[Suppression of the Society of Jesus]. Manuscript copy of six anti-Jesuit poems.

No place, late 18th century.

4to. Italian manuscript on paper. 4 pp. on bifolium.


The first sonnet in this collection mocks the Jesuits expelled from Spain in 1767, who did not receive permission to land with their ships in the Papal States. The first stave reads: "E ancor sul crespo di Nettuno / Van del suo fato incerte galleggiando / Le navi ch'ebber dalla Spagna il bando, / Carche d'ira di Dio vestita a bruno!".

The second poem pretends to be a lamentation of the Jesuit Provincial of Aragon: "Il Provinciale de Gesuiti d'Aragona, non permettendosele lo sbarco nel Porto di Civita Vecchia, si querela con i seguenti Versi di Virgilio". The fictional Jesuit quotes the Aeneid (I, 539-544), wherein a lack of hospitality towards the Trojans is decried.

The two following sonnets scold the Jesuits, based on a quarrel with the Piarists. In a droll metaphor, the Piarists' mantillas are described as thermometers indicating the trouble resulting from the "affairs of the Jesuits" in terms of storms and tempests: "Ma nel torbigo tempo, ed infelice / Alzarsi ad occhio, e vaccorciar si vede: / Onde or tempesta, ed or seren predite." The second sonnet is a response to the "Piarists who jubilate over the Jesuit catastrophes".

The longest poem in the collection, consisting of 14 staves of four and three lines, accuses the Jesuits of not celebrating Mass on Christmas Eve, instead luring the naive believers to celebrate an idolatrous Mass on Good Friday: "Li PP. Gesuiti nella Notte del SS. Natale non celebrano le sacre Funzioni ordinate dalla S. Chiesa come tutti gli altri Ecclesiastici; ma tengono chiuse le Porte delle loro Chiese sin' all'Aurora: Il Venerdi Santo poi espongono il SS. Sacramento col solito Rito, e Ceremonie, e danno al Popolo la Benedizione." The Jesuits are thus likened to the Protestants through a breach of the Roman Rite that has no celebration of Mass between the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday evening and Easter Vigil. Apart from idolatry, their true motive is presented to be hunger for power. The poem calls them "treacherous pirates who only lust for kingdoms and treasures" and celebrates their expulsion from France (1764) and Spain (1767).

A final sonnet in the collection predicts the fall of the "tall, terrible colossus" that is the Jesuit Order, repeating common accusations against the Society of Jesus that was suppressed by Pope Clement XIV in 1773.

With occasional brownstains and a minor tear to the fold.

Art.-Nr.: BN#58404 Schlagwörter: , ,