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A Popular History of France from the Earliest Time

After sitting some weeks at Pontoise


Dubois,

meanwhile, was nearing the goal of all his efforts. In order to obtain the cardinal's hat, he had embraced the cause of the Court of Rome, and was pushing forward the registration by Parliament of the Bull Unigenitus. The long opposition of the Duke of Noailles at last yielded to the desire of restoring peace in the church. In his wake the majority of the bishops and communities who had made appeal to the contemplated council, renounced, in their turn, the protests so often renewed within the last few years. The Parliament was divided, but exiled to Pontoise, as a punishment for its opposition to the system of Law; it found itself threatened with removal to Blois. Chancellor d'Aguesseau had vainly sought to interpose his authority; a magistrate of the Grand Chamber, Perelle by name, was protesting eloquently against any derogation from the principles of liberty of the Gallican Church and of the Parliaments. "Where did you find such maxims laid down?" asked the chancellor, angrily. "In the pleadings of the late Chancellor d'Aguesseau," answered the councillor, icily. D'Aguesseau gave in his resignation to the Regent; the Parliament did not leave for Blois; after sitting some weeks at Pontoise, it enregistered the formal declaration of the Bull, and at last returned to Paris on the, 20th of December, 1720.

Dubois had reconciled France with the court of Rome; the latter owed him recompense for so much labor. Clement XI. had promised, but

he could not make up his mind to bring down so low the dignity of the Sacred College; he died without having conferred the hat upon Dubois. During the conclave intrigues recommenced, conducted this time by Cardinal Rohan. The Jesuit Lafitteau, who had become Bishop of Sisteron, and had for a long while been the secret agent of Dubois at Rome, kept him acquainted with all the steps taken to wrest a promise from Cardinal Conti, who was destined, it was believed, to unite the majority of the suffrages. "Do not be surprised," he adds, "to hear me say that I go by night to the conclave, for I have found out the secret of getting the key of it, and I constantly pass through five or six guard-posts, without their being able to guess who I am."

Cardinal Conti was old and feeble; all means were brought to bear upon him. Dubois had for a long time past engaged the services of Chevalier St. George; when the new pope was proclaimed, under the name of Innocent XIII., he had signed a conditional promise in favor of Dubois. The Regent, who had but lately pressed his favorite's desires upon Clement XI., was not afraid to write to the new pontiff--

"MOST HOLY FATHER,

"Your Holiness is informed of the favor which the late pope had granted me on behalf of the Archbishop of Cambrai, of which his death alone prevented the fulfilment. I hope that Your Holiness will let it be seen, on your accession to the throne of St. Peter, that services rendered to the Church lose nothing by the death of the sovereign pontiffs, and that you will not think it unworthy of your earliest care to give me this public mark of the attention paid by the Holy See to the zeal which I profess for its interests. This kindness on the part of Your Holiness will crown the wishes I formed for your exaltation, will fill up the measure of the joy which it has caused me, will maintain our kindly relations to the advantage of the peace of the Church and the authority of the Holy See, and will fortify the zeal of the Archbishop of Cambrai in the execution of my orders to the glory of the Pontificate and of Your Holiness."


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