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MONTALCINO


513


MONTALEMBERT


Hia memories are the result of his personal experience and especially of his very extensive reading. According to his own expression he himself is "the subject of his book". But what excuses him is doubtless the fact that in depicting himself he often depicts human na- ture in general. He is a charming conversationalist, a writer full of pith and colour, artlessness, grace, and life. His literary merits add to the dangers of his book, which is deliberately lascivious and as a whole openly favourable to the Pyrrhonians. He has even written that it is "a slack ear for a shapely head". However, on the other hand, he thanked "our sove- reign Creator for having stayed our trust on the ever- lasting foundation of His holy word". He also said that outside of the path pointed out by the Church reason "is lost, embarrassed, shackled". In a letter he relates in a Christian manner the Chris- tian death of his friend La Boetie. He himself, as soon as he became ill, would not send for a priest, and in his last illness did not depart from this custom. Pasquier relates that he "caused Mass to be said in his chamber and when the priest came to the ele- vation the poor gentleman raised himself as well as he could in bed with hands joined and thus yielded his soul to God". He died therefore in a supreme act of faith.

BoNNEFON, Montaigne el ses essais (1892); GuizOT, Montaigne (1899); Champion, Introduction aux Essais de Montaigne (1900).

Georges Bertrin.

Montalcino, Diocese of (Ilcinensis). — Montalcino is a small town about twenty

miles from Siena, some 1900 r • ■ ■

feet above sea-level and over- MicnEL-LitiuL.v

looking the valley of the Ombrone. In the neighbour- hood are mineral springs and chalk quarries. In the ninth century it belonged to the abbey of San Antonio. In 1212 it was taken by the Sienese, but soon afterwards the inhabitants declared themselves in favour of Flor- ence. In 12t)0, after the battle of Montaperti, it once more fell into the hands of the Sienese, who made it a stronghold. In 1.52.5 it was besieged by the imperial troops; in 1.555, when Siena was annexed by Tuscany, Pietro Strozzi with the aid of French troops endeav- oured to set up a free republic at Montalcino, but in 1556 the French were obliged to retreat and the town submitted to Cosimo I. Earthquakes have not been unfrequent, the last being in 1909. Montalcino belonged originally to the Diocese of Arczzo; in the eleventh century the abbots of San Antonio had quasi-episcopal jurisdiction over it; in 1462 it was made a diocese and united with the See of Pienza, which, however, became in 1563 a separate diocese. Its first bishop was Giovanni Cinughi; Francesco ' Piccolomini (Pius III) administered the see at one time. The diocese is directly subject to the Holy See; it has .34 parishes and 39,130 souls, 1 convent for men and two for women.

Cappelletti, Le Chiese d'ltalia, XVIII (Venice, 1857).

U. Beniuni. Montalembert, Charles-Forbes-Rene, Comte DE, b. in Loiiilcin, 15 April, 1810; d. in Paris 13 March, 1870. Ilisfallicr, Marc Renij, had fought in the army of Conde, and had afterwards served in an English cavalry regiment; he was chosen by the Prince Regent of England to announce to Louis XVIII the X.— 33


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restoration of the French monarchy, and he became under the Restoration plenipotentiary minister to Stuttgart, and, later, to Stockholm. His maternal grandfather, James Forbes, belonged to a very old Scotch Protestant family and had made many im- portant journeys to India, which he related in the four volumes of his "Oriental Memoirs", published in 1813; he also wrote in 1810 a volume entitled "Re- flections on the character of the Hindus and the necessity of converting them to Christianity".

Montalembert's mother, converted by Abb6 Busson and Pere MacCarthy, made her abjuration of heresy to Cardinal de Latil in 1822. The early years of Montalembert's life were passed in England; after- wards he studied at the Lycee Rourbon and at the College S:iinte-Barbe at Paris, where "lit of twenty pupils in the sixteenth year of their age hardly one was a practical Catholic. At Sainte-Barbe young Montalembert made a friend of Leon Cornudet, who was also a Catholic, and the letters the boys exchanged in their seventeenth year have remained famous. At that early age Montalembertwrote: "Would it not be a splendid tiling to show that religion is the mother of hberty!", a phrase which was to become the motto of his whole life. In 1829 he wrote to Rio: "my age, my tastes, my future call me to support the new ideal; but my religious beliefs and moral emotions cause me to lament bitterly the bygofie days, the ages of faith and self- sacrifice. If Catholicism is to triumph it must have hberty as its ally and tributary sub- ""■ "'""'•■""•-'- ject". Soon after its establish-

ment in 1829 by Cam6, Cazales, and Augustin de Meaux, with the motto (borrowed from Canning): "Civil and Religious Liberty for the whole world", the review "Le Correspondant " had Montalembert as a contributor. In September and October, 1830, he tr.avellcd in Ireland, where he met O'Connell; he was thinking of assistingthe cause for which O'Connell was struggling by writing a history of Ireland, when he learned that the House of Commons had passed the Irish Emancipation Act.

While he was in Ireland he received the prospectus of the new paper "L'Avenir", founded in October, 1830, by Lamennais. On 26 Oct., 1830, he wrote to Lamennais: " All that I know, and all that I am able to do I lay at your feet ". On 5 November, 1830, he met Lamennais in Paris, and on 12 November at Lamen- nais's hou.se he met Lacordaire. At times, Monta- lembert had to smooth over some of the risky things Lamennais allowed himself to be led into writing against the royalists in the paper; on the other hand he was engaged in controversy with Lacordaire, whose idea of aristocracy and the past glory of the French nobles he considered too narrow. It was Montalem- bert who, the day after the sack of St. Germain r.\uxcrrois by the Parisian mob, published in " L'Avenir" an eloquent article on the Cro.ssof Christ, "which has ruled over the destinies of the modern world." He especially distinguished himself in the "L'.\venir" by his campaigns in favour of freedom for Ireland and Poland, and for these he received the congratulations of Victor Hugo and Alfred de Vigny. In 1831 he thought of going to Poland and joining the