Obrazy na stronie

which guides and precedes the march of Israel, and would wish that the Eternal City should exhibit a policy as inflexible as her doctrine. Their cry, if not their clamour, is for a Pope who would scorn to shrink, on the broad and open stage of the world, from the challenge to combat offered to the Church by kings and potentates --for a Pope who is mindful of the greater traditions of his office, and would re-establish the spiritual power in all its zeal and claims to authority. Others, again, more conscious of the dangers which menace the Church, and of the difficulties incidental to the times, and considering, moreover, that it is of the very essence of the Church to suffer, and that patience is its characteristic virtue; that peace is a grace and a blessing which is worthy of great sacrifices; and that, in short, the spouse of Christ is often condemned here below, as her Master was, to the agonies of the Cross and Passion-these desire, before all things, a policy of patience, moderation, accommodation, and conciliation, and a Pope whose wisdom, prudence, and circumspection would be incapable of being warped, led, or rushed to any extreme, and who, whilst assuming to safeguard the rights and interests of the Church, should never place the Church herself in peril of her existence.

It has been already stated that persons of every nationality are eligible to the dignity of the Cardinalate, and although, as ever, the cardinals of Italian blood preponderate, there has probably never been a time when the Sacred College was so cosmopolitan as at present. Thus, of the sixty-two cardinals who made up the Sacred College at the beginning of the present year-as against sixty-five and fifty-nine at the commencement of the years 1883 and 1884 respectively-thirty-five were Italians; eleven were Austrian, German, or Polish; five were French; four were English or Irish, four were Spanish, two were Portuguese, and one was of the United States of America, Cardinal McClosky, to wit, Archbishop of New York. Belgium and Armenia, both of which were represented in 1883 by a cardinal each, and the latter of which continued to be represented in 1884, had dropped out of the roll.

Vicissitudes in the personnel of the college, regard being had to the average age of its members at the period of their creation, are naturally of frequent occurrence. Eight cardinals died in the year 1884, and nine creations took place. Twice in that short space of time was the important office of camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, held by Pope Leo XIII. at the time of his election, left vacant; the second time by the death of Cardinal Consolini, who was born at Sinigaglia, the birth-place also of the late Pope Pius IX., in 1806, and after passing through the various grades of the prelature, was raised to the purple in a consistory held on the 22nd of June, 1866. The mention of this office of camerlengo makes it convenient here to explain parenthetically that the first cardinal-bishop of the Sacred

College is Dean, a title of seniority which has its analogies in various faculties and corporations; whilst the first of the priests is First Priest, and the first of the deacons is First Deacon of the Sacred College. The Dean has the right of consecrating, and the First Deacon the right of proclaiming and crowning a new Pope. On the death of the Pontiff the Cardinal Camerlengo has the administration of the public affairs of the Holy See.

Even as these words are being written the death of the respected and truly patriotic Cardinal MacCabe, Archbishop of Dublin, who was created and proclaimed in 1882, has effaced for the time the Cardinalitial representation of his native country of Ireland in the Sacred College. Of the sixty-two cardinals extant at the commencement of 1885, the senior was Frederic J. J. Celestine von Schwarzenberg, Archbishop of Prague, whose appointment dates from 1842, the sole survival of the creations of Pope Gregory XVI., who ruled the church from 1831 to 1846; thirty-one were created by Pius IX., 1846-78; and the remaining thirty by Leo. XIII., the reigning Pontiff. There were eight vacancies in the Sacred College, which, up to that time, had lost thirty-five of its members during the current pontificate.

Six of the cardinals were cardinal-bishops, the junior of whom, Edward Howard, of the ducal house of Norfolk, Bishop of Frascati, was created and proclaimed in 1877; whilst the Dean of the Sacred College, and therefore, as the title implies, the senior member of the class of cardinal-bishops, was Charles Sacconi, whose creation and proclamation took place in 1861, and who, having formerly been Bishop of Porto and Santa Rufina, is now, in virtue of his precedence, Bishop of Ostia and Velletri. Forty-two of the cardinals were cardinal-priests, of whom the fourth in seniority of appointment was Lucien Bonaparte, whose creation and proclamation took place in 1868, when he was forty years of age, and whilst still the fortunes of his house were in the zenith of their prosperity. The tenth, reckoning in the chronological order of appointment, was John McClosky, Archbishop of New York, who was created and proclaimed in 1875, and to whom reference has already been made, as representing in the Sacred College the great continent of the Western world; and next to him-with, but after, to adopt a military classification-was Dr. Henry Edward Manning, Archbishop of Westminster, who was created and proclaimed in the same year as the American arch-prelate. Looking at the cardinal-priests in the light of their ecclesiastical status, it appears that two out of the forty-two were patriarchs, twenty-two were archbishops, and two bishops of residential sees, whilst eleven others had received episcopal consecration. Thus it appeared that, including the six cardinal-bishops, forty-three of the sixty-two cardinals were, to name them on a crescendo scale, bishops, archbishops, or


Thus no longer-it is the boast of the admirers and supporters of the institution-is the Cardinalate a peculium of the Church of Rome considered as a particular diocese, such as it was in the first ages of Christianity. It is no longer even a merely Italian institution, such as, for divers reasons, it was in the Middle Ages, when its score of members, less or more, were nearly all natives of some part of the Hesperian peninsula, or, if foreigners, had to quit their native country and take up their habitation about the Court of Rome. Still less is it an institution dependent on this State or that, as happened during the sojourn of the Popes at Avignon, where nearly all the cardinals were French. In place of these limitations of the past, the Cardinalate of the present day is co-extensive with the Church of whose hierarchy it is all but the summit; so that, wherever the one may reach or penetrate, the other in like manner may be exemplified.

The College of Cardinals is ostensibly recruited from persons who pretend to the honour of its membership on the strength of extraordinary virtues, piety, learning, or spiritual achievement; and the Council of Trent, in addition to demanding from candidates for the Cardinalate the same religious distinctions and ecclesiastical qualities which were desiderated in the occupants of the episcopate, made it an instruction to the Pope that they should be chosen, so far as possible, from amongst the most capable persons in all parts of Catholic Christendom. Gifts of birth and of rank presently came, however, to count for eligibility as if they were gifts of the Spirit; and even kings sought for the relatives of kings a distinction which only by the attraction of mundane accidents of pomp and splendour could be considered as at all belonging to this world. For every cardinal was a potential pope; and every Pope was a potential partisan or arbitrator in cases where sovereigns disputed with each other. In former times, indeed, kings had a right of presentation, and cardinals who had been created in accordance with such royal nominations were known as crown-cardinals. The family pride and social pretensions of the Popes themselves tended to aggravate this abuse of selection; and the result was the nepotism and other favouritism of which a few specimens were presented in a former article. Paul V., for instance, is described as having had a particular aim throughout the whole course of his Popedom, 1605-21, to ennoble the Corte Romana, to impart a new and singular majesty into the Sacred College, and to select such persons as were proper by their own grandeur to defend the honour of the Church. Accordingly, in those promotions, he advanced five princes "of very great quality" to the Cardinalate-Maurizio, son of the Duke of Savoy, who renounced it afterwards in favour of a marriage which better suited his ideas of the eternal fitness of things; Ferdinando and Vicenzo Gonsaga, both sons of the Duke of Modena; Carlo di Medici, son of the Duke of Tuscany; and Ferdinando, Infante di

Spagna, who, as historians report, immortalised the honour of the Cardinalate by fighting for the faith of Christ.*

Still, the grander the entourage the less the relative glory of the Supreme Pontiff; and other Popes made it a matter of principle and practice to keep princes and nobles aloof from a dignity to which, judging by the debased standard of expediency, they seemed entitled for at least the secular ease, influence, and prosperity of the Church. That the native and hereditary nobility or royalty of the members of the Sacred College was an element of ecclesiastical power and security was recognized even by reforming writers within the Roman communion, who were keen to espy the abuses of the papal system. And this recognition has taken place to such an extent that the exclusion of noble and princely candidates from the Cardinalate has been brought forward as a kind of petty treason against the Church, over which they had been called to rule, on the part of pontiffs who grudged that the shadow of their throne should be relieved or irradiated by the glory of too near a rival.

In approaching the individual aspect of the present subject, we are really approaching the end of any treatment possible to it in these pages, of which a monopoly for an indefinite period would be required if we were to attempt to exhibit with detail and circumstance even the most salient points of its practical exhaustlessness. Arms and military command, statesmanship, government, diplomacy, learning, polemics, arts and archæology, power, munificence, piety, self-denial, and every Christian virtue have been illustrated in the membership of the Cardinalate in many of the ages and stages of its existence; whilst, also, nearly every quality of human nature which is antithetic to these, or any of these, have not the less been wanting.

Where goodness was expected, goodness-at least the average goodness of the average cardinal-would not be likely to compel attention; and the Sacred College has suffered, therefore, in history and in popular estimation from the sinister prominence given to the vices of persons who, to put it mildly, have not been altogether an honour to its membership. In the fierce light of the modern Inquisition, the thrice-searching Holy Office of public opinion, the College of Cardinals has risen with the rising purity of our nineteenth-century thoughts and institutions; and apart from such names of nightmare and reproach as that of the late Cardinal Antonelli, has cast behind it at least the worst traditions of a corruption which is now claimed to have died and to have been buried with the past.


"Il Cardinalismo di Santa Chiesa; or, the History of the Cardinals." Folio. London, 1670.




FTY years since a man might read for honours in classics in mathematics; there was nothing else. Two men, I remember-good scholars both-who could not explain the mysteries of an eclipse or tell the name of the reigning family in France. It was only exceptional, I allow, that good scholars were more deficient than no scholars in general reading. The same intellect that leads to the one is not likely to be unaccompanied with an interest and curiosity about the other. Still any favourite pursuit as well as classics is known to render men occasionally indifferent to common topics. This was so far true of Alexander Dyce, of Shakespearean reputation, that his friends used to say that he asked how the Reform Bill (of 1832) was progressing six months after it had passed. Still it was a decided loss to many men that there were no schools and no prizes to excite emulation in modern history, law, or natural science. As to natural science, it had far less attraction to students generally than at the present time. Comparatively few believed in geology; and many said the study was worthy of an infidel as threatening to question the Mosaic cosmogony. No wonder-a Jesuit's edition of Newton's "Principia" shows, by a particular reservation in the preface, that even mathematical demonstrations must yield to the received doctrines of the church. Dr. Buckland was at this time gathering a few pupils with equestrian lectures in the country around Oxford. I remember his saying that the Marquis of Abingdon was digging for coal in Oxford clay, but he would consent to be burned, like another martyr, in the Corn Market with the first cart-load that was brought out.

The "Little Go" and the "Great Go" were the only two occasions in three years of residence to make the idle men work in earnest. Half of Horace, four Greek plays, and logic, or sometimes three books of Euclid, were the usual programme. The degree of proficiency required or rigidly exacted in classics was far less than ten years after. Men like Briggs I have heard examined and passed when the sum total of their acquirements, whether for mental formation or for useful information, was worth very little. I used to give a little friendly coaching in Latin writing to our friend the Count. He did contrive to pass his Little Go, though after seeing sitivationibus in some supposed

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