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statutes drawn by pedants and yet be touched. We long for some rebellion sound, and there is no stability of progress against convention, some touch of nature; without the foundation of schools. Ra- and whilst acknowledging the genius of phael, Michael Angelo, Sebastiano del Pi- the Caracci, we would gladly exchange all ombo, and Giulio Romano set the arts this correctness for the absurdities and upon an academic basis, the rules of which anachronisms of an earlier and more liv. were ascertained and stated by their fol- ing school. lowers, and a convention was established Sculpture went from bad to worse. which lasted almost till our own times. Windy draperies, travesties of the exagThe lectures of Sir Joshua Reynolds show gerated anatomy of Michael Angelo, imhow completely the “grand style” was possible or ridiculous attitudes, attempts guided as well as hampered by Italian at realizing the effects of painting in an traditions. We are led to the conclusion, incongruous medium, these are the charthat the formulation of principles was not acteristics of sculpture down to the time in itself an evil; the evil was in the dead. of Winckelmann. In architecture nothness of the times, which brought forth no ing new was invented; all the faults of first-rate genius. For the names of Ber- taste which disfigured the great age were nini, Domenichino, the Caracci, Guido, of adopted as graces of style ; consoles, Marino, Guarini, Tassoni, and all the po- cornices, grinning Atlantids, flimsy floral ets of the sixteenth to the eighteenth cen- decorations, rusticated and vermiculated turies, with the sole exception of Tasso, masonry, imitation of curtains and carpets are pale beside those of the preceding in verde antique and porphyry, veneering century. Venice alone stands apart; and of bricks to imitate solid marble, sham Italy, under the reign of Medici, Estes, domes, sham vaults, sham vistas, sham Gonzagas, Farneses, and Bourbons, has no perspective. The Jesuits took the lead in great names to equal the lustre of Galileo, this orgy of bad taste, and their churches Giordano Bruno, and the company of exhibit all the worst specimens of upnaturalists and philosophers who are the holstery in stone that the world has to true glories of an age in which politics show. "Ancient Rome was turned into a were dead, and religion divorced from free- quarry to build up these modern mondom.
sters, which rose unabashed in every In art the example of the great masters, town of Italy by the side of the works of against whom there was no appeal, had Palladio and his fellows. established a method which was not even In literature the case was not dissimilar. disputed. Had another Michael Angelo Fari que sentias was not possible under appeared, he might have founded a school the existing governments. The object of of landscape, or of historical or mytholog- an absolute government was then, as al. ical painting, which would have struck a ways, to give its subjects subsistence and new key and created another revolution. amusement, and grave thoughts were out The ancient glories of Rome, the loves of place; moreover, the press being under and adventures of Orlando, the glories of a double censorship, neither history nor Italian scenery, might have lived upon the philosophy nor speculation of any kind canvas of a new race of great painters. could find a hearing. Of theology of a But no such creator showed himself
, and certain kind there was plenty; and of light the orthodoxy of the times demanded poetry, satirical, lyrical, and dramatic. nothing but religious art. The later Scholars still studied the classical authors, works of the great generation had left the and when the time came for it there was narrow round of holy families and Biblical harmless criticism of art. But no Machia. subjects. The ecstasies of St. Francis velli, no Savonarola, no Dante appeared, and St. Theresa, the martyrdoms of St. not even an Ariosto. He and his forerunAgnes, St. Agatha, St. Laurence, and all ners had tried to the full the experiment the “ghastly glories of saints," on which of what could be done in romantic verse, the Jesuit fathers loved to dwell, inspired and the “Orlando” stood before the world the reigning school. Now and then such a perfect work, one neither to be imitated a subject as Guido's “Aurora” opened a nor emulated. There was an opening for window into a new region. But as we a dramatic poet; as Alfieri showed, after go through the gallery of Bologna, we are the Inquisition had done its work'; but oppressed with the sameness of excellence, the Church looked coldly upon the stage, and the absence of invention. Composi- and to sincere Catholics that way of verse tion, modelling, drawing, chiaroscuro, sub- was barred. ordination and relation of parts, are all in The story of Tasso, told by Mr. Sythem. We admire, but our hearts are not monds in one of those chapters in which
he is always at his best, is the story of a and the measured orthodoxy of his sentigenius fallen upon evil times and evil ments is expressed in his work. Yet tongues. Evil times, because the age of when one considers the character of the song was past, and it is caluinny, not man, his extreme sensitiveness and egoglory, to emulate the dead; evil tongues, tism, his restlessness and impatience of because his whole life was spent in un control, it is strange to see how Pegasus worthy quarrels with men who could not can be ridden by a priest; and in fact understand the nobleman who claimed Pegasus often escapes to his own pastures homage as a poet, and the poet who de- and streams, eiwows hoveodai euppɛios norauoio, manded precedence as a nobleman. The and “the force by which the plot moves romantic epic had been completed by is love." "Tasso in truth thought that Ariosto; and his own Rinaldo was but a he was writing a religious and heroic Virgilian Orlando. What Tasso did was poem. What he did write, was a poem of to inaugurate the Christian epic - more sentiment and passion. He displayed, learned, more contained, more orthodox in indeed, marvellous ingenuity and art in art and creed than Ariosto. He was a so connecting the two strains of his sublearned swan, a smaller Milton, the Homer ject, the stately Virgilian history and the of churchgoing folk. No one, we imagine, glowing modern romance, that they should who is not both leisurely and composed, contribute to the working of a single plot. can read the “Gerusalemme ” without te- Yet he could not succeed in vitalizing the dium; nor can any one who cares for former, whereas the latter will live as long poetry at all be insensible to its beauty. as human interest in poetry endures."* The verse is fluent, smooth, and weighty, What survives of 'Tasso is not his learnthe sentiment noble, the story full of |ing and his academic form, but that chargraceful flow and interspersed with epi-acteristic of his poems which was spontasodes which are both beautiful and origi.neous. Tasso (whom Shelley regarded as nal. Tasso, for all his prolixity, probably a greater poet than Ariosto) was a poet resembles more and approaches more not in virtue of, but in spite of, the rules nearly to Virgil, in his own style, than any of composition under which he worked; poet who has written since the age of Au- and though his style was perfected by the gustus. Virgil is more to Tasso than limitations which he approved, and to Homer to Virgil ; for Tasso is adapting, which he willingly submitted himself, he not creating, a new form of epic; and would have been greater if he could have doubtless Virgil consulted his own genius resolved to be himself (as Milton, for all more than any rules of composition. As his learning, was always Milton), and not Mr. Symonds says, “It was now impossi- too much contented to be a modern Virgil, ble to take a step in poetry or art without taught and tamed by the orthodoxy of the a theory; and what was worse, that theory Italian Parnassus and the schools of the had to be exposed for dissertation and Jesuits. discussion." * So Tasso, “by genius the With Tasso closes the great cycle of most spontaneous of men," wrote an “ Ars Italian poets, and no eminent poet arose Poetica” as a prelude to composing an till Alfieri. But the period of stagnation epic. All this being granted, the “ Geru- was not entirely without fruit; the purged salemme" deserves the place it holds in and reformed Catholicism, which henceliterature. It can never vie with the forth ruled, was favorable to that growth “ Orlando Furioso " in style or in matter; of morality which has helped to regenerate it is pitched in a lower and calmer key; Italy. The Italy of Filicaia and Leopardi but within the limits which its author im- had been purged by suffering, but also inposed upon himself it moves with perfect spired with the spirit of Christianity; and grace and dignity; and we think we are when patriotism awoke a new enthusiasm doing honor to it when we say that what in the heart of the nation, these who met Virgil was to Tasso, Tasso, to some ex- the oppressor at Novara and at Solferino tent, was to Milton. The religious epic were more worthy of freedom than the culminated in Milton, not in Tasso, as the Machiavellian nobles and brutal or cyni. romantic epic culminated in Ariosto, not cal commonalty who furnished the subject in Boiardo. The native seriousness of of the satire of Tassoni and the novels of Milton was well fostered and strengthened Folengo and Aretino. To the simple and by his Puritan education. Tasso was an upright countryfolk whom Virgil. and Italian Catholic, not, as Milton, half a Ro- Horace praised, and to whom Mr. Ruskin man stoic, half a Bible-and-sword fanatic, has lately given their due, the purification
• Vol. ii., p. 37.
• Symonds, vol. ii., p. 100.
of the Church has been an unmixed gain. combined with personal sanctity a lively Their religion is childish and supersti- zeal for the purification of the Church. tious, but the clergy of the “ Decameron” | Their story has often been written: Conhas disappeared for ever, and this result tarini, Sadolet, Philip Neri, Borromeo, is chiefly due to the preaching of the Cat- Caraffa, Loyola, are the true propagators echism of the Council of Trent, and the of Catholic piety. It was their spirit silent working of the seminaries and which informed the acts of the papacy schools which the council instituted. How during the eventful years in which the far that teaching is now out of date, and Council of Trent was sitting. We may what hope there is of a new reformation deplore the divorce of religion and sciof religion, the future will decide. Butence which the council effected; but of the faith and morals of a nation which has their piety and sincerity there can be no used for more than a quarter of a century question.' Mr. Symonds passes too lightly with so much gravity and dignity the heri- over this portion of the history; which tage of freedom on which it entered in M. Philippson, in his admirable volume, 1860, may be safely entrusted to its own treats with fuller appreciation of its im. keeping.' The growth of material pros- portance. The story of the foundation of perity and of local enterprise shows the the Oratory of Divine Love, the Thea. strength and seriousness of the Italian tines, the congregation of Somasca, the people, believed fifty years ago to be a na- Capuchins, the reformed Camaldolites, tion of brigands, beggars, and musicians; the Brothers of Charity, the Oratorians, and in spite of the croakings of obscuran- the Oblates of St. Charles, is despatched tists, religion, whatever its present form by Mr. Symonds in a couple of pages; may be, cannot be dead or dying in a na- and if he dwells at length on the Society tion which possesses so much sobriety, of Jesus, it is because he considers it to vigor, and discipline as marks the na- be a twin devil with the Holy Office, whose tional character of the people of Italy. sole object was to degrade the human In
all Christendom there was a cry that spirit and submit it to slavery. He does the Church must reform itself. The voice not see that wheat and tares grew up toof prophets had never been wholly silent.gether, and that religion was revived by The vices of popes and bishops had been the very Jesuits who corrupted it; and rebuked by visionaries like St. Francis, by that there were saints and heroes among bands of soldier monks, by companies of the persecutors as well as among the per: unlearned Albigenses and Waldenses, by secuted. Honor to those who wakened English Parliaments, by poets as Dante, the spirit of the gospel among the Cathoby satirists as Boccaccio, by scholars as lic nations, though much evil was mixed Grosseteste and Wickliff. Lately the with the good. stern cry of Gladius Domini super ter- It was indeed in these societies that the ram citó et velociter, in the mouth of the work of reformation, so far as it was useful inspired Savonarola, had been silenced by to humanity, serviceable to religion, had the worst of popes. The spirit of Savo- its origin; and it may be not irrelevant to narola might be heretical, but his message our subject to take a few instances within was true. The prophets might be un- and without the circle of Catholic ortholicensed, but the spirit of the Lord spoke doxy, in order to point out what it is that by them; and it was time, if not to follow the Church of Rome assimilates, what it their teaching, at least to build their sep- casts out. ulchres. But Rome itself, the Curia, the In every movement of human affairs the heart of the system, was the last to feel battle is fought by single-minded men, the need of reform. The cardinals lived men who can see but one side of the for the most part at Rome, occupied in question. The Falklands, the Erasmuses, making and spending money, enriching the Casaubons, the Pascals, are right in their relations, intriguing with a view to the long run, but for the time Cromwell, the next conclave, or merely amusing Luther, Calvin, lead the world. In the themselves with worldly pleasure. The early years of the sixteenth century, a worst of them were degraded sensualists, company of friends founded the famous the best cared more for letters and art society named the Oratory of Divine than for the gospel and their sacred pro- Love. Among its members were Sadolet, fession.
Gaspar Contarini, Gaetano di Thiene, But religion was waking up. Not only Reginald Pole, and Caraffa. Others of a was the Reformation invading the whole similar tone of thought were Juan Valdez domain of the Catholic Church, but within (the Valdesso of George Herbert and the Church also communities arose which | Nicholas Ferrar), Morone, and Ghiberti of Verona ; and similar societies grew up light of authority. Sarpi's work on ecin other parts of Italy. The object of clesiastical benefices * was as damaging these societies was purely religious; but to Roman usurpations as Hallam's celefrom them proceeded two schools of brated Chapter VII., and was issued as a thought, the one aiming at comprehension, living polemic, not as a learned disquisithe other leading to persecution. Sadolet, tion into past history. It does away with the friend and correspondent of Erasmus the sanctity of tithes, “a Judaical not a and Melanchthon; Contarini, the would-be Christian observance ; of investiture, reconciler of Germany; Valdez, the ab- commendams, reservations, pensions, and jurer of persecution ; Ghiberti, the politi- all the temporal expedients hallowed by cian and generous humanist, — all fell papal authority to the purpose of amassing more or less under the imputation of un- secular wealth and power. It dealt as orthodoxy, and were passed over or set heavy a blow at the principle of papal aside. Reginald Pole occupied a great autocracy in matters connected with reve. station for a time, but died disgraced and nue, as the treatises on the interdict and broken-hearted, a persecutor under suspi- on the rights of sovereigns to papal aucion of heresy. Morone was silenced, im- tocracy in politics. prisoned, and converted. Gaetano di In all his works, and above all in the Thiene founded a religious order. Ca- “ History of the Council of Trent,” Sarpi raffa introduced the Inquisition into Rome, exposed the secular arts and priestly and was the most merciless of popes. craft, by which the events of a thousand
Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos years had been turned to the profit of was the fate of new Rome, as it was the spiritual domination. We are apt, in an glory of ancient Rome. Macaulay's com- age when Churches are in danger of secuparison of the treatment of enthusiasts by larist oppression, to forget how pressing Rome and by Protestantism is famous. was the danger of papal autocracy in the But what are we to say of the humane days of the League, the Armada, and the and large-minded men of whom Italy was Council. The times of Gregory VII., of now full? Humanists by temper and Innocent III., and Innocent IV., seemed Christians by conviction they would, if to be returning in a more dangerous form. they had been born in England, have Innocent IV. had combated the principle walked hand in hand with Colet and More, of rebellion embodied in Frederick II. by the forerunners of the school of Hooker, means of the Crusade and the interdict. Andrews, and Cosin. But Rome would The Church had now won the consent of have none of them. She reserved her the civil power, and could direct the secuhonors for the Caraffas and Loyolas, and lar arm at its will over half Europe. The from her own point of view she acted quarrel which Sarpi took up was as real wisely. Yet among her subjects she num. as that which called up Luther a generabered Philip Neri and Carlo Borromeo, tion earlier; though now, as Mr. Symonds whose type of sanctity had in it nothing says, it has “ lost actuality,” whether we of the Renaissance, but who are the true regard the claims of Rome or the arguglories of the Catholic revival, and in ments of her antagonist. “Common sense whom is seen in its purest form that evan- and freedom have so far conquered in gelical character which belongs to all Europe, that Sarpi's opinions, then deschools of Christianity,
nounced as heresies, sound now like truFra Paolo Sarpi, again, is an instance of isms; and his candid boast, that he was the type of character which is incompati- the first to break the neck of papal enble with Romanism. As Rome now casts croachments upon secular prerogative, out Lamennais and Döllinger, so she then may pass for insignificant in an age which rejected Sarpi. His studies were uncon- has little to fear from ecclesiastical viogenial to the spirit which then, as now, lence.” guided the policy of Rome. His wide and Fra Paolo's opinions were practical, not accurate knowledge of ecclesiastical his dogmatic. Though his correspondence, tory led him to put forward such facts as and the manner in which his contempothrew light on the origin of institutions and raries speak of him, show him to have pretensions which seemed to him to be had much sympathy with the reformed abuses, but in the view of the Church were churches in France, England, the Low developments. The Roman Church had Countries, and elsewhere, he was no Protno dislike for learning; but Bellarmine estant; that is, he was not committed to and Baronius were more to her taste than any schemes for reforming dogma, nor Sarpi, who saw facts in their connection with the growth of institutions, not in the
Delle Materie Beneficiarie.
did he ever stray beyond the limits of be- and use of each part but also their defects lief and practice imposed upon a Catholic and excellencies. It was said that he saw priest. * In all his writings Sarpi sought as through Momus's window the hearts of to prove that men might remain sound all men; and yet no one ever saw him Catbolics and yet resist Roman aggres- angry or heard from his lips an unkind or sion” (vol. ii., p. 218). His appearance hasty word. His purity was such that his as an antagonist of Rome was due to the young friends called him la sposa, and circumstances of the age and of the State would check free conversation when he in which he lived. Like Milton and Ca. was seen coming. His manner of life was saubon he was put forward as a champion as ascetic as a hermit's. He was that by others, and did not adopt polemical rarity, a modest scholar. "A man,” as writing of his own will, which was rather Bishop Sanderson says, “of an invincible to remain a retired scholar; but in his bashfulness.” “He was,” says his friend case the world gained, as it lost by the Sir Henry Wotton, “one of the humblest diversion into unkindly channels of Mil. things that could be seen within the ton's genius and Casaubon's erudition. bounds of humanity; the very pattern of
The fame of Fra Paolo has survived that precept, 'Quanto doctior, tanto subhis books. Few now read the “ History of missior;' and enough alone to demonthe Council of Trent,” though Macaulay strate that knowledge, well digested, non ranked it next after Thucydides and Tac- inflat.” itus. Gibbon styles him that incompara- This fine spirit was enclosed in a fragile ble historian," and speaks of his work on body. He suffered all his life from a ecclesiastical benefices as a "golden vol. combination of diseases. “ He never reume.' Hallam gives him the epithet of membered himself so young as to think “great." He was one of the most learned that he could live a year longer.” And men of his age, the age of Bacon, Casau- yet he was no recluse; he loved to conbon, Scaliger, Buchanan, De Thou. Like verse with all sorts of wits, foreigners, his most famous contemporary, he “ took travellers, and learn all new things. No all knowledge to be his province ;” and bodily sufferings, no desire of leisure for
" there is not wanting evidence to show study, could keep him from that service that in every branch of knowledge he was which he considered all men owe to their no sciolist. His researches into physical country. “ Conviene fedelmente servire," science foreshadowed the discoveries of he said: “his business was to serve, not Galileo (whom he knew and esteemed), of to live.”. And from the time when he beVesalius, and perhaps of Harvey; and as came “theologian " to the Venetian State a mathematician, a natural philosopher, a his life was spent in constant danger from scholar, a statesman, and a saint, he re-assassins and in untiring labor for the peats something of the universal capacity commonwealth, without reward or promo of Pico della Mirandola and Lionardo da tion. The dignified attitude of Venice in Vinci. It is recorded that, like Macaulay the ecclesiastical quarrels of the time is and Johnson, he remembered after one mainly due to the influence of Fra Paolo. reading not only all the contents of a book, But what gives him his chief interest to but the very page and line where each an English Robserver in relation to the thing was to be found. His accuracy in Italian reformation is the fact that those matters of detail was infallible. When he qualities which would have made him, had once grasped a subject he would say, had he been an Englishman, one of the " Ora l'ho vinto - non ci voglio pensare, ," founders of our Church, were those which and many years after he could recall faith- crippled his usefulness as an Italian Chris. fully every circumstance. He was not tian. The combination of learning and only like John Hales of Eton (whom he piety, of sound common sense and revermuch resembled, and whose friend he ence, makes him akin to Locke and Newwould surely have been if his wish of vis-ton and other famous Englishmen. The iting England could have been fulfilled) a wit is Italian, which appears in such say. bibliotheca ambulans, but a walking cata- ings as “I recognize the style of the Rologue of the archives of Venice. He could man curia ;” “ În Italy every one wears lay his hand on any book or document in a mask; Spaniard without Jesuit is the library of St. Mark's. His knowledge lettuce without oil;” “ Take counsel with of the smallest details of chronology ex. the Jesuits and resolve the clear contended to all known history; his sagacity trary ;” and his answer to Condé, “ Your in scientific matters was such that, when Highness is going to Rome, and may there instruments were brought to him, he im- learn who is the author of the History of mediately divined not only the intention the Council of Trent;'" but his fervent