326 AGE OF FAITH IN THE WEST.
CHAPTER XV. THE AGE OF FAITH IN THE WEST.
THE THREE ATTACKS: NORTHERN OR MORAL; WESTERN OR INTELLECTUAL; EASTERN OR MILITARY. THE NORTHERN OR MORAL ATTACK ON THE ITALIAN SYSTEM, AND ITS TEMPORARY REPULSE.
Geographical Boundaries of Italian Christianity. Attacks upon it. The Northern or moral Attack.-The Emperor of Germany insists on a reformation in the Papacy.-Gerbert, the representative of these Ideas, is made Pope.-They are both poisoned by the Italians. Commencement of the intellectual Rejection of the Italian System.-Originates in the Arabian doctrine of the supremacy of Reason over Authority.-The question of Transubstantiation.-Rise and development of Scholasticism.-Mutiny among the Monks. Gregory VII. spontaneously accepts and enforces a Reform in the Church. - Overcomes the Emperor of Germany.-Is on the'point of establishing a European Theocracy.-The Popes seize the military and monetary Resources of Europe through the Crusades.
THE realm of an idea may often be defined by geometrical lines. If from Rome, as a centre, two lines be drawn, one of which passes eastward, and touches the Asiatic shore of the Bosphorus, the other westward, and crosses the Pyrenees, nearly all those Mediterranean countries lying to the south of these lines were living, at the time of which we speak, under the dogma, " There is but one God, and Mohammed is his prophet;" but the countries to the north had added to the orthodox conception of the Holy Trinity the adoration of the Virgin, the worship of images, the invocation of saints, and a devout attachment to relics and shrines. I have now to relate how these lines were pushed forward on Europe, that to the east by military, that to the west by intellectual force. On Rome, as on a pivot, they worked; now opening, now closing, now threatening to curve round at their extremes and compress paganizing Christendom in their clasp; then, through the convulsive throes of the nations they had inclosed, receding from one another and quivering throughout their whole length, but receding only for an instant, to shut more closely again. It was as if from the hot sands of Africa invisible arms were put forth, enfolding Europe in their grasp, and struggling to join their hands to give to paganizing Christendom a fearful and mortal compression. There were struggles and resistances, but the portentous hands clasped at last. Historically, we call the pressure that was then made the Reformation. Not without difficulty can we describe the convulsive struggles of na-
THE PRESSURES UPON ROME. 327
tions so as to convey a clear idea of the forces acting upon them. I have now to devote many perhaps not uninteresting, certainly not uninstructive pages to these events. In this chapter I begin that task by relating the consequences of the state of things heretofore described-the earnestness of converted Germany and the immoralities of the popes. The Germans insisted on a reformation among ecclesiastics, and that they should lead lives in accordance with religion. This moral attack was accompanied also by an intellectual one, arising from another source, and amounting to a mutiny in the Church itself. In the course of centuries, and particularly during the more recent evil times, a gradual divergence of theology from morals had taken place, to the dissatisfaction of that remnant of thinking men who here and there, in the solitude of monasteries, compared the dogmas of theology with the dictates of reason. Of those, and the number was yearly increasing, who had been among the Arabs in Spain, not a few had become infected with a love of philosophy. Whoever compares the tenth and twelfth centuries together can not fail to remark the great intellectual advance which Europe was making. The ideas occupying the minds of Christian men, their very turn of thought, had altogether changed. The earnestness of the Germans, commingling with the knowledge of the Mohammedans, could no longer be diverted from the misty clouds of theological discussion out of which Philosophy emerged, not in the Grecian classical vesture in which she had disappeared at Alexandria, but in the grotesque garb of the cowled and mortified monk. She timidly came back to the world as Scholasticism, persuading men to consider, by the light of their own reason, that dogma which seemed to put common sense at defiance -transubstantiation. Scarcely were her whispers heard in the ecclesiastical ranks when a mutiny against authority arose, and since it was necessary to combat that mutiny with its own weapons, the Church was compelled to give her countenance to Scholastic Theology. Lending himself to the demand for morality, and not altogether refusing to join in the intellectual progress, a great man, Hildebrand, brought on an ecclesiastical reform. He raised the papacy to its maximum of power, and prepared the way for his successors to seize the material resources of Europe through the Crusades. Such is an outline of the events with which we have now to deal. A detailed analysis of those events shows that there were three directions of pressure upon Rome. The pressure from the West and that from the East were Mohammedan. Their resultant was a pressure from the North: it was essentially Christian. While they were foreign, this was domestic. It is almost immaterial in what order we consider them; the manner in which I am handling the subject leads
328 THE LIFE OF GERBERT.
me, however, to treat of the Northern pressure first, then of that of the West, and on subsequent pages of that of the East. It had become absolutely necessary that something should be done for the reformation of the papacy. Its crimes, such as we have related in Chapter XII., outraged religious men. To the master-spirit of the movement for accomplishing this end we must closely look. He is the representative of influences that were presently to exert a most important agency. In the train of the Emperor Otho III., when he resolved to put a stop to all this wickedness, was Gerbert, a French ecclesiastic, born in Auvergne. In his boyhood, while a scholar in the Abbey of Avrillac, he attracted the attention of his superiors; among others, of the Count of Barcelona, who took him into Spain. There he became a proficient in the mathematics, astronomy, and physics of the Mohammedan schools. He spoke Arabic with the fluency of a Saracen. His residence at Cordova, where the khalif patronized all the learning and science of the age, and his subsequent residence in Rome, where he found an inconceivable ignorance and immorality, were not lost upon his future life. He established a school at Rheims, where he taught logic, music, astronomy, explained Virgil, Statius, Terence, and introduced what were at that time regarded as wonders, the globe and the abacus. He labored to persuade his countrymen that learning is far to be preferred to the sports of the field. He observed the stars through tubes, invented a clock, and an organ played by steam. He composed a work on Rhetoric. Appointed Abbot of Bobbio, he fell into a misunderstanding with his monks, and had to retire first to Rome, and then to resume his school at Rheims. In the political events connected with the rise of Hugh Capet, he was again brought into prominence. The speech of the Bishop of Orleans at the Council of Rheims, which was his composition, shows us how his Mohammedan education had led him to look upon the state of things in Christendom: " There is not one at Rome, it is notorious, who knows enough of letters to qualify him for a door-keeper; with what face shall he presume to teach who has never learned?" He does not hesitate to allude to papal briberies and papal crimes: "If King Hugh's embassadors could have bribed the pope and Crescentius, his affairs had taken a different turn." He recounts the disgraces and crimes of the pontiffs: how John XII had cut off the nose and tongue of John the Cardinal; how Boniface had strangled John XIII; how John XIV had been starved to death in the dungeons of the Castle of St. Angelo. He demands, " To such monsters, full of all infamy, void of all knowledge, human and divine, are all the priests of God to submit -men distinguished throughout the world for their learning and holy lives? The pontiff who so sins against his brother-who, when admonished, refuses to hear the voice of counsel, is as a publican and a sinner."
THE LIFE OF GERBERT. 329
With a prophetic inspiration of the accusations of the Reformation, he asks, " Is he not Anti-Christ?" He speaks of him as " the Man of Sin," "the Mystery of Iniquity." Of Rome he says, with an emphasis doubtless enforced by his Mohammedan experiences, "She has already lost the allegiance of the East; Alexandria, Antioch, Africa, and Asia are separate from her; Constantinople has broken loose from her; the interior of Spain knows nothing of the pope." He says, "How do your enemies say that, in deposing Arnulphus, we should have waited for the judgment of the Roman bishop? Can they say that his judgment is before that of God which our synod pronounced? The Prince of the Roman bishops and of the apostles themselves proclaimed that God must be obeyed rather than men; and Paul, the teacher of the Gentiles, announced anathema to him, though he were an angel, who should preach a doctrine different to that which had been delivered. Because the pontiff Marcellinus offered incense to Jupiter, must, therefore, all bishops sacrifice?" In all this there is obviously an insurgent spirit against the papacy, or, rather, against its iniquities. In the progress of the political movements Gerbert was appointed to the archbishopric of Rheims. On this occasion, it is not without interest that we observe his worldly wisdom. It was desirable to conciliate the clergy-perhaps it might be done by the encouragement of marriage. He had lived in the polygamic court of the khalif, whose family had occasionally boasted of more than forty sons and forty daughters. Well then may he say, "I prohibit not marriage. I condemn not second marriages. I do not blame the eating of flesh." His election not only proved unfortunate, but, in the tortuous policy of the times, he was removed from the exercise of his episcopal functions and put under interdict. The speech of the Roman legate, Leo, who presided at his condemnation, gives us an insight into the nature of his offense, of the intention of Rome to persevere in her ignorance and superstition, and is an amusing example of ecclesiastical argument: " Because the vicars of Peter and their disciples will not have for their teachers a Plato, a Virgil, a Terence, and the rest of the herd of philosophers, who soar aloft like the birds of the air, and dive into the depths like the fishes of the sea, ye say that they are not worthy to'be door-keepers, because they know not how to make verses. Peter is, indeed, a door-keeper-but of heaven!" He does not deny the systematic bribery of the pontifical government, but justifies it. "Did not the Savior receive gifts of the wise men?" Nor does he deny the crimes of the pontiffs, though he protests against those who would expose them, reminding them that "Ham was cursed for uncovering his father's nakedness." In all this we see the beginnings of that struggle between Mohammedan learning and morals and Italian ignorance and crime, at last to produce such important results for Europe.
330 POISONING OF GERBERT AND OTHO.
Once more Gerbert retired to the court of the emperor. It was at the time that Otho III. was contemplating a revolution in the empire and a reformation of the Church. He saw how useful Gerbert might be to his policy, and had him appointed Archbishop of Ravenna, and, on the death of GregoryV., issued his decree for the election of Gerbert as pope. The low-born French ecclesiastic, thus attaining to the utmost height of human ambition, took the name of Sylvester II., a name full of meaning. But Rome was not willing thus to surrender her sordid interests; she revolted. Tusculum, the disgrace of the papacy, rebelled. It required the arms of the emperor to sustain his pontiff. For a moment it seemed as if the Reformation might have been anticipated by many centuries that Christian Europe might have been spared the abominable papal disgraces awaiting it. There was a learned and upright pope, an able and youthful emperor; but Italian revenge, in the person of Stephania, the wife of the murdered Crescentius, blasted all these expectations. From the hand of that outraged but noble criminal, who, with more than Roman firmness of purpose, could deliberately barter her virtue for vengeance, the unsuspecting emperor took the poisoned cup, and left Rome only to die. He was but twenty-two years of age. Sylvester, also, was irretrievably ruined by the drugs that had been stealthily mixed with his food. He soon followed his patron to the grave. His steam organs, physical experiments, mechanical inventions, foreign birth, and want of orthodoxy, confirmed the awful imputation that he was a necromancer. The mouth of every one was full of stories of mystery and magic in which Gerbert had borne a part. Afar off in Europe, by their evening firesides, the goblin-scared peasants whispered to one another that in the most secret apartment of the palace at Rome there was concealed an impish dwarf, who wore a turban, and had a ring that could make him invisible, or give him two different bodies at the same time; that, in the midnight hours, strange sounds had been heard, when no one was within but the pope; that, while he was among the infidels in Spain, the future pontiff had bartered his soul to Satan, on condition that he would make him Christ's vicar upon earth, and now it was plain that both parties had been true to their compact. In their privacy, hollow-eyed monks muttered to one another under their cowls, "Homagium diabolo fecit et male finivit." To a degree of wickedness almost irremediable had things thus come. The sins of the pontiffs were repeated, without any abatement, in all the clerical ranks. Simony and concubinage prevailed to an extent that threatened the authority of the Church over the coarsest minds. Ecclesiastical promotion could in all directions be obtained by purchase; in all directions there were priests boasting of illegitimate families. But yet, in the Church itself, there were men of irreproachable life, who, like
MUTINY IN THE CHURCH. 331
Peter Damiani, lifted up their voices against the prevailing scandal. He it was who proved that nearly every priest in Milan had purchased his preferment and lived with a concubine. The immoralities thus forced upon the attention of pious men soon began to be followed by the consequences that might have been expected. It is but a step from the condemnation of morals to the criticism of faith. The developing intellect of Europe could no longer bear the acts or the thoughts that it had heretofore submitted to. The dogma of transubstantiation led to revolt. The early fathers delighted to point out the agreement of doctrines flowing from the principles of Christianity with those of Greek philosophy. For long it was asserted that a correspondence between faith and reason exists; but by degrees, as one dogma after another of a mysterious and unintelligible kind was introduced, and matters of belief could no longer be co-ordinated with the conclusions of the understanding, it became necessary to force the latter into a subordinate position. The great political interests involved in these questions suggested the expediency and even necessity of compelling such a subordination by the application of civil power. In this manner, as we have described, in the reign of Constantine the Great, philosophical discussions of religious things came to be discountenanced, and implicit faith required in the decisions of existing authority. Philosophy was subjugated and enslaved by theology. We shall now see what were the circumstances of her revolt. In the solitude of monasteries there was every inducement for those who had become weary of self-examination to enter on the contemplation of the external world. Herein they found a field offering to them endless occupation, and capable of worthily exercising their acuteness. But it was not possible for them to take the first step without offending against the decisions established by authority. The alternative was stealthy proceeding or open mutiny; but before mutiny there occurs a period of private suggestion and another of more extensive discussion. It was thus that the German monk Gotschalk, in the ninth century, occupied himself in the profound problem of predestination, enduring the scourge and death in prison for the sake of his opinion. The presence of the Saracens in Spain offered an incessant provocation to the restless intellect of the West, now rapidly expanding, to indulge itself in such forbidden exercises. Arabian philosophy, unseen and silently, was diffusing itself throughout France and Europe, and churchmen could sometimes contemplate a refuge from their enemies among the infidel. In his extremity, Abelard himself expected a retreat among the Saracens-a protection from ecclesiastical persecution. In the conflict with Gotschalk on the matter of predestination was al
332 ATTACK ON TRANSUBSTANTIATION.
ready foreshadowed the attempt to set up reason against authority. John Erigena, who was employed by Hincmar, the Archbishop of Rheims, on that occasion, had already made a pilgrimage to the birthplaces of Plato and Aristotle, A.D. 825, and indulged the hope of uniting philosophy and religion in the manner proposed by the ecclesiastics who were studying in Spain. From Eastern sources John Erigena had learned the doctrines of the eternity of matter, and even of the creation, with which, indeed, he confounded the Deity himself. He was, therefore, a Pantheist; accepting the Oriental ideas of emanation and absorption not only as respects the soul of man, but likewise all material things. In his work "On the Nature of Things," his doctrine is, "That, as all things were originally contained in God, and proceeded from him into the different classes by which they are now distinguished, so shall they finally return to him and be resolved into the source from which they came; in other words, that as, before the world was created, there was no being but God, and the causes of all things were in him, so, after the end of the world, there will be no being but God, and the causes of all things in him." This final resolution he denominated deification, or theosis. He even questioned the eternity of hell, saying, with the emphasis of a Saracen, "There is nothing eternal but God." It was impossible, under such circumstances, that he should not fall under the rebuke of the Church. Transubstantiation, as being, of the orthodox doctrines, the least reconcilable to reason, was the first to be attacked by the new philosophers. What was, perhaps, in the beginning, no more than a jocose Mohammedan sarcasm, became a solemn subject of ecclesiastical discussion. Erigena strenuously upheld the doctrine of the Stercorists, who derived their name from the fact that they asserted a part of the consecrated elements to be voided from the body in the manner customary with other relics of food; a doctrine which was denounced by the orthodox, who declared that the priest could "make God," and that the eucharistic elements were not liable to digestion. And now, A.D. 1050, Berengar of Tours prominently brought forward the controversy respecting the real presence. The question had been formularized by Radbert under the term transubstantiation, and the opinions entertained respecting the sacred elements greatly differed; mere fetish notions being entertained by some, by others the most transcendental ideas. In opposition to Radbert and the orthodox party, who asserted that those elements ceased to be what to the senses they appeared, and actually became transformed into the body and blood of the Savior, Berengar held that, though there is a real presence in them, that presence is of a spiritual nature. These heresies were condemned b; repeated councils, Berengar himself being offered the
THE DOCTRINES OF ABELARD. 333
choice of death or recantation. He wisely preferred the latter, but more wisely resumed his offensive doctrines as soon as he had escaped from the hands of his persecutors. As might be supposed from the philosophical indefensibility of the orthodox doctrine, Berengar's opinions, which, indeed, issued from those of Erigena, made themselves felt in the highest ecclesiastical regions, and, from the manner in which Gregory VII. dealt with the heresiarch, there is reason to believe that he himself had privately adopted the doctrines thus condemned. But it is in Peter Abelard that we find the representative of the insurgent spirit of those times. The love of Heloisa seems in our eyes to be justified by his extraordinary intellectual power. In his oratory, "The Paraclete," the doctrines of faith and the mysteries of religion were without any restraint discussed. No subject was too profound or too sacred for his contemplation. By the powerful and orthodox influence of St. Bernard, "a morigerous and mortified monk," the opinions of Abelard were brought under the rebuke of the authorities. In vain he appealed from the Council of Sens to Rome; the power of St. Bernard at Rome was paramount. " He makes void the whole Christian faith by attempting to comprehend the nature of God through human reason. He ascends up into heaven; he goes down into hell. Nothing can elude him, either in the height above or in the nethermost depths. His branches spread over the whole earth. He boasts that he has disciples in Rome itself, even in the College of Cardinals. He draws the whole earth after him. It is time, therefore, to silence him by apostolic authority." Such was the report of the Council of Sens to Rome, A.D. 1140. Perhaps it was not so much the public accusation that Abelard denied the doctrine of the Trinity, as his assertion of the supremacy of reason -which clearly betrayed his intention of breaking the thraldom of authority-that insured his condemnation. It was impossible to restrict the rising discussions within their proper sphere, or to keep them from the perilous ground of ecclesiastical history. Abelard, in his work entitled " Sic et Non," sets forth the contradictory opinions of the fathers, and exhibits their discord and strifes on great doctrinal points, thereby insinuating how little of unity there was in the Church. It was a work suggesting a great deal more than it actually stated, and was inevitably calculated to draw down upon its author the indignation of those whose interests it touched. Out of the discussions attending these events sprang the celebrated doctrines of Nominalism and Realism, though the terms themselves seem not to have been introduced till the end of the twelfth century. The Realists thought that the general types of things had a real existence; the Nominalists, that they were merely a mental abstraction expressed by a word. It was therefore the old Greek
334 SCHOLASTIC PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY.
dispute revived. Of the Nominalists, Roscelin of Compiegne, a little before A.D. 1100, was the first distinguished advocate; his materializing views, as might be expected, drawing upon him the reproof of the Church. In this contest, Anselm, the Archbishop of Canterbury, attempted to harmonize reason in subordination to faith, and again, by his example, demonstrated the necessity of submitting all such questions to the decision of the human intellect. The development of scholastic philosophy, which dates from the time of Erigena, was accelerated by two distinct causes: the dreadful materialization into which, in Europe, all sacred things had fallen, and the illustrious example of the Mohammedans, who already, by their physical inquiries, had commenced a career destined to end in brilliant results. The Spanish universities were filled with ecclesiastics from many parts of Europe. Peter the Venerable, the friend and protector of Abelard, who had spent much time in Cordova, and not only spoke Arabic fluently, but actually translated the Koran into Latin, mentions that, on his first arrival in Spain, he found many learned men, even from England, studying astronomy. The reconciliation of many of the dogmas of authority with common sense was impossible for men of understanding. Could the clear intellect of such a statesman as Hildebrand be for a moment disgraced by accepting the received view of a doctrine like that of transubstantiation? His great difficulty was to reconcile what had been rendered orthodox by the authority of the Church with the suggestions of reason, or even with that reverence for holy things which is in the heart of every intelligent man. In such sentiments we find an explanation of the lenient dealings of that stern ecclesiastic with the heretic Berengar. He saw that it was utterly impossible to offer any defense of many of the materialized dogmas of the age, but then those dogmas had been put forth as absolute truth by the Church. Things had come to the point at which reason and theology must diverge; yet the Italian statesmen did not accept this issue without an additional attempt, and, under their permission, Schoticlastic Theology, which originated in the scholastic philosophy of Erigena and his followers, sought, in the strange union of the Holy Scriptures, the Aristotelian Philosophy, and Pantheism, to construct a scientific basis for Christianity. Heresy was to be combated with the weapons of the heretics, and a co-ordination of authority and reason effected. Under such auspices scholastic philosophy pervaded the schools, giving to some of them, as the University of Paris, a fictitious reputation, and leading to the foundation of others in other cities. It answered the object of its politic promoters in a double way, for it raised around the orthodox theology an immense and impenetrable bulwark of what seemed to be profound learning, and also diverted the awakening mind of Western Europe to occupations which, if profitless, were yet exciting,
THE IMPORTANCE OF SCHOLASTICISM TO THE CHURCH. 335
and without danger to the existing state of things. In that manner was put off for a while the inevitable day in which philosophy and theology were to be brought in mortal conflict with each other. It was doubtless seen by Hildebrand and his followers that, though Berengar had set the example of protesting against the principle that-the decision of a majority of voters in a council or other collective body should ever be received as ascertaining absolute truth, yet so great was the uncertainty of the principles on which the scholastic philosophy was founded, so undetermined its mental exercise, so ineffectual the results to which it could attain, that it was unlikely for a long time to disturb the unity of doctrine in the Church. While men were reasoning round and round again in the same vicious circle without finding any escape, and indeed without seeking any, delighted with the dexterity of their movements, but never considering whether they were making any real advance, it was unnecessary to anticipate inconvenience from their progress. Here stood the difficulty. The decisions of the Church were asserted to be infallible and irrevocable; her philosophy, if such it can be called -as must be the case with any philosophy reposing upon a final revelation from God-was stationary. But the awakening mind of the West was displaying, in an unmistakable way, its propensity to advance. As one who rides an unruly horse will sometimes divert him from a career which could not be checked by main force by reining him round and round, and thereby exhausting his spirit and strength, and keeping him in a narrow space, so the wanton efforts of the mind may be guided, if they can not be checked. These principles of policy answered their object for a time, until metaphysical were changed for physical discussions. Then it became impossible to divert the onward movement, and on the first great question arising-that of the figure and place of the earth-a question dangerous to the last degree, since it inferentially included the determination of the position of man in the universe, theology suffered an irretrievable defeat. Between her and philosophy there was henceforth no other issue than a mortal duel. Though Erigena is the true founder of Scholasticism, Roscelin, already mentioned as renewing the question of Platonic Universals, has been considered by some to be entitled to that distinction. After him,William of Champeaux opened a school of logic in Paris, A.D. 1109, and from that time the University made it a prominent study. On the rise of the mendicant orders, Scholasticism received a great impulse, perhaps, as has been affirmed, because its disputations suited their illiterate state; Thomas Aquinas, the Dominican, and Duns Scotus, the Franciscan, founding rival schools, which wrangled for three centuries. In Italy, Scholasticism never prevailed as it did in France
336 CONCENTRATION OF PAPAL POWER.
and elsewhere, and at last it died away, its uselessness, save in the political result before mentioned, having been detected. The middle of the eleventh century ushers in an epoch for the papacy the and for Europe. It is marked by an attempt at a moral reformation in the Church-by a struggle for securing the independence of the papacy both of the Emperors of Germany and of the neighboring Italian nobles-thus far the pope being the mere officer of the emperor, and often the creature of the surrounding nobility-by the conversion of the temporalities of the Church, heretofore indirect, into absolute possessions, by securing territories given " to the Church, the blessed Peter, and the Roman republic" to the first of those beneficiaries, excluding the last. As events proceeded, these minor affairs converged, and out of their union arose the great conflict of the imperial and papal powers for supremacy. The same policy which had succeeded in depriving the Roman people of any voice in appointments of popes which had secularized the Church in Italy, for a while seized all the material resources of Europe through the device of the Crusades, and nearly established a papal autocracy in all Europe. These political events demand from us a notice, since from them arose intellectual consequences of the utmost importance. The second Lateran Council, under Nicolas II., accomplished the result of vesting the elective power to the papacy in the cardinals. That was a great revolution. It was this council which gave to Berengar his choice between death and recantation. There were at this period three powers engaged in Italy-the Imperial, the Church party, and the Italian nobles. It was for the sake of holding the last in check-for, since it was the nearest, it required the most unremitting attention-that Hildebrand had advised the popes who were his immediate predecessors to use the Normans, who were settled in the south of the peninsula, by whom the lands of the nobles were devastated. Thus the difficulties of their position led the popes to a repetition of their ancient policy; and as they had, in old times, sought the protection of the Frankish kings, so now they sought that of the Normans. But in the midst of the dissensions and tumults of the times, a great man was emerging- Hildebrand, who, with almost superhuman abnegation, again and again abstained from making himself pope. On the death of Alexander II. his opportunity came, and, with acceptable force, he was raised to that dignity, A.D. 1073. Scarcely was Hildebrand Pope Gregory VII. when he vigorously proceeded to carry into effect the policy he had been preparing during the pontificates of his predecessors. In many respects the times were propitious. The blameless lives of the German popes had cast a veil of oblivion over the abominations of their Italian predecessors. Hildebrand addressed himself to tear out every vestige of si-
THE POLICY OF HILDEBRAND. 337
mony and concubinage with a remorseless hand. That task must be finished before he could hope to accomplish his grand project of an ecclesiastical autocracy in Europe, with the pope at its head, and the clergy, both in their persons and property, independent of the civil power; and it was plain that, apart from all moral considerations, the supremacy of Rome in such a system altogether turned on the celibacy of the clergy. If marriage was permitted to the ecclesiastic, what was to prevent him from handing down, as an hereditary possession, the wealth and dignities he had obtained. In such a state of things, the central government at Rome necessarily stood at every disadvantage against the local interests of an individual, and still more so if many individuals should combine together to promote, in common, similar interests. But very different would it be if the promotion must be looked for from Rome-very different as regards the hold upon public sentiment, if such a descent from father to son was absolutely prevented, and a career fairly opened to all irrespective of their station in life. To the Church it was to the last degree important that a man should derive his advancement from her, not from his ancestor. In the trials to which she was perpetually exposed, there could be no doubt that by such persons her interests would be best served. In these circumstances Gregory VII. took his course. The synod held at Rome in the first year of his pontificate denounced the marriage of the clergy, enforcing its decree by the doctrine that the efficacy of the sacraments altogether depended on their being administered by hands sinless in that respect, and made all communicants partners in the pastoral crime. With a provident foresight of the coming opposition, he carried out the policy he had taught his predecessors of conciliating the Normans in the south of Italy, though he did not hesitate to resist them, by the aid of the Countess Matilda, when they dared to touch the possessions of the Church. It was for the sake of this that the Norman invasion of England under William the Conqueror had already been approved of, a consecrated standard and a ring containing a hair from the head of St. Peter sent him, and permission given for the replacement of Saxon bishops and other dignitaries by Normans. It was not forgotten how great had been the gains to the papacy, three centuries before, by changing the dynasty of the Franks; and thus the policy of an Italian town gave a permanent impress to the history of England. Hildebrand foresaw that the sword of the Italian-Norman would be wanted to carry out his projected ends. He did not hesitate to authorize the overthrow of a Saxon dynasty by the French-Norman, that he might be more sure of the fidelity of that sword. Without the countenance of the pope, the Norman could never have consolidated his power, nor even held his ground in England. From these movements of the papacy sprang the conflict with the
338 CONFLICT BETWEEN THE EMPEROR AND HILDEBRAND.
Emperors of Germany respecting The Bishop investitures. of Milan-who, it appears, had perjured himself in the quarrel respecting concubinage-had been excommunicated by Alexander II. The imperial council appointed as his successor one Godfrey; the pope had nominated Atto. Hereupon Alexander had summoned the emperor to appear before him on a charge of simony, and granting investitures without his approbation. While the matter was yet in abeyance, Alexander died; but Gregory took up the contest. A synod he had assembled ordered that, if any one should accept investiture from a layman, both the giver and receiver should be excommunicated. The pretense against lay-investiture was that it was a usurpation of a papal right, and that it led to the appointment of evil and ignorant men; the reality was a determination to extend papal power, by making Rome the fountain of emolument. Gregory, by his movements, had thus brought upon himself three antagonists-the imperial power, the Italian nobles, and the married clergy. The latter, unscrupulous and exasperated, met him with his own weapons, not hesitating to calumniate his friendship with the Countess Matilda. It was also suspected that they were connected with the outrage perpetrated by the nobles that took place in Rome. On Christmas night, A.D. 1075, in the midst of a violent rain, while the pope was administering the communion, a band of soldiers burst into the church, seized Gregory at the altar, stripped and wounded him, and haling him on horseback behind one of the soldiers, carried him off to a strong-hold, from which he was rescued by the populace by force. But, without wavering for a moment, the undaunted pontiff pressed on his conflict with the imperial power, summoning Henry to Rome to account for his delinquencies, and threatening his excommunication if he should not appear before an appointed day. In haste, under the auspices of the king, a synod was assembled at Worms; charges against the pope of licentious life, bribery, necromancy, simony, murder, atheism, were introduced, and sentence of deposition pronounced against him. On his side, Gregory assembled the third Lateran Council, A.D. 1076, placed King Henry under interdict, absolved his subjects from allegiance, and deposed him. A series of constitutions, clearly defining the new bases of the papal system, was published. They were to the following effect: "That the Roman pontiff can alone be called universal; that he alone has a right to depose bishops; that his legates have a right to preside over all bishops in a general council; that he can depose absent prelates; that he alone has a right to use imperial ornaments; that princes are bound to kiss his feet, and his only; that he has a right to depose emperors; that no synod or council summoned without his commission can be called general; that no book can be called canonical without his authority; that his sentence can be annulled by none, but that he may annul the
HILDEBRAND'S VICTORY. 339
decrees of all; that the Roman Church has been, is, and will continue to be infallible; that whoever dissents from it ceases to be a catholic Christian, and that subjects may be absolved from their allegiance to wicked princes." The power that could assert such resolutions was near its culmination. And now was manifest the superiority of the spiritual over the temporal power. The quarrel with Henry went on, and, after a hard struggle and many intrigues to draw the Normans' over to him, that monarch was compelled to submit, and in the depth of winter to cross the snowy Alps, under circumstances of unparalleled hardship, to seek absolution from his adversary. Then ensued the scene at Canosa-a penitent in white raiment standing in the dreary snow of three winter days, January, 1077, cold and fasting at the gate, seeking pardon and reconciliation of the inexorable pontiff; that penitent was the King of Germany. Then ensued the dramatic scene at the sacrament, in which the gray-haired pontiff called upon Heaven to strike him dead upon the spot if he were not innocent of the crimes of which he had been accused, and dared the guilty monarch to do the same. Whoever will reflect on these interesting events cannot fail to discern two important conclusions. The tone of thought throughout Europe had changed within the last three ages; ideas were entertained, doctrines originated or controverted, a policy conceived and attempted altogether in advance of the old times. Intellect, both among the clergy and the laity, had undergone a great development. But the peculiar character of the papal power is also ascertained-that it is worldly, and the result of the policy of man. The outrage on Hildebrand shows how that power had diminished at its centre, but the victory over Henry that it maintained its strength at a distance. Natural forces diminish as the distance increases; this unnatural force displayed an opposite quality. Gregory had carried his point. He had not only beaten back the Northern attack, but had established the supremacy of the ecclesiastical over the temporal power, and that point, with inflexible resolution, he maintained, though in its consequences it cost Germany a civil war. But, while he was thus unyielding in his temporal policy, there is reason to suppose that he was not without misgivings in his theological belief. In the war between Henry and his rival Rodolph, Gregory was compelled by policy to be at first neutral. He occupied himself with the Eucharistic controversy. This was at the time that he was associated with Berengar, who lived with him for a year. Nor did the pope think it unworthy of himself to put forth, in excuse of the heretic, a vision, in which the Virgin Mary had asserted the orthodoxy of Berengar; but, as his quarrel with King Henry went on to new excommunications and depositions, a synod of bishops
340 HIS EVENTUAL DEFEAT AND DEATH.
presumed to condemn him as a partisan of Berengar and a necromancer. On the election of Gilbert of Ravenna as antipope, Gregory, without hesitation, pushed his principles to their consequences, denouncing kingship as a wicked and diabolical usurpation, an infraction of the equal rights of man. Hereupon Henry determined to destroy him or to be destroyed; and descending again into Italy, A.D. 1081, for three successive years laid siege to Rome. In vain the amorous Matilda, with more than the devotion of an ally, endeavored to succor her beleaguered friend. The city surrendered to Henry at Christmas, A.D. 1084. With his antipope he entered it, receiving from his hands the imperial crown. The Norman allies of Hildebrand at last approached in strength. The emperor was compelled to retreat. A feeble attempt to hold the city was made. The Normans took it by surprise, and released Gregory from his imprisonment in the Castle of St. Angelo. An awful scene ensued. Some conflicts between the citizens and the Normans occurred; a battle in the streets was the consequence, and Rome was pillaged, sacked, and fired. Streets, churches, palaces, were left a heap of smoking ashes. The people by thousands were massacred. The Saracens, of whom there were multitudes in the Norman army, were in the Eternal City at last, and, horrible to be said, were there as the hired supporters of the Vicar of Christ. Matrons, nuns, young women, were defiled. Crowds of men, women, and children were carried off and sold as slaves. It was the treatment of a city taken by storm. In consternation, the blasted pontiff retired, with his infidel deliverers, from the ruined capital to Salerno, and there he died, A.D. 1085. He had been dead ten years, when a policy was entered upon by the papacy which imparted to it more power than all the exertions of Gregory. The Crusades were instituted by a French pope, Urban II. Unpopular in Italy, perhaps by reason of his foreign birth, he aroused his native country for the recovery of the Holy Land. He began his career in a manner not now unusual, interfering in a quarrel between Philip of France and his wife, taking the part of the latter, as experience had shown it was always advisable for a pope to do. Soon, however, he devoted his attention to something more important than these matrimonial broils. It seems that a European crusade was first distinctly conceived of and its value most completely comprehended by Gerbert, to whom, doubtless, his Mohammedan experiences had suggested it. In the first year of his pontificate, he wrote an epistle, in the name of the Church of Jerusalem, to the Church throughout the world, exhorting Christian soldiers to come to her relief either with arms or money. It had been subsequently contemplated by Gregory VII. For many years, pilgrimages to Palestine had been on the increase; a very valuable export trade in relics from that country had arisen; crowds from
THE CRUSADES. 341
all parts of Europe had of late made their way to Jerusalem, for the singular purpose of being present at the great assize which the Scriptures were supposed to prophesy would soon take place in the Valley of Jehoshaphat. The Mohammedans had inflicted on these pious persons much maltreatment, being unable to comprehend the purport of their extraordinary journey, and probably perceiving a necessity of putting some restriction upon the apparition of such countless multitudes. Peter the Hermit, who had witnessed the barbarities to which his Christian brethren were exposed, and the abominations of the holy places now in the hands of the infidel, roused Europe, by his preaching, to a frantic state; and Urban, at the Council of Clermont, A.D. 1095, gave authority to the Holy War. "It is the will of God," was unanimous shout of the council and the populace. The periodical shower of shooting stars was seen with remarkable brilliancy on April 25th, and mistaken by the council for a celestial monition that the Christians must precipitate themselves in like manner on the East. From this incident we may perceive how little there was of inspiration in these blundering and violent ecclesiastical assemblages; the moment that they can be brought to a scientific test their true nature is detected. As a preliminary exercise, a ferocious persecution of the Jews of France had burst forth, and the blood and tortures of multitudes offered a tardy expiation for the crimes that their ancestors had committed at the Crucifixion in Jerusalem, more than a thousand years before. It does not fall within my plan to give a detailed description of the Crusades. It is enough to say that, though the clergy had promised the protection of God to every one who would thus come to his assistancean ample reward for their pious work in this life, and the happiness of heaven in the next-Urban's crusade failed not only disastrously, but hideously, so far as the ignorant rabbles, who, under Peter the Hermit and Walter the Penniless, were concerned. Nevertheless, under the better-organized expeditions that soon followed, Jerusalem was captured, July 15th, A.D. 1099. The long and ghastly line of bones whitening the road through Hungary to the East showed how different a thing it was for a peaceable and solitary pilgrim to beg his way, with his staff, and wallet, and scallop-shell, and a disorderly riot of thousands upon thousands to rush forward without any subordination, any organization, trusting only to the providence of God. The van of the Crusades consisted of two hundred and seventy-five thousand men, accompanied by eight horses, and preceded by a goat and a goose, into which some one had told them that the Holy Ghost had entered. Driven to madness by disappointment and famine-expecting, in their ignorance, that every town they came to must be Jerusalem-in their extremity they laid hands on whatever was in their way. Their track was marked by robbery, bloodshed, and fire. In the first crusade more than half
342 RESULTS OF THE CRUSADE.
a million of men died. It was far more disastrous than the Moscow retreat. But still, in a military sense, the first crusade accomplished its object. The capture of Jerusalem, as might be expected under such circumstances, was attended by the perpetration of atrocities almost beyond belief. What a contrast to the conduct of the Arabs! When the Khalif Omar took Jerusalem, A.D. 637, he rode into the city by the side of the Patriarch Sophronius, conversing with him on its antiquities. At the hour of prayer, he declined to perform his devotions in the Church of the Resurrection, in which he chanced to be, but prayed on the steps of the Church of Constantine; "for," said he to the patriarch, "had I done so, the Mussulmen in a future age would have infringed the treaty, under color of imitating my example." But, in the capture by the Crusaders, the brains of young children were dashed out against the walls; infants were pitched over the battlements; every woman that could be seized was violated; men were roasted at fires; some were ripped up, to see if they had swallowed gold; the Jews were driven into their synagogue, and there burnt; a massacre of nearly 70,000 persons took place; and the pope's legate was seen "partaking in the triumph." It had been expected by the politicians who first projected these wars that they would heal the divisions of the Latin and Greek churches, and give birth to a European republic, under the spiritual presidency of the pope. In these respects they proved a failure. It does not appear that the popes themselves personally had ever any living faith in the result. Not one of them ever joined a crusade; and the Church, as a corporation, took care to embark very little money in these undertakings. But, though they did not answer to the original intention, they gave, in an indirect way, a wonderful stimulus to the papal power. Under the plausible pretenses offered by them, the pope obtained control over the person of every Christian man from the highest to the lowest. The cross once taken, all civil control men and money over the Crusader ceased-he became the man of the Church. Under those pretenses also, a right was imperceptibly acquired of raising revenue in all parts of Europe; even the clergy might be assessed. A drain was thus established on the resources of distant nations for an object which no man dared to gainsay; if he adventured on any such thing, he must encounter the odium of an infidel-an atheist. A steady stream of money flowed into Italy. Nor was it alone by this taxation of every Christian nation without permission of its government-this empire within every empire-immense wealth accrued to the projectors, while the infatuation could be kept up, by the diminished rate at which land could be obtained. Domains were thrown into the market; there were few purchasers but the Church. Immense domains were also given
BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX. 343
away by weak-minded sinners, and those on the point of death, for the salvation of their souls. Thus, all things considered, the effect of the Crusades, though not precisely that which was expected, was of singular advantage to the Church, giving it a commanding strength it had never possessed before. In their resistance to the German attack the popes never hesitated at any means. They prompted Prince Henry to revolt against their great antagonist, his father; they intervened, not to rebuke, but to abet him, when he threw his father into prison and deprived him of the necessaries of life. They carried their vengeance beyond the grave. When the aged emperor, broken in heart, escaped from their torment, and was honorably buried by the Bishop of Liege, that prelate was forthwith excommunicated and compelled to disinter the corpse. But crimes like these, against which human nature revolts, meet with a retribution. This same Prince Henry, becoming Henry V., was forced by circumstances to resume his father's quarrel, and to refuse to yield his right of granting investitures. He marched upon Rome, and at the point of the sword compelled his adversary, Pope Paschal II., to surrender all the possessions and royalties of the Church-compelled him to crown him emperor-not, however, until the pontiff had been subjected to the ignominy of imprisonment, and brought into condemnation among his own party. Things seemed to be going to ruin in Rome, and such must inevitably have been the issue, had not an extraneous influence arisen in Bernard of Clairvaux, to whom Europe learned to look up as the beater down of heresies, theological and political. He had been a pupil of William of Champeaux, the vanquished rival of Abelard, and Abelard he hated with a religious and personal hate. He was a wonder-worker, though some of his miracles now only excite a smile; as when he excommunicated the flies which infested a church, and they all fell down dead and were swept out by the basketful. He has been described as "the mellifluous doctor, whose works are not scientific, but full of unction." He could not tolerate the principle at the basis of Abelard's philosophy-the assertion of the supremacy of reason. Of Arnold of Brescia-who carried that principle to its political consequences, and declared that the riches and power of the clergy were inconsistent with their profession-he was the accuser and punisher. Bernard preached a new crusade, authenticating his power by miracles, affirmed to be not inferior to those of our Savior; promising to him who should slay an unbeliever happiness in this life and Paradise in the life to come. This second crusade was conducted by kings, and included fanatic ladies, dressed in the armor of men; but it ended in ruin. It was reserved for the only Englishman who ever attained to the papacy to visit Rome with the punishment she had so often inflicted upon
344 SUMMARY OF THE FOREGOING EVENT.
others. Nicolas Breakspear-Hadrian IV.-put the Eternal City under interdict, thereby ending the republic which the partisans of Arnold of Brescia had set up. But herein he was greatly aided by a change of sentiment in many of the inhabitants of Rome, who had found to their cost that it was more profitable for their city to be the centre of Christianity than the seat of a phantom republic. As an equivalent for his coronation by Hadrian, Frederick Barbarossa agreed to surrender to the Church Arnold of Brescia. With indecent haste, the moment she had obtained possession of her arch enemy she put him to death not delivering him over to the secular arm, as the custom had been, but murdering him with her own hand. Seven centuries have elapsed, and the blood of Arnold is still crying from the ground for retribution. Notwithstanding a new-the third-crusade, things went from bad to worse in the Holy Land. Saladin had retaken Jerusalem, A.D. 1187. Barbarossa was drowned in a river in Pisidia. Richard of England was treacherously imprisoned; nor did the pope interfere for this brave soldier of the Cross. In the mean time, the Emperors of Germany had acquired Sicily by marriage-an incident destined to be of Birth of Fred- no little importance in the history of Europe; for, on the death of the Emperor Henry VI. at Messina, his son Frederick, an infant not two years old, was left to be brought up in that island. What the consequences were we shall soon see. If we review the events related in this chapter, we find that the idolatry and immorality into which Rome had fallen had become connected with material interests sufficiently powerful to cause their perpetuation; that converted Germany insisted on a reform, and therefore made a moral attack upon the Italian system, attempting to carry it into effect by civil force. This attack was, properly speaking, purely moral, the intellectual element accompanying it being derived from Western or Arabian influences, as will be shown in the next chapter; and, in its resistance to this, the papacy was not only successful, but actually was able to retaliate, overthrowing the Emperors of Germany, and being even on the point of establishing a European autocracy, with the pope at its head. It was in these events that the Reformation began, though circumstances intervened to postpone its completion to the era of Luther. Henceforth we see more and more plainly the attitude in which the papacy, through its material interests, was compelled to stand, as resisting all intellectual advancement. Our subject has therefore here to be left unfinished until we shall have described the Mohammedan influences making pressures on the West and the East.
THE AGE OF FAITH IN THE WEST. 345
CHAPTER XVI. THE AGE OF FAITH IN THE WEST-(Continued). THE WESTERN OR INTELLECTUAL ATTACK ON THE ITALIAN SYSTEM.
The intellectual Condition of Christendom contrasted with that of Arabian Spain. Diffusion of Arabian intellectual Influences through France and Sicily.-Example of Saracen Science in Allhazen, and of Philosophy in Algazzali.-Innocent III. prepares to combat these Influences.-Results to Western Europe of the Sack of Constantinople by the Catholics. The spread of Mohammedan light Literature is followed by Heresy.-The crushing of Heresy in the South of France by armed Force, the Inquisition, mendicant Orders, auricular Confession, and Casuistry. The rising Sentiment is embodied in Frederick II. in Sicily.-His Conflict with and Overthrow by the Pope.-Spread of Mutiny among the mendicant Orders.
A PRESSURE upon the Italian system had meantime been arising in the West. It was due to the presence of the Arabs in Spain. It is necessary, therefore, to relate the circumstances of their invasion and conquest of that country, and to compare their social and intellectual condition with the contemporary state of Christendom. From the barbarism of the native people of Europe, who could scarcely be said to have emerged from the savage state, unclean in person, benighted in mind, inhabiting huts in which it was a mark of wealth if there were bulrushes on the floor and straw mats against the wall; miserably fed on beans, vetches, roots, and even the bark of trees; clad in garments of untanned skin, or at the best of leather-perennial in durability, but not conducive to personal purity a state in which the pomp of royalty was sufficiently and satisfactorily manifested in the equi-
Page of the sovereign, an ox-cart, drawn by not less than two yokes of cattle, quickened in their movements by the goads of pedestrian serfs, whose legs were wrapped in wisps of straw; from a people, devout believers in all the wild fictions of shrine-miracles and preposterous relics; from the degradation of a base theology, and from the disputes of ambitious ecclesiastics for power, it is pleasant to turn to the southwest corner of the continent, where, under auspices of a very different kind, the irradiations of light were to break forth. The crescent in the West was soon to pass eastward to its full. But I must retrace my steps through four centuries, and resume the description of the Arabian movement after the subjugation of Africa, as related in the former volume, Chapter 11.
346 MOHAMMEDAN CONQUEST OF SPAIN.
These were the circumstances of the Arab conquest of Spain. In that country the Arian Creed had been supplanted by the orthodox, and the customary persecutions had set in. From the time of the Emperor Hadrian, who had transported 50,000 Jewish families into Spain, that race had singularly increased, and, as might be expected, had received no mercy at the hands of the orthodox. Ninety thousand individuals had recently suffered compulsory baptism, and so had been brought under the atrocious Catholic law that whoever has been baptized shall be compelled to continue the observances of the Church. The Gothic monarchy was elective, and Roderic had succeeded to the throne, to the prejudice of the heirs of his predecessor. Though a very brave soldier, he was a luxurious and a licentious man. It was the custom of the Goths to send their children to Toledo to be educated, and, under these circumstances, a young girl of extraordinary beauty, the daughter of Count Julian, governor of Ceuta in Africa, was residing there. King Roderic fell passionately in love with her, and, being unable to overcome her virtuous resolution by persuasion, resorted to violence. The girl found means to inform her father of what had occurred. "By the living God!" exclaimed the count, in a paroxysm of rage, "I will be revenged." But, dissembling his wrath, he crossed over into Spain, had an understanding with Oppas, the Archbishop of Toledo, and other disaffected ecclesiastics, and, under specious pretenses, lulled the suspicions of Roderic, and brought his daughter away. And now he opened communications with the Emir Musa, prevailing upon him to attempt the conquest of the country, and offering that he himself would take the lead. The conditions were settled between them, and the consent of the khalif to the expedition obtained. Tarik, a lieutenant of the emir, was sent across the Straits with the van of the army. He landed on the rock called, in memory of his name, Gibraltar, April, A.D. 711. In the battle that ensued, a part of Roderic's troops, together with the Archbishop of Toledo, consummated their treasonable compact, and deserted to the Arabs; the rest were panic-stricken. In the rout, Roderic himself was drowned in the waters of the Guadalquivir. Tarik now proceeded rapidly northward, and was soon joined by his superior, the Emir Musa, who was not, perhaps, without jealousy at his success. As the Arab historians say, the Almighty delivered the idolators into their hand, and gave them one victory after another. As the towns successively fell, they left them in charge of the Jews, to whose revenge the conquest was largely due, and who could be thoroughly trusted; nor did they pause in their march until they had passed the French frontier and reached the Rhone. It was the intention of Musa to cross the European continent to Constantinople, subjugating the Frank, German, and Italian barbarians by the way. At this time it seemed impossible that France could escape the fate of Spain; and if she fell, the threat of Musa would inevitably have come to pass, that he
ARREST OF THE MOHAMMEDAN ADVANCE. 347
would preach the Unity of God in the Vatican. But a quarrel had arisen between him and Tarik, who had been imprisoned and even scourged. The friends of the latter, however, did not fail him at the court of Damascus. An envoy from the Khalif Alwalid appeared, ordering Musa to desist from his enterprise, to return to Syria, and exonerate himself of the things laid to his charge. But Musa bribed the envoy to let him advance. Hereupon the angry khalif dispatched a second messenger, who, in face of the Moslems and Christians, audaciously arrested him, at the head of his troops, by the bridle of his horse. The conqueror of Spain was compelled to return. He was cast into prison, fined 200,000 pieces of gold, publicly whipped, and his life with difficulty spared. As is related of Belisarius, Musa was driven as a beggar to solicit charity, and the Saracen conqueror of Spain ended his days in grief and absolute want. These dissensions among the Arabs, far more than the sword of Charles Martel, prevented the Mohammedanization of France. Their historians admit the great check received at the battle of Tours, in which Abderrahman was killed; they call that field the Place of the Martyrs; but their accounts by no means correspond to the relations of the Christian authors, who affirm that 375,000 Mohammedans fell, but only 1500 Christians. The defeat was not so disastrous but that in a few months they were able to resume their advance, and their progress was arrested only by renewed dissensions among themselves-dissensions not alone among the leaders in Spain, but also more serious ones of aspirants for the khalifate in Asia. On the overthrow of the Ommiade house, Abderrahman, one of that family, escaped to Spain, which repaid the patronage of its conquest by acknowledging him as its sovereign. He made Cordova the seat of his government. Neither he nor his immediate successors took any other title than that of emir, out of respect to the khalif, who resided at Bagdad, the metropolis of Islam, though they maintained a rivalry with.him in the patronage of letters and science. Abderrahman himself strengthened his power by an alliance with Charlemagne. Scarcely had the Arabs become firmly settled in Spain before they commenced a brilliant career. Adopting what had now become the established policy of the Commanders of the Faithful in Asia, the Khalifs of Cordova distinguished themselves as patrons of learning, and set an example of refinement strongly contrasting with the condition of the native European princes. Cordova, under their administration, at its highest point of prosperity, boasted of more than two hundred thousand houses, and more than a million of inhabitants. After sunset, a man might walk through it in a straight line for ten miles by the light of the public lamps. Seven hundred years after this time there was not so much as one public lamp in London. Its
348 LUXURY OF THE SPANISH MOHAMMEDAN.
streets were solidly paved. In Paris, centuries subsequently, whoever stepped over his threshold on a rainy day stepped up to his ankles in mud. Other cities, as Granada, Seville, Toledo, considered themselves rivals of Cordova. The palaces of the khalifs were magnificently decorated. Those sovereigns might well look down with supercilious contempt on the dwellings of the rulers of Germany, France, and England, which were scarce better than stables-chimneyless, windowless, and with a hole in the roof for the smoke to escape, like the wigwams of certain Indians. The Spanish Mohammedans had brought with them all the luxuries and prodigalities of Asia. Their residences stood forth against the clear blue sky, or were embosomed in woods. They had polished marble balconies, overhanging orange-gardens; courts with cascades of water; shady retreats provocative of slumber in the heat of the day; retiring-rooms, vaulted with stained glass, speckled with gold, over which streams of water were made to gush; the floors and walls were of exquisite mosaic. Here, a fountain of quicksilver shot up in a glistening spray, the glittering particles falling with a tranquil sound like fairy bells; there, apartments into which cool air was drawn from flower-gardens, in summer, by means of ventilating towers, and in the winter through earthen pipes, or caleducts, imbedded in the walls-the hypocaust, in the vaults below, breathing forth volumes of warm and perfumed air through these hidden passages. The walls were not covered with wainscot, but adorned with arabesques, and paintings of agricultural scenes and views of Paradise. From the ceilings, corniced with fretted gold, great chandeliers hung, one of which, it is said, was so large that it contained 1084 lamps. Clusters of frail marble columns surprised the beholder with the vast weights they bore. In the boudoirs of the sultanas they were sometimes of verd antique, and incrusted with lapis lazuli. The furniture was of sandal and citron wood, inlaid with mother-of-pearl, ivory, silver, or relieved with gold and precious malachite. In orderly confusion were arranged vases of rock crystal, Chinese porcelains, and tables of exquisite mosaic. The winter apartments were hung with rich tapestry; the floors were covered with embroidered Persian carpets. Pillows and couches, of elegant forms, were scattered about the rooms, which were perfumed with frankincense. It was the intention of the Saracen architect, by excluding the view of the external landscape, to concentrate attention on his work; and since the representation of the human form was religiously forbidden, and that source of decoration denied, his imagination ran riot with the complicated arabesques he introduced, and sought every opportunity of replacing the prohibited works of art by the trophies and rarities of the garden. For this reason, the Arabs never produced artists; religion turned them from the beautiful, and made them soldiers, philosophers, and men of affairs. Splendid flowers and rare exotics ornamented the court
THEIR SOCIAL LIFE. 349
yards and even the inner chambers. Great care was taken to make due provision for the cleanliness, occupation, and amusement of the inmates. Through pipes of metal, water, both warm and cold, to suit the season of the year, ran into baths of marble; in niches, where the current of air could be artificially directed, hung dripping alcarazzas. There were whispering-galleries for the amusement of the women; labyrinths and marble play-courts for the children; for the master himself, grand libraries. The Khalif Alhakem's was so large that the catalogue alone filled forty volumes. He had also apartments for the transcribing, binding, and ornamenting of books. A taste for caligraphy and the possession of splendidly-illuminated manuscripts seems to have anticipated in the khalifs, both of Asia and Spain, the taste for statuary and paintings among the later popes of Rome. Such were the palace and gardens of Zebra, in which Abderrahman III. honored his favorite sultana. The edifice had 1200 columns of Greek, Italian, Spanish, and African marble. Its hall of audience was incrusted with gold and pearls. Through the long corridors of its seraglio black eunuchs silently glided. The ladies of the harem, both wives and concubines, were the most beautiful that could be found. To that establishment alone 6300 persons were attached. The body-guard of the sovereign was composed of 12,000 horsemen, whose cimeters and belts were studded with gold. This was that Abderrahman who, after a glorious reign of fifty years, sat down to count the number of days of unalloyed happiness he had experienced, and could only enumerate fourteen. "Oh man!" exclaimed the plaintive khalif, " put not thy trust in this present world." No nation has ever excelled the Spanish Arabs in the beauty and costliness of their pleasure-gardens. To them, also, we owe the introduction of very many of our most valuable cultivated fruits, such as the peach. Retaining the love of their ancestors for the cooling effect of water in a hot climate, they spared no pains in the superfluity of fountains, hydraulic works, and artificial lakes in which fish were raised for the table. Into such a lake, attached to the palace of Cordova, many loaves were cast each day to feed the fish. There were also menageries of foreign animals; aviaries of rare birds; manufactories in which skilled workmen, obtained from foreign countries, displayed their art in textures of silk, cotton, linen, and all the miracles of the loom; in jewelry and filigree-work, with which they ministered to the female pride of the sultanas and concubines. Under the shade of cypresses cascades disappeared; among flowering shrubs there were winding walks, bowers of roses, seats cut out of the rock, and crypt-like grottoes hewn in the living stone. Nowhere was ornamental gardening better understood; for not only did the artist try to please the eye as it wandered over the pleasant gradation of vegetable color and form-he also boast
850 MOHAMMEDAN LITERATURE.
ed his success in the gratification of the sense of smell by the studied succession of perfumes from beds of fl6wers. To these Saracens we are indebted for many of our personal comforts. Religiously cleanly, it was not possible for them to clothe, cording to the fashion of the natives of Europe, in a garment unchanged till it dropped to pieces of itself, a loathsome mass of vermin, stench, and rags. No Arab who had been a minister of state, or the associate or antagonist of a sovereign, would have offered such a spectacle as the corpse of Thomas a Becket when his haircloth shirt was removed. They taught us the use of the often-changed and often-washed under-garment of linen or cotton, which still passes among ladies under its old Arabic name. But to cleanliness they were not unwilling to add ornament. Especially among women of the higher classes was the love of finery a passion. Their outer garments were often of silk, embroidered and decorated with gems and woven gold. So fond were the Moorish women of gay colors, and the lustre of chrysolites, hyacinths, emeralds, and sapphires, that it was quaintly said that the interior of any public building in which they were permitted to appear looked like a flower-meadow in the spring besprinkled with rain. In the midst of all this luxury, which can not be regarded by the historian with disdain, since in the end it produced a most important result in the south of France, the Spanish khalifs, emulating the example of their Asiatic compeers, and in this strongly contrasting with the popes of Rome, were not only the patrons, but the personal cultivators of all the branches of human learning. One of them was himself the author of a work on polite literature in not less than fifty volumes; another wrote a treatise on algebra. When Zaryab the musician came from the East to Spain, the Khalif Abderrahman rode forth to meet him in honor. The College of Music in Cordova was sustained by ample government patronage, and is said to have produced many illustrious professors. The Arabs never translated into their own tongue the great Greek poets, though they so sedulously collected and translated the Greek philosophers. Their religious sentiments and sedate character caused them to abominate the lewdness of our classical mythology, and to denounce indignantly any connection between the licentious, impure Olympian Jove and the Most High God as an insufferable and unpardonable blasphemy. Haroun Alraschid had gratified his curiosity by causing Homer to be translated into Syriac, but he did not adventure on rendering the great epics into Arabic. Notwithstanding this aversion to our graceful but not unobjectionable ancient poetry, among them originated the Tensons, or poetic disputations, carried afterward to perfection among the Troubadours; from them, also, the Proven9als learned to employ jongleurs. Across the Pyrenees, literary, philosoph-
ITS DIFFUSION IN EUROPE. 351
ical, and military adventurers were perpetually passing; and thus the luxury, the taste, and, above all, the chivalrous gallantry and elegant courtesies of Moorish society found their way from Granada and Cordova to Provence and Languedoc. The French, and German, and English nobles imbibed the Arab admiration of the horse; they learned to pride themselves on skillful riding. Hunting and falconry became their fashionable pastimes; they tried to erulate that Arab skill which had produced the celebrated breed of Andalusian horses. It was a scene of grandeur and gallantry; the pastimes were tilts and tournaments. The refined society of Cordova prided itself in its politeness. A gay contagion also spread from the beautiful Moorish miscreants to their sisters beyond the mountains; the South of France was full of the witcheries of female fascinations, and of dancing to the lute and mandolin. Even in Italy and Sicily the love-song became the favorite composition; and out of these genial but not orthodox beginnings the polite literature of modern Europe arose. The pleasant epidemic spread by degrees along every hill- side and valley. In monasteries, voices that had been vowed to celibacy might be heard caroling stanzas of which St. Jerome would hardly have approved; there was many a juicy abbot, who could troll forth in jocund strains, like those of the merry sinners of Malaga and Xeres, the charms of women and wine, though one was forbidden to the Moslem and one to the monk. The sedate graybeards of Cordova had already applied to the supreme judge to have the songs of the Spanish Jew, Abraham Ibn Sahal, prohibited; for there was not a youth, nor woman, nor child in the city who could not repeat them by heart. Their immoral tendency was a public scandal. The light gayety of Spain was reflected in the coarser habits of the northern countries. It was an archdeacon of Oxford who some time afterward sang, " Mihi sit propositum in taberna mori, Vinum sit appositum morientis ori, Ut dicant, cum venerint angelorum chori;'Deus sit propitius huic potatori,'" etc. Even as early as the tenth century, persons having a taste for learning and for elegant amenities found' their way into Spain from all adjoining countries; a practice in subsequent years still more indulged in, when it became illustrated by the brilliant success of Gerbert, who, as we have seen, passed from the infidel University of Cordova to the papacy of Rome. The khalifs of the West carried out the precepts of Ali, the fourth successor of Mohammed, in the patronage of literature. They established libraries in all their chief towns; it is said that not less than seventy were in existence. To every mosque was attached a public school, in which the children of the poor were taught to read
352 SCHOOLS AND COLLEGE.
and write, and instructed in the precepts of the Koran. For those in easier circumstances there were academies, usually arranged in twenty five or thirty apartments, each calculated for accommodating four students; the academy being presided over by a rector. In Cordova, Granada, and other great cities, there were universities frequently under the superintendence of Jews; the Mohammedan maxim being that the real learning of a man is of more public importance than any particular religious opinions he may entertain. In this they followed the example of the Asiatic khalif, Haroun Alraschid, who actually conferred the superintendence of his schools on John Masue, a Nestorian Christian. The Mohammedan liberality was in striking contrast with the intolerance of Europe. Indeed, it may be doubted whether at this time any European nation is sufficiently advanced to follow such an example. In the universities, the professors of polite literature gave lectures upon Arabic classical works; others taught rhetoric, or composition, or mathematics, or astronomy, or other sciences. From these institutions many of the practices observed in our colleges were derived. They held Commencements as we do, at which poems were read and orations delivered in presence of the public. They had also, in addition to these schools of general learning, professional ones, particularly for medicine. With a pride perhaps not altogether inexcusable, the Arabians boasted of their language as being the most perfect spoken by man. Mohammed himself, when challenged to produce a miracle in proof of the authenticity of his mission, uniformly pointed to the composition of the Koran, its unapproachable excellence vindicating its inspiration. The orthodox Moslems-the Moslems are those who are submissively resigned to the Divine will-are wont to assert that every
Page of that book is indeed a conspicuous miracle. It is not then surprising that, in the Arabian schools, great attention was paid to the study of language, and that so many celebrated grammarians were produced. By these scholars, dictionaries, similar to those now in use, were composed; their copiousness is indicated by the circumstance that one of them consisted of sixty volumes, the definition of each word being illustrated or sustained by quotations from Arab authors of acknowledged repute. They had also lexicons of Greek, Latin, Hebrew; and cyclopedias such as the Historical Dictionary of Sciences of Mohammed Ibn Abdallah, of Granada. In their highest civilization and luxury they did not forget the amusements of their forefathers-listening to the tale-teller, who never failed to obtain an audience in the midst of Arab tents. Around the evening fires in Spain the wandering literati exercised their wonderful powers of Oriental invention, edifying the eager listeners by such narrations as those that have descended to us in the Arabian Nights' Entertainments. The more sober and higher efforts of the educated were, of course, directed to pulpit eloquence, in conformity to the exam-
MOORISH LITERATURE AND HISTORIES. 353
ple of all the great Oriental khalifs, and sanctified by the practice of the Prophet himself. Their poetical productions embraced all the modern minor forms-satires, odes, elegies, etc.; but they never produced any work in the higher walks of poesy, no epic, no tragedy. Perhaps this was due to their false fashion of valuing the mechanical execution of a work. They were the authors and introducers of rhyme; and such was the luxuriance and abundance of their language, that, in some of their longest poems, the same rhyme is said to have been used alternately from the beginning to the end. Where such mechanical triumphs were popularly prized, it may be supposed that the conception and spirit would be indifferent. Even among the Spanish women there were not a few who, like Velada, Ayesha, Labana, Algasania, achieved reputation in these compositions; and some of them were daughters of khalifs. And this is the more interesting to us, since it was from the Provengal poetry, the direct descendant of these efforts, that European literature arose. Sonnets and romances at last displaced the grimly-orthodox productions of the wearisome and ignorant fathers of the Church. If fiction was prized among the Spanish Arabs, history was held in not less esteem. Every khalif had his own historian. The instincts of the race are perpetually peeping out; not only were there historians of the Commanders of the Faithful, but also of celebrated horses and illustrious camels. In connection with history, statistics were cultivated; this having been, it may be said, a necessary study from the first, enforced on the Saracen officers in their assessment of tribute on conquered misbelievers, and subsequently continued as an object of taste. It was, doubtless, a similar necessity, arising from their position, that stamped such a remarkably practical aspect on the science of the Arabs generally. Many of their learned men were travelers and voyagers, constantly moving about for the acquisition or diffusion of knowledge, their acquirements being a passport to them wherever they went, and a sufficient introduction to any of the African or Asiatic courts. They were thus continually brought in contact with men of affairs, soldiers of fortune, statesmen, and became imbued with much of their practical spirit; and hence the singularly romantic character which the biographies of many of these men display, wonderful turns of prosperity, violent deaths. The scope of their literary labors offers a subject well worthy of meditation; it contrasts with the contemporary ignorance of Europe. Some wrote on chronology; some on numismatics; some, now that military eloquence had become objectless, wrote on pulpit oratory; some on agriculture and its allied branches, as the art of irrigation. Not one of the purely mathematical, or mixed, or practical sciences was omitted. Out of a list too long for detailed quotation, I may recall a few names: Assamh, who wrote on topography and statistics, a brave sol-
354 SCIENTIFIC WRITING.
dier, who was killed in the invasion of France, A.D. 720; Avicenna, the great physician and philosopher, who died A.D. 1037; Averrhoes, of Cordova, the chief commentator on Aristotle, A.D. 1198. It was his intention to unite the doctrines of Aristotle with those of the Koran. To him is imputed the discovery of spots upon the sun. The leading idea of his philosophy was the numerical unity of the souls of mankind, though parted among millions of living individuals. He died at Morocco. Abu Othman wrote on zoology; Alberuni, on gems he had traveled to India to procure information; Rhazes, Al Abbas, and Al Beithar, on botany-the latter had been in all parts of the world for the purpose of obtaining specimens. Ebn Zoar, better known as Avenzoar, may be looked upon as the authority in Moorish pharmacy. Pharmacopoeias were published by the schools, improvements on the old ones of the Nestorians: to them may be traced the introduction of many Arabic words, such as sirup, julep, elixir, still used among our apothecaries. A competent scholar might furnish not only an interesting, but valuable book, founded on the remaining relics Arab vocabulary; for, in whatever direction we may look, we meet, in the various pursuits of peace and war, of letters and of science, Saracenic vestiges. Our dictionaries tell us that such is the origin of admiral, alchemy, alcohol, algebra, chemise, cotton, and hundreds of other words. The Saracens commenced the application of chemistry, both to the theory and practice of medicine, in the explanation of the functions of the human body and in the cure of its diseases. Nor was their surgery behind their medicine. Albucasis, of Cordova, shrinks not from the performance of the most formidable operations in his own and in the obstetrical art; the actual cautery and the knife are used without hesitation. He has left us ample descriptions of the surgical instruments then employed; and from him we learn that, in operations on females in which considerations of delicacy intervened, the services of properly instructed women were secured. How different was all this from the state of things in Europe: the Christian peasant, fever-stricken or overtaken by accident, hied to the nearest saint-shrine and expected a miracle; the Spanish Moor relied on the prescription or lancet of his physician, or the bandage and knife of his surgeon. In mathematics the Arabians acknowledged their indebtedness to two sources, Greek and Indian, but they greatly improved upon both. The Asiatic khalifs had made exertions to procure translations of Euclid, Apollonius, Archimedes, and other Greek geometers. Almaimon, in a letter to the Emperor Theophilus, expressed his desire to visit Constantinople if his public duties would have permitted. He requests of him to allow Leo the mathematician to come to Bagdad to impart to him a portion of his learning, pledging his word that he
ARITHMETIC AND ASTRONOMY. 355
would restore him quickly and safely again. "Do not," says the highminded khalif, "let diversity of religion or of country cause you to refuse my request. Do what friendship would concede to a friend. In return, I offer you a hundred weight of gold, a perpetual alliance and peace." True to the instincts of his race and the traditions of his city, the Byzantine sourly and insolently refused the request, saying that "the learning which had illustrated the Roman name should never be imparted to a barbarian." From the Hindus the Arabs learned arithmetic, especially that valuable invention termed by us the Arabic numerals, but honorably ascribed by them to its proper source, under the designation of "Indian numerals." They also entitled their treatises on the subject "Systems of Indian Arithmetic." This admirable notation by nine digits and cipher occasioned a complete revolution in arithmetical computations. As in the case of so many other things, the Arab impress is upon it; our word cipher, and its derivatives, ciphering, etc., recall the Arabic word tsaphara or ciphra, the name for the 0, and meaning that which is blank or void. Mohammed Ben Musa, said to be the earliest of the Saracen authors on algebra, and who made the great improvement of substituting sines for chords in trigonometry, wrote also on this Indian system. He lived at the end of the ninth century; before the end of the tenth it was in common use among the African and Spanish mathematicians. Ebn Junis, A.D. 1008, used it in his astronomical works. From Spain it passed into Italy, its singular advantage in commercial computation causing it to be eagerly adopted in the great trading cities. We still use the word algorithm in reference to calculations. The study of algebra was intently cultivated among the Arabs, who gave it the name it bears. Ben Musa, just referred to, was the inventor of the common method of solving quadratic equations. In the application of mathematics to astronomy and physics they had been long distinguished. Almaimon had determined with considerable accuracy the obliquity of the ecliptic. His result, with those of some other Saracen astronomers, is as follows: A.D. 830. Almaimon............................................ 230 3' 52" " 879. Albategnius, at Aracte.......................................... 23~ 35' 00 " 987. Aboul Wefa, at Bagdad.......................................... 23 35' 00 " 995. Aboul Rihau, with a quadrant of 25 feet radius............ 23~ 35' 00 " 1080. Arzachael........................................................... 23 34' 00 Almaimon had also ascertained the size of the earth from the measurement of a degree on the shore of the Red Sea-an operation implying true ideas of its form, and in singular contrast with the doctrine of Constantinople and Rome. While the latter was asserting, in all its absurdity, the flatness of the earth, the Spanish Moors were teaching geography in their common schools from globes. In Africa, there was still pre
356 ASTRONOMICAL DISCOVERIES.
served, with almost religious reverence, in the library at Cairo, one of brass, reputed to have belonged to the great astronomer Ptolemy. Al Idrisi made one of silver for Roger II., of Sicily; and Gerbert used one which he had brought from Cordova in the school he established at Rheims. It cost a struggle of several centuries, illustrated by some martyrdoms, before the dictum of Lactantius and Augustine could be overthrown. Among problems of interest that were solved may be mentioned the determination of the length of the year by Albategnius and Thebit Ben Corrah; and increased accuracy was given to the correction of astronomical observations by Alhazen's great discovery of atmospheric refraction. Among the astronomers, some composed tables; some wrote on the measure of time; some on the improvement of clocks, for which purpose they were the first to apply the pendulum; some on instruments, as the astrolabe. The introduction of astronomy into Christian Europe has been attributed to the translation of the works of Mohammed Fargani. In Europe, also, the Arabs were the first to build observatories; the Giralda, or tower of Seville, was erected under the superintendence of Geber, the mathematician, A.D. 1196, for that purpose. Its fate was not a little characteristic. After the expulsion of the Moors it was turned into a belfry, the Spaniards not knowing what else to do with it. I have to deplore the systematic manner in which the literature of to Europe has contrived to put out of sight our scientific obligations to the Mohammedans. Surely they can not be much longer hidden. Injustice founded on religious rancor and national conceit can not be perpetuated forever. What should the modern astronomer say when, remembering the contemporary barbarism of Europe, he finds the Arab Abul Hassan speaking of tubes, to the extremities of which ocular and object diopters, perhaps sights, were attached, as used at Meragha? what when he reads of the attempts of Abderrahman Sufi at improving the photometry of the stars? Are the astronomical tables of Ebn Junis (A.D. 1008), called the Hakemite tables, or the Ilkanic tables of Nasser Eddin Tasi, constructed at the great observatory just mentioned, Meragha, near Tauris, A.D. 1259, or the measurement of time by pendulum oscillations, and the methods of correcting astronomical tables by systematic observations-are such things worthless indications of the mental state? The Arab has left his intellectual impress on Europe, as, before long, Christendom will have to confess; he has indelibly written it on the heavens, as any one may see who reads the names of the stars on a common celestial globe. Our obligations to the Spanish Moors in the arts of life are even more marked than in the higher branches of science, perhaps only because our ancestors were better prepared to take advantage of things connected with daily affairs. They set an example of skill-
IMPROVEMENTS IN PRACTICAL ART. 357
ful agriculture, the practice of which was regulated by a code of laws. Not only did they attend to the cultivation of plants, introducing very many new ones; they likewise paid great attention to the breeding of cattle, especially sheep and the horse. To them we owe the introduction of the great products, rice, sugar, cotton, and also, as we have previously observed, nearly all the fine garden and orchard fruits, together with many less important plants, as spinach and saffron. To them Spain owes the culture of silk; they gave to Xeres and Malaga their celebrity for making wine. They introduced the Egyptian system of irrigation by flood-gates, wheels, and pumps. They also promoted many important branches of industry; improved the manufacture of textile fabrics, earthenware, iron, steel; the Toledo sword-blades were every where prized for their temper. The Arabs, on their expulsion from Spain, carried the manufacture of a kind of leather, in which they were acknowledged to excel, to Morocco, from which country the leather itself has now taken its name. They also introduced inventions of a more ominous kind -gunpowder and artillery. The cannon they used appeared to have been made of wrought iron. But perhaps they more than compensated for these evil contrivances by the introduction of the mariner's compass. The mention of the mariner's compass might lead us correctly to infer that the Spainish Arabs were interested in commercial pursuits, a conclusion to which we should also come when we consider the revenues of some of their khalifs. That of Abderrahman III. is stated at five and a half millions sterling-a vast sum if considered by its modern equivalent, and far more than could possibly be raised by taxes on the produce of the soil. It probably exceeded the entire revenue of all the sovereigns of Christendom taken together. From Barcelona and other ports an immense trade with the Levant was maintained, but it was mainly in the hands of the Jews, who, from the first invasion of Spain by Musa, had ever been the firm allies and collaborators of the Arabs. Together they had participated in the dangers of the invasion; together they had shared its boundless success; together they had held in irreverent derision, nay, even in contempt, the woman-worshipers and polytheistic savages beyond the Pyrenees-as they mirthfully called those whose long-delayed vengeance they were in the end to feel; together they were expelled. Against such Jews as lingered behind the hideous persecutions of the Inquisition were directed. But in the days of their prosperity they maintained a merchant marine of more than a thousand ships. They had factories and consuls on the Tanais. With Constantinople alone they maintained a great trade; it ramified from the Black Sea and East Mediterranean into the interior of Asia; it reached the ports of India and China, and extended along the African coast as far as Madagascar. Even in these commercial affairs the singular genius of the Jew and Arab shine forth. In the midst of the tenth
858 REVIEW OF ALHAZEN.
century, when Europe was about in the same condition that Caffraria is now, enlightened Moors, like Abul Cassem, were writing treatises on the principles of trade and commerce. As on so many other occasions, on these affairs they have left their traces. The smallest weight they used in trade was the grain of barley, four of which were equal to one sweet pea, called in Arabic carat. We still use the grain as our unit of weight, and still speak of gold as being so many carats fine. Such were the Khalifs of the West; such their splendor, their luxury, their knowledge; such some of the obligations we are under to them-obligations which Christian Europe, with singular insincerity, has ever been fain to hide. The cry against the misbeliever has long outlived the Crusades. Considering the enchanting country over which they ruled, it was not without reason that they caused to be engraven on the public seal, " The servant of the Merciful rests contented in the decrees of God." What more, indeed, could Paradise give them? But, considering also the evil end of all this happiness and pomp, this learning, liberality, and wealth, we may well appreciate the solemn truth which these monarchs, in their day of pride and power, grandly wrote in the beautiful mosaics on their palace walls, an everrecurring monition to him who owes dominion to the sword, " There is no conqueror but God." The value of a philosophical or political system may be determined by its fruits. On this principle I examined in Chapter XII. the Italian system, estimating its religious merit from the biographies of the popes, which afford the proper criterion. In like manner, the intellectual state the Mohammedan nations at successive epochs may be ascertained from what is its proper criterion, the contemporaneous scientific manifestation. At the time when the Moorish influences in Spain began to exert a pressure on the Italian system, there were several scientific writers, fragments of whose works have descended to us. As an architect may judge of the skill of the ancient Egyptians in his art from a study of the Pyramids, so from these relics of Saracenic learning we may demonstrate the intellectual state of the Mohammedan people, though much of their work has been lost and more has been purposely destroyed. Among such writers is Alhazen; his date was about A.D. 1100. It appears that he resided both in Spain and Egypt, but the details of his biography are very confused. Through his optical works, which have been translated into Latin, he is best known to Europe. He was the first to correct the Greek misconception as to the nature of vision, showing that the rays of light come from external objects to the eye, and do not issue forth from the eye and impinge on external things, as, up to his time, had been supposed. His explanation does not depend upon mere hypothesis or supposition, but is
REVIEW OF ALHAZEN. 359
plainly based upon anatomical investigation as well as on geometrical discussion. He determines that the retina is the seat of vision, and that impressions made by light upon it are conveyed along the optic nerve to the brain. Though it might not be convenient, at the time when Alhazen lived, to make such an acknowledgment, no one could come to these conclusions, nor, indeed, know any thing about these facts, unless he had been engaged in the forbidden practice of dissection. With felicity he explains that we see single when we use both eyes, because of the formation of the visual images on symmetrical portions of the two retinas. To the modern physiologist the mere mention of such things is as significant as the occurrence of an arch in the interior of the pyramid is to the architect. But Alhazen shows that our sense of sight is by no means a reliable guide, and that there are illusions arising from the course which the rays of light may take when they suffer refraction or reflection. It is in the discussion of one of these physical problems that his scientific greatness truly shines forth. He is perfectly aware that the atmosphere decreases in density with increase of height; and from that consideration he shows that a ray of light, entering it obliquely, follows a curvilinear path which is concave toward the earth; and that, since the mind refers the position of an object to the direction in which the ray of light from it enters the eye, the result must be an illusion as respects the starry bodies; they appear to us, to use the Arabic term, nearer to the zenith than they actually are, and not in their true place. We see them in the direction of the tangent to the curve of refraction as it reaches the eye. Hence also he shows that we actually see the stars, and the sun, and the moon before they have risen and after they have set a wonderful illusion. He shows that in its passage through the air the curvature of a ray increases with the increasing density, and that its path does not depend on vapors that chance to be present, but on the variation of density in the medium. To this refraction he truly refers the shortening, in their vertical diameter, of the horizontal sun and moon; to its variations he imputes the twinkling of the fixed stars. The apparent increase of size of the former bodies when they are in the horizon he refers to a mental deception, arising from the presence of intervening terrestrial objects. He shows that the effect of refraction is to shorten the duration of night and darkness by prolonging the visibility of the sun, and considering the reflecting action of the air, he deduces that beautiful explanation of the nature of twilight-the light that we perceive before the rising and after the setting of the sun-which we accept at the present time as true. With extraordinary acuteness, he applies the principles with which he is dealing to the determination of the height of the atmosphere, deciding that its limit is nearly 58.5 miles.
360 REVIEW OF ALHAZEN.
All this is very grand. Shall we compare it with the contemporaneous monk miracles and monkish philosophy of Europe? It would make a profound impression if communicated for the first time to a scientific society in our own age. Nor perhaps does his merit end here. If the Book of the Balance of Wisdom, for a translation of which we are indebted to M. Khanikoff, the Russian consul-general at Tabriz, is the production of Alhazen, as there seems to be internal proof, it offers us evidence of a singular clearness in mechanical conception for which we should scarcely have been prepared, and, if it be not his, at all events it indisputably shows the scientific acquirements of his age. In that book is plainly set forth the connection between the weight of the atmosphere and its increasing density. The weight of the atmosphere was therefore understood before Tdrricelli. He shows that a body will weigh differently in a rare and in a dense atmosphere; that its loss of weight will be greater in proportion as the air is more dense. He considers the force with which plunged bodies will rise through heavier media in which they are immersed, and discusses the submergence of floating bodies, as ships upon the sea. He understands the doctrine of the centre of gravity. He applies it to the investigation of balances and steelyards, showing the relations between the centre of gravity and the centre of suspension-when those instruments will set and when they will vibrate. He recognizes gravity as a force; asserts that it diminishes with the distance; but falls into the mistake that the diminution is as the distance, and not as its square. He considers gravity as terrestrial, and fails to perceive that it is universal-that was reserved for Newton. He knows correctly the relation between the velocities, spaces, and times of falling bodies, and has very distinct ideas of capillary attraction. He improves the construction of that old Alexandrian invention, the hydrometer-the instrument which, in a letter to his fair but pagan friend Hypatia, the good Bishop of Ptolemais, Synesius, six hundred years before, requests her to have made for him in Alexandria, as he wishes to try the wines he is using, his health being a little delicate. The determinations of the densities of bodies, as given by Alhazen, approach very closely to our own; in the case of mercury they are even more exact than some of those of the last century. I join, as, doubtless, all natural philosophers will do, in the pious prayer of Alhazen, that, in the day of judgment, the All-Merciful will take pity on the soul of Abur-Raihan, because he was the first of the race of men to construct a table of specific gravities; and I will add Alhazen's name thereto, for he was the first to trace the curvilinear path of a ray of light through the air. Though more than seven centuries part him from our times, the physiologists of this age may accept him as their compeer, since he received and defended the doctrine, now forcing its way, of the progressive de
EBN JUNIS, THE ASTRONOMER. 361
velopment of animal forms. He upheld the affirmation of those who said that man, in his progress, passes through a definite succession of states; not, however, "that he was once a bull, and was then changed to an ass, and afterward into a horse, and after that into an ape, and finally became a man." This, he says, is only a misrepresentation by "common people" of what is really meant. The " common people" who withstood Alhazen have representatives among us, themselves the only example in the Fauna of the world of that non-development which they so loudly affirm. At the best they are only passing through some of the earlier forms of that series of transmutations to which the devout Mohammedan in the above quotation alludes. The Arabians, with all this physical knowledge, do not appear to have been in possession of the thermometer, though they knew the great importance of temperature measures, employing the areometer for that purpose. They had detected the variation in density of liquids by heat, but not the variation in volume. In their measures of time they were more successful; they had several kinds of clepsydras. A balance clepsydra is described in the work from which I am quoting. But it was their great astronomer, Ebn Junis, who accomplished the most valuable of all chronometric improvements. He first applied the pendulum to the measure of time. Laplace, in the fifth note to his Systeme du Monde, avails himself of the observations of this philosopher, with those of Albategnius and other Arabians, as incontestible proof of the diminution of the eccentricity of the earth's orbit. He states, moreover, that the observation of the obliquity of the ecliptic, properly corrected for parallax and refraction, gives for the yearA.D. 1000 a result closely approaching to the theoretical. He also mentions another observation of Ebn Junis, October 31, A.D. 1007, as of much importance in reference to the great inequalities of Jupiter and Saturn. I have already remarked that, in the writings of this great Arabian, the Arabic numerals and our common arithmetical processes are currently used. From Africa and Spain they passed into Italy, finding ready acceptance among commercial men, who recognized at once their value, and, as William of Malmesbury says, being a wonderful relief to the "sweating calculators;" an epithet of which the correctness will soon appear to any one who will try to do a common multiplication or division sum by the aid of the old Roman numerals. It is said that Gerbert-Pope Sylvester-was the first to introduce a knowledge of them into Europe; he had learned them at the Mohammedan university of Cordova. It is in allusion to the cipher, which follows the 9, but which, added to any of the other digits, increases by tenfold its power, that, in a letter to his patron, the Emperor Otho III., with humility he playfully but truly says, " I am like the last of all the numbers."
362 REVIEW OF ALGAZZALI.
The overthrow of the Roman by the Arabic numerals foreshadowed the result of a far more important-a political-contest between those rival names. But, before showing how the Arabian intellect pressed upon Rome, and the convulsive struggles of desperation which Rome made to resist it, I must for a moment consider the former under another point of view, and speak of Saracen philosophy. And here Algazzali shall be my guide. He was born A.D. 1058. Let us hear him speak for himself. He is relating his attempt to detach himself from the opinions which he had imbibed in his childhood: "I said to myself, 'My aim is simply to know the truth of; consequently, it is indispensable for me to ascertain what is knowledge.' Now it was evident to me that certain knowledge must be that which explains the object to be known in such a manner that no doubt can remain, so that in future all error and conjecture respecting it must be impossible. Not only would the understanding then need no efforts to be convinced of certitude, but security against error is in such close connection with knowledge, that, even were an apparent proof of falsehood to be brought forward, it would cause no doubt, cause no suspicion of error would be possible. Thus, when I have acknowledged ten to be more than three, if any one were to say, 'On the contrary, three is more than ten, and, to prove the truth of my assertion, I will change this rod into a serpent,' and if he were to change it, my conviction of his error would remain unshaken. His manoeuvre would only produce in me admiration for his ability. I should not doubt my own knowledge. " Then was I convinced that knowledge which I did not possess in this manner, and respecting which I had not this certainty, could inspire me with neither confidence nor assurance; and no knowledge without assurance deserves the name of knowledge. " Having examined the state of my own knowledge, I found it divested of all that could be said to have these qualities, unless perceptions of the senses and irrefragable principles were to be considered such. I then said to myself, 'Now, having fallen into this despair, the only hope of acquiring incontestable convictions is by the perceptions of the senses and by necessary truths.' Their evidence seemed to me to be indubitable. I began, however, to examine the objects of sensation and speculation, to see if they possibly could admit of doubt. Then doubts crowded upon me in such numbers that my incertitude became complete. Whence results the confidence I have in sensible things? The strongest of all our senses is sight; and yet, looking at a shadow, and perceiving it to be fixed and immovable, we judge it to be deprived of movement; nevertheless, experience teaches us that, when we return to the same place an hour after, the shadow is displaced, for it does not vanish suddenly, but gradually, little by little, so as never to be at rest.
REVIEW OF ALGAZZALI. 363
If we look at the stars, they seem to be as small as money-pieces; but mathematical proofs convince us that they are larger than the earth. These and other things are judged by the senses, but rejected by reason as false. I abandoned the senses, therefore, having seen all my confidence in their truth shaken. "' Perhaps,' said I,' there is no assurance but in the notions of reason, that is to say, first principles, as that ten is more than three; the same thing can not have been created and yet have existed from all eternity; to exist and not to exist at the same time is impossible.' "Upon this the senses replied, 'What assurance have you that your confidence in reason is not of the same nature as your confidence in us? When you relied on us, reason stepped in and gave us the lie; had not reason been there, you would have continued to rely on us. Well, may there not exist some other judge superior to reason, who, if he appeared, would refute the judgments of reason in the same way that reason refuted us? The non-appearance of such a judge is no proof of his non-existence.' " I strove in vain to answer the objection, and my difficulties increased when I came to reflect on sleep. I said to myself, 'During sleep, you give to visions, a reality and consistence, and you have no suspicion of their untruth. On awakening, you are made aware that they were nothing but visions. What assurance have you that all you feel and know when you are awake does actually exist? It is all true as respects your condition at that moment; but it is nevertheless possible that another condition should present itself which should be to your awakened state that which to your awakened state is now to you sleep; so that, as respects this higher condition, your waking is but sleep.'" It would not be possible to find in any European work a clearer statement of the skepticism to which philosophy leads us than what is thus given by this Arabian. Indeed, it is not possible to put the argument in a more effective way. His perspicuity is in singular contrast with the obscurity of many metaphysical writers. " Reflecting on my situation, I found myself bound to this world by a thousand ties, temptations assailing me on all sides. I then examined my actions. The best were those relating to instruction and education, and even there I saw myself given up to unimportant sciences, all useless in another world. Reflecting on the aim of my teaching, I found it was not pure in the sight of the Lord. I saw that all my efforts were directed toward the acquisition of glory to myself. Having, therefore, distributed my wealth, I left Bagdad and retired into Syria, where I remained two years in solitary struggle with my soul, combating my passions, and exercising myself in the purification of my heart and in preparation for the other world."
364 REVIEW OF ALGAZZALI.
This is a very beautiful picture of the mental struggles and the actions of a truthful and earnest man. In all this the Christian philosopher can sympathize with the devout Mohammedan. After all, they are not very far apart. Algazzali is not the only one to whom such thoughts have occurred, but he has found words to tell his experience better than any other man. And what is the conclusion at which he arrives? The life of man, he says, is marked by three stages: " the first, or infantile stage, is that of pure sensation; the second, which begins at the age of seven, is that of understanding; the third is that of reason, by means of which the intellect perceives the necessary, the possible, the absolute, and all those higher objects which transcend the understanding. But after this there is a fourth stage, when another eye is opened, by which man perceives things hidden from others-perceives all that will be-perceives the things that escape the perceptions of reason, as the objects of reason escape the understanding, and as the objects of the understanding escape the sensitive faculty. This is prophetism." Algazzali thus finds a philosophical basis for the rule of life, and reconciles religion and philosophy. And now I have to turn from Arabian civilized life, its science, its philosophy, to another, a repulsive state of things. With reluctance I come back to the Italian system, defiling the holy name of religion with its intrigues, its bloodshed, its oppression of human thought,.its hatred of intellectual advancement. Especially I have now to direct attention to two countries, the scenes of important events-countries in which the Mohammedan influences began to take effect and to press upon Rome. These are the South of France and Sicily. Innocent III had been elected pope at the early age of thirty-seven years, A.D. 1198. The papal power had reached its culminating point. The weapons of the Church had attained their utmost force. In Italy, in Germany, in France and England, interdicts and excommunications vindicated the pontifical authority, as in the cases of the Duke of Ravenna, the Emperor Otho, Philip Augustus of France, King John of England. In each of these cases it was not for the sake of sustaining great moral principles or the rights of humanity that the thunder was launched-it was in behalf of temporary political interests; interests that, in Germany, were sustained at the cost of a long war, and cemented by assassination; in France, strengthened by the well-tried device of an intervention in a matrimonial broil-the domestic quarrel of the king and queen about Agnes of Meran. " Ah! happy Saladin!" said the insulted Philip, when his kingdom was put under interdict; "he has no pope above him. I too will turn Mohammedan." So, likewise, in Spain, Innocent interfered in the matrimonial life of the King of Leon. The remorseless venality of the papal government
POLICY OF INNOCENT III. 365
was in every direction felt. Portugal had already been advanced to the dignity of a kingdom on payment of an annual tribute to Rome. The King of Aragon held his kingdom as feudatory to the pope. In England, Innocent's interference assumed a different aspect. He attempted to assert his control over the Church in spite of the king, and put the nation under interdict because John would not permit Stephen Langton to be Archbishop of Canterbury. It was utterly impossible that affairs could go on with such an empire within an empire. For his contumacy, John was excommunicated; but, base as he was, he defied his punishment for four years. Hereupon his subjects were released from their allegiance, and his kingdom offered to any one who would conquer it. In his extremity, the King of England is said to have sent a messenger to the Emir Al Mouenim, offering to become a Mohammedan. The religious sentiment was then no higher in him than it was, under a like provocation, in the King of France, whose thoughts turned in the same direction. But, pressed irresistibly by Innocent, John was compelled to surrender his realm, agreeing to pay to the pope, in addition to Peter's pence, 1000 marks a year as a token of vassalage. When the prelates whom he had refused or exiled returned, he was compelled to receive them on his knees-humiliations which aroused the indignation of the stout English barons, and gave strength to those movements which ended in extorting Magna Charta. Never, however, was Innocent more mistaken than in the character of Stephen Langton. John had, a second time, formally surrendered his realm to the pope, and done homage to the legate for it; but Stephen Langton was the first-at a meeting of the chiefs of the revolt against the king, held in London, August 25th, 1213-to suggest that they should demand a renewal of the charter of Henry I. From this suggestion Magna Charta originated. Among the miracles of the age, he was the greatest miracle of all; his patriotism was stronger than his profession. The wrath of the pontiff knew no bounds when he learned that the Great Charter had been conceded. In his bull, he denounced it as base and ignominious; he anathematized the king if he observed it; he declared it null and void. It was not the policy of the Roman court to permit so much as the beginnings of such freedom. The appointment of Simon Langton to the archbishopric of York was annulled. One De Gray was substituted for him. It illustrated the simony into which the papal government had fallen, that De Gray had become, in these transactions, indebted to Rome $50,000. In fact, through the operation of the Crusades, all Europe was tributary to the pope. He had his fiscal agents in every metropolis; his traveling ones wandering in all directions, in every country, raising revenue by the sale of dispensations for all kinds of offenses, real and fictitious-money for the sale of appoint
366 THE FOURTH CRUSADE.
ments, high and low-a steady drain of money from every realm. Fifty years after the time of which we are speaking, Robert Grostete, the Bishop of Lincoln and friend of Roger Bacon, caused to be ascertained the amount received by foreign ecclesiastics in England. He found it to be thrice the income of the king himself. This was on the occasion of Innocent IV. demanding provision to be made for three hundred additional Italian clergy by the Church of England, and that one of his nephewsa mere boy-should have a stall in Lincoln cathedral. While thus Innocent III. was interfering and intriguing with every court, and laying every people under tribute, he did not for a moment permit his attention to be diverted from the Crusades, the rope an singular advantages of which to the papacy had now been fully discovered. They had given to the pope a suzerainty in Europe, the control of its military as well as its monetary resources. Not that a man like Innocent could permit himself to be deluded by any hopes of eventual success. The Crusades must inevitably prove, so far as their avowed object was concerned, a failure. The Christian inhabitants of Palestine were degraded and demoralized beyond description. Their ranks were thinned by apostasy to Mohammedanism. In Europe, not only had the laity begun to discover that the money provided for the wars in the Holy Land was diverted from its purpose, and, in some inexplicable manner, found its way into Italy-even the clergy could not conceal their suspicions that the proclamation of a crusade was merely the preparation for a swindle. Nevertheless, Innocent pressed forward his schemes, goading on Christendom by throwing into its face the taunts of the Saracens. "Where," they say, " is your God, who can not deliver you out of our hands? Behold! we have defiled your sanctuaries; we have stretched forth our arm; we have taken at the first assault, we hold in despite of you, those your desirable places, where your superstition had its beginning. Where is your God? Let him arise and protect you and himself." "If thou be the Son of God, save thyself if thou canst; redeem the land of thy birth from our hands. Restore thy cross, that we have taken, to the worshipers of the Cross." With great difficulty, however, Innocent succeeded in preparing the fourth crusade, A.D. 1202. The Venetians consented to furnish a fleet of transports. But the expedition was quickly diverted from its true purpose; the Venetians employing the Crusaders for the capture of Zara from the King of Hungary. Still worse, and shameful to be said-partly from the lust of plunder, and partly through ecclesiastical machinations-it again turned aside for an attack upon Constantinople, and took that city by storm, A.D. 1204, thereby establishing Latin Christianity in the Eastern metropolis, but, alas with bloodshed, rape, and fire. On the night of the assault more houses were burned than could be found in any three of the largest cities in France. Even Chris-
SACK OF CONSTANTINOPLE. 367
tian historians compare with shame the storming of Conistantinople by the Catholics with the capture of Jerusalem by Saladin. Pope Innocent himself was compelled to protest against enormities that had outrun his intentions. He says: "They practiced fornications, incests, adulteries in the sight of men. They abandoned matrons and virgins, consecrated to God, to the lewdness of grooms. They lifted their hands against the treasures of the churches-what is more heinous, the very consecrated vessels-tearing the tablets of silver from the very altars, breaking in pieces the most sacred things, carrying off crosses and relics." In St. Sophia, the silver was stripped from the pulpit; an exquisite and highly-prized table of oblation was broken in pieces; the sacred chalices were turned into drinking-cups; the gold fringe was ripped off the veil of the sanctuary. Asses and horses were led into the churches to carry off the spoil. A prostitute mounted the patriarch's throne, and sang, with indecent gestures, a ribald song. The tombs of the emperors were rifled; and the Byzantines saw, at once with amazement and anguish, the corpse of Justinian-which even decay and putrefaction had for six centuries spared in his tomb-exposed to the violation of a mob. It had been understood among those who instigated these atrocious proceedings that the relics were to be brought into a common stock and equitably divided among the conquerors; but each ecclesiastic seized and secreted whatever he could. The idolatrous state of the Eastern Church is illustrated by some of these relics. Thus the Abbot Martin obtained for his monastery in Alsace the following inestimable articles: 1. A spot of the blood of our Savior; 2. A piece of the true cross; 3. The arm of the Apostle James; 4. Part of the skeleton of John the Baptist; 5.-I hesitate to write such blasphemy-" A bottle of the milk of the Mother of God!" In contrast with the treasures thus acquired may be set relics of a very different kind, the remains of ancient art which they destroyed: 1. The bronze charioteers from the Hippodrome; 2. The she-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus; 3. A group of a Sphinx, riverhorse, and crocodile; 4. An eagle tearing a serpent; 5. An ass and his driver, originally cast by Augustus in memory of the victory of Actium; 6. A Bellerophon and Pegasus; 7. A bronze obelisk; 8. Paris presenting the apple to Venus; 9. An exquisite statue of Helen; 10. The Hercules of Lysippus; 11. A Juno, formerly taken from the temple at Samos. The bronzes were melted into coin, and thousands of manuscripts and parchments were burned. From that time the works of many ancient authors disappeared altogether. With well-dissembled regret, Innocent took the new order of things in the city of Constantinople under his protection. The Bishop of Rome at last appointed the Bishop of Constantinople. The acknowledgment of papal supremacy was complete. Rome and Venice divided between
368 THE LITERATURE OF CONSTANTINOPLE.
them the ill-gotten gains of their undertaking. If any thing had been wanting to open the eyes of Europe, surely what had thus occurred should have been enough. The pope and the doge -the trader in human credulity and the trader of the Adriatic-had shared the spoils of a crusade meant by religious men for the relief of the Holy Land. The bronze horses, once brought by Augustus from Alexandria, after his victory over Antony, and transferred from Rome to Constantinople by its founder, were set before the Church of St. Mark. They were the outward and visible sign of a less obvious event that was taking place. For to Venice was brought a residue of the literary treasures that had escaped the fire and the destroyer; and while her comrades in the outrage were satisfied, in their ignorance, with fictitious relics, she took possession of the poor remnant of the glorious works of art, of letters, and of science. Through these was hastened the intellectual progress of the West. So fell Constantinople,, and fell by the parricidal hands of Christians. The days of retribution for the curse she had inflicted on Western civilization were now approaching. In these events she received a first installment of her punishment. Three hundred years before, the historian Luitprand, who was sent by the Emperor Otho I. to the court of Nicephorus Phocas, says of her, speaking as an eye-witness, " That city, once so wealthy, so flourishing, is now famished, lying, perjured, deceitful, rapacious, greedy, niggardly, vainglorious;" and since Luitprand's time she had been pursuing a downward career. It might have been expected that the concentration of all the literary and scientific treasures of the Roman empire in Constantinople should have given rise to great mental vigor-that to Europe she would have been a brilliant focus of light. But when the works on jurisprudence by Tribounder Justinian, have been mentioned, what is there that worthlessness remains? There is Stephanus, the grammarian, who wrote a dictionary, and Procopius, the historian, who was secretary to Belisarius in his campaigns. There is then a long interval almost without a literary name, to Theophylact Simocatta, and to the Ladder of Paradise of John Climacus. The mental excitement of the iconoclastic dispute presents us with John of Damascus; and the ninth century, the Myriobiblion and Nomacanon of Photius. Then follows Constantine Porphyrogenitus, vainly and voluminously composing; and Basil II. doubtless truly expresses the opinion of the time, as he certainly does the verdict of posterity as regards the works of his country, when he says that learning is useless and unprofitable lumber. The Alexiad of Anna Comnena, and the history of Byzantine affairs by Nicephorus Bryennius, hardly redeem their age. This barrenness and worthlessness was the effect of the system introduced by Constantine the Great. The long line of emperors had been consistent in one policy-the repression or expulsion
ITS CULMINATION. 369
of philosophy; and yet it is the uniform testimony of those ages that the Eastern convents were full of secret Platonism-that, in stealth, the doctrines of Plato were treasured up in the cells of Asiatic monks. The Byzantines had possessed in art and letters all the best models in the world, yet in a thousand years they never produced one original.- Millions of Greeks never advanced one step in philosophy or science-never made a single practical discovery, composed no poem, no tragedy worth perusal. The spirit of their superficial literature-if literature it can be called-is well shadowed forth in the story of the patriarch Photius, who composed at Bagdad, at a distance from his library, an analysis of 280 works he had formerly read. The final age of the city was signalized by the Baarlamite controversy respecting the mysterious light of Mount Thabor-the possibility of producing a beatific vision, and of demonstrating, by an unceasing inspection of the navel for days and nights together, the existence of two eternal principles, a visible and an invisible God I What was it that produced this barrenness, this intellectual degradation in Constantinople? The tyranny of Theology over Thought. But with the capture of Constantinople by the Latins other important events were occurring. Every where an intolerance of papal power was engendering. The monasteries became infected, and even from the holy lips of monks words of ominous import might be heard. In the South of France the intellectual insurrection first took form. There the influence of the Mohammedans and Jews beyond the Pyrenees began to manifest itself. The songs of gallantry; from tensons, or poetical contests of minstrels; satires of gay defiance; rivalry in praise of the ladies; lays, serenades, pastourelles, redondes, such as had already drawn forth the condemnation of the sedate Mussulmen of Cordova, had gradually spread through Spain and found a congenial welcome in France. The Troubadours were singing in the langue d'Oc in the south, and the Trouveres in the langue d'Oil in the north. Thence the merry epidemic spread to Sicily and Italy. Men felt that a relief from the grim ecclesiastic was coming. Kings, dukes, counts, knights, prided themselves on their gentle prowess. The humbler minstrels found patronage among ladies and at courts; sly satires against the priests, and amorous ditties, secured them a welcome among the populace. When the poet was deficient in voice, a jongleur went with him to sing; and often there was added the pleasant accompaniment of a musical instrument. The Provengal or langue d'Oc was thus widely diffused; it served the purposes of those unacquainted with Latin, and gave the Italians a model for thought and versification, to Europe the germs of many of its future melodies. While the young were singing, the old were thinking; while the gay were car-
370 THE TROUBADOURS OF LANGUEDOC.
ried away with romance; the grave were falling into heresy. But, true to her instincts and traditions, the Church had shown her determination to deal rigorously with all such movements. Already, A.D. 1134, Peter de Brueys had been burned in Languedoc for denying infant baptism, the worship of the cross, and transubstantiation. Already Henry the Deacon, the disciple of Peter, had been disposed of by St. Bernard. Already the valleys of Piedmont were full of Waldenses. Already the Poor Men of Lyons were proclaiming the portentous doctrine that the sanctity of a priest lay not in his office, but in the manner of his life. They denounced the wealth of the Church, and the intermingling of bishops in bloodshed and war; they denied transubstantiation, invocation of saints, purgatory, and especially directed their hatred against the sale of indulgences for sin. The rich cities of Languedoc were full of misbelievers. They were given up to poetry, music, dancing. Their people, numbers of whom had been in the Crusades or in Spain, had seen the Saracens. Admiration had taken the place of detestation. Amid shouts of laughter, the Troubadours went through the land, wagging their heads, and slyly winking their eyes, and singing derisive songs about the amours of the priests, and amply earning denunciations as lewd blasphemers and atheists. Here was a state of. things demanding the attention of Innocent. The methods he took for its correction have handed his name down to the maledictions of posterity. He dispatched a missive to the Count of Toulouse-who already lay under excommunication for alleged intermeddling with the rights of the clergy-charging him with harboring heretics and giving offices of emolument to Jews. The count was a man of gay life, having, in emulation of some of his neighbors across the Pyrenees, not less than three wives. His offenses of that kind were, however, eclipsed by those with which he was now formally charged. It chanced that, in the ensuing disputes, the pope's legate was murdered. There is no reason to believe that Raymond was concerned in the crime. But the indignant pope held him responsible; instantly ordered to be published in all directions his excommunication, and called upon Western Christendom to engage in a crusade against him, offering, to whoever chose to take them, the wealth and possessions of the offender. So thoroughly was he seconded by the preaching of the monks, that half a million of men, it is affirmed, took up arms. For the count there remained nothing but to submit. He surrendered up his strong places, was compelled to acknowledge the crimes alleged against him, and the justice of his punishment. He swore that he would no longer protect heretics. Stripped naked to his middle, with a rope round his neck, he was led to the altar, and there scourged. But the immense army that had assembled was not to be sat-
THE CRUSADE IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE. 871
isfied by these inflictions on an individual, though the pope might be. They had come for blood and plunder, and blood and plunder they must have. Then followed such scenes of horror as the sun had never looked on before. The army was officered by Roman and French prelates; bishops were its generals, an archdeacon its engineer. It was the Abbot Arnold, the legate of the pope, who, at the capture of the Beziers, was inquired of by a soldier, more merciful or more weary of murder than himself, how he should distinguish and save the Catholic from the heretic. "Kill them all," he exclaimed; "God will know his own." At the, Church of St. Mary Magdalene 7000 persons were massacred, the infuriated Crusaders being excited to madness by the wicked assertion that these wretches had been guilty of the blasphemy of saying, in their merriment, "S. Mariam Magdalenam fuisse concubinam Christi." It was of no use for them to protest their innocence. In the town twenty thousand were slaughtered, and the place then fired, to be left a monument of papal vengeance. At the massacre of Lavaur 400 people were burned in one pile; it is remarked that "they made a wonderful blaze, and went to burn everlastingly in hell." Language has no powers to express the atrocities that took place at the capture of the different towns. Ecclesiastical vengeance rioted in luxury. The soil was steeped in the blood of men-the air polluted by their burning. From the reek of murdered women, mutilated children, and blasted cities, the Inquisition, that infernal institution, arose. Its projectors intended it not only to put an end to public teaching, but even to private thought. In the midst of these awful events, Innocent was called to another tribunal to render his account. He died A.D. 1216. It was during the pontificate of this great criminal that the mendicant orders were established. The course of ages had brought an unintelligibility into public worship. The old dialects had become obsolete; new languages were forming. Among those classes, daily increasing in number, whose minds were awakening, an earnest desire for instruction was arising. Multitudes were crowding to hear philosophical discourses in the universities, and heresy was spreading very fast. But it was far from being confined to the intelligent. The lower orders furnished heretics and fanatics too. To antagonize the labors of these zealots-who, if they had been permitted to go on unchecked, would quickly have disseminated their doctrines through all classes of society-the Dominican and Franciscan orders were founded. They were well adapted to their duty. It was their business to move among the people, preaching to them, in their own tongue, wherever an audience could be collected. The scandal under which the Church was laboring because of her wealth could not apply to these, who lived by begging alms. Their function was not to secure their own salvation, but that of other men.
372 ST. DOMINIC AND ST. FRANCIS.
St. Dominic was born A.D. 1170. His birth and life were adorned with the customary prodigies. Miracles and wonders were necessary for any thing to make a sensation in the West. If his was not an immaculate conception, he was free from original sin. He was regarded as the adopted son of the Virgin; some were even disposed to assign him a higher dignity than that. He began his operations in Languedoc; but, as the prospect opened out before him, he removed from that unpromising region to Rome, the necessary centre of all such undertakings as his. Here he perfected his organization; instituted his friars, nuns, and tertiaries; and consolidated his pretensions by the working of many miracles. He exorcised three matrons, from whom Satan issued forth under the form of a great black cat, which ran up a bell-rope and vanished. A beautiful nun resolved to leave her convent. Happening to blow her nose, it dropped off into her handkerchief; but, at the fervent prayer of St. Dominic, it was replaced, and in gratitude, tempered by fear, she remained. St. Dominic could also raise the dead. Nevertheless, he died A.D. 1221, having worthily obtained the title of the burner and slayer of heretics. To him has been attributed the glory or the crime of being the inventor of'the Holy Inquisition.' In a very few years his order boasted of nearly 500 monasteries, scattered over Europe, Asia, Africa. St. Francis, the compeer of St. Dominic, was born A.D. 1182. His followers delighted to point out, as it would seem not without irreverence, a resemblance to the incidents that occurred at the birth of our Lord. A prophetess foretold it; he was born in a stable; angels sung forth peace and good-will in the air-; one, under the form of Simeon, bore him to baptism. In early life he saw visions and became ecstatic. His father, Peter Bernardini, a respectable tradesman, endeavored to restrain his eccentricities, at first by persuasion, but eventually more forcibly, appealing for assistance to the bishop, to prevent the young enthusiast from squandering his means in alms to the poor. On that functionary's gently remonstrating, and pointing out to Francis his filial obligations, he stripped himself naked before the people, exclaiming, "Peter Bernardini was my father; I have now but one Father, he that is in heaven." At this affecting renunciation of all earthly possessions and earthly ties, those present burst into tears, and the good bishop threw his own mantle over him. When a man has come to this pass, there is nothing he can not accomplish. It is related that, when application was first made to Innocent to authorize the order, he refused; but, very soon recognizing the advantages that would accrue, he gave it his hearty patronage. So rapid was the increase, that in A.D. 1219 it numbered not less than five thousand brethren. It was founded on the principles of chastity, poverty, obedience. They were to live on alms, but never to re-
THE MENDICANT ORDERS AND AURICULAR CONFESSION. 373
ceive money. After a life of devotion to the Church, St. Francis attained his reward, A.D. 1226. Two years previously to his death, by a miraculous intervention there were impressed on his person marks-answering to the wounds on our Savior. These were the celebrated stigmata. A black growth, like mails, issued forth from the palms of his hands and his feet; a wound from which blood and water distilled opened in his side. It is not to be wondered at that these prodigies met with general belief. This was the generation which received as inestimable relics, through Andrew of Hungary, the heads of St. Stephen and St. Margaret, the hands of St. Bartholomew and St. Thomas, a slip of the rod of Aaron, and one of the water-pots of the marriage at Cana in Galilee. The papal government quickly found the prodigious advantage arising from the institution of these mendicant orders. Vowed to poverty, living on alms, the hosts of friars, begging and barefoot, pervaded all Europe, coming in contact, under the most favorable circumstances, with the lowest grades of society. They lived and moved among the populace, and yet were held sacred. The accusations of dissipation and luxury so forcibly urged against the regular clergy were altogether inapplicable to these rope-bound, starving fanatics. Through them the Italian government had possession of the ear of Europe. The pomp of worship in an unknown tongue, the gorgeous solemnities of the Church, were far more than compensated by the preaching of these missionaries, who held forth in the vernacular wherever an audience could be had. Among the early ones, some had been accustomed to a wandering life. Brother Pacificus, a disciple of St. Francis, had been a celebrated Trouvere. In truth, they not only warded off the present pressing danger, but through them the Church retained her hold upon the laboring classes for several subsequent centuries. The pope might truly boast that the Poor Men of the Church were more than a match for the Poor Men of Lyons. Their influence began to diminish only when they abandoned their essential principles, joined in the common race for plunder, and became immensely rich. Not only did Innocent III. thus provide himself with an ecclesiastical militia suited to meet the obviously impending insurrection, he increased his power greatly but insidiously by the formal introduction of auricular confession. It was by the fourth Lateran Council that the necessity of auricular confession was first formally established. Its aim was that no heretic should escape, and that the absent priest should be paramount even in the domestic circle. In none but a most degraded and superstitious society can such an infamous institution be tolerated. It invades the sacred privacy of life-makes a man's wife, children, and servants his spies and accusers. When any religious system stands in need of such a social immorality, we may be sure that it is irrecoverably diseased, and hastening to its end.
874 FREDERICK II.
Auricular confession led to an increasing necessity for casuistry, though that science was not fully developed until the time of the Jesuits, when it gave rise to an extensive literature, with a lax system and a false morality, guiding the penitent rather with a view to his usefulness to the Church than to his own reformation, and not hesitating at singular indecencies in its portion having reference to married life. Great historical events often find illustrations in representative men. Such is the case in the epoch we are now considering. On one side stands Innocent, true to the instincts of his party, interfering with all the European nations; launching forth his interdicts and excommunications; steeped in the blood of French heretics; hesitating at no atrocity, even the outrage and murder of women and children, the ruin of flourishing cities, to compass his plans; in all directions, under a thousand pretenses, draining Europe of its money; calling to his aid hosts of begging friars; putting forth imposture miracles; organizing the Inquisition, and invading the privacy of life by the contrivance of auricular confession. On the other side stands Frederick II., the Emperor of Germany. His early life, as has been already mentioned,
was spent in Sicily, in familiar intercourse with Jews and Arabs, and Sicily to the last was the favored portion of his dominions. To his many other accomplishments he added the speaking of Arabic as fluently as a Saracen. He delighted in the society of Mohammedan ladies, who thronged his court. His enemies asserted that his chastity was not improved by his associations with these miscreant beauties. The Jewish and Mohammedan physicians and philosophers taught him to sneer at the pretensions of the Church. From such ridicule it is but a short step to the shaking off of authority. At this time the Spanish Mohammedans had become widely infected with irreligion; their greatest philosophers were infidel in their own infidelity. The two sons of Averrhoes of Cordova were residents at Frederick's court. Their father was one of the ablest men their nation ever produced: an experienced astronomer, he had translated the Almagest, and, it is affirmed, was the first who actually saw a transit of Mercury across the sun; a voluminous commentator on the works of Plato and Aristotle, but a disbeliever in all revelation. Even of Mohammedanism he said, alluding to the prohibition which the Prophet had enjoined on the use of the flesh of swine, " That form of religion is destitute of every thing that can commend it to the approval of any understanding, unless it be that of a hog." In the Sicilian court, surrounded by such unholy influences, the character of the young emperor was formed. light Italian poetry, destined for such a brilliant future, here first found a voice in the sweet Sicilian dialect. The emperor and his chan -
FREDERICK II. 375
cellor were cultivators of the gay science, and in the composition of sonnets were rivals. A love of amatory poetry had spread from the South of France. With a view to the recovery of the Holy Land, Honorius III. had made Frederick marry Yolinda de Lusignan, the heiress of the kingdom of Jerusalem. It was not, therefore, to be wondered at that Frederick's frivolities soon drew upon him the indignation of the gloomy Pope Gregory IX., the very first act of whose pontificate was to summon a new crusade. To the exhortations and commands of the aged pope the emperor lent a most reluctant ear, postponing, from time to time, the period of his departure, and dabbling in doubtful negotiations, through his Mohammedan friends, with the Sultan of Egypt. He embarked at last, but in three days returned. The octogenarian pope was not to be trifled with, and pronounced his excommunication. Frederick treated it with ostensible contempt, but appealed to Christendom, accusing Rome of avaricious intentions. Her officials, he said, were traveling in all directions, not to preach the Word of God, but to extort money. "The primitive Church, founded on poverty and simplicity, brought forth numberless saints. The Romans are now rolling in wealth. What wonder that the walls of the Church are undermined to the base, and threaten utter ruin." For saying this\ he underwent a more tremendous excommunication; but his partisans in Rome, raising an insurrection, expelled the pope. And now Frederick set sail, of his own accord, on his crusading expedition. On reaching the Holy Land, he was received with joy by the knights and pilgrims; but the clergy held aloof from him as an excommunicated person. The pontiff had dispatched a swift-sailing ship to forbid their holding intercourse with him. His private negotiations with the Sultan of Egypt now came to maturity. The Christian camp was thronged with infidel delegates: some came to discuss philosophical subjects, some were the bearers of presents. Elephants and a bevy of dancing-girls were courteously sent by the sultan to his friend, who, it is said, was not insensible to the witcheries of the Oriental beauties. He wore a Saracen dress. In his privacy he did not hesitate to say, " I came not here to deliver the Holy City, but to maintain my estimation among the Franks." To the sultan he appealed, " Out of your goodness, surrender to me Jerusalem as it is, that I may be able to lift up my head among the kings of Christendom." Accordingly, the city who was surrendered to him. The object of his expedition was accomplished. But the pope was not to be deceived by such collusions. He repudiated the transactions altogether, and actually took measures to lay Jerusalem and the Savior's sepulchre under interdict, and this in the face of the Mohammedans. While the emperor proclaimed his successes to Europe, the pope denounced them as coming from the union of
376 INSTITUTIONS OF FREDERICK.
Christ and Belial; alleging four accusations against Frederick: That he had given the sword which he had received from the altar of St. Peter for the defense of the faith, as a present to the Sultan of Babylon; 2. That he had permitted the preaching of the Koran in the holy Temple itself; 3. That he had excluded the Christians of Antioch from his treaty; 4. That he had bound himself, if a Christian army should attempt to cleanse the Temple and city from Mohammedan defilements, to join the Saracens. Frederick crowned himself at Jerusalem, unable to find any ecclesiastic who dared to perform the ceremony, and departed from the Holy Land. It was time, for Rome was intriguing against him at home, a false report of his death having been industriously circulated. He forthwith prepared to enter on his conflict with the pontiff. His Saracen colonies at Nocera and Luceria, in Italy, could supply him with 30,000 Mussulman soldiers, with whom it was impossible for his enemies to tamper. He managed to draw over the general sentiment of Europe to his side, and publicly offered to convict the pope himself of negotiations with the infidels; but his antagonist, conveniently impressed with a sudden horror of shedding blood, gave way, and peace between the parties was made. It lasted nearly nine years. In this period, the intellectual greatness of Frederick, and the tendencies of the influences by which he was enveloped, were strikingly manifested. In advance of his age, he devoted himself to the political improvement of Sicily. He instituted representative parliaments; enacted a system of wise laws; asserted the principle of equal rights and equal burdens, and the supremacy of the law over all, even the nobles and the Church. He provided for the toleration of all professions, Jew and Mohammedan, as well as Christian; emancipated all the serfs of his domains; instituted cheap justice for the poor; forbade private war; regulated commerce-prophetically laying down some of those great principles, which only in our own time have been finally received as true; established markets and fairs; collected large libraries; caused to be translated such works as those of Aristotle and Ptolemy; built menageries for natural history; founded in Naples a great university; patronized the medical college at Salernum; made provisions for the education of promising but indigent youths. All over the land splendid architectural triumphs were created. Under him the Italian language first rose above a patois. Sculpture, and painting, and music were patronized. His chancellor is said to have been the author of the oldest sonnet. In the eye of Rome all this was an abomination. Were human laws to take the precedence of the law of God? Were the clergy to be degraded to a level with the laity? Were the Jew and the Mohammedan to be permitted their infamous rites? Was this new-born product of
HIS CONFLICT WITH THE POPE. 377
the insolence of human intellect-this so-called science-to be brought into competition with theology, the heaven-descended? Frederick and his parliaments, his laws and universities, his libraries, his statues, his pictures and sonnets, were denounced. Through all, the ever-watchful eye of the Church discerned the Jew and the Saracen, and held them up to the abhorrence of Europe. But Gregory was not unwilling to show what could be done by himself in the same direction. He caused a compilation of the Decretals to be issued, intrusting the work to one Raymond de Pennaforte, who had attained to celebrity as a literary opponent of the Saracens. It is amusing to remark that even this simple work of labor could not be promulgated without the customary embellishments. It was given out that an angel watched over his shoulder all the time he was writing. Meantime an unceasing vigilance was maintained against the dangerous results that would necessarily ensue from Frederick's movements. In Rome, many heretics were burned; many condemned to imprisonment for life. The quarrel between the pope and the emperor was again resumed; the latter being once more excommunicated, and his body delivered over to Satan for the good of his soul. Again Frederick appealed to all the sovereigns of Christendom. He denounced the pontiff as an unworthy vicar of Christ, "who sits in his court like a merchant, weighing out dispensations for gold-himself writing and signing the bulls, perhaps counting the money. He has but one cause of enmity against me, that I refused to marry to his niece my natural son Enzio, now King of Sardinia." " In the midst of the Church sits a frantic prophet, a man of falsehood, a polluted priest." To this Gregory replied. The tenor of his answer may be gathered from its commencement: " Out of the sea a beast is arisen, whose name is written all over' Blasphemy.'" " He falsely asserts that I am enraged at his refusing his consent to the marriage of my niece with his natural son. He lies more impudently when he says that I have pledged my faith to the Lombards." " In truth, this pestilent king maintains, to use his own words, that the world has been deceived by three impostors-Jesus Christ, Moses, and Mohammed; that of these two died in honor, and the third was hanged on a tree. Even now, he has asserted, distinctly and loudly, that those are fools who aver that God, the Omnipotent Creator of the world, was born of a woman." This was in allusion to the celebrated and mysterious book, "De Tribus Impostoribus," in the authorship of which Frederick was accused of having been concerned. The pontiff had touched the right cord. The begging friars, in all directions, added to the accusations. "He has spoken of the Host as a mummery; he has asked how many gods might be made out of a cornfield; he has affirmed that, if the princes of the world would stand by
378 HIS EXCOMMUNICATION AND DEATH.
him, he would easily make for mankind a better faith and a better rule of life; he has laid down the infidel maxim that'God expects not a man to believe any thing that can not be demonstrated by reason.' " The opinion of Christendom rose against Frederick; its sentiment of piety was shocked. The pontiff proceeded to depose him, and offered his crown to Robert of France. But the Mussulman troops of the emperor were too much for the begging friars of the pope. His Saracens were marching across Italy in all directions. The pontiff himself would have inevitably fallen into the hands of his mortal enemy had he not found a deliverance in death, A.D. 1241. Frederick had declared that he would not respect his sacred person, but, if victorious, would teach him the absolute supremacy of the temporal power. It was plain that he had no intention of respecting a religion which he had not hesitated to denounce as "a mere absurdity." Whatever may have been the intention of Innocent IV.-who, after the short pontificate of Celestine IV. and an interval, succeeded-he was borne into the same policy by the irresistible force of circumstances. The deadly quarrel with the emperor was renewed. To escape his wrath, Innocent fled to France, and there in safety called the Council of Lyons. In a sermon, he renewed all the old accusations-the heresy and sacrilege-the peopling of Italian cities with Saracens, for the purpose of overturning the Vicar of Christ with those infidels-the friendship with the Sultan of Egypt-the African courtesans-the perjuries and blasphemies. Then was proclaimed the sentence of excommunication and deposition. The pope and the bishops inverted the torches they held in their hands until they went out, uttering the malediction, " So may he be extinguished." Again the emperor appealed to Europe, but this time in vain. Europe would not forgive him his blasphemy. Misfortunes crowded upon him; his friends forsook him; his favorite son, Enzio, was taken prisoner; and he never smiled again after detecting his intimate, Pietro de Vinea, whom he had raised from beggary, in promising the monks that he would poison him. The day had been carried by a resort to all means justifiable and unjustifiable, good and evil. For thirty years Frederick had combated the Church and the Guelph party, but he sunk in the conflict at last. When Innocent heard of the death of his foe, he might doubtless well think that what he had once asserted had at last become true: " We are no mere mortal man; we have the place of God upon earth." In his address to the clergy of Sicily he exclaimed, "Let the heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad; for the lightning and tempest wherewith God Almighty has so long menaced your heads have been changed by the death of this man into refreshing zephyrs and fertilizing dews." This is that superhuman vengeance which hesitates not to strike the corpse of a man. Rome never forgives him who has told her of her impostures face to face; she never forgives him who has touched her goods.
ST. LOUIS OF FRANCE. 379
The Saracenic influences had thus found an expression in the South of France and in Sicily, involving many classes of society, from the Poor Men of Lyons to the Emperor of Germany; but in both places they were overcome by the admirable organization and unscrupulous vigor of the Church. She handled her weapons with singular dexterity, and contrived to extract victory out of humiliation and defeat. As ever since the days of Constantine, she had partisans in every city, in every village, in every family. And now it might have appeared that the blow she had thus delivered was final, and that the world, in contentment, must submit to her will. She had again succeeded in putting her iron heel on the neck of knowledge, and had stamped upon it amid the hatred of Christendom, reviling it as the monstrous but legitimate issue of the detested Mohammedanism. But the fate of men is by no means an indication of the fate of principles. The fall of the Emperor Frederick was not followed by the destruction of the influences he represented. These not only survived him, but were destined, in the end, to overcome the power which had transiently overthrown them. We are now entering on the history of a period which offers to us not only exterior opposition to the current doctrines, but, what is more ominous, interior mutiny. Notwithstanding the awful persecutions in the South of France-notwithstanding the establishment of auricular confession as a detective means, and the Inquisition as a weapon of punishment-notwithstanding the influence of the French king, St. Louis, canonized by the grateful Church-heresy, instead of being extirpated, extended itself among the laity, and even spread among the ecclesiastical ranks. St. Louis, the representative of the hierarchical party, gathers influence only from the circumstance of his relations with the Church, of whose interests he was a fanatical supporter. So far as the affairs of his people were concerned, he can hardly be looked upon as any thing better than a simpleton. His reliance for checking the threatened spread of heresy was a resort to violence-the fagot and the sword. In his opinion, "A man ought never to dispute with a misbeliever except with his sword, which he ought to drive into the heretic's entrails as far as he could." It was the signal glory of his reign that he secured for France that inestimable relic, the crown of thorns. This peerless memento of our Savior's passion he purchased in Constantinople for an immense sum. But France was doubly and enviably enriched; for the Abbey of St. D'enys was in possession of another, known to be equally authentic. Besides the crown, he also secured the sponge that was dipped in vinegar; the lance of the Roman soldier; also the swaddling-clothes in which the Savior had first lain in the manger; the rod of Moses; and part of the skull of John the Baptist. These treasures he deposited in the " Etoly Chapel" of Paris.
380 ACTIONS OF THE INQUISITION.
Under the papal auspices, St. Louis determined on a crusade; and nothing, except what we have already mentioned, can better show his mental imbecility than his disregard of all suitable arrangements for it. He thought that, provided the troops could be made to lead a religious life, all would go well; that the Lord would fight his own battles, and that no provisions of a military or worldly kind were needed. In such a pious reliance on the support of God, he reached Egypt with his expedition in June, A.D. 1249. The ever-conspicuous valor of the French troops could maintain itself in the battle-field, but not against pestilence and famine. In March of the following year, as might have been foreseen, King Louis was the prisoner of the sultan, and was only spared the indignity of being carried about as a public spectacle in the Mohammedan towns by a ransom, at first fixed at a million of Byzantines, but by the merciful sultan voluntarily reduced one fifth. Still, for a time, Louis lingered in the East, apparently stupefied by considering how God could in this manner have abandoned a man who had come to his help. Never was there a crusade with a more shameful end. Notwithstanding the support of St. Louis in his own dominions, the intellectual revolt spread in every direction, and that not only in France, but throughout all Catholic Europe. In vain the Inquisition exerted all its terrors-and what could be more terrible than its form of procedure? It sat in secret; no witness, no advocate was present; the accused was simply informed that he was charged with heresy, it was not said by whom. He was made to swear that he would tell the truth as regarded himself, and also respecting other persons, whether parents, children, friends, strangers. If he resisted he was committed to a solitary dungeon, dark and poisonous; his food was diminished; every thing was done to drive him into insanity. Then the familiars of the Holy Office, or others in its interests, were by degrees to work upon him to extort confession as to himself or accusations against others. But this fearful tribunal did not fail to draw upon itself the indignation of men. Its victims, condemned for heresy, were perishing in all directions. The usual apparatus of death, the stake and fagots, had become unsuited to its wholesale and remorseless vengeance. The convicts were so numerous as to require pens made of stakes and filled with straw. It was thus that, before the Archbishop of Rheims and seventeen other prelates, one hundred and eighty-three heretics, together with their pastor, were burned alive. Such outrages against humanity can not be perpetrated without bringing in the end a retribution. In other countries the rising indignation was exasperated by local causes; in England, for instance, by the continual intrusion of Italian ecclesiastics into the richest benefices. Some of them were mere boys; many were non-residents; some had not so much as seen the country from which they drew their ample wealth. The Archbishop of York
INCREASE OF HERESY. 381
was excommunicated, with torches and bells, because he would not bestow the abundant revenues of his Church on persons from beyond the Alps; but for all this "he was blessed by the people." The archbishopric of Canterbury was held, A.D. 1241, by Boniface of Savoy, to whom had been granted by the pope the first-fruits of all the benefices in his province. His rapacity was boundless. From all the ecclesiastics and ecclesiastical establishments under his control he extorted enormous sums. Some, who, like the Dean of St. Paul's, resisted him, were excommunicated; some, like the aged Sub-prior of St. Bartholomew's, were knocked down by his own hand. Of a military turn-he often wore a cuirass under his robes-he joined his brother, the Archbishop of Lyons, who was besieging Turin, and wasted the revenues of his see in England in intrigues and petty military enterprises against his enemies in Italy. Not among the laity alone was there indignation against such a state of things. Mutiny broke out in the ranks of the Church. It was not that among the humbler classes the sentiment of piety had become diminished. The Shepherds, under the leadership of the Master of Hungary, passed by tens of thousands through France to excite the clergy to arouse for the rescue of good King Louis, in bondage to the Mussulmen. They asserted that they were commissioned by the Virgin, and were fed miraculously by the Master. Originating in Italy, the Flagellants also passed, two by two, through every city, scourging themselves for thirty-three days in memory of the years of our Lord. These dismal enthusiasts emulated each other, and were rivals of the mendicant friars in their hatred of the clergy. The mendicants were beginning to justify that hesitation which Innocent displayed when he was first importuned to authorize them. The papacy had reaped from these orders much good; it was now to gather a fearful evil. They had come to be learned men instead of ferocious bigots. They were now, indeed, among the most learned men of their times. They had taken possession of many of the seats of learning. In the University of Paris, out of twelve chairs of theology, three only were occupied by the regular clergy. The mendicant friars had entered into the dangerous paths of heresy. They became involved in that fermenting leaven that had come from Spain, and among them revolt broke out. With an unerring instinct, Rome traced the insurrection to its true source. We have only to look at the measures taken by the popes to understand their opinion. Thus Innocent III., A.D. 1215, regulated, by his legate, the schools of Paris, permitting the study of the Dialectics of Aristotle, but forbidding his physical and metaphysical works and their commentaries. These had come through an Arabic channel. A rescript of Gregory XI., A.D. 1231, interdicts those on natural philosophy until they had been purified by the theologians of the Church. These regulations were confirmed by Clement IV., A.D. 1265.
382 THE AGE OF FAITH IN THE WEST.
CHAPTER XVII. THE AGE OF FAITH IN THE WEST -(Continued). OVERTHROW OF THE ITALIAN SYSTEM BY THE COMBINED INTELLECTUAL AND MORAL ATTACK.
Progress of Irreligion among the mendicant Orders.-Publication of heretical Books. The Everlasting Gospel and the Comment on the Apocalypse. Conflict between Philip the Fair and Boniface VIII.-Outrage upon and death of the Pope. The French King removes the Papacy from Rome to Avignon.-Post-mortem Trial of the Pope for Atheism and Immorality.-Causes and Consequences of the Atheism of the Pope. The Templars fall into Infidelity.-Their Trial, Conviction, and Punishment. Immoralities of the Papal Court at Avignon.-Its return to Rome. Causes of the great Schism. -Disorganization of the Italian System.-IDecomposition of the Papacy.-Three Popes. The Council of Constance attempts to convert the papal Autocracy into a constitutional Monarchy. t murders John Huss and Jerome of Prague.-Pontificate of Nicolas V. End of the intellectual influence of the Italian System.
ABOUT the close of the twelfth century appeared among the mendicant friars that ominous work, which, under the title of "The Everlasting Gospel," struck terror into the Latin hierarchy. It was affirmed that an angel had brought it from heaven, engraven on copper plates, and had given it to a priest called Cyril, who delivered it to the Abbot Joachim. The abbot had been dead about fifty years, when there was put forth, A.D. 1250, a true exposition of the tendency of his book, under the form of an introduction, by John of Parma, the general of the Franciscans, as was universally suspected or alleged. Notwithstanding its heresy, the work displayed an enlarged and masterly conception of the historical progress of humanity. In this introduction, John of Parma pointed out that the Abbot Joachim, who had not only performed a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, but had been reverenced as a prophet, received as of unimpeachable orthodoxy, and canonized, had accepted as his fundamental position that Roman Christianity had done its work, and had now come to its inevitable termination. He proceeded to show that there are epochs or ages in the Divine government of the world; that, during the Jewish dispensation, it had been under the immediate influence of God the Father; during the Christian dispensation, it had been under that of God the Son; and that the time had now arrived when it would be under the influence of God the Holy Ghost; that, in the coming ages, there would be no longer any need of faith, but that all things would be according to wisdom and reason. It was the ushering in of a new time. So spake, with needful obscurity, the Abbot Joachim, and so, more plain-
THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL. 383
ly, the General of the Franciscans in his Introduction. "The Everlasting Gospel" was declared by its adherents to have supplanted the New Testament, as that had supplanted the Old-these three books constituting a threefold revelation, answering to the Trinity of the Godhead. At once there was a cry from the whole hierarchy. The Pope, Alexander IV., without delay, took measures for the destruction of the book. Whoever kept or concealed a copy was excommunicate. But among the lower mendicants-the Spiritualists, as they were termed-the work was held in the most devout repute. With them it had taken the place of the Holy Scriptures. So far from being suppressed, it was followed, in about forty years, A.D. 1297, by the Comment on the Apocalypse, by John Peter Oliva, who, in Sicily, had accepted the three epochs or ages, and divided the middle one-the Christian-into seven stages: the age of the Apostles; that of the Martyrs; that of Heresies; that of Hermits; that of the Monastic System; that of the overthrow of Anti-Christ, and that of the coming Millennium. He agreed with his predecessors in the impending abolition of Roman Christianity, stigmatized that Church as the purple harlot, and with them affirmed that the pope and all his hierarchy had become superfluous and obsolete-" their work was done, their doom sealed." His zealous followers declared that the sacraments of the Church were now all useless, those administering them having no longer any jurisdiction. The burning of thousands of these "Fratricelli" by the Inquisition was altogether inadequate to suppress them. Eventually, when the Reformation occurred, they mingled among the followers of Luther. To the internal and doctrinal troubles thus befalling the Church, material and foreign ones of the most vital importance were soon added. The true reason of the difficulties into which the papacy was falling was now coming conspicuously into light. It was absolutely necessary that money should be drawn to Rome, and the sovereigns of the Western kingdoms, France and England, from which it had hitherto been largely obtained, were determined that it should be so no longer. They had equally urgent need of all that could be extorted themselves. In France, even by St. Louis, it was enacted that the papal power in the election of the clergy should be restrained; and, complaining of the drain of money from the kingdom to Rome, he applied the effectual remedy of prohibiting any such assessments or taxations for the future. We have now reached the pontificate of Boniface VIII., an epoch in the intellectual history of Europe. Under the title of Celestine V. a visionary hermit had been raised to the papacy-visionary, for Peter Morrone (such was his name) had long been indulged in apparitions of angels and the sounds of phantom bells in the air.
384 POPE BONIFACE VIII.
Peter was escorted from his cell to his supreme position by admiring crowds; but it very soon became apparent that the life of an anchorite is not a preparation for the duties of a pope. The conclave of cardinals had elected him, not from any impression of his suitableness, but because they were evenly balanced in two parties, neither of which would give way. They were therefore driven to a temporary and available election. But scarcely had this been done when his incapacity became conspicuous and his removal imperative. It is said that the friends of Benedetto Gaetani, the ablest of the cardinals, through a hole perforated in the pope's chamber wall, at midnight, in a hollow voice, warned him that he retained his dignity at the peril of his soul, and in the name of God commanded him to abdicate. And so, in spite of all importunity, he did. His abdication was considered by many pious men as striking a death-blow at papal infallibility. It was during his pontificate that the miracle of Loretto occurred. The house inhabited by the Virgin immediately after her conception had been converted, on the death of the Holy Family, into a chapel, and St. Luke had presented to it an image, carved by his own hands, still known as our Lady of Loretto. Some angels, chancing to be at Nazareth when the Saracen conquerors approached, fearing that the sacred relic might fall into their possession, took the house bodily in their hands, and, carrying it through the air, after several halts, finally deposited it at Loretto in Italy. So Benedetto Gaetani, whether by such wily procurements or not, became Pope Boniface VIII., A.D. 1294. His election was probably due to King Charles, who held twelve electoral votes, the bitter personal animosity of the Colonnas having been either neutralized or overcome. The first care of Boniface was to consolidate his power and relieve himself of a rival. In the opinion of many it was not possible for a pope to abdicate. Confinement in prison soon (A.D. 1296) determined that question. The soul of Celestine was seen by a monk ascending the skies, which opened to receive it into heaven; and a splendid funeral informed his enemies that they must now acknowledge Boniface as the unquestioned pope. But the princely Colonnas, the leaders of the Ghibelline faction in Rome, who had resisted the abdication of Celestine to the last, and were, therefore, mortal enemies of Boniface, revolted. He published a bull against and them; he excommunicated them. With an ominous anticipation of the future-for they were familiar with the papal power, and knew where to touch it to the quick-they appealed to a " General Council." Since supernatural weapons did not seem to avail, Boniface proclaimed a crusade against them. The issue answered his expectations. Palestrina, one of their strong-holds, which in a moment of weakness they had surrendered, was utterly devastated and sown with salt.
HIS QUARREL WITH PHILIP THE FAIR. 385
The Colonnas fled, some of them to France. There, in King Philip the Fair, they found a friend, who was destined to avenge their wrongs, and to inflict on the papacy a blow from which it never recovered. This was the state of affairs at the commencement of the quarrel between Philip and Boniface. The Crusades had brought all Europe under taxation to Rome, and loud complaints were everywhere made against the drain of money into Italy. Things had at last come to such a condition that it was not possible to continue the Crusades without resorting to a taxation of the clergy, and this was sities the true reason of the eventual lukewarmness, and even opposition to them. But the stream of money that had thus been passing into Italy had engendered habits of luxury and extravagance. Cost what it might, money must be had in Rome. The perennial necessity under which the kings of England and France found themselves-the necessity of revenue for the carrying out of their temporal projects-could only be satisfied in the same way. The wealth of those nations had insensibly glided into the hands of the Church. In England, Edward I. compelled the taxation of the clergy. They resisted at first, but that sovereign found an ingenious and effectual remedy. He directed his judges to hear no cause in which an ecclesiastic was a complainant, but to try every suit brought against them; asserting that those who refused to share the burdens of the state had no right to the protection of its laws. They forthwith submitted. In the nature and efficacy of this remedy we for the first time recognize the agency of a class of man soon to rise to power-the lawyers. In France, Philip the Fair made a similar attempt. It was not to be supposed that Rome would tolerate this trespassing on what she considered her proper domain, and accordingly Boniface issued the bull " Clericis aicos," excommunicating kings who should levy subsidies on ecclesiastics. Hereupon Philip determined that, if the French clergy were not tributary to him, France should not be tributary to the pope, and issued an edict prohibiting the export of gold and silver from France without his license. But he did not resort to these extreme measures until he had tried others which perhaps he considered less troublesome. He had plundered the Jews, confiscated their property, and expelled them from his dominions. The Church was fairly next in order; and, indeed, the mendicant friars of the lower class, who, as we have seen, were disaffected by the publication of "The Everlasting Gospel," were loud in their denunciations of her wealth, attributing the prevailing religious demoralization to it. They pointed to the example of our Lord and his disciples; and when their antagonists replied that even He condescended to make use of money, the malignant fanatics maintained their doctrines, amid the applause of a jeering populace, by answering that it was not St. Peter, but Judas, BB
386 THE ENEMIES OF BONIFACE.
who was intrusted with the purse, and that the pope stood in need of the bitter rebuke which Jesus had of old administered to his prototype Peter, saying, " Get thee behind me, Satan; for thou savorest not of the things that be of God, but of the things that be of men" (Mark, viii., 33). Under that authority they affirmed that they might stigmatize the great culprit without guilt. So the king ventured to put forth his hand and touch what the Church had, and she cursed him to his face. At first a literary war ensued: the pope published his bull, the king his reply. Already the policy which Philip was following, and the ability he was displaying, manifested that he had attached to himself that new power and of which the King of England had taken advantage-a power soon to become the mortal enemy of the ecclesiastic-the lawyers. In the mean time, money must be had in Rome; when, by the singularly felicitous device of the proclamation of a year of jubilee, A.D. 1300, large sums were again brought into Italy. Boniface had thus four antagonists on his hands-the King of France, the Colonnas, the lawyers, and the mendicants. By the latter, both high and low, he was cordially hated. Thus the higher English Franciscans were enraged against him because he refused to let them hold lands. They attempted to bribe him with 40,000 ducats; but he seized the money at the banker's, under the pretense that it had no owners, as the mendicants were vowed to poverty, and then denied the privilege. As to the lower Franciscans, heresy was fast spreading among them. They were not only infected with the doctrines of " The Everlasting Gospel," but had even descended into the abyss of irreligion one step more, by placing St. Francis in the stead of our Savior. They were incessantly repeating in the ears of the laity that the pope was Anti-Christ, "the Man of Sin." The quarrel between Philip and Boniface was every moment increasing in bitterness. The former seized and imprisoned a papal nuncio, who had been selected because he was known to be personally offensive; the latter retaliated by the issue of bulls protesting against such an outrage, interfering between the king and his French clergy, and citing the latter to appear in Rome and take cognizance of their master's misdoings. The monarch was actually invited to be present and hear his own doom. In the lesser bull-if it be authentic-and the king's rejoinder, both parties seem to have lost their temper. This was followed by the celebrated bull "Ausculta Fili', at which the king's indignation knew no bounds. He had it publicly burned in Paris at the sound of a trumpet; assembled the States-General; and, under the advice of his lawyers, skillfully brought the issue to this: Does the king hold the realm of France of God or of the pope? Without difficulty it might be seen how the French clergy would be compelled to act: since many of them held fiefs of the king, all were in fear of the intrusion of Italian
THEIR CHARGES BEFORE THE STATES-GENERAL. 387
ecclesiastics into the rich benefices. France, therefore, supported her monarch. On his side, Boniface, in the bull "Unam Sanctam," asserted his power by declaring that it is necessary to salvation to believe that" every human being is subject to the Pontiff of Rome." Philip, foreseeing the desperate nature of the approaching conflict, and aiming to attach his people firmly to him by putting himself forth as their protector against priestly tyranny, again skillfully appealed to their sentiments by denouncing the Inquisition as an atrocious barbarity, an outrage on human rights, violating all law, resorting to new and unheard-of tortures, and doing deeds at which men's minds revolt with horror. In the South of France this language was thoroughly understood. The lawyers, among whom William de Nogaret was conspicuous, ably assisted him; indeed, his whole movement exhibited the extraordinary intelligence of his advisers. It has been affirmed, and is, perhaps, not untrue, that De Nogaret's father had been burned by the Inquisition. The great lawyer was bent on revenge. The States-General, under his suggestions, entertained four propositions: 1. That Boniface was not the true pope; 2. That he was a the heretic; 3. That he was a simoniac; 4. That he was a man weighed down with crimes. De Nogaret, learning from the Colonnas how to touch the papacy in a vital point, demanded that the whole subject should be referred to a " General Council" to be summoned by the king. A second meeting of the States-General was held. William de Plaisian, the Lord of Vezenoble, appeared with charges against the pope. Out of a long list, many of which could not possibly be true, some may be mentioned: that Boniface neither believed in the immortality nor incorruptibility of the soul, nor in a life to come, nor in the real presence in the Eucharist; that he did not observe the fasts of the Church-not even Lent; that he spoke of the cardinals, monks, and friars as hypocrites; that the Holy Land had been lost through his fault; that the subsidies for its relief had been embezzled by him; that his holy predecessor, Celestine, through his inhumanity had been brought to death; that he had said that fornication and other obscene practices were no sin; that he was a Sodomite, and had caused clerks to be murdered in his presence; that he had enriched himself by simony; that his nephew's wife had borne him two illegitimate sons. These, with other still more revolting charges, were sworn to upon the Holy Gospels. The king appealed to " a general council and to a legitimate pope." The quarrel had now become a mortal one. There was but one course for Boniface to take, and he did take it. He excommunicated the king. He deprived him of his throne, and anathematized his posterity to the fourth generation. The bull was to be suspended in the porch of the Cathedral of Anagni on September 8; but William de Nogaret and one of the Colonnas had already passed into Italy. They
388 DEATH OF BONIFACE.-REMOVAL OF THE PAPACY.
hired a troop of banditti, and on September 7 attacked the pontiff in his palace at Anagni. The doors of a church which protected him were strong, but they yielded to fire. The brave old man, in his pontifical robes, with his crucifix in one hand and the keys of St. Peter in the other, sat down on his throne and confronted his assailants. His cardinals had fled through a sewer. So little reverence was there for God's vicar upon earth, that Sciarra Colonna raised his hand to kill him on the spot; but the blow was arrested by De Nogaret, who, with a bitter taunt, told him that here, in his own city, he owed his life to the mercy of a servant of the King of France-a servant whose father had been burned by the Inquisition. The pontiff was spared only to be placed on a miserable horse, with his face to the tail, and led off to prison. They meant to transport him to France to await the general council. He was rescued, returned to Rome, was seized and imprisoned again. On the 11th of October he was dead. Thus, after a pontificate of nine eventful years, perished Boniface VIII. His history and his fate show to what a gulf Roman Christianity was approaching. His successor, Benedict XI., had but a brief enjoyment of power; long enough, however, to learn that the hatred of the King of France had not died with the death of Boniface, and that he was determined not only to pursue the departed pontiff's memory beyond the grave, but also to effect a radical change in the papacy itself. A basket of figs was presented to Benedict by a veiled female. She had brought them, she said, from the Abbess of St. Petronilla. In an unguarded moment the pontiff ate of them without the customary precaution of having them previously tasted. Alas! what was the state of morals in Italy? A dysentery came on; in a few days he was dead. But the Colonnas had already taught the King of France how one should work who desires to touch the popedom; the event that had just occurred was the preparation for putting their advice into operation. The king came to an understanding with Bernard de Goth, the Six conditions were arranged between them: 1. The reconciliation between the Church and the king; 2. The absolution of all persons engaged in the affair of Boniface; 3. Tenths from the clergy for five years; 4. The condemnation of the memory of Boniface; 5. The restoration of the Colonnas; 6. A secret article; what it was time soon showed. A swift messenger carried intelligence to the king's partisans in the College of Cardinals, and Bernard became Clement V. "It will be long before we see the face of another pope in Rome!" exclaimed the Cardinal Matteo Orsini, with a prophetic instinct of what was coming when the conspiracy reached its development. His prophecy was only too true. Now appeared what was that sixth, that secret article negotiated between King Philip and De Goth. Clement took up his residence at Avignon in France.
POST-MORTEM TRIAL OF BONIFACE. 389
The tomb of the apostles was abandoned. The Eternal City had ceased to be the metropolis of Christianity. But a French prelate had not bargained with a French king for the most eminent dignity to which a European can aspire without having given an equivalent. In as good faith as he could to his contract, in as good faith as he could to his present pre-eminent position, Clement V. proceeded to discharge his share of the obligation. To a certain extent King Philip was animated by an undying vengeance against his enemy, whom he considered as having escaped out of his grasp, but he was also actuated by a sincere desire of accomplishing a reformi in the Church through a radical change in its constitution. He was resolved that the pontiffs should be accountable to the kings of France, or that France should more directly influence their conduct. To reconcile men to this, it was for him to show, with the semblance of pious reluctance, what was the state to which morals and faith had come in Rome. The trial of the dead Boniface was therefore entered upon, A.D. 1310. The Consistory was opened at Avignon, March 18. The proceedings occupied many months; many witnesses were examined. The main points attempted to be established by their evidence seem to have been these: "That Boniface had declared his belief that there was no such thing as divine law-what was reputed to be such was merely the invention of men to keep the vulgar in awe by the terrors of eternal punishment; that it was a falsehood to assert the Trinity, and fatuous to believe it; that it was falsehood to say that a virgin had brought forth, for it was an impossibility; that it was falsehood to assert that bread is transubstantiated into the body of Christ; that Christianity is false, because it asserts a future life, of which there is no evidence save that of visionary people." It was in evidence that the pope had said, " God may do the worst with me that he pleases in the future life; I believe as every educated man does, the vulgar believe otherwise. We have to speak as they do, but we must believe and think with the few." It was sworn to by those who had heard him disputing with some Parisians that he had maintained "that neither the body nor the soul rose again." Others testified that "he neither believed in the resurrection nor in the sacraments of the Church, and had denied that carnal gratifications are sins." The Primicerio of St. John's, at Naples, deposed that, when a cardinal, Boniface had said in his presence, "So that God gives me the good things of this life, I care not a bean for that to come. A man has no more a soul than a beast. Did you ever see any one who had arisen from the dead?" He took delight in deriding the blessed Virgin; "for," said he, "she was no more a virgin than my mother." As to the presence of Christ in the Host, " It is nothing but paste." Three knights of Lucca testified that when certain venerable embassadors, whose names they gave, were in the presence of
390 THE KING ABANDONS THE PROSECUTION.
the pope at the time of the jubilee, and a chaplain happened to invoke the mercy of Jesus on a person recently dead, Boniface appalled all around him by exclaiming, "What a fool, to commend him to Christ! He could not help himself, and how can he be expected to help others? He was no Son of God, but a shrewd man and a great hypocrite." It might seem impossible to exceed such blasphemy; and yet the witnesses went on to testify to a conversation which he held with the brave old Sicilian admiral, Roger Loria. This devout sailor made the remark, in the pope's presence, that if, on a certain occasion, he had died, it was his trust that Christ would have had mercy on him. To this Boniface replied, " Christ! he was no Son of God; he was a man, eating and drinking like ourselves; he never rose from the dead; no man has ever risen. I am far mightier than he. I can bestow kingdoms and humble kings." Other witnesses deposed to having heard him affirm, "There is no harm in simony. There is no more harm in adultery than in rubbing one's hands together." Some testified to such immoralities and lewdness in his private life that the pages of a modern book can not be soiled with the recital. In the mean time, Clement did all in his power to save the blackened memory of his predecessor. Every influence that could be brought to bear on the revengeful or politic king was resorted to, and at last with success. Perhaps Philip saw that he had fully accomplished his object. He had no design to destroy the papacy. His aim was to revolutionize it-to give to the kings of France a more thorough control over it; and, for the accomplishment of that purpose, to demonstrate to what a condition it had come through the present system. Whatever might be the decision, such evidence had been brought forward as, notwithstanding its contradictions and apparent inconsistencies, had made a profound impression on every thinking man. It was the king's consummate policy to let the matter remain where it was. Accordingly, he abandoned all farther action. The gratitude of Clement was expressed in a bull exalting Philip, attributing his action to piety, exempting him from all blame, annulling past bulls prejudicial to him, revoking all punishments of those who had been concerned against Boniface except fifteen persons, on whom a light and nominal penance was inflicted. In November, A.D. 1311, the Council of Vienne met. In the following year three cardinals appeared before it to defend the orthodoxy and holy life of Pope Boniface. Two knights threw down their gauntlets to maintain his innocence by wager of battle. There was' no accuser; no one took up the gage; and the council was at liberty quietly to dispose of the matter. How far the departed pontiff was guilty of the charges alleged against him was, therefore, never fairly ascertained. But it was a tremendous, an appalling fact that charges of such a character
CAUSES OF THE IMPIETY OF BONIFACE. 391
could be even so much as brought forward, much more that a succeeding pontiff had to listen to them, and attribute intentions of piety to the accuser. The immoralities of which Boniface was accused were such as in Italy did not excite the same indignation as among the more moral people beyond the Alps; the heresies were those every where pervading the Church. We have already seen what a profound impression " The Everlasting Gospel" had made, and how many followers and martyrs it had. What was alleged against Boniface was only that he had taken one step more in the downward course of irreligion. His fault lay in this, that in an evil hour he had given expression to thoughts which, considering his position, ought to have remained locked up in his inmost soul. As to the rest, if he was avaricious, and accumulated enormous treasures, such as it was said the banditti of the Colonnas seized when they outraged his person, he was no worse than many other popes. Clement V., his successor, died enormously rich; and, what was worse, did not hesitate to scandalize Europe by his prodigal munificence to the beautiful Brunisard, the Countess of Talleyrand, his lady. The religious condition of Boniface, though not admitting of apology, is capable of explanation. By the Crusades all Europe had been wrought up to a fanatical expectation, doomed necessarily to disappointment. From them the papacy had derived prodigious advantages both in money and power. It was now to experience fearful evils. It had largely promised rewards in this life, and also in the world to come, to those who would take up the Cross; it had deliberately pitted Christianity against Mohammedanism, and staked the authenticity of each on the issue of the conflict. In the face of the whole world it had put forth as the true criterion the possession of the holy places, hallowed by the life, the sufferings, the death, the resurrection of the Redeemer. Whatever the result might be, the circumstances under which this had been done were such that there was no concealing, no dissembling. In all Europe there was not a family which had not been pecuniarily involved in the Crusades, perhaps not one which had not furnished men. Was it at all to be wondered at that every where the people, accustomed to the logic of trial by battle, were terror-stricken when they saw the result? Was it to be wondered at that even still more dreadful heresies spontaneously suggested themselves? Was it at all extraordinary that, if there had been popes sincerely accepting that criterion, the issue should be a pope who was a sincere misbeliever? Was it extraordinary that there should be a loss of papal prestige? It was the papacy which had voluntarily, for its own ends, brought things into this evil channel, and the papacy deserved a just retribution of discredit and ruin. It had wrought on the devout temper of religious Europe for its own sinister purposes; it had drained the Continent of its blood, and perhaps of what was more highly prized-its money; it had established a false issue, an unwar
392 THE PROCESS AGAINST THE TEMPLAR.
rantable criterion, and now came the time for it to reap consequences of a different kind-intellectual revolt among the people, heresy among the clergy. Nor was the pope without eminent comrades in his sin. The Templars, whose duty it had been to protect pilgrims on the way to Jerusalem-who had therefore been long and thoroughly familiar with the state of events in Palestine-had been treading in the same path as the pope. Dark rumors had begun to circulate throughout Europe that these, the very vanguard of Christianity, had not only proved traitors to their banner, but had actually become Mohammedanized. On their expulsion from the Holy Land, at the close of the Crusades, they spread all over Europe, to disseminate by stealth their fearful heresies, and to enjoy the riches they had acquired in the service they had betrayed. Men find a charm in having it mysteriously and secretly divulged to them that their long-cherished opinions are all a delusion. There was something fascinating in hearing privately, from those who could speak with authority, that, after all, Mohammed was not an impostor, but the author of a pure and noble Theism; that Saladin was not a treacherous assassin, a despicable liar, but a most valiant, courteous, and gentle knight. In his proceedings against the Templars, King Philip the Fair seems to have been animated by a pure intention of checking the disastrous spread of their opinions; yet William de Nogaret, who was his chief adviser on this matter as on that of Boniface, was not without reasons of personal hatred. It was said that he divided his wrath between the Templars and the pope. They had had some connection with the burning of his father, and vengeance he was resolved to wreak upon them. Under color of the charges against them, all the Templars in France were simultaneously arrested in the dawn of one day, October 13, A.D. 1307, so well devised were the measures. The grand master, Du Molay, was secured, not, however, without some perfidy. Now were openly brought forward the charges which struck Europe with consternation. Substantiation of them was offered by witnesses, but it was secured by submitting the accused to torture. The grand master, Du Molay, at first admitted their guilt of the accusations alleged. After some hesitation, the pope issued a bull, commanding the King of England to do what the King of France had already done, to arrest the Templars and seize their property. His declaration, that one of the order, a man of high birth, had confessed to himself his criminality, seems to have made a profound impression on the mind of the English king, and of many other persons until that time reluctant to believe. The Parliament and the University of Paris expressed themselves satisfied with the evidence. New examinations were held, and new convictions were made. The pope issued a bull addressed to all Christendom, declaring how slowly, but, alas! how certainly, he had been compelled to believe in the apostasy of the order, and com
BURNING OF THEIR GRAND MASTER. 393
manding that every where proceedings should be instituted against it. A papal commission assembled in Paris, August 7, A.D. 1309. The grand master was had before it. He professed his belief in the Catholic faith, but now denied that the order was guilty of the charges alleged against it, as also did many of the other knights. Other witnesses were, however, brought forward, some of whom pretended to have abandoned the order on account of its foul acts. At the Porte St. Antoine, on many pleasant evenings in the following May, William de Nogaret reveled in the luxury of avenging the shade of his father. One hundred and thirteen Templars were, in slow succession, burned at stakes. The remorseless lawyer was repaying the Church in her own coin. Yet of this vast concourse of sufferers all died protesting their innocence; not one proved an apostate. Notwithstanding this most significant fact-for those who were ready to lay down their lives, and to meet with unshaken constancy the fire, were surely the bravest of the knights, and their dying declaration is worthy of our most reverent consideration-things were such that no other course was possible than the abolition of the order, and this accordingly took place. The pope himself seems to have been satisfied that the crimes had been perpetrated under the instigation or temptation of Satan; but men of more enlarged views appear to have concluded that, though the Templars were innocent of the moral abominations charged against them, a familiarity with other forms of belief in the East had undoubtedly sapped their faith. After a weary imprisonment of six years, imbittered by many hardships, the grand master, Du Molay, was brought up for sentence. He had been found guilty. With his dying breath, " before Heaven and earth, on the verge of death, when the least falsehood bears like an intolerable weight on the soul," he declared the innocence of the order and of himself. The vesper-bell was sounding when Du Molay and a brother convict were led forth to their stakes, placed on an island in the Seine. King Philip himself was present. As the smoke and flames enveloped them. they continued to affirm their innocence. Some averred that forth from the fire Du Molay's voice sounded, "Clement! thou wicked and false judge, I summon thee to meet me within forty days at the bar of God." Some said that he also summoned the king. In the following year King Philip the Fair and Pope Clement the Fifth were both dead. John XXII., elected after an interval of more than two years spent in rivalries and intrigues between the French and Italian cardinals, continued the residence at Avignon. His movements took a practical turn in the commencement of a process for the recovery of the treasures of Clement from the Viscount de Lomenie. This was only a part of the wealth of the deceased pope, but it amounted to a million and three quarters of florins of gold. The Inquisition was kept actively at work
394 THE DISPUTE RESPECTING THE BEATIFIC VISION.
for the extermination of the believers in " The Everlasting Gospel," and the remnant of the Albigenses and Waldenses. But all this had no other result than that which eventually occurred-an examination of the authenticity and rightfulness of the papal power. With an instinct as to the origin of the misbelief every where spreading, the pope published bulls against the Jews, of whom a bloody persecution had arisen, and ordered that all their Talmuds and other blasphemous books should be burned. A physician, Marsilio of Padua, published a work, "The Defender of Peace." It was a philosophical examination of the principles of government, and of the nature and limits of the sacerdotal power. Its democratic tendency was displayed by its demonstration that the exposition of the law of Christianity rests not with the pope nor any other priest, but with a general council; it rejected the papal political pretensions; asserted that no one can be rightfully excommunicated by a pope alone, and that he has no power of coercion over human thought; that the civil immunities of the clergy ought to be ended; that poverty and humility ought alone to be their characteristics; that society ought to provide them with a decent-sustenance, but nothing more: their pomp, extravagance, luxury, and usurpations, especially that of tithes, should be abrogated; that neither Christ nor the Scriptures ever gave St. Peter a supremacy over the other apostles; that, if history was to be consulted, St. Paul, and not St. Peter, was bishop of Rome-indeed, it was doubtful whether the latter was ever in that city, the Acts of the Apostles being silent on that subject. From these and many other such arguments he drew forty-one conclusions adverse to the political and ecclesiastical supremacy of the pope. It is not necessary to consider here the relations of John XXII. with Louis of Bavaria, nor of the antipope Nicholas; they belong merely to political history. But, as if to show how th.e intellectual movement was working its way, the pontiff himself did not escape a charge of heresy. Though he had so much of temporal affairs upon his hands, John did not hesitate to raise the great question of the "beatific vision." In his opinion, the dead, even the saints, do not enjoy the beatific vision of God until after the Judgment-day. At once there was a demand among the orthodox, "What! do not the apostles, John, Peter, nay, even the blessed Virgin, stand yet in the presence of God?" The pope directed the most learned theologians to examine the question, himself entering actively into the dispute. The University of Paris was involved. The King of France declared that his realm should not be polluted with such heretical doctrines. A single sentence explains the practical direction of the dogma, so far as the interests of the Church were concerned: "If the saints stand not in the presence of God, of what use is their intercession? What is the use of addressing prayers to them?" The folly of the pontiff perhaps might be excused by his age.
RESTORATION OF THE PAPACY TO ROME. 395
He was now nearly ninety years old. That he had not guided himself according to the prevailing sentiment of the lower religious orders, who thought that poverty was essential to salvation, appeared at his death, A.D. 1334. He left eighteen millions of gold florins in specie, and seven millions in plate and jewels. His successor, Benedict XII., disposed of the question of the " beatific vision:" "It is only those saints who do not pass through Purgatory that immediately behold the Godhead." The pontificate of Benedict, which was not without many good features, hardly verified the expression with which he greeted the cardinals when they elected him, " You have chosen an ass." His was a gay life. There is a tradition that to him is due the origin of the proverb, "As drunk as a pope." In the subsequent pontificate of Clement VI., A.D. 1342, the court at Avignon became the most voluptuous in Christendom. It was crowded with knights and ladies, painters and other artists. It exhibited a day-dream of equipages and banquets. The pontiff himself delighted in female society, but, in his weakness, permitted his lady, the Count6ss of Turenne, to extort enormous revenues by the sale of ecclesiastical promotions. Petrarch, who lived at Avignon at this time, speaks of it as a vast brothel. His own sister had been seduced by the holy father, John XXII. During all these years the Romans had made repeated attempts to force back the papal court to their city. With its departure all their profits had gone. But the fatal policy of electing Frenchmen into the College of Cardinals seemed to shut out every hope. The unscrupulous manner in which this was done is illustrated by the fact that Clement made one of his relatives, a lad of eighteen, a cardinal. For a time the brief glories of Rienzi cast a flickering ray on Rome; but Rienzi was only a demagogue-an impostor. It was the deep impression made upon Europe that the residence at Avignon was an abandonment of the tomb of St. Peter, that compelled Urban V. to return to Rome. This determination was strengthened by a desire to escape out of the power of the kings of France, and to avoid the free companies who had learned to extort bribes for sparing Avignon from plunder. He left Avignon, A.D. 1367, amid the reluctant grief of his cardinals, torn from that gay and dissipated city, and in dread of the recollections and of the populace of Rome. And well it might be so; for not only in Rome, but all over Italy, piety was held in no respect, and the discipline of the Church in derision. When Urban sent to Barnabas Visconti, who was raising trouble in Tuscany, a bull of excommunication by the hands of two legates, Barnabas actually compelled them, in his presence, to eat the parchment on which the bull was written, together with the leaden seal and the silken string, and, telling them that he hoped it would sit as lightly on their stomachs
396 THE GREAT SCHISM.
as it did on his, sent them back to their master! In a little time-it was but two years-absence from France became insupportable; the pope returned to Avignon, and there died. It was reserved for his successor, Gregory XI., finally to end what was termed, from its seventy years' duration, the Babylonish captivity, and restore the papacy to the Eternal City, A.D. 1376. But, though the popes had thus returned to Rome, the effects of King Philip's policy still continued. On the death of Gregory XI., the conclave, meeting at Rome-for the conclave must meet where the pope dies-elected Urban VI., under intimidation of the Roman populace, who were determined to retain the papacy in their city; but, escaping away to Fondi, and repenting what they had thus done, they proclaimed his election void, and substituted Clement VII. for him. They were actually at one time on the point of choosing the King of France as pope. Thus began the great schism. It was, in reality, a struggle between France and Italy for the control of the papacy. The former had enjoyed it for seventy years; the latter was determined to recover it. The schism thus rested originally on political considerations, but these were doubtless exasperated by the conduct of Urban, whose course was overbearing and even intolerable to his supporters. Nor did he amend as his position became more consolidated. In A.D. 1385, suspecting his cardinals of an intention to seize him, declare him a heretic, and burn him, he submitted several of them to the torture in his own presence, while he recited his breviary. Escaping from Nocera, where he had been besieged, he caused the Bishop of Aquila to be killed on the road-side. Others he tied in sacks, and threw into the sea at Genoa. It was supposed, not without reason, that he was insane. If there had been formerly pecuniary difficulty in supporting one papal court, it, of course, became greater now that there were two. Such troubles, every day increasing, led at length to inauspicious political movements. There was an absolute necessity for drawing money to Rome and also to Avignon. The device of a jubilee was too transitory and inadequate, even though, by an improvement in the theory of that festival, it was expedited by thirty-three years, answering to our Savior's life. At Avignon, the difficulty of Clement, who was of amiable and polished manners, turned on the French Church being obliged to support him; and it is not to be wondered at that the French clergy looked with dislike on the pontifical establishment among them, since it was driven by its necessities to prey on all their best benefices. Under such circumstances, no other course was possible to the rival popes and their successors than a thorough reorganization of the papal financial system-the more complete development of simony, indulgences, and other improper sources of emolument. In this manner Boniface IX. tripled the value of the annates upon the pa-
THE GREAT SCHISM. 397
pal books. Usurers or brokers, intervening between the purchasers of benefices and the papal exchequer, were established, and it is said that, under the pressing difficulties of the case, benefices were known to have been sold, many times in succession, to different claimants in one week. Late applicants might obtain a preference for appointments on making a cash payment of twenty-five florins; an increased preference might be had for fifty. It became, at last, no unusual thing to write to kings and prelates for subsidies-a proof how greatly the papacy had been weakened by the events of the times. But religious Europe could not bear with such increasing scandals. The rival popes were incessantly accusing each other of falsehood and all manner of wickedness. At length the public sentiment found its expression in the Council of Pisa, called by the cardinals on their own responsibility. This council summoned the two popes -Benedict XIII. and Gregory XII.-before it; declared the crimes and excesses imputed to them to be true, and deposed them both, appointing in their stead Alexander V. There were now, therefore, three popes. But, besides thus rendering the position of things worse than it was before in this respect, the council had taken the still more extraordinary step of overthrowing the autocracy of the pope. It had been compelled by the force of circumstances to destroy the very foundation of Latin Christianity by assuming the position of superiority over the vicar of Christ. Now might be discerned by men of reflection the purely human nature of the papacy. It had broken down. Out of the theological disputes of preceding years a political principle was obviously emerging; the democratic spirit was developing itself, and the hierarchy was in rebellion against its sovereign. Nor was this great movement limited to the clergy. In every direction the laity participated in it, pecuniary questions being in very many instances the incentive. Things had come to such a condition that it seemed to be of little moment what might be the personal character of the pontiff; the necessities of the position irresistibly drove him to replenish the treasury by shameful means. Thus, on Alexander's death, Balthazar Cossa, an evil but an able man, who succeeded as John XXIII., was not only compelled to extend the existing simoniacal practices of the ecclesiastical brokers' offices, but actually to derive revenue from the licensing of prostitutes, gambling-houses, and usurers. In England, for ages a mine of wealth to Rome, the tendency of things was shown by such facts as the remonstrance of the Commons with the crown on the appointment of ecclesiastics to all the great offices; the allegations made by the "Good Parliament" as to the amount of money drawn by Rome from the kingdom. They asserted that it was five times as much as the taxes levied by the king, and that the pope's revenue from England was greater than the revenue
of any prince in Christendom. It was shown again by such facts as the passage of the statutes of Mortmain, Provisors, and Prmmunire, and by the universal clamor against the mendicant orders. This dissatisfaction with the clergy was accompanied by a desire for knowledge. Thousands of persons crowded to the universities both on the Continent and in England. In a community thus well prepared, Wiclif found no difficulty in disseminating his views. He had adopted in many', particulars the doctrines of Berengar. He taught that the bread in the Eucharist is not the real body of Christ, but only its image; that the Roman Church has no true claim to headship over other churches; that its bishop has no more authority than any other bishop; that it is right to deprive a delinquent Church of temporal possessions; that no bishop ought to have prisons for the punishment of those obnoxious to him; and that the Bible alone is a sufficient guide for a Christian man. His translation of the Bible into English was the practical carrying out of that assertion for the benefit of his own countrymen. All classes of society were becoming infected. The government for a season vacillated. It was said that every other man in England was a Lollard. The Lollards were Wiclifites. But the Church at last persuaded the government to let her try her hand, and the statute "de heretico comburendo" was passed, A.D. 1400. William Sautree, a priest who had turned Wiclifite, was the first English martyr. John Badbee, a tailor, who denied transubstantiation accused of having said that, if it were true, there were 20,000 gods in every corn-field in England-next suffered in like manner at the stake, in presence of the Prince of Wales. Lord Cobham, the head of the Lollards, who had denounced the pope as Anti-Christ, the Son of Perdition, was imprisoned; but escaping, became involved in political movements, and suffered at length the double penalty for heresy and treason, being hung on a gallows with a fire blazing at his feet. It is interesting to remark the social rank of these three early martyrs. Heresy was pervading all classes, from the lowest to the highest. The Council of Constance met A.D. 1415. It had a threefold object: 1. The union of the Church under one pope; 2. The reformation of the clergy; 3. The suppression of heresy. Its policy from the first was determined. It proclaimed itself supreme. It demanded the abdication of the pope, John XXIII.; exhibited articles of accusation against him, some of them of such enormity as almost to pass belief, and justifying the epithet that he was "a devil incarnate." The suffrage of the council was changed. The plan of voting by nations, which reduced the Italians to a single vote, was introduced. These incidental facts may indicate to us that there were present men who understood thoroughly how to manage the machinery of such an assembly, and that the remark of AEneas Sylvius, afterward Pope Pius II., re-
THE COUNCIL OF CONSTANCE.-JOHN HUSS. 399
specting the Council of Basle was equally true as to that of Constance, that it was not so much directed by the Holy Ghost as by the passions of men. The influence that lawyers were now exercising in social affairs-their habits of arrangement, of business, and intrigue, is strikingly manifested in the management of these assemblages; their arts had passed to the clergy, and even in part to the people. But how vast was the change that had occurred in the papacy from the voluntary abdication of Celestine to the compulsory abdication of John! To this council, also, came John Huss, under a safe-conduct from the Emperor Sigismund. Scarcely, however, had he arrived when and he was imprisoned, this treachery being excused from the necessity of conceding it to the reforming party. On June 5th, A.D. 1416, Huss was brought in chains before the council. It was declared unlawful to keep faith with a heretic. His countrymen, the Bohemian lords present, protested against such a perfidy, and loudly demanded his release. Articles of accusation, derived from his works, were presented. He avowed himself ready to defend his opinions. The uproar was so great that the council temporarily adjourned. Two days after the trial was resumed. It was ushered in by an eclipse of the sun, said to have been total at Prague. No one of the bloodthirsty ecclesiastics laid to heart the solemn monition that, after his moment of greatest darkness was over, the sun shone forth with recovered effulgence again. The emperor was present, with all the fathers. The first accusation entered on related to transubstantiation. On this and on succeeding occasions the emperor took part in the discussions, among other things observing that, in his opinion, the prisoner was worthy of death. After a lengthy inquiry into his alleged errors, a form of recantation was prepared for Huss. With a modest firmness he declined it, concluding his noble answer with the words, "I appeal to Christ Jesus, the one all- powerful and all-just Judge. To him I commend my cause, of who will judge every man, not according to false witnesses and erring councils, but according to truth and man's desert." On July 1st the council met in full session. Thirty articles against Huss were read. Among other things, they alleged that he believed the material bread to be unchanged after the consecration. In his extremity the prisoner looked steadfastly at the traitor Sigismund, and solemnly exclaimed, "Freely came I here under the safe-conduct of the emperor." The conscience-stricken monarch blushed. Huss was then made to kneel down and receive his sentence. It condemned his writings and his body to the flames. He was then degraded and despoiled of his orders. Some of the bishops mocked at him; some, more merciful, implored him to recant. They cut his hair in the form of a cross, and set upon his head a high paper crown on which devils were painted. " We devote thy soul to the devils
400 MARTYRDOM OF JEROME OF PRAGUE.
in hell." "And I commend my soul to the most merciful Lord Christ Jesus." He was then led forth. They passed by the bishop's palace, where Huss's books were burning. As they tied him with a piece of chain to his stake, the painted crown fell off, but the soldiers replaced it. "Let him and his devils be burned together." As the flames closed over him, he chanted psalms and prayed to the Redeemer. Can that be true which requires for its support the murder of a true man? So acted, without a dissenting voice, the Council of Constance. It feared the spread of heresy, but it did not fear, perhaps did not consider that higher tribunal to whose inexorable verdict councils, and popes, and emperors must submit-posterity. It asserted itself to be under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. It took profit by a shameful perfidy. It was a conclave of murderers. It stifled the voice of an earnest man, solemnly protesting against a doctrine now derided by all Europe. The revolution it was compassing it inaugurated in blood, not alone that of, John Huss, but also of Jerome of Prague. These martyrs were also, no common men. Poggio Bracciolini, an eye-witness, says, in a letter to Leonardo Aretino, speaking of the eloquence of Jerome, "When I consider what his choice of words was, what his elocution, what his reasoning, what his countenance, his voice, his action. I must affirm, however much we may admire the ancients, that in such a cause no one could have approached nearer to the model of their eloquence." John XXIII. was compelled to abdicate. Gregory XII. died. Some time after, Benedict XIII. followed him. The council had elected Martin V., and in him found a master who soon put an end to its attempts. It had deposed one pope and elected another; it had cemented the dominant creed with blood; it had authorized the dreadful doctrine that a difference in religious opinion justifies the breaking of plighted faith between man and man; it had attempted to perpetuate its own power by enacting that councils should be held every five years; but it had not accomplished its great object-ecclesiastical reform. In a room attached to the Cathedral of Basle, with its roof of green and party-colored tiles, the modern traveler reads on a piece of paper this inscription: "The room of the council, where the famous Council of Basil was assembled. In this room Pope Eugene IV. was dethroned, and replaced by Felix V., Duc of Savoie and Cardinal of Repaile. The council began 1431, and lasted 1448." That chamber, with its floor of little red earthen flags and its oaken ceiling, witnessed great events. The democratic influence pervading the Church showed no symptoms of abatement. The fate of Huss had been avenged in blood and fire by the Bohemian sword. Eugenius IV., now pontiff, was afraid that negotiations would be entered upon with the Hussite chiefs. Such a treaty,
THE COUNCIL OF BASLE. 401
he affirmed, would be blasphemy against God and an insult to the pope. He was therefore bent on the prorogation of the council, and spared no means to accomplish his purpose. Its ostensible object was the reformation of the clergy; its real intent was to convert the papal autocracy into a constitutional monarchy. To this end it cited the pope, and, on his non-appearance, declared him and seventeen of the cardinals in contumacy. He had denounced it as the Synagogue of Satan; on its part, it was assuming the functions of the Senate of Christendom. It had prepared a great seal, and asserted that, in case of the death of the pope, the election of his successor was vested in it. It was its firm purpose never again to leave that great event in the hands of a conclave of intriguing Italian cardinals, but to intrust it to the representatives of united Christendom. After a due delay since he was declared in contumacy, the council suspended the pope, and, slowly moving toward its object, elected Amadeus of Savoy, Felix V., his successor. It was necessary that its pope should be a rich man, for the council had but slender means of offering him pecuniary support. Amadeus had that qualification. And perhaps it was far from being, in the eyes of many, an inopportune circumstance that he had been married and had children. We may discern, through the shifting scenes of the intrigues of the times, that the German hierarchy had come to the resolution that the election of the pope should be taken from the Italians and given to Europe; that his power should be restricted; that he should no longer be the irresponsible vicar of God upon earth, but the accountable chief executive officer of Christendom; and that the right of marriage should be conceded to the clergy. These are significantly. Teutonic ideas. We have pursued the story of these events nearly as far as is necessary for the purpose of this book. We shall not, therefore, follow the details of the new schism. It fell almost without interest on Europe. AEneas Sylvius, the ablest man of the day, in three words gives us the true insight into the state of things: " Faith is dead." On the demise of Eugenius IV., Nicolas V. succeeded. An understanding was had with those in the interest of the council. It was dissolved. Felix V. abdicated. The morality of the times had improved. The antipope was neither blinded nor murdered. The schism was at an end. Thus we have seen that the personal immoralities and heresy of the popes brought on the interference of the King of France, who not only shook the papal system to its basis, but destroyed its prestige by inflicting the most conspicuous indignity upon it. For seventy years Rome was disfranchised, and the rivalries of France and Italy produced the great schism, than which nothing could be more prejudicial to the papal power. We have seen that, aided by the pecuniary difficulties of the papacy, the rising intellect of Europe made good its
402 THE AGE OF FAITH IN THE WEST.
influence, and absolutely deposed the pope. It was in vain to deny the authenticity of such a council; there stood the accomplished fact. At this moment there seemed no other prospect for the Italian system than utter ruin; yet, wonderful to be said, a momentary deliverance came from a quarter whence no man would have expected. The Turks were the saviors of the papacy. At this point is the true end of the Italian system-that system which had pressed upon Europe like a nightmare. The great men of the times -the statesmen, the philosophers, the merchants, the lawyers, the governing classes-they whose weight of opinion is recognized by the uneducated people at last, had shaken off the incubus and opened their eyes. A glimmering of the true state of things was breaking upon the clergy. No more with the vigor it once had possessed was the papacy again to domineer over human thought and be the controlling agent of European affairs. Convulsive struggles it might make, but they were only death-throes. The sovereign pontiff must now descend from the autocracy he had for so many ages possessed, and become a small potentate, tolerated by kings in that subordinate position only because of the remnant of his influence on the uneducated multitude and those of feeble minds.
CHAPTER XVIII. THE AGE OF FAITH IN THE WEST-(Concluded). EFFECT OF THE EASTERN OR MILITARY ATTACK.-GENERAL REVIEW OF THE AGE OF FAITH. The Fall of Constantinople.-Its momentary Effect on the Italian System. GENERAL REVIEW OF THE INTELLECTUAL CONDITION IN THE AGE OF FAITH.-Supernatuqralism and its Logic spread all over Europe.-It is destroyed by the. Jews and Arabians. Its total Extinction. The Jewish Physicians.- Their Acquirements and Influence.- Their Collision with the Imposturemedicine of Europe. Their Effect on the higher Classes.-Opposition to them. Two Impulses, the Intellectual and Moral, operating against the Mediceval state of Things.Downfall of the Italian System through the intellectual Impulse from the West and the moral from the North.-Action 1vf the former through Astronomy. Origin of the moral Impulse.Their conjoint irresistible Effect.-Discovery of the state of Affairs in Italy.-The Writings of Machiavelli.- What the Church had actually done. Entire Movement of the Italian System determined from a consideration of the four Revolts against it.
FROM the West I have now to return to the East, and to describe the pressure made by Mohammedanism on that side. It is illustrated by many great events, but, above all, by the loss of Constantinople. The Greek Church, so long out of sight that it is perhaps almost forgotten by the reader, comes for a moment before us like a spectre from the dead.
THE INVASION OF EUROPE BY THE TURKS. 403
A wandering tribe of Turks had found its way into Asia Minor, and, under its leader Ertogrul and his son Othman, consolidated its Appearance power and commenced extending its influence by possessions taken from the sultans of Iconium and the Byzantine empire. The third prince of the race instituted the Janissaries, a remarkable military force, and commenced driving the Greeks out of Asia Minor. His son Soliman crossed the Hellespont and captured Gallipoli, thus securing a foothold in Europe, A.D. 1358. This accomplished, the Turkish influence began to extend rapidly. Thrace, Macedon, and Servia were subdued. Sigismund, the King of Hungary, was overthrown at the battle of Nicopolis by Bajazet. Southern Greece, the countries along the Danube, submitted, and Constantinople would have fallen had it not been for the unexpected irruption of Tamerlane, who defeated Bajazet and took him prisoner. The reign of Mohammed I., who succeeded, was occupied in the restoration of Turkish affairs. Under Amurath II., possession of the Euxine shore was obtained, the fortifications across the Isthmus of Corinth was stormed, and the Peloponnesus entered. Mohammed II. became the Sultan of the Turks A.D. 1451. From the moment of his accession, he turned all his powers to the capture of Constantinople. Its sovereigns had long foreseen the inevitable event, and had made repeated attempts to secure military aid from the West. They were ready to surrender their religious belief. On this principle, the monk Barlaam was dispatched on an embassy to Benedict XII. to propose the reunion of the Greek and Latin churches, as it was delicately termed, and to obtain, as an equivalent for the concession, an army of Franks. As the danger became more urgent, John Palaeologus I. sought an interview with Urban V., and, having been purified from his heresies respecting the supremacy of the pope and the double procession of the Holy Ghost, was presented before the pontiff in the Church of St. Peter. The Greek monarch, after three genufiexions, was permitted to kiss the feet of the holy father and to lead by its bridle his mule. But, though they might have the will, the popes had lost the power, and these great submissions were productive of no good. Thirty years subsequently, Manuel, the son and successor of Palaeologus, took what might have seemed a more certain course. He traveled to Paris and to London to lay his distress before the kings of France and England, but he received only pity, not aid. At the Council of Constance Byzantine embassadors appeared. It was, however, reserved for the synods of Ferrara and of Florence to mature, as far as might be, the negotiation. The second John Palaeologus journeyed again into Italy, A.D. 1438; and while Eugenius was being deposed in the chamber at Basle, he was consummating the union of the East and the West in the Cathedral of Florence. In the pulpit of that edifice, on the sixth of July of
404 THE SIEGE OF CONSTANTINOPLE.
that year, a Roman cardinal and a Greek archbishop embraced each other before the people; Te Deum was chanted in Greek, mass was celebrated in Latin, and the Creed was read with the " Filioque." The successor of Constantine the Great had given up his religion, but he had received no equivalent-no aid. The state of the Church, its disorders and schisms, rendered any community of action in the West impossible. The last, the inevitable hour at length struck. Mohammed II is said to have been a learned man, able to express himself in five different languages; skillful in mathematics, especially in their practical application to engineering; an admirer of the fine arts; prodigal in his liberality to Italian painters. In Asia Minor, as in Spain, there was free thinking among the disciples of the Prophet. It was affirmed that the sultan, in his moments of relaxation, was often heard to deride the religion of his country as an imposture. His doubts in that particular were, however, compensated for by his determination to carry out the intention of so many of his Mohammedan predecessors-the seizure of Constantinople. At this time the venerable city had so greatly declined that it contained only 100,000 inhabitants-out of them only 4970 able or willing to bear arms. The besieging force was more than a quarter of a million of men. As Mohammed pressed on his works, the despairing emperor in vain looked for the long-promised effectual Western aid. In its extremity, the devoted metropolis was divided by religious feuds; and when a Latin priest officiated in St. Sophia, there were many who exclaimed that they would rather see the turban of the sultan than the tiara of the pope. In several particulars the siege of Constantinople marked out the end of old ages and the beginning of new. Its walls were shaken by the battering-rams of the past, and overthrown by cannon, just then coming into general use. Upon a plank road, shipping were passed through the open country, in the darkness of a single night, a distance of ten miles. The works were pushed forward toward the walls, on the top of which the pacing sentinel at length could hear the shouts of the Turks by their nocturnal fires. They were sounds such as Constantinople might well listen to. She had taught something different for many a long year. " God is God; there is but one God." In the streets an image of the Virgin was carried in solemn procession. Never or now she must come to the help of those who had done so much for her, who had made her a queen in heaven and a goddess upon earth. The cry of her worshipers was in vain. On May 29th, 1453, the assault was delivered. Constantine Palseologus, the last of the Roman emperors, putting off his purple, that no man might recognize and insult his corpse when the catastrophe was over, fell, as became a Roman emperor, in the breach. After his death resist
ITS CAPTURE. 405
ance ceased, and the victorious Turks poured into the town. To the Church of St. Sophia there rushed a promiscuous crowd of women and children, priests, monks, religious virgins, and-men. Superstitious to the last, in this supreme moment they expected the fulfillment of a prophecy that, when the Turks should have forced their way to the square before that church, their progress would be arrested, for an angel with a sword in his hand would descend from heaven and save the city of the Lord. The Turks burst into the square, but the angel never came. More than two thirds of the inhabitants of Constantinople were carried prisoners into the Turkish camp-the men for servitude, the women for a still more evil fate. The churches were sacked. From the dome of St. Sophia its glories were torn down. The divine images, for the sake of which Christendom had been sundered in former days, unresistingly submitted to the pious rage of the Mohammedans without working a single miracle, and, stripped of their gems and gold, were brought to their proper value in the vile uses of kitchens and stables. On that same day the muezzin ascended the loftiest turret of St. Sophia, and over the City of the Trinity proclaimed the Oneness of God. The sultan performed his prayers at the great altar, directing the edifice to be purified from its idolatries and consecrated to the worship of God. Thence he repaired to the palace, and, reflecting on the instability of human prosperity, repeated, as he entered it, the Persian verse: "The spider has woven his web in the imperial palace; the owl hath sung her watch. song on the towers of Afrasiab." This solemn event-the fall of Constantinople-accomplished, there was no need of any reconciliation of the Greek and Latin churches. The sword of Mohammed had settled their dispute. Constantinople had submitted to the fate of Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Carthage. Christendom was struck with consternation. The advance of the Turks in Europe was now very rapid. Corinth and Athens fell, and the reduction of Greece was completed. The confines of Italy were approached A.D. 1461. The Mohammedan flag confronted that peninsula along the Adriatic coast. In twenty years more Italy was invaded. Otranto was taken; its bishop killed at the door of his church. At this period, it was admitted that the Turkish infantry, cavalry, and artillery were the best in the world. Soliman the Magnificent took Belgrade A.D. 1520. Nine years afterward besieged Vienna, but were repulsed. Soliman now the Turk prepared for the subjugation of Italy, and was only diverted from it by an accident which turned him upon the Venetians. It was not until the battle of Lepanto that the Turkish advance was fairly checked. Even as it was, in the complicated policy and intrigues of Europe its different sovereigns could not trust one another; their common faith had ceased to be a common bond; in all it had been weakened, in some destroyed.
406 CONDITION OF THE CHURCH AFTER THIS EVENT.
iEneas Sylvius, speaking of Christendom, says, " It is a body without a head, a republic without laws or magistrates. The pope or the emperor may shine as lofty titles, as splendid images; but they are unable to command, and no one is willing to obey." But, during this period of Turkish aggression, had not the religious dissensions of Christendom been decently composed, there was imminent danger that Europe would have been Mohammedanized. A bitter experience of past ages, as well as of the present, had taught it that the Roman Church was utterly powerless against such attacks. Safety was to be looked for, not in any celestial aid, but in physical knowledge and pecuniary resources, carried out in the organization of armies and fleets. Had her authority been derived from the source she pretended, she should have found an all-sufficient protection in prayer-indeed, not even that should have been required. Men discovered at last that her Litanies and her miracles were equally of no use, and that she must trust, like any other human tyranny, to cannon and the sword. The Turkish aggression led to the staying of the democratic outbreak in the bosom of the Church-the abstaining for a season from any farther sap of the papal autocracy. It was necessary that ecclesiastical disputes, if they could not be ended, should, at all events, be kept for a time in abeyance, and so indeed they were, until the pentup dissensions burst forth in " the Reformation." And thus, as we have related, by Mohammedan knowledge in the West papal Christianity was well-nigh brought to ruin; thus, by a strange paradox, the Mohammedan sword in the East gave it for a little longer a renewed lease of political power, though never again of life. To Nicolas V., a learned and able pope, the catastrophe of Constantinople was the death-blow. He had been the intimate friend of Cosmo de' Medici, and from him had imbibed a taste for letters and art, but, like his patron, he had no love for liberty. It was thus through commerce that the papacy first learned to turn to art. The ensuing development of Europe was really based on the commerce of upper Italy, and not upon the Church. The statesmen of Florence were the inventors of the balance of power. A lover of literature, Nicolas was the founder of the Vatican Library. He clearly perceived the only course in which the Roman system could be directed; that it was unfit for, and, indeed, incompatible with science, but might be brought in unison with art. Its influence upon the reason was gone, but the senses yet remained for it. In continuing his policy, the succeeding popes acted with wisdom. They gratified the genius of their institutions, of their country, and their age. In the abundant leisure of monasteries, the monks had found occupation in the illumination of manuscripts. From the execution of miniatures they gradually rose to an undertaking of greater works. In that manner painting had originated
REVIEW OF THE AGE OF FAITH. 407
in Italy in the twelfth century. Sculpture, at first merged in architecture, had extricated herself from that bondage in the fourteenth. The mendicant orders, acquiring wealth, became munificent patrons. From caligraphic illustrations to the grand works of Michael Angelo and Raffaele is a prodigious advance, yet it took but a short time to accomplish it. I have now completed the history of the European Age of Faith as far as is necessary for the purposes of this book. It embraces a period of more than a thousand years, counting from the reign of Constantine. It remains to consider the intellectual peculiarity that marks the whole period-to review briefly the agents that exerted an influence upon it and conducted it to its close. Philosophically, the most remarkable peculiarity is the employment of a false logic, a total misconception of the nature of evidence. It is illustrated by miracle-proofs, trial by battle, ordeal tests, and a universal belief in supernatural agency even for objectless purposes. On the principles of this logic, if the authenticity of a thing or the proof of a statement be required, it is supposed to be furnished by an astounding illustration of something else. (If the character of a princess is assailed, she offers a champion, he proves victorious, and therefore she was not frail. If a national assembly, after a long discussion, can not decide " whether children should inherit the property of their father during the lifetime of their grandfather," an equal number of equal combatants is chosen for each side; they fight; the champions of the children prevail, and therefore the law is fixed in their favor. A relic of some martyr is bought at a great price; no one seeks to criticise the channel through which it has come, but every one asks, Can it work a miracle? A vast institution demands the implicit obedience of all men. It justifies its claim, not by the history of the past, but by promises and threats of the future. A decrepit crone is suspected of witchcraft. She is stripped naked and thrown into the nearest pond: if she sinks, she is innocent; if she swims, she is in commerce with the Devil. In all such cases the intrinsic peculiarity of the logic is obvious enough; it shows a complete misconception of the nature of evidence. Yet this ratiocination governed Europe for a thousand years, giving birth to those marvelous and supernatural explanations of physical phenomena and events on which we now look back with unfeigned surprise, half disbelieving that it was possible for our ancestors to have credited such things. Against this preposterous logic the Mohammedans and Jews struck the first blows. We have already heard what Algazzali the Arabian says respecting the enchanter who would prove that three is greater than ten by changing a stick into a serpent. The circumstances under which the Jewish physicians acted we shall consider presently.
408 SUPERNATURAL LOGIC.
It will not be useless to devote a little space to this belief in the supernatural. It offers an opportunity of showing how false notions may become universal, embody themselves in law and practical life, and, wonderful to be said, how they may, without any thing being done to destroy them; vanish from sight of themselves, like night-spectres before the day. At present we only encounter them among the lowest peasant grades, or those who have purposely been kept in the most abject state of ignorance. Less than a century ago the clergy of Spain wished to have the Opera prohibited, because that ungodly entertainment had given rise to a want of rain; but now, in a country so intellectually backward as that-a witch was burned there so lately as AD. 1781-such an attempt would call up sly wit, and make the rabble of Madrid suspect that the archbishop was smarting under the rivalry of the prima donna, and that he was furbishing up the rusty ecclesiastical enginery to sustain his cause. In the day of their power the ecclesiastical profession were the supporters of this delusion. They found it suitable to their interests, and, by dint of at first persuading others to believe, they at last, by habit, came to believe in it themselves. The Mohammedans and Jews were the first to assail it philosophically and by sarcasm, but its final ruin was brought about by the action of the two other professions, the legal and the medical. The lawyers, whose advent to power is seen in the history of Philip the Fair, and whose rise from that time was very rapid, were obliged to introduce the true methods of evidence; the physicians, from their pursuits, were perpetually led to the material explanation of natural phenomena in contradistinction to the mystical. It is to the honor of both these professions that they never sought for a perpetuation of power by schemes of vast organization, never attempted to delude mankind by stupendous impostures, never compelled them to desist from the expression of their thoughts, and even from thinking, by alliances with civil power. Far from being the determined antagonists of human knowledge, they uniformly fostered it, and, in its trials, defended it. The lawyers were hated because they replaced supernatural logic by philosophical logic; the physicians, because they broke down the profitable but mendacious system of miraclecures by relics and at shrines. Yet the Church is not without excuse. In all her varied history it was impossible to disentangle her from the principles which at the beginning had entered into her political organization. For good or evil, right or wrong, her necessity required that she should put herself forth as the possessor of all knowledge within the reach of human intellect-the infallible arbitress of every question that could arise among men. Doubtless it was a splendid imposture, capable for a time of yielding great results, but sooner or later certain to be unmasked.
CONTINUOUS VARIATION OF SUPERNATURAL IDEAS. 409
Early discovering the antagonism of science, which could not fail, in due season, to subject her pretensions to investigation, she lent herself to a systematic delusion of the illiterate, and thereby tried to put off that fatal day when creeds engendered in the darkness would have to be examined in the light, enforcing her attempt with an unsparing, often with a bloody hand. It was for this reason that, when the inevitable time of trial came, no intellectual defense could be made in her behalf, and hence there only remained a recourse to physical and political compulsion. But such a compulsion, under such circumstances, is not only a testimony to the intrinsic weakness of that for which it is invoked, it is also a token that they who resort to it have lost all faith in any inherent power of the system they are supporting, and that, in truth, it is fast coming to an end. The reader will remark, from the incidents connected with supernatural delusions now to be related, that they follow a law of continuous variation, the particular imbodiment they assumed changing with the condition of the human mind at each epoch under examination. For ages they are implicitly believed in by all classes; then to a few, but the number perpetually increasing, they become an idle story of barefaced imposture. At last humanity wakens from its delusion-its dream. The final rejection of the whole, in spite of the wonderful amount of testimony which for ages had accumulated, occurs spontaneously the moment that psychical development has reached a certain point. There can be no more striking illustration of the definite advancement of the human mind. The boy who is terror-stricken in a dark room insensibly dismisses his idle fears as he grows up to be a man. Clemens Romanus and Anastasius Sinaita, speaking of Simon Magus, say that he could make himself invisible; that he formed a man out of air; that he could pass bodily through mountains without being obstructed thereby; that he could fly and sit unharmed in flames; that he constructed animated statues and self-moving furniture, and not only changed his countenance into the similitude of many other men, but that his whole body could be transformed into the shape of a goat, a sheep, a snake; that, as he walked in the street, he cast many shadows in different directions; that he could make trees suddenly spring up in desert places; and, on one occasion, compelled an enchanted sickle to go into a field and reap twice as much in one day as if it had been used by a man. Of Apollonius of Tyana we are told that, after an unbroken silence of five years, he comprehended the languages of all animals and all men; that, under circumstances very picturesquely related, he detected the genius of a plague at Ephesus, and dragged him, self-convicted, before the people; that, at the wedding-dinner of Menippus, he caused all the dishes and viands to vanish, thereby compelling the bride to acknowledge that she was a vam-
410 SORCERY.-BRAZEN HEAD.
pire, intending to eat the flesh and lap the blood of her husband in the night; that he exhibited the prodigy of being in many places at the same time; raised a young woman from the dead; and, finally, weary of the world, ascended bodily into heaven. As Arabian influence spread, ideas of an Oriental aspect appear. There are peris who live on perfumes, and divs who are poisoned by them; enchanted palaces; moving statues; veiled prophets, like Mokanna; brazen flying horses; charmed arrows; dervises who can project their soul into the body of a dead animal, giving it temporary life; enchanted rings, to make the wearer invisible, or give him two different bodies at the same time; ghouls who live in cemeteries, and at night eat the flesh of dead men. As the European counterpart of these Perso-Arabic ideas, there are fairies, and their dancing by moonlight, their tampering with children, and imposing changelings on horror-stricken mothers. Every one believes that rain and wind may be purchased of wizards, and that fair weather may be obtained and storms abated by prayer. Whoever attains to wealth or eminence does so by a compact with Satan, signed with blood. The head of the Church, Sylvester II., makes a brazen head, which speaks to him prophetically. He finds underground treasures in a subterraneous magic palace beneath a mountain. The protestator of the Greek emperor is accused of a conspiracy against his master's life by making invisible men. Robert Grostete, the Bishop of Lincoln, makes another speaking head. Nay, more, Albertus Magnus constructs a complete brazen man so cunningly contrived as to serve him for a domestic. This was at the time that Thomas Aquinas was living with him. The household trouble arising from the excessive garrulity of this simulacrum grew so intolerable-for he was incessantly making mischief among the other inmates-that Thomas, unable to bear it any longer, took a hammer and broke the troublesome android to pieces. This reverend father, known among his contemporaries as the "seraphic doctor" was not without experience in the mysterious craft. Annoyed by the frequent passing of horses near his dwelling, he constructed a magical horse of brass, and buried it in the road. From that moment no animal could be made to pass his door. Among brazen heads of great celebrity is that of Friar Bacon and Friar Bungy. This oracle announced, "Time is; time was; time is passed;" but perhaps it was some kind of clock. The alchemist Peter d'Apono had seven spirits in glass bottles. He had entrapped them by baiting with distilled dew, and imprisoned them safely by dexterously putting in the corks. He is the same who possessed a secret which it is greatly to be regretted that he did not divulge for the benefit of chemists who have come after him, that, whatever money he paid, within the space of one hour's time came back of itself again into his pocket. That was even better than the philosopher's stone.
These supernatural notions were at different times modified by two intrusive elements, the first being the Perso-Arabic just alluded to, the second derived from the north of Europe. This element was witchcraft; for, though long before, among Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans, decrepit women were known as witches-as the Thessalian crone who raised a corpse from the dead for Sextus by lashing it with a snake-it was not until a later period that this element was fairly developed. A bull of Pope Innocent VIII., published A.D. 1484, says, "It has come to our ears that numbers of both sexes do not avoid to have intercourse with the infernal fiends, and that by their sorceries they afflict both man and beast. They blight the marriage-bed; destroy the births of women and the increase of cattle; they blast the corn on the ground, the grapes in the vineyard, the fruits of the trees, and the grass and herbs of the field." At this time, therefore, the head of the Church had not relinquished a belief in these delusions. The consequences of the punishment he ordained were very dreadful. In the valleys of the Alps many hundred aged women were committed to the flames under an accusation of denying Christ, dishonoring the crucifix, and solemnizing a devil's sabbath in company with the fiend. Such persecutions, begun by papal authority, continued among illiterate zealots till late times, and, as is well known, were practiced even in America. Very masculine minds fell into these delusions. Thus Luther, in his work on the abuses attendant on private masses, says that he had conferences with the Devil on that subject, passing many bitter nights and much restless and wearisome repose; that once, in particular, Satan came to him in the dead of the night, when he was just awakened out of sleep. "The Devil," says Luther, "knows well enough how to construct his arguments, and to urge them with the skill of a master. He delivers himself with a grave and yet with a shrill voice. Nor does he use circumlocutions and beat about the bush, but excels in forcible statements and quick rejoinders. I no longer wonder that the persons whom he assails in this way are occasionally found dead in their beds. He is able to compress and throttle, and more than once he has so assaulted me and driven my soul into a corner, that I felt as if the next moment it must leave my body. I am of opinion that Gesner and (Ecolampadius came in that manner to their deaths. The Devil's manner of opening a debate is pleasant enough, but he soon urges things so peremptorily that the respondent in a short time knows not how to acquit himself." Social eminence is no preservative from social delusion. When it was affirmed that Agnes Sampson, with two hundred other Scotch witches, had sailed in sieves from Leith to North Berwick church to hold a banquet with the Devil, James I. had the torture applied to the wretched woman, and took pleasure in putting appropri:
412 EUROPE OUTGROWS THESE DELUSION.
ate questions to her after the racking had been duly prolonged. It then came out that the two hundred crones had baptized and drowned a black cat, thereby raising a dreadful storm, in which the ship that carried the king narrowly escaped being wrecked. Upon this Agnes was condemned to the flames. She died protesting her innocence, and piteously calling on Jesus to have mercy on her, for Christian men would not. On the accession of James to the English throne he procured an act of Parliament against any one convicted of witchcraft, sorcery, or enchantment, or having commerce with the Devil. Under this monstrous statute many persons suffered. At this time England was intellectually very backward. The statute remained until 1736 repealed. The French preceded the English in putting a stop to these atrocities; for Louis XIV., A.D. 1672, by an order in council, forbade the tribunals from inflicting penalty in accusations of sorcery. Can the reader of the preceding paragraphs here pause without demanding of himself the value of human testimony? All these delusions, which occupied the minds of our forefathers, and from which not even the powerful and learned were free, have totally passed away. The moonlight has now no fairies; the solitude no genius; the darkness no ghost, no goblin. There is no necromancer who can raise the dead from their graves-no one who has sold his soul to the Devil and signed the contract with his blood-no angry apparition to rebuke the crone who has disquieted him. Divination, agromancy, pyromancy, hydromancy, cheiromancy, augury, interpreting of dreams, oracles, sorcery, astrology, have all gone. It is 350 years since the last sepulchral lamp was found, and that was near Rome. There are no gorgons, hydras, chimseras; no familiars; no incubus or succubus. d The housewives of Holland no longer bring forth sooterkins by sitting over lighted chauffers. No longer do captains buy of Lapland witches favorable winds; no longer do our churches resound with prayers against the baleful influences of comets, though there still linger in some of our noble old rituals forms of supplication for dry weather and rain, useless but not unpleasing reminiscences of the past. The apothecary no longer says prayers over the mortar in which he is pounding to impart a divine afflatus to his drugs. Who is there now that pays fees to a relic or goes to a saint-shrine to be cured? These delusions have vanished with the night to which they appertained, yet they were the delusions of fifteen hundred years. In their support might be produced a greater mass of human testimony than probably could be brought to bear on any other matter of belief in the entire history of man; and yet, in the nineteenth century, we have come to the conclusion that the whole, from the beginning to the end, was a deception! Let him, therefore, who is disposed to balance the testimony of past ages against the
INTELLECTUAL INFLUENCE OF THE JEWS. 413
dictates of his own reason ponder on this strange history; let him who relies on the authority of human evidence in the guidance of his opinions now settle with himself what that evidence is worth. But, though in one sense this history is humiliating to the philosopher, in another it is full of interest. Supernaturalism, both in the individual and in society, appertains to a definite period of life. It is shaken off as men and nations approach maturity. The child and the youth people solitude and darkness with unrealities. The adult does not so much convince himself of their fictitious nature by reasoning on the results of his experience-he grows out of them, as we see that society has done. Nevertheless, his emancipation is quickened if he is among those who instruct his curiosity and deride his fears. It was in this manner that the decline of supernaturalism in the West was very much accelerated by Jewish physicians. They, more than the lawyers, were concerned in the ending of these delusions. The apparitions, as is the nature of their kind, vanished away as soon as the crowing of the 2Esculapian cock announced that the intellectual day of Europe was on the point of breaking. The Jews held in their hands much of the trade of the world; they were in perpetual movement and commercial intercommunication. Locomotion-for such is always its result-tended to make them intellectual. The persecutions under which they had long suffered bound their distant communities together. The Spanish Jews knew very well what was going on among their coreligionists beyond the Euphrates. As Cabanis says, "They were our factors and bankers before we knew how to read; they were also our first physicians." To this it may be added that they were, for centuries together, the only men in Europe who saw the course of human affairs from the most general point of view. The Hellenizing Jewish physicians inoculated the Arabs with learning on their first meeting with them in Alexandria, obtaining a private and personal influence with many of the khalifs, and from that central point of power giving an intellectual character to the entire Saracenic movement. We have already seen that in this they were greatly favored by the approximation of their unitarianism to that of the Mohammedans. The intellectual activity of the Asiatic and African Jews soon communicated an impulse to those of Europe. The Hebrew doctor was viewed by the vulgar with wonder, and fear, and hatred; no crime could be imputed to him too incredible. Thus Zedekias, the physician to Charles the Bald, was asserted to have devoured at one meal, in the presence of the court, a wagon-load of hay, together with its horses and driver. The titles of some of the works that appeared among them deserve mention, as displaying a strong contrast with the mystical designations in vogue. Thus Isaac Ben Soleiman, an Egyptian, wrote "On Fevers," "On Medicine," "On Food and Remedies," .
414 JEWISH WRITINGS AND COLLEGE.
"On the Pulse," "On Philosophy," "On Melancholy," "An Introduction to Logic." The simplicity of these titles displays an intellectual clearness and precision of thought which have ever been shown by the Israelites. They are in themselves sufficient to convince us of the strong common sense which these men were silently infusing into the literature of Western Europe in ages of concealment and mystification. Roger Bacon, at a much later time, gave to one of his works the title of " The Green Lion;" to another, " The Treatise of Three Words." Since it was by the power and patronage of the Saracens that the Jewish physicians were acting, it is not surprising that the language used in many of their compositions was Arabic. Translations were, however, commonly made into Hebrew, and, at a subsequent period, into Latin. Through the ninth century the Asiatic colleges maintained their previous celebrity in certain branches of knowledge. Thus the Jew Shabtai Donolo was obliged to go to Bagdad to complete his studies in astronomy. As, however, Arabian influence extended itself into Sicily and Italy, Jewish intelligence accompanied it, and schools were founded at Tarentum, Salerno, Bari, and other places. Here the Arab and Jew Orientalists first amalgamated with a truly European element-the Greek-as is shown by the circumstance that in the college at Salerno instruction was given through the medium of all three languages. At one time, Pontus taught in Greek, Abdallah in Arabic, and Elisha in Hebrew. A similar influence of the Arab and Jew combined founded the University of Montpellier. After the foundation of medical colleges, the progress of medicine studies among the Jews was very rapid. Judged by our standard, in some respects it was peculiar. Thus they looked upon the practice of surgery as altogether mechanical, and therefore ignoble. A long list of eminent names might be extracted from the tenth and eleventh centuries. In it we should find Haroun of Cordova, Jehuda of Fez, Amram of Toledo. Already it was apparent that the Saracenic movement would aid in developing the intelligence of barbarian Western Europe through Hebrew physicians, in spite of the opposition encountered from theological ideas imported from Constantinople and Rome. Mohammedanism had all along been the patron of physical science; paganizing Christianity not only repudiated it, but exhibited toward it sentiments of contemptuous disdain and hatred. Hence physicians were viewed by the Church with dislike, and regarded as atheists by the people, who held firmly to the lessons they had been taught that cures must be wrought by relics of martyrs and bones of saints, by prayers and intercessions, and that each region of the body was under some spiritual charge, the first joint of the right thumb being in the care of God the Father, the second under that of the blessed Virgin, and so on of other parts. For each disease there was a saint.
THEIR PHYSICIANS AND RABBIS. 415
A man with sore eyes must invoke St. Clara, but if it was an inflammation elsewhere he must turn to St. Anthony. An ague would demand the assistance of St. Pernel. For the propitiating of these celestial beings it was necessary that fees should be paid, and thus the practice of imposture-medicine became a great source of profit. In all this there was no other intention than that of extracting money from the illiterate. With men of education and position it was different. Bishops, princes, kings, and popes had each in private his Hebrew doctor, though all understood that he was a contraband luxury, in many countries pointedly and absolutely prohibited by the law. In the eleventh century nearly all the physicians in Europe were Jews . This was due to two different causes: the Church would tolerate no interference with her spiritual methods of treating disease, which formed one of her most productive sources of gain; and the study of medicine had been formally introduced into the rabbinical schools. The monk was prohibited a pursuit which gave to the rabbi an honorable emolument. From the older institutions offshoots in quick succession appeared, particularly in France. Thus the school at Narbonne was under the presidency of Doctor Rabbi Abou. There was also a flourishing school at Arles. In these institutions instruction was given through the medium of Hebrew and Arabic, the Greek element present at Salerno being here wanting. In the French schools, to the former languages Latin and Provengal were, in the course of time, added. The versatility of acquirement among the physicians, who were taking the lead in this intellectual movement, is illustrated both by the Spanish and French Jews. Some, like Djanah, a native of Cordova, acquired reputation in grammar, criticism, astronomy; others in poetry or theology. If thus the social condition of the rabbis, who drew no income from their religious duties, induced them to combine the practice of medicine with their pursuits, great facilities had arisen for mental culture through the establishment of so many schools. Henceforth the Jewish physician is recognized as combining with his professional skill a profound and other knowledge of theology, mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, music, law. In a singular manner he stands aloof in the barbarian societies among whom he lives, looking down like a philosopher upon their idolatries, permitting, or even excusing them, like a statesman. Of those who thus adorned the eleventh century was Rabbi Solomon Ben Isaac, better known under the abbreviation Raschi-called by his countrymen the Prince of Commentators. He was equally at home in writing commentaries on the Talmud, or in giving instructions for great surgical operations, as the Csesarean section. He was the greatest French physician of his age. Spain, during the same century, produced a worthy competitor to him, Ebn Zohr, physician to the court of Seville. His writings were in Hebrew, Arabic, Syriac, and both in prose.
and verse. He composed a treatise on the cure of diseases, and two on fevers. In singular contrast with the superstitious notions of the times, he possessed a correct view of the morbific nature of marsh miasm. He was followed by Ben Ezra, a Jew of Toledo, who was at once a physician, philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, critic, poet. He traveled all over Europe and Asia, being held in captivity for some time in India. Among his medical writings was a work on theoretical and practical medicine, entitled "Book of Proofs." Through the wars arising in Spain between the Mohammedans and Christians, many learned Jews were driven into France, imparting to that country, by their presence, a new intellectual impulse. Of such were Aben Tybbon, who gave to his own profession a pharmaceutical tendency by insisting on the study of botany and the art of preparing drugs. Ben Kimchi, a Narbonnese physician and grammarian, wrote commentaries on the Bible, sacred and moral poems, a Hebrew grammar. Notwithstanding the opposition of the ecclesiastics, William, the Lord of Montpellier, passed an edict authorizing all persons, without exception, to profess medicine in the university of his city. This was specially meant for the relief of the Jews, though expressed in a general way. Spain, though she had thus lost many of her learned men, still continued to produce others of which she had reason to be proud. Moussa Ben Maimon, known all over Europe as Maimonides, was recognized by his countrymen as " the Doctor, the Great Sage, the Glory of the West, the Light of the East, second only to Moses." He is often designated by the four initials R. M. B. M., that is, Rabbi Moses Ben Maimon, or briefly Rambam. His biography presents some points of interest. He was born at Cordova A.D. 1135, and, while yet young, wrote commentaries on the Talmuds both of Babylon and Jerusalem, and also a work on the Calendar; but, embracing Mohammedanism, he emigrated to Egypt, and there became physician to the celebrated Sultan Saladin. Among his works are medical aphorisms, derived from former Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Arabic sources; an abridgment of Galen; and of his original treatises, which were very numerous, may be mentioned those " On Hemorrhoids," "On Poisons and Antidotes," "On Asthma," "On the Preservation of Health"-the latter being written for the benefit of the son of Saladin " On the Bites of Venomous Animals"-written by order of the sultan-" On Natural History." His " Moreh Nevochim," or " Teacher of the Perplexed," was an attempt to reconcile the doctrines of the Old Testament with reason. In addition to these, he had a book on Idolatry, and one on Christ. Besides Maimonides, the sultan had another physician, Ebn Djani, the author of a work on the medical topography of the city of Alexandria. From the biographies of these learned men of the twelfth century it would seem that their religious creed hung lightly upon them. Not unfrequently they became converted to Mohammedanism.
JEWISH PHYSICIANS IN THE DARK AGES. 417
It might be tedious if I should record the names and writings of the learned European Jews of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, a period more prolific of these great men than even the preceding ages. But I can not pass these later centuries without mentioning the Alphonsine Tables, calculated for Alphonso, the King of Castile, by Mascha, his Hebrew physician. The irreligious tendency of the times is illustrated by the well-known sarcasm uttered by that Spanish monarch respecting the imperfect construction of the heavens, according to the Ptolemaic hypothesis. For long, however, the Jews had been dabbling in free-thinking speculations. Thus Aben Tybbon, above mentioned, anticipating that branch of science which has drawn upon itself, in later years, so much opprobrium, wrote a work containing a discussion of the causes which prevent the waters of the sea from encroaching on the land. Abba Mari, a Marseillese Jew, translated the Almagest of Ptolemy and the Commentary of Averrhoes upon it. The school of Salerno was still sending forth its doctors. In Rome, Jewish physicians were very numerous, the popes themselves employing them. Boniface VIII. had for his medical adviser Rabbi Isaac. At this period Spain and France were full of learned Jews; and perhaps partly by their exerting upon the higher classes with whom they came in contact too much influence, for the physician of a Christian prince was very often the rival of his confessor, and partly because the practice of medicine, as they pursued it, interfered with the gains of the Church, the clergy took the alarm, and caused to be re-enacted or enforced the ancient laws. The Council of Beziers, A.D. 1246, and the Council of Alby, A.D. 1254, prohibited all Christians from resorting to the services of an Israelitish physician. It would appear that these enactments had either fallen into desuetude or had failed to be enforced. The faculty of Paris, awakening at last to the danger of the case, caused, A.D. 1301, a decree to be published prohibiting either man or woman of the religion of Moses from practicing medicine upon any person of the Catholic religion. A similar course was also taken in Spain. At this time the Jews were confessedly at the head of French medicine. It was the appointment of one of their persuasion, Profatius, as regent of the faculty of Montpellier, A.D. 1300, which drew down upon them the wrath of the faculty of Paris. This learned man was a skillful astronomer; he composed tables of the moon; of the longitudes of many Asiatic and African towns; he determined the obliquity of the ecliptic, his result being honorably alluded to by Copernicus. The animosity of the French ecclesiastics against the Jewish physicians at last led to the banishment of all the Jews from France, A.D. 1306. " It was," say the historians of this event, "a most revolting spectacle to see so many learned men, who had adorned and benefited France, proscribed, wanderers without a country or an asylum. Some of them expired of grief
418 THE DOWNFALL OF SUPERNATURALISM.
upon the road. Abba Mari gives in his work heart-rending details of the expulsion of the Jews from Montpellier, at the head of whom were the professors and doctors of the faculty." But, though thus driven into exile, these strangers had accomplished their destiny. They had silently deposited in France their ideas. They had sapped the credulity of the higher classes in Europe, and taught them to turn away from the supernatural. A clear recognition of their agency in this matter fastened upon them the watchful eye of the Inquisition, and made them the victims of its tyranny. And so it might well be. Out of the Spanish peninsula there had come across the Pyrenees an intellectual influence, which reached the populace under the form of a fresh and pleasing literature, and the better classes by novel but unorthodox ideas. To a very great extent the Jews had been its carriers. The result was the overthrow of supernaturalism. We shall hardly accept the affirmation of good Catholics that fairies disappeared on account of the Reformation, unable to bear the morose sectarianism with which it was accompanied, or the still more material explanation of the rustics that it was through the introduction of tobacco. However that may be, no longer is Robin Goodfellow the compeller of household duties-no longer do bad elves sit by the dying embers on the hearth-stone at night, in the shape of shriveled frogs, after the family have gone to bed. For a long time there have been no miracles in Europe. Even Rome, the workshop of those artifices, has ceased to be the seat of that trade. From human institutions of any kind, a great principle, firmly inwrought and inwoven at the beginning, can never be removed. It will show itself whenever occasion permits. The animosity between the Byzantine ecclesiastical system and all worldly wisdom was in extinguishable, though it was utterly foreign to Christianity. It was fastened by imperial violence on the nations, and made its appearance, with unabated force, at intervals of ages. The same evil instinct which tore Hypatia piecemeal in the church at Alexandria brought Galileo into the custody of the familiars of the holy office at Rome. The necessary consequence of this upholding ignorance by force was the emergence of ideas successively more and more depraved. Whoever will ingenuously compare the religious state of Italy in the fourteenth century with its state in the fourth-that is, the recent Italian with the old Roman-will find that among the illiterate classes nothing whatever had been accomplished. There were no elevated thoughts of holy things. From practical devotion God had altogether disappeared; the Savior had been supplanted by the blessed Virgin; and she herself-such was the increasing degradation-had been abandoned for the ignoble worship of apotheosized men, who, under the designation of saints, had engrossed all the votaries. There had been a rapid descent
LITERARY CONDITION OF THE AGE OF FAITH. 419
to the last degree of more than African abasement in bleeding statues and winking pictures. In Europe there had been incorporated old forms of worship and old festivals with Christian ones without any scruple; the local gods and goddesses had been replaced by saints; for deification canonization had been substituted. There had been produced a civilization, the character of which was its extraordinary intolerance. A man could not be suspected of doubting the popular belief without risk to his goods, his body, or his life. As a necessary consequence, there could be no great lawgivers, no philosophers, no poets. Society was pervaded by a systematic hypocrisy. This tyranny over others sometimes led to strange results. It caused the Jews to discover the art of making wealth invisible by bills of exchange and other such like means, so that money might be imperceptibly but instantaneously moved. Thus, after the dying out of Greek science, there followed, among the new populations, an intellectual immobility, which soon became the centre of a vast number of growing interests quickly and firmly crystallizing round it. For them it was essential that there should be no change-no advance. In the midst of jarrings and conflicts between those interests, that condition was steadfastly maintained, as if through instinct, by them all. It mattered not how antiquated were the forms insisted on, nor how. far they outraged common sense. New life was given to decaying illusions, and, in return, strength was gathered from them. Isis, with the moon beneath her feet, and was planted, under a new name, on the Bosphorus and the Tiber. African theology, African ecclesiastical machinery, and African monasticism were made objects of reverence to unsuspecting Europe. Juvenal says that the Roman painters of his day lived on the goddess Isis. The Italian painters of a later day lived on her modernized form. In such a condition of things the literary state could be no other than barren. Political combinations had not only prescribed an intellectual terminus, but had even laid down a rail upon which mental excursions were to be made, and from which there was no departing; or, if a turn-out was permitted, it was a tonsured man who stood at the switch. For centuries together, if we exclude theological writings, there was absolutely no literature worth the name. Life seems to have been spent in the pursuit of mere physical enjoyment, and that enjoyment of a very low kind. When in the south of France and Sicily literature began to dawn, it is not to be overlooked how much of it was of an amatory kind; and love is the strongest of the passions. The first aspect of Western literature was animal, not intellectual. A taste for learning excited, there reappeared in the schools the old treatises written a thousand years before-the Elements of Euclid, the Geography of Ptolemy. Long after the Reformation there was
420 DECLINE OF PATRISTICISM.
an intellectual imbecility which might well excite our mirth, if it were not the index of a stage through which the human mind must pass. Often enough we see it interestingly in the interweaving of the old with the new ideas. If we take up a work on metallurgy, it commences with Tubal Cain; if on music, with Jubal. The history of each country is traced back to the sons of Noah, or at least to the fugitives from the siege of Troy. An admiration for classical authors may perhaps be excused. It exhibited itself amusingly in the eccentricity of interlarding compositions of every kind with Greek and Latin quotations. It was an age of literary innocence, when no legend was too stupendous for credulity; when there was no one who had ever suspected that Tully, as they delighted to call him, was not a great philosopher, and Virgil not a great poet. Of those ponderous, those massive folios on ecclesiastical affairs, at once the product and representatives of the time, but little needs here to be said. They boasted themselves as the supreme effort of human intellect; they laid claim to an enduring authority; to many they had a weight little less than the oracles of God. But if their intrinsic value is to be measured by their pretensions, and their pretensions judged of by their present use, what is it that must be said? Long ago their term was reached, long ago they became obsolete. They have no reader. Such must be the issue of any literature springing from an immovable, an unexpanding basis, the offspring of thought that has been held in subjugation by political formulas, or of intellectual energies that have been cramped. The Roman ecclesiastical system, like the Byzantine, had been irrevocably committed in an opposition to intellectual development. It professed to cultivate the morals, but it crushed the mind. Yet, in the course of events, this state of things was to come to an end through the working of other principles equally enduring and more powerful. They constitute what we may speak of under the title of the Arabian element. On preceding pages it has been shown that, on the transit of the Saracens through Egypt, they came under the influence of the Nestorians and Hellenizing Jews, acquiring from them a love of philosophy, which soon manifested itself in full energy from the banks of the Euphrates to those of the Guadalquivir. The hammer of Charles Martel might strike down the ranks of the Saracens on the field of Tours, but there was something intangible, something indestructible accompanying them, which the Frank chivalry could not confront. To the Church there was an evil omen. It has been well remarked that in the Provengal poetry there are noble bursts of crusading religious sentiment, but they are incorporated with a sovereign contempt for the clergy. The biography of any of the physicians or alchemists of the thirteenth
ARNOLD DE VILLA NOVA. 421
century would serve the purpose of illustrating the watchfulness of the Church, the unsound condition of the universities, the indirect patronage extended to heretics by eminent men, and the manner in which the rival powers, ecclesiasticism and philosophy, were preparing for their final conflict. As an example of the kind, I may present briefly that of Arnold de Villa Nova, born about A.D. 1250. He enjoyed a great reputation for his knowledge of medicine and alchemy. For some years he was physician to the King of Aragon. Under an accusation of defective orthodoxy he lost his position at court, his punishment being rendered more effective by excommunication. Hoping to find in Paris more liberality than he had met with in Spain, he fled to that city, but was pursued by an adverse ecclesiastical influence with a charge of having sold his soul to the Devil, and of having changed a plate of copper into gold. In Montpellier, to which he was obliged to retire, he found a more congenial intellectual atmosphere, and was for long one of the regents of the faculty of medicine. In succession, he subsequently resided in Florence, Naples, Palermo, patronized and honored by the Emperor Frederick II.-at that time engaged in the attempt to unite Italy into one kingdom and give it a single language-on account of his extraordinary reputation as a physician. Even the pope, Clement V., notwithstanding the unfortunate attitude in which Arnold stood toward the Church, besought a visit from him in hopes of relief from the stone. On his voyage for the purpose of performing the necessary operation, Arnold suffered shipwreck and was drowned. His body was interred at Genoa. The pope issued an encyclic letter, entreating those who owed him obedience to reveal where Arnold's Treatise on the Practice of Medicine might be found, it having been lost or concealed. It appears that the chief offenses committed by Arnold against the Church were that he had predicted that the world would come to an end A.D. 1335; that he had said the bulls of the pope were only the work of a man, and that the practice of charity is better than prayer, or even than the mass. If he was the author of the celebrated book " De Tribus Impostoribus," as was suspected by some, it is not remarkable that he was so closely watched and disciplined. Like many of his contemporaries, he mingled a great deal of mysticism with his work, recommending, during his alchemical operations, the recitation of psalms, to give force to the agents used. Among other such things, he describes a seal, decorated with scriptural phrases, of excellent use in preserving one from sudden death. It appears, however, to have failed of its effect on the night when Arnold's ship was drifting on an Italian lee-shore, and he had most need of it. The two antagonistic principles-ecclesiastical and intellectual-were thus brought in presence of each other. On other occasions they had been already in partial collision, as at the
422 THE TWO IMPULSES AGAINST THE CHURCH.
iconoclastic dispute which originated in the accusations of the Mohammedans, and ended in the tearing asunder of Christendom. Again there was a collision, a few centuries later, when the Spanish Moors and Jews began to influence the higher European classes. Among the bishops, sovereigns, and even popes thus affected, there were many men of elevated views, who saw distinctly the position of Europe, and understood thoroughly the difficulties of the Church. It had already become obvious to them that it would be impossible to restrain the impulse arising from the vigorous movements of the Saracens, and that it was absolutely necessary so to order things that the actual condition of faith in Europe might be accommodated to or even harmonized with these philosophical conceptions, which it was quite clear would, soon or late, pervade the whole Continent. This, as we have seen, is the explanation of the introduction of Scholasticism from the Arabian schools, and its accommodation to the Christian code, on which authority looked with so much favor at first. But hardly had this attempt been entered upon before it became manifest that the risks to be incurred through the remedy itself were as evil as the anticipated dangers. There was then no other course than for the Church to retrace her steps, ostensibly maintaining her consistency by permitting scholastic literature, though declining scholastic theology. She thus allured the active intellect, arising in all directions in the universities, to fruitless and visionary pursuits. This policy, therefore, threw her back upon a system of repression; it was the only course possible; yet there can be no doubt that it was entered upon with reluctance. We do injustice to the great men who guided ecclesiastical policy in those times when we represent them as recklessly committing themselves to measures at once violent and indefensible. They did make the attempt to institute an opposite policy; it proved not only a failure, but mischievous. They were then driven to check the spread of knowledge-driven by the necessities of their position. The fault was none of theirs; it dated back to the time of Constantine the Great; and the impossibility of either correcting or neutralizing it is only an example, as has been said, of the manner in which a general principle, once introduced, will overbear the best exertions of those attempting to struggle against it. We can appreciate the false position into which those statesmen were thrown when we compare their personal with their public relations. Often the most eminent persons lived in intimacy and friendship with Jewish physicians, who, in the eye of the law, were enemies of society; often those who were foremost in the cultivation of knowledge-who, indeed, suffered excommunication for its sake-maintained amicable relations of a private kind with those who in public were the leaders of their persecutors. The systems were in antagonism, not the men. Arnold de Villa Nova, though excommuni-
THE INTELLECTUAL IMPULSE. 423
cated, was the physician of one pope; Roger Bacon, though harshly imprisoned, was the friend and correspondent of another. These incidents are not at all to be mistaken for that compassion which the truly great are ever ready to show to erring genius. They are examples of what we often see in our own day, when men engaged in the movements of a great political party loyally carry out its declared principles to their consequences, though individually they might find in those consequences many things to which they could mentally object. Their private objection they thus yield for the sake of what appears to them, in a general way, a practical good. Such was the state of affairs when the Arab element, having pervaded France and Italy, made its formal intellectual attack. It might almost have been foreseen in what manner that attack would be made, and the shape it would be likely to assume. Of the sciences, astronomy was the oldest and most advanced. Its beginning dates earlier than the historic period, and both in India and in Egypt it had long reached correctness, so far as its general principles were concerned. The Saracens had been assiduous cultivators of it in both its branches, observation and mathematical investigation. Upon one point, the figure and relations of the earth, it is evident that not the slightest doubt existed among them. Nay, it must be added that no learned European ecclesiastic or statesman could deny the demonstrated truths. Nevertheless, it so fell out that upon this very point the conflict commenced. In India the Brahmans had passed through this same trial -for different nations walk through similar paths-with a certain plausible success, by satisfying the popular clamor that there was, in reality, nothing inconsistent between the astronomical doctrine of the globular form and movement of the earth, and the mythological dogma that it rests upon a succession of animals, the lowest of which is a tortoise. But the strong common sense of Western Europe was not to be deluded in any such idle way. It is not difficult to see the point of contact, the point of pressure with the Church. The abstract question gave her no concern; it was the consequences that might possibly follow. The memorable battle was fought upon the question thus sharply defined: Is the earth a moving globe, a small body in the midst of blazing suns and countless myriads of worlds, or is it the central and greatest object in the universe, flat, and canopied over with a blue dome, motionless while all is in movement around it? The dispute thus definitely put, its issue was such as must always attend upon a controversy in which he who is defending is at once lukewarm and conscious of his own weakness. Never can moral interests, however pure, stand against intellect enforcing truth. On this ill-omened question the Church ventured her battle and lost it. Though this great conflict is imbodied in the history of Galileo, who
424 THE MORAL IMPULSE.
has become its historical representative, the prime moving cause must not be misunderstood. From the Pyrenees had passed forth an influence which had infected all the learned men of Western Europe. Its tendency was altogether unfavorable to the Church. Moreover, the illiterate classes had been touched, but in a different way. To the first action the designation of the intellectual impulse may be given; to the latter, the moral. It is to be especially observed that in their directions these impulses conspired. We have seen how, through the Saracens and Jews conjointly, the intellectual impulse came into play. The moral impulse originated in a different manner, being due partly to the Crusades and partly to the state of things in Rome. On these causes it is therefore needful for us to reflect. First, of the Crusades. There had been wrenched from Christendom its fairest and most glorious portions. Spain, the north of Africa, Egypt, Syria, Asia Minor, were gone. The Mohammedans had been repeatedly under the walls of Constantinople; its fall was only a question of time. They had been in the streets of Rome. They had marched across Italy in every direction. But perhaps the geographical losses, appalling as the they were, did not appear so painful as the capture of the holy places: the birth-place of our Redeemer; the scene of his sufferings; the Mount of Olives; the Sea of Galilee; the Garden of Gethsemane; Calvary; the Sepulchre. Too often in their day of strength, while there were Roman legions at their back, had the bishops taunted Paganism with the weakness of its divinities, who could not defend themselves, their temples, or their sacred places. That logic was retaliated now. To many a sincere heart must many an ominous reflection have occurred. In Western Europe there was a strong common sense which quickly caught the true position of things-a common sense neither to be blinded nor hoodwinked. The astuteness of the Italian politicians was insufficient to conceal altogether the great fact, though it might succeed in dissembling its real significance for a time. The Europe of that day was very different from the Europe of ours. It was in its Age of Faith. Recently converted, as all recent converts do, it made its belief a living rule of action. In our times there is not upon that continent a nation which, in its practical relations with others, carries out to their consequences its ostensible, its avowed articles of belief. Catholics, Protestants, Mohammedans, they of the Greek communion, indiscriminately consort together under the expediencies of the passing hour. Statesmanship has long been dissevered from religion-a fact most portentous for future times. But it was not so in the Middle Ages. Men then believed their form of faith with the same clearness, the same intensity with which they believed their own existence or the actual presence of things upon which they cast their eyes. The doctrines of the Church were to them no mere inconsequential affair, but an absolute, an actual
INFLUENCE OF THE CRUSADES. 425
reality, a living and a fearful thing. It would have passed their comprehension if they could have been assured that a day would come when Christian Europe, by a breath, could remove from the holy places the scandal of an infidel intruder, but, upon the whole, would consider it not worth her while to do so. How differently they acted. When, by the preaching of Peter the Hermit and his collaborators, who had received a signal from Rome, a knowledge had come to their ears of the reproach that had befallen Jerusalem and the sufferings of the pilgrims, their plain but straightforward common sense taught them at once what was the right remedy to apply, and forthwith they did apply it, and Christendom, precipitated headlong upon the Holy Land, was brought face to face with Mohammedanism. But what a scene awaited the zealous, the religious barbarians-for such they truly were-when Constantinople, with its matchless splendors, came in view! What a scene when they had passed into Asia Minor, that garden of the world, presenting city after city, with palaces and edifices, the pride of twenty centuries! How unexpected the character of those Saracens, whom they had been taught, by those who had incited them to their enterprise, to regard as no better than bloodthirsty fiends, but whom they found valiant, merciful, just! When Richard the Lion-hearted, King of England, lay in his tent consumed by a fever, there came into the camp camels laden with snow, sent by his enemy, the Sultan Saladin, to assuage his disease, the homage of one brave soldier to another. But when Richard was returning to England, it was by a Christian prince that he was treacherously seized and secretly confined. This was doubtless only one of many such incidents which had often before occurred. Even down to the meanest camp-follower, every one must have recognized the difference between what they had anticipated and what they had found. They had seen undaunted courage, chivalrous bearing, intellectual culture far higher than their own. They had been in lands filled with the prodigies of human skill. They did not melt down into the populations to whom they returned without imparting to them a profound impression destined to make itself felt in the course of time. But, secondly, as to the state of things in Rome. The movement into which all Europe had been thrown by these wars brought to light the true condition of things in Italy as respects morality. Locomotion in a population is followed by intellectual development. The old stationary condition of things in Europe was closed by the Crusades. National movement gave rise to better observation, better information, and could not but be followed by national reflection. And though we are obliged to speak of the European population as being in one sense in a barbarous state, it was a moral population, earnestly believing the truth of every doctrine it had been taught, and sincerely
426 REVIEW OF MACHIAVELLI.
expecting that those doctrines would be carried to their practical application, and that religious profession must, as a matter of course, be illustrated by religious life. The Romans themselves were an exception to this. They had lived too long behind the scenes. Indeed, it may be said that all the Italian peninsula had emancipated itself from that delusion, as likewise certain classes in France, who had become familiar with the state of things during the residence of the popes at Avignon. It has been the destiny of Southern France to pass, on a small scale, under the same influence, and to exhibit the same results as were appointed for all Europe at last. And now, what was it that awakening Europe found to be the state of things in Italy? I avert my eyes from looking again at the biography of the popes; it would be only to renew a scene of sin and shame. Nor can I, without injustice to truth, speak of the social condition of the inhabitants of that peninsula without relating facts which would compel my reader to turn over the
Page with a blush. I prefer to look at the maxims of political life which had been followed for many centuries, and which were first divulged by one of the greatest men that Italy has produced in a work-A.D. 1513-truly characterized as a literary prodigy. Certainly nothing can surpass in atrocity the maxims therein laid down. Machiavelli, in that work, tells us that there are three degrees of capacity among men. That one understands things by his own natural powers; another, when they are explained to him; a third, not at all. In dealing with these different classes different methods are to be used. The last class, which is by far the most numerous, is so simple and weak that it is very easy to dupe those who belong to it. If they cease to believe of their own accord they ought to be constrained by force, in the application of which, though there may be considerable difficulties at first, yet, these once overcome by a sufficient unscrupulousness, veneration, security, tranquillity, and happiness will follow. That, if a prince is constrained to make his choice, it is better for him to be feared than loved; he should remember that all men are ungrateful, fickle, timid, dissembling, and self-interested; that love depends on them, but fear depends on him, and hence it is best to prefer the latter, which is always in his own hands. That, as to governments, their form is of very little moment, though half-educated people think otherwise. The great aim of statesmanship should be permanence, which is worth every thing else, being far more valuable than freedom. That, if a man wants to ruin a republic, his proper course is to set it on bold undertakings, which it is sure to mismanage; that men, being naturally wicked, incline to good only when they are compelled; they think a great deal more of the present than the past, and never seek change so long as they are made comfortable. He recommends a ruler to bear in mind that, while the lower class of
REVIEW OF MACHIAVELLI. 427
men may desert him, the superior will not only desert, but conspire. If such can not with certainty be made reliable friends, it is very clearly necessary to put it out of their power to be enemies. Thus it may be observed that the frequent insurrections in Spain, Gaul, and Greece against the Romans were entirely due to the petty chiefs inhabiting those countries; but that, after they had once been put to death, every thing went on very well. Up to a certain point, it should be the grand maxim of a wise government to content the people and to manage the nobles; but that, since hatred is just as easily incurred by good actions as by bad ones, there will occasionally arise the necessity of being wicked in order to maintain power, and, in such a case, there should be no hesitation; for, though it is useful to persevere in the path of rectitude while there is no inconvenience, we should deviate from it at once if circumstances indicate. A prudent prince ought not to keep his word to his own injury; he ought to bear in mind that one who always endeavors to act as duty dictates necessarily insures his own destruction; that new obligations never extinguish the memory of former injuries in the minds of the superior order of men; that liberality, in the end, generally insures more enemies than friends; that it is the nature of mankind to become as much attached to one by the benefits they render as by the favors they receive; that, where the question is as to the taking of life or the confiscation of property, it is useful to recollect that men forget the death of their relatives, but not the loss of their patrimony; that, if cruelties should become expedient, they should be committed thoroughly and but once-it is very impolitic to resort to them a second time; that there are three ways of deciding any contest-by fraud, by force, or by law, and a wise man will make the most suitable choice; that there are also three ways of maintaining control in newly-conquered states that have once been free-by ruining them, by inhabiting them, or by permitting them to keep their own laws and to pay tribute. Of these the first will often be found the best, as we may see from the history of the:Romans, who were experienced judges of such cases. That, as respects the family of a rival but conquered sovereign, the greatest pains should be taken to extinguish it completely; for history proves, what many fabulous traditions relate, that dangerous political consequences have originated in the escape of some obscure or insignificant member; that men of the highest order, who are, therefore, of sound judgment-who seek for actual social truths for their guidance rather than visionary models which never existed-will conform to the decisions of reason, and never be influenced by feelings of sentiment, unless it is apparent that some collateral advantage will arise from the temporary exhibition thereof; and that they will put a just estimate on the delusions in which the vulgar indulge, casting aside the so-called interventions of Divine Providence, which are, in reality, nothing more than the concatenation of certain cir-
428 REVIEW OF MACHIAVELLI
cumstances following the ordinary law of cause and effect, but which, by interfering with the action of each other, have assumed a direction which the judgment of the wisest could not have foreseen. Europe has visited with its maledictions the great political writer by whom these atrocious maxims have been recommended, forgetting that his offense consists not in inventing, but in divulging them. His works thus offer the purest example we possess of physical statesmanship. They are altogether impassive. He views the management of a state precisely as he might do the construction of a machine, recommending that such a wheel or such a lever should be introduced, his only inquiry being whether it will accomplish his intention. As to any happiness or misery it may work, he gives himself no concern, unless, indeed, they evidently ought to enter into the calculation. He had suffered the rack himself under a charge of conspiracy, and borne it without flinching. But, before Machiavelli wrote, his principles had all been carried into practice; indeed, it would not be difficult to give abundant examples in proof of the assertion that they had been for ages regarded in Italy as rules of conduct. Such was the morality which Europe detected as existing in Italy, carried out with inconceivable wickedness in public and private life; and thus the two causes we have been considering-contact with the Saracens in Syria and a knowledge of the real state of things in Rome conspired together to produce what may be designated as the moral impulse, which, in its turn, conspired with the intellectual. Their association foreboded evil to ecclesiastical authority, thus taken at great disadvantage. Though, from its very birthday, that authority had been in absolute opposition to the intellectual movement, it might, doubtless, for a much longer time have successfully maintained its conflict therewith had the conditions remained unchanged. Up to this time its chief strength reposed upon its moral relations. It could point, and did point the attention of those whose mental culture enabled them to understand the true position of affairs, to Europe, brought out of barbarism, and beginning a course of glorious civilization. That achievement was claimed by the Church. If it was true that she had thus brought it to pass, it had been altogether wrought by the agency of her moral power, intellectual influence in no manner aiding therein, but being uniformly, from the time of Constantine the Great to that of the Reformation, instinctively repulsed. When, now, the moral power suffered so great a shock, and was not only ready to go over to, but had actually allied itself with the intellectual, there was great danger to ecclesiastical authority. And hence we need not be surprised that an impression began to prevail among the clear-thinking men of the time that the real functions of that authority were completed in producing the partially-civilized condition to which Europe had attained,
SOCIAL CHANGES IN EUROPE. 429
the course of events tending evidently to an elimination of that authority as an active element in the approaching European system. To such the Church might emphatically address herself, pointing out the signal and brilliant results to which she had given rise, and displaying the manifest evils which must inevitably ensue if her relations, as then existing, should be touched. For it must have been plain that the first effect arising from the coalition of the intellectual with the moral element would be an assertion of the right of private judgment in the individual-a condition utterly inconsistent with the dominating influence of authority. It was actually upon that very principle that the battle of the Reformation was eventually fought. She might point out-for it needed no prophetic inspiration-that, if once this principle was yielded, there could be no other issue in Christendom than a total decomposition; that though, for a little while, the separation might be limited to a few great confessions, these, under the very influence of the principle that had brought themselves into existence, must, in their turn, undergo disintegration, and the end of it be a complete anarchy of sects. In one sense it may be said that it was in wisdom that the Church took her stand upon this point, determining to make it her base of resistance; unwisely in another, for it was evident that she had already lost the initiative of action, and that her very resistance would constitute the first stage in the process of decomposition. Europe had made a vast step during its Age of Faith. Spontaneously it had grown through its youth; and the Italians, who had furnished it with many of its ideas, had furnished it also many of its forms of life. In that respect justice has still to be done them. When Rome broke away from her connections with Constantinople, -a cloud of more than Cimmerian darkness overshadowed Europe. It was occupied by wandering savages. Six hundred years organized it into families, neighborhoods, cities. Those centuries found it full of bondmen; they left it without a slave. They found it a scene of violence, rapine, lust; they left it the abode of God-fearing men. Where there had been trackless forests, there were innumerable steeples glittering in the sun; where there had been bloody chieftains, drinking out of their enemies' skulls, there were grave ecclesiastics, fathoming the depths of free-will, predestination, election. Investing the clergy with a mysterious superiority, the Church asserted the equality of the laity before God from the king to the beggar. It disregarded wealth and birth, and opened a career for all. Its influence over the family and domestic relations was felt through all classes. It ascertained a father by a previous ceremony; it enforced the rule that a wife passes into the family of her husband, and hence it followed that legitimate children belong to the father, illegitimate to the mother. It compelled women to domestic life, shut them out from the priesthood, and tried to exclude them from government.
430 DECLINE OF ECCLESIASTICAL POWER.
In a worldly sense, the mistake that Rome committed was this: she attempted to maintain an intellectual immobility in the midst of an advancing social state. She saw not that society could no more be stopped in its career through her mere assertion that it could not and should not move, than that the earth could be checked in its revolution merely because she protested that it was at rest. She tried, first by persuasion and then by force, to arrest the onward movement, but she was overborne, notwithstanding her frantic resistance, by the impetuous current. Very different would it have been had the Italian statesmen boldly put themselves in the van of progress, and, instead of asserting an immutability and infallibility, changed their dogmas and maxims as the progress of events required. Europe need not to have waited for Arabs and Jews. In describing these various facts, I have endeavored to point out impressively how the Church, so full of vigor at first, contained within itself the seeds of inevitable decay. From the period when it came into collision with the intellectual and moral elements, the origin of which we have traced, and which conspired together for its overthrow, it exhibited a gradual decline; first losing its influence upon nations, and in ceasing to be in them a principle of public action; next, witnessing the alienation of the higher and educated classes, the process descending downward through the social scale, therein retracing the steps of its advance. When ecclesiasticism became so weak as to be unable to regulate international affairs, and was supplanted by diplomacy, in the castle the physician was more than a rival for the confessor, in the town the mayor was a greater man than the abbot. There remained a lingering influence over individuals, who had not yet risen above a belief that it could control their state after death. This decline of its ancient influence should be a cause of rejoicing to all intelligent men, for an ecclesiastical organization allying itself to political power can never now be a source of any good. In America we have seen the bond that held the Church and State together abruptly snapped. It is therefore well that, since the close of the Age of Faith, things have been coming back, with an accelerated pace, to the state in which they were in the early Christian times, before the founder of Constantinople beguiled the devotional spirit to his personal and family benefit-to the state in which they were before ambitious men sought political advancement and wealth by organizing hypocrisy-when maxims of morality, charity, benevolence, were rules of life for individual man when the monitions of conscience were obeyed without the suggestions of an outward, often an interested and artful prompter when the individual lived not under the sleepless gaze, the crushing hand of a great overwhelming hierarchical organization, surrounding him on all sides, doing his thinking for him, directing him in his acts, making him a mere automaton, but in simplicity, humility, and truthfulness guiding himself
PHYSIOLOGICAL CAUSES OF THAT DECLINE. 431
according to the light given him, and discharging the duties of this troublesome and transitory life "as ever in his great Taskmaster's eye." For the progressive degradations exhibited by the Roman Church during the Age of Faith, something may be offered as at once an explanation and an excuse. Machiavelli relates, in his "History of Florence -a work which, if inferior in philosophical penetration to his "Prince," is of the most singular merit as a literary composition-that Osporco, a Roman, having become pope, exchanged his unseemly name for the more classical one Sergius, and that his successors have ever since observed the practice of assuming a new name. This incident profoundly illustrates the psychical progress of that Church. During the fifteen centuries that we have had under consideration-counting from a little before the Christian era-the population of Italy had been constantly changing. The old Roman ethnical element had become eliminated partly through the republican and imperial wars, and partly through the slave system. The degenerated half-breeds, of whom the Peninsula was full through repeated northern immigrations, degenerated, as time went on, still more and more. After that blood admixture had for the most part ceased, it took a long time for the base ethnical element which was its product to come into physiological correspondence with the country, for the adaptation of man to a new climate is a slow, a secular change. But blood-degeneration implies thought-degeneration. It is nothing more than might be expected that, in this mongrel race, customs, and language, and even names should change-that rivers, and towns, and men should receive new appellations. As the great statesman to whom I have referred observes, Caesar and Pompey had disappeared; John, Matthew, and Peter had come in their stead. Barbarized names are the outward and visible signs of barbarized ideas. Those early bishops of Rome, whose dignified acts have commanded our respect, were men of Roman blood, and animated with sentiments that were truly Latin; but the succeeding pontiffs, whose lives were so infamous and thoughts so base, were engendered of half-breeds. Norwas it until the Italian population had re-established itself in a physiological relation with the country-not until it had passed through the earlier stages of national life that manly thoughts and true conceptions could be regained. Ideas and dogmas that would not have been tolerated for an instant in the old, pure, homogeneous Roman race, found acceptance in this adulterated, festering mass. This was the true cause of the increasing debasement of Latin Christianity. He who takes the trouble to construct a chart of the religious conceptions as they successively struggled into light, will see how close was their connection with the physiological state of the Italian ethnical element at the moment. It is a sad and humiliating succession.- Mariolatry; the invoca-
432 BENEFITS CONFERRED BY THE CHURCH.
tion of saints; the supreme value of virginity; the working of miracles by relics; the satisfaction of moral crimes by gifts of money or goods to the clergy; the worship of images; Purgatory; the sale of benefices; transubstantiation, or the making of God by the priest; the materialization of God-that he has eyes, feet, hands, toes; the virtue of pilgrimages; vicarious religion, the sinner paying the priest to pray for him; the corporeality of spirits; the forbidding of the Bible to the laity; the descent to shrine-worship and fetichism; the doctrine that man can do more than his duty, and hence have a claim upon God; the sale by the priest of indulgences in sin for money. But there is another, a very different aspect under which we must regard this Church. Enveloped as it was with the many evils of the times, the truly Christian principle which was at its basis perpetually vindicated its power, giving rise to numberless blessings in spite of the degradation and wickedness of man. As I have elsewhere (Physiology,
Page 626) remarked, " The civil law exerted an exterior power in human relations; Christianity produced an interior and moral change. The idea of an ultimate accountability for personal deeds, of which the old Europeans had an indistinct perception, became intense and precise. The sentiment of universal charity was exemplified not only in individual acts, the remembrance of which soon passes away, but in the more permanent institution of establishments for the relief of affliction, the spread of knowledge, the propagation of truth. Of the great ecclesiastics, many had risen from the humblest ranks of society, and these men, true to their democratic instincts, were often found to be the inflexible supporters of right against might. Eventually coming to be the depositaries of the knowledge that then existed, they opposed intellect to brute force, in many instances successfully, and by the example of the organization of the Church, which was essentially republican, they showed how representative systems may be introduced into the state. Nor was it over communities and nations that the Church displayed her chief power. Never in the world before was there such a system. From her central seat at Rome, her all-seeing eye, like that of Providence itself, could equally take in a hemisphere at a glance, or examine the private life of any individual. Her boundless influences enveloped kings in their palaces, and relieved the beggar at the monastery gate. In all Europe there was not a man too obscure, too insignificant, or too desolate for her. Surrounded by her solemnities, every one received his name at her altar; her bells chimed at his marriage, her knell tolled at his funeral. She extorted from him the secrets of his life at her confessionals, and punished his faults by her penances. In his hour of sickness and trouble her servants sought him out, teaching him, by her exquisite litanies and prayers, to place his reliance on God, or strengthening him for the trials of life by the example of the holy and just. Her
ANALYSIS OF THE DECLINE OF THE ROMAN CHURCH. 433
prayers had an efficacy to give repose to the soul of his dead. When, even to his friends, his lifeless body had become an offense, in the name of God she received it into her consecrated ground, and under her shadow he rested till the great reckoning-day. From little better than a slave she raised his wife to be his equal, and, forbidding him to have more than one, met her recompense for those noble deeds in a firm friend at every fireside. Discountenancing all impure love, she put round that fireside the children of one mother, and made that mother little less than sacred in their eyes. In ages of lawlessness and rapine, among people but a step above savages, she vindicated the inviolability of her precincts against the hand of power, and made her temples a refuge and sanctuary for the despairing and oppressed. Truly she was the shadow of a great rock in many a weary land!" This being the point which I consider the end of the Italian system as a living force in European progress, its subsequent operation being directed to the senses and not to the understanding, it will not be amiss if for a moment we extend our view to later times and to circumstances beyond the strict compass of this book, endeavoring to ascer therefrom the condition of the Church, especially as to the many devout persons it may doubtless appear that she has lost none of her power. On four occasions there have been revolts against the Italian Church system: 1st, in the thirteenth century, the Albigensian; 2d, in the fourteenth, the Wiclifite; 3d, in the sixteenth, the Reformation; 4th, in the eighteenth, at the French Revolution. On each of these occasions ecclesiastical authority has exerted whatever offensive or defensive power it possessed. Its action is a true indication of its condition at the time. Astronomers can determine the orbit of.a comet or other celestial meteor by three observations of its position seen from the earth, and taken at intervals apart. 1st. Of the Albigensian revolt. We have ascertained that the origin of this is distinctly traceable to the Mohammedan influences Spain, through the schools of Cordova and Granada, pervading Languedoc and Provence. Had these agencies produced only the gay scenes of chivalry and courtesy as their material results, and, as their intellectual, war-ballads, satires, and amorous songs, they had been excused; but, along with such elegant frivolities, there was something of a more serious kind. A popular proverb will often betray national belief, and there was a proverb in Provence, " Viler than a priest." The offensive sectaries also quoted, for the edification of the monks, certain texts, to the effect " that, if a man will not work, neither let him eat." The event, in the hands of Simon de Montfort, taught them that there is such a thing as wresting Scripture to one's own destruction. E E
434 ANALYSIS OF THE DECLINE OF THE ROMAN CHURCH
How did the Church deal with this Albigensian heresy? As those do who have an absolutely overwhelming power. She did not crush it-that would have been too indulgent; she absolutely annihilated it. Awake to what must necessarily ensue from the imperceptible spread of such opinions, she remorselessly consumed its birth-place with fire and sword; and, fearful that some fugitives might have escaped her vigilant eye, or that heresy might go wherever a bale of goods might be conveyed, she organized the Inquisition, with its troops of familiars and spies. Six hundred years have elapsed since these events, and the south of France has never recovered from the blow. That was a persecution worthy of a sovereign-a persecution conducted on sound Italian principles of policy-to consider clearly the end to be attained, and adopt the means thereto without any kind of concern as to their nature. But it was a persecution that implied the possession of unlimited and irresponsible power. 2d. Of the revolt of Wiclif. We have also considered the state of affairs which aroused the resistance of Wiclif. It is manifested by of legal enactments early in the fourteenth century, such as that ecclesiastics shall not go armed, nor join themselves with thieves, nor frequent taverns, nor chambers of strumpets, nor visit nuns, nor play at dice, nor keep concubines-by the Parliamentary bill of 1376, setting forth that the tax paid in England to the pope for ecclesiastical dignities is fourfold as much as that coming to the king from the whole realm; that alien clergy, who have never seen nor care to see their flocks, convey away the treasure of the country-by the homely preaching of John Ball, that all men are equal in the sight of God. Wiclif's opposition was not only directed against corruptions of discipline in the Church, but equally against doctrinal errors. His dogma that " God bindeth not men to believe any thing they can not understand" is a distinct imbodiment of the rights of reason, and the noble purpose he carried into execution of translating the Bible from the Vulgate shows in what direction he intended the application of that doctrine to be made. Through the influence of the queen of Richard the Second, who was a native of that country, his doctrines found an echo in Bohemia-Huss not only earnestly adopting his theological views, but also joining in his resistance to the despotism of the court of Rome and his exposures of the corruptions of the clergy. The political point of this revolt in England occurs in the refusal of Edward III., at the instigation of Wiclif, to do homage to the pope; the religious, in the translation of the Bible. Though a bull was sent to London requiring the arch-heretic to be seized and put in irons, yet Wiclif died in his bed, and his bones rested quietly in the grave for forty-four years. Ecclesiastical vengeance burned them at last and scattered them to the winds. There was no remissness in the ecclesiastical authority, but there
ANALYSIS OF THE DECLINE OF THE ROMAN CHURCH
435 were victories won by the blind hero, John Zisca. After the death of that great soldier-whose body was left by the road-side to the wolves and crows, and his skin dried and made into a drum- in vain was all that perfidy could suggest and all that brutality could execute resorted to-in vain the sword and fire were passed over Bohemia, and the last effort of impotent vengeance tried in England-the heretics could not be exterminated nor the detested translation of thd Bible destroyed. 3d. Of the revolt of Luther. As we shall have, in a subsequent chapter, to consider the causes that led to the Reformation, it is not necessary to anticipate them in any detail here. The necessities of the Roman treasury, which suggested the doctrine of supererogation and the sale of indulgences as a ready means of relief, merely brought on a crisis which otherwise could not have been long postponed, the real point at issue being the right of interpretation of the Scriptures by private judgment. The Church did not restrict her resistance to the use of ecclesiastical weapons-those of a carnal kind she also employed. Yet we look in vain for the concentrated energy with which she annihilated the Albigenses, or the atrocious policy with which the Hussites were met. The times no longer permitted of those things. But the struggle was maintained with unflinching constancy through the disasters and successes of one hundred and thirty years. Then came the peace of Westphalia, and the result of the contest was ascertained. The Church had lost the whole of northern Europe. 4th. Of the revolt of the philosophers. Besides the actual loss of the nations who openly fell away to Protestantism, a serious detriment was soon found to have befallen those still remaining nominally faithful to the Church. The fact of secession or adherence, depending, in a monarchy, on the personal caprice or policy of the sovereign, is by no means a true index of the opinions or relations of the subjects; and thus it happened that in several countries in which there was an outward appearance of agreement with the Church because of the attitude of the government, there was, in reality, a total disruption, so far as the educated and thinking classes were concerned. This was especially the case in France. When the voyage of circumnavigation of the world by Magellan had forever settled all such questions as those of the figure of the earth and the existence of the antipodes, the principles upon which the contest was composed between the conflicting parties are obvious from the most superficial perusal of the history of physics. Free thought was extorted for science, and, as its equivalent, an unmolested state for theology. It was an armed truce. It was not through either of the parties to that conflict that new troubles arose, but through the action of a class fast rising into import-
436 THE AGE OF REASON IN EUROPE.
ance-literary men. From the beginning to the middle of the last century these philosophers became more and more audacious in their attacks. Unlike the scientific, whose theological action was by implication rather than in a direct way, these boldly assaulted the intellectual basis of faith. The opportune occurrence of the American Revolution, by bringing forward, in a prominent manner, social evils and political methods for their cure, gave a practical application to the movement in Europe, and the Church was found unable to offer any kind of resistance. From these observations of the state of the Church at four different epochs of her career, we are able to determine her movement. There is a time of abounding strength, a time of feebleness, a time of ruinous loss, a time of utter exhaustion. What a difference between the eleventh and the eighteenth centuries! It is the noontide and the evening of a day of empire.
CHAPTER XIX. APPROACH OF THE AGE OF REASON IN EUROPE. IT IS PRECEDED BY MARITIME DISCOVERY.
Consideration of the definite Epochs of Social Life. Experimental Philosophy emerging in the Age of Faith. The Age of Reason ushered in by Maritime Discovery and the rise of European Criticism. MARITIME DISCOVERY.
- The three great Voyages. COLUMBUS discovers America.-DE GAMA doubles the Cape and reaches India.-MAGELLAN circumnavigates the Earth.-The material and intellectual Results of each of these Voyages. DIGRESSION ON THE SOCIAL CONDITION OF AMERICA.-In isolated human Societies the process of Thought and of Civilization is always the same.-Man passes through a determinate succession of Ideas and imbodies them in determinate Institutions.-The state of Mexico and Peru proves the influence of Law in the development of Mian.
I HAVE arrived at the last division of my work, the period in national life answering to maturity in individual. The objects to be considered differ-altogether from those which have hitherto occupied our attention. We have now to find human authority promoting intellectual advancement, and accepting as its maxim that the lot of man will be ameliorated, and his power and dignity increased, in proportion as he is able to comprehend the mechanism of the world, the action of natural laws, and to apply physical forces to his use. The date at which this transition in European life was made will doubtless be differently given according as the investigator changes his point of view. In truth, th ere is not in national life any real epoch, because there is nothing in reality abrupt. Events, however sequences of preparations long ago great or sudden, are consequences of preparations long ago
THE EPOCHS OF SOCIAL LIFE. 437
made. In this there is a perfect parity between the course of national and that of individual life. In the individual, one state merges by imperceptible degrees into another, each in its beginning and end being altogether indistinct. No one can tell at what moment he ceased to be a child and became a boy-at what moment he ceased to be a youth and became a man. Each condition, examined at a suitable interval, exhibits characteristics perfectly distinctive, but, at their common point of contact, the two so overlap and blend that, like the intermingling of shadow and light, the beginning of one and end of the other may be very variously estimated. In individual life, since no precise natural epoch exists, society has found it expedient to establish an artificial one, as, for example, the twenty-first year. The exigencies of history may be satisfied by similar fictions. A classical critic would probably be justified in selecting for his purpose the foundation of Constantinople as the epoch of the commencement of the Age of Faith, and its capture by the Turks as the close. It must be admitted that a very large number of historical events stand in harmony with that arrangement. A political writer would perhaps be disposed to postpone the date of the latter epoch to that of the treaty of Westphalia, for from that time theological elements ceased to have a recognized force, Protestant, Catholic, Mohammedan consorting promiscuously together in alliance or at war, according as temporary necessities might indicate. Besides these, other artificial epochs might be assigned, each doubtless having advantages to recommend it to our notice. But, after all, the chief peculiarity is obvious enough. It is the gradual decline of a system that had been in activity for many ages, and its gradual replacement by another. As with the Age of Reason in Greece, so with the Age of Reason in Europe, there is a prelude marked by the gradual emergence of a sound philosophy; a true logic displaces the supernatural; experiment supersedes speculation. It is very interesting to trace the feeble beginnings of modern science in alchemy and natural magic in countries where no one could understand the writings of Alhazen or the Arabian philosophers. Out of many names that might be mentioned of those who took part in this movement, there are some that deserve recollection. Albertus Magnus was born A.D. 1193. It was said of him that "he was great in magic, greater in philosophy, greatest in theology." By religious profession he was a Dominican. Declining the temptations of ecclesiastical preferment, he voluntarily resigned his bishopric, that he might lead in privacy a purer life. As was not uncommon in those days, he was accused of illicit commerce with Satan, and many idle stories were told of the miracles he wrought. At a great banquet on a winter's day, he produced all the beauties of spring
438 ALBERTUS MAGNUS AND ROGER BACON.
-trees in full foliage, flowers in perfume, meadows covered with grass; but, at a word, the phantom
Pageant was dissolved, and succeeded by appropriate wastes of snow. This was an exaggeration of an entertainment he gave, January 6th, 1259, in the hot-house of the convent garden. He interested himself in the functions of plants, was well acquainted with what is called the sleep of flowers, studied their opening and closing. He understood that the sap is diminished in volume by evaporation from the leaves. He was the first to use the word " affinity" in its modern acceptation. His chemical studies present us with some interesting details. He knew that the whitening of copper by arsenic is not a transmutation, but only the production of an alloy, since the arsenic can be expelled by heat. He speaks of potash as an alkali; describes several acetates; and alludes to the blackening of the skin with nitrate of silver. Contemporary with him was Roger Bacon, born A.D. 1214. His native country has never yet done him justice, though his contemporaries truly spoke of him as "the Admirable Doctor." The great friar of the thirteenth century has been eclipsed by an unworthy namesake. His claims on posterity are enforced by his sufferings and ten years' imprisonment for the cause of truth. His history, so far as is known, may be briefly told. He was born at Ilchester, in Somersetshire, and studied at the University of Oxford. From thence he went to the University of Paris, where he took the degree of doctor of theology. He was familiar with Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic. Of mathematics he truly says that " it is the first of all the sciences; indeed, it precedes all others, and disposes us to them." In advance of his age, he denied the authority of Aristotle, and tells us that we must substitute that of experiment for it. Of his astronomical acquirements we need no better proof than his recommendation to Pope Clement IV to rectify the Calendar in the manner actually done subsequently. If to him is rightly attributed the invention of spectacles, the human race is his debtor. He described the true theory of telescopes and microscopes, saying that lenses may be ground and arranged in such a way as to render it possible to read at incredible distances the smallest letters, and to count grains of sand and dust, because of the magnitude of the angle under which we may perceive such objects. He foresaw the greatest of all inventions in practical astronomy-the application of optical means to instruments for the measurement of angles. He proposed the propulsion of ships through the water and of carriages upon roads with great velocity, without any animal power, by merely mechanical means, and speculated upon the possibility of making a flying machine. Admitting the truth of alchemy, he advised the experimenter to find out the method by which Nature makes metals and then to imitate it. He knew that there are different kinds of air, and tells us that there
THE PERSECUTION OF FRIAR BACON. 439
is one which will extinguish a flame. These are very clear views for an age which mistook the gases for leather-eared ghosts. He warned us to be cautious how we conclude that we have accomplished the transmutation of metals, quaintly observing that the distance between whitened copper and pure silver is very great. He showed that air is necessary for the support of fire, and was the author of the well-known experiment illustrating that point by putting a lighted lamp under a bell-jar and observing the extinction which takes place. There is no little significance in the expression of Friar Bacon that the ignorant mind can not sustain the truth. He was accused of magical practices and of a commerce with Satan, though, during the life of Clement IV., who was his friend, he escaped without public penalties. This pope had written to him a request that he would furnish him an account of his various inventions. In compliance therewith, Bacon sent him the " Opus Majus" and other works, together with several mathematical instruments which he had made, as Newton did, with his own hands. But, under the pontificate of Nicolas III., the accusation of magic, astrology, and selling himself to the Devil was again pressed, one point being that he had proposed to construct astronomical tables for the purpose of predicting future events. Apprehending the worst, he tried to defend himself by his composition "De Nullitate Magiae." "Because these things are beyond your comprehension, you call them the works of the Devil; your theologians and canonists abhor them as the productions of magic, regarding them as unworthy of a Christian." But it was in vain. His writings were condemned as containing dangerous and suspected novelties, and himself committed to prison. There he remained for ten years, until, broken in health, he was released from his punishment by the intercession of some powerful and commiserating personages. He died at the age of seventy-eight years. On his death-bed he uttered the melancholy complaint, " I repent now that I have given myself so much trouble for the love of science." If there be found in his works sentiments that are more agreeable to the age in which he lived than to ours, let us recollect what he says in his third letter to Pope Clement: " It is on account of the ignorance of those with whom I have had to deal that I have not been able to accomplish more." A number of less conspicuous though not unknown names succeed to Bacon. There is Raymond Lully, who was said to have been shut up in the Tower of London and compelled to make gold for Edward II.; Guidon de Montanor, the inventor of the philosopher's balm; Clopinel, the author of the romance of the Rose; Richard the Englishman, who makes the sensible remark that he who does not join theory to practice is like an ass eating hay and not reflecting on what he is doing; Master Ortholan, who describes very
440 MINOR ALCHEMIST.
prettily the making of nitric acid, and approaches to the preparation of absolute alcohol under the title of the quintessence of wine; Bernard de Treves, who obtained much reputation for the love-philters he prepared for Charles V. of France, their efficacy having been ascertained by experiments made on servant-girls; Bartholomew, the Englishman who first described the method of crystallizing and purifying sugar; Eck de Sulzbach, who teaches how metallic crystallizations, such as the tree of Diana, a beautiful silvery vegetation, may be produced. He proved experimentally that metals, when they oxidize, increase in weight; and says that in the month of November, A.D. 1489, he found that six pounds of an amalgam of silver heated for eight days augmented in weight three pounds. His number is, of course, erroneous, but his explanation is very surprising. "This augmentation of weight comes from this, that a spirit is united with the metal; and what proves it is that this artificial cinnabar, submitted to distillation, disengages that spirit." He was within a hair's-breadth of anticipating Priestley and Lavoisier by three hundred years. The alchemists of the fifteenth century not only occupied themselves with experiment; some of them, as Augurelli, aspired to poetry. He undertook to describe in Latin verses the art of making gold. His book, entitled " Chrysopoeia," was dedicated to Leo X., a fact which shows the existence of a greater public liberality of sentiment at the commencement of the sixteenth century than heretofore. It is said that the author expected the holy father to make him a handsome recompense, but the good-natured pope merely sent him a large empty sack, saying that he who knew how to make gold so admirably only needed a purse to put it in. The celebrated work of Basil Valentine, entitled " Currus triumphaasil Antimonii," introduced the metal antimony into the practice of medicine. The attention of this author was first directed to the therapeutical relations of the metal by observing that some swine, to which a portion of it had been given, grew fat with surprising rapidity. There were certain monks in his vicinity who, during the season of Lent, had reduced themselves to the last degree of attenuation by fasting and other corporeal mortifications. On these Basil was induced to try the powers of the metal. To his surprise, instead of recovering their flesh and fatness, they were all killed; hence the name popularly given to the metal, antimoine, because it does not agree with the constitution of a monk. Up to this time it had passed under the name of stibium. With a result not very different was the application of antimony in the composition of printer's type-metal. Administered internally or thus mechanically used, this metal proved equally noxious to ecclesiastics. It is scarcely necessary to continue the relation of these scientific
THE TRADE OF THE MEDITERRANEAN. 441
trifles. Enough has been said to illustrate the quickly-spreading taste for experimental inquiry. I now hasten to the description of more important things. In the limited space of this book I must treat these subjects, not as they should be dealt with philosophically, but in the manner that circumstances permit. Even with this imperfection, their description spontaneously assumes an almost dramatic form, the facts offering themselves to all reflecting men with an air of surpassing dignity. On one hand it is connected with topics the most sublime, on the other it descends to incidents the most familiar and useful; on one hand it elevates our minds to the relations of suns and myriads of worlds, on the other it falls to the every-day acts of our domestic and individual life; on one hand it turns our thoughts to a vista of ages so infinite that the vanishing point is in eternity, on the other it magnifies into importance the transitory occupation of a passing hour. Knowing how great are the requirements for the right treatment of such topics, I might shrink from this portion of my book with a conviction of incapacity. I enter upon it with hesitation, trusting rather to the considerate indulgence of the reader than to any worthiness in the execution of the work. In the history of the philosophical life of Greece, we have seen (Chapter II.) how important were the influences of maritime discovery and the rise of criticism. Conjointly they closed the Greek Age of Faith. In the life of Europe, at the point we have now reached, they came into action again. As on this occasion the circumstances connected with them are numerous and important, I shall consider them separately in this and the following chapter. And, first, of maritime enterprise, which was the harbinger of the Age of Reason in Europe. It gave rise to three great voyages-the discovery of America, the doubling of the Cape, and the circumnavigation of the earth. At the time of which we are speaking, the commerce of the Mediterranean was chiefly in two directions. The ports of the Black Sea furnished suitable depots for produce brought down the Tanais and other rivers, and for a large portion of the India trade that had come across the Caspian. The seat of this commerce was Genoa. The other direction was the southeast. The shortest course to India was along the Euphrates and the Persian Gulf, but the Red and Arabian seas offered a cheaper and safer route. In the ports of Syria and Egypt were therefore found the larger part of the commodities of India. This trade centred in Venice. A vast development had been given to it through the Crusades, the Venetians probably finding in the transport service of the Holy Wars as great a source of profit as in the India trade.
Toward the latter part of the fourteenth century it became apparent that the commercial rivalry between Venice and Genoa would terminate to the disadvantage of the latter. The irruption of the Tartars and invasion of the Turks had completely dislocated her Asiatic lines of trade. In the wars between the two republics Genoa had suffered severely. Partly for this reason, and partly through the advantageous treaties that Venice had made with the sultans, giving her the privilege of consulates at Alexandria and Damascus, this republic had at last attained a supremacy over all competitors. The Genoese establishments on the Black Sea had become worthless. With ruin before them, and unwilling to yield their Eastern connections, the merchants of Genoa had tried to retrieve their affairs by war; her practical sailors saw that she might be re-established in another way. There were among them some who were well acquainted with the globular form of the earth, and with what had been done by the Mohammedan astronomers for determining its circumference by the measurement of a degree on the shore of the Red Sea. These men originated the attempt to reach India by sailing to the west. By two parties, the merchants and the clergy, their suggestions were received with little favor. The former gave no encouragement, perhaps because such schemes were unsuited to their existing arrangements; the latter disliked them because of their suspected irreligious nature. The globular form had been condemned by such fathers as Lactantius and Augustine. In the Patristic Geography the earth is a flat surface bordered by the waters of the sea, on the yielding support of which rests the crystalline dome of the sky. These doctrines were for the most part supported by passages from the Holy Scriptures, perversely wrested from their proper meaning. Thus Cosmas Indicopleustes, whose Patristic Geography had been an authority for nearly eight hundred years, unanswerably disposed of the sphericity of the earth by demanding of its advocates how, in the day of judgment, men on the other side of a globe could see the Lord descending through the air! Among the Genoese sailors seeking the welfare of their city was one destined for immortality-Christopher Columbus. His father was a wool-comber, yet not a man of the common sort, he procured for his son a knowledge of arithmetic, drawing, early life of painting; and Columbus is said to have written a singularly beautiful hand. For a short time he was at the University of Pavia, but he went to sea at fourteen. After being engaged in the Syrian trade for many years, he had made several voyages to Guinea, occupying his time when not at sea in the construction of charts for sale, thereby supporting not only himself, but also his aged father, and finding means for the education of his brothers. Under these circumstances he
HIS GEOGRAPHICAL IDEAS. 443
had obtained a competent knowledge of geography, and, though the state of public opinion at the time did not permit such doctrines to be openly avowed, he believed that the sea is every where navigable, that the earth is round and not flat, that there are antipodes, that the torrid zone is habitable, and that there is a proportionable distribution of land in the northern and southern hemispheres. Adopting the Patristic logic when it suited his purpose, he reasoned that since the earth is made for man, it is not likely that its surface is too largely covered with water, and that, if there are lands, they must be inhabited, since the command was renewed at the flood that man should replenish the earth. He asked, "Is it likely that the sun shines upon nothing, and that the nightly watches of the stars are wasted on trackless seas and desert lands?" But to this reasoning he added facts that were more substantial. One Martin Vincent, who had sailed many miles to the west of the Azores, related to him that he had found, floating on the sea, a piece of timber carved evidently without iron. Another sailor, Pedro Correa, his brother-in-law, had met with enormous canes. On the coast of Flores the sea had cast up two dead men with large faces, of a strange aspect. Columbus appears to have formed his theory that the East Indies could be reached by sailing to the west about A.D. 1474. He was at that time in correspondence with Toscanelli, the Florentine astronomer, who held the same doctrine, and who sent him a map or chart constructed on the travels of Marco Polo. He offered his services first to his native city, then to Portugal, then to Spain, and, through his brother, to England; his chief inducement in each instance being that the riches of India might be thus secured. In Lisbon he had married. While he lay sick near Belem an unknown voice whispered to him in a dream, "God will cause thy name to be wonderfully resounded through the earth, and will give thee the keys of the gates of the ocean, which are closed with strong chains." The death of his wife appears to have broken the last link which held him to Portugal, where he had been since 1470. One evening, in the autumn of 1485, a man of majestic presence, pale, care-worn, and, though in the meridian of life, with silver hair, leading a little boy by the hand, asked alms at the gate of the Franciscan convent near Palos-not for himself, but only a little bread and water for his child. This was that Columbus destined to give to Europe a new world. In extreme poverty, he was making his way to the Spanish court. After many wearisome delays his suit was referred to a council at Salamanca, before whom, however, his doctrines were confuted from the Pentateuch, the Psalms, the Prophecies, the Gospels, the Epistles, and the writings of the fathers - St. Chrysostom, St. Augustine, St. Jerome, St. Gregory, St. Basil, St. Ambrose. Moreover, they were demonstrably inconsistent with reason; since, if even he should
444 VOYAGE ACROSS THE ATLANTIC.
depart from Spain, "the rotundity of the earth would present a kind of m6untain up which it was impossible for him to sail, even with the fairest wind;" and so he could never get back. The Grand Cardinal of Spain had also indicated their irreligious nature, and Columbus began to fear that, instead of receiving aid as a discoverer, he should fall into trouble as a heretic. However, after many years of mortification and procrastination, he at length prevailed with Queen Isabella; and on April 17, 1492, in the field before Granada, then just wrenched from the Mohammedans by the arms of Ferdinand and Isabella, he received his commission. With a nobleness of purpose, he desired no reward unless he should succeed; but, in that case, stipulated that he should have the title of Admiral and Viceroy, and that his perquisite should be one tenth of all he should discover-conditions which show what manner of man this great sailor was. He had bound himself to contribute one eighth to the expenses of the expedition: this he accomplished through the Pinzons of Palos, an old and wealthy seafaring family. These arrangements once ratified, he lost not a moment in completing the preparations for his expedition. The royal authority enabled him to take-forcibly, if necessary-both ships and men. But even with that advantage he would hardly have succeeded if the Pinzons had not joined heartily with him, personally sharing in the dangers of the voyage. The sun, by journeying to the west, rises on India at last. On Friday, August 3, 1492, the weary struggles and heart-sickness of eighteen years of supplication were over, and, as the day was breaking, Columbus sailed with three little ships from Palos, carrying with him charts constructed on the basis of that which Toscanelli had formerly sent, and also a letter to the Grand Khan of Tartary. On the 9th he saw the Canaries, being detained among them three weeks by the provisioning and repairing of his ships. He left them September 6th, escaping the pursuit of some caravels sent out by the Portuguese government to" intercept him. He now steered due west. Nothing of interest occurred until nightfall on September 13th, when he remarked with surprise that the needle, which the day before had pointed due north, was varying half a point to the west, the effect becoming more and more marked as the expedition advanced. He was now beyond the track of any former navigator, and with no sure guide but the stars; the heaven was every where, and every where the sea. On Sunday, 16th, he encountered many floating weeds, and picked up what was mistaken for a live grasshopper. For some days the weeds increased in quantity, and retarded the sailing of the ships. On the 19th two pelicans flew on board. Thus far he had had an easterly wind; but on September 20th it changed to southwest, and many little birds, such as those that sing in orchards, were seen. His men now be
DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.
445 came mutinous, and reproached the king and queen for trusting to " this bold Italian, who wanted to make a great lord of himself at the price of their lives." On September 25th Pinzon reported to him that he thought he saw land; but it proved to be only clouds. With great difficulty he kept down his mutinous crew. On October 2d he observed the sea-weeds drifting from east to west. Pinzon having seen in the Pinta a flight of parrots going to the southwest, the course was altered on October 7th, and he steered after them west-southwest; he had hitherto been on the parallel 26~ N. On the evening of October 11th the signs of land had become so unmistakable that, after vesper hymn to the Virgin, he made an address of congratulation to his crew, and commended watchfulness to them. His course was now due west. A little before mid-night, Columbus, on the forecastle of his ship, saw a moving light at a distance; and two hours after a signal-gun was fired from the Pinta. A sailor, Rodrigo de Triana, had descried land. The ships were laid to. As soon as day dawned they made it out to be a verdant island. There were naked Indians upon the beach watching their movements. At sunrise, October 12, 1492, the boats were manned and armed, and Columbus was the first European to set foot on the new tropical world. The chief events of the voyage of Columbus were, 1st. The discovery of the line of no magnetic variation, which, as we shall see, eventually led to the circumnavigation of the earth. 2d. The navigability of the sea to the remote west, the weeds not offering any insuperable obstruction. When the ships left Palos it was universally believed that the final border or verge of the earth is where the western sky rests upon the sea, and the air and clouds, fogs and water are commingled. Indeed, that boundary could not actually be attained; for, long before it was possible to reach it, the sea was confused with inextricable weeds, through which a ship could not pass. This legend was perhaps derived from the stories of adventurous sailors, who had been driven bystress of weather toward the Sargasso Sea, and seen an island of weeds many hundreds of square miles in extent green meadows floating in the ocean. 3d. As to the new continent, Columbus never knew the nature of his own,discovery. He died in the belief that it was actually some part of Asia, and Americus Vespucius entertained the same misconception. Their immediate successors supposed that Mexico was the Quinsay, in China, of Marco Polo. For this reason I do not think that the severe remark that the "name of America is a monument of human injustice" is altogether merited. Had the true state of things been known, doubtless the event would have been different. The name of America first occurs in an edition of Ptolemy's Geography, on a map by Hylacomylus.
446 CONSEQUENCES OF THE VOYAGE.
Two other incidents of no little interest followed this successful voyage: the first was the destruction of Patristic Geography; the second was the consequence of the flight of Pinzon's parrots. Though, as we now know, the conclusion that India had been reached was not warranted by the facts, it was on all sides admitted that the old doctrine was overthrown, and that the admiral had reached Asia by sailing to the west. This necessarily implied the globular form of the earth. As to the second, never was an augury more momentous than that flight of parrots. It has been well said that this event determined the distribution of Latin and German Christianity in the New World. The discovery of America by Leif, the son of Eric the Red, A.D. 1000, can not diminish the claims of Columbus. The wandering Scandinavians had reached the shores of America first in the vicinity of Nantucket, and had given the name of Vinland to the region extending from beyond Boston to the south of New York. But the memory of these voyages seems totally to have passed away, or the lands were confounded with Greenland, to which Nicolas V. had appointed a bishop A.D. 1448. Had these traditions been known to or respected by Columbus, he would undoubtedly have steered his ships more to the north. Immediately on the return of Columbus, March 15, 1493, the King and Queen of Spain dispatched an embassador to Pope Alexander VI. for the purpose of insuring their rights to the new territories, on the same principle that Martin V. had already given to the King of Portugal possession of all lands he might discover between Cape Bojador and the East Indies, with plenary indulgence for the souls of those who perished in the conquest. The pontifical action was essentially based on the principle that pagans and infidels have no lawful property in their lands and goods, but that the children of God may rightfully take them away. The bull that was issued bears date May, 1493. Its principle is, that all countries under the sun are subject of right to papal disposal. It gives to Spain, in the fullness of apostolic power, all lands west and south of a line drawn from the Arctic to the Antarctic pole, one hundred leagues west of the Azores. The donation includes, by the authority of Almighty God, whatever there is toward India, but saves the existing rights of any Christian princes. It forbids, under pain of excommunication, any one trading in that direction, threatening the indignation of Almighty God and his holy apostles Peter and Paul. It directs the barbarous nations to be subdued, and no pains to be spared for reducing the Indians to Christianity. This suggestion of the line of no magnetic variation was due to Columbus, who fell into the error of supposing it to be immovable. The infallibility of the pontiff not extending to matters
AWFUL RESULTS OF PATRISTIC ETHNOLOGY. 447
of science, he committed the same mistake. In a few years it was discovered that the line of no variation was slowly moving to the east. It coincided with the meridian of London in 1662. The obstacles that Patristic Geography had thrown in the way of maritime adventure were thus finally removed, but Patristic Ethnology led to a fearful tragedy. With a critical innocence that seems to have overlooked physical impossibilities and social difficulties, it had been the practice to refer the peopling of nations to legendary heroes or to the patriarchs of Scripture. The French were descended from Francus, the son of Hector; the Britons from Brutus, the son of AEneas; the genealogy of the Saxon kings could be given up to Adam; but it may excite our mirthful surprise that the conscientious Spanish chronicles could rise no higher than to Tubal, the grandson of Noah. The divisions of the Old World, Asia, Africa, and Europe, were assigned to the three sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth; and the parentage of those continents was given to those patriarchs respectively. In this manner all mankind were brought into a family relationship, all equally the descendants of Adam, equally participators in his sin and fall. As long as it was supposed that the lands of Columbus were a part of Asia there was no difficulty; but when the true position and relations of the American continent were discovered, that it was separated from Asia by an impassable waste of waters of many thousand miles, how did the matter stand with the new-comers that the thus suddenly obtruded on the scene? The voice of the fathers was altogether against the possibility of their Adamic descent. St. Augustine had denied the globular form and the existence of Antipodes; for it was impossible that there should be people on what was thus vainly asserted to be the other side of the earth, since none such are mentioned in the Scriptures. The lust of gold was only too ready to find its justification in the obvious conclusion; and the Spaniards, with an appalling atrocity, proceeded to act toward these unfortunates as though they did not belong to the human race. Already their lands and goods had been taken from them by apostolic authority. Their persons were next seized, under the text that the heathen are given as an inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for a possession. It was one unspeakable outrage, one unutterable ruin, without discrimination of age or sex. They who died not under the lash in a tropical sun died in the darkness of the mine. From sequestered sand-banks, where the red flamingo fishes in the gray of the morning; from fever-stricken mangrove thickets, and the gloom of impenetrable forests; from hiding-places in the clefts of rocks, and the solitude of invisible caves; from the eternal snows of the Andes, where there was no witness but the all-seeing sun, there went up to God a cry of human despair. By millions upon millions, whole races and na-
448 VASCO DE GAMA.
tions were remorselessly cut off. The Bishop of Chiapa affirms that more than fifteen millions were exterminated in his time! From Mexico and Peru a civilization that might have instructed Europe was crushed out. Is it for nothing that Spain has been made a hideous skeleton among living nations, a warning spectacle to the world? Had not her punishment overtaken her, men would have surely said, "There is no retribution, there is no God!" It has been her evil destiny to ruin two civilizations, Oriental and Occidental, and to be ruined thereby herself. With circumstances of dreadful barbarity she expelled the Moors, who had become children of her soil by as long a residence as the Normans have had in England from William the Conqueror to our time. In America she destroyed races more civilized than herself. Expulsion and emigration have deprived her of her best blood, her great cities have sunk into insignificance, and towns that once had more than a million of inhabitants can now only show a few scanty thousands. The discovery of America agitated Europe to its deepest foundations. All classes of men were affected. The populace went wild at once with a lust of gold and a love of adventure. Well might Pomponius Lsetus, under process for his philosophical opinions in Rome, shed tears of joy when tidings of the great event reached him; well might Leo X., a few years later, sit up till far in the night reading to his sister and his cardinals the "Oceanica" of Anghiera. If Columbus failed in his attempt to reach India by sailing to the west, Vasco de Gama succeeded by sailing to the south. He doubled the Cape of Good Hope, and retraced the track of the ships of Pharaoh Necho, which had accomplished the same undertaking two thousand years previously. The Portuguese had been for long engaged in an examination of the coast of Africa under the bull of Martin V., which recognized the possibility of reaching India by passing round that continent. It is an amusing instance of making scientific discoveries by contract, that King Alphonso made a bargain with Ferdinand Gomez, of Lisbon, for the exploration of the African coast, the stipulation being that he should discover not less than three hundred miles every year, and that the starting-point should be Sierra Leone. We have seen that a belief in the immobility of the line of no magnetic variation had led Pope Alexander VI. to establish a perpetual boundary between the Spanish and Portuguese possessions and fields of adventure. That line he considered to be the natural boundary between the eastern and western hemispheres. - An accurate determination of longitude was therefore a national as well as a nautical question. Columbus had relied on astronomical methods; Gilbert at a subsequent period proposed to determine it by magnetical ob-
DOUBLING OF THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE. 449
servations. The variation itself could not be accounted for on the doctrine vulgarly received, that magnetism is an effluvium issuing forth from the root of the tail of the Little Bear, but was scientifically, though erroneously, explained by Gilbert's hypothesis that earthy substance is attractive-that a needle approaching a continent will incline toward it; and hence that in the midst of the Atlantic, being equally disturbed by Europe and America, it will point evenly between both. Pedro de Covilho had sent word to King John II., from Cairo, by two Jews, Rabbi Abraham and Rabbi Joseph, that there was a south cape of Africa which could be doubled. They brought with them an Arabic map of the African coast. This was about the time that Bartholomew Diaz had reached the Cape in two little pinnaces of fifty tons apiece. He sailed August, 1486, and returned December, 1487, with an account of his discovery. Covilho had learned from the Arabian mariners, who were perfectly familiar with the east coast, that they had frequently been at the south of Africa, and that there was no difficulty in passing round the continent that way. A voyage to the south is even more full of portents than one to the west. The accustomed heavens seem to sink away, and new stars are nightly approached. Vasco de Gama set sail July 9, 1497, with three ships and 160 men, having with him the Arab map. King John had employed his Jewish physicians, Roderigo and Joseph, to devise what help they could from the stars. They applied the astrolabe to marine use, and constructed tables. These were the same doctors who had told him that Columbus would certainly succeed in reaching India, and advised him to send out a secret expedition in anticipation, which was actually done, though it failed through want of resolution in its captain. Encountering the usual difficulties, tempestuous weather and a mutinous crew, who conspired to put him to death, De Gama succeeded, November 20, in doubling the Cape. On March 1 he met seven small Arab vessels, and was surprised to find that they used the compass, quadrants, sea-charts, and " had divers maritime mysteries not short of the Portugals." With joy he soon after recovered sight of the northern stars, for so long unseen. He now bore away to the northeast, and on May 19, 1498, reached Calicut, on the Malabar coast. The consequences of this voyage were to the last degree important. The commercial arrangements of Europe were completely dislocated; Venice was deprived of her mercantile supremacy; the hatred of Genoa was gratified; prosperity left the Italian towns; Egypt, hitherto supposed to possess a pre-eminent advantage as offering the best avenue to India, suddenly lost her position; the commercial monopolies so long in the hands of the European Jews were broken down. The discovery of America and passage of the Cape were the
450 FERDINAND MAGELLAN.
first steps of that prodigious maritime development soon exhibited by Western Europe. And since commercial prosperity is forthwith followed by the production of men and concentration of wealth, and, moreover, implies an energetic intellectual condition, it appeared before long that the three centres of population, of wealth, of intellect, were shifting westwardly. The front of Europe was suddenly changed; the British islands, hitherto in a sequestered and eccentric position, were all at once put in the van of the new movement. Commercial rivalry had thus passed from Venice and Genoa to Spain and Portugal. The circumnavigation of the earth originated in a dispute between these kingdoms respecting the Molucca Islands, from which nutmegs, cloves, and mace were obtained. Ferdinand Magellan had been in the service of the King of Portugal; but an application he had made for an increase of half a ducat a month in his stipend having been refused, he passed into the service of the King of Spain along with one Ruy Falero, a friend of his, who, among the vulgar, bore the reputation of a conjurer or magician, but who really possessed considerable astronomical attainments, devoting himself to the discovery of improved means for finding the place of a ship at sea. Magellan persuaded the Spanish government that the Spice Islands could be reached by sailing to the west, the Portuguese having previously reached them by sailing to the east, and, if this were accomplished, Spain would have as good a title to them, under the bull of Alexander VI., as Portugal. Five ships, carrying 237
men, were accordingly equipped, and on August 10, 1519, Magellan sailed from Seville. The Trinitie was the admiral's ship, but the San Vittoria was destined for immortality. He struck boldly for the southwest, not crossing the trough of the Atlantic as Columbus had done, but passing down the length of it, his aim being to find some cleft or passage in the American continent through which he might sail into the Great South Sea. For seventy days he was becalmed under the line. He then lost sight of the north star, but courageously held on toward the "pole antartike." He nearly foundered in a storm, "which did not abate till the three fires called St. Helen, St. Nicholas, and St. Clare appeared playing in the rigging of the ships." In a new land, to which he gave the name of Patagoni, he found giants " of good corporature" clad in skins; one of them, a very pleasant and tractable giant, was terrified at his own visage in a looking-glass. Among the sailors, alarmed at the distance they had come, mutiny broke out, requiring the most unflinching resolution in the commander for its suppression. In spite of his watchfulness, one ship deserted him and stole back to Spain. His perseverance and resolution were at last rewarded by the discovery of the strait named by him San Vittoria in affec-
VOYAGE ACROSS THE PACIFIC. 451
tionate honor of his ship, but which, with a worthy sentiment, other sailors soon changed to "the Strait of Magellan." On November 28, 1520, after a year and a quarter of struggling, he issued forth from its western portals and entered the Great South Sea, shedding tears of joy, as Pigafetti, an eye-witness, relates, when he recognized its infinite expanse-tears of stern joy that it had pleased God to bring him at length where he might grapple with its unknown dangers. Admiring its illimitable but placid surface, and exulting in the meditation of its secret perils soon to be tried, he courteously imposed on it the name it is forever to bear, "the Pacific Ocean." While baffling for an entry into it, he observed with surprise that in the month of October the nights are only four hours long, and "considered, in this his navigation, that the pole antartike hath no notable star like the pole artike, but that there be two clouds of little stars somewhat dark in the middest, also a cross of fine clear stars, but that here the needle becomes so sluggish that it needs must be moved with a bit of loadstone before it will rightly point." And now the great sailor, having burst through the barrier of the American continent, steered for the northwest, attempting to regain the equator. For three months and twenty days he sailed on the Pacific, and never saw inhabited land. He was compelled by famine to strip off the pieces of skin and leather wherewith his rigring was here and there bound, to soak them in the sea and then soften them with warm water, so as to make a wretched food; to eat the sweepings of the ship and other loathsome matter; to drink water gone putrid by keeping; and yet he resolutely held on his course, though his men were dying daily. As is quaintly observed, their gums grew over their teeth, and so they could not eat. He estimated that he sailed over this unfathomable sea not less than 12,000 miles. In the whole history of human undertakings there is nothing that exceeds, if indeed there is any thing that equals, this voyage of Magellan's. That of Columbus dwindles away in comparison. It is a display of superhuman courage, superhuman perseverance-a display of resolution not to be diverted from its purpose by any motive or any suffering, but inflexibly persisting to its end. Well might his despairing sailors come to the conclusion that they had entered on a trackless waste of waters, endless before them and hopeless in a return. "But, though the Church hath evermore from Holy Writ affirmed that the earth should be a wide-spread plain bordered by the waters, yet he comforted himself when he considered that in the eclipses of the moon the shadow cast of the earth is round; and as is the shadow, such, in like manner, is the substance." It was a stout heart-a heart of triple brass - which could thus, against such authority, extract unyielding faith from a shadow.
452 THE CIRCUMNAVIGATION OF THE EARTH
This unparalleled resolution met its reward at last. Magellan reached a group of islands north of the equator-the Ladrones. In a few days more he became aware that his labors had been successful; he met with adventurers from Sumatra. But, though he had thus grandly accomplished his object, it was not given to him to complete the circumnavigation of the globe. At an island called Zebu, or Mutan, he was killed, either, as has been variously related, in a mutiny of his men, or-as they declared-in a conflict with the savages, or insidiously by poison. "The general," they said, "was a very brave man, and received his death-wound in his front; nor would the savages yield up his body for any ransom." Through treason and revenge it is not unlikely that he fell, for he was a stern man; none but a very stern man could have accomplished so daring a deed. Hardly was he gone when his crew learned that they were actually in the vicinity of the Moluccas, and that the object of their voyage was fulfilled. On the morning of November 8, 1521, having been at sea two years and three months, as the sun was rising they entered Tidore, the chief port of the Spice Islands. The King of Tidore swore upon the Koran alliance to the King of Spain. I need not allude to the wonderful objects-destined soon to become common to voyagers in the Indian Archipelago-that greeted their eyes: elephants in trappings; vases, and vessels of porcelain; birds of Paradise, "that fly not, but be blown by the wind;" exhaustless stores of the coveted spices, nutmegs, mace, cloves. And now they prepared to bring the news of their success back to Spain. Magellan's lieutenant, Sebastian de Elcano, directed his course for the Cape of Good Hope, again encountering the most fearful hardships. Out of his slender crew he lost twenty-one men. He doubled the Cape at last; and on September 7, 1522, in the port of St. Lucar, near Seville, under his orders, the good ship San Vittoria came safely to an anchor. She had accomplished the greatest achievement in the history of the human race. She had circumnavigated the earth. Magellan thus lost his life in his enterprise, and yet he made an enviable exchange. Doubly immortal, and thrice happy! for he impressed his name indelibly on the earth and the sky, on the strait that connects the two great oceans, and on those clouds of starry worlds seen in the southern heavens. He also imposed a designation on the largest portion of the surface of the globe. His lieutenant, Sebastenant of Magellan. received such honors as kings can give. Of all armorial bearings ever granted for the accomplishment of a great and daring deed, his were the proudest and noblest the globe of the world belted with the inscription, " Primus circumdedisti me!" If the circumnavigation of the earth by Magellan did not lead to such splendid material results as the discovery of America and the doubling
OTHER VOYAGES AND TRAVELS., 453
of the Cape, its moral effects were far more important. Columbus had been opposed in obtaining means for his expedition because it was suspected to be of an irreligious nature. Unfortunately, the Church, satisfying instincts impressed upon her as far back as the time of Constantine, had asserted herself to be the final arbitress in all philosophical questions, and especially in this of the figure of the earth had committed herself against its being globular. Infallibility can never correct itself-indeed, it can never be wrong. Rome never retracts any thing; and, no matter what the consequences, never recedes. It was thus that a theological dogma-infallibility-came to be mixed up with a geographical problem, and that problem liable at any moment to receive a decisive solution. So long as it rested in a speculative position, or could be hedged round with mystification, the real state of the case might be concealed from all except the more intelligent class of men; but after the circumnavigation had actually been accomplished, and was known to every one, there was, of course, nothing more to be said. It had now become altogether useless to bring forward the authority of Lactantius, of St. Augustine, or of other fathers, that the globular form is impious and heretical. Henceforth the fact was strong enough to overpower all authority, an exercise of which could have no other result than to injure itself. It remained only to permit the dispute to pass into oblivion; but even this could not occur without those who were observant being impressed with the fact that physical science was beginning to display a fearful advantage over Patristicism, and presenting unmistakable tokens that ere long she would destroy her ancient antagonist. In the midst of these immortal works it is hardly worth speaking of minor things. Two centuries had wrought a mighty change in the geographical ideas of Western Europe. The travels of Marco Polo, about A.D. 1295, had first given some glimmering of the remote East, the interest in which was doubtless enhanced by the irruption of the Moguls. Sir John Mandeville had spent many years in the interior of Asia before the middle of the next century. Conti had traveled in Persia and India between 1419 and 1444. Cadamosto, a Venetian, in 1455 had explored the west coast of Africa. Sebastian Cabot had rediscovered Newfoundland, and, persisting in the attempt to find a northwest passage to China, had forced his way into the ice to 67~ 30' N. By 1525 the American coast-line had been determined from Terra del Fuego to Labrador. New Guinea and part of Australia had been discovered. The fleet of Cabral, attempting to double the Cape of Good Hope in 1500, was driven to Brazil. A ship was sent back to Portugal with the news. Hence, had not Columbus sailed when he did, the discovery of America could not have been long postponed. Balboa saw the Great South Sea September 25th, 1513. Wading up to his
454 SOCIAL CONDITION OF MEXICO.
knees in the water, with his sword in one hand and the Spanish flag in the other, he claimed that vast ocean for Castile. Nothing could now prevent the geography of the world from being completed. I can not close these descriptions of maritime adventure without observing that they are given from the European point of view. The Western nations have complacently supposed that whatever was unknown to them was therefore altogether unknown. We have seen that the Arabs were practically and perfectly familiar with the fact that Africa might be circumnavigated; the East Indian geography was thoroughly understood by the Buddhist priesthood, who had, on an extensive scale, carried forward their propagandism for twenty-five hundred years in those regions. But doubtless the most perfect geographical knowledge existed among the Jews, those cosmopolite traders who conducted mercantile transactions from the Azores to the interior of China, from the Baltic to the coast of Mozambique. It was actually through them that the existence of the Cape of Good Hope was first made known in Europe. Five hundred years before Columbus, the Scandinavian adventurers had discovered America, but so low was the state of intelligence in Europe that the very memory of these voyages had been altogether lost. The circumnavigation of the earth is, however, strictly the achievement of the West. I have been led to make the remarks in this paragraph, since they apply again on another occasion-the introduction of what is called the Baconian philosophy, the principles of which were not only understood, but carried into practice in the East eighteen hundred years before Bacon was born. It is scarcely necessary that I should offer any excuse for devoting a few pages to a digression on the state of affairs in Mexico and Peru. Few things illustrate more strikingly the doctrine which it is the object of this book to teach. The social condition of America at its discovery demonstrates that similar ideas and similar usages make their appearance in spontaneously in the progress of civilization of different the same countries, showing how little they depend on accident, how closely they are connected with the organization, and, therefore, with the necessities of man. From important ideas and great institutions down to the most trifling incidents of domestic life, so striking is the parallel between the American aborigines and Europeans that with difficulty do we divest ourselves of the impression that there must have been some intercommunication. Each was, however, pursuing an isolated and spontaneous progress; and yet how closely does the picture of life in the New World answer to that in the Old. The monarch of Mexico lived in barbaric pomp, wore a golden crown re-
MEXICAN LAWS, INSTITUTIONS, RELIGION.
splendent with gems; was aided in his duties by a privy council; the great lords held their lands of him by the obligation of military service. In him resided the legislative power, yet he was subject to the laws of the realm. The judges held their office independently of him, and were not liable to removal by him. The laws were reduced to writing, which, though only a system of hieroglyphics, served its purpose so well that the Spaniards were obliged to admit its validity in their courts, and to found a professorship for perpetuating a knowledge of it. Marriage was regarded as an important social engagement. Divorces were granted with difficulty. Slavery was recognized in the case of prisoners of war, debtors, and criminals, but no man could be born a slave in Mexico. No distinction of castes was permitted. The government mandates and public intelligence were transmitted by a well-organized postal service of couriers able to make two hundred miles a day. The profession of arms was the recognized avocation of the nobility, the military establishments, whether in active service in the field, or as garrisons in large towns, being supported by taxation on produce or manufactures. The armies were divided into corps of 10,000, and these again into regiments of 400. Standards and banners were used; the troops executed their evolutions to military music, and were provided with hospitals, army surgeons, and a medical staff. In the human hives of Europe, Asia, and America, the bees were marshaled in the same way, and were instinctively building their combs alike. The religious state is a reflection of that of Europe and Asia. Their worship was an imposing ceremonial. The common people had a mythology of many gods, but the higher classes were strictly Unitarian, acknowledging one almighty, invisible Creator. Of the popular deities, the god of war was the chief. He was born of a virgin, and conceived by immaculate conception of a ball of bright-colored feathers floating on the air. The priests administered a rite of baptism to infants for the purpose of washing away their sins, and taught that there are rewards and punishments in a life to come-a paradise for the good, a hell of darkness for the wicked. The hierarchy descended by due degrees from the chief priests, who were almost equal to the sovereign in authority, down to the humble ecclesiastical servitors. Marriage was permitted to the clergy. They had monastic institutions, the inmates praying thrice a day and once at night. They practiced ablutions, vigils, penance by flagellation or pricking with aloe thorns. They compelled the people to auricular confession, required of them penance, gave absolution. Their ecclesiastical system had reached a strength which was never attained in Europe, since absolution by the priest for civil offenses was an acquittal in the eye of the law. It was the received doctrine that men do not sin of their own free will, but because they are impelled thereto by planetary influences. With sedu-
456 ASTRONOMY, AGRICULTURE, ART.
lous zeal, the clergy engrossed the duty of public education, thereby keeping society in their grasp. Their writing was on cotton cloth or skins, or on papyrus made of the aloe. At the conquest immense collections of this kind of literature were in existence, but the first Archbishop of Mexico burnt, as was affirmed, a mountain of such manuscripts in the market-place, stigmatizing them as magic scrolls. About the same time, and under similar circumstances, Cardinal Ximenes burnt a vast number of Arabic manuscripts in Granada. The condition of astronomy in Mexico is illustrated as it is in Egypt by the calendar. The year was of eighteen months, each month of twenty days, five complementary ones being added to make up the three hundred and sixty-five. The month had four weeks, the week five days; the last day, instead of being for religious purposes, was market-day. To provide for the six additional hours of the year, they intercalated twelve and a half days every fifty-two years. At the conquest the Mexican calendar was in a better condition than the Spanish. As in some other countries, the clergy had for ecclesiastical purposes a lunar division of time. The day had sixteen hours, commencing at sunrise. They had sun-dials for determining the hour, and also instruments for the solstices and equinoxes. They had ascertained the globular form of the earth and the obliquity of the ecliptic. The close of the fifty-second year was celebrated with grand religious ceremonials; all the fires were suffered to go out, and new ones kindled by the friction of sticks. Their agriculture was superior to that of Europe; there was nothing in the Old World to compare with the menageries and botanical gardens of Huaxtepec, Chapultepec, Istapalapan, and Tezcuco. They practiced with no inconsiderable skill the more delicate mechanical arts, such as those of the jeweler and enameler. From the aloe they obtained pins and needles, thread, cord, paper, food, and an intoxicating drink. They made earthen-ware, knew how to lacquer wood, employed cochineal as a scarlet dye. They were skillful weavers of fine cloth, and excelled in the production of feather-work, their gorgeous humming-birds furnishing material for that purpose. In metallurgy they were behind the Old World, not having the use of iron; but, as the Old World had formerly done, they employed bronze in its stead. They knew how to move immense masses of rock; their great calendar stone, of porphyry, weighed more than fifty tons, and was brought a distance of many miles. Their trade was carried on, not in shops, but by markets or fairs held on the fifth day. They employed a currency of gold dust, pieces of tin, and bags of cacao. In their domestic economy, though polygamy was permitted, it was in practice confined to the wealthy. The women did not work abroad, but occupied themselves in spinning, embroidering, feather-work, music. Ablution was resorted to both before and after meals; perfumes were
SOCIAL CONDITION OF PERU. 457
used at the toilet. The Mexicans gave to Europe tobacco, snuff, the turkey, chocolate, cochineal. Like us, they had in their entertainments solid dishes, with suitable condiments, gravies, sauces, and desserts of pastries, confections, fruits, both fresh and preserved. They had chafing-dishes of silver or gold. Like us, they knew the use of intoxicating drinks; like us, they not unfrequently took them to excess; like us, they heightened their festivities with dancing and music. They had theatrical and pantomimic shows. At Tezcuco there was a council of music, which, moreover, exercised a censorship on philosophical works, as those of astronomy and history. In that city North American civilization reached its height. The king's palace was a wonderful work of art. It was said that 200,000 men were employed in its construction. Its harem was adorned with magnificent tapestries of feather-work; in its garden were fountains, cascades, baths, statues, alabasters, cedar groves, forests, and a wilderness of flowers. In conspicuous retirement in one part of the city was a temple, with a dome of polished black marble, studded with stars of gold, in imitation of the sky. It was dedicated to the omnipotent, invisible God. In this no sacrifices were offered, but only sweet-scented flowers and gums. The prevailing religious feeling is expressed by the sentiments of one of the kings, many of whom had prided themselves in their poetical skill: "Let us," he says, "aspire to that heaven where all is eternal, and where corruption never comes." He taught his children not to confide in idols, but only to conform to the outward worship of them in deference to public opinion. To the preceding description of the social condition of Mexico I shall add a similar brief account of that of Peru, for the conclusions to be drawn from a comparison of the spontaneous process of civilization in these two countries-with the process in Europe is of importance to the attainment of a just idea of the development of mankind. The most competent authorities declare that the Mexicans and Peruvians were ignorant of each other's existence. In one particular especially is the position of Peru interesting. It presents an analogy to Upper Egypt, that cradle of the civilization of the Old World, in this, that its sandy coast is a rainless district. This sandy-coast region is about sixty miles in width, hemmed in on the east by grand mountain ranges, which diminish in size on approaching the Isthmus of Panama, the entire length of the Peruvian empire having been nearly 2400 miles, it reached from the north of the equator to what is now known as Chili. In breadth it varied at different points. The east wind, which has crossed the Atlantic, and is therefore charged with humidity, being forced by the elevation of the South American continent, and especially by the range of the Andes, upward, is compelled to surrender most of its moisture, which finds its
458 CIVILIZATION IN RAINLESS COUNTRIES.
way back to the Atlantic in those prodigious rivers that make the country east of the Andes the best watered region of the world; but as soon as that wind has crossed the mountain ridge and descends on the western slope, it becomes a dry and rainless wind, and hence the district intervening to the Pacific has but few insignificant streams. The sides of this great mountain range might seem altogether unadapted to the pursuit of agriculture, but the state of Peruvian civilization is at once demonstrated when it is said that these mountain slopes had become a garden, immense terraces having been constructed wherever required, and irrigation on a grander scale than that of Egypt carried on by gigantic canals and aqueducts. Advantage was taken of the different mean annual temperatures at different altitudes to pursue the cultivation of various products, for difference in height topographically answers to difference in latitude geographically, and thus, in a narrow space, the Peruvians had every variety of temperature, from that corresponding to the hottest portions of Southern Europe to that of Lapland. In the mountains of Peru, as has been graphically said, man sees " all the stars of the heavens and all the families of plants." On plateaus at a great elevation above the sea there were villages and even cities. Thus the plain upon which Quito stands, under the equator, is nearly ten thousand feet high. So great was their industry that the Peruvians had gardens and orchards above the clouds, and on ranges still higher flocks of lamas, in regions bordering on the limit of perpetual snow. Through the entire length of the empire two great military roads were built, one on the plateau, the other on the shore. The former, for nearly 2000 miles, crossed sierras covered with snow, was thrown over ravines, or went through tunnels in the rocks; it scaled the more difficult precipices by means of stairways. Where it was possible, it was carried over the mountain clefts by filling them with masonry, or, where that could not be done, suspension bridges were used, the cables being made of osiers or maguey fibres. Some of these cables are said to have been as thick as a man, and two hundred feet long. Where such bridges could not be thrown across, and a stream flowed in the bottom of the mountain valley, the passage was made by ferry-boats or rafts. As to the road itself, it was about twenty feet in breadth, faced with flags covered with bitumen, and had mile-stones. Our admiration at this splendid engineering is enhanced when we remember that it was accomplished without iron and gunpowder. The shore road was built on an embankment, with a clay parapet on each side, and shade-trees. Where circumstances called for it, piles were used. Every five miles there was a post-house. The public couriers, as in Mexico, could make, if necessary, two hundred miles a day. Of these roads, Humboldt says that they were among the
PERUVIAN CIVIL AND RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS. 459
most useful and most stupendous ever executed by the hand of man. The reader need scarcely be told that there were no such triumphs of skill in Spain. From the circumstance that there were no swift animals as the horse or dromedary, the width of these roads was sufficient, since they were necessarily used for foot passage alone. In Cuzco, the metropolis, was the imperial residence of the Inca and the Temple of the Sun. It contained edifices which excited the amazement of the Spanish filibusters themselves streets, squares, bridges, fortresses surrounded by turreted walls, subterranean galleries by which the garrison could reach important parts of the town. Indeed, the great roads we have spoken of might be regarded as portions of an immense system of military works spread all over the country, and having their centre at Cuzco. The imperial dignity was hereditary, descending from father to son. As in Egypt, the monarch not unfrequently had his sisters for wives. His diadem consisted of a scarlet tasseled fringe round his brow, adorned with two feathers. He wore earrings of great weight. His dress of lama-wool was dyed scarlet, inwoven with gold and studded with gems. Whoever approached him bore a light burden on the shoulder as a badge of servitude, and was barefoot. The Inca was not only the representative of the temporal, but also of the spiritual power. He was more than supreme pontiff, for he was a descendant of the Sun, the god of the nation. He made laws, imposed taxes, raised armies, appointed or removed judges at his pleasure. He traveled in a sedan ornamented with gold and emeralds; the roads were swept before him, strewn with flowers, and perfumed. His at Yucay was described by the Spaniards as a fairy apalace. scene. It was filled with works of Indian art; images of animals and plants decorated the niches of its walls; it had an endless labyrinth of gorgeous chambers, and here and there shady crypts for quiet retirement. Its baths were great golden bowls. It was imbosomed in artificial forests. The imperial ladies and concubines spent their time in beautifully furnished chambers, or in gardens, with cascades and fountains, grottoes and bowers. It was in what few countries can boast of, a temperate region in the torrid zone. The Peruvian religion ostensibly consisted of a worship of the Sun, but the higher classes had already become emancipated from such a material association, and recognized the existence of one almighty, invisible God. They expected the resurrection of the body and the continuance of the soul in a future life. It was their belief that in the world to come our occupations will resemble those we have followed here. Like the Egyptians, who had arrived at similar ideas, the Peruvians practiced embalming, the mummies of their Incas being placed in the Temple of the Sun at Cuzco, the kings on the right,
460 THE SOCIAL SYSTEM.
the queens on the left, clad in their robes of state, and with their hands crossed on their bosoms, seated in golden chairs, waiting for the day when the soul will return to reanimate the body. The mummies of distinguished personages were buried in a sitting posture under tumuli of earth. To the Supreme Being but one temple was dedicated. It was in a sacred valley to which pilgrimages were made. In the Peruvian mythology, heaven was above the sky, hell in the interior of the earthit was the realm of an evil spirit called Cupay. The general resemblance of these to Egyptian doctrines may forcibly impress upon us that they are ideas with which the human mind necessarily occupies itself in its process of intellectual development. As in all other countries, the educated classes were greatly in advance of the common people, who were only just emerging from fetichism, and engrossed in the follies of idolatry and man-worship. Nevertheless, the government found it expedient to countenance the vulgar delusion; indeed, the political system was actually founded upon it. But the Peruvians were in advance of the Europeans in this respect, that they practiced no persecutions upon those who had become mentally emancipated. Besides the sun, the visible god, other celestial bodies were worshiped in a subordinate way. It was supposed that there were spirits in the wind, lightning, thunder; genii in the mountains, rivers, springs, and grottoes. In the great Temple of the Sun at Cuzco an image of that deity was placed so as to receive the rays of the luminary at his rising; a like artifice had been practiced in the Serapion at Alexandria. There was also a sanctuary dedicated to the Sun in the island of Titicaca, and, it is said, between three and four hundred temples of a subordinate kind in Cuzco. To the great temple were attached not less than four thousand priests and fifteen hundred vestal virgins, the latter being intrusted with the care of the sacred fire, and from them the most beautiful were chosen to pass into the Inca's seraglio. The popular faith had a ritual and a splendid ceremonial, the great national festival being at the summer solstice. The rays of the sun were then collected by a concave mirror, and fire rekindled thereby, or by the friction of wood. As to their social system, polygamy was permitted, but practically it was confined to the higher classes. Social subordination was thoroughly understood. The Inca Tupac Yupanqui says, " Knowledge was never intended for the people, but only for those of generous blood." The nobility were of two orders, the polygamic descendants of the Incas, who were the main support of the state, and the adopted nobles of nations that had been conquered. As to the people, nowhere else in the whole world was such an extraordinary policy of supervision practiced. They were divided into groups of ten, fifty, one hundred, five hundred, one thousand, ten thousand, and over the last an Inca noble was placed. Through this system a rigid centralization was
THE MILITARY SYSTEM. 461
insured, the Inca being the pivot upon which all the national affairs turned. It was an absolutism worthy of the admiration of many existing European nations. The entire territory was divided into three parts; one belonged to the Sun, one to the Inca, one to the people. As a matter of form, the subdivision was annually made; in practice, however, as perhaps must always be the result of such agrarianism, the allotments were continually renewed. All the land was cultivated by the people, and in the following order: first, that of the Sun, then that of the destitute and infirm, then that of the people, and, lastly, that of the Inca. The Sun and the Inca owned all the sheep, which were sheared, and their wool distributed to the people, or cotton furnished in its stead. The Inca's officers saw that it was all woven, and that no one was idle. An annual survey of the country, its farming and mineral products, was made, the inventory being transmitted to the government. A register was kept of births and deaths; periodically a general census was taken. The Inca, at once emperor and pope, was enabled, in that double capacity, to exert a rigorous patriarchal rule over his people, who were treated like mere children-not suffered to be oppressed, but compelled to be occupied; for, with a worldly wisdom which no other nation presents, labor was here acknowledged not only as a means, but also as an end. In Peru a man could not improve his social state; by these refinements of legislation he was brought into an absolutely stationary condition. He could neither become richer nor poorer; but it was the boast of the system that every one lived exempt from social suffering-that all enjoyed competence. The army consisted of 200,000 men. Their weapons were bows, lances, slings, battle-axes, swords; their means of defense, shields, bucklers, helmets, and coats of quilted cotton. Each regiment had its own banner, but the imperial standard, the national emblem, was a rainbow, the offspring of the Sun. The swords and many of the domestic implements were of bronze; the arrows were tipped with quartz or bone, or points of gold and silver. A strict discipline was maintained on marching, granaries and depots being established at suitable distances on the roads. With a policy inflexibly persisted in, the gods of conquered countries were transported to Cuzco, and the vanquished compelled to worship the Sun; their children were obliged to learn the Peruvian language, the government providing them teachers for that purpose. As an incitement, this knowledge was absolutely required as a condition for public office. To amalgamate the conquered districts thoroughly, their inhabitants were taken away by ten thousand, transported to distant parts of the empire, not, as in the Old World, to be worked to death as slaves, but to be made into Peruvians; an equal number of natives were sent in their stead, to whom, as a recompense for their dislocation, extraordinary privileges were given. It was an
462 LITERATURE, AGRICULTURE, AND ENGINEERING.
immemorial policy of the empire to maintain a profound tranquillity in the interior and perpetual war on the frontiers. The philosophical advancement of the Peruvians was much retarded by their imperfect method of writing-a method greatly inferior to that of Egypt. A cord of colored threads, called quipus, was only indifferently suited to the purposes of enumeration, and by no means equal to hieroglyphics as a method of expressing general facts. But it was their only system. Notwithstanding this drawback, they had a literature consisting of poetry, dramatic compositions, and the like. Their scientific attainments were inferior to the Mexican. Their year was divided into months, their months into weeks. They had gnomons to indicate the solstices. One, in the form of an obelisk, in the center of a circle, on which was marked an east and west line, indicated the equinox. These gnomons were destroyed by the Spaniards in the belief that they were for idolatrous purposes, for on the national festivals it was customary to decorate them with leaves and flowers. As the national religion consisted in the worship of the Sun, it was not without reason that Quito was regarded as a holy place, from its position upon the equator. In their extraordinary provisions for agriculture, the national pursuit, the skill of the Peruvians is well seen. A rapid elevation from the sea-level to the heights of the mountains gave them, in a small compass, every variety of climate, and they availed themselves of it. They terraced the mountain sides, filling the terraces with rich earth. They excavated pits in the sand, surrounded them with adobe walls, and filled them with manured soil. On the low level they cultivated bananas and cassava; on the terraces above, maize and quinda; still higher, tobacco; and above that, the potato. From a comparatively limited surface, they raised great crops by judiciously using manures, employing for that purpose fish, and especially guano. Their example has led to the use of the latter substance for a like purpose in our own times in Europe. The whole civilized world has followed them in the cultivation of the potato. The Peruvian bark is one of the most invaluable remedies. Large tracts of North America would be almost uninhabitable without the use of its active alkaloid quinine, which actually, in no insignificant manner, reduces the percentage mortality throughout the United States. Indispensably necessary to their agricultural system were their great water-works. In Spain there was nothing worthy of being compared with them. The aqueduct of Condesuya was nearly 500 miles long. Its engineers had overcome difficulties in a manner that might well strike modern times with admiration. Its water was distributed as prescribed by law; there were officers to see to its proper use. From these great water-works and from their roads it
DEVELOPMENT OF ALL CIVILIZATION BY LAW. 463
maybe judged that the architectural skill of the Peruvians was far from insignificant. They constructed edifices of porphyry, granite, brick; but their buildings were for the most part low, and suitable to an earthquake country. I have dwelt at some length on the domestic history of Mexico and Peru because it is intimately connected with one of the philosophical principles which it is the object of this book to teach, viz., that human progress takes place under an unvarying law, and therefore in a definite way. The trivial incidents mentioned in the preceding paragraphs may perhaps have seemed insignificant or wearisome, but it is their very commonness, their very familiarity, that gives them, when rightly considered, a surprising interest. There is nothing in these minute details but what we find to be perfectly natural from the European point of view. They might be, for that matter, instead of reminiscences of the spontaneous evolution of a people shut out from the rest of the world by impassable oceans, a relation of the progress of some European or Asiatic nation. The man of America proceeded forward in his course of civilization as did the man of the Old World, devising the same institutions, guided by the same intentions, constrained by the same desires. From the great features of his social system down to the little details of his domestic life, there is a sameness with what was done in Asia, Africa, Europe. But similar results imply a similar cause. What, then, is there possessed in common by the Chinese, the Hindoo, the Egyptian, the European, the American? Surely not climate, nor equal necessities, nor equal opportunity. Simply nothing but this-corporeal organization! As automatons constructed in the same way will do the same things, so, in organic forms, sameness of structure will give rise to identity of function and similarity of acts. The same common sense guides men all over the world. Common sense is a function of common organization. All natural history is full of illustrations, It may be offensive to our pride, but it is none the less true, that in his social progress, the free-will of which man so boasts himself in his individual capacity disappears as an active influence, and the domination of general and inflexible laws becomes manifest. The free-will of the individual is supplanted by instinct and automatism in the race. To each individual bee the career is open; he may taste of this flower and avoid that; he may be industrious in the garden, or idle away his time in the air; but the history of one hive is the history of another hive; there will be a predestined organization-the queen, the drones, the workers. In the midst of a thousand unforeseen, uncalculated, variable acts, a definite result, with unerring certainty, emerges: the combs are built in a preordained way, and filled with honey at last. From bees, and wasps, and ants, and birds-from all that low animal life on which he looks with such supercilious contempt, man is destined one day to learn what in truth he really is.
464 HUMAN SACRIFICE IN EUROPE AND AMERICA.
For a second reason, also, I have dwelt on these details. The enormous crime of Spain in destroying this civilization has never yet been appreciated in Europe. After an attentive consideration of the facts of the case, I agree in the conclusion of Carli that at the time of the conquest the moral man in Peru was superior to the European, and I will add, the intellectual man also. In Spain, or even in all Europe, was there to be found a political system carried out into the practical details of actual life, and expressed in great public works as its outward visible and enduring sign, which could at all compare with that of Peru? Its only competitor was the Italian system, but that for long had been actively used to repress the intellectual advancement of man. In vain the Spaniards excuse their atrocities on the plea that a nation like the Mexican, which permitted cannibalism, should not be regarded as having emerged from the barbarous state, and that one which, like Peru, sacrificed human hecatombs at the funeral solemnities of great men, must have been savage. Let it be remembered that there is no civilized nation whose popular practices do not lag behind its intelligence; let it be remembered that in this respect Spain herself also was guilty. In America, human sacrifice was part of a religious solemnity, unstained by passion. The auto da fe of Europe was a dreadful cruelty; not an offering to heaven, but a gratification of spite, hatred, fear, vengeance-the most malignant passions of earth. There was no spectacle on the American continent at which a just man might so deeply blush for his race as that presented in Western Europe when the heretic from whom confession had been wrung by torture passed to his stake in a sleeveless garment, with flames of fire and effigies of an abominable import depicted upon it. Let it be remembered that by the Inquisition, from 1481 to 1808, 340,000 persons had been punished, and of these nearly 32,000 burnt. Let what was done in the south of France be remembered. Let it be also remembered that, considering the worthlessness of the body of man, and that, at the best, it is at last food for the worm-considering the infinite value of his immortal soul, for the redemption of which the agony and death of the Son of God was not too great a price to pay-indignities offered to the body are less wicked than indignities offered to the soul. It would be well for him who comes forward as an accuser of Mexico and Peru in their sin to dispose of the fact that at that period the entire authority of Europe was directed to the perversion, and even total repression of thought -to an enslaving of the mind, and making that noblest creation of Heaven a worthless machine. To taste of human flesh is less criminal in the eye of God than to stifle human thought. Lastly, there is another point to which I will with brevity allude. It has been widely asserted that Mexican and Peruvian civilization was altogether a recent affair, dating at most only
THE AGE OF REASON IN EUROPE. 465
two or three centuries before the conquest. It would be just as well to say that there was no civilization in India before the time of the Macedonian invasion because there exist no historic documents in that country anterior to that event. The Mexicans and Peruvians were not heroes of a romance to whom wonderful events were of common occurrence, whose lives were regulated by laws not applying to the rest of the human race, who could produce results in a day for which elsewhere a thousand years are required. They were men and women like ourselves, slowly and painfully, and with many failures, working out their civilization. The summary manner in which they have been disposed of reminds us of the amusing way in which the popular chronology deals with the hoary annals of Egypt and China. Putting aside the imperfect methods of recording events practiced by the autochthons of the Western world, he who estimates rightly the slowness with which man passes forward in his process of civilization, and collates therewith the prodigious works of art left by those two nations-an enduring evidence of the point to which they had attained-will find himself constrained to cast aside such idle assertions as altogether unworthy of confutation, or even of attention.
CHAPTER XX. APPROACH OF THE AGE OF REASON IN EUROPE. IT IS PRECEDED BY THE RISE OF CRITICISM.
Restoration of Greek Literature and Philosophy in Italy.-Development of Modern Languages and Rise of Criticism.-Imminent Danger to Latin Ideas. Invention of Printing.-It revolutionizes the Communication of Knowledge, especially acts on Public Worship, and renders the Pulpit secondary. THE REFORMATION.-Theory of Supererogation and Use of Indulgences.-The Right of Individual Judgment asserted.-Political History of the Origin, Culmination, and Check of the Reformation.-Its Effects in Italy. Causes of the Arrest of the Reformation.-Internal Causes in Protestantism.-External in the Policy of Rome.-The Counter-Reformation.-Inquisition.-Jesuits.-Secession of the great Critics.- Culmination of the Reformation in America.-Emergence of Individual Liberty of Thought.
IN estimating the influences of literature on the approach of the Age of Reason in Europe, the chief incidents to be considered are of the disuse of Latin as a learned language, the formation of modern tongues from the vulgar dialects, the invention of printing, the decline of the power of the pulpit, and its displacement by that of the press. These, joined to the moral and intellectual influences at that time predominating, led to the great movement known as the Reformation.
466 RISE OF MODERN LANGUAGE.
As if to mark out to the world the real cause of its intellectual degradation, the regeneration of Italy commenced with the exile of the popes to Avignon. During their absence, so rapid was the progress that it had become altogether impossible to make any successful resistance, or to restore the old condition of things on their return to Rome. The moment that the leaden cloud which they had kept suspended over the country was withdrawn, the light from heaven shot in, and the ready peninsula became instinct with life. The unity of the Church, and, therefore, its power, required the use of Latin as a sacred language. Through this Rome had stood in an attitude strictly European, and was enabled to maintain a general international relation. It gave her far more power than her asserted celestial authority, and, much as she claims to have done, she is open to condemnation that, with such a signal advantage in her hands, never again to be enjoyed by any successor, she did not accomplish much more. Had not the sovereign pontiffs been so completely occupied with maintaining their temporalities in Italy, they might have made the whole Continent advance like one man. Their officials could pass without difficulty into every nation, and communicate without embarrassment with each other, from Ireland to Bohemia, from Italy to Scotland. The possession of a common tongue gave them the administration of international affairs, with intelligent allies speaking the same language in all directions. Not, therefore, without cause was the hatred manifested by Rome the restoration of Greek and introduction of Hebrew, and the alarm with which she perceived the modern languages forming out of the aboriginal and vulgar dialects. The prevalence of Latin was the condition of her power, its deterioration the measure of her decay, its disuse the signal of her limitation to a little principality in Italy. In fact, the development of European languages was the instrument of her overthrow. Besides their forming an effectual communication between the low, dissatisfied ecclesiastics and the illiterate populace, there was not one of them that did not display in its earliest productions a sovereign contempt for her. We have seen how it was with the poetry of Languedoc. The rise of the many-tongued European literature was therefore coincident with the decline of papal Christianity. European literature was impossible under the Catholic rule. A grand, and solemn, and imposing religious unity enforced the literary unity which is implied in the use of a single language. No more can a living thought be embodied in a dead language than activity be imparted to a corpse. That principle of stability which Italy hoped to give to Europe essentially rested on the compulsory use of a dead tongue. The first token of intellectual emancipation was the movement
RESTORATION OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY. 467
of the great Italian poets, led by Dante, who often, not without irreverence, broke the spell. Unity in religion implies unity through a sacred language, and hence the non-existence of particular national literatures. Even after Rome had suffered her great discomfiture on the scientific question respecting the motion of the earth, the conquering party was not unwilling to veil its thoughts in the Latin tongue, partly because it thereby insured a more numerous class of intelligent readers, and partly because ecclesiastical authority was now disposed to overlook what must otherwise be treated as offensive, since to write in Latin was obviously a pledge of abstaining from an appeal to the vulgar. The effect of the introduction of modern languages was to diminish intercommunication among the learned. The movement of human affairs, for so many years silent and imperceptible, was at length coming to a crisis. An appeal to the emotions and moral sentiments at the basis of the system, the history of which has occupied us so long, had been fully made, and found ineffectual. It was now the time for a like appeal to the understanding. Each age of life has its own logic. The logic of the senses is in due season succeeded by that of the intellect. Of faith there are two kinds, one of acquiescence, one of conviction; and a time inevitably arrives when emotional faith is supplanted by intellectual. As if to prove that the impending crisis was not the offspring of human intentions, and not occasioned by any one man, though that man might be the sovereign pontiff, Nicolas V. found in his patronage of letters and art a rival and friend in Cosmo de' Medici. An instructive incident shows how great a change had taken place in the sentiments of the higher classes: Cosmo, the richest of Italians, who had lavished his wealth on palaces, churches, hospitals, libraries, was comforted on his death-bed, not, as in former days would have been the case, by ministers of religion, but by Marsilius Ficinus, the Platonist, who set before him the arguments for a future life, and consoled his passing spirit with the examples and precepts of Greek philosophy, teaching him thereby to exchange faith for hope, forgetting that too often hopes are only the day-dreams of men, not less unsubstantial and vain than their kindred of the night. Ficinus had perhaps come to the conviction that philosophy is only a higher stage of theology, the philosopher a very enlightened theologian. He was the representative of Platonism, which for so many centuries had been hidden from the sight of men in Eastern monasteries since its overthrow in Alexandria, and which was now emerging into existence in the favoring atmosphere of Italy. His school looked back with delight, and even with devotion, to the illustrious pagan times, commemorating by a symposium on November 13th the birthday of Plato. The Academy of Athens
468. REVIVAL OF GREEK LITERATURE.
was revived again in the Medicean gardens of Florence. Not that Ficinus is to be regarded as a servile follower of the great philosopher. He alloyed' the doctrines of Plato with others derived from a more sinister source-the theory of the Mohammedan Averrhoes, of which it was an essential condition that there is a soul of humanity, through their relations with which individual souls are capable of forming universal ideas, for such, Averrhoes asserted, is the necessary consequence of the emanation theory. Under such auspices, and at this critical moment, occurred the revival of Greek literature in Italy. It had been neglected for more than seven hundred years. In the solitary instances of individuals to whom here and there knowledge of that language was imputed, there seem satisfactory reasons for supposing that their acquirements amounted to little more than the ability of translating some " petty patristic treatise." The first glimmerings of this revival appear in the thirteenth century; they are somewhat more distinct in the fourteenth. The capture of Constantinople by the Latin Crusaders had done little more than diffuse a few manuscripts and works of art along with the more highly prized monkish relics in the West.. It was the Turkish pressure, which all reflecting Greeks foresaw could have no other result than the fall of the Byzantine power, that induced some persons of literary tastes to seek a livelihood and safety in Italy. In the time of Petrarch, 1304-1374, the improvement did not amount to much. That illustrious poet says that there were not more than ten persons in Italy who could appreciate Homer. Both Petrarch and Boccace spared no pains to acquaint themselves with the lost tongue. The latter had succeeded in obtaining for Leontius Pilatus, the Calabrian, a Greek professorship at Florence. He describes this Greek teacher as clad in the mantle of a philosopher, his countenance hideous, his face overshadowed with black hair, his beard long and uncombed, his deportment rustic, his temper gloomy and inconstant, but his mind was stored with the treasures of learning. Leontius left Italy in disgust, but, returning again, was struck dead by lightning in a storm while tied to the mast of the ship. The author from whom I am quoting significantly adds that Petrarch laments his fate, but nervously asks whether "some copy of Euripides or Sophocles might not be recovered from the mariners." The restoration of Greek to Italy may be dated A.D. 1395, at which time Chrysoloras commenced teaching it. A few years after Aurispa brought into Italy two hundred and thirty-eight Greek manuscripts; among them were Plato and Pindar. The first endeavor was to translate such manuscripts into Latin. To a considerable extent, the religious scruples against Greek literature were giving way; the study found a patron in the pope himself, Eugenius IV. As the intention of the
OPPOSITION TO THE RESTORATION OF LITERATURE. 469
Turks to seize Constantinople became more obvious, the emigration of learned Greeks into Italy became more frequent. And yet, with the exception of Petrarch, and he was scarcely an exception, not one of the Italian scholars was an ecclesiastic. Lorenzo de' Medici, the grandson of Cosmo, used every exertion to increase the rising taste, generously permitting his manuscripts to be copied. Nor was it alone to literature that he extended his patronage. In his beautiful villa at Fiesole the philosophy of the old times was revived; his botanic garden at Careggi was filled with Oriental exotics. From 1470 to 1492, the year of his death, his happy influence continued. He lived to witness the ancient Platonism overcoming the Platonism of Alexandria, and the pure doctrine of Aristotle expelling the base Aristotelian doctrine of the schools. The last half of the fifteenth century revealed to Western Europe two worlds, a new one and an old; the former by the voyage of Columbus, the latter by the capture of Constantinople; destined to revolutionize the industrial, the other the religious condition. Greek literature, forced into Italy by the Turkish arms, worked wonders; for Latin Europe found with amazement that the ancient half of Christendom knew nothing whatever of the doctrine or of the saints of the West. Now was divulged the secret reason of that bitter hatred displayed by the Catholic clergy to Grecian learning. It had sometimes been supposed that the ill-concealed dislike they had so often shown to the writings of Aristotle was because of the Arab dress in which his Saracen commentators had presented him; now it appeared that there was something more important, more profound. It was a terror of the Greek itself. Very soon the direction toward which things must inevitably tend became manifest; the modern languages, fast developing, were making Latin an obsolete tongue, and political events were giving it a rival-Greek-capable of asserting over it a supremacy; and not a solitary rival, for to Greek it was clear that Hebrew would soon be added, bringing with it the charms of a hoary antiquity and the sinister learning of the Jew. With a quick, a jealous suspicion, the ecclesiastic soon learned to detect a heretic from his knowledge of Greek and Hebrew, just as is done in our day from a knowledge of physical science. The authority of the Vulgate, that corner-stone of the Italian system, was, in the expectation of Rome, inevitably certain to be depreciated; and, in truth, judging from the honors of which that great translation was soon despoiled by the incoming of Greek and Hebrew, it was declared, not with more emphasis than truth, yet not, perhaps, without irreverence, that there was a second crucifixion between two thieves. Long after the times of which we are speaking, the University of Paris resisted the introduction of Greek into its course of studies, not because of any dislike to letters, but because of its anticipated obnoxious bearing on Latin theology.
470 CAUSES OF THE ACTION OF THE CHURCH
We can scarcely look in any direction without observing instances of the wonderful change taking place in the opinions of men. To that disposition to lean on a privileged mediating order, once the striking characteristic of all classes of the laity in Europe, there had succeeded a sentiment of self-reliance. Of this perhaps no better proof can be furnished than the popularity of the work reputed to have been written by Thomas a Kempis, and entitled "The Imitation of Christ." It is said to have had probably more readers than any other book except the Bible. Its quick celebrity is a proof how profoundly ecclesiastical influence had been affected, for its essential intention was to enable the pious to cultivate their devotional feeling without the intervention of the clergy. Such a work, if written in the present day, would have found an apt and popular title in "Every Man his own Priest." There is no reason for supposing that the condition to which men had at that time been brought, as the general result of Italian Christianity, was one of intense selfishness, as has been asserted; the celebrity of this book was rather dependent on a profound distrust every where felt in the clergy, both as regards morals and intellect. And why should we be surprised that such should be the case with the laity, when in all directions the clergy themselves were giving proof that they could not trust their own strength? They could not conceal their dread at the incoming of the Greek; they could not speak without horror of the influence of the Hebrew; they were loud in their protestations against the study of pagan philosophy, and held up to the derision and condemnation of the world science denounced by them as profane. They foresaw that that fictitious unity of which they had boasted was drawing to an end; that men would become acquainted with the existence and history of churches more ancient, and, therefore, more venerable than the Roman, and, like it, asserting an authenticity upon unimpeachable proofs. But once let sects with such an impressive prestige be introduced to the knowledge of the West, once let the appearance of inviolate unity be taken from the Latin Church, and nothing could prevent a spontaneous decomposition forthwith occurring in it. It must break up into sects, which, in their turn, must break up, in process of time, into smaller and smaller divisions, and, through this means, the European must emerge at last into individual liberty of thought. The compelling hand of ecclesiastical tyranny must be removed, and universal toleration ensue. Nor were such anticipations mere idle suspicions, for such was the course that events actually took. Scarcely had the Reformation occurred when sectarian subdivisions made their appearance, and in modern times we see that an anarchy of sects is the inevitable harbinger of individual liberty of thought. As we have just said, it was impossible to look in any direction on the latter half of the fifteenth century without recognizing the wonder-