AGAINST EMPEROR 333
head, and put the other on the head of his wife. All present under- stood the meaning of this action. He ascended the throne, the Pope blessed him and greeted him as "Augustus." The thousands in the throng shouted their homage, and outside the Cathedral the event was announced with salvos of cannon fire. The new Cxsar then took an oath of loyalty to the constitution and High Mass followed.
The Pope's disillusionment began at the Coronation banquet: he was not shown to the place that was rightfully his. During the days that followed he realized that he would make no headway. He wrote a letter that revealed his feelings, and Talleyrand answered with non- committal phrases. In Rome gossips had long since been referring to the Pope as Napoleon's court chaplain, and the mockery' really expressed the true intentions of the Emperor. He wanted Pius to leave Rome and settle either in Paris or Avignon. If he decided on the second city, the Palace would be renovated and a splendid retinue pro- vided. But to this the Pope retorted that in this case France would have only a poor monk named Barnaba Chiaramonti, since he had already taken steps to assure the immediate selection of a new Pope in Rome provided that certain unfortunate things occurred "Avant dt quitter I' hale fat signc une abdication regulaire" Therewith he had already escaped from the grasp of the despot, even as a spirit escapes from matter.
Napoleon compelled the Pope to postpone his departure until he himself had preceded him to Italy. The parting was cool. The Pope had come with precious gifts, but the presents he got in return and took with him were not the magnificent treasures that had been promised and even described in the newspapers, but merely Gobelins and Church vessels of mediocre quality. Included was a tiara, the most precious gem in which had been removed from the crown of Pius VI, prisoner of France. The last insult to Pius was that the new coat of arms chosen for the Italian monarchy incorporated the Papal keys and the symbols of the three legations which had been taken from the Papal States. The Pope rode out of France in the wake of Napoleon, who was journeying to Milan for the King's coronation; and whenever the Emperor changed horses, Pius was given those that had been left behind. It was as if history had suddenly forgotten half a thousand years and was taking up the battle of the Middle Ages