Chronicles of the House of Borgia

Chronicles of the House of Borgia

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Chronicles of the House of Borgia

Chronicles of the House of Borgia

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Great Houses win and lose undying fame in a century. They shoot, bud, bloom, bear fruit ;—from obscurity they rise to dominate their Age, indelibly to write their names in History : and, after a hundred years, giving place to others who in turn shall take the stage, they descend into the crowd, and live on, insignificant, retired, unknown.

Once upon a time, Caesars were masters of the world ; and the genius of Divus Julius, of Divus Augustus, was worshipped everywhere on altars. There are Cesarini at this day in Rome, cosa grande ch’ il sole, masters of wide domains, but not of empires. Once upon time, Buonaparte held Europe in its grip. Buonaparte at this day keeps exile in Muscovy or Flanders. Once upon a time, the Sforza were sovereigns-regnant; and of their daughters were made an empress and a queen. There are Sforza at this day at Santafiora and at Rome; peers of princes only, not of kings. Once upon a time, Borgia was supreme in Christendom. There are Borgia at this day, peers of France; or patricians whose names are written in the Golden Book of Rome.

In little more than a century, from 1455 to 1572, Borgia sprang to the pedestal of fame; leaping at a bound, from little bishoprics and cardinalates, to the terrible altitude of Peter’s Throne; producing, in those few years, two Popes, and a Saint and General of Jesuits. It is true that there died, in the nineteenth century, another Borgia of renown,— the Lord Stefano Borgia, Cardinal-Presbyter of the Title of . . .

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