Obrázky stránek

more especially of works bearing upon sacred and ecclesiastical literature." Paolo's engagement was for twelve years; his appointments were fixed at 300 ducats for traveling expenses, 500 ducats of yearly salary, a press maintained at the Pontifical expense, and a pension secured upon his son's life. The scheme was a noble one. Paolo was to print all the Greek and Latin Fathers, and to furnish the Catholic world with an arsenal of orthodox learning. Yet, during his residence in Rome, no Greek book issued from his press. Of the Latin Fathers he gave the Epistles of Jerome, Salvian, and Cyprian to the world. For the rest, he published the Decrees of the Tridentine Council ten times, the Tridentine Catechism eight times, the Breviarium Romanum four times, and spent the greater part of his leisure in editing minor translations, commentaries, and polemical or educational treatises. The result was miserable, and the man was ruined.

It remains to notice the action of the Index with regard to secular books in the modern languages. I will first repeat a significant passage in its statutes touching upon political philosophy and the so-called Ratio Status: • Item, let all propositions, drawn from the digests, manners, and examples of the Gentiles, which foster a tyrannical polity and encourage what they falsely call the reason of state, in

See Renouard, op. cit. pp. 442-459, for Paulus Manutius's life at Rome.

Op. cit. pp. 184-216



opposition to the law of Christ and of the Gospel, be expunged.' This, says Sarpi in his Discourse on Printing, is aimed in general against any doctrine which impugns ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the civil sphere of princes and magistrates, and the economy of the family. Theories drawn from whatever source to combat Papal and ecclesiastical encroachments, and to defend the rights of the sovereign in his monarchy or of the father in his household, are denominated and denounced as Ratio Status. The impugner of Papal absolutism in civil, as well as ecclesiastical affairs, is accounted ipso facto a heretic. It would appear at first sight as though the clause in question had been specially framed to condemn Machiavelli and his school. The works of Machiavelli were placed upon the Index in 1559, and a certain Cesare of Pisa who had them in his library was put to the torture on this account in 1610. It was afterwards proposed to correct and edit them without his name; but his heirs very properly refused to sanction this proceeding, knowing that he would be made to utter the very reverse of what he meant in all that touched upon the Roman Church. This paragraph in the statutes of the Index had, however, a further and

· Sarpi's Works, vol. iv. p. 4.

• Sarpi. Discorso, vol. iv. p. 25. on Bellarmino's doctrine. Sarpi's Letters, vol. i. pp. 138. 243. Sarpi says that he and Gillot had both had their portraits painted in a picture of Hell and shown to the common folk as foredoomed to eternal fire, because they opposed doctrines of Papal omnipotence. lbid. d. 151.

far more ambitious purpose than the suppression of Machiavelli, Guicciardini, and Sarpi. By assuming to condemn all political writings of which she disapproved, and by forbidding the secular authorities to proscribe any works which had received her sanction, the Church obtained a monopoly of popular instruction in theories of government. She interdicted every treatise that exposed her own ambitious interference in civil affairs or which maintained the rights of temporal rulers. She protected and propagated the works of her servile ministers, who proclaimed that the ecclesiastical was superior in all points to the civil power; that nations owed their first allegiance to the Pope, who was divinely appointed to rule over them, and their second only to the Prince, who was a delegate from their own body; and that tyrannicide itself was justifiable when employed against a contumacious or heretical sovereign. Such were the theories of the Jesuits-of Allen and Parsons in England, Bellarmino in Italy, Suarez and Mariana in Spain, Boucher in France. In his

On this point, again, Sarpi's Letters furnish valuable details. He frequently remarks that a general order had been issued by the Congregation of the Index to suppress all books against the writings of Baronius, who was treated as a saint, vol. i. pp. 3. 147. ii. p. 35. He relates how the Jesuits had procured the destruction of a book written to uphold aristocracy in states, without touching upon ecclesiastical questions, as being unfavorable to their theories of absolutism (vol. i. p. 122). He tells the story of a confessor who re. fused the sacraments to a nobleman, because he owned a treatise written by Quirino in defense of the Venetian prerogatives (vol. i. p. 113). He refers to the suppression of James I.'s Apologia and De Thou's Histories (vol. i. pp. 286, 287. 383).

[blocks in formation]

critique of this monstrous unfairness Sarpi says: • There are not wanting men in Italy, pious and of sound learning, who hold the truth upon such topics; but these can neither write nor send their writings to the press.'! The best years and the best energies of Sarpi’s life were spent, as is well known, in combating the arrogance of Rome, and in founding the relations of State to Church upon a basis of sound common sense and equity. More than once he narrowly escaped martyrdom as the reward of his temerity; and when the poignard of an assassin struck him, his legend relates that he uttered the celebrated epigram : Agnosco stilum Curiae Romanae.

Sarpi protested, not without good reason, that Rome was doing her best to extinguish sound learning in Italy. But how did she deal with that rank growth of licentious literature which had sprung up during the Renaissance period ? This is the question which should next engage us.

We have seen that the Council of Trent provided amply for the extirpation of lewd and obscene publications. Accordingly, as though to satisfy the sense of decency, some of the most flagrantly immoral books, including the Decameron, the Priapeia, the collected works of Aretino, and certain mediæval romances, were placed upon the Index. Berni was proscribed in 1559; but the interdict lasted only a short time, probably

• In the Treatise on the Inquisition, Opere, vol. iv. p. 53. Sarpi, in a passage of his Letters (vol. ii. p. 163). points out why the secular authorities were ill fitted to retaliate in kind, upon these Papal proscriptions.

because it was discovered that his poems, though licentious, were free from the heresies which Pier Paolo Vergerio had sought to fix upon him. Meanwhile no notice was taken of the Orlando Furioso, and a multitude of novelists, of Beccadelli's and Pontano's verses, of Molza and Firenzuola, of the whole mass of mundane writers in short, who had done so much to reveal the corruption of Italian manners. It seemed as though the Church cared less to ban obscenity than to burke those authors who had spoken freely of her vices. When we come to examine the expurgated editions of notorious authors, we shall see that this was literally the case. A castrated version of Bandello, revised by Ascanio Centorio degli Ortensi, was published in 1560. It omitted the dedications and preambles, suppressed some disquisitions which palliated vicious conduct, expunged the novels that brought monks or priests into ridicule, but left the impurities of the rest untouched. A reformed version of Folengo's Baldus appeared in 1561. The satires on religious orders had been erased. Zambellus was cuckolded by a layman instead of a priest. Otherwise the filth of the original received no cleansing treatment. When Cosimo de' Medici requested that a revised edition of the Decameron might be licensed, Pius V. entrusted the affair to Thomas Manrique, Master of the Sacred Palace. It was published by the Giunti in 1573 under the auspices of Gregory XIII., with the ap

See Dejob, De I Influence, etc. Chapter III.

« PředchozíPokračovat »