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1751. An excellent Passage from the Abbé du Guet. 169 pofing to the scandalous dispensation prohibition of perjury in the third of this pope, a fine leffon, which the coinmandment, but that they even Abbé du Guet gives in his Institution turn it against those who would hinof a prince.
der the prince from making himself “An oath is a last remedy to put guilty of perjury, and diffuade him an end to contests, says he, to ar- from the thought of making use of sure ourselves of the heart of men, A a dispensation fo diametrically opand of their intentions, to fix all the posite to the law of God ? For the doubts which inconstancy or infin. brief concludes with threatning with cerity may create, to subject kings the wrath of God and that of the to the supreme Judge who alone can blefied apostles Peter and Paul, those judge them, and to keep in duty who thall be fo rafh as to attempt to all human majesty, by making it infringe this conceffion t. appear before the majesty of God, B Fancy to yourself, pray now, that in regard to whom it is nothing. a wise counsellor of king John had To violate a treaty therefore, con- undertaken to disuade him from firmed by an oath, would be eter- taking the advantage of this dispennizing diffidences and wars, taking sation from the pope, and that seeaway all means of coming to peace ing him ready to violate a treaty lupby serious treaties, leaving a door ported by an oath, he had awakened always open to surprizes, rendering C his confcience upon the enormity of the situation of kingdoms floating the perjury; here that pious minister and uncertain, abusing what religion stands anathematized for that very has of the most sacred and the most thing. And who is he then who has formidable, and falling into a ma- pronounced this sentence? It is that nifest impiety, by despifing at the pretended head of the church, who same time the presence, the truth,
takes the title of God's lieutenant the justice and the power of God *"D upon earth.
Pray hear likewise what this wise It was not enough for this wor. author says of those who insinuate to thy vicar of Jesus Christ to have ala prince, that he may sometimes dif. tered the morality of the gospel, so pense with keeping treaties, cho’ac- far as to permit and to authorise percompanied with an oath.
any temporal interest; it was man must be, I will not fay very not enough for him to be the author bold, adds he, but very blind and E of this pevarication, but heaven very corrupt, to dare to advise a must go halves with him in it. It prince to make himself liable to the was already a great deal to dare to eternal wrath of God, and to draw suppose in the Divinity a connivance down vengeance upon his own head, at this wicked action ; but he must and upon the heads of the whole be made an accomplice in it as well nation, by converting an oath into as the apostles, and threaten with perjury, and by despising the irre- F heavenly wrath those who should vocable threatning annexed in the think of preventing this crime by decalogue to the prohibition of fo wise counsels. This dispensation great a crime."
of the pope, therefore, ought to be Yet, after all, it is highly probable looked upon as entirely contrary to that this Abbé never knew of this good faith, and altogether pernifcandalous dispensation. What would cious; but the manner in which it he not have said, had he known that G concludes ftill exceeds the body of they not only despise in it the irre. the bull: In cauda venenum. vocable threatning annexed to the
Here • Inficution of a prince, com. 1, p. 304. † Nulli ergo bominum liceae banc paginam noffre conceffionis infringere, vel ei ausu temerario contraire. Si quis autem attentare præfumseris, indignationem omnipotentis Du & beatorum Petri & Pauli apoftolorum ejus fe noverit incurfurum.
70 Excuses for the Bull fewn to be vain.
Here is a great noise about a trifle, say they, may have put the pope in will some zealous defender of the fee great dependence upon the prince, of Rome say. It is a matter of file, who perhaps might have abused the this conclusion is the common form ascendant which he had over his of all bulls, so that they have no rea- old subject, to extort this dispensation son to pretend to lay such a stress up- from him." on the terms. I have not examined A This is the most plausible excuse whether the Roman chancery con- that can be alledged in favour of a cludes all those bulls with this threat- bad cause. To which I answer, ning; but were it so, would you that, were it so as here represented, think this answer, Sir, very satis- there would be a great deal of factory? Let this conclusion be found cowardice in the Pontiff to condein ever so many other places, it can- scend to such a demand. But it does not be allowed here. Why? Because B not appear, either that the king it squares altogether with the tenor required any thing like it, or that the of the brief, and because it squares pope had put himself on the footing with it in the most impious manner. of having the cowardly complaisance If I found a blafphemy at the end for that prince, which he is supposed of an act, would he who drew it up to have had. There are even proofs justify himself by representing to me,
to the contrary that it was a matter of ftile, a mere
с After the bull in question, Dom form ? Now nothing is more blaf. Luke d'Acheri relates another, which phemous than to dare to affert, that dispenses with the king and queen's God will punish those who lhall op
fasts and abftinences from meat, but pose perjury.
with great precautions. For that It is said, that at Padua there hap- purpole there must be an attestation, pened one day to be brought to the not of one physician only, but of censor of books, a translation of the D several, as to the alteration which Alcoran, for leave to print it. He fafting caused in their majesies health. was at that moment so absent from The confessor and the faculty muk himself, chat without any other exa- agree together, that the king is in a mination he wrote at the end of the condition, which makes that per. manuscript, that he permitted it to be million absolutely necessary, and if printed, as having nothing in it con- they shall have determined a little
E trary to the catholick faith. Every lightly, he discharges his own conone cried out upon this approbation. science from it and lays the fin at But the examiner might alledge the their door *. To excuse the king same excuse as that which I am re- from his oath, it is sufficient he is a futing. He need only have said, little incommoded by it, but to that he had kept to the common
excuse him from the fasts of the form. Now, which of the two do church, the inconveniency must be be the most contrary
considerable and well attested. Here to the christian religion, the Alcoran, is a director, whose delicacy we canor the bull of Clement VI.
not but admire! He carries his scruple I have heard some persons alledge, so far as to fear left those he directs in excuse of the Pontiff, as follows : should swallow a gnat, and to make “ The bull, lay they, is dated from use of the same figure in the gospel, Avignon, where the popes held their he permits them to swallow a camel.
G see for some time, Clement VI. was But the question is not here upon a Prench gentleman, born a subject the contrariety of this conduct ; to king John. These circumstances, what I will only conclude from it,
is, -de carnibus vefci poteritis, de concilio tamen medicorum, quoriens confesor i medici, boc vobis vidcbitur expedire, quorum confcientias oneramus, Spicilegium, P: 3774
1751. CHARACTER of King JOHN of France.
fore he let such a scandalous piece
me not to be extorted from the of soul and eternal salvation *. pope. The holy father did things
This bull is. dated from Avignon, with a good grace, he gratified the April 20, 1351. In the beginning king in it out of his own good pleaof this year the king had come into sure, voluntarily, and, if I may so that country. It is very probable, fay, with gaiety of heart. That that he consulted the pope about the which, above all, persuades me of ftate of his conscience, as his director. D this, is the character of king John, The beginning of the bull infinu. who does not seem capable of makates it. He went to him with very ing such a demand. You know, good intentions, and much like those Sir, the history of that prince : He of the young man in the gospel, who had the misfortune to lose the battle asked Jesus Christ what he should do of Poictiers against the English, and to obtain eternal life. But what a to be taken prisoner. The victoridifference in the answer!“ If you e ous prince I carried him into Eng. will be saved, keep the commande land the year following. By the ments," says our Saviour to him t. treaty of Bretigni, concluded some But he who calls himself his vicar, time after, and confirmed by the teaches to violate them. For this oath of the two kings, John gives purpose he furnishes expedients to up to K, Edward several provinces, the king, who comes to consult him. and a great many very considerable To make him enjoy peace of foul, F lands. Before this affair was finish to procure him the favour of God in ed, the captive king was reconducted this life, and in the end eternal fal- into France. If ever creaty con. vation, he indulges him in making tained hard and burthensome clauses, fraudulent treaties, which he may it was certainly that of Bretigni. Ic confirm by an path, and violate them would be too soft an expression, to afterwards if he finds them a little fay with the bull, that they could inconvenient. An admirable way G not be observed without inconveto procure our selves peace of cone niency. In reading this treaty, we science and falvation, by infidelity, immediately represent to ourselves a
king • Volis veßris libenter annuimus, iis præcipuè per que, ficut piè defideratis, pacem & falutem anime, Deo propitio, confequi velestis.
† Matt, xix. 17
Feb. king triumphant, treading upon his Do not be surprised, Sir at my vanquished enemy's neck, and for- giving this bull the title of odious. cing him to submit to the conditions You will not think it too hard, if he thinks fit to impose on him. In you will but consider, that it not the mean time, this oppressed prince only tends to fmooth the way to never seems to have had any thought treachery, to facilitate perjury, but of making use of this bull
, which A even to perpetuate them. That à had been dispatched for him above pope should have absolved a prince ten years before.
from any particolar oath, onder any Far from designing to break the pretence, good or bad, would not treaty, we know that, in 1362, he be very surprising. The bishops returned into England to surrender themfelves, at a certain time, al. himself a prisoner again. This profumed to themselves the cognizance ceeding has very much puzzled the B of those cases. But that which fur. historians to account for the true prizes, is to see a pope giving to a motives of it. The most probable prince's confeffor an indeterminate that has been alledged, is, that he power to absolve him not only from had been very much offended at the the treaties which he has made, but escape of the duke of Anjou, his also which he hall make for the future. second fon, who had folen away Furthermore, he grants the same fafrom Calais, where he had been left Ovour to all the fucceffors of this upon his parole. He was one of prince, so long as the monarchy fhall the hoftages for the security of the fubfift'; that is to fay, that the fol. treaty. The king his father, there. Jowing kings shall have nothing to fore, repaffed the sea, as well to ex- do but to chuse such a confessor as cuse this fault, as to put an end, they shall think proper, who by with the king of England, to the prescribing some light alms to them, rest of the difficulties which retarded D or fome prayers to mutter over in the execution of the treaty of Bre. Latin, hall disengage them aftertigni. He had obtained his libertywards from their oath. The numonly on condition of executing it ber of years ought not to weaken faithfully. He was resolved, there. this fine privilege, fo that the bull fore, at any rate whatever, to pro- may have operated also in the tevocure the accomplishment of it. They cation of the edict of Nantes, 334 attribute to this prince, on this oc. E years after it had been dispathed. cafion, a faying worthy of being This is anticipating the future in a transmitted to all posterity, That if manner very dangerous toi morality, truth and honefty were banished from and to the publick security ; it is the rest of the world, yet they ought giving occasion, for a long series of to be found again in the mouths of ages, to treachery and perjury. kings *. It will easily be granted, I believe then, that I have provupon these several pasiages of hi- Fed, that king John had not follicited story, that this prince was a much such a shocking privilege as this. It honefter man than the pope, and is very true, chat from Philip the that it is wronging his memory to Fair, the kings of France faw with ascribe to him the having been pleafure, that the popes fhould have earnest to obtain this odious bull. their fee at Avignon, in order to King John had the misfortune to die have them a little better under their in England three months after his G thumb, and in their dependence. But return thither,
on this occafon the place of the
pope's This fine saying is ascribed also to Charles V. Bolb of bem may have said it ; but it is much better attributed so ibe king of France, tban torbas Emperar, we did 'nar always regue leic bis conduct by sbat excellens maxima
1751 Character of Pope CLEMENT VÍ.
73 pope's residence is of no service to abundance of horses, which he often excuse his bull.
rode for diversion. His manners in Another falvo may, perhaps, be general were most gentleman-like, fuggested for this. Some catholick, and not at all ecclefiaftical. He took not well versed in history, will endea. great care to enrich his nephews. vour to attribute to fome anti-pope What is fingular, is, that on occathis bull, so infamous for his church. A fion of some croisades which he had The date from Avignon seems, at in view, he wrote a very severe let. first fight, to favour this conjecture. ter to the knights of Rhodes, known But were chis fupposition well-ground- at present by the name of knights ed, it would not remedy the bad of Malta, upbraiding them with effects of the bull, because after the the very fame faults. He censures extinction of the schism it was de- them for their too great curiosity in creed in a council, that all the con. B fine horses, and in general for loving cessions of those false popes Thould expence too much. He asked them have force and vigour as before *. whether that is the design of the But, Sir, if you will but confult any goods of the church, and the use History of the popes, you will see that is to be made of them? Matthat this subterfuge cannot take thew Villani, who has given us place. Clement VI. never has been the character of this pope, in his put in the class of anti-popes. He C History of Florence, adds, that bemust not be confounded with Cle. ing archbishop he kept no decencies ment VII, who was called Robert with the ladies ; that when he was of Geneva, the last of the male race ill, he was attended by ladies, in the of the counts of Geneva, who has
same manner as relations take care of not been put in the rank of lawful
the seculars, He died, Dec. 6, 1352 popes. As for Clement VI. he I find a very curious little par; was elected very regularly
by a score Dticular in Ciaconius, a dominican of cardinals affembled in conclave. monk, who wrote the Lives of the
To save you the trouble of curn- popes, A poet, who had some fa. ing over any author of the Lives of your to alk of this Clement, believed, the popes, here are some particulars
that to obtain what he desired, he about Clement VI. He was called ought to present him with some Peter Roger, and was the son of a
Latin verses, which should praise him gentleman of the Limofin. He was E very much, and contain wishes for made a monk in the convent of Au. his prosperity. But it was a Norvergne. He went to study at Paris, man encomium, which, in case of where he fucceeded very well. He refusal, became a satire, accompanied paffed for learned, and Petrarch, with imprecations against the Pontiff, who was his cotemporary, mentions pretty much like the play of Perhim as a very learned man. You
You spective, where, according to the see plainly, this is not a means to have
F different point of view, the same his bull excused; on the contrary, figure presents alternately a fine lady it is an aggravating circumstance.
and a monster. Here is the encoAlthough a man of ftudy, when he
mium seen on its bright side. was raised to the pontificate, his taste
Laus tua, non cua traus, virtus non
copia rerum was turned entirely to ostentation, Scandere te fecit hoc decus eximium. He maintained his houshold in a
Pauperibus tua das, nunquam ftat janua royal manner ; his tables were mag
clausa. niñcently served. He had a great,
Fundere res quæris, nec tua multiplicas, number of esquires and gentlemen,
Conditio qua fit ftabilier non tempore
Vivere te faciat hic Deus omnipotens +.
The See in tbe Spicilegium, tom. 4. P. 352. Decretum fyrodi Laufanenfal, ubi rata volunt parrot Gud sompore fobifmanis aéta funt, + Ciacenius, Vire pontificum, 1872. 2. f• 489.