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Ferdinand Gonzaga, the Imperial governor of Milan, was more than suspected of some concern in this murder. The Imperial troops instantly occupied Piacenza. M. Ranke, writing with the despatches of Mendoza, the Spanish ambassador at Rome, before him, states that no conception can be formed of the bitterness of feeling which now existed. Gonzaga gave out that two Corsican bravos had been seized, hired by the Pope to revenge upon his person the murder of Farnese. A general massacre of the Spaniards in Rome was apprehended. The Pope urged the King of France to make peace with the Protestant King of England, Edward VI., and to unite their forces against a worse enemy of the faith. Charles, in his turn, protested against the acts of the Council of Bologna, and published the Interim. The end of all was that the Pope, thwarted, betrayed, almost sold to the Emperor by those very Farneses, his own family, for whom he had sacrificed so much of the true interests of the Popedom, and incurred so much obloquy, died of a broken heart!
Julius III., who ascended the pontifical throne with great expectations from his talents and character, dreamed away five important years in luxurions indolence. His nepotism was of a more modest and safer cast. The great offence, almost indeed the great event of his life, was the appointment of a young favourite of seventeen to the cardinalate.
The election of the Cardinal Cervini, his assumption of the name of Marcellus, the hopes entertained from his mild and truly Christian disposition, with his earnest intention of urging a real reformation in the whole conduct of the Papal affairs, could not but call to the mind of a classical age the famous line of Virgil
Tu Marcellus eris.
On his death the Cardinal Caraffa was invested with the tiara. Caraffa was seventy-nine years old, but the fire of youth still gleamed in his deep-set eyes. Caraffa was one of that religious community which had retired in austere seclusion
from the unspiritual elegancies of the court of Leo. He had founded the order of the Theatines, a society of the strictest discipline and the most ardent devotion. The Inquisition had been established by his zeal—he had greatly contributed to the establishment of the high papal doctrines in the Council of Trent. Hitherto, the one absorbing exclusive passion of Caraffa's life had been the promotion of the Catholic religion, according to his own notions, in all its purity, in all its severity, He had now reached the station in which he could carry into effect all those reforms which he had urged with such sincere vehemence; he might conduct the contest against the rebellious spirit of Protestantism with singleness of purpose, with the weight of a consistent, irreproachable, and austerely religious character. It might have seemed that a new Gregory IX. had risen to combat with all the pertinacity of conscientious old age the spirit of religious freedom, as heretofore the plenitude of Imperial power. At the age of eighty, Gregory had conducted a more than ten years' war against the enemies of the Church ; and the death of Frederick II. had given him the victory." Paul IV. ascribed his election to the Papacy, not to the will of the cardinals, but to the direct interposition of God; and God, who had reserved him unto this time in the unbroken vigour of health, might prolong his valuable life till the final achievement of his great design. Botta had sarcastically observed, that the first act of the humble founder of the Theatines, when he was asked in what manner the festival on his inauguration should be conducted, was to reply, Like that of a great prince.' His coronation was celebrated with the utmost pomp and sumptuousness. But the zeal as well as the pride of Hildebrand or Innocent revived in Paul IV. He instituted severe inquiries into every branch of the administration; he appeared determined to remodel the whole Papal government somewhat in the spirit in which he would have renewed a monastic order, yet with a stern and serious resolution to extirpate all the
? See our article on Von Raumer's History of the IIouse of Hohenstauffon, Quart. Rer, vol. li. p. 323, &c.
abuses which had crept into the administration both of the civil and religious affairs of the see-to pluck up with a strong hand the thistles and noxious weeds which had grown over the threshold of St. Peter's throne.
At length there seemed to have arisen a Pope who would concentrate all the undivided energies of a vigorous mind to assert the religious supremacy of Rome; to recover those advantages which it had lost by its long condescension to the baser interests of worldly politics ; to withdraw altogether into its own sphere, and to conduct the negotiations with the great powers, which were now become absolutely necessary, with the sole object of re-establishing the Catholic dominion, or at least of preventing the further encroachments of Protestantism. But there was another passion in the breast of the aged Caraffa, secondary only to his zeal for the Catholic faith, or rather mingling up with it, and appearing in his distorted sight only a modification of the one great obligation imposed upon him by his office, and embraced with fanatic willingness. Paul loved the Church with all the devout ardour of a life consecrated to its service; he hated the Spaniards with the hatred of a Neapolitan. There was little difficulty in permitting this passion to assume the disguise of a high religious motive. Caraffa was wont to speak of the Spaniards as an heretical race, a mongrel brood of Jews and Moors, the very dregs of the earth. The Caraffas had always belonged to the French party in Naples ; and Paul looked back to those better times when Italy might be compared to an instrument of four strings. These four strings were Milan, Venice, the Church, and Naples. The accursed quarrel of Alfonso and Ludovico the Moor had marred the harmony. He remembered, no doubt, that it was a Spanish army, an army at least under Spanish command, though chiefly composed of Imperialist Lutherans, which had given the fatal blow to the Papal majesty, plundered Rome, and incarcerated the successor of St. Peter. The whole policy of Charles V. might well excite the jealousy and resentment of one who considered the first duty of princes to be the extirpation of heresy,
and the advancement of the Papal supremacy. The Emperor's religious had been too often subordinate to his secular purposes; he had made concessions, when the exigencies of the time demanded it, to the Reformers. When he acted against them with vigour, it was rather against refractory subjects of the empire, than rebels against the supremacy of the Pope, by whom indeed his measures had, as we have seen, been thwarted and crippled. The religious peace concluded by the Emperor and his brother Ferdinand for the pacification of Germany was the crowning act of treason and apostasy from the supreme dominion of the Church. Paul plunged headlong into the turmoil of European politics. Everywhere he allied himself with the French interest; he seized the first opportunity of rupture with arrogant alacrity. He proclaimed himself the liberator of Italy, and, recalling the ancient feuds between the Empire and the Church, boasted that he would tread the dragon and the lion beneath his feet.
Even the nepotism of Paul IV, was coloured and justified to his severe mind by these dominant passions. Caraffa had opposed with indignant earnestness the elevation of the Farneses; he went on a pilgrimage to the seven churches at the time of the appointment of Pier Luigi to the principality of Parma, whether that he might not sanction by his presence this unworthy proceeding, or that he might deprecate the wrath of Heaven on account of this unhallowed spoliation of the Papal See. The Conclave heard with mingled astonishment and terror the nomination of his nephew Carlo Caraffa, a lawless and ferocious condottiere, a man, by his own description, steeped to the elbows in blood, to the cardinalate. His nephew had found the weak side of the zealous Pope. He had contrived to be surprised keeling before a crucifix in an agony of
But, as M. Ranke observes, the real bond of union was the common hatred of Spain. Carlo had served under the Emperor; his services had been ill-repaid, or at least not according to his own estimate of his military character. Charles had deprived him of a prisoner from whom he ex
pected a large ransom, and prevented his obtaining a valuable office. In the impending war so experienced a soldier might be of great use, and Paul at once received his nephew into the most unlimited confidence, admitted him into the conduct of the most important temporal and even spiritual affairs. The influence of the cardinal reconciled him to his two other nephews, men of equally violent and unpopular characters. He determined to seize the castles of the Colonnas, which during the approaching war could not be left in the hands of those traitors to the Papal interests, and to place them in the safer custody of these men. One was created Duke of Palliano, the other Marquis of Montebello.
War was inevitable; but how extraordinary, observes M. Ranke, was this war! The sternest bigot for Catholicism commanded the Spanish troops. The Duke of Alva, whom remorse and mercy never touched, advanced with awestruck and reluctant steps against the successor of St. Peter. Many towns of the Papal state surrendered, and Alva might have made himself master of Rome by one rapid march; but he thought of the fate of the Constable Bourbon; he saw himself committed in strife against the majesty of Heaven. For once his movements were slow and irresolute; his conduct timid and indecisive. But who were the defenders of the sanctity of the Roman See? the guard of the most bigoted pontiff who had filled the throne of the Vatican ? Caraffa had at first been popular in Rome. The inhabitants crowded to his standard; they mustered in splendid array, horse and foot; they received the Papal benediction, and Caraffa thought himself secure in their attachment and valour. At the first vague rumour of the advance of the enemy, the whole array melted away like a snowball, and the consecrated banners waved over the vacant place of arms.
The effective strength of the Papal force was a body of 3,500 Germans, Lutherans almost to a man, who, instead of disguising their faith, took every opportunity of breaking the fasts, insulting the ceremonies, and showing their utter contempt for the Catholio