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the Kettle-drums were apparelled in Cloth of Gold, the Rebec ftrung with Gold Wire, and the Instruments themselves Silver flung with large Gold Chains. Thofe Minstrels marched before Duke Valentinois's Perfon, (between him and the thirty Gentlemen) founding their Inftruments the whole Way as they paffed along, with whom rode Muficians, viz. four Trumpets, and the like Number of those who founded Clarions of Silver. Behind them came up twentyfour Lacquies, dreffed in Crimfon Velvet, mixed with Stripes of yellow Silk, marching on Foot by way of Guards about the Duke's own Perfon, with whom rode the Marshal D'Aubigny. The Duke was mounted on a stately Horfe, adorned with fumptuous Furniture; himself was dreffed in a Robe of red Sattin and Cloth of Gold, plentifully befet with coftly Diamonds, and large Pearls. Around his Cap, or Ducal Bonnet, were double Rows of Jewels, with fix or feven Rubies as large as the bigger kind of Beans; all which reflected a dazzling Luftre on the Beholders: There was a great Number of other precious Stones ftrewed here and there over all his Apparel, even on his Boots, which were covered with Cordage of Gold Thread twisted, ard bordered with Pearls; and about his Neck he wore a Gold Chain worth 30,000 Ducats.
The Horfe on which the Duke rode was charged with Foliage of Gold, and covered with Enibofsments, embellished with Pearls and precious Stones, near which was a Mule, appropriated for his Riding on other Occafions, and which was richly furnished with Bridle, Saddle, and other Accoutrements, embroidered and figured with Rofes, about the Breadth of a Finger from one another. To compleat the Whole, there were twenty-four Mules covered with red Sumpter Cloths, on which were the Duke's Arms embroidered; and after them followed a Number
of Carriages, or rather Chariots, loaded with Baggage and Things belonging to his Perfon.
In this fplendid Manner did Cefar Borgia make his Entry into Chinon, where King Lewis himself, from the Windows of a Houfe, beheld the whole Pageantry as it paffed along, and doubtless, laughing within himself, thought it too great Vanity to be affumed by the Petit Duc de Valentinois. In fine, nothing but the Magnificence of the Afiatick Princes could have equalled it.
But what was esteemed the most exceffive of all, and a Piece of Luxury and Expence never before known in Chriftendom, was a Number of Horfes led in his Train, the Shoes of which, fome Authors fay, were all Maffy Gold, a monftrous Vanity indeed, to cover his Horfes Hoofs with a Mettle which graces the Temples, and adorns the Heads of Kings.
The King received Borgia in great State, and with all the Honours and Marks of Kindness that he could expect, giving neither him nor the Pope Reason to repent their having fought his Friendship, as by the Sequel will more fully appear.
The Duke had not been four Days at the French Court, before his Marriage with Charlotte de Foix was celebrated with the utmoft Splendor and Magnificence: That being accomplished, the King concluded a Treaty with him, who acted as well on his Father's Behalf, as on his own; the Subftance of which was, That the King promifed to affift in putting the Pope in poffeffion of fome Towns in Romagna, that had been fevered from the Holy See :' But this was not to be performed till the Pope had effectually aided Lewis in the Conquest of Milan.
After Borgia had obtained what he propofed from going into France, he returned to Rome with his Princefs, highly fatisfied with the kind and generous Treatment he had met with at the French Court.
Lewis having done thus far, his Thoughts were now wholly taken up with the chief Thing in view, the Conqueft of Milan and other States of Italy, which he claimed as Heir to the Eftates of the House of Orleans.
Tho' most of the Italian Princes were very uneafy at the Friendship contracted between Alexander and Lewis, yet they were in hopes that the Embarrassment of a new Reign would free them, for fome Time at leaft, from the French Arms; and indeed the King would not have been fo much in hafte to carry the War into Italy, had not other Conjunctures, befides the Affiftance of the Pope, prefented themselves; particularly, the Venetians had been for fome time at Variance with the Duke of Milan, principally owing to that Duke's Ambition, who endeavoured only to aggrandize himself at the Expence of his Neighbours. Nothing could have been more for the French King's Advantage, than the Mifunderstanding between those two Powers, the Re-union of which loft Charles the Kingdom of Naples; and with this Event we shall conclude the Year 1498.
His Majefty of France, by the different Proceedings we have juft mentioned, feemed to have effectually fecured the Friendship both of the Pope and his Son; this Point being carried, he next had recourse to the Republick of Venice, in order to prevail with that State to declare War against the Duke of Milan: Accordingly, the Beginning of this Year, he sent an Ambaffador to Venice; who had not been long there before Lewis heard with Pleasure, that his Minister had concluded a Treaty with the Republick against the Duke of Milan, which was afterwards figned by the King at Blois, April 15th. By which the Venetians were to have for their Share of the Milanefe all the Towns beyond the River Adda, and the French to have thofe on this fide ← that River.'
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In fine, the Venetians fhewed great Joy upon the Conclufion of this Treaty, hoping in the End to poffefs themfelves of that Part of the Dutchy (which the French King was to have) either by Purchase, or on his lofing it by ill Government, as it had happened before in the like Cafe: But in this they were miftaken, and foon afterwards found the Obfervation too true, That, as to Princes and Eftates, the next Neighbour being an Enemy, the more potent, the more dangerous.
The Seafon for Action being now come, Lewis fet out on his Expedition, but before that, he obtained Leave of the Duke of Savoy, for his Army to pafs thro' his Dominions; and, to make every thing more fecure, he entered into a new offenfive and defenfive League with the Swifs Cantons, in which they exprefly declared, That they had no Alliance with Ludovic, and owned the King's Title of Duke of • Milan.
After all thefe Negotiations, the raifing Forces, and other Preparations in France took up fome Time, which could not but give the Duke of Milan a great deal of Uneafiness, as he found the Whole was levelled against him: He fought every where for Support and Protection, but in vain, for even the Emperor failed him; and, inftead of affifting Ludovic, he concluded a Truce with France. This he was induced to do, in order to keep the French from aiding the Swiss in the War we have been fpeaking of, which he had juf: ended with thefe People. Poor Ludovic then would gladly have been reconciled to the Vene tians, and therefore made them feveral very advantageous Propofals, but it was too late, they turned a deaf Ear to every Thing he faid or propofed; fo that the Time feemed to be now come for bringing him to Juftice for his enormous Crimes.
Duke Ludovic had only one Prince that was dif pofed to ferve him, which was Frederick, King of Na
ples, but he was chiefly fo for his own Security, the Intereft of the one being almoft in common with that of the other, for the Conqueft of the Milanefe was only an Introduction to that of Naples: Tho' Ludovic was unhappy in that Quarter too, for Frederick was poor, and unable effectually to affift him, without inftantly expofing his own Dominions to danger; and, as they both found they had no Friends among the Chriftian Princes, they had recourfe to the Affiftance of Bajazet, the Emperor of the Turks, and accordingly prevailed on that Monarch to declare War against the Republick of Venice, thinking that that would fo fully employ the Venetians, as to hinder them from putting their Design upon Milan in Execution.
The Venetians loft no Time; they not only provided fufficient Forces to ward off the Turkish War, but foon drew together a large Army in Breslau, on the Frontiers of the Milanefe, whilft that of France increased in the Aftifan. Sforza being informed what those two Powers were aiming at, and finding himfelf unable to wage War against both of them, his laft Refuge was to furnish his Garrifons, and delay the War as much as poffible, in hopes that fome happy Conjuncture might turn out in his Favour.
He had actually on Foot 2000 Men at Arms, 2000 Light Horse, 14,000 Foot, and a large Train of Artillery, which he divided into two Bodies, giving the Command of one to the Count de Cajazza, who marched to Breslau, to put a Stop to the Attempts of the Venetians; and the other, which was much more numerous, to Galeazzo of St. Severin, to make head against the French; and took upon himself the Defence of the City of Milan.
The French Army paffed the Alps about the End of July, under the Command of Lewis of Luxemburg, Count de Ligni, Robert Stuart, Marshal D'Aubigny, and John James Trivulca, and the King kept himself