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shall be absolute master to do as he likes, as
long as there remains anything to be done. All
we ask is, that when his task is concluded, he will
allow us to share the power with him. You
may make sure that, even then, we will give him
good measure. The Italians are accommodating,
and are not ungrateful. But do not require us
to support any longer this everlasting, idle,
vexatious, ruinous dictatorship, which superannuated
old men transmit from hand to hand. Each
of them, too weak to govern, shakes off as quickly
as he can the burden which oppresses him, and
delivers us over, bound hand and foot, to the worst
of his cardinals. If 'the White Pope,' the Holy
Father, governed in person, we might hope (with
a stretch of imagination) that a miracle of grace
would make him walk in the right way. He is
rarely very capable or very highly educated;
but, as the Statue of the Commander said, 'There
is no need of lights when one is illumined by

Unhappily, the White Pope deputes his
political functions to a "Red Pope:" that is to
say, to an omnipotent and irresponsible
cardinal, under the name of Secretary of State.
One single man represents the government
at home and abroad, speaks for it, acts
for it, answers strangers, commands the
subjects, expresses every will of the Pope, and
sometimes makes the Pope adopt his own will.
This second-hand dictator has the best reasons
in the world for abusing his power. If he had
any hopes of succeeding his master and of
wearing the crown in his turn, he might,
perhaps, set the example, or display the pretence,
of every virtue. But it is impossible for a secretary
of state to be elected Pope. Not only is it
contrary to custom, but human nature will not
have it. Never will the cardinals assembled in
conclave agree to crown the man who has
domineered over them during a whole reign. Cardinal
Antonelli has not the slightest chance of obtaining
the tiara, nor the slightest interest in doing
good. He must make hay while the sun shines.

Respecting the government of the priests, the
speaking-trumpet brays out horrid discord. If
the Pope were simply Head of the Churchit
saysif, confining his action to the interior of
the places of worship, he renounced the government
of things temporal (about which he knows
nothing), his fellow-countrymen of Rome,
Ancona, and Bologna might govern themselves, as
is the case at London or at Paris.(?) The
administration would be lay, justice lay, the
finances lay; the nation would provide for its
own proper wants with its own proper revenues,
according to the custom of every civilised

As to the general expenses of Catholic
worship (which no more specially regard the people
of Rome than they do the people of Champagne),
a voluntary contribution made by the hundred
and thirty-nine millions of Catholics in the
world, would furnish an ample provision. If
each of the faithful gave a halfpenny per annum,
the Head of the Church would have something
like two hundred and eighty thousand pounds a
year to spend on wax candles, incense, the salaries
of choristers, the wages of sacristans, and
the repairs of St. Peter's basilica. No Catholic
would think of refusing his quota; because the
Holy Father, an absolute stranger to worldly
interests, could give offence to nobody. This
impost, therefore, would restore the Romans to
independence, without diminishing the
independence of the Pope.

Unfortunately, the Pope is a king. In his
royal character, he wishes to have a court, or
at least a pompous suite and attendance. He
selects it amongst the men of his faith, his
opinion, and his robe; nothing can be more
consistent and logical. The Pope's court, in turn,
wishes to combine the spiritual with the
temporal, and to dispose of the offices of the state.
Can the sovereign object that this pretension is
ridiculous? Certainly not; especially if we reflect
that he expects to be more faithfully served
by priests than by secular adherents. Remember,
too, that the revenue of the highest and the
best-paid offices is indispensable to the
splendour of his court.

It follows hence, that to preach to the Pope
the secularisation of his government, is to preach
to the wilderness. Here is a man who did not
choose to be a layman, who pities laymen for
being laymen, and regards them as a caste
inferior to his own; who has received an anti-laic
education; who thinks, on all important points,
differently to laymen; and you expect that in
an empire where he is absolute master, he should
share his power with the laity! You require
him to surround himself with that sort of folk,
to call them to his counsels, to confide to them
the execution of his will! What will he do?
If he is afraid of you, if it is his policy to keep
on good terms with you, if it is of importance
that he should make you believe in his good
intentions, he will hunt up in the back rooms of
his public offices certain laymen without name,
decided character, or talent. He will parade
their nullity in broad daylight; and, when the
experiment is over, he will say in melancholy
tones, "I have done what I could." But if he
were a bold fellow, and would frankly play his
trump cards, he would tell you at once, "Put a
layman into my place, if you want to secularise
anything." It is not in eighteen hundred and
fifty-nine that the Pope would dare to speak so
proudly. Intimidated by the protection of France,
stunned by the unanimous wailings of his people,
and reduced to make a reckoning with public
opinion, he protests that he has secularised
everything. "Only look," he says. "Count my
functionaries: I have fourteen thousand five
hundred and seventy-six lay employés—rather more
employés than soldiers."

The truth is, that every place which gives
power or profit belongs, first to the Pope, then
to the secretary of state, then to the cardinals,
and lastly to the prelates. Every one clutches
what he can, in hierarchical order; and when
their shares are taken, they toss fourteen thousand
places of all sorts to the nationthe
crumbs of power, the places that no ecclesiastic