[Suppression of the Society of Jesus]. Anonymous anti-Jesuit poem written upon the death of Pope Clement XIV.

No place, ca. 1774.

8vo. Italian manuscript on paper. 1 p.


The poetic persona of this slanderous sonnet is the devil who informs the Jesuits of Clement's demise and incites them to use the opportunity for their malefactions, implying that they are responsible for papicides and regicides: "Mort'é Clemente (all'empia Società / Il Diavol' prese tosto a dir' così.) / Teneri Figli miei, vedete già, / Quanto per voi m'adopri e notte, e dì. / Or sappiate, che in man vi tornerá, / Tutto ciò, che il destin à voi rapí, / E che La Compagnia risorgerá, / Ad onta di Colui, che vi abboli, / Deh.' [Non] cari Figli, non temete più, / Seguite pur à uccider Papi, e Ré, / Ch'io sempre vi darró [!] forza, e virtú, / Ed al vostro valor ampia mercè, / Finchè verrete poi tutti quaggiù, / Eternamente ad abitar con me".

A slightly different version of this poem was published in the posthumous eighth volume of José Ortiz y Sanz's "Historia general de España" with the sardonic comment that the "devil apparently had some prognostic power" but that his words are unreliable, as is to be expected for a statement by the devil.

On 21 July 1773, Clement XIV issued the papal brief "Dominus ac Redemptor Noster" ordering the suppression of the Society of Jesus. This was probably the most controversial political decision of the 18th century, leading to a surge of propaganda for and against the Jesuits and the Pope that culminated after Clement's death on 22 September 1774.

Traces of folds. With a small burn hole and minor stains.

J. Ortiz y Sanz, Historia general de España, Volume VIII (Madrid, 1846), p. 243.

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