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appointments to spiritual offices, declaring from the very first, quite clearly and openly, that he would favour no one except on the sole ground of merit. A very characteristic example of this is quoted. When Giovan Battista Cervini asked thǝ Pope for a parish which had become vacant in the Spanish diocese of Cuenca, he was refused with contumely, and the parish was conferred on a Spaniard who had been born there, and who had never attempted to obtain it, and indeed, had never even thought of it.1 The members of the Curia, meanwhile, became very much depressed; everything was sad, gloomy and disheartening, writes Massarelli in his diary, while a few lines later he says that all in Rome are in great sorrow, for the relations of the Pope, as well as his intimate friends, have recognised that they have little or nothing to hope for from him. Many members of the Curia, indeed, feared the Pope's reform measures so much that they sold the offices which they had bought at a high price for a mere trifle.2

The thoughts of the Pope were not only occupied with plans of reform of all kinds, but he also entertained the idea. of again summoning the Council. He remarked that his predecessors had been wrongly informed that reform would lessen the esteem in which the Papacy was held, and that he was of opinion that it could only gain by it. The best way, moreover, of closing the mouths of the Lutherans was by reform; he would, therefore, not allow himself to be turned aside by anything, and would, above all, require from those who had the care of souls, that they should fulfil their duty of residence and keep themselves free from the profane interests of the world.3

In the carrying out of his plans for reform, Marcellus thought

vuol gravare più che tanto, volendo che lei se ne sodisfaccia et che S.M.tà non habbi riguardo all'aspettarsi a S.S.tà la dispositione dei benefitii de' carli che morissino in questa corte, perchè occorrendo il caso ne provederebbe secondo la volontà di S.M.ta Christma, pure che la proponessi persona idonea et conveniente (State Archives, Florence).

1 See MASSARELLI, 261 seq.

2 Ibid. 262.

3 Cf. POLLIDORUS, 122.


above all of making use of that new Order, which had already spread so far, and which was so closely united with the Holy See, the Jesuits. Cervini's connection with them was of long standing. He loved the disciples of his friend, Ignatius of Loyola, because he had known them in Rome in their early days, because he had become convinced at Trent of their zeal for reform, and because, as Polanco says, he knew what God had effected by their means, even as far away as the Indies. Jesuits had frequently been his confessors, and only a short time before he arrived in Rome for the conclave he had been to confession to the rector of the Jesuit college in Loreto, had said mass there and had given communion with his own hands to the fathers, and encouraged them to advance in virtue. When Ignatius visited the new Pope with another father he received a warm welcome; Marcellus embraced them both and gave them the kiss of peace. Then he discussed plans of reform with Ignatius, expressing at the same time the wish that two priests of the Society of Jesus should take up their residence in the Vatican, so that he could always have the benefit of their advice. In this audience the Pope expressly bade the General of the Order always to tell him quite freely anything he considered advantageous for the glory of God.1

While the reputation of Marcellus II.2 for love of duty and holiness was spreading all over Christendom,3 and ever raising greater hopes, the friends of reform in Rome were becoming anxious about the life of the Pope.

1 See POLANCO, 157. The following are the words, as reported by later writers, which Marcellus is supposed to have addressed to Ignatius: Tu milites collige et bello tuos instrue, nos utemur (CIACONIUS, III., 804). which GOTHEIN (Ignatius, 473 seq.) has not accepted. Gothein always puts Marcellus III.


2 A. Gonzaga *writes from Rome to the governor of Mantua on April 17, 1555: Dio laudato poiche noi havemo un bono et santissimo pastore." (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). U. Gozzadini also describes Marcellus II. as " pontefice santo" in a letter of April 20, 1555 (State Archives, Bologna).

3 Cf. besides the testimony in POLLIDORUS, 133, OLDECOP, Chronik, 382 scq.



The health of Marcellus II. had been very delicate from his earliest years, and his weak body had repeatedly shown signs of not being able to endure the hardships which he demanded of it. It was easy to see in the slight and wasted figure with the pale and serious countenance, framed by a long black beard, how weak was the bodily frame in which this strong spirit had its dwelling.1 The labours of his office and his frequent severe illnesses had brought Cardinal Cervini to the brink of the grave. During the conclave which resulted in the election of Julius III., he was already in a very suffering state, and in May, 1550, he became so seriously ill that his death was looked upon as certain. A long stay amid his native mountains restored him, but his strength was permanently impaired.2 There was, therefore, grave danger lest the strong emotions and the great physical and mental exertions which his elevation to the Papacy made inevitable, should wear out his weak and delicate body. Marcellus was repeatedly urged to preserve his strength and to take care of his health. The Pope answered Cardinal

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1 Cf. the remarks in the *letter of E. Gonzaga of April 10, 1555 (University Library, Bologna; see Appendix No. 6), and in Lett. de' princ., III., 234b. A splendid portrait by Pontormo (Borghese Gallery, Rome, No. 408) shows Cardinal Cervini seated at a table with an open book before him, very serious, and with penetrating eyes (see BURCKHARDT, Beitrage, 332). A second portrait of him as a Cardinal is preserved in the Vatican Library. The face, which is full of expression, shows that the picture belongs to his earlier years. On his medal as Pope, Marcellus appears as bald (MÜNTZ, III., 240). The portrait of Marcellus by Vasari was in the cathedral at Naples (see CIACONIUS, III., 808; POLLIDORUS, 152). Another portrait was in the council chamber of the castle at Caprarola. A marble statue in the cathedral at Siena shows the Pope seated in the act of blessing. The beautiful seal of Cardinal Cervini is reproduced by PASINI FRASSONI, 37. Medals (see CIACONIUS, III., 808; VENUTI, 99 seq.) and coins of Marcellus 11. (cf. Serafini, 263 seq.) are exceedingly rare.

2 Cf. MASSARELLI, 10, 12, 44, 71 seq., 172, 174; Lett. de' princ., I., 185.



Sforza, who had taken the liberty of making such representations to him, in the following terms: "From the day on which I took upon myself the charge of the whole Christian Church, I consecrated myself entirely to the flock of Christ. The high priesthood involves the highest obligations; it is no dignity and sovereign authority, but a burden and a servitude."1

Marcellus II. not only felt exceedingly the burden of affairs, but also the responsibility which his high office brought with it. Weighed down by such thoughts, the zealous and earnest Head of the Church cried out that he did not understand how a man who held this highest of offices could save his soul. He repeatedly quoted the words of Adrian IV. that no one was more to be pitied than the Pope, no one more miserable; the Papal throne was filled with thorns and stings, the joy of a Pope's life was bitterness, and the weight of the tiara so great that it would crush the strongest shoulders. It was especially his efforts for the reform of the clergy, with which Marcellus was occupied day and night, under which his frail body threatened to succumb. He had to contend with obvious weakness even in the first days of his reign, but he nevertheless took part in the long ceremonies of Holy Week, observing with his usual conscientiousness the strict fasts and unceasingly granting audiences. Even as soon as Maundy Thursday, April 11th, when he undertook the ceremony of the washing of the feet, he was observed to be suddenly overcome with a feverish trembling and to change colour. In spite of this he in no way spared himself on the following days, but took part in all the services of the Church, and celebrated the High Mass on Easter Sunday, while working all the time on questions of reform. On April 18th he blessed the Agnus Dei in the Hall of


2 See PANVINIO, Vita Marcelli II.

3 Cf. the report of Jacobus Riballus to A. Cervini about the mortal illness of Marcellus II. in POLLIDORUS, 134 seq. Ant. Lorenzini *reported on April 13, 1555, to A. Cervini that the Pope was so "affannato che è una compassione a vederlo. "(Carte Cerv. 52, State Archives, Florence).



Constantine, but on the 19th he felt himself so exhausted and ill that on the 20th he could not undertake the ceremony of their distribution.1 He was also obliged, on the advice of his doctors, to cease giving the audiences of which he had been so lavish. He was now suffering from a violent catarrh and cough, to which was soon added a fever. On April 21st bloodletting seemed to afford him some relief, but as soon as he felt

better he would take no rest, although the fever and catarrh had not left him, for the duties of his office, as Massarelli said, occupied him day and night. On April 25th he had Massarelli summoned and commissioned him to inform Cardinals Puteo and Cicada that it was the Pope's wish that they should, during his illness, make a further examination of all the reform work which had been prepared under Julius III., so that he might be able to conclude the matter with them on his recovery. In the matter of the Signatura, the Pope, on the following day, impressed on the officials that the reform regulations which he had given them were to be observed most exactly.3

The doctors had forbidden the granting of audiences, but Marcellus could not refrain from occupying himself with urgent matters. He hoped to move in a short time to the palace of S. Marco and to be completely cured by the change of air. On the 27th his condition was again considerably worse, and the doctors forbade all serious work ;5 they did not yet think of

1 See MASSArelli, 258.

2 See the detailed *report of U. Gozzadini of April 22, 1555 (State Archives, Bologna) and *that of A. Lorenzini of April 20, 1555 (State Archives, Florence).

3 See MASSARELLI, 259; cf. also the *report of Gozzadini of April 24, 1555 (State Archives, Bologna); the *letter of O. Gracchi of April 23, 1555 (see supra p. 43, n. 3); SCHWEITZER, Zur Gesch. der Reform, 65.

4 Cf. the letters of A. Lorenzini of April 22 and 24, 1555, loc. cit. the *report of Serristori of April 25, 1555 (State Archives, Florence) concerning the physicians of Marcellus II. see MARINI, I., 418 seq.

5 *Letter of U. Gozzadini of April 27, 1555 (State Archives, Bologna).

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