16 FEBRUARY 1850, Page 17

CARDINAL PACCA'S MEMOIRS. * Env save Romanists will agree with Alison,

who ascribes the downfall of Napoleon to the imprisonment of the Pope and the spoliation of his dominions ; partly, it would seem, as a sequence of the Papal excommunication, partly as a fulfilment of prophecy and a result of special providence. However, the whole conduct of Napoleon towards the head of the Church, and of the head of the Church towards Napoleon, may be advantageously studied by the historical inquirer who has any wish to trace the emptiness and inutility in the long run of what is called policy. Neither Napo- leon nor Pius had any sincerity or conviction ; they were both playing a game. When Bonaparte as First Consul reestablished the Church as a national institution, he bitterly offended the Jacobins as well as the Republicans of all degrees, and hurt him- self with the army. A consistent conduct would have secured him the attachment of the devout and the partisanship of the priesthood; but both of these classes became his enemies when he turned round upon the Pope and clergy, thinking they had served his turn,—if, indeed, he thought of anything save his immediate ambition and the gratification of his will. On the other hand, Pius the Seventh, a weak man, evidently rendered the spiritual subordinate to the secular, even if we suppose him such a dupe as

imagine that the man who was a friend of the younger Robes- pierre, and who had assumed the turban in Egypt, was really converted : but worldly policy was predominant in the Papal councils, long after the devout saw and said that the time was come for "human " considerations to be put aside.

Cardinal Paeca, the author of the volumes before us, was the Secretary of State to Pius the Seventh during the greater part of the French occupation of Rome in 1808 and 1809; having been nominated to his post immediately on the expulsion of his prede- cessor, Gabrielli, whom the French suddenly sent off. Paces was• arrested at the same time with the Pope, on the celebrated esca- lade of the Papal palace at daybreak of the 6th July 1809; occu- pied the same carriage in the hurriedjourney from Rome to Gre- noble, where the Cardinal was separated from his master ; and con- veyed to the fortress of Fenesfrelle. There he was imprisoned for upwards of three years in an Alpine climate, whose mists and rigour tried the sun-loving Italian severely; the natural incon- veniences being aggravated during part of the time by the closeness. of his confinement On the conclusion of the Concordat of January • • Historical Memoirs of Cardinal Pacea, Prime Minister to Pius VII. Written by Himself. Translated from the Italian by Sir George Head, Author of " Rome; a 'Tour of Id any Days." In two volumes. Published by Longman and Co.

1813, the Cardinal was liberated, and rejoined the Pope at Fontein- bleau ; whence he went to Paris to be presented to the Emperor and the Empress. He soon afterwards bore a principal part in in- ducing the Pope to retract the Concordat ; and he would have stood a good chance of revisiting Fenestrelle, if nothing worse had hap- pened, but for the progress of the Allied armies and the invasion of France. To keep him out of their way, Pacca was distributed with the other Cardinals; the quondam Secretary of State being sent raider surveillance to ITzes in Languedoc, whence he was liberated on the fall of Napoleon, and returned triumphantly to Italy to rejoin the Pope.

To a Cardinal the seizure of the Pope and his dominions was the great event of the world; and Pacca, feeling anxious as to his share in the business, composed these historical memoirs with a view to his own justification in the eyes of Catholic posterity. The earlier portion was secretly written in the fortress of Fenestrelle, vhen, in his own opinion, liberation alive was doubtful; the re- mainder some few years after his return to Italy on Napoleon's downfall. The story consists of four sections. The first is histo- rical, and relates to the events at Rome from the time of the au- thor's appointment as Secretary till the arrest of the Pope and himself and their journey to Grenoble. The second is auto- biographical : it gives an account of the writer's adventures from the time of his separation from his master till he rejoined him at Fontainbleau. The third is more of the nature of historical me- moirs and contains a description of the Pope and the people at Fontr:inbleau, with the distress of his Holiness for injuring the Church by signing the Concordat; an account of the writer's so- journ at Paris, and the manner in which the Pope was persuaded to retract the Concordat on Pacca's return to Fontainbleau. This section also embraces an account of what took place during the time the author was separated from the Pope, especially as regards the negotiation for the Concordat ; not original, of course, though often derived from original information. The fourth part is of a more personal kind; containing an account of the writer's journey to -nes and his residence there, with the religious and political feelings of the people, as they fell under his observation. The prevailing character of the author's style is what is com- monly called "longwinded," There is a minute fulness, especially in the justificatory .arguments, such as might be expected when the despatch-writer is engrafted upon the sermon-writer ; and the seminary is the parent soil of the plant. A further cause of expan- sion is to be found in the feelings of the man as well as the habits of the writer. "What- will Mrs. Grundy say in the shape of devout Romanists, now and for evermore, is continually present to the Cardinal's mind. Hence, the reasons for his advice to the Pope, the reasons for the style of his state papers and his conduct towards the French authorities, with the reasons for almost everything said or done, form a considerable part of the narrative. The priest is further visible in full accounts of the various services the Cardinal performed or attended, the manner in which the Pope or himself were received by the faithful during their jomanes ; how a confessor smuggled himself into- his room at Fenestrelle, when he was denied communication with everybody, and of course with a priest; and other similar matters. The style, however, has the clearness and smoothness of the trained Romanist scholar, con- trovertist, and statesman ; the tone, the mildness which is held to characterize the Roman politician; and all being evidently boni fide, it has the attraction of the natural.

Little of the historical matter, perhaps, is essentially new, so much having been written upon the subject before the publication of the Cardinal ; but it is as it were the other story. There is also the freshness of the actor as well as of the eye-witness, and the minute- ness is rather advantageous in the narrative of incidents. Whether the main object of the Memoirs, the justification of the writer and his master, is successful, will be matter of doubt with many. The Pope, as undesignedly painted by the Cardinal, does not come out to great advantage in a moral or religious point of view. He evi- dently speculated upon using Napoleon, infidel as he knew him to be : but the head and arm of the soldier baffled the priest. Ina sort of defence, which is exceedingly likeaamning with faint praise, the Cardinal owns that his Infallibility was easily persuaded out of his opinion, and adopted that of the last sufficiently. perti*- nations adviser. To us the Pope's conduct seems rather like tfiat of a. weak man alternately violent and submissive, who could neither form nor pursue any consistent system, but was at the mercy of events, and, as Pacca intimates, of advisers. Many close observers, too, will be apt to see that a very worldly policy animates church- men when expressly treating about the affairs of the Church ; and that many churchmen even in the opinion of a brother are prompted by any rather than religious motives. Perhaps this (quite uncon- scious) admission of lay readers behind the scenes is one of the most curious features of the book.

As the arrest of a Pope does not take place every day, the read- er may like to see how it was done. The military preparations having been made, and the escalade effected with the wonted skill of the French, the Cardinal turned firma Iooker-on to an actor..

"Instantly I despatched my nephew, Glen Merit) Pacca, to awaken the Holy Father, as I had promised to do in case of an alarm in the night-time; and a few moments afterwards I went myself in my dressing-gown into the Holy Father's chamber. The Pope immediately got up, and, with the utmost serenity of spirit, dressed himself in his episcopal robe and stole, and going into the apartment where be was in the habit of giving audience, found assembled there the Cardinal Despuig, myself, some of the prelates who were inhabitants of the palace, and several officials and clerks of the Secretary of State's office. The assailants had by this time broken with their axes the doors of the Popes suite of apartments, and had arrived at the door of the very chamber where the Holy Father and ourselves were. At this juncture,

in order to avoid the chance of some more calamitous result, we caused this last door to be opened. The Pope now arose from his seat, and going opposite the table, stood nearly in the middle of the room, while we two Cardinale placed ourselves one on his right hand and the other on his left; and the prelates, officials, and the clerks of the Secretary of State's office, were on the right and the left of all. The door being opened, the first person that entered the room was General Radet, thecommanffmg officer of the enterprise, followed by several French officers, for the most part belonging to the gendarmerie ; and last of all came the two or three Roman rebels who had served as guides to the French, and had directed them during the escalade. General Radet and the above- mentioned persons having formed line opposite the Holy Father and our- selves, both parties stood face to face for some minutes in perfect silence,— equally, as it were, confounded at each other's presence, while no one either uttered a single word or changed his position. "At length General Radet, pale in the face, with a trembling voice and. hesitating as if he could scarcely find words to express himself, addressed the Pope as follows. He said that he had a painful and disagreeable duty to perform but, having sworn fidelity and obedience to the Emperor, he was compelled to execute the commission that had been imposed on him, and, consequently, intimate to his Holiness, on the part of the Emperor, that he must renounce the temporal sovereignty of Rome and the Pontifical States ; and,' he added, that in case of the non-compliance of the Holy Father with the proposal, that he had further orders to conduct his Holiness to the General Midi* who would indicate the place of his destination.' "The Pope, without being discomposed, but with an air full of dignity replied in a firm tone of voice nearly in the following words—' Since General Radet, by virtue of his oath of fidelity and obedience, considers himself obliged to execute orders of the Emperor such as he has undertaken, he may imagine by how much the more we, who are bound by oaths many and various to maintain the rights of the Holy See, are under an obligation to do so. We have not the power to renounce that which does not belong to ourselves, neither are we ourselves otherwise than the administrators of the Roman Church and her temporal dominion. This dominion the Emperor, from whom, after all we have done for him, we did not expect this treatment, even though he cut our body in pieces, will never obtain from us.' " Holy Father,' replied General Radet, am conscious that the Emperor has many obligations to your Holiness.'

" More than you are aware of,' replied the Pope in a somewhat angry tone and,' added his Holiness, are we to go alone ?'

" Your Holiness,' said the General, may take with you your Minister Cardinal Paces.'

"Hereupon I, standing close at the side of the Pope, immediately replied, addressing myself to his Holiness, What orders does the Holy Father please to give me? am I to have the honour of accompanying him ?

" The Pope having answered in the affirmative, I requested permission to go to the room adjoining; and there, in the presence of two officers of the gendarmerie who followed me, and now were making-believe to be looking at the apartment, I dressed myself in my cardinal's habit, with rocchetto and mozzetta, supposing that we were to be conducted to General Miollis, who was quartered in the Delia Palace, in the Corso. While I was dressing, the Pope, with his own hand, made a memorandum of those attendants whom he wished to take with him • and, as was afterwards reported to me, had some conversation with General Radet ; who, while his Holiness was engaged in putting some articles in the room in order, observed, Your Holiness need be under no apprehension that anything here will be meddled with.' "The Pope replied, He Nino sets little value even on his own life, has still less regard for his property.' " On my return to the Pope's chamber, I found he had been already obliged to depart, without even allowing sufficient time for the chamberlains to put the little linen he required for the journey into a portmanteau. Ra- det would, in fact, have wished the Pope to change his dress for a less con- spicuous and recognizable costume, but had not the courage to tell him so. I followed and joined his Holiness in another chamber ; whence both of us, surrounded by gendarmes, police, and the above-mentioned Roman rebels:, making our way with difficulty over the fragments of the broken doors, de- scended the staircase and crossed the principal cortile, where the remainder

of the troops and police had collected. We then went out through the Great Gate opening upon the Piazza, where we found in readiness the carriage of.

General Radet, which was a description of vehicle called bastarda ; and at the same time saw in the piazza a considerable detachment of Neapolitan troops, who, having arrived a few hours before for the special purpose of taking a part in the great enterprise, were drawn up in line. The Pope was

now desired to get first into the carriage, and afterwards I was bid to follow ; and when we were both inside, the Venetian blind, which was on the Pope's

side, of a description called Persians, having been previously nailed down, both doors were fastened with lock and key by a gendarme, General Radet and a Tuscan quartermaster named Cardini mounted in front on the dickey; and the order to drive off was given. At this moment a few prelates, of6, cials, clerks of the Secretary of State's office, and others of our attendants, who had followed us down stairs and were not allowed to accompany us to the carriage, stood pale and trembling at the great gate of the cortile. " General Radet, at• instead of proceeding straight towards the Doria Palace as we expected, ted the carriage to be driven along the Via di Porta Pia, and thence up the road that diverges on the left hand towards the Porta Solaria, by which gate we went out, and thence, making a circuit of the wall by the road that leads parallel outside, we arrived at the Porta del Popolo, which was then closed, as were all the other gates of the city. Along the whole distance hither we met squadrons or picquets of cavalry with drawn sabres; to whose officers General Radet, with the triumphant air of a person who had won a great victory, gave orders as we passed. At the Porta del Popolo we found post-horses in waiting. " While the horses were 'being harnessed to the carriage, the Pope mildly reproached General Radet for his want of veracity in saying that he was

about to conduct him to General Mollie ' • at the same time he complained of 'the violent treatment he had received in being thus removed from Rome without his suite, and absolutely unprovided with everything, even with clothes other than those he had on his back.'"

The whole journey has interest from the personal privations to which such eminent individuals were subjected; and the Cardinal's account of his imprisonment has a good deal of autobiographical at- traction. The description of the Pope at Fontainbleau, and many other narratives or scenes, are also interesting. The following extract gives a lifelike picture of the Emperor Na- poleon when the Cardinal was first presented to him.

"The next morning, the 22d, I went accordingly, at the hour appointed, to the Tuileriestat was conducted into a large apartment, which I should

rather call r's Ministers, some military o ere of high rank, and the Archbishop of Tours; all of whom had come to attend the Sovereign of France at his first appearance in the morning, which ceremony formerly was entitled the Lever du Roi,' and was at present called the 'Lever de rEmpereur ' an expression that signifies the first sallying forth from the royal bedchamber. A short time after I had entered the chamber, while I was looking with my eyes fixed upon the door that opened into the apartments of Napoleon I heard, with

somewhat of a palpitating heart, the announcement of the Emperor's pre- sence, and at the same time, or a moment afterwards, he appeared, dressed in a very simple uniform, coming out of the room adjoining. He at once advanced into the middle of the hall, where we were all assembled, and hav- ing, with a rather savage-looking expression of countenance, thrown a sweep- ing glance along the circular line of persons in the room, he came near to where I was standing, and stopped five or six yards from me.

" Then the Ministre des Cultes, who was standing close to me told him

' that I was the Cardinal Pacca.' The Emperor, with a serious me, hav- ing first repeated the words Cardinal Paces,' advanced one pace nearer to- wards me, and then immediately assuming a considerably more benign cast of features ; Pacca,' said he, addressing himself to me, have not you been a little bit in the fortress ?'

" 'Three years and a half, Sire,' I replied. "Upon which he bent his head a little towards his chest ; and at the same time making a motion with his right hand on the open palm of his left to imitate writing, apparently with the intention by such an action of justifying my sentence of imprisonment before the persons present, Was it

not you, said he, ' who wrote the bull of excommunication r'"In. answer to this, neither thinking it opportune nor expedient to urge anything in my own defence, for fear of bringing upon myself perhaps some rabid invective, I made no reply : upon which Napoleon, seeing I was silent, added, But now we must forget all that has passed,' alluding to the tenth article of the Concordat of Fontainbleau, where the Emperor promises to re- store to his favour the cardinals, bishops, priests, and laymen, who had in- purred his indignation on account of circumstances which I need not just now recapitulate.

"Fbally, Napoleon as ekd me Of what country I was a native ?' "To which I answered, 'Benevento.' "Ile then passed on ; and seeing Cardinal Consalvi, who stood next to

me, 4 This is Consalvi,' said he ; know him.'

"He asked Consalvi where he had lately been ?

"To which the Cardinal anawered, Rheims' " A good city ,' he replied ; and then, without saying another word, con- tinued walking the round of the circle, and saying a few words to everybody as he went along. After all I had apprehended to encounter at the inter- view, I had every reason to be content with its termination ; and when it was over, was truly glad, to avail myself of a vulgar phrase, to have come off so chetp. I partly attributed the behaviour of the Emperor, which could not be ca ed discourteous, to the opinion that he probably entertained of the influencel possessed over the mind of the Pope, upon whose cooperation he still mainly relied for the final execution of the Concordat.

"In the afternoon of the same day, at four o'clock, I was presented, in company with my. colleagues' Saluzzo, Galeffi, and Consalvi, to the Empress Maria Louisa, who received us very graciously, though the audience was sufficiently beef and insignificant. "

The work is a useful addition to our literature ; and Sir George Head has well fulfilled his task of translator, besides judiciously condensing the amplitude of the Cardinal by reducing the three volumes of the original into two.