Just select your click then download button, and complete an offer to start downloading the ebook. If there is a survey it only takes 5 minutes, try any survey which works for you. Book Descriptions: Gli animali. Register for FREE 1st month. Download your desired books 3. Easy to cancel your membership. Joint with more than Gli risposi, in un francese impossibile che doveva bastare la mia parola; che avrei cantato in quattro concerti se avessi avuto successo, che in caso contrario sarei partita dopo il primo.
Il successo fu come al solito clamoroso. Sui motivi del ritiro non sussistono comunque dubbi di sorta. Per lei si sprecarono gli aggettivi: la sua voce fu definita "voluttuosamente lamentosa" o paragonata addirittura ad un bocciolo di rosa; si disse che il suo timbro carezzevole, vellutato e malinconico richiamava la voce amorosa di un adolescente e di una fanciulla insieme. Si diceva soprattutto che ero fredda. Orbene io ho avuto sempre un carattere molto riflessivo e ho voluto sempre evitare di sembrare ridicola, e lo sarei stata perfettamente ridicola, data la mia corpulenza, se nel ruolo di Arsace, nella Sonnambula , e infine in tutti gli altri ruoli dove il mio fisico era forse inadatto, avessi fatto gesti o di guerriero o di bambina.
Ad esempio nella Rosina del Barbiere sarei stata un'orfana troppo ben nutrita per potermi permettere di saltellare sulla scena. In breve, in questi ruoli io mi impegnavo a cantare nel migliore dei modi. E nei passi dove sarebbe stato necessario gridare, in quei passi ero fredda proprio calcolandolo.
Avevo sempre presenti nella memoria i consigli datimi da Rossini e su cui avevo formato la mia stessa convinzione che il cantante che voglia conservare la sua voce non debba mai gridare.
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Ma ringraziando Dio ho cantato e rappresentato ben altri personaggi in cui mi sono trovata a mio agio. Ritengo che siano ancora vivi quei signori anziani e quelle signore anziane, che mi hanno sentito cantare in questa opera. In quell'occasione ho riportato un successo non solo come [attrice ma perfino come dicitrice dei versi].
E in fede mia mi sono data interamente al ruolo con soddisfazione, E certo non apparivo come una vivandiera all'acqua di rose. In una parola ho avuto il mio stile, la mia maniera e il pubblico applaudendomi ha mostrato di apprezzarlo. La stampa restava strabiliata; si diceva che avevo cambiato il ruolo del personaggio e che ero stata molto drammatica.
Sono dunque convinta di essere stata, quando mi era possibile esserlo, sia drammatica che comica. And as soon as they learned the departure of the French troops on their return towards Lombardy, whereby they deemed us weakened and left with no effective force, they, feigning an urgent desire to aid in our attack upon Sinigaglia, mustered a third only of their infantry, and concealed the remainder in the houses about, with instructions to draw together at nightfall, and unite with the men-at-arms, whom they had posted in the neighbourhood, meaning, at a given moment, to throw the infantry, through the garrison with whom they had an understanding , upon the new town, in the narrow space whereof they calculated upon our being lodged with few attendants, and so to complete their long-nourished plans by crushing us at unawares.
But we, distinctly forewarned of all, so effectively and quickly anticipated them, that we at once made prisoners of the Duke of Gravina, Paolo Orsini, Vitellozzo of Castello, and Liverotto of Fermo, and discovered, sacked, and overthrew their foot and horse, whether concealed or not; whereupon the castellan, seeing the plot defeated, quickly surrendered the fortress at discretion.
And this we have done, under pressure of necessity imposed by the measures of these persons aforesaid, and in order to make an end of the unmeasured perfidy and villanies of them and their coadjutors, thereby restraining their boundless ambition and insensate cupidity, which were truly a public nuisance to the nations of Italy. Thus your highnesses have good cause for great rejoicing at your deliverance from these dangers. And on your highnesses' account, I am now, by his Holiness's commands, to march with my army, for the purpose of rescuing you from the rapacious and sanguinary oppression whereby you have been vexed, and to restore you to free and salutary obedience to his Holiness and the Apostolic See, with the maintenance of your wonted privileges.
For the which causes, We, as Gonfaloniere and Captain of his Holiness and the aforesaid See, exhort, recommend, and command you, on receipt hereof, to free yourselves from all other yoke, and to send ambassadors to lay before his Holiness your dutiful and unreserved obedience: which failing, we are commanded to reduce you by force to that duty,—an event that would distress us on account of the serious injuries which must thereby result to your people, for whom we have, from our boyhood, borne and still bear singular favour.
From Corinaldo, the 2d of January, News of the Sinigaglia tragedy reached the Pope late in the evening, and he instantly communicated to Cardinal Orsini that Cesare had taken that city, assured that an early visit of congratulation from his Eminence would follow. The Cardinal was perhaps the richest and most influential of his house. He chiefly had organised the league of La Magione, but having always contrived to keep on good terms with Alexander, he believed in the professions of regard with which his Holiness subsequently seduced him from that policy, and thence reposed in him a fatal confidence.
Next morning he rode in state to pay his respects at the Vatican, where his own person and those of his principal relations were instantly seized, whilst his magnificent palace at Monte Giordano was pillaged by orders and for the benefit of the Pontiff. After an imprisonment of some weeks, he was cut off by slow poison, prescribed from the same quarter, and died on the 22d of February. Thus did the Pope set his seal of approval on his son's atrocities, which he justified by a poor and pointless jest, avowing that as the confederates of La Magione, after stipulating that they should not be required to re-enter the service of Valentino unless singly, had thought fit to place themselves within his power en masse , they merited their fate as forsworn.
The massacre of Sinigaglia has been condemned by every writer except Machiavelli, and posterity has in severe retribution suspected him of abetting it. This charge possesses a twofold interest, as inculpating the character of the historian, and as affecting the morality of the age. The fates of the young Astorre Manfredi of Faenza, of Fogliano of Fermo, of the Lord of Camerino and his three sons, have all been mentioned in these pages as occurring within a year or two of this event.
It would be easy to swell the catalogue of slaughter; and we find Baglioni and Vitellozzo both classed with Cesare himself in the category of murder, by a chronicler of Alexander VI. Invading the Sienese, he carried fire and sword by Chiusi as far as Pienza and San Quirico, massacring even the aged and infirm with horrible tortures. His real object, besides revenging himself upon Petrucci and Baglioni, was to add Siena to his territory, but his position being then a delicate one with France, he accepted the proposal of that republic to purchase safety, by exiling Petrucci their seigneur, and dismissing Baglioni their guest.
This series of rapid successes is ascribed by Machiavelli to the policy of Valentino in ridding himself of his French auxiliaries and his mercenary confederates, and so being enabled, during the brief remainder of his career, to give his talents and energy full scope in the conduct of an army entirely devoted to his views. His conquests had now extended along the eastern fall of the Apennines, from Imola to Camerino, and included the upper vale of the Tiber and the principality of Piombino.
He had but to add to them Siena, and the best part of Central Italy from sea to sea would be his own. The eyes of Louis, at length opened to a danger which he had so long fostered, were not blinded by Cesare's affected moderation in claiming his recent acquisitions rather for the Church than for himself, and that monarch hastened to caution him from further hostilities against Tuscany.
The successes of Fabio Orsini around Rome at the same time called for his presence, so he changed his route to make a foray upon the holdings of that family about the Lake of Bracciano, with whom the Colonna and Savelli had united against their common enemies the Borgia. This opportunity was greedily seized by the Pontiff to carry out his long cherished policy of breaking the power of the great barons, and the castles of the Orsini having one after another been reduced, their influence ceased for the future to be formidable either to their sovereign or their neighbours.
But it is time we should return to Urbino, where we left the citizens bewailing the departure of their Duke.
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As soon as he was gone, Antonio di S. Savino took possession of the place in name of Valentino, and issued a proclamation enjoining the townsfolk to disarm, the peasantry to return home, and all to surrender whatever they had stolen the day before from the palace. In the afternoon, after a conciliatory harangue to the people, he took his lodging in the palace.
Next morning, after mass, the Bishop published a general amnesty, and oaths of allegiance to the new sovereign were administered. Towards evening the bells were rung, and a bonfire was lit in the piazza; but these were heartless and forced rejoicings, and no bribes could induce even the children to raise the cry of "Valenza. But when the troops were withdrawn, the mild character and popular manners of Antonio the governor, skilfully seconding the conciliatory policy which Borgia had resolved upon, gave matters another aspect, and occasioned surprise to those who knew the cruel perfidy of their new master.
Various notorious abuses were put down under severe penalties, especially the acceptance of presents by judges, and the following up of private vengeance. But the people heard with satisfaction the tragedy of Sinigaglia; for to the perfidy of the chiefs and the brutality of their army, the loss of their independence and the whole of their late misfortunes were unanimously ascribed; and a permission to ravage the territory of the Vitelli, now publicly proclaimed throughout the duchy, was by many greedily seized.
Borgia, having secured fourteen distinguished inhabitants of Urbino as hostages, ordered that the fortresses left by agreement in the hands of Guidobaldo should be attempted: that of Maiuolo was accordingly surprised about the beginning of May, and easily reduced. Leo being better provided, as well as considered impregnable, its siege was more methodically undertaken, and levies were ordered to reinforce the assailants. The amount of public sympathy with the cause may be estimated from Baldi's assertion that, in the city of Urbino, the utmost difficulty was experienced in raising eight foot soldiers with one month's pay.
Eight hundred Gascons in the French service were obtained from De la Tremouille; but these, having turned the siege into a sort of blockade, were dispersed among the neighbouring villages, where, on the 5th of June, their revels were suddenly interrupted by unknown assailants, who disappeared as mysteriously as they had issued from the mountain defiles, leaving many of the besiegers slain or wounded. The surrounding peasantry, catching the enthusiasm, rushed to arms, and, but for extraordinary exertions, the whole duchy would have once more been out for their legitimate lord. News of this movement having reached the Duke early in July, he obtained from Florence free passage through her territory, and from the Venetians a promise of passive support, and thereupon put himself into communication with his principal adherents, by means of letters carried by persons of low condition, many of which were unfortunately intercepted by the lieutenant-governor of Urbino.
His people were thus kept in a fever of expectation; but, finally, this plan of an invasion was abandoned, whereupon he repaired to Mantua, to his brother-in-law the Marquis, who had been taken into the French service under De la Tremouille, and engaged him to represent to Louis the hardships of his case, and the danger of Borgia's excessive ambition.
Disgusted with their ignominious overthrow at S. Leo, the Gascons assumed the habitual licence of such mercenaries, by soon taking their departure from. The siege was nevertheless maintained by the commandant of Romagna; but the place was ably and spiritedly defended by Ottaviano Fregoso, who will soon attract our notice in other scenes. Marini has recorded another act of romantic daring by the same Brizio who, in the preceding year, had surprised the place. Fregoso's tiny garrison being greatly exhausted by the long blockade, he, with one Marzio, made his way, during a violent storm of rain, over the rocks, and through the beleaguering force, and reached a castle near Mantua where Guidobaldo then was.
In vain these emissaries besought him for a reinforcement of two hundred men; for, thinking it would only waste their gallantry by prolonging a hopeless struggle, he thankfully declined their proposal. At length their urgency obtained twenty-five men who happened to be at hand, and with these they returned to the leaguer. Marzio, boldly presenting himself to the commandant, volunteered to join the besiegers with his little party, which being accepted, he advanced them under the walls, whence, having been recognised by the garrison, they made a rush to the upper gate, and were received into the fortress ere the trick was discovered.
By this timely succour, S. Leo was enabled to hold out until the restoration of its rightful sovereign; and its brave defenders did not even falter at the threat of summary vengeance upon their wives and families, who had been brought to the palace of Urbino to answer for their obstinacy. Christendom was now to be appalled by a fearful catastrophe, which fitly closed the career of the Borgias, diverting their wonted weapons to their own destruction, for—.
Alexander and his son perceiving that they could no longer turn to good account the co-operation of Louis for their grasping schemes, began to look round for new combinations: having squeezed the orange they were ready to throw aside the rind. But to such projects their exhausted treasury offered serious obstacles. To supply it they had recourse, on an extended scale, to an expedient which they had invented, and already occasionally employed,—that of poisoning the richest cardinals, seizing on their treasures, and selling their vacant hats to the highest bidders.
Among the most recent and wealthy of the sacred college was Adrian of Corneto, and he was therefore selected as next victim. On the 12th of August, the Pope and Cesare invited him to sup in the Belvidere casino of the Vatican, and the latter sent forward a supply of poisoned wine, in charge of his butler, with strict injunctions not to serve it until specially desired by himself. Several other cardinals were to partake of the banquet, and, probably, were intended to share the drugged potion.
Alexander had been assured by an astrologer that, so long as he had about him the sacramental wafer, he should not die; and, accordingly, he constantly carried it in a little golden box; but, having on that evening forgotten it upon his toilet, he sent Monsignor Caraffa, afterwards Paul IV. Meanwhile, overcome by the dog-day heat, he called for wine. The butler was gone to fetch a salver of peaches, which had been presented to his Holiness, and his deputy, having received no instructions as to the medicated bottles, offered a draught from them to the Pope.
He greedily swallowed it, and his example was more moderately followed by Cesare; thus,. Scarcely had they taken their seats at the table, when the two victims successively fell down insensible, from the virulence of the poison, and were carried to bed. The Pontiff rallied so far as to recover consciousness, and to linger for about a week, but at length sank under the shock and the fever which supervened, his age being seventy-one, and his constitution enervated by long debauchery.
The last sacraments were duly administered, and it was remarked that, during his illness, he never alluded to his children Cesare and Lucrezia, through life the objects of an overweening, if not criminal fondness, in whose behalf most of his outrages upon the peace and the rights of mankind had been committed. His death occurred on the 18th of August.
Such is the account of this awful retribution given by Tommasi, from which most other narratives but slightly deviate as to dates or immaterial details. Another version, however, occurs in Sanuto's Diaries, which, being contemporary, and probably supplied from the diplomatic correspondence of the Signory, merits notice, and has not been hitherto published. The Cardinal of Corneto, who figures prominently in this narrative, was made collector for Peter's pence in England, and Bishop of Hereford, from whence he was translated to Bath and Wells. We shall find him compromised in Petrucci's conspiracy against Leo X.
In order to save himself there seemed but one course, so, watching his opportunity, he summoned the Pontiff's steward, whom he knew intimately, and on his arrival received him alone in a private chamber, where 10, ducats were laid out: these he desired him to accept for love of him, offering him also more of his property, which he declared he could continue to enjoy only through his assistance, and adding, 'You certainly are aware of the Pope's disposition, and I know that he and the Duke have designed my death by poison through you; wherefore I pray you have pity on me and spare my life.
On the appointed day, the Pope having arrived at the vineyard with the Duke, the Cardinal threw himself at his Holiness' feet and kissed them, saying he had a boon to request, and would not rise until it were granted. The Pope assuring him of his consent, he continued, 'Holy Father! Thereafter, at the hour when from its nature the poison took effect, his Holiness began to feel it, and thus he died: the Cardinal being still alarmed, took medicine and an emetic, and was easily cured.
The death of Alexander by poison is generally credited, although Raynaldus and Muratori, willing to mitigate so heinous a scandal, incline to the few and obscure authorities who attribute it to tertian fever. It was natural that the truth should be glossed over, especially in despatches addressed to the court of his daughter Lucrezia, to which the latter annalist probably had access.
But though the earliest intelligence of the event forwarded by the Venetian envoy alludes to the Pope's seizure as fever, his subsequent letters, quoted by Sanuto, thus loathsomely confirm the current suspicion of poison having been administered. He was swollen beyond the size of one of our large wine-skins. Never since the Christian era was a more horrible and terrible sight witnessed.
The blood flowed from ears, mouth, and nose faster than it could be wiped away; his lips were larger than a man's fist, and in his open mouth the blood boiled as in a caldron on the fire, and kept incessantly flowing as from a spout; all which I report from observation. The character of Alexander VI. Francesco di Paolo. Nor can it be doubted that his ambitious nepotism eventually aggrandised the temporal possessions of the papacy, by quelling the mutinous barons of the Campagna, and by so crushing the more distant seigneurs as to render their states a speedy and easy prey to Julius II.
On the other hand, the openly simoniacal practices which prevailed during his reign, the strong measures adopted to raise money for his private ends by a lavish scale of indulgences, and, generally, the unscrupulous employment of the power of the keys and the treasures of the Church for unworthy purposes, all tended to alienate men's minds, and to stir those doubts which the different, but not less injudicious, policy of his immediate successors ripened into schism.
Favoured by youth, constitution, and energy of mind, Cesare Borgia wrestled successfully with the deadly ingredients which he had inadvertently swallowed. He is said to have been saved by being frequently placed in the carcass of a newly-killed bullock or mule, and, whether in consequence of this treatment, or of the inflammatory nature of the potion, to have lost the whole skin of his body. He had flattered himself that, foreseeing every possible contingency which his father's death could develop, he had so planned his measures as to secure, in any event, his own safety, and the maintenance of his authority.
But, never having anticipated being disabled from action at that very juncture, his well-laid schemes fell to the ground, a signal illustration of the proverb, "Man proposes, God disposes. The Diaries of Sanuto give a lively description of the immediate effects of Alexander's death on Lower Italy,—the exultations of the people, the prompt movements of the Campagna barons, the hesitation of Valentino, the intrigues of the cardinals. As soon as the good news transpired, Rome rose in arms against the Spaniards; and the Colonna and the Orsini, entering at the head of their troops, willingly aided in spoiling and slaughtering these countrymen of the Borgia, who "could nowhere find holes to hide in.
Duke Valentino, although prostrated in strength, and "seeming as if burnt from the middle downwards," was not without formidable resources. His hope was, that in the distracted state of Rome, the cardinals would provide for their personal safety by holding the conclave in St. Angelo, where the election would be in his own hands. This calculation was, however, defeated by their assembling at the Minerva convent, guarded by the barons of Bracciano and Palestrina, with the bravest of the citizens, and protected by barricades which withstood an assault by the redoubted Michelotto.
Still his troops were staunch, the Vatican and St. Angelo were his, and he had secured the treasure of the Holy See. But his nerve gave way, and after turning the castle guns against the Orsini palace on Monte Giordano, he fled in a litter to the French camp without the gates, on the 1st of September, and thence made his way to the stronghold of Nepi. This vacillation brought its fitting recompense, and lost him the advantages of his position.
Hesitating betwixt the Colonna and Orsini factions, wavering between Spanish and French interests, his friends dropped off, his forces melted away, and he lost the favourable moment for swaying the papal election. The rival parties in the conclave, having had no time to mature their plans, in consequence of the late Pontiff's sudden decease, trusted to strengthen their respective interests by delay, and so were unanimous in choosing, on the 22nd of September, the most feeble of their body, the respected Piccolomini, who survived his exaltation as Pius III.
The state of matters at Naples added to the general embarrassment. The ceaseless struggles for that crown had of late taken a new turn, the contest being now between Louis of France and Ferdinand of Spain. The Borgia, long adherents of the former, had recently inclined to the Spanish side; but their influence was now irretrievably gone.
His officers had concealed the first news of the tragedy at the Vatican, but, on the 22nd of August, authentic intelligence of the death of Alexander and the illness of his son having reached Urbino, through some emissaries of Guidobaldo who announced that the moment for action had arrived, the people ran to arms. The governor fled to Cesena; his lieutenant was slain in the tumult; the siege of S. Leo was raised; and in one day the entire duchy, except one unimportant castle, returned to its lawful sovereign.
On hearing that the Pope and Cesare were both ill, the Duke of Urbino hastily quitted Venice, his honourable and secure retreat, leaving behind, in the words of Bembo, "a high reputation for superhuman genius, for admirable acquirements, for singular discretion. He wrote desiring his nephew Fregoso to send over a detachment from S. Leo, to maintain order in his capital, and himself following upon the steps of his messenger, reached that fortress on the 27th of August.
Next day he proceeded to Urbino, where, Castiglione tells us, "he was met by swarms of children bearing olive-boughs, and hailing his auspicious arrival; by aged sires tottering under their years, and weeping for joy; by men and women; by mothers with their babes; by crowds of every age and sex; nay, the very stones seemed to exult and leap. It was a condition of this league, that no step or engagement should be taken by any of the parties without the sanction of Guidobaldo, who a month before had strengthened his position by accepting service from the Venetians.
The Signory engaged to protect him during life in his state, against all attacks, and to pay him annually 20, scudi, he maintaining for them a hundred men-at-arms, and a hundred and fifty light cavalry, besides placing at their disposal, for instant service, two thousand foot. These were forthwith sent to ravage the neighbour hood of Cesena, which remained faithful to Valentino, and thereafter, co-operating with other forces of the new league under Ottaviano Fregoso, they attacked in succession such citadels and castles as were held for the usurper.
The star of Borgia seemed once more in the ascendant. Early in October Cesare, now able to bestride a mule, returned to Rome, attended by a hundred and fifty men-at-arms and a hundred halberdiers, where he patched up a reconciliation with the Orsini faction, then dominant. From motives which it would now be difficult to trace, the new Pontiff received him with favour, and named him captain-general of the Church. But in this crisis of his destiny he displayed no elevation of character. Disconcerted by the embarrassment of his position, perhaps by the admonitions of conscience, uncertain where to repose confidence or look for support, he quickly repented having trusted himself in the city, and longed to escape from its incensed populace and exasperated factions to the shelter of his strongholds in Romagna.
Humbling himself before Gian-Giordano Orsini, the enemy of his race, he obtained a promise of his escort across the Campagna; but perceiving, ere he had cleared the gate, that he was in the hands of men by whom old grudges were not forgotten, he fled in panic to the Vatican. There he crouched beneath the doubtful favour of Pius, and the waning influence of the Spanish cardinals, who vainly sought to protect his property from pillage, and to expedite his escape in disguise, until the Holy See was again vacated by its short-lived occupant.
Thus was that make-shift policy defeated by which the late conclave had sought time for strengthening their interests and maturing their intrigues: a new election was at hand ere its elements had subsided from their recent turmoil. The Orsini were paramount in the city, the Spaniards in the Sacred College. A struggle ensued whether the former should obtain an order for Valentino's departure, or should themselves withdraw from Rome before the conclave was closed.
Victory declared for the Iberian cardinals, by aid of Ascanio Sforza, who sought to conciliate their suffrages for himself. Once again the bantling of fortune had the game in his hand, again to play it away. Holding, as was supposed, at his absolute disposal the votes of the Borgian cardinals, he was courted by all who aspired to the tiara; and in hopes of retrieving his affairs by the election of a friendly pope, he took measures for throwing his whole influence into the scale of Amboise, Cardinal of Rouen, as organ of the French party.
But that strong will and indomitable resolution which had triumphantly carried him through many crimes were now wanting. From day to day his plans faltered and his policy wavered; finally his efforts failed.
Full text of "Annali d'italianistica"
Men were wearied of the feeble counsels, the selfish epicureanism, the public scandals of recent pontiffs. To rescue the Church from utter degradation, a very different category of qualifications was required, and even the electors felt that they must find a pope in all respects the reverse of Alexander. There was no member of the Sacred College whom Valentino had such reason to fear and hate, none of whose domineering ambition the Consistory stood in such awe, as Giulio della Rovere.
Yet did his master-spirit overcome all opposition. On the day preceding the conclave he effected a reconciliation with the Spaniards, and his ancient rival Ascanio Sforza sought his friendship. Before the door was closed, bets of eighty-two to a hundred were made on his success, one hundred to six being offered against any other candidate.
Gli animali. Con adesivi. Ediz. illustrata
It was, therefore, scarcely matter of surprise that within an hour or two thereafter Julius II. At the last moment, Borgia's adherents, finding opposition vain, thought it best to lay the new occupant of St. Peter's chair under the obligation of their suffrages, a policy which Machiavelli had justly condemned as the greatest blunder ever committed by their leader. Some historians allege that their support was gained by an offer of Julius to maintain him in his dignities and investitures, betrothing his infant daughter to his own nephew the young Lord Prefect.
Unlikely as this may seem, there is much apparent inconsistency in the Pontiff's treatment of him, which, if our authorities are to be trusted, showed nothing of that choleric temperament and energetic firmness which habitually characterised him. Within two days of his election, when speaking of Valentino to the Venetian envoy, he said, "We shall let him get off with all he has robbed from the Church in his evil hour, but would that the towns of Romagna were taken from him. The now manifest intention of the Venetians to obtain a footing in that quarter, upon various pretexts founded on claims of the Manfredi and others of the dispossessed lords, gave cogency to this reasoning in the eyes of Julius, whose paramount policy of at all hazards aggrandising the keys, rendered Valentino's sovereignty preferable to such extension of their dominion, and may have somewhat extenuated the Borgian policy in his eyes.
He therefore brought the usurper from St. Angelo to lodge in the Vatican, and entered with seeming cordiality into his views. But the lapse of a few days found his Holiness in another mood, declaring that his guest should not hold a single battlement throughout Italy, but might be thankful if spared his life and the treasures he had plundered, most of which were however already dissipated. From that moment the prestige of his position was at an end, and he remained at the palace "in small repute.
The crisis soon became urgent, for the Venetian troops were pouring upon Romagna, whilst the few fortresses that still owned Borgia as their master were gradually falling to the confederate chiefs, led by Guidobaldo.
On the 9th of November, letters, demanding these captured castles in the name of the Signory, found the latter ill of gout; but in reply he expressed surprise at the summons, seeing that he had wrested them from the usurper, and hoped to hold them for the pope elect, and in security for the valuables of which he had been pillaged. In consideration, perhaps, of his being then actually in pay of the Republic, he agreed to deliver up Verucchio and Cesenatico, whereupon the messenger reported him to the Doge as "a good Christian, but in want of some one to counsel him. This offer Julius declined, but gave him liberty to repair to the scene of action, and act for the best with what troops he could raise.
He accordingly went to Ostia on the 19th of November, meaning to take shipping for Upper Italy; but on the 21st the Pontiff, alarmed at the progress of the Venetians, and influenced by Guidobaldo, who, arriving on that day, had demanded justice upon Borgia, thought better of it, and sent to get from him the countersigns of his citadels. These Valentino refusing, he was brought back to Rome under arrest on the 29th, and, after much temporising, ultimately gave the necessary passwords for the surrender of his last hold upon his recent dominions. Such seem the admitted facts of the Pope's treatment of Borgia.
His change of conduct may have been dictated by new circumstances coming to his knowledge, or it may have been part of a systematic deception, in order to turn Valentino's influence to his own purposes.
The opinions of Giovio and De Thou show that such treachery as Guicciardini charges upon Julius, and as Cesare met soon after from Gonsalvo di Cordova, was regarded by the lax public and private morality of the age as justified by his own infamous perfidies.
On the other hand, it is admitted that the Cardinal della Rovere's high reputation for good faith was one of his recommendations to the conclave. Bossi, in an additional note to vol. Thus terminated Duke Valentino's connection with the immediate subject of this narrative. A few words will suffice to trace the remainder of his fluctuating fortunes.
Having been again transmitted to Ostia, he remained there a sort of prisoner at large until April, , when his escape to Naples was connived at. With this command, suggested probably by a brief from Julius, which Raynaldus has printed, the Great Captain at once complied, although Borgia held his safe-conduct,—a breach of faith which the Spanish historians justify by the alleged detection of schemes and intrigues, originated by Cesare and perilous to the ascendancy of his Catholic Majesty.
Yet we learn that the Viceroy's last hour seemed troubled by repentance for this stain upon his conscience, which even in his day of pride one chivalrous spirit had dared thus to question. Baldassare Scipio of Siena, a free captain long in Cesare's service, publicly placarded a challenge to any Spaniard who should venture to maintain "that the Duke Valentino had not been arrested at Naples, in direct violation of a safe-conduct granted in the names of Ferdinand and Isabella, to the great infamy and infinite faithlessness of all their crowns.
On the 10th of March, , he fell into an ambuscade near Viane, and was cut to pieces fighting desperately. By a singular coincidence, his stripped and plundered body, having been recognised by a servant, was interred in the church of Pampeluna, the archbishopric of which had been his earliest promotion. Short as was his life for he seems to have died under thirty he had survived all his dignities and distinctions, realising the distich of Sannazaro,.
Valentino's was a character peculiar to Spain, with which Pizarro alone seems to have matched. His boundless ambition was profoundly selfish and utterly unscrupulous; his energy of purpose owned no impulse but egotism; his capacity was marred by meanness; his splendid tastes served but as incentives to spoliation. The demands of honour, the compunctions of conscience, the value of human life availed nothing in his eyes.
In him foresight became fraud, calculation cunning, prudence perfidy, courage cruelty. His daring, his constancy, his talent were devoted to murder, rapine, and treachery. His campaigns were massacres, his justice vengeance, his diplomacy a trick.
Related Suo Marito [annotato] (Italian Edition)
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