by
their ill management do daily discompose the Members_, _not at all
regarding how thereby they prejudiced the Head_.

And to say the truth, the _Pope’s_ Nephews cannot oftentimes distinguish,
what difference there is betwixt a Prince and his Minister; nor what
respect the Court ought to shew to them which come to honour it.

The Church-mens understanding, to accommodate the Church so well to the
benefit of their proper interest, makes many believe the subtilty of them
in politick affairs to be very great.  And truly, the conceipt is not
ordinary, which most men have of the politick understanding of the
Ecclesiasticks; every one knowing that the City of _Rome_, in the Art of
Governing and making others reasons conform to its will, hath ever been
in all times and ages the truest School of Policy, and almost, if not
altogether, the Mistris of all Nations: as she who, at her birth from the
belly of the rest by a special gift of nature, brought with her into the
world the most polite Endowments and refined Customs she could bestow
upon her.

Such were alwaies the Customs of _Rome_, who for the space of more than
twelve Ages past, knew very well to frame conformable maximes to their
own designs.  But after that the _Nipotismo_ began to take possession of
an Authority, not limited otherwise than by their own passions, every
thing began to put on a new countenance.  And having renounced the true
and ancient Rules of Government, and found new methods of deport to those
who make addresses to them, the Agents and Ministers of Foraign Princes,
who come thither to negotiate their Masters affairs, mistake the way that
others use to walk in with so much reputation.

From whence it happens, that there are very few return from their
Negotiations there without just occasion of complaint; not only that they
have not met with due civilities, but that they have likewise been
deluded in all their transactions.

The Court of _Rome_ indeed, whilst the _Popes_ liv’d without the
_Nipotismo_, were instrumental in the world to resolve the greatest
intricacies of Christendom: but after they were introduced, they served
only to confound and entangle the easiest matters; who interposing in
things not at all concerning them, they ruin’d others business and
affairs, besides their own.  For they will do nothing now in _Rome_
without pretence of perfect Zeal unto Religion; and yet that Zeal hath
certainly the least shew in any of their concerns.  Good serves them only
for the shadow, but Evil for the substance.  Kindnesses from them, as
honey from Bees, being seldom got without the sting of prejudice.

There are some that have fansied the Courting and flattering the
_Nipotismo_ to be the only way to arrive at the end of their unbridled
designs, but these found themselves deceived; for all the merit or other
insinuation in the world is not able to move the obstinacy of those who
(except it proceed from some capricious fancie or other inclination of
their own) have no regard to remunerate or gratifie either Subject,
Prince, or Prelate.

Yet it is more easie to obtain, than keep their favours: But he that
doth, had better be without them: since ’tis so hard to judge whether the
Tap they draw their favours from be sweet or sower.

’Tis hard to express the difficulties the Ministers of Princes meet with
in their treating with the Nephews; which are so great, that some of them
have caused an infinitie of Masses to be celebrated to the Holy Ghost,
before they began their Negotiations with them.  I my self knew one, who
vowed to make himself a _Capuchin Frier_, if he could effect a certain
business with them; but I believe he had no great intention to put on
that habit, because his demand was for his own advantage, and the Nephews
are never wont to grant any thing to any one, but what is to their

’Tis my opinion, that to be well prepared to treate in _Rome_, one ought
to be well provided of that double spirit, which _Elisha_ so earnestly
desired of _Elijah_, whilst double dealing and hypocrisie are the
chiefest rudiments of their Policy, I will not say that now do, but, for
the space of two Ages past, have reigned in _Rome_.

Let the Agents and Ministers of Princes therefore lay their heads
together in _Rome_, and say Masses to obtain new waies of managing
Political Affairs, let them arm themselves with a double spirit; for the
Pontificial Negotiations will try the skill of the most experienced

_Venice_, that with so great prudence in State-affairs foresees the
future, never sends any Embassadour to _Rome_, that hath not first been
tried, and rendered an incomparable Politician by the experience he hath
gotten in the Courts of the chiefest Monarchies of the Universe: yet
notwithstanding I my self have heard these words said by an Embassadour
sent to _Rome_ from thence: _Sin hora sono stato nell Ambasciate
scabrose_, _hora entro nelle pericolose_, _dio me la mandi buona conquel
Nipotismo_: Till now I have been in rugged Treaties, now I enter into a
dangerous one: God send me good luck with the _Nipotismo_.

He, who can live five years in the Court of _Rome_ without a stumble,
will not find it hard to pass an Age or two (if nature would give him
leave) in any other place with reputation and credit.

Yet we know very well by every daies experience, that many Politicians
and expert Statesmen, who, for many years together in the management of
several Treaties, had rendered themselves as it were immortal by the no
small reputation obtained in the several Courts they had been formerly
employed in, no sooner came to _Rome_, but speedily they lost it.  And
indeed they all come thither swell’d with the Titles of most eminent and
able Statesmen, but depart from thence with very little credit.

And the reason of this is, because as the Sea Coast, which encompasses
the Ecclesiastick State, is subject to the usual Tempests of the Ocean;
so the _Roman_ Havens are very subject to their sudden variations and
changes: From whence it happens, that both without and within _Rome_ is
so subject to perils and ship-wracks.  They therefore who go for succour
to that Climate, that is not understood by those themselves that are born
under it, cannot but meet with storms and tempests.  Where affairs put on
every day a several face and shape, the difficulty must needs be very
great; And many Ministers lose themselves in the Court of _Rome_ by this
means.  For when they believe they Negotiate with a Monarchy, they find
they have to do with a Republick; and when they think they treat with a
Commonwealth, they find they are ingaged with a Monarchy full of
Monarchs, whilst there is not one of the Papal Nephews that doth not
expect to be treated, with as a Soveraign.

Yet because the _Pope_ is chosen by the Cardinals, many would believe
that these have the same Authority with the _Pope_, not only to treat,
but conclude; as the Electors have with the Emperour in Affairs of great
importance.  And indeed, to hear his Holiness call them Fellows,
Companions, and Brethren, makes a strange impression in the Citizens,
Strangers, Subjects, and Princes, of I know not what greatness in favour
of the Cardinals, every one imagining that they cannot chuse but have a
share in the privatest concerns of the Government of the Church.

But for all that things appear quite otherwise, and the _Pope’s_ become
absolute Soveraign over those who chuse him; who never know any thing in
any affairs untill they are concluded on: He sends Embassadours at his
will, treats both of Peace and War at his own pleasure, and in fine, doth
whatsoever he hath a mind to, without participating it to any, but those
to whom he is guided to by his particular inclinations.

But that, which makes the treating with the Court of _Rome_ more
difficult, is, That for the most part the _Pope_ himself neither
understands the Negotiations, nor Negotiators of them.  And the Ministers
of Princes sometimes as little know which is the _Pope_, for frequently
he treats as Nephew, and the Nephews treat as _Pope_.  A thing indeed
enough to confound any ones understanding, to have the Pontificacy so
promiscuously made up of _Pope_ and Nephews; He for the Exteriour, and
they for the Interiour part of it.

For the _Nipotismo_, which manageth publick affairs, at whose Girdle the
Keys of business are tied, Resolves, Negotiates, and concludes any thing
without acquainting either the _Pope_ or Consistory.

Let any one judge, how it was possible for any Embassadour to make any
honourable result in the management of the interests of his Prince at
_Rome_ in the time of _Gregory_ the fifteenth; since he himself was so
fearful to displease Cardinal _Ludovisi_, his Nephew, that he suffered
him to do whatever he had a mind to: who, finding the power he had over
him, did every thing without his knowledge.

There were some Embassadours who in their ordinary Visits would in
general terms touch upon business, only to feel his Holiness his Pulse,
which way he was enclined.  But so soon as ever he perceived them to
begin to ask Questions, he would immediately make this Answer; _You speak
with us_, _and our Nephew doth all things without either us or you_;
_speak with him_, _and what he doth_, _that we do_.  And with such like
answers he usually entertained those Embassadors that came to him.

From hence it came to pass, that most of the Treaties did not only
confound those who managed them; but also the Ministers found themselves
obliged to put all their affairs upon Chance, Fineness and Policy
standing them in little stead, who were necessitated, as a Ship in an
unruly storm, to give themselves up altogether to Fortune.

It was a thing worth the observing, to see how the Embassadours laboured
both with bodies and mind, sometimes on this, sometimes on that side; now
with the Nephews, then with the _Pope_; from one drawing this Answer,
_Speak to our Uncle_: From the other, _Go to our Nephew_.  So that very
often when they concluded any thing with the Nephew, they were in doubt
whether or no the Uncle would be contented: And so it hapned on the other
side, if they treated any thing with the Uncle, they were ever fearful
least the other, being displeased at it, should cross the whole design;
so that though matters were concluded by either of these, they were still
uncertain whether the result would be for good or evil.

This Nephew, who did every thing without the knowledge of his Uncle, gave
out, he could do nothing without participating to others; and
particularly in the beginning the Papacy he alwaies answered, in affairs
of greatest concernment, _We will see_, _We will do_, _We will speak_,
_We will procure_, _We will consent_, and such like dilatory expressions.

And the Embassadours were most mortified with this manner of proceedings
of the _Pope_ and his Nephews, who knew very well how to agree amongst
themselves to the prejudice of those who treated with them.  And when
things did not go on according to their pleasures, or they found
themselves unable to resist the perswasions and arguments of the
Embassadours, they would both sing in the same tune: The holy Colledge of
Cardinals must be acquainted with the affair, without whom there was
never any thing concluded.

And yet those Ministers themselves knew very well, that was but a false
pretext; for although the Cardinals were in _Rome_, yet they were not in
the Court, and never knew of the designs of the _Pope_, nor the Treaties
of his Nephew.

In _Urban’s_ time there were other Labyrinths in the Court, although this
_Pope_ was a far greater Politician than _Gregory_, and the _Barbarins_
much more expert in Government than the abovesaid Cardinal _Ludovisio_.

At that time, before any thing could be done, all the Nephews favours
must be purchased; for he was resolved not to treat with any that was not
dependent on his Family.  And not only _Francesco_, the Cardinal
_Patrone_, was to be courted, but Cardinal _Antonio_, and _Don Tadeo_,
and his Wife likewise, who so aspired at the Visits of the Ministers of
Princes, that the _Pope_ would not give Audience to any that had not
first paid his devoir to that Lady: which was the Reason, why the Duke of
_Parma_ had such ill success in all his business.

In the beginning of his Reign the _Pope_, in a manner alone, manag’d all
the most important affairs of Christendom, with no small ardency and
zeal.  But wot you what?  The things which he did in the day he undid in
the night; for coming to consult with his Nephews, who alwaies found
their Uncle’s Opinion contrary to their own, they oftentimes brought him
to contradict himself, and reverse what he had formerly granted and

’Tis true, he did this with great subtlety, not failing to find out some
fair and specious excuses wherewith to colour their pretexts, and clear
the _Pope_ of levity; by which means Embassadours were perpetually
deluded, even when they thought they had the Fish in their hands, which
on a sudden slipt away from between their fingers, beyond possibility of

Hence affairs were protracted _in infinitum_; So that though in _Urban’s_
time many Princes treated of a League with the Church and the _Pope_
himself, nevertheless there was not any considerable one concluded in a
Reign of twenty three years; during which time divers Princes concluded a
League offensive and defensive against the _Barbarini_.

The reason of this was, for that the _Pope_ was too hard towards others,
and too soft towards his own Relations; Cardinal _Francesco_ too soft
towards others, (but dissemblingly) and hard towards his Uncle; Cardinal
_Antonio_ hard towards _Francesco_, and soft towards the _Pope_; and _Don
Thadeo_, who knew not how to do better, was hard towards the soft, and
soft towards the hard.

Cardinal _Francesco_ fear’d to disgust _Antonio_, and delighted to
displease the _Pope_; Cardinal _Antonio_ fear’d the _Pope_, but caus’d
_Francesco_ fear himself; _Don Thadeo_ sided with him that was most
obstinate in his opinion; And the _Pope_ deny’d to one what he could not
grant to the other, granted to this what the other desired, becoming
obstinate where there was need of pliableness, and pliable where it
behoved him to be obstinate.

Now a Court of this humour afforded work enough to the Ministers of
Princes, who were alwaies receiv’d by the _Pope_ with ambiguous
expressions, by Cardinal _Francesco_ with abundance of faire promises,
and by Cardinal _Antonio_ with a long train of exquisite complements.
But when the Ministers press’d to come to a conclusion of any important
business, Cardinal _Antonio_ sent them to his brother _Francesco_, who at
the appointed hour of Audience us’d to go his visits to the seven
Churches, and the _Pope_ himself pretended indisposition of body.  And
thus the effecting of all urgent business was rendred impossible.

In _Urban’s_ time ’twas hard for Princes Ministers to find the streight
gate to enter into publick Negotiations, and when they were in, they
found themselves in a Labyrinth, out of which they could scarce extricate
themselves after a thousand turnings and windings.

_Monsieur de Lionne_, a person of great Abilities, being employ’d
Embassadour to _Rome_ by the most Christian Crown, one day ask’d a
familiar friend of his (pleasantly) _What kind of person himself had_?
To which his Friend answered.  _That he had the person of a man worthy of
this Age_.  Monsieur _de Lionne_ reply’d to him, _That he took himself to
be like a Tennis-ball bandi’d to and fro by foul-players_; alluding
hereby to the Artifices and tricks put upon him by the _Barbarini_ in his
negotiating with them concerning the affair of _Castro_.

The truth is, any other Minister but Monsieur _de Lionne_ would have
shewed much anger in _Rome_, in the time of the War of the Duke of
_Parma_ with the confederate Princes.  This great Man, who was dispatch’d
on purpose to procure the appeasing of the rising tumults, knew not which
way to turn his wits to invent projects and artifices enough to oppose
those of the _Barbarini_, who continually promis’d what they never
intended to perform.

He was sent from _Herod_ to _Pilate_, and from _Pilate_ to _Caiphas_: The
one answer’d, _Yea_: The other, _No_.  But what was most important, the
_Pope_ had granted him leave to treat with the two Cardinals his Nephews,
with a promise to confirm what should be by them concluded.  Hereupon
having one day by the power of perswasions reduc’d the said two Lords to
reason, he repair’d to the _Pope_ to beseech him to confirm the Treaties
agreed upon with his Nephews; but he receiv’d for answer, _That ’twas
expedient to consider upon the matter_; which consideration never had an

All the Policy of the _Barbarini_ lay in drawing out affairs in length,
and concluding nothing; so that when ever these Nephews concluded any
thing with the Ministers of Princes, they presently sent word to the
_Pope_, that he should deny to confirm what they had done, and at the
same time gave out that such denial was contrary to their wills.

The Republick of _Venice_, when they saw that ancient Monument remov’d
out of the _Vatican_, which represented the Benefits done by St. _Mark_
to the Church, sent an Express to carry their just complaints to the
_Pope_, but he could never obtain any kind of satisfaction, not so much
as in words, the _Pope_ turning the matter from himself to his Nephews,
and the Nephews from themselves to the _Pope_.

In the mean time great affront was done to the honour of a Republick so
well deserving of the Church, without which one may say perhaps there
would not be now a _Pope_ in _Rome_, if any where else.

In like manner the Commonwealth of _Lucca_ sent an Embassadour to _Rome_
to complain of the injury done to them by the _Pope’s_ sending to them
the Lord _Recagna_ with the title of Commissary, (which was a thing not a
little derogatory from the Soveraignty of that State) and the more, in
that this good Prelate, sent from the _Barbarini_, had something of the

But this Embassage had no effect, besides a return of Plenary Indulgency,
which the Embassadour carried home, who seeing himself so often baffled
at the _Vatican_, fell into the humour of negotiating with the Saints,
and made his business to receive the Stations sometimes of one Church,
and sometimes of another.

The Crown of _Poland_ for six years together solicited by its Embassadour
to have a Cardinal’s Hat for the Lord _Visconti_, according to his just
Priviledges; but in all that time he not only could not obtain his
intent; but moreover the Popish Embassadour at his return knew not what
cause to tell his Master of the denial; for they all gave him good words,
and bad deeds.  Cardinal _Antonio_ excus’d himself by saying, _That he
had no authority to effect it_; Cardinal _Francesco_, _That his desire
was to serve his Majesty_, _but his Holiness did not think the Person
worthy_; And the _Pope_ pretended, _That he could not make a man Cardinal
who was an enemy to his Nephews_.

The same was the case of the Citizens of _Bononia_, who dispatch’d an
Agent to _Rome_, to supplicate his Holiness, that he would please to
remove the Commissary _Della Grascia_, whose being there mightily
intrench’d upon their Priviledges, but they receiv’d the same Answer with
those of _Lucca_; their Envoy returning laden with fair words, but not
with Indulgences, as he of _Lucca_; for out of displeasure to have miss’d
his intent he would not visit the holy places, but said to a Friend that
moved him to go and receive the Stations of St. _Mary Maggiore_, (rather
like a Protestant than a Catholick) _My Friend_, _If there be no treating
with the_ Barbarini _who can speak_, _there is less with the Saints who
cannot_.  _To what purpose is it to solicite the dead_, _if it be so hard
to address to the living_?

The two Crowns of _France_ and _Spain_ are manifestly imposed upon every
day, the _Spanish_ Policy little availing with the _Barbarini_, whilst
they stir not a hairs breadth from their ordinary Maxime, which is to
perplex the understanding of Embassadours, one of them denying as much as
the other promis’d.  Which gave occasion to a certain _Florentine_ of the
great Duke’s Court to say, _That the greatest miracle of_ Rome _was to
see all the Ministers of Princes tantaliz’d with the ambiguous and
confus’d treating of the_ Barbarini, _to so great prejudice of all

But if ever any Prince was tantalized by them, ’twas the King of
_Portugal_, who by the advice of _France_, and upon hopes given by the
fair words of the _Barbarini_, sent the Bishop of _Lamego_ with the title
of Embassadour Royal to _Rome_, where he was receiv’d with great honour
and respect.  But in substance ’twas all but smoke, the Embassadour being
unable to obtain either a favourable Yea, or a flat No; that I say not
that he obtain’d sometimes the one, and sometimes the other.

This intricate procedure in so important a matter was the cause of great
disorders, the _Spaniards_ distrusting the words of the _Barbarini_, and
the _French_ giving little or no credit to the offers made by them.  For
Cardinal _Antonio_ never ceas’d to assure _France_, _That_ Lamego _should
not fail to be receiv’d as a publick Embassadour_; and Cardinal
_Francesco_ continually promis’d _Spain_, _That his Holiness would never
admit a Portugal Embassadour_.

And accordingly by this course the _Barbarini_ wholly disgusted the
_Portugal_, little satisfied the _Spaniard_, and nothing at all the
_French_, and brought the City it self into danger by that fray which
happen’d between the two Embassadours, with the death of some Courtiers
on both sides, and the declaring _Lamego_ irregular and depriv’d of all
Ecclesiastical Benefices, according to the usual penalty of Homicide.

A thousand other Examples might be brought of like nature, but I must
omit them to pass on to the actions of _Innocent_ the tenth, who had
reduc’d the Court to such a confus’d state, that no body knew where, nor
how, to begin any Negotiation; whereupon a Minister of the Duke of
_Parma_ said one day, _That ’twas easier to make a bed for a dog_, _than
to understand the humour of_ Innocent.

The Government of _Urban_ was the best in the World in comparison of that
of _Innocent_; for _Urban_ delighted to negotiate with Embassadours, but
the other avoided their presence as much as possible he could; and when
he receiv’d them, ’twas after so disobliging careless manner, that few
car’d to confer with him.

No hours were so tedious to him, as those wherein he was to give Audience
to a publick Embassadour; for he little car’d to be troubled with the
important affairs of Christendom, or those of the Papacy it self.

His particular Maximes were to deny all favours, to answer all sutes with
a Negative, and never to resolve upon any thing that might advantage the
Church, or weaken its Enemies.

What others avoided, was in him predominant; that is to say, He lov’d
that which was worst.  If he possess’d any vertue, he employ’d it not to
the benefit of Christendom, but of his own Family; as on the contrary he
did his ill qualities to the mischief of the Church and the City.

At first indeed he seem’d so desirous of knowing all affairs both publick
and private, that ’twas hoped, his Government would prove the happiest
that ever was to the Church.  But this vigilance caused no small hurt in
general; for when the Subjects of the Ecclesiastical State, Prelates, and
forreign Ministers, conceiving the same to proceed from zeal to Justice,
had brought and delivered their Memorials, in hopes of a speedy Answer,
it prov’d all but loss of time; for they never were call’d, nor admitted
to any answer at all.  Whence, the _Pope’s_ way, of denying all and
resolving nothing, being understood, it became an ungrateful employment
to have any thing to do at _Rome_.

And to make the way of arriving at their ends more difficult to Princes
Ministers, for a long time together there was no Officer at Court to
present the Petitions of Suiters, as formerly, but he declared one of his
Nephews to be Cardinal Patron; who was the Cardinal _Astalli_, but with
an authority so streight and limited, that he was almost asham’d of it.

By this means the Court became so much the more at a loss; for such as
address’d to this Nephew, receiv’d no other comfort, but to behold him
shrink up his shoulders, (as young maids do when ask’d by their Fathers
whether they will marry) and hear him tell them, _That all should be
represented to his Holiness_.  And the truth is, as to this point he was
very punctual: But he did it after so timerous and indifferent a manner,
out of fear to cross the _Pope_, whose answer he knew was alwaies the
same, _That the matter shall be taken into consideration_; The plain
meaning whereof was, _That nothing at all shall be done in it_.

In this confusion some thought it best to address immediately to the
_Pope_; but, besides the difficulty of Access, the Event prov’d alwaies
alike; whatever care they took to make their Proposals clear and
intelligible, they alwaies hung in the hedge.  Yet there were some too
that fansied _Innocent_ one of the greatest Politicians of the World,
till perceiving by effects the clean contrary, they remain’d as mute as
Statues for shame of their mistake.

His suffering _Donna Olympia_ to rule all, his exalting, and abasing his
adopted Nephew _Astalli_; his banishing, and recalling _Don Camillo_ his
own Nephew; his persecuting, and reingraciating with the _Barbarini_; and
in a word, his changing his will and judgment every moment; and his
inconstancy in every thing, save granting Sutes, would have imbroiled any
Government whatsoever, and much more the Papal, which is naturally full
of confusion.

When there happens a _Pope_ like _Innocent_, bent wholly to reject all
the instances of Princes; the only remedy is to sow disturbances in the
Church, and broyls between the Protestants and Catholicks, thereby to
puzzle the _Pope’s_ brain, and frighten him, so that he shall rather seek
the friendship of Princes, than they his.  Of the success of which course
I shall give some Examples.

When the Duke of _Parma’s_ Army took the Field, to get redress concerning
the detension of _Castro_, under the Command of _Don Gauffrido_; the
_Pope_ extremely affrighted, as one not much accustomed to the Trade of
War, caused the Holy Sacrament to be expos’d forty hours, and Processions
to be celebrated to all the Churches in _Rome_.

And not knowing what might be the issue of the War undertaken by the said
Prince, who breathed nothing but the extremities thereof against his
Person, he thought it his best course to gain the Princes of
_Christendom_ to his side, and to oblige them to relinquish the
Protection of the Duke, by rendring himself extraordinary easie to all
Addresses, granting Favours to all Demanders, and receiving Publick
Ministers with so much obligingness, that they needed no more but to open
their mouths for any Suit or Request, that of the _Pope_ standing always
open to accord it.

A certain Embassador, who for three years together could never obtain any
other Favour but that of Common Indulgences, finding his desires now
satisfied in what ever he demanded, writ to the Prince his Master, _That
the_ Pope, _like a Hackney-horse_, _travelled very well with a Spur in
his Flank_; _and that he had lately obtained_, _in eight days_, _more
than he could do before in three years_: _So that it were to be wish’d
that the Duke of_ Parma _would give him a touch or two more of the Spur_.

In the very same manner, at the time that the _French_ had made
themselves Masters of _Portolongone_, all sort of Favours ran out with a
full torrent, many times preventing Requests: Nor did the _Pope_ suffer
any man to depart from his Presence, who was not satisfied to the height
of his wishes.

But no sooner was this State of Affairs changed, that is to say,
_Portolongone_ recovered by the _Spaniards_, and the Duke disappointed in
the War, but Negatives appear’d afresh in the Field with greater
peremptoriness than before; and the _Pope_ became as deaf as a Stone to
all manner of Supplications or Petitions.

Hence it may be clearly seen, or at least argu’d, That most _Popes_ (if
not all) neither grant Favours, nor bear any regard to Princes, save at
such time as they stand in need of them.

_Urban_ the Eighth was of this very same humour, denying without
exception all sort of Favours, which had not their original from his own
or his Nephews inclination, however just Reasons might be alledged for
them; and this as well to the _French_, whom he made semblance to love,
but really lov’d not; as to the _Spaniards_, whom indeed he affected,
though without giving them the satisfaction of seeing any tokens of that

Nevertheless, when he saw _Odoardo Farnese_ Duke of _Parma_ enter
victorious with 3000 Horse, for the regaining of _Castro_, most
injuriously detained from him, then indeed he began both to humble
himself to _Spain_, which he had kept under before, and to gratifie
_France_, to which he had on divers occasions shewn himself ungrateful;
and also to solicite the Friendship of all sort of Princes, as well small
as great; and that not by promising, but by real concession of Favours
with a plentiful hand in _Germany_ and _Italy_.

Wherefore seeing the _Popes_ have a particular Method of bearing
themselves ruggedly and contemptuously to Princes, when they need them
not; ’twere good Policy in Princes to bring it so to pass, that they
might always be in a state of Fear, sometimes by threatning neer hand,
and at other times by vexing them at distance.

The Indignities which Princes receive often from the Court of _Rome_,
proceed not immediately from an evil intention in the _Popes_ towards
them, but from the too good inclination of Princes towards the _Popes_;
there being some so tender-conscienc’d, that they fear the loss of their
Souls in disgusting a rascallion Court-fly that bears the Cassock of a
Priest, and serves to sweep the Antichamber of his Holiness or the

The Ecclesiasticks have Swords in their Mouths, but no Courage in their
Breasts; I mean, they threaten all People, without considering what issue
such Menaces may have: But when they see themselves reprov’d or
threatned, then their hearts fail them, they fall a trembling, and humble
themselves to every body, especially Grandees; although withall, they
have the cunning to colour their Fear with the pretext of a religious,
pious, and devout Meekness.

The nature of the Ecclesiasticks is to disgust such as comply with them,
and fawn on those that disgust them; So that if Princes would advance
their Affairs, and bring down the haughtiness of _Rome_, they must
endeavour to mortifie the _Pope_.

The Catholick Crown, in testimony of its affection to the _Popes_, admits
into its Jurisdiction only the _Roman_ Religion; besides that the
_Spaniards_ also shew themselves most concerned in keeping up the _Pope_
the Head of the Church, and enriching the Ecclesiasticks.

However, they have fared little or not at all the better for it, as to
their Negotiations at _Rome_, in regard that the Ecclesiasticks (that is,
the _Popes_) esteem them not more than others for it; but through fear
commonly afford as much or more countenance to the _French_: from whom on
the other side they receive greater disgusts, under pretence of the
_Gallican_ Priviledges.

’Tis true, the _Roman_ Court very well perceives, that the _Spaniards_
reverence it as the Sanctuary of their Glory, and the Absolute Mistress
of the preservation of their States; and accordingly it treats them
familiarly, that is to say, with good words and ill deeds, with fair
shews and bad substance.

The _Spaniards_ suffering themselves to be too much domineer’d over in
the Court of _Rome_, is not only hurtful to the Government of the
_Spaniards_ themselves, but also thereby prejudices the Interests of all
those Princes that have concerns either at _Rome_, or with _Rome_; For
when any inferiour Prince would with specious Reasons defend his Right
over Ecclesiastical Persons, these men presently alledge for their
justification the Example of the _Spaniards_, and thereby enforce him not
to refuse, what so great and powerful a Monarchy as _Spain_ refuseth not
to do.  And of these Examples the _Popes_ have the _Vatican_ full, and
make use of the same in all Occurrences, to the perpetual nauseating of
Princes therewith.

This manner of proceeding between the Ecclesiasticks and the _Spaniards_
cannot last long, because the long languishings of Princes, ensuing
thereupon, will enforce them either to yield to some violent Remedy, or
to open the gate to death.

Every day, yea, every moment, displeasures arise between the Crown of
_Spain_ and _Rome_; which, how-much soever debated, turn always to the
satisfaction of the _Pope_, and the disadvantage of the Interests of the
Catholick King.

In brief, The Dominion which the Court of _Rome_ hath gotten over the
_Spaniards_ is so great, that how many and considerable soever the
disgusts be which this Court puts upon them from day to day, nevertheless
the _Spaniards_ dare not come to a Rupture with it, being better
contented to suffer themselves, than to make others suffer.

The Policy of the _North_, yea and that of _Italy_ too, laughs at this
_Spanish_ Zeal, which stoops in so humble sort to the arrogance and
insolent Proceedings of the Ecclesiasticks.  And indeed What reason is
there that such a Monarchy should submit its Empire to a simple
Bishoprick?  Nevertheless, this is seen done every day in the
Ecclesiastick State.

Were it not for the _Spaniards_, I verily believe Affairs at _Rome_ would
not be so imbroil’d and perplex’d as they are; for the _Popes_ become so
extremely proud towards other Princes, and render all Negotiations so
extremely difficult, through the little account they make of Publick
Ministers, in regard they see themselves back’d and supported by so
potent a Crown in _Italy_.

Nevertheless, I cannot but imagine, That other Princes are for this
reason extremely incensed with anger against the _Spaniards_, who to
satisfie an apparent out-side Zeal, ruine the Common Cause of the
Sovereignty of all other Princes.

If the _Spaniards_ would comply with other Sovereigns, to give the
_Popes_ now and then a touch of the Spur, thereby to oblige them to go on
in the right way, the management of Affairs at _Rome_ would be very
expedite, and the Ministers of Princes would not meet with so many
difficulties: Which I leave, with the rest, to the consideration of the
_Spaniards_ and other Princes.

Some Ministers there are, who flatter themselves into a belief that they
may be able to bring their Negotiations to a prosperous end, by means of
the friendship they have with Cardinals, and the great Interest these
Cardinals have to defend those Princes of whom they are intitl’d

But this Opinion of theirs hath no other effect but to confound their
Negotiations so much the more, whilst the Protection of Princes by those
Cardinals is only external and nominal: for otherwise Policy obliges them
to seek in the first place the advantage of the _Pope_, before the profit
of the Princes, whom they serve, or at least seem to serve.

Every blow of mortification which the _Pope_ receives from any Prince,
recoils to the damage of the Cardinal Dignity; and therefore the
Cardinals labour to bring it about, that the Advantages may be always on
the _Popes_ side.  Nor is it necessary to believe the Cardinal, who
professeth, _That the Interests of his Prince are dearer to him_, _than
those of the Scarlet Gown it self_.

But this would be a great failure in Policy and Interest: Whence it was,
that when _Innocent_ beheld his Cousin _Olympia_ anxious and troubled
lest the Ecclesiastical State should become involv’d in a War, and lest
many Cardinals should engage in it on behalf of the Duke of _Parma_, out
of spight to the _Pamphilian_ Family, the _Pope_ comforted her with these
words; _Cousin_, _fear nothing_, _the Cardinals will be for us in spight
of their own teeth_, _and will defend the Ecclesiastical State in
consideration of their own Interest_, _though we should go about to ruine
it for ours_.

The Grandeur of the Scarlet Gown depends upon the Majesty of the Triple
Crown, and the Cardinals are proportionably Great as the _Pope_ is so;
whence it is that they strive with all possible ardour to promote the
Advantage of the Church, and the Honour of the _Pope_; which failing,
their own Reputation and Glory must partake in the Eclipse.

Great undoubtedly is the Magnificence of the Colledge of Cardinals; and
greater it would be, if it had not been perverted both from the first
Institution thereof, and retrench’d of the Prerogatives wherewith it hath
been augmented by divers _Popes_, for the maintenance of its Grandeur and

But the _Popes_ have corrupted and spoil’d all; inasmuch as into that
Colledge, into which the greatest Princes of the World think it a glory
to enter, they have introduc’d some, who have received their Original
from the vilest Dunghil of the World; and ’tis not many years ago, that
one was created Cardinal, who was the Son of a base Catchpole.

Hence it comes to pass, that the _Popes_ seeing the Scarlet Robe upon the
Shoulders of so vile and unworthy Persons, they despise it likewise when
it is worn on the backs of Great Princes.  And ’tis more than true, That
good _Popes_ honour the Cardinals, when such Honour brings profit to
themselves; otherwise they make a mock both of their Persons, and their

And hence it is, that Princes Ministers find themselves in a wrong Box,
when they put any trust even in those Cardinals who seem the greatest
Zealots for their Interests.

Thus I have made a Relation of the manner how things are wont to be
negotiated at _Rome_, and shew’d how the great Polititians of _Europe_
may salve their Reputations; as also the Grounds and Causes of those
Mischiefs, which break the sleep and make the heads ake of as many
Publick Ministers as reside in _Rome_.

When the _Pope_ perceives that Negotiations tend to his own Advantage, he
doth things like an absolute Monarch: but when he knows that they are
likely to cause any prejudice to him, he lays the cause of not succeeding
upon the Congregations of the Cardinals, of which there are infinite at

In this manner he shews himself rather as Head of a Commonwealth, than an
absolute Prince: and indeed those Congregations serve more for a pretext
and help to the _Pope_ and the Nephews, than for any benefit to the

From such a Government little Fruit, and no Satisfaction can be drawn by
the Ministers that negotiate at _Rome_; but rather, as accordingly it
falls out, disgusts, affronts, and dissatisfactions.

In the _Roman_ Court there passes not a day without reproaches against
the _Pope_ and Nephews, as those who study nothing else but to
accommodate themselves, and incommodate all others that endeavour the
good of the State and the Church.

Greater attendance and application cannot be, than that of _Alexander_
the Seventh both to Civil and Ecclesiastical Affairs; and which is most
considerable, he doth all things with such an eagerness, that he appears
to take no small glory therein.

He lets not one day pass without giving publick Audience, at least very
seldom, unless those Infirmities which are his constant Companions
indispose him to follow his good intentions; as it hapned for these days
lately passed, wherein for a good while together he was not able to give
Audience to the Embassador of _France_.

_Innocent_ undertook things slowly, and this slowness spoil’d all; but
_Alexander_, being most contrary to such a nature, enterpriseth every
thing with great ardour: and this spoils all too, the Ship being lost
oftentimes as well through too little Wind, by falling into the hands of
Enemies, as likewise through too great a Wind striking upon Rocks.

The Ministers of Princes even still find very great difficulties in
negotiating at _Rome_, and perhaps greater too than those which they
found in the time of _Innocent_; who indeed intangled things, because he
would not extricate them: but _Alexander_ confounds matters by too great
eagerness to rectifie them.  _Innocent_ lov’d not to meddle, but with
those things whereunto he was enforced; but _Alexander_ thrusts himself
upon such as might better be let alone.

Hence ’tis that Ministers seeing the _Pope_ employ his mind on a thousand
businesses of Christendom, and but of a weak and infirm constitution,
they forbear to trouble him; as Cardinal _Mazarine_ and _Don Lewis d’
Haro_ did, who would not let the _Pope_ have any hand in the Treaty of
the last Peace, to the no small displeasure of the poor _Pope_, who was
ambitious to receive his part of the glory in a business so important to
the Universe.

That which makes publick Agents at _Rome_ thus backward, is the knowledge
they have of the _Pope’s_ mind; who is inquisitive and curious to know
every thing, to have a hand in every action, to pry into all the affairs
of Christendom, and briefly, to lade himself with so many businesses,
that he must needs precipitate them all through want of strength to carry
them on: whence ’tis that oftentimes he answers one Minister concerning
certain matters of which he had conferr’d with another, and so confounds
both himself and them that negotiate with him, who for fear of further
embarassing the _Pope’s_ understanding are fain to break off their most
important Audiences.

In the beginning of his Papacy, being ambitious of glory, he would needs
sustain alone the weight of all the world, not only of the State
Ecclesiastical, in the middle whereof he lean’d upon others, but did not
cast the burden wholly off from himself; and at present now he approaches
towards his end, his infirmities enforce him to leave others to do, that
which it grieves him that he cannot do for others.

Matters were well believ’d, but ill understood at the first entrance of
the Cardinal Patron and _Don Mario_ into _Rome_: and now they are well
understood, but ill believ’d.  These Lords began to Reign with their Eyes
shut, and their Ears open; and at present, the Style being changed, they
rule with their Ears shut, and their Eyes open, whence proceeds the
multitude of inconveniences to publick Agents.

The Cardinal _Patron_ exercises the Office of his Patronage, in giving
himself Patronage for enjoying his pleasures, and avoiding, as much as
possible, all hard and knotty affairs; which are wont to perplex the
mind, and confound the brain of a Gallant.

Hence it is, that Embassadors, who treat with him, reap no other good but
a fardle of Complements, and pleasing Expressions, with no small hope
that he will act abundantly; but in reality he doth nothing: so that they
depart from his Presence outwardly satisfi’d, with their hands empty of
any thing of substance.

I have known some Ministers, who have believ’d they might speed in their
publick affairs by the easiness of knowing the secrets of the Court;
which is of great use to a publick Agent, namely, to know the actions,
treaties, and conveniences of others, and to keep his own, and those of
his Prince, secret.

Indeed, the secresie of the Court of _Rome_ seems not to be so great as
the subtilty, although Excommunications and Censures make a great noise:
For those who are introduc’d into this Court are so only for two ends,
either to exalt their Family, and support it from falling, (for the
Ecclesiasticks, having no Wives, naturally encline to enrich their own
Nephews) or else to aggrandise themselves, out of that ambition which
alwaies lies under the Robes of Prelacy.

The Cardinals, however sometimes vertuous and experienced persons, are
not exempt from certain imperfections which commonly reign in _Rome_; for
they are either oblig’d to Princes by a thousand benefices and gifts, or
else are their natural Subjects: and for this reason the Princes who have
great concerns with _Rome_, the more they see Authority and Offices of
any Cardinal increas’d, the more they study how to oblige him to be at
their devotion, and to withdraw him from that of the _Pope_.

Now almost all the Cardinals reveal the things which they pretend to
discover, either through the importunity of inquisitive Agents, and not
to disoblige those to whom they are oblig’d, or else to put greater
obligations upon the Princes to whom they are Pensioners, to the end they
may receive gratuity after gratuity both to themselves and their Kindred,
and especially that they may be assisted in their Pretensions to the
Papacy, when the See Apostolical shall become vacant; which is the
greatest spur of all.

To this Embassadours trust, and alwaies treat with the Cardinals who are
adherents to their Masters, to discover the Counsels by their means.  But
indeed, they deceive themselves; for the Cardinals being as much
concern’d as the _Pope_ in the defense of the Church, the State, and the
publick good, in regard all are in capacity to be _Popes_, they will
never reveal any thing which may prejudice that Papacy which makes them
great, and which they aim one day to govern.

The Cardinals are not so indiscreet as to reveal any thing that may in
any wise prejudice the Interests of the Papacy and Ecclesiastick State;
they reveal such things as may be of prejudice to the single person of
the _Pope_, or rather of his Nephews, whom commonly they hate through

The effect hereof is, that most _Popes_ put little trust in the Cardinals
when any matter relating to their own House is in agitation, but they do
all _motu proprio_: for themselves having, whilst they were Cardinals,
revealed what they ought to have kept secret, they doubt, being
afterwards _Popes_, that others do the like by them; and for this cause
they secure themselves, as much as possible, from such dangers.

The Papal Excommunications, which are great against those that reveal the
secrets of the _Roman_ Court, as well Temporal persons as Spiritual, have
no other effect but to put all into confusion, and to cause ambiguities
on all sides.  Hence such things as are revealed, seem not really to be
so, but only intimated; and consequently no small prudence is requisite
to understand what is spoken, because the revealers fearing the sting of
the Excommunication within their breasts, utter only doubtful, perplex’d,
and ambiguous words; by which means such Agents, as think themselves
illuminated by such revelations, soon after find themselves puzzled and

The cause hereof is the fear, which Excommunication begets in the breasts
of the scrupulous.  But it is true in general, that to mingle things
certain with doubtful, is proper to the _Roman_ Court; and things true
with false, to the Ecclesiasticks.

But the Ecclesiasticks being less guilty of valour then fear, (for
oftentimes they fear even their own shadows) the more important things
are, the more they consult about them; which the _Popes_ do, not because
the good of the State requires it, or the care of their Pastoral charge
urges their consciences thereunto; but only to take from their successors
the occasion to charge the blame of mischief upon their Nephews.  And
this is the cause that Negotiations are prolonged, publick Ministers
confounded, and poor Christendom so embroiled, as it is at this day.

Ambassadors at _Rome_, especially in the beginning of a Pontificate,
think they treat with the new _Pope_ as a person disinteressed, and the
Universal Father, not only in reference to things pertaining to the
Church, but also to the civil Interests of Princes, and affairs most
important to the Universe.

But they deceive themselves, and this Error confounds their Treaties;
whilst the _Popes_ have nothing but the bare Title and outward shew of
Universal Father, acting all things according to the dictates of their
own will and interest.

Were the _Popes_ really Universal Fathers, they would love all alike, and
deal with all without affection or hatred: But truly, I know not how they
dare assume that Title, especially those _Popes_, who, without any need
of the Church, have made it lawful to themselves to begin Wars, hinder
Peaces, persecute Nations, and make Leagues against Crowns,
Commonwealths, and Princes, perhaps (nay without perhaps) better
deserving of the Church, and affected to the publick and universal

I know that if the _Popes_ would deserve the Title of _Universal Father_,
they out to be Universal towards all; and if at any time to be
particular, it should be either out of absolute necessity of Reason of
State, or some great importance to the honour of the Church.  Thus did
the Primitive _Popes_, but within these last hundred years things are
altogether transform’d; for the waies of the _Popes_ are directed to the
advancement of their Families; whence every _Pope_ has often chang’d his
thoughts and purposes, and made shew of one thing outwardly, and meant
another inwardly; not for that reasons of State (but the reasons of their
own Families) so requir’d: which latter are commonly more dear to the
_Popes_ than the former.  The Ministers of Princes understand what I

’Tis not possible for the most expert Minister at _Rome_ to succeed well,
and with his Master’s satisfaction, in the things which he negotiates
there.  Before I give a reason whereof, I will relate what I read three
daies ago in a little book, whether Historical or Fabulous I know not,
but much to the purpose.

They say, _Pope Paschal_ the second took a conceit to have an Astrologer
divine his thoughts.  To which end he sent for an Abbot very intelligent
in the Art of Astrology, and demanded of him, _What himself thought_?

The Abbot surpris’d at this odd-proposal, desir’d time to answer, and
returning home fell to study an Answer; but, not being able to find one
fit and proper to the Question, he remain’d much troubled and melancholy.

His Cook observing it, and understanding the cause, bid his Master take
courage, and leave the business to him; for he would effect it with
reputation to them both.  The Abbot was well pleas’d with this discourse,
and being desir’d by the Cook to let him have his Gown and other Habit,
gave him it: wherewith the Cook being cloath’d, repair’d to the _Pope’s_
presence, and that with the more confidence, for that he was in person
and voyce very like the Abbot.

The _Pope_ no sooner beheld him, but taking him for the Abbot, _Well_,
(said he) _What do I think_?  The bold Cook answer’d without delay, _Your
Holiness thinks you speak with the Abbot_, _but ’tis with the Abbots

Not much different is that which befals Embassadours of Princes who
negotiate at _Rome_; where the _Popes_ are wont to do like the
_Jackpuddings_ of a Play, who change themselves in a moment from Man to
Woman, and from a Physician to a Muleter.

When an Embassadour thinks he treats with a Temporal Prince, and about
Civil matters, ’tis with a Spiritual Bishop, and about matters
Ecclesiastical.  Religion serves the _Pope_ to disguise Temporal
Dominion, and Temporal Dominion to disguise Religion.  Religion precedes
Policy, if the Affairs of Embassadours be contrary to the Policy, which
the _Popes_ have in their heads: Policy precedes Religion, if the
Embassadours Strengthen and confirm the particular Policy of the Popes.

If perchance a publick Agent treats a League offensive or defensive with
the _Pope_, he finds greater difficulties therein than he imagin’d; for
if the _Pope_ see that the League brings much more profit to himself than
to the Prince that desires it, he concludes as a Temporal Prince, without
derogating from the Authority Spiritual: That is, he reserves a secret
clause in his mind to break, the League when he will, under colour of
Religion: But if he know that the League is likely to bring much more
advantage to the interest of the Prince than to his own Family, and to
Religion than to his own Purse; excuses are immediately in the field, and
the _Pope_, of a Sacred High Priest, becomes a secular Prince, denying to
do any thing, for fear of hazarding the State.

The Ministers of the Emperour and the King of _Poland_ can witness what I
say, for one of them hath often sworn to me, That the _Popes_ do in
businesses so confound the Sacred with the Profane, and Religion with
Policy, that it is not possible to know whether it be better, to treat
with them as Temporal Princes, or as Secular Lords.

Amongst all the difficulties which Embassadours meet with at _Rome_, this
is the greatest and most deserving to be mentioned.

They that enter upon the Government at _Rome_, are ordinarily at their
entrance destitute of all vertue, much more of Political skill; and no
sooner begin to be a little acquainted therewith, but they must go off,
and give place to others, that enter with like qualifications.

The _Burgheses_ had never manag’d any kind of publike affair:
nevertheless as soon as _Paul_ was made _Pope_, they became Masters
without having ever been at School, and undertook to weild a Scepter,
before they had passed the Ferula.

Cardinal _Ludovisio_ had never gone out of his little _Podere_, where he
entertain’d himself from morning to night amongst those Peasants,
sometimes in playing at Hazard, and sometimes in dancing Country Jigs,
till, his Uncle being become _Pope_, (_Gregory_) he left _Podere_ for the
_Vatican_, the Dance for the Court, hazard for fortune, and the Peasants
for Princes; passing in a moment from the command of a Cottage to the
Empire of the Church, and from small affairs to the great interests of
the World.

Of the _Barbarini_, one was fetcht from the bottom of a Cloister, where
he had scarce learnt to command a Butler to lay the cloath; another was
taken from the Colledge of the Jesuites, where he had practised only to
run up and down the stairs of the Oratory; a third was taken from the
cure of a small Benefice; and the forth from a state of Domestick peace
to command Armies.  A fair turn indeed, no less wonderful than unexcted:
yet these Lords have had this particularity, that though they entred upon
the government of the Church extremely ignorant, nevertheless in a few
daies they became Masters of Masters, and seem’d old, although but boys,
in the subtleties of this Court.

Of the two Nephews of _Innocent_ the tenth, the one legitimate, the other
adopted, we have spoken sufficiently, and need not rub the sore again; in
regard they manifested themselves altogether unexpert, the one by
renouncing the Hat, as unable to bear the weight of command; and the
other by being expell’d the City, for venturing to command beyond his
understanding.  For all this _Innocent_ introduced them to a vast
Government, and laid upon their backs that world which the most expert
are hardly able to sustain.

What shall we say of _Don Mario_, _Don Augustino_, and Cardinal _Flavio_?
What Governments, Employments, and Charges had they ever possess’d in
their lives?  Was it not a fine sight to see _Don Mario_, who had never
worn a Sword in his life, declared _Generalissimo_ of the Holy Church,
receiving at the same time, with the General’s Truncheon, a Licence to
keep the Sword alwaies in the Scabbard?  For when he offered to draw it,
and swore to defend the Church with it, the _Pope_ dispens’d with him;
saying, _Brother_, _put thy Sword up into thy Scabbard_, _if thou wilt
have part in my Kingdom_.  To which Command _Don Mario_ hath been alwaies

When the Cardinal was called to the Government, he was reading the Fables
of _Æsop_, and _Don Augustino_ was making love to a little Courtisan of
_Siena_: and yet on a sudden the latter was called from the arms of a
base Strumpet, and made worthy of the Marriage of a great Princess; and
the other from his Pastime of _Æsop_, was admitted to the management of
the greatest Affairs, not of _Rome_ only, but of the whole World.

Now what prosperous issue can Negotiations have with such a Race of
Politicians?  Where shall Embassadors begin, at the Head or the Tail?
What devices shall they have to unfold their meaning to such as want
sense?  Unless all _Popes_ should imitate _Gregory_ the Fifteenth, who in
the beginning of his _Papacy_ would not treat of any important matter
with any Minister, but excused it by saying, _That he would stay till his
Nephews were a little instructed in Political Negotiations_: And he had
reason to stay, for in a short time one of them had an ambitious Whimsey
came into his Crown, that he understood more than all the Cardinals, and
his Uncle to boot; and accordingly he acted and commanded, without
communicating with either.

’Tis a tedious thing to Princes Ministers, who are old Stagers in
Councils and Affairs, to have to do with raw, unexperienced Persons, and
such as are much different from the Primitive Governours of the Church;
who, though introduc’d barefoot, and ill clad, and void of all
experience, yet their native simplicity serv’d them very well for the
preserving a virtuous Life, far from Political cunning: whereas the
Nephews of the present _Pope_ enter simple, not to edifie the People, and
adorn the Church with good Lives; but to Lord it over Princes by Policy
not comprehensible.

Most Agents lose their time in learning the nature of those that bear
sway at _Rome_, who are indeed unknown to all.  They study in what manner
to treat with such Persons.  They strive to gain the affection of those
Governours, who are without any, unless we will say, That they have given
up all their affection to heap up Money.  They labour to ingratiate with
those Nephews who possess all the Grace of the _Pope_: And in a word,
Night and day they contrive to know and be known to the Nephews at
_Rome_, in order to their better success there.

But what? in the fairest of these Intrigues, after so many watchings and
toils, after having understood those whom they understood not before, in
the greatest heat of their Negotiations, in the beginning of their joy
for having found out the right way of managing Affairs, and whilst they
are beginning to lay open their Interests to Persons by this time arriv’d
to some capacity, behold the death of the _Pope_ falling out on a sudden,
drives from the _Vatican_ and from the Government those Nephews who are
now understood and experienc’d, to introduce others ignorant,
unexperienc’d, and so void of all Political Knowledge, as never to have
seen the Court but on the outside, Consultations but in Sport, nor
Publick Ministers save in their Coaches.

In this manner poor Embassadors are forced to turn over a new leaf, and
like young Scholars put to a new School, they must learn over again what
they had learn’d before, to their no small dissatisfaction, as well as
injury to their Affairs.

These so sudden shiftings of the Scene, puts the Ministers all in
disorder; and the only satisfaction they find, is to laugh at the new
Princes of the Church, who have so suddenly leap’d from the Dunghil to
the Throne.

Cardinal _Onofrio_ Brother to _Urban_ the Eighth, who was taken from a
Cloister of _Capucines_, and introduc’d into the Affairs of the Court,
could never accustom himself to live in any other manner, but in that
slovenly way of the _Capucines_; so that when he was to receive any
Embassadors, he committed the most ridiculous pieces of clownishness

One day speaking about some War of the _Turk_ in _Germany_, with the
Imperial Embassador, who desir’d him to prevail with the _Pope_ to
succour Christendom, which was endanger’d in that Country; the good
Cardinal fetching a great sigh, began to say, _Ah_, _my Lord Embassador_,
_those Coleworts_, _those Coleworts in the Capucines Garden_, _make me
always remember my former condition_; and so continuing a Discourse of a
quarter of an hour, concerning the goodness of Coleworts, the excellence
of Turneps, and the manner how the _Capucines_ boil them in good fat
broth; seeming to lick his fingers almost at every syllable, and to
swallow a Turnep at every word.

Another time going to visit the _Spanish_ Embassador, and forgetting
himself to be a Cardinal, and not a Capucine, he ask’d on a sudden, _Of
what Covent is your Reverend Fathership a Son_?

The Embassador, perceiving the simplicity of the Person, answer’d him
laughing, _Father_, _I am no Son of a Covent_; _but indeed I send Sons to
the Covent_, _of whom perhaps your Fathership is one_.  The Cardinal
finding his error, thought to mend it by replying to the Embassador,
_Your Excellence may please to excuse __me_; _for the remembrance of the
Capucines is so fresh my mind_, _that I take all for Capucines that speak
with me_: The Embassadour laught; and rising up, said, _’Tis well_, _my
Lord_, _I will be gone then_, _that I may not be accounted a Capucine by
your Eminence_.

Moreover, whilst Ministers of Princes talk’d with him of matters of
State, the answers he return’d were about watering of Gardens, sweeping
of hutches, ordering of Vestries, rising in the morning, entring into the
Choire, begging Alms, and so of all such other things, wherein he was a
Master.  Nor did he make any difference of persons in his Conferences,
but us’d the same Style to every body, _Your Fathership will pardon me_.
And in his Complements with Embassadours Royal, he would often say, _I
shall accompany you to the door of the Cloister_.

I might relate a thousand such stories, but I will not lengthen the work
more than I ought; although there is scarce any Nephew of _Popes_ whose
mean and carriage, after their sudden advancement to the degree of
Princes, affords me not matter for a long discourse.

’Tis enough that publick Ministers cannot forbear laughter and scorn in
their negotiating with them which serve to inform them of their
infirmities.  Whence the Embassadour _Justiniani_, being ask’d one day,
_whether he was goeing to negotiate with_ Astalli?  Answer’d, _Not to
negotiate with him_, _but to instruct him_.  And indeed, such instruction
is extreme necessary to the best of them.

But that which displeases them most, is, that after much pains taken to
instruct them, they must lose the fruits thereof, and begin all the same
course over again with their Successors.

The last difficulty in managing affairs with the Nephews, ariseth from
their incomparable Avarice, which is so predominant in them, that they
appear meer insensible Statues in every thing else, but in studying the
means how to make themselves great.

_Boniface_ the ninth was the most dextrous, subtle, and ingenious _Pope_
for accumulating wealth, that ever sate in the _Vatican_; whence he was
wont to say, _That he had rather have a little Fish in hand_, _than a
great Dolphin in the main Sea_; And at other times, _That an Egg in the
morning is better than a Hen at night_.  And accordingly, he was
contented to lose the interest of a whole year to anticipate the payment
of a day, and he alwaies made his Receivers bring him every night the
money they had collected; and sometimes he would sit up till midnight
expecting them, in regard he could not sleep otherwise through fear of
being undone.

This exorbitant Covetousness wholly withdrew his mind from the care of
the Papacy, both in Civil and Ecclesiastical matters; Embassadours could
not please him better, than to discourse to him of the means to get
money; and when they mentioned other matters pertaining to the publick
good, they receiv’d no answer sutable to the question; because his
thoughts were not imploy’d about what the Embassadours spoke, but about
what the Receivers of Gabels and Taxes had said to him; with whom he
entertain’d long conferences, little caring to give audience to

Clement the seventh, who never shew’d himself so extraordinarily
covetous, though covetous too, had his mind distracted in the like
manner, from what was at any time spoken to him, if it were not about
money: Whence being one day requested by the Imperial Embassadour to joyn
with the Emperour, and other Princes, in a League against the Turk; the
Embassadour perceiving that the _Pope_ gave him no answer, said, _Your
Holiness saies nothing to my Proposal_; Whereunto the _Pope_ return’d,
_No_, _for you counsel us to spend money_, _and we are thinking on the
means to get it_.

_Paul_ the fourth, standing one day in a great musing in the presence of
Cardinal _Campeggio_, was ask’d by him, _Why he stood so pensive_?  The
_Pope_ answer’d, _I am thinking whether you_ (_who perhaps may be my
Successour_) _are likely to be richer than my self_.

_Sixtus Quintus_, who was one of the greatest _Popes_ that the _Vatican_
ever saw, had no other fault, but that he spent most hours of the day in
devising what might be done to bring money into his Chests.  And he seems
to have died with the same thoughts in his head; for being ask’d by the
_Venetian_ Embassadour, two daies before his death, _How he did_?  He
answered, _I should be much better_, _if I had more money to spend_.

_Urban_ the eighth, in the war he had with the Duke of _Parma_, and other
confederate Princes, lost no little reputation, in attempting the
destruction of a Prince so well deserving of the Church, and hazarding
the safety of all _Italy_; yet he car’d not so much for the dishonour
which the Church receiv’d in his person, nor for the great murmur of the
people, as for the money disburs’d in it; lamenting the same often with
his Nephews, and reproving them for _having engaged him in a War of so
great expence_: as if the loss of money made deeper impression in the
_Pope’s_ heart, than the detriment of the Church and of Christendom.

Most of the _Pope’s_ Nephews call the hours wherein they give Audience to
Embassadours, _hours of poverty_, _and of misery_; because they cannot at
those times think how to advance their Houses: and therefore they strive
to shift them off as much as possible, and many times they promise all
before ’tis ask’d, only to be at their liberty.

Some will not allow it to be meerly charity in _Alexander_, to assume to
himself the load of all Civil Affairs of importance; but only a design to
lighten his Nephews of it, and leave them more time to bestow on
contrivance to fill their Coffers.

Better perhaps ’twould be for the Church, and the State too, if all
_Popes_ would do the like; for to lay the weight of great affairs upon
such weak shoulders, is to confound their understandings, and put them in
danger of shaming themselves by discovering their addle brains in
business: As a good Nephew did in discourse with the French Embassadour
about the number of Protestants in _France_; for meaning to say, _How
many Hereticks are there in_ France?  He mistook, and said, _How many
Pistols are there in_ France?  Which errour the Embassadour well
observing, and knowing the Cardinal Nephew more intent on the money of
his Coffers than the benefit of the Church, he answer’d, _The King my
Master hath not so many Hereticks in his Kingdom_, _as he hath Pistols in
his Exchequer_.

’Tis not 2000 Ages, since a certain _Pope’s_ Nephew said to a familiar
friend of his, who brought him notice, that the Spanish Embassadour was
coming to negotiate with him: _These Embassadours bring us business_,
_and not money_, _talking all day long with us so __tediously_, _as if we
were slaves_, _and not_ (Padroni) _Masters of the Church and State_.

The same Cardinal, as often as he return’d to his Chamber from
accompanying the publick Ministers (who had visited him) to the door, as
the custom is, would fall into a passion, and scornfully say to his
Servants: _I have lost two hours time with this pitiful Embassadour_,
_and he has gain’d some with me_; _if any other come_, _say I am not at

But worse was that other, (not long since dead) who, as much as he could,
avoyded the audience of such Ministers, sometimes pretending
indisposition, and sometimes that he was not at home; which the _Pope_
his Uncle understanding ask’d him the reason, _Why he did so_?  The
Cardinal answer’d plainly, _Whilst I am with Embassadours_, _my Coffers
fill with nothing but wind_; _but when I am alone_, _they fill with

The same good Nephew had another custome, that when notice was given of
the arrival of an Embassadour at the Gate, he would in displeasure cry,
_I would his neck were broke_.  But when ’twas told him that an Officer
of the Datary (that is, the Exchequer) was at the door, he would cry with
joy, _He is welcome_.

A certain Embassadour, knowing this Nephew’s humour, contriv’d how to
make his Visits not grievous; and to that purpose, before he desired
Audience, or at least at the same time, he thought fit to give him
notice; that he desir’d to speak with him for nothing else but the
resignation of a certain Benefice, which the Prince his Master intended
to make into the hands of his Holiness’s Nephews.

The device took well, for the greedy Nephew believing it true, receiv’d
him with a very good countenance: and the Embassadour fail’d not to usher
in his publick business with a Preface about resigning the foresaid
Benefice or Abbey, although the Prince his Master knew no more of any
such thing than I; and so got a fair reception.

’Twere good, that all publick Agents would put the same tricks upon those
avaricious Nephews, and not be so scrupulous as they are; since the
Nephews make no scruple to slight their addresses, to breake off all
Negotiations, and to confound whatsoever is offer’d to them.

Without such inventions they are like to get little good from the visits
to the Nephews, who consider nothing but their own Interests, and are
indifferent to those of Princes; whence ’tis easie to judge they will do
little good in those matters, in which they are engag’d with an ill will.

This may serve concerning the difficulties which Princes Ministers meet
with in their affairs with the _Popes_ and their Nephews, and how to
avoid the same.  Let us now proceed to the Enquiry, _Why the Families of_
Popes _continue not long in Grandeur_.

Some compare the _Nipotismo_ to a Tree which is guarded by all, whilst
laden with fruit; but as soon as it happens to be deprived thereof,
either by the hands of men, or progress of time, every body forsakes it,
and nature her self leaves it barren, dry, and hateful, even to the eye
of the beholders.

I do not altogether like this comparison, because Trees bear fruit for
others; whereas the good Nephews of _Popes_ take all to themselves: and I
should rather compare them to Pismires, which all day long go from place
to place, seeking provisions wherewith to fill their Nests, and stop not
a moment till they see them full.

There is no body but wonders to behold how the Families of _Popes_ daily
decline, there being scarce two found that have continued one intire Age,
or which remain in the same splendour wherein they were seen to shine,
not only during the Reign of the _Popes_ their Kinsmen, but for some
lustres after; and although some may seem at present to be found great,
yet my Observation cannot therefore be decry’d as false, in regard of
other reasons to be alledged concerning this matter.

There is no doubt, but many Families are found at this day in _Rome_ of
good quality and esteem, who have had _Popes_ descended from them before
_Sixtus_ the fourth; as the Family of _Conti_ hath had two _Popes_ in the
_Vatican_, _Innocent_ the third, and _Gregory_ the ninth; The Family of
_Fiesco_, reputed at present the chief Family of _Genoa_, hath likewise
afforded two _Popes_, _Innocent_ the fourth, and _Adrian_ the fifth; And
so that of _Orsini_, hath had _Nicholas_ the third; That of _Savelli_,
_Honorius_ the fourth; _La Gaettana_, hath had _Boniface_ the eighth;
_Picolomini_, _Pius_ the Second; _Colonna_, _Martin_ the fifth; not to
mention others, that have had their _Popes_ too.

But this is the difference: ’tis one thing for _Popes_ to issue from a
Noble Family, and another for Families to rise from the _Popes_.  The
foresaid Houses received not their Splendour, Nobility, and Wealth from
the Papal Grandeur, but it may rather be said, that the Papal Grandeur
received splendour from those Families.

Besides, in those daies the Nephews of _Popes_ remain’d at home, and did
not come to _Rome_; if they did, they brought not with them that
insatiable avarice which Nephews bring (or have brought hitherto) when
they enter into possession of the _Vatican_.  I mean not therefore to
speak of those Families, which have been in great esteem as well since
they have had _Popes_ of them, as before.  None of these is advanc’d by
the Papacy, but remains in the same manner without growth in Ambition,
Riches, or Glory.

Particularly, the House of _Colonna_ (which is at present one of the most
considerable, not of _Rome_ only, but of all _Italy_) hath so little
valu’d the Papal Grandeur in its lot, that they have often persecuted it,
only to let the World see that the _Colonneses_ pretended not to glory in
the Treasures of the Church, but in the merit of the persons, exemplified
in the valour of so many illustrious men, who have spent much of their
bloud for the service of the _Popes_ themselves.

’Tis certain, that by two _Popes_ issu’d out of the House of _Colonna_,
the _Colonneses_ have had so little advantage, either in dignity or
wealth, that they may say that the _Popes_ were taken out of their
Family, and that they have the honour to be _Colonneses_ of the House of
_Colonna_, but not _Colonneses_ of the House of _Popes_.  But there are
many other Families, whose glory it is to have had their rise from the
fortune given them by _Popes_, without which they would never have been
any thing considerable; and these are the Families of which I am to

The Family of _Rovere_, from which _Sixtus_ the fourth was descended, of
it self was very noble, and had liv’d so for above two Ages in
_Lombardy_, but by various changes and accidents it was declin’d to such
a degree that the chief branch was remov’d to _Savona_, and there
remain’d many years in a mediocrity of fortune amongst the principal
Citizens, till _Sixtus_, being made _Pope_, determin’d to revive it to a
greater fortune at the cost of the _Vatican_, and the publick Treasury.

All the glories of this House, though dispersed here and there by _Pope
Sixtus_, yet in a little time became confined to the sole possession of
the Dutchy of _Urbin_, which indeed the House of _Rovere_ possessed, but
not without great persecutions for the space of 150 years and more,
beginning from 1475 till 1631.  When the said House was extinguished by
the death of _Francesco Maria_, the last Duke, or of _Guido Ubaldo_, if I
remember right; there remaining no other Heirs save _Donna Vittoria della
Rovere_, married to _Ferdinand_ the second great Duke of _Tuscany_.

It may be said, as I shall afterwards prove, that this was the only
Family (rais’d by _Popes_) that continued so long together in greatness:
and I believe the goodness of the Dukes, who succeeded one after another,
contributed not a little to this continuance, which seems to surpass the
ordinary measures.

But if we will measure things with the right rule, we shall find that the
Family of _Rovere_ liv’d in Grandeur but one Age; for there is no
necessity to begin to reckon from the time of _Sixtus_, but from _Julius_
the second, who was of the same House; who seeing it much declin’d by
reason of the great persecutions of _Alexander_ the Sixth, determined to
succour it, though not by burdening the Church, which was in the year
1510.  Neither is it needful to extend the reckoning till 1631. because
for above twenty years before the death of the last Duke, the
Ecclesiasticks foreseeing the fall of the Dutchy into their own hands, in
regard of the great age of the Duke and his want of male Children, they
resolv’d to take possession of it by degrees; and accordingly insulted
over the poor old Duke, keeping him as if he had been their Subject:
wherefore it may reasonably be said, that the House of _Rovere_, rais’d
by _Sixtus_ continu’d not in grandeur so much as one full Age.

The Family of _Cibo_ hath alwayes produc’d men eminent both for Learning
and Valour; amongst whom there were two _Popes_, _Boniface_ the ninth,
and _Innocent_ the eighth; the former in these dayes, when Nephews were
not wont to enter into _Rome_ with the _Popes_, and the latter
immediately after the death of the abovementioned _Sixtus_.  But this
Innocent the eighth would not oppress the Church to enrich his Kindred,
whom he saw wealthy enough, and of good account amongst the chief
Citizens of the Commonwealth of _Genoa_ his Countrey.

He gave them indeed some Offices, but of so small value, that this
_Popes_ Kindred did not think it worth while to leave _Genoa_ for _Rome_,
and so, after the death of _Innocent_, they despis’d their Citizenships
of _Rome_, and return’d to _Genoa_; where within a short time by the
fault of Cardinal _Cibo_, they left the Offices given them by the _Pope_
their Kinsman, and were forc’d to betake themselves to other courses for
a livelihood; well knowing that the Riches receiv’d from the Church stay
not long in the hands of the receivers.  And they did wisely, for had
they remain’d at _Rome_, perhaps they would not be at this day in that
grandeur, esteem, and wealth as they are in the City of _Genoa_.

Of the Family of _Alexander_ the Sixth, that barbarous Pope, there would
be much to say, did not the consideration of bravity oblige me to pass
over many reasons of the destruction thereof.  This _Alexander_ was
descended from the noble Family of _Lenzoli_ in _Spain_, being Son of
_Goffredo Lenzoli_; but containing both the name and surname of his
family, he took that of _Boria_, which was afterwards turn’d to _Borgia_.

From this Pope sprung the house of _Borgia_, and was by him encreas’d and
advanc’d to that grandeur, whereof we have spoken in other places.  It
was divided into two branches, one whereof remain’d in _Spain_ in
possession of its ancient honours, and the other came into _Italy_; where
it became so great by the many Principalities conferr’d on it by the
Pope, that it seem’d likely to flourish to eternity.  But on the
contrary, in less than half an Age, it decayed so fast, that ’tis above
fifty years since the Family of _Borgia_ became extinct in _Italy_.

’Tis true, the Branch in _Spain_ continues in some splendour, and
possesses at present the Principality of _Squillace_, which was given by
Pope _Alexander_ to his Family.  But this Principality is no great
matter, _Don Ferdinando Borgia_, the present Possessor little caring for
it, for the same reason, as some think, of being purchas’d with the money
of the Church; and glorying only in his possessing what his Ancestors had
got by their valour, and himself gets by the good service he performs to
the Crown, which reckons him one of the chiefest men of _Spain_.

After the Introduction of _Nipotismo_, the Family of _Picolomini_ had
another Pope, to wit, _Pius_ the third, who lived so short a time, that
he was fain to leave his Kindred _Picoli huomini_ (small men) indeed;
although they have kept themselves in the rank of Nobility, by having
receiv’d considerably from the Church, but only for eminent services
perform’d to the same.

We have spoken sufficiently of the House of _Rovere_, and though _Julius_
the second, who was of it, might induce us to speak of it here again: yet
for brevities sake, we will pass to the Family of the _Medici_, which was
indeed amplifi’d by, but not first rais’d by _Popes_, but rather the_
Popes_ rais’d by it.

_Leo_ the tenth did his utmost to render his House potent, not in _Rome_
only, but also in _Florence_; where it was one of the chiefest of that
Commonwealth.  But what this _Leo_ could not, _Clement_ the seventh (of
the same Family) effected, having with the Emperours assistance
enthralled his own Countrey to make his Nephews Princes.

This House hath maintain’d it self for above 300 years together in
greatness, and I believe will so continue, because it stands not on the
same foundation with other Families of _Popes_.  First, because (as I
said before) it has rather given _Popes_ to the Church, than receiv’d
Being from the _Popes_, without need of whom it kept it self long in
grandeur.  And though at first view the great height of this House may
seem to be of right attributed to the force, which _Clement_ the seventh
us’d to enslave his Countrey, and render his Kindred Princes: Yet this is
not pertinent to the question; for _Clement_ took not from the Church to
give to them, but only destroy’d a Republick, which was an obstacle to
the eyes of all _Popes_, and where his Family was already in chief
command.  Besides, the _Medici_ were therein as much oblig’d to the House
of _Austria_, by whose Force and Power they undoubtedly receiv’d the
Principality which they possess with so much glory.  And accordingly
_Ferdinand_ the second and his Ancestors have alwayes shewed themselves
most grateful for the benefit.

The Family of _Farnese_, which is that of _Paul_ the third, Successor to
_Clement_, came out of _Germany_ into _Italy_, in company of the
Emperours, who often made this Voyage attended by a great number of
_Dutch_ Gentlemen; here the chief of this Family gave in divers cases
great proofs of their valour, and were therefore preferr’d by the chief
and most Potent Princes of _Italy_ to greater Dignities and Offices than
those which they had possess’d at home, as well Civil as Military,
whereof they acquitted themselves well.

The _Popes_ especially were ambitious to have them at their service, and
by their means obtain’d sundry Victories; without which ’tis likely the
Church would have been in great distress.  In the Papacy of _Paschal_ the
second, in the year 1100.  _Pietro Farnese_, Captain of the Cavalry of
the Church, did wonders in its service, having obtain’d a most glorious
Victory against the _Pope’s_ Enemies on the Coasts of _Tuscany_,
restoring to _Costano_ the name of _Orbitello_, a very ancient Colony,
and replenishing the same with much people.

_Prudentio_ Son of this _Pietro_ under the Papacy of _Lucius_ the second,
and _Pepone_ and _Panuccio_ Sons of _Prudentio_, under the Papacy of
_Innocent_ the third, effected great things in defence of the Church,
which was greatly afflicted with the Schism of the Emperors.

The Grandfather of _Paul_ the third was _Ramecio Farnese_, who overcame,
subdu’d and destroy’d all the Rebels of the Holy Church, which in great
numbers molested the State Ecclesiastical, and almost all Christendom, he
being Captain of the Papal Army in the time of _Eugenio_ the fourth, who
indeed was a very worthy _Pope_, if for nothing else, yet for the good
intention he had to reward the valour of this great Captain; and I think
he rewarded him abundantly by this testimony which he gave him, _The
Church is ours_, _because Farnese hath given it us_.

In short, in the Civil Broils, which continu’d for above four Ages
between the _Popes_ and the Emperors, the Family of _Farnese_ with
incredible valour and felicity reliev’d the drooping state of the Holy

Nevertheless the last _Popes Urban_ and _Innocent_, ingrateful for these
benefits, went about to ruine this well deserving Family.  Now if they
persecute those who with their own Blood and Fortunes have serv’d the
Church, what man will ever serve it for the future?

These two Cities were indeed separated from the Church, and given to the
_Farnesi_, who at first found great opposition, and became Masters of it
with great difficulty, and that not before the time of _Pope Julius_ the
third, in the year 1550. which _Pope_ gave them investiture in despite of
_Charles_ the fifth, (who could never be perswaded to consent) and
assigned them a considerable summe of money for the keeping them.

Within this last forty years the _Popes_ have persecuted these innocent
Princes in that manner, that without the assistance of Forreign Crowns,
and some of the Princes of _Italy_ they had been exterminate before this,
and received so notable a loss, that had it been compared with what they
had received from _Paulus_ the third, it would doubtless have been found
they had received less than they had lost: from whence it may be justly
said, they have not enjoyed that Principality which they possest, as a
feud of the Church, in that peace and repose, for this last half age, as
they ought in reason to have done.  For those _Popes_ that gave it them
first, gave them also priviledges to enjoy it without molestation: and
therefore those _Popes_ that have of late troubled the _Farness_ with so
much expense, ought in reason (if there, be any such thing in _Rome_) to
have forfeited their feudale Rights.

_Julius_ the third, he also failed not to do his part towards the raising
of his Family, which was of the _De Montes_, by giving them several
offices, and sums of money, by which means in a short time they became
very great; but half an age was not past, but it began by degrees to
decay and shrink into that mediocrity it is in at this day: which is but
small in respect of the condition it was in after the death of _Julius_,
who saw them advanc’d, but did not live to see their declension; it being
a general Maxime amongst all the _Popes_ Nephews, that they see them
advanc’d but to the highest pitch of honour, but live not to see them
fall to the lowest point of disgrace.

But the greatest Family of all was the _Caraffi_, rais’d to that height
by _Paul_ the fourth, though of it self for several Ages before, very
illustrious: The authority they had in _Rome_, with the command of
several Lands and Castles belonging to the Church, made this name like to
be eternal, and being fortified with such strong banks, not at all
subject to the injury of time.

But if ever any Family of the _Popes_ were in a short time precipitated
from the greatest height to the lowest of meanness, it was this of the
_Caraffi_ from _Paul_ the fourth, which continued not four year in that
Splendour and Eminence the _Pope_ had plac’d it, he himself having laid
the foundation of their greatness and ruine.

Notwithstanding _Paul_ the fourth left his Nephews no small store of
Riches, although they were banisht from _Rome_: which they enjoyed till
_Pius_ the fourth was preferr’d to the Chair; who being _Pope_, and not
able to endure their insolencies, he got them into his hands; and forming
a Process against them, he hang’d some of them, beheaded others, and
sequestred their Estates, destroying in that manner the House of the
_Caraffi_, with no small gust to the Romans, who frequently declared
their dissatisfaction with the behaviour of the _Caraffi_.

But some will object, that the House of Caraffi, do at this present
flourish in _Naples_ in great honour and wealth, and may be reckoned
amongst the Principal there as well for Splendour and Magnificence, as
Wealth, of which they enjoy not a little.

To this may be answered with the same reason I have alledged before,
where I spake of the house of _Borgia_, divided into two Branches, one in
_Spain_, the other in _Naples_; for the House of the _Caraffi_, when
_Paul_ the fourth was made _Pope_, was divided also into two Branches,
one of them remaining in _Rome_ by the acquisition of a new Estate, the
other in _Naples_ in possession of what they had got before.

The Lords of the _Caraffi_ enjoy at present in _Naples_ many Signiories,
as particularly the Dutchy of _Matalone_, which they had enjoyed a
hundred years before _Paul_ the fourth, without interruption, being
anciently Dukes from the time of _Ferdinando_ first King of _Naples_, and
reckon’d amongst his principal Favourites; and are still esteem’d of very
well by the Crown of _Spain_, though in the revolutions of _Naples_, upon
I know not what considerations, the affection _Philip_ the fourth had for
a long time for the Duke of _Matalone_, was observed to grow cold.

This Branch that remained in _Naples_ received no benefit or advantage by
that which was establish’d in _Rome_, which last being extinguish’d by
the two _Popes_ aforesaid by the death and sequestration of so many
_Caraffi_; the other remained in _Naples_ daily augmenting by the favours
and priledges they receive from the Crown of _Spain_.

Neither are the Neopolitan _Caraffi_ of the same condition with the
Roman, they having nothing, as many believe, or at least, very little of
the Church Lands in their possession, which continued not long to the
other House, not so much as to the second Generation; and therefore these
Lords are still so considerable in _Naples_, because their Estates sprang
rather from the reward of their valour, than the oppression of the poor.

All this notwithstanding, the People of _Naples_ were always disaffected
to the House of _Matalone_; for which reason in the Revolution of
_Masanello_, _Don Joseph Caraffa_ was slain by the fury of the People,
his heart pull’d out of his breast, and his body drawn all about the
City, with this Exclamation, _This is he that betray’d the most faithful
People of Naples_.  Besides, there were several Palaces of the Dukes,
full of inestimable Furniture, burnt, without being able to preserve one;
and I being then in _Naples_, heard several cry, _We must burn all_, _to
purge the House of_ Caraffa _from the Leprosie of the rest of the_
Caraffi; alluding to them who in the time of _Paul_ the Fourth had made
themselves odious to all the World, as well as to _Rome_.

The Family of the _Buoncompagni_ was considerable above thirty years
after the death of _Gregory_ the Thirteenth, which was the Person rais’d
them to that height; for though before they were in some degree of
Nobility, yet their Estate was but narrow and small; however in the
twelve years of his Papacy he let them get so much, that without any
great difficulty, they liv’d like Princes after the death of that _Pope_,
who died in _March_ 1585.

_Giacomo Buoncompagno_, General for the Holy Church, left many Sons all
rich, and allied to good Houses; notwithstanding in a short time all was
consumed: and though there was not one lavish or profuse person in the
Family, though they had several Cardinalships and other Charges in
_Rome_, yet could not all prevent their growing worse every day: And had
not two Marriages sustained them, and put them into the condition they
are in, which yet is but mean in respect of the grandeur they were in
before, they had certainly before this been destroy’d.

But the greatest wonder, in the particular of the sudden destruction of
the _Popes_ Families, was in the House of _Peretti_ rais’d by _Sixtus_
the Fifth.  That _Pope_, to immortalize his Name, and the Grandeur of his
House, which was but of very low extraction, married two of his Nephews,
or Nephews Sons, I know not which, into the principallest Families in
_Rome_; giving each of them considerable Estates in Land, and an infinite
quantity of Money: and that it might not meet with any untoward accident
to subvert it, he settled their Estates in the surest and best places he
could, thinking thereby to secure and establish his Family.

Ten years after the death of _Sixtus_, there were seven Males of the
House of _Peretti_ alive, that is, in the year 1600. all of them very
rich; but particularly they which had the Inheritance of Cardinal
_Montalto_, who left his Nephews an Estate of a hundred thousand Crowns
in yearly Rent, besides what they had afore.

Many People conceiv’d this Family was establish’d for ever; and who would
not have thought so, considering the number and fertility of the Males,
their Alliance with the greatest Families, their Riches, and in short,
their enjoyment of all things necessary to the immortalizing a Family?
Yet the Name, the Wealth, the Granduer of this House, did all vanish like
smoak at the death of Cardinal _Froucesco Peretti_, who died in the
beginning of _Innocent_ the Tenth’s Papacy, with no small trouble to the
_Romans_, who loved his person exceedingly, having found him full of
actions of generosity and nobleness to all that had to do with him.

And so was the House of _Peretti_ extinct, not being able to continue
half an Age.  Yet notwithstanding, the death of the Cardinal was the rise
of another Family from the _Pope_, which is called the _Savelli_, into
which one of his Sisters was married, who remained Heir to a vast and
inestimable Patrimony.  Some People are confident, That if the House of
_Peretti_ had continued, the _Savelli_ would have been in an ill
condition; so as there was no great hurt done, to lose one Family, and
have another rais’d.

The House of the _Sfondrati_ yielded to the Papacy _Gregory_ the
Fourteenth, who though sprung from _Milan_ himself, yet nevertheless as
to his Original, he may not improperly be styl’d both the Son and the
Father of _Cremona_, a Town (considering its Antiquity) amongst the
principal of _Italy_, besides that, it has in all times produc’d men very
eminent both in Learning and Wars.  In this City, amongst the most
considerable Citizens, was this House of _Sfondrati_, always enjoying the
greatest Office in the Council, which procur’d no small envy in the
hearts of many; insomuch as some people excited the _Cambiaghi_ (which
was then a Family of great credit and esteem in the City) to oppose
themselves against the Ambition of the _Sfondrati_, who at that time
appear’d to carry all before them.

The _Cambiaghi_, back’d and supported by other of the Citizens,
endeavour’d what they could the diminution of the _Sfondrati_; and from
hence arose (not to say Civil Wars) great feuds and animosities between
them, which continued till such time as _Girolamo Sfondrati_ was called
to _Milan_, where meeting with greater Advancements, he resolved to leave
_Cremona_ for ever: And from this Family, now become _Milanese_,
_Gregory_ the Fourteenth descended, who would always acknowledge
_Cremona_ to be his Country; yet would declare often, whilst he was a
young Student there, He would never return to _Cremona_, till he was made
Bishop of that place: Afterwards arriving at a competency of years, and
other qualifications, he begg’d and obtain’d very readily the Bishoprick
of _Pius Quartus_, being a person of great worth: He was also made
Cardinal whilst he was in _Cremona_, with no small joy to the whole City,
who made great Expressions of their Satisfactions, by Bonfires and other
Ceremonies, at the news of his Promotion.

How careful this _Pope_ was of his Relations, we have sufficiently shewed
in its proper place: ’tis enough that not contented with the Marriage of
two of his Nephews, towards the perpetuation of his Family, and one of
them in particular with the Daughter of the Prince of _Massa_; he
design’d also to make _Emilius Sfondrato_ his Brothers Son, who was
already entred to the Degree of Holy Orders, to resign his Cardinals Cap:
but propounding of it to the Consistory, the Cardinals apprehended it a
business of so great scandal, they intreated him to content himself, that
he had married two Nephews, that were already furnished with Children, to
secure the continuance of his Family for ever, without any such hainous
and unjustifiable courses.

But all this avail’d not at all; for in a short time after the death of
the _Pope_, in a Months time there were three Males of that Family died,
as it were by Judgment from Heaven, to mortifie the ambition of those
_Popes_ who destroy Heaven it self, to fill the World with their Nephews.
And thus by little and little the House of _Sfondrati_ declined, with all
the diligence and care they could use to hold out full forty years,
though they made another Person take their Name upon him, that had
neither Alliance nor Friendship with them.

Of the House of _Aldobrandini_, from whence _Clement_ the Eighth
proceeded, who was created _Pope_ in _January_ 1592. we cannot speak
without touching the Cardinal _Aldobrandino_ too neerly, who is the only
person sustains the Name of a Family, that seem’d, for the Reasons
before, impossible to be irradicated; which may notwithstanding be said
to be extinct, although the Cardinal bears the Name, and the Princess of
_Rossano_ enjoys the Estate, as Heir to the House of _Aldobrandino_; yet
the one being a Woman, and the other a Priest, they cannot hope to
recover it, unless some By-blow should be produc’d: which, though it
would be a neat piece of invention, I cannot imagine, because the
Cardinal was not at all scandalous in his Life, but always obsequious and
respectful of the Princess; who made him Cardinal, and without which he
might have been a _Brandino_ a Jugler, but no _Aldobrandino_.

But to return to _Pope Clement_, I will affirm, That he, not having
fail’d in any thing might furnish _Rome_ with the Family of the
_Aldobrandini_, was not in arrear to his Name.  In the time that he was
_Pope_, there were eighteen Males of the Name of _Aldobrandini_, the
greater part of which were married; and it was no small satisfaction to
him, to have so great a number of his Relations: upon which score he us’d
to say, _He was_ Pope _of_ Rome, _and Prince or Chief of the_

That which was most observable was, He took great pleasure in caressing
his Relations; for when any of his Brothers or Nephews that were married
came to him, he would tell them, _Let it be your business to provide
Children_, _and it shall be mine to provide them Estates_.

His good Kindred did not neglect to make their advantage of the Counsel
of _Clement_, nor he to maintain their Honours; by which means, there was
scarce any other Family taken notice of in _Rome_; but the reputation of
this, made a noise in every corner.

This House of the _Aldobrandini_ was well founded in the _Papacy_ of
_Urban_ the Eighth, by the assistance of seven Brothers, Grand-children
to _Clement_; all of them of so strong and lusty complexions, the
Physicians by common consent did assert, there could not be any defect of
Posterity.  Nevertheless, it has fail’d; and which is very considerable,
there is not now one Male remaining of the Name.

The House of _Borghese_ descended from _Paul_ the Fifth, who succeeded
_Clement_ (though _Leo_ the Eleventh, who liv’d but five and twenty days,
was betwixt them) ran the same fortune; but being of a later Plantation
in _Rome_, it conserves still some weak and decrepit Branches.  One of
the principal designs _Alexander_ had, to marry _Don Agostin_ with the
young Princess _Borghosa_, was to unite the Estate and Patrimony of that
tottering and declining House, with the House of _Chigi_, which at that
time was rising to great Emminence, though for a while they came not to

There was but one sprig left of the House of the _Borghesi_, and which
was worse, even that of a weak temper, and much subject to infirmities:
which _Alexander_ considering, and what accidents the vicissitudes of the
world might bring upon the house of the _Borghesi_, he applyed all his
endeavours to make a match (which succeeded well) with his Nephew, and
gave him fair hopes of seeing the Patrimony of the _Borghesi_ in his own

And this is the state of the _Borghesi_ at present, who in the time of
_Paul_ the fifth, had above a dozen males of that name, of which there
were not above six married; which was very considerable.  But I return to
speak how squares go in the world.

The Families of the _Ludovisi_, _Barbarini_, _Panfili_, and _Chigi_, who
yielded the four last _Popes_, I shall speak nothing of; because they
have not enjoy’d the Benefits of the Papacy full out thirty years: so as
it behoving us to let them rest in peace, I shall leave the observations
of their Catastrophe to them which come after us.

One thing only I shall insert, that the _Aldobrandini_ had at one time
many more males alive, than are at present left of all these four houses

God Almighty bless them according to their own desire; which I do
heartily pray, as having no animosity against those that are good.

Some have observ’d, and not with much difficulty, that the greatest part
of the _Popes_ Families were, before their advancement to the Papacy, of
great antiquity and grandeur; but for many that rais’d themselves by the
treasure of the Triple Crown, it is not so easie to finde; for instead of
attaining to a perpetuation of their Families, they have not been
prolifique enough to defend them against a perpetual annihilation.

The house of the _Medici_ in _Milan_ was of above two hundred years
antiquity, maintaining it self in great Honour and Magnificence: But
after _Pius_ the fourth was elected _Pope_ out of it, it grew worse and
worse, declining with much more speed than it was rais’d, and that after
so extravagant a manner, they could discern themselves rise, but could
not perceive their decay.

So the house of _Gregory_ the fourteenth, who was born as I have said of
the ancient Family of the _Sfondrati_, who had made themselves, as it
were, immortal in _Milan_, not only in respect of the greatness of their
Authority, but in the multitude of their Issue; yet in less than forty
years after _Pope Gregory_, its leaves fell, and the whole Tree of the
_Sfondrati_ withered.

The House of _Aldobrandini_ also, from which _Clement_ the eight was
descended, from the time of the _Lombards_ to the said _Pope_, continued
so eminent in _Florence_; there was at several times three and twenty of
that name chief Standard-bearers, and all elected by the people:
Nevertheless as soon as there was a _Pope_ of this Family (which was
_Clement_) it began to decay, and is now at that pass, there is but one
sprig left of all the branches, and that infertile and incapable of
recovering them, though he should be made a _Pope_.

In short, a thousand other examples might be produc’d to evince what I
have asserted; which examples though I have describ’d in History, yet are
they enough to demonstrate the _Popes_ and their dependents, that all the
care, contentions, and designs they go through for advancement of their
particular Families, are not blessed by the Lord; because he suffers them
not to prosper: it being more then certain, That when he keeps not the
City, the Watchmen wake but in vain.

God Almighty not suffering those who have rais’d themselves to that
greatness, out of the Bowels of those that are in Purgatory, themselves
to remain long without punishment for their faults.  He will not permit
those Families that are elated and grown insolent with the wealth and
blood of those poor carkases that are buried in their Churchyards, to
continue long in this world themselves.  Heaven is offended to behold
sacred things transformed into profane, Churches into Palaces, Alms into
Thefts, Crosses into Swords, Altars into Lordships, Holy things into
Comedy and Sport, Divine Worship into an adoration of Riches, or rather
adoration into Riches.

He that shall be pleas’d to run over the actions of all the _Popes_, that
is, the History wherein all the Families that have afforded any _Popes_
to the world, Shall finde this for an infallible truth, that they are
either all as it were extinct, or the small remainder that is left
reduc’d to a very mean and inconsiderable condition: As if heaven could
not endure the Patrimony of Saint _Peter_ should be made an universal
scandal to the world, and be an occasion of eternizing the memory of the
Sacriledge they have committed.

I had lately an opportunity of discourse with an Abbot born in _Rome_,
and experienc’d in their transactions: falling into some speech about the
Nephews, and finding their vices, or at least errors by him, with more
vehemence reprehended, than by me, I took the courage to accost him in
this manner, _How is it possible_, _Sir_, _that the Nephews of the Popes
that are living_, _reading the lives of their Predecessors that are
dead_, _that their Blood should not freeze in their veins to finde them
extinct_, _some one way_, _some another_, _in spight of all their care to
eternize themselves_? _how is it possible but some gripes of Conscience
must torment them when they remember all their wealth belongs to the

The Abbot would suffer me to go on no further, but cutting me off in the
middle, he reply’d, _Sir_, _He which has too much money_, _has no time to
read over the lives of them that are dead_; _money puts thoughts alwayes
into their heads of eternizing themselves_, _sometimes by acquiring_,
_sometimes by contriving_: _The_ Popes _Nephews do read Books_, _but it
is only when they want money_, _and then ’tis too late_.

And who is there now, would not be amaz’d at such an answer?  For my part
I believe all the Romans are of the same opinion, and are in much doubt
of the salvation of the Nephews.  And accordingly another of them of
judgement little differing from the Abbot, told his friend; _That the
Popes Nephews must of necessity go to Purgatory_, _for they would be
asham’d to go into Paradise_, _where Christ was_, _whom they had so
wickedly despoil’d in this world_.

These expressions perhaps may seem but raillery, and appear but satyrical
reflections at first sight; however they come from the very heart, though
those that speak them may force themselves into a smile to dissemble it,
as the Apothecary conceals the nauseousness of his pills by covering them
with silver.

A great part of the sober men in _Rome_ have been very serious in
discovering the cause, why the _Popes_ Families are of so little
duration, seeing their riches so vast.

Some are of opinion, it proceeds from the reasons abovesaid, that is,
that God Almighty takes them out of the world as a punishment for the
injuries they have done the Church, in robbing it of the greatest part of
its treasure, to make their own house insolent and high.

Others are of opinion the Curses and Execrations of the people do pierce
the Divine Ears in such manner, that the Divine Justice seems as it were
oblig’d to take them away so immaturely, to give an account of the
vileness of their behaviour towards the subjects of the Church.

And indeed the people of the Ecclesiastical State are so ill satisfied,
and so ill treated by the ill Government of _Rome_, that is by the
_Popes_ Nephews who domineer and lord it over them, that from morning to
night they fill the air with their exclamations, from one corner, _When
will there be an end of their Extortions_? from another, _O God revenge
the cruelties of these Nephews_, _who have ruin’d us_.  Nor do the curses
thrown out against the Nephews rest at the people only: The very Priests
and Ecclesiasticks themselves do daily sacrifice upon their Altars for
the destruction of them, who devouring all they can get, leave not the
good people so much as will pay for the celebration of a Mass.

In the time the Duke of _Parma_ was in Arms against the State
Ecclesiastick, then in the possession of the _Barberini_, the Cardinal
_Francesco_ gave order for the performing the forty hours prayers in his
Cathedrals to incourage the People, and to oblige them to pray to God for
the extirpation of the enemies of the Church.  But whilst the _Letany_ of
the Saints was singing, a certain _Roman_ Gentleman, at the
pronounciation of these words, _Ut inimicos Sanctæ Ecclesiæ humiliare
digneris_, told a Friend of his that was by, _The Church has no greater
Enemies than the_ Barbarini, _who molest it both at home and abroad_, _so
that our Prayers to heaven ought to be_, _to be delivered from them and
their Arms_.

From hence it may be argu’d, That they who bear a secret hatred and
detestation of the Nephews, retain it even in the Church, and the place
where they ought to pardon all, and are still contriving revenge; and
because they find there is no sure way of freeing themselves from their
tyranny in this World, they send up their Prayers privately to Heaven: As
if they were afraid of the correction of their _Popes_, who would by no
means suffer the Faithful to appeal against their enormity to the Divine
Tribunal, but for all that they do not desist.

Others apply the small durance of the _Popes_ Families to that
Philosophical saying, _Nullum violentum durabile_, as if the great haste
and violence they use to make themselves great were that that
precipitated them: Like Plants, that by a thousand Arts may be forc’d to
bear fruit, and that out of season: But how?  Those Artifices, that do
offer violence, as it were, to Nature, do not conserve it long; but,
weakened by the supernatural force, it loses in a short time its native
vigour and is not afterwards to be recovered by all the operations of

’Tis indeed a fine sight to see a Tree bear good fruit in Winter, if it
could be made to produce for several years; but if the water they use
about the Root be but a little hotter than it ought, ’tis enough to ruine
both fruit and tree; So as the heedlesness of the Gardener may destroy
all that he thought to have done by Art contrary to Nature; for it is
necessary the Root be watered with water warm’d to a just proportion to
secure against the frosts in the nights, and that all convenient
cultivation be us’d: Otherwise all will be spoil’d, and it will be
impossible to preserve a Tree that is by Art constrain’d beyond its own

In the same manner it happens to the _Pope’s_ Nephews, who grow up on a
sudden by a violence they themselves offer to their reason; and marching
on towards their own greatness by unusual waies, they seem horrid and
uneasie, as not being trodden or known by other people.

Others there are that alledge, amongst other reasons, why the _Pope’s_
Family are so transitory, their inexperience in the Art of Managery which
is necessary for preserving an Estate, their wealth raining down upon
them without any sweat or trouble, or contrivance of their own.  Like
Hebrews that despis’d the Manna sent them from Heaven, they not only
neglect to preserve with any prudence and Oeconomy the great quantity of
Riches, which is shower’d down into their Chests by the _Capricio_ of
fortune; but even nauseate and abhor that, which they believe unsutable
to their Nature.

If a Country-man by accident should light upon a parcel of _Rubies_, at
first sight he would be much delighted with their Lustre; but upon second
thoughts they would but trouble and perplex him, because he knew not the
value of a thing he had gain’d without labour.

But what shall I say?  There is not any thing more dangerous, and which
brings the life of man under more hazards, than the filling the belly too
full: To eat intemperately, to swallow without measure, and to devour
with eagerness and rapacity, must of necessity destroy Nature, and be the
ruine of the whole: Sobriety is that which conduceth most to our health,
because it gives the Stomach time to distribute the meat proportionably
to the whole body.

The _Pope’s_ Nephews know not how to keep their Riches, because they
touch them with their hands, but do not see them with their eyes, their
greediness of heaping up on a sudden blinding them, and not suffering
them to know the true worth of them: by which means they dwindle
insensibly, and they themselves are not able to perceive it.

That which is gotten without pains, is in a short time lost without
knowing the price of it: The greatest part of these Gamesters are either
such as are loose and licentious young men, or else such as have had some
good provision from fortune.  The first adventure, because they have not
yet found a way to live handsomly; the other, because they believe
Fortune oblig’d to recruit them.  The poor Trades-man, that sweats, and
carks, and toils night and day, and all to get one poor Crown, will not
certainly be so foolish to venture that in one moment, he gain’d with so
much labour in so many hours.  He does well, that keeps that he gain’d
with difficulty: and he does well, who spends that he came by easily.

Were the Nephews of the _Pope_ content with what Emoluments were justly
their due, without doubt the greatness and opulence of their Families
would be much longer liv’d: But they fill, devour, and cram up their
Stomach with more meat than Nature will sustain; and therefore ’tis no
wonder, if they be often forc’d to vomit that up with violence they had
so immoderately devour’d.

Many have observed also, most of the _Pope’s_ Kindred have died young
too; and I could instance in a thousand examples: But for two reasons I
forbear; one is, not to grate too much upon the Nephews of our good _Pope
Alexander_, nor have the long life of _Don Mario_ cast in my dish, though
indeed it is not above ten years since he had any relation to the _Pope_;
the other is, because I have something else to think on.

Mentioned in this BOOK.

_Sixtus_ IV. began his Papacy,      1471
_Innocent_ VIII.                    1484
_Alexander_ VI.                     1492
_Pius_ III.                         1503
_Julius_ II.                        1504
_Leo_ X.                            1514
_Adrian_ VI.                        1522
_Clement_ VII.                      1524
_Paul_ III.                         1534
_Julius_ III.                       1550
_Marcellus_ II.                     1557
_Paul_ IV.                          1558
_Pius_ IV.                          1562
_Pius_ V.                           1568
_Gregory_ XIII.                     1574
_Sixtus_ V.                         1587
_Urban_ VII.                        1592
_Gregory_ XIIII.                    1593
_Innocent_ IX.                      1594
_Clement_ VIII.                     1596
_Leo_ XI.                           1607
_Paul_ V.                           1607
_Gregory_ XV.                       1623
_Urban_ VIII.                       1625
_Innocent_ X.                       1644
_Alexander_ VII.                    1655

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*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Il nipotismo di Roma, or, The History of the Popes Nephews - from the time of Sixtus IV. to the death of the last Pope, Alexander VII" ***

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