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And many a happy song is heard,
Through these harsh wires I glimpse in vain,
that once awoke my strain;
Oh, barbarous you, who still can bear
Oh, let me fly-fly up once more !
POPE PIUS VII AND NAPOLEON.
Ancona Civita Vecchia determination Austerlitz dominions contributions Charlemagne announcement justified Quirinal recognized definitive Gaeta
potentate catacombs Urbino territory responsibility In October, 1805, during the course of the Austrian war, the French troops seized upon Ancona, the most important fortress in the ecclesiastical dominions; and the remonstrances of the Pope, (Pius the VII), against this violent invasion, were not only entirely disregarded, but Napoleon, in reply, openly asserted the principle, that he was emperor of Rome, and the Pope was only his viceroy. “All Italy,” said Napoleon, “must be subjected to my law: your situation requires, that you should pay me the same respect in temporals, which I do you in spiritual matters. Your holiness must cease to have any delicacy towards my enemies, and those of the Church. You are sovereign of Rome, but I am its emperor: all my enemies must be its enemies; no Sardinian, English, Russian, or Swedish envoy can be permitted to reside at your capital.” The haughty and disdainful terms of this letter, and the open announcement of an undisguised sovereignty over the Roman states, first opened the eyes of the benevolent Pontiff to the real intention of the
French emperor. He returned an intrepid answer to the conqueror of Austerlitz, that he recognized no earthly potentate as his superior; and from that hour may be dated the hostility which grew up betwixt them. “Your majesty," said Pius the VII,
, “lays it down as a fundamental principle, that you are sovereign of Rome : the Supreme Pontiff recognizes no such authority, nor any power superior in temporal matters to his own. There is no emperor of Rome: it was not thus that Charlemagne treated our predecessors. The demand to dismiss the envoys of Russia, England, and Sweden, is positively refused; the Father of the Faithful is bound to remain at peace with all, without distinction of Catholics or heretics.” Napoleon, so far from relaxing in any of his demands, was only the more aroused, by this unexpected opposition, to increased exactions from the Holy See; his troops spread over the whole Papal territory; Rome itself was surrounded by his battalions; and within half-a-mile of the Quirinal palace, preparations were openly made for the siege of Gaeta.
Pius the VII, however, was unshaken in his determination. “If they choose,” said he to M. Alquier, the French envoy, “to seize upon Rome, we shall make no resistance; but we shall refuse them entry to the castle of St. Angelo. All the important points of our territory have been successively occupied by their troops, and the collectors of our taxes can no longer levy any imposts in the greater part of our territory, to provide for the contributions which have been imposed. We will make no resistance, but your soldiers will require to break open the gates with cannon-shot. Europe shall see how we are treated ; and we shall, at least, prove that we have acted in conformity to our honour and our conscience. If they take away our life, the tomb will do us honour, and we shall be justified in the eyes of God and man.”
The French minister soon after intimated, that if the Pope continued on any terms with the enemies of France, the emperor would be under the necessity of detaching the duchy of Urbino, the march of Ancona, and the sea-coast of Civita Vecchia, from the ecclesiastical territories; but that he would greatly prefer remaining on amicable terms with his holiness; and with that view, he proposed, as the basis of a definitive arrangement between the two governments, Ist, “ That the ports of his holiness should be closed to the British flag, on all occasions when England was at war with France: 2nd, That the Papal fortresses should be occupied by the French troops, on all occasions when a foreign land-force is debarked on or menaces the coasts of Italy.” To these proposals, which amounted to a complete surrender of even the shadow of independence, the Pope returned a respectful but firm refusal, which concluded with these words: “ His majesty may, whenever he pleases, execute his menaces, and take from us whatever we possess. We are resigned to everything, and shall never be so rash as to attempt resistance. Should he desire it, we shall
instantly retire to a convent, or the catacombs of Rome, like the first successors of St. Peter; but think not, as long as we are entrusted with the responsibility of power, to make us by menaces violate its duties."
Privileged perseverance appropriated
righteousness established consolation PRAYER is not a special gift set apart for privileged souls alone; it is a common duty imposed upon every believer; it is not solely a virtue of perfection, and reserved for certain purer and more holy souls; it is like charity, an indispensable virtue, requisite to the perfect as to the imperfect; within the capacity of the illiterate equally as of the learned ; commanded to the simple as to the most enlightened ; it is the virtue of all men; it is the science of every believer; it is the perfection of every creature. Whoever has a heart, and is capable of loving the Author of his being; whoever has a reason capable of knowing the nothingness of the creature, and the greatness of