a formal protestatio, in which he not only denounced the failure of the Powers to do justice to the church, but also their refusal to re-establish that “centre of political unity,” the Holy Roman Empire.
The rest of Consalvi’s life was devoted to the work of reorganizing the States of the Church, and bringing back the allegiance of Europe to the papal throne. He was practically governor of Rome; and Pius was so much under his control that “Pasquin” said the pope would have to wait at the gates of paradise till the cardinal came from purgatory with thekeys. Nor was the affectionate confidence of the pope misplaced. Consalvi’s rule, in times of singular difficulty and unrest, was characterized by wisdom and moderation. He had to steer a middle course between the extremes represented by the Carbonari on the one hand and the Sanfedisti on the other, and he consistently refused to employ the cruel and inquisitorial methods in vogue under his successors. His foreign policy was guided by the traditional antagonism of the papacy to German domination in Italy, and generally by a desire to free the Holy See as far as possible from the political entanglements of the age. Thus he resisted all Metternich’s efforts to draw him into his “system”; stoutly maintained the doctrine of non-intervention against the majority of the Powers of the continental alliance; protested at the congress of Troppau against the suggested application of the principle of intervention to the States of the Church; and at Verona joined with Tuscany in procuring the rejection of Metternich’s proposal for a central committee, on the model of the Mainz Commission, to discover and punish political offences in Italy.
On the death of Pius VII. (August 21, 1823), Consalvi retired to his villa of Porto d’ Anzio; and, though he accepted from the new pope the honorary office of prefect of the college De Propaganda Fide, his political career was closed. He died on the 24th of January 1824. By his will he directed that all the presents he had received should be sold, and the proceeds applied to the completion of Thorwaldsen’s monument of Pius VII. in St Peter’s.
Consalvi, besides being a statesman, was a man of wide and varied interests. As a young abate he had followed the fashion of writing verses, and to the end he remained a notable patron of the arts and sciences, music being his main passion. For the city of Rome he did much; ancient buildings were excavated and preserved by his direction; chairs of natural science and archaeology were founded in the university; and extensive purchases were made for the Vatican museum, which was augmented by the addition of the beautiful Braccio Nuovo, or new wing.
CONSANGUINITY, or Kindred, in law, the connexion or relation of persons descended from the same stock or common ancestor (vinculum personarum ab eodem stipite descendentium). This consanguinity is either lineal or collateral. Lineal consanguinity is that which subsists between persons of whom one is descended in a direct line from the other, while collateral relations descend from the same stock or ancestor, but do not descend the one from the other. Collateral kinsmen, then, are such as lineally spring from one and the same ancestor, who is the stirps, or root, as well as the stipes, trunk or common stock, whence these relations branch out. It will be seen that the modern idea of consanguinity is larger than that of agnatio in the civil law, which was limited to connexion through males, and was modified by the ceremonies of adoption and emancipation, and also than that of cognatio, which did not go beyond the sixth generation, and was made the basis of Justinian’s law of succession. The more limited meaning of consanguinei was brothers or sisters by the same father, as opposed to uterini, brothers or sisters by the same mother. The degrees of collateral consanguinity were differently reckoned in the civil and in the canon law. “The civil law reckons the number of descents between the persons on both sides from the common ancestor. The canon law counts the number of descents between the common ancestor and the two persons on one side only,” and always on the side of the person who is more distant from the common ancestor. English law follows the canon law in beginning at the common ancestor and reckoning downwards. The question of consanguinity owes its great importance to the relationship it bears to the laws of marriage and inheritance. For instance, the law forbids marriage between persons within certain degrees of consanguinity and affinity, a prohibition which applies with equal force to a bastard as well as to those born in wedlock. The laws of inheritance and descent are regulated in a great measure according to consanguinity, however much they may vary in different jurisdictions.
CONSCIENCE, HENDRIK (1812–1883), Flemish writer, was born at Antwerp on the 3rd of December 1812. Although he invariably signed his name Hendrik, his baptismal name was Henri. He was the son of a Frenchman, Pierre Conscience, from Besançon, who had been chef de timonerie in the navy of Napoleon, and who was appointed under-harbourmaster at Antwerp in 1811, when that city formed part of France. Hendrik’s mother was a Fleming, Cornelia Balieu. When, in 1815, the French abandoned Antwerp after the Congress of Vienna, they left Pierre Conscience behind them. He was a very eccentric person, and he took up the business of buying and breaking-up worn-out vessels, of which the port of Antwerp was full after the peace. The child grew up in an old shop stocked with marine stores, to which the father afterwards added a collection of unsaleable books; among them were old romances which inflamed the fancy of the child. His mother died in 1820, and the boy and his younger brother had no other companion than their grim and somewhat sinister father. In 1826 Pierre Conscience married again, this time a widow much younger than himself, Anna Catherina Bogaerts. Hendrik had long before this developed an insatiable passion for reading, and revelled all day long among the ancient, torn and dusty tomes which passed through the garret of “The Green Corner” on their way to destruction. Soon after his second marriage Pierre took a violent dislike to the town, sold the shop, and retired to that Kempen or Campine which Hendrik Conscience so often describes in his books—the desolate flat land that stretches between Antwerp and Venloo. Here Pierre bought a little farm, with a great garden round it, and here, while their father was buying ships in distant havens, the boys would spend weeks, and even months, with no companion but their stepmother.
At the age of seventeen Hendrik left the paternal house in Kempen to become a tutor in Antwerp, and to prosecute his studies, which were soon broken in upon by the revolution of 1830. He volunteered as a private in the new Belgian army, and served in barracks at Venloo, and afterwards at Dendermonde, until 1837, when he retired with the grade of sergeant-major. Thrown in this way with Flemings of every class, and made a close observer of their mental habits, the young man formed the idea of writing in the despised idiom of the country,