Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 7.djvu/284

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the law at present stands—who is entitled to exercise a sort of almost royal prerogative within the territory of this empire.

Such being the case, we are naturally interested in supplying that spiritual potentate with correct particulars of what is going on among us and enabling him to form an exact and impartial opinion about current events before he undertakes to pronounce judgment upon them. We have good reason to believe that the pope has hitherto not been very well informed about certain occurrences in Germany, and we have therefore thought it right to appoint a minister to his person who, had he been accepted, on account of his high ecclesiastical rank and long intimacy with the occupant of the Holy See, would have had rare opportunity of conveying our own version of things to his ears. This was our sole object in this nomination, rejected, I am sorry to say, by Pius IX.

As to the other intentions attributed to us by those who approve, as well as by the less lenient critics who censured the appointment, they have never existed. Depend upon it, in nominating a cardinal as our representative at Rome, we neither hoped to talk the pope over to our way of thinking, nor did we at all wish to signify our willingness to repeat a certain ceremony enacted centuries ago at Canossa.[1]

  1. This remark created an immediate sensation in Berlin, which was soon echoed from every capital in Europe. It may be explained here that at Canossa, in northern Italy, occurred in 1077 the cele-