1634: THE BAVARIAN CRISIS – snippet 22:
Mike groaned at the pun. Ed grinned and continued.
“Anyhow, in 1626, Campanella was moved to Rome. Urban VIII let him out of prison in 1629. Keep in mind, all this time that Campanella’s been in the Inquisition’s prisons, he’s been living on a church pension and using the money to appeal to important politicians for support, so what did Urban have to lose?”
“Oh, no. Not the Barberinis, too!”
Ed Piazza smiled blithely. “Oh, yes. The Barberinis too. Anyway, as of 1629, Campanella got out. Then, this year, he got himself implicated in the new conspiracy in Naples. He may not actually have been involved to start with—probably wasn’t—but the people doing it were certainly inspired by him. It looked like it was back to the comfortably cushioned dungeons for Tommy, but up-time the French ambassador, Noailles, helped him escape from Italy. He stayed for a few months with Peiresc and Gassendi in Aix-en-Provence, doing mathematics, and then he went to Paris under Richelieu’s protection. Mike, I tell you, this guy is connected. Up-time, he was received at court by Louis XIII. Down-time, he’s just in the French embassy in Rome. Every antenna that I have wiggling out of my head says that pretty soon he’ll be publishing books that substitute France for the Spanish Habsburgs as playing the lead role in his grand schemes of political reform.”
“Why should the Spanish Habsburgs care?”
“That brings us full circle. Campanella’s supporters in Naples have apparently linked up with Osuna the Fourth. That’s one thing. However, they’ve also linked up with simmering popular revolutionary movements in Palermo and Messina. Also with Genoino’s people in Naples itself. Osuna’s gotten the idea that he can display himself as the strong protector of the common man against the exploiting feudal landlords. The peasants in Bari, Puglia, all over Calabria, in the Abruzzi, the people in Salerno, seem to think the idea has something to be said for it. ‘S funny, Mike, how much the history textbooks left out because they needed to arrange things in nice neat units with topic headings like, ‘The Rise of Absolutism.’ The bits and pieces are almost all in the encyclopedia, once I find out the names and dig them up. This crazy century is full of popular revolts, in Switzerland, in Lisbon, in Russia, in Upper Austria, all over. And just by being here, by demonstrating that one of them succeeded, we’re speeding them up. They’re coming faster. More spaghetti. Did I think to mention that someone in Sicily has invented the pasta press? Spaghetti’s getting cheaper and more abundant, becoming the food of the people . . . But I digress.”
“Have the Committees of Correspondence, the CoCs, gotten that far? To Naples, I mean?”
“It’s not just Gretchen’s CoCs by any means. Sometimes I think that it isn’t her propaganda in favor of revolutions that’s having the most effect. No matter how much it may have slipped the minds of the people who wrote the textbooks, the European common people didn’t need to be introduced to the idea of revolution. And their rulers know it, since the events of the1580s and 1590s are a bit more recent in their memories than they were in ours. Gretchen and Spartacus don’t really have to stir up revolutionary sentiment; it’s already there. They’re tapping it and molding it, but they’re not creating it.”
Mike nodded. “The real effect of the Committees of Correspondence is in their practical manuals on how to run a revolution effectively. It’s the organizational side where modern ideas are going to make the most difference, I think.”
“But, to get back to the topic. The curia doesn’t want to oppose Osuna because he’s distracting the Spanish from sitting on the Albanians who are going to have a crusade, so they’re tacitly letting this revolutionary tie slide through. The Spanish Habsburgs have said furious things in the diplomatic correspondence. At least,” Ed said primly, “that is what I am told.
“Do I dare to ask who told you?”
“I would prefer to consider it a privileged communication.”
Mike waved his hand. He had heard the same thing himself, from Don Francisco Nasi. But Ed did not have Don Francisco at his disposal. Of course, there were a lot of Don Francisco’s cousins in Grantville. Samantha Burka, Ed’s good right hand during his tenure in the Department of International Affairs of the New United States before it became the State of Thuringia and then, since the February elections, the State of Thuringia-Franconia in the USE, had just married whom? He’d remembered to send a letter with his felicitations, he was sure. Yeah—she had married Diego Nasi.
“In any case,” Ed was saying, “the distractions that Spain has in the southern part of the peninsula, just now, means that they are putting less pressure on the Grand Duke of Tuscany. Which may have some impact on how Urban VIII decides to handle the whole Galileo matter, though nobody can be sure.”
“Galileo has a lot of public relations appeal,” Mike said, “but that’s out of our hands. Grantville isn’t going to be involved in it, one way or the other.”
“As far as we know at the moment,” Ed answered.
“Ed, stop going all diplomatic and cover-your-ass on me.”
“I’m holding to my position,” Ed said. “But Naples, I think, is the key. The problems in Naples will also mean that the Spanish are in such a pinch that they can’t divert any kind of actual force against Don Fernando up in the Netherlands if he decides to try for some kind of appanage. The idea of quasi-independence for the Netherlands isn’t something that’s going to appeal to Philip IV, or to Olivares in Philip’s name, since they ‘know’ from our encyclopedias that they’re staring comparable events in Portugal, Catalonia, and Andalucia in the face, while having one start in Naples right now. Or, at least, pretty soon. But nobody knows which way Don Fernando is going to jump. And, at least, since he’s in the church, even if he did decide to carve out a piece of the pie for himself, it would escheat back to Spain eventually.”
“Why,” Mike asked, “do the Cavrianis care?”
“To be quite honest,” Ed answered, “I don’t have the vaguest idea.”
He drank his cold coffee.
“But at least Leopold is going off to the Upper Palatinate to try to make a profit from rocks this summer. That should keep him safely out of any immediate messes.”
The next morning, when it was too late—Ed was already on his way back to Grantville—Mike said out loud over breakfast, “Wait a minute. We got distracted. Ed never got back to saying what Richelieu wants of Campanella.”
He found himself juggling twenty-seven different balls that day. He forgot to make a note to ask Ed about Tommaso Campanella.