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and diocese. The care of that diocese was less important than the government of the universal church; nor could the popes delight in a city in which their authority was always opposed, and their person was often endangered. From the persecution of the emperors, and the wars of Italy, they escaped beyond the Alps into the hospitable bosom of France; from the tumults of Rome they prudently withdrew to live and die in the more tranquil stations of Anagni, Perugia, Viterbo, and the adjacent cities. When the flock was offended or impoverished by the absence of the shepherd, they were recalled by a stern admonition, that St. Peter had fixed his chair, not in an obscure village, but in the capital of the world; by a ferocious menace that the Romans would march in arms to destroy the place and people that should dare to afford them a retreat. They returned with timorous obedience; and were saluted with the account of a heavy debt, of all the losses which their desertion had occasioned, the hire of lodgings, the sale of provisions, and the various expenses of servants and strangers who attended the court. 76 After a short interval of peace, and perhaps of authority, they were again banished by new tumults, and again summoned by the imperious or respectful invitation of the senate. In these occasional retreats the exiles and fugitives of the Vatican were seldom long, or far, distant from the metropolis ; but in the beginning of the fourteenth century the apostolic throne was transported, as it might seem for ever, from the Tiber to the Rhône; and the cause of the transmigration may be deduced from the furious contest between Boniface the Eighth and
the king of France. The spiritual arms of excommunicaVIII.,
tion and interdict were repulsed by the union of the three
estates, and the privileges of the Gallican church; but the pope was not prepared against the carnal weapons which Philip the Fair had courage to employ. As the pope resided at Anagni, without the suspicion of danger, his palace and person were assaulted by three hundred horse, who had been secretly levied by William of Nogaret, a French minister, and Sciarra Colonna, of a noble but hostile family of Rome. The cardinals fled; the inhabitants of
76 Romani autem non valentes nec volentes ultra suam celare cupiditatem gravis. simam, contra papam movere cæperunt questionem, exigentes ab eo urgentissime omuia quæ subierant per ejus absentiam damna et jacturas, videlicet in hospitiis locandis, in mercimoniis, in usuris, in redditibus, in provisionibus, et in aliis modis innumerabilibus. Quòd cum audisset papa, præcordialiter ingemuit, et se comperiens muscipulatum, &c. Matt. Paris, p. 757. For the ordinary history of the popes, their life and death, their residence and absence, it is enough to refer to the ecclesiastical annalists, Spondanus and Fleury.
77 Besides the general historians of the church of Italy and of France, we possess a valuable treatise composed by a learned friend of Thuanus, which his last and best editors have published in the appendix (Histoire particulière du grand Différend entre Boniface VIII. et Philippe le Bel, par Pierre du Puis, tom. vii. P. xi. p. 61-82).
Anagni were seduced from their allegiance and gratitude ; but the dauntless Boniface, unarmed and alone, seated himself in his chair, and awaited, like the conscript fathers of old, the swords of the Gauls. Nogaret, a foreign adversary, was content to execute the orders of his master : by the domestic enmity of Colonna, he was insulted with words and blows; and during a confinement of three days his life was threatened by the hardships which they inflicted on the obstinacy which they provoked. Their strange delay gave time and courage to the adherents of the church, who rescued himn from sacrilegious violence; but his imperious soul was wounded in a vital part; and Boniface expired at Rome in a frenzy of rage and revenge. His memory is stained with the glaring vices of avarice and pride; nor has the courage of a martyr promoted this ecclesiastical champion to the honours of a saint; a magnanimous sinner (say the chronicles of the times), who entered like a fox, reigned like a lion, and died like a dog. He was succeeded by Benedict the Eleventh, the mildest of mankind. Yet he excommunicated the impious emissaries of Philip, and devoted the city and people of Anagni by a tremendous curse, whose effects are still visible to the eyes of superstition.78
After his decease, the tedious and equal suspense of the conclave was fixed by the dexterity of the French faction. A
specious offer was made and accepted, that, in the term of of the holy forty days, they would elect one of the three candidates who Avignon, should be named by their opponents. The archbishop of A.D.
1908. Bordeaux, a furious enemy of his king and country, was the first on the list; but his ambition was known; and his conscience obeyed the calls of fortune and the commands of a benefactor, who had been informed by a swift messenger that the choice of a pope was now in his hands. The terms were regulated in a private interview ; and with such speed and secrecy was the business transacted, that the unanimous conclave applauded the elevation of Clement the Fifth." The cardinals of both parties were soon astonished by a summons to attend him beyond the Alps; from whence, as they soon discovered, they must never hope to return. He was engaged by promise and affection to prefer the residence of France; and, after dragging his court through Poitou and Gascony, and devouring, by his expense, the cities and convents on the road, he finally reposed at Avignon, 89
78 It is difficult to know whether Labat (tom. iv. p. 53-57) be in jest or in earnest, when he supposes that Adagni still feels the weight of this curse, and that the corn fields, or vineyards, or olive-trees, are annually blasted by Nature, the obsequious handmaid of the popes.
79 See in the Chronicle of Giovanni Villani (1. viii. c. 63, 64, 80, in Muratori, tom. xiü.) the imprisonment of Boniface VIII. and the election of Clement V., the last of which, like most anecdotes, is embarrassed with some difficulties.
• The original lives of the eighat popes of Aviguon-Clement V., John XXII.,
which flourished above seventy years the seat of the Roman pontiff and the metropolis of Christendom. By land, by sea, by the Rhône, the position of Avignon was on all sides accessible; the southern provinces of France do not yield to Italy itself; new palaces arose for the accommodation of the pope and cardinals; and the arts of luxury were soon attracted by the treasures of the church. They were already possessed of the adjacent territory, the Venaissin county, 82 a populous and fertile spot; and the sovereignty of Avignon was afterwards purchased from the youth and distress of Jane, the first queen of Naples and countess of Provence, for the inadequate price of fourscore thousand florins.83 Under the shadow of the French monarchy, amidst an obedient people, the popes enjoyed an honourable and tranquil state, to which they long had been strangers : but Italy deplored their absence; and Rome, in solitude and poverty, might repent of the ungovernable freedom which had driven from the Vatican the successor of St. Peter. Her repentance was tardy and fruitless : after the death of the old members, the sacred college was filled with French cardinals,84 who beheld Rome and Italy with abhorrence and contempt, and perpetuated a series of national, and even provincial, popes, attached by the most indissoluble ties to their native country.
The progress of industry had produced and enriched the Italian republics : the æra of their liberty is the most flourishing period of
Benedict XII., Clement VI., Innocent VI., Urban V., Gregory XI., and Clement VII.are published by Stephen Baluze (Vitæ Paparum Avenionensium; Paris, 1693, 2 vols. in 4to.) with copious and elaborate notes, and a second volume of acts and documents. With the true zeal of an editor and a patriot, he devoutly justifies or excuses the characters of his countrymen.
8! The exile of Avignon is compared by the Italians with Babylon, and the Baby. lonish captivity. Such furious metaphors, more suitable to the ardour of Petrarch than to the judgment of Muratori, are gravely refuted in Baluze's preface. The abbé de Sade is distracted between the love of Petrarch and of his country. Yet he modestly pleads that many of the local inconveniences of Avignon are now removed; and many of the vices against which the poet declaims had been imported with the Roman court by the strangers of Italy (tom. i. p. 23-28).
82 The comtat Venaissin was ceded to the popes in 1273 by Philip III., king of France, after he had inherited the dominions of the count of Toulouse. Forty years before, the heresy of Count Kaymond had given them a pretence of seizure, and they derived some obscure claim from the with century to some lands citra Rhodanum (Valesii Notitia Galliarum, p. 459, 610; Longuerue, Description de la France, tom. i. p. 376-381).
#3 If a possession of four centuries were not itself a title, such objections might annul the bargain; but the purchase-money must be refunded, for indeed it was paid. Civitatem Avenionem emit.. · per ejusmodi venditionem pecuniâ redundantes, &c. (iide Vita Clement. VI. in Baluz. tom. i. p. 272; Muratori, Script. tom. iii. P. ii. p. 565); The only temptation for Jane and her second husband was ready money, and without it they could not have returned to the throne of Naples.
Clement V. immediately promoted ten cardinals, nine French and one English (Vita ivea, p. 63, et Baluz. p. 625, &c.). In 1331 the pope refused two candidates recommended by the king of France, quod xx. cardinales, de quibus xvii, de regno Franciæ originem traxisse ngacuntur in memorato collegio existant (Thomassin, Dise cipline de l'Eglise, tom. i. p. 1281).
population and agriculture, of manufactures and commerce; and their mechanic labours were gradually refined into the arts of elegance and genius. But the position of Rome was of the less favourable, the territory less fruitful : the character of holy year, the inhabitants was debased by indolence and elated by pride; and they fondly conceived that the tribute of subjects must for ever nourish the metropolis of the church and empire. This prejudice was encouraged in some degree by the resort of pilgrims to the shrines of the apostles ; and the last legacy of the popes, the institution of the HOLY YEAR,85 was not less beneficial to the people than to the clergy. Since the loss of Palestine, the gift of plenary indulgences, which had been applied to the crusades, remained without an object; and the most valuable treasure of the church was sequestered above eight years from public circulation.
A new channel was opened by the diligence of Boniface the Eighth, who reconciled the vices of ambition and avarice; and the pope had sufficient learning to recollect and revive the secular games which were celebrated in Rome at the conclusion of every century. To sound without danger the depth of popular credulity, a sermon was seasonably pronounced, a report was artfully scattered, some aged witnesses were produced; and on the first of January of the year thirteen hundred the church of St. Peter was crowded with the faithful, who demanded the customary indulgence of the holy time. The pontiff, who watched and irritated their devout impatience, was soon persuaded by ancient testimony of the justice of their claim; and he proclaimed a plenary absolution to all Catholics who, in the course of that year, and at every similar period, should respectfully visit the apostolic churches of St. Peter and St. Paul. The welcome sound was propagated through Christendom ; and at first from the nearest provinces of Italy, and at length from the remote kingdoms of Hungary and Britain, the highways were thronged with a swarm of pilgrims who sought to expiate their sins in a journey, however costly or laborious, which was exempt from the perils of military service. All exceptions of rank or sex, of age or infirmity, were forgotten in the common transport; and in the streets and churches many persons were trampled to death by the eagerness of devotion. The calculation of their numbers could not be easy nor accurate, and they have probably been magnified by a dexterous clergy, well apprised of the contagion of example: yet we are assured by a judicious historian, who assisted at the ceremony, that Rome was
es Our primitive account is from Cardinal James Caietan (Maxima Biblioth. Patrum, tom. xiv.); and I am at a loss to determine whether the nephew of Boniface VIII. bé a fool or á knave: the uncle is a much clearer charneter.
never replenished with less than two hundred thousand strangers ; and another spectator has fixed at two millions the total concourse of the
year. A trifling oblation from each individual would accumulate a royal treasure; and two priests stood night and day, with rakes in their hands, to collect, without counting, the heaps of gold and silver that were poured on the altar of St. Paul.86 It was fortunately a season of peace and plenty ; and if forage was scarce, if inns and lodgings were extravagantly dear, an inexhaustible supply of bread and wine, of meat and fish, was provided by the policy of Boniface and the venal hospitality of the Romans. From a city without trade or industry all casual riches will speedily evaporate: but the avarice and envy of the next generation solicited Clement the Sixth 87 to anticipate the distant period of the century. The gracious pontiff complied with their wishes; afforded Rome this poor consolation for
his loss; and justified the change by the name and practice of the Mosaic Jubilee. 88 His summons was obeyed; and
the number, zeal, and liberality of the pilgrims did not yield to the primitive festival. But they encountered the triple scourge of war, pestilence, and famine: many wives and virgins were violated in the castles of Italy; and many strangers were pillaged or murdered by the savage Romans, no longer moderated by the presence of their bishop.89 To the impatience of the popes we may ascribe the successive reduction to fifty, thirty-three, and twenty-five years; although the second of these terms is commensurate with the life of Christ. The profusion of indulgences, the revolt of the Protestants, and the decline of superstition, have much diminished the value of the jubilee ; yet even the nineteenth and last festival was a year of pleasure and profit to the Romans; and a philosophic smile will not disturb the triumph of the priest or the happiness of the people. So
In the beginning of the eleventh century Italy was exposed to the
*6 See John Villani (1. viii. c. 36) in the xiith, and the Chronicon Astense in the xith volume (p. 191, 192) of Muratori's Collection. Papa innumerabilem pecuniam ab eisdem accepit, nam duo clerici, cum rastris, &c.
87 The two bulls of Boniface VIII. and Clement VI. are inserted in the Corpus Juris Canonici (Extravagant. Commun. 1. v. tit. ix. c. 1, 2).
* The sabbatic years and jubilees of the Mosaic law (Car. Sigon. de Republica Hebræorum, Opp. tom. iv. 1. iii
. c. 14, 15, p. 151, 152), the suspension of all care and labour, the periodical release of lands, debts, servitude, &c., may seem a noble idea, but the execution would be impracticable in a profane republic; and I should be glad to learn that this ruinous festival was observed by the Jewish people.
* See the Chronicle of Matteo Villani (1. i. c. 56) in the xivth volume of Muratori, and the Mémoires sur la Vie de Pétrarque, tom. ii. p. 75-89.
su The subject is exhausted by M. Chais, a French minister at the Hague, in his Lettres Historiques et Dogmatiques sur les Jubilés et les indulgences; la Haye, 1751, 8 vols. in 12mo.; an elaborate and pleasing work, had not the author preferred the character of a polemic to that of a philosopher.