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ving adopted Francis Sforza, who had married Blanch his only Daughter.
Francifco Sforza becoming Duke of Milan, on the Death of his Father-in-law, in the Year 1466, died foon after, leaving two Sons. Ludovic, his eldest Son fucceeding him, was in a very little time affaffinated; on which John the Youngest came to the Title and Dignity, under the Guardianship of his Mother, infamous for her Lewdnefs, and Ludovic his Uncle, whofe whole Defigns, fpun with incredible Artifice, tended to no lefs than making himself Mafter of the Dutchy. John was indeed a young Man of but little Courage; yet, having married the Daughter of Alphonfo, Duke of Calabria, Son of Ferdinand King of Naples, he was for a Time preferved by their Affiftance from the wicked Machinations of his Uncle.
Ferdinand of Naples's Family confifted of two Sons, Alphonfo and Frederick; the Eldest had two Children, a Son and a Daughter, and the Youngeft died unmarried. Alphonfo's Son, named Ferdinand, was about twenty-two Years old, who, by his good Behaviour, had gained the Love of the Nobility and People; whereas the Father and Grand-father were rather feared than beloved, on Account of their oppreffive Government.
King of Naples's Family.
Ludovic, in purfuing of what he had defigned, by degrees engroffed the whole Power and Government of Milan, leaving his Nephew only the bare Title of Duke, without his being much concerned; but Isabella, his Dutchefs, being uneafy to fee the Duke her Spouse without any Authority, complained to the Duke of Calabria of this ill Ufage, who fhortly after perfuaded Ferdinand, his Father, to proclaim War against Ludovic, in order to compel him to refign the Government to his Nephew.
To avoid this War it was, that Ludovic joined in exciting Charles to undertake the Conqueft of Naples, putting him in Hopes of the Affiftance of all his Forces; and had also a further Design to make ufe of Charles's Aid to become Master of the Dutchy of Milan, and difpoffefs his Nephew, for which End he had already taken fome private Meafures.
There were at that Time two eminent Statesmen that wholly influenced King Charles's Mind, who were Stephen de Vers, his Chamberlain, and William Briconnet, his Treasurer, General, and Bishop of St. Malo, and the War was at firft agreed on by their Advice: But Briconnet, having afterwards more thoroughly confidered the Confequences that might enfue from the Undertaking, became of a quite contrary Opinion; whereby the Matter was then laid afide, but foon after it came again under Confideration, and was debated in Council. At length his first Determination for War prevailing, he rejected the pacifick Counfels of his beft Advifers, and concluded a Treaty with Ludovic's Ambaffadors. The Substance of which was, 'That his Majefty's Army fhould have
a free Paffage thro' the State of Milan, and that the faid Dutchy fhould at their own Charge provide him i with 500 Men, to be ready to join the French Army, and affift them in their Undertaking. More< over, that the French in Genoa fhould be allowed
to equip what Number of Veffels they pleased for their own Service during the War; alfo, that Ludovic, before the March of his Army, fhould lend Charles 20,000 Ducats. On the other hand, the King obliged himself to defend that Dutchy against any Power whatfoever, to maintain Ludovic in his Government, and during the War to keep 200 of his Troops within the City of Aft, for the Service of Milan; and at laft, if the War was fuccefsful, to bestow the Principality of Tarrante on Ludovic.'
The French Writers take notice on this Occafion, that there was not Wisdom in the King's Council, nor Money in his Coffers, nor Affurance of Allies, fufficient to carry on the War; for in Italy he had none but the perfidious Ludovic attached to his Intereft.
Guicciardin, on the other fide, fays, This was the Eftate of the Kingdom of France; it was very • populous in Multitudes of Men; for Wealth and Riches, every particular Region moft fertile and plentiful; for Glory in Arms most flourishing and ⚫ renowned; a Policy well directed, Difcipline adminiftred, an Authority dreadful, and in Opinion and Hope most mighty; laftly, their general Conditions and Faculties fo well furnished, as perhaps it was not more happy in these mortal Felicities, fince the Days of Charlemain, and was newly amplified in every one of the three Parts, wherein Gaul ftood di'vided by the Antients for 40 Years before Charles the VIIth reduced Normandy, and the Dutchy of Guyenne, holden by the English, to the Obedience of the French Crown: Lewis the XIth reduced Provence, Part of Burgundy, and almost all Picardy, and Charles the VIIIth, by Marriage, annexed Brittany to the Crown of France."
Therefore the King could not defire to be in a better Situation for the Conqueft of Naples, a fit Opportunity now offering to make him furmount the Renown of his Predeceffors; for, if he overcame Naples, a ready Way would be opened to bring under Subjection the Empire of the Turks.
There then refided at Charles's Court Fonfeca, Ambaffador from Ferdinand and Ifabella of Spain, whose Commiffion was, as Charles had fo generously restored to Ferdinand the Countries by his Father mort gag'd to Lewis the XIth, in return for that Favour, to enter into a League with Charles, not to difturb or oppofe him in his defigned Expedition on Naples;
and for this End a Treaty was figned by the respective Parties.
However, on the Rumours of this War, the King of Naples fent to offer Charles Homage, and to pay him a yearly Tribute of 50,000 Crowns: This he rejected, and publickly declared, he would carry on the War with Vigour, which made fo great an Impreffion on the poor King of Naples, that, about the Beginning of the Year 1494, he died of Grief, and was fucceeded by Alphonfo.
In the mean time Charles was getting his Army ready, in order to proceed to Naples, Lyons. and in July the King departed for Lyons, (having first conferred the Regency of his Kingdom upon Peter, Duke of Bourbon) where he remained fome Time, being divided in his Mind, whether he fhould go on with the War, or return back: At last he paffed on to Vienne, where again he was Vienne. doubtful a-while, and then fet out for Aft; but here, being taken ill of the Sinall-pox, and likely to die, he was obliged to continue there above a Month to recover his Health. During this Stay his Soldiers were employ'd in drawing his Cannon over the Mountains, which they with great Difficulty effected.
Whilft Charles was at Aft, he fent Comines AmAft. baffador to the feveral States of Italy, particu larly Venice, Rome, and Florence, to defire their Advice and Affiftance in his defigned Expedition, and to declare, that his Master had no Defign on their Towns or Liberties; that his only Aim was to procure the Reftitution of the Kingdom of Naples; and that, when he had conquered it, his Intention was, with God's Affiftance, to make War on the Turks, for the Advantage of Chriftianity. The Senate of Venice anfwered Charles's Ambaffador, That it was ⚫ not for them to give Advice to fo great a King; that they could not affift him in his Expedition, for Fear of the Turks; but that they fhould be glad to