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military talents, to defend the pontifical domains against the ambitious princes that surrounded them, and who continually sought to invade them. It was also the custom of the popes to give these relations the name of sons, and such, in all probability, is the only base upon which the spirit of enmity supported its original suspicions or calumnies. It need hardly be remarked that the terms son and daughter and their correlative one, father, are the ordinary terms of address between all ecclesiastics of the Catholic Church and their flocks, and that those terms are understood in their spiritual sense.
It will be seen that if we attempted to show positively that the children attributed to Alexander were not his, but his brother's, we should labor under the well-known difficulty of proving a negative, a thing we will not attempt to do. Let it suffice, for the present, to say that there are other insuperable difficulties to the admission that he had any children at all,
the statement and discussion of which would lead us beyond + the limits intended for this article.
But to pass from this digression, what was the every-day life of this pontiff, who has been represented as possessed of the demon of voluptuousness and infamy? How did this debauchee, who sought the most hideous refinements of vice, pass his days and nights? We have here before us what is acknowledged by even the historians themselves, who give such hideous representations of him.
Alexander was upwards of sixty years of age when he was unanimously elected pope. The habits of sobriety and of labor which he had imposed on himself, notwithstanding his advanced age, gives little favor to the reputation for debauchery which has been given him. The energetic measures which he took against corrupt functionaries testify to his love for justice. “Under Alexander VI.” says Audin, who in this judgment followed the contemporary historians, “ the poor as well as the rich could obtain justice in Rome; the people, soldiers, and citizens testified great attachment to him, even after his death, because he had qualities truly kingly. At night, he scarcely slept two hours, and from the table he passed almost
VOL. XXVI.—NO. LI.
like a shadow without having waited there. Never did he refuse listening to the complaints of the poor; he paid the debts of unfortunate debtors, and showed himself without pity for prevaricators.” *
This would be the place—did space permit—to say something in favor of Cæsar and Lucretia Borgia, if for no other reason than to show the injustice of Pope in the wellknown lines :
“ If plagues and earthquakes break not heaven's design,
Why then a Borgia or a Cataline ?" But we can the more readily pass them by, inasmuch as they—and particularly Lucretia—have already been ably and victoriously defended by such writers as Roscoe and M. Chantrel. But to return once more to Alexander. The high estimation in which he was held by his illustrious contemporary Christopher Columbus, who knew well his character, may be inferred from the fact that Columbus dedicated to him the journal he kept, in the form of Cæsar's Commentaries, of that wonderful voyage of his, which was the most important to civilization and science that ever was inade by man. And it is much to be regretted that that journal has not descended to us.
From the 4th of May, 1493, Alexander had to adjudicate in the contending claims of Spain and Portugal in regard to their discoveries. It was the universal belief of that period, that the earth pertains to God, and the common custom, the settled jurisprudence of the age, was to refer to the pope to make the division or apportionment of newly-discovered lands, in order to prevent wars and disputes. Alexander having attentively and tlivroughly studied the question, and taken the advice of his cardinals, laid down the famous Line of Demarkation by the Bull Inter cætera, of which the following is the substance:
“We, by the plentitude of apostolic power, by the authority which God has given us in the person of St. Peter, and in our quality as Vicar of Jesus Christ, whose functions on earth we perform, give and
assign by these presents for ever to you and to your heirs and successors, sovereigns of Castile and Leon, all the islands and mainlands discovered or to be discovered by you towards the west and south, in drawing a line from one pole to the other, at a hundred leagues west of the Azores in the direction just mentioned. It is, however, to be understood, that this shall in nothing prejudice the possessions of Christian princes in any discoveries they may have made prior to last Christmas. The condition of this donation or adjudication is, that in virtue of holy obedience to our orders, and in accordance with the promises you have made us, the fulfilment of which we cannot doubt, you shall take good care to send to these countries and islands, learned, virtuous and experienced men to instruct the inhabitants in the Catholic faith and in good morals.”
Certainly there is nothing here contrary to the interests of civilization. Instead of inveighing against this bull, “ it would be better," as Feller and Count de Maistre observe, “to regret that the time has passed when a single word from the Roman pontiff was sufficient to maintain peace among kings and nations, and when his impartial voice and universally revered influence easily removed the danger of obstinate discussions and sanguinary conflicts."*
It is very strange that no historian or other writer has hitherto noted the remarkable circumstance, that in the * magnificent donation which Alexander made to the Spanish sovereigns, he no doubt had largely, if not chiefly, in view the vice-royalty, which he knew had been solemnly guaranteed to Columbus and his heirs forever, and which it is now known would have embraced the whole of America. This is confirmed still more by the fact that when afterwards, previous to the treaty of Tordesillas, he was urgently solicited by the sovereigns of Portugal and Castile to revise—that is to say, change —the line of demarkation, far from complying with their entreaties, he, on the contrary, responded to them by a further concession to Castile, and consequently to Columbus, which has been called the Bull of Extension, Bula de Extensione. “When, in his Bull of Partition,” says M. De Lorgues, "the Holy Father declared that he had made the donation by the spontaneous impulse of his own liberality, without regard to any entreaty, and acting in virtue of his apostolic plenitude, he uttered a truth no less formal than it was imposing. So, respecting himself, the incomparable donation, given without any exterior impulsion, and in which he himself seemed to recognize the character of a divine favor or benediction, the sovereign pontiff remained immovable in his determination. He rejected the solicitations and the modifications proposed by Spain, as he had rejected the persisting reclamations and obsequious supplications of Portugal. His decision remained as inflexible as a divine decree. * * * His word already existed in time, and was to be as irrevocable as what is passed, or is absolutely unalterable.”
* Fredet's Modern History.
To this we can only add that the greatest saint, as well as the greatest genius and the greatest pope, united in the same person, could not, in our opinion, have acted more becomingly than did Alexander. Indeed, in the whole range of history, we know not an instance of conduct more noble, more imposing, or more admirable, than he displayed on these two memorable and trying occasions.
ART. VII.-1. De la Littérature, Considéré dans ses Rap
ports avec les Institutions Sociales, par MADAME DE STAEL
HOLSTEIN. Londres. 1813. 2. Criticisms on Art, by Wm. Hazlitt. London. 1844. 3. Voyage en Italie, par H. TAINE. Paris. 1866. 4. Modern Painters, by John RUSKIN. London. 1860.
“LET the dead past bury its dead." In the living present we have a fulness of merit such as the world has never before known, conjoining, as it does, all that was really excellent in the past with a new excellence in the present; and the world, with its full freight of merit in thought and deed, is drifting rapidly toward that future which shall rise rich in the worth of all the ages, in supreme fulfilment of our instinctive striv
ings after excellence. The modern world has not received full credit for its progress. That it has made marvellous advancement in science and mechanics every one is willing to admit; but the artistic phase of human progress was so richly developed by our remote cousins of Greece, that, as many imagine, there is nothing left for modern artists but to profit by those antique models. The thinking world looks upon the labors of late delvers in the field of art with a halfcontemptuous tolerance—willing to admit that there has been no serious retrogradation, but seeing no satisfactory indications of advancement. Yet it may be possible that in this opinion of the superior merit of Hellenic art we have but a one-sided and incomplete view of the case, and that further investigation may unfold decided evidences of human progress, even in this direction.
Development, at least in its mental phase, is never a linear growth. Man's mind is not based on the type of the tree, which moves in a straight line upwards, with successive branching of boughs and twigs; but rather on that of the spiral, in which the curving line seems to stretch off horizontally, only to reappear, when the circle is completed, at a superior elevation. Thus, at any fixed period of human existence, the race appears to be moving in horizontal lines, and centuries must be embraced in the grasp that takes in the upward movement of the spiral.
The simile of the vortex would, perhaps, apply more correctly. Here we have a common centre round which every particle of the mass moves in close curves, now appearing to move inward to, now outward from this centre. So each phase of human thought, at any one period, curves towards, or from a common centre, which centre symbolizes the spirit of the age. The onward movement is not seen in any one branch of human thought, but in this centre of revolution to which all thought is held by attraction of affinity.
From every completed stage of progress human thought moves onward. For a while the mental development of the race appears lost in a chaos of broken curves ; thought is all at sea, and the mind, losing the firm ground it has left behind,