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i2 AWAY FROM ROME!

no obstacles in the way of the Jansenist spider which seeks to eat up the Jesuits. I these have once been destroyed, then the Jansenisr canaille will die a beautiful death of their own accord." Voltaire, too, saw the future in the rosy light of his dream: "It is not Jansenism which is preparing the way for the downfall of the Jesuits; it is the Encyclopedia, yes the Encyclopedia. I see the Jansenists dying a beautiful death after they have assassinated the Jesuits, and in the year following toleration will be established, the Protestants will be called back, the priests will marry, confession will be abolished, arid fanati- cism will be laid to rest so gently that nobody will realize what has happened.*'

While the catastrophe was hovering over the heads of the Jesuits, they were also deprived of the Pope's friendship. Benedict XIV (1740-1758), more learned than any of his predecessors, above re- proach, of pleasant disposition and keen wit, sought the goal he had firmly set for himself by the route of wisdom and not of force. To the subjects of the Papal States, he was an amiable father of his coun- try. He lowered the taxes, cut down court expenditures, abetted in- dustry and agriculture. He reduced the military budget very con- siderably, used some of the money saved to enlarge the Vatican Library, founded academies for archeology and Church history, and improved the education of the clergy. He also sent a handsome sum of money to Germany to build St. Hedwig's Church in Berlin. He recognized the title of Frederick the Great to the kingly throne o Catholic Silesia, though the Curia had previously refused to concede the point; and he thanked Voltaire cordially for the dedication of his Mohammed. The Rome of his days, where Raphael Mengs and Winckelmann painted, studied and wrote, and where Cardinal Albani functioned as protector of marble gods, heroes, nymphs, sylphs and fauns, began to be the ccntte toward which scholars, artists and lovers of the arts journeyed. Yes, many of them were surprised to behold the successor of St. Peter in the role of door-keeper of a resurrected Olympus. These were the years during which intercourse between Rome and the Court of Augustus II of Dresden, Catholic once again, was constant.

Yet at heart Benedict remained a sincerely religious Pope. The


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