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prospects are to be looked for from their gratitude and the depth of their religious feeling. As for conversation, the chief of a faction will enter into that merely for the sake of discovering the secrets of others and disguising his own; silence is for him often more significant than words, and clumsy dissimulation is easily to be seen through. The first care of the chief of a faction, then, is to study his own party, after which he proceeds to study that of his adversaries. This man is to be avoided as dangerous; another may be won by fair words; another may be induced by promises to desert; another, perhaps fearful and undecided, may be marked out as likely to yield at the last moment. If he is briefly informed that the election of the Pope is about to take place, and is certain without him, he will be troubled all of a sudden, and will most probably vote with precipitation in the desired fashion. But as a rule, as we have said, the cardinal chief of a faction keeps back the name of the cardinal whom he especially desires to elect until the last moment. He begins by proposing one cardinal after another who have small chance of success, and then when the Conclave is tired out, when the chance of the required number of votes seems desperate, he puts forth his man and manages to set forth the superior qualities which he possesses over previous candidates; he distributes with sagacity and tact among his partisans the parts to be played in each, and puts forth all the resources at his command with energy and promptitude. All the previous candidates in such case will but have been mere experiments— straws tossed up to see which way the wind blows. However, to play this game without danger and with success it must be seen at once that the most artful diplomacy is necessary; the trick is a well-known one, and will be suspected without the exercise of supreme discretion, and in case of premature suspicion of his real game the vanity of the cardinals thus used as experiments will be wounded, and the activity and mistrust of the opposite parties dangerously increased. Every evening each cardinal chief makes a sort of review of his partisans, and endeavours to appreciate from their reports, looks, and movements what is the present state of the atmosphere of the Conclave. Nothing, however small, but becomes a sign and index of the state of the Conclave mind in the judgment of a competent cardinal chief. Like the veteran leader of a herd of deer on the mountain-side, he scents the approach of danger in the slightest breeze, and an innocent, quite secondary question becomes for his purpose like one of the delicately prepared test-papers of the chemist; he makes use of it to sound the condition of the opinions about him. One of the most crafty devices invented in the management of the Conclave has been to force your man as a conjuror does a card on the choice of the opposite party, and get him to be proposed by them, as though he were the object of their own free choice. This has succeeded several times. The most effectual way of managing this is to contrive that the cardinal you wish to be named shall seem to be presented to the opposite party out of courtesy and not out of necessity. The Cardinal Farnese, who,
though never Pope himself, made the Popes in five different Conclaves, and was a master in the art of managing Conclaves, contrived to force his favourite on the opposite chief in the Conclave which named Gregory XIII. precisely in the way we have suggested of a conjuror forcing his card. After various unsuccessful tentatives he proposed to the Cardinal Alessandrino that he should select the Pope out of three whom Farnese should name. Alessandrino, who was beginning to tire of Conclave confinement and solitary feeding, accepted the proposal, and Farnese named Buoncompagni and two others. As the two other cardinals named with Buoncompagni had much less chance of succeeding than Buoncompagni, Alessandrino chose him, and Buoncompagni became Pope under the title of Clement XIII. And Alessandrino seemed to have the merit of electing Farnese's own candidate. In such nice play as this it is clear that universal, unfailing politeness is your best ally. Even to your most inveterate enemies be civil and polite to the last degree; you can thus always approach them and make one of them at any time. Above all, do not let even the least influential member of the Conclave see that you set small value on him; all violence, all signs of discontent at temporary defeat, all rudeness of attack, and all obstinacy must be carefully disregarded. Azzolini among other Conclaves cites two which he considers models of dexterous management; one was that of Gregory XIV. Azzolini draws from it the moral that if your adversaries keep on persisting in voting in a body for a man of bad antecedents, the way to frighten them off from their choice is to put forward a candidate of a worse character. They will hesitate at once in their votes, and fear will have more effect upon them than probity of purpose, and they will end by putting forward a better man. In the Conclave which named Gregory XIII. the Spanish cardinals kept on backing Cardinal Paleotto-a very dark horse indeed-till Cardinal Montalto backed the Cardinal of Verona, a still darker one, against them, and then the Spaniards abandoned their game on Paleotto. The other Conclave was that of Marcello II., but Marcello had the advantage of a little knot of firm friends. These collected together in secret with the list of all the cardinals in their hands; they discussed each cardinal one by one, considered his career, his present position, and how and by whom he could be won over. When every cardinal had been thoroughly discussed, and the ways of bringing him over, each member of this secret inner Conclave chose his own man to attack, and among them all they conducted affairs with such skill and secresy that Marcello was elected. Azzolini considers this Conclave a masterpiece.
A thing of wiles and stratagems, we see, and of incalculable subtlety, is the Conclave; this, however, will be made still clearer by example. Let us take the case of the election of Eugene IV., which was an instance
of how over-finessing may spoil the game of the whole body of cardinals
Martin V., of whom the boys at Florence sung under his windows—
Non vale un quattrino,
had died on February 20, 1430. All Italy was at war. The States of the Church were overrun with invading armies, and everywhere in Europe things were in a critical way. A Pope of energy, it was agreed on by the Sacred College, was required by events. A Roman party intrigued in favour of the Cardinal Colonna; a Venetian party intrigued in favour of the Cardinal del Porto; a Florentine party wanted the Cardinal Orsini ; and the Spanish party wanted the Cardinal San Paolo. There was but one cardinal about whom all were agreed as utterly unfit for the Papacy, and this was the Cardinal Condolinieri. The Conclave met on this occasion in the convent of Santa Maria della Minerva; and the factions of Orsini and Colonna, of Florence and of Rome, since they could not agree upon the Pope to be elected, desired to gain time, in order to come to an arrangement. The Bulls, however, required that two ballots should be taken each day; and the cardinals, therefore, of each faction looked about for a man to whom they could give their votes for a few times without danger. Each faction, without the knowledge of the other, by a sort of unanimous spirit of contempt fixed upon the Cardinal Condolinieri, and Condolinieri was unanimously elected in the very first round of the ballot. Here were the artificers all caught in their own snare with a vengeance. Condolinieri became Pope Eugene IV. The election of Nicholas V. took place on the death of Eugene IV., on February 23, 1447. The Conclave was on that occasion prepared in the sleeping-chambers of the Dominican convent of Minerva. The cells of the cardinals were made, not of wood, but of cloth, and they were lit up with tapers. The cardinals were on this occasion only eighteen in number; twelve votes were therefore necessary for election. The Romans again desired for Pope the Cardinal Prosper Colonna. In the first turn of the ballot Prosper Colonna had ten votes, and his election seemed almost sure. On the second day of the Conclave the Cardinal still possessed his ten votes in the ballot of that day, but two more votes were wanted; if he could obtain them in a second turn of the ballot he was Pope. The French faction then got up and addressed the cardinals, exposing the critical state of Rome and the necessity of a speedy decision. "Since the Cardinal Colonna has ten votes, let us make him Pope. If but one cardinal rises to vote another will follow." After some hesitation Thomas de Sarzana, Cardinal of Bologna, who had already three votes given to him, got up to vote for Colonna. The Cardinal of Otranto stopped him, saying, "Wait; don't be in a hurry. We are doing a great thing; we see so little when we see quickly." The Cardinal of Aquileia cried out, in a rage, "What thou sayest is to prevent Colonna from winning." The Cardinal of Bologna said, "You are right,
Cardinal of Otranto. I will vote for whom you please." "I will vote for you, then, Cardinal of Bologna," cried Otranto. "I will follow you," said the Cardinal of Aquileia. "And I, too," cried another, till eleven votes were counted, when the Cardinal of San Sisto arose and said, “And I, Thomas of Sarzana, make thee Pope on this day, which is the vigil of St. Thomas." The windows of the Conclave were then opened, and the Cardinal Colonna announced the new Pope to the multitude under the name of Nicholas V.
After the death of Nicholas V., in 1455, Calistus III. was Pope for two years, and died; and another Conclave was formed, which resulted in the election of Eneas Sylvius Piccolomini, who took the title of Pius II. This Conclave met in the Apostolical Palace, near St. Peter's, where there were two blocks of buildings with chapels. In the one cells were made for the cardinals; in the other were constructed chambers for deliberation and for the ballot.
The cardinals in conclave amounted again to eighteen; the necessary majority was therefore twelve. The Cardinal de Rohan, the candidate of the French faction, on the second day obtained eleven votes. Efforts were made in the course of the following night to induce Piccolomini to vote for the Cardinal de Rohan; but he refused, and called together the Italian cardinals, and exhorted them to frustrate the machinations of the French party, upon which seven of the Italian cardinals at once offered him their votes. On the morrow it so happened that the Cardinal de Rohan was himself a scrutator of the ballot, and as Piccolomini was descending from the altar after voting, the Cardinal de Rohan said to him, "Have you given me your vote?" "What matters it what such a worm as I do?" replied Piccolomini; and it was found on examination of the tickets that Piccolomini had nine votes and Rohan only six. Then came the time for the per accessum. The cardinals took their places in silence, watching each other with anxiety. Rohan crumpled the lace fringe of his rochet; Piccolomini made cocked hats of paper, fixing on the undecided cardinals looks in which were expressed an infinity of promises. Rodrigo Borgia replied to one of these looks, and got up and said, "Cardinalem accedo, I give you my vote;" and then dead silence and anxiety came again upon the assembly. Piccolomini had ten votes. Two cardinals, in order to prolong matters, got up and left the hall. But the ruse was of no avail; another cardinal rose and gave his vote to Piccolomini. But one more vote was wanting. The tension of expectation was universal when the Cardinal Colonna Both Rohan and Bessarion pulled him by his robe to stay himone on each side-but without avail, for Colonna cried out from his seat, "Et ego Senensem cardinalem accedo, papam facio!" ("And I too give my vote to the Cardinal of Sienna, and make him Pope!")
It was, however, in the middle and towards the end of the sixteenth century that the art of managing Conclaves was brought to the greatest pitch of perfection and art. Spain and Austria and France
were then contending for the supremacy of Europe. The Farneses and the Medicis were disputing for preponderance in Italian affairs, and the College of Cardinals were so much increased in number by the nomination of successive Popes-one of whom, Clement VIII., created fifty cardinals-that sometimes the Conclave consisted of fifty or sixty members.
Moreover, from September 1590 to January 1592, for a space of sixteen months, the Conclave was almost en permanence; for the Sacred College was summoned together four times during that period, four Popes dying within its limits. The first Pope elected during this time, Urban VII., was made Pope on September 15, and he died on the 27th of the same month. Gregory XIV. lived only ten months after his election. Innocent IX. was Pope but one month, while Clement VIII., the last elected of the four, lived fourteen years; after which Leo XI. was elected by the Conclave, and was Pope only twentyone days.
Most of these Conclaves were battles fought out with intense ardour on both sides; not only ruse and cunning and stratagems of every kind were brought into play, but force itself was occasionally made use of to drag along a recalcitrant cardinal. The chief actor in these Conclaves was Cardinal Montalto, the nephew of Sixtus V., and Montalto generally succeeded in getting his candidates seated in the Papal chair. A minute study of these Conclaves could not be made without diverging far and wide and diving deep into the troubled stream of European politics; but even a cursory inspection of them teaches one thing-that it is for the most part beyond the power of all calculation to divine beforehand who will be the Pope of a Conclave. If you put fifty eels into a basket, he would be a bold man who would wager on any particular eel getting a firm place on the top of his fellow. Indeed, for the most part the Pope who has been the least thought of before the Conclave has come out Pope after it.