Billeder på siden
[ocr errors]

ill, owing to a Dofe of Poison, that his Uncle Ludovic had caufed to be given him, of which he foon after died.

No fooner was the young Duke dead, but Ludovic left the King, and immediately feized the Dutchy, reaping thereby the Fruit of his Wickedness, not fhewing the leaft Regard to Galeazzo's Son, who was then but five Years old.

The French indeed trembled with Horror, at the firft News of the Wickedness of this Wretch, who acted fo far as to bring their King to be a Witness of a Parricide upon the Perfon of his Coufin German; and several of his Majefty's Council thought it much better and fafer, to revenge Galeazzo's Death, and conquer the Dutchy of Milan, than march any farther.

Duke Ludovic, by his Intrigues having gained Stephen de Vers to his Intereft, foon overthrew all the good Counsel that was given the King; and, among other Arguments, he was told, that his Reputation would fuffer, if he abandoned his Attempt upon Naples, and which would alfo be very ftrange, in regard he had now a very good Profpect of fucceeding in it.


This prevailed on the King to renew his March, and take the Road for Tuscany, in order to go for Rome, and from thence to enter the Kingdom of Naples, and in his Way he took a small Castle by Storm on the Confines of Florence; then the Fort of Serezenello on Articles, and defeated fome Succours marching up under Paul Urfine. This fo terrified Peter de Medicis, that he refolved to go to his Majesty and make Peace with him, who received him. gracioufly, and foon after he agreed to all the King's Demands; which were to deliver into his Hands four Places in Tuscany, that were the very Keys of that Country, with Liberty for Charles to keep them a limited Time, and to permit him to borrow 200,000 Crowns


Crowns in Gold of the City of Florence; which Towns were accordingly delivered up.

Sforza arrived at the French Camp the very Day after these Matters were tranfacted. Medicis told him be bad gone out of the Camp on Purpofe to meet him, but was forry to learn that Ludovic, in coming thither, bad loft his Way; by which, he faid, he had miffed an Opportunity of faluting him on the Road. Ludovic reply'd, 'Tis true one of us has loft our Way, and perhaps it was yourself, alluding to Peter's delivering up the four Fortreffes to the French. However, Ludovic thought to reap fome confiderable Advantage to himself from what Peter had acted, which induced him to advance to the King the 20,000 Ducats that he had promifed by the Treaty. As foon as he had fo done, he afked Charles to put thofe Towns into his Hands, which Medicis had delivered up to him ; but being denied his Request he retired, under Pretence of taking Care of his own Affairs at home, and left Emiffaries about the King to watch his Motions. Pifa now cries out for Liberty, and his Majefty granted it. Florence, at all Times inclin'd to the French, took the Opportunity of Charles's Approach to turn the Tables upon Peter de Medicis, and by a Sentence of the Senate they banish'd him, and recovered their Liberty; fo that thro' the Temerity of one Youth fell the Family of Medici, Florence. from a Grandeur which they had poffeffed for fixty Years within the City of Florence, to that of being exiled. As to Charles, he took no Notice of these Proceedings, but paffed on, and on the 17th of November entered that City with his Army in Battle Array, himfelf armed at all Points, and his Launce upon his Thigh.

The Submiffion of the Florentines having removed the greateft Difficulties in Charles's Expedition, he continued there ten Days, during which Time the French and Florentines entered into a new League; wherein



wherein it was agreed, firft, That they fhould enjoy ⚫ their antient Liberty under his Majefty's Protection; fecond, that the King fhould continue in Pof'feffion of Pifa, Leghorn, and other Towns delivered up by Medicis, till after the Conqueft of Naples.' As foon as the Treaty was figned, the King fet out from Florence, and proceeded to Sienna, Sienna. where he met with a very different Reception to that at Florence. The Inhabitants, as a Proof of their confiding in his Protection, at once confenting, that he fhould leave a Garrison there.

On the 6th of December he arrived at Pail- Pailloto. loto, where he met with the best Part of his Equipage. The prodigious Success that attended the French Arms, and their great Train of Artillery, raifed a Terror in all Italy.

During this March, the King of Naples's Ar- Viterbo. my, under the Command of the Duke of Calabria, came to a Refolution to poft themfelves under Viterbo, and fo difpute the Paffage with Charles, which he would have found very difficult to force; but the King was every where attended with Succefs; for the Duke miftrufting the Pope, on hearing the News of his having fent the Bishops of Concordia and Torni to treat with his Majefty, marched back his Army to Rome, and thereupon Charles entered Viterbo without Oppofition.

Thefe Bishops foon arrived at the French Camp, and were immediately introduced to the King, who received them kindly; where opening their Commiffion, among other Propofals, was that of a League between their Master, the Pope, Charles, and Alphonfo of Naples, and fo turn their Arms against the Turks; to which his Majefty answered, That he fhould foon fend Ambaffadors to attend his Holinefs, who would difcover to him his Mind; but that whatever Treaty he fhould conclude with the Pope, he would not Y 2 include


• include any other Prince in it;' and with this Anfwer the Bishops returned to Rome.

From Viterbo, where the King left a GarNepi rifon, he proceeded to Nepi; and on the 18th of December he came within fight of Rome, having feized several Towns in the adjacent Parts, where he difperfed his Men; he alfo fent two thoufand Swifs, and five hundred Launces to conduct Cardinal de la Rovere to his Bishoprick, who for fear of the Pope, his declared Enemy, durft not venture till now to refide there; which Forces had Orders to join the Colonnis on the other fide the Tyber, in order to protect the Correfpondence thofe Lords had at Rome.

On thefe Tidings the Pope was feized with fuch Confternation and Abjectnefs of Mind, that, being, as it were, deftitute of all manner of Counsel and Affiftance with Intreaties and Tears in his Eyes, he began to recommend his Affairs and the Safety of his Perfon to his Domefticks, being difpofed to leave Rome, and retire to a Place of more Safety, in Company of thofe Cardinals whom, fome time before, he had in a Confiftory obliged by a Writing to follow him.

But Borgia, his Son, thinking, that if the Pope left Rome, it would not be fo much yielding the Field of Battle to the Enemy, as the Ruining of their Family to fuch a Degree, that it might chance never to rife again; he therefore begged his Holinefs not to depart from the City on any Account, affuring him, that he would ufe his beit Endeavours to prevail with the Inhabitants to defend both his Perfon and the City.

For that End, he acted himself in a very humble and affectionate Manner towards the People, making them great Promifes, and at the fame time diftributing Largeffes among the Heads of the Factions : Befides, the better to ftrengthen his Intereft, he recommended his Affairs to the Foreign Minifters, and all


those who had Intereft with the French, that were there at that Time; but he could obtain no other Answer from them, than as they were the Substitutes of their respective Princes, they could not act any other Way, than as they were directed by their Principals. After all, both Father and Son found their Affairs in a very bad Situation; and what added to their Trouble was the Murmurs of the People, when they found all Provifions by Sea intercepted, and it was looked upon as a bad Omen, Part of the City Wall falling down. In fhort, Matters at last came to that pafs, that the Pope was neceffitated to fhift for himself, but the Difficulty was how to do it without endangering his Perfon, or difhonouring his Dignity. He could not but fee with great Regret de la Rovere, and fome other Cardinals, in great Truft and Favour with Charles, all of them capable of the most violent Refolutions; the unjust Means by which he arrived at the Pontificate, the fcandalous Life he had led, and affembling a General Council to depofe him, were publickly talked of: So that upon the Whole it was more eafy for the King of France tò act offenfively against the City of Rome, than it was poffible for the Pope to defend it; his Holinefs, therefore, judging it in vain to contend with Charles, under fuch disadvantageous Circumftances, refolved to yield to Neceffity, and rather undergo the Inconveniencies of a precarious Peace, than expofe himself to the certain Danger of a War.

Whilft the Pope was thus perplexed, Charles Rome. on Christmas Eve fent Ambaffadors to his Holiness, whofe Inftructions were to demand Leave for their Master to enter Rome, and to require, that the Neapolitan Troops fhould be difmified from thence, and the French Army have Provifions allowed them at the King's Charge. These were Terms of a hard Digeftion for the Pope; but of two Evils he chofe the leaft, and accordingly yielded


« ForrigeFortsæt »