A History of the Borgias by Frederick Baron Corvo

By Frederick Baron Corvo

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Then there was the matter of King Don Alonso's bastard, Don Ferrando. The childless Queen believed him to be the son of Doiia Margarita de Hijar, one of her ladies and, in jealous rage, she smothered her. Whereupon the King banished his wife to Aragon, and legitimated Don ; Ferrando as his heir. Let it be recognised that, in the fifteenth century, Popes acted, and were expected to act, in the letter, as well as in the spirit, of the momentous words which are said by the cardinal-archdeacon to all of Them at Their coronation, Receive this tiara adorned with three crowns, and knovt Thyself to be the Ruler of the World, the Father of princes and of kings, Saviour.

Basil, Archbishop of Ruthenia. Of these two, Cardinal Bessarione had many recommendations. He was a convert from the Greek Schism he had been a pupil of Gemisthos Plethon at Constantinople no one was of higher repute in Christian piety, more admirable in doctrine, more ornate in generous manbina, ; ; ners. (Ciacconi II. ) He had no enemy in the Conclave. At a juncture, like the present, the election of a Byzantine Pontiff, who naturally sympathised with the hapless Byzantines, would have secured for Christendom a champion against the triumphant Muslim Infidel.

V was and, with His death, the tide of the Italian Renas- Monday in Rome, in 1455, in Passion-week, the dead cence stayed. : The College of Cardinals assumed the government of of the Universal Church, while the Conclave for the election of the Successor of St. Peter was assembling. During nine days the Novendialia, the quaint ceremonies Rome and connected with the obsequies of a Pope, were celebrated. On Good Friday, the 4th of April, after the Adoration of the Cross, the Mass of the Presanctified, and the Exposition of the Vernicle (or True Image of our Divine Redeemer, vulgarly known as The Veronica), had been performed in the Vatican Basilica, the cardinals were immured; the doors and windows of the Vatican were bricked up; Pandolfo, Prince Savelli, Hereditary Marshal of the Holy Roman Church, entered upon the guardianship of the Conclave and the election was begun.

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