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without computing the number and value of similar visits, which they prevented by their inhospitable sacrilege. Even the influence of superstition is fluctuating and precarious; and the slave, whose reason is subdued, will often be delivered by his avarice or pride. A credulous devotion for the fables and oracles of the priesthood, most powerfully acts on the mind of a barbarian; yet such a mind is the least capable of preferring imagination to sense, of sacrificing to a distant motive, to an invisible, perhaps an ideal object, the appetites and interests of the present world. In the vigour of health and youth, his practice will perpetually contradict his belief; till the pressure of age, or sickness, or calamity, awakens his terrors, and compels him to satisfy the double debt of picty and remorse. I have already observed, that the modern times of religious indifference are the most favourable to the peace and security of the clergy. Under the reign of superstition, they had much to hope from the ignorance, and much to fear from the violence of mankind. The wealth, whose constant increase must have rendered them the sole proprietors of the earth, was alternately bestowed by the repentant father, and plundered by the rapacious son; their persons were adored or violated; and the same idol, by the hands of the same votaries, was placcd on the altar, or trampled in the dust. In the feudal system of Europe, arms were the title of distinction and the measure of allegiance; and amidst their tumult, the still voice of law and reason was seldom hcard or obeyed. The turbulent Romans dis
- * : * - dained
dained the yoke, and insulted the impotence of o their bishop "; nor would his education or cha- racter allow him to exercise, with decency or effect, the power of the sword. The motives of his election, and the frailties of his life were exposed to their familiar observation ; and proximity must diminish the reverence, which his name and his . decrees impressed on a barbarous world. This difference has not escaped the notice of our philosophic historian: “Though the name and autho“rity of the court of Rome were so terrible in the “remote countries of Europe, which were sunk in “profound ignorance, and were entirely unac“quainted with its character and conduct, the Pope “ was so little revered at home, that his inveterate “enemies surrounded the gates of Rome itself, and “even controuled his government in that city; and “ the ambassadors, who, from a distant extremity * “ of Europe, carried to him the humble, or rather “ abject, submissions of the greatest potentate of “ the age, found the utmost difficulty to make their “way to him, and to throw themselves at his feetf.”
* In a free conversation with his countryman Adrian IV. John of Salisbury accuses the avarice of the Pope and clergy: Provinciarum deripiunt spolia, ac si thesauros Croeci studeant reparare. Sed recte cum eis agit Altissimus, quoniam et ipsi altis et saepe vilissimis hominibus dati sunt in direptionem, (de Nugis Curialium, 1. vi. c. 24. p. 387.). In the next page, he blames the rashness and infidelity of the Romans, whom their bishops vainly strove to conciliate by gifts, instead of virtues. It is pity that this miscellaneous writer has not given us less morality and erudition, and more pictures of himself and the times.
+ Hume's History of England, vol. i. p. 419. The same writer has given us, from Fitz Stephen, a singular act of cruelty
Since the primitive times, the wealth of the Popes was exposed to envy, their power to opposition, and their persons to violence. But the long hostility of the mitre and the crown increased the numbers, and inflamed the passions, of their enemies. The deadly factions of the Guelphs and Ghibelines, so fatal to Italy, could never be embraced with truth or constancy by the Romans, the subjects and adversaries both of the bishop and Emperor; but their support was solicited by both parties; and they alternately displayed in their banners the keys of St Peter and the German eagle. Gregory the Seventh, who may be adored or detested as the founder of the Papal monarchy, was driven from Rome, and died in exile at Salerno. Six-and-thirty of his successors", till their retreat to Avignon, maintained an unequal contest with the Romans; their age and dignity were often violated; and the churches, in the solemn rites of religion, were polluted with sedition and murder. A repetition f of such capricious brutality, without COInneCtlOn
cruelty perpetrated on the clergy by Geoffrey, the father of Henry II. “When he was master of Normandy, the chapter “of Seez presumed, without his consent, to procced to the “election of a bishop ; upon which, he ordered all of them, “with the bishop elect, to be castrated, and made all their “testicles be brought him in a platter.” Of the pain and danger they might justly complain; yet, since they had vowed chastity, he deprived them of a superfluous treasure.
* From Leo IX. and Gregory VII, an authentic and contemporary series of the lives of the Popes, by the Cardinal of Arragon, Pandulphus Pisanus, Bernard Guido, &c. is inserted in the Italian historians of Muratori, tom. iii. p. i. p. 277– 685.), and has always been before my eyes.
+ The dates of years in the margin may, throughout this chapter, be understood as tacit references to the Annals of Muratori, connection or design, would be tedious and disgusting; and I shall content myself with some events of the twelfth century, which represent the state of the Popes and the city. On Holy Thursday, while Paschal officiated before the altar, he was interrupted by the clamours of the multitude, who imperiously demanded the confirmation of a favourite magistrate. His silence exasperated their fury; his pious refusal to mingle the affairs of earth and heaven was encountered with menaces and oaths, that he should be the cause and the witness of the public ruin. During the festival of Easter, while the bishop and the clergy, barefoot and in procession, visited the tombs of the martyrs, they were twice assaulted, at the bridge of St Angelo, and before the Capitol, with vollies of stones and darts. The houses of his adherents were levelled with the ground; Paschal escaped with difficulty and danger; he levelled an army in the patrimony of St Peter; and his last days were embittered by suffering and inflicting the calamities of civil war. The scenes that followed the election of his successor Gelasius the Second, were still more scandalous to the church and city. Cencio Frangipani", a potent and factious baron, burst
into Muratori, my ordinary and excellent guide. He uses, and indeed quotes, with the freedom of a master, his great Collection of the Italian Historians, in 28 volumes; and as that treasure
is in my library, I have thought it an amusement, if not a duty, to consult the originals.
* I cannot refrain from transcribing the high-coloured words of Pandulphus Pisanus, (p. 384.): Hoc audiens inimicus pacis atgue turbator jam fatus Centius Frajapane, more draconis immanissimi sibilans, et ab imis pectoribus trahens longa susPiria, accinctus retro gladio sire more cucurrit, valvas ac fores
into the assembly furious, and in arms. The cardinals were stripped, beaten, and trampled under foot; and he seized, without pity or respect, the vicar of Christ by the throat. Gelasius was dragged by his hair along the ground, buffeted with blows, wounded with spurs, and bound with an iron chain in the house of his brutal tyrant. An insurrection of the people delivered their bishop; the rival families opposed the violence of the Frangipani; and Cencio, who sued for pardon, repented of the failure, rather than of the guilt of his enterprise. Not many days had elapsed, when the Pope was again assaulted at the altar. While his friends and enemies were engaged in a bloody contest, he escaped in his sacerdotal garments. In this unworthy flight, which excited the compassion of the Roman matrons, his attendants were scattered or unhorsed; and, in the fields behind the church of St Peter, his successor was found alone, and half dead with fear and fatigue. Shaking the dust from his feet, the apostle withdrew from a city in which his dignity was insulted, and his person was endangered; and the vanity of sacerdotal ambition is revealed in the involuntary confession, that one Emperor was more tolerable than twenty".
fores confregit. Ecclesiam furibundus introit, inde custode remoto papam per gulam accepit, distraxit, pugnis calcibusque percussit, et tanquam brutum animal intra limen ecclesiae
acriter calcaribus cruentavit; et latro tantum dominum per
capillos et brachia, Jesu bono interim dormiente, detraxit ad
domum, usque deduxit, inibi catenavit et inclusit.
mallem unum imperatorem quam tot dominos, (Vit. Gelas. II.