The popes were under the constant sway of two contrary influences - on the one hand, the seducing prospect of subduing the Eastern Church and triumphing over the schism, and, on the other, the apprehension of seeing the Normans of Sicily, their competitors in Italy, increasing their already formidable power by successful expeditions into the Balkan Peninsula.
During this first period of their dealings with India the aims of the British were purely those of traders, without any aspirations to military power or territorial aggrandizement; but in the period that followed, the gradual decay of the Mogul empire from within, and the consequent anarchy, forced the English to take up arms in their own defence, and triumphing over one enemy after another they found themselves at last in the place of the Moguls.
Whilst others were triumphing openly, Mazarin, in the shadow and silence of the interregnum, had kept watch upon the heart of the queen; and when the old party of Marie de Medici and Anne of Austria wished to come back into power, to impose a general peace, and to substitute for the Protestant alliances an understanding with Spain, the arrest of Francois de Vendme, duke of Beaufort, and the exile of other important nobles proved to the great families that their hour had gone by (September 1643).
Lost, or of Jeremiah through the whole course of his seemingly fruitless ministry, was rich in experiences of faith triumphing over temptations and trials, of personal converse with God sustaining the soul in the face of difficulties hopeless to the eye of sense, which formed the pattern of a new and higher stage of religion in which the relation of the individual soul to God should be set free from those limitations which had been imposed by the conception that the primary subject of religion is the nation.
The papacy, however, held its ground, and Nicholas III., the worthy continuer of Gregory, succeeded in preserving the union and triumphing over the Angevin power.
No one shows truer courage, not marred by irreverence, in confronting the great problems of human destiny, or greater strength in triumphing over human weakness.