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Before his day, not only Roman priests and
deacons, but the chief beneficed clergy in other
cities and districts, were so called.

Roman cardinals are, therefore, the pivots
in which the whole Roman Catholic world ought
to turn; but the book-makers (an idle set of
fellows) say that the hinges are rusty, worn out,
and stiff; and that, instead of turning
themselves or allowing others to turn, their favourite
situation is to remain fixed at a dead-lock;
in which state they exhibit a remarkable talent
for keeping a door neither open nor shut; justifying
the antique conundrum that it is no longer
a door at all, but a-jar; whence may be derived
our English verb to jar, to creak, to grate, to make
a harsh discordant noise. For instance, if you try
to make the red, rusty, cardinal hinges stir only
so much as to open the approach to their sanctum
and stronghold by the breadth of half a hair,
they incontinently send forth unpleasant sounds;
groaning and grumbling in windy latinity, until
every further attempt to displace them has

Of the book-writers who have caused the
venerable hinges to jar, the latest and one of the
most malignant, is a certain EDMOND ABOUT, an
impudent Frenchman, who went from Paris to
Rome, and afterwards took the liberty of printing
in the official journal of his government, the MONITEUR
UNIVERSEL, base calumnies which could
only lead to heresy and schism, to the effect that
the cardinals and the whole machinery connected
with them wanted something more than oiling.
But, the princes of the Church soon contrived to
get the slanderer's mouth stopped by a
ministerial gag. He, nothing daunted, ran over the
border into Belgium, pulling out the gag, and
tossing it away the moment he had passed the
custom-house; replacing it with a Belgian
speaking-trumpet. As we cannot smother the
sound of this trumpet, whose mouthpiece is
blown at Brusselseven if we wouldthe next
best thing to do is to listen to what it utters, and
try to catch a few distinctly audible syllables.

It says: The temporal power of the Pope is
absolute. For, is the absolute authority of the
Papacy limited by anything else than the
personal virtues of the Holy Father? No. Is the
constitution of eighteen-forty-eight, which has
been torn to shreds, or the Motu Proprio of
eighteen-forty-nine, through every clause of
which a coach-and-six has been driven, any
limit to his power? Not a bit. Has the Pope
ever renounced his title of irresponsible
administrator and curator of the patrimony of all
Catholicity? Never. Is the management of
public affairs exclusively reserved for the
prelates? Always. Are the highest offices, as a
matter of right, interdicted to the laity? By
right, no; in fact, yes. Are the different
powers of the state still confounded in practice?
More than ever; the governors of the towns
continue to judge, and the bishops to administer
secular business. Has the cardinal secretary
of state ceased to be the reigning minister?
He reigns; and the other ministers are his
lacqueys rather than his clerks: you will meet
them in the morning in his ante-chamber. Is
there a council of ministers? Yes; when the
ministers go to take the cardinal's orders. Is
the management of the public finances made
public? Oh, no! Does the nation vote the
taxes, or does it allow the government to help
itself? Things go on as they have always done.
Has municipal liberty been extended? There
is less of it than in eighteen-sixteen.

It says: That now, as in the most palmy
days of the pontifical despotism, the Pope is
everything; he has everything, he can do everything;
he exercises without control, without
bridle or bit, a perpetual dictatorship. There
is no wisdom in cherishing a systematic aversion
for the exceptional rule of a dictator. The
ancient Romans rated it highly, had recourse to
it sometimes, and found their account in it.
When the enemy was at the gate, and the
republic in danger, the senate and the people,
so captious in general, abdicated all their rights
into the hands of one man, saying to him, "Save
us!" There are brilliant dictatorships in the
history of all times and all nations. If you
count the stages by which humanity has
travelled onward, you will find a dictator at
almost every stage.

But the duties of a dictator are infinite, as
his power is boundless. A parliamentary
sovereign, who marches slowly and steadily along a
path traced out for him by a couple of Houses,
and who hears discussions in the morning about
what he ought to do at night, is almost innocent
of any faults with which his reign may be
chargeable. A dictator, on the contrary, is so
much the more responsible in the eyes of
posterity, in proportion to his irresponsibility
according to the terms of the constitution.
History will reproach him with his every act
which has not turned out well; even his
omissions will be imputed to him as crimes. But in
no case ought a dictatorship to last long. Not
only would it be absurd to wish it to be
hereditary, but any man who should pretend to
exercise it always, would be a madman. When
the benefits conferred by the master are an
insufficient compensation for the relinquishment
of liberty, the nation reclaims the exercise
of its rights, and an intelligent dictator will
at once restore them.

The most enlightened of the Pope's subjects
declare, almost unanimously, "If there could
fall from the sky a man energetic and strong
enough to cut into the quick of abuses, to
reform the administration, to send the priests to
their churches and the Austrians to Vienna, to
promulgate a civil code, to drain the marshes,
to restore the plains to cultivation, to authorise
manufactures, to facilitate commerce, to finish
railways, to secularise education, to propagate
modern ideas, and to place the Roman States in
a position to bear a comparison with France, we
would fall at his feet and obey him like a
divinity. It has been said that we are ungovernable:
only give us a prince capable of governing,
and you will see if we stint his power!
Whoever he may be, come whence he may, he