Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/669

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Here, we may remark, is evidence of the motives on which the Popes distrusted Conciliar action, because, if it could be invoked at any time and for any reason against them, their jurisdiction was paralysed.

A year later the Duke made the Cardinal his prisoner at Bruneck, and demanded a surrender of the points in dispute. Cusanus yielded, escaped, fled to Pius at Siena, and cried aloud for satisfaction. The Pope, after fruitless negotiations, excommunicated Sigismund, laid his dominions under interdict, and brought Gregor Heimburg once more into the field, who drew up a formal appeal to the Council. A war of pamphlets followed, bitter in its personalities on all sides, but especially damaging to Pius II, whose earlier years were little fitted to endure the fierce light of criticism now turned upon them. Heimburg's language, though moderate, was unsound from the papal point of view; it was coloured also by his personal dislike of Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, with whomlhe had a long-standing quarrel. "Prelates of Germany," he exclaimed, "insist on the Council as the stronghold of your freedom. If the Pope carries it, he will tax you at his good pleasure, take your money for a Crusade, and send it to Ferrante of Naples." The Bishop of Feltre replied on behalf of Pius, while the German princes took part with Sigismund. No one regarded the interdict. Diether of Mainz, after being excommunicated and deposed, took up arms against the Curia, and a miserable war laid waste Germany. The Cardinal's death brought his troubles to an end in 1464. Heimburg passed over to George Podiebrad and the Bohemians, only at last to seek reconciliation with Rome. Sigismund received absolution. The Curia triumphed in the conflict at Mainz. An interval of quiet followed, during which the movement of learning went its way prosperously and religion kept the peace with humanism.

This humanism or, as it may be termed, the earlier Renaissance, flourished at many centres. Realist and Nominalist were of one mind in promoting classical studies, although Ulrich von Hütten has persuaded the world that Cologne, the head-quarters of monasticism and the Inquisition, loved to dwell in Egyptian darkness. The inveterate quarrel, which is as old as Plato, between poets, or men of letters, and philosophers who seek wisdom by process of dialectic, must not be overlooked, when we read the judgments of the later humanists on a scholasticism that they despised without always understanding it. To them technical terms were a jargon, and the subtle but exquisite distinctions of Aquinas spelt barbarism. But now printing with move-able types had been invented. From Mainz it was with incredible rapidity carried over Europe to Rome, London, Lisbon, and even Constantinople. The clergy-to quote the words of Archbishop Berthold of Mainz (Henneberg)-hailed it as a divine art. They endowed printing-presses, crowded the book-markets, almost impoverished themselves by the purchase of their productions-if we may