This discreetness contributed not a little to his election to the papacy on the 24th of April 1585; but the story of his having feigned decrepitude in the Conclave, in order to win votes, is a pure invention.
The social and political decrepitude of Italy, where patriotism was unknown, and only selfishness survived of all the motives that rouse men to action, found its representative and exponent in Guicciardini.
Though the signory still made a brave show upon occasions of parade, it was clear that the state was rotten to the core, ahd sinking into the decrepitude of dotage.
The new dynasty thus at first gave the impression rather of decrepitude than of yot~th, seeming more a continuation of the Carolingian monarchy than a new departure.
But it is often the case that theory develops as practice fails; and as the theory of the Holy Roman Empire was never more vigorous than in the days of its decrepitude, so it was with the Crusades.