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bishops, five bishops, five abbots, three knights, and twenty doctors, was sent to the courts of Avignon and Rome, to require, in the name of the church and king, the abdication of the two pretenders, of Peter de Luna, who styled himself Benedict the Thirteenth, and of Angelo Corrario, who assumed the name of Gregory the Twelfth. For the ancient honour of Rome, and the success of their commission, the ambassadors solicited a conference with the magistrates of the city, whom they gratified by a positive declaration, that the most Christian King did not entertain a wish of transporting the holy see from the Vatican, which he

considered as the genuine and proper seat of the

successor of St Peter. In the name of the senate and people, an eloquent Roman asserted their desire to co-operate in the union of the church, deplored the temporal and spiritual calamities of the long schism, and requested the protection of France against the arms of the King of Naples. The answers of Benedict and Gregory were alike edifying and alike deceitful; and, in evading the demand of their abdication, the two rivals were animated by a common spirit. They agreed on the necessity of a previous interview, but the time, the place, and the manner, could never be ascertained by mutual consent. “If the one advances,” says a servant of Gregory, “the other retreats; the one appears an “animal fearful of the land, the other a creature “apprehensive of the water. And thus, for a “short remnant of life and power, will these aged

- - “ priests


“priests endanger the peace and salvation of the c H. A. P. * Christian world ".” LXX. The Christian world was at length provoked by council their obstinacy and fraud; they were deserted by “{*}. their cardinals, who embraced each other as friends 1409. and colleagues; and their revolt was supported by a numerous assembly of prelates and ambassadors. With equal justice, the council of Pisa deposed the Popes of Rome and Avignon; the conclave was unanimous in the choice of Alexander the Fifth, and his vacant seat was soon filled by a similar election of John the Twenty-third, the most profligate of mankind. But, instead of extinguishing the schism, the rashness of the French and Italians had given a third pretender to the chair of St Peter. Such new claims of the synod and conclave were disputed ; three kings, of Germany, Hungary, and Naples, adhered to the cause of Gregory the Twelfth ; and Benedict the Thirteenth, himself a Spaniard, was acknowledged by the devotion and patriotism of that powerful nation. The rash pro- council of ceedings of Pisa were corrected by the council of .


Constance; the Emperor Sigismond acted a conspi- A. D. cuous part as the advocate or protector of the Ca- ...T

tholic church; and the number and weight of civil and ecclesiastical members might seem to constitute the states-general of Europe. Of the three Popes, John the Twenty-third was the first victim; he

B b 4 fled,

* Leonardus Brunus Aretinus, one of the revivers of classic learning in Italy, who, after serving many years as secretary in the Roman court, retired to the honourable office of chancellor of the republic of Florence, (Fabric. Bibliot. medii AEvi, tom. i. p. 29c.). L'Enfant has given the version of this curious epistle, (Concile de Pise, tom. i. p. 192–195.).

c H.A.P. fled, and was brought back a prisoner; the most -to- scandalous charges were suppressed; the vicar of * Christ was only accused of piracy, murder, rape, sodomy, and incest; and, after subscribing his own condemnation, he expiated in prison the imprudence of trusting his person to a free city beyond the Alps. Gregory the Twelfth, whose obedience was reduced to the narrow precincts of Rimini, descended with more honour from the throne, and his ambassador convened the session, in which he renounced the title and authority of lawful Pope. To vanquish the obstinacy of Benedict the Thirteenth, or his adherents, the Emperor in person undertook a journey from Constance to Perpignan. The Kings of Castille, Arragon, Navarre, and Scotland, obtained an equal and honourable treaty ; with the concurrence of the Spaniards, Benedict was deposed by the council; but the harmless old man was left in a solitary castle to excommunicate twice each day the rebel kingdoms which had deserted his cause. After thus eradicating the remains of the schism, the synod of Constance proceeded, with slow and cautious steps, to elect the sovereign of Rome and the head of the church. On this momentous occasion, the college of twenty-three cardinals was fortified with thirty deputies; six of whom were chosen in each of the five great nations of Christendom, the Italian, the German, the French, the Spanish, and the English * : the interference of strangers


* I cannot overlook this great national cause, which was vigorously maintained by the English ambassadors against those of

France. The latter contended, that Christendom was essentially * ... • distributed

was softened by their generous preference of an Italian and a Roman; and the hereditary, as well as personal merit of Otho Colonna, recommended him to the conclave. Rome accepted with joy and obedience the noblest of her sons, the ecclesiastical state was defended by his powerful family, and the elevation of Martin the Fifth is the aera of the restoration and establishment of the Popes in the Vatican *.

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distributed into the four great nations and votes, of Italy, Germany, France, and Spain; and that the lesser kingdoms (such as England, Denmark, Portugal, &c.) were comprehended under one or other of these great divisions. The English asserted, that the British islands, of which they were the head, should be considered as a fifth and co-ordinate nation, with an equal vote ; and every argument of truth or fable was introduced to exalt the dignity of their country. Including England, Scotland, Wales, the four kingdoms of Ireland, and the Orkneys, the British islands are decorated with eight royal crowns, and discriminated by four or five languages, English, Welsh, Cornish, Scotch, Irish, &c. The greater island, from north to south, measures 800 miles, or 40 days journey; and England alone contains 32 counties, and 52,000 parish churches, (a bold account (), besides cathedrals, colleges, priories, and hospitals. They celebrate the mission of St Joseph of Arimathea, the birth of Constantine, and the legantine powers of the two primates, without forgetting the testimony of Bartholemy de Glanville (A. D. 1360.), who reckons only four Christian kingdoms, 1. of Rome, 2. of Constantinople, 3. of Ireland, which had been transferred to the English monarchs, and, 4, of Spain. Our countrymen prevailed in the council, but the victories of Henry V. added much weight to their arguments. The adverse pleadings were found at Constance by Sir Robert Wingfield, ambassador from Henry VIII. to the Emperor Maximilian I. and by him printed in 1517, at Louvain. From a Leipsic MS. they are more correctly published in the Collection of Von der Hardt, tom. v. ; but I have only seen l'Enfant's abstract of these acts, (Concile de Constance, tom. ii.

P. 447. 453, &c.). -
* The histories of the three successive councils, Pisz, Con-
stance, and Basil, have been written with a tolerable degree


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The royal prerogative of coining money, which had been exercised near three hundred years by the senate, was first resumed by Martin the Fifth", and his image and superscription introduce the series of the Papal medals. Of his two immediate successors, Eugenius the Fourth was the last Pope expelled by the tumults of the Roman peoplef, and Nicholas the Fifth, the last who was importuned by the presence of the Roman Emperor f. I. The conflict of Eugenius, with the fathers of Basil, and the weight or apprehension of a new excise, emboldened and provoked the Romans to usurp the temporal government of the city. They rose in arms, selected seven governors of the republic, and a constable of the Capitol; imprisoned the Pope's nephew; besieged his person in the palace; and shot vollies of arrows into his bark as he escaped down the Tyber in the habit of a monk. But he still possessed, in the

of candour, industry, and elegance, by a Protestant minisrer, M. l'Enfant, who retired from France to Berlin. They form six volumes in quarto; and as Basil is the worst, so Constance is the best part of the collection.

+ See the 27th Dissertation of the Antiquities of Muratori, and the 1st Instruction of the Science des Medailles of the Pere Joubert, and the Baron de la Bastie. The Metallic History of Martin V. and his successors, has been composed by two monks, Moulinet a Frenchman, and Bonanni an Italian ; but I understand, that the first part of the series is restored from more recent coins.

* Besides the Lives of Eugenius IV. (Rerum Italic. tom. iii. p. i. p. 869. and tom. xxv. p. 256.), the Diaries of Paul Petroni and Stephen Infessura are the best original evidence for the revolt of the Romans against Eugenius IV. The former, who lived at the time and on the spot, speaks the language of a citizen, equally afraid of priestly and popular tyranny.

f The coronation of Frederic III. is described by l'Enfant (Concile de Basle, tom. ii. p. 276—288.) from AEneas Sylvius, a spectator and actor in that splendid scene.

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