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at the expense of the Holy Father. For more than a year the interdict continued, and the Pope began to fear the effects of such an example on the other states. Spain mediated, the Grand Duke of Tuscany mediated, and at last Henry IV. of France, by the agency of the Cardinal Joyeuse, brought about a compromise, April 21, 1607. The Pope withdrew the censures, and the Senate revoked the protest; the prisoners were given up to the king of France; the friars who had left the States were permitted to return, but the Senate absolutely refused to receive the Jesuits again into the territory of St Mark. The Curialists asserted that the Cardinal had secretly pronounced the absolution holding his hands under his gown ; the senate denied the absolution, and prohibited the celebration of any festival on account of the termination of the dispute with Rome.
A heavy blow had been given to the Papal monarchy: the principles maintained afterwards by the Jansenists and the defenders of the Gallican liberties had triumphed in a Catholic state.* The Protestant party in Geneva and elsewhere very naturally expected great things, but with too great confidence. Let us hear Bianchi-Giovini on this point :
6 Without disputing with the theologians whether the Pope or Calvin were in the right, I think, for the reasons above stated, that the worship or system of Calvin, arid and metaphysical, could never prosper in Italy, and least of all in Venice, where devotion to the Virgin and the saints, and the consolations of purgatory, and the solemnity of the ceremonies, were adapted to the habits of the people ; and even if the Republic had separated from the Pope, its religious system would have remained always the same.”—(Vol. i. p. 295.)
This is a singular opinion, and comes strangely from a man who holds Madonna-worship to be idolatry, purgatory to be a fiction, and the peculiar ceremonies of Rome to be nothing more than old Paganism accommodated to Christian worship; and yet there is much truth in the sentence. Romanism may exist without the Pope ; and when Italy was laughing at poor Pius IX., her tens of thousands flocked, as before, to the festivals of the Madonna. It will need more than Siccardi laws and Professor Nuytz to evangelise Sardinia ; and however we may rejoice in such demonstrations against the Papacy, the throwing down of the old system does not necessarily imply the establishment of a better. And when there is an open field, as at present in Piedmont, infidelity is prepared to contend the possession of it with evangelism. Venice is still Papal, though glorying in Father Paul.
* It is well to remember the four famous propositions of Bosguet and the Gallican clergy in 1682:- 1st, That the authority of the Pope is purely spiritual, and does not interfere with tem
overnments. 2nd, That General Councils are superior to the Pope, as decreed by the Council of Constance. 3d, That the Pope has no authority, save in conformity with the canons of the church. 4th, That the Pope decides on matters of faith; but that his decisions are not definitive if not accepted by the whole church,
Sundry artifices were tried to induce Sarpi to go to Rome ; but the cautious friar could not be tempted. In the meantime, Gessi, bishop of Rimini,“ one of the seven sages who, twenty-five years later, condemned Galileo for the famous heresy of the motion of the earth and immobility of the sun," came as Papal Nuncio to Venice. Paul V. instructed him to procure the consignment to the holy office of Fra Paolo, Servite, and Giovanni Marsilio, and “other seducers who passed under the name of theologians.”—(Vide Ranke, vol. ii. App. 79.) But, as all arts failed to seduce “the seducer” (quis custodiet ipsos custodes ?), the Curia determined to have him dead or alive. Sundry warnings were given to Sarpi to be on his guard ; but the father seemed unwilling to believe that any attempt would be made on the life of an humble friar, and replied, that his “ days” were in the hands of God, and that nothing could fall out against the decrees of his Providence. The infamous mission seems, at first, to have been entrusted to a certain Orlandini, a friar who had been ejected from one of the convents of Rome. Large sums were paid to him, according to the accounts given by the watchful Contarini, ambassador at Rome, who took care to furnish prompt information to the Senate; and the friar, as soon as he set foot on the Venetian territory, was arrested and lodged safely in the dungeons of the Decemvirs. But sinister-looking individuals were observed lurking about the convent of the Servites; and on the evening of the 5th October (1607), when the crowds were flocking to a new opera, and the neighbourhood of the convent was deserted, Father Paul, on his return from the ducal palace, was assailed by a band of assassins in a narrow part of the way. Sarpi fell, having received two stiletto wounds in the neck, and having his right cheek-bone pierced with a dagger, which was left in the wound when the ruffians fled at the approach of his friends, who bore him, almost lifeless, to the convent. The news of the attempt spread like wildfire; the senators broke up their meeting; the theatre was deserted by the crowds, who rushed to the convent of the Servites; and the rumour having gained ground that the assassins had taken refuge in the house of the Papal Nupcio, the promptest measures of the Decemvirs were needed to save the bishop from the fury of the populace. Notice was given of the attempt on the life of the State Counsellor to all the resident ambassadors ; Aguapendente was brought from Padua, and all the medical aid that Venice could afford was promptly called in, that so valuable a life might be preserved. The cure was long and doubtful ; but at length he recovered,
and Aguapendente was created cavalier-in other words, knighted, -and presented with a silver cup adorned with the arms of the Republic. The Paduan doctor having said, one evening, when examining the part, that he had never seen so strange a wound, “Eppure," said the sufferer, “eppure il mondo vuole che sia data stylo Romanæ Curiæ "_" Yet people will have it that it has been given in the style (or by the stiletto—the wit lying in the equivoque) of the Roman Curia.”* And this was precisely the common opinion, and has been ever since. The Senate fulminated a terrible decree against the assassins, offering enormous sums for their apprehension. The miscreants were one Ridolpho Poma, a priest called Viti, and four others. They escaped to Ancona, in the Papal States, where they resided for a few weeks, and talked openly of the good deed they had done ; but the proclamation of the Senate having come to their ears, they made their way to Rome, and found asylum in the house of Cardinal Colonna. We do not suppose that the austere Borghese was himself a party to this infamous attempt, for Paul V, was not a Borgia; but at Rome the general regret of the Papal party was, not that the attempt had been made, but that it had not succeeded. Besides, it was a ground of complaint that the Senate had characterised Father Paul as a person of singular learning and exemplary morals,"--an insult to the Roman Curia, which held the contrary, on account of his heretical pravity; and in the proclamation against the assassins they had included the priest Viti, qualifying him as “priest,” and mentioning the very church where he officiated, thus ignoring the lights of the Foro Ecclesiastico. At length, however, the Pope became ashamed of the open protection given to such miscreants in the capital of the Church; and not wishing to expose his court to the indignation or ridicule of Europe, it was arranged that they should take refuge in the highly-civilised Naples, a kingdom where even they might pass as persons of tolerable respectability. But these gentlemen, patronised as they were by bishops and cardinals, were not discreet; they talked too openly, they returned to Rome, they complained that they were not sufficiently paid, and very impudently threatened to exercise their peculiar talents on some of their patrons, if they were not better treated. This was too much, and suggested most uncomfortable ideas, so they were arrested in different places, and kept in durance for the remainder of their lives, either in Rome or in the fortress of Civita Vecchia. One or two of them were supposed to have died prematurely, but whatever might be said of the means, every one felt that no great injury was done to society by their removal-in short, as Sir David Lindsay would have said, that “they were well away,"
* The scar still remained in the cheek. The dagger was attached to a cross, and hung up, ex voto, in the church of the Servites, with the motto, “ Deo filio liberatori." * * This catalogue of solemn heresies, set forth as articles of faith by the advocates of the Curia, and most of all by Bellarmine, was fatal to the glory of the latter, for the Cardinal Passionei baving reproduced it in the time of Benedict XIV., when the canonization of Bellarmine was in question, it was sufficient to exclude him from the celestial aristocracy."-(Vol. ii. p. 8.)
But the plans for assassinating Father Paul did not end here. Poison—the dagger—were talked of; or a sudden surprisal and capture, for if possible it was better to have him alive. There was no chloroform in those days, or the ingenious plans might have been more successful; but Sarpi was henceforth on his guard.
The Court of Rome insisted on the prohibition of the works written in defence of the Senate; Sarpi resisted this demand, unless the books on the other side of the question were prohibited also; and to show the reasonableness of this proposal, he drew up a formidable catalogue of heresies in those writings, especially in the books of Bellarmine,* confronting them with the doctrines of the Curialists themselves. Not being able to obtain the prohibition of the books in Venice, the Nuncio attempted to gain over some of the writers to the Romish party, and succeeded in inducing the Franciscan Manfredi, and the Archdeacon Ribetti, to escape to Rome. They were received with great pomp and singular honour, as if Rome would show to the world how tenderly she treated the strayed sheep when they returned to her fold. But it seems this was merely a decoy, as attempts were made to induce the principal offender to give himself up to the tender mercies of the Holy Father; but Sarpi was not to be caught in this way
- he had been at Rome. He did not put much faith in the Papal clemency to the archdeacon, and wrote of him in his own sly way—“The archdeacon has been singularly honoured at Rome; he has been permitted to make the round of the seven churches barefooted, and with a candle in his hand. ...... The common opinion is, that he will have a short life.”—(Lettere, p. 98.) And so it happened: the Franciscan was arrested, and fell under the hands of the Inquisitors; the archdeacon was seized with violent spasms one day after dining with a prelate, and died in a few hours. There were suspicions—malignant people will always hint doubts of fair play in such cases; but at Rome, by some happy combination of circumstances, people generally die at the precise time when they ought to die for the glory of the Curia.
Father Paul wrote a minute History of the Interdict, which was circulated in manuscript, and finally published at Geneva in 1624 (after the death of the author). Other causes of dis
pute arose: more than a hundred priests were in the prisons of Venice; a friend of Sarpi, Fra Fulgenzio, had preached a quaresimale, or series of Lent sermons, ignoring the traditions, and adhering to the Scriptures for his proof, " which (said the Pope to the French Ambassador) amounted to heresy ;" a treaty was concluded between Venice and Holland, a Protestant State; Father Paul was in correspondence with Duplessis Mornay and the Calvinists; a new plot against his life had been discovered, and the agents very summarily dealt with by the Decemvirs;-in short, the concord between Rome and Venice was merely nominal.
We cannot put much faith in the gossip of such books as Burnet's Life of Bedell; but Sarpi's own letters manifest the deep interest he took in all Protestant movements. A new subject of controversy had arisen in England. After the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot, James I. imposed on his subjects an oath of allegiance, in which was contained both an acknowledgment of the legitimacy of the king's authority, and a renunciation of the tenet that the Pope could release subjects from the duty of obedience. Paul V. condemned this oath in two briefs, in 1606 and 1607; and James, with great confidence in his literary powers, wrote an “Apology for the Oath of Allegiance.” Bellarmine answered it under the name of his almoner, Matthew Tortus; and Lancelot Andrews penned, in reply to the great cardinal, his “ Tortura Torti.” James sent his book to the different courts, and Bianchi gives an amusing account of the Italian reception of the volume of the royal controversialist :
“ The King of France gave it to the Jesuit Coton to confute; the Duke of Tuscany to his confessor to burn; the Duke of Savoy refused it as a book of theology; the Pope prohibited it; and the Venetians, fruitful in expedients, to please the King and not disgust the Pope, accepted it, and, with an honorary decree, locked it up in a casket as a precious gift, so that no one could read it.”—(Vol. ii. p. 55.)
But it is evident Father Paul did not adopt the idea of the royal prerogative in things purely spiritual, which he said was to mingle heaven and earth.
In 1610 he completed his treatise, “Delle Materie Beneficiarie;" or, History of Ecclesiastical Revenues and Privileges, a work which has been spoken of in very high terms by Hallam. The Right of Asylum was the subject of another treatise, and Sarpi's limitations would have reduced it to a very harmless privilege. Father Paul had become, in fact, the directing mind of Venice, not only in religious questions, but in secular matters. The correspondence which he maintained with Protestants—such as Sir Henry Wotton, the English ambassador at Venice, Bedell, Duplessis Mornay, Grotius, and Casaubon