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tions, and, like the fugitives from the intolerance of the Duke of Alva shortly after, and again from that of Louis XIV., they repaid the hospitality shown them by opening, wherever they came, sources of wealth hitherto unknown. Sometimes, they migrated in a body, as did those of Locarno, but with the mark of Cain set upon them by the church, and left to struggle through the snows and ice of the Rhætian Alps as best they could, it being one of their misfortunes that their flight was in the winter.' These achieved their liberties like men, but all had not their hardihood. A band of Neapolitans resolved upon the same course, but when they came to those noble mountains where they were to take a last view of the land of their fathers, the greater part, struck with its beauties, and calling to mind the friends and comforts which they had left behind, abandoned their enterprise, parted with their companions, returned to Naples,' and lived to find that the loss of self-esteem is a far greater evil than the loss of country, and that infirmity of purpose in a good cause is the last sin which society forgives. Many, again, dwelling in the interior of Italy, where escape in a body was hopeless, stole away singly, and if tempted to return, as they sometimes were, for their families, or the wreck of their fortunes, fell a prey to the vigilance of the Inquisition. Nor were there wanting those, who, dismayed alike at the prospect of banishment or death, looked back from the plough to which they had put an unsteady hand, and made their peace with Rome by timely compliance.
Thus ended the Reformation in Italy. It only remains to say a few words on the causes which produced its extinction; to the chief one of which, indeed, we have already had occasion to allude.
1. In the first place, the system of the Roman catholic religion was more difficult of eradication in Italy than in any other quarter of the world. It had taken advantage of all the most ancient sympathies of the country and the long-established practices of Pagan times. The people had been made to slide out of a Gentile into what stood for a Christian ritual: as little violence as might be was done to their previous prejudices, and as many of these as possible, and more than were innocent, had been spared and cherished. The temples were turned into churches; the altars of the old gods served for the new saints; the curtains with which they were shrouded, the finery with which they were bedecked, the incense burnt before them, and the votive tablets suspended to their honour, all continued as they had been. The garlands over the doors had withered-and were replaced; the aquaminarium which held the water of purification, held it still; the bell was still rung to excite the worshipper, or expel the demon; and the sacrifice which had been offered, was offered as
before, and its well-known name of hostia, or host, retained. In earthquake, pestilence, or drought, the succour of either of these classes of superior beings was successively resorted to, and in precisely the same way. They were entreated, they were coaxed, they were scolded, they were threatened, in terms not distinguishable; processions were made for them, and tapers, music, tapestry, fraternities, and a box of relics, propitiated them alike. Hills and fountains were the asylums of either, and the votaries of the saint were exhorted to say their orisons at the one, or crawl upon their knees to the other, as it had been the practice to do by the gods in the days of their ancestors; a figure of St. Peter relieved guard at the gate for Mercury or Cardea; the niche in the parlour, or bed-room, was occupied by St. Roque, or St. Sebastian, instead of the Phrygian penates; your person was protected by a St. Vitale next your skin, in the room of an Esculapius, or an Apollo; pollution was averted from your walls by a frowning St. Benedict, instead of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, and the Twelve Gods; and you set sail in a ship whose sign was St. Nicholas, and with about the same chance of skill, presence of mind, and self-confidence in the crew, as if her sign had still continued to be Castor and Pollux. But this system of accommodation, whereby sentiments of loyalty to the old religion were to be enlisted for the new, is yet more apparent in another particular. The religion of our Lord and his Apostles afforded no plausible pretence for the worship of those nymphs and goddesses to which the Italians had been used. What was to become of the devotion that had thus been paid to the softer sex? Where was this to be directed? The Virgin was thought of as fitted to stand in the gap, and to the Virgin were the honours transferred: she became practically the Cybele of a former generation; she had her title, Deipara; cakes were offered to her as the queen of heaven; beggars asked an alms 'per la Madonna,' as they had heretofore done, by legal permission, pro Matre Deûm ;' and the festival of the Idæan Mother was no other than Lady-day. Inferior female saints now took the places, in their turn, of the inferior goddesses in some cases, the very name of the deity descended to her successor, and Anna Perenna, the nymph of the Numicius, is to be found (we believe) to this day, in the same neighbourhood, under the alias of St. Anna Petronilla. The ancient system of coquetry and stolen interviews between deities of the one sex and mortals of the other, revived, not unfrequently with more than all the grossness, but seldom with much of the poetry of other times. Thus were Romans surprised into Roman-catholics, and the vulgar at least, without being conscious of having undergone any very sensible mutation, were assured, that all was right, and that
VOL. XXXVII. NO. LXXIII.
by some means or other changed they were intus et in cute. This confusion of religious character strikes us in almost every page of the more ancient Italian writers: it is quite a feature in the early literature of Italy; sacred and profane images are blended without the smallest regard to decency, though evidently without any consciousness of a want of it in the parties themselves. It was the custom of the day to plough with an ox and an ass; a mistake has been often made about it by those who have written on the revival of learning, and the motley union has been imputed to the pedantry of an age awaking from barbarism, and vain (as sciolists always are) of its new acquirements. This was not altogether the case; it was the humour of the times which had made men neither Christians nor pagans, which could again confound Jupiter with Barnabas, and Mercury with Paul. From all this, however, it is plain enough, that, independently of that hold which the church of Rome takes of any people by engaging their senses, and combining some religious rite with all the ordinary duties and occupations of common life, it bound the people of Italy by a spell of their own, even the natural affection which men have for the rites and customs of their forefathers.
2. Again-In some countries, and more especially in England, since the reign of Edward III., there had been a constant political struggle going on between the secular and ecclesiastical authorities. The king and nobles had perpetually to dispute the tyrannical pretensions of the Roman catholic church; for though Tityrus might go to Rome in search of liberty (Virg. Ec. i. 27), the men of England thought it the last place where she was likely to be found. A quiet but organised opposition to the Pope was thus formed, which the Reformation found in the country and fed upon. In Italy, no spirit of this kind could exist, because the secular and ecclesiastical authorities were there united in one and the same head. In Italy, therefore, there was not that political pabulum for a reformation which existed elsewhere. The seed fell upon stony ground, and sprang up, indeed, but withered for lack of moisture.
3. Further-Amongst the Italian reformers themselves there were many unhappy divisions, which wasted their strength. Some of the questions that thus ministered strife were upon fundamentals-the doctrines of the Trinity and atonement. Here accommodation was impossible, because there was a disagreement as to the object of worship. Others were more speculative, and might, perhaps, have admitted of adjustment. Luther and Zuingle, in their conflicting sentiments on the eucharist, had each their zealous followers in Italy, and the former, interposing with his characteristic impetuosity, only widened the breach. Dr. M'Crie
thinks that, on this occasion, Luther was to be blamed-that he ought to have remembered that the whole cause of evangelical truth was at stake-that its friends were few in number and rude in knowledge that there were many things which they were not yet able to bear-that they were sheep in the midst of wolvesand that the tendency of his interference was to divide and scatter and drive them into the mouth of the wild beast, (p. 148.) Luther, however, would not have been Luther had he acted otherwise than he did he was not the man to conciliate, but to correct :
-we must take the evil with the good-the temper, which made him the fittest instrument in the world for pulling down the strongholds of errors that were pestilent, made him incapable of coming to a compromise with errors (so he thought them) which were venial. Melancthon would have done so; but would Melancthon have shaken in pieces the popedom? We can only say of Luther and Zuingle, in this matter, as was said of Ridley and Hooper in another, that God's diamonds often cut one another, and good men cause afflictions to good men.' Still the cause of the reformation in Italy, no doubt, suffered in these disputes.
4. Again-It would be monstrous to make it matter of charge against any man, that he does not lay down his life for a cause in which he feels the greatest interest notwithstanding: yet it is not to be denied that the blood of the martyr is the seed of the church, and that the early retreat of many of the leading reformers from Italy was sadly unpropitious to their cause. Unquestionably, Peter Martyr did a perfectly justifiable act,-justifiable even according to the very letter of scripture,-when he fled from Lucca, where it would have been death for him to stay: but when from his place of security he addressed a letter of reproach to his quondam congregation, because, deserted by their leader and dismayed by the sight of the engines of the inquisition, they had recanted, he was not forwarding the reformation so successfully, as if, like our own intrepid Rowland Taylor, in the parish which had long been the scene of his labours, he had crowned them all by crying aloud, I have preached to you God's word and truth, and am come this day to seal it with my blood.'
5. But that which contributed to the suppression of the reformation in Italy, above everything else, was, as we have already said, the establishment of the inquisition, and the wicked wisdom with which it was managed. Though many made their escape before the storm fell, still, as we have seen, martyrs were not wanting; but the effect of their sufferings was comparatively lost by the secresy with which they were inflicted. The deed was done in the night-perhaps in the prison-if before spectators, ecclesiastics chiefly, or altogether, who could then give out, withG 2
out fear of contradiction, that they died, after all, penitent sons of the church. In England, the persecution was well meant, but ill conducted. It should have gone upon the principle of quietly exterminating the heretics, instead of exposing them in flames before the people, as a warning that they too might come to that place of torment. To exhibit a fellow-creature leaping up and down under the smouldering faggots, and shrieking I cannot burn,' was not to admonish, but to horrify. How could such things be seen and heard, and the reformation stand still? Nothing, indeed, but the most unaccountable blindness of heart could have caused the Church of Rome to hazard such experiments as these upon the feelings of a spirited people, or prevent her from perceiving that all terror at such sights would be necessarily lost in loathing and indignation. And so it came to pass. They revolted multitudes who witnessed them. essed them. They gave force to that spirit of ultra-reformation, which drove the puritans to ride rough shod over all that had been popish, both bad and good-and they supplied an honest martyrologist with materials for a work which animates the piety and preserves the protestantism of the country, so that by means of John Fox, the martyr, though dead, still speaketh, and to this very day,
'E'en from the tomb the voice of nature cries,
ART. IV.—1. May Fair: a Poem, in Four Cantos. London. 12mo. 1827.
2. Whitehall; or, the Days of George IV. London. 12mo. 1827. 3. The Forget Me Not. London. 12mo. 1828.-The Literary Souvenir. Ditto.-The Amulet. Ditto.-The Bijou. Ditto.The Pledge of Friendship. Ditto.-The Friendship's Offering. Ditto.-The Keepsake. 8vo.-The Christmas Box. 18mo. &c., &c., &c.-The Winter's Wreath. Liverpool. 12mo. 1828. WE
E have but one answer to the charge, so frequently preferred against us by the news-writers, of neglecting the current belles-lettres of the day; viz., that of late years there has been a sad dearth of productions either meritorious enough to demand serious applause, or so conspicuously bad as to justify us in occupying our own and our reader's time with their castigation. It is very natural for the manufacturers of poetry, would-be-Byronic or Wordsworthian, and of novels of the Reuben-Apsley class, to be astonished that their performances are so often allowed to enjoy for a brief interval the puffery of daily, weekly, and monthly trumpeters, and then sink into the abyss of eternal forgetfulness,