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and Spain, contended with gigantic arms for the do. c 11 A p.

minion of Italy, they supplied with art the deficiency of strength, and concealed, in a labyrinth of wars and treaties, their aspiring views, and the immortal hope of chacing the barbarians beyond the Alps. The nice balance of the Vatican was often subverted by the soldiers of the North and West, who were united under the standard of Charles the Fifth ; the feeble and fluctuating policy of Clement the Seventh exposed his person and dominions to the conqueror; and Rome was abandoned seven months to a lawless army, more cruel and rapacious than the Goths and Vandals". After this severe lesson, the Popes contracted their ambition, which was almost satisfied, resumed the character of a common parent, and abstained from all offensive hostilities, except in an hasty quarrel, when the vicar of Christ and the Turkish Sultan were armed at the same time against the kingdom of Naples f. The French and Germans at length withdrew from the field of battle; Milan, Naples, Sicily, Sardinia, and the sea-coast of Tuscany, were firmly possessed by the Spaniards; and it became their interest to maintain the peace C c 3 and

* In the history of the Gothic siege, I have compared the barbarians with the subjects of Charles V. (vol. v. p. 319– 322.); an anticipation, which, like that of the Tartar conquests, 1 indulged with the less scruple, as I could scarcely hope to reach the conclusion of my work.

+ The ambitious and feeble hostilities of the Caraffa Pope, Paul IV. may be seen in Thuanus (l. xvi-xviii.), and Giannone (tom. iv. p. 149–163). Those Catholic bigots, Philip II. and the Duke of Alva, presumed to separate the Roman prince from the vicar of Christ; yet the holy character, which would have sanctified his victory, was decently applied to protect his defeat.

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to the opening of the eighteenth century. The Vatican was swayed and protected by the religious policy of the Catholic king; his prejudice and interest disposed him in every dispute to support the prince against the people; and instead of the encouragement, the aid, and the asylum, which they obtained from the adjacent states, the friends of liberty, or the enemies of law, were inclosed on all sides within the iron circle of despotism. The long habits of obedience and education subdued the turbulent spirit of the nobles and commons of Rome. The barons forgot the arms and factions of their ancestors, and insensibly became the servants of luxury and government. Instead of maintaining a crowd of tenants and followers, the produce of their estates was consumed in the private expences, which multiply the pleasures, and diminish the power, of the lord". The Colonna and Ursini vied with each other in the decoration of their palaces and chapels; and their antique splendour was rivalled or surpassed by the sudden opulence of the Papal families. In Rome the voice of freedom and discord is no longer heard; and, instead of the foaming torrent, a smooth and stagnant lake reflects the image of idleness and servitude.

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* This gradual change of manners and expence is admirably explained by Dr Adam Smith, (Wealth of Nations, vol. i. p. 495-504.), who proves, perhaps too severely, that the most salutary effects have flowed from the meanest and most selfish causes.

OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE. 39 I

A Christian, a philosopher", and a patriot, will C H A P. be equally scandalized by the temporal kingdom * of the clergy; and the local majesty of Rome, the . remembrance of her consuls and triumphs, may caigovernseem to embitter the sense, and aggravate the ment., shame, of her slavery. If we calmly weigh the merits and defects of the ecclesiastical government, it may be praised in its present state as a mild, decent, and tranquil system, exempt from the dangers of a minority, the Sallies of youth, the expences of luxury, and the calamities of war. But these advantages are overbalanced by a frequent, perhaps a septennial, election of a sovereign, who is seldom a native of the country ; the reign of a young statesman of threescore, in the decline of his life and abilities, without hope to accomplish, and without children to inherit, the labours of his transitory reign. The successful candidate is drawn from { the church, and even the convent; from the mode of education and life the most adverse to reason, humanity, and freedom. In the trammels of servile faith, he has learned to believe because it is absurd, to revere all that is contemptible, and to despise whatever might deserve the esteem of a rational being; to punish error as a crime, to reward mortification and celibacy as the first of virtues; to place the saints of the kalendart above the he

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* Mr Hume (Hist. of England, vol. i. p. 389.) too hastily concludes, that if the civil and ecclesiastical powers be united in the same person, it is of little moment whether he be styled Prince or Prelate, since the temporal character will always predominate.

+ A Protestant may disdain the unworthy preference of St Francis or St Dominic, but he will not rasily condemn the zeal

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roes of Rome and the sages of Athens; and to consider the missal, or the crucifix, as more useful instruments than the plough or the loom. In the office of nuncio, or the rank of cardinal, he may acquire some knowledge of the world, but the primitive stain will adhere to his mind and manners; from study and experience he may suspect the mystery of his profession; but the sacerdotal artist will imbibe some portion of the bigotry which he inculcates. The genius of Sixtus the Fifth * burst from the gloom of a Franciscan cloister. In a reign of five years, he exterminated the outlaws and banditti, abolished the profane sanctuaries of Rome t, formed a naval and military force, restored and emulated the monuments of antiquity, and after a liberal use and large increase of the revenue, left five millions of crowns

in zeal or judgement of Sixtus V. who placed the statues of the

apostles St Peter and St Paul on the vacant columns of Trajan and Antonine.

* A wandering Italian, Gregorio Leti, has given the Vita di Sisto-Quinto, (Amstel. 1721, 3 vols. in 12mo), a copious and amusing work, but which does not command our absolute confidence. Yet the character of the man, and the principal facts, are supported by the annals of Spondanus and Muratori, (A. D. 1585–1590), and the contemporary history of the great Thuanus, (), lxxxii. c. 1. 2. l. lxxxiv. c. 19. l. c. c. 8.).

+ These privileged places, the quartieri or franchises, were adopted from the Roman nobles by the foreign ministers. Julius II. had once abolished the abominandum et detestandum franchitarium hujusmodi nomen; and after Sixtus V. they again revived. I cannot discern either the justice or magnanimity of Louis XIV. who, in 1687, sent his ambassador, the Marquis de Lavardin, to Rome, with an armed force of a thousand officers, guards, and domestics, to maintain this iniquitous claim, and insult Pope Innocent XI. in the heart of his capital, (Vita di Sisto V. tom. iii. p. 262—278. Muratori, Annali d'Italia, tom. xv. p. 494–496. and Voltaire, Siccle de Louis XIV. tom. ii. c. 14. p. 58, 59.).

in the castle of St Angelo. But his justice was chA p.

sullied with cruelty, his activity was prompted by the ambition of conquest; after his decease, the abuses revived ; the treasure was dissipated; he entailed on posterity thirty-five new taxes, and the venality of offices; and, after his death, his statue was demolished by an ungrateful, or an injured people". The wild and original character of Sixtus the Fifth stands alone in the series of the pontiffs. The maxims and effects of their temporal government may be collected from the positive and comparative view of the arts and philosophy, the agriculture and trade, the wealth and population, of the ecclesiastical state. For myself, it is my wish to depart in charity with all mankind; nor am I willing, in these last moments, to offend even the Pope and clergy of Rome f.

* This outrage produced a decree, which was inscribed on marble, and placed in the Capitol. It is expressed in a style of manly simplicity and freedom : Si quis, sive privatus, sive ma#. gerens de collocandā vivo pontifici statuá mentionem

acere ausit, legitimo S. P. Q. R. decreto in perpetuum infamis

et publicorum munerum expers esto. MDXC. mense Augusto, (Vita di Sisto V. tom. iii. p. 469.). I believe that this decree is still observed, and I know that every monarch who deserves a statue, should himself impose the prohibition.

+ The histories of the church, Italy, and Christendom, have contributed to the chapter which I now conclude. In the original Lives of the Popes, we often discover the city and republic of Rome; and the events of the 14th and 15th centuries are preserved in the rude and domestic chronicles which I have carefully inspected, and shall recapitulate in the order of time. 1. Monaldeschi (Ludovici Boncomitis) Fragmenta Annalium Roman. A. D. 1328, in the Scriptores Rerum Italicarum of Muratori, tom. xii. p. 525. N. B. The credit of this fragment is somewhat hurt by a singular interpolation, in which the author relates his own death at the age of 115 years. 2. Fragmentae Historiae Romanae (vulgo Thomas Fortifioccae), in Romano Dialecto vulgari (A. D. 1327–1354, in Muratori, Antiquitat. medii AEvi Italiae, tom. iii. p. 247–548. ; the authentic ground-work of the history of Rienzi. 3. Delphini

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