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letters will produce little change in the security, they misunderstand the secular inopinion which has long been entertained, struments with which they work, and sooner that the uncompromising bigotry and en- or later they undergo the suspicion which croaching spirit of the nuncio was one of the justly attaches to them in their isolated poprincipal causes of the overthrow of Ireland sition, of joining in the game of human life and of Catholicism by Cromwell. In blam- with the intention of playing unfairly. The ing the Irish for their final disobedience to nuncio's piety, according to the Roman his counsels, M. Aiazzi has contrived to add type, appears to have been genuine, and his a new charge to the many which may be energy and the rapidity with which he acbrought against that unhappy nation. It is quired a knowledge of the affairs of Ireland not often that they have been accused by a were very remarkable. He spoke Latin, foreigner of deficiency in hatred to England, which was his medium of communication or lukewarmness in their abhorrence of here- with the Irish, with fluency and eloquence. tics. Yet, while the reprobation of Rinuc- The short Italian memoir of his mission is cini's policy by Irish and English historians written with peculiar force and spirit, but is well founded as far as the interests of Ire- the style is so much more animated than land were concerned, it is from a very dif- that of his letters, that it may be doubtful ferent point of view that his personal and whether it was of his own composition. political merits must be considered. He His adversary, Bellings, says, that the open was not an Irish statesman, but a servant of and familiar Irish took great offence at his the pope ; and his mission was not intended reserved and ceremonious manners. It is to promote the general interests of the coun- certain, however, that the common people try, but to establish the supremacy of Catho- retained their devotion to him to the last, licism, and of its representative the Apostolic and it is probable that the assumption of digSee. To the Irish it might seem expedient nity natural to a high-born minister of Rome, to return to the protection of a tolerant was well calculated to win their reverence. Crown, under a composition with those Pro- Urban VIII. had employed the Abate Pier testants who shared their hostility to the Francesco Scarampi as his agent in Ireland growing power of the Puritans; but Rome for about two years before his death in 1644. knew no degrees in heresy. Between the His successor, Innocent X., on receiving an public exercise of the Catholic worship with application for aid from the council of the the exclusion of all opposition, and the utter Confederated Catholics, determined, against ruin of the church and nation, the nuncio the wish of their more moderate leaders, to allowed no alternative. In his individual send them a minister with the high rank of character, as well as in the measures which nuncio. He first selected Luigi Omodei, he adopted, it seems to us that he affords a afterwards a cardinal ; but in consequence remarkable illustration of the strength and of the remonstrances of Mazarine against the weakness of ecclesiastical diplomacy. Like appointment of a prelate who, as a Milanese, private individuals who enter into general was a subject of Spain, he substituted Giopolitics with objects exclusively religious, vanni Batista Rinuccini, the son of a Florenthe agents of Rome have always had the tine patrician, and a favourite of the grand advantage of definite objects to pursue, of ducal house of Medici. The nuncio had disengagement from the conflicting motives been educated at Rome and at different of secular statesmen, and, above all, of an Italian universities as a canon lawyer, and at external and arbitrary rule substituted for the time of his appointment he had for the law of conscience. On a large or small twenty years held the Archbishopric of Ferscale, religious politicians are generally more mo, from attachment to which, he had in unscrupulous, and, beyond the limits of their 1631 refused the metropolitan see of Flochosen principle, more unprincipled than rence. He received his instructions early in other men.
In his obedience to the instruc- the year 1645, and passing through Florence, tions of Rome, in his determination to ad- Genoa, and Marseilles, he arrived in Paris vance the cause of Catholicism, Rinuccini about the middle of May. never wavers ; but neither does he hesitate It would not have been consistent with to make false assertions to suspected allies, the policy of the court of Rome to engage nor shrink from conniving at the cruelty and in Irish affairs with any more limited object rapine of the army which support his cause. than that of establishing the undisputed In the decline of his influence he shows the supremacy of Catholicism. The event provcontingent weakness of those who stand, as ed that the purpose was unattainable, but ecclesiastics often do, apart from general it was not strange that it should be enterhuman interests, while they actively engage tained by a power which had so often achievin particular enterprises. They almost al- ed greater victories, under circumstances ways prefer immediate success to ultimate 'apparently more unpromising. From the time when the popes, renouncing the policy itants, who formed the chief support of the of founding principalities for their families, English dominion. The just discontent of had resumed their proper position at the the nobility and gentry was only increased head of Catholic Christendom, the counsels by the policy, in many respects opposite to and the wealth of the Holy See had prevail-Strafford's, of his Puritan successors, the ed over Protestantism through the greater lords-justices Parsons and Borlase. The part of Europe. In less than a century the Catholics, who formed the vast majority of widely-scattered sparks of the Reformation the aristocracy, as well as of the people, had been trodden out in Spain and Italy, the were threatened with the immediate enforceFrench throne had been shaken by the ment of the dormant penal laws; and when Catholic League, and the Huguenots reduced the old Irish of Ulster, whose chieftains had to be content with a precarious toleration. been dispossessed of their lands by James I., From the south and from the east of Ger- took the occasion of the universal ferment many, Protestantism had been pushed steadi- to rise in that insurrection, of which the proly back, till Austria, Bohemia and Bavaria vocations have been so falsely extenuated, were free from its contagion, and it seemed and the atrocities so much aggravated, by probable that, but for the connivance of puritan historians, the only object of the Urban VIII. at Richelieu's resistance to the lords-justices was to multiply forfeitures by ambition of the House of Austria, the oppo- adding to the number of compulsory rebels. nents of Rome might have been driven be- The English of the Pale, suspected, insultyond the Baltic and the British Channel, or ed, and threatened, were compelled to arm forced, like their brethren in France, to exist themselves against the government, which, as a dependent though hostile republic, in as they justly asserted, was itself disposed the heart of a powerful Catholic monarchy. to hostility against the king. At first they Innocent X. was, according to the frequent acted independently, but they were soon custom at Rome, disinclined to the policy compelled to ally themselves with their old of his immediate predecessor, and suspected enemies the Irish, and to form, in conjuncby the French court of an undue bias to the tion with them, a provisional government for Spanish interest. He professed, however, the confederacy." In May, 1642, their genentire impartiality, and while the continent of eral assembly, consisting of all the peers Europe, where the war was drawing to its and Catholic bishops of their party, together close, no longer offered opportunities for with trustees from the counties and bospreading the orthodox faith by arms and roughs, elected as members of parliament, policy, Ireland seemed an open field. The but disclaiming the title as an encroachment two great powers were themselves engaged on the royal prerogative, met at Kilkenny, by promises to support the Catholic cause, and appointed a supreme council, to act as and to the crown of England the pope owed the executive government. Measures were no friendship, and did not now profess hos- taken for raising a revenue, commanders-intility. The Irish were poor and religious : chief appointed for the four provinces, and the pope, though not the richest prince in agents sent to request assistance from the Europe, had the greatest command of ready Catholic courts of Europe. They professed money, and of spiritual treasures he possess- undeviating loyalty to the king; and when ed an inexhaustible supply. It seemed the civil war in England had broken out, probable that the confederates, divided as Charles early saw the importance of securthey were in wishes, in interests, and in ing their alliance and aid. In 1643 he reblood, would find unity and power in obedi- called the obnoxious justices, and soon afterence to the head of that religion which was wards appointed the Marquis of Ormond, their only common bond. The real motives the most powerful and popular nobleman in and the actual strength of the component Ireland, to govern what remained of the factions of the great Catholic body could not kingdom as lord-lieutenant, with a commisbe fully known by a foreign court, and even sion to treat with the confederated Catholics. now the true state of Ireland at the time is The position of the marquis was singular. involved in much obscurity and confusion. His predecessors had not avowedly thrown
It is probable that the government of Ire- off their allegiance to the king, and although, land has never been conducted in a manner as lieutenant-general under their adminisé so favourable to the interests of the majority tration, he had preserved the loyalty of the of the inhabitants, as under the vigorous greater part of the army, he was not as yet despotism of Strafford; but his arbitrary and engaged in professed hostility to the parliaillegal interference with titles to land, and ment. The assembly of the Catholics his successful attempts to curb the power swarmed with his friends and dependents, of the principal families, had caused deep and the majority were eager to submit to dissatisfaction among the old English inhab- his government. The Scotch settlers in the north, with an army from Scotland under to hasten instantly to Ireland, and sharply Monroe, occupied the greater part of Ulster, and repeatedly censured for his delay. and were known to adhere to the parlia- Many writers have accused him of insolence ment. Lord Inchiquin commanded under in refusing to visit the queen; and Bellings the lord-lieutenant in Munster, where he asserts that, in violation of his duty, he was held the principal towns. In the western intriguing for the
of nuncio to the part of Leinster, in a great part of Munster, court of France. The despatches show that and in nearly the whole of Connaught, ex- | Mazarine expressed a similar suspicion, cept the towns of Loughrea and Portumna, which, as Panfilio somewhat strangely rethe supreme council was sovereign ; but the minds Rinuccini, he must know better than Earl of Clanricarde, the first Catholic noble- any one to be unfounded. In excusing himman in the kingdom, still held those towns self, the nuncio dwells on the disappointfor the king and his lieutenant, in defiance ments and delay which he experienced in of the threats and censures of the clergy, obtaining a vessel for his passage, on the and although the rank of commander-in- difficulty of obtaining audiences of Mazarine, chief of the Catholic army of Connaught and on other impediments, which, however was at all times ready for his acceptance. real, would certainly not have detained him His vast feudal power and personal weight if he had been earnest in the wish to prosehad great influence in determining the coun- cute his journey. We are, however, incil to agree with the lord-lieutenant on a clined to acquit him of neglect or disobedicessation of "arms preliminary to a peace, ence. In his apologetic memoir, it is rewhich took place in 1643, and was at first markable that he passes slightly over his rejected only by the Scotch of Ulster. On residence in Paris, as requiring no justificathe failure, however, of an expedition of the tion; and from his letters it is evident that confederate army to the north, coinciding in he was directed to engage in more than one time with the advance of Leven's Scottish negotiation with the French court. His army into England, several of the English conduct may be justified on the very probagarrisons declined the cessation, and soon ble supposition, that he had secret directions afterwards, in consequence of a slight im- in addition to the ostensible instructions now prudently offered him by the king, Inchiquin before us, which it might be necessary to drove the Catholics out of the towns which communicate to a suspected colleague at he occupied, and declared against the royal Paris. The pope was, as we have stated, cause, or, in the language of the time, in on unfriendly terms with Mazarine, who favour of the king and parliament. In the had recently succeeded to the power, and meantime the assembly advanced a consi- also to the policy, of Richelieu. He was derable sum to Ormond, and enabled him also engaged in disputes with the family of to send 4000 men to the assistance of the his predecessor, the Barberini, and distrustking in England. The negotiations for a ed iheir adherent, the Cardinal de' Bagni, final peace, however, proceeded slowly. who had been appointed by Urban nuncio The Catholics demanded the abofition of the to the court of France. Rinuccini was orpenal laws, and further securities for their dered to persuade Mazarine to send a minreligion, which Ormond did not think him- ister to Rome; and it is probable that he self at liberty to concede ; less, perhaps, may have been allowed to feel the ground from a doubt of the sufficiency of his power, towards the recall of Bagni, who was not than from a belief that when the civil war only a Barberinian, or, as Bellings writes, in England was at an end, the king would a Barbarian, but devoted to Mazarine and be unwilling or unable to abide by the agree- France, as he afterwards proved by the imments that might be made. Scarampi, by portant services he rendered them in the direction of the pope, opposed all conces- arrangement of the peace of Westphalia. sions of religious claims, but all parties were When the French nuncio complained that unwilling to recommence the war: the ces- Rinuccini had brought no letters for him sation was renewed from time to time, and from Rome, and when the cardinal of France the general state of affairs was little altered intimated that no new appointment of a nunfrom 1643 till the appointment of Rinuccini. cio would be recognized, the papal secretary
The nuncio was forbidden, by his instruc- explained and apologised, and Rinuccini, tions, to linger in France, or to engage in like royal diplomatists in general, was left any negotiations there, except with the to bear the censure, which could not decoQueen of England. Yet he spent four busy rously be applied to his court. months in Paris, and with Henrietta Maria With respect to the Queen of England, he never had an interview. By the end of his justification is more complete. When August the patience of the Roman court he left Rome, Charles was at the head of an appeared to be worn out; he was ordered larmy and master of a third of the kingdom:
in June the battle of Naseby put an end to bined on board the ship which bore his his prospects of victory. Henceforth it was name the functions of figure-head and tutehoped, that instead of admitting the Catho-lary deity. It had, indeed, already occurlics as allies, he might rely upon them as on red to the considerate Italians, that the cirhis sole dependence. In his letters also to cumstance of meeting with the S. Pietro in the
queen, which the parliament seized and the Loire, 'was an augury that the Head of published, there were passages which show- the church, on whom all missions depend, ed a disposition to deceive the Irish. Ri- and who inspired our lord his holiness to set nuccini offered to visit the queen publicly on foot and arrange this of mine, had also as nuncio, knowing that she could not so re-willed to conduct it to an end ; and to show, ceive him without a violation of English when occasion offered, how weak are the law, and an acknowledgment of the insur- forces of Hell in comparison with the augent government to which he was accredit- thority of the Keys. It is painful to think ed. He was expressly ordered by Panfilio that subsequently S. Pietro, or his image, to object to a private interview, on the brought the nuncio into serious difficulties; ground that he could not uncover his head for the ship having been employed by himto a queen, while it seems to have been self or his agents in a privateering or piratiknown that the queen could not receive him cal speculation, and having brought a Spanwithout that mark of respect. Their indi- ish prize into Rochelle, the agent of Spain rect negotiations could not lead to any re-in Ireland seized upon the goods and money sult. The queen wanted aid for her hus- of the mission as a compensation, and it was band, and wished to take refuge herself in only with great difficulty that Rinuccini seIreland. The nuncio would grant no assist- cured the ship itself for his return to France. ance, except on terms offensive to the king's On the 21st of October he landed on the adherents in England, and he shared the coast of Kerry, at the mouth of the river determination of his court to avoid the em- Kenmare, in the midst of marvellous coinbarrassment of the queen's presence on the cidences and pious associations. On that scene of his mission. They took leave of very day, the church of Fermo was wont each other by message with mutual polite- to celebrate the feast of St. Mabilia, whose ness, and with permanent feelings of mutual scull was one of its treasures—the saint was hostility.
one of the 11,000 virgins,* and we believe' It was not till the middle of October, per alcune non leggiere congetture') that 1645, that Rinuccini at last set sail from she was an Irishwoman. Still more fortuRochelle on board the S. Pietro, a frigate nately on the 22d the same church celewhich he had bought at Nantes. He was brates the martyrdom of St. Philip, Bishop accompanied by the Secretary Bellings, of Fermo, and therefore I am bound to be who, as the nuncio says, had been so much lieve that my great predecessor has thought alarmed at his appointment that he could fit to conduct me himself to the post appointnot speak for two days; he also broughted me by the vicar of God.' The Irish rewith him, or sent a few days before him, gretted the inconvenience of landing on a arms and ammunition for 2000 or 3000 men, desert shore, instead of at Waterford; but and from 15,0001. to 20,0001. in money. the worthy prelate was pleased with the His account of the voyage is highly edify- opportunity of first declaring his apostolic ing and entertaining. They had been three mission to shepherds, and of taking up his days at sea, when they saw a vessel in chase residence in a stable, A few days afterof them, which proved to be that of Plun-wards he arrived at Kilkenny, where he ket, an active partisan of the parliament was received with every mark of respect by The pressure of the danger, he says, caused the supreme council, and the whole of the an incredible change in our vessel. The Catholic body. Irish, and especially Signor Bellings, took The peace with Ormond was still unconto their arms, and resolved to fight to the cluded, but within a few months the state of last-employing themselves meanwhile in the negotiations had been greatly affected by clearing the decks, getting the guns loose, the arrival in Ireland of the Earl of Glamorand putting the non-combatants out of the gan, son of the Marquis of Worcester, and way in a corner. The archbishop himself afterwards first Duke of Beaufort. The was in bed hopelessly sick—the Italians of extraordinary powers in virtue of which he his suite engaged themselves (“con molta tendered to the Catholics concessions hithermia edificazione') in prayer. After chasing to unprecedented, have been recorded and them for 100 miles, Plunket gave up the pursuit--the proximate reason being a fire
* We presume, from the privilege of having a which broke out in his cook-room, the final day to herself in the calendar, that St. Mabilia held cause a gilt image of St. Peter, which com- high rank in this celebrated female army.
discussed by every writer on the history of difficulty opposed a treaty which made no the time. It is enough to say that he pro- mention of religion, were in some measure duced letters with the king's sign manual disarmed, though not satisfied, by the appaand under his private signet, by which rent acceptance of their demands by the Charles promised, on the word of a king king; but the division of opinions lay deeper and a Christian, to make good, to all intents than the immediate occasion, and the minorand purposes, whatever he should perform; ity had forces in reserve far more than pro' and although you exceed what law can portionate to their strength in the assembly warrant, or any powers of ours extend to, as and the council. not knowing what you have need of, yet it The nuncio threw an additional weight being for our service, we oblige ourself, not into their scale. He had been made peronly to give you our pardon, but to maintain sonally responsible for his opposition to the the same with all our might and power.' peace; but his instructions from Rome were From subsequent events there can be no doubt clear and decided. He was ordered to obthat the king had privately agreed with Gla-struct a peace with Ormond, except on conmorgan that he should be at liberty to disavow dition that the church should be secured in him, if necessary, and that the use of the all its splendour, and that all future viceroys private seal, and the irregularity of the en- should be Catholic; and the want of sufficitire transaction, were intended to leave a ent security was represented to him as a loophole to escape from any concessions in- sufficient reason for discountenancing Glaconvenient to fulfil which the agent might morgan's negotiation. In his original infind it expedient to make. By virtue of his structions he had been told always to assocommission Glamorgan, who was himself a ciate the interests of religion with the mainzealous Catholic, undertook to secure to the tenance of the king ; but the royal cause was Catholics the abolition of the penal laws and less than a secondary consideration in the the possession of all churches not actually place of the Vatican. His high dignity, and occupied by Protestants. The confederates the supplies which he brought, had sufficient were to send 10,000 men under his com- influence with the council to induce them to mand to the assistance of Charles in England, delay the conclusion of the treaty. In the and Glamorgan was to bind himself by oath meantime he employed himself in calculating not to act with his army, till the king had his strength, and making himself acquainted actually secured the performance of the with the condition of the different parties. treaty. The engagements on both sides The assembly being formed on the model were to be secret, even from Ormond him- of a parliament, represented the rank and self; and although no man could fail to see property of the kingdom, which were for the the insecurity of an arrangement, in which most part in the possession of the old Engthe agent and servant of one party was the lish inhabitants. United as they were for only guarantee for the performance of the the present with the old Irish, and connećted stipulations required by the other, the eager- with them by religion and by language, their ness for peace, and the difficulty of conclud- wishes and objects were nevertheless wholly ing it, were so great, that the agreement had different. They had risen against intolerabeen made two months before Rinuccini's ble oppression, and they had no choice but arrival, and a vote passed by the assembly, to fight to the last against the popular party for levying the 10,000 men. To add to the in England, which included all the Catholic complication and difficulty of the transaction, inhabitants of Ireland in hatred so indiscrimiwhen the Archbishop of Tuam was killed at nate, that it had lately caused an act to be the siege of Sligo in the month of October, passed forbidding quarter to be given to any the Scotch found on his person an account of Irish papist. But their loyalty to the king all that had passed, and shortly afterwards had never been shaken, and as far as the transmitted it to the English parliament. laity were concerned, it is probable that no
The Catholics were now in the anomalous class in the three kingdoms was so free from condition of an alliance with the king bigotry and religious animosity. When the through his private agent, and of suspended restoration of the ancient church was in agihostility with him in the person of his lord- tation, the tolerant and moderate spirit of the lieutenant. It seems impossible that the old English gentry was strongly supported promoters of Glamorgan's treaty can have by their unwillingness to restore the improintended it to take effect before the conclu- priations of church property which their sion of peace with Ormond ; but the advo- ancestors had not scrupled to receive from cates of peace could now point to the secret sacrilegious kings. It was in vain that the conditions in favour of religion as a security nuncio promised them fair compositions and for the claims which the viceroy refused to easy confirmation of their titles--knowing concede. Their opponents, who had with that the rights of the church were immortal,