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De par le roi, défense à Dieu
D'opérer miracle en ce lieu. My jests are more innocent even than this.
• But in the chapters on the Jesuits, I have also ridiculed the miracles and saints of their fabrication. Why have not these chapters been criminated? I submit this observation to the wisdom of the court.
• How can I have attacked the religion of the state, and religious morality, in reproaching the court of Rome with having no object in its religious ceremonies but that of exhibiting religious spectacles to the multitude, as it would amuse them with worldly pageantry? The desire I have expressed of seeing religion honoured with august ceremonies, which occupy the heart rather than the eyes, is a proof of my respect for it.
But why should we exaggerate our scruples? Thanks to the paternal sceptre of the Bourbons, we are enjoying profound peace ; every branch of industry and public prosperity is in the most fattering condition. Let us beware of troubling this calm by theological quarrels : while the sword of political broils reposes quietly in its scabbard, let us not endeavour to draw that of religion.'
pp. 246-61. In the course of the Defence, M. de Santo Domingo de clares, that, in bis jealousy of Catholic missions, he is countenanced by the opinion of the most monarchical'men in France ; • among whom,' he says. I shall cite the Count de Montlo
sier, à man estimable for his virlue, piety, and attachment ' to the legitimate dynasty.' • Are you desirous of establish• ing religion and morality?' is his language ; dismiss your • Jesuits and your friars.' The Memoire à consulter has not yet fallen into our hands; but, in the Postscript to the present work by Count Montlosier, that worthy royalist thus explicitly states bis fears with regard to the Jesuits, jo reply to the reproaches cast upon his former publication by M. de Bonald.
• M. de Bonald pretends that my production resembles an indictment more than a Memoire à consulter. He is in the right. The present work, which is a formal accusation, proves that the precedin one to which it is a sequel, was prepared with the same intention. M. de Bonald wishes, that I had discussed his political and religious opinions : he would have allowed me to combat them. There is a large proportion of his political and religious opinions which I could not controvert, because, in them, I agree with him. From the first moment of my return to France, I have had the happiness of finding myself in accordance with him on the great questions of divorce, of marriage, of the institution of nobility, of the excellence and preeminence of the Catholic Religion, as well as of a monarchical government. In this reference, I have long wished for an opportunity to unite with him. When at length I perceived that he was one of
the coterie of the priests,—it has not been wholly unprofitable to him, —that he adopted and advocated their system of usurpation; when I perceived that he was almost as much a Roman as a Frenchman ; that almost all his monarchy resided in the pope, almost all his Gospel consisted in the ritual ; when I perceived that, with many others, he was sitting upon the egg which we have since seen hatched ;- I was led to regard him still as, no doubt, the friend of religion and monarchy, but, since it must be said, the most hostile, the most dangerous, the most fatal of friends.
• M. de Bonald accuses me of having included him in an actual conspiracy against the monarchy, against society, against the throne. His accusation is just. To this he opposes only the remark, that “ Conspiracies are not mere theories, but criminal intentions put in execution.” My reply is, that I have imputed neither to him nor to the other conspirators, criminal designs : I have, on the contrary, spoken of their excellent intentions.........On the subject of the Jesuits, M. de Bonald cites in their favour, the philosophers of the last century. I have no exception to make against their depositions in my cause. The testimony of such men in favour of the Jesuits, forms part of my evidence against them.
• M. de Bonald complains, that a certain party is more afraid of seeing the Jesuits return to France, than it would be of seeing the Cossacks again in the midst of Paris. I belong to this party. If a hundred thousand Cossacks were encamped in the plain of Grenelle or in that of Sablons, we should know how to accost or to attack them. But a moral pestilence, which insinuates itself like a poison in the veins of the body politic, and which, to escape detection, assumes every attraction and every shape;—men skilful in covering themselves with the mantle of kings, while watching for the opportunity either to subjugate or to assassinate them; how are such" men to be dealed with? How shall we attack a militia at once religious and political, and, which in virtue of this double title, knows how to entrench itself behind the altar and the throne ?"
The whole of this volume is highly deserving of attention ; but, as it is our intention to take another opportunity of adverting to the state of religion and of religious parties in France, we shall waive any further notice of its contents for the present, and return to the Roman Tablets.
As the object of M. de Santo Domingo is more particularly to depict the state of morals in the Papal capital, it may be expected, that many of the details must be of a very revolting description. The Author disclaims any intention to offend the most scrupulous delicacy; but the very disclaimer will serve as a warning. A true picture of Rome or of Naples in the nineteenth century, must be as unfit for the perusal of female modesty or ingenuous youth, as the not less faithful but polluting pictures of the sixteenth century in the works of Boccaccio. It is not with any view to recommend the work,
that we avail ourselves of the information it contains. We can neither extend our approbation to all the Author's sentiments,* nor give an unreserved and implicit belief to all his statements and anecdotes. Of the substantial correctness of his representations, we have, however, no reason to be sceptical; and it is with these only, not with either his motives or his opinions, that we have to do. The following paragraphs describe the general character of the modern Roman circles.
• The Romans call their evening societies conversazione. No • term was ever more misapplied. The art of conversation, that delicate fruit of civilization, is totally unknown at Rome as well as at Naples. In the conversazione, that which is least 'spoken of, that which they occupy themselves the least about, • and which is ranked among the last details of life and social insignificance, is religion,
• When they ask a stranger whether he have seen the principal objects of curiosity in the city, such as the statues, monuments, &c., the pope is always comprised in the enumeration : Avete veduto il campo Vaccino, il Museo, il Papa ?_ (Have you seen the Campo Vaccino, the Museum, the Pope?) They rank the holy father among the antiquities and the masterpieces of the fine arts, because they all contribute in drawing foreigners to Rome, the only people who cause a little money to circulate, and give some activity to the spiritless industry of the inhabitants : for this reason they lamented the rape of the pope, as they did the rape of the Apollo di Belvedere and the Laocoon; and they saw him re-enter the gates of the city, with the same transports of joy with which they greeted the return of the Laocoon and Apollo.
• The whole of the pontifical court,—all the priests who aspire to the prelacy,—all the prelates who are candidates for the red hat, those who season their flattery with the double unction of the throne and the altar, did not fail to assure his holy majesty, that the joy of his subjects was occasioned by a pure love for his person. Perhaps Pius VII gave credit to all this, because he found it much easier to believe in the love of his subjects than to merit it.
• If they speak of the pope in this laconic style, in assimilating him to the objects which support commerce, what can they say of the cardinals ? Nothing during their lifetime : they occupy themselves with them only at their death, in running to see the pageantry of their funeral, which is celebrated with an extravagant pomp and all the pride of nothingness ; for at Rome, all is outward show; every
* It is but too evident, indeed, from a few ill-concealed sarcasms, to what school of Christians the Author belongs. At page 9, he speaks of the Jews refusing to become theophagi, i. e. refusing to believe in transubstantiation, as not less justly exposing them to maltreatment, than . Christians' are made liable to an eternity of sufferings because our first parents were disobedient.
thing is done to amuse the eyes and ears. They will tell a traveller, he cannot leave Rome without seeing the carnival and the functions of the Passion Week, as though they considered them both as masquerades. It appears, in fact, that the object of the ultramontane religion, by the diversion which it affords, is to turn the soul aside from pious meditation, and attach it to the earth. Among all that immense population which assembles in the interior and exterior of the church of Saint Peter, there is not one sentiment of gratitude directed towards the Creator of the universe : all eyes are fixed upon the pope, and their thoughts do not rise higher than his triple crown.
• If you be desirous of knowing to what degree of insignificance the intellect of man may be reduced, you should see Rome when religion displays all its solemnities.' pp. 12, 13.
Among the most remarkable of these is that which is celebrated on Maunday Thursday, which is thus described.
• In a short time, a martial music announced the approach of his holiness. He made his appearance mounted on a throne borne on men's shoulders, at the grand balcony of the front of the church. The music imniediately ceased. The soldiers and populace knelt in the most profound silence. The sovereign pontiff then rose, and blessed the city and the universe three times.
• This benediction, which passes the narrow limits of ordinary benedictions ; the pontiff bending under the weight of three crowns and three quarters of a century, and suspended as it were between heaven and earth; those fountains spouting out their water with a uniform noise, in the midst of a still more uniform silence; that Egyptian obelisk opposing its hieroglyphical characters to the mysteries of the Catholic religion; all served to excite my astonishment, and rouse my sensibility. But if the pope had been young instead of being old, the illusion would have been destroyed. A moment after the benediction, the pope retired; the crowd pressed towards the Clementina chapel, to be present at washing the apostles' feet. They who performed this part were dressed in a cassock of coarse white Aannel, with a cap of the same materials; they were placed on a bench elevated on a sort of stage. I knew the pastor of the church belonging to the Lucchese, who represented the apostle St. Peter. He is an excellent man, of great rectitude of conduct, and incapable of denying his friends. He made me a sign to approach him. The crowd, perceiving that St. Peter the apostle wished to speak to me, made way immediately.
"On a sudden, every eye was directed towards the pope, who entered by a secret door, and placed himself
his throne. Behind him was a very rich piece of tapestry representing two lions, supporting the pontifical arms with their paws. The painter has made a mistake, said I to myself; lambs would have been more suitable to a religion which is all meekness. Lions are emblematical of despotism and violence; the popish religion knows no other despotism than that of persuasion : the lion spreads niurder and carnage around
him to satisfy his appetite, but the Romish church, as every one knows, has always had a horror for shedding blood. I was still endeavouring to find out the allegorical sense of this tapestry, when the holy fatber, dressed in a simple white tunic, advanced toward the apostles, tbrew a little water on their right foot, triped it, and kissed it. What is meant by this pretence of adding to the act of humility performed by Jesus, who was content with washing the two feet of his disciples, without kissing them? Overdoing a part is not good acting.
• The holy ablution was scarcely finished, when I was carried away by the throng toward the Paulina chapel, where the last supper is celebrated. I was squeezed as though I had been in a vice. In looking around me, I observed that the torrent which bore me along was composed principally of English men and women. The latter were of a livid paleness in consequence of the extreme pressure : they could not have supported it, if the sentiment of curiosity had not given them strength. The immoderate fondness which these English heretics have for the ceremonies of a religion that damps them without an appeal, is very extraordinary. At length, amid the groans of the British fair, who were squeezed nearly flat by the crowd, I contrived to get close to the table, where the apostles, without allowing themselves to be disconcerted by the spectators, ate and drank vigorously. The holy father, aided by his chamberlain, presented wine and some of the dishes to his guests. He was in continual exercise, although he did not partake of the banquet. But Jesus Christ, the cvening before his death, ate and drank with his disciples. Thus, in the ceremony of washing the feet, and in this, the vicar at one time exceeds, and at another does not fully conform to the example given him by bis Divine Master.
• When the apostles were satiated, they retired, carrying with them the remains of the repast, the napkin which had wiped their feet, their dress of wbite flannel, and two medals to commemorate the event, one of silver, the other of gold. Formerly they were allowed to put the silver goblet into their pocket, but the pope thought it was too great an imitation of Lucullus, of profane memory: these goblets, therefore, are now lefi on the table, to the great displeasure of the apostles. The good pastor of the Lucchese church sighed heavily in speaking to me about the goblet.
• If, to use the expression of Henry IV. of France, my eyes had thirsted to see a king, they might have satiated themselves upon the late king of Naples during the last supper. I was opposite to him nearly an hour. He was nearly six feet in height: his large oblong head appeared to bave settled itself, from its great weight, in between his shoulders : a large quantity of gray hair, quite straight, hung dangling about his peaked forehead and over his face, which ...... But why should I finish this portrait? Is it possible for a king to be ugly?
• Devotion became his physiognomy very well. He was mumbling some prayers between his teeth. What they were I know not; but without question the happiness of his people was the object of them. It was said, that he remained at Rome to perform various devotional exercises, but more particularly to be absolved by the pope from his
Vol. XXVII. N.S.