Gregory the Politician
( Originally Published 1912 )
TRUTH is irrepressible. No matter what may be the prejudice of the man who knows it, he cannot suppress it in his breast. It will break through, fighting for place with the falsehoods his venom may invent or his prejudice project. And common sense is capable generally of recognizing the truth and the falsehood, if common sense be allowed full play and be not blinded by preconceptions. That is our safety in this age. Not all of us have the time to search out the hidden original documents in which the editors of the Cambridge Modern History and other historians say the truth lies ; indeed, such can be the task of only a few, so that the mind of the world must be influenced by the popular histories. But a little practical common sense, such as we exercise with regard to business affairs, will protect us against many errors. The occupations of my own life have excluded such an engrossing search as would make me know the details of life in remote ages; but with what my common sense can make of such materials as conventional history furnishes, I have been able to reach conclusions which later have been confirmed by the views of men of profound scholarship. In another place I advanced, for instance, a theory with regard to the effect of medieval tavern gossip upon the minds of Protestant advocates and historians. Imagine my surprise to find my view of the matter confirmed by no less an authority than Martin Luther. "In the taverns," wrote Luther, "people vied with one another in relating amusing anecdotes about the avarice of priests. The keys, the power of the popes, etc., were there also ridiculed." How much of what has colored our minds with respect to the Catholic Church comes from such a source; how much of it rolled originally off the thick tongue of the bar-room wit? For example, that story of the female pope which, Macaulay says in his essay on Gladstone's Church and State, "has been disproved by the strict researches of modern criticism," although, as he informs us in the same sentence, it was "once believed throughout all Europe." I have heard it often from good members of Protestant churches who accepted it as established historical fact, and who had never noticed the ten words in which Macaulay announced its falsity. Yet their common sense would have branded the story as falsehood if a prejudice colored by many another similar tale had not hampered its operations. Another widely circulated myth that affects the Protestant mind is the story of the pope who excommunicated a comet. The story originated very naturally. A great comet, sweeping into our field of vision as it made the huge circuit of its celestial orbit, alarmed the peoples of Europe, and they had recourse to prayer for preservation from a menace no human power could resist. The world hasn't changed so much, in so far as fundamental human nature is concerned; the last visit of the Halley comet, and the vagueness of scientific opinion with regard to the possibility of a collision in the wide reaches of space, caused much the same hysteria in our own generation. The pope, by public prayer, endeavored to soothe the frightened people. The comet flashed through the sky and went its way; the hysteria found relief in laughter. Now it is quite likely that at that very time thousands of ignorant peasants in the remoter parts of Europe believed that the pope had excommunicated the comet. The humor of the thing appealed to some; others took the story quite seriously : it was their mental tribute to the power and courage of the vicar of Christ. The popes had hurled their curses at mighty kings and proud emperors : to the mind of the ignorant serf, why should he falter before the flaming devil who dominated the sky? And so our historians have gone again for their facts, not to the written record, but to the folk-lore of an ignorant peasantry. A future generation may laugh at us, as we laugh at the generations gone by, when historians, after reading the files of our newspapers of the spring of 1910, write down that science predicted a collision of the earth and the comet and the annihilation of the human race by a whisk of its radiant tail ; and that all the world giggled at the learned astronomers on the morning of the nineteenth of May because those wonderful gentle-men had lost the tail of the comet and, like little Bo-Peep, didn't know where to find it.
I find some passages in history that ring true to me; my common sense accepts the evidence adduced; I find analogies in the life of the world of to-day, in the facts of common human experience. And the man for whom I am writing this, the man in the street, who has no more time than have I--perhaps even less—to devote to original research, can exercise his own reasoning faculties in the same way. He need not fear that it is presumption on his part to question the conclusions of a great historian; a little reflection will convince him that there is no perfect and complete record of any time; the historian has had to fill up gaps, to presume the relationship of isolated instances; and his presumption, in all probability, took the form of his preconceptions. And lest philosophical authority be needed to encourage the timid, I have found such authority in Herbert Spencer, who says: "Judging whether another proves his position is a widely different thing from proving your own. To establish a general law requires an extensive know-ledge of the phenomena to be generalized; to decide whether an alleged general law has been established by the evidence assigned merely requires an adequate reasoning faculty."
I have digressed. What I started to say was that even those historians who wrote of the Catholic Church with a Protestant or an infidel prejudice, have been compelled by the very logic of the results of their researches to set down facts altogether at variance from their conclusions. How can we believe, for example, that an institution so evil as Draper declares the church to be could have been productive of results so remarkably good as those he describes? Evil cause and good effect. The upas-tree bearing the apples of life. The motives and deeds of the devil, and the consequences we should expect from the work of God.
And now we come to Voltaire and find in him confirmation of the theory that many of our prejudices against the Catholic Church are in their genesis purely political. I am about to write of the conflict between the popes and the German emperors, and Voltaire furnishes me with this introduction:
"Nobody knew what the empire was. There were no laws in Europe. Neither the right of birth nor the right of election was acknowledged : Europe was a chaos in which the strongest raised themselves on the ruin of the weak, to be afterward in their turn over-thrown. The whole history of the time is only that of some barbarian captains, who disputed with the bishops the privilege of ruling over imbecile serfs. There was no longer an empire, either by law or in fact. The Romans who had confided themselves to Charlemagne by acclamation would not acknowledge bastards—strangers who were scarcely masters of a fragment of Germany. It was an odd sort of a Roman Empire. The Germanic body styled itself the Holy Roman Empire, whilst in reality it was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire. It appears evident that the great design of Frederick II was to establish in Italy the throne of the new Caesars, and it is quite certain, at least, that he desired to reign over Italy with unlimited and undivided sway. This was the hidden root of all his quarrels with the popes: he employed by turns craft and violence, and the Holy See combated him with the same arms. The Guelphs, those partisans of the papacy, but still more the friends of liberty, always balanced the power of the Ghibellines, partisans of the empire. The object of the difference between Frederick and the Holy See never was religion."
The autocratic principle had taken from the people of the various sees the right of episcopal selection, and this right rulers exercised quite without regard for the confirmatory rights of the popes. The violation of the last-named right, upon which the church always insisted, was at first not general, but it became so before the time when Hildebrand, having four times put away from him the tiara in order to act as adviser to predecessors, was at last installed in the chair of St. Peter as Gregory VII. We can imagine what the result might be with this office in the hands of ignorant political chiefs, with its dignity and its power regarded as political spoil, with its occupant dependent upon the favor of the reigning ruler. We can understand the prominence of simony, the sale of ecclesiastical offices, in the criminal records of the age.
On the other hand, the brutality and intellectual darkness of the time had not spared Rome. The city barons were not less cruel, not less corrupt, than the barbarian captains who surrounded them. Between the Roman aristocracy and the clerical body there was a never-ending feud which involved the papacy because of the fact that the pope was the temporal as well as the spiritual ruler. For more than a century upon which the enlightenment of to-day must look with horror, the saints of the church wept bitter tears over scandals of Rome. It must not be taken for granted that all the popes were bad in that sad period; many of them vindicated their right to the high office by holiness of life. But in history the scandals take up far more space than the record of virtuous deeds, and the iniquity of a Benedict IX receives more attention than the piety and wisdom of Victor II. The church turned for protection from the Roman chiefs to the Germanic, but the lust of power was the same in the Germanic as in the Roman breast; the German emperor, no less than the Roman aristocrat, looked on the papacy as a means of political advancement. For some little time while Sylvester II sat in St. Peter's chair and his pious protector, the German emperor Otto, held his court in the Imperial City, there was peace among the Romans and some reflection of its ancient splendor in the city of the Caesars ; but even then the clergy, under the leadership of Hildebrand, were planning the freedom of the papacy from political control as the first step in its protection from future scandals.
It is the boast of the Catholic Church that it passed through these troubled times with its doctrine uncontaminated. My understanding of its contention is that even the most vicious of the popes was restrained from doctrinal aberration by the divine essence of the ecclesiastical institution; that through corrupt human channels the supernatural stream flowed on untainted, just as the pure moonlight is unpolluted by the mire on which it rests. It is a mistake to think it denies or even seeks to conceal the evil conduct of some of the pontiffs: I have before me a perfectly frank history of those times, written by a Roman Catholic doctor of divinity and bearing the imprimatur of his church.
But the times were coming to an end. Monks like Peter Damian, priests like Hildebrand, the pious men of Christendom—for even then there were piety and purity in the body of the church—were gathering together to protect it against the evil results of political domination. The foes they had to face might well daunt men of a less lofty courage and purpose. In Rome was a corrupt aristocracy, bent upon recovering the control of the papacy from the German power, not in order that it might be purified, but in order that it might be made to minister to their pleasure and profit. In Germany were warrior kings of vaulting ambition and unbridled passions, supported by a political clergy who had disregarded the ancient canonical rule of celibacy and lived scandalous lives. Along the coast were the Saracen ships threatening the Italian towns. If, as conventional history asserts, it was a political purpose that animated these priests, strange was the political wisdom that could foresee a victory over a combination such as this. The cunning priestcraft of pagan lands ever sought the support of power; but this amazing priestcraft defied human power, pitting itself recklessly against a brutal empire, an intrenched aristocracy, a corrupted clerical force of great numerical strength; against men of power and what they loved; against not only the political strength, but the long-established evils that had all the force and tenacity of common custom; against the fashion of the day. Has the world ever seen cunning like this? "Forty generations of statesmen," says Macaulay. What remarkable statesman-ship!
The Roman chiefs were the first to feel the rigor of the reform, and they took characteristic measures to combat it. Stephen IX, although they had elected him, had disappointed them; they had him poisoned as he travelled in Tuscany. Immediately they called an election and placed Benedict X on the papal throne. But the clergy took no part in the election; they denounced it as illegal and in violation of the oath the Romans had taken when Stephen IX set out on his journey, that they would elect no pope until Hildebrand was among them, in the event of Stephen's death, which he seems to have expected. Aided by a noble of the Trastevere—Leo, the son of a converted Jew—they fled from Rome and gathered around Hildebrand. He at once assembled a conclave which elected Nicholas II, who was installed in St. Peter's chair on January 24, 1059; Benedict X having de-parted hurriedly upon the approach of Leo's men-at-arms. Hildebrand overcame the objection of the German emperor to the election of Nicholas, and when the Romans rebelled and again elevated Benedict, he called upon the Normans who were establishing themselves on the coast, and with the help of those remarkable warriors subdued the city aristocracy and ejected the pretender to the pontificate. Then came that great council at which Hildebrand freed the church. It made the rule that the right of the election of the pope should lie in the hands of the cardinal bishops.
Hildebrand knew very well what that meant. He knew the interests that would be antagonized, and against those interests he sought to protect the church. He found his weapons for the material conflict in the Norman settlements of the south. In those formidable warriors he found the simplicity and devotion he needed, and he took advantage of the feudal law of the times to make them vassals of the church. In the Council of Melfi, on August 23, 1059, the church bestowed on the Norman chiefs, Richard and Robert Guiscard, the principality of Capua and the duchy of Apuleia and Calabria, and in return the two captains took the oath of military service.
Throughout the years that followed the German emperors exercised the powers of confirmation which the council had reserved to them, and when, in 1073, the clergy insisted upon elevating to the pontificate the son of the Tuscan carpenter who had already done so much toward its regeneration, it is a strange letter that Hildebrand sends to the emperor Henry IV. He hopes his election will be set aside, and he candidly in-forms the emperor that if chosen as pope he will call him to account for the scandal of his conduct. Strange politician is this !
Once in the papal chair, he "addressed himself to tear out every vestige of simony and concubinage with a remorseless hand," as Draper puts it. The pious countess Beatrice and her daughter Matilda ruled Tuscany, and Gregory wrote to them, urging them to hold no communion with bishops who had bought their offices. His legates went into Germany, deposing bishops whose dignities had been purchased from the emperor. Henry sold the see of Milan to Godfrey, but the stern pope put down the king's bishop from his seat. In Rome justice is done to the brutal and vicious lords, and they seek alliance with the German. One of them, at the instigation of the emperor, breaks into the Church of St. Mary, followed by a band of bravos, on Christmas night, and the pontiff is torn from the altar, wounded, and carried a prisoner to the castle of the Cenci. Throughout the city the alarm runs—sacrilege has been done; the beloved pontiff is in the hands of his enemies ! Bells are rung from the churches, the tradesmen, the laborers, the great population of Rome, throng the streets. Cencis finds a shrieking multitude swirling around his castle; his men-at-arms are as nothing against this furious horde; they bring ladders and scale the walls; they put the bravos to the blade and storm through the captured stronghold until they find the wounded but undismayed pope. The conspirators flee from Rome.
And now Henry gathers around him the political bishops of Germany, and at Worms he assembles a council before whom he lays charges against Gregory. His ecclesiastical henchmen do his will; they pass a decree declaring the pope deposed. Their decree the emperor sends to Gregory with a letter full of abuse. In Rome the pope assembles the Lateran Council, and against the emperor he launches the curse of the church. The German monarch is laid under an interdict : Christians are bound no longer by their oath of allegiance to him; no longer is he king, but tyrant, and the "power to bind and loose" has been exercised to free them from subjection to a wicked sovereign.
And now Henry was to learn how well Hildebrand had done his work in all the preceding years. The priests of Gregory went throughout Germany, publishing the papal decree. The people shrank away from an accursed king, and many of the princes seized the opportunity to wreak private vengeance for wrongs long suffered. A council of the electors was held and Rudolph of Swabia chosen in Henry's place by the princes.
In terror of the rising storm, Henry sought a reconciliation with the possessor of so terrible a power. In midwinter he crossed the Alps and sought out Gregory in Canossa. But the mere promise of peace would not satisfy the pope. Henry must give evidence of penance for his sins. There was the snow-covered and wind-swept portal of the church, there should the proud king humble himself, fasting and praying in the cold, before he might be reconciled with the church he had outraged. And when his ordeal was over and the aged pontiff celebrated the mass at which Henry was to be admitted to communion, Gregory lifted the chalice and called upon God to strike him dead as he stood if he were guilty of the charges the monarch had made against him, and dared the guilty king to do as he had done. Henry shrank back.
But he had accomplished his purpose, no matter how bitter a humiliation it had cost him. The interdict was lifted, he was free, his vassals would come again to his call. He gathered them round him and took the field against Rudolph, who was wounded in battle and died of his wounds. Henry soon felt himself strong enough to gratify his hatred of Gregory, who had never conferred upon him the imperial crown. He summoned a council of clerical enemies of the pope, and had Gilbert, the excommunicated bishop of Ravenna, proclaimed as pope. With his army he marched on Rome in 1081. The countess Matilda and Beatrice, her mother, gave his troops battle, but he managed to take Rome in 1084. The Roman aristocrats made his entrance easy and welcomed him joyfully, hoping for a return of the old times and the régime of a pope under whom licentious conduct and rapine would not be severely punished. Gregory, who had solemnly excommunicated Henry, shut himself up in the Castle of St. Angelo. The martial countess of Tuscany, in her efforts to relieve him, inflicted severe reverses on the imperial troops in Lombardy, but it remained for the Norman captain, Robert Guiscard, to rescue the pontiff from the hands of his adversaries. Although well advanced on a career of conquest in the Byzantine dominions, Guiscard never hesitated when he heard of the pope's perilous situation. He hastened with all speed back to Italy, and his knights were soon sweeping down upon the imperial forces at Rome. Alarmed at the approach of this terrible antagonist, Henry withdrew his troops; but the Roman aristocrats could not willingly relinquish their hope of a period of license, and they denied the Normans entry to the city. Robert stormed the walls and put them to the sword. Fearing to leave the pope in Rome, he took him with him to the abbey of Monte Cassino, and later to Salerno. In that city, in 1088, died this strange politician, whose last words were : "I have loved justice and hated wickedness, and therefore I die in exile." , Statesman? Draper calls the works of Machiavelli "the purest ex-ample we possess of physical statesmanship." Count de Maistre describes them as a treatise on "How shall assassins outwit one another?" Then Gregory's statesmanship was not physical statesmanship. "I have loved justice and hated wickedness" : there is nothing like that in Machiavelli.
Again I look at a period of church history and see only what is there to be seen. It isn't design, it isn't cunning, it isn't priestcraft. It is simply this: Hildebrand's endeavors in behalf of a free and pure Christianity ran counter to the pleasure of Henry, who wished to sell bishoprics, and, with a brutal and ignorant autocrat's fierce anger at anything that dared to call him to account for sins that shocked the world, he tried to beat down what he could not control.
Rapidly I shall pass over the events of the period intervening between the reign of Henry IV and the time of that Frederick of whom Voltaire speaks. In that period succeeding emperors had attacked the papacy in an effort to make the church political. In that period a Henry had helped the Duke of Austria rob and imprison the returning crusader, Richard the Lion-hearted, and had been called to account by the pope, under whose protection were all crusaders on the roads to and from the Holy Land. In that period Henry VI had fought for the ancient power of the emperors over the bishoprics and had lost, dying reconciled to the church. In that period Frederick Barbarossa had boasted, "I am the lord of the world," and "The will of the ruler is law," only to admit, after a short conflict, that there was a higher law and to spend the remainder of his glorious reign in peace with the church.
And now came the second relentless foe of the popes, the able, crafty, infidel Lord of the Sicilies, who dreamed of an empire of vast extent subject to his despotic sceptre alone, who had as little patience with op-position as Napoleon was to exhibit in later times, and, like Napoleon, saw in the papacy little more than an instrument to be used to cement his power. Frederick II was not, like many of his predecessors, a mere ignorant freebooter with an imperial title. Little of his time was spent in Germany; his youth and most of his manhood he passed in the more enlightened cities of Italy. The son of Henry VI, he had been protected after his father's death by the very power he was soon to assail. As an orphan child he had been safeguarded from the Emperor Otto by Pope Innocent III. He was instructed in all the arts and the science of the day. Heir to the kingdom of Sicily, he passed his youth in conversation with learned men. As he grew into manhood he showed a predilection for Mohammedan associates and Jewish and Moslem instructors. "To his many other accomplishments," Draper says, "he added the speaking of Arabic as fluently as a Saracen. He delighted in the society of Mohammedan ladies, who thronged his court. His enemies asserted that his chastity was not improved by association with these miscreant beauties. The Jewish and Mohammedan physicians and philosophers taught him to sneer at the pretensions of the church. From such ridicule it is but a short step to the breaking off of authority. At this time the Spanish Mohammedans had become widely affected with irreligion; their greatest philosophers were infidel in their own infidelity."
This was not an influence likely to incline the policy of Henry in accord with the spirit of the militant Christendom of the day. For the crusades had been preached—by Peter the Hermit and Walter the Penniless Europe had been roused to rescue the tomb of the Saviour from the hand of the unbeliever. Urban II and Innocent III had, by virtue of their office, taken the lead in the Christian movement. Frederick knew well the spirit of the time, and, while not in sympathy with it, did not hesitate to use it. He was well aware that no one not believed to be heart and soul in the project of the reclamation of the Holy Land could attain to the imperial dignity, and he was prodigal of promises. His first promise was to give the kingdom of Sicily to his son as a kingdom distinct from Germany, for Sicily was a fief of the church and its political union with Germany would complicate the relationships of the Pontifical State. He took up the Cross, and declared himself among the most enthusiastic of the soldiers of the faith. His tardiness in setting forth against the infidel and in keeping his promise with regard to the Sicilian succession after he had received the German monarchical crown, embittered the last days of Innocent III, his guardian; but he made such professions of future conduct to Honorius III, and was so emphatic in his promise to begin a campaign against the paynim immediately, that that pontiff gave him the imperial crown at Rome on November 22, 1220.
It must be remembered that the law of the time made the emperor, primarily, the soldier of the church. That was the law of the creation of the Western Empire. The knighthood of Europe looked to the pope to give it in the emperor a leader in the Holy War. Damietta, for which the Christians had paid a bitter price in blood, was taken from them in 1219, and upon its fall there came from the masters of the crusading orders who held the Christian frontier, and from the patriarch of Jerusalem, letters of reproach to the pope for his failure to send the emperor to their relief. Honorius, grieved by the loss to the cause, wrote to Frederick in 1221 reminding the emperor of his promises. Frederick, who was very busy extending his own dominions, even to the prejudice of the States of the Church, replied with fresh promises. His marriage to Yolande de Lusignan, daughter of the King of Jerusalem, gave the pope a fleeting hope, but Frederick extinguished it by applying to his father-in-law to get him excused from crusade service until he had subdued the Lombards. At last the pope sent to Frederick two cardinals who were directed to bring the matter to an issue, and at San Germano in July, 1225, Frederick signed a solemn undertaking to embark in the crusade within two years; swearing that if he fulfilled not his promise he should be driven from the communion of the church, and that his person and his dominions should, by a just judgment, be at the disposition of the pope.
Honorius died in 1227, and Gregory IX succeeded him in St. Peter's chair. It is quite likely that the new pope entertained little hope of any real activity on Frederick's part, although the emperor seemed to yield at last to the threat of excommunication and marched toward southern Italy. The vigorous Gregory had assembled a fine army of crusaders, and it looked as if at last the hopes of Christendom might be realized. But Frederick had no real design of attacking his Mohammedan friends; three days after his departure he was back again in Italy, to the bitter disappointment of the pope. The splendid body of soldiery melted away and Frederick retired to take the baths at Pozzuoli.
The period of probation fixed by Frederick himself came to a close, and the pope pronounced his excommunication in September, 1227. Frederick scoffed at the action of the pope, and published attacks upon the character of Gregory. In all the empire he played the freebooter, robbing the crusading orders, and maintaining his dissolute court crowded with Saracen women and infidel preachers. In 1228 Gregory held a synod in Rome and repeated the excommunication. The adherents of Frederick among the Roman aristocracy raised a revolt in the city and drove the pope from his palace. Meanwhile Frederick at last started for the Holy Land, on what he was pleased to call his crusade.
It was an odd crusade. "The Christian camp," Draper declares, "was thronged with infidel delegates : some came to discuss philosophical questions, some were bearers of presents. Elephants and a bevy of dancing girls were courteously sent by the sultan to his friend, who, it is said, was not insensible to the witcheries of these Oriental beauties. He wore a Saracen dress. In his privacy he did not hesitate to say, `I came not here to deliver the Holy City, but to maintain my estimation among the Franks.' "
Indeed, he did more than that. In the Mohammedan atmosphere he frankly explained that the pope could not have done other than excommunicate him, unless he desired to lay himself open to the mockery and revilings of the Christian peoples. In order to show his love for the Sultan of Babylon, he presented him with the consecrated sword he had taken from the altar of St. Peter. No passage of arms occurred in this remarkable expedition; not a drop of blood was spent, not a lance splintered save in courtesy. The sultan was willing the emperor, his good friend, should have Jerusalem, the elephants, the dancing girls—anything his heart might desire; and the Christian champion, not to be outdone in generosity, turned the temple of Solomon over to the Mohammedan custody, and bound himself by oath to resist any attack which might be made upon the sultan by Christian swords. It was a treaty worthy of the enlightened monarch under whose protection, if not from whose hand, the book Di Tribus Impostoribus was given to the world.
Meanwhile, Duke Rainaldo, Frederick's loyal vas-sal, was invading the Papal States, and was checked only by the arms of John of Brienne, one of the vassals of the church. This attack—that of a vassal on his sovereign—led the pope to absolve the subjects of Frederick in Sicily from their allegiance.
After his return to Italy, Frederick found it convenient to be reconciled to the church, and he made promises of reform and restitution at San Germano and visited Gregory at Anagni. His letters at that time are full of his admiration for the amiability and goodness of the pontiff. But the freebooter instinct and the spirit of domination were too strong in the Sicilian; he began to rob the Templars and the Hospitallers who were not among his supporters. The pope reproached him, and he again sought the latter's help when his son Henry, who had been crowned king of Germany, revolted against him. Henry deposed and in prison, however, he was free once more, and his Saracens robbed churches while he tyrannized over Sicily and oppressed the Lombards. Travellers in his dominions were not safe; they were taken by his Moslem swordsmen, thrown into prison, and held for ransom. These infidel warriors were allowed free pillage of a church at Lucera. He had always jeered at the popes, laughing at the religious ceremonies, and meriting the reproach of Gregory, "Out of the sea a beast is risen whose name is written all over, `Blasphemy.' " In 1239, when he was at the height of his power, Gregory renewed the excommunication.
Judged by any system of politics the human world has ever known, what amazing politicians are these of the church? Never is it the weak and the humble they strike with the spiritual sword; always the strong and the proud. A veritable hurricane of fire Gregory invoked by his sentence. Frederick rages with his Saracens up and down Italy. He writes to his son that, despite the fair offers of the pope, he will bring matters to issue with the sword, will humble the high priest and so treat him that never again will he dare open his mouth against the emperor. A fugitive from the infidel warriors of the Christian emperor, the aged and troubled Gregory dies at last in 1241, and in coarse jest the enlightened monarch informs Europe of the fact. Another of the papal politicians of conventional history has obtained his reward : he has peace.
But still Frederick ravages the Estates of the Church, still he clings to the cardinals he has taken prisoners from the highroads of the empire, until the French king's threats cause him to release those who were subject to that monarch, and Celestine IV's short pontificate is followed by the reign of Pope Innocent IV. Innocent endeavored to bring about peace, but the emperor declared that he must have forgiveness of his sins before he would show proof of repentance, that he would hold his ecclesiastical captives until he received absolution. So Innocent was compelled to give up hope and to flee from Rome and into France; and there, at the Council of Lyons, Frederick was tried on charges of heresy, sacrilege, immorality, perjury, and blasphemy. The anathema of the church was hurled at him by those fugitive but fearless priests. They inverted the torches, quenched the burning flax. "So may he be extinguished !" they said. And after recounting his deeds, Draper says, "Forsaken and alone, he died."