Page images

ceived from his holiness a commif- the kind design of Zallo, for the
fion to absolve such of the victo. guard affrighted, by supposing them
rious-soldiers as applied for pardon, a regular body of torces, deserted
for having dared to withstand the their prisoner, to seek their own
arms of the vicar of Christ, and a safety in flight.
power of granting funereal rites to “ His escape gave new life to
the dead: it is impossible to express the hopes of the party; Julius in-
the effects this produced. The fol- stantly renounced the treaty he had
diers respecting him as alone hay. folemnly concluded with Florence,
ing true apoftolic power, thronged and at a congress of the holy
to him, and not only the common league it was resolved, through the
men, but the ennobled persons of perfuafion of the papal ambalador,
the illustrious families of Visconti, seconded by the entreaties of Jue
Palavicini, and Trivalzi; perhaps lian, the brother of Giovanni, to
too the opposition of Giovanni's restore the Medici to their country:
character to San Severino, the le. To carry this into effect, Giovanni
gate of the council of Pisa, not a was invested with legatine power
little contributed to this, for he throughout Tuscany, and put at
was reserved, haughty, and severe; the head of the pontifical army,
and inftead of the habit of peace, which was joined by the troops of
in which his rival appeared, he Naples, commanded by the vice-
wore bright shining armour. roy of Ferdinand the Catholic.

“ To prevent the desertion of " It was to no purpose the Flo-
the army, which looked up to him rentines urged the repeated treaties
with reverence and love, it was that had been concluded between
resolved to send him into France, them and the allies, and the exact.
no place in Italy being judged pro- ness with which they had fulfilled
per to confine him. Giovanni find the last. The confederates inlifted
ing the intention of his enemies, upon Soderini's abdicating the gon-
prudently shrew every impediment faloniership, and admitting the Me-
in the way, prolonging his stay in dici into Florence; this he abso.
the camp as long as possible; and lutely refused.
when obliged to commence his « The fordid avarice of Sode-
journey, he pursued the same plan, rini defeated its own aim, and
Hattering himself that some fa- befriended the Medici to a great
vourable circumstance might offer degree; he had heretofore retused
to affift him in making his efcape. the atlistance of the emperor Max.

“ Early one morning, as Gio. imilian at a ftipulated price, lo vanni was preparing to take a boat now he refused to part with thirty to pass over the river Pa, opposite thousand ducats, which the covetto Bifignana, Rinaldo Zallo, a no.. ous viceroy alked as the terms of ble Venetian, observing the sacred betraying the interest of the exiled dignity of the prisoner, refolved, family. if poflible, to procure him his li- " He foolishly relied upon the berty: for this purpose he collected faith of the fickle multitude. Fawith expedition bis domeftics, and tal security! Prato was formed, fome peasants of the village of and Piftra revolted, declaring for Del Cairo, whom he ordered to the Medici. These misfortunes advance frouting, and fall upon filled Florence with discontent, the guard. The project answered and whilft a revolt was each mo


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ment threatened, Julian, with three the young nobility by an excess of
other young noblemen, accomplish. liberality,
ed the revolution. The names of “ Having by these means pre-
these grandees were Bartolomeo pared for the completion of his
Valori, Paulo Vettori

, and Antonio project, he excused hiinself from Francesco Albizi; the scheme was paying the viceroy of Naples, preplanned in a conference held at a tending that he could not procure country seat not far from Florence, the money, owing to the French

They carried their intentions faction in the city, who threw into execution by secretly entering every obstacle to it in his way. The the city with their partizans, when, greedy vice-king fell into the snare seizing Soderini, they obliged him, so artfully laid for him ; he, anxiby threatening instant death in café ous to fecure the stipulated fum, of refusal, to quit the magistracy. and disregarding the manner in The unhappy man tremblingly which it was raised, told Giovanni complied with commands he durft that he might dispose of the city not dispute, and fled immediately in what manner he chose, as most after to Ragusa by sea, with the conducive to obtain the wilhed-før money he could convey away; but money: the four youths who undertook the " This was a moment not to be plot seized upon the public trea- loft: he assembled the people in the Tury, and then assembled the people, great square, where he stationed taking advmtage of the universal his friends, many of whom were panic to procure the repeal of the lately won by the money he had banishment of the Medici.

judiciously applied; these all voted “ The artful Julius, gratified for a change in the form of gothat he had restored the exiled fa- vernment, and placed none but mily, wilhed them only to be such as he approved in the magiesteemed as private citizens of Flo- ftracy; few, except Baptifto Ro. rence, supposing them equal in that dolphi, the new gonfalonier, and capacity to contend with the French the other officers of justice, oppos. fa&tion, and flattered himself, that ing it, but these were borne down, whilft he thus kept them, he might as prejudiced to their own intereft; depend upon the fidelity of Gio. those who had the fame sentiments, vanni. This however did not fa. finding themselves surrounded by tisfy the cardinal; he was too pene. the Neapolitan troops, lent for the trating to be long the dupe of the present purpose by the viceroy, pontiff's ambition.

knowing how vain, how danger. “ To counteract his holiness's de- ous would be their oppofition, apsign, he used all those blandini- peared to acquiesce in what they ments that seemed so natural to could not prevent. him, and which won, defervedly “ This revolution at once furwon, every heart. He protected prised and alarmed Julius; know. the women of Prato from the bru. ing that the Catholic king paid tality of the soldiers, and put a stop no regard to the most solemn treato the carnage of the men of that ties, when it was his interest to place. He acted with moderation break them, he imagined that Gio. to all; he interceded with his vanni had won him over by some friends to spare the most violent extraordinary temptation, 'never enemies of his house. He gained supposing that the young cardinal


[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]


could have dared to have acted with Rome; the expences were more such determined courage, had not than one hundred thousand crowns. he depended upon the support of It was celebrated upon the anni. so powerful a prince. He feared versary of the battle of Ravenua; the power of Spain equally with and his holiness rode the same horse that of France, and felt himself ill he did when he had been cap'ured. at ease in supposing that two fuch It is foreign to the delign of these powerful states should almost sur. memoirs to write the history of the round his dominions, who were papacy during his pontificate, but allies, and could, with the afliftance only continue to represent him to drawn from Spain, give laws to the the reader as the principal of the patrimony of St. Peter. Entertain. house of Medici. ing these sentiments, it is not to be “ What a change was here in sondered at that his holiness de- the fortune of the lately exiled car. termined to deprive Giovanni of dinal! He was now sovereigo of that consequence he had dared to two considerable states, and, in right seize without his participation. of one, the acknowledged head of

“ Perhaps nothing could have Europe. Leo regarded his elevasaved the Medici from a cruel re- tion in no other eftirnation, than verse to their newly renewed con- as the means it afforded him to raise sequence, but the timely death of the his family to permanent fovereignviolent Julius II. who was taken ly. from his earthly grandeur, Febru- “ The most powerful monarchs ary el, 1513:

vied with each other in offering “ Though the Medici were so him and his family their friendlately reinitated in the government thip; Ferdinand the Catholic, and of Florence, yet Giovanni had the Francis l. the fucceffor of Lewis courage to leave the republic and XII. strove who should moft iograrepair to Rome, to assist in the con- tiate themselves by their liberality clave at the election of a successor to to the Medici. The former proJulins.

Whilft detained in this posed an advantageous marriage Confinement he fell ill, scandal says between Julian and a princess of of a complaint never occasioned by Cordona, allied to the crown of chastity, and the young and the old Spain, but Francis outbid him by cardinals quarrelling which should offering his aunt, Philiberta, daughappoint a future pope, both parties ter of Philibert, and fifter of Charles, at' length acquiesced in nominating dukes of Savoy. In right of this Giovanni, though only thirty-seven lady he became duke of Nemours, years of age, from the fupposition and by the bounty of his brother that his present malady would soon be was impowered to settle upon terminate fatally; and Giovanni, his bride one hundred thousand du. to the joint surprise of the world, cats. Henry VIII. who also courtand of bimself, was faluted fove, ed the friendship of the Medici, reign pontiff; March 10, in the created the duke knight of the garpreceding year, affumping the name ter, and dedicated to his holiness of Leo X. upon the occasion, in his well-knowo book written a. conformiiy to the usage of the gainst the tenets of Luther, for popes.

which Leo gave him the title of *Ico, in his coronation, dis- Defender of the Faith. plaved a magnificence that ex- “ Leo, not content with the Creded whatever had been seen in honours and titles he bad procured


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Julian, meditated to raise him to the gratitude was of little avail when sovereignty of Modena, Reggio, Par. interest called; besides, the duke ma, Placenza, and the Ferrareze. had been averse to the restoration The four latter had been mortgaged of the Medicean power in Fiorence, to his holiness by the emperor which Leo thought abrogated all Maximilian for forty thousand du- former obligation. cats, for which he was declared “ The amiable Julian whilst he . hereditary vicar, and had not Max- lived had constantly opposed Leo's imilian redeemed them, Leo would intention, as inconsistent with dehave conveyed them over tq Ju- cency and honour, but his death lian,

left his holiness at liberty to act as “ The ambitious pontiff aimed he pleased, without such a monitor at the still higher promotion for his to check his designs. The duke brother; he meant to wrest the of Urbino's character was not irrecrown of Naples from Arragon, proachable; an excuse for the inand place it upon his head, and tended violence was easily procurthere can be liitle doubt but that ed: he had in the heat of passion he would have attained some great. ftabbed the cardinal of Pavia for er dignity for him, had not death his attachnient to France; this was snatched' Julian away. His loss the crime principally insisted upon, was greatly deplored both by his though his having loft Bologna to family and the public, because the papacy, his opposing the restowith a tafle equal to Leo's he uni. ration of the Medici, and poffeftted many distinguished virtues. ing a fine principality, were the Julian was born in 1478, and died greatest in the eye of the greedy March 17, 1516, and was buried ambitious pontiff. in the church of St. Lorenzo, in " Leo fulminated his thunder Florence. His monument was the against him, and declared his du-, work of Michael Angelo, whose chyforfeited to the holy fee, of much-admired statues of Day and which he held. Francisco-Maria did Night are a part of it. By Phili- not pay implicit obedience, he reberta he had no child; but he left monstrated, he did more, he put Hippolito, an illegitimate son, who himself ir, a posture of defence; became a cardinal.

but the treasury of Florence pour" Leo accomplished his wife in ed out her ample ftores to obtain providing for Julian, without give what rendered arms of little avail. ing unea Giness, or being guilty of The foldiers were bribed, and the injustice to any one; but his con- duke was obliged to leave his doduct was most reproachable in his minions to the Medici, to whom advancement of Lorenzo, the fon he had formerly, given asylum. of the unfortunate Pietro. He This business coft eight hundred had given him an excellent educa. thousand ducats, but the annual tion, and placed him over the re- revenue of Urbino was very great ; public of Florence to govern under even Pisaro, San Leo, and Singa. himself. To raise him to an inde- lia, which were separate members pendent sovereignty, however, was of it, and conquered with the duhis aim, and he ed upon Urbi. chy, yielded a revenue of twentyno, though its duke, Francisco. five thousand ducats. Maria, had showed every kindnefs “ His holiness having provided to him and his brother in the first Lorenzo, his nephew, with a prin. years of their banishment. But cipality, united him in marriage


[ocr errors]

to Madelaine de la Tour, of Au- assassins to murder him, which they
vergne, of the house of Bouillon, were near perpetrating. Lorenze
allied to the blood royal of France. died May 4, 1519; his remains
The lying Sleidan, to use the epic were deposited in the facristy of
thet of the emperor Charles V. St. Lorenzo's church, near those of
calls this lady Galla, of the house the duke of Nemours. His mo.
of Bolonnois, but the was the se. nument is also the workmanship of
cond daughter of John de la Tour, Michael Angelo; his effigies, and
count of Auvergne, descended from the figure of Aurora and Twilight,
a brother of Godfrey, the first are the admiration of connois.
Christian king of Jerufalen), by feurs.
Jane of Bourbon, fister to the count " Leo did not confine his favours
of Vendosme. She brought Lo- to the nearest of his name. He
renzo a foriune of ten thousand was the patron of every one of his
ducats per annum, chiefly the gift family, whether of the male or fe-
of Francis l. who also presented male' line, not forgetting the ille.
him with fifty thousand ducats out gitimate branches. "He even form-
of the money raised for the crusade ed the project of leaving Julio, the
against the fultan Selin I. and posthumous natural son of the un-
which Leo had given a brief to fortunate Julian, who fell a vic-
that monarch to apply to his own tim to the malice of pope Sixtus

IV. and the Pazzi, his successor in
“It is not easy to estimate the the papal see. Lorenzo, the Mag-
grief of this pontiff, when he saw nificent, had shown his particular
this prince brought to an early regard for his brother Julian, by
grave, by a lingering iilness con- an extreme tenderness for this his
tracted in France from youthful in- fon, whom he educated with his
temperance, and in a few days af- own children, treated as his ne
terwards Madelaine, in bringing phew, and loaded with every kind-
into the world Catherine, their ness.
only child. The little orphan be. “ His fine parts, learning, and
canie queen of France, and is taste, ftill, if possible, more en
well known for the uncommon deared all the Medici to him. His
beauty, fine accomplishments, and courage, assiduity, and the ease
the vast extent of abilities the pof- and dexterity with which he per.
selled, but which were rendered formed the most difficult and ha-
dangerous in the extreme by the zardous enterprises, won him the
atrocious wickedness of her man- favour of the discerning Julius,

who created him a knight of “ Lorenzo had little to recom- Rhodes, and grand prior of Capua, mend bim to Leo, except his rela.. and as such he carried the standard tionship, as his character was chief- of the military order at the corona. ly formed of deceit, revenge, and tion of Leo. cowardice. When he bad name. “ The pontiff was no sooner fully deserted France, and dreaded seated upon the papal throne, than her vengeance, he meanly threw he obliged Julio to go into the the wiiole blame upoo his uncle church, though bis inclination led and benefactor. Instead of answer. him most to the camp. Ecclebas. ing the challenge of the injured tical honours crowded upon him. duke of Urbino, as military ho. He received the arcbiepilcopate of nour demanded, he bafely hired Florence, and the following year


« PreviousContinue »