Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/724

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months were conceded to the Pope and a promise was made that the annates should be moderate and be payable in instalments during two years. This was a triumph of Italian diplomacy, for the leaven of Basel was still working in Germany, and the Basilian anti-Pope, Felix V, was endeavouring to secure recognition. But Aeneas Sylvius notified Nicholas V that this was only a truce, not a permanent peace, and that the utmost skill would be required to avert a rupture, for there were dangerous times ahead and currents under the surface that would call for careful piloting.

Advantageous as the Concordat was to Rome, the Curia could not be restrained to its observance and, in 1455, the three Spiritual Electors of Mainz, Trier, and Cologne, united in complaint of its violation. With other bishops and princes of the Empire they bound themselves to resist a tithe demanded by Calixtus III and to send his pardoners back across the Alps with empty purses; they agitated for the enforcement of the canons of Constance and Basel and urged Frederick III to proclaim a Pragmatic Sanction. Various assemblies were held during the next two years to promote these objects and, in 1457, Dr Martin Meyer, chancellor of the Archbishop of Mainz, in a letter to Aeneas Sylvius, bitterly complained of the papal exactions, whereby Germany was drained of its gold and that nation which, by its valour, had won the Roman Empire and had been the mistress of the world was reduced to want and servitude, to grief and squalor. Calixtus met the German complaints with a serene consciousness of the weakness of his adversaries. To the prelates he wrote threatening them with punishment, spiritual and temporal. To Frederick he admitted that mistakes might have been made in the pressure of business but there had been no intentional violation of the Concordat. It was true that the Holy See was supreme and was not to be fettered by the terms of any agreement; but still, out of liberality and love of peace and affection for the person of the Emperor, the compact should be observed. No one must dare to oppose the Roman Church; if Germany thought it had reason to complain it could appeal to him. The result corresponded to the expectations of Calixtus; the confederates suspected their leader, Archbishop Dietrich of Mainz, of desiring to sell them; and after some further agitation in 1458 the movement fell to pieces.

It was promptly followed by another of even more dangerous aspect. Dietrich of Mainz died, May 6, 1459, and was succeeded by Diether von Isenburg. Pius II, then Aeneas Sylvius, had negotiated the Concordat of 1448 which stipulated that annates should be moderate and be payable by instalments, yet he refused to confirm Diether except on condition that he would satisfy the demands of the Camera for his annates. Diether’s envoys agreed, and the cost of the confirmation was fixed at 20,550 gulden, to be advanced on the spot by Roman bankers. These accordingly paid the shares of the Pope, the Cardinals, and the