Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 46.djvu/51

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Pole
Pole
45

would never consent to bestow it on one who was of the English cardinal's 'accursed school and apostate household.'

Cardinal Caraffa, however, went to the Netherlands, and Pole restated his case to him in correspondence. He also wrote a treatise in his defence, recounting his past relations with the pope, but threw it, when completed, into the fire, saying, 'Thou shalt not uncover thy father's nakedness.' Finally he addressed to Paul, on 30 March 1558, a powerful letter, recommending his self-denying friend Priuli for the vacant bishopric of Brescia, vindicating himself from the vague charges of heresy, and asking for some explanation of the pope's recent treatment of himself.

In the course of the summer Pole fell mortally ill of a double quartan ague at Lambeth Palace. At seven in the morning of 17 Nov. Mary, who had been long ill, passed away ; at seven in the evening of the same day Pole, too, died so gently that he seemed to have fallen asleep (Cal. Venetian, vol. vi. Nos. 1286-7). The cardinal's body lay in state at Lambeth till 10 Dec., when it was carried with great pomp to Canterbury. There it was buried on the 15th, and it still rests in St. Thomas's Chapel. The place was only marked by the inscription, which has now disappeared : 'Depositum Cardinalis Poli.'

Pole was a man of slender build, of middle stature, and of fair complexion, his beard and hair in youth being of a light brown colour. His eye was bright and cheerful, his countenance frank and open. Several good portraits of him exist, in all of which he appears in the vestments of a cardinal, with a biretta on his head. One picture by Sebastian del Piombo, now at St. Petersburg (once absurdly attributed to Raphael), is a full-faced portrait, with a large flowing, wavy beard. This must have been painted at Rome in the time of Paul III, when he was in his fullest vigour. A large portrait at Lambeth is said to have been copied for Archbishop Moore from an original in Italy. This picture, with others of the same type, shows him seated, with a paper in his hand. Lord Arundel of Wardour has a valuable small panel-picture (not by Titian, however, to whom it is attributed), showing somewhat careworn features and small blue-grey eyes. This portrait has been engraved by Lodge. Other small panel-portraits of value are preserved at Lambeth, at Hardwick Hall (belonging to the Duke of Devonshire), and in the National Portrait Gallery. Two early engravings also deserve notice : One, in the ' Hercoologia ' (1620), gives the best type of his appearance; the other, which is earlier, in Reusner's ' Icones ' (Basle, 1589), shows a more aged face. There is much gentleness of expression in all his likenesses.

Pole's habits were ascetic. He kept a sumptuous table, but was himself abstemious in diet, taking only two meals a day, probably to the detriment of his health. He slept little, and commonly rose before daybreak to study. Though careful not to let his expenditure exceed his income, he never accumulated wealth, but gave liberally ; and his property after his death seems barely to have sufficed to cover a few legacies and expenses.

Seldom has any life been animated by a more single-minded purpose, but its aim was beyond the power of man to achieve. The ecclesiastical system which Henry VIII had shattered could not be restored in England. Royal supremacy thrust papal supremacy aside, even in France and Belgium ; and when in England papal authority was restored for a time, it was restored by royal authority alone, and had to build upon foundations laid by royalty. Worst of all, the papacy, itself fighting a temporal battle with the princes of this world, disowned its too intrepid champion at the last. That he died on the same day with Mary, whose battle he had been fighting all along, was a coincidence that might be considered natural. Both might well have been heartbroken at the discredit thrown upon their zeal, and the hopelessness of the political outlook.

As a writer Pole's style is verbose, but he never cared for literary fame. None of his writings were penned with a mere literary aim, except his early anonymous life of Longolius. After his death editions of his ' De Concilio ' appeared at Venice in 1562, and of the ' De Unitate ' at Ingolstadt in 1587, of 'De Summo Pontifice' (1569). There was published at Louvain in 1569 ' A treatie of lustification. Founde emong the writinges of Cardinal Pole of blessed memorie, remaining in the custodie of M. Henrie Pyning [the Henry Penning above referred to] Chamberlaine and General Receiuer to the said Cardinal, late deceased in Louaine.' The theological views here expounded are in practical agreement with the reformers. An extract from his ' De Unitate Ecclesiastica ' appeared in an English translation by Fabian Withers, under the title of 'The Seditious and Blasphemous Oration of Cardinal Pole.' Pole's correspondence, edited by Quirini, was issued at Brescia in five volumes between 1744 and 1757.

[The Life of Pole, written in Italian by his secretary Beccatelli, commonly read in the Latin translation of Andrew Dudith, who was also a