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and contempt; but he forgets that her scandalous vices were not the growth of the soil, and that in every residence they would adhere to the power and luxury of the Papal court. He confesses, that the successor of St Peter is the bishop of the universal church; yet it was not on the banks of the Rhone,
but of the Tyber, that the apostle had fixed his
everlasting throne; and while every city in the Christian world was blessed with a bishop, the metropolis alone was desolate and forlorn. Since the removal of the Holy See, the sacred buildings of the Lateran and the Vatican, their altars and their saints, were left in a state of poverty and decay; and Rome was often painted under the image of a disconsolate matron, as if the wandering husband could be reclaimed by the homely portrait of the age and infirmities of his weeping spouse". But the cloud which hung over the seven hills, would be dispelled by the presence of their lawful sovereign. Eternal fame, the prosperity of Rome, and the peace of Italy, would be the recompence of the Pope who should dare to embrace this generous resolution. Of the five whom Petrarch exhorted, the three first, John the Twenty-second, Benedict the Twelfth, and Clement the Sixth, were importuned or amused by the boldness of the orator; but the memorable change which had been attempt
Squalida sed quoniam facies, neglecta cultu
ed by Urban the Fifth, was finally accomplished by Gregory the Eleventh. The execution of their design was opposed by weighty, and almost insuperable obstacles. A King of France, who has deserved the epithet of Wise, was unwilling to release them from a local dependence; the cardinals, for the most part his subjects, were attached to the language, manners, and climate of Avignon; to their stately palaces; above all, to the wines of Burgundy. In their eyes, Italy was foreign or hostile; and they reluctantly embarked at Marseilles, as if they had been sold or banished into the land of the Saracens. Urban the Fifth resided three years in the Vatican with safety and honour; his sanctity was protected by a guard of two thousand horse; and the King of Cyprus, the Queen of Naples, and the Emperors of the East and West, devoutly saluted their common father in the chair of St Peter. But the joy of Petrarch and the Italians was soon turned into grief and indignation. Some reasons of public or private moment, his own impatience or the prayers of the cardinals, recalled Urban to France; and the approaching election was saved from the tyrannic patriotism of the Romans. The powers of Heaven were interested in their cause; Bridget of Sweden, a saint and pilgrim, disapproved the return, and foretold the death, of Urban the Fifth; the migration of Gregory the Eleventh was encouraged by St Catherine of Sienna, the spouse of Christ, and ambassadress of the Florentines;
Greg. XI. A. D. 1377,
and the Popes themselves, the great masters of Jan. ii.
human credulity, appear to have listened to these visionary
c H A P. visionary females”. Yet those celestial admont*** , tions were supported by some arguments of temporal policy. The residence of Avignon had been invaded by hostile violence. At the head of thirty thousand robbers, an hero had extorted ransom and absolution from the vicar of Christ and the sacred college; and the maxim of the French warriors, to spare the people and plunder the church, was a new heresy of the most dangerous import f. While the Pope was driven from Avignon, he was strenuously invited to Rome. The senate and people acknowledged him as their lawful sovereign, and laid at his feet the keys of the gates, the bridges, and the fortresses; of the quarter at least beyond the Tyber 1. But this loyal offer was accompanied by a declaration, that they could no longer suffer the scandal and calamity of his absence; and that his obstinacy would finally provoke them to revive
* I have not leisure to expatiate on the legends of St Bridget or St Catherine, the last of which might furnish some amusing stories. Their effect on the mind of Gregory XI. is attested by the last solemn words of the dying Pope, who admonished the assistants, ut caverent ab hominibus, sive viris, sive mulieribus, sub specie religionis loguentibus visiones sui capitis, quia per tales ipse seductus, &c. (Baluz. Not. ad Vit. Pap. Avenionensium, tom. i. p. 1223.).
+ This predatory expedition is related by Froissart, (Chronique, tom. i. p. 230.), and in the life of du Gueslin, (Collection Generale des Memoires Historiques, tom. iv. c. 16. p. 107–113.). As early as the year 1361, the Count of Avignon had been molested by similar freebooters, who afterwards passed the Alps, (Memoires sur Petrarque, tom. iii. p. 563–569 ).
f Fleury alledges, from the Annals of Odericus Raynaldus, the original treaty which was signed the 21st of December 1376, between Gregory XI. and the Romans, (Hist. Eccles. tom. xx. p. 275.).
and assert the primitive right of election. The
“the voice of my country i.”
* The first crown or regnum (Ducange, Gloss. Latin. tom. v. p. 702.) on the Episcopal mitre of the Popes, is ascribed to the gift of Constantine, or Clovis. The second was added by Boniface VIII, as the emblem, not only of a spiritual, but of a temporal kingdom. The three states of the church are represented by the triple crown which was introduced by John XXII. or Benedict XII. (Memoires sur Petrarque, tom. i. p. 258, 259.).
+ Baluze (Not. ad Pap. Avenion. tom. i. p. 1194, 1195.) produces the original evidence, which attests the threats of the Roman ambassadors, and the resignation of the abbot of mount Cassin, qui ultro se offerens, respondit se civem Romanum esse, et illud velle quod ipse vellent.
f The return of the Popes from Avignon to Rome, and their reception by the people, are related in the original Lives of Urban V. and Gregory XI. in Baluze (Vit. Paparum Avenionensium, tom. i. p. 363—486.), and Muratori (Script. Rer. Italicarum, tom. iii. p. i. p. 61c—712.). In the disputes of the schism, every circumstance was severely, though partially scrutinised, more especially in the great inquest, which decided the obedience of Castile, and to which Baluze, in his notes, so often and so largely appeals, from a MS. volume in the Harlay library, (p. 1281, &c.).
|Can the death of a good man be esteemed a punishment by those who believe in the immortality of the soul ? They betray the instability of their faith. Yet, as a mere philosopher, I cannot agree with the Greeks, or of dict oxart, arodynaxis ries, (Brunck. Poetae Gnomici, p. 231.). See, in Herodotus ‘(l. i. c. 31.) the moral and pleasing tale of the Argive youths.
lowed by the great schism of the West, which distracted the Latin church above forty years. The sacred college was then composed of twenty-two cardinals; six of these had remained at Avignon; eleven Frenchmen, one Spaniard, and four Italians, entered the conclave in the usual form. Their choice was not yet limited to the purple; and their unanimous votes acquiesced in the archbishop of Bari, a subject of Naples, conspicuous for his zeal and learning, who ascended the throne of St Peter under the name of Urban the Sixth. The epistle of the sacred college affirms his free and regular election, which had been inspired, as usual, by the Holy Ghost. He was adored, invested, and crowned with the customary rights; his temporal authority was obeyed at Rome and Avignon, and his ecclesiastical supremacy was acknowledged in the Latin world. During several weeks, the cardinals attended their new master with the fairest professions of attachment and loyalty, till the summer-heats permitted a decent escape from the city. But as soon as they were united at Anagni and Fundi, in a place of security, they cast aside the mask, accused their own falsehood and hypocrisy, excommunicated the apostate and antichrist of Rome, and proceeded to a new election of Robert of Geneva, Clement the Seventh, whom they announced to the nations as the true and rightful vicar of Christ. Their first choice, an involuntary and illegal act, was annulled by the fear of death, and the menaces of the Romans; and their complaint is justified by the strong evidence of probability and fact. The twelve French cardinals,
above two-thirds of the votes, were masters of the election;