« ZurückWeiter »
LewisXII. tion to Maximilian I. containing their grievan1503 to ces in ten heads: Upon which the Emperor rePope folved, with the King of France, to call a CounJulius II. cil, in confequence of a decree made in that of Conftance; and it was proclaimed the 16th of May 1511, at the request of these two Princes, and in the Name of nine Cardinals (j): It was appointed at Pifa for the 1ft day of September next, to find, as it was pretended, ways and means how to reform the Church in its Head, and in its Members; though, as Guicciardine obferves, those pretended Reformers were no wife better than Julius himself (i).
From Pifa, the Council was transferred to Milan, where the Fathers being affembled, they fummoned at feveral times the Pope to appear before them in Perfon, to give an account of his Conduct; and at laft they fufpended him from his Office, forbidding all People to obey him (k). From Milan it was removed to Lyons, and at laft, all this buftle came to nothing, as we shall fee presently.
Julius, to fruftrate the defigns of this Council, opposed them by another, which he appointed at Latran for the year 1512, wherein that of Pisa, Milan, or Lyons, was condemned, and all its Decrees declared void; nay, Lewis XII. was excommunicated by Julius, and his Kingdom fufpended from Divine Service, and delivered into the hands of the firft who fhould feize upon it (). This Pope died the 21ft of February 1513, during the Seffions of the Lateran Council.
He was, fays Guicciardine, deemed the most illuftrious of all the Popes his predeceffors; but by thofe only, who having loft the true ,, name of things, and confounding the right
(i) Mezeray Tom. iv. p. 457; (i) Guicciard. lib. x. 354 (k) Mezer. ibid. p. 461. (1) Guicciard. lib. xi. 395.
way of fpeaking, do think, that the Pope's LewisXII. "" Office confifts more in increafing the Power 1513. and Authority of his See, by the force of Arms, Julius II. Pope ,, and the fhedding of Christian Blood, than
in their endeavours to procure Men's Salvation by their good Example, and wholefome Correction of Vices, for which purpofe ,, they have been (as they glory themfelves) ,, inftituted by Chrift, to be his Vicars upon ,, Earth (m)."
An Epigram was made in his Life-time, which difplays his perfidioufnefs in a full light. We muft remember that his Father was a Genoefe.
Genua cui patrem, Genetricem Græcia, partum
Pontus & unda dedit, num bonus cffe poteft? Fallaces Ligures, mendax eft Gracia, Ponto
Nulla fides; In te hæc fingula Jule tenes.
That is, He who ftands indebted to Genoa for his Father, to Greece for his Mother, and to the Sea for his own Birth, can he prove good? The Genoefe are Cheats, the Grecians Lyars, and there is no trufting to the Sea: O Julius, thou haft all thofe bad qualities in thee. Julius dying, made room for Cardinal John de Medicis, to whofe Family the Learned ftood, and ftand much indebted: He took the name of Lec, and was the tenth of that Name.
If Varillas may be credited, he owed his Election to a very odd accident. He fays, that the Cardinal made his Journey from Florence to Rome in a Litter, by reafon of an Impofthume he had in thofe parts which modefty forbids mentioning; and travelled fo flowly, that the late Pope's Obfequies were already performed, and the Conclave begun when he arrived. He fpeaks afterwards of the difficulties which obftructed
(m) Idem Ibid. p. 401.
LewisXII. the fuccefs of his Conclavift Bibiana's Intrigues: Then he adds, The Conclave had not ended yet a while, because the young and old Cardinals perfifted in an equal Obftinacy, without an odd adventure, which made them jump in an Accord. Cardinal de Medicis being extraordinarily agitated with the number of vifits he made every night to the Cardinals of his Party, his Impofthume opened of itself, and the purulent matter iffuing from thence, exhaled such a stink, as infected all the Cells, feparated only by light Boards. The old Cardinals, whofe Conftitution was lefs capable of refifting the malign impreffions of fo corrupted an Air, confulted the Phyficians of the Conclave about the Course they were to take; the Phyficians vifited the Cardinal, and judging of his Conftitution, rather by the ill humours that iffued from his Body, than by the vigour of Nature in fending them forth, and being bribed by Bibiana's promises, anfwered, that the Cardinal had not a month longer to live. This Doom made him Pope, because the old Cardinals, thinking themfelves much cunninger than the young, were willing to indulge them a fatisfaction, which they prefumed would not be of long continuance: They went, and told them, that they yielded at laft to their Refolution, on condition the like compliance fhould be returned them fome other time. Thus, Cardinal de Medicis was chofen Pope, upon a falfe infinuation, having not yet compleated his 37th year; and as Joy is the moft Sovereign of Remedies, he quickly after recovered fo perfect a Health, that the old Cardinals had occafion to repent for having been too Credulous (n).
Pope Leo X.
(n) Varillas's fecret Hift. of the Houfe of Medicis, Book VI. Englished by Ferrand Spence,
If this relation is true, (and really we have LewisXII. nothing else to oppofe it, but the filence of other Hiftorians:) See! how the opening of an Imposthume_conferred the gift of Infallibility upon a poor Sinner, and made of a Debauchee, the Vicar of the Holy of Holies, and the fupreme Head of his unfpotted Spouse the Church.
However, nothing can be parallelled to the Luxury of this Pope; at the day of his Coronation he laid out a hundred thousand Ducats, which is above 40,000 l. Sterl. a great Sum indeed for thofe Days! He is noted for his Injuftice and Ingratitude towards his best Friends, who had fupported him and his House in their Diftreffes, for his Diffimulation and Hypocrify, for his Cruelty, and above all for his extravagant Expences, which put him every day upon fome new methods for raifing Money, and at laft gave birth to the bleffed Reformation, as we fhall fee (0).
The Council of Latran was continued, and the Holy Fathers applied themselves to find ways, not to reform the Church, but to plunge it more and more in the deepest Corruption. Lewis XII. confented at laft to the diffolution of his own Work, forfook the Council of Pisa, and received that of Latran. The Emperor, out of Jealoufy for the good fuccefs of Lewis, had done the fame, fince the Year 1512.
Francis I. fucceeding to his Coufin Lewis XII. Francis I. in January 1515, came to an agreement with Leo, at their interview at Bologn, about the latter end of the faid Year, to receive in his Kingdom certain new Conftitutions called the Concordate, drawn by Chancellor Du Prat (made afterwards Archbishop of Sens, and Cardinal) instead of the Pragmatick
(0) Guicciard. lib. xii. 456. lib. xiii. 474. Du Pleffis Mornay ubi fuprà, p. 583.
Francis I. Pragmatick Sanction, which had been established 1515 to in France by the Gallican Clergy affembled at Bourges in 1438, and confirmed by the Council of Bafil, but very ill look'd upon by the Court of Rome (p).
1517. Pope Leo X.
This Concordate, being fo much contrary to the Rights and Liberties of the Gallican Church, particularly in regard to the Ecclefiaftical Elections, (which by thefe new Conftitutions, came abfolutely into the King's and Pope's Hands;) was warmly oppofed by the Parliamentt, which could not be brought to a Compliance, but after great ftruggles, and many repeated Orders from the King (q).
Such were the pretended Vicars of Jefus Chrift, the Supreme Head of his Church, in the XVth and the beginning of the XVIth Century.
Vices of the Clergy.
One can eafily conceive that fuch Popes took Ignorance no care at all to fill up, what is called, the Sacred College with Perfons truly Pious and Devout. Varillas tells us, that in the Conclave of Leo, what hindered the young Cardinals from electing Cardinal Riario, was, that,, they were afraid this old Genoefe making profeffion of living austerely, ,, would oblige them to reform the Luxury wherein the two former Popes, namely, Alexander ,, VI. and Julius II. (for Pius III. had fat but 26 Days ;),, had fuffered them to bafk (r)."
Leo, knowing not how, nor where to find Money, created thirty Cardinals in one Morning, at fifty thousand Ducats each (s).
It is true there had been Cardinals in thofe Days of great repute, and eminent for their Wit, their Eloquence, their political Virtues, and their Capacity
(p) Mezeray Tom. III. p. 257. (2) Idem Tom. IV. 483. (r) Varillas ubi fuprà. (s) Guicciard. lib. xiii. He does not fay what Sum, nor that all paid this, but he fays worfe than Langius quoted by Mr. fuprà
Du Pleffis Mornay, ubi