Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/118

This page needs to be proofread.


MAZARIN


92


MAZARIN


Mazaiin, Jules, b. pit her at Rome or at Piscina in the Abruzzi, of a very old Sicilian family, 14 July, Itil)'-'; il.at Vinccnncs,"'.) March, Ititil. His father was majordoino to the Colcmiia family at Rome. One of his uncles, t;iulio Mazarini ( lol l-lti'_'2). a .Icsuit, ciijoyi'd a great reputation in Italy, particularly at Bologna, as a preacher, at\d piiblislicd several volumes of sacred eloquence. His youth was full of excitement: he ac- companied the future Cardinal Colonna to Madrid; he was in turn a captain of pontifical troops and tlien a pontifical diplomat in the N'altelliiu' War (1(124) and the Mantuan War of Succession (lti2S :!()). The truce which he negotiated (2(1 Octoljer, 1(530) between the French, on one side, and the Spaniards and the Duke of Savov. on the other, won for him the esteem of T^if-lir-lJi-'-i, ^^ll.. \\-:i-' w.-l! pleased at his letting Pignerol


Tomb of Cardinal Mazarin Coysevox, Louvre

fall into the hands of the French. The Spaniards tried to injure him with Pope Urban VIII, but the influence of Cardinal Antonio Barberini and a letter from Rich- elieu saved him. He became canon of St. John Lat- eran, vice-legate at Avignon (1632), and nuncio extra- ordinary in France (1634). The Spaniards complained that in this last post Mazarin made it his exclusive business to support Richelieu's policy, and he was dis- missed from the nunciature by Urban VIII (17 Jan., 1636). Soon after leaving the papal service, he went to Paris, placed himself at Richelieu's disposition, and was naturalized as a French subject in April, 1639. Richelieu commis.sioned him, late in 1640, to sign a secret treaty between France and Prince Thomas of Savoy, and cau.sed him to be made a cardinal on 16 Dec, 1641. Shortly before Richeheu's death, Mazarin by a piece of clever management, had been able to effect the reoccupation of Sedan by French troops, and Richeheu on his deathbed(4 Dec, 1642) recommendefl him to the king. On the death of Louis XI II (14 M.iy, 1642), Anne of .\ustria, leaving the Due d'( )rlc'ans the shadowy title of lieutenant-general of the kingdom, gave the reality of power to Mazarin, who first pre- tended to be on the point of setting out for Italy, and then pretended that his acceptance of office was only provisional, until siich time as the peace of Europe should be re-established.

But Mazarin, like Richeheu, was, in the event, to retain power until his death, first under the queen re- gent and then imder the king after Louis XIV (q. v.) had attained his majority. His very humble ap- pearance and manner, his gentle and kindly ways, had


contributed to his elevation, and Atuie's affection for him was the best guarantee of his continuance in office. The precise character of his relations with Anne of Austria is one of the enigmas of history. Certain let- ters of Anne of Austria to Mazarin, published by Cousin, and admissions made by Amie to Mme de Brienne and recoriled in the Memoirs of Lom(5nie de Brientie, prove that the queen regent was deeply attached to the cardinal. Still, " my sensibilities have no part in it ", she said to Mme de Brienne. Few his- torians give credence to Anne's assertion on this point, and some go so far as to accept the allegations of the Princess Palatine in her letters of 1717, 1718, and 1722, according to which Anne of Austria and Mazarin were married. M. Loiseleur, who has made a careful study of the problem, believes that Mazarin was never married; it is certain that he retained the title and insignia of a cardinal until his death; probably he was even a cardinal-priest, though he never vi-sited Rome after his elevation to the purple and seems never to have received the hat. And in any ease he held the title of Bishop of Metz from 1653 to 16.58.

Mazarin continued Richelieu's pohcy against the House of Austria. Aided by the victories of Condi^ and Turenne, he succeeded in bringing the Thirt.\' Years' War to a conclusion with the "Treaties of Mini- ster and Osnabriick (Treaty of Westphalia), which gave Alsace (without Strasburg) to France; and in 1659 he ended the war with Spain in the Peace of the Pyrenees, which gave to France Roussillon, Cerdagiii', and part of the Low Countries. Twice, in 1651 and 1652, he was driven out of the country by the Parlia- mentary Fronde and the Fronde of the Nobles, with the innumerable pamphlets {Mazarinudca) which they published against him, but the final defeat of both Frondes Was the victory of royal absolutism, and Mazarin thus prepared the way for Louis XIV's om- nipotence. Lastly, in 16.58, he placed Germany, in some sort, under the young king's protection, by form- ing the League of the Rhine, which was destined to hold the Hou.se of Austria in check. Thus did he lay the foundation of Louis XIV's greatness. His foreign policy was, as Richelieu's had often been, indifferent to the interests of Catholicism: the Peace of West- phalia gave its solemn sanction to the legal existence of Calvinism in Germany, and, while the nuncio vainly protested, Protestant princes were rewarded with sec- ularized bishoprics and abbacies for their political opposition to Austria. Neither did it matter much to him whether the monarchical principle was res]x'Ctcii or contemned in a foreign country: he was Croniwcll's ally. Towards the Protestants he pursued an ailroit policy. In 1654 Cromwell opened negotiations with the Calvinists of the South of France, who, the year before, had taken up arras in Ardeche to secure certain liberties for themselves. Mazarin knew how to keep the Calvinists amused with fine words, promi.ses, and calculated delays: for six years they believed them- selves to be on the eve of recovering their privileges, and in the end they obtained nothing. The cardinal well knew how to retain in the king's service valuable Protestants like Turenne and Ciassion.

His personal relations with the HolySee were hardly cordial. He could not prevent Cardinal Pamfili, a friend of Spain, from being elected pope (15 Sept., 1644) as Innocent X. He received in France, one after the other, Cardinals Antonio and Francesco Barberini, nephews of the late pope, and the Bull of 21 February, 1646, fulminated by Innocent X against the cardinals, who were absenting themselves without authorization, (by the tenor of which Bull Mazarin himself was bound to' repair to Rome), was voted by the Parliament of Paris " null and abusive ". Mazarin obtained a decree of the Royal Council forbidding money to be remitted to Rome for expediting Bulls, there was a show of pre- paring an expedition against Avignon, and Innoceiit X, yielding to these menaces, ended by restoring their .