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do it. Francis Mendoza de Corduba was not so passionate in the answer he made to a letter of the emperor, the thirtieth of December, 1598 ; but he did not want much of it. He wrote to him, “ that if his imperial majesty were with his power on the one side, and the holy father the pope with his excommunication on the other, commanding him once more to retire, he would not do it, since he had a master who had ordered him to perform his exploits, unless he were obliged by force of arms to act otherwise.” We may add, that kings and emperors are able to bestow favours and noble rewards upon so many people, that they may easily bring over to their party even prelates and monks, and put them upon writing against the pretensions of the court of Rome. This paper war, in all appearance, must needs be very prejudicial to the pontiffs, who usurp a temporal authority; for it is easy to shew, by several express texts of scripture, by the spirit of the gospel, by ancient tradition, and the practice of the first centuries, that the
popes have no manner of ground to pretend to dispose of crowns, and to share, in so many things the rights of sovereignty. Nay, this may serve to bring into question their spiritual authority; and, being thus upon the defensive, as to that point, they must needs be reduced to great straits. Nay, the very articles, which the people came to believe by degrees, will run a great hazard. Besides, the clergy, whom the court of Rome will force to abstain from marriage, will be thereby disposed to serve their princes, which is no inconsiderable thing.
But, in order to know, whether such conjectures about the obstacles the popes would meet in their way, are strong and well grounded, we must have recourse to experience, and consult history; whereby it will appear that they would probably be right as to the obstacles, though perhaps wrong in pretending that those obstacles would prove insurmountable. Read Du Plessis's book, entitled, Le Mystere d’Iniquité, ou l'Histoire de la Papauté, and you will find, in every chapter, the progress and the opposition. The popes cannot go forward, and get ground, but by overcoming the obstacles they meet with at every step.
Armies and books, sermons, libels, and prophecies, have been made use of against them; nothing was left unattempted to put a stop to their conquests, and at last every thing proved insignificant. Why? Because they used all imaginable means to succeed in their designs. Their excommunications have been supported with arms and crusades, and by the tribunals of the inquisition: craft, violence, courage, and artifice, have concurred to protect them.
Their conquests have cost the lives of as many men, or nearly as many, as those of the commonwealth of Rome. Many writers apply to new Rome what Virgil observes concerning the old:
Multa quoque et bello passus dum conderet urbem,
VIRGIL. Æn. lib. i, ver. 5.
VIRGIL. Æn. lib. i, ver. 33.
So arduous was the task the Roman name to found. Zipporah told Moses, “Surely a bloody husband art thou to me; ;"* but if the church of Rome were the spouse of Jesus Christ, he might tell her with much more reason, “Surely a bloody spouse art thou to me.”
I think this sufficient to justify my propositions. I am still persuaded, that the power the popes have attained to, is one of the greatest prodigies of human history, and one of those things which never happen twice. If it had never happened, I believe it could never be. Future ages would not afford a time so proper for such an enterprize as past ages have been; and if that great structure should be destroyed, it were in vain to undertake to raise it up again. All that the court of Rome can do now, with the greatest policy in the world, is to maintain herself. Her conquests are at an end. She dares not excommunicate a crowned head ; and how often is she obliged to dissemble her resentment against the Catholic party, who deny the superiority and infallibility of the popes, and burn the books that are most favourable to them? If there was now an anti-papacy, I mean a schism, like those which have been so frequent in former times, when a pope set up against a pope, and a council against a council ;
* Exod. iv. 25.
infestisque obvia signis Signa, pares aquilas, et pila minantia pilis.
Lucan. Phars. lib. 1, v. 6. Standards in hostile form 'gainst standards rais'd,
Eagles 'gainst eagles, piles to piles oppos'd. She would not come off with honour, she would be confounded, and at her wit's end.
Such a contrast, in such an age as ours, would prove destructive. Observe by the bye, in order to have a right notion of the great obstacles above mentioned, that the popes were obliged to make themselves masters of many general councils. This was a very difficult task ; for the more numerous a council is, the more it is like a ship tossed with contrary winds, and exposed to violent storms. The steering of such a ship requires the utmost art and skill; and if the best working is sufficient to bring it into the designed harbour, it is still wonderful.--Art. GREGORY VII.
PARENTAL JOY. BERENICE, daughter, sister, and mother of some persons
who carried the prize at the Olympian games, obtained by reason of such a singularity leave to assist at those games, which had been forbidden other women by a public decree. Some say she obtained that privilege before her son was conqueror; they were satisfied to know that her father and her brothers had obtained that advantage, and to see her, accompanied by her victorious brothers, present her son ready to dispute those sorts of crowns. Pausanias's narrative differs from this, and is perhaps betHe* says
that the inhabitants of Elis made a law, whereby all the women that should dare to creep into the Olympic games, or to pass over the Alpheus on any occasion whatsoever, during the time that was forbidden them, were condemned to be cast headlong from a rock. There was but one who disobeyed that order, and her name was Callipatira according to some, and Pherenice according to others. After the death of her husband she pretended to be one of those that instructed young men in the exercises of the Olympic games, and under that disguise she presented herself in the field of battle with her son, whom she brought thither as an Athleta whom she had instructed, and who prepared himself for the combat. Having seen her son obtain the victory, she leaped over a barrier that served for an inclosure to the masters of the combatants, and discovered her sex by that action. She would have been proceeded against according to the laws, were it not that the judges thought they ought to acquit her, because they found that her father and her brothers, and now her son, had obtained the prizes of those games; so much glory for one family was the cause of that woman's pardon; but they made a law that for the future the masters of the Athletæ should come naked to those shews. It must not be forgotten that this Berenice was the daughter of that Diagoras the Rhodian, who was so famous in the public games of Greece.
Art, BERENICE. * Pausan. lib. 5. pag. 153.
(Religious.) Francis de Beaumont, Baron Des-Adrets, was one of the noblemen of France, whose courage and military actions made the greatest noise in the religious wars, under the reign of Charles IX. He was of Dauphiné, and had learned the profession of arms in Piedmont, which was the best and most famous school of war in that age. It is pretended, that the desire of revenging himself of the duke of Guise, who had been against him in a law-suit, made him declare for those of the Protestant religion. They add, that Catherine de Medicis wrote a letter to him to excite him to revenge, and even that she permitted him to make use of the Huguenots, that he might the better ruin that duke's authority in Dauphiné. The duke of Guise, governor of that province, had made La Mothe Gondrin his lieutenant there ; he was his creature, and a person of great courage. Des-Adrets judging that he could not begin his undertakings more successfully, than by ridding himself of that gentleman, practised upon some people in Valence, and managed his intelligence in such a manner, that La Mothe Gondrin, overwhelmed by the sedition which was raised in that city, was stabbed there in cold blood. Thus Valence was the first town which the baron made himself master of, and where his dignity was increased; for, whereas he was before colonel of the legionaries of Lyonnois, Dauphiné, Provence and Languedoc, he was chosen, the next day after the sedition, administrator of affairs, till the prince of Condé's farther declaration. From that time he overran all the country, and understanding that the Protestant party had made themselves masters of Lyons, he went thither, and assumed all the authority to himself, without much inquiring whether it would be