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natural world, and brings before our | ly, like a man who has horribly feared eyes on its fairy-wings the genius which the day of judgment, and who yet has created it. Look now. Do you hoped to be saved with a shaking of ali not see the poet behind the crowd of his bones." Again, when he saw Rome his creations? They have heralded his for the first time, he prostrated himself, approach. They have all shown some- saying, "I salute thee, holy Rene what of him. Ready, impetuous, im- bathed in the blood of so many mar passioned, delicate, his genius is pure tyrs." Imagine, if you may, the effect magination, touched more vividly and which the shameless paganism of the by slighter hings than ours. Hence Italian Renaissance had upon such a his style, blooming with exuberant mind, so loyal, so Christian. The mages loaded with exaggerated meta- beauty of art, the charm of a refined phors, whose strangeness is like inco- and sensuous existence, had taken no herence, whose wealth is superabun- hold upon him; he judged morals, and dant, the work of a mind, which, at the he judged them with his conscience .east incitement, produces too much only. He regarded this southern civiliand takes too wide leaps. Hence this zation with the eyes of a man of the involuntary psychology, and this terri- north, and understood its vices only, ble penetration, which instantaneously like Ascham, who said he had seen in perceiving all the effects of a situation, Venice "more libertie to sinne in IX and all the details of a character, con- dayes than ever I heard tell of in our centrates them in every response, and noble Citie of London in IX yeare." gives to a figure a relief and a coloring Like Arnold and Channing in the which create illusion. Hence our emo- present day, like all the men of Gertion and tenderness. We say to him, manic† race and education, he was as Desdemona to Othello: "I love thee horrified at this voluptuous life, now for the battles, sieges, fortunes thou reckless and now licentious, but always hast passed, and for the distressful void of moral principles, given up to stroke that thy youth suffered." passions, enlivened by irony, caring only for the present, destitute of belief in the infinite, with no other worship than that of visible beauty, no other object than the search after pleasure, no other religion than the terrors of imagination and the idolatry of the eyes.


The Christian Renaissance.


"I would not," said Luther afterwards, "for a hundred thousand florins have gone without seeing Rome; I should always have doubted whether I was not doing injustice to the Pope. The crimes of Rome are incredible; no one will credit so great a perversity who has not the witness of his eyes, ears, personal knowledge. . . . There reigned all the villanies and infamies all the atrocious crimes, in particular blind, greed, contempt of God, perju ries, sodomy.

'I WOULD have my reader fully under-
stand," says Luther in the preface to
his complete works, "that I have been
a monk and a bigoted Papist, so intoxi-
cated, or rather so swallowed up in
papistical doctrines, that I was quite
ready, if I had been able, to kill or pro-
cure the death of those who should
have rejected bedience to the Pope
by so much as a syllable. I was not
all cold or all ice in the Pope's defence,
like Eckius and his like, who veritably
seemed to me to constitute themselves
his defenders rather for their belly's
sake than because they looked at the
matter seriously. More, to this day
they seem to mock at him, like Epicu-
reans. I for my part proceeded frank-en the Italians.

We Germans swill liquor enough to split us, whilst the Italians are sober. But they are the most impious of men; they make a mock of true religion, they scorn the rest of us Christians, because we be

ed. Arber, 1870, first book, p. 83..

*Roger Ascham, The Scholemaster (1579)

† See in Corinne, Lord Nevil's judgment



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come together freely, like us Germans they do not allow strangers to speak publicly with their wives: compared with the Germans, they are altogether men of the cloister." These hard words are weak compared with the facts.* Treasons, assassinations, tortures, open debauchery, the practice of poisoning, the worst and most shameless outrages, are unblushingly and publicly tolerated in the open light of heaven. In 1490, the Pope's vicar having forbid den clerics and laics to keep concubines, the Pope revoked the decree, "saying that that was not forbidden, because the life of priests and ecclesiastics was such that hardly one was to be found who did

eve every thing in Scripture. There is a saying in Italy which they make use of when they go to church: 'Come and let us conform to the popular error.' 'If we were obliged,' they say again, to believe in every word of God, we should be the most wretched of men, and we should never be able to have a moment's cheerfulness; we must put a good face on it, and not believe every thing.' This is what Leo X. did, who, hearing a discussion as to the immortality or mortality of the Boul, took the latter side. 'For,' said he, it would be terrible to believe in a future state. Conscience is an evil beast, who arms man against himself.' The Italians are either epicure-not keep á concubine, or at least who ans or superstitious. The people fear had not a courtesan." Cæsar Borgia St. Anthony and St. Sebastian more at the capture of Capua "chose forty than Christ, because of the plagues of the most beautiful women, whom he they send. This is why, when they kept for himself; and a pretty large want to prevent the Italians from com- number of captives were sold at a low mitting a nuisance anywhere, they price at Rome." Under Alexander paint up St. Anthony with his fiery VI., "all ecclesiastics, from the greatance. Thus do they live in extreme est to the least, have concubines in the superstition, ignorant of God's word, place of wives, and that publicly. If not believing the resurrection of the God hinder it not," adds the historian, desh, nor life everlasting, and fearing" this corruption will pass to the monks only temporal evils. Their blasphemy and religious orders, although, to conalso is frightful, and the cruelty fess the truth, almost all the monaste ries of the town have become bawdhouses, without anyone to speak against it." With respect to Alexander VI., who loved his daughter Lucretia, the reader may find in Burchard the description of the marvellous orgies in which he joined with Lucretia and Cæsar, and the enumeration of the prizes which he distributed. Let the reader also read for himself the story of the bestiality of Pietro Luigi Farnese, the Pope's son, how the young and upright Bishop of Fano died from his outrage, and how the Pope, speaking of this crime as "a youthful levity, gave him in this secret bull "the fullest absolution from all the penalties which he might have incurred by human incontinence, in whatever shape or with whatever cause. As to civil security, Bentivoglio caused all the Marescotti to be put to death; Hippolyte d'Este


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of their revenge is atrocious. When they cannot get rid of their enemies in any other way, they lay ambush for them in the churches, so that one man cleft his enemy's head before the alThere are often murders at funerals on account of inheritances. ...They celebrate the Carnival with extreme impropriety and folly for several weeks, and they have made a custom of various sins and extravagances at it, for they are men without conscience, who live in open sin, and make light of the marriage tie. We Germans, and other simple nations, are like a bare clout; but the Italians are painted and speckled with all sorts of false opinions, and disposed still to embrace many worse. ... Their fasts are more splendid than our most sumptuous feasts. They dress extravagantly; where we spend a florin on our clothes, they put down ten florins to have a silk coat. When they (the Italians) are chaste, it is sodomy with them. There is no society amongst them. No one trusts another; they do not



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*See Corpus historicorum medii avi, G. Eccard, vol. ii.; Joh. Burchardi, high cham berlain to Alexander VI., Diarium, p. 2134 Guicciardini, Dell' istoria d'Italia, p. 211, ed Panthéon Littéraire.

the Cicisbei, dense ignorance, and open knavery, the shamelessness and the smartness of harlequins and rascals, misery and vermin, such is the issue of the Italian Renaissance. Like the old civilizations of Greece and Rome,* like the modern civilizations of Prov. ence and Spain, like all southern civil izations, it bears in its bosom an irre mediable vice, a bad and false concep tion of man. The Germans of the sixteenth century, like the Germans of the fourth century, have rightly judged it; with their simple common sense, with their fundamental honesty, they have put their fingers on the secret plague-spot. A society cannot be founded only on the pursuit of pleas ure and power; a society can only be founded on the respect for liberty and

renovation which in the sixteenth century raised the whole of Europe might be perfected and endure, it was necessary that, meeting with another race, it should develop another culture, and that from a more wholesome concep tion of existence it might educe a bet ter form of civilization.

had his brother's eyes put out in his presence; Cæsar Borgia killed his brother; murder is consonant with their public manners, and excites no wonder. A fisherman was asked why he had not informed the governor of the town that he had seen a body thrown into the water; "he replied that he had seen about a hundred bodies thrown into the water during his lifetime in the same place, and that no one had ever troubled himself about it." "In our town," says an old historian, "much murder and pillage was done by day and night, and hardly a day passed but some one was killed." Cæsar Borgia one day killed Peroso the Pope's favorite, between his arms and under his cloak, so that the blood spurted up to the Pope's face. He caused his sister's husband to be stab-justice. In order that the great human bed and then strangled in open day, on the steps of the palace; count, if you can, his assassinations. Certainly he and his father, by their character, morals, complete, open and systematic wickedness, have presented to Europe the two most successful images of the devil. To sum up in a word, it was on the model of this society, and for this society, that Machiavelli wrote his Prince. The complete development of all the faculties and all the lusts of man, the complete destruction of all the restraints and all the shame of man, are the two distinguishing marks of this grand and perverse culture. To make man a strong being, endowed with genius, audacity, presence of mind, astute policy, dissimulation, patience, and to turn all this power to the acquisition of every kind of pleasure, pleasures of the body, of luxury, arts, literature, authority; that is, to form and to set free an admirable and formidable animal, very lustful and well armed,-such was his object; and the effect, after a hundred years, is visible. They tore one another to pieces like beautiful lions and superb panthers. In this society, which was turned into an arena, amid so many hatreds, and when exhaustion was setting in, the foreigner appeared: all bent beneath his lash; they were caged, and thus they pine away, in dull pleasures, with low vices, bowing their backs. Despotism, the Inquisition,

See, in Casanova's Mémoires, the picture


Thus, side by side with the Renais sance, was born the Reformation. It also was in fact a new birth, one in harmony with the genius of the Germanic peoples. The distinction be tween this genius and others is its mor al principles. Grosser and heavier more given to gluttony and drunken ness,f these nations are at the same of this degradation. See also the Mémoires of Scipione Rossi, on the convents of Tuscany at the close of the eighteenth century.

From Homer to Constantine, the ancient was the conquest and destruction of other f:eo city was an association of freemen, whose ai


↑ Mémoires de la Margrave de Baireuts See also Misson, Voyage en Italie, 1700. Compare the manners of the students at the present day. "The Germans are, as you know, wonderful drinkers: no people in the world are more flattering, more civil, more officious; but yet they have terrible customs in the mat done drinking: they drink doing every ter of drinking. With them every thing is thing. There was not time auring a visit to say three words, before you were astonished to see the collation arrive, or at least a few jugs bread, dished up with pepper and salt; a fatal of wine, accompanied by a plate of crusts of preparation for bad drinkers. Then you must

time more ur der the influence of con- | honored by others, honored by him science, firmer in the observance of self; and if so be that he needs assist their word, more disposed to self-denial and sacrifice. Such their climate has made them, and such they have continued, from Tacitus to Luther, trem Knox to Gustavus Adolphus and Kant. In the course of time, and beneath the incessant action of the ages, the phlegmatic body, fed on coarse food and strong drink, had become rusty, the nerves less excitable, the muscles less strung, the desires less seconded by action, the life more dull and slow, the soul more hardened and indifferent to the shocks of the body: mud, rain, snow, a profusion of unpleasing and gloomy sights, the want of lively and delicate excitements of the senses, keep man in a militant attitude. Heroes in the barbarous ages, workers to-day, they endure weariness now as they courted wounds then; now, as then, nobility of soul appeals to them; thrown back upon the enjoyments of the soul, they find in these a world, the world of moral beauty. For them the ideal is displaced; it is no longer amidst forms, made up of force and joy, but it is transferred to sentiments, made up of truth, uprightness, attachment to duty, observance of order. What matters it if the storm rages and if it snows, if the wind blusters in the black pine-forests or on the wan sea-surges where the sea-gulls scream, if a man, stiff and blue with cold, shutting himself up in his cottage, have but a dish of sourkrout or a piece of salt beef, under his smoky light and beside his fire of turf; another kingdom opens to reward him, the kingdom of inward contentment: his wife loves him and is faithful; his children round his hearth spell out the old famAy Bible; he is the master in his Lome, the protector, the benefactor,

come acquainted with the laws which are afterwards observed, sacred and inviolable laws. You must never drink without drinking to some one's health; also, after drinking, you must offer the wine to him whose health you have drunk. You must never refuse the glass which is offered to you, and you must naturally drain it te its last drop. Reflect a little, I beseech you, on these customs, and see how it is possible to cease drinking; accordingly, they Dever cease. In Germany it is a perpetual drinking-bout; t drink in Germany is to drink forever.

ance, he knows that at the first appeal
he will see his neighbors stand faith-
fully and bravely by his side. The
reader need only compare the po
traits of the time, those of Italy and
Germany; he will comprehend at a
glance the two races and the two ci
ilizations, the Renaissance and the
Reformation: on one side a half-naked
condottiere in Roman costume, a car
dinal in his robes, amply draped, i
a rich arm-chair, carved and adorn
ed with heads of lions, foliage, dancing
fauns, he himself full of irony, and vo
luptuous, with the shrewd and dan
gerous look of a politician and man of
the world, craftily poised and on his
guard; on the other side, some honest
doctor, a theologian, a simple man, with
badly combed locks, stiff as a post, in
his simple gown of coarse black serge,
with big books of dogma ponderously
clasped, a conscientious worker, an ex-
emplary father of a family. See now
the great artist of the age, a laborious
and conscientious workman, a follower
of Luther's, a true Northman-Albert
Durer.* He also, like Raphael and
Titian, has his ideal of man, an inex-
haustible ideal, whence spring by hun-
dreds living figures and the representa-
tions of manners, but how national and
original! He cares not for expansive
and happy beauty: to him nude bodies
are but bodies undressed: narrow shoul-
ders, prominent stomachs, thin legs, feet
weighed down by shoes, his neighbor the
carpenter's, or his gossip the sausage.
seller's. The heads stand out in his
etchings, remorselessly scraped ani
scooped away, savage or commonplace,
often wrinkled by the fatigues of trade,
generally sad, anxious, and patient
harshly and wretchedly transformed by
the necessities of realistic life.
is the vista out of this minute copy ol
ugly truth? To what land will the
lofty and melancholy imagination be
take itself? The land of dreams
strange dreams swarming with deer
thoughts, sad contemplation of human
destiny, a vague notion of the great
enigma, groping reflection, which in the
dimness of the rough wood-cuts, amidst


* See his letters, and the sympathy expressed for Luther.


they are hurled from the crest at the
lance's point into the abyss; he e and
there roll heads, lifeless bodies; and
by the side of those who are being
decapitated, the swollen corpses, im.
paled, await the croaking ravens
these sufferings must be undergone for
the confession of faith and the establish
ment of justice. But above there is a
guardian, an avenger, an all-powerful
Judge, whose day shall come. This
day has come, and the piercing rays of
the last sun already flash, like hand-
ful of darts, across the darkness of the
age. High up in the heavens appears
the angel in his shining robe, leading the
ungovernable horsemen, the flashing
swords, the inevitable arrows of the
avengers, who are to trample upon and
punish the earth; mankind falls down
beneath their charge, and already the
jaw of the infernal monster grinds the
head of the wicked prelates This is
the popular poem of consc ence, and
from the days of the apostles, man has
not had a more sublime and complete

obscure emblens and fantastic figures, | under the lash the breast of a hill, and tries to seize upon truth and justice. There was no need to search so far; Durer had grasped them at the first effort. If there is any decency in the world, it is in the Madonnas which are constantly springing to life under his pencil. He did not begin, like Raphael, by making them nude; the most licentious hand would not venture to disturb one stiff fold of their robes; with an infant in their arms, they think but of him, and will never think of anybody else but him; not only are they innocent, but they are virtuous. The good German housewife, forever shut up, voluntarily and naturally, within her domestic duties and contentment, breathes out in all the fundamental sincerity, the seriousness, the unassailable loyalty of their attitudes and looks. He has done more; with this peaceful virtue he has painted a militant virtue. There at last is the genuine Christ, the man crucified, lean and fleshless through his agony, whose blood tri-kles minute by minute, in rarer drops, as the feebler and feebler pulsations give war ing of the last throe of a dying life We do not find here, as in the Italian masters, a sight to charm the eyes, a mere flow of drapery, a disposition of groups. The heart, the very heart is wounded by this sight: it is the just man oppressed who is dying because the world hates justice. The mighty, the men of the age, are there, indifferent, full of irony: a plumed knight, a big-bellied burgomaster, who with hands folded behind his back, looks on, kills an hour. But the rest weep; above the fainting women, angels full of anguish catch in their vessels the holy blood as it trickles down, and the stars of heaven veil their face not to behold so tremendous an outrage. Other outrages will also be represented; tortures manifold, and the true martyrs beside the true Christ, resigned, silent, with the sweet expression of the earliest believers. They are bound to an old tree, and the executioner tears them with his iron pointed lash. A bishop with clasped hands is praying, lying down, whilst an auger is being screwed into his eye. Above amid the interlacing trees and gr arled roots. a band of men and women, climb

For conscience, like other things, has its poem; by a natural invasion the all-powerful idea of justice overflows from the soul, covers heaven, and enthrones there a new deity. A formidable deity, who is scarcely like the calm intelligence which serves philosophers to explain the order of things; nor to that tolerant deity, a kind of constitutional king, whom Voltaire discovered at the end of a chain of argument, whom Béranger sings of as of a comrade, and whom he salutes " sans lui demander rien." It is the just Judge, sinless and stern, who demands of man a strict account of his visible actions and of all his invisible feelings, who tolerates no forgetfulness, no de jection, no failing, before whom every approach to weakness or error is an outrage and a treason. What is our justice before this strict justice? l'eo. ple lived in peace in the times of ignorance; at most, when they felt themselves guilty, they went for absolution to a priest; all was ended by their buying a big indulgence; there was a

See a collection of Albert Durer's wood carvings. Remar) the resemblance of his 4 poralvėse to Luther's Table Talk.

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