21 JULY 1866, Page 6


THE results of this contest in Europe, if it ends, as all Englishmen now expect that it must end, in a complete final victory for Prussia, are so vast that the mind refuses to grasp them except one- by one, and even then only at intervals. Just at this moment the British public can attend only to the effect of the campaign upon Austria and France, but it will modify the position of every power in Europe in a nearly equal degree. Frantz loses at once her dictatorship, and sisks, as the Economist has pointed out, into one of many co-ordinate powers; Austria beComes the natural protector of the nation- alities of the East, instead of the natural foe of the nations all-ties of the West ; and Russia finds an impassable barrier erected between herself and the civilized half of the European world. With Germany constituted, it becomes useless for England to waste time and character in protecting an insolvent Museulman horde, while Scandinavia gains an ally among whose immediate and pressing interests will be the freedom of the Baltic. Upon no power, however, will the blow fall so heavily as on the Papacy, which lost at Sadowa infinitely more than it has forfeited during the last six disastrous years, for it lost the chance of regaining all. Had Austria won the game, and an Aus- trian army been billeted in Berlin, Rome would hardly have been evacuated within this generation, and Umbria and the Marches might have been replaced under the priestly sway its subjects so bitterly detest. This was too much for any except Cardinals to hope, and the Pope, who is at heart an Italian, and like other Italians thinks Germans and Frenchmen equally useful barbarians, could not bring himself to hope it, but even if Austria emerged uninjured all might be regained. Napoleon must die some time, or France be involved in war, and then Austria, with its faithful population and its immovable policy would hasten to expiate a multitude of sins, and repair innumerable blunders, by a new instance of unswerving devotion to the interests of the Church. In a partitioned Italy the largest share would be assigned to St. Peter, that the theft of the remainder might be blessed, and Cardinals replaced in their districts would at last be enabled to sing heartily the Te Deum Laudanum which now they can only chant in faith. This hope, which has lived six years in the breasts of the mat despondent in the Vatican, in the worldly-wise Secretary of State Antonelli, as in the fanatic Grand Almoner de Merode, died with the intelligence of the victory of Sadowa. Austria was the last of the great Ultramontane Powers,—for the Papacy does not blind itself to the fact that France is essen- tially Voltairiaa,—and Austria as an Italian power disappeared upon that field. The new Germany which is rising upon her

ruins is either Protestant or, what is far more dangerous, liberal-Catholic, is ruled by a House sternly, on points almost fanatically, Lutheran, and is guided by a Minister who within six months has informed the Pope that if he did not institute the King's nominee to the See of Cologne within three days the relation between Catholic Prussia and the Papal Chair should be finally dissolved. The world, as it appears to the Vatican, will be divided among six great States, and of these France will be Voltairian, Prussia Lu- theran, Britain on all Papal questions Calvinistic, Russia Greek and hostile, Italy Catholic but anti-Papal, and Austria Papal, but bound by the evil prejudices of the Hungarians, who are anxious to be shown by the Church the way to heaven, but think they can see their road on earth for themselves. Spain is orthodox, to be sure, but then Spain is also sceptical, governed by men who detest all schism, but who also detest wars for a creed in which they only half believe ; and then could Spain beat Italy ? The prospect is dark on every side ; Italy consolidated, Germany united, Austria moved eastward, Bavaria paralyzed, Spain left helpless, Rome seething with hatred under their feet, the poor priests are thrown back on Heaven and Napoleon as their only pro- tectors, and while Heaven gives victory to infidels Napoleon refuses to intervene and save the faithful. The changes• are all so sudden, too, and the men who conduct them so violent ; there is no time for intrigue, and what

can one do with a Protestant aristocrat like Bismark, who treats Popes as if they were petty princes, and com- pels them to consecrate Bishops as if a concordat were a. secular treaty to be enforced by the bayonet, who does not even believe, like Mr. Disraeli, that the " independence of the- Papacy is essential to the European equilibrium ?" Mr. Disraeli is in power, it is true, but then his Ministry accepts, orders from Orangemen, and if it did not, would not dare in, the face of every English rector to interfere for Rome. Verily, Satan is abroad more visibly than in 1848, for then there was aid to be obtained from the Powers ; in greater strength than in 1800, for then all depended on a single life, and a life in. the long duration of the Papacy is scarcely an appreciable point of time. The new changes will be permanent, while- Napolene will pass Milky. The Papacy has survived all things, even its own crimes, and prediction about its future may well be left by politicians. to Dr: Cumming, and those who believe that the worthy bee- master has penetrated the Secret of the divine will, but the outlook for the temporal power is certainly a gloomy one If Prussia succeeds, it is as certain as anything in politics can be- that Italy will be left free of all other preoccupation to devote-

her whole energies, and the genius of a people among whom genius is endemic, to the possession of Rome, to the possession,

that is, of a minute State inclosed in her dominion, filled with

a population ardently Italian, and ruled always by Sovereigns- who can no more divest their minds of Italian sympathies than they could divest their blood of iron. Those sympathies are parts of their mental organism, not subjects of its action. No- " guarantee of the great Powers," the daily dream of the Vatican, is any longer possible, and Napoleon, even if willing- to remain the sole foreigner within Italy, and therefore the sole object of the concentrated Italian hate which in Venetia has but deepened yearly through sixty years, cannot always- have the power. Some day or other he will need the aid of Italy, or he will dread the force of Italy, and then the evacu- ation will be followed by the entry of the long dreaded foe.

Indeed it is by no means certain that the Convention of Sep- tember will not be executed to the letter, for Napoleon wants no fresh enemies, is not anxious to furnish an excuse to Italy for adopting the affiance with Prussia into its permanent scheme of policy. In the Congress, moreover, which must one- day legalize the results of this great war, the voice of Prussia as representative of Germany is sure to tell very heavily, and Prus- sia has hitherto adhered very fairly to her ally, whose services in Venetia in withdrawing so large a section of the Austrian army are felt by the military King to have been of the last. importance. And then the shepherd will stand face to face with his flock, with no coney dogs between. The temporal power must end, even should the Pope remain in Rome, for he could only be safe under Italian bayonets, and an Italian Pontiff exercising power through Italians only over an Italian population, must be either an arch priest or a lieutenant- general of the secular Sovereign of Italy. Flight is the only alternative, and though this will be pressed upon the Pope by the Jesuits and the fanatics, who think his departure will. dis- turb the order of the world, there are more moderate, men around him, who ask whither he is to fly. The hand of France will, he knows well, be heavier than that of Italy, no Italian priest or prince will willingly live in Germany, the Balearic Isles are too isolated for a Court which is still one of the great centres of human action, and in Malta, the refuge towards which the mind of Pope Pius most readily turns, he must conciliate a heretical power. The lodging, however, is no matter. No State will accept the Pope as King, and either in Malta or in Rome the Papacy will commence a new career, which may very easily be as great, possibly as long con- tinued, as that which now appears to.be drawing to its end. So invincible is the belief in many minds that truth can only be one in its manifestations as well as its reality, so great is the convenience of a. living authority competent to decide ex cathedra' all doubtful questions alike of belief and con- science, that it is hard to imagine the day when no great section of mankind will look up with reverence to the Pope. All Chris- tian men and women must previously have acquired the courage to walk alone to heaven, and we are far from that yet, as far probably as we are from the day when laws shall be useless because every one loves his neighbour as himself. Freed from the incumbrance as well as the temptations of the secular power, the Papacy may devote itself to theology and eccle- siastical organization, may in both initiate developments the effect of which shall be permanently felt throughout the world. Be it remembered, the "Papacy," as we call it for convenience, is not only a man, but also a vast organization, which draws to itself, as by irresistible attraction, mental power of every order, from that of the casuist to that of the great administrator. The world is not yet safe from the chance of a great genius wielding the authority of the Catholic Church. Of late years the supply of brain has grown less because men of genius cannot be " Ultramontanes," cannot devote themselves to the support of a useless authority over an insignificant cluster of little provinces, and Ultramon- tanism has been the sine qua non of aspirants for power at Rome. The Papacy, hampered by the ascendancy of the Society of Jesus, who, formerly the opponents of centralization, now exaggerate the mystic claims of the Holy Chair till they become grotesque, has selected its agents badly, and raised men to the highest places who, like CaTclinal Cullen, for example, lack the intellectual serenity which is the unfailing accom- paniment of brains of the foremost order. The struggle for temporal power once closed, there will be no need for applying a test which drives away able men, and a genius either on or behind the Holy Chair becomes once more a terrible possi- bility. If such a man should arise, a man, for instance, who saw how easily Rome could link herself with the social aspira- tions of the masses, who could give to her vast hierarchy, which still extends through every grade of human life, still dwells in palaces and lazarettos, among princes as among convicts, the order to defend the people, there may yet be a career before the Papacy as magnificent as the one which, unless a miracle supervenes, must end with Pius 1X. Even without such a genius the change may be tremendous, for from the day of the extinction of the temporal power the Papacy must inevitably ally itself with Democracy, and in that simple fact what possibilities are not contained ? She has nothing more to hope or fear from the Kings, everything to hope and fear from those masses who have not yet risen to the level at which men reject all guidance, who alone, of all the forces now rising, can coerce the intellectual class which has finally thrown off sacerdotal authority, and who are tending more rapidly day by day all over Europe towards organiza- tions which Rome knows how to administer, which are in fact but poor imitations of many of her own Orders. We find associations of agriculture very difficult to manage, but the men who built Woburn did not, and Benedictines are not the people most likely to be blind to the powers and the difficul- ties inherent in co-operative life. We need not say we should regard such a transformation of the Papacy with alarm, for the sacerdotal caste seems to us, of all others, the worst fitted to lead the multitudes through the desert into the promised land which, as the French Utopians say, they see beyond the Red Sea, but the transformation has become possible, and Sadowa may yet be a date in the spiritual history of mankind.