19 OCTOBER 1850, Page 16


. -.1_,!_e,eJ itiLEY's TRifwv- Qp,. Tily, P47P,AL fiTAPES-* 4111,WIE4ifirved the -0t#erifilfilti iliPEtTcr th4ePreinaen; Bud-events • there are always materials for a work of interest in hands competent- ly sleilful. Tfijeis,entin,entlytheaaseiwith.the.Fapal-SMtes,let the author narrow the subjeetlievebe may ; forthere are at leaat the si- lent geoWth of theteetilar wet Of the Popes,ffinini the:ffit:rIteat titid 14711141e surF .alilg. 1?Ar sPthe Ta..11TONVII4geg: ttlke AltY of Et opostfdisastrenia Stied q ' F *litre —the'Aiiik,glefil ' 0 ge. 'clpircli. -]onie ilderwen , with the rise and progress ettatriatian artip and , if governinentrund politios,be 'esoheNret1 ifitogethei, there•iS attleast the dninestie pcilieethe manners, the Morrffs; the criiiies, 'the sedi- tions of the'Peiiple, nobles, and clergy of Rome, from 'the time when Charleinagne or his father Pepin gave to St. Peter the territories which had rightfully belonged to the Greek Emperor or the Lom- bard King. In the largest extent, the secular history of the Pope- dom would embrace the politics of the Christian world, the rise of modern art and letters/ and the manners of every people who poured in continuous streams of pilgrimage to Rome. The vast- ness of the subject is indeed so great in its entirety, that it over- whelms the mind by its extent : a single branch of it would re- quire .a work that might oeeupy a life and task a genius. Dr. Miley has not a bad idea of his subject its capabilities, and its mode of" treatment, either on a narrow or an extended plan. He sees dearly enough, that sometimes the interest centres round an individual Pope—as in the case of Hildebrand ; sometimes, it turns upon the general character of the age—as the peaceful period for Italy that succeeded Charlemagne; sometimes, a class forms the most prominent feature—as the tyranny of the Roman nobles during the ninth and tenth centuries; while again a single person is the most prominent figure—as Rienzi. But though Dr. Miley sees this clearly, and his analysis presents the masses of the his- tory distinctly to the mind, he fails altogether in the execution. We do not remember ever to have met with a case where the gene- ral character of a subject seemed so well apprehended, and its outline so distinctly traced, yet the filling-up was so jejune and unsatis- factory. Various causes may be assigned for this. Dr. Miley , himself pleads haste. He intimates that he had to prepare copy

• for the printer, and correct proofs, while he was attending to the

necessities-of a starving Irish parish : sufficient reason for post- poning the publication, and an explanation of the crudity of the latter part relating to the history of the Popedom from the out- break of the French Revolution till Mazzim's expulsion ; but it has no bearing upon the first and larger part. It can hardly be 1 that time was wanting in the collection of the materials. It is seven years since Dr: Miley published his Borne under Paganism and the Popes; in which his subject during the early period of the Popedom was the same with that now handled, and the reading necessary for one work would be found useful if not altogether sufficient for the other. The background_ and all the accessories are the same in both cases ; it would only be a further examina- tion of the personal character and secular policy of the Popes that would be necessary for the Papal history. Seven years, added to the ten years which it appears were directly devoted to preparation for Rome under Paganism and tire Popes, was ample time for forniing the plan and digesting the materials, though haste and preoccupation at the last might have affected the com- position. But the true cause of Dr. Miley's ill success is inherent. He has a kind of Milesian rhetoric, which sometimes rises highly inflated and sometimes fells flatly prosaic. This, which seems a mere mode of diction, in reality represents a character of -mind. • Such men (as we saw during the Young Ireland fermentation seem incapable of getting at the truth in anything. In practi affairs they form a judgment totally wrong, and they fail in action from a misconception of the obstacles to be overcome and their means of overcoming them • it is not so much failure as blunder. With this class of mind the result is always the same, whether the object be to establish a club or overturn a monarchy. They get no further than a prospectus : they carry out nothing; not from want of time or even of plan, but as if some die.mon blinded them to what is apt and appropriate. Thus, turn to what you will in Dr. Miley's History of the -Papal States, it is found that the subject is insuffi- ciently treated, or there is something felt to be wanting, or there is a glaring half-theatrical picture, which is very nnlikely to be true whatever are the authorities ; or there is some chronological mismatching, the introduction of something that should have been introduced before,—a fault we noticed in the author's former work. Sometimes sections may be found where the treatment is more complete, but even there it is rarely satisfying. The profession of the author, and the consequent necessity he feels of making the best of the ease of the Popes, will seem to many .a disadvantage,— and it is indeed so great a one as to unfit a priest for writing a history of the Popes ; but such an animus would not affect the literary character of the book in the way we speak of. A work may be sophisticated or -unfair yet very coherent in design and finished in execution. The most complete part of the work is a preliminary survey of the Papal territory; exhibiting its present condition, and touching upon its ancient history and archteology. The 'necessity of this is not very clear; but Dr. Miley found it nearly ready to 'his hand in De 'The History of the Papal States, from their Origin to the Present Day. By the Reverend John Miley, D.D., Author of "Rome under Paganism and the Popes." In three volumes. Published by Newby.

Tournon's survey, when he feitf the province of Rome under Napoleon. This fact ttrit and its well-digested

character, as its little co*uuty wi u Ihe other part indicates Dr. tion tliVilta, gerYdultf to 64 A Piled Milefp mode of corn sition. It is, howeverathe,most useful see-

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habi `acerci inn-Qs/is, )4efore he saiJedf lus Formum villa near, Gaeta, Where he was &rcrtktat b - his pursuers. Astura, which bore the same tomb in antiquity, was fortified by the Frangipani in medireval times. It was to their castle here that Conradin fled for refuge after being defeated by Charles of Anjou at Tagliacozzo ; but, with Frederic of Austria, his cousin, he was delivered into the hands of his more fortunate

rival, who soon after Rut him to death. 7 "The forest still continues- beyond Astura ; the only encroachment on its dominion being a chitin'. Of lakes, called Saturn Pallus in delude times, which are separated only by a narrow tongue of land from the sea. The first and most extensive of them is the lago di Fogliano, in which are lost the waters of the Coma, formerly the Lanuvius, or Astum. It has an outlet to the sea; and the rent of its fishery brings a profit of 24,000 francs, or 960/. per an- num, to the Gaetani famils, to whom it belongs. In proportion to their extent, the Other lakes, de' Monad, del Caprolace, and di Paolo, are equally productive, and constantly assist in supplying the fish-market of Rome. On these shores, now so solitary, deserted, and infected with the miasm of deadly pestilence, the voluptuous Lucullus had planted one of his sumptuous country retreats of luxury. A military station or depot called Claustra Roma= was established here; but now-a-days, the primaeval woods of America do not pre- sent an aspect more savage and solitary than the borders of these lagunes. The vegetation in which Nature amidst these wild and sequestered haunts sets forth her charms, is of the most luxuriant and brilliant description : the oak, the beech-tree, the elm, and the pine, in their most colossal proportions, seem to contest the headship of the forest; while an underwood, of infinite variety as to the shrubs and climbing plants which form it, is cast up around their trunks by the teeming exuberance of the soil. Scarcely can the adventurous explorer force his way a few paces through these thickets over the decaying trunks which have fallen beneath the weight of centuries, but at the risk of losing the narrow track of the horses used occasionally to carry the fish that is taken along the shore. The wolf and the wild boar dispute these solitudes with the herds of cattle and immense droves of horses and swine which multiply in their retreats, and wander at large in a perfect state of nature ; but amidst a landscape where the rem seems by its intense brilliancy and heat to impart a superabounding life and gorgeousness of complexion and hue to every object, the only representatives of humanity to be met with area few herdsmen, pallid, emaciated to the last degree, clad in skins as they stripped them from the goat or the wild animals of the chase, and armed with a lance as they ride in silence across the prairie, or sit motionless as the enchanted knight-errants of romance, under the shadow of some forest- tree. The reed-covered hut of a pyramidal form, which is his habitation, you might mistake for a Hottentot kraal, as it comes upon the view in some opening glade of the woodlands ; while the multitude and variety of Tropical plants, which meet the eye on every side, assist not a little the delusion, and serve to transport the thoughts of the beholder far away. from Europe. Beyond the Lego di Fogliano, the forests are out through by an enormous excavation attributed to Pope Martin V. Such is its great depth that the tops of the tallest forest trees, which grow on the bottom of it cannot be seen without ascending, the mound on either side."

The following medley of generalization and anecdote—with somewhat too of "the cart before the horse "—will give an idea of the state of Italy in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries, (the chronicler wrote about 1058,) and of the little pains the author takes to digest his materials and produce them in the most ad- vantageous forms.

"Throughout all the vici or villages, and in each of the curtes or manors belonging to the monastery, which were situated in Italy and not at any great distance, there were stewards, called ministri monachorum, who gather- ed in (from the ooloni) the corn and wine. But when the time arrived for transporting the produce of the estates to the hay-yards and granaries and milers of the ccenobium, a great wain with a high stage and a bell for ring- ing was sent to the place of gathering, where other waggons would be pre- pared in hundreds, sometimes five hundred, all laden with the corn and wino and other produce. And of this belfry-wain, called the Plaustrum Domini- ca, the object was this : to certify to all magnates, that the whole convoy of waggons which followed it belonged to St. Peter's monastery of Nova Lux. No duke, no marquis count, prelate, viscount, or villicus, would presume to offer any sort of obstruction or violence to the convoy thus protected. So that, as tradition tells, no merchant dared to venture forth on the highways to repair with his wares to the fairs, held annually in various parts of Italy, until he saw the Plaustrum Dommieale approaching.' Thus it was that trade in those ages had no such protectors as the monks. "The chronicler then proceeds to tell how, on a certain occasion, one of these convoys was set upon and pillaged by some of the Frank king's 8er- vants-4amiliam regis—who were in the valley as it passed with the king's horses at grass—paseentes equos regios. In a sumftffing chapter, we have strange exploits performed by a certain Gwalterus, who had exchanged the hauberk for the cowl; and who on this occasion being sent by the abbot to expostulate with the king's servants, suffered himself to be maltreated by these lawless gentry, and even stripped of his garments--usque ad femo- rails • but when it came to that, the old warrior got the better of the monk in Walter, who laid about him with a vengeance, so that he utterly over- threw the enemy, and conducted the convoy in great triumph to Nova Lux, besides recovering all that had been plundered from the mer- chants.

"When sending Walter on the embassy to the familiam regis, the abbot had charged him to comport himself with the most Christian meekness. `If,' said he, they take thy peliase—pellicia—let them have thy cowl also ; telling them,' said the abbot, 'that such is the precept of thy brethren to thee." But if they insist,' said Walter, on my Intervale also, (some inner vest,) what am Ito do?' Say with regard to that also,' replied the abbot, that it is the precept of thy brethren to let it go." Pardon me my lord, I beseech thee and be not displeased with me, if I ask to be instructed in one other matter—do femoralibus quid erit ?—what am I to do if they are for making no exception in regard of another garment, but insist that it is to go with alterest?i ,The abbot replied, that on.this point, he did not think it neoeryto. enjoin him anything, having in the foregoing provided Ed& ciently thaTraotio3:of humilit3r..- Wus left to his own discretion on that singlepeint, the quondam soldier issued' forth and began to inquire amongst themervante of.tbe acenobium, if there was any one of the homes about the pleas,. dial-thought, that in case of emergency wouldhave Mettle and spirit -enough teaerve_as a war-horse. The servants -replied, that finer or stranger teattle.were nowhere to be found than some of those.m the stalls. These they Ibrought pat, and Walter mounted them, spur on heel, and made trial of them one after' another ; rerjeobing thole all and pointing outthe defeats which un- fitted.thenr to curry a knight to the- charge. Then redacting for a moment, 'he:inquired what had become of a horse on which they might possibly re- linighthad; long ago, come. riding to that monastery gate ?. ' Is healead °relive?. asked the monk. "Alive her* my, lord,' they answered ' butHttla -more than that, he is so old: mereeveri he was assigned to the , bakers, &for earning the sacks of corn to the millevery day. Bring him ,hither,' said Walter, that I may look-at hire ; -end when the old horse was brought., he meanted hira ;And rousing luia. with .roiltand spur, 'It is well 1', hei cried ; ,',the, gaits and prowess which I taught him with BO much care ,in other days, he has not even yet forgotten.'

" The sequel has been already told. The violence resorted to by Walter, though in so just a cause and from dire necessity, was nevertheless most bitterly bewailed by the abbot and by all the brethren : they all joined in fervent prayer for his forgiveness. Poor Walter was reproved severely, and afterwards (lid penance for his sin."

There is some truth in the following remarks on the strange con- trasts of crime and penitence, or at least penance, that distinguished the darker ages ; though it might have been more aptly expressed and illustrated.

"There were giants in those days.' Indifferentism, hypocrisy, infidel- ity, moderation, were things unknown. The entire, turbulent, conflicting mass of humanity in the West, was animated with the root and principle of religion and of greatness, faith. To surmise that the men—if you will the monsters—of those times were not as thoroughly in earnest, as full of vehe- ment sincerity in their repentance as in their crunes, in their good as in their' evil deeds, is an absurdity of which none can be guilty, but three who, like Gibbon or Voltaire, are sceptical as to the workings of faith in others, be- cause utterly insensible to its divine instincts themselves. To say that they were actuated not by faith but by superstition, is simply to confound false- hood with truth. Christianity was venerated as divine, was prized by all as the one thing necessary' in their wildest and most unbridled orgies; and to figure to ourselves, as has been customary, the historical personages of those times as actuated by motives akin to those with which alone the writers of the irreligious school were conversant, is to fall into a solecism not a whit less grotesque than that of the painter who showeth on his canvass a Cherokee Indian in a court dress, or represents the Greeks as bombarding the city of Priam. In those times there were monsters of wickedness, men abandoned to the most demoniac passions; but infidels or indifferentists there were none. Otho III, makes a voyage to the islet in the Adriatic to which St. Romoald had retired, to hold more undisturbed communion through prayer and contemplation with his Creator, in ceder to prevail on him to come and place himself at the head, not of the home department, or of fo- reign affairs, or of public instruction, but of a community of monks. The Emperor of the Romans, thin King of the mighty Teutonic nations and of Lombardy, is seated, like one of his disciples, at the feet of the anchoret. The head that the imperial and two kingly crowns adorn is at night reposed on the hard pillow of the hermit's bed. By another Emperor, Henry IL, ambassadors are sent to seek the same holy man in his retreat among the rugged scenery round Val Ombroso ; and with difficulty he is prevailed on to appear in the camp. It is through an avenue formed by the chivalry of the Germanic nations, princes and margraves and counts of almost kingly state and sway, that the humble ascetic passes to the tent of the Emperor, while those who have succeeded in kissing the hem of his garment as he passes, or in securing some shred of it as a relic to carry beyond the Alps, are objects of envy to the rest. If the very reverse of all this would have happened, had that camp been filled with the soldiers and princes of modern timer, what are we to conclude from the fact but this, that beings more unlike what the actors on the scene of history really were (as to their convictions, mo- tives, and policy,. in those ages) cannot be imagined, than are those creations by which unbeheving writers supplant them in histories derived from a jaundiced fancy, and not from thorough and unbiassed researches? Even amongst those who seemed most to despise religion, and who with ferocious violence attacked it in its most vital and hallowed institutions, there is no symptom that the divine germ was dead in their breasts as in those of the scoffers and indifferentista of the modern world. The accomplices of the wicked, the worthless, the godless King John, we meet with as penitents at the great shrines of the age, from Compostella to Jerusalem ; and John him- self founded three monasteries, besides many other benefactions for his soul's health. The furious opponent of Hildebrand, who set at defiance all that is most sacred in the laws of Christianity, of the Church, and of nature itself, Henry IV., is found devoutly visiting the churches while blockading the Pope. "Here then, we have the world such as it really was in the darkest of the dark ages, inspired by faith, yet the sport of its passions. Hare are the elements from which Christian civilized Europe has been formed, confounded together and conflicting in a state of the most perfect chaos. Even in the absurd supposition that any such engines of social progress or amelioration as acts of Parliament, a public press, the diffusion of the Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible, in the vulgar tongue' could have been then originated or worked, what could have been hoped from their operation? But when Hildebrand, and the Popes inoculated with his spirit, put their hands to that only lever by which the West could be lifted from this appa- rently irremediable state of social disorgenization and ruin, it becomes mani- fest that that lever, faith, is able not only to more mountains,' but to lift the world of the West from the chaos in which it was sunk, and to propel it forward in that orbit which, beginning in the Crusades, has ever since con- tinued to be developed in a progression of wonders."