PAPAL POLICY, 1590-1648.
By MORITZ BROSCH, Ph.D.
Accession of Clement VIII. The Aldobrandini . 666
The Inquisition. Judicial maladministration . 668
Ecclesiastical policy of Paul V .669
Paul V's quarrel with Venice .670
Close of the conflict. Fra Paolo Sarpi . 671
Coldness of Paul V towards Spain. Gregory XV . 672
Gregory XV and the European conflict . 673
Relations between Spain and France. Urban VJII . 674
Effects of the Treaty of Monzon .675
The Catholic Reaction in the Empire . 676
Galilei . 677
Discord among the Catholic Powers . 677
The Mantuan succession question . 678
Cautious policy of Urban VIII . 679
The Pope in opposition to the House of Habsburg . 680
Tension between Urban VIII and Ferdinand II .681
Urban VIII and the Swedish successes . 682
His attitude towards the French intervention . 683
His internal government. Nepotism . 684
Military expenditure. Quarrel with Parma . 685
The War of the Barberiui . 686
Death of Urban VIII . 687
Innocent X and the Peace of Westphalia . 688
PAPAL POLICY, 1590-1648.
SIXTUS V had died in August, 1590, filled with hatred against Spain; his energy, which nothing else had been able to destroy, paralysed by the fear of that nation. He was followed to the grave, in the space of a year and a half, by three Popes, who bade farewell to life immediately after their election ; and in January, 1592, a fourth was chosen-Cardinal Ippolito Aldobrandini, who took the name of Clement VIII. He was a son of the Silvestro Aldobrandini who had fled from Florence in 1531, when the Medici were restored through the arms of Spain, and who had ingratiated himself with Paul IV, when that Pope was venturing to make war upon the House of Habsburg. But Spain had since established her supremacy in Italy so firmly that the newly-elected Pope was forced to renounce the tradition of his exiled Florentine House, and to accept unreservedly the position which the Cabinet of Madrid had gained in the Apennine Peninsula. He did this at first with uncompromising firmness, but in the later years of his pontificate with a circumspection so subtle that he contrived to satisfy even the enemies of Spain. This effect he was perfectly able to create, because he had only to look on while the Government of Madrid drifted little by little towards the complete disablement of its own power.
But what was the actual position of this power when Philip II was overtaken by death in September, 1598 ? In Italy it could scarcely have been more favourable : Sicily, Naples, and Milan were in the undisputed possession of Spain, the Grand Duke of Tuscany not ill-disposed towards her, the Dukes of Parma and Savoy her vassals, the Duke of Urbino a pensioner of the Court of Madrid; the College of Cardinals contained other Spanish pensioners in considerable numbers; obedience, either purchased or compelled, was to be found everywhere, and nowhere an independent State, unless it were Venice, who kept guard over her own sovereignty, leaving the rest of Italy to its fate. But a glance at the countries of Europe north of the Alps makes it clear that Philip II had obtained the reverse of what he wanted. The Armada sent by him against England was annihilated, and Elizabeth's position newly
In this he succeeded by means of a policy of consistent moderation, favoured by the general condition of European affairs. In spite of the peace which prevailed between France and Spain, the opposition between their respective interests had not ceased to smoulder; and, without actually fanning it into flame, Clement contrived to turn it to his advantage. This is most distinctly apparent from the signal success which he achieved with respect to Ferrara. His predecessors, Sixtus IV, Julius II, and Clement VII, had cast covetous eyes upon that duchy; he succeeded in winning what they had merely desired. As a matter of fact, the occasion was not one which demanded any particular skill or effort. Both the purely platonic attachment of Spain for the Duke and the eagerly-promised assistance of France against him were turned to advantage by Clement, to help him in carrying through without bloodshed his design of conquering Ferrara. Even the long-blunted weapon of excommunication proved still effectual, and frightened the Duke, who was not remarkably brave, into consenting to the addition of Ferrara to the States of the Church.
Pope Clement VIII lighted upon a choice which was in every respect an excellent one, when he committed the management of State affairs to his nephew, Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini. This Cardinal had already, in the matter of the conquest of Ferrara, proved his value as a negotiator of peace, and incidentally as a legacy-hunter on his own behalf. He showed himself, moreover, adroit enough to steer his own vessel safely to harbour, avoiding the conflicting currents which flowed headlong from France and Spain, and to take care at the same time that the cargo consigned to her by the House of Aldobrandini should come to no harm. Though this nephew of the Pope was delighted to see Henry IV providing himself with a French party in Rome by the distribution of pensions, he soon allowed dispassionate reflexion to take the place of delight. Both he and other kinsmen of Pope Clement obeyed his orders in spurning Spanish and French pensions alike, they did so only in theory, and in practice hit upon the compromise that the pensions were not to be paid to them, but to be placed to their credit-what was
The year 1600, proclaimed by Clement as a year of Jubilee, brought to Rome an influx of pilgrims not quite so numerous as the crowds attracted on similar occasions in medieval times. These pilgrims had an opportunity of witnessing, on February 17 in that year, one of the most infamous deeds of the Roman Inquisition-when, by the decree of that tribunal, Giordano Bruno, the most profound thinker of whom Italy can boast, perished at the stake. He suffered, as a martyr in the cause of speculative and astronomical truth, on the very spot on which free Rome has at last raised a monument to his memory. But on the proceedings of the Inquisition a final judgment has been passed ; and it would be carrying owls to Athens to give reiterated expression to the contemptuous indignation which it calls forth on all sides. Such is not the case with the administration of justice in Rome at that time, when not concerned with matters of religion. Upon this a fierce light is thrown by the execution, in September, 1599, of Beatrice Cenci and her mother, for the murder of father and husband. They were suspected, rather than proved guilty, of the crime laid to their charge ; and, if there can be extenuating circumstances for the murder of a father or a husband, such surely pleaded in this case for mother and daughter alike; since it is unquestionably true that old Cenci whom they murdered was the horror-inspiring monster portrayed by Shelley in his tragedy. Moreover, the financial interests of the Apostolic Chamber were mixed up with the trial : it had settled on terms of cash with Cenci for all his atrocious doings, and turned to a profitable account the condemnation of the accused.
After the death of Clement (March, 1605), it is alleged that Henry IV spent 300,000 ducats in procuring the election of Cardinal Alessandro
In the endeavour to wrest rights out of the hands of these Powers, the new Pope met, in the beginning of his career, with pronounced success. He insisted that Spain should no longer levy tithe upon the Jesuits-and he gained his point ; furthermore, that a layman who had been condemned in the secular Court at Naples should be given over to the Inquisition-and the man was given up ; he demanded of the Knights of Malta that they should confer certain benefices upon his nephew-and what he wished was done ; he insisted that the Duke of Savoy should revoke the nomination to an abbacy which he had already made, and appoint a papal nephew to be abbot instead-and the Duke complied ; and, in the same way, he urged that the Republics of Lucca and Genoa must recall certain ordinances whereby they had done injury to the freedom of the Church-and the requisition was fulfilled. All this encouraged the Pope to risk a further struggle-this time with the Grand Council of Venice.
Here, however, he knocked at the wrong door. The Republic of Venice, with her territory on the mainland, was at that time the only part of Italy which could not be described as priest-ridden. Her clergy were subject to the law of the State, and neither the making nor the execution of this law was affected by clerical opposition. Such opposition was now raised by Paul V. He imposed upon the Seigniory a series of demands : they were to deliver up to him two priests who had been imprisoned for heinous offences ; they must annul a law, issued by themselves in January, 1604, which forbade the erection of churches, the institution of new Orders, and the establishment of new monasteries or lay-brotherhoods without the previous permission of the Senate ; and they must revoke the decisions renewed in March, 1605, which forbade the alienation of property in mortmain. When compliance with these demands was refused, the Pope, by virtue of his own supreme authority, declared the two offending laws to be null and void-exactly as Innocent III, in the thirteenth century, had declared Magna Charta to be invalid -insisted, besides, on the restoration of the two imprisoned priests, and, in
It became every day more obvious that, since spiritual weapons were of no avail, the subjection of the Seigniory to the papal authority could only be obtained by means of a war. But it was a difficult problem where to find means even to open hostilities. Both sides began to look round for allies. The Spaniards, who felt the independence of Venice to be a thorn in their own flesh, came first into consideration, and Count Fuentes, the Spanish governor of Milan, actually made preparations for an attack upon the Venetian territory, keeping back certain troops at his disposal instead of despatching them to the Netherlands, much to the dissatisfaction of the Spaniards there and to the contentment of the Dutch. But at Madrid the question whether the Venetian ambassador, being under an interdict, ought to attend mass, was inflated into a matter of State ; and the King, whose thoughts ran more upon the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin than on any problem of politics, lost no time about declaring that he sided with the Pope. But his partisanship went no further than words, and did not extend to the furnishing of auxiliary troops against Venice. Philip III, influenced by his peace-loving minister Lerma, took the side of the Pope precisely as James I of England took that of Venice ; neither King hesitated to declare himself thus far, while both were chary of confirming the assurance by action.
The behaviour of Henry IV of France was entirely different. He deceived neither the Pope nor the Seigniory with promises, and allowed no one to fathom his opinion on the question as to which of the two was in the right. He thus contrived to be accepted as a mediator in
In the history of the struggle which came thus to an end, the towering figure of the Servite monk, Fra Paolo Sarpi, stands out conspicuously to the eyes of later generations. It was he who inspired, and by his vigorous polemic writings repeatedly upheld, the resolutions formed in the matter by the Venetian Government. The hatred of the Roman Church was concentrated on him ; and not later than in the autumn of the same year which brought the struggle to a close there were sent forth, not by the Pope, but by his nephew, Cardinal Scipio Borghese, assassins at whose stealthy hand Sarpi nearly lost his life. They then took refuge in the house of the papal Nuncio, who doubtless facilitated their escape into the States of the Church. The fugitives found in the papal territory shelter and even financial assistance ; and it was not until a year had elapsed after their attempted crime that the Pope ordered them to be arrested.
It was, however, undeniable that the experience which Paul V had gained in his quarrel with Venice served him as a lesson. His attitude from that time forth was one of more moderation, and was notably characterised by a subtle caution-in fact, by mistrust, in the direction of Spain. It may be regarded as highly probable that on the occasion of the great plot to destroy Venice, which was made and stifled in 1618, the Duke of Osuna, Spanish Viceroy of Naples, and Bedmar, the Spanish ambassador accredited to the Seigniory, had a hand in the game ; but no sane judge of these transactions could assert or imagine that Paul V and
His successor was Gregory XV, whose reign, extending from February, 1621, to July, 1623, coincides with a more marked progress of the Catholic reaction in Germany and elsewhere. Gregory, an old man and a feeble, was ruled by his nephew, Cardinal Lodovico Lodovisio. The latter was perfectly competent for the two tasks which he saw before him : first, the enrichment of the Lodovisi family in Rome-an end which he pursued in a truly commercial spirit and achieved with brilliant success -and secondly, the promotion of the Catholic Reaction throughout the world, undertaken by him with great, and even excessive, zeal.
The suppression of Protestantism in the hereditary dominions of Austria, which was begun immediately after the battle of the White Hill and relentlessly carried on ; the conquest of the Lower Palatinate by Spinola and of the Upper by Bavarian troops ; the transference of the electoral dignity of the Palatinate to Maximilian of Bavaria ; the resumption by Spain, after a twelve years' truce, of hostilities against the Netherlands : the oppression of the Huguenots in France ; the diplomatic game of hide-and-seek by which James I and his minion Buckingham and the Prince of Wales were fooled in Madrid, and induced to grant far-reaching concessions to the Catholics in England- in all these causes Cardinal Lodovisio, in the name of Gregory XV, jubilantly took part, most effectually furthering them all by stirring up, at the right moment, a violent agitation in the Catholic Courts, by calling out the body militant of the Jesuits and even by giving assistance from the papal coffers. Catholicism, now avowedly on the offensive, had everywhere favourable results to record; and it seemed, now that Protestantism had been successfully restricted, as if time might bring about its complete annihilation.
But those who looked below the surface could discern, even in these first events of the Thirty Years' War, the point where the closely-drawn net that enclosed and united the States which had remained Catholic threatened to break asunder. In the ValteUine, the Spaniards had turned to the best possible advantage the massacre which had been brought about by their help ; they had occupied the district and erected fortresses there, and had pushed forward as far as Bormio. From another side the Austrians under Archduke Leopold invaded the Grisons, and, having seized Chur and levied contributions upon it, wasted the Engadine with fire and sword. Spaniards and Imperialists could now bring help to each other over the passes of the Leagues, in order to fall upon their opponents in one body. Protestantism in the Valtelline was rooted out, in the Grisons it was exposed to the utmost danger; but precisely for this reason did it threaten the unity of the Catholic Powers, more than one of which had its interests at stake. Venice had to rely, in defence of her possessions on the mainland, upon the recruits enrolled in the Grisons and in Switzerland ; but how could these make their way across the mountains, if the Austro-Spanish alliance blocked up the passes against them? The Duke of Savoy, who had shortly before joined the cause of the Catholic Reaction, and had taken up anew certain old schemes of his House against the heretics of Geneva, grew suspicious, recognising in the fact that the Spaniards in Milan could, whenever they felt so inclined, bring Austrian troops over the mountains, an addition to the dangers which threatened his independence. Finally, France, her war with the Huguenots being successfully ended, had now to fear that the Spaniards, once more in close alliance with Austria, would make an end once for all of her influence in Italy. These three
Powers combined to induce-in case of necessity to compel-the House of Habsburg to surrender the Grisons passes.
There was thus imminent upon Italian soil a war between Catholic Powers, which could not be welcome to the Protestants. At first it was deferred by negotiations, which led to a Franco-Spanish agreement : the two Cabinets again took up the scheme by the help of which they had tried, as early as the time of Paul V, and now tried again, to arrive at an understanding. They resolved to await the adjustment of the controversy by the Pope, and to request that he would nominally take into his own keeping the fortresses of the Valtelline and the Grisons then occupied by Spaniards and Austrians, by putting into them garrisons of his own papal troops. Gregory XV and the Cardinal-nephew acceded to the request. The necessary soldiery were recruited in the Roman territory and their command entrusted to the Pope's brother ; he led his force to the point where the Spaniards-and, after some reluctance on the part of the Archduke Leopold, the Austrians also-actually yielded to them the strongholds which they had evacuated. The dissension in the Catholic camp seemed to be happily ended; but it was soon to break out afresh, and to lead to sixteen years of deadly struggle for the possession of the Valtelline. Gregory XV lived long enough to see the papal standards waving in the High Alps, Upon his death, which followed shortly afterwards, Cardinal Maffeo Barberini was elected Pope, in August, 1623, and took the name of Urban VIII.
Eight months after this election an event happened which was epoch-making for the whole of Europe. On April 26, 1624, the Conseil du Roi admitted among its members Richelieu-that instrument of fate who in France overthrew the Huguenots, who in Germany helped to raise up the Protestants, and by indirect and secret ways or even by open force hastened the downfall of Spain, and lowered the domineering position of the House of Habsburg. Within the comparatively short space of time which had elapsed since the death of Gregory XV, the compromise which had been made and acted upon with regard to the Valtelline had proved itself to be fraudulent. The papal garrisons quartered in the fortresses of the Valtelline had steadily dwindled away, and the consequent gaps in their ranks had been gradually filled by Spaniards. The new Pope grudged the money which went to the troops which he had allowed to be despatched on this errand ; he would have liked Spain to furnish their pay, and he actually made proposals for replacing the unsatisfactory compromise by a permanent arrangement. These proposals, however, suited neither France nor the Venetians, and Richelieu resolved on a fresh move. He concerted with Venice an armed rising, with the object of wresting the Valtelline from Spanish influence. He despatched the Marquis de Coeuvres to Switzerland, where, supplied with funds by France and Venice, he induced the Protestant cantons to furnish some 1000 men : these first prevailed on the Austrians under Archduke
Leopold to quit the Grisons, and then de Coeuvres, reinforced by French troops, marched over the mountains to the Valtelline, where he was supplied by the Venetians with heavy artillery for a siege. No sooner were the first shots fired than the papal troops and the Spaniards who were with them abandoned all the fortified places of the valley, which before the end of the year (1624) was placed under the protection of the Kino- of France, in conformity with the agreement made between France, Venice, Savoy and the Grisons; the Valtelline and the passes of the Alps were thus secured against occupation by Spain.
Pope Urban, who showed himself later to be above any suspicion of a partiality towards Spain, was on this occasion sorely displeased with the French for having driven his troops out of the Valtelline as though they were Turks or heretics. And according to the latest researches it is scarcely to be doubted that he had his revenge upon them. For the notorious Treaty of Monzon, concluded in March, 1626, whereby France basely turned her back on her allies, Venice, Savoy, and the Grisons, was a piece of work-carried through by an overstepping of authority on the part of the French envoy du Fargis-which was contrived by Urban; and in fact he expressly designated it as his own work to one of his nuncios. Richelieu was compelled by the Catholic party at Court to acquiesce in the agreement made at Monzon, and to abandon the allies of France. It was an act of treachery, dictated to him on that occasion by the Pope.
The events arising out of the Treaty of Monzon followed one another in constant succession. The Treaty pronounced a decision nearly affect-ing the Valtelline-that the right of crossing the passes belonged to Spain equally with France ; a purely nominal prerogative of the Grisons over the Valtelline (where only Catholics were to be tolerated) was to continue, and the fortresses of the Valtelline were to be given up again to the Pope. The people of the Grisons, however, scorned to make use of the formal prerogative adjudged to them ; the Venetians and the French commanded by de Coeuvres vacated the Valtelline territory ; the Spaniards might at any moment occupy it; and the Pope hesitated as to the vindication of his right to garrison it. Before this treaty, an open war between France and Spain had been in sight, but by means of this agreement the enmity was replaced by mutual advances fraught with far-reaching consequences. The secondary and small States of the Italian peninsula were now given over, without hope of recovery, to the hegemony of Spain, which was strengthened by the understanding with France ; in the latter country Richelieu was proceeding to strengthen the royal authority, for he meant to force the Huguenots to bow beneath it and to strip them of all political power. For the United Provinces the treaty which they had concluded with France at Compičgne in June, 1624, had become worthless, and they were obliged to carry on the struggle for their existence under disheartening circumstances, since
Spain was secured by the Treaty of Monzon from any thwarting of her plans. Finally, in Germany the Catholic Reaction took a loftier flight than ever before, when the King of Denmark, whom at precisely the critical moment the subsidies promised by France had failed, suffered a defeat, and the Imperial troops forced their way irresistibly to the shores of the Baltic and the North Sea. This turn of events in Germany opened to Urban VIII the prospect not only of the ultimate defeat of Protestantism but also of material advantage.
And both these prospects seemed to draw nearer and nearer, as the German Catholics hastened to make capital out of their victories. Step by step they succeeded in ousting the Protestants in the Empire from the just and legally recognised position which they had held since 1555, in accordance with the Religious Peace of Augsburg. Rome had been obliged to submit to this Peace, but had never consented to it : one Pope, Paul IV, had even requested the Emperor Charles V and his brother King Ferdinand to declare the Religious Peace null and void, and had at the same time released them from their oath to keep it. Now, it had become an established principle that there was no need to observe towards heretics promises assured to them by a fundamental law of the Empire. In 1627 the Emperor Ferdinand II issued a formal edict, in which he proclaimed that Protestants were no longer to be tolerated in his kingdom of Bohemia, and in the following year he extended the force of this edict to the rest of the hereditary dominions of Austria. And in the rest of Germany the Catholic Reaction, which called itself the New Reformation and is more appropriately known as the Counter-reformation, was carried on with cold ruthlessness. These proceedings, carried on in defiance of all equity and all hitherto acknowledged rights, culminated in the Edict of Restitution published in 1629, which constrained the Protestant States to give back to the Catholic Church all the ecclesiastical property that had come into their possession during the last seventy-four years. A new source of enrichment was thus opened to this Church ; and there was no doubt that Rome meant to have her share in the wealth of the national Churches subordinated to herself. From this it is easy to understand the action of Urban in addressing briefs to the Emperor, in which he expressed approval of the Edict of Restitution and could not say enough in its praise ; it is less comprehensible how upon a subsequent occasion, when Gustavus Adolphus had entered upon his triumphal march through Germany and became associated with the very obvious hostility on the part of the Pope towards the House of Habsburg, the same Urban could deny that he had ever given his consent to the Edict of Restitution, stating how he had informed the Consistory of Cardinals that this edict did not correspond to his conception of affairs.
Even before the publication of the edict, which had for its aim the despoiling of the Protestants, another resplendent hope had arisen for
Catholicism. Richelieu, desirous of subduing the Huguenots of La Rochelle and thus baffling the plans of Charles I and Buckingham, who were making overtures to them, succeeded in concluding, on April 20, 1627 a Franco-Hispano-papal treaty, planning the invasion and in fact the dismemberment of England. This idea appears to have been orio-inally suggested by Urban, and Richelieu merely acted upon the suggestion, while Olivares, the minister of King Philip IV, declared his assent. In any case, the treaty was concluded, and, had it been crowned with success, would have resulted in the restoration of the Catholic religion in England. Besides this, as we are told on no uncertain authority, Ireland was, in case the undertaking prospered, to have been made over to the Pope, as his sovereign property, which he could give in fief to whomsoever he would. The scheme was not ill-devised and shaped, although it came to nothing-an indication from which we may judge to what extent the united Powers of Catholicism trusted in their strength.
It was not only Protestantism which was threatened with the utmost danger from the overthrow which these Powers had prepared, or were about to prepare, for the followers of the Gospel : the whole of modern civilisation and the continuous development of learning would have been forcibly stopped, and that for no short time, had the Catholic Reaction been finally victorious. The clearest possible proof of this is found in the cruel treatment to which Rome, by order of Urban VIII, subjected one of the greatest of speculative thinkers, Galileo Galilei. The wider the field which would have been won for the Inquisition on the Continent, the more effectively would it have set itself to oppose-not only astronomical truth.
But the artificial edifice of the coalition of Catholic Powers began to totter, just when it seemed most securely placed. In Germany, shortly after the Edict of Restitution had been issued, many Catholic States revolted from the Emperor, whose heightened authority, together with the extortions of Wallenstein's soldiers, led even Catholic Princes to look round for deliverance from the danger which threatened their independence, while Maximilian of Bavaria himself joined the aggrieved party and began to compare his own ill fortune with the good fortune of the House of Habsburg. In France Richelieu, engaged in the siege of La Rochelle, nevertheless kept in mind the main task of his political life-the purpose of making war upon Spain and the Emperor; and scarcely had La Rochelle fallen before he determined to oppose the Spanish policy in Italy. Pope Urban met him half-way, or rather was beforehand with him. He stirred up France against Spain, and urged King Louis XIII to despatch an army over the Alps without delay : he, the Pope, would himself reinforce it with his troops and take his part in the struggle for the freedom of Italy. The camp of the Catholic States, which had forced heresy to yield one position after another, had itself
The motive that prompted the Pope to range himself on the side of France was the struggle for the Mantuan succession, which was assuming a more and more threatening aspect. The elder line of the House of Gonzaga had died out at the close of the year 1627 with Vincent II, Duke of Mantua, who had acknowledged as his successor in the dukedom Charles di Gonzaga, Duke of Nevers and Rethel, then resident in France. This Duke of Nevers, actually the nearest agnate to the succession, was a peer of France, a favourite of Louis XIII and personally devoted to the French cause : his father had fought at St Quentin against Philip II and Charles V. There was enough reason in this to make him undesirable in the eyes of the Courts of Madrid and Vienna. The Emperor, however, when it was made known to him that Nevers had taken possession of Mantua, maintained an attitude of extreme reserve. Spain took the opposite course, and did not long hesitate to conclude an alliance with the Duke of Savoy, who was raising a claim to Montferrat, a dependency of Mantua. Spanish troops were sent out from the Milanese and the siege of Casale, the stronghold of Montferrat, followed. No onlooker in his senses could have doubted for a moment that the Emperor would support the warlike action of Spain. As overlord of the Imperial fiefs, Mantua and Montferrat, Ferdinand II, in the first instance, tried legal action, by placing both duchies under sequestration. Nevers, in the hope of bringing about an arrangement, sent his son to Vienna, where he hoped to gain the favour of the Empress, herself a Gonzaga. But, almost simultaneously with the arrival of young Nevers in Vienna, there arrived a protest from the Spanish Governor of Milan, objecting to the reception by Ferdinand of an enemy of King Philip IV. The protest took effect ; the Prince was only once received, and that in secret, by the Empress, while the Emperor only granted him an audience of leave after his recall had been notified from Mantua. Ferdinand II had on this occasion allowed his attitude to be dictated to him by Don Gonzalez de Cordoba, the Spanish Governor in the Milanese. At about the same time the Pope, through his nuncio, made offers of mediation in Vienna, but found his efforts futile, as Spain naturally wished them to be.
In the meantime an event had occurred which gave an entirely different turn to the whole situation. La Rochelle had surrendered, on October 30, 1628, and Richelieu had his hands free. During the winter months he contented himself indeed with negotiations; but directly afterwards he set the King on the march, at the head of the flower of the French army, from Grenoble over Mont Génčvre to Italy. At Susa, which the French took after a short resistance, the Prince of Piedmont was compelled to subscribe to a treaty, the terms of which bound his father, the Duke of Savoy, to break with Spain. The Spaniards in consequence raised the siege of Casale ; and Richelieu made an alliance
In the next year (1630) the French, led by Richelieu, appeared again in Italy, and took from the Duke of Savoy, who had fallen away to the side of Spain, the stronghold of Pinerolo, the sally-port which permanently secured to them the way to Piedmont. But they could not prevent the defeat of their allies at Valeggio, nor the seizure by the Imperial troops of Mantua, which for full three days was pillaged without mercy. Closely considered, the whole bloody business in Upper Italy amounted to an episode of which the final decision was found north of the Alps and rested with the House of Habsburg.
The net from which the Emperor Ferdinand II was unable to extricate himself was woven by Richelieu and the Venetian Government, Maximilian of Bavaria, and the Pope. It has now been exposed to the light of day, and we can distinguish the various threads which made its meshes. So early as the autumn of 1629 the mediation of France had brought about a truce, which suspended hostilities between Poland and Sweden for the next six years ; and the way was thus opened for Gustavus Adolphus to make war upon the Emperor. In July, 1630, the Venetian ambassador, Alvise Contarini, in the French camp at St Jean de Maurienne in Savoy, signed the treaty whereby France and the Republic pledged themselves to pay to the King of Sweden, so long as the war he was planning against Ferdinand II should last, a yearly subsidy of 1,200,000 livres. But to stir up a powerful enemy against the Emperor was only a part of the precautions suggested by diplomacy ; it was also necessary to take thought how to force him to adopt measures in Germany which impaired his power of resistance and made him weak almost beyond recuperation. And this both Richelieu and the Pope understood to bring about with masterly skill. In the same year, 1630, a meeting of Electors was held at Ratisbon, and the Emperor wished to prevail on them to elect his son Ferdinand King of the Romans, and to express a virtual approval of the Mantuan war. Now the Pope had already, in the two previous years, advised Maximilian of Bavaria to prevent the election of the Emperor's son as King of the Romans-advice which he afterwards disowned, precisely as he denied having approved of the Edict of Restitution. On this occasion he sent the Nuncio Rocci to Ratisbon,
Urban VIII, Gustavus Adolphus, and Richelieu lost no time in turning to most effectual account a conjuncture so admirably adapted to their purpose. Even before the end of January, 1631, the ruler of France and Gustavus Adolphus concluded their treaty of alliance, against which Maximilian of Bavaria conscientiously addressed a protest to the Pope. Yet the same Maximilian, not later than in the ensuing May, concluded an alliance with France-it is true for defensive purposes only-but mainly directed against the Imperial House, and arranged by the Nuncio Bagni in Paris. From Munich it was signified to Crivelli, the Bavarian diplomatic agent residing in Rome, that this alliance was the fruit of the fatherly foresight of his Holiness, who had always advised the re-establishment of a good understanding between Bavaria and the Crown of France.
Spain and the Emperor were filled with indignation by the action of the Pope. The Spanish ambassador, Cardinal Borgia, in the name and by command of his King, Philip IV, raised a protest which stated that all the harm and detriment which would befall the Catholic religion must be imputed not to him, the most pious and obedient of Kings, but to his Holiness. The only result of the protest was to exasperate Urban still more, and the citizens of Rome waited upon him on the Capitoline Hill with a declaration to the effect that God in His mercy had summoned out of the furthest north the King of Sweden, who, by thwarting the designs of Austria and Spain, was rendering to Christian Rome services like those of Camillus to the pagan city.
In vain, too, the Emperor Ferdinand exerted himself to arouse in the Pope the conviction that the struggle against Gustavus Adolphus was a religious war. He sent an ambassador to ask him for a substantial subsidy, which Urban must grant if it were his earnest desire to repel
As in the sixteenth century a condition of the utmost tension between Pope Paul III and the Emperor Charles V had all but led to an open breach, and caused the Pope to appear in league with the Protestant party, so now matters seemed about to come to an exactly similar pass between Urban VIII and the ultra-Catholic Ferdinand II. Nor indeed, according to the evidence of the best authorities, can any doubt be said to remain that the successes of Gustavus Adolphus, the far-famed champion of the Protestant faith, were hailed with joy by Urban. This Pope reserved his Catholic feelings for home use ; his foreign policy bore, for a considerable time, the stamp of Protestantism.
Shortly before the close of 1632 a whole series of announcements reached Rome, where they were received by Urban as Job received his messages. First came the news of the death of Gustavus Adolphus at Lützen, and of the consequent overthrow of the Swedes. The news of the King's death proved to be true, but the Swedes had really gained a victory over the Imperial troops, who had been compelled to abandon the places they had occupied in Saxony. Next came the report concerning the election to the Polish Crown, which had resulted in favour of a candidate intimately connected with the Emperor ; and, last not least, the announcement that Richelieu, whose opponents in France were bestirring themselves more vigorously, had fallen ill. The Spaniards
After the death of Gustavus Adolphus, some hesitation and uncertainty may for a time be observed in Urban's bearing. When the Swedish Chancellor Oxenstierna had, at Heilbronn in April, 1633, concluded the compact binding the Protestant Princes of the Empire to leave the chief management of war and politics in the hands of Sweden, which in the agreement had secured for itself a support against Emperor and Catholics extending even beyond any peace that might be concluded-it was the Pope who expressed his disapproval of this arrangement, and who wished to induce the French to supersede their treaty of alliance with Sweden by a similar agreement with himself for the defence of Italy. It seems more probable that by this action he only wished in some measure to soothe Spain and the Imperial party, than that he could have supposed Richelieu likely to consent to the abandonment by France of an ally so powerful in the field, in order to chain herself to the helpless forces of the Papacy. In the same year (1633) an ambassador extraordinary from Ferdinand II besieged the Pope with demands which once more aimed at the grant of a subsidy against the heretics. For a considerable time he met with peremptory refusals, scarcely even couched in diplomatic language, especially as Urban felt himself strengthened in his obstinacy by the news of the capture of Ratisbon by the Swedes under Bernard of Weimar. The ambassador was obliged to press his demands for a full year before he at last obtained, not indeed a promise of subsidies from the papal treasury, but a decree issued by Urban, whereby six-tenths of all ecclesiastical revenues in Italy were put at the service of the Emperor (March, 1634). In September of the same year was fought the battle of Nördlingen, in which the Imperial troops, under the command of King Ferdinand, were victorious over the Swedes. Pope Urban could not quite conceal his dejection at this reverse, and during the Te Deum, sung to celebrate the triumph over the heretics, it was obvious enough that his joy as Head of the Catholic Church was sadly damped, and his disappointment
But at this juncture Richelieu mustered his forces for the ambitious scheme of attack upon Spain and the Emperor, which was to raise France to the position of the foremost Power in Europe. In the year following the battle of Nördlingen the French assumed the offensive at every point in the scene of war ; the Duke of Rohan, now reconciled with Richelieu, seized and held the Grisons and the Valtelline, while, to give the Spaniards no breathing-space, more than 25,000 French advanced towards Flanders ; other French regiments kept watch and ward over the frontiers of Lorraine and Upper Burgundy ; Dutch and Swedes and the Duke of Savoy followed the example of the French ; and France sustained the martial ardour of her allies by subsidies which were lavishly promised, even if not always punctually paid.
Had Urban VIII been made of the stuff of a Julius II or a Paul IV, he would not have hesitated for a moment, in the face of such events, to side openly with France. That his joining in Richelieu's enterprises must have been to the advantage of the Protestants as well as to his own, would not have startled him in the least. In spite of his rigorous Catholic orthodoxy, Paul IV had summoned Lutherans to defend Rome when he was waging his war against Philip II, and had allowed them to make their mock at Catholic uses or abuses. But Urban VIII was not, like Julius, more of a pagan Imperator than a Christian Pontifex, nor yet, like Paul, filled with fiery passion and ungovernable hate : he adroitly avoided daring enterprises, or caused others to engage in them to his advantage-he had not the courage to devote himself with might and main to their successful accomplishment. To judge by all that has come down to us with the warrant of unimpeachable evidence, concerning his anti-Spanish and anti-Imperial policy-he would have liked nothing better than that Richelieu and his confederates should have wrested from the grasp of Spain the possession of Milan, Flanders, and, if possible, Naples as well. Nevertheless, he refused to join the great alliance formed by France, just as he also declined to grant a hearing to the wish of the Imperialists that he would approve their endeavours, or at least express disapproval of those of the French. He persisted in observing, to the end of his life, a scrupulous formal neutrality, an attitude which, owing to the posture of affairs, certainly proved useful to France. For Richelieu in particular, who was obliged
As to the internal condition of the States of the Church in the time of Urban VIII, it presents the picture of a specious augmentation of strength produced by violent means, side by side with an insuperable hidden weakness. Already in the third year of his pontificate the Pope had succeeded, without much difficulty, in bringing to pass the escheat of one of the larger fiefs of the Church, the duchy of Urbino. The duchy became a province of the Papal States, and its population at first rejoiced that their turn too had now come to take advantage of the inexhaustible fount of benefices at the Pope's disposal. Disillusionment soon followed in the shape of increased pressure of taxes, which Urban hastened to impose upon them. For his system of government led him to walk, with never a stumble, in two paths, both of which made it necessary for him to use to the utmost the people's capacity for the bearing of burdens.
One of these paths was the precipitous one of nepotism, which led to the most hazardous aberrations. It has been maintained by contemporaries of this Pope, otherwise well-informed, though their statement on this head is not removed beyond all doubt, that he thought of reviving that form of nepotism which was usual towards the end of the fifteenth, and during the sixteenth, century, by making his family a sovereign one. However this may be, it is unquestionable that Urban, either voluntarily or perforce, finally restricted himself to another form, within the range of which he displayed the most eager solicitude for the enrichment of his nephews, the Barberini. They for their part were not backward in helping themselves where anything was to be gained. The charge which was brought against them, of having purloined six, or indeed fourteen, million scudi of the State funds, may be an exaggeration ; but it is a fact that during the twenty-one years of their uncle's pontificate they managed to increase the yearly income of their House from the original figure of 20,000 scudi to at least 400,000, and this entirely from landed property and the revenues of benefices heaped upon them. What they called their own in gold, and jewels besides, defies all valuation. There was no question in their case of any rendering of accounts ; nor was it till after the death of Urban that they were threatened with a rigid scrutiny of their conduct, which they avoided in the first place by flight, and later by making an arrangement with the all-powerful sister-in-law of the new Pope.
The second path, which Urban pursued with unyielding obstinacy, had for its goal the transformation of the States of the Church into a military State. Nothing was too costly for this Pope if it implied an
For the Pope was at the very last involved in an Italian war through his Barberini kinsmen. It was a war which began with a scandal, was carried on ignominiously for the papal arms, and ended by no means favourably for the States of the Church. The Barberini had fallen out with the Duke of Parma on questions of etiquette, and they revenged themselves on him in precisely the way in which a smart member of the Stock Exchange might retaliate on his commercial antagonist. The Duke had given certain monti (bonds), the interest on which was to be paid out of the revenues of his possessions in the Papal States, Castro and Ronciglione. The Barberini now contrived that their uncle should issue an inhibition, forbidding the exportation of grain from Castro into Roman territory ; the property thereupon ceased to yield rents, and the Duke, who was already in financial straits, was unable to pay interest to his creditors. They, in a panic, threw their monti at very low prices on the market ; these were hereupon bought by the Barberini, without any risk on their part, because they knew that the Pope would either compel the Duke to resume the payment of interest or seize Castro and Ronciglione, and thereupon completely satisfy the creditors out of the rents of both places. The plan seemed to be answering admirably. Papal troops marched to Castro, and took possession of it after a futile resistance. The Pope did not rest contented with this, being encouraged by the position of affairs at the moment to take further steps. Spain was for the time being completely crippled, Portugal in course of defection from her, Naples on the verge of revolt, the Dutch victorious everywhere as far as the sea. France, on the other hand, to whom Urban had rendered incontestable services, was in all respects at an advantage ; for, being in possession of Pinerolo and allied with Savoy, she could at any moment attack the Milanese, while on the theatre of war in Germany the Swedes and Bernard of
Weimar had gained new victories on her behalf. But the Pope could safely hope that the French would leave him at least a free hand against Parma. In January, 1642, the Duke was excommunicated, all his fiefs were declared forfeited, and his freehold estates in the Roman territory (which had already been sequestered) were ordered to be sold : out of the proceeds of the sale the Apostolic Chamber had to satisfy the Duke's creditors, including the Barberini, who had obtained his bonds at a discount, by paying nominal prices for them, before it confiscated the remainder as lapsing to the Treasury.
By these events, and by the threatening preparations for war which were set on foot by the Pope, the middle States of Italy-Tuscany, Modena, and Venice-were roused to rebellion. If the Papacy, which had in the time of Clement VIII seized the duchy of Ferrara, and latterly, under Urban, that of Urbino, had now incorporated Parma with the States of the Church, all possibility of maintaining an equilibrium in the peninsula would have been at an end; and it was to prevent such a displacement of power in Central Italy that the three Dukes in question concluded, in August, an alliance which aimed at repelling the hostile intentions of the Pope towards Parma. The whole country between the Po and the Tiber now resounded with the alarm of war, and the Duke of Parma was the first to make up his mind to try his fortune. Breaking forth with not more than 3000 cavalry, he crossed the frontier, drove before him the papal troops wherever he encountered them, and took Forli and Faenza ; he then made towards Rome over the Apennines, and, with none to check or even to molest him, took up a position, in the end of September, near Lake Trasimene, spreading terror far and wide. The way to Rome, which was filled with anxiety and fear, lay open to him ; had he appeared before the city walls there is not a doubt but that the Pope and Cardinals would have been obliged to grant him all that he might have asked. What induced the Duke to remain stationary, instead of pressing on, cannot be determined. He thus gave the enemy time, which they employed both in military preparations and in diplomatic negotiation. Near Orvieto a meeting took place of delegates from the three Dukes allied with Parma, and Cardinal Spada, as plenipotentiary of the Pope. Spada, it may be remarked, by the way, is described in the famous Mémoires of Cardinal de Retz as " rompu et corrompu dans les affairesn ; and the mediation was undertaken by Hugues de Lionne, French ambassador at the Court of Rome. They agreed upon a treaty, which was not observed by the Pope ; so that not only the three allied Dukes, but France as well, entered a protest against the breach of it. The spring of 1643 saw the renewal of hostilities, which were actually prolonged, together with a dreadful devastation of the States of the Church, until March 31, 1644-upon which day peace was at last declared at Venice, immediately after a defeat of the papal party at Ponte Lagoscuro on the Po. It was a peace which amounted to the restoration of the status quo ante : the conquests made on either
The war which Urban had last waged was called by his contemporaries, not without reason, the War of the Barberini. What were its consequences we may gather from the report of a Venetian ambassador accredited to Urban's immediate successor. " All the communes of the Papal States "-so it runs-" have fallen, since the war of the Barberini, into a condition of such decay and exhaustion that it is impossible for them ever to rise or recover themselves." The suffering entailed by the war upon the Italian States which opposed the Pope-Tuscany, Modena, and the Republic of Venice-was disproportionately less. They emerged from the struggle without having either lost or gained in political importance, and their importance in this respect remained what it already was-quite secondary in degree. For between France, which was closely allied with Charles Emmanuel, Duke of Savoy, and Spain, who held sway over Milan and Naples, and the Republic of Genoa as a bank for the placing out of her loans, all these Italian States, not excepting even Venice, were powerless to adopt or carry out any independent policy. If, in spite of this, men still talked of the freedom of Italy, the princes and politicians who made use of the phrase understood and could understand nothing else by it than a security, granted to them by the power and influence of France, against being overpowered by Spain-a contingency which at that time was not regarded as impossible, and was at all times dreaded.
After the death of Urban followed some turbulent weeks, during which the See was vacant : and on September 16 Cardinal Giambattista Pamfili left the conclave as Pope Innocent X. Of this Pope it must be said that instead of ruling he was ruled, and that by his sister-in-law, Donna Olimpia Maldachini. A bust of this lady stands in the villa Pamfili in the same room with that of the Pope, and on comparing them one becomes conscious, as Ranke observes, that it was not merely possible, but inevitable, that he should have been governed by her. The personality and the moral weakness of Innocent speak far more clearly from the portrait of him in the Doria-Pamfili Gallery painted by the Spanish master, Diego Velasquez. This picture may be read like a written record : while fascinating the eye through the unsurpassable skill of the master, it repels through the mingled vulgarity and cunning of the original ; it tells us in so many words that it is feeble and faint-hearted,
It was during his pontificate that the great problem of peace was solved ; and the Pope for his part, in dealing with it, deviated very little from the line for which a precedent from the time of Urban VIII had given the direction. For in 1636, when the attempt was made in the Conferences at Cologne to obtain a universal peace, Urban had sent a nuncio with the following instructions : he must oppose the revocation or even any weakening of the Edict of Restitution, and the establishment in the Palatinate of a Protestant Prince ; and, above all, he must seek to prevent all treaties of peace between Catholic and heretical Powers. Innocent X, imitating this action on the part of his predecessor, sent his nuncio, Monsignor Chigi, to Münster and Osnabrück, where he was nevertheless unable to prevent the settlement of the Peace of Westphalia, in a spirit against which the Papacy had always striven. It is said, moreover, to have been the fault of Chigi (as was in 1654« laid to his charge in an instruction of Louis XIV directed to Hugues de Lionne), that peace was not brought about between France and Spain also, and that the Spaniards, in order to be able to continue their war with France more successfully, even made concessions to the United Provinces at the expense of the Catholic religion-concessions for which no one pledged himself more energetically than did Chigi in his own person. Whether this be correct is not to be ascertained ; moreover, the attitude adopted by the Nuncio before the peace is of less consequence than that of the Pope after the peace had become an accomplished fact.
On November 20, 1648, Innocent X published the memorable Bull Zelo domus Dei, in which he declared the Peace of Westphalia to be " null and void, accursed and without any influence or result for the past, the present, or the future " ; and he expressly added that no one, even if he had promised on oath to observe this peace, was bound to keep the oath. The Pope was filled with the deepest grief-" cum intima doloris sensu" says the Bull-because in the treaty of peace the free exercise of religion and right of admission to offices was granted to the Protestants.
By means of this Bull Rome maintained her standpoint of holding herself empowered to release men from oaths, especially of such as had been sworn to heretics. The Powers which at Munster and Osnabrück brought the Thirty Years' War to an end, when confronted with this pretended privilege, or rather this highly illegal pretension of the Roman Curia, simply disregarded it, and it was treated in just the same way by the nations, as subsequent history unfolded itself. The epilogue of Innocent X's protest against the peace, after the close of the war, was never anything more than a dead letter, and even the most zealous of Catholics will scarcely number it among the creditable documents of papal history.