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and now he rolls in the gilt and purple coach with his three servants dangling behind, and his great black horses pacing majestically along under their purple trappings; and now with beating heart he enters the conclave, and now receives on his throne the adoration of his brethren, and stretches forth his hand to bless the reverent multitude. Henceforth what a life for the chosen minister of God! He rises early and hears mass; a fit beginning of the day if no other thought intrude! His table is covered with letters, memorials, private petitions, all calling for an answer and some for serious examination. Scarce half the task is done when the clock strikes nine, and the Grand Chamberlain descends to his post; the noble guard take their stand in their hall and at the door of the audience chamber; in comes a secretary with a teeming portfolio, the progress of some difficult negotiation, the draft of some dispatch which requires the master's approbation, the outline of some new law which must be weighed, published, and enforced. There is the treasurer too with his estimates and accounts, taxes to be adjusted, deficiencies to fill up, new expenses to provide for,—a fearful array of figures even to a practised eye; then the governor with decisions to approve, and the black book of the police. Meanwhile some ambassador claims an audience,-brings perhaps a royal autograph with the joyful annunciation of the increase of the royal line; a bishop or a missionary just starting for some distant land, wishes to carry with him the blessing of his spiritual father ; some curious stranger, having done up all the other sights, comes to complete his list by a sight of the Pope.
At last it is all over, and beneath the canopy of state, at his little table, which not even the Emperor can share, he receives from kneeling attendants his solitary meal. It is the hour of relaxation, sometimes even of mirth. Now seize thy time, thou lu wight who hast access to the monarch's repose,--this is the favorable moment; be ready with the jest, the well-turned tale, neither too short nor too long for royal ears ; profit by the propitious occasion, and when the relaxed brow and complacent eye betoken that inward calm, that gentle excitation which the grateful taste and odor of well assorted viands diffuses through the wearied frame, push firmly, yet with discreet discernment, the well-timed petition. Who can deny under such benign influences ? A cool siesta then atones for the early breaking of his slumbers and fits him for his walk or ride.
Private audiences, official duties, congregations and reports close the day, and evening may sometimes leave him an hour for a book or a friend. And mingled with this daily round come the great ceremonies of the Church, the solemn festivals with their cumbersome pomp, masses, benedictions, and processions, the functions of the bishop crowding in upon the functions of the king ; and when his weary head sinks upon its pillow, on what can he look back in all this benumbing round, that has added to the stock of his human sympathies, or called forth a feeling that was not centred in self?
Yet there have been great and good men in the cardinal's robe and pontiff's chair; men who have passed through this icy ordeal unfrozen ; favored beings for whose hearts the law of charity had a healing power, and who felt too deeply what holy things the affections are, to suffer their own to grow torpid, even in the insulation to which their calling condemned them. We never can think of these men without feeling very sad. It is so sad to see a human being cut off from the natural sympathies of his kind; condemned to seek a compensation for natural affections in devotion to his caste, and struggling all the while with irrepressible kindness which vainly seeks or fears to choose an object. It is sad enough to look upon a strong, healthy man limping along on a mutilated limb; but what loss that the body can suffer can compare with this mutilation of the soul?
Now it is this mutilated man, surrounded by men mutilated like himself, that is to decide the fate of nearly three millions of human beings, fathers, mothers, husbands,-hearts throbbing with affections that he has never known, and glowing with aspirations that he can never share.
His first feeling is a feeling of triumph: “The victory is mine. Rebellion has tried its utmost and failed, and after an igno minious flight and sixteen months of exile, I press once more my own throne, an independent sovereign. But in what light will he look upon the men, who, but a few months ago, were exulting in his humiliation ? If he pardons them as a priest, can he pardon them as a king? If he forgives their hatred of his temporal power, can he pass over their contempt for his spiritual sovereignty? The two conflicting elements are ever in presence, a constant, inevitable, irreconcilable antagonism. And through this antagonism the past, instead of an instructive lesson, becomes a cause of bitter irritation, which will manifest itself in a thousand ways, now by open revenge and now by covert persecution, by great acts and by litle acts, growing, like jealousy, by what it feeds on, till it can be borne no longer, and the question is brought back again to its starting point—the dungeon or the bayonet.
But suppose, for a moment, that this is not so. Suppose that Pius IX., reading clearly in the future, is prepared to accept the principles of a liberal policy, and carry them out sincerely. Suppose that the enlarged views and noble motives once attributed to him, were attributed to him justly, and that he really wishes to be that regenerator which he was once proclaimed. How will he begin? Where will he find support? Whom can he trust ?
His natural, we might say his prescribed advisers, are the cardinals,—the men with whom he once felt and acted, whose counsels and wishes he shared, from whose midst and by whose voices he was raised from subject to sovereign, and who, when his course is run and he sleeps with his predecessors of that long line which runs so far backward into the mists of time, will be called again to select from among themselves a new successor to the successor of the apostles. Surely none can feel the same interest in the welfare of the Holy See, none can be more deeply or more directly affected by the mistakes or the wisdom of its chief.
We do not remember the exact number of the cardinals, who form at this moment the Sacred College, but we believe that it is not far from the canonical number of seventy. There are men of all ages among them, from thirty to ninety, some of whom have slowly worked their way upwards through a toilsome path of civil and ecclesiastical preferments, while others have briskly frisked up the ladder under the shadow of a prince's robe or a patron's smile. Consequently there must be a great variety of character, both by the original law of nature and the hardly less inflexible law of habit and education. The man, who began life in the ante-chamber, will bring some heart-burnings with him which one who started from the cabinet never knew. The cautious diplomatist, long trained in the wiles and artifices of court, skilled to pursue his aim through all the mazes of intrigue, and unravel the crooks and tangles of human policy, will hardly look upon things with the same eye as his brother from the cloister, whose starting ambition was a guardian's chair,* and his textbook of life the revelations of the confessional. But still in one respect they are all alike: the same law of domestic exclusion weighs upon them all, and hardens them all equally to the sympathies of husband and father.
It is easy to see that a body of this kind will split up into parties just as easily as a body of laymen. They will have
* The head of a convent is called the Guardian. VOL.XV.NO. LXI.
their dislikes and their preferences, their wishes and their convictions, their apprehensions and their doubts, points upon which they can yield a little, and points upon which they will not move a hair's breadth, like any other men. But here again there is a point upon which all must agree, for they are all bound alike by habit, by position, and by allegiance, to uncompromising resistance to even the shadow of encroachment upon the dignity and the power of the Church. The Church is the source of all their power, the object of all their ambition. Their lives are absorbed in hers, their fortunes depend upon her fortune; they grow with her growth and strengthen with her strength, and if trials and dangers and persecutions come upon her, they too must share them all.
In every project of reform, therefore, the first question for them is its bearing upon the Church. And there are men among them well skilled in detecting the remotest bearings of everything that touches their order. Begin where you may, an intuitive perception warns them of their danger. They have no need of the flash to tell them that the gathering cloud will burst in thunder. In other things they are mere men, and you may blind them as easily as anybody else ;
but here they are armed in proof, and habit and education have so interwoven the spirit of jealous watchfulness with all the functions of life, that it would be fully to think of taking them off their guard.
And hence if you expect them to accept your reform, you must take care that it leave the Church untouched. They care but little for an old abuse : habit has made it tolerable
, and after all it does not touch the essence of things. But innovation is an unpardonable sin, and no one can foretell how far it may extend. And hence too every reform, fettered and hedged round with restrictions, must fall short of its object
, becomes a palliative instead of a cure, cuts off a few withered shoots, but leaves the sapless trunk to mock the sunbeam and crumble piecemeal in the tempest. Such reforms can never reach the great body of society. They are not meant to meet the wants of the mass, but to avert the dangers of the sovereign. They leave a chasm betwixt layman and ecclesiastic, and pretend to bridge it over with a rotten plank; and as the two bodies stand on the opposite brinks and look down into its depths, and measure the interval that separates them from one another, they feel more deeply than ever how little they have or ever can have in common.
We should expect little good counsel from the cardinals, then, in such a juncture as this, for we believe them to be wedded to an abuse which comprises all other abuses. But the cardinals themselves are divided. There is disunion in the Sacred College. Sixty or seventy men of different tempers
and different habits of thought cannot always think alike in the presence
of such momentous events. Some feel that things like those of the last twenty months could not have come without a cause, and that something must be done at the root as well as among the branches. Others would clasp the columns with Samson's embrace and perish amid the ruins rather than yield an inch. The former claim to belong to the party of progress, and if you will but strike out half the meaning of the word, you may allow their claim. There is a man among them who bore the name of a liberal till he grew tired of waiting, and at last cast it aside to open the path of promotion. Could a clear mind enlarged by extensive cultivation, a sound judgment strengthened by observation and experience, feelings not yet wholly benumbed by insulation, and an ambition that saw something beyond the narrow circle of personal aggrandizement, have preserved him from the thraldom of his caste, he might have done great things for his country in this hour of her need. But he has reached too giddy a height to look firmly on the prospect below, and gone too far not to feel what a fascination there is in the gamester's stake. He is not afraid of material reforms, and he knows as well as any man how common minds may be lulled into complacent slumber, by ministering to their material wants. He would even go further, and recognise man's right to a certain share of the means of enjoyment which he creates. He would throw open seaports to every flag, free commerce from her restrictions, let the producer select his market and the consumer get his supplies wherever he can do it to the best advantage, hold out rewards to the farmer and facilities to the manufacturer, foster industry in every form, break in upon the silence of the untilled plain and mountain pass with the shrill whistle of the rail-car, and, like the hunter of the prairies, meet the advancing conflagration with a flame of his own. But while he thus flattered active spirits by the consciousness of useful exertion and soothed the sensual by the daily enlargement of their means of gratification, he would take your mind into his own guardianship and mould it into a pliant instrument of his will. There would be schools, for instruction is a duty; but you would learn nothing there but what he saw fit, for who would there be to tell you that knowledge is a right ? Libraries would be thrown open, and even