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of evangelic sweetness ; his imperial anta- | to the Cardinal Chiaramonti made a wide gonist was a man of insatiable ambition, of impression among the inhabitants of the Cæsarian force of will. To appreciate still Legations; and these circumstances unmore thoroughly the character of this ex- doubtedly influenced the conclave in fixing emplary Pontiff, it must be remembered that upon Chiaramonti as the most eligible he had not, like his predecessor Pius VI., member of the Sacred College for the any bigoted aversion to the new doctrines vacant Papacy. If any accord was to be of the time; on the contrary, he had large brought about between Rome and revolusympathies with the philanthropic aspira- tionary France, such a character presented tions of the leading spirits of the Revolu- the greatest chances of its accomplishment. tionary school, and believed that the new It must be added also that the Pope himmovement would, in spite of the crimes and self was at first fascinated by the genius of extravagances which accompanied it, prove Napoleon. "He had for him,' says Conultimately beneficial to the spiritual as well salvi in his · Memoirs,' •a mingled sense of as material interests of humanity; and that admiration, fear, paternal tenderness, and the leading principles of the new doctrines gratitude for the powerful and ready hand were not irreconcilable with the tradition- with which he re-established the Church in ary supremacy of Rome as the religious France. Probably he felt in his heart a mistress of the world. These convictions religious conviction that such an astoundPius VII. expressed in a very remarkable ing prodigy of genius and ambition was not homily, the most significant document, so sent into the world without a Divine purfar as study of himself is concerned, which pose. From this fascination he never freed ever issued from his pen. It was published himself, even in the days when he suffered while he was Bishop of Imola, two months unmerited and even cruel persecution at after the signature of the treaty of Campo the hands of his Imperial captor. In the Formio. In this homily, addressed, on solitary oratory of his prison at Savona the Christmas Day, 1799, to the people of his victim prayed earnestly and fervently for diocese in the Cisalpine Republic, he re- his oppressor; and to his latest days his commended entire submission to the new old affection for the author of his afflictions order of things, and demonstrated that the survived the recollection of insult and inprinciples of democratic government were jury. founded on principles quite in harmony Immediately on the election of Pius VII., with the teachings of the Scriptures. He the political difficulties inseparable from the even quoted some words from the profes- union of the spiritual and temporal power sion of faith of the Vicaire Savoyard:- of the Papacy commenced, and that not Je vous avoue que la majesté des Ecri- with a heretic or infidel power, but with tures m'étonne; la sainteté de l'Evangile such orthodox sons of the Church as the parle à mon cœur.' The Bishop and Prince sovereigns of Austria and Naples. Previof the Church was found to be acquainted ous to the battle of Marengo, the Austrians with the writings of Rousseau, and adduced were in possession of the Legations, and them in support of his argument !
indeed of the whole Pontifical territory When the French troops first invaded nearly up to the gates of Rome, which they the Legations under Bonaparte, all the had acquired by conquest from the French. other Bishops quitted their dioceses — No effort had been spared to induce the Chiaramonti alone remained: this conduct new Pope to make permanent cession of caused him to be mentioned by the French the spoils of the French Republicans to General in his address to the inhabitants of Austria. The Austrian envoy, the MarAncona when he received the keys of the chese Ghislieri, was not content even with town. The Bishop of Ancona had left the menaces, but, on pretence of conveying the place, and, in remarking on the fact, he Pope back to Rome by sea, put him on said, · Celui d'Imola, qui est aussi cardinal, board ar Austrian frigate, and kept him ne s'est pas enfui; je ne l'ai pas yu en virtually a prisoner on board for twelve passant, mais il est à son poste.' This days, during which time he harassed the praise accorded by the victorious General Pope incessantly to procure the cession of
the Legations. At length Pesaro was / ing all the obstacles which stand in the way of reached, and Ghislieri escorted the Pope to an entire reconciliation of France with the Head Ancona, where intelligence of a surprising of the Church.'* character reached them. The battle of Marengo had been fought. Ghislieri now
This first public declaration of Napoleon ceded the Legations with alacrity, and took, in the matter of religion had, as he intended his leave of the Pope, who proceeded to it should have, an immense effect. His Rome, though the Neapolitans still hela vast intelligence, with prophetic ambition, possession of the city till ejected by the was already marshalling his schemes of peace of Florence. It may be said, if the empire. He had long come to the concluHead of the Church met with such treat- sion that some form of national religion is a ment from the hands of the champions of
ecessity for any stable Government; and the ancient order of Europe, what might
his education, his love of unity, his Italian not be expected from a Revolutionary sympathies, and his natural taste for granPower ? Such conduct must doubtless have deur, led him to regard the Roman Catholic made a deep impression on the mind of
Church as the ecclesiastical institution best Pius VII., and rendered him the more suited to his purpose. This address to the willing to enter into relations with the clergy of Milan was delivered eight days First Consul, who had just uttered a string before Marengo. After Marengo, in defiof generous and magniloquent phrases in ance of the sarcasms of Deists and Voltairdefence of the clergy and religion of Rome, ians at Paris, he had a Te Deum sung in the which met with an eager response in the cathedral; and after the conclusion of the heart of the new Pontiff.
armistice with Austria, he expressed his deOne of the most remarkable characteris- sire to enter into negotiations on the subties of history is that of the strange parallel- ject of religious affairs in France, and reisms and coincidences of the destinies of quested that Pius VII. would send for persons who are designed to play simultan- that purpose Monsignore Spina, archbishop eously a great part in human affairs. Na- in partibus of Corinth, to Turin, and subsepoleon had crossed the Great Saint Ber- quently to Paris. nard precisely at the time at which Pius
Napoleon in this, as in all the negotiations VII. was sending forth his encyclical letter he undertook, depended entirely upon himannouncing his elevation. He entered self for the leading principles of the arrangeMilan on the 3rd of June, 1800, and before ment, and entrusted third parties only with leaving that city to contest the domination matters of detail. Under the guidance of of the Italian peninsula with Melas, ad- M. Portalis, a well-known jurist, and one of dressed a most remarkable speech to the the chief compilers of the Code Napoléon, he assembled clergy of the capital of Lombar- had already employed his vast and penetratdy. He declared that whatever disorder ing intelligence in mastering the chief points in religious affairs had been caused by his of ecclesiastical history, and the previous first invasion of Italy had taken place en relations of the Holy See with France. M. tirely against his will. At that time, how- Portalis was admirably qualified for the subever, he was but the simple agent of a
ordinate part he intended him to play, and Government who had no care whatever for was, moreover, a sincere Catholic; and to the Catholic religion.
him he entrusted the chief part in the busi
ness of drawing up the Concordat with “At the present time I am provided with full Monsignore Spina. M. de Talleyrand, the powers, and I am decided to exercise every Minister of Foreign Affairs, as an ex-bishop means I believe to be the most proper for the of the Church of France, necessarily stood protection of this religion. France has learnt in too delicate a position towards a Power à lesson from her misfortunes, and has opened whom he bad deserted, to be put promiher eyes; she has recognised that the Catholic nently forward; he was reserved for critical religion is the only anchor of salvation amid the emergencies. storms of the tempest.
* As soon as I can communicate with the new Pope, I trust I shall have the happiness of smooth- vi. pp. 340, 341.
* Correspondance de l'Empereur Napoléon I., vol.
But Napoleon had to his hand a Church- that it was useless to attempt to persuade man, the Abbé Bernier, a Breton by birth, Pius VII. to yield at once to this summary whom, with his wonderful insight into hu- ultimatum, devised with great ingenuity a man character, he selected as a fitting in- plan to save the appearance of a rupture. strument for the work he contemplated. He proposed to the Pope that, since he himBernier was intriguing, avaricious, and un- self was obliged to leave Rome, Consalvi scrupulous; but he was resolute and active. should accompany him in his carriage to He had been formerly a professed royalist, Florence, and proceed from thence to Paris, and this circumstance had enabled him to and endeavour to come to a settlement on be useful to the First Consul in the pacifi- the disputed points. This plan was adopted cation of La Vendée. His position, how- by the Pope, not, however without great reever, in La Vendée had become insupport- luctance;' for the idea still prevailed at able, since the 'unscrupulous nature of his Rome that Paris continued to be a den of intrigues there had been discovered — for ferocious assassins and brigands; and the one of his arguments to induce the peasant- Pope took leave of his bosom friend and ry to submit to the new Government was secretary with tears. Consalvi himself that the First Consul was preparing the way shared the apprehensions of the Pope; for for the return of the Bourbons. Bernier he wrote to the Cavaliere Acton, the Minisfound it necessary to remove to Paris, where ter of Ferdinand, King of Naples, The he attached himself to the fortunes of Napo- good of religion demands a victim; I am leon; and in this matter of the Concordat going to the First Consul — I march to marplaced the whole of his intriguing abilities tyrdom : the will of God be accomplished.' at the disposition of the First Consul with. This passage of Consalvi's letter was unforout reserve.
tunately communicated through the French Under the conduct of these negotiators Minister at Naples to the First Consul, and and Monsignore Spina the question of the may probably have had some share in proConcordat was discussed at Paris for nearly ducing for Consalvi the reception he met a year, without apparently much prospect with at Paris. of agreement; every clause of the projected Cardinal Consalvi was a finished type of document seemed bristling with difficulties. the old Roman ecclesiastics, whose amenThe question was, moreover, simultaneously ity of manners, combined with worldly the subject of negotiation at Rome, between sagacity, caused them to be characterised M. Cacault, the French Minister there, and as half swan and half fox,' a mixture of the Pope and Cardinal Consalvi, Papal priestly suavity, diplomatic subtlety, and Secretary of State, and the Sacred College. almost feminine courtesy. In the little M. Cacault was a Breton gentleman, who world of Roman society Consalvi was called had negotiated the treaty of Tolentino on the siren,' and he was said to be as insinthe part of France; and he it was who re- uating as a perfume. He had undoubtedly ceived the famous admonition from Napo- considerable diplomatic and political ability, leon before starting for Rome: 'N'oubliez though there is something of self-sufficiency pas de traiter le pape comme s'il avait in his Memoirs ; his habitual depreciation. deux cent mille hommes à ses ordres.' of Napoleon, and his accounts of his diploThe good sense, plain dealing, and honour- matic and colloquial triumphs, nust be reable character of M. Cacault were highly ceived with suspicion from a man who had esteemed by the Roman Court, and his suffered much from the Emperor, and who, pacific counsels exercised a favourable in- after the fall of his great enemy, was fêted Huence on both parties to the negotiation. by all the Courts of Europe, and became a
At length, after the delivery of projects sort of demigod of hospitality to distinand counter-projects, and infinite discussion, guished foreigners at Rome. the First Consul became utterly impatient The Secretary of State of Pius VII, arand intolerant of what seemed to him to be rived in Paris in his cardinal's dress: he mere irrelevant quibbles about dogmas; had met with no disrespect on his journey ; and M. Cacault was directed to inform the nevertheless, he took care while in the capPope that further dilatory measures might ital not to show himself too openly. No be attended with deplorable consequences ecclesiastic, he tells us, was to be seen in as well for religion as for his temporal do- the street; and the churches were still prominion.' The French Minister was ordered faned with inscriptions recalling the tempoto retire from Rome to Florence, unless the rary worship of the goddess of Reason: Concordat as last drawn up at Paris by the they were dedicated to Friendship, to AbunFrench negotiators was accepted. This an- dance, to Hymen, to Commerce, to Garnouncement struck terror into the bosom of dens (!), to Fraternity, Liberty, and Equalthe Papal Court. M. Cacault, knowing ity; people still gave to each other the
appellation of citizens; and he himself was | derful precision of language on all the styled citizen in the course of his journey. topics in dispute between the French GovHe went at once to the Hôtel of Monsig- ernment and the Holy See; and in the nore Spina, where he immediately received course of his argument handled the general the visit of the Abbé Bernier. It was ar- question of Concordats, of the relations of ranged that he should be presented to the Church and State, and of religion, with asFirst Consul on that very day; and on in- tonishing learning, but without anger or quiry as to his costume, he was told, il de- harshness. The general story of the negovait venir le plus en cardinal possible. tiations which ensued may be found in M.
And here ensued a strange scene of sur- Thiers. Here, with M. d'Haussonville, we prise for the Cardinal. He dressed himself merely dwell on the points on which we get for the audience, not in his scarlet dress, additional information from the Memoirs but in black, with red stockings, cap, and of Cardinal Consalvi. collar. The master of the ceremonies in The leading points of the Concordat on troduced him to a small apartment on the which the First Consul insisted were these : ground-floor of the palace, where there was resignation of all the bishops — both those no noise or sound of motion, and went to in exile and those styled constitutional; a take the orders of the First Consul. He new allotment of dioceses; a new clergy to returned immediately, and led the Cardinal be established in place of the old; bishops through a side door which opened on to the to be nominated by the First Consul and ingreat staircase, into an immense saloon full ducted by the Pope, and all the clergy to of people all splendidly attired. It hap- be salaried by the State. There was to be pened to be a day of military parade or a renunciation of all the former property of grand reception at the Tuileries, a circum- the Church. There was to be a police des stance of which the Cardinal was ignorant. cultes — that is to say, the performance of Perhaps the trick was not intentional. But acts of public worship was to be made subConsalvi, just alighted from his journey, ject to civil authority and the decisions of full of the excitement of travel, and of his the Conseil d'Etat; and such priests as arrival in a strange capital, coming upon had married during the revolution were to this unexpected crowd, naturally considered be admitted to reconciliation with the at first that he was the subject of a coup de Church. théatre.
The Church of Rome had opposed difficulM. de Talleyrand proceeded to conduct ties and delays to all these demands of Napohim towards another apartment. The Car- leon. The point about which there was the dinal took breath. He was about surely to greatest disagreement was that comprised in be introduced to the private cabinet of the the expression police des cultes; and, moreFirst Consul; but alas ! he was shown into over, the Papacy insisted that the Catholic another saloon, of graver and more august Apostolic Roman religion should be declared appearance than any he had yet passed in the preamble of the Concordat the religion through. Three individuals occupied a of the State; or, failing that, the dominant prominent place. These were evidently the religion. Representations were made in three Consuls, of whom the centre figure vain to Consalvi, that to declare the Roman advanced towards him, and after M. de Catholic the dominant religion would create Talleyrand had gone through the ceremony immense opposition in France in the presof presentation, said —
ent state of public opinion on religious mat• Je sais le motif de votre voyage en France. members of other creeds. On this point alone
ters, and that it would uselessly irritate all Je veux que l'on ouvre immédiatement les con- there was infinite discussion. The conferférences. Je vous laisse cinq jours de temps, et je vous préviens que si, a l'expiration du cin- ences had already lasted twenty-four days, quieme jour, les negociations ne sont pas termi- and there seemed no hope of coining to any nées, vous devrez retourner à Rome, attendu compromise.
The First Consul grew so que, quant à moi, j'ai pris mon parti pour une irritated at last, that he suffered a council telle hypothèse.
of the constitutional clergy to assemble in
Paris to discuss Church affairs, with a view These were the first words which Cardi- of impressing Consalvi with the necessity. nal Consalvi heard from the lips of the man of greater expedition. whom M. Cacault called “l'homme terrible,' The signing of the Concordat was to take • le petit tigre,' and they were pronounced place at the house of Joseph Bonaparte, with coldness and dignity. Consalvi made who had been appointed one of the French a conciliatory reply; after which, the First Commissioners; and the scene which enConsul, standing as he was before all pres-sued there, according to. Consalvi, is unent, spoke with energy, vivacity, and won- paralleled in the history of diplomacy. Ac
cording to his account, when they were pro- objected to by Consalvi, that concerning ceeding to sign the document, Bernier pro- the police des cultes, should be inserted as duced a paper and placed it before Con- it stood in the Abbé Bernier's copy : on salvi for signature as though it were the this point he would admit of no comproConcordat agreed upon; but, to his aston- mise. Then Consalvi was summarily reishment, when he cast his eyes on the pa- quested to decide on one of two things, to per, he perceived that the clauses before admit the article or break off all negotiahim in nowise corresponded with those tion. Consalvi was in the greatest state of agreed upon and accepted by the First anguish; nevertheless, he refused to admit Consul. It was, in fact, a totally different the article. instrument. The astonishment of Joseph, To add to Consalvi's embarrassment, all he says, was equally great with his own, this high pressure had been put upon him and he believed it to be unfeigned. He to finish the Concordat with a view of anquestioned the Abbé Bernier, who then nouncing its conclusion in a great banquet stammered out that the change had been to be held that very day at which he bimmade by order of the First Consul, self was to be present. Consequently, in who would accept no other stipulations. less than an hour he was at the Tuileries, Consalvi, indignant according to his where he found the apartments crowded statement at this piece of trickery, de- with the same high dignitaries, and the clared he would not sign the document same company in splendid array whom he as it stood, and the whole work of the con- bad found there on the day of his arrivalference seemed at an end. Joseph, how- all the ministerial functionaries, the chief ever, who had hitherto had nothing to do generals and the aides-de-camp of the with the negotiation, appealed to the reason First Consul, and a host of persons who of the Cardinal; he set forth how prejudi- would learn with extreme satisfaction the cial further delay would be to the interests news of the rupture of negotiations between of the Church; he declared that the settle- the Government and the Papacy. The ment of the Concordat had already been First Consul received the Papal Secretary announced in the Government papers, and with a terrible frown, and addressed him in that his brother, who was accustomed to that harsh loud cutting tone which was yield to no obstacles, would be roused to peculiar to him when displeased :the highest pitch of fury and indignation if
«« Eh bien ! monsieur le cardinal, vous avez the announcement given to the public in voulu rompre ! Soit. Je n'ai pas besoin de his own journals in a matter of such Rome. Je n'ai pas besoin du pape. Si Henri importance should be falsified. Consalvi VIII., qui n'avait pas la vingtième partie de ma consented to reopen the negotiation. It puissance, a pu changer la religion de son pays, was then five o'clock in the afternoon, and bien plus le saurai-je faire, et le pourrai-je moi! they began the discussion anew. Neither En changeant de religion, je la changerai à presJoseph Bonaparte nor the Abbé Bernier que toute l'Europe, partout où s'étend l'influence would allow Consalvi peace or respite till de mon pouvoir. Rome s'apercevra des pertes the affair was finished ; they plied him with qu'elle aura faites. Elle les pleurera, mais il arguments the whole night through, and it n'y aura plus remède. Vous pouvez partir : c'est was noon the next day before the Concor-ce qu'il vous reste de mieux à faire. Vous avez dat was settled. The discussion had lasted l'avez voulu." Quand partez-vous ?”
Eh bien ! soit, puisque vous nineteen hours ! The document having been thus drawn
“ Après diner, général," replied Consalvi.' up, Joseph left to communicate it to the According to Consalvi's account, the First Consul. One clause had been can- First Consul was surprised by the promptcelled altogether, as Consalvi declared pos- ness of this reply; however, the Roman itively that he had no powers to grant it; Cardinal began to argue gently and at and Joseph expressed his fears, before leav- length that all points had been settled but ing Consalvi, that his brother would not ac- this one of the police des cultes, and this he cept the Concordat as it now stood even wished to submit to the Pope, but such after this last nineteen hours' manipulation. liberty was denied him. Bonaparte, howHe returned in a short time with an air of ever, would not be pacified, and concluvexation, and said the First Consul had at ded the discussion by saying, “Rome verfirst flown into a fit of exasperation, and torn sera des larmes de sang sur cette rupture." the paper into a hundred fragments; bat After dinner Consalvi had to submit to that, at his urgent entreaty, he had at last, another attack from the Austrian Ambassawith the greatest difficulty, been persuaded dor, Graf von Cobentzel, who besought to accept the Concordat in its last form, Consalvi to endeavour, for the welfare of upon condition, however, that the article the Holy See and of Europe, to bring the