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2o AWAY FROM ROME I

that things not patently useful may have a deep meaning and a real value. In order to save wood, orders were given that the dead should be buried in sacks. Joseph was in favour of monks and nuns who taught school or nursed the sick, but wanted to transform the con- templative Orders into active Orders. This could not be achieved overnight, as he supposed. There were also too many monasteries; and therefore he secularized hundreds of them, confiscated their goods and fortunes, and turned over to them a fund which was to serve ecclesiastical and charitable purposes. At least this was the intention and the command of this unselfish, high-minded ruler, but his com- missioners often acted in quite another way. The jewels which had once adorned Madonnas now appeared round the necks of the wives and mistresses of emancipated officials. Rome was given more cause for concern when the Church marriage laws were tampered with, when Papal decrees were subjected to revision, when the Index was sup- planted by an imperial censorship, when Austrian subjects were for- bidden to study at the Collegium Germanicum in Rome, when the remaining Orders were cut off from intercourse with their fellow re- ligious in other countries, and when the state interfered in questions of liturgy. All this brought down upon Joseph's head the sarcastic remark of his Prussian colleague: "Mon frere, le sacristain.**

The protests of the Curia were in vain. The Pope then resolved, in view of the accusations of laxity which had reached his ears, to pay the Emperor a personal visit, and announced his intention to do so. But the answer was not so much a welcome as a hint to stay away. Pius now had the choice between a humiliation and the certainty that he would be accused of being afraid or of failing to live up to his word. He went quite simply, with just a few retainers; for the swamps of Pontus, which like many a Pope before him he had sought to drain, had swallowed up much money. Nevertheless there were expensive presents in his carriage, and before he left Rome he himself was the recipient of a gift a priceless fur sent by the Russian Crown Prince and his wife. After an emotional scene of parting between the Pope and the Roman people, his journey became a veritable tri- umphal inarch. Bells rang from all sides, and shouting, kneeling people gathered along every road. "Quanto c bello!" "Tanto c


ROME