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rHE LAST DAYS
OF PAPAL ROME



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THE LAST DAYS
OF PAPAL ROME




Pius IX.



THE LAST DAYS
OF PAPAL ROME

1850 1870

• ^ - BY

RV DE CESARE

Abridged with the assistance of the Author and Translated by

HELEN ZIMMERN

With an Introductory Chapter by

G. M. TREVELYAN

ILLUSTRATED



LONDON
ARCHIBALD CONSTABLE
AND COMPANY LIMITED

1909



BRADBURY, AGNEW, & CO. LD., PRINTERS,
LONDON AND TONBRIDGE.



AUTHOR'S PREFACE



FOLLOWING up my former work, '' The End of
a Kingdom," in which I narrated the last years
of the Neapolitan sovereignty, I now endeavour
to picture the last years of Papal Rome, though I
confess I do not wish to pass for the necrologist of
the old Italian States,

I have employed the method made use of in the
previous work on Naples, a method to which may be
attributed the success it had, but I confess that, for
the recent events of Roman life, the difficulty of
research was much greater, if only because I have
here covered a period of twenty years. Also there
was nothing homogeneous about the Papal States,
and the historical conditions of the provinces were
substantially different on the two sides of the
Apennines. Nor did the Holy See publish its diplo-
matic documents. Besides, ecclesiastics, as is well
known, are more cautious in making revelations and
confessions than are the laity.

To unfold that interesting and dramatic period
which opened with the return of Pius IX. and closed
with the fall of the temporal power, it was necessary
to pause and weigh the mass of publications issued
concerning the epoch, besides searching among



VI



PREFACE



private archives and familiar correspondence and
also questioning survivors. More than once I was
discouraged, and felt tempted to abandon the enter-
prise. Only the passion for research supported me
in this arduous labour, which often appeared indis-
creet and was often painful, because it destroyed many
a legend, dashed many a prejudice, and demolished
many a romance. I was only encouraged by my
desire to take a moral photograph of the Papal
States and to perpetuate their memory.

Rome, since September 20, 1870, has so changed
as to render the reconstruction of her past most
difficult, a past complicated by historical circum-
stances and by reason of its geography ; a city not
really in the centre of Italy, the political capital of a
small Italian State and the religious capital of the
Catholic world, girdled by a desert and marshes,
almost skirting the sea, yet not a maritime city ;
subject to the enervating sirocco, enclosed within
walls, of which two-thirds surrounded villas, vine-
yards, meadows, malarial cane fields and ruins.

Notwithstanding the transformation caused by
pulling down and rebuilding that has been so great
as to cause the old city to be unrecognisable, this is
as nothing compared with the moral revolution
accomplished. The pyramid has been inverted.
The laity, tolerated by the clemency of the ecclesiastics,
has become their master ; a laity, not Roman, but
national. And with this new power, new systems
have been imposed and needs have arisen which it



PREFACE vii

seems incredible should have not been felt even before
the day when Rome became the Italian capital. The
old generation, of whom a few survive, is fast dis-
appearing, and when it shall have disappeared none
will know what the city was like in its intimacy, with
its social classes, its public and private economy, its
government, its hierarchies, its relations with the
larger world, its political conspiracies and intrigues,
not to mention the confusion of the temporal and
spiritual powers, a fertile source of those religious
and political evils which, though they were no greater
than the evils of the other Italian despotisms, had in
the Papal States special characteristics of their own.

I may also remark that, for many centuries, the
most contradictory verdicts have been passed upon
Rome. Travellers and diplomats, scholars and
archaeologists, sentimentalists and erudite men, from
all quarters of the world, have created a Rome of
their own, conventional or one-sided, with an equip-
ment of exaggerations, of prejudices and also of
criticisms, occasionally just, in homage to her culture
and tradition.

It was necessary to resuscitate that world, vanished
since half a century, to grasp the true causes of events
which, observed with partisan or doctrinal precon-
ceptions, have never been truthfully judged. The
most rigorous research should be expended upon men,
because the eternal material of history is man ; man,
lay or cleric in his environment, with his passions,
noble or vulgar, with his ideals of moral grandeur or



Viii PREFACE

with the baseness of his petty egoisms. Unless
historical phenomena are made to live again in their
various manifestations, even the most negligible, it is
difficult to reveal them truthfully. Still more is this
the case in dealing with contemporary history and
with the extraordinary events by means of which
the political unity of a country, never before united,
was achieved and a thousand-year-old power, which
seemed immortal, was brought to an end.

This volume is, so to speak, real life lived by means
of my own recollections and those of others. My
collaborators have been too many to indicate them all ;
not a few have vanished from the world ; others are old,
and by them the past is remembered as a great ideal,
dreamt of in youth, and attained or else dissipated by
unexpected events. Contemporary publications, it
often wanting in precision and objectivity, yet possess
the merit of revealing the passions and exaggerations
of the moment. I have employed these writings as
the starting point for my investigations which aim at
reproducing that Pontifical world upon which the
political storm was about to burst and whose pre-
cursory signs appeared almost the very day of
Pius IX. 's return to his capital. The events accom-
plished in twenty years prove to be the natural
consequence of those historic laws from which the
political Papacy flattered itself it was to be exempt.

If the fall of the Papal States lacks the tragic note
struck by the end of the kingdom of Naples, the
dramatic note was there. The historical importance



PREFACE ix

of the event was greater and more universal because
of the sovereign's twofold capacity. While gradually
despoiled of his temporal dominions, he remained in
his religious capital with its Court and its depart-
ments. None desired his expulsion ; indeed, all were
agreed in desiring his presence in Rome, guaranteed
and honoured by Italian arms and laws as the head
of Catholicism, The State expired under the Pontifi-
cate of one of the most sentimental and impulsive
Popes ever possessed by the Church, who, after
employing every weapon, spiritual and temporal, to
keep his dominions, did not lack courage to resist
even to the last. The temporal power fell, partly
because it appeared no longer necessary to the Catholic
conscience, which reasoned that, if exempted from
political power, the Pontiff's independence and the
liberty of the Church would be better guaranteed.

Many events are here for the first time recorded,
referring not only to the Papal States but to Italian
politics. They are revelations which, after so many
years, can be published without indiscretion, illu-
minating essential points in our civil history and
rectifying not a few errors. I have given a large
place to anecdotes, for I hold that they illustrate and
reanimate facts and make the personahties of the
actors more vividly human.

The epoch of conventional history is passed, I
mean of the old-fashioned history, dealing with wars,
embassies, diplomatic intrigues and Court life, told
in pompous and rhetorical sentences. History is



X PREFACE

now called upon to reproduce all human manifesta-
tions, all social life, in its simplest form. Also docu-
ments must be fused into the narrative, nay, tran-
substantiated, as ecclesiastical language has it, and
never left to themselves.

I cannot conclude this preface without a word of
gratitude to those who have lightened my task by
assisting me in research. I must specially mention
two names closely linked with the history of Italy,
Marchese Emilio Visconti - Venosta and Count
Costantino Nigra.

R. DE CESARE.

Rome,

Christmas, igo6.



CONTENTS



PAGE

author's preface . V

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS XUi

INTRODUCTION XV

CHAPTER

I. THE ENTRY OF THE POPE INTO ROME, 185O ... I

II. RECONSTRUCTION OF THE OLD REGIME — MACHINATIONS OF

THE SECRET SOCIETIES I3

III. RECALL OF BARAGUAY — NEW TAXES 20

IV. THE FIRST CONSISTORY — THE NEW MUNICIPALITY . . 4O
V. REVIVAL OF COSMOPOLITAN LIFE 51

VI. THE ARISTOCRACY 65

VII. SOCIAL LIFE AND ITS GRADES 85

VIII. THE ROME OF YESTERDAY I08

IX. PIUS IX. — THE DOGMA OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

— THE RAILWAYS I17

X. ART AND ARTISTS I4I

XI. THE PONTIFICAL JOURNEY THROUGH THE PROVINCES . 156

XII. THE RAPE OF YOUNG MORTARA — THE JEWS IN ROME . I76

XIII. THEATRES AND NEWSPAPERS 185

XIV. THE GENERAL CONDITION OF THE STATES OF THE CHURCH

IN 1859 .......... 198

XV. THE EVE OF THE WAR — CONSPIRACIES AND DEMONSTRA-
TIONS IN ROME AND THE PROVINCES .... 2x8

XVI. THE RISING IN BOLOGNA AND OTHER PLACES . . . 234

XVII. THE pope's protests — THE CONGRESS .... 24O

XVIII. THE UNIVERSITY 249



xiì CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

XIX. THE TWO COMMITTEES 255

XX. THE HOLY SEE PREPARES FOR DEFENCE .... 268

XXI. THE CAMPAIGN OF 1860 — CASTELFIDARDO .... 279

XXII. THE CAPITULATION OF ANCONA, ORVIETO AND VITERBO . 289

XXIII. NEGOTIATIONS AND NEGOTIATORS 297

XXIV. RICASOLl's SCHEME — THE PETITION OF FATHER PASSAGLIA 31I
XXV. THE SACRED COLLEGE 317

XXVI. THE FAUSTI CASE 334

XXVII. THE CONVENTION OF SEPTEMBER I5, 1864 . . . 347

XXVIII. THE VEGEZZI AND TONELLO MISSIONS .... 357

XXIX. DEPARTURE OF THE FRENCH FROM ROME. . . . 368

XXX. THREE MONTHS OF MISUNDERSTANDINGS — THE RETURN

OF THE FRENCH 377

XXXI. MENTANA, 1867 393

XXXII. THE LAST TWO YEARS 406

XXXIII. THE ECUMENICAL COUNCIL 422

XXXIV. ON THE EVE 439

XXXV. THE TWENTIETH OF SEPTEMBER, 187O .... 453



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS



PAGE

PIUS IX. ........ . Frontispiece

THE DUKE OF SERMONETA, DOYEN OF THE ROMAN ARISTOCRACY

UNDER PIO NONO JZ

THE FARNESE PALACE AT ROME, COMMENCED UNDER POPE

PAUL III 115

PADRE EDGARDO MORTARA • I77

CARDINAL ALTIERI, DON FERNANDO MUNOZ, GENERAL DE

LAMORICIERE, PRINCIPE FILIPPO DORIA PANFILI . . , 272

MGR. DE MERODE, WAR MINISTER OF PIO NONO IN 1860 . . 34I

CARDINAL ANTONELLI, CHIEF MINISTER AND SECRETARY OF STATE

TO THE POPE 345

THE PORTA PIA AFTER THE ENTRANCE OF THE ITALIAN ARMY

IN 1870 ... 456



INTRODUCTION



Among the historians and scholars engaged on the
period of the ItaHan Risorgimento, a numerous and
effective body in the Italy of to-day, Signor De Cesare
holds a high place. His reputation rests chiefly on
his famous Fine di un regno, the history of the last
years of the Bourbon Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and
its fall in i860 before Garibaldi's attack. Impartiality
and intimate social and family knowledge are the
special keynotes of his work, both in his "necrology"
of the Kingdom of Naples, and in the somewhat similar
work on the last years of the Papal Dominion in
Central Italy, of which an abbreviated version is here
presented to the British public.

A patriotic Italian, Signor De Cesare soberly rejoices
in the fall of the two extraordinary governments of
which he has left us such minutely photographic impres-
sions. But he has the impartiality of a man well able
to see the faults of all parties and persons. He is as
easily revolted by Liberal and Patriotic as by Clerical
violence and rodomontade. He is full of sympathy
with what was picturesque and kindly in the past, and
of criticism for what is still unreformed in the new
Rome. For the new Rome, as he clearly sees, is in
some respects all too much the outcome of the old



xvi INTRODUCTION

Rome which it undertook to destroy. The picture of
Pio Nono himself, kindly, narrow, pleasingly childish,
shrewd in small matters and stupid about great affairs,
writing charades on the word tremare (" to tremble ")
at the last supreme moment when the Italian troops
were pouring over the breach near the Porta Pia and
the oldest monarchy in Europe was crumbling on his
head (p. 455), is a good example of impartiality in
historical portraiture.

Signor De Cesare's impartiality is largely a result
of the other quality of his work — intimate social and
family knowledge of his subject. Not so great an
archivist as some other Italian scholars of the Risorgi-
mento of the present generation, De Cesare stands
alone for his personal knowledge of the traditions and
" on dits " of a past epoch of society, and he is besides
well qualified to sift truth from error in these old-
world stories. The history of gossip has its own
importance, but it is too rarely written by competent
persons. For the last twenty years of the Temporal
Power in Rome, this kind of knowledge is specially
interesting and valuable. It enables us to know better
than by any other means what were the spirit and
character of that last and most completely antique
relic of the old world which only forty years ago was
still sitting crowned upon the Seven Hills. " De
Cesare " — wrote Professor Alessandro Luzio in review-
ing this work when it appeared in Italy two years
back — " De Cesare belongs to the very small class of
Liberals who know Clerical society to the bottom, and



INTRODUCTION xvii

can find their way perfectly through the complicated
psychology of the political priest [prete politico).'''

One of the chief peculiarities of Papal Rome, the
system of charities, is put in its rightly prominent
place by De Cesare. The kindness of the Church was
far more injurious than the severities, for the latter
sometimes spurred even modern Romans to courage
and rebellion. But the charities ruined Roman
character. According to De Cesare, the system
was not even Christian in origin, but the legacy
of the Roman Empire and Republic (not Mazzini's
Republic, but that of Pompey and Crassus). So
old is Italian history. (See pp. g6 — 7.)

It may be well to remind those English readers who
are unfamiliar with the history of the Risorgimento of
the main outlines of the events in which the story of
this book is set. The Temporal Power of the Popes,
which, like all else Italian, had gone into the Napoleonic
melting pot, was restored for another two generations
as the result of Leipzig and Waterloo. The
Pope's personal rule extended until 1859 — 60 from sea
to sea, and included not only Rome and the district
round it known as the Patrimony of St. Peter, but
Umbria, covering the central Apennine districts, the
Marches on the Adriatic coast, including Ancona, and
the Romagna (The " Legations") in the southern part
of the plain of Po, including Bologna and Ravenna.
These four regions were all governed by priests and
primarily for the purposes of religion, being marked

p.R. b



xviii INTRODUCTION

out from all other States of Europe by their Theo-
cratic character. They are therefore peculiarly inte-
resting as an object of study, and Signor De Cesare's
work has greatly assisted such an investigation.

For more than thirty years the restored rule of the
priests remained unshaken, although the severities of
the harsh Pope Gregory XVI. (1831 — 1846) against
the Liberal conspirators, and against all signs ol
modern change, did much to foster discontent. The
succession of Pio Nono (Pius IX.) in 1846 ushered in
a new era. His kindly disposition, which he and
other Italians mistook for Liberal principles, set going
in the Papal States and in the rest of Italy the
movement for liberation. The movement went too
fast and far for the Pope, and in the winter of 1848 — 9
the quarrel of ruler and subjects culminated in the dis-
graceful murder by the Democrats of Rossi, who stood
between the parties, the flight of the Pope to Gaeta to
take refuge with the King of Naples, and the pro-
clamation of the Roman Republic. The arrival of
Mazzini and Garibaldi on the scene in the spring of
1849 lent to the movement dignity, romance, and
some power of military resistance. But the end
could not be long postponed. Austrian armies, now
triumphant against Piedmont in the valley of the Po,
re-established the Pope's authority in Romagna and
the Marches, while the French clerical Republic (fast
transforming itself into the military despotism of
Napoleon III.) reconquered the city of Rome after the
famous siege in June, 1849.



INTRODUCTION xix

It !3 at this point that Signor De Cesare takes up
the story of the Papal States, which he continues
down to the entry of the Itahan troops into the city
on September 20, 1870. The scene with which the
first chapter opens (p. i, below) refers to the Pope's
return to Rome from Gaeta in April, 1850, and to his
parting with Ferdinand II., the famous despot of
Naples, who had sheltered him during the period of
the Roman Republic. The early chapters of the
book are chiefly an account of the character of the
restored rule of priests, now dependent on the French
armies in the south and on the Austrian in the north
of the Papal States ; and of the social and economic
life of Rome and the Roman provinces of that day,
which Signor De Cesare is peculiarly competent to
compare, as he does with judicial impartiality, to the
life of to-day.

In Chapters XV. — XVI. the political narrative is
resumed, and the first stage in the dismemberment of
the States of the Church is related. That first stage
was the revolt of the Romagna, the most northern
and the most progressive of the Papal provinces,
whose inhabitants drove out the Pope's officers
immediately after the Austrian garrison had been
withdrawn, owing to the war of 1859 between
Piedmont and France on the one hand and Austria on
the other. Chapter XX. tells the story of the forma-
tion of the famous Papal Army of Crusaders from all
countries, including Ireland, Austria, Belgium, and
France, to enable Pius IX. to protect his remaining



XX INTRODUCTION

provinces, especially Umbria and the Marches,
threatened by the revolution which was being
organised across the frontier under the shield of the
Piedmontese Monarchy. The Pope wished for a force
of his own, in order not to depend solely on the aid
of Napoleon III., which was alike unwillingly given
and grudgingly received. In i860 the crisis came.
Garibaldi successfully invaded Sicily and Naples,
destroying the Bourbon Kingdom, as Signor De Cesare
has described in his Fine di un regno. Cavour, to
recover the lead of the patriotic movement for Victor
Emmanuel and for himself, with wise rashness deter-
mined to attack the Papal territories from the north
(pp. 275 — 6, below). The situation created by Garibaldi
and his volunteers in the south enabled Cavour to
destroy the Papal dominion in the centre of Italy.
In September, i860, the Piedmontese regular army
invaded Umbria and the Marches and destroyed the
newly-formed Papal army in the field of Castel Fidardo
(Chaps. XXL— XXIL).

Napoleon, however, protected the city of Rome and
the province in which it is situated (The Patrimony
of St. Peter) from the general ruin. Shrunk to this
little measure, the Temporal Power dragged out an
uneasy existence for ten years longer. The book there-
fore divides itself here (p. 297). Chapters I. — XXII.
describe the government of a State stretching from
sea to sea, full of famous though scarcely of flourish-
ing cities. Chapters XXIII. to the end describe
the government of a diminished State that was



INTRODUCTION xxi

scarcely more than the poverty-stricken district round
Rome.

The two chief incidents in this last period of the
Papal Power are, first, the unfortunate Mentana
affair (1867), when the Italian Government and
Garibaldi, who was now growing old, between them
failed as completely as they had succeeded in i860
(Chaps. XXIX. — XXXI.), and secondly the famous
Council that declared the Infallibility (Chap. XXXIIL).
The book ends (Chap. XXXV.) with the entry of the
Italian troops on September 20, 1870, as an imme-
diate consequence of the battle of Sedan. Since
that day the Popes, left in full sovereignty of the
Vatican Palace and grounds, which thus still
represent the " Papal States," have refused to leave
their residence there, by way of protest against the
Italian occupation of Rome. But during the ponti-
ficate of the present Pope the protest has become, if
not merely nominal, at least admittedly unreal. The
present Pope, though perhaps as little Liberal in
theological matters as any of his predecessors, is
spoken of as a " good Italian."

A recent work of considerable historical value has
been published by Mons. Bourgeois in France, entitled
" Koine et Napoleon III.'' We may notice that much
the same conclusions are arrived at by the Italian as
by the French historian. " The Roman question,"
writes De Cesare, "was the stone tied to Napoleon's
" feet that dragged him into the abyss. He never
"forgot, even in August, 1870, a month before Sedan,



xxii INTRODUCTION

" that he was sovereign of a Catholic country, that he
" had been made Emperor and was supported by the
"votes of the Conservatives and the influence of the
" clergy ; and that it was his supreme duty not to
"abandon the Pontiff. He cherished the conviction
"that Rome, owing to her history and her moral and
" political conditions, would never rise against the Pope,
"that any revolutionary movements were impotent;
" and, therefore, by guaranteeing Rome to the Pope, he
"was persuaded that he was at the same time
" guaranteeing the independence of the Romans. He
*' also cherished a chivalrous sentiment towards
" Pius IX. very different from that which Pius bore
" towards him. If the Pope, in his conversations
" with Ambassadors and in his official speeches, over-
" flowed with good will towards the Emperor of the
" French, in reality he never trusted him, and it almost
" seemed as if he shared the prejudices of the more
" vulgar clerical world, who had baptised Napoleon
" the Devil's son " (pp. 440 — i, below).

It was by his refusal to abandon Rome to Italy
that Napoleon forfeited the Italian and thereby the
Austrian alliance against Prussia in the decisive
war of 1870.

" The phrase," continues De Cesare, " attributed
"later to the Empress, Better the Prussians in Paris
" than the Piedmontese in Rome, was conceived in the
" exaggerated spirit that dominated the politicians who
" surrounded the Emperor and urged him by many
" pretexts into a senseless and needless war when



INTRODUCTION xxiii

*' he was ill and unwilling and unprepared, and with
" an unprecedented hurry, which placed France in
*' the wrong before all the world." So the French
Catholics were paid for their ill-treatment of Italy
by the subjugation of their own country to Prussia,
and by the establishment of the Third Republic. The
price has proved decidedly heavy, even for the pleasure
of leading some hundreds of Garibaldini in triumph
through the streets of Rome after the battle of
Mentana.

G. M. Trevelyan.



THE LAST DAYS
OF PAPAL ROME

CHAPTER I

THE ENTRY OF THE POPE INTO ROME



" "W" BLESS you, I bless your family, your kingdom,
I your people. I know not how to express my
B gratitude for the hospitality extended to me,"

said the Pope, taking leave of his royal host.
" I have done nothing," answered the King, " I
have but fulfilled my duty as a Christian."

"Yes," replied the Pope in a voice full of emotion,
"your loyal affection has been great and sincere."

This parting took place in the afternoon of April 6,
1850, at Epitaffio, on the frontier between Fondi and
Terracino, and the event is commemorated in the
picture now hanging in the Vatican, painted by Bigioli.
In it Pius IX. is seen embracing Ferdinand IL of
Naples, the Crown Prince kneeling before him. On
his right stand Cardinals Antonelli and Dupont, the
prelate Medici d'Ottaiano, major-domo^ Borromeo,
chamberlain, Hohenlohe, cameriere segreto^ and Mon-
signor Stella, all of whom had travelled with him.



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