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Title: Memoirs of the Dukes of Urbino, Volume II (of 3) - Illustrating the Arms, Arts, and Literature of Italy, from 1440 To 1630.
Author: Dennistoun, James
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcriber's note:

      This work was originally published in 1851. As noted below,
      footnotes marked by an asterisk were added by the editor
      of the 1909 edition, from which this e-book was prepared.

      Obvious printer errors have been corrected without note.
      Other errors are indicated by a [Transcriber's Note].

      Certain spelling inconsistencies have been made consistent;
      for example, variants of Michelangelo's last name have been
      changed to Buonarroti. Archaic spellings in English and
      Italian have been retained as they appear in the original.

      The original contains several letters with non-standard
      tildes. These are represented in brackets, e.g., [~v].

      Full-page illustrations have been moved so as not to break
      up the flow of the text.


Illustrating the Arms, Arts & Literature of Italy, 1440-1630



A New Edition with Notes by Edward Hutton
& Over a Hundred Illustrations

In Three Volumes. VOLUME TWO


London John Lane The Bodley Head
New York John Lane Company MCMIX

William Brendon and Son, Ltd., Printers, Plymouth

[Illustration: _Alinari_


_After the picture by Andrea Mantegna in the Uffizi Gallery,



  LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS OF VOLUME II.                               ix






  The massacre of Sinigaglia--Death of Alexander VI.--Narrow
  escape of Cesare Borgia                                            3


  Duke Guidobaldo restored--The Election of Julius II.--The
  fall of Cesare Borgia--The Duke's fortunate position--Is
  made Knight of the Garter--The Pope visits Urbino                 23


  The Court of Urbino, its manners and its stars                    43


  Emilia Pia--The _Cortegiano_--Death of Duke Guidobaldo,
  succeeded by Francesco Maria della Rovere                         72




  The revival of letters in Italy--Influence of the
  princes--Classical tastes tending to pedantry and
  paganism--Greek philosophy and its effects--Influence of
  the Dukes of Urbino                                               93


  Count Guidantonio a patron of learned men--Duke
  Federigo--The _Assorditi_ Academy--Dedications to
  him--Prose writers of Urbino--Gentile Becci, Bishop of
  Arezzo--Francesco Venturini--Berni of Gubbio--Polydoro di
  Vergilio--Vespasiano Filippi--Castiglione--Bembo--Learned
  ladies                                                           109


  Poetry under the Montefeltri--Sonnets--The Filelfi--Giovanni
  Sanzi--Porcellio Pandonio--Angelo Galli--Federigo
  Veterani--Urbani Urbinate--Antonio
  Rustico--Naldio--Improvisatori--Bernardo Accolti--Serafino
  d'Aquila--Agostino Staccoli--Early comedies--_La
  Calandra_--Corruption of morals--Social position of women        130


  Mediæval art chiefly religious--Innovations of Naturalism,
  Classicism, and Paganism--Character and tendencies of
  Christian painting ill-understood in England--Influence of
  St. Francis                                                      157


  The Umbrian School of Painting, its scholars and
  influence--Fra Angelico da Fiesole--Gentile da
  Fabriano--Pietro Perugino--Artists at Urbino--Piero della
  Francesca--Fra Carnevale--Francesco di Giorgio                   184


  Giovanni Sanzi of Urbino--His son, the immortal
  Raffaele--Early influences on his mind--Paints at Perugia,
  Città di Castello, Siena, and Florence--His visits to Urbino,
  and works there                                                  216


  Raffaele is called to Rome, and employed upon the
  Stanze--His frescoes there--His other works--Change in his
  manner--Compared with Michael Angelo--His death, character,
  and style                                                        235


  Timoteo Viti--Bramante--Andrea Mantegna--Gian
  Bellini--Justus of Ghent--Medals of Urbino                       254




  Birth and elevation of Sixtus IV.--Genealogy of the della
  Rovere family--Nepotism of that pontiff--His improvements
  in Rome--His patronage of letters and arts--His brother
  Giovanni becomes Lord of Sinigaglia and Prefect of
  Rome--His beneficent sway--He pillages a papal
  envoy--Remarkable story of Zizim or Gem--Portrait of
  Giovanni--The early character and difficulties of Julius
  II.--Estimate of his pontificate                                 277




  Youth of Duke Francesco Maria I.--The League of
  Cambray--His marriage--His first military service--The
  Cardinal of Pavia's treachery--Julius II. takes the field        313


  The Duke routed at Bologna from the Cardinal of Pavia's
  treason, whom he assassinates--He is prosecuted, but
  finally absolved and reconciled to the Pope--He reduces
  Bologna--Is invested with Pesaro--Death of Julius II.            334


  Election of Leo X.--His ambitious projects--Birth of
  Prince Guidobaldo of Urbino--The Pontiff's designs upon
  that state, which he gives to his nephew--The Duke retires
  to Mantua                                                        351


  The Duke returns to his state--His struggle with the
  usurper--His victory at Montebartolo                             372


  Continuation of the ruinous contest--The Duke finally
  abandons it--Death of Lorenzo de' Medici--Charles V.
  elected Emperor                                                  391


  Death of Leo X.--Restoration of Francesco Maria--He
  enters the Venetian service--Louis XII. invades the
  Milanese--Death of Bayard--The Duke's honourable reception
  at Venice--Battle of Pavia                                       411


  New league against Charles V.--The Duke's campaign in
  Lombardy--His quarrels with Guicciardini--Rome pillaged
  by the Colonna--The Constable Bourbon advances into
  Central Italy--The Duke quells an insurrection at
  Florence                                                         433


  I. Portraits of Cesare Borgia                                    459

  II. Duke Guidobaldo I. of Urbino, a Knight of the Garter         462

  III. Giovanni Sanzi's MS. Chronicle of Federigo,
  Duke of Urbino                                                   471

  IV. Epitaph of Giovanni della Rovere                             480

  V. Remission and rehabilitation of Duke Francesco Maria I.
  in 1512-13                                                       481

  VI. Letter from Cardinal Wolsey to Lorenzo de' Medici            484

  GENEALOGICAL TABLES                                 _At end of book_


  Elisabetta di Montefeltro, Duchess of Urbino.
  After the picture by Andrea Mantegna in the Uffizi
  Gallery, Florence. (Photo Alinari)                    _Frontispiece_

                                                           FACING PAGE

  Il Castello di Sinigaglia. (Photo Alinari)                        10

  Pope Julius II. From the picture by Raphael in the
  Pitti Gallery, Florence. (Photo Anderson)                         40

  Portrait of a lady, her hair dressed in the manner
  of the fifteenth century. From the picture by ? Verrocchio
  in Poldo-Pezzoli Collection, Milan. (Photo Alinari)               44

  A lady of the fifteenth century with jewels of the
  period. (Photo Alinari)                                           48

  Count Baldassare Castiglione. From a picture in the
  Torlonia Gallery, Rome                                            50

  Hair dressing in the fifteenth century. Detail from the
  fresco by Pisanello in S. Anastasia of Verona. (Photo Alinari)    54

  Cardinal Bembo. From a drawing once in the possession of
  Cavaliere Agricola in Rome                                        62

  Elisabetta Gonzaga, Duchess of Urbino. From a lead medal
  by Adriano Fiorentino in the British Museum. By the
  courtesy of G.F. Hill, Esq.                                       72

  Emilia Pia. From a medal by Adriano Fiorentino in the
  Vienna Museum. By the courtesy of G.F. Hill, Esq.                 72

  Hair dressing in the sixteenth century. After a picture
  by Bissolo. (Photo Alinari)                                       76

  Portrait of a lady in mourning. After the picture by
  Pordenone in the Dresden Gallery. (Photo R. Tammé)                84

  S. Martin and S. Thomas with Guidobaldo, Duke of Urbino,
  and Bishop Arrivabeni. After the picture by Timoteo Viti
  in the Duomo of Urbino. (Photo Alinari)                           88

  Baldassare Castiglione. After the picture by Raphael in
  the Louvre.                                                      120

  Madonna del Belvedere. After the fresco by Ottaviano
  Nelli in S. Maria Nuova, Gubbio                                  190

  Madonna del Soccorso. After the gonfalone by a pupil of
  Fiorenzo di Lorenzo in S. Francesco, Montone                     196

  Raphael, aged six years. From a picture once in the
  possession of James Dennistoun                                   216

  Raphael. After the portrait by himself in the Uffizi
  Gallery, Florence. (Photo Anderson)                              220

  Madonna and child. After the picture by Giovanni Santi,
  in the Pinacoteca of Urbino. (Photo Alinari)                     224

  Ecce Homo. From the picture by Giovanni Santi in the
  Palazzo Ducale, Urbino. (Photo Alinari)                          226

  S. Sebastian. After the picture by Timoteo Viti in the
  Palazzo Ducale, Urbino. (Photo Alinari)                          228

  Margherita "La Fornarina." After the picture by Raphael
  called La Donna Velata in the Pitti Gallery, Florence.
  (Photo Alinari)                                                  230

  Margherita "La Fornarina." After the spoiled picture by
  Raphael in the Galleria Barberini in Rome. (Photo Anderson)      232

  The Sposalizio. After the picture by Raphael, once in the
  Ducal Collection at Urbino, now in the Brera, Milan.
  (Photo Alinari)                                                  240

  Isabella of Aragon. After the picture by Raphael in the
  Louvre                                                           246

  St. Sebastian. From the picture by Timoteo Viti in the
  Palazzo Ducale, Urbino. (Photo Alinari)                          254

  Francesco Maria I. della Rovere. After the picture by
  Titian in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence. (From the Ducal
  Collection.) (Photo Alinari)                                     314

  Venetian wedding-dress in the sixteenth century. After
  the picture called "La Flora" by Titian in the Uffizi
  Gallery, Florence. (Photo Anderson)                              316

  Detail of the Urbino Venus. Supposed portrait of
  Duchess Leonora, from the picture by Titian in the
  Uffizi Gallery, Florence. (Photo Anderson)                       320

  The girl in the fur-cloak. Possibly a portrait of Duchess
  Leonora of Urbino. After the picture by Titian in the
  Imperial Gallery, Vienna. (Photo Franz Hanfstaengl)              324

  Duchess of Urbino, either Eleonora or Giulia Varana.
  After the picture by Titian in the Uffizi Gallery,
  Florence. Painted _ca._ 1538. (Photo Brogi)                      328

  Leo X. After the picture by Raphael in the Pitti Gallery,
  Florence. (Photo Anderson)                                       352

  Lorenzo di Piero de' Medici, Duke of Urbino. After the
  picture by Bronzino in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence.
  (Photo Alinari)                                                  366



  A.D.                                                         PAGE

  1502.  Dec.      Valentino marches against Sinigaglia           3

    "     "   28.  Which surrenders                               4

    "     "   31.  Cesare massacres the confederate chiefs        4

  1503.  Jan.  2.  His letter to the authorities at Perugia       6

    "    Feb. 22.  Cardinal Orsini poisoned at Rome               8

    "    Jan.      Machiavelli's indifference to the massacre     8

    "     "        General extinction of moral feeling           10

    "     "   18.  Further murders of the chiefs                 11

    "     "        Valentino in the Val di Chiana                11

    "     "        Jealousy of Louis XII.                        11

    "     "        State of affairs at Urbino                    12

    "    June.     Siege of San Leo                              13

    "     "        Relieved by a dexterous stroke                13

    "              The Pontiff's wholesale poisonings            15

    "    Aug. 18.  To which he fell himself a victim             16

    "     "        The various accounts of this examined         17

    "     "        His character                                 19

    "     "        Valentino's narrow escape from the same fate  19

    "     "        His policy                                    20

    "     "        Results of the Pope's death at Rome           21

    "    Sep. 22.  Election of Pius III.                         22


  1503.  Aug. 22.  Urbino resumes its allegiance                 23

    "     "        Guidobaldo returns from Venice                23

    "     "   28.  And is welcomed enthusiastically              24

    "              He joins the other princes in a defensive
                   confederacy                                   24

    "              The fortunes of Valentino rally               25

    "              His wavering conduct                          25

    "              Election of Julius II.                        27

    "              Fatal to Valentino's prospects                27

    "    Nov.      Guidobaldo's difficult position               28

    "     "        The Pope's negotiation with Borgia            29

  1504.  April.    Who escapes to Naples                         30

    "              But is sent prisoner to Spain                 30

  1507.  Mar. 10.  His death                                     31

  1503.            Guidobaldo's fortunate position               31

    "    Nov. 20.  Summoned to Rome                              32

    "     "        His favour with the Pope                      32

    "     "   15.  The Duchess returns home from Venice          33

    "     "        His interview with Valentino                  33

    "     "        Represented in a fresco                       33

  1504.            He is named Gonfaloniere of the Church        34

    "              And invested with the Garter of England       34

    "    June 1.   Returns home, accompanied by Count
                   Castiglione                                   34

    "    Feb.      Strange pastimes there                        34

    "              His brief campaign                            35

    "              And happy residence at Urbino                 35

    "              His installation as generalissimo of the
                   papal forces                                  36

    "    Sep.      His nephew, the young Prefect, invested as
                   his heir-apparent                             37

    "              Claims of Venice upon Romagna                 38

  1505.            Guidobaldo summoned to visit the Pope         38

  1506.  July.     Returns home                                  39

    "    Aug. 26.  Julius sets out for Romagna                   39

    "    Sep. 25.  His magnificent reception at Urbino           39

    "      "       Tariff of provisions there                    40

    "              Reaches Bologna                               41

    "              His statue there, and its fate                42

  1507.  Mar. 3.   Revisits Urbino on his return to Rome         42


  1507.            The cultivated tastes of the princes
                   in Romagna                                    43

    "              The Court of Urbino described by Count
                   Castiglione, in his _Cortegiano_              44

    "              The requisites of a lady of that court        45

    "              State of female refinement and morals         46

    "              Coarseness of language and wit                47

    "              Poetical and social pastimes                  49

    "              Sketch of the prominent personages there      50

    "              Count Baldassare Castiglione                  51

    "              He goes to England                            52

    "              His marriage, and conjugal affection          53

    "              His portraits                                 53

    "              His death and character                       55

    "              Giuliano de' Medici                           56

    "              Cesare Gonzaga                                58

    "              Ottaviano Fregoso                             58

    "              Cardinal Federigo Fregoso                     59

    "              Bembo's letter on his death                   61

    "              Cardinal Bembo                                62

    "              His attachment to Lucrezia Borgia             63

    "              His promotion under Leo X.                    64

    "              His lax morals                                64

    "              Bernardo Dovizii, Cardinal Bibbiena           65

    "              His ingratitude and ambition                  67

    "              His beauty and worldly character              68

    "              Bernardo Accolti, l'Unico Aretino             69

    "              Count Ludovico Canossa                        70

    "              Alessandro Trivulzio                          71


  1507.            The Duke's declining health                   72

    "              The court enlivened by female society         72

    "              Emilia Pio, surnamed Pia                      75

    "              Her decorum and wit                           76

    "              Her management of the social resources
                   of the palace                                 77

    "              The origin of Castiglione's _Cortegiano_      78

    "              Guidobaldo a martyr to gout                   79

  1506-1508.       Extraordinary derangement of the seasons      79

  1508.  April.    He is carried to Fossombrone                  80

    "     "   11.  His great sufferings and resigned end         80

    "     "        The paganism of his biographers               81

    "     "        Precautions of the Duchess against
                   a revolution                                  82

    "     "        And of the Pontiff                            83

    "     "        His body taken to Urbino                      84

    "     "   13.  The Prefect Francesco Maria proclaimed
                   Duke of Urbino                                85

    "     "        His visit to the Duchess                      85

    "     "        Funeral of Guidobaldo                         85

    "    May 2.    His obsequies and funeral oration             85

    "              His portraits                                 86

    "              His accomplishments and excellent character   86

    "              His patronage of Paolo Cortesio               87

    "              Enduring influence of his reign               88

    "              His widow                                     89


  1443-1508.       The golden age of Italian letters and arts    93

    "    "         Rich in scholars but poor in genius           94

    "    "         Its prosaic tendency                          94

    "    "         The revival of learning                       95

    "    "         Promoted by the multiplicity of
                   independent communities                       97

    "    "         Especially by the petty sovereigns            98

    "    "         Adulatory tendency of such literature         99

    "    "         A narrow patriotism generated                100

    "    "         Taste for classical erudition, philology
                   and grammar                                  101

    "    "         The study of Latin induced pedantry and
                   languid conventionality                      102

    "    "         The prosaic scholarism of this period        103

    "    "         Tending to pagan ideas                       103

    "    "         The rival philosophies of Aristotle
                   and Plato                                    105

    "    "         Leading to fierce quarrels                   106

    "    "         Superseding Christian revelation             106

    "    "         And eventually shaking Catholic unity        107

    "    "         Influence of the Dukes of Urbino on letters  107

    "    "         Mediocrity of many authors of local fame     108


  1412-1441.       Letters of Count Guidantonio in favour
                   of various learned men                       109

  1444-1482.       Duke Federigo's love for literary converse   111

    "    "         The academies                                112

    "    "         Fulsome dedications                          112

  1473.            Gentile de' Becci                            113

  1480.            Ludovico Odasio                              114

                   Francesco Venturini                          114

                   Guarniero Berni of Gubbio                    115

  1470-1555.       Polydoro di Vergilio                         115

    "    "         His preferments in England                   115

    "    "         His English history                          117

                   Vespasiano Filippi                           118

  1478-1529.       Count Baldassare Castiglione                 119

    "    "         His _Cortegiano_                             119

    "    "         Compared with Machiavelli's _Principe_       120

    "    "         His letter to Henry VIII. regarding
                   Duke Guidobaldo                              121

    "    "         His poetry                                   121

  1528.            His letter to his children                   122

  1470-1547.       Cardinal Bembo                               123

    "    "         His pedantry and affected imitation
                   of Cicero                                    123

    "    "         His history of Venice                        124

    "    "         His Essay on Duke Guidobaldo                 124

    "    "         His other works                              125

                   Learned ladies                               128


  1443-1508.       Poetry under the Montefeltrian Dukes         130

    "    "         Defects of the sonnet                        131

                   Francesco Filelfo                            131

  1480.            Gian Maria Filelfo, his son                  132

                   His Martiados in praise of Duke Federigo     132

                   His minor poems                              133

                   Specimen of the dedication                   134

                   His sonnet to Gentile Bellini the painter    135

                   His life of Duke Federigo                    136

                   Pandonio of Naples                           136

                   His Feltria on Duke Federigo's campaigns     137

                   Specimen of it                               137

                   Giovanni Sanzi of Urbino, father of
                   Raffaele Sanzio                              138

                   His metrical chronicle of Duke Federigo      138

                   Various specimens of it translated           140

  1428-1457.       Angelo Galli from Urbino                     143

                   Specimen of his poetry                       143

                   Federigo Veterani, his beautiful
                   transcripts                                  144

                   His tribute in verse to Duke Federigo        145

                   Urbani of Urbino                             146

                   Antonio Rustico of Florence                  146

                   Naldio of Florence                           146

                   Bernardo Accolti of Arezzo                   146

                   His improvisation                            146

                   Serafino di Aquila                           147

                   Agostino Staccoli of Urbino                  147

                   Early Italian comedies                       147

                   La Calandra of Bibbiena                      147

  1513.            Its performance at Urbino                    148

                   Description of the scenery and
                   accompanying interludes                      148

                   Origin of the ballet                         152

                   Nature of the plot in La Calandra            152

                   Low standard of morals at that time          153

                   Obscene jest books                           154


                   Mediæval art almost exclusively religious    157

                   The introduction of types and
                   traditionary forms                           157

                   A picture by Botticelli denounced as
                   heretical (note)                             158

                   The choice and treatment of sacred themes    159

                   Modified by the personal character of
                   artists                                      160

                   Instances of this                            161

                   Devotional feeling of early painters         161

                   Shown in the rules of their guilds at
                   Siena and Florence                           162

                   Case of Giorgio Vasari                       163

                   The gloomy character of Spanish art          163

                   The subject to be considered apart from
                   sectarian views                              164

                   Christian art modified in the fifteenth
                   century                                      166

                   Gradual innovation of naturalism             167

                   Followed by paganism and classicism          168

                   Rise of the "new manner"                     169

                   Religious prudery in Spain fatal to art      170

                   Von Rumohr's definition of Christian art     170

                   Opinions prevailing in England               171

                   Hogarth and Savonarola                       172

                   Burnet and Barry                             172

                   Reynolds and Raffaele                        172

                   Obstacles to a due appreciation of this
                   subject among us                             173

                   Mr. Ruskin and Lord Lindsay                  174

                   Sir David Wilkie                             175

                   It does not necessarily lead to popery       175

                   Nor is it a desirable "groundwork for a
                   new style of art"                            176

                   St. Francis of Assisi, his legends
                   and shrine                                   177

                   Their influence renders Umbria the cradle
                   of sacred art                                178

                   Opinions of Rio, Boni, and Herbert Seymour   179


                   The Umbrian school hitherto overlooked       184

                   The cathedral of Orvieto and the sanctuary
                   of Assisi attract many artists               185

                   The dramatic or Dantesque character of
                   Florentine painting                          186

                   Sentimental devotion of the Sienese school   187

                   Influence of these on Umbrian painters       187

       -1299.      Oderigi da Gubbio                            188

                   Notice of him by Dante                       188

                   Guido Palmerucci of Gubbio                   189

                   Angioletto, a glass-painter of Gubbio        190

  1375-1444.       Ottaviano Nelli of Gubbio and his pupils     190

  1434.  June 30.  His letter to Caterina, Countess of Urbino   192

                   Allegretto Nuzi of Fabriano                  193

  1370-14.         Gentile da Fabriano; he studies under        193

  1383-14.         Fra Giovanni da Fiesole, the Beato Angelico  194

    "  "           A friar of holy life and pencil              194

    "  "           Gentile called "master of the masters"       196

  1370-14.         His works studied by Raffaele                196

    "  "           Goes to Venice                               197

    "  "           His taste for gaudy trappings                197

                   Benedetto Bonfigli of Perugia                199

  1446-1524.       Pietro Perugino                              199

                   Painters in Urbino                           200

      -1478.       Piero della Francesca of Borgo
                   San Sepolcro                                 201

    "   "          His history obscure                          201

    "   "          His two distinct manners                     202

    "   "          His knowledge of geometry                    203

    "   "          His claims to the introduction
                   of perspective                               203

    "   "          These examined, and those of Luca Pacioli    203

    "   "          His unedited writings (note)                 204

    "   "          His frescoes at Arezzo and their influence
                   on Raffaele                                  206

    "   "          His portrait of Sigismondo Pandolfo
                   Malatesta                                    208

    "   "          His portraits of the Montefeltrian princes   209

      -1484.       Bartolomeo Coradino, the Fra Carnevale       210

                   Beautiful altar-picture near Pesaro          211

  1423-1502.       Francesco di Giorgio of Siena                211

                   His works in painting, architecture,
                   and engineering                              212

                   Letter of Duke Federigo on his behalf        214

                   His writings                                 215


      -1494.       Giovanni Sanzi of Urbino                     216

                   Till lately unjustly depreciated             216

                   His own account of himself                   217

                   His style and works                          218

                   His portrait of his son, the divine
                   Raffaele                                     218

  1483.  Apr. 6.   Birth of Raffaele Sanzio of Urbino,
                   surnamed "the Divine"                        220

                   Notice of his biographers                    220

                   His appearance happily timed                 221

                   First pictorial influences on his mind       222

  1495.            He goes to the school of Perugino            223

  1500-1504.       His earliest independent works at Città
                   di Castello                                  225

    "    "         Returns to paint at Perugia                  226

    "    "         Visits Siena and Florence                    226

    "    "         Returns to paint at Urbino                   227

    "    "         His second visit to Florence                 227

    "    "         With a recommendation from Joanna
                   della Rovere                                 228

  1504-1505.       His works, patrons, and associates there     228

  1505-1507.       Again painting at Perugia                    230

  1505-1507.       His intercourse with Francia                 231

  1503-1508.       And with the polished court of Urbino        231

    "    "         Works commissioned of him there              232

    "    "         His recently discovered fresco at Florence   234


  1508.            He is called to Rome by Julius II.           235

    "              And employed to paint in the Stanze          236

  1508-1513.       His plan for the frescoes there detailed
                   and examined                                 236

  1513.  Feb. 21.  Death of Julius II.                          239

  1513-1520.       Raffaele's powers overtaxed                  240

    "    "         He gradually falls into "the new manner"     241

    "    "         The charge against him of a vicious life
                   unfounded                                    241

    "    "         Question how far he imitated others          242

    "    "         Especially Michael Angelo                    243

    "    "         No parallel between them                     244

    "    "         His diminished intercourse with Urbino       246

  1520.  Apr. 6.   His sudden death and funeral                 247

    "              His intended marriage and cardinal's hat     249

    "              His varied gifts                             250

    "              Testimonies to his merits                    250

    "              His sense of beauty                          251

    "              Purity of his taste                          252


  1470-1523.       Timoteo Viti                                 254

                   His picture of questioned orthodoxy          256

  1444-1514.       Donato Bramante                              259

                   Confusion regarding him                      259

                   His works at Urbino                          261

                   Commences St. Peter's, at Rome               262

                   Builds at the Vatican                        263

                   Fra Bernardo Catelani                        264

                   Crocchia of Urbino                           265

  1450-1517.       Francesco Francia                            265

  1430-1506.       Andrea Mantegna                              265

  1424-1514.       Giovanni Bellini                             266

  1446-1523.       Pietro Perugino                              266

  1386-1445.       Jean van Eyck                                266

  1474.            Justus of Ghent                              267

                   Italian portrait medallions                  269

  1468.            Clemente of Urbino                           270

                   Medals of Duke Federigo                      270

                   Medal of Duchess Elisabetta                  272

                   Medal of Emilia Pia                          273


  1414.  July 21.  Birth of Sixtus IV.                          277

    "              Origin of his family                         277

  1414.            Omens attending his birth                    278

  1471.  Aug. 9.   His education and elevation to the papacy    278

                   Children of his father, and their
                   descendants                                  279

                   His partiality to his nephews                283

                   Extravagance of Cardinal Pietro Riario       284

                   Hospitalities of Sixtus                      285

                   His improvements in Rome                     286

                   Scandals regarding him                       287

                   His patronage of art                         287

                   And of the Vatican Library                   289

                   Portrait there of himself and nephews        289

                   Painted by Melozzo da Forlì                  290

                   His brother Giovanni della Rovere            291

  1474.  Oct. 12.  Made vicar of Sinigaglia                     291

    "     "   28.  His marriage with Princess Giovanna
                   of Urbino                                    291

  1475.            Made Lord Prefect of Rome                    291

                   His beneficial reign                         292

                   His favour at the papal court                293

  1474.            The story of Zizim or Gem                    293

    "              His ransom is seized by the Prefect          294

    "              Curious correspondence of the Sultan
                   with Alexander VI.                           295

    "              Description of Gem by Mantegna the painter   297

  1501.  Nov. 6.   Death of the Prefect                         299

                   His portrait                                 299

                   His widow                                    300

                   Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere               301

                   His persecutions by the Borgias              301

  1503.  Nov. 1.   His election to the Tiara                    303

                   His character and policy                     304

                   His patronage of art                         306

                   His improvements in Rome                     306

                   Parallel of him with Leo X.                  307


  1490.  Mar. 25.  Birth of Duke Francesco Maria I.             313

  1501.  Nov. 6.   He succeeds to his father's state
                   of Sinigaglia                                313

    "     "        He is carried to Urbino                      313

  1502.  Apr. 24.  Is made Prefect of Rome                      313

    "              His early education and tastes               314

    "              His military propensities                    314

    "    June 20.  His escape from Cesare Borgia                315

  1502.            He is received at the court of France        315

  1504.  March.    His return to Italy                          315

    "    June 17.  Restored at Sinigaglia                       316

    "    Sep. 18.  Invested as heir-apparent of Urbino          316

  1505.  Jan.      Contracted in marriage to Leonora Gonzaga    316

  1506.            His first military service                   316

  1507.  Oct. 6.   Assassinates the paramour of his sister      317

  1508.  Apr. 14.  He succeeds to the dukedom of Urbino         318

    "     "        His constitutional concessions               319

    "     "   25.  His summons to his new subjects to
                   swear allegiance                             319

    "              His judicious and conciliatory measures      320

    "              Origin of the League of Cambray              321

    "    Dec. 10.  It is signed                                 322

    "     "        The objects of this unnatural combination    322

    "    Oct. 4.   Francesco Maria made captain-general of
                   the ecclesiastical forces                    323

  1509.  May.      Elected a Knight of the Garter, but not
                   confirmed by Henry VIII.                     324

    "    Dec. 24.  His marriage celebrated                      324

                   The Duchess Leonora's psalter                324

    "    April.    He takes the field against Venice            325

    "    May 4.    Takes Brisghella                             325

    "              Remarkable incident in his camp              325

    "              The Pope's partiality for the Cardinal
                   of Pavia                                     326

    "              His character and intrigues against
                   Francesco Maria                              327

    "              His treachery                                327

    "    May 14.   The Venetians beaten at Vaila                328

    "    June 11.  Rimini capitulates, and the campaign
                   closes                                       329

    "              The Duke carries his bride to Rome           329

    "              He reconciles the Pope to Giuliano
                   de' Medici                                   329

    "              The Pope changes sides                       330

    "              Further treachery of the Cardinal of Pavia   330

  1510.  July.     The Duke marches against Ferrara             331

    "    Sep.      Julius II. takes the field                   331

    "              His suspicions of the Cardinal               332

    "              The council of Pisa threatened               332

    "              His indomitable resolution                   333


  1510.  Dec.      His ill-judged appearance at the siege
                   of Mirandola                                 334

  1511.  May 21.   The Duke's miscarriage before Bologna
                   by the Cardinal's treachery                  336

    "     "        The Cardinal prepossesses the Pope
                   against his nephew                           338

    "     "  24.   And falls by his hand                        339

    "              Ill-timed badinage of Cardinal Bembo (note)  339

    "              The Duke retires to Urbino                   340

    "    June.     And the Pontiff returns to Rome              340

    "              His indignation against the Duke             340

    "              Who is arrested, and subjected to a
                   complicated prosecution                      341

    "              Defended by Beroaldo the younger             341

    "              Dangerous illness of Julius                  342

    "              He is reconciled to Francesco Maria          343

    "    Dec. 9.   And absolves him                             343

    "     "        New league against the French                343

  1512.            Hesitation of Francesco Maria                344

    "              Consequent disgust of Julius                 344

    "    Apr. 11.  The field of Ravenna                         344

    "              Francesco Maria is reconciled to the Pope    345

    "    June 22.  He retakes Bologna                           345

    "    Aug.      And reduces Reggio                           345

    "              The French abandoned by their
                   Italian allies                               346

    "              The Duke's fruitless attempt on Ferrara      347

    "              Restoration of the Medici at Florence        347

    "              The Duke's feeling towards them examined     347

    "              New projects of the Pope                     348

    "              Lapse of Pesaro to the Holy See              349

    "    Oct. 23.  The town reduced by Francesco Maria          349

  1513.  Feb. 16.  He is invested with that state               350

    "     "   21.  Death of Julius II.                          350

    "    Mar. 16.  The Duke's reception at Pesaro               350


  1513.            Influence of Francesco Maria in the
                   conclave favourable to the Medici            351

    "    Mar. 11.  Election of Leo. X.                          351

    "     "        His singular good fortune                    352

    "     "        His character contrasted with that of
                   Julius by Sismondi                           352

    "     "   19.  Francesco Maria attends his coronation       353

    "     "        And is confirmed in all his dignities        354

    "    Sep.      His favour for Baldassare Castiglione        355

    "              Notice of the fief of Novilara               357

  1514.            Ambitious projects and intrigues of
                   Leo X., involving Urbino                     358

    "    Apr. 2.   Birth of Prince Guidobaldo of Urbino         359

  1515.  Jan. 1.   Bembo's visit to that court                  359

    "    June      The Duke superseded by Leo X. in
                   his command                                  360

    "              Friendship of Giuliano de' Medici for him    361

    "    Jan. 1.   Death of Louis XII., succeeded by
                   Francis I.                                   362

    "              The Pontiff's undecided policy               362

    "    Sep. 13.  Battle of Marignano                          364

  1516.  Jan.      Death of Ferdinand of Spain                  364

    "    Mar. 17.  And of Giuliano de' Medici                   365

    "     "        Character of Lorenzo de' Medici              365

    "     "        Francesco Maria exposed to the fury of Leo   366

    "    Apr. 27.  Sentence of deprivation against him          367

    "    Aug. 18.  And his dignities conferred upon Lorenzo     367

    "    April     Ingratitude of Bembo                         367

                   Lashed by Porrino                            368

    "    May.      The duchy of Urbino invaded                  368

    "     "   31.  Francesco Maria withdraws to Lombardy
                   with his family                              369

    "     "        The duchy surrenders to Lorenzo              369

    "    Sep.      S. Leo surprised                             370


  1516.  Aug. 13.  The peace of Noyon                           372

    "              Attempt on his state by the Duke             372

  1517.  Jan. 17.  His manifesto                                373

    "     "        His address to the soldiery                  376

    "     "        Alarm of the Pontiff                         377

    "     "        Gradara is sacked                            377

    "    Feb.      Partial rising in his favour                 377

    "     "   5.   Remarkable adventure of Benedetto Giraldi    378

    "    "    "    Francesco Maria enters Urbino                380

    "              Measures adopted by Leo                      380

    "              The Duke challenges Lorenzo to a personal
                   encounter, which is declined                 382

    "    Mar. 25.  Sack of Montebaroccio                        383

    "     "        Siege of Mondolfo, where Lorenzo is wounded  384

    "              Its sack, with many excesses                 385

    "              Cardinal Bibbiena appointed to the command
                   as legate                                    387

    "              Disorganisation of his army                  388

    "    May 6.    It is routed on Montebartolo                 388

    "     "  "     The Duke's letter to his consort detailing
                   the battle                                   389


  1517.            Conspiracy against Leo                       391

    "              Fate of Cardinal Adrian of Corneto           392

    "    June 20.  Leo applies to Henry VIII.                   392

    "              His unscrupulous measures                    392

    "    May.      Francesco Maria's expedition against
                   Perugia                                      393

    "     "        Treason in his camp                          393

    "     "        His energetic proceedings                    394

    "    June.     Makes a foray into La Marca                  395

    "     "        A conversation with the Pope                 396

    "     "        His apprehensions                            397

    "    July.     The Duke's advantage over the Swiss at
                   Rimini, and march upon Tuscany               398

    "    Aug.      Progress of negotiations                     398

    "              Conditions granted to Francesco Maria        402

    "              Vile conduct of his Spaniards                402

    "              Curious votive inscription                   403

    "              The Duke again withdraws from his state      403

    "              Immense cost of the campaign                 404

    "              Its remote consequences upon the
                   Reformation                                  404

    "              The fortunes of Lorenzo de' Medici           405

  1519.  Apr. 28.  His death                                    405

    "              Partition of the duchy of Urbino             406

  1520.  Mar.      Fate of Gian Paolo Baglioni                  406

  1519.            The singular good fortune of Charles V.      407

    "    June 28.  He is elected Emperor                        408

  1521.            Combinations for new wars in Italy           408

    "              Francesco Maria in the French interest       409

    "              He retires to Lonno                          409

    "              Milan restored to the Sforza family          410


  1521.  Dec. 1.   Disgust and death of Leo                     411

    "     "        Opinions as to his being poisoned            411

    "     "        Francesco Maria returns to his state         412

    "     "   22.  And is readily welcomed                      413

  1522.  Jan. 5.   He restores the Varana and Baglioni          413

    "     "        And invades Tuscany                          414

    "     "   15.  His letter to the Priors of Siena            414

    "              Urbino invaded by the Medici                 415

    "              Their reconciliation with the Duke           415

    "              His condotta by them                         416

    "              Election of Adrian VI                        416

    "    May 18.   The Duke is reinstated in his dignities      418

    "    Feb. 18.  His bond to the Sacred College               418

    "              Pretensions of Ascanio Colonna upon Urbino   418

    "    June 22.  Murder of Sigismondo Varana                  419

    "              The Duke refuses service with the French     420

    "    Aug.      But aids the Pope against Rimini             420

  1523.            The ladies of his court return home          421

    "              He establishes his residence at Pesaro       421

    "              Hospitality of the Duchesses                 421

    "              He goes to Rome, to wait upon Adrian         422

    "              New league for the defence of Sforza         423

    "              Francesco Maria retained by Venice as
                   general-in-chief                             423

    "              French invasion of the Milanese              423

    "    Sep. 24.  Death of Adrian succeeded by Clement VII.    423

    "              Death of Prospero Colonna, and his
                   influence on the tactics of Francesco
                   Maria                                        423

    "              Venetian _proveditori_ and their evils      424

  1524.            Lanoy commander-in-chief of the allies       426

    "              The Duke of Urbino hampered by the
                   Proveditore                                 426

    "              His tactics                                  427

  1523.            The French admiral, Bonnivet, wounded        427

    "              Is succeeded by the Chevalier Bayard         427

  1524.  Apr. 30.  His heroic death                             427

    "              The French driven out of Italy               428

    "    June 25.  His honourable reception at Venice           429

    "      "  27.  Made captain-general by the Signory          429

    "    July 3.   Received into the company della Calza        430

    "      "  5.   Returns home                                 431

    "    Oct.      New invasion of Italy by Francis I.          431

  1525.  Feb. 25.  The battle of Pavia                          431


  1525.            Altered policy of Clement                    433

    "              Treason and death of the Marquis of Pescara  434

  1526.  Feb. 14.  Letter from the Duke of Urbino to Cardinal
                   Wolsey                                       434

    "    May.      New League against Charles V.                435

    "     "        The Duke marches to relieve Milan            435

    "    June.     And obtains Lodi                             435

    "              His embarrassment from the number of
                   leaders in the army                          436

    "              Sketch of Francesco Guicciardini             436

    "              His differences with Francesco Maria         436

    "              Opinions divided as to the advance on Milan  437

    "              The Duke's policy explained                  438

    "    July 6.   Miscarriage and retreat of the army          439

    "     "        The prejudices of Guicciardini               439

    "     "   24.  Milan is surrendered by Sforza               441

    "     "        The Duke's quarrels with Guicciardini        441

    "              Opinions of Sismondi                         442

    "              The Duke's illness from vexation             443

    "    Sep.      He carries Cremona                           443

    "              The Colonna rebel against the Pope           443

    "    Sep. 20.  They surprise Rome, and pillage the Borgo    444

    "     "        Francesco Maria visits his Duchess           445

    "    Nov.      Fründesberg brings the lansquenets
                   into Lombardy                                445

    "              The Duke's plans of defence considered       446

    "    Nov. 30.  Battle of Borgoforte, and death of
                   Giovanni de' Medici _delle bande nere_       446

  1527.            Tortuous policy of Clement                   447

    "    Mar. 15.  His truce with Lanoy                         448

    "     "        Inertness of the allies                      449

    "     "        The Constable Bourbon                        449

    "     "        His policy in this war                       449

    "     "        Inactivity of the Duke                       451

    "     "        Bourbon's advance into Central Italy         452

    "     "        He repudiates Lanoy's truce                  452

    "     "        His progress through Romagna                 453

    "     "        Vain attempt of Lanoy to interrupt him       453

    "     "        Feeble and selfish views of all the allies   454

    "     "        Secret motives of the Duke                   454

    "    Apr. 22.  Bourbon crosses into Tuscany                 455

    "              The Duke quells an insurrection at
                   Florence                                     456

    "    May 1.    His fortresses of S. Leo and Maiuola
                   restored                                     456

    "    Apr. 26.  Bourbon hurries onward to Rome               456


                   Cesare Borgia's personal appearance
                   and portraits                                459

  1504.  Feb. 20.  Letter of Henry VIII. to Duke Guidobaldo
                   with the insignia of the Garter              462

    "              Instructions for his investiture             463

    "              Polydoro di Vergilio's account of it         466

  1506.  July 24.  The Duke sends Count Castiglione to
                   England as his proxy                         469

    "    Oct. 20.  His reception and installation               469

  1507.            He is knighted, and returns to Urbino        470

                   Giovanni Sanzi's metrical Chronicle of
                   Duke Federigo                                471

                   Fac-simile of the autograph                  472

                   Table of the contents                        472

                   Epitaph upon Giovanni della Rovere           480

                   Remission and rehabilitation of Duke
                   Francesco Maria I.                           481

                   Letter from Cardinal Wolsey to Lorenzo
                   de' Medici                                   484


NOTE.--The Editor's notes are marked with an asterisk.






     The massacre of Sinigaglia--Death of Alexander VI.--Narrow
     escape of Cesare Borgia.

The principal object of the new combination having been attained
by the submission of Urbino, followed by that of Camerino, Borgia
hastened to anticipate the suspicions of his allies by sending
the French succours back to Milan. He however retained a body of
troops, and proposed that the chiefs should co-operate with him in
reducing Sinigaglia, which was held by the late Prefect's widow.
Accordingly, Paolo Orsini, his relation the Duke of Gravina,
Vitellozzo, and Liverotto advanced upon that town, the garrison of
which was commanded by the celebrated Andrea Doria. This remarkable
man, finding himself excluded by the state of parties at Genoa
from all prospect of preferment, had in youth adopted the career
of a condottiere. He took service with Giovanni della Rovere,
distinguishing himself greatly in the campaign of Charles VIII. at
Naples; after which he continued attached to the Prefect and his
widow, with a hundred light horse. Seeing the case of Sinigaglia
desperate, and dreading Liverotto's bitter hatred of the Rovere
race, he retired, having first sent off the Prefectess on horseback
to Florence, disguised as a friar. On the 28th of December, the
assailants took undisputed possession of the city, and sacked it.
His prey now in his toils, Valentino, who had lulled their suspicion
by keeping aloof with his troops in Romagna, flew to the spot on the
pretext of reducing the citadel, and on the 31st arrived at the town
with a handful of cavalry.

He was met three miles outside of the gate by the chiefs, and
immediately requested their attendance in the house of one Bernardino
di Parma, to receive his congratulations and thanks on their success.
At the same time he desired quarters to be provided for their
respective followings outside of the city, in order to admit his own
army, amounting to two thousand cavalry and ten thousand infantry.
Startled at the appearance of a force so disproportioned to the
service in hand, they would gladly have demurred to this distribution
of the troops, but Cesare had contrived that there should be no
opportunity for remonstrance, and resistance would have obviously
been too late. Affecting a confidence they were far from feeling, the
leaders accepted the invitation, and were received with cordiality
and distinction. After an interchange of compliments, Borgia withdrew
upon some pretext, when there immediately entered his chosen agent
of iniquity, Don Michelotto, with several armed followers, who,
after some resistance, arrested the Duke of Gravina, Paolo Orsini,
Vitellozzo, and Liverotto, with some ten others. Before morning the
two last were strangled with a Pisan cord, or violin-string, and a
wrench-pin, by the hands of that monster, in his master's presence.
Their death, according to Machiavelli, was cowardly, especially that
of the blood-stained Liverotto; and their bodies, after being dragged
round the piazza, were exposed for three days before burial.

That night Valentino, at the head of his Gascons, attacked six
thousand of these captains' troops, which had not dispersed on
hearing the capture of their leaders, slaughtering and plundering
them with the same barbarity they had themselves used towards the
citizens. The greater portion were cut to pieces, and those who
escaped reached their homes naked, having only straw tied round their
legs. Fabio Orsini was saved by his accidental absence from Borgia's
levee; Petrucci and Baglioni, suspicious of treachery, had avoided
their fate by previously retiring home. Against the last of these,
Borgia marched in a few days, carrying with him the remaining chiefs,
of whom he reserved the Orsini until he should hear his father's
intentions; but each night after supper he is said to have had one
of the others brought out, and put to a cruel death before him. Thus
did he, by a dexterous stroke of the most refined duplicity, turn the
tools of his ambition into victims of his vengeance, and at the same
time ridded himself of faithless adherents, whom any change in his
fortune would have again converted into overt and implacable foes.[1]

[Footnote 1: Our chief authorities for this tragic scene are
Machiavelli's despatches and separate narrative, with the Diaries of
Burchard, Buonaccorsi, and Sanuto. Some details are taken from the
Ricordi of Padre Gratio, guardian of the Monastery delle Grazie at
Sinigaglia, a contemporary, and probably an eye-witness to many of
them. Vat. Urb. MSS. 1023, art. 17.[*A]]

[Footnote *A: Cf. MADIAI, _Diario delle Cose di Urbino_,
in _Arch. St. per le Marche e per l'Umbria_, tom. III., p. 437.
Machiavelli, who was with Cesare at the time, describes the massacre
of Sinigaglia as "il bellissimo inganno di Sinigaglia." Cesare wrote
an account of it to Isabella d'Este. Cf. her letter to her husband
(D'ARCO, _Notizie di Isabella Estense_, in _Arch. St. Ital._, ser. i.,
App., vol. I., No. II. (1845), p. 262).]

Vermiglioli, in his life of Malatesta Baglioni, has printed, from
the archives of Perugia, a letter from Borgia to the magistrates of
that city, which, in consideration of the comparative obscurity of
that interesting volume, we shall here translate. It is, perhaps, the
only known document fully stating the case of the writer, and so may
be regarded as his defence from the charges we have brought against
him: the style and orthography are remarkably rude; and the matter
abounds in that common expedient, whereby bold and bad men seek to
evade merited accusations, by throwing them upon those they have

[Footnote 2: Our version is from the original letter. Nearly similar
in purport, but much shorter, is a despatch written by him to the
Doge of Venice on the very night of the raid, so anxious was he to
conciliate the Signory.]

     "Magnificent and potent Lords, my special Friends and

     "Superfluous were it to narrate from their outset the
     perfidious rebellion and atrocious treason, so known to
     yourselves and to all the world, and so detestable, which
     your [lords, the Baglioni,] and their accomplices have
     committed against his Holiness the Pope and ourselves.
     And although all were our vassals, and most of them in
     our pay, received and caressed by us as sons or brothers,
     and favoured with high promotion, they nevertheless,
     regardless of the kindness of his Holiness and our own,
     as of their individual honour, banded in schemes of
     overweening ambition, and blinded by greed of tyranny,
     have failed us at the moment of our utmost need, turning
     his Holiness' arms and ours against him and ourselves,
     for the overthrow of our sovereignty and person. They
     commenced their aggressions upon us by raising our
     states of Urbino, Camerino, and Montefeltro, throwing
     all Romagna into confusion by force and by seditious
     plots, and proceeding under the mask of reconciliation to
     fresh offences, until our new levies were brought up in
     irresistible force. And so atrocious was their baseness,
     that neither the beneficent clemency of his [Holiness]
     aforesaid, nor our renewed indulgence to them, weaned them
     from the slough of their first vile designs, in which
     they still persisted. 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, 1503.

     PIOMBINO, Gonfaloniere and Captain-General of the Holy
     Roman Church."

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.


[1. 1480]

[2. 1494]

[3. 1501]

[4. 1504]

[5. 1501]

[6. 1510]

[7. 1522]

[8. 1540]

[9. 1517]]

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.[*3] In the latter view alone does it fall under
our consideration: yet however horrible these wholesale murders, they
are more remarkable in Italian history as the crowning crime of an
ambitious career, and as widely influencing the political aspect of
Romagna and La Marca, than from their relative enormity. 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., who also quotes from
the mouth of Giovanni Bentivoglio, at the diet of La Magione, this
bravado, "I shall assassinate Duke Valentino should I be so lucky as
to have opportunity."[4] The spirit of the age is further illustrated
by its unnumbered poisonings: and the fact that Machiavelli should
neither have used his influence with Valentino to avert the massacre
of the confederates, nor his pen to brand the treachery of that foul
deed, is but another link in the evidence from which we may deduce
the total extinction of moral feeling, which, anticipating the worst
doctrines of Loyola, carried them out with a selfishness, falsehood,
and cruelty unparalleled in the annals of human civilisation.[*5]

[Footnote *3: It is unlikely that Machiavelli abetted the massacre,
though he certainly approved it dispassionately enough. By it the
Papacy was rid at last of the houses of Colonna and Orsini. Cesare
met Machiavelli after the affair "with the best cheer in the world,"
reminding him that he had given him a hint of his intentions, but
adding, "I did not tell you all." He urged on Machiavelli his
desire for a firm alliance with Florence. Cf. MACHIAVELLI,
_Legazione al Valentino_, Lett. 86, and the _Modo tenuto dal Duca
Valentino nel ammazzare Vitellozzo_. See also CREIGHTON,
_op. cit._, vol V., p. 40.]

[Footnote 4: VERMIGLIOLI: _Vita di Malatesta Baglioni_.]

[Footnote *5: The schemes of Cesare were in his age no more
unscrupulously carried out than Bismarck's in his. "It is well," said
Cesare, "to beguile those who have shown themselves to be masters of

[Illustration: _Alinari_


Gianpaolo Baglioni having fled to Siena, Valentino followed him in
that direction, after taking possession of Perugia, and learning
that Città di Castello, abandoned by the adherents of the Vitelli,
had been plundered by his own partizans. On the 18th of January,
hearing at Città della Pieve of the blow struck by his father against
the Orsini, and that Fabio, who escaped the snare at Sinigaglia,
was ravaging the Campagna, he handed over Paolo and the Duke of
Gravina to the tender mercies of Michelotto, whose noose quickly
encircled their necks. 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.[*6]

[Footnote *6: Cf. LISINI, _Cesare Borgia e la repubblica di
Siena_, in the _Boll. Senese di Stor. Pat._, ann. VII. (fasc. I.),
pp. 114, 115, and 144 _et seq._ for all the documents. And for a
short but excellent account in English of the whole Sienese affair,
LANGTON DOUGLAS, _A History of Siena_ (Murray, 1902), p. 206
_et seq._]

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. 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." Nor was this sadness without cause, for the soldiery of
Orsini and Vitellozzo, who still quartered in the town, treated all
with such outrage, that many of the inhabitants prayed for death
to close their sufferings, envying those who were summoned from
such scenes of misery. 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.
The deputy governor, Giovanni da Forlì, was however a man of quite
opposite temperament, whose harshness soon counteracted these gentler
influences, and occasioned general disgust. 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

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.
S. 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 tentless rest beneath the humid sky,
     The stubborn wall that mocks the leaguer's art,
     And palls the patience of his baffled heart."

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--

     "'Tis sure a law of retribution just
     That turns the plotters' arts against themselves."[7]

[Footnote 7:

     "Neque enim lex æquior ulla
     Quam necis artifices arte perire sua." OVID. _Ar. Amat._ i. 655.]

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., to fetch it. 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,

                         "Even-handed justice
     Commends the ingredients of the poisoned chalice
     To their own lips."

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.[*8]

[Footnote *8: There is no authentic basis for this story. Rome was
in a pestilential condition in August, and the Pope, Cesare, and
the Cardinal Hadrian were all stricken with fever, which a supper
in the open air was surely not unlikely to produce. Alexander was
so detested that the strangeness of his death suggested poison at
once to his enemies. Cf. CREIGHTON, _op. cit._, vol. V., p.
49. An excellent essay on _The Poisonings attributed to the Borgia_
will be found in CREIGHTON, _op. cit._, vol. V., p. 301 _et

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., but the following charge of pope-poisoning
is new.

"The Lord Adrian Castillense of Corneto, Cardinal Datary, having
been desired by the Pope to receive him and Duke Valentino at supper
in his vineyard, his Holiness supplying the eatables, this Cardinal
presumed the invitation to be planned for his death by poison, so
that the Duke might obtain his money and benefices, which were
considerable. 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 10,000 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.' The steward, moved with compassion on hearing this, at
length avowed the plan concerted for administering the poison; that,
after the supper, he was to serve three boxes of confections, one
for the Pope, another for the Duke, and a third for the Cardinal,
the last being poisoned; so they arranged that the service of the
table should be contrived in such a way that the Pontiff might eat
of the Cardinal's poisoned box, and die. 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! on the
lord's coming to his servant's house, it is not meet that the servant
should sit with his lord; and the just and proper favour I ask is
permission for the servant to wait at the table of your Holiness.'
The supper being thus served, and the moment arrived for giving the
confections, the box having been poisoned by the steward as directed
by the Pope, the Cardinal placed it before his Holiness, who, relying
on his steward, and convinced of the Cardinal's sincerity by his
service, ate joyfully of this box, as did the Cardinal of the other,
which the Pontiff believed the poisoned one. 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. "On this day [19th] I
saw the Pontiff's corpse, whose apparel was not worth two ducats.
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

[Footnote 9: This passage appears conclusive as to the fact of poison
having been taken by the Pontiff; and it will be observed that
Sanuto's story of the confection-boxes in no way accounts for the
illness of Valentino, which is equally passed over in another totally
different statement of this affair, given in the Appendix to Ranke's
_History of the Popes_, section i. No. 4,--omissions to be kept
in view in testing the probability of these conflicting accounts.
Roscoe seems to have subsequently abandoned the doubts thrown upon
the poisoning in his first edition, although ever prone to extenuate
vices of the Borgia: witness his elaborate defence of Lucrezia, or
his views as to the Duke of Gandia's murder and the massacre of
Sinigaglia. Voltaire treats the question like a habitual doubter,
with the ingenuity of a critic rather than the matured judgment of a
historian. He is answered, with perhaps unnecessary detail, by Masse,
to whom Sanuto was unknown.]

The character of Alexander VI. as a man and as a sovereign admits of
no question, and is thus forcibly summed up by Sismondi. "He was the
most notoriously immoral man in Christendom; one whose debauchery
no shame restrained, whose treaties no good faith sanctioned, whose
policy was never guarded by justice, to whose vengeance pity was
unknown."[*10] As a pontiff he must be tried by a different test,
and those ecclesiastical writers, who attempt not to defend his
morals or example, assert the orthodoxy of his faith and doctrine,
and commend the wisdom of his provisions for maintenance of that
religion which regarded him as its head. He was the first to
establish the censorship of books,[*11] an important bulwark of the
Roman Church; and among the orders which he instituted or protected
was that of S. 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.

[Footnote *10: This is probably an exaggeration. Alexander VI. was
without reticence in his sins, and so has not escaped whipping. I
append a brief list of authorities for the Borgia:--

  CERRI, _Borgia ossia Alessandro VI._ (1858).
  ANTONETTI, _Lucrezia Borgia in Ferrara_ (1867).
  SCHUBERT-SOLDERN, _Die Borgias und ihre Zeit_ (Dresden, 1902).
  CITADELLA, _Saggio di Albero Genealogico della Famiglia Borgia_ (1872).
  GREGOROVIUS, _Lucrezia Borgia_ (1874).
  ---- _Geschichte der Stadt Rom._, tom. VII. (1880).
  ALVISI, _Cesare Borgia_ (Imola, 1878).
  NEMEC, _Papst Alexander VI. eine Rechtfertigung_ (1879).
  LEONETTI, _Papa Alessandro VI._ (1880).
  D'EPINOIS, in _Revue des Questions Historiques_ (April, 1881).
  VEHON, _Les Borgia_ (1882).
  MARICOURT, _Le Procès des Borgia_ (1883).
  YRIARTE, _César Borgia_ (1887).
  ---- _Autour des Borgias_ (1891).]

[Footnote *11: I am not quite clear what this means. The Inquisition
was introduced into Italy in 1542, and the _Index Librorum
Prohibitorum_ was established. But the congregation of the Index
was not established till the Council of Trent. Magical books were
prohibited as early as the Council of Nice, 325.]

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." By means of Don Michelotto, he was, however, able to draw
round the Vatican a body of twelve thousand devoted troops, and that
unscrupulous agent executed his instructions by seizing about 500,000
ducats in money, jewels, and valuables, from the Pope's apartment,
before his death was published.

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." Even their
cardinals narrowly escaped a general massacre; and on the 8th of
September, a proclamation by the College cleared the city of these
foreigners on pain of the gibbet. 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. but twenty-six days. 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.

     *NOTE.--The following is a list of the chief
     conquests of Cesare:--

     City.              Family.         Date.                 Campaign.

     Imola              Riarii          Nov. 27, 1499         First.
     Forlì              Riarii          Jan. 12, 1500         First.
     Rimini             Malatesta       Oct. 10, 1500         Second.
     Pesaro             Sforza          Oct. 21, 1500         Second.
     Faenza             Manfredi        April 25, 1501        Second.
     Piombino           Appiani         Sept. 3, 1501         Second.
     Urbino             Montefeltri     June 21, 1502         Third.
     Camerino           Varani          July 29, 1502         Third.
     Sinigaglia         Roveri          Dec. 28, 1502         Third.
     Città di Castello  Vitelli         Jan. 2, 1503          Third.
     Perugia            Baglioni        Jan. 6, 1503          Third.
     Siena              Petrucci        Jan. (end), 1503      Third.

     Cf. BURD, ed. _Il Principe_ (Oxford, 1891), p.
     218, note 15.


     Duke Guidobaldo restored--The election of Julius II.--The
     fall of Cesare Borgia--The Duke's fortunate position--Is
     made Knight of the Garter--The Pope visits Urbino.

Whilst Valentino and his partizans thus had their hands full at Rome,
Romagna and his recent conquests threw off his rule. 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.[*12]

[Footnote *12: During the Duke's absence an interesting
correspondence passed between Isabella d'Este and Cardinal Ippolito
d'Este in Rome concerning a Venus and a Cupid of the Duke's. The
Venus was a torso and antique, but the Cupid was the work of
Michelangelo. Cf. GAYE, _Carteggio d'Artisti_, vol. II.,
p. 53; ALVISI, _Cesare Borgia_, p. 537; LUZIO, in _Arch. St. Lombardo_
(1886), and JULIA CARTWRIGHT, _Isabella d'Este_ (Murray, 1903), vol. I.,
p. 230 _et seq._]

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." As
a parting favour, that republic advanced him 3000 or 4000 ducats,
towards the expenses of his restoration. 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."
Women of all ranks flocked in from the adjacent townships, with
tambourines played before them, to see their sovereign, and touch his
hand; whilst popular fury spent itself upon the usurper's armorial
ensigns, which had been painted in fresco over the city gates a few
months before by Timoteo Vite, at the rate of from one to four ducats

[Footnote *13: Cf. MADIAI, _Diario delle Cose di Urbino_, in
_Arch. St. per le Marche e per l'Umbria_, vol. III., p. 444.]

The example of Urbino was quickly followed by Sinigaglia, Pesaro,
and the other principalities; and by October, a confederacy for
their common maintenance and defence, under oaths and a mutual bond
of 10,000 ducats, was organised by these three states, along with
Camerino, Perugia, Piombino, Città di Castello, and Rimini, in all
which the exiled seigneurs had resumed their ascendancy.

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 20,000 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
neighbourhood 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.[14]

[Footnote 14: In the communal archives of Perugia, there is a brief
addressed to the authorities of that town by Pius III., dated 17th of
October, 1503, "before his coronation," but in fact the day preceding
his death, which must have been obtained by the influence of Cesare,
and which speaks a language very different from what his Holiness
would probably have adopted had his life been spared. Its object
was to prohibit certain "conventicles" which Gianpaolo Baglioni
was reported to be holding in Perugia, for the purpose of plotting
against the person of the Duke of Valenza and Romagna, and to desire
that he be charged to avoid all courses tending to the prejudice of

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. 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. As he rode to
enter upon its duties, the cortège of attendant prelates equalled
that which usually swelled the train of an elected pope. 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. It was, therefore, scarcely matter of surprise that within
an hour or two thereafter Julius II. was chosen by acclamation,
without a scrutiny.[15]

[Footnote 15: Our information is in many respects deficient regarding
the numerous and complicated events occurring at Rome between the
poisoning of Alexander and the final departure of his son Cesare,
and authorities are frequently irreconcileable. We are indebted to
Sanuto's Diary for many unedited particulars, especially of the papal
elections, but the most distinct account of these transactions, and
on the whole trustworthy, which we have met with, is given by Masse.]

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." Yet a change appears
to have supervened, induced perhaps by Cesare's representations,
which had formerly been successful with Pius III., that, under his
sway, the influence of the Church in that province of her patrimony
would be far better maintained than by handing it again to the old
dynasties, whom he had with difficulty eradicated, and who had ever
been turbulent vassals of the Apostolic Chamber. 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."

In this exigency, Cesare proposed to surrender to the Pope the
citadels of Cesena, Bertinoro, Forlì, and Forlimpopoli, as a means
of immediately arresting the progress of their assailants, and of
cutting short the schemes of Venice, offering to serve the Church
during the rest of his life in any capacity that was thought
expedient. 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. IV. of his translation
of _Leo X._, considers this dark passage of history to be cleared up
by the narrative of Baldi, regarding Guidobaldo's generous treatment
of the enemy of his house, to which he attributes the moderation of
his Holiness; but this view does not seem borne out either by dates
or by Baldi's words.[*16]

[Footnote *16: Cf. the latter, in which an account of the interview
between Cesare and Guidobaldo is given, UGOLINI, _op. cit._, vol. II.,
p. 523. It does not bear out Giustiniani's account (q.v. ii., 326) of
what Guidobaldo said to him, and is probably mere rhetoric.]

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, 1504, when his escape to Naples was connived at. There he
was received with distinction by Gonsalvo di Cordova, viceroy of
Ferdinand II.; but soon after, an order arrived from that king to
send him prisoner to Spain. 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 reaching the land
of his fathers, this incarnate spirit of a blood-stained age was
confined in the castle of Medina del Campo, and the interest used for
his release by the Spanish cardinals, and by his brothers-in-law the
King of Navarre and the Duke of Ferrara, who offered their guarantee
for his good behaviour, was, during three years, unavailing on the
ground of his dangerous character. At length he made his escape by
a rope-ladder or cord, under circumstances so fool-hardy as to be
ascribed by the country people to supernatural aid, and reached the
King of Navarre, who gave him the command of an expedition against
the Count de Lérin. On the 10th of March, 1507, 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,

     "CÆSAR, he aimed at all, he vanquished all;
       In all he fails, a CYPHER in his fall."[17]

[Footnote 17:

     "Omnia vincebas, sperabas omnia Cæsar;
       Omnia deficiunt, incipis esse nihil."]

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. Generosity was a stranger to his impulses, remorse
to his crimes.

       *       *       *       *       *

Fortune, so long adverse to Guidobaldo, at length smiled upon him.
The election to the tiara of his relative and confidential friend,
Cardinal della Rovere, freed him from anxiety as to the restoration
of his duchy, and promised him a long career of prosperity and
honour. His policy of supporting the Venetians in their views upon
Romagna thus not only became superfluous as a check upon Borgia,
but seemed not unlikely to place him in a dilemma with the Camera.
The new Pontiff, therefore, lost no time in removing him from a
position of such delicacy, by summoning him to Rome. The invitation
found him encamped before Verucchio, whence he immediately set out;
and, after devoting two days at Urbino to public thanksgivings and
festivities for his own restoration and for the election of Julius,
he performed the journey in a litter, his gout preventing him from
riding. On the eleventh day, being the 20th of November, he was met
at the Ponte Molle by a superbly caparisoned mule, and on it was
painfully but honourably escorted by an imposing cortège to his
apartment in the Vatican, under a salute from the artillery of St.
Angelo. Notwithstanding his fatigue, he was bidden by the impatient
Pontiff to supper that evening, and was received by his Holiness on
the landing-place with equal favour and distinction.

In the explanations which followed, their mutual views were frankly
stated. The claim which the Venetians had upon Guidobaldo, from
extending to him their hospitality and support in almost desperate
circumstances, was fully allowed by the Pope, and his avowal that, in
co-operating with them in an invasion of Romagna, he conceived they
were thwarting Borgia, not the Church, was accepted as satisfactory.
But his Holiness intimated, with reference to the future, that the
vassal of the Apostolic See had duties paramount to all foreign ties;
and that, since the rights of the Camera over that province admitted
of no compromise, he would do well to resign the service of the
Republic, and recall his consort to administer his affairs at home,
whilst he remained in Rome for the winter. To these suggestions the
Duke agreed, and wrote in most grateful terms to the government of
Venice, explaining the obstacles which had unexpectedly arisen to his
repaying at that moment the obligations he had incurred. We learn
from Sanuto that on the 10th of October the Duchess with her ladies
went into college, and being seated near the Doge, thanked the
Signory in her lord's name for the favour, command, and protection
granted to him, to which the Doge replied blandly, asserting the love
borne him by the Republic. Again, on the 15th of November, there came
into the cabinet of the Signory "the Duchess of Urbino with Madonna
Emilia and her company of damsels to take leave, for she is departing
early to-morrow morning for her duchy; she goes in a barge by the Po
as far as Ravenna, and from thence on horseback: and the Doge spake
her fair, and having taken leave, we sages of the orders accompanied
her as far as the palace-gates, and she proceeded along the Mercery,
reaching home on the 2d of December."

Borgia took the opportunity of Guidobaldo's visit to make advances
for a reconciliation, having reason to dread his influence with
the Pope. These were received with courtesy; but, in the words of
the Venetian chronicler just quoted, "the Duke was resolved to
have his own again, especially the library, which was promised
him without damage, with the tapestries, although the Cardinal of
Rouen had already got a good share of them." According to Baldi's
elaborate and somewhat too dramatic description of their interview,
he magnanimously forgave the extraordinary injuries he had received
from his now humbled adversary. On the authority of private letters,
an anonymous diary, already noticed, states that the usurper threw
himself, cap-in-hand, at the Duke's feet, beseeching mercy and
pardon, and excusing his conduct on the plea of youth, the brutality
of his father, and the persuasions of others. This incident was
represented in a fresco by Taddeo Zucchero, which I saw at Cagli in
1843, and which had been cut from the villa built at S. Angelo in
Vado, by Duke Guidobaldo II. Cesare is a slight figure handsomely
dressed, with long sharp features, a high nose and reddish hair. He
kneels before the Duke of Urbino, raising his cap, whilst one notary
appears to read aloud an act of surrender, and another makes an
instrument upon the transaction.[18]

[Footnote 18: Considering that Borgia was probably dead half a
century before this painting was commissioned, little reliance can be
placed upon the likeness. *This is the account alluded to in note *1,
page 29.]

Even after Valentino had given authority for a surrender of the
citadels in Romagna, they were held by his officers upon the plea
that he was not a free agent, and the bearer of his missive was
hanged by the castellan of Cesena. At length the Pope ordered
Guidobaldo to reduce them by force. For this purpose he named
him gonfaloniere of the Church, retaining him and four hundred
men-at-arms, with a year's pay of 7000 ducats in advance. It was
about this time that he was invested with the insignia of the Garter,
to which illustrious order he had been elected in February. His
acquisition of this dignity, and Count Baldassare Castiglione's
mission to London as proxy at his installation, form an episode of
so much interest to an English reader that we have gleaned every
possible notice of these events, and have arranged them in II. of the

The Duke left Rome for his command, accompanied by his nephew the
Prefettino, as he was then usually called from his youth, who had
returned from France three months before to wait upon his Holiness.
They were attended by Castiglione, who, after charming Julius by
his polished society, was permitted by him to transfer his services
to the court of Guidobaldo, of which he became the ornament and
commentator. On the 1st of June they reached Urbino, and found the
Duchess re-established among an attached people, who, to drive away
sad recollections of their recent sufferings, had amused her during
the preceding carnival with scenic imitations of the principal events
of the usurpation! One of these was the comedy (so called rather
in a Dantesque than a comic sense) of the Duke Valentino and Pope
Alexander VI. In it were successively represented their plotting the
seizure of the state, their sending the Lady Lucrezia to Ferrara,
their inviting the Duchess to her wedding, the invasion of the duchy,
the duke's first return, and his redeparture, the massacre of the
confederates, the death of the Pope, and the Duke's restoration to
his rights.

The garrisons of Cesena and Bertinoro had surrendered ere Guidobaldo
took the field, that of Forlì came to terms as soon as his troops
appeared. With it passed the last wreck of the Borgian substantial
power and vast ambition, within a year from the death of Alexander,
leaving to future times no memorial but a name doomed to lasting
execration. Guidobaldo had at the same time the satisfaction of
recovering most of the valuables that had been pillaged from his
palace, estimated by him at not less than 100,000 ducats, especially
a large proportion of his father's celebrated library.

On the 6th of September the Duke retraced his steps to Urbino, and
there at length renewed the long-suspended joys of his secure and
tranquil residence. Few, perhaps, of their rank and age, less needed
such rough discipline to inculcate moderation, than this exemplary
couple. Yet must the lessons of adversity have been ordained for some
purifying purpose, and we may indulge the hope that they were not
sent in vain. The Duke devoted his earliest leisure to signalise his
gratitude for the unflinching loyalty of his subjects by conferring
upon their several municipalities various privileges and immunities,
and remitting their fiscal arrears. The Duchess expressed her
thankfulness by many works of piety, by liberal charities, and by
instituting a three days' fair on the anniversary of her lord's
restoration. Their domestic circle was agreeably enlarged by the
arrival of the Lady Prefectess, as the widow of Giovanni delle Rovere
was entitled, who, on returning from a similar exile, and after
paying her reverence to her brother-in-law the Pope, hastened to join
her son at her brother's court. We have noticed the services which
when assailed by Valentino, she received from Andrea Doria; they
were now acknowledged by Guidobaldo with the castle of Sassocorbaro,
and other holdings. Another guest at Urbino was Sigismondo Varana,
the young heir of Camerino, who arrived with his mother Maria, sister
of the Prefettino, and with his uncle and guardian Giovanni Maria,
who afterwards supplanted him in that state.

Urbino was now enlivened by an event which proved of paramount
interest to its sovereign, and was destined by providence to carry
forward its independence and glories under a new dynasty. We have
seen how it had been proposed between the Cardinal della Rovere and
Guidobaldo, in 1498, that the latter should adopt the young Prefect
as his heir, and procure from the Pope a renewal of the Dukedom and
investitures to his favour.[19] The simulated sanction of Alexander
to this arrangement led to no result; but, as soon as Julius was
fixed in the seat of St. Peter, he took measures for placing his
nephew's prospects beyond question. In the natural course of events
the state of Urbino would lapse to the Holy See on the Duke's death,
and, as the uniform policy of this Pontiff was to unite to it as many
such fiefs as the failure of their seigneurs or the force of his
arms brought within his grasp, his making an exception of the most
valuable of them all in favour of his own nephew gave rise to not a
few strictures. It is, however, the only instance in which nepotism
can be laid to his charge, and the precedents left him by recent
Popes may be pleaded in justification of a comparatively trifling

[Footnote 19: See vol. I., p. 371.]

On the 14th of September the Archbishop of Ragusa arrived at
Urbino as papal nuncio, charged with brieves for the completion
of this affair, and also with the ensigns of command for the Duke
as generalissimo of the ecclesiastical troops. The ceremonials
consequent upon the implement of his mission have been detailed by
Baldi, and are characteristic of the times we are endeavouring
to depict. The nuncio and his splendid suite were received with
distinction, and next day, being Sunday, was fixed for Guidobaldo's
installation. The whole court and principal inhabitants being
assembled in the cathedral, high mass was performed by him, after
which, standing in front of the altar, he laid aside his mitre, and
pronounced a solemn benediction on the two standards of the Church,
which were held furled by a canon, whilst he waved incense over them,
and sprinkled them with holy water. This ended, he desired them to
be mounted on their staves, and having sat down and resumed his
mitre, he presented them to the Duke, who received them, devoutly
kneeling on the altar-steps, and handed one to Ottaviano Fregoso, the
other to Morello d'Ortona. He then received the baton, with the like
ceremonies, and rose, after kissing hands; whereupon the audience
dispersed amid strains of martial music and popular acclamations.

Upon the 18th, there assembled in the Duomo a still more numerous
and distinguished auditory; when, after celebration of mass by the
nuncio, he seated himself before the altar, with the Prefect on his
right, and the Duke on his left, and in an elegant Latin discourse,
set forth the desire of the latter to make sure the succession by
adopting his nephew, and the approval of the Pope and college of
cardinals to that substitution, in evidence of which the brieves and
other formal documents were read. A magnificent missal,--perhaps
that painted for Matthew Corvinus King of Hungary, which adorns the
Vatican Urbino Library,--was then placed in the hands of Francesco
Maria, opened at a miniature of the holy sacrament, and upon it
deputies from the communities of the duchy took the oath of fidelity
and homage to him as their future sovereign; all which having been
regularly attested in notorial instruments, the solemnity ended.[*20]

[Footnote *20: Cf. MADIAI, _op. cit._, in _Arch. cit._, vol.
_cit._, p. 451-2.]

These events served to aggravate the jealousy of the Venetians
against the claims of Julius upon their recent acquisitions of
Romagna, which they regarded as fairly conquered from Borgia. They
possessed in this way the states of Ravenna, Faenza, and Rimini, and
had gained footing upon the territories of Imola, Forlì, and Cesena,
the inhabitants of which loudly complained of their aggressions.
Of all these places the Church was the acknowledged superior, and
the old investitures held under her by their respective princely
families had been annulled by Alexander, in order to make way for
his son. Some of these dynasties had died out, and Julius showed
no disposition to restore the others, his leading object being the
temporal aggrandisement of the papacy. At this juncture his Holiness
sent for Guidobaldo, to consult with him; and in order to facilitate
his arrival, presented him with a commodious litter swung between
two beautifully dappled horses. The winter journey was, however,
disastrous to his dilapidated frame, and he was laid up for nine
days at Narni with gout, complicated by fever and dysentery, and
consequently did not reach Rome with his nephew and Castiglione
until the 2nd of January, when they slept outside of the gate, and
next morning made a solemn entrance. It was the great object of the
Republic to be received as vicar or vassal of the Holy See in the
three first-mentioned states, and for this end they were willing to
abandon all claims and attempts upon the remaining three. Guidobaldo,
interposing as a mediator to prevent an open breach between parties
so mutually deserving of his friendship, persuaded the Signory to
abandon the latter places, and trust to the justice of Julius for the
fulfilment of their desires. To procure this, they sent, in April,
a splendid embassy to Rome of eight commissioners, with two hundred
attendants, headed by Bembo, who, passing by Urbino, received from
the Duchess a princely welcome. But no benefit accrued from this
measure, for the Pontiff's ultimatum was announced to the senate
through Louis XII., giving them Rimini and Faenza, during his life
only, a result highly unsatisfactory to the Republic.

The Duke's prolonged residence in Rome, where his company became
greatly prized by the Pope, was little relished by his consort or his
people; so, to maintain them in good humour, his Holiness announced
a plenary indulgence for all their broken vows and deeds of violence
during the late usurpation, to such as should devoutly observe the
Easter ceremonies. The alms collected at this jubilee, amounting to
2265 florins, were expended upon the duomo of Urbino. At length, in
the end of July, 1506, he obtained leave to return home, on the plea
that change of air was advisable for his health.[*21]

[Footnote *21: Cf. MADIAI, _op. cit._, in _Arch. cit._, vol.
_cit._, p. 455. This Diary says that the Duke returned at the end of
February, 1506.]

Julius, having announced to the consistory his intention of extending
the temporal sovereignty of the Church over such portions of the
ecclesiastical territory as were possessed by tyrants (for so he
called the vicars and other lords who ruled their petty states as
feudatories of the Holy See), carried his design into effect with
characteristic energy. He set out for Perugia on the 26th of August,
after having directed the Duke of Urbino and his nephew to march
thither, each with two hundred men-at-arms, and expel its seigneur
Gianpaolo Baglioni. Here Guidobaldo again appeared as mediator, and,
persuaded by him to submit with good grace to a fate that he could
not avert, the Lord of Perugia gave up his fortresses, and was taken
into the pay of Julius for his expedition against Bologna. The Pope,
elated by the ease with which so formidable an opponent had been
disposed of, pressed on preparations for attacking the Bentivoglii.
He reached Urbino on the 25th of September, accompanied by twenty-two
cardinals, with a suitable cortège, and a guard of four hundred men.
Beyond the walls he was received by forty-five noble youths, dressed
in doublets and hose of white silk, who, on his alighting, seized as
their perquisite his richly caparisoned mule, which was afterwards
redeemed from them for sixty golden ducats. The gates were thrown
down to receive him, and he was there met by the Duke, disabled from
dismounting; by the magistracy, who presented the keys; and by the
court and clergy. A rich canopy shaded him, as the holy sacrament
was borne before him to the cathedral; and after devotion there, he
entered the palace, which next evening was illuminated, along with
the citadel, fireworks being displayed in the piazza. Some singular
usages of hospitality were adopted on this occasion. The Duke
presented to his Holiness a hundred sacks of flour, as much barley
and corn, with a proportionate quantity of live stock and poultry,
to the value in all of 800 ducats.[*22] This donative was accepted,
and part of it was handed over to the hospital of the Misericordia.
In anticipation of the Pope's advent, the roads were repaired and
smoothed, triumphal arches and statues were erected, flowers and
evergreens were strewn before him, the streets were adorned with gay
hangings and shaded by linen awnings, the palace was arrayed in those
rich tapestries, pictures, and furniture, which the taste of Federigo
and his son had accumulated. Next evening, the palace roofs and the
citadel were illuminated, and over the latter was hung a brilliant
cross of fire. Deputations arrived from Pesaro, and the principal
places in the duchy, with gifts of provisions; but large supplies had
been previously laid in by the Duke for so vast an influx; and in
order to regulate prices, the following tariff, calculated at about
half the current value, was proclaimed.

  Wheat, per staio or bush    45  bolognini.
  Barley      "      "        36      "
  Oats        "      "        24      "
  Wine, per somma             54      "
  Ditto, new  "               27      "
  Mutton, per lb.              1      "
  Veal, per lb.               10      "
  Ox flesh   "                 8      "
  Salt meat  "            1 to 7      "
  Capons, per pair             9      "
  Fowls      "            4 to 7      "
  Pigeons    "            4 to 7      "
  Wood pigeons, per pair  1 to 7      "
  Eggs, seven for              1      "
  Cheese, per lb.         1 to 7      "
  Hay, per cwt.           4 to 7      "
  Wood, per somma            1/2  carlino.[23]

[Footnote *22: Cf. MADIAI, _op. cit._, _Arch. cit._, vol.
_cit._, p. 456-7.]

[Footnote 23: These, and many other particulars interwoven with our
narrative, are taken from the anonymous Diary, Vat. Urb. MSS. No.
904. During the preceding year of scarcity, wheat had varied in
different parts of Italy from four to twelve golden ducats, each
of forty bolognini, a price scarcely credible. Riposati quotes a
document proving that in 1450 a florin contained forty bolognini of
Gubbio, of which twenty-nine and a half were coined from an ounce of
silver, with 9/48 of alloy. Although it seems right to insert the
above tariff, most of the prices appear enormous, beyond all belief.
See the Preface to this work, for the comparative value of money.
*This diary is the one quoted under MADIAI.]

[Illustration: _Anderson_


_From the picture by Raphael in the Pitti Gallery, Florence_]

On the 29th of the month, his Holiness set out for Bologna, and,
avoiding the territory held by the Venetians, reached Cesena on
the 2nd of October by mountain tracks through Macerata and S. Leo.
Thence he summoned the Bentivoglii to surrender their city to him as
its lawful sovereign, and ordered the people on pain of interdict
to abandon their cause, and open the gates. These chiefs had made
great preparations for defence, but subsequently, on finding
themselves deserted by Louis XII., offered terms, to which Julius,
elated at the prospect of French succours, would not listen. The
war, which promised to be obstinate, passed off in a revolution; for
the Bentivoglii, losing heart, made their escape, to the delight
of the citizens, who, thus saved from a siege, threw open their
gates, and hailed the Pope as their liberator. He made his entry
on Martinmas-day, and at once confirmed this favourable impression
by abolishing various grievances, and by scattering in the streets
4000 golden scudi bearing the legend "Bologna freed from its tyrant
by Julius."[24] The mob showed their zeal by demolishing the
palace of their late rulers, one of the most beautiful in Italy,
wherein miserably perished many treasures of art; and its ill-fated
master and mistress soon after died of broken hearts in Lombardy.
But fortune is fickle, and the breath of popular favour still more
changeful. Four years and a half from this date the war-cry of
"Bentivoglio" again rang through these streets; the same mob strained
their brawny sinews to level the citadel which Julius had erected
to curb them, and to shatter the colossal statue of him with which
Michael Angelo had adorned their piazza; the same Pontiff saved
himself from capture, and his legate escaped from the popular fury
to fall by the dagger of a friend. Such are the retributions of
HIM "whose ways are unsearchable, and whose thoughts are
past finding out."[25]

[Footnote 24: In the same feeling, though of later date, a copy of
Raffaele's speaking portrait of his Holiness, now in the Torlonia
Gallery, and attributed to Giulio Romano, is inscribed, "The author
of freedom, for the citizens he saved." This conquest became a
triumph of art as well as of arms; the colossal statue of Julius,
begun by Michael Angelo in Nov. 1506, was erected in February, 1508.
It weighed 17,500 lb. of bronze, and cost about 12,000 golden ducats,
of which 1000 went to the artist.]

[Footnote 25: See ch. xxxiii. of this work.]

The Pope remained until late in February to settle his new conquest,
keeping the Duke near him as a friend and counsellor, and on the
3rd of March, in defiance of the inclement season, repeated his
visit to Urbino for one day, with a smaller company, while on his
return to Rome. His host, after conveying him as far as Cagli on the
5th, pleaded his constitutional malady, and returned home with the
Prefect. As this was the period selected by Count Castiglione for
portraying the ducal court, it will be well to pause for a little,
and consider the representation he has left us of it.


     The Court of Urbino, its manners and its stars.

The taste for philosophy, letters, and arts, and the patronage of
their professors which Cosimo de' Medici and his son Lorenzo the
Magnificent had introduced among the merchant-rulers of Florence,
were, as we have already seen, adopted by several petty sovereigns of
the Peninsula, but chiefly by those in the district of Romagna.[26]
Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta was the first to engraft these fruits
of peace upon a military despotism, which his restless ambition and
fierce temper ever rendered the torment of his neighbours, and the
scourge of his people. The d'Este of Ferrara, the Sforza of Pesaro,
but, above all, Duke Federigo of Urbino, improving upon his example,
had shown how mental cultivation might be brought to modify, or, as
the Latin idiom has it, to humanise, without enervating, a martial
character. The reign of Guidobaldo was peculiarly favourable to
the development of this new and attractive principle; for though
enabled partially to sustain the fame in arms which his father had
bequeathed him, his feeble health gave him greater opportunity for
the cultivation of letters, and for the society of the learned,
to which he was naturally partial. Seconded by the sympathies of
his estimable Duchess, his palace became a resort of the first
literary and political celebrities of the day, who during the few
years that succeeded his restoration, diffused over it a tone of
refinement elsewhere unrivalled. To fix for the contemplation of
posterity those graceful but transient images which flitted across
this gay and brilliant society was the pleasing task undertaken by
Castiglione,[*27] one of its most polished ornaments.

[Footnote 26: See above, ch. viii., ix., x.]

[Footnote *27: The following is a short bibliography of _Il
Cortegiano_, and of works relating to it:--

SALVADORI, _Il Cortegiano_ (Firenze, 1884).

CIAN, _Il Cortegiano_ (Firenze, 1894).

OPDYCKE, _The Book of the Courtier_ (New York, 1901).

BOTTARI, _Studio su B.C. e il suo Libro_ (Pisa, 1874).

LUZIO E RENIER, _Mantova e Urbino_ (Torino, 1893).

CIAN, in _Giornale Stor. d. Lett. It._, vol. XV. fasc. 43 e

CIAN, _Un Codice ignoto di Rime volgari app. a B.C._ in
_Giornale cit._, vol. XXXIV., p. 297, XXXV., p. 53.

SERASSI, _Lettere_, 2 vols. (Padova, 1769-71).

RENIER, _Notizia di Lettere ined. di B.C._ (Torino, 1889).

MARIELLO, _La Cronologia del Cortegiano_ (Pisa, 1895).

JOLY, _De B.C. opere cui titulus Il Cortegiano_ (Cadomi,

TOBLER, _C. und sein Hofmann_, in Schweizer Museum, 1884.

VALMAGGI, _Per le fonti del Corteg._, in _Giornale cit._,
XIV., 72.

GERINI, _Gli scrittori pedagog. ital. d. Sec. XVI._ (Torino,
1897), p. 43.]

The title _Il Cortegiano_,[*28] literally the Courtier, may be
appropriately translated, "the mirror of a perfect courtier."
The author intended it, to use the words of his preface, "as a
portraiture of the court of Urbino, not by the hand of Raffaele or
Michael Angelo, but by an inferior artist, whose capacity attains no
further than a general outline, without decking truth in attractive
colours, or flattering it by skilful perspective."[*29] But laying
aside metaphor, he thus accounts for the origin of his undertaking.
"After the death of the Lord Guidobaldo of Montefeltro Duke of
Urbino, I, with several other knights who had been in his household,
remained in the service of Duke Francesco Maria della Rovere, his
heir and successor in that state. And as the fragrant influence
continued fresh upon my mind of the deceased Duke's virtues, and of
the pleasure I had for some years enjoyed in the amiable society of
the excellent persons who then frequented his court, I was induced
from these reflections to write a treatise of THE COURTIER.
This I accomplished in a few days, with the intention of subsequently
correcting the errors incidental to so hasty a composition."

[Footnote *28: In the _Lettera Dedicatoria_. Cf. Ed. Cian, _op.
cit._, p. 4.]

[Footnote *29: This is the opening of the _Lettera Dedicatoria_ to
Don Michel de Silva, Bishop of Viseo.]

[Illustration: _Alinari_


_From the picture by ? Verrocchio [Transcriber's Note: now attributed
to Piero del Pollaiolo] in Poldo-Pezzoli Collection, Milan_]

The point which he undertakes is "to state what I consider the
courtiership most befitting a gentleman in attendance on princes,
whereby he may best be taught and enabled to perform towards them all
seemly service, so as to obtain their favour and general applause; to
explain, in short, what a courtier in all respects perfect ought to

[Footnote *30: Opening paragraph of first book. Ed. Cian, p. 11.]

We cannot here follow the Count into the wide field which he thus
indicates, nor is it necessary, since his own work is accessible in
several languages. But from various passages we may offer a sketch of
the manners approved at the pattern court of Urbino, which will not
be deemed misplaced in these pages. The men who figured there were
chiefly distinguished in arms or letters. Whilst the former spent
their leisure in recollections of war and love, or in the congenial
pastimes of the field and the chase, the conversation of the
latter was often warped towards scholastic disputation, or tainted
by classic pedantry. Such manners have often been described, and
their interest has long passed away; but in a society where female
influence prevailed, and in an age when female intellect was fruitful
in prodigies, it may be well to see what were the graces expected
from a palace-dame.[*31]

[Footnote *31: Concerning Elisabetta Gonzaga. Cf. LUZIO E
RENIER, _Mantova e Urbino, Isabella d'Este, ed Elisabetta
Gonzaga_ (Torino, 1893).]

At the head of a string of common-place endowments we find a noble
bearing, an avoidance of affectation, a natural grace in every
action. Beauty is considered as most desirable, not indispensable;
and its improvement by such artificial means as painting and
enamelling the face, extirpating hairs on the eyebrows or forehead,
is derided. White teeth and hands are fully appreciated, but
their frequent display is censured. A neat _chaussure_ is lauded,
especially when veiled by long draperies. In short, natural elegance
and the absence of artifice are primary qualifications. A high-born
lady must be circumspect even beyond suspicion, avoiding ill-timed
familiarity, and all freedom of language verging upon licence; but
when casually exposed to discussions tending to pruriency, a modest
blush would be becoming, whilst shrinking or prudery might expose her
to sneers. Willingly to listen to or repeat slander of her own sex
is a fatal error, which will always be harshly construed by men. Her
accomplishments and amusements should ever be selected with feminine
delicacy, verging upon timidity; her dress chosen in tasteful
reference to what is most becoming, but with apparent absence of
study. In conversing with men she should be frank, affable, and
lively; but modest, staid, and self-possessed, with a nice observance
of tact and decorum. Noisy hilarity, a hoyden address, egotism,
prolixity, and the unseasonable combination of serious with ludicrous
topics are equally objectionable, but most of all affectation. Yet
she ought to be witty, capable of varied conversation in literature,
music, and painting, skilled in dancing and festive games. Nor should
that of a good housewife be wanting to her other qualities. In short,
the theory of a paragon lady of the 1500 might equally suit for one
of the present day. We should come to a very different conclusion
as to her real character, were we to test it by some passages of
the _Cortegiano_, wherein the Duchess Elisabetta, in chastity the
mirror of her age, listens approvingly with her courtly dames to long
passages of prurient twaddle, ever skirting and often overstepping
the limits of decency. Nor were the morals around her conformable to
her own pure example, and that of the immaculate Emilia Pia.[*32]
One sad instance in the ducal family we shall have to note, while
narrating the early life of Duke Francesco Maria I.; another,
remarkable from the subsequent status of the personage to whose birth
the scandal attaches, will immediately be mentioned in connection
with Giuliano de' Medici.[33]

[Footnote *32: This lady was the inseparable companion of the Duchess
Elisabetta. She was the daughter of Mario Pio, of the Lords of
Carpi. Early the widow of Antonio of Montefeltro, natural brother
of Guidobaldo, she remained at Urbino. She died, as it seems, a
true lady of the Renaissance. "Senza alcun sacramento di la chiesa,
disputando una parte del Cortegiano col Conte Ludovico da Canosso."
Cf. Rossi, _Appunti per la storia della musica alla Corte d'Urbino_,
in Rassegna Emiliana, Ann. I. (fasc. VIII.), p. 456, n. 1.]

[Footnote 33: See below, p. 57.]

But it would not be just, after adorning our narrative with
flattering sketches from Castiglione's pencil, to exclude one or
two anecdotes of the manners actually permitted among the polished
society he professes to portray, although their coarseness and
vulgarity, scarcely redeemed by their humour, may be considered as
staining our pages. They occur in some memorials of the conversation
of Francesco Maria, noted by a contemporary from personal

[Footnote 34: Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 1023, art. 21. There is a copy of
this MS. in the library of Newbattle Abbey, Scotland.]

The subject of discussion happening to be Mark Antony's weakness
in permitting Cleopatra to accompany him to the fight of Actium,
the Duke said, "My father-in-law, the Marquis of Mantua, being at
Mortara, in the service of France, Ludovico il Moro was in the
camp with his Duchess, and one day, seeing the Marquis suffering
from violent pain in the shoulder, said to him, 'Sir, I have
the Duchess here, what shall I do with her?' The Marquis, being
otherwise occupied, and suffering great pain, replied, 'How can I
tell? send her to a brothel!' an answer quite off-hand, and truly
appropriate"--from the brother of our paragon Duchess Elisabetta.

Niccolo de' Pii, a condottiere in the service of the Duke's father,
was very fat and overgrown. Dining one day with some Spanish
officers, after finishing a trout, he sent the head and back-bone
to one of them called Pedrada, who thereupon caustically retorted,
"It is yourself that has more want of head than of stomach," a reply
applauded as most cutting, for, "having more size than sense, he
needed the brains rather than the belly." The same Spaniard one day,
at a cardinal's reception, began to eat a candle, which, though
apparently of wax, was in the centre of tallow; finding it greasy
between his teeth, he seized the candlestick, and dashed it on the
floor, muttering, "I swear to God it is not silver:" the candle being
counterfeit, he fancied the candlestick must needs be so too. When
talking of absent men, the Duke told these anecdotes of Ottaviano
Fregoso, a star of the Urbino circle. As he conversed with his aunt
Duchess Elisabetta, holding her hand, his mind wandered to other
matters, and he began to twist about her fingers as he would have
done a switch, finally thrusting one of them into his nose, when a
burst of laughter from the bystanders recalled his thoughts. Dining
one day at the table of Julius II., he sheathed and unsheathed his
poignard, jingling the handle, until the Pope, losing all temper,
exclaimed, "Begone to a brothel, pox take you! Be off, and the
devil go with you!" Whereupon Signor Ottaviano began to make humble
excuses for his natural defect of recollection, to the infinite
glee of many church dignitaries who witnessed the scene. Yet only
two days thereafter, chancing to converse in the papal antechamber
with an ambassador who wore a massive gold chain, he, in a fit of
abstraction, thrust his finger into one of the links. Just then,
his Holiness appearing, the courtiers drew aside to make way, and
Fregoso was dragged along, throwing them all into confusion; nor
could he get free until he had well "salivated" his finger. Yet when
his wits were not a wool-gathering, this was considered the most
finished gentleman in Italy, and the most ready in reply. Thus, his
uncle, Duke Guidobaldo appearing one day in a violet satin jerkin
of unexceptionable fit, Ottaviano exclaimed, "My Lord Duke,
you really are _the_ handsome Signor!" "How disgusting are dull
flatterers who thus openly display their adulation," was the stinging
reply. "My Lord Duke," rejoined the courtier, "I meant not to say
that you are a man of worth, though I pronounced you a fine man and a
handsome nobleman;" an answer which made the Duke wince, and brought
credit to its author.

[Illustration: _Alinari_


But enough of this gossip: the reader of the _Cortegiano_, and its
author's charming letters, will find there many more attractive
and not less veracious touches of the Montefeltrian court, where
learning and accomplishment were often called upon to give dignity
and grace to social pastimes. Thus, the Duchess is represented as
singing to her lute those verses from the fourth _Æneid_, in which,
at the moment of self-immolation, Dido apostrophised the garments
forgotten by her faithless lover when he fled from her charms, until,
Orpheus-like, she had wiled the savage animals from their lairs, and
set the stones in sympathetic movement. At her court there were no
lack of pens to clothe in verse the passing fancies of the hour, and
adapt them to the musical or melodramatic tastes which gave a tone
of refinement to its amusements. Thus, for the carnival of 1506,
Castiglione and his messmate Cesare Gonzaga composed the pastoral
eclogue of _Tirsis_, which was acted by them before the court, with
choruses and a brilliant moresque dance. The personages of the
dialogue are Iola (Castiglione) and Dameta (Gonzaga), who describe
to Tirsi, a stranger shepherd, the ducal circle of Urbino, with the
Duchess at its head as goddess of the river Metauro. The Moresca, so
named from its supposed Moorish origin, was perhaps borrowed from
the ancient Pyrrhic dance, and consisted in a sort of mock fight,
performed to the sound of music with measured tread, and blunted
poignards. Next spring a somewhat similar pastoral, from the pen of
Bembo, was recited by him and Ottaviano Fregoso to the same audience.

Such and such-like were the favourite court diversions of Urbino.
Their stately conceits and solemn pedantry suited the spirit of that
classic age and the genius of a pomp-loving people; but it would be
scarcely fair to regard them as fully embodying the tone of manners
prevalent in the palace of Guidobaldo. In it were harmoniously
mingled the opposite qualities which then predominated at the various
Italian courts. Scholastic pretensions, still esteemed in many of
them, here thawed before the easier address of the new school.
Those abstruse studies which the Medici had brought into vogue were
eclipsed by a galaxy of brilliant wits. Even the ruthless bearing of
the old condottieri princes mellowed under the charm of female tact,
while the sensual splendour indulged by recent pontiffs was chastened
by the exemplary demeanour of the ducal pair.

Our appreciation of this picture would, however, scarcely be
correct or complete, did we not bear in mind the inner life of
contemporary sovereigns. We need not dwell on the contrasts afforded
in other Peninsular capitals, for these were rather of degree than
character, and would only show us the prevalence here of a gentler
courtesy and more pervading refinement. But we may fairly compare
the palace-pastimes of Urbino with those held in acceptance by
the princes and peerage of northern states, where deep potations
dulled the senses, or brutalised the temper; where intellect rarely
sought a more refined gratification than the monotonous recital
of legendary adulation; and where wit was monopolised by dwarfs
and professional jesters. In order better to preserve the form and
fashion of this pattern for princes, we shall transfer to our pages,
from Castiglione's groupings, some outlines of its chief ornaments,
beginning with himself.[35]

[Footnote 35: Castiglione was related through his mother to several
of the Urbino stars,--the Fregosi, Trivulzio, and Emilia Pia.]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Raffaele pinx._ _L. Ceroni sculp._

_From a picture in the Torlonia Gallery, Rome_]

From CASTIGLIONE, in Lombardy, sprang the ancestry of
COUNT BALDASSARE, and among them were numbered not a few
names of note in church and state. His father was no mean soldier,
in times when the captains of Italy bore a European reputation;
his mother, a Gonzaga of the Mantuan house, was descended from the
haughty Farinato degli Uberti, who, when accosted by Dante in _The

         "His heart and forehead there
     Erecting, seemed as in high scorn he held
     E'en hell."

The Count was born at Casatico, in the Mantuese, on the 6th of
December, 1478.[*36] His education, besides including the various
studies and accomplishments usual to an Italian gentleman of the
fifteenth century, was specially directed to those classical
attainments which entered into the literary pursuits of the age. The
death of his father left him early master of a handsome patrimony,
and he at once embraced that courtier-life for which he was
peculiarly fitted,--a life, which in a land subdivided into petty
sovereignties, constituted the only profession open to civilians of
noble birth and distinguished endowments, and on which his pen was
destined to confer perpetual illustration. After a brief visit to
Milan,[*37] and a short campaign in Naples with his relative the
Marquis Francesco of Mantua, he repaired to Rome in 1503, where, by
discretion and winning address, he quickly gained the new Pontiff's
favour. In Count Castiglione, the penetration of Julius recognised
a fit instrument for promoting his favourite scheme of securing
Urbino to his nephew Francesco Maria della Rovere; and by attaching
him to Guidobaldo, he fixed at that court a friend whose influence
was certain to extend itself, and whose example would benefit his
youthful relation.

[Footnote *36: For the biography of Castiglione, see
MARLIANI in the Cominana edition of the _Opere Volgari_
(Padua, 1733), and SERASSI, in _Poesie volgari e latine del
Castiglione_ (Roma, 1760), as well as the following works:--

MAZZUCHELLI, _Baldassare Castiglione_ (Narducci, Roma).

MARTINATI, _Notizie Stor. bibliogr. intorno al Conte B.C._
(Firenze, 1890). Cf. on this CIAN, in _Giorn. St. della
Lett. It._, XVII., 113.

BUFARDECI, _La vita letter. del c. B.C._ (Ragusa, 1900). Cf.
on this _Giorn. St. della Lett. It._, XXXVIII., 203.

CIAN, _Candidature nuziali di B.C._ (Venezia, 1892, per
nozze Salvioni-Taveggia).]

[Footnote *37: He was educated at Milan, where he probably learned
Latin from Giorgio Merula, and Greek from Demetrio Calcondila, and
cultivated at the same time the _poesia volgare_ (see CIAN,
_Un Cod. ignoto_, cited on p. 44, note *1). While he was still very
young he was attached to the Court of Il Moro. His father died in
1499 from a wound got at the battle of the Taro. He returned to
Casatico on the fall of Sforza, and then joined Marchese Francesco.]

The court of Urbino had already been for half a century the brightest
star in the constellation of Italian principalities, and under
its fostering influence were fully developed those fine qualities
which nature and early training had formed in Castiglione. His
first essay was as captain of fifty men-at-arms, with 400 ducats
of nominal pay, besides allowances; and his earliest exploit in
this new service was the reduction of Forlì, in 1504. The finances
of Guidobaldo were necessarily at a low ebb, and it is amusing to
find Baldassare's frequent lamentations to his mother, over the
arrears of his pay:--"Our doings are jolly but inconsiderable, that
is, on small means; we have never yet seen a farthing, but daily
and most devoutly look for some cash." It was not, however, till
nearly a year later that he received twenty-five ducats to account,
having often in the interval asked her aid, representing himself as
penniless, and living upon credit. In 1509,[*38] after returning
from his mission to England, which peculiarly required the graces
of a finished cavalier, and of which some account will be found in
II. of the Appendix, he attached himself to the Duke's immediate
person during the brief remainder of his life, and when it closed,
was sent to Gubbio, to maintain the interests of the succession, in
event of any popular outbreak. The favour which he had enjoyed from
Guidobaldo was amply continued under his nephew, whose fortunes he
followed during several years, sharing his successes in the field,
and sustaining him under his disgrace at the pontifical court. These
events must, however, be here touched with a flying pen, that we may
not anticipate details on which we shall afterwards have to dwell.
His reward was a grant of Novillara, near Pesaro; and when Francesco
Maria had exchanged sovereignty for exile, he returned to the service
of his natural lord, the Marquis of Mantua, whom he long represented
at the court of Leo X. To this Pontiff, Baldassare had nearly become
related, by a marriage with his niece Clarice de' Medici, which was
greatly promoted by Giuliano, during their residence at Urbino.
The negotiation was, however, broken off in January, 1509, by the
intrigues of her aunt, Lucrezia Salviati, who persuaded her uncle,
the Cardinal Giovanni, that, by bestowing her hand upon Filippo
Strozzi, he would strengthen the interest of his family at Florence.
The match having been, according to Italian usage, an interested
arrangement, its dissolution was borne with great philosophy by the
intended bridegroom; who some seven years later married Ippolita,
daughter of Count Guido Torelli, a celebrated condottiere, by
Francesca, daughter of Giovanni Bentivoglio, Lord of Bologna.[*39]
The ceremony was performed at Mantua, and was celebrated with
tournaments and pompous shows, in which the court and people took a
lively interest. But their happy union was of brief duration. The
Countess died four years after, in childbed of a daughter. Her name
has been embalmed in a beautiful Latin ode, wherein her husband
embodied those laments for his absence which he doubtless had often
heard from her lips, expressing all the tenderness of nuptial love,
and adorning a woman's pathos with a poet's fire. Nothing can be more
beautiful than the allusion to her husband's portrait:--

     "Your features portrayed by Raffaele's art
     Alone my longings can solace in part:
     On them I lavish jests and winning wiles,
     As if their words could echo back my smiles;
     At times they seem by gestures to respond,
     And answer in your wonted accents fond:
     Our boy his sire salutes with babbling phrase.
     Such are the thoughts deceive my lingering days."

[Footnote *38: He was in England in 1506. Guidobaldo died in 1508. It
was to Duke Francesco he attached himself on his return.]

[Footnote *39: On the various designs for Castiglione's marriage, see
CIAN, _op. cit._, p. 46, note 1.]

In her epitaph, the Count summed up his wife's character and
endowments, with a doubt whether her beauty or her virtue were more
remarkable; to which her eulogist, Steffano Guazzo, has added a third
grace--her learning. During the first anguish of widowhood he was
supposed to have turned his thoughts to ecclesiastical orders; but
whatever views of that nature he may have entertained were speedily
abandoned; and in 1523 we find him again in Lombardy, with his
gallant company, under the banner of the Gonzagas.

On the accession of Clement VII., the Marquis of Mantua again sent
him to represent his interests at Rome, where he was not long in
obtaining from the new Pope the same favour which he had enjoyed
under his uncle, Leo X. His diplomatic talents were now acknowledged
as of the first order; and Clement, foreseeing, perhaps, the
impending difficulties of his position with the Emperor, prevailed
upon Castiglione to accept the nomination of nuncio to Madrid. His
courtly qualities were not less agreeable to Charles V. and the
grandees of Spain than they had been in Italy; and in the romantic
project by which the Emperor proposed to decide in single combat
his unquenchable rivalry with Francis I., the Count was selected as
his second,--an honour which his diplomatic functions prevented his
accepting. Even while the troops and name of Charles were used by
Bourbon to inflict upon the Apostolic See the greatest blow which
its capital had suffered since the temporal power of the Church
rose on the ruins of the Roman empire, the Nuncio was receiving new
honours at Madrid, and was only prevented by his own scruples
from obtaining the temporalities of the bishopric of Avila, one of
the richest in Spain. In this most delicate position he retained
the confidence of his master, who seems to have been satisfied that
to no remissness on his part were owing the horrors of the sack of
Rome. But these miserable results of jealousies between the Pope
and the Emperor, which all his tact and influence were powerless to
remove, rendered his position anything but enviable, and appear to
have preyed alike upon mind and body. He sank under a short illness
at Toledo, on the 2nd of February, 1529,[*40] and was lamented by
Charles as "one of the best knights in the world." A letter of
condolence, written to his mother by Clement, affords ample evidence
that the fruitless results of his diplomacy in Spain had nowise
diminished the Pope's confidence in his good service and attachment
to his person.

[Footnote *40: He died on February 7th, not 2nd.]

[Illustration: _Alinari_


_Detail from the fresco by Pisanello in S. Anastasia of Verona_]

In the _Cortegiano_ of Castiglione we are furnished with an
elaborate, and in the main faithful, delineation of the men, the
manners, and the accomplishments which rendered the court of Urbino
a model for his age, and also with an interesting picture of the
immediate circle which Guidobaldo and his estimable Duchess formed
around them. We have drawn upon it amply for this portion of our
volumes, but the notices which it affords of the Duke are of the
most vague and disappointing character. This deficiency would be
of little consequence, did the accounts which the same author
has left in a Latin letter to Henry VIII. do full justice to his
early patron. But from one whose opportunities of collecting ample
and authentic particulars were unusual, the passing allusions to
many momentous incidents are truly unsatisfactory. His details of
scholarship and accomplishments would be more valuable, if divested
of an air of exaggeration which even solemn asseverations of veracity
scarcely remove. With all their faults, these are preferable to the
compilation of Bembo, to which we shall in due time more particularly
advert. Those who wade through its laboured and redundant expletives
will probably come to the conclusion that Castiglione has preserved
whatever they contain worthy of notice.

The Count was a finished gentleman, in an age when that character
included a variety of mental acquirements, as well as many personal
accomplishments. His verses in Latin and Italian breathe a fine
spirit of poetry; his letters merit a distinguished place as models
of correspondence; his diplomatic address was highly approved by
the sovereigns whom he served, as well as by those to whom he
was accredited; he has been complimented as the delight of his
contemporaries, the admiration of posterity.

       *       *       *       *       *

GIULIANO DE' MEDICI was third son of Lorenzo the
Magnificent, and was known in the circle of Urbino by the same
appellation. Born in 1478, he passed at that court several years
of his family's exile from Florence; nor was he ungrateful for the
splendid hospitality he there enjoyed, for, while he lived, his
influence with his brother, Leo X., averted those designs against
the dukedom, which were directed to his own aggrandisement. After
the restoration of the Medici, Leo confided to him the government of
Florence, which he endeavoured to administer in the spirit of his
father, and succeeded in gaining the good will of the people. But
the Pope was not satisfied with the re-establishment of his race as
sovereigns of that republic; and the fine qualities and vast ideas
of Giuliano suggested him as a fit instrument of further grasping
schemes. To realise these, Leo coquetted between France and Spain,
and, like his predecessors, sacrificed the peace of Italy. The prizes
which he successively proposed for Giuliano, who, by resigning
Florence into the hands of his nephew Lorenzo, the heir-male of his
house, was free to accept whatever sovereignty might be had, were
the duchy of Milan, a state in Eastern Lombardy and Ferrara, or the
crown of Naples. In June, 1515, the Pontiff conferred on him the
insignia of gonfaloniere and captain-general of the Church; but he
was prevented from active service by a fever which cut him off in
the following March, when only thirty-eight, not without suspicion
of poison at the hands of his nephew Lorenzo. His name is enshrined
in Bembo's prose and Ariosto's verse, whilst his tomb by Michael
Angelo in the Medicean Chapel, which Rogers, with a quaint but happy
antithesis, calls "the most real and unreal thing which ever came
from the chisel," is one of the glories of art.[*41] Shortly before
his death he had married Filiberta of Savoy, whose nephew, Francis
I., created him Duke of Nemours, and, had his life been prolonged,
would probably have aided him to further aggrandisement.

[Footnote *41: Giuliano was not so bad a poet himself. Cf. on this
subject SERASSI, in the Annotazioni to the _Tirsi_ of Castiglione at
stanza 43, and the five sonnets contained in _Cod. Palat._, 206 (_I
Cod. Palat. della Nazionale Centrale di Firenze_, vol. I., fasc. 4),
and the six of _Cod. Magliabech._ II., I., 60 (BARTOLI, _I manoscritti
della Bib. Nazionale di Firenze_, tom. I., p. 38).]

During his residence at Urbino, from an intrigue with Pacifica
Brandani, a person of high rank or base condition, for both extremes
have been conjectured to account for the mystery, there was born to
him a son, who, after being exposed in the streets in 1511, was sent
to the foundling hospital, and baptized Pasqualino. Removed to Rome
and acknowledged in 1513, the child received an excellent education;
and under the munificent patronage of the Medici became Cardinal
Ippolito, whose tastes were more for arms than mass-books, and whose
handsome features and gallant bearing, expressive of his splendid
character, are preserved to us in the Pitti Gallery by the gorgeous
tints of Titian, alone worthy of such a subject.

       *       *       *       *       *

The next personage of this goodly company was CESARE
GONZAGA, descended from a younger branch of the Mantuan
house, and cousin-german of Count Baldassare, whose quarters he
shared in 1504, when they returned together from the reduction of
Valentino's strongholds in Romagna, where he had the command of fifty
men-at-arms. We know little of him beyond his having been a knight of
St. John of Jerusalem, and ambassador from Leo X. to Charles V.[*42]
Baldi describes him as not less distinguished by merit than blood,
and Castiglione assigns him a prominent place in the lively circle
whose amusements he depicts. He was no unsuccessful devotee of the
muses: a graceful canzonet by him is preserved in the Rime Scelte of
Atanagi, and he shares the credit of the eclogue of _Tirsis_ already
alluded to, and printed among the works of Castiglione. Recommended
by military talent, as well as by diplomatic dexterity and business
habits, he remained in the service of Duke Francesco Maria during his
early campaigns; and in September, 1512, after reducing Bologna to
obedience of the Pope, died there of an acute fever in the flower of
his age.

[Footnote *42: SERASSI, in _Poesie volgari e latine del B.C.
aggiunti alcune Rime e Lettere di Cesare Gonzaga_ (Roma, 1760), gives
a full notice of his life, and CASTIGLIONE, in the Fourth
Book of the _Cortegiano_, speaks affectionately of him.]

       *       *       *       *       *

of a Genoese family, who for above a century had distinguished
themselves in the military, naval, and civil service of their
country, and had given several doges to that republic. Their father,
Agostino Fregoso, had married Gentile, natural daughter of Duke
Federigo, and the young men were consequently much brought up at
the court of Urbino, where their sisters Margherita and Costanza
were long in attendance on Duchess Elisabetta. In 1502, Ottaviano
accompanied his uncle on his first return from Venice, and we have
seen him then defending S. Leo during a lengthened siege, sustained
with great gallantry and skill. For that good service he had from
the Duke the countship of Sta. Agatha in the Apennines, afterwards
confirmed to him by an honourable brief of Leo X., and continued to
his descendants, with the title of Vicar, until their extinction in
the third generation.

The latter period of Ottaviano's life was actively passed in his
native city. From 1512 his endeavours were directed to abolish the
French domination maintained at that time by aid of the Adorni,
long hereditary rivals of his family. In this he finally succeeded,
and next year was elected doge, the only one, in Litta's opinion,
"who gloriously manifested a desire for the public weal." He held
that dignity during two years of tranquillity to his country, over
which the benign influence of his mild and impartial sway diffused a
temporary calm, long unknown to its factious inhabitants. So obvious
were these beneficial results, that Francis I., on becoming master
of Genoa in 1515, continued to him a delegated authority as its
governor. But, seven years later, the restless Adorni, having adhered
to the Emperor, aided the Marquis of Pescara to carry the city,
with an army of imperialists, who mercilessly sacked it. Ottaviano
remained a prisoner in the enemy's hands, and died soon after. He is
called in the _Cortegiano_ "a man the most singularly magnanimous
and religious of our day, full of goodness, genius, prudence, and
courtesy; a true friend to honour and virtue, and so worthy of praise
that even his enemies are constrained to extend it to him." The
revolution effected by Andrea Doria, in 1528, forcibly closed the
feuds of these rival families, which, during a century and a half,
had outraged public order, and, both being compelled to change their
name, the Fregosi adopted that of Fornaro.

       *       *       *       *       *

FEDERIGO FREGOSO, the younger brother of Ottaviano,
born in 1480, was educated for holy orders under the eye of his
maternal uncle Guidobaldo. In the lettered society of Urbino he
perfected himself in various accomplishments, as well as in a
thorough knowledge of the world, which enabled him afterwards to
acquit himself usefully and creditably in many diversified spheres
of action. It was to the great satisfaction of that court that in
April, 1507, Julius II. conferred upon him the archbishopric of
Salerno, a benefice which the opposition of Ferdinand II., founded
on his leaning to French interests, apparently prevented him from
enjoying. His life of literary ease remained uninterrupted until
his brother's elevation as doge of Genoa in 1513, when he hastened
to support him by his counsels and influence. During the next nine
years he alternately commanded the army of the republic, led her
fleet against the Barbary pirates, whom he annihilated in their own
harbours, and represented her as ambassador at the papal court.
The revolution of 1522 compelled him to fly from his native city,
and, taking refuge in France, he received protection and preferment
from Francis I. He returned to Italy in 1529, and was appointed to
the see of Gubbio, where his piety, and devotion to the spiritual
and temporal welfare of his flock, were equally commendable, and
gained him the appellation of father of the poor and refuge of the
distressed. A posthumous imputation of heretical error cast upon his
name had no better foundation than the accident of his discourse
upon prayer happening to be reprinted along with a work of Luther,
which occasioned their being both consigned to the Index. In 1539 he
was made cardinal by Paul III., and died at Gubbio two years after.
His attainments in philology were eminent, including a profound
knowledge of Hebrew, with the study of which he is said to have
consoled his exile in France. Equal cultivation might have gained
him much fame as a poet, but the works he has left are chiefly of
a doctrinal character, and his eminence in the literary circle of
his day rests more upon the correspondence of Bembo, Sadoleto, and
Cortesio than upon his own writings.[*43] By the first of these, the
sparkle of his measured wit, the general moderation and suavity of
his manners, his gentle consideration for other men's habits, his
personal accomplishments, and the zeal displayed in his studies,
are all spoken of with warm admiration. The following letter of
sympathy, addressed to the dowager Duchess by that rhetorician is an
interesting though mannered tribute to his long friendship:--

     "My most illustrious and worshipful Lady,

     "I had somewhat dried the tears elicited by the death
     of our very reverend Monseigneur Fregoso, so suddenly
     and inopportunely taken from us, when your Excellency's
     autograph letters recalled them to my eyes, and still
     more abundantly to my heart, on finding that you condoled
     with me so sensibly, and with so much unction. Not only,
     indeed, has your Ladyship been bereaved of a rare friend
     and relative, a most wise and religious gentleman, but,
     as you observe, all Christendom has thus sustained a loss
     incomparably great in times so evil and convulsed. Of
     myself I shall say little, having already written a few
     days ago to your Excellency; and, knowing the affection
     and respect mutually existing between you, I appreciate
     the weight of your grief from my own. Nor can I doubt
     that your Ladyship is aware of my emotion consequent upon
     his long kindness towards me, and my respectful but warm
     affection for him, sentiments never interrupted by a single
     word on either side, from his early youth and my manly age
     down to this day. I am further pained to observe that your
     Ladyship, lamenting for long years your Lord's death of
     happy memory, and now that of the Cardinal, entertains an
     impression your life will be short. This is no fruit of
     that good sense I have ever noticed in you, and which the
     Cardinal himself inculcated; for the more your Ladyship
     is left alone to promote the welfare and advantage of the
     tender plants by your side, you should be more anxious to
     live on; for, while life is given you, you may benefit
     their souls by prayers and good deeds, as well as promote
     the interests of many who look to your pious spirit for the
     prosperity of their lot. Let not, therefore, your Ladyship
     speak thus, but bless (_si conforti_) the Heavenly King
     that he has so willed it, and conform yourself to his
     infallible will and judgment. As to your observation that
     I am left to you, in place of this good gentleman, as a
     protector, father, and brother, be assured that the day
     shall never come when it will not be my desire to dispose
     of myself in all respects according to your Excellency's
     pleasure, yielding therein not even to your [late] most
     reverend brother. Your Ladyship will consider me as truly,
     really, and justly your own, to use and dispose of me
     unreservedly; and for this end I give, grant, and give over
     to you full leave and power, not to be reclaimed by any
     change of fortune so long as life remains to me. In return
     I shall now pray you to attend to your health, and not only
     to live on, but live as happily as you can, thus avenging
     yourself of fate, which has done so much to vex you....
     From Rome, the 2nd of August, 1541."

[Footnote *43: Cf. TIRABOSCHI, _Storia della Lett. Ital._
(ed. Class. It.), vol. VIII., p. 3.]

       *       *       *       *       *

PIETRO BEMBO[*44] was born at Venice in 1470, and had the
first rudiments of education at Florence, whither his father Bernardo
was sent as ambassador from the Signory. Having learned Greek at
Messina under Constantin Lascaris, and studied philosophy at Padua
and Ferrara, he devoted himself to literary pursuits. At the court
of the d'Este princes, where he was introduced by his father then
resident as envoy from Venice, he met with the consideration
due to his acquirements, and found a brilliant society, including
Sadoleto, the Strozzi, and Tibaldeo. There he was residing when the
arrival of Lucrezia Borgia threatened to establish for it a very
different character; but the dissolute beauty seems to have left
in the Vatican her abandoned tastes, and adopting those of her new
sovereignty she became distinguished as a patroness of letters.
The intimacy which sprang up between this princess and Bembo has
given rise to some controversy as to the purity of its platonism, a
discussion into which we need not enter. The life of the lady, the
writings of the Abbé, and the morals of their time combine to justify
suspicion, where proofs can hardly be looked for.[*45]

     "But if their solemn love were crime,
       Pity the beauty and the sage,--
       Their crime was in their darkened age!"

[Footnote *44: For a splendid account of Bembo, cf. GASPARY,
_Storia della Lett. Ital._ (Torino, 1891), vol. II., part II., pp.
60-7, and the _Appendice Bibliographica_ there, pp. 284-5.]

[Footnote *45: This is altogether unfair, uncalled for, and untrue.
Dennistoun is not to be trusted where a Borgia is concerned; like
Sigismondo Malatesta they hurt the Urbino dukes too much.]

[Illustration: _Anon. des._ _L. Ceroni sculp._


_From a drawing once in the possession of Cavaliere Agricola in Rome_]

Their correspondence lasted from 1503 to 1516, and many of his
letters are published.[*46] The prevailing tone of these is
rhetorical rather than passionate, and is quite as complimentary
to her virtues as to her beauty. The Ambrosian Library at Milan
possesses nine autograph epistles in Italian and Latin from Lucrezia,
addressed "to my dearest M. Pietro Bembo," with the dates supplied in
his hand. A tress of fair auburn hair, originally tied up with them,
and doubtless that of the Princess, is now shown in the adjoining
museum. That her tastes and accomplishments were not unworthy of such
a friendship appears from many dedications of works to her while
Duchess of Ferrara, including the Asolani of her admirer.

[Footnote *46: Cf. MORSOLIN, _P. Bembo e Lucrezia Borgia_,
in the _Nuova Antologia_ (Roma, 1885), and BEMBO, _Opere_
(Venice, 1729), vol. III., pp. 307-17; also CIAN, in _Giorn.
Stor. della Lett. Ital._, XXIX., 425.]

In 1505 Bembo repaired to Urbino, and sojourned chiefly at that court
during the next six years, where his varied attainments were highly
prized, and where his philological pedantry was probably regarded
as ornamental. Besides enjoying the converse of many congenial
spirits, he there formed a friendship with Giuliano de' Medici, to
which he owed many subsequent honours. Accompanying him to Rome in
1512, he was recommended by him to his brother, the Cardinal, whose
first act on being chosen Pope in the following year, was to name
Bembo his secretary, jointly with his friend Sadoleto. For this
situation he was in many respects well fitted, by the happy union
of great learning with an extensive knowledge of men and manners,
which his residence at Ferrara and Urbino had not failed to impart.
The laxity of his morals, and the paganism of his ideas, were
unfortunately no disqualifications under Leo X. He continued to earn
his master's confidence in the discharge of his regular duties, as
well as in occasional diplomatic missions, but, as Roscoe truly
observes, his success as a negotiator did not equal his ability in
official correspondence. The pensions and benefices which rewarded
his services enriched him for life, and even before that Pontiff's
death he sought at Padua an elegant literary retirement, refusing
from Clement VII., and from the Signory of Venice, all offers of
public employment. He surrounded himself with a most select library,
including many invaluable manuscripts, and a precious collection
of medals and other antiquities, which, with the society of the
learned whom he attracted to his board, gave to his house a wide
celebrity. It was not regarded as at all degraded by the presence
of an avowed mistress at its head, with whom he openly lived for
many years, and had several children; and neither this scandal,
nor the gross indecency of some of his writings, prevented Paul
III. from conferring upon him a scarlet hat in 1539. He is said to
have accepted this dignity unwillingly, but having done so, he had
the good sense at all events to "cleanse the outside of the cup
and platter." His mistress was now dead; he laid aside poetry,
literature, and pagan idioms, and, devoting himself to theological
studies, at which he had formerly sneered in the habit of an abbé,
he entered holy orders at the mature age of sixty-nine. In 1541 he
succeeded Fregoso, his early companion at Urbino, in the bishopric
of Gubbio, to which was added that of Bergamo. How little these
preferments contributed to his comfort appears from a letter to
Veronica Gambara in December, 1543. "Often," he there says, "do I
desire to be the unfettered Bembo of other days, rather than as
I now am. But what better can one make of it? Man's existence,
abounding more in crosses than in gratifying incidents, will have it
so; and wiser he who least desponds and best puts up to necessity,
than one that less conforms to it. Yet I own myself unable to do
this amid these privations, and exiled in a manner from myself.
For verily I am neither at Venice nor Padua, as your Ladyship
supposes, but at my church of Gubbio, a very wild place to say the
truth, and offering few conveniences." He died at Rome six years
after, in his seventy-seventh year, and was buried in the church of
the Minerva, between his patrons Leo X. and Clement VII., where a
modest flag-stone is all the memorial that his natural son and heir,
Torquato, bestowed on one of the most famous men of his age.

       *       *       *       *       *

At the town of Bibbiena, in the upper Val d'Arno, there were born
about 1470, of humble parentage, two brothers, whose business talents
procured them remarkable advancement. The elder, Pietro Dovizi,
became a secretary of Lorenzo de' Medici, into whose family he
introduced his brother BERNARDO. There this youth gained
for himself so good a reputation, that he was allowed to share the
instructions bestowed upon his patron's younger son Giovanni. A close
intimacy gradually sprang up between these fellow students, which
the similarity of their talents, their tastes, and their pursuits
ripened into lasting friendship. Identifying himself with the
Medici, he followed their fortunes into exile, and attended Giuliano
to Urbino, where he was received with the welcome there extended to
all who, like him, combined the scholar and the gentleman. But this
hospitality met with a very different return from these two guests.
Of Giuliano's generous forbearance to second the evil designs of his
brother, the Pope, against the state which had sheltered him, we have
lately spoken. When we come to narrate the usurpation of the duchy by
the Medici in 1516-17, we shall find in command of their invading army

     "That courteous Sir, who honours and adorns
     Bibbiena, spreading far and high its fame,"

and who had adopted that town as a substitute for his own
undistinguished patronymic. This ingratitude was the more odious if,
as it was probable, he owed to Guidobaldo, or his nephew, the favour
of Julius II., who first brought him forward in the public service.

At that Pontiff's death he was acting as secretary to his early
friend, the Cardinal de' Medici, and in that capacity was admitted
to the conclave. The intrigues which there effected his patron's
election have given rise to various anecdotes and controversies,
which we pass by with the single remark that, by all accounts, the
address of Dovizi was not unimportant to the success of Leo X. In
return, he was included in the first distribution of scarlet hats
as CARDINAL BIBBIENA. In this enlarged sphere his talents
and tastes had full room for exercise. He was selected for various
important diplomatic trusts, besides filling the offices of treasurer
and legate in the war of Urbino. With his now ample means, his
patronage of letters and arts had ample scope, and he was regarded
as the Maecenas of a court rivalling that of Augustus. Raffaele
enjoyed his particular regard, which he would willingly have proved
by bestowing on him the hand of his niece.

His ambition is alleged to have exceeded even the rise of his
fortunes, and to have prompted him to contemplate, and possibly to
intrigue for, his own elevation to the chair of St. Peter, in the
event of a vacancy. His sudden death in 1520, soon after a residence
of above a year as legate to Francis I. (who had conferred upon him
the see of Constance), when coupled with such reports, was construed
as the effect of poison administered by Leo. Indeed, his friend,
Ludovico Canossa, observed that it was a received dogma among the
French at that very time that every man of station who died in Italy
was poisoned. But such vague conjectures, however specious under
Alexander VI., are less credible in other pontificates; and if the
Cardinal were poisoned, that practice was then by no means limited
to popes. He was an accomplished dilettante when the standards of
beauty were of pagan origin; and his intimacy with Raffaele dated
after the painter's Umbrian inspirations had faded before a gradual
homage to the "new manner." Like his friend Bembo, his morals were
epicurean to the full licence of a dissolute age. His famed comedy
of the _Calandra_,[*47] which was brought out at Urbino in 1508,
and which gave full play to his exquisite sense of the ridiculous,
justifies this charge, and all that we have so often to repeat of the
laxity then prevalent in the most refined Italian circles. A notice
of this, the only important production of his pen, and an account of
its being magnificently performed before Guidobaldo, will be found
in our twenty-fifth chapter. Those who regard the pontificate of Leo
X. as the classic period of Italian letters must feel grateful to
Cardinal Bibbiena for developing a portion of its lustre; the sterner
moralist, who brands its vices, will charge him with pandering
freely to the licence of a court of which he was a notable ornament.
Castiglione tells us that an acute and ready genius rendered him the
delight of all his acquaintance; and Baldi adds, that by practice
in the papal court he so improved that gift, that his tact in
business was unrivalled, to which his mild address, and happy talent
of seasoning the dullest topics with graceful pleasantry, greatly

[Footnote *47: For all concerning this play and its performance at
Urbino in 1513, see VERNARECCI, _Di Alcune Rappresentazioni
Drammatiche alla Corte d'Urbino nel 1513_ in _Archivio Storico per
le Marche e per l'Umbria_, vol. III., p. 181 _et seq._ The original
prologue, by Bibbiena, was only recently made known by DEL
LUNGO, _La Recitazione dei Menaechmi in Firenze e il doppio
prologo della Calandria_, in the _Arch. Stor. Ital._, series III.,
vol. XXII., pp. 346-51. Machiavelli's estimate of Bibbiena will be
found in _Lettere Famil. di N. Machiavelli_, Firenze, 1883, p. 304,
"Bibbiena, hora cardinale, in verità ha gentile ingegno, ed è homo
faceto et discreto, et ha durato a' suoi di gran fatica."]

His personal beauty obtained for him the adjunct of _bel_ Bernardo,
and he is represented in the _Cortegiano_ as saying, in reference to
the amount of good looks desirable for a gentleman, "Such grace and
beauty of feature are, I doubt not, mine, in consequence whereof,
as you know, so many women are in love with me; but I have some
misgivings as to my figure, especially these legs of mine, which, to
say the truth, don't seem to me quite what I should like, though I am
well enough satisfied with my bust, and all the rest." This, however,
having been introduced as a jest, may perhaps be understood rather as
complimentary to his person, than as a sarcasm on his vanity.

A contemporary and unsparing pen thus sketches his qualities, in a
manuscript printed by Roscoe, from the Vatican archives:--"He was a
facetious character, with no mean powers of ridicule, and much tact
in promoting jocular conversation by his wit and well-timed jests.
He was a great favourite with certain cardinals, whose chief pursuit
was pleasure and the chase, for he thoroughly knew all their habits
and fancies, and was even aware of whatever vicious propensities they
had. He likewise possessed a singular pliancy for flattery, and for
obsequiously accommodating himself to their whims, stooping patiently
to be the butt of insulting and abusive jokes, and shrinking from
nothing which could render him acceptable to them. He also had much
readiness in council, and was perfectly able seasonably to qualify
his wit with wisdom, or to dissemble with singular cunning." Bembo,
with more partial pen, says in a letter to Federigo Fregoso, "The
days seem years until I see him, and enjoy the pleasing society, the
charming conversation, the wit, the jests, the features, and the
affection of that man."

       *       *       *       *       *

Among the distinguished literary names which have issued from Arezzo,
several members of the ACCOLTI family were conspicuous in the fifteenth
and sixteenth centuries. BERNARDO,[*48] of whom we are now to speak,
had a father noted as a historian, a brother and a nephew who reached
the dignity of cardinal, and were remarkable in politics and letters.
He obtained from Leo X. the fief of Nepi, as well as various offices
of trust and emolument; of these, however, his wealth rendered him
independent, enabling him to indulge in a life of literary ease. His
poetical celebrity exceeded that of his contemporaries, and seems
to have been his chief recommendation at the court of Guidobaldo.
There, and at Rome, he was in the habit of reciting his verses in
public to vast audiences, composed of all that was brilliant in
these cultivated capitals. Nor was his popularity limited to a
lettered circle. When an exhibition was announced, the shops were
closed, the streets emptied, and guards restrained the crowds who
rushed to secure places among his audience. This extraordinary
enthusiasm appears the more unaccountable, when we find his printed
poetry characterised by a bald and stilted style, which leaves no
pleasing impression on the reader. The mystery seems explained by a
supposition that his talent lay in extemporary declamation.

[Footnote *48: On the Unico Aretino Bernardo Accolti, see especially
D'ANCONA, _Studi sulla Lett. Ital. de' primi secoli_ (Ancona, 1884),
in the essay, _Del Seicentismo nella poesia cortigiana del Secolo XV._,
pp. 217-18. He professed an extraordinary devotion for the Duchess of

Instances are far from uncommon in Italy, of similar effects produced
by the _improvisatori_, whose torrent of melodious words, directed
to a popular theme, and accompanied by music and impassioned
gesticulation, hurries the feelings of a sympathising auditory to
bursts of tumultuous applause, whilst on cool perusal, the same
compositions fall utterly vapid on the reader. Be this as it may,
the success of Accolti had the common result of superficial powers,
and so egregiously inflated his vanity, that he assumed as his usual
designation "the unique Aretine," by which he is always accosted
in the _Cortegiano_. Nine years later we find him devoting to
Duchess Elisabetta attentions which were attributed to a passion
more powerful than gratitude, but which, knowing as he well did,
her immaculate modesty, could only have been prompted by despicable
vanity, and hence exposed him to keen ridicule.

       *       *       *       *       *

To few of the pedigrees illustrated by Sansovino is there attributed
a more remote origin, or a brighter illustration, than to that of
CANOSSA.[*49] A younger son of the family was COUNT LUDOVICO, who,
being cousin-german of Castiglione's mother, was perhaps by this
means brought to Urbino, and thence recommended to Julius II., under
whose patronage he entered upon an ecclesiastical career. From Leo
X. he obtained the see of Tricarico, and was sent by him as nuncio
to England and France, a service which earned him promotion to the
bishopric of Bajus. Adrian VI. and Clement VII. continued him in this
post; and during a long residence at the French court, he entirely
gained the confidence and favour of Francis I. Many of his diplomatic
letters are printed in various collections; and to him is addressed
Count Baldassare's curious description of the performance of the
_Calandra_, at Urbino.

[Footnote *49: For Canossa, cf. LUZIO E RENIER, _op.
cit._, p. 87, and especially ORTI-MANARA, _Intorno alla
vita ed alle gesta del Co. Lodovico di Canossa_ (Verona, 1845), and
CAVATTONI, _Lettere scelte di Mons. L. di Canossa_ (Verona,

       *       *       *       *       *

ALESSANDRO TRIVULZIO was nephew of Gian Giacomo, the
distinguished Milanese general of that name, and himself a famous
captain in the service of Florence, and of Francis I. Sigismondo
Riccardi, surnamed the Black, Gasparo Pallavicini, Pietro da
Napoli, and Roberto da Bari,--the last of whom died in the camp of
Duke Francesco Maria, in 1510,--are mentioned among the military
notorieties of the Feltrian court. Giovanni Cristoforo, the sculptor,
may be added to the list of its literary dilettanti; and among its
musical ornaments were Pietro Monti and Terpandro, with Niccolo
Frisio, a German, long resident in the land of song, whose exertions
were often in request by Monti and Barletta, both dancers of note.


     Emilia Pia--The _Cortegiano_--Death of Duke Guidobaldo,
     succeeded by Francesco Maria della Rovere.

Such were the eminent men, with whom Guidobaldo is described in the
_Cortegiano_ as living in easy but dignified familiarity, joining
their improving and amusing conversation, or admiring their dexterity
in exercises which his broken constitution no longer permitted him
to share. Thus passed the days in the palace; and, when the Duke was
constrained by his infirmities to seek early repose, the evenings
were spent in social amusements, over which the Duchess gracefully
presided, with her ladies Margherita and Costanza Fregoso, the Duke's
nieces, Margherita and Ippolita Gonzaga, the Signor Raffaella, and
Maria Emilia Pia.


_From a lead medal by Adriano Fiorentino in the British Museum_]

[Illustration: EMILIA PIA

_From a medal by Adriano Fiorentino in the Vienna Museum_]

Of the social position of Italian women in this century[*50] we
may gather many particulars from Ludovico Dolce's _Instituto delle
Donne_: for although, like most writers on similar themes, he
represents them "not as they are, but as they ought to be," still,
knowing the then received standard of female perfection, we can form
a pretty accurate estimate of their actual qualities. His views
as to education are exceedingly orthodox. The Holy Scriptures,
with the commentaries of the fathers, Ambrose, Augustin, and
Jerome, ought to be day and night before a girl, and suffice for
her religious and moral discipline. She should be familiar with her
own language and with Latin, but Greek is an unnecessary burden.
For mental occupation, Plato, Seneca, and such other philosophers
as supply sound moral training are excellent, as well as Cicero for
bright examples and wholesome counsels. History being the teacher
of life, all classical historians are commended, but the Latin
poets are vetoed as unfit for honest women, except most of Virgil
and a few selections from Horace. Many modern Latin writers are
commended, especially the _Christeida_ of Sannazaro and Vida, but
all such prurient productions in Italian as Boccaccio's novels are
to be shunned like venomous reptiles. On the other hand, the poetry
of Petrarch and Dante is extolled beyond measure, the former as
embodying with singular beauty an instance of the purest and most
honourable love, the latter as an admirable portraiture of all
Christian philosophy. Yet such literary occupations should never
intrude upon more important matters, such as prayer, nor upon the
domestic duties of married women.

[Footnote *50: The books, pamphlets, poems, and stories, both
contemporary and subsequent, dealing with the position, beauty,
learning, dress, etc., of women would fill a library. I shall content
myself by naming a very few among them under a few headings for
the entertainment of the reader. The list of works I give is, of
course, in no sense a bibliography. The best source is _Castiglione_
himself--for the sixteenth century and for court life, at any rate.
But the picture he paints, remarkable as it is, was by no means
altogether realistic, as a consultation with the following works will
show. I have included a few dealing with earlier times, and have only
quoted works with which I am familiar.


CECCHI, _La Donna e la famiglia Italiana del Secolo XIII. al
sec. XVI._, in _Nuova Antologia_ (new series), vol. XI., fasc. 19-20.

FRATI, _La Donna Italiana secondo i più recenti studi_
(Torino, 1889).

VARCONI, _La Donna Italiana descritta da Scrittrici Italiane
in una serie di Conferenze_ (Firenze, 1890).

VELLUTI, _Cronica Domestica_ (Firenze, 1887).

DAZZI, _Alcune lettere familiari del sec. XIV._ in
_Curiosità Letterarie_, fasc. XC. (Bologna, 1868).

ANON., _Difesa delle Donne_ (Bologna, 1876).

BIAGI, _La vita Italiana nel Rinascimento_ (Milano, 1897).

BIAGI, _La vita privata dei Fiorentini_ (Milan, 1893).

DEL LUNGO, _La Donna Fiorentina del buon tempo antico_
(Firenze, 1906).

GUASTI, _Lettere di una gentildonna Fiorentina del sec. XV._
(Firenze, 1877).

LIBORIO AZZOLINI, _La Compiuta Donzella di Firenze_
(Palermo, 1902).

ZDEKAUER, _La vita privata dei Senese_ (Conf. d. Com. Sen.
di St. Pat.), (Siena, 1897).

CASANOVA, _La Donna Senese del Quattrocento nella vita
privata_ (Siena, 1895).

FRATI, _La vita privata in Bologna_ (Bologna, 1900).

BELGRANO, _La vita privata Genovese_ (Genoa, 1866).

BRAGGIO, _La donna Genovese del sec. XV._, in _Giornale
Linguistico_, Ann. XII. (1885).

MOLMENTI, _St. di Venezia nella Vita Privata_ (Torino, 1885).

CECCHETTI, _La donna nel Medio Evo a Venezia_ in Arch. Ven.
Ann., XVI. (1886).


In Florence, Siena, and Venice certainly there were regulations of
the fashions; but not in Naples.

FIRENZUOLA, The two discourses, _Delle bellezze delle donne_
and _Della perfetta bellezza d'una donna_, in ed. Bianchi, _Le Opere_
(Firenze, 1848).

MORPURGO, _El costume de le donne con un capitolo de le
XXXIII. bellezze_ (Firenze, 1889).

ZANELLI, in _Bolletino di St. Pistoiese_, vol. I., fasc.
II., p. 50 _et seq._

ARETINO, _Il Mareschaio_, atto ii., sc. 5, and _I

CENNINO CENNINI, _Trattato della Pittura_, cap. clxi.
Warning against the general use of cosmetics.

L.B. ALBERTI, _Opere Volgari_ (Firenze, 1849) (Del Governo
della Famiglia), vol. V., pp. 52, 75, 77. How a wife ought and ought
not to adorn herself.

FRANCO SACCHETTI, _Novelle_, 99, 136, 137, 177. "Formerly
the women wore their bodices cut so open that they were uncovered to
beneath their armpits! Then with one jump, they wore their collars
up to their ears! And these are all outrageous fashions. I, the
writer, could recite as many more of the customs and fashions which
have changed in my days as would fill a book as large as this whole
volume," etc. etc., with a long description of the dress of the women
of his time. Consult all the novelists.

DANTE, in _Il Paradiso_, XV.

GIO. VILLANI, _Cronaca_, lib. X., caps. x., xi., and cl.

MATT. VILLANI, _Cronaca_, lib. I., cap. iv.

BOCCACCIO, _De Casibus virorum illustrium_, lib. I., cap.
xviii. He gives a list of the arts of the toilet of women.

BIAGI, _Due corredi nuziali fiorentini_ (1320-1493). (Per
nozze Corazzini-Benzini, Firenze, 1899.)

CARNESECCHI, _Donne e lusso a Firenze nel secolo XVI._
(Firenze, 1903).

ALLEGRETTO, in _Muratori R.I.S._, XXIII., col. 823.

_Diario Ferrarese_, in _Muratori R.I.S._, XXIV., cols. 297, 320, 376
_et seq._, speaks of the German fashions--"Che pareno buffoni tali

GENTILE SERMINI, _Le Novelle_ (Livorno, 1874), Nov. XXI.

MARCHESINI, _Quello si convenga a una donna che abbia
marito_ (Firenze, 1890, per nozze). And _Dialogo della bella creanza
delle donne_ (Milano, 1862), pp. 30, 31.


FALLETTI FOSSATTI, _Costumi Senesi_ (Siena, 1882), p. 133
_et seq._

PELISSIER, _Le Trousseau d'une Siennoise en 1450_, in _Boll.
Senese_, vol. VI., fasc. 1.

SANSOVINO, _Venetia città nobilissima e singolare_ (1663),
fol. 150 _et seq._

YRIARTE, _La vie d'un Patricien de Venise au 16me siècle_
(Les femmes à Venise) (Paris, 1874), and see rare authorities there
quoted. In Venice, the prescribed bridal dress seems to have been
that of Titian's Flora--the hair fell free on the shoulders. The
_Proveditori alle Pompe_ were established in Venice in 1514.

On the whole subject see, for earlier time, HEYWOOD, _The
Ensamples of Fra Filippo_ (Siena, 1901), cap. iii.; and for later
time, BURCKHARDT, _op. cit._, vol. II., part V., caps., ii.,
iv., v., vii.]

It is unnecessary to follow our author into abstract qualities and
common-place graces, but the emphasis with which certain things
are decried affords a fair presumption of their prevalence. Thus,
excessive luxury of dress, and, above all, painting the face and
tinging the hair, are attacked as impious attempts to improve upon
God's own handiwork. In like manner, the assiduity with which modesty
and purity of mind and person are inculcated confirms what we
otherwise know of the unbridled licentiousness then widely diffused
over society. Gaming of every sort is scouted; music and dancing are
set down as matters of indifference.

In regard to marriage, the selection of a husband is left as matter
of course to the parents, since a girl is necessarily too ignorant
of the world to choose judiciously for herself; a reason resulting
from the education and social circumstances of young women in Italy,
which sufficiently accounts for this apparent solecism continuing in
the present day. A prolix exposition of the principles which ought to
guide fathers in their discharge of this delicate duty may be summed
up in the very pertinent remark, that few prudent damsels would
rather weep in brocaded silks than smile in homely stuffs.

But it is time to return from this digression to the LADY
EMILIA PIA, who merits more special notice in a sketch of the
Montefeltrian court. She was sister of Giberto Pio, Lord of Carpi in
Lombardy, and wife of Antonio, natural brother of Duke Guidobaldo.
After losing her husband in the flower of youth, she remained at
Urbino, and became one of its prime ornaments, not only by her
personal attractions, but by a variety of more lasting qualities.
The part she sustains in the conversation of the _Cortegiano_ amply
evinces the charm which attached to her winning manners, as well as
the ready tact wherewith she played off an extent of knowledge and
graceful accomplishment rare even in that age of female genius. She
was at all times ready and willing to lead or second the learned
or sportive pastimes by which the gay circle gave zest to their
intercourse and polish to their wit, and thus was of infinite use to
the Duchess, whose acquirements were of a less sparkling quality, and
of whom she was the inseparable companion. Still more singular and
proportionately admired were the decorum that marked her conduct in
circumstances of singular difficulty and the virtue which maintained
a spotless reputation amid temptations and lapses regarded as venial
in the habits of a lax age. Her death occurred about 1530,[*51]
and an appropriate posthumous tribute was paid to such graces and
virtues in this medallion bearing her portrait, with the Latin motto,
"To her chaste ashes," on the reverse. Even the luscious verses in
which Bembo and Castiglione sang the seductions of the Feltrian
court assumed a loftier tone in their tribute to her heart of
adamant, which, "pious by name[52] and cruel by nature," and spurning
the designs of Venus upon its wild freedom, would impart its own
severity generally to the slaves of the goddess. Yet it was under the
guidance of this able mistress of the revels, that joy and merriment
supplanted rigorous etiquette in the palace of Urbino, where
frankness was restrained from excess by the Duchess' example, and
where all were free to promote the common entertainment as their wit
or fancy might suggest. Among the sports of these after-supper hours,
Castiglione enumerates questions and answers, playful arguments
seasoned with smart rejoinders, the invention of allegories and
devices, repartees, mottoes, and puns, varied by music and dancing.

[Footnote *51: She died in 1528, not as Serassi, whom Dennistoun
follows, says, in 1530.]

[Footnote 52: Her maiden surname, Pio, was habitually punned into

[Illustration: _Alinari_


_After a picture by Bissolo_]

Such was the mode of life described in the _Cortegiano_, with ample
details, which we shall attempt slightly to sketch. The scene is
laid in the evenings immediately succeeding the visit of Julius II.
The usual circle being assembled in her drawing-room, the Duchess
desired Lady Emilia to set some game a-going.[*53] She proposed
that every person in turn should name a new amusement, and that the
one most generally approved should be adopted.[54] This fancy was
sanctioned by her mistress, who delegated to her full authority to
enforce it upon all the gentlemen, but exempted the ladies from
competition. The courtiers so called upon thus acquitted themselves
of their task. Gaspar Pallavicino suggested that each should state
the peculiar excellence and special defect which he would prefer
finding in the lady of his love. Cesare Gonzaga, assuming that all
had some undeveloped tendency to folly, desired that every one should
state on what subject he would rather play the fool. Fra Serafino
sneeringly proposed that they should successively say why most women
hate rats and like snakes. The Unico Aretino, whose turn came next,
thought that the party might try one by one to guess at the occult
meaning of an ornament, in the form of an S, worn by the Duchess
on her forehead. The flattery with which this odd suggestion was
spiced, gave a clue to the Lady Emilia, who exclaimed that, none but
himself being competent, he ought to solve the mystery; on which,
after a pause of apparent abstraction, he recited a sonnet on that
conceit, giving an air of impromptu to what was, in fact, a studied
composition clumsily introduced. Ottaviano Fregoso wished to know on
what point each would be most willing to undergo a lover's quarrel.
Bembo, refining on this idea, was of opinion that the question ought
to be whether the cause of quarrel had best originate with oneself
or with one's sweetheart--whether it was most vexatious to give or
receive the offence. Federigo Fregoso, premising his conviction that
nowhere else in Italy were there found such excellent ingredients of
a court, from the sovereign downwards, proposed that one chosen from
the party should state the qualities and conditions required to form
A PERFECT COURTIER, it being allowed to the others to object
and redargue in the manner of a scholastic disputation.

[Footnote *53: Cf. _Il Cortegiano_, lib. I., cap. vi.]

[Footnote 54: DOLCE, in the _Instituto delle Donne_,
mentions a lady who, being asked to name some pastime at a party,
sent for a basin and towel, that all of her sex might wash their
faces, she being the only one present without paint.]

This idea being approved by the Duchess and her deputy, the latter
called upon Count Ludovico Canossa to begin the theme. Its discussion
(our observations upon which must be reserved for a future portion
of these pages) is represented by Castiglione as having been
prolonged during successive evenings; Federigo Fregoso, Giuliano the
Magnificent, Cesare Gonzaga, Ottaviano Fregoso, and Pietro Bembo,
following the cue with which Canossa had opened. At the close of the
fourth sitting, an argument on love was interrupted by daylight.
"Throwing open the eastern windows of the palace, they saw the summit
of Monte Catri already tipped with rosy tints of the radiant Aurora,
and all the stars vanished except Venus, the mild pilot of the sky,
who steers along the limits of night and day. From these far-off
peaks there seemed to breathe a gentle breeze, that tempered the
air with bracing freshness, and, from the rustling groves of the
adjacent hills, began to awaken sweet notes of wandering birds." The
same golden sun continues to dawn upon Urbino, but, ere many months
had passed, the bright galaxy of satellites that circled round Duke
Guidobaldo was scattered, for their guiding star had gone to another

       *       *       *       *       *

During fifteen years his fine form and robust constitution had been
wasted by gout, for such was the name given to a disease hereditary
in his family. Physiologists may decide upon the accuracy of
this term, and say why, in an age of incessant exposure to severe
exercise under all weather, and when luxuries of the table were
little known or appreciated, the ravages of that malady should
have been more virulent than in our days of comparative indulgence
and effeminacy.[55] At first he struggled against the symptoms,
continuing his athletic sports; but in a few years he was reduced to
a gentle pace on horseback, or to a litter. At length, about the time
of which we are now speaking, his intervals of ease rarely extended
to a month, during which he was carried about in a chair; but, when
under a fit, was confined to bed in great agony. Yet, ever tended by
his wife, his fortitude never forsook him, and his mind, gathering
strength in the decay of nature, sought occupation in the converse
of those able men who made his palace their home, or, in the moments
of most acute suffering, fell back for distraction upon the vast
stores of his prodigious memory, whiling away long hours of agony by
repeating passages from his favourite authors. The palliations of
medicine lost their effects; his enfeebled frame became more and more
sensitive to acute pain; in his emaciated figure few could recognise
the manly beauty of his youthful person; life had prematurely become
to him an irksome burden.

[Footnote 55: Sanuto strangely ascribes his death to _mal Francese_,
an example of the way in which that ill-understood scourge was then
assumed as the origin of many fatal maladies.]

There occurred in Italy at this period a very unnatural change of
the seasons. On the 7th of April, 1505, snow fell at Urbino to the
depth of a foot, and scarcity prevailed, followed in June by a
murrain among cattle. From September, 1506, until January, 1508,
it is said that no rain or snow fell, except during a few days of
violent torrents in April. The fountains failed, the springs became
exhausted, the rivers dried up, grain was hand-ground for want of
water. The crops were scarcely worth reaping, the pastures were
scorched, and the fruitless vines shrivelled under an ardent sun.[56]

[Footnote 56:

     "Una stagion fu già, che sì il terreno
     Arse, che 'l sol di nuovo a Faetonte
     De' suoi corsier parea aver dato il freno:
       Secco ogni pozzo, secco era ogni fonte,
     Gli stagni, i rivi, e i fiumi più famosi,
     Tutti passar si potean senza ponte."

     ARIOSTO, _Satira_ iii.

*Cf. MADIAI, _Diario_, in _Arch. cit._, vol. _cit._, p. 455.]

On the other hand, December was turned into July; the orchards
bore a second crop of apples, pears, plums, and mulberries, from
which were prepared substitutes for wine, then worth a ducat the
_soma_; strawberries and blackberries ripened in the wood-lands,
and luxuriant roses were distilled in vast quantities at Christmas.
With the new year things underwent a sudden revolution, and January
set in with unwonted rigour. The delicacy of the Duke's now reduced
frame rendered him peculiarly sensitive to the atmospheric phenomena.
The long drought had especially affected all gouty patients, and
the severe weather so aggravated his sufferings that, on the 1st
of February, he was, by his own desire, removed in a litter to
Fossombrone. That town is situated on the north side of the Metauro,
lying well to the sun, and little above the sea level, from which
it is distant about fifteen miles, and has thus the most genial
spring climate in the duchy. At first the change was in all respects
beneficial, and revived the hopes of an attached circle who had
accompanied the Duchess. But in April winter returned, and with it a
relapse into the worst symptoms, which soon carried him off. Although
his great sufferings were borne with extraordinary fortitude, he
looked forward to death as an enviable release; and when his last
hour approached, he regarded it with calm resignation. To his
chaplain he confessed, as one whose worldly account was closed; and
he acquitted himself of those testamentary duties to his church and
to the poor, which his creed considers saving works; directing at
the same time the disposal of his body. Then calling to his bedside
(where the Duchess and Amelia were in unwearied attendance) his
nephew the Lord Prefect, Castiglione, Ottaviano Fregoso, and other
dear friends, he addressed to them words of consolation. Their hopes
for his recovery he mildly reproved, adapting to himself the lines of

     "Me now Cocytus bounds with squalid reeds,
     With muddy ditches, and with deadly weeds,
     And baleful Styx encompasses around
     With nine slow-circling streams the unhappy ground."[57]

[Footnote 57:

     "Me circum limus niger et deformis arundo
     Cocyti, tardaque palus, inamabilis unda,
     Alligat, et novies Styx interfusa coercet."

     VIRG. _Georg._ iv. 478.]

To the Duchess and to his nephew were chiefly addressed his parting
injunctions, the object of which was to recommend them to each
other's affection and confidence, to comfort them under their
approaching bereavement, and to counsel implicit obedience on the
part of Francesco Maria towards his uncle the Pope. It seems enough
to allude thus generally to his closing scene, for the accounts which
we have from Castiglione and Federigo Fregoso, one a spectator, the
other a dear friend, who quickly reached the spot, are unfortunately
disguised in Ciceronianisms, necessarily inappropriate to a Christian
death-bed, and in which the spirit of his words has probably
evaporated.[58] We may, however, trust that

                       "They show
     The calm decay of nature, when the mind
     Retains its strength, and in the languid eye
     Religious holy hope kindles a joy;"

for we have seen him neither indifferent nor neglectful of the
observances dictated by his Church, and, ere the vital spark fled, he
received its rites and besought the prayers of the bystanders. His
passage from mortality was peaceful, and death, which he considered
desirable, spread like a gentle slumber over his stiffening limbs
and composed features. At midnight of the 11th of April his spirit
was released from its shattered tenement.[*59] Over the agonised
and uncontrolled lamentations of the Duchess we draw a veil; the
description of such scenes must ever degenerate into common-place
generalities. She felt and suffered as was natural to the best wives
prematurely severed from the most attached of husbands.

[Footnote 58: What are we to make of the words of Fregoso (as
preserved by Bembo)--an archbishop who, in describing to the Pope his
uncle's death, mentions his partaking of the last sacraments from the
Bishop of Fossombrone, in these terms, "Quiquidem Deos illi superos
atque manes placavit"? Such idioms will not bear retranslation. The
expression employed by Castiglione, though tinged with the cold
formality of classicism, is less startling: "Ut ungeretur more sanctæ
matris ecclesiæ rogavit." But a pagan taint may often be sadly traced
upon the devotion of this age. In the first volume of Vaissieux's
_Archivio Storico d'Italia_, the last hours of a convict, condemned
at Florence in 1500, are thus narrated by an eye-witness:--Pietro
Paolo Boscoli, a political reformer of the school of Savonarola,
thirsted in his dying moments after the living waters of evangelical
truth, and sought some better solace than the cold formalities of
an ordinary _viaticum_. Refusing to be shriven by any but a friar
of St. Mark's, he adjured an attendant friend to aid in getting
Brutus out of his head, in order that he might make a Christian
end. Nor was this heterodoxy exclusively Italian. Cervantes, in a
recently recovered fragment, _El Buscapié_, says, "I dislike to see
the graceful and pious language befitting the Christian muse mingled
with the profane phraseology of heathenism. Who can be otherwise
than displeased to find the name of God, of the Holy Virgin, and
of the Prophets, in conjunction with those of Apollo and Daphne,
Pan and Syrinx, Jupiter and Europa, Vulcan, Cupid, Venus, and
Mars?"--_Bentley's Mag._, XXIV., p. 203.]

[Footnote *59: He died, says the anonymous author of the _Diario_
cited above (note *, p. 80), between the fourth and fifth hour of the
night, that is, between 10.30 and 11.30 p.m., and it was Tuesday. The
news came to Urbino on the 10th, so, according to the Anonimo, he
died on the 9th.]

Since the Duke's departure to Fossombrone, his state had been
administered by the Duchess and Francesco Maria. The former, alive to
the duties committed to her, wrote thus to the priors of Urbino, when
the danger became imminent.

     "Worthy and well-beloved,

     "The illness of the most illustrious Duke our consort
     having so increased that the physicians, though not
     despairing, doubt of his recovery, we have thought fit,
     by these presents, to exhort and charge you that you be
     watchful and diligent in regard to whatever may occur,
     so as to maintain the tranquillity of your citizens; who
     having, in the recent unhappy times, ever maintained their
     faith unshaken towards us and our said consort the Duke, we
     desire that they shall, at the present juncture, persevere
     in the like mind, whereby we may ascertain the worth of
     those really deserving. At the same time, if, as we do
     not believe, any riotous and ill-conducted persons should
     attempt or plot any disorders, we have taken such steps
     and means as must put down and chastise their insolence,
     and leave them a signal example to others. And, as it is
     necessary to provide against such a contingency, we desire
     that you forthwith let this be understood in the most
     fitting manner, it being our intention to maintain the
     peace in this our well-beloved city.

     "From Fossombrone, 1508.


Upon hearing from Ludovico Canossa that the Duke's illness approached
a fatal termination, Julius had, on the 13th, instructed Federigo
Fregoso to repair to Fossombrone with his own physician, Archangelo
of Siena, and, after administering such aid and consolation as the
case might require, to take fit measures for insuring the quiet
succession of Francesco Maria della Rovere in the dukedom, and for
the interim administration of affairs by the Duchess. But, ere they
arrived, mourning had succeeded to suspense, and their sympathies
were demanded for the widowed Duchess, who had passed two days
since her bereavement in utter despair, refusing food and sleep. So
entirely, indeed, were the functions of life suspended, that for some
time it was feared the vital spark had followed its better half, and
it was very long ere her ghastly and spectral form gradually resumed
the aspect of an existence in which all interest was for her gone
by, and which, but for the representations of her friends, she would
have wished to quit.[*60]

[Footnote *60: Capilupi, whom Isabella d'Este had sent to Urbino,
describes in a long letter the mourning and grief he found there.
It is too long to quote. Cf. LUZIO and RENIER, _Mantova e Urbino_
(Torino, 1893), p. 185.]

The body was borne on shoulders to Urbino during the following night,
surrounded by multitudes carrying torches, their numbers swollen, as
they advanced, by influx of the country population through which the
funeral cortège passed. Castiglione, who accompanied it, describes
the night as one of mysterious dread, in which the wailing of the
people ever and anon was broken upon by piercing shrieks echoed
from the mountains, and repeated by the distant howling of alarmed
watch-dogs. The inhabitants of the capital issued forth to meet the
melancholy procession, headed by their clergy, the monastic orders,
and the confraternities. In the great hall of the palace the Duke
lay in state, during two days, upon a magnificent catafalque with
its usual but incongruous decorations of sable velvet, gold damask,
and blazing lights. His dress is minutely described by the anonymous
diarist as consisting of a doublet of black damask over crimson hose,
a black velvet hat over a skull-cap of black taffetas fringed with
gold, and black velvet slippers; to which was added the mantle of the
Garter, in dark Alexandrine velvet, with a hood of crimson velvet,
lined with white silk damask.

[Illustration: _R. Tammé_


_After the picture by Pordenone in the Dresden Gallery_]

But, with that strange blending of opposite feelings which marks
the visits of death to regal halls, the mourners were soon summoned
from this vision of departed greatness to contribute far other
honours to its living representative. One day having been devoted
to lament the general loss, the Lord Prefect, Francesco Maria,
repaired, with the principal authorities, to the cathedral, and,
after solemn mass, published the will, by which his uncle named him
heir and successor to his states and dignities, nominating his widow
to the regency during the nonage of his heir, and leaving her
Castel Durante, with a provision of 14,000 ducats, besides her own
dowry of 18,000. During the afternoon succeeding the proclamation of
Francesco Maria, he visited the Duchess, who was "transfixed with
grief." He was accompanied by a small deputation of citizens, to
offer their duty and condolence, and receive her tearful thanks for
the happy accomplishment of her husband's testamentary intentions,
with entreaties that they would transfer to his successor the loyal
affection they had borne to their late sovereign. About four o'clock
a funeral service was performed in the great hall, from whence,
at eight, the body was conducted by an again mournful host, to
remain for the night in the church of Sta. Chiara. Next day it was
transported, during continual rain, to the Zoccolantine church, in
the groves around which he had been surprised by the first aggression
of Cesare Borgia. In its small nave his remains were entombed
opposite those of his father; and over both there were subsequently
placed two modest monuments in black and white marble, surmounted by
busts of the Dukes. The inscription to Guidobaldo is to this effect:
"To Guidobaldo, son of Federigo, third Duke of Urbino, who, emulating
even in minority his father's fame, maintained his authority with
manly energy and success. In youth he triumphed over adverse fortune.
Vigorous in mind, although enfeebled by disease, he cultivated
letters instead of arms; he protected men of general eminence instead
of mere military adventurers; and he ameliorated the commonwealth by
the arts of peace, until his court became a model to all others. He
died in the year of God MDVIII., of his age XXXVI."

The solemn obsequies befitting sovereign personages, including six
hundred masses, were performed on the 2nd of May in the cathedral,
which was hung and carpeted with black, and illuminated with five
hundred wax-lights. In the nave was an immense cenotaph, decorated
with representations of the most important events of the Duke's
life, his standards and insignia, with suitable legends, and on
the bier, in place of the body, lay his robes of the Garter. The
function was attended by the court, five bishops, the clerical
dignitaries, with deputies from all parts of the duchy, and most of
the Italian states, as well as the principal inhabitants. Before the
elevation of the host, a funeral oration was recited by his former
preceptor Odasio, in which the wonted wordiness of such compositions
is redeemed by a certain fire of eloquence, mellowed by occasional
touches of fine sentiment, rendering it the best part of Bembo's
compilation regarding Guidobaldo. Its excellence, and the vast
concourse of spectators, estimated at ten thousand, contributed to
make this the most notable ceremony of the sort then remembered in
Italy. On the following day, the oaths of allegiance to the new Duke
were taken, and his predecessor was consigned over to history.

       *       *       *       *       *

The character of the last Montefeltrian Duke need scarcely be told
to those who have followed this sketch of his life. Gifted by nature
with talents of a very high order, he cultivated them in early youth
with an application rare indeed in his exalted rank, and a success
which his marvellous memory tended alike to facilitate and to render
permanent. In times singularly productive of military heroes and
men of letters, he emulated the celebrity of both, and, had health
permitted him a prolonged and active career, he might, in the
ever-recurring battle-fields of Italy, have equalled the renown left
by his father and earned by his successor.

When disabled from the profession of arms, he fell back with fresh
zest upon his youthful studies, and drew around him men whose
converse harmonised with these tastes. To say that his learning
was unequalled among the princes of his day is no mean compliment.
His palace became the asylum of letters and arts, over which he
gracefully presided. Aldus Manutius, in dedicating to him editions
of Thucydides and Xenophon, addressed him in Greek, of which he was
so perfect a master as to converse in it with ease. To the latter of
these historians the Duke was very partial, calling him the siren of
Attica. Among his other favourite classics, Castiglione names Lucian,
Demosthenes, and Plutarch; Livy, Tacitus, Quintus Curtius, Pliny,
and the Orations of Cicero. Most of these he knew intimately, and
recited entire passages without reference to the book. But besides
these selected authors, he is said to have made himself acquainted
with almost every branch of human knowledge then explored. Nor were
religious studies omitted. The history, rites, and dogmas of the
Church are mentioned among the topics familiar to his versatile
genius; St. Chrysostom and St. Basil were among his chosen books. To
enumerate all the contemporary authors who shared his patronage might
be irksome, but we shall introduce one letter addressed by him to
Paolo Cortesio.

     "Most reverend and well-beloved Father in Christ:

     "I have received your letter, with your Treatise on
     the dignity of Cardinal, which, being full of noble
     matter gracefully and eloquently handled, has been most
     acceptable, and I have looked over it with much pleasure. I
     therefore offer you my best thanks for it, and for having
     mentioned me in that work; and if I can do anything for
     you, let me know it, that I may have an opportunity of
     showing my gratitude for your merits and your services in
     my behalf. In October next I mean, God willing, to return
     to Rome, and I shall hold myself prompt to forward your
     interests there, or wherever else I may chance to be.
     Urbino, 18th of June, 1506.

     "GUIDO UBALDO, DUKE OF URBINO, and Captain-General
     of the Holy Roman Church."[61]

[Footnote 61: Bibl. Magliab. Class. viii., No. 68, p. 132.]

The great endowments he thus admirably developed were united
with a disposition represented as nearly perfect, at all events
as exempted from the failings most perilous to princes. The bad
passions which opportunity and indulgence have, in all ages,
rendered peculiarly fatal to those whose will is law, were almost
strangers to his breast. Prone to no vicious indulgences, he was
ever kind and considerate, as well as just and clement. He may, in
short, be regarded as that rarest of all characters, an unselfish
despot,--despot as regarded the possession of absolute power, but not
so in its use. The nobility had nothing to dread from his jealousy
or his licentiousness; the citizens were spared oppressive imposts;
the poor looked up to him as a sympathising protector. In short, we
may pronounce him a magnanimous, a most accomplished, and, so far as
erring man is permitted to judge, a blameless prince.

Nor was the impression left upon the public mind by the glories of
Urbino under Guidobaldo of a transient character. Mocenigo, Venetian
envoy at the court of his grand-nephew, thus speaks of him above
sixty years after his death:--"Disabled by broken health from active
pursuits, he fell upon the project of forming a most brilliant court,
filled with eminent men of every profession; and by rendering himself
generally popular, with the co-operation of his Duchess, who emulated
him in welcoming and entertaining persons of talent, he brought
around him a greater number of fine spirits than any sovereign had
hitherto been able to attract, and, indeed, gave to all other princes
in the world the model and example of an admirably regulated court."

[Illustration: _Alinari_


_After the picture by Timoteo Viti in the Duomo of Urbino_]

       *       *       *       *       *

The remaining years of the widowed Duchess were in strict
accordance with a picture sketched of her by Bernardo Tasso, in the

     "She too, whose pensive aspect speaks a heart
     By grievous cares molested and surcharged,
     An anxious lot shall live; Elizabeth,
     Of maiden worth, in whom no blandishment
     Or foolish passion ere with virtue strives;
     Spouse of our first Duke's son, whose span cut short
     By cruel death, his scornful mate bereft
     No after tie shall bind."

The circumstances of her wedded life had not been such as to render
new ties distasteful to a lady of thirty-seven, described by Bembo as
still elegant in figure and dress, beautifully regular in features,
and with eyes and countenance of singularly winning expression. The
compliment paid to her character, in that author's sketch of the
Urbino sovereigns, bears upon it a stamp of truthful earnestness
rarely found in his rhetorical periods.[62]

[Footnote 62: "Itaque multas sæpè feminas vidi, audivi etiàm esse
plures, quæ certarum omninò virtutum, optimarum quidem illarum atque
clarissimarum, sed tamèn perpaucarum splendore illustrarentur: in
quâ verò omnes collectæ conjunctæque virtutes conspicerentur, hæc
una extitit, cujus omninò parem atque similem aut etiam inferiorem
paulò, non modò non vidi ullam, sed ea ubi esset etiàm ne audivi
quidem."--Bembo de Guidobaldo.]

An anonymous and now lost complimentary poem, written about 1512,
and formerly in the library of S. Salvadore at Bologna, celebrated
Elisabetta's charitable aid in the establishment of a _monte di
pietà_,[63] at Fabriano, and alluded to her prudent government of
the state in the Duke's absence. The terms of affection with which
she regarded her husband's adopted heir underwent no change after
her bereavement; and his marriage to her niece Leonora Gonzaga
strengthened the tie. We shall find her making great personal
exertions to modify the measures of Leo X. against Francesco Maria;
and she shared his confiscation and exile, which she could not
avert. She lived, however, to return with him to the house she had
twice been compelled to relinquish, and saw his dynasty securely
established in the state which had owned her as its mistress.

[Footnote 63: The Italian name for those public establishments,
at which small sums are lent on pledges under government
superintendence. The Duchess is said to have introduced them
at Urbino, and to have founded there an academy, which rose to
considerable celebrity among similar weeds of literature that long
flourished and still vegetate in Italy.]

Her trials were closed on the 28th of January, 1526, by an easy
death. She left the residue of her property to Duchess Leonora, after
payment of numerous pious bequests to various churches, with liberal
legacies to her household; and she was interred by the side of her
beloved husband in the church of S. Bernardino.




     The revival of letters in Italy--Influence of the
     princes--Classical tastes tending to pedantry and
     paganism--Greek philosophy and its effects--Influence of
     the Dukes of Urbino.

When writing upon Italy of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries,
a prominent place must be allotted to letters and arts. At Urbino
in particular, their progress was then great, their influence
proverbial; and our next eight chapters will contain notices of them
which would have interrupted the continuity of our previous narrative.

The reigns of Dukes Federigo and Guidobaldo I. extended over a
period which general consent has regarded as the most brilliant in
Italian history, and which we have repeatedly named its golden age.
High expectations are naturally entertained of literature, arts,
and general refinement in a cycle of such pretension. We look for
a rapid advance of thought in paths of learning and science whence
during long centuries it had been excluded. We anticipate a widely
disseminated zeal for classic writers, an eager rivalry to outstrip
them in branches of speculative knowledge, which they especially
cultivated. We imagine the imitative arts revived under the influence
of new and more exquisite standards. And we reckon upon the diffusion
of a taste and capacity for enjoying those things among classes
hitherto excluded from such intellectual enjoyments. In each of these
expectations the student of literary history will be gratified; yet
there are several sorts of composition which, if separately examined,
offer disappointing results, and scarcely a single work written
during the fifteenth century has maintained universal popularity. The
explanation is easy. This age was one of unprecedented intellectual
activity, when men's minds were devoted to the acquisition of
knowledge which they had laboriously to hunt out, and doubtingly to
decipher. They had to cut for themselves tracks through an unexplored
region, without grammars or commentaries to serve them as guides and
landmarks. The toilsome habits thus formed were forthwith exercised
for the benefit of subsequent investigators, and were applied to
smoothing the path which they had themselves penetrated. Thus
was it that the first successful scholars became grammarians and
commentators. Surrounded by ample stores of intelligence, they had
no occasion to cultivate new germs of thought. Their first object
was to secure and render accessible the treasures which antiquity
had unfolded to them; their next, to elaborate them in varied forms,
to reproduce them in the manner most congenial to their intellectual
wants. Thus they became more industrious than original, laborious
rather than creative. Again, those who, on entering the garden of
knowledge, thought of its fruits rather than of its approaches,
instead of seeking the reward of their toils among the fair mazes of
poetry and belles lettres, aimed at more arduous rewards, and climbed
the loftiest and most slippery branches in search of golden apples.
The harvest of scholastic philosophy which they thus gathered in
may seem scarcely worthy of the fatigues given to its acquisition;
but from the seeds so obtained, cultivated and matured as they have
been by many after labourers, a copious and healthful store of
intellectual food has been secured for subsequent generations. The
work performed by these pioneers of learning and truth was, however,
more calculated to crush than to inspire that more elastic fancy
which preferred the flowery mead to the tree of knowledge. The spirit
of the age was ponderous and prosaic, and the few who attempted to
rise above its denser atmosphere into poetic regions were clogged by
the trammels of a dead language, and by obsolete associations which
they dared not shake off. The fifteenth century was consequently rich
in scholars, copious in pedants, but poor in genius, and barren of
strong thinkers.

These circumstances necessarily detract from the popular interest of
Italian literary history at this important period, all influential
to its after destinies, and we mention them in the conviction that
general readers must feel disappointed with this portion of our
work. The vast mass of materials then created now reposes in the
principal storehouses of learning, much of it unpublished, and but
a small part rendered accessible in recent editions. As it would
be an unprofitable task to labour upon these materials for merely
critical purposes, we have for the most part satisfied ourselves with
an examination of the authors immediately connected with Urbino; nor
shall we be tempted much beyond that narrow limit, by the facility
of borrowing from those copious and intelligent writers who have
successfully investigated the intellectual progress of Italy.

The revival of civilisation, and its handmaid arts, is a problem
so inexplicable on the ordinary principles which regulate human
progress,[64]--its causes were so complex, and many of them so
remote, and singly so little striking,--that it were, perhaps,
vain to hope for a satisfactory explanation of the phenomenon. It
may be, that the ever revolving cycle of human affairs had brought
round a period predestined to intellectual development, or that mind,
awakening from the slumber of centuries, possessed the energies of
renewed youth. But in a season of universal and sudden progress it is
difficult to distinguish between cause and effect,--to decide whether
mind aroused liberty, or if freedom was the nurse of intelligence.

[Footnote *64: The secret is not far to seek, but it was inexplicably
hidden from men in Dennistoun's day. The continuity of life and
of art the most sensitive expression of life, is understood and
acknowledged by too few among us; but that there is an historical
continuity in art as in life would be easy to prove, since no part
can be adequately grasped or explained save in relation to the whole.
Of course, as Renan admitted, history has its sad days, but all
are, as it were, a part of the year which would be incomplete and
inexplicable without them. Thus there is no gulf fixed between the
art of Greece and the art of the Middle Age or the Renaissance; each
is an inevitable part of the whole, and the later was what it was
because of the old. Burckhardt, one of the greatest students of our
time, seems to have understood this also with his usual happiness.
M. Auguste Gerard tells us in his notice of the life of its author,
which serves as a Preface to the French edition of _Le Cicerone_,
that "Burckhardt en vrai disciple de la Renaissance considérait
l'Italie comme un tout continu; et dans l'histoire de l'art de même
que dans l'énumération des oeuvres, il ne séparait pas l'Italie
antique de l'Italie moderne. La section du _Cicerone_ qui était
dédiée à l'architecture commençait aux temples de Paestum pour
finir aux villas Napolitaines et Génoises des XVIIe et XVIIIe
siècles." In that idea lies the future of all criticism.]

The feeble hold which the popes retained over their temporal
power during their residence at Avignon, and during the great
schism, promoted the independence of the ecclesiastical cities,
many of which then passed under the dominion of domestic tyrants,
or assumed the privileges of self-government. In either case the
result was favourable to an expansion of the human mind. The sway
of the seigneurs, being based on no such aristocratic machinery
as supported the fabric of feudalism, threw fewer obstructions in
the way of individual merit. The popular communities could only
exist by a diffusion of political and legislative capacity, and
the commercial enterprises to which they in general devoted their
energies increased at once the demand for public spirit and its
production. Even those intestine revolutions to which democracies
were especially subject contributed largely to the same end; for,
although in such convulsions the dregs of the populace often rise to
the surface, talent, when backed by energy and daring, there finds
extraordinary opportunities for display. Indeed, the multiplication
of commonwealths, under whatever form of government, tended, in
a country situated as the Italian Peninsula then was, to the
development of intellect. Defended by the Alps and the sea from
invasion, their physical and intellectual advantages constituted
an influence which supplied the want of union and nationality. They
thus could safely pursue their individual aims, and even indulge
in rivalry and contests which, though perilous to a less favoured
people, were for them incentives to a praiseworthy and patriotic
exertion. Whilst the separate existence of these petty states was
calculated to promote both political science and mental culture, it
rendered the one subservient to the advantage of the other, and, in
the multitude of official and diplomatic employments, literary men
found at once useful occupation and honourable independence. Nor was
this result limited to one form of government. If the tempest-tossed
democracy of Florence shone the brightest star in the Italian galaxy,
the stern oligarchy of Venice shed an almost equal lustre in some
branches of letters and art; and, on the other hand, the not less
popular institutions of Pisa, Siena, and Lucca emitted but feeble
and irregular coruscations. So also in the despotic states, whilst
literature was ever cherished under the ducal dynasty of Urbino, and
whilst it was favoured at intervals by the Sforza and Malatesta,
the d'Este and Gonzaga, and by the Aragonese sovereigns of Naples,
its genial influence was unknown in some other petty courts. Again,
if we turn to the papal throne, we shall find the accomplished
Nicolas, Pius, Sixtus, Julius, and Leo, sitting alternately with the
Boeotian Calixtus, Paul, Innocent, and Alexander. From an impartial
review of Italian mediæval history it appears that democratic
institutions were by no means indispensable to the expansion of
genius, since the progress of letters and arts was upon the whole
nearly equal in the republics and the seigneuries, under the tyranny
of a condottiere or the domination of a faction.[*65]

[Footnote *65: Far from being indispensable, the democratic
institutions had very little to do with the progress of the arts
which were fostered by individuals, whether in a tyranny such as
Urbino or in a so-called republic such as Florence.]

But, before entering upon the proper subject of this chapter, it may
be well briefly to consider the influence which the petty princes
of Italy exercised upon the revival and cultivation of letters and
arts. The dominion of these chiefs, though hereditary in name, was in
general maintained, as it had been gained, by the sword. To them, as
to the savage, arms were an instinctive pursuit, warfare a primary
occupation. For their frequent intervals of truce (and in no other
sense was peace known to them), their circumscribed sovereignty
gave little occupation. Domestic polity was still an undeveloped
science, and their leisure fell to be spent upon intellectual
objects, or in grovelling debaucheries. The number who preferred
the nobler alternative is very remarkable, when compared with the
like class in other parts of Europe. During the fourteenth and
fifteenth centuries literature was cultivated and art was encouraged
by a large proportion of the sovereigns and feudatories of Italy,
when the bravest condottieri were often their most liberal patrons.
Such were the impetuous Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, the gallant
Francesco Sforza, the treacherous Ludovico il Moro; whilst the
Gonzaga of Mantua, and the d'Este of Ferrara, but most especially
the ducal houses of Urbino, extended, during successive generations,
an enlightened and almost regal protection to genius of every
shade. Nothing akin to this is to be found in the republics. Siena,
Pisa, and Lucca produced many great artists, but literature found
in them neither a cradle nor an asylum. The commercial communities
of Venice and Genoa belonged to an entirely different category of
circumstances; and Florence, though an exception to our remark, owed
its pre-eminence not less perhaps to the patronage of the Medici than
to an unparalleled prevalence of talent and public spirit among its

In times when the popular will, if not the source of power, was
its best support, it became the interest of the dominant prince
or party so to use authority as to please and flatter the masses;
to cloak their own usurpations by throwing a lustre around their
administration, and to preserve the confidence of their subjects by
institutions calculated to promote the national glory. In this way
individual talent might be stimulated, and public civilisation might
advance, even whilst freedom was on the decline; and, as the means
commanded by the seigneurs were ample, they could patronise genius,
and surround their courts with literary retainers, who in democratic
communities were left to their own resources. Thus the Sforza and the
d'Este, even the savage Malatesta of Rimini, befriended genius, which
found no haven in the republics of Genoa and Lucca, and, the fashion
having once been established among their princely houses, letters
were cultivated by not a few of these soldiers of fortune, but more
especially by the ladies of their families.

These unquestionable facts are met by an allegation that the
fountains of princely patronage were so tainted, their streams so
generally corrupt, as to blight the fruits which they seemed to
foster, and that their influence thus from a blessing became a curse.
Let us examine a little the grounds for this assertion, for surely it
is not by such sweeping and prejudiced denunciations that we shall
arrive at truth. As to the ornamental arts, there cannot be a doubt
that these received, throughout Italy, from governments of every
form, as well as from numberless corporations and individuals, a
hearty encouragement which might well shame our degenerate age. Yet
the ducal palace at Urbino, the Palazzo del T at Mantua, the tombs
of the Scaligers, and the medallions of Malatesta, yield the palm to
no republican works of the same class. It was by Cosimo and Lorenzo
de' Medici, and by Duke Federigo di Montefeltro, that the undeveloped
energies of new-born science, and the long neglected classics of
Greece and Rome were nursed and tended through their years of
infancy, which storms of faction, in most of the free states,
condemned to neglect. The enlightened liberality of these princes,
and of Malatesta Novello, founded libraries for the preservation of
works composed under their own beneficent encouragement, as well
as of manuscripts collected by them from all quarters at immense
cost, and this when no republic but Venice aspired to such literary
distinctions. Nor were the troubled waters of democratic strife
safe for the poet's gay bark and light canvas. Even Dante, though
made of sternest stuff, sought shelter in a courtly harbour from
the hurricanes of Florentine faction. It is true that, in many
compositions of minstrels trained in princely halls, the themes
are ephemeral and the epithets overstrained, savouring, to a purer
taste and more severe idiom, of unworthy subserviency; nor is the
other polite literature, emanating from the same atmosphere, exempt
from similar blemishes. But allowance must be made for the seducing
fecundity of the language in superlatives, more redolent of dulcet
sounds than of definite signification, a quality which has ever
tempted Italian mediocrity to assume the borrowed plumes of poesy,
and to conceal its native barrenness under magniloquent but flimsy
common-places. The well earned gratitude of authors is fittingly paid
in compliments, eulogies, or dedications, and as such coin is at the
unlimited command of the debtor, and useful only to the receiver, its
over-issue is fairly excusable. This results from principles inherent
in human nature, and it matters little whether the obligations have
been incurred from sovereigns or from subjects, under an autocrat or
a democracy. Even among ourselves, in times when talent had more to
hope from private patronage than from extended popularity, a similar
currency was scarcely less in vogue, and it was only the poverty of
our idiom that kept its circulation within bounds. Hence, were the
independence of the best English writers of a century or two ago to
be estimated from their dedicatory addresses, or their occasional
odes, a condemnation as unreasonable as sweeping would go forth
against names long inscribed in our temple of fame. This argument
might easily be extended; but enough has been said to show that
more was done for the support of letters under princely than under
popular institutions, and that the adulatory epithets natural to the
language, and inherent in the usages of Italy, are no certain index
of base subserviency.

But, on the other hand, independent sovereignty, irrespective of
political forms, was of primary importance to the encouragement
of mental cultivation. The separation of Italy into a multitude
of petty states converted almost every town into a capital, which
its rulers and its citizens took equal pride in decorating. The
patriotism thus generated was intense in proportion to the narrow
field on which it was exercised, and an expenditure, restrained by
severe sumptuary restrictions, found scope on monuments honourable
to the public. Thus there ensued, between hostile communities and
emulous factions, a rivalry in arts as in arms, whereby public
institutions prospered, and individual genius was encouraged. Fanes,
whose glories seem to defy the waste of time, were thus raised for
the devotional requirements of the people; palaces grew up the
bulwark of their liberties; citadels were fortified to rivet their
chains; and even when the ultimate results were fatal to freedom,
the talent and activity thus stimulated were sure to eventuate in
industrial progress, as well as in the restoration of letters and the
improvement of art.

       *       *       *       *       *

The human mind, when aroused from its long and leaden slumbers, at
first instinctively leaned for support upon such vestiges of ancient
learning as had survived the wreck of ages. To excavate and examine
these was the laborious task assumed by early students, in which
Petrarch and Boccaccio sedulously joined. But, justly appreciating
them as materials on which to found a new fabric, rather than as
the substitutes for original thought, "the all-Etruscan three"
happily combined enthusiasm for classic models with the power to
rival them in a language simultaneously matured by themselves for
the daring undertaking. The fifteenth century arrived; it was an
epoch of reaction; one of other tendencies and tastes, when genius,
as Ginguené has happily observed, was superseded by erudition.
Entering the path which Petrarch had partially explored, its
pioneers neglected the better portion of his example. They spent
their energies in rummaging obscure recesses of monastic libraries,
and wasted time and learning in transcribing, collating, and
annotating the various manuscripts which thus fell within their
grasp. In exhuming and renovating these monuments of a long-buried
literature, they were forgetful of the fact that their dealings were
with dead corpses; and whilst submitting the recovered fragments to
philological analysis, they perversely sought to embody their own
souls in these decayed members. As such materials were incapable
of being reanimated, or even remodelled into more apt forms,
this unnatural union was seldom effected without violence to the
sentiment. Even the ablest writers devoted themselves to the arid
task of scholia and translations, composing in the dead tongues
such original works as they attempted. The result was a monstrous
metempsychosis, whereby thought, enchained in uncongenial bodies,
lost its due influence, and appeared in, at best, an unseemly
masquerade. Hence the language of the century was Latin, its manner
pedantic, its spirit coldly artificial.

But whilst the historian of that age laments the shackles thus
imposed upon its literature, it were unjust to withhold from it
the merit of preserving those treasures of ancient history and
philosophy, eloquence and poetry, which, under happier auspices and
more judicious treatment, have elevated thought, enlarged intellect,
and enriched the style of later times. Although unable to refine
the true metal from its dross, the pedants of "fourteen hundred"
were miners who discovered the precious ore, and ascertained its
component ingredients. The fashionable ardour for collecting early
MSS. of ancient authors was very generally accompanied with untiring
perseverance in mastering their intricacies. Philology and grammar
thus grew into sciences, and their professors held the keys of human
erudition. Deep ought to be our gratitude for the contingent of
classical literature rescued from a rapid destruction by such arduous
and self-denying labours; and a history of these discoveries, and
of the zeal and enterprise volunteered by the early commentators
and publishers of the ancient authors, would form an interesting
monument of undaunted and generally successful diligence. Yet,
in a comprehensive view of the results springing from these new
tendencies, it is impossible to blind ourselves to the evils that
emanated from them. From the nerve, grandeur, and elegance of Greek
and Roman writers, there was much to learn with advantage; but their
influence was directly antagonist to the highest sentiments of a
Christian, and, in the main, a devotional people. When tried by such
a test, their philosophy was hollow, their heroism selfish, their
refinement corrupted. Nor was it only by reproducing the themes and
the philosophy of distant ages that classicism clogged the elasticity
of reviving literature. By inculcating extinct languages as the
only means fitted for expressing their ideas, Italian literati
checked the progress of their vernacular tongue,--that best bulwark
of nationality,--and at the same time impeded the free expansion
of thought, which, thus conducted into artificial channels, could
but stagnate or freeze. The mind, habituated to find in literature
a restraint, came to regard natural feeling as a solecism, living
images as incongruous anomalies, warmth of sentiment as a blemish
sedulously to be avoided. Under such false training, knowledge
received the impress of a languid conventionality; and even those who
condescended to write in Italian, chilled their compositions with
the pedantry of antique idioms. The classic style thus introduced
had many inherent defects. Borrowed plumage is seldom becoming, and
servile imitations are always bad. Besides, the ancient type had been
originally modelled by a people, and in an age, little sympathetic
with those for whom it was now reproduced, and whose sentiments were
cramped equally by the conventionalisms of an obsolete manner, or
by the adoption of a dead tongue. Hence is it that the fifteenth
century, so signalised by the diffusion of knowledge, and the advance
of the fine arts, has bequeathed to us fewer eminent writers than
those which immediately preceded and followed it, and that during its
course Italian literature was unquestionably retrograde.

This is especially true of poetry, in an age of erudition when
learning was essentially prosaic. The collation of manuscripts,
the construction of grammars, the mastering of idioms, the revived
subtleties of Greek dialectics, were ponderous studies with which the
taste for literature of a lighter and more elastic tendency could ill
assimilate. The chords whence Dante had evoked majestic notes, that
seemed to swell from higher spheres, lay silent and unstrung; the
lyre of Petrarch was left in feebler hands.

Nor was this the only evil resulting from an excess of the classical
mania. Languages in which Christianity had not been naturalised
were ill adapted for the expression of revealed truth; and the new
scholarship, discarding the barbarisms of monastic Latin, imported
into theological as well as profane compositions, the phrases of
a pagan age. To find the personages of the Trinity, or even the
hagiology of Rome, familiarly discussed under mythological names, is
to us merely absurd and revolting;[*66] but when men, already imbued
with classical predilections, were accustomed to mix up in words the
objects of their worship with the demigods of their admiration, the
natural consequence was a confusion of ideas nowise favourable to the
maintenance of their faith or the purity of their morals.

[Footnote *66: Neither absurd nor revolting, I think, since, a little
fantastically certainly, but very truly none the less, it expresses
that continuity of the religious sense in Europe which is perhaps the
one eternal thing to be found in it. If the saints are not in a very
real sense the gods in exile, they are excellent imitations of them.]

A not less prejudicial element emanated from the revived philosophies
of Greece, which now arrested attention and divided the speculations
of learned men. That derived from Aristotle, and known to Europe
through the sages of Arabia, had long occupied the cloisters, where
alone mind was then exercised, or its operations studied. The rival
system of Plato came directly from its native soil; and was first
publicly taught in Italy early in the fifteenth century, by Gemistus
Plato,[*67] of Constantinople. It attracted the notice of Cosimo
PATER PATRIÆ, who after having Marsilio Ficino, son of his
physician, grounded in its mysteries by Greeks of learning, placed
him at the head of an academy in Florence, instituted by himself
for the dissemination of its doctrines. From thence these radiated,
absorbing the attention of literary men, and enlisting many converts
from the Stagirite faith. Aristotle and Plato became the watchwords
of contending sects,[*68] and the usual jarring results of such
logomachy were not long wanting. The merits of a question, at first
exaggerated by its respective zealots, were lost sight of in the
torrent of abuse which gradually superseded argument, and inflamed
every evil passion. Far overleaping the legitimate limits or literary
warfare, disputant logicians advanced from replies to libels, from
words to blows, and, after exhausting the armoury of invective,
had recourse to the dagger. But on a subject so painful we are not
called to enter. Backed by the authority of Nicholas V., the zeal
of Cardinal Bessarion, and the example of the Medici, the sublime
and imaginative speculations of Platonism for a time prevailed over
the more material system of the Stagirite, and Florence became their
head-quarters. The human mind, unaided by revelation, has never
invented any system so abstractly beautiful, so pure in its morals,
so elevating in its conceptions, so harmonious in its conclusions.
Its lofty ethics rank next to the doctrines of inspiration, for it
taught that happiness is the natural result of virtue, and that
the mischiefs entailed by the passions are ill repaid by their
transient pleasures. Yet, though thus intrinsically calculated to
ennoble and refine the heart of fallen man, the Platonic theories
indirectly led to lamentable results, both to the religion and the
morality of the age. The divine revelation was by them virtually
superseded, and paganism, from an affectation, became a conviction,
or, at the least, a prevailing fashion, warping the manners and
phrases, the faith and spirit of the age. Men lived for the present
world by the light of human reason, until they forgot or denied a
future existence, and a holier wisdom. The first blow struck at this
practical heathenism came from Paul II., a Venetian, who was behind
the age in its knowledge, as well as in its extravagances, and who
relentlessly persecuted what he had not the capacity to redargue.
Mind was, however, no longer to be silenced by papal bulls, or
trammelled by penal fetters: it regarded the use of such weapons as
proof that the spiritual armoury contained none more serviceable, and
learned to demur to an ecclesiastical despotism it already loathed.
Succeeding pontiffs disavowed the policy of Paul: but the old respect
for the papacy was shaken; doubts arrayed themselves against dogmas,
cavilling superseded blind faith, until the dissolute example set
by the courts of Innocent, Alexander, and Leo, converted scepticism
into infidelity, apathy into open aggression. It is impossible to
contemplate the great talents, the unwearied application, absorbed by
these rival systems of philosophy, without a sigh that they should
have been wasted on inquiries so purely speculative; yet, it cannot
be denied that the controversy prepared weapons that have since
done good service in many a better cause; that it developed mental
energies, and matured intellectual discipline, from which the world
continues largely to benefit.

[Footnote *67: Not Plato, but Plethon. He refused the name of Plato
with which he was hailed by Cosimo de' Medici. Cf. Ficino in preface
to his _Plotini Epitome_ (Firenze, 1492). "Magnus Cosimus, quo
tempore concilium inter Graecos et Latinos, sub Eugenio pontefice
Florentinæ tractabatur, philosophum Graecum, nomine Gemistum
cognomine Plethonem, quasi Platonem alterum de mysteriis Platonicis
disputantem frequenter audivit; e cujus ore ferventi sic afflatus
est protinus, sic animatus, ut inde Academiam quandam alta mente
conceperit, hanc opportuno primum tempore pariturus." Marsilio Ficino
had a poor understanding of Plato.]

[Footnote *68: Cf. GEORGIOS TRAPEZUNTIOS, _Comparatio
Platonis et Aristotelis_.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Although the revival of letters had been advancing during several
generations ere the chiefs of Montefeltro sought other laurels than
those of the battle-field, it was reserved for these princes to
contribute no mean aids towards their full development in that golden
harvest which the fifteenth century saw gathered in. Indeed, the
concurrent testimony of all writers has claimed for the sovereigns of
Urbino a foremost place among the friends of literature. In the words
of the general motto of this work, which well condense the prevailing
opinion, "it is notorious beyond question even of the malignant, that
the house of Montefeltro and della Rovere has for a long time past
been that which [most] shed a lustre upon Italy by letters, arms, and
every sort of rare worth, and that the court of Urbino may be termed
a Pegasean spring, in the language of historic truth rather than of
poetic hyperbole." It was to the successive reigns of Dukes Federigo
and Guidobaldo I. that such expressions were generally applied, and
to them our attention will now be directed; but in a future portion
of this work we shall endeavour to maintain for their della Rovere
successors a similar reputation.

Were we to estimate the celebrities of Urbino by the encomiums of
their partial countrymen, and measure their claims upon mundane
immortality by the standard set up by Baldi Lazzari, Grossi,
Cimarelli, and Olivieri, it would become our indispensable duty
to add at least a volume to the present work. But these authors
were deeply imbued with that peculiarly Italian patriotism which,
narrowing its sympathies within the limits of a township or a petty
state, enshrined provincial mediocrity in a temple of fame modelled
upon a scale of national splendour. Believing that the dignity of
their little fatherland depended upon the notices of its existence
which they could worm out of antique memorials, however doubtful in
authority, and upon the number of notable names they could connect
with its localities, they tasked themselves to this investigation
with industry worthy of a nobler and more useful object. Many folio
volumes, ponderous in their contents as in their material, were
the result; but they preserve only laborious trifling, a harvest
of wordy conclusions gleaned from a soil barren of tangible facts,
dissertations which may be summed up in the axiom _ex nihilo
nihil fit_, "nothing comes of nought." Like those of the northern
senachies, their themes were often legendary or invented, and it
would have been scarcely a loss to literature had these productions
been equally fugitive. Should the worthies mentioned in the following
chapters seem scarcely to maintain the literary renown of Urbino, our
readers ought in justice to remember that scarcely a tithe has found
place in our pages of those whom zealous eulogists have placed upon
the roll of Italian literati, but

                     "Whose obscurer name
     No proud historian's page will chronicle."


     Count Guidantonio a patron of learned men--Duke
     Federigo--The _Assorditi_ Academy--Dedications to
     him--Prose writers of Urbino--Gentile Becci, Bishop of
     Arezzo--Francesco Venturini--Berni of Gubbio--Polydoro di
     Vergilio--Vespasiano Filippi--Castiglione--Bembo--Learned

The reputation long enjoyed by the house of Montefeltro as patrons of
letters and arts can scarcely be traced further back than Federigo,
second Duke of Urbino. Yet the few memorials that remain of his
father, Count Guidantonio, throw some scattered lights upon congenial
tastes, and from these we select three letters to the magistracy of
Siena, which are preserved in the Archivio Diplomatico of that city.
The first of them is written in Latin, the others in Italian.

     "To the mighty and potent Lords the well beloved Fathers,
     the Lords Priors, Governors, and Captain of the people of
     the city of Siena.

     "Mighty and potent Lords, my especial Fathers,

     "After the expression of my sincere affection: I
     understand that your Magnificences are about to agree
     upon a commendable work, that of endeavouring to amend
     the course of legal and other educational studies in your
     city: what is really laudable needs no verbose exposition,
     the fact being of itself clear and manifest. I have here
     my compeer the excellent Doctor Benedetto di Bresis of
     Perugia, a man of great integrity, who, without gainsaying
     any one, sets forth the law in that city more amply than
     any of the other judges who expound it there, and whom
     his sacred Majesty lately invited to undertake the office
     of captain of Aquila, on the recommendation of his own
     merits, a charge which he has hitherto declined only from
     an unwillingness to interrupt those studies to which he
     is primarily devoted. I, however, hesitate not to propose
     him as well qualified for your Magnificences, induced by a
     twofold motive; first, that he may be able to continue his
     studies; secondly, that he may escape from the contagion
     of a home now struck by the pestilence; thirdly, that
     through me you may have the honour of securing for your
     course of study so able a doctor. I therefore heartily
     entreat your Magnificences, and again pray and beseech
     you, to appoint him to your lectureship of civil law with
     an adequate salary, as a singular pleasure to myself, and
     as a compliment to him, whose ample qualifications must
     be satisfactory to the free wishes of your community and
     the judges. And should he now or in future fall short of
     these recommendations, which I cannot suppose (for I am not
     so stupid), I shall consider your Magnificences to have
     received at my hands a disgrace and injury, entitling you
     in reason and justice to complain of me, after having so
     received him into your service; and I shall always continue
     beyond measure obnoxious to you and your city. Ever ready
     to do you all service; from Urbino, 1st of August, 1412.


     "Mighty and potent Lords, dearest Fathers:

     "The worthy and skilful Messer Piero di Pergolotti of
     Verona is repairing to your magnificent Lordships, who
     for a good while has been at Pesaro, where he practised
     surgery, conducting himself with propriety and diligence,
     so that the lords of that place and myself feel much
     obliged to him, and consider ourselves bound to promote
     his knowledge by providing him with the means of study.
     He earnestly desires to enter into your establishment
     of the Sapienza, where he hopes to do credit to this
     recommendation, as well as to advance his own honour and
     advantage. And knowing how much I am devoted to your
     Magnificences, he has had recourse to me, hoping through
     me to effect his wish. I, therefore, in consideration of
     his capacity, science, and worth, pray that on my account
     you will consider him fully recommended, and will grant him
     admission into the Sapienza, whereby your Magnificences
     will greatly gratify me, to whom I ever commend myself.
     From Durante, the 2nd of May, 1440.


     "Mighty and potent Lords, most honoured Fathers,

     "There is in your Sapienza one Messer Zucha da Cagli, my
     intimate friend, who, as I am informed, is very able in
     civil rights, and who, for his advancement in reputation
     and skill, wishes to have a lectureship, either the one
     read after the first doctors come forth in the morning, or
     that in the afternoon an hour before the ordinary doctors
     enter. I hereby pray your magnificent Lordships, that the
     said Messer Zucha be at my sight recommended to you, and
     whatever honour or benefit your Lordships grant him I shall
     consider as bestowed on myself, and shall remain constantly
     grateful. From Cagli, the 24th of December, 1441.


Among the traits of literary taste displayed by Duke Federigo, we
learn from his biographer Muzio, that it was his custom to repair
weekly to the Franciscan convent, and to encourage among its learned
society debates and discussions on subjects analogous to their
studies. Upon this somewhat loose foundation, he has been claimed
as founder of the _Assorditi_, and it has been ranked among the
earliest academies in Italy. We need not pause to investigate
their respective titles to honours so questionable, now that such
associations are generally recognised as prolific of two enormous
literary nuisances, pedantry and puerility. From their antipathic
contact genius long has fled, leaving the field open to triumphant
mediocrity. Pretending to no original efforts, it was their narrow
aim to imitate standard productions, or to ring the changes upon them
in prosing and pointless commentaries. To indite two tomes of scholia
on a sonnet of Petrarch was the dreary task that qualified for
admission into the Florentine Academy; to string Platonic nothings
into rhyme was the high ambition which numbered votaries by hundreds.
The _Assorditi_ were no exception from the usual category of
mediocrity; and whether they were first associated under Federigo's
protection, or, as Tiraboschi alleges, sprang into existence under
Guidobaldo II., is of little moment to the literary history of Urbino.

In times when letters flourished chiefly at courts, patronage was
the grand end of authorship, every work being inscribed to at least
one high personage. The character and position of Federigo subjected
him to a large share of such incense; but among the many dedications
laid at his feet none perhaps was more fulsome, and at the same time
more ingenious, than that prefixed by Marsilio Ficino to his Latin
version of Plato's _Essay on Monarchy_. It narrates that Jupiter,
willing to found on earth a model sovereignty, resolved to send down
the beau-ideal of a ruler for its guidance. He, therefore, summoned
the gods in full convocation, and presented to them his new creation,
under the title _Fideregum Orbinatem Ducem_, which may be literally
interpreted "Royal faith, ruler of the world," but which was
corrupted by human idiom into _Federigo Urbinate Duce_. Pallas and
Mercury thereupon, in presence of Truth, endowed the new prince with
crown and sceptre; and the Academy, as a humble handmaid of these
deities, inscribed to him Plato's work upon mundane sovereignty.
Although we have had occasion to notice in our tenth chapter this
Duke's taste for the graver studies of theology, philosophy, history,
and Grecian literature, and to commemorate the fruit it produced in a
variety of other dedications, yet few who distinguished themselves in
these pursuits are sufficiently identified with Urbino to authorise
our dwelling at any length upon their names. Guarino of Verona,
Poggio Bracciolini, Donato Acciaiolo, Poliziano, and others of mark,
may therefore be omitted; and we shall thus have very few prose
authors to bring before our readers.

       *       *       *       *       *

GENTILE DE' BECCI was probably a native of Urbino, but the
interest attaching to his name is owing rather to the distinction
attained by his pupils than to his own. He was selected by Pietro
de' Medici to train up his son Lorenzo the Magnificent; and to have
educated such a mind is an unexceptionable title to fame. Yet the
Christian philanthropist who sighs over the dross which mingled
with its ore, the impure uses to which its bright metal was in some
respects misdirected, by a master who might have moulded it to
holier purposes, and might have enriched by its talents the treasury
of truth and the triumphs of religion, may well hesitate ere he
grants to the preceptor of Lorenzo a reflected share of his glory,
without also holding him responsible for that pagan epicureanism
which spread like a pestilence from the Medicean court throughout
Italy. Nor do the notices remaining of Becci tend to nullify such
an inference. The favour of his patrons naturally obtaining for him
rapid promotion, he was raised to the see of Arezzo in 1473. But
his life was that of a statesman rather than that of a good pastor.
We read of his tact as a diplomatist, his skill in public affairs,
his dexterous civil administration of his diocese, by directing
towards commercial industry energies which had wasted themselves on
faction; we are assured that his popularity was confirmed by his
encouragement of liberal arts, by his mild and courteous character;
we are told that in political science his pen was ably employed. But
regarding his theological attainments, the purity of his morals, the
zeal of his clerical ministrations, his eulogists are silent. We may
add that to him Guicciardini in some degree imputes the miscarriage
of the proposed league of Italy against the French invasion in
1492, in consequence of his personal ambition, when sent to conduct
the negotiations at Rome on the part of the Medici, whilst his
thoughtless extravagance there wasted resources of the Florentines
which might have been better spent on military preparations.

       *       *       *       *       *

Of LUDOVICO ODASIO it is unnecessary to add anything to what
we have already had occasion to say.[69] FRANCESCO VENTURINI
of Urbino is reputed the first after the revival who wrote a complete
Latin grammar. It was dedicated to Count Ottaviano Ubaldini, and
was printed at Florence in 1482, and again in his native town by
Henry of Cologne, in 1493-4.[70] Among his pupils he is said to have
numbered both Raffaele and Michael Angelo.[*71] Besides BERNI
DA GUBBIO, whose Diary has been edited in the Scriptores of
Muratori, there were several annotators of events in their native
duchy, whose prose writings remain in the Vatican Library, and have
supplied us with useful information; but they were not historians,
and it is unnecessary to bring them forth from their obscurity. Of
one name, however, we may make an exception.

[Footnote 69: See vol. I., p. 297. His oration on the death of
Federigo is No. 1233 of the Vat. Urb. MSS.]

[Footnote 70: Maestro Arrigo, of Cologne, _alias_ Heinrich v. Coln,
had then a press at Urbino. The typographic art had been introduced
there about 1481, and at Cagli five years earlier by Roberto da Fano
and Bernardino da Bergamo.]

[Footnote *71: Francesco da Urbino, who was certainly Michelangelo's
schoolmaster, does not seem to be the same as his friend Francesco
Urbino, so touchingly spoken of in the following letter from
Michelangelo to Vasari:--

     "Messer Giorgio, Dear Friend,--Although I write but badly,
     yet will I say a few words in reply to yours. You know that
     Urbino is dead, for which I owe the greatest thanks to God;
     at the same time my loss is heavy and sorrow infinite. The
     grace is this, that while Urbino living kept me alive, in
     dying he has taught me to die not unwillingly but rather
     with a desire for death. I had him with me twenty-six
     years, and always found him faithful and true. Now that I
     had made him rich and thought to keep him on the staff and
     rest of my old age he has departed, and the only hope left
     me is that of seeing him again in Paradise, and of this God
     has given a sign in his most happy death. Even more than
     dying, it grieved him to leave me alive in this treacherous
     world, with so many troubles; the better part of me went
     with him, nothing is left to me but endless sorrow. I
     commend myself to you....


     "The 23 day of February, 1556."

See Le Lettere, No. CDLXXV., p. 539, in Brit. Museum, and
HOLROYD, _Michael Angelo_ (Duckworth, 1903), p. 255.

It was this Urbino's brother who was Raphael's well-known pupil, _Il
Fattore_. Cf. also HOLROYD, _op. cit._, pp. 273 and 314.]

       *       *       *       *       *

POLYDORO DI VERGILIO was born at Urbino about 1470, and
studied at Bologna. His relation, Adrian Castellesi, who, when
Cardinal of Corneto, was well known both in England and at Rome,[72]
had been sent by Innocent VIII. as legate to Scotland, but remained
at London in consequence of the death of James III. at the battle of
Stirling. There he was joined by Polydoro, who, on taking priest's
orders, had, through his influence, obtained from Alexander VI. the
collectorship of an old house-tax in England called _Romescot_, or
Peter's pence, originally imposed in Saxon times for the maintenance
of English pilgrims to Rome. Aliens being there frequently objects
of church preferment, he, in 1503, obtained the rectory of Church
Langton in Leicestershire; and, on his patron's appointment in the
following year to the see of Bath and Wells, the path of further
promotion was opened to him. In 1507 he became prebendary of Lincoln
and of Hereford, and archdeacon of Wells, on which he resigned his
collectorship. In 1515 he shared an imprisonment in the Tower,
brought upon Adrian by the jealousy of Wolsey, whose haughty spirit,
disappointed of the purple, attributed the delayed honours to the
Bishop's influence. Letters were consequently written by Sadoleto
in Leo's name to the English court on behalf of Polydoro, and
Wolsey having received the much coveted scarlet hat, there was no
further pretext for his detention. The date of his return home is
variously stated at 1534 or 1550, and he carried from Henry VIII. a
recommendation which procured him letters of nobility from his own
sovereign. His literary talents being probably somewhat overrated in
Italy, the long residence he made in the hotbed of heresy, without
exercising his pen in defence of his Church, appears to have brought
the purity of his faith under suspicion. That there was no tangible
ground for the imputation may be presumed from his spending the rest
of his life unquestioned at Urbino, where he died in 1555, and was
buried in the Duomo.

[Footnote 72: Many curious unedited particulars regarding him, with
reference to the conspiracy against Leo X. in 1517, of which he was
suspected, are contained in Sanuto's Diaries, but we have not space
to notice them.]

The favour which Vergilio obtained in Adrian's eyes was partly
owing to his success in cultivating the niceties of the Latin
tongue, to restore which in its purity was a favourite project of
the Cardinal. Before quitting Italy he had dedicated to Guidobaldo
I. his _Proverbiorum Libellus_, a volume scarcely meriting the
controversy upon which he entered with Erasmus as to the priority
of suggesting such a collection. In 1499 he finished his treatise
_De Inventoribus Rerum_, which was placed in the index of prohibited
works, in consequence of tracing certain liturgical observances back
to pagan superstitions; Grossi, however, vindicates his orthodoxy
by ascribing the obnoxious passages to heretical interpolation. His
essay _De Prodigiis_ is an attempt to explain upon natural principles
all omens, auguries, and other superstitious observances. As it is
inscribed to Duke Francesco Maria I., he probably returned to Italy
before 1538.

But what chiefly interests us is a Latin _History of England_,
which he is said to have undertaken at the suggestion of Henry
VII., or more probably of Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester, who
procured him access to certain archives. This work, from being the
first general compilation of the sort given to the public, obtained
more consideration than its superficial and inaccurate matter
deserved; and Mr. Roscoe well observes that it has not gained the
suffrages of posterity, either by ability or freedom from bias.
Among the impugners of its veracity are Whear, Humphrey Lloyd,
Henry Savile, and Bishop Bale. Some of these excuse his blunders
on the questionable plea of his ignorance of English government,
dialects, and manners, while Leland regrets that a writer so little
trustworthy should have cast over his deceptions the graces of style.
Anticipating perhaps such an aspersion, he, in his dedication of
the work to Henry VIII., dated from London in 1530, compared the
chronicles of Bede and Gildas, crude in form and phraseology, to
meat served without the salt which it was his object to supply. Yet
while the English blame him for misrepresentations,--avenged in the
stinging Latin epigram,

     "Maro and Polydore bore Virgil's name;
     One reaps a poet's, one a liar's fame,"--

Giovio cites the testimony of French and Scotch authors to his
partiality for the land of his adoption. More serious, but
unestablished, is a charge greatly resented by his countrymen, that,
after garbling records and ancient muniments thrown open to his
examination, he consummated the outrage by destroying the evidence of
his villainy. It may, however, be well to keep in view that, although
Bale claims him as a willing reformer of certain Romish abuses, his
adherence to that Church brought on him distrust of the Protestants,
in an age when theological disputes were matter affecting life and

In the Vatican is preserved a MS. of this history in two volumes
folio, of 1210 pages, in twenty-five books, ending with the death
of James IV. of Scotland in 1512. The narrative is preceded by a
dedication in Latin to Francesco Maria II., from Antonio Vergilio
Battiferri, grand-nephew of the author, which is dated in 1613, and
mentions the MS. as autograph. Yet on the last leaf is this colophon,
apparently in the same hand: "Rogo ut bene conserventur, simul cum
aliis in cenobio venerand. monalium Sce. Clare de Urbino, quousque
bella, Deo favente, cessabunt. Ego Federicus Ludovici Veterani
Urbinus scripsi totum opus." But though not the original, that
transcriber's name guarantees the accuracy of this copy. An extract
from it in II. of the Appendix proves that the Leyden edition of 1651
is in fact a loose paraphrase of the work.[73]

[Footnote 73: The MS. is No. 497-8 of the Vat. Urb. MSS. An edition
in folio was published at Bâle in 1546.]

       *       *       *       *       *

VESPASIANO FILIPPI[*74] was a Florentine bibliopole, in an
age when that commerce was carried on by persons of learning, whose
business it was to transcribe, collate, and critically master the
MSS. which formed its staple. He was thus in familiar intercourse
not only with the literary men of the age, but with such princes
and prelates as turned their attention to the promotion of reviving
letters by multiplication and preservation of books. Of many such
he has left us biographical notices, recently given to the world
by Cardinal Mai from three MSS. in the Vatican library,[75] and in
the Riccardiana of Florence. His collection of lives of illustrious
ladies remains unedited. In the former work no memoir is so fully
extended as that of Duke Federigo of Urbino, upon which we have in
part drawn in our Second Book. It was inscribed to Duke Guidobaldo
I., in a dedication which not only testifies to his father's martial
skill, and a prowess that never knew defeat, but also to the prudence
of his sway, and assures us that the great powers of Italy had
frequent recourse to his judicious counsels. Unlike the pedantic
writers among whom he lived, Vespasiano composed these memoirs in
the language of the people for whose information he intended them;
but the long interval that elapsed before they saw the light has
necessarily prevented them from becoming in any degree popular.
Muratori, though unable to give an account of their author, has
printed his lives of Eugene IV. and Nicholas V., and characterises
his style as possessing a simplicity more precious than eloquence.

[Footnote *74: For Vespasiano da Bisticci, consult (1) his own
charming and exquisite work, _Vite degli uomini Illustri_ (Firenze,
1859), with an excellent preface by Bartoli; FRATI, _Lettere_ (Bologna,
1892-93). ROSSI writes of these in _Giornale Stor. d. Lett. Ital._
(1892), vol. XX., p. 258, and vol. XXIV., p. 276. (2) FRIZZI, _Di
Vespasiano da Bisticci e delle sue biografie_ (Pisa, 1887).]

[Footnote 75: _Spicilegium Romanum_, tom. I. (Romæ, 1839). Vat. Urb.
MSS. 941.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Two members only of the brilliant and lettered court of
Guidobaldo have gained enduring celebrity from their
writings--CASTIGLIONE and BEMBO.[*76] The former
may be considered a pattern of gentlemanly writing, the latter of
scholarlike composition. We have already said what is necessary
of both, and have introduced into our narrative an idea of Count
Baldassare's _Cortegiano_, its objects and style. It is said to
have been suggested by Louis XII., and written about 1516, but
the author's preface seems to point at an earlier date. Two of
his published letters to Bembo show how anxiously he awaited the
suffrage of his friends, among whom it was handed about; but it was
sent to press in 1528, only in consequence of the alarm of a pirated
edition being in preparation, from a MS. which had been submitted
to the famed Vittoria Colonna, Marchioness of Pescara. The number
of reprints which issued during the next fifty years was at least
forty-two. A variety of circumstances conduced to this extensive and
continued popularity. Books professing to initiate the many into
habits and mysteries of refined society ever have claims on public
curiosity, but the attraction was here increased by the dazzling
reputation of the palace-circle at Urbino, as well as by the charms
of erudition, wit, elegance, and worldly wisdom which sparkle in
every page. It has, however, been remarked that most translations of
the _Cortegiano_ have failed to obtain the applause bestowed upon the
original. The observation may be taken as a compliment to the polish
of its diction, and to those delicacies of expression that bear no
transplanting into another idiom. It also proves that the celebrity
of this work rests much upon its style. The subject could scarcely
be treated at such length without falling into that diffuseness and
repetition, which, though clothed in beauty by the rich fluency of
the Italian language, must always degenerate into monotony when
rendered by the bold expletives of a less copious tongue.

[Footnote *76: For Castiglione, see works mentioned in note *2,
p. 51 _supra_. I understand Mrs. Ady has written a biography of
Castiglione, which is shortly to appear. For Bembo, I cite here
a few works more especially relating to Urbino or to his general
life: MORSOLIN, _Pietro Bembo e Lucrezia Borgia_, in _Nuova
Autologia_, August, 1885. Cf. CIAN, in _Giornale Stor. d. Lett.
Ital._, XXIX., p. 425. CIAN, _Un decennio della vita di P. Bembo_
(1521-31) (Torino, 1885), and LUZIO, in _Giornale St. d. Lett. Ital._,
VI., p. 270, and D'ANCONA, _Studi sulla Letteratura de' primi secoli_
(Ancona, 1884), p. 151 _et seq._]

[Illustration: CASTIGLIONE

_After the picture by Raphael in the Louvre_]

In a period when princes and courts little resembled what they have
since become, we possess from the pens of Machiavelli and Castiglione
generalised portraits of both; and they may be relied on as genuine,
although the Tuscan, like the _tenebristi_ painters, overloaded his
darker shadows, whilst the Mantuan Count employed the roseate tinting
of licensed flattery. Roscoe considers the _Cortegiano_ an ethical
treatise, yet it belongs as much to belles-lettres as to moral
philosophy. Its author has been called the Chesterfield of Italy,
and the parallel is singularly apt. The Count and the Earl have each
supplied "a glass of fashion and a mould of form" for the guidance of
their courtly contemporaries, and the posthumous reputation of both
with the world at large rests more upon their dicta as arbiters of
politeness, than upon their rare diplomatic address and statesmanlike
attainments. With all its interest as a picture of manners and a test
of civilisation in that proverbially refined age, with every charm
which elegance of style can impart, it is impossible to dwell on the
_Cortegiano_ without feeling that its influence was then fraught with
evil. In the pages of that essay were first systematically embodied
precepts of tact, lessons of adulation, all repugnant to the stern
manners and wholesome independence of antecedent generations. The
homely bearing of honest burghers, the rough and ready speech of men
who lived in harness, were there put out of fashion by studied phrase
and cringing flattery, too easy preparations for the effeminate
euphuism and fulsome servility which Spanish thraldom soon after
imposed upon Italy.

Another work of Castiglione, to which we have already had occasion to
refer, is his letter, written in Latin, to Henry VIII., containing
an account of Guidobaldo's death, with a somewhat meagre sketch of
his character. But there is in its composition an air of effort, a
straining at rhetorical effect, which leave upon us the inevitable
conclusion that he thought more of his style than his hero. These
faults and deficiencies belong, however, in a still greater degree
to that more ambitious disquisition, wherein Bembo has sought to
honour the memory of the Duke and Duchess, whose favour he had amply
enjoyed. His few fugitive poems well merit the preference accorded to
them by Tiraboschi over most contemporary effusions, from force of
sentiment not less than felicitous expression. It would be difficult
to rival in the literature of any age the pathos of that ode wherein
his beloved wife is supposed to sigh over his prolonged absence, and
send him the sympathetic yearnings of her long-suppressed affection.
Of this, however, and his Tirsis, we have already said enough.[77]

[Footnote 77: See above, pp. 49-50, 53-4, 58.]

The courtly qualities of Count Baldassare are acknowledged wherever
his native literature is known; that they were not inconsistent with
his observance of parental feelings is proved by an interesting
Latin letter addressed to his children the year before his death,
which has been preserved by Negrini in his _Elogii Historici_ of the
Castiglione family.

     "To my beloved children, Camillo, Anna, and Ippolita.

     "It is my belief, dearest son Camillo, that you, above
     all things, desire my return home, for nature and the
     laws equally inculcate veneration for our parents next to
     God; and in your case there may be a special duty, since
     I, content with but one boy, would not have another to
     share with you my property and parental affection. That I
     may not have to repent of such a resolution, I shall own
     myself free of doubt as to yourself; yet would I have you
     aware that I look for such duty at your hands rather as a
     debt, than with the indifference of most parents. It will
     be easily paid, if you regard in the light of a father
     that excellent preceptor obtained by your friends, and
     implicitly follow his advice. From my prolonged absence,
     I have nothing to inculcate upon you beyond this line of
     Virgil, which I may without ostentation quote:

          "From me, my son, learn worth and honest toil;
          Fortune from others take."[78]

     "And do you, Anna, who first endeared to me a daughter's
     name, so perfect yourself in moral graces, that whatever
     beauty your person may develop, shall be the handmaid of
     your virtues, and shall figure last in the compliments
     paid you. And you, Ippolita, reflect on my love for her
     whose name you bear; and how charming it would be for your
     merits to surpass your sister's as much as her years do
     yours. Go on both, as you are doing, and, having lost the
     mother who bore you before you could know her to be so, do
     you imitate her qualities, that all may remark how greatly
     you resemble her. Adieu.

     "From Monzoni, the 13th July, 1528.

     "Your father,


[Footnote 78:

     "Disce, puer, virtutem ex me, verumque laborem;
     Fortunam ex aliis."

     _Æneid_ XII., 345.

Dryden has missed the point of this passage.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The position which BEMBO holds in the literature of Italy's
golden age is not less singular than prominent. As an historian and
poet, a philologist and rhetorician, and as a voluminous writer of
official and private letters, he challenges criticism and has gained
applause. It is, however, as a reformer of style that his claims
have been most freely accorded, and his example held up to general
imitation. Following the fashion of his day, he regarded classical,
and especially Latin, attainments, as the attribute most needful for
an accomplished man. But he went further; and, aware of the coarse
and rugged manner into which literature had fallen, sought to correct
Latin composition, and to perfect his own tongue, after the purest
ancient standards. On this object he spared no pains, till by long
and laborious practice he wrote in both with equal precision. He is
said to have subjected each of his works to forty separate critical
revisions, and no one can read a page without feeling that, as with
too many of his countrymen, the manner has occupied quite as much
thought as the matter. This naturally tended to an opposite extreme,
for the studied structure of his sentences, and the fatiguing
recurrence of mythological allusion, are blemishes greatly detracting
from the pleasure afforded by his works.[79] Scaliger, accordingly,
has scourged his pagan misnomers of divine things, while his
"childish heresy" of abject Ciceronian imitation is ridiculed by
Lansius and Lipsius. Yet there is justice in the test applied to
them by Tiraboschi; for great and wide-spread evils require extreme
remedies, and the prevailing laxity of style having been once
brought into discredit by his example, those who followed were able
to avail themselves of his guidance and taste, without falling into
the rigidity and constraint which blemish his compositions. Indeed,
notwithstanding these obvious blots, which hero-worship has mistaken
for beauties, his History of Venice, his Essay on Imitation, his
diplomatic and familiar correspondence, and even his poetry, must,
when tried by then-received standards, be allowed a merit entitling
them to the general suffrage of contemporaries. It is to his Latin
prose that our strictures are most applicable. Forgetting, in his
zealous imitation of Cicero, the allowance due to modern themes,
principles, and feelings, he so slavishly followed that heathen
philosopher's idioms, as to clothe what he meant for Christianity
in the words of paganism. Even his letters, running in name of the
successor of St. Peter, transmuted the Almighty into a pantheistic
generality, our Saviour into a hero, and the Madonna into a goddess
of Loreto. It may be feared that this latitudinarianism was not
limited to manner, for an anecdote alleges him to have seriously
recommended a young divine to avoid reading St. Paul's Epistles, lest
they might mar his style.

[Footnote 79: "Quid autem ineptius quam, toto seculo renovato,
religione, imperiis, magistratibus, locorum vocabulis, ædificiis,
cultu, moribus, non aliter audire, loqui, quam locutus est
Cicero? Si revivisceret ipse Cicero, rideret hoc Ciceronianorum

Compositions conceived and executed in so eclectic a spirit could
scarcely avoid falling into coldness and pedantry; and such are
prominent faults in his Venetian history, and his tribute to Duke
Guidobaldo,--two works especially connected with the subject of
these pages. The former is the most important production of his pen,
and was begun in 1529, by desire of the Signory, in continuation of
Sabellico's narrative, It is comprised in twelve books, extending
from 1487 to 1513, where it remained unfinished at his death, but
was continued by Paruta. From a contemporary possessing talent,
industry, leisure, and high literary reputation, as well as many
opportunities of personal observation, very large expectations might
be legitimately entertained. But as a churchman, he is said to have
been jealously excluded from the Venetian archives, a condition
which, in the judgment of Tiraboschi, ought to have disqualified
him from the task, and which may account for, if it cannot excuse,
the superficial character of the narrative, the poverty of graphic
details, and the teasing absence of dates. On the composition, too,
his classic mania has left its withering traces. It was his ambition
here to rival the Commentaries of Cæsar; and, in perfecting the
idiom of a dead language, he has constrained freedom of thought, and
polished away the life and spirit of his theme. We have examined his
pages, as an indispensable authority upon events which occupy several
chapters of our work; but those who read Italian history for pleasure
will generally prefer to do so either in the Italian tongue or their
own. Conscious probably of this, the author himself translated the
work into his vernacular language, and both versions were published
soon after his death.

His dissertation on the characters of the Duke and Duchess of
Urbino is written in Latin, and exhibits all those blemishes of
style to which we have just referred, and which so strangely jar
upon the fulsome flattery and elaborate verbiage which he labours
to reduce into Ciceronian terseness. Though entitled a "Book," the
whole occupies but a hundred pages in the octavo edition of his
works (1567), whereof scarcely one third is original matter. It is
addressed to Nicolò Tiepolo, a literary gentleman of Venice, and
professes to have been committed to writing for the satisfaction
of some Venetians who, feeling an interest in Guidobaldo as their
former guest, had applied to the father of Bembo for some account of
his death. It is thrown into a dialogue between himself, Sadoleto,
Filippo Beroaldo the younger, and Sigismondo [Conti?] of Foligno.
The last-named personage supplies to their inquiries a narrative
of the Duke's closing hours, addressed to Julius II., by Federigo
Fregoso, along with the funeral oration pronounced at his obsequies
by his preceptor Odasio. The former of these is written in a strain
beseeming a heathen philosopher, rather than a Christian dignitary;
the latter, which Tiraboschi has detected as very different from the
printed oration, is to the full as turgid and tiresome as are most
such efforts of Italian adulation; neither of them tell anything of
importance that Castiglione has not better given us.

The whole discourse is, as I have had occasion to mention,[80] of
but trifling value to the biographer of these personages. Facts
are generalised until no substance remains; incidents and traits
of character are lost in the multiplicity of epithets; and thus we
have, instead of a speaking likeness, a vague and showy picture,
overladen with ornaments until individuality is gone. The warmer
emotions of the heart could scarcely, perhaps, be happily clothed in
the abstractions of a dead tongue, unadapted to the times, and to
circumstances which required the outpourings of unaffected grief;
at all events, these measured periods and studied phrases give no
real pleasure. Bembo was an elegant Latinist, but in such a work the
language of nature could alone afford satisfaction. When we seek
to know the true characters of his distinguished patrons, we are
dismissed with an inflated rhetorical exercise; we are offered bread,
and find it a stone. These strictures apply to the long funeral
oration, but still more to the dull didactic discourse of the four
friends, which wants the fire and feeling of the eulogy, and is
soiled by gross details gratuitously introduced on a point at which
good taste would have barely glanced. In all respects, the most
interesting portion of the work is Fregoso's letter, upon which we
have drawn in describing the death-bed of Guidobaldo. On the whole,
this production may be dismissed with a doubt whether its prosiness
or its pruriency is most offensive. Nor will the perusal of those
papal brieves, extended by the same writer, which despoiled of his
inheritance the Duke's adopted child, blasphemously ejecting him from
the pale of Christendom, give a higher opinion of the sincerity of
this ungrateful sycophant.

[Footnote 80: Vol. I., p. 298, 392; II., 114.]

His other works, having no immediate reference to our subject,
may be dismissed with few words. _The Prose_, a treatise upon
rhetoric, intended to fix the standard of pure Italian composition,
is a dialogue, to which Giuliano de' Medici and Federigo Fregoso
are parties. _Gli Asolani_, a more juvenile production, was named
from the castle of Asolo, at which some youths are represented as
discussing the tender passion in all its moods and modifications.
This theme, notwithstanding the tedious manner in which it is
treated, gave it great popularity over western Europe in the
sixteenth century, but the style and substance alike render it
unpalatable to modern amateurs of light reading. His Latin treatise
_De Imitatione_ is a dull defence of his Ciceronian mannerisms;
his essay in the same language upon Virgil and Terence a laboured
philological critique; his _De Ætna Liber_ a report of physical
observations during an early residence near that volcano. His poetry,
both Latin and Italian, enjoyed high reputation at a period when
imitations of Petrarch had degenerated into common-place; for he
succeeded in brushing away the rust of ages, and restoring much
of the bright polish peculiar to the bard of Arqua. Lastly, his
very numerous private and official letters have preserved to us a
valuable store of facts, and much curious illustration of coeval
manners and individual character.

       *       *       *       *       *

The share of laborious learning voluntarily borne by ladies of
the highest birth in the fifteenth century is a singular problem.
There was scarcely a sovereign family that could not boast among
its daughters some votary of intellectual pursuits, in an age when
mental cultivation was of a sort more calculated to overburden
genius, than to give wings to fancy in her flight after knowledge.
A familiar acquaintance with Latin was then requisite, being the
key to modern as well as classic and biblical literature, and also
the current language of diplomacy or courtly intercourse.[*81] The
abstruse distinctions of ancient philosophy, the complex tenets of
dogmatic theology, the fatiguing jargon of scholastic disputation,
were all included in the circle of female accomplishments. Such were
the graces for which Bianca d'Este, Isotta Nogarolo, and Veronica
Gambara were famed; while another Isotta, paramour of the truculent
Lord of Rimini, divided contemporary adulation between the beauties
of her person and her mind. The vagueness of such eulogies might
well justify scepticism as to the profundity of that lore they
were intended to vaunt; but in the case of Ippolita Maria Sforza,
daughter of Francesco Duke of Milan, and wife of Alfonso King of
Naples, chance has afforded us a standard of the knowledge mastered
by these learned ladies. It was for this princess that Constantine
Lascaris composed the earliest Greek Grammar; and in the convent
library of Sta. Croce at Rome there is a transcript by her of
Cicero De Senectute, followed by a juvenile collection of Latin
apophthegms curiously indicative of her character and studies. The
house of Montefeltro could boast a full share of such distinction,
in Princess Battista, wife of the wretched Galeazzo Lord of Pesaro,
to whose literary celebrity we have elsewhere paid our tribute,
and whose progeny we have seen maintaining the prestige of her
accomplishments to the third generation. Her great-granddaughter
Battista Sforza rivalled her accomplishments, and those of her cousin
Ippolita Maria, and, when placed by her marriage at the head of the
court at Urbino, contributed much to the literary reputation which
it then first obtained. Its two succeeding duchesses of the Gonzaga
race, although women of remarkable talent, did not carry so far the
cultivation of their natural powers; but we have found, in their
relative and associate Emilia Pia, one whose learning was scarcely
less notable than her wit.

[Footnote *81: On the whole subject of women, see note *1, p.
72. Their education was the same as that of their brothers. Cf.
SYMONDS, _The Renaissance in Italy_ (1904), vol. V., p.
250, note 1, and BURCKHARDT, _The Civilisation of the
Renaissance_ (1878), vol. II., p. 161.]

Such were the examples of female genius which emanated from the
courts of Italy, and, spreading to her universities, installed
feminine erudition in professorial chairs. Nor was this questionable
practice limited within the Italian peninsula. Many Spanish dames
were conspicuous in scholarship, and, at the close of the century,
Salamanca and Alcala saw their professorships held with applause by
ladies equally distinguished for birth and accomplishments.


     Poetry under the Montefeltri--Sonnets--The
     Filelfi--Giovanni Sanzi--Porcellio Pandonio--Angelo
     Galli--Federigo Veterani--Urbani Urbinate--Antonio
     Rustico--Naldio--Improvisatori--Bernardo Accolti--Serafino
     d'Aquila--Agostino Staccoli--Early comedies--_La
     Calandra_--Corruption of morals--Social position of women.

Were the lettered court of Duke Federigo to be judged by its
minstrels, a harsh sentence might perhaps be awarded. Nor would this
be quite fair. Their cold and common-place ideas, their rude and
vapid verses, are indeed far beneath the standard of our fastidious
age, and scarcely repay those who decipher them in venerable
parchments. Yet have we ample evidence of their superiority to many
poetasters of Italy, who then emulated Virgil's hexameters, or abused
the facilities of their vernacular versification; and it is just the
fact of these laureates of Urbino so long surviving the countless
rhymers of other principalities, that proves the discriminating
patronage of a sovereign, who attached to his court the best writers
of his time. Nor must we fail to remember that the now prominent
blemishes of their works were then their most admired qualities. The
classical sympathies which we usually leave in schools and colleges,
or which, when carried prominently about us in the busy world are
stigmatised as a pedantic and ungraceful encumbrance, were then in
high fashion. They were indispensable to the man of liberal education
as his sword and buckler to the soldier; they were adopted among
the conventional elements of all literature, poetry, and taste.
A standard being thus set up so antipathic to the ideas of our
practical age, we are called upon, before proceeding to judgment, to
divest ourselves of prejudices which may in their turn become the
marvel and ridicule of our posterity.

The inherent defects of that minstrelsy,

     "Whose melody gave ease to Petrarch's wounds,"

have been aptly set forth by Roscoe, but he appears to overlook its
special adaptation for the Italian tongue. Limited to one theme,
which it is required to exhaust in a fixed number of lines, and
fettered by the frequent and stated recurrence of a few rhymes, no
language less copious and pliant can be woven into a sonnet, without
occasionally betraying, in bald, formal, or rugged versification,
the torture to which it has been subjected. Again, the constraint
and mannerism which often deform this metrical composition in
other idioms are here its safeguard from a mellifluous but insipid
verbiage, so often fatal to the lyrics of Italy: on a poetry
habitually turgid and redundant, terseness is thus absolutely imposed.

With these few words of apology for doggerel hexameters and
indifferent sonnets, we shall shortly pass in review some of those
who thus wooed the muses in the Montefeltrian court.

       *       *       *       *       *

Among the most widely known names of this age was FRANCESCO
FILELFO, whose venal pen often wantoned in biting lampoons,
whose sickening vanity was obtruded in the most repulsive egotism,
and whose vagrant habits strangely combined assiduous study with lax
morals. In most respects he anticipated the bad notoriety acquired
a century later by Pietro Aretino, and like him alternately fawned
upon and flagellated princely patrons of literature. Were his life
to be written, it would be difficult to extract truth by balancing
his own self-vaunting letters against the scurrilous philippics of
his untiring enemy Poggio Bracciolini. But we are fortunately spared
this task, and may refer to Tiraboschi, Roscoe, and Shepherd for
illustrations of his restless existence and fractious temper.[82]
In both these respects GIAN MARIA,[*83] the son, seems to
have resembled Francesco the father, whilst he even exceeded him in
the number and variety of his compositions. He sought audiences in
many cities of Italy and Provence for his prelections in grammar and
philosophy, as well as for his improvisations of Latin or Italian
verse; and among the numerous patrons he thus courted was the good
King René, who bestowed on him the laurel crown, a guerdon which his
rude numbers ill-deserved at the hands of that graceful troubadour.
Tiraboschi makes no allusion to his intercourse with Duke Federigo,
whereof we know little beyond two works which he inscribed to that
Prince, and which remain unedited in the Vatican Urbino Library.
The former of these, dated at Modena in 1464, was corrected by the
author, "doctor in arts and both faculties of law, knight, and poet
laureat," he being then in his thirty-eighth year. It is numbered
702, and contains about two thousand five hundred Latin hexameters
and pentameters, entitled _Martiados_, an obvious imitation of his
father's _Sfortiados_. The theme is thus set forth in a dedication to
the Duke of Urbino:--

     "Primus et in Martem quæ sint pia fata Tonantis,
       Et manibus nati monstra parenta refert;
     At liber et bellis laudatque et honore secundus,
       Et gestis magnum rebus in orbe Ducem."

[Footnote 82: TIRABOSCHI, _Storia della Letteratura
Italiana_, VI., ii., p. 317-30; SHEPHERD'S _Life of Poggio
Bracciolini_, _passim_; ROSCOE'S _Lorenzo de' Medici_, ch.

[Footnote *83: Cf. FLAMINI, _Versi inediti da G.M. Filelfo_
(Livorno, 1892, per nozze).]

The very moderate anticipations raised by this proemium, which we
leave in its rugged original, are not surpassed in the context, dull
and common-place as it is in sentiment, prosaic and unpolished in
style. Losing sight of his avowed object of keeping apart the deeds
of Mars, the ancient divinity, from those of Federigo, his living
type, in order to illustrate the parallel which it is his plan to
draw between them, he strangely jumbles both; and, following the
new-born classicism of the day, he has crammed his rough verses with
nearly every name that heathen mythology, history, or geography can
muster, in senseless and jarring confusion. With a view to exalt
his hero as a second Hercules, he enumerates a series of labours
and achievements from his childhood, when he sprang from bed and
strangled a snake that had frightened all his attendants. This is
followed by a farrago of allegorical struggles, combats, and triumphs
over temptations or evil principles, anticipating somewhat the idea
of the _Pilgrim's Progress_, but with this important difference, that
the motives, arms, and aids are all borrowed from pagan mythology.
So entirely is Federigo lost among the gods and demigods who crowd
the stage, that his character or actions are seldom brought on the
foreground at all, and never with sufficient idiosyncracy to avail
for the development of either. Finally, we find him deified in
Olympus, and the epic closes with an empty bravado that none ever
more worthily emulated Alcides.

The other MS. of Gian Maria Filelfo which demands a passing note is
No. 804 of the same library, and is dated seven years later than the
_Martiados_. It contains some six thousand Italian verses, consisting
for the most part of minor poems on a variety of subjects; the
volume is dedicated to Federigo, but many of the _Canzoni morali_
are inscribed to distinguished personages, not omitting the Duke's
rancorous foe Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, to whose vanity such
incense could not have been unpalatable. In treating of religious
topics, the author, for the time, and by an effort, lays aside the
pagan strain which prevails in his other lays, and though generally
selecting the sonnet or _terza rima_, he thus affects to disclaim all
rivalry with their mighty masters:--

     "To these rude rhymes, alas, nor Petrarch's style
     Is given, nor the good Dante's pungent file."

Yet there is considerable ambition in the rhythm, and although
prolix, like other contemporary compositions, and inflated by
superabundant episodes, it is not devoid of occasional poetic
feeling. In the dedicatory address he thus speaks of his volume:--

     "De! dunque Signor mio, per tua merciede
       Con lieta fronte schorri esto libretto,
       Il qual sotto il tuo titolo honor chiede.
     Forse leggiendol' ne fia alcun dilecto,
       Per esser di molte herbe uno orticciuolo,
       Quantunque el vi sia dentro erro e diffecto:
     Pur che 'l non sia di tutto il vano orciuolo
       Col qual l'aqua si tira, da le donne
       Che feciono ai mariti si gran duolo.
     Ogni casa non è posta in colonne;
       Ognuno esser non può Dante o Patrarcha;
       Ognun non porta pretiose gonne.
     Ma spesse volte piccoletta barcha
       Arriva in luoco, ove andando s'anniegha
       Tal grossa nave che molto è men charcha.
     De! s'al huom val quanto il Signor più priegha,
       China la fronte altiera a questa scorza,
       Ch'in questo mio arbor del pieta non niegha.
     Et come il navichare hor poggia, hor orza,
       Hor pope avvien, secondo i venti e l'onde
       Cosi convien ch'in vario error mi torza.
     Hor la mia voglia la ragion confonde,
       Hor l'appetito impera, hor vivo in doglia,
       Hor lieto, hor desioso, et non so donde.
     Qual l'autunno ogni verde arbor spoglia,
       Inverno asciugha, e primavera inverde,
       Tal varia e nostra externa et mental voglia.
     Ma tristo chiunque indarno il tempo perde,
       Ch'è peggio ch'esser rozzo e senza lima,
       Però che chi non è mai non riverde.
     De! leggi, Signor mio, la vulghar ryma,
       Et sia ti un modo da cacciar la noia,
       Quando di gran facciende hai maggior stima."

As we shall give a place in our Appendix to Giovanni Sanzi's judgment
upon the painters of his day, we may here insert Filelfo's sonnet to
Gentile Bellini.

     "Bellin! s'io t'hebbi mai fitto nel cuore,
       Se mai chognobbi it tuo preclaro ingiegno,
       Hor confess'io che sei fra gli altri degno,
       D'haver qual hebbe Apelle ogni alto honore.
     Veduta ho l'opra tua col suo cholore,
       La venustà col suo sguardo benegno,
       Ogni suo movimento et nobil segno
       Che ben demonstri il tuo gientil valore.
     Gientile! io t'ero affectionato assai,
       Parendomi la tua virtu più rara
       Che soglia esser l'ucciel che è solo al mondo;
     Ne pingier sa chi da te non impara,
       Che gloria a quegli antiqui hormai tolta hai,
       In chi questa arte postha ogni suo pondo.
         Forsse che troppo habondo
       A te che non ti churi di tue lode,
       Ma diciendone assai l'alma mia ghode."

When compared with contemporary efforts, these specimens, and others
which it would be easy to add, deserve a better fate than the neglect
to which, in common with most of their author's works, they have been
consigned; nor do they bear out the imputation of careless haste,
alleged by Tiraboschi as the prevailing error of his very numerous
and various productions. The paucity of these which have issued from
the press may, however, be taken as confirming that judgment, as
well as the suppression of his narrative of the campaign of Finale
in 1447, after it had been printed by Muratori for his Scriptores.
But poetry may be accounted his forte,--a somewhat remarkable
circumstance, considering the unrivalled reputation he established as
an _improvisatore_ of verses on any number not exceeding one hundred
themes suddenly proposed, as such facility has rarely been conjoined
with true poetic fire.

It were to be desired that we knew more of his intercourse with
Duke Federigo. In one of his dedicatory epistles, after alluding
to the likelihood of that prince reading the work, he, in a vein of
fulsome compliment and impudent conceit, complains of neglect from
friends, and hints at a visit to Urbino. It is difficult to glean
facts from the vague common-places of such letters; but in 1468 he
thanks his patron for retaining at his court Demetrio Castreno, a
learned Greek fugitive from Constantinople. Equally mannered and
cold are his flattery and his condolence, on the death of Countess
Battista in 1472. Next year he writes that, having begun a commentary
on Federigo's life, and completed two books, he had been induced to
submit them to the Duke of Milan, from whom he never could recover
the manuscript.

       *       *       *       *       *

Another _protégé_ of Duke Federigo was PORCELLIO PANDONIO,
of Naples,[*84] whose pen was ever at command of the readiest
patron, as historiographer or laureate. From his partiality to the
designations of bard and secretary to Alfonso of Naples, it would
seem that he chiefly rested his fame on his poetical compositions.
From this judgment Muratori differs, protesting that in historical
narrative none excelled his ease and elegance of diction.[85] Abject
classicism, in thought and style, was then a common weakness of
the learned; and however correctly Porcellio may have caught the
Latin phraseology, it is difficult to get over the jarring effect
of an idiom and nomenclature foreign to the times and incidents
which it is his object vividly to portray. In his printed work, on
the campaigns of 1451-2, between Venice and Milan, he uniformly
disguises Sforza and Piccinino, their respective commanders, as
Scipio and Hannibal, under which _noms de guerre_ it requires a
constant effort to recognise mediæval warriors, or to recollect
that we are considering events dating some two thousand years after
those who really bore them had been committed to the dust. The same
affectation, common to many authors of his day, mars his unpublished
writings which we have had occasion to examine in the Vatican Urbino
Library, and their authority is greatly impaired by what Muratori
well calls "prodigality of praise" to his heroes, that is, to his
generous patrons. In a beautifully elaborated MS. (No. 373) he has
collected, under the title of Epigrams, nearly fifty effusions in
honour of our Duke and Duchess, and of members of their family
or court, a favourite theme being the love-inspired longings of
Battista for her lord's return from the wars. In the same volume
is his Feltria, an epic composed at Rome about 1472, and narrating
Federigo's campaigns, from that of 1460-1, under the banner of Pius
II., by whose command Porcellio undertook to sing his general's
prowess in three thousand Virgilian verses. Its merits may be fairly
appreciated from extracts already given,[86] and from this allusion
to the state of Italy at the outbreak of the war:--

     "Jamque erat Ausoniæ populos pax alta per omnes,
     Et tranquilla quies: jam nulli Martis ad aras
     Collucent ignes; jam victima nulla cadebat.
     Dantur thura Jovi; fumabat oliva Minervæ:
     Sus erat in pretio, Cereris aptissima sacris,
     Pampineique dei caper, et qui vitibus amens
     Officit, atque merum ante aras cum sanguine fundit."

[Footnote *84: Porcellio Napolitano was the laureate and secretary
of Alphonso I. of Aragon and of Naples, and later the secretary and
familiar of Sigismondo Malatesta. Porcellio seems to have hated
Basinio, another court poet, whose works, with a long commentary,
have been published (BATTAGLINI, _Basinii, Parmensis Poetæ
Opera Præstantiora_ (Rimini, 1794)). Basinio seems to have proved
before the Court of Rimini that Porcellio was ignorant of Greek.
"One can be a fine Latin poet without knowing Greek," he answered in
a rage, but truly enough. Basinio, however, asserted that not only
Virgil and all the great poets and prose writers knew Greek, but
showed that while that language was forgotten Italy was plunged in
darkness. But enough of such absurdities, which have besides nothing
to do with Urbino or even Dennistoun's history of it.]

[Footnote 85: Nearly all we know of him will be found in the
Scriptores, XX., 67, and XXV., 1.]

[Footnote 86: See vol. I., pp. 209-11. Portions of the same poem
are contained in Nos. 709 and 710 of the Urbino Library, the former
corrected by the author, the latter in his autograph. Some of his
minor lyrics were published at Paris in 1549, along with those of two
other minstrels who sang the praises of the Malatesta.]

Such were the foreign poets who frequented Duke Federigo's court.
Its native bards left few works meriting particular notice, with one
interesting exception. We have elsewhere to discuss Giovanni Sanzi
or Santi,[*87] of Urbino, his merits as a painter, and the celebrity
reflected on him from the eminence of his son, the unequalled
Raffaele. Here we shall speak of his epic on that Duke's life, of
which we have made frequent use in our first volume, and which
demands attention on account of its excellence, as well as from the
intimate connection with our subject of its author and theme.

[Footnote *87: On Giovanni Santi, see CAMPORI, _Notizie
e docum. per la vita di Giov. Santi e di Raffaello Santi da
Urbino_ (Modena, 1870); GUERRINI, _Elogio Stor. di Giov.
Santi_ (Urbino, 1822); SCHMARZOW, _Giovanni Santi der Vater Raffaels_,
in _Kunstchronik_ (Leipsig), An. XXIII., No. 27; SCHMARZOW, _Giovanni
Santi_ in _Vierteljahrsschrift für Kultur und Lett. der Renaissance_
(Leipsig), vol. II., Nos. 2-4. Cf. also CROWE & CAVALCASELLE, _History
of Painting in Italy_, vol. III.]

This poem, having remained unedited in the Vatican arcana, long
escaped the literary historians of the Peninsula, but it has been
recently quoted by two writers, Pungileone and Passavant, the former
of whom had not seen it.[88] Although, in his dedication to Duke
Guidobaldo, composed after 1490, the author accounts for his becoming
a painter, as we shall see in chapter xxviii., he gives no further
explanation of the motives which inspired the labour of a poem,
containing some twenty-four thousand lines, than "that after anxious
thought and consideration of such new ideas as offered themselves, I
wished to sing in this little used style of _terza rima_, the story
of your most excellent and most renowned father's glorious deeds,"
whose "brilliant reputation not only was and is well known throughout
Italy, but is, if I may say so, the subject of discourse beyond the
Caucasus," "not without a conscious blush at the idea of dipping so
mean a vessel in the water of this limpid and sparkling spring."
With equal modesty, he deprecates all rivalry with the learned
commentators who had celebrated the same theme in Latin, limiting the
ambition of his "rude and brief compend" to rendering its interest
accessible to more ordinary readers; but, looking back upon his
twenty-three ample cantos, he fervently thanks the Almighty that an
undertaking of so extended time and toil had at length attained its
termination, and concludes by "humbly beseeching that you will regard
the hero's far-famed actions, rather than the baseness of my style,
whose only grace is the sincere devotion of a faithful servant to his
lord." A similar tone marks the outset of his Chronicle:--

     "If e'er in by-gone times a shallow mind
     Shrank from the essay of a grand design,
     So quake I in the labour-pangs of fear."

[Footnote 88: _Elogio Storico di Giovanni Santi_, pp. 14 and 69,
etc.; Rafael von Urbino. The original and only MS. is described in
III. of our Appendix.]

Compared with contemporary epics, the rhythm is smooth and flowing,
and the style dignified, interspersed with highly poetical episodes
and finely expressed moral reflections as well as apt illustrations
from ancient history and mythology. The epithets, though abundant,
are more than usually appropriate, and many terse maxims are happily
introduced. Yet, in his object of placing his poem and his hero among
the popular literature of the day, Giovanni must have failed, the
Vatican MS. being the only known copy. Readers it, however, doubtless
had, one of whom has curiously commemorated his admiration by jotting
on the margin, "Were you but as good a painter as a poet, who knows!"
Modern critics, contrasting his fresco at Cagli with the rhyming
Chronicle, would probably arrive at an inverse conclusion, especially
were they to pronounce upon the latter from the preamble which called
forth that exclamation--an allegorical vision, told in nine weary
chapters, wherein figure a motley crowd of mythological and heroic
personages belonging to ancient and contemporary times.

It would occasion much useless repetition to enter here into any
detailed analysis of the work, as we have formerly drawn upon its
most valuable portions for the history of Duke Federigo. When
considering the state of the fine arts, we shall have to notice
a very important part of the poem touching upon that subject--an
æsthetic episode on the art and artists of his day, which is
introduced on occasion of the Duke's visit to Federigo I., Marquis of
Mantua. In regard to the merit of this epic, due allowance must be
made for the taste of the age. Its great length necessarily infers a
tediousness of detail much more adapted to prose than verse, indeed
inherently prosaic. Yet it contains not a few continuous passages
of sustained beauty, and it would not be difficult to cull many a
sparkling thought and bright simile, while from time to time the
dull narrative is enlivened by lyric touches and strokes of poetic
fancy, adorning sentiments creditable to the genius and the heart
of its author, who, with much sweetness of disposition, appears to
have possessed endowments beyond his humble sphere. His patriotic
indignation at the ceaseless broils and strifes which convulsed his
fatherland may supply us with an example or two:--

     "Ma non potendo Italia in pace stare
       Sotto lunga quiete, o mai, parendo
       Putrida vile e maricia diventare."

     No long repose Ausonia e'er can brook,
     For peace to her brings languor, and she deems
     It loathsome to lie fallow.

     "Cum qual costum, che Italia devora,
       Del sempre stare in gran confusione,
       Disjunta et seperata, e disiare
       L'un stato al altro sua destructione."

     Sad is the usage that Italia wastes
     In ceaseless struggles, aye for separate ends;
     Sever'd her states, and each on others' ills

                           "O mischinella
     Italia! in te, acecata e disunita
     Hor per dollor, te batte ogni mascella."

     Ah, poor and wretched Italy! all blind
     And disunited, chattering thy jaws
     In torments sad.

     "O instabil fortuna! che fai secco
       Ogni arbor verde, quando te impiacere,
       In un momento."

     Ah fickle fortune! which the greenest tree
     Mayst in a moment wither at thy will.

The following sentiments were likely to find little sympathy among
his contemporaries:--

     "Il sfrenato desio che nel cor tiene
       Di nuova signoria e altrui dominio
       L'huom mai si satia; e pur morir conviene."

     Man ne'er his soul's unbridled lust can slake
     Of further sovereignty, and wider sway;
     Yet 'tis appointed him to die.

       "Che el facto d'arme se devea fare
       Sol per due cose, e l'altre lassar gire:
     L'uno è per lo avantagio singolare
       E grande oltra misura; e in caso extremo
       Si deve l'huomo a la fortuna dare."

     Twain are the pleas that justly may be urged
     For armed aggression,--aggrandisement great
     Beyond all calculation, or extreme
     Necessity: nought else can justify
     Such hazard of men's fortunes.

A long and somewhat tedious chapter of moralities on the uncertain
tenure of life among princes, introduced after describing the
assassination of Galeazzo Maria Duke of Milan, in 1476, opens

     "Vedendo il breve e vil peregrinare
       Che noi facciam per questo falso mondo,
       Anzi un pugno di terra al ver narrare,
     Dove, con tanto afanno e tanto pondo,
       De dì e nocte, e inextimabil cure,
       Cerchiam sallire in alto e andamo al fondo.
     Qual e quel si potente che asicure
       Ogi la vita sua per l'altro giorno,
       Tante son spesse et orende le sciagure?"

     Seeing how brief the pilgrimage and vile,
     Whereby through this false world we wend our way,
     A little earth our only heritage,
     Where day and night, with pain and load of care
     Incalculable, still we seek to soar,
     Yet ever downward sink: where is the man
     Potent to day, to-morrow's life to count,
     So frequent its mishaps and horrible?

The bland transition from a rigorous winter to balmy Italian spring
is thus apostrophised:--

                     "Intanto el verno
       El mondo gia copria col fredo smalto;
     E raro volte fu che el tempo iberno
       Tanto terribile fusse, onde asvernarsi
       Tucti ne andar, per fin che del inferno
     Proserpina torno, per adornarsi
       De vaghi fiori e de novelle fronde,
       Cum lauree chiome al vento dolce sparsi."

     Winter meanwhile the far-spread world had clad
     In cold enamel; rarely was it known
     More rigid: gladly all the troops retired
     To quarters, waiting Proserpine's return
     On earth, with beauteous flowers bedecked, and leaves
     Of freshest green, when in the gentle breeze
     Should stream her laurel tresses.

The poet's eloquent tribute to Florentine freedom, and its value to
the cause of liberty, must close our sparing extracts.[89]

     "Perche privato el popul Fiorentino
       Della sua libertade, era cavare
       Un occhio a Italia, e metterla al declino."

     For to curtail fair Florence of her freedom
     Were to pluck forth an eye from Italy,
     And cause her orb to wane.

[Footnote 89: See others in vol. I., and _passim_ in Book II.; also
in IV. of the Appendix below.]

In Sanzi's Chronicle we seek in vain for the riper beauties of
succeeding epics; but the flashes of poetry which it embodies are
not the less effective from their simple diction, nor from the
comparatively unpolished narrative which they adorn.

       *       *       *       *       *

No. 699 of the Urbino MSS. contains the collected minor poems and
songs of ANGELO GALLI of Urbino, knight, and secretary to
Duke Federigo. They are three hundred and seventy-six in number,
all in Italian, and unedited, but beautifully transcribed on vellum
by Federigo Veterani. Although varied by the introduction of sacred
subjects, most of them are occasional amorous effusions, wherein
names of the Montefeltri, Malatesta, Sforza, and other Umbrian
families frequently occur. The dates affixed to them extend from
1428 to 1457. It appears that the author attended the Council of
Basle in 1442, and he is said by Crescimbeni to have survived until
1496. His mellowed versification is in general superior to that of
the age, while his trite and limited matter is pleasingly relieved
by many happy turns of thought and graces of language. Though unable
to supply any particulars of one who has almost escaped notice, we
give place to two specimens of his muse. His canzonet addressed to
Caterina, "the noble, beautiful, discreet, charming, gentle, and
generous Countess of Urbino," runs thus:

     "El mirabil splendor del tuo bel viso
     Pusilanimo famme, a tanta parte
     Che l'ingegno in tal carte
     Non tangeria, s'il ver ch'io non errasse.
     Forsa che la natura in paradiso
     Per aiuto sali ad informarte,
     E poi per divin arte
     A gloria de se eterna giù te trasse.
     Qual oro si micante s'aguagliasse
     Cum sua chiareza a tui biondi capegli!
     E gli occhi, ch'a vede gli
     L'invidia affreccia el sol a ricolcarse.
     Qual perle, qual coragli, al riso breve!
     Le guance han sangue, spirto in bianca neve!"

The other is upon Costanza Varana, wife of Alessandro Sforza, and
mother of Battista Countess of Urbino.

     "Che la sua faccia bella
     Mostro d'inverno sempre primavera,
     Real costume, aspetto di signora,
     Viso di dea e d'angioli a favella.

     Ma questa donna, ch'a la mente diva,
     Depinge di honestà omne suo gesto:
     Non pur suo guardo honesto,
     Ma li suo panni, gridan' pudicitia.

     Questa madonna è el mar' de tutto el senno
     Renchiuso, e posto dentro da bel ciglio,
     Chi vuol vecchio consiglio
     Recinga ai teneri anni di costei.

     Mille viole e fiore
     Sparge sopra la neve el suo bel viso;
     E dolce del suo riso
     Faria piatoso Silla a la vendetta,
     E spontaria de Giove omne saetta."

FEDERIGO VETERANI has been repeatedly mentioned as a
transcriber of MSS. for Duke Federigo, whom he also served as
librarian and secretary, besides being one of the judges at Urbino.
Those who have had occasion to examine the library formed by that
prince, are well acquainted with his beautiful autograph, and might
imagine his whole life to have been spent upon its fair volumes. One
of them, containing the Triumphs of Petrarch, No. 351, is subscribed
by him, with a memorandum that it was the last of about sixty volumes
he had written out before the death of Federigo, which he thus

     "Fedrico Veterano fui, che scripse
       Questo e molti altri, cum justa mercede,
       Usando diligentia, amore et fede
       Al Duca Federigo in sin ch'el vixe:
     Le cui memorie sempre al mondo fixe
       Sonno e seranno; e ben certo si crede,
       Mentre sta el mondo e la natura in pede
       Ch'ogni virtù dal cielo in lui venisse.
     Quello mi piango, e mai ho 'l viso asciutto;
       Quel chiamo, quel mi sogno, e quel mi stringo
       Ai labri, sculpto in cara tavletta;
     La qual, così machiata del mio lucto,
       Adoro, honoro in verso, e vivo el fingo,
     Per lenimento di mia vita abiecta."[90]

[Footnote 90: See a translation of these lines, vol. I., p. 269.]

But, in addition to his miscellaneous avocations, Veterani was a
copious versifier. Besides an epic, De Progenie Domus Feretranæ,
there are other volumes of poetry, apparently his, remaining unedited
in the library,[91] of which he continued custodian until the reign
of Francesco Maria I. One of those beautiful manuscripts, the fair
vellum and gem-like illuminations of which have been the theme of
many a eulogy, contains the collected verses of Cristoforo Landini
and six other less-known poets of the fifteenth century. On the
concluding page, in a trembling and blotted hand, we read these
touching lines, the tribute of its lettered scribe to the temporary
eclipse of his sovereign's dynasty:[92]--



     "Ne careat lacrymis liber hic, post fata Feretri,
       Hic me subscripsi, cumque dolore gravi.
     Hunc ego jamdudum Federicus, stante Feretro,
       Transcripsi, (gratus vel fuit ille mihi
     Quem modo vel semper fas est lugere parentem,
       Et dominum qui me nutriit,) atque diu
     Pagina testis erit, lacrymis interlita multis,
       Hæc tibi, qui moesta hæc carmina pauca legis.
     Et si dissimilis conclusit littera librum,
       Scriptorem ignarum me dolor ipse facit."

[Footnote 91: Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 1293, 303, 699.]

[Footnote 92: _Ibid._, No. 368, f. 188.]

Among the minor fry slumbering unknown in the Vatican Library
is URBANI of Urbino, who left a few rude elegiac and complimentary
ditties in Latin or Italian upon members of the Montefeltrian line,
and compiled a confused account of their pedigree. We may also name
ANTONIO RUSTICO of Florence, whose _Panegiricon Comitis Federici_,
dedicated to him in 1472, contains above seven hundred Italian lines
of _terza rima_, unpolished in style, and in matter a mere tissue of
fatiguing verbiage. Scarcely more valuable is NALDIO'S account of the
Volterran campaign of 1572 in Latin verse, to which we have vainly
had recourse for new information on that obscure passage of our

[Footnote 93: These three works are Nos. 736, 743, and 373.]

       *       *       *       *       *

While enumerating in our twenty-first chapter the celebrities of Duke
Guidobaldo's court, we mentioned Bernardo Accolti, and endeavoured
to explain the inadequacy of his published works to sustain his
contemporary reputation, by supposing that his strength lay in
extemporé recitation. The high place which his vanity claimed, in
assuming "the Unique" as a surname, appears to have been freely
accorded by the most able of his contemporaries. Ariosto says of him,
not perhaps without a sneer at his notorious conceit,--

     "The cavalier amid that band, whom they
     So honour, unless dazzled in mine eye
     By those fair faces, is the shining light
     Of his Arezzo, and Accolti hight."[94]

[Footnote 94: STEWART ROSE'S Translation, XLVI., 10.]

Castiglione assigns him a prominent rank among the Urbino stars,
whilst Bembo and Pietro Aretino testify to his merits. We, however,
would try these by his surviving works, which, as Roscoe observes,
are fatal to his reputation, and which are indeed rather a beacon
than a model to succeeding genius. It is, therefore, unnecessary
to pause upon them, or to add here to our previous notice of their
author and his position at the Montefeltrian court. Nor was Accolti
the only poetaster who attained in that polished circle, or in other
Italian courtlets, a celebrity from which posterity has withheld
its seal. A solution of this success may perhaps be found in the
circumstance that many of these owed it either to personal popularity
or to their musical accomplishments. Thus SERAFINO D'AQUILA,
who either improviséed his verses, or chanted them to his own
accompaniment on the lute, was generally preferred to Petrarch.
He died at thirty-four, in 1500, after being sought by all the
petty sovereigns from Milan to Naples, and ere two generations had
passed away his poetry was utterly forgotten. So, too, AGOSTINO
STACCOLI of Urbino, whose sonnets delighted Duke Federigo, and
obtained for him a diplomatic mission to Rome in 1485, has been long
consigned to oblivion.

       *       *       *       *       *

The older comedies of Italy become a subject of interest to us, for
one of the earliest was written by Bernardo Bibbiena, a friend of
Guidobaldo I.,[95] and was first performed in the palace of Urbino.
The revival of the comic drama may be traced to Ferrara; and, though
the pieces originally represented there before Duke Ercole I. were
translations from Plautus and Terence,[96] Ariosto made several
boyish attempts to vary the entertainment by dramatic compositions
of his own. This was just before 1500, and to about the same time
Tiraboschi ascribes the comedies of Machiavelli. There is thus
much probability that these attempts preceded the _Calandra_ of
Bibbiena, which has, however, been generally considered the oldest
regular comedy in the language. It seems also to have been the first
that attracted the notice of his patron Leo X., whose delight in
comic performances was excessive; and, although now superseded by
pieces more in accordance with the age, it long enjoyed a continued
popularity. Giovo celebrates its easy and acute wit, and the talent
of its mobile and merry author for scenic representation, which must
have greatly tended to ensure its success. It is doubtful in what
year it was played at the Vatican in presence of his Holiness, on
the visit of Isabella, Marchioness of Mantua, when the decorations
painted by Baldassar Peruzzi obtained unbounded applause. But this
probably happened after its performance at Urbino, which collateral
evidence discovered by Pungileone, has fixed as taking place in the
spring of 1513.[*97] This gorgeous entertainment, and the scenery
executed for it by Timoteo della Vite and Girolamo Genga, are
commemorated in a letter of Castiglione, which throws light upon the
manner of such festivities in that mountain metropolis.

[Footnote 95: See above, pp. 65-69.]

[Footnote 96: See these described, vol. I., App. xiii.]

[Footnote *97: Cf. VERNARECCI, _Di Alcune Rappresentazioni
Drammatiche alla Corte d'Urbino nel 1513_ in the _Arch. St. per le
Marche e per l'Umbria_, vol. III., p. 181 _et seq._]

     "The scene was laid in an open space between a city-wall
     and its farthest houses. From the stage downwards, there
     was most naturally represented the wall, with two great
     towers descending from the upper part of the hall, on one
     of which were bagpipers, on the other trumpeters, with
     another wall of fine proportion flanking them; thus the
     hall figured as the town-ditch, and was traversed by two
     walls to support the water. The side next the seats was
     ornamented with Trojan cloth, over which there projected a
     large cornice, with this Latin inscription, in great white
     letters upon an azure ground, extending across that part of
     the theatre:--


     "To the roof were attached large bunches of evergreens,
     almost hiding the ceiling; and from the centres of the
     rosettes there descended wires, in a double row along
     the room, each supporting a candelabrum in the form of
     a letter, with eight or ten lighted torches, the whole
     diffusing a brilliant light, and forming the words
     POPULAR SPORTS. Another scene represented a
     beautiful city, with streets, palaces, churches, towers,
     all in relief, but aided by excellent painting and
     scientific perspective. There was, among other things,
     an octagon temple in half-relief, so perfectly finished
     that the whole workmen of the duchy scarcely seemed equal
     to produce it in four months; it was all covered with
     compositions in stucco: the windows were of imitation
     alabaster, the architraves and cornices of fine gold and
     ultramarine, with here and there gems admirably imitated in
     glass; besides fluted columns, figures standing out with
     the roundness of sculpture, and much more that it would
     be long to speak of. This was about in the middle; and at
     one end there was a triumphal arch, projecting a couple
     of yards from the wall, and as well done as possible,
     with a capital representation of the Horatii, between
     the architrave and the vault, painted to imitate marble.
     In two small niches, above the pilasters that supported
     the arch, there were tiny figures of Victory in stucco,
     holding trophies, whilst over it an admirable equestrian
     statue in full armour was spearing a naked man at his feet.
     On either side of this group was a little altar, whereon
     there blazed a vase of fire during the comedy. I need not
     recapitulate all, as your Lordship will have heard of it;
     nor how one of the comedies was composed by a child and
     recited by children, shaming mayhap their seniors, for
     they really played it astonishingly; and it was quite a
     novelty to see tiny odd men a foot high maintaining all the
     gravity and solemnity of a Menander. Nor shall I say aught
     of the odd music of this piece, all hidden here and there,
     but shall come to the _Calandra_ of our friend Bernardo,
     which afforded the utmost satisfaction. As its prologue
     arrived very late, and the person who should have spoken
     failed to learn it, one by me was recited, which pleased
     much: but little else was changed, except some scenes of
     no consequence, which perhaps they could not repeat. The
     interludes were as follows. First, a _moresca_ of Jason,
     who came dancing on the stage in fine antique armour,
     with a splendid sword and shield, whilst there suddenly
     appeared on the other side two bulls vomiting forth fire,
     so natural as to deceive some of the spectators. These
     the good Jason approached, and yoking them to the plough,
     made them draw it. He then sowed the dragon's teeth, and
     forthwith there sprang up from the stage antique warriors
     inimitably managed, who danced a fierce _moresca_, trying
     to slay him; and having again come on, the each killed the
     other, but were not seen to die. After them, Jason again
     appeared, with the golden fleece on his shoulders, dancing
     admirably. And this was the first interlude. In the second
     there was a lovely car, wherein sat Venus with a lighted
     taper in her hand; it was drawn by two doves, which seemed
     absolutely alive, and on which rode a couple of Cupids
     with bows and quivers, and holding lighted tapers; and it
     was preceded and followed by eight more Cupids, dancing
     a _moresca_ and beating about with their blazing lights.
     Having reached the extremity of the stage, they set fire
     to a door, out of which there suddenly leaped nine gallant
     fellows all in flames, and danced another _moresca_ to
     perfection. The third interlude showed Neptune on a chariot
     drawn by two demi-horses with fish-scales and fins, so
     well executed. Neptune sat on the top with his trident,
     and eight monsters after him (or rather four of them
     before and four behind) performing a sword-dance, the car
     all the while full of fire. The whole was capitally done,
     and the monsters were the oddest in the world, of which no
     description can afford an idea. The fourth showed Juno's
     car, also full of fire, and herself upon it, with a crown
     on her head and a sceptre in her hand, seated on a cloud,
     which spread around the car, full of mouths of the winds.
     The chariot was drawn by two peacocks, so beautiful and
     well managed that even I, who had seen how they were made,
     was puzzled. Two eagles and as many ostriches preceded
     it; two sea-birds followed, with a pair of parti-coloured
     parrots. All these were so admirably executed that I verily
     believe, my dear Monsignore, no imitation was ever so like
     the truth; and they, too, went through a sword-dance with
     indescribable, nay incredible, grace. The comedy ended, one
     of the Cupids, whom we had already seen, suddenly appeared
     on the stage, and in a few stanzas explained the meaning
     of the interludes, which had a continued plot apart from
     the comedy, as follows. There was, in the first place,
     the battle of these earth-born brothers, showing, under
     the fabulous allegory of Jason, how wars prevail among
     neighbours who ought to maintain peace. Then came Love,
     successively kindling with a holy flame men and earth, sea
     and air, to chase away war and discord, and to unite the
     world in harmony: the union is but a hope for the future;
     the discord is, to our misfortune, a present fact. I had
     not meant to send you the stanzas recited by the little
     Love, but I do so; your Lordship will do with them what
     you like. They were hastily composed whilst struggling
     with painters, carpenters, actors, musicians, and ballet
     dancers. When they had been spoken, and the Cupid was
     gone, there was heard the invisible music of four viols,
     accompanying as many voices, who sang, to a beautiful air,
     a stanza of invocation to Love; and so the entertainment
     ended, to the immense delight of all present. Had I not
     so bepraised it in describing its progress, I might now
     tell you the part I had in it, but I should not wish your
     Lordship to fancy me an egotist. It were too good fortune
     to be able to attend to such matters, to the exclusion of
     more annoying ones: may God vouchsafe it me."

Though much of this detail regards the accompanying entertainment
more than the comedy, it cannot be deemed out of place, as
illustrative of the way in which these were managed in a court where
we have frequent occasion to allude to such pastimes: the preceding
description fully explains the often-mentioned _moresca_, and almost
entitles us to translate that word by the better known French
_ballet_. The _Calandra_ continued to be played on select occasions
in Italy, and we hear of its being produced at Lyons in 1548, before
Catherine de' Medici and her husband, whose largess to the actors
exceeded 2500 crowns.

This piece, though improved in incidents, is avowedly indebted
for its plot to the _Menecmo_ of Plautus, a comedy already
popular through a translation performed at Ferrara, in 1486-7, by
the children and courtiers of Ercole I., in a theatre built on
purpose within the palace-yard, and costing with its decorations
1000 ducats. In regard to its proper merits, no one can deny the
amusing complexity of the plot, the constant succession of absurd
mistakes among the personages, the ingenious contrivances by which
these are alternately occasioned and extricated, the bustle of the
entertainment, and the racy humour of the dialogue. In order to let
these be appreciated, an analysis larger than our space can permit
would be necessary, and neither the character nor the wit of the
piece could be preserved without introducing intrigues and language
repugnant to modern decency. Ginguené has conveyed a tolerable
idea of the comedy without greatly shocking the reader, but has
consequently suppressed much of its fun, and to his pages we must
refer for detail.[98] The story turns upon the adventures of twins,
a brother and sister, who, perfectly resembling in person, but
unknown to each other, are simultaneously parties to love intrigues,
carried on through the agency of a clever valet, and at the cost of a
drivelling husband (Calandro) in the course of which they frequently
interchange the dress and character of their respective sexes, a
magician being ever at hand to bear the blame of what appear physical
transmutations, and a double marriage of course happily solving all
embarrassments. Although unquestionably rich in the materials of
broad farce, it is evident that such a plot is but indifferently
adapted for embodying manners sketched from life.

[Footnote 98: See also Panizzi's London edition of the _Orlando
Innamorato_ and the _Furioso_, vol. VI., p. 59.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The corruption of morals in Italy during the golden age of her
literature and civilisation is a painful topic, but one naturally
suggested by these remarks, and which cannot with truth be entirely
thrown into the shade.[*99] It was especially developed in the
free gratification of passions to which an enervating climate
is considered peculiarly incentive, and which induce to amorous
indulgence. The due restraint of these was reckoned neither among
the virtues nor the decencies of life, nor was their licentious
exercise limited to persons of exalted station. The sad example set
in luxurious courts spread to classes whose sacred calling and vows
of continence rendered their lapses doubly disgraceful; and those
whose tastes and cultivated understandings were fitted for purer
and nobler pursuits wallowed without discredit in the slough of
sensuality. With such instances, even among the finest characters,
these pages render us unfortunately too familiar. Instead of
multiplying or repeating them, let us hear the calm admissions of a
late writer, whose evidence cannot be deemed partial on such a topic.
In talking of Bembo, the Italian translator of Roscoe's _Leo X._ thus
touches upon this delicate subject: "It must be observed that most
of the poets and writers of that age, although resident at Rome,
and dignified by prelacies, preferments, and offices of the Church,
were infected with the like vices, or, as some would express it,
tarred with the same pitch. The spirit of that court, the manners of
these times, the licence of ideas among literary men, their constant
reading of ancient poets not always commendable for modesty, the
long established and uniform intercourse of the Muses with Bacchus
and Venus, the fatal example afforded by certain cardinals, and
even by several of the papal predecessors of Leo, whose children
were publicly acknowledged ... all these considerations show how
difficult it was at such an epoch, and especially in the capital of
Christendom, to continue exempt from corruption and licentiousness."

[Footnote *99: This hardly needs comment: it has become universally
accepted as the truth. The _Prediche Volgari_ of Fra Bernardino
afford ample evidence, as do the _Novelle_ generally. I shall
therefore confine myself to referring to two English writers who have
treated of this subject: WILLIAM HEYWOOD, _The Ensamples of
Fra Filippo_ (Siena, 1902), pp. 118, 122 _et seq._ and 295 _et seq._,
who gives an infinite number of authorities and is exhaustive in his
evidence; VERNON LEE, _Euphorion_ (Fisher Unwin, 1899), pp.
25-109, who treats of it in two essays, _The Sacrifice_ and _The
Italy of the Elizabethan Dramatist_, with exquisite understanding and
the wide tolerance of a poet. Nothing is to be gained by going into
this subject so casually as Dennistoun does. He speaks of the Italian
genius without understanding either its strength or its weakness. He
judges Machiavelli, for instance, or Cesare Borgia, as one might have
judged an Englishman of the depressing age he himself lived in, and
thus his judgment is at fault in regard to nearly every great man of
whom he writes.]

In no language, perhaps, does there exist a jest-book more
disgustingly prurient or so full of sacrilegious ribaldry as
the _Facetiæ_ of Poggio Bracciolini. Were such a work published
now-a-days, the author would be hooted from society, and the printer
laid hold of as a common nuisance. Though the parties to above half
its obscene anecdotes are from the clergy or the monastic orders,
there occurs throughout the foul volume no word of blame nor burst
of indignation. Yet it was compiled for publication by a priest,
the confidential secretary of pontiffs, and one of the stars of a
literary age. If more direct evidence of dissolute habits among the
clergy be required, it will be found in the reports of P. Ambrogio
Traversari on his disciplinarian circuits among the Camaldolese
convents, of which he was general from 1431 to 1434.[100] It would
be loathsome to enter upon the details, but a generally lax morality
among those specially devoted to religious profession must be
considered as at once the occasion and the effect of much social
perversion. The poison disseminated from such a quarter was sure
to pervade all ranks, and the standard of public decency must have
sunk low indeed ere monastic debauchery ceased to create universal
scandal. When churchmen had become very generally latitudinarians in
theology and libertines in morals, the corruption of their flocks
need be no matter of surprise. It was in the beginning of the
sixteenth century that these evils had reached their height, and
the miseries of foreign invasion under the Medicean popes were even
then regarded by many as judicial inflictions from Heaven. Hence was
it, that, although Italy was supereminent among nations, although
illustrated by the triumphs of mind, adorned by the productions of
genius, and enriched by the gains of intelligent enterprise, she was
nevertheless deficient in moral power, and when tried in the furnace
of adversity was found wanting. With institutions whose freedom had
no longer vitality, with rulers intent only on selfish ends, and with
citizens relaxed in principle and knit by no common political ties,
the very advantages lavished upon her by nature and civilisation
proved her bane, attracting spoilers whom she was powerless to
resist. Melancholy is the thought that all her mental superiority
was ineffectual for her defence; but yet more humiliating the fact
that those on whom nature's best gifts were showered, and who were
foremost as protectors of literature and the arts, were often, by
their fatal example, chief promoters of the general demoralisation.
No wonder then that she fell, and in her fall presented a signal
lesson to future times "of the impotence of human genius and of the
instability of human institutions, however excellent in themselves,
when unsustained by public and private virtue."[101]

[Footnote 100: Hodoeporicon and Epistola, _passim_.]

[Footnote 101: PRESCOTT'S _Ferdinand and Isabella_.]


     Mediæval art chiefly religious--Innovations of Naturalism,
     Classicism, and Paganism--character and tendencies of
     Christian painting ill understood in England--influence of
     St. Francis--Mariolatry.

In order to comprehend the peculiar tendency which painting assumed
in Umbria, it will be necessary briefly to examine the principles
and history of what is now generally known under the denomination of
CHRISTIAN ART.[*102] Until after the revival of European
civilisation, painting had scarcely any other direction than
religious purposes. For household furniture and decoration, its
luxuries were unheard of; the delineation of nature in portraits
and landscapes was unknown. But pictorial representations had
been employed for embellishment of churches from the recognition
of Christianity by the Emperors of the West, and they had assumed
a conventional character, derived chiefly from rude tracings in
which the uncultivated limners of an outcast sect had long before
depicted Christ, his Mother, and his apostles, for the solace of
those whose proscribed creed drove them to worship in the catacombs.
When these delineations, originally cherished as emblems of faith,
had been employed as the adjuncts, and eventually perverted into
the objects of devotion, they acquired a sacred character which
it was the tendency of ever-spreading superstition continually to
exaggerate. They became, in fact, the originals of those pictures
which in subsequent ages were adopted as part and portion of the
Roman worship; and forms, which they derived perhaps from the
fancy or caprice of their inventors, came to be the received types
to which all orthodox painters were bound to adhere.[*103] The
means adopted for repeating them were enlarged or narrowed by
various circumstances; the success with which they were imitated
fluctuated with the advance or decline of taste. But whether traced
upon the tablets of ivory diptychs, or blazoned in the pages of
illuminated missals; whether depicted on perishable ceilings,
or fixed in unfading mosaics; whether degraded by the unskilful
daubing and spiritless mechanism of Byzantine artists,[*104] or
refined by the holier feeling and improved handling of the Sienese
and Umbrian schools,--the original types might still be traced.
Indeed, those traditionary forms were as little subjected to
modification by painters as the dogmas of faith were open to the
doubts of commentators. Heterodoxy on either point was liable to
severe denunciation, and pictorial novelties were interdicted by
the Church, not as absolutely wrong, but as liable to abuse from
the eccentricities of human fancy.[105] It was in Spain, the
land of suspicion and priestcraft, that such jealousy was chiefly
entertained, and the censorship of the fine arts there became in the
sixteenth century a special duty of the Holy Office.

[Footnote *102: I have not deleted these pages partly because it has
been thought better to give the whole text as nearly as possible as
Dennistoun wrote it, and partly too because they serve to show that
Dennistoun was in advance of the general taste of his day in England.
But, of course, the whole of our knowledge about Italian art has
been revolutionized since he wrote. It is almost hopeless to try to
annotate these pages. To begin with, the author is dealing with a
subject of which even to-day we know very little. And then Urbino
seems to have had almost nothing to do with the rise of the Umbrian
school of painting. The reader must therefore accept with care every
statement which follows.]

[Footnote *103: This is true in a sense, but the work in the
catacombs and the mosaics (III. cent.) in S. Maria Maggiore, for
instance, are based on classic models, and are often very excellent
and beautiful.]

[Footnote *104: The Byzantine work was not always "unskilful," only
its intention seems to have been rather decorative than realistic,
yet in _S. Maria Antigua_, for instance, we can see the models were

[Footnote 105: A large picture of the Glorification of the Madonna,
long placed in the Belle Arti at Florence, was painted by Sandro
Botticelli for Matteo Palmieri, who, in his Dantesque poem entitled
_La Città della Vita_, has advanced a theory that, in Lucifer's
rebellion, a certain number of angels assumed a neutral attitude,
as a punishment for which they were doomed to a term of trial in
the quality of human souls. Although never printed, this work was
solemnly condemned by the Inquisition after the author's death,
and the picture, which had been composed under his own direction,
fell under similar suspicion of heresy. On a rigid examination, the
censors having discovered a sort of fullness in the draped bosoms
of some angels, pronounced them females, and for this breach of
orthodoxy denounced the painting. It was accordingly covered up,
and the chapel where it hung in S. Pietro Maggiore was for a time
interdicted; but, having escaped destruction, it was offered for
sale a few years ago by the heirs of Palmieri. The opportunity
for procuring for our national collection a most interesting and
characteristic example of early art was as usual lost; but it was
brought to England by Mr. Samuel Woodburn in 1846, and has now found
a resting-place at Hamilton Palace, in one of the few collections of
art which contain nothing common-place or displeasing.[*B]]

[Footnote *B: This picture, now in the National Gallery [No. 1126] is
by Botticini, not Botticelli.]

With the aid of authorities thus deduced through an unbroken chain
from primitive times,--to conceive and embody abstractions "which
eye hath not seen nor ear heard," was reckoned no rash meddling
with sacred mysteries. On the contrary, the subjects almost
exclusively selected for the exercise of Christian art, belonged to
the fundamental doctrines of Christian faith, to the traditional
dogmas of the Church, to the legendary lives of the Saviour and of
saints, or to the dramatic sufferings of early martyrs. Such were
the transfiguration, the passion, the ascension of our Lord; the
conception, the coronation, and the _cintola_ of the Madonna[106];
the birth and marriage of the Blessed Virgin; the miracles performed
by popular saints, the martyrdoms in which they sealed their
testimony. The choice, and occasionally the treatment, of these
topics was modified to meet the spiritual exigences of the period,
or the circumstances of the place, but ever in subservience to
conventional standards derived from remote tradition. Thus we detect,
in works of the Byzantine period, rigid forms, harsh outlines,
soulless faces; in the schools of Siena and Umbria, pure figures lit
up by angelic expressions; in the followers of Giotto, a tendency to
varied movement and dramatic composition.

[Footnote 106: The Gospel account of St. Thomas's doubtings finds a
counterpart in the Roman legend of the Madonna, after her interment,
being seen by him during her corporeal transit to heaven; whereupon,
his wonted caution having led him to "ask for a sign," she dropped
him her girdle or _cintola_, which he carried to the other apostles
in proof of his marvellous tale; and the fact of her assumption was
verified by their opening her tomb and finding it empty.]

There is yet another reason for what to the uninitiated may seem
monstrosities. The old masters had not generally to represent men
and women in human form, but either prophets, saints, and martyrs,
whom it was their business to embody, not in their "mortal coil,"
but in the purer substance of those who had put on immortality; or
the Mother of Christ, exalted by mariolatry almost to a parity with
her Son; or the "Ancient of Days,"--the personages of the Triune
Divinity with their attendant heavenly host, whom to figure at all
was a questionable licence, and who, if impersonated, ought surely
to seem other than the sons and daughters of men. Of such themes
no conception could be adequate, no approximation otherwise than
disappointing; and those who were called upon to deal with them
usually preferred painting images suggested by their own earnest
devotional thoughts, to the more difficult task of idealising human
models. Addressing themselves to the spirit rather than to the eye,
they sought to delineate features with nought of "the earth, earthy,"
expressions purified from grovelling interests and mundane ties.

How much this religious art depended for its due maintenance upon
the personal character of those whose business it was to embody and
transmit to a new generation its lofty inspirations, can scarcely
require demonstration. That they were men of holy minds is apparent
from their works. Some, by long poring over the mystic incarnations
which they sought to represent; others, by deep study of the pious
narratives selected for their pencils; many, by the abstraction of
monastic seclusion, brought their souls to that pitch of devotional
enthusiasm, which their pictures portray far better than words can
describe. The biographies that remain of the early painters of Italy
fully bear out this fact; and of many instances that might be given
we shall select three from various places and periods.

Of the early Bolognese school, Vitale and his pupil Lippo di Dalmasio
were each designed _delle Madonne_, from their formally devoting
themselves to the exclusive representation of her

     "Who so above all mothers shone,
     The mother of the Blessed One."

So far indeed did the latter of these carry enthusiastic mysticism,
that he never resumed his labours without purifying his imagination
and sanctifying his thoughts by a vigil of austere fasting, and by
taking the blessed sacrament in the morning. In like manner did one
of his comrades gain the appellation of Simon of the crucifixes. A
century later, Gentile Bellini painted three of his noblest works for
a confraternity in Venice, who possessed a relic of the True Cross,
and chose for his subject various miracles ascribed to its influence.
Refusing all remuneration, he affixed this touching record of his
pious motives: "The work of Gentile Bellini, a knight of Venice,
instigated by affection for the Cross, 1496." Similar anecdotes might
be quoted of Giovanni da Fiesole, better known in Italy as Beato
Angelico, whose life and pencil may well be termed seraphic, and to
whom we shall again have occasion to allude; while parallel cases
of a later date are found in Spain, where religion, and religious
fervour, influenced by the self-mortification of dark fanatics and
dismal ascetics, generally assumed less attractive forms.

A Christian ideal was thus the aim of the early masters; and
most surviving works of the Umbrian and Sienese schools carry in
themselves ample evidence of intensely serious sentiment animating
their authors. But to those who have not enjoyed opportunities of
observing this peculiar characteristic of a style of art almost
unknown in England, it may be acceptable to trace the same spirit
in a language legible by eyes unaccustomed to the delicacies of
pictorial expression. This confirmation is found in the rules
adopted by guilds of painters, incorporated in different towns of
Italy, which are upon this point more important, as proving how
entirely devotional feeling was systematised, instead of being left
to the accident of individual inspiration. The statutes of the
Sienese fraternity, confirmed in 1357, are thus prefaced: "Let the
beginning, middle, and end of our words and actions be in the name of
God Almighty, and of his Mother, our Lady the Virgin Mary! Whereas
we, by the grace of God, being those who make manifest to rude and
unlettered men the marvellous things effected by, and in virtue of,
our holy faith; and our creed consisting chiefly in the worship and
belief of one God in Trinity, and of God omnipotent, omniscient, and
infinite in love and compassion; and as nothing, however unimportant,
can have beginning or end without these three necessary ingredients,
power, knowledge, and right good-will; and as in God only consists
all high perfection; let us therefore anxiously invoke the aid of
divine grace, in order that we may attain to a good beginning and
ending of all our undertakings, whether of word or work, prefacing
all in the name and to the honour of the MOST HOLY TRINITY.
And since spiritual things are, and should be, far preferable and
more precious than temporal, let us commence by regulating the fête
of our patron, the venerable and glorious St Luke," &c. Several
subsequent rules relate to the observance of other festivals, whereof
fifty-seven are enjoined to be strictly kept without working, a
number which, added to Sundays and Easter holidays, monopolises for
sacred purposes nearly a third of the year.[107] The Florentine
statutes, dated about twenty years earlier, direct that all who come
to enrol themselves in the Company of painters, whether men or
women, shall be penitent and confessed, or at least shall purpose
to confess themselves at the earliest opportunity; that they shall
daily repeat five paternosters, and as many aves, and shall take the
sacrament at least once a year.[108] Nor let these be regarded as
mere unmeaning phrases, or as the vapid lip-service of a formalist
faith. The ceremonial observances of an age in which the Roman
Church was indeed Catholic cannot fairly be judged by a Protestant
standard, yet few, who have seen with intelligence the productions of
those painters, will doubt that they were men of piety and prayer.
A vestige of the same holy feeling hung over artists, even after it
had ceased to animate their efforts; the forms survived, when the
spirit had fled. Thus, "On Tuesday morning, the 11th of June 1573,
at eleven in the forenoon, Giorgio Vasari began to paint the cupola
of the cathedral at Florence; and, before commencing, he had a Mass
of the Holy Spirit celebrated at the altar of the sacrament, after
hearing which he entered upon the work."[109] Vasari was a religious
man; but the favourite painter of a dissolute court could scarcely be
a religious artist, nor could the pupil of Michael Angelo appreciate
the quiet pathos or feel the gentle fervour of earlier and more
spiritualised times.

[Footnote 107: _Carteggio d'Artisti_, II., p. 1.]

[Footnote 108: _Carteggio d'Artisti_, II., p. 33.]

[Footnote 109: _Ibid._, III., p. 352.]

In Spain, where art was always in the especial service of the
priesthood, and not unfrequently subservient to priestcraft, religion
was a requisite of painters to a much later date. The rules of the
academy established at Seville by Murillo, in 1658, imposed upon each
pupil an ejaculatory testimony of his faith in, and devotion for,
the blessed sacrament and immaculate conception.[110] But whilst the
piety of the Sienese and Florentine guilds was an inherent sentiment
of their age, willingly adopted by professional etiquette, that of
the Iberian artists in the sixteenth century was regulated by the
Inquisition, and savoured of its origin. The former was joyous as the
bright thoughts of youthful enthusiasm springing in a land of beauty;
the latter shadowed the grave and sombre temperament of the nation
by austerities congenial to the Holy Office. Hence the religious
paintings of Spain, appealing to the spectator's terrors rather than
to his sympathies, revelled in the horrible, eschewing as a snare
those lovely forms which in Italy were encouraged as conducive to

[Footnote 110: STIRLING'S _Annals of the Artists of Spain_,
p. 848.]

Yet, if the genius of early painters was hampered, and the effect
of their creations impaired, by prescribed symbols and conventional
rules, they were not without countervailing advantages. A limited
range of forms did not always imply poverty of ideas, nor was
simplicity inconsistent with sublimity. Those, accordingly, who look
with intelligence upon pictures, which, to the casual glance of an
uninformed spectator, are mere rude and monstrous representations,
will often recognise in them a grandeur of sentiment, and a majesty
of expression, altogether wanting in more matured productions,
wherein truth to nature is manifested through unimportant
accessories, or combined with trivial details. Familiarity is
notoriously conducive to contempt; and to associate the grander
themes and dogmas of holy writ with multiplied adjuncts skilfully
borrowed from ordinary life, is to detract from the awe and mystery
whereof they ought to be especially suggestive.

But here it may be well to premise that, our observations upon
Christian art being purely æsthetical, it forms no part of our plan
to analyse its influences in a doctrinal view, or to discuss the
Roman system of teaching religion to the laity, by attracting them
to devotional observances through pictures and sculpture, to the
exclusion of the holy scriptures; still less to raise any controversy
regarding the incidents or tenets thus usually inculcated. We,
therefore, pause not to inquire how far the Roman legends--often
beautifully suggestive of truth, but how frequently redolent of fatal
error!--have originated in art, or been corrupted by its creations.
One danger of teaching by pictures is obvious; for where the eye
is offered but a few detached scenes, without full explanation of
their attendant circumstances and connecting links, very imperfect
impressions and false conclusions may result. Under such a system,
figurative representation will often be literally interpreted,
symbols will be mistaken for facts, dreams for realities; and thus
have the fertile imaginations of artists and commentators mutually
reacted upon each other, until historical and spiritual truth is
lost in a maze of allegory and fable, and error has been indelibly
ingrafted upon popular faith. The dim allegories of early art have
accordingly been overlaid by crude inventions, or obscured by gross
ignorance and enthusiastic mysticism. Religious truth being thus
misstated, or its symbols misread, those who thirsted for the waters
of life were repelled by tainted streams, and hungry souls were
mocked by stones for bread. It ought, however, to be constantly borne
in mind that we are dealing with times when the authority of Rome was
absolute throughout Europe; and that, whatever may now be alleged
against the dogmas or legends embodied by early artists, they were
then universally received. For our purpose they ought, therefore,
to be examined by the light then enjoyed, not by that shed upon
them in after times of gospel freedom. Neither ought we to forget
the impressionable qualities of a southern people, when disposed to
question the tendencies of religious instruction through the senses
and the imagination. And, granting that it is well to employ such
means, the mute eloquence of an altar-picture, or a reliquary, though
less startling than impassioned pulpit appeals, less thrilling than
choral voices sustained by the organ's impressive diapason, had the
advantages of being accessible at all hours to devout visitors, and
of demanding from them no sustained attention.

       *       *       *       *       *

Such was Christian art in Italy during the fourteenth century, when
it was destined to undergo very considerable modifications. As yet
it had been exercised almost exclusively for decorating churches
and monastic buildings with extensive works intended to nourish or
revive devotion in the masses who resorted to them. In ages when the
intelligence capable of ordering these works was almost limited to
convents, and when it was only from such representations that the
unlettered eye could convey impressions to the mind of the laity,
Christian paintings were an effective adjunct to Christian preaching
and devotional exercises. But, as the dark cloud began to roll away
before the dawn of modern cultivation, mankind awoke to new wants. No
longer content with the pittance of religious knowledge which their
spiritual guides doled out to them, they sought to secure a store for
their own uncontrolled use. Those who could vanquish the difficulties
of reading, found in their office-books a continuation of the church
services; the less educated placed by their bed, or in their domestic
chapel, a small devotional picture, as a substitute for the larger
representations which invoked them to holy feelings in the house
of God. Thus there arose a general desire for objects of sacred
art. The privilege assumed by all who wished for such, of ordering
them in conformity with their individual feelings or superstitions,
quickly introduced greater latitudinarianism as to the selection
and treatment of the subjects. The demand so created exceeded the
productive powers of such painters as had been regularly initiated
into the language of form, according to the settled conventionalities
of their sanctified profession. The chain of pictorial tradition was
snapped, when a host of new competitors entered the field, free from
its trammels. But the public taste had been too long and thoroughly
imbued with a uniform class of religious compositions to relish any
great innovations; and although historical painting began to find
a place in the palace-halls of the princes and republics of Italy,
works commissioned by private persons continued almost exclusively of
a sacred cast. Thus for a time was the new path little frequented.
Artists felt their way with caution, unaware of the direction
whither it might lead them; timid of their own powers, doubtful of
their influence on the public. They contented themselves at first
with enlarging the range of subjects, or with varying the pose of
the actors. Fearing to abandon traditional types, they ventured not
beyond the addition of accessories, such as architecture, landscape,
animals, fruits, and flowers, or a disposal of the draperies with
greater freedom and attention to truth. But, the further they
departed from received forms, the more willingly did their genius
pluck by the way those graceful aids and appliances which spontaneous
nature offered in a land of beauty; and every new combination which
that awakened genius inspired, induced, and to a certain extent
authorised, fresh novelties.

The modifications thus introduced have been distinguished in modern
phrase by the term naturalism, in contradistinction to those
traditional forms and spiritualised countenances which constitute
the mysticism of mediæval art. It would lead us too far from
our subject to trace the progress of naturalism from such early
symptoms as we have indicated, until portraits, at first interponed
as donors of the picture, or as spectators of its incident, were
habitually selected as models for the most sacred personages. That
the adaptation of nature to the highest purposes of art, by skilful
selection and by judicious idealisation, is the noblest object which
pictorial genius can keep in view for its inventions will scarcely
be contested. But another consideration, inherent in the axioms of
the mystic school, was too often lost sight of by the naturalists.
The portraiture of criminal or even vulgar life, in deeply religious
works, is an outrage upon all holy feeling, whether in the example of
Alexander VI., who commanded Pinturicchio to introduce into one of
the Vatican frescoes his own portrait, kneeling before the ascending
Redeemer;[111] or in the case of those painters in Rome whose
favourite model for the Saviour has of late years been a cobbler,
hence known in the streets by the blasphemous name of Jesus Christ.

[Footnote 111: Roscoe, who wrote without an opportunity of seeing
these paintings, describes this Pope as kneeling in his pontificals
before the Madonna, in whom is portrayed his mistress, Julia Farnese.
In this palpable blunder he has been followed by Rio and others. It
would be curious to discover on what authority Gordon, in his life
of Borgia, states that a likeness of La Vanosia, another of his
mistresses, hung for Madonna-worship in the church of the Popolo at
Rome. The circumstance coming from such a quarter is questionable; at
all events, it is no longer true. Alexander kneels before the Risen,
not the Ascending Christ. *Roscoe followed Vasari.]

To the naturalism which became gradually prevalent in most Italian
schools after the beginning of the fourteenth century, there was,
in the fifteenth, added another principle of antagonism to mystic
feeling. In purist nomenclature it has been denominated paganism, but
it seems to consist of paganism and classicism. By the former is to
be understood that fashion for the philosophy, morality, literature,
and mythology of ancient Greece and Rome, which, introduced from
the recovered authors of antiquity, was assiduously cultivated by
the Medici in their lettered but sceptical court, until it left a
stamp on the literature and art of Italy not yet effaced. Under its
influence, the vernacular language was neglected, or cramped into
obsolete models; dead tongues monopolised students; the doctrines of
Aristotle and Plato divided men, clouding their faith, and warping
their morals from Christian standards; the beauty of holiness
yielded before an ideal of form; and that unction which had purified
the conceptions and guided the pencils of devotional painters,
evaporated as they strove to master the technical excellences of the
new manner. To the maxims and principles of revived pagan antiquity,
the philosophic Schlegel has traced the selfish policy and morals of
Italian tyrants and communities; but it seems easier to detect their
fatal tendency in painting and sculpture than upon statecraft and

Classicism, as here used, means that innovation of antique taste in
art which arose out of renewed interest in the picturesque ruins of
Rome, in her mighty recollections, in the excavation of her precious
sculptures, and which imparted to pictorial representations sometimes
a hard and plastic treatment, sometimes ornamental architecture,
bas-reliefs, or grotesques. By paganism a blighting poison was
infused through the spirit of art, while classicism has often
ennobled the work and enriched its details, without injury to its
sentiment. To schools such as those of Florence and Padua, wherein
nature or classic imitation prevailed, there belonged the materialism
of facts, the severity of definite forms.[*112] These qualities
obtained favour from men of mundane pursuits and literary tastes;
from citizens greedy after gainful commerce and devoted to political
intrigue; or from princes who patronised, and pedants who deciphered,
long forgotten, but at length reviving lore. The "new manner," as
it was called, had, in Michael Angelo, a supporter whose mighty
genius lent to its solecisms an irresistible charm. Yet against such
innovations protests were long occasionally recorded. An anonymous
writer, in 1549, mentions a _Pietà_, said to have been designed
by "Michael Angelo Buonarroti, that inventor of filthy trash, who
adheres to art without devotion. Indeed, all the modern painters and
sculptors, following the like Lutheran [that is, impious] caprices
now-a-days, neither paint nor model for consecrated churches anything
but figures that distract one's faith and devotion; but I hope that
God will one day send his saints to cast down such idolatries."[113]
In a land where mythology had slowly been supplanted by revelation,
especially in a city successively the capital of paganism and
Christianity, these influences were necessarily in frequent
antagonism, or in forced and unseemly juxtaposition. Whilst art
thus lost in sentiment, it gained in vigour; and although classic
taste and the study of antique sculpture unquestionably tarnished
its mystical purity, may they not have preserved it from the fate
of religious painting in Spain, which, debarred by the Inquisition
from access to nude models, and elevated by no refined standard,
oscillated between the extremes of gloomy asceticism and grovelling
vulgarity? The paganism of the Medici and Michael Angelo scared away
the seraphic visions of monastic limners, but it also rescued Italy
from religious prudery, and saved men from addressing their orisons
to squalid beggars.[*114]

[Footnote *112: For instance, in the work of Botticelli, I suppose,
or Verrocchio, or Mantegna?]

[Footnote 113: GAYE, _Carteggio_, II., 500.]

[Footnote *114: Can this be an allusion to S. Francesco of Assisi?]

The brief sketch which we have thus introduced of the progress
and tendency of Christian art, may be fittingly concluded by the
definition of it supplied by Baron v. Rumohr, one of the laborious,
learned, and felicitous expositors of mediæval art whom the reviving
taste of later times produced. "It is consecrated to religion alone;
its object is sometimes to induce the mind to the contemplation of
sacred subjects, sometimes to regulate the passions, by awakening
those sentiments of peace and benevolence which are peculiar to
practical Christianity." To narrate its extinction in the sixteenth
century, speedily followed by the decline of all that was noblest in
artistic genius, is a task on which we are not now called to enter.
We approached the subject because, in the mountains of Umbria, that
mystic school long maintained its chief seat; because there its
types sank deepest into the popular mind; and because it reached its
culminating point of perfection and glory in RAFFAELE of

We are fully and painfully aware how opposed some of these views
are to the received criticism and popular practice of art in
England; but it were beyond our purpose to inquire into the many
causes which combine to render our countrymen averse from the
impartial study, as well as to the even partial adoption of them.
Hogarth, the incarnation of our national taste in painting, saw in
those spiritualised cherubim which usually minister to the holiest
compositions of the Umbrian school, only "an infant's head with a
pair of duck's wings under its chin, supposed always to be flying
about and singing psalms."[115] The form conveyed by the eye, and the
description of it traced by the pen, are here in accurate unison.
Alas! how hopelessly blinded the writer's mental vision. As directly
opposed to such grovelling views, and contrasting spiritual with
material perceptions of art, it may not be out of place here to cite
a passage from Savonarola, whose stern genius gladly invoked the muse
of painting to aid his moral and political reformations. "Creatures
are beautiful in proportion as they participate in and approximate
the beauty of their creator; and perfection of bodily form is
relative to beauty of mind. Bring hither two women equally perfect in
person; let one be a saint, the other a sinner. You shall find that
the saint will be more generally loved than the sinner, and that on
her all eyes will be directed."

[Footnote 115: Our reference to this quotation (made long ago) has
been mislaid, but it appears perfectly consistent with Hogarth's
habitual train of ideas, and quaint rendering of them. See
IRELAND'S _Hogarth Illustrated_, I., p. lxix.; II., p. 194,
195; III., p. 226-40. NICHOL'S _Anecdotes of Hogarth_, p.
137. In his plate of Enthusiasm Delineated, he has actually appended
a pair of duck's legs to a cherub.]

These quotations illustrate two extremes,--ribald vulgarity on
the one hand, and transcendental mysticism on the other, between
which the standard of sound criticism may be sought. It would be
as unreasonable to suppose Hogarth capable of comprehending or
appreciating the fervid conceptions of Christian art, as to look
for sympathy from Savonarola, with his pot-house personifications.
Each of those styles has its peculiar merit, which cannot fairly be
considered with reference to the other: they differ in this among
many respects,--that whilst English caricatures and Dutch familiar
scenes are addressed to the most uncultivated minds, Umbrian or
Sienese paintings can be understood only after long examination and
elevated thought. The former, therefore, gratify the unintelligent
many, the latter delight an enlightened few.

The difficulty of justly appreciating this branch of æsthetics is
greater among ourselves than is generally imagined, as our best
authorities have entirely misled us, from themselves overlooking
its true bent. More alive to the naturalism and technical merits
of painting than to subtleties of feeling and expression, they are
neither conscious of the aims nor aware of the principles of purist
art. They look for perfection where only pathos should be sought.
Burnet, a recent and valuable writer, considers Barry "one of those
noble minds ruined by a close adherence to the dry manner of the
early masters," an analogy which cannot but surprise those who
compare the respective works of those thus brought unconsciously into
contrast. Even Sir Joshua Reynolds was not exempt from prejudice on
this point, for he sneers at the first manner of Raffaele as "dry
and insipid," and avers that until Masaccio, art was so barbarous,
"that every figure appeared to stand upon his toes." There is but one
explanation applicable to assertions thus inconsistent at once with
fact and with sound criticism, in a writer so candid and generally
so careful. Living in an age devoid of Catholic feeling (we employ
the phrase in an æsthetic sense), which classed in the same category
of contempt all painting before Michael Angelo, and speaking of
"an excellence addressed to a faculty which he did not possess,"
he assumed, without observation or inquiry, that "the simplicity
of the early masters would be better named penury, as it proceeds
from mere want,--from want of knowledge, want of resources, want
of abilities to be otherwise; that it was the offspring, not of
choice, but of necessity." No argument is required to convince those
who have impartially studied these masters, that a condemnation so
sweeping is erroneous. In our day, the number of such persons is
happily increasing, but there are still many impediments to a candid
appreciation of the subject. So long as art was the handmaid of
religion, its professors were ranked almost with those who ministered
in the temple, and interpreted the records of inspiration. In absence
of priests, their works became guides to popular devotion, and
consequently were addressed to spectators who came to worship, not
to criticise; whose credulous enthusiasm was nourished by yearnings
of the heart, not by the cold judgment of the eye. How different the
test applied by men who look upon such paintings as popish dogmas
which it is a duty to repudiate, it may be to ridicule! How futile
the perhaps more common error of trying them by the matured rules
of pictorial execution, apart from their object and intention!
Connoisseurship in painting, especially in England, has indeed too
long consisted in a mere appreciation of its technical difficulties,
and perception of their successful treatment. For it was not until
Raffaele had attained grace, and Michael Angelo had mastered
design,--until Correggio had blended light and shade into happy
effect, and Titian had taught the gorgeous hues of his palette to
mingle in harmony, that such perfections were looked for, or reduced
to a standard. Why, then, apply such standard to works already old
ere it had been adopted? The very imperfections of general treatment,
the absence of linear perspective and anatomical detail, tended to
develop what should be chiefly sought and most valued in these early
productions; for the artist's time was thus free to elaborate the
heads and extremities, until he gave them that grace and expression
which constitutes their interest and their charm.

There are, however, no longer wanting writers in England, as well as
in Germany, France, and Italy, to appreciate their lofty motives,
and solemn feelings, and gentle forms. In the words of Ruskin,
whose earnest and true thoughts are often most happily expressed,
"the early efforts of Cimabue and Giotto are the burning messages
of prophecy, delivered by the stammering lips of infants," but they
are unintelligible to "the multitude, always awake to the lowest
pleasures which art can bestow, and dead to the highest," for
their beauties "can only be studied or accepted in the particular
feeling that produced them." Under the modest title of _Sketches_
Lord Lindsay has enriched our literature with the best history of
Christian art as yet produced. He has brought to his task that
sincerity of purpose, veneration for sacred things, and lively
sense of beauty, which impart a charm to all he puts forth; and he
has peculiarly qualified himself for its successful performance,
by an anxious study of preceding writers, by a faithful, often
toilsome, examination of monuments, even in the more obscure sites
of Italy, and by a candour and accuracy of criticism seldom attained
on topics singularly liable to prejudice. Public intelligence and
taste must improve under such direction, notwithstanding passing
sneers at "his narrow notions of admiring the faded and soulless
attempts at painting of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries,"
or sapient conclusions that "the antiquities and curiosities of
the early Italian painters would only infect our school with a
retrograding mania of disfiguring art, and returning to the decrepit
littleness of a period warped and tortured by monkish legends and
prejudices."[116] In order to be comprehended, such "curiosities"
must not only be seen, but studied maturely: both are in this country
alike impracticable. When Wilkie first entered Italy, he found
nothing to rank them above Chinese or Hindoo paintings,[*117] and
could not discern the majestic simplicity ascribed to the primitive
masters. Yet, ere six weeks had passed, he recorded the conviction
"that the only art pure and unsophisticated, and that is worth study
and consideration by an artist, or that has the true object of art in
view, is to be found in the works of those masters who revived and
improved the art, and those who ultimately brought it to perfection.
These alone seem to have addressed themselves to the common sense of
mankind. From Giotto to Michael Angelo, expression and sentiment seem
the first thing thought of, whilst those who followed seem to have
allowed technicalities to get the better of them, until, simplicity
giving way to intricacy, they seem to have painted more for the
artist and the connoisseur than for the untutored apprehensions of
ordinary men." So, too, in writing to Mr. Phillips, R.A., he
says, "respect for primitive simplicity and expression is perhaps the
best advice for any school."[118]

[Footnote 116: _Art Union_, January and April, 1847. We have read
with regret, in a periodical justly entitled to great weight,
criticisms so at variance with its wonted candour and good sense.]

[Footnote *117: Evidently Chinese and Japanese art were not
understood in England in 1859.]

[Footnote 118: CUNNINGHAM'S _Life of Wilkie_, II., pp. 197,

Neither are religious innovations a necessary accompaniment of
such tastes among ourselves, as is too generally supposed. The
present reaction in favour of Romanist views, prevalent in England
among a class of persons, many of whom are distinguished by high
and cultivated intellect, as well as by youthful enthusiasm, takes
naturally an æsthetic as well as theological direction. The faith
and discipline, which they labour to revive, having borrowed some
winning illustrations and much imposing pageantry from painting,
sculpture, and architecture, their neophytes gladly avail themselves
of accessories so attractive. Nor can it be doubted that the same
qualities which render such persons impressionable to popish
observances, predispose them to admire or imitate works of devotional
art. Yet there is no compulsory connection between these tendencies.
Conversion to pantheism is not a requisite for appreciating the
Belvidere Apollo or the Medicean Venus; and a serious Christian may
surely appreciate the feeling of the early masters, without bowing
the knee to their Madonnas,--may admire the

     "Prelibations, foretastes high,"

of Fra Angelico's pencil, whilst demurring to the miracles he has so
charmingly portrayed.

There is another observation of Wilkie's which merits our notice:
"Could their system serve, which I think it may, as the border
minstrelsy did Sir Walter Scott, it would be to any student a most
admirable groundwork for a new style of art." This somewhat hasty
hint must be cautiously received. The very absence of technical
excellence interests us in the formal compositions and flat
surfaces of the early masters. We feel that movement and distance,
foreshortening and relief, symmetry and contrast, tone and effect,
are scarcely wanted, where "a truth of actuality is fearlessly
sacrificed to a truth of feeling." We are forced to admit that men
who regarded form but as the vehicle of expression, attained a severe
grandeur, a noble repose, very different from exaggerated action.
Archaisms of style are, however, ill suited to our times. Originally
significant, they are now an affectation--the offspring of penury or
perverted taste, rather than of spiritual purity. So must they seem
in modern productions, affectedly divested of the artificial means
and improved methods which centuries of progress have developed, by
artists who forget their academic studies and neglect the contour of
the living model, without attaining the old inspiration. The spirit
which animated devotional limners being long dead, any imitation
of their style must be mechanical--a reproduction of its mannerism
after its motives are extinct. Whilst, therefore, I endeavour to
point out the merits of the old religious limners, it is with no
wish to see their manner revived. Among a generation whose faith
has been remodelled, whose social and intellectual habits have been
entirely revolutionised, the restoration of purist painting would be
a mockery. But it should not, therefore, be forbidden us to study
and sympathise with forms which, though rigid and monotonous, were
sufficient to express the simple faith of early times, and in which
earnestness compensates the absence of skill, and fervour the lack of

During the early years of the thirteenth century, there appeared on
the lofty Apennines of Central Italy, one of those mysterious beings
who, with few gifts of nature, are born to sway mankind; whose brief
and eccentric career has left behind a brilliant halo, that no lapse
of time is likely to dim. Giovanni Bernardoni, better known as St.
Francis of Assisi, by his eloquence, his austerities, and all the
appliances of religious enthusiasm, quickly gathered among the fervid
spirits of his native mountains a numerous following of devoted
disciples. In a less judicious church, he might, as a field-preacher,
have become a most dangerous schismatic; but, with that foresight
and knowledge of human nature which have generally distinguished the
Romish hierarchy, the sectarian leader was welcomed as a missionary,
"seraphic all in fervency," and in due time canonised into a saint,
whilst his poverty-professing sect was recognised as an order, and
became one of the most influential pillars of the Papacy.

It was

                             "On the hard rock
     'Twixt Arno and the Tiber, he from Christ
     Took the last signet."

From the desolate fastnesses of Lavernia, which witnessed his ascetic
life and ecstatic visions, to the fertile slopes of Assisi, where
his bones found repose from self-inflicted hardships, the people
rallied round him while alive, and revered him when dead. Nor did the
religious revival which his preaching and example there effected pass
away. Acknowledged by popes, favoured by princes, his order rapidly
spread. In every considerable town convents of begging friars were
established and endowed. Still, it was in his mountain-land that
his doctrines took deepest root, among a race of simple men, reared
amid the sublime combinations of Alpine and forest scenery, familiar
from their days of dreamy youth with hills and glades, caverns and
precipices, shady grottoes and solitary cells. The visionary tales
of his marvellous life, penetrating the devotional character of the
inhabitants, became favourite themes of popular superstition.

                             "A spirit hung,
     Beautiful region! o'er thy towns and farms;
     And emanations were perceived, and acts
     Of immortality, in nature's course
     Exemplified by mysteries, that were felt
     As bonds on grave philosopher imposed,
     And armed warrior; and in every grove
     A gay or pensive tenderness prevailed."[119]

[Footnote 119: WORDSWORTH'S _Excursion_.]

Assisi in particular was the focus of the new faith. To its shrine
flocked pilgrims laden with riches, which the saint taught them
to despise. This influx of treasure had the usual destination of
monastic wealth, being chiefly dedicated to the decoration of its
sanctuary. During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the best
artists in Italy competed for its embellishment, and even now it
is there that the student of mediæval art ought most to seek for

With the legends of St. Francis thus indelibly stamped on the
inhabitants, and with the finest specimens of religious painting
preserved at Assisi, it need scarcely be matter of surprise that
devotional art, which we have endeavoured to describe, should have
found in Umbria a fostering soil, even after it had been elsewhere
supplanted by naturalist and pagan novelties; for the feelings which
it breathed were those of mystery and sentiment--its beauty was
sanctified and impalpable. By a people so trained, its traditional
types were received with the fervour of faith; while to the limited
range of its themes the miraculous adventures of the saint were
a welcome supplement. The romantic character of these incidents
borrowed from the picturesque features of the country a new but
fitting element of pictorial effect, and for the first time nature
was introduced to embellish without demeaning religious painting. But
let us hear Rio, the eloquent elucidator of sacred art, upon this
subject. "To the Umbrian school belongs the glory of having followed
out the leading aim of Christian art without pause, and without
yielding to the seductions of example or the distractions of clamour.
It would seem that a peculiar blessing belongs to the spots rendered
specially holy by the sainted Francis of Assisi, and that the odour
of his sanctity has preserved the fine arts from degradation in that
mountain district, where so many pious painters have successively
contributed to ornament his tomb. From thence rose to heaven, like
a sweet incense, prayers whose fervour and purity ensured their
efficacy: from thence, too, in other times, there descended, like
beneficent dew upon the more corrupt cities of the plain, penitential
inspirations that spread into almost every part of Italy."

Since these pages were written I have met with a passage in the
introduction of Boni's Italian translation of the work just quoted,
which I subjoin, at the risk of some repetition, as a fair specimen
of the ideas on Christian art now entertained by many on the
Continent, but as yet little known to English literature.

"On the Umbrian mountains, by Assisi, slept, in the peace of Heaven,
St. Francis, who left such sweet odour of sanctity in the middle
ages. Round his tomb assembled, from every part of Christendom,
pilgrims to pay their vows. With their offertories there was erected
over his grave a magnificent temple, which became the point of
concourse to all painters animated by Christian feeling, who thus
displayed their gratitude to the Almighty for their endowment of
genius, who in that solitude laid in a new store of inspiration,
and who, after leaving on these walls a testimony of their powers,
returned home joyful and enriched. Cimabue, among the first that
raised a holy war against the Byzantine mannerism,[*120] there
painted the most beautiful of his Madonnas; his pupil, the shepherd
of Bondone, there traced those simple histories which established
his superiority; thither sped the artists of Siena, Perugia, Arezzo,
and the best of the Florentines,--the beatified Fiesole, of angelic
life and works, Benozzo Gozzoli, Orcagna, Perugino, and, finally,
Raffaele, the greatest of painters.

[Footnote *120: Cimabue raising a holy war against Byzantine
mannerism is an amusing spectacle. All we know of him was that his
pupil was a great painter. Whether or no he painted at Assisi it is
impossible to say.]

"Thus was there formed in the shadow of that sanctuary a truly
Christian school, which sought its types of beauty in the heavens;
or, when it laid the scene of its compositions here below, selected
their subjects from the sainted ones of the earth. Its delight was
to represent, now the Virgin-Mother kneeling before her Son, or
seated caressing or holding him up for the veneration of patriarchs
and saints; now the life of Christ, his preaching, his sufferings,
his triumph; or, again, to embody the touching legends told in these
simple times, or the martyrs crucified by early tyrants, or an
anchorite's devotion in a lonely cave, or some beatified soul borne
away on seraph's wings; or a religious procession, the miracle of a
preacher, the solemnity of a sacrament: but ever, images of solace
and of hope, cherubs singing and making melody, maidens contemplating
with smiles the opening heavens, the scenes begun on earth but
continued far beyond the clouds, where the Madonna and the Saviour
are seen, radiant with serene exultation, beholding the concourse of
suppliant faithful beneath."

But lest, in quoting from writers zealously devoted to the Roman
Creed, we may seem to admit that such sympathies belong not to
Protestant breasts, it will be well to appeal to one whose pen
has, with no common success, combated the usages wherein popery
most startles those whose faith is based on the Reformation. "I
never looked at the pictures of one of these men that it did not
instantaneously affect me, alluring me into a sort of dream or
reverie, while my imagination was called into very lively activity.
It is not that their drawing is good; for, on the other hand,
it is often stiff, awkward, and unnatural. Nor is it that their
imagination, as exhibited in grouping their figures or embodying
the story to be represented, was correct or natural; for often
it is most absurd and grotesque. But still there is palpably the
embodiment of an idea; an idea pure, holy, exquisite, and too much
so to seem capable of expression by the ordinary powers either of
language or of the pencil. Yet the idea is there. And it must have
had a mysterious and wondrous power on the imagination of these men,
it must have thoroughly mastered and possessed them, or they never
could have developed such an exquisite ideal of calm, peaceful, meek,
heavenly holiness, as stands out so constantly and so pre-eminently
in their paintings." In noticing the cavils of connoisseurs upon
these paintings this author happily observes, that they were "looking
for earthly creatures and found heavenly ones; and, expecting unholy
expressions, were disappointed at finding none but the holy."[121]

[Footnote 121: REV. M.H. SEYMOUR'S _Pilgrimage to Rome_, a
work remarkable for accurate observation of facts, and the candid
tone of its strictures.]

We may here remark, in passing, the nearly coeval introduction of a
class of themes which, though innovating upon the purity of Catholic
faith, were admirably adapted to develop the mystic tendencies of
devotional painting. It was about the thirteenth century that the
Madonna acquired the unfortunately paramount place in the Romish
worship she has since been permitted to hold. Her history became a
favourite topic of Franciscan and other popular preachers, at once
facile and fascinating. Not content with describing the scriptural
events of her life, they adopted traditions regarding her birth,
marriage, and death; or the more abstruse and questionable legends
of her miraculous conception, her assumption, exaltation, and her
coronation as queen of heaven, and the _cintola_ or girdle by which
she drew up souls from limbo. It would be quite foreign to the
matter in hand were we to examine the orthodoxy of these devotional
novelties, or their influence upon the social estimate of the
female character. Enough to observe that they speedily enriched
Christian art in all its branches, but chiefly in Umbria, where, in
accordance with the prevailing popular taste, such of them as partook
of dogmatic mystery gained a preference over more real or scenic
incidents. The early Giottists were wont to close their dramatic
delineations of her earthly history with a peaceful death, its only
artistic licence being the transit of her soul in the shape of a
swaddled babe. But the Madonna-worship of this more spiritual school
was satisfied with nothing short of her translation in the body,
direct to realms of bliss from amid a concourse of adoring disciples.
In like manner, the old Byzantine painters inscribed over her image
one uniform epigraph, "the Mother of God"; whilst the devotional
masters delighted to seat her beyond the skies, where her blessed
Son placed a diadem upon her brows as the queen of heaven. It hence
became an established practice of the latter to depict her charms,
not after the mould in which nature cast fair but frail humanity, but
to clothe them in abstract and purer beauty appropriate to one whom,
though incarnate, they were taught to regard as divine.


     The Umbrian school of painting, its scholars and
     influence--Fra Angelico da Fiesole--Gentile da
     Fabriano--Pietro Perugino--Artists at Urbino--Piero della
     Francesca--Fra Carnevale--Francesco di Giorgio.

The Umbrian art, of which we have attempted to trace the origin,
has not hitherto met with the notice which it merits. Lanzi allowed
it no separate place among the fourteen schools under which he has
arranged Italian painting, and, by scattering its most important
names, has lost sight of certain characteristics which, rather
than any common education, link its masters together. Nor was this
omission wonderful, for the Umbrian painters and their works were
dispersed over many towns and villages, none of which could be
considered the head-quarters of a school, and to visit these distant
localities would have been a task of difficulty and disappointment.
The patronage of princes and communities seems to have been sparingly
bestowed in that mountain-land. Assisi, adorned by many Florentine
strangers, was mother rather than nurse of its native art, and
other religious houses wanted the means or the spirit to follow her
brilliant example. Hence the comparatively few opportunities afforded
to the Christian painters of Umbria of executing great works in
fresco, the peculiar vehicle of pictorial grandeur; and alas! of
these few, a considerable proportion has been lost to us under the
barbarism of whitewash.[122] The revival of feeling for religious
art, of late commenced by the Germans, and their persevering zeal in
illustrating its neglected monuments, have established the existence
of an Umbrian school in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries; but
its history remains to be written.[*123] The task would carry us too
far from the leading subject of these volumes, yet we shall endeavour
in a few pages to sketch its development, from the dreamy anchorites
whose rude pencils embodied the visions of their favourite St.
Francis, to Raffaele, whose high mission it was to perfect devotional
painting,[*124] apart from the alloy of human passions, and to
withstand for a time that influx of pagan and naturalist corruptions,
which after his premature death overwhelmed it.

[Footnote 122: In 1843, I saw fragments of fine frescoes in two
churches at Cagli which had just been cleared of this abomination;
and I was assured that the small church of Monte l'Abbate near Pesaro
has but recently been subjected to it, by order of its ignorant
curate. The abbey church of Pietra Pertusa at the Furlo is another of
many similar instances.]

[Footnote *123: It still remains to be written; but see the Essay of
BERENSON, _Central Italian Painting_ (Putnams, 1904), and
the valuable list of pictures appended to it.]

[Footnote *124: This is an example of the taste of our fathers,
almost inexplicable to-day. To consider Raffaele as a greater
"devotional" painter than Duccio, Simone Martini, Fra Angelico,
Sassetta, or Perugino might almost seem impossible.]

Two fanes were commenced in the thirteenth century near the Tiber,
which became conspicuous as shrines equally of Christian devotion
and Christian art. The cathedral of Orvieto for two hundred years
attracted from all parts of Italy many of the best artificers in
sculpture and painting, some of whom, arriving from Umbria, carried
back new inspirations to their homes. The sanctuary of St. Francis,
at Assisi, coeval with the dawn of Italian art, borrowed its earliest
embellishments from Tuscany,[*125] where Giotto and his followers
were ingrafting on design two novel ingredients--dramatic composition
and allegorical allusion. The former of these elements distinguished
the Florentine from contemporary schools, and carried it beyond
them in variety and effect, preparing a way for the pictorial power
which Raffaele and Michael Angelo perfected. To the inspirations of
Dante it owed the latter element, and to the enthusiastic though
tardy admiration which his fellow-citizens indulged for his wildly
poetical mysticism, may be ascribed the abiding impress of a tendency
which not only authorised but encouraged new and varied combinations.
The rigid outlines, monotonous conventional movements, and soulless
countenances of Byzantium gradually were mellowed into life and
beauty; but it is curious to observe how much sooner genius caught
the spirit than the form,--how it succeeded in embodying expression
long before it could master the more technical difficulties of
design, action, and shadow. The credit claimed for Giotto of
introducing physiognomical expression is, however, only partially
true. Compared with the Greek works, or even with those of his
immediate antecedents, Cimabue, Guido, and Margaritone, his heads,
indeed, beam with animated intelligence, and feel the movement which
he first communicated to his groups. Yet not less was the still and
unimpassioned, but deep-seated emotion which the Umbrian painters
embodied in their miniatures and panels, an improvement upon the
lifeless and angular mechanism of the Byzantine artificers, although
these very opposite qualities are generally condemned to the same
category of contemptible feebleness by our pretended connoisseurs,
glibly discussing masters whose real works they never saw, or are
unable from ignorance and prejudice to appreciate. Such a state
of art could not, however, remain wedded to a few fixed types. It
was inherently one of transition, and necessarily led to a gradual
abandonment of the Giottist manner of representation, while it
enlarged the principles of composition introduced by Giotto. Beato
Angelico, the first Florentine who successfully departed from that
style, reawakening the old religious spirit, and embodying in it
forms of purity never before or since attained, forsook not wholly
the Dantesque spirit. His passing influence yielded to a manner more
in unison with the times, which was formed and nearly perfected by
Masaccio; but still Dante was not left behind. Luca Signorelli,
issuing from his Umbrian mountains and his Umbrian master, imbibed at
Florence the lofty images of "the bard of hell," and energetically
reproduced them in the duomo of Orvieto, in startling contrast with
the works of Angelico, and other devoted masters, who had previously
decorated that museum of art.

[Footnote *125: The Roman school was painting at Assisi in the Upper
Church before Giotto. Cf. CROWE & CAVALCASELLE, _op. cit._,
vol. II., p. 4.]

There, too, had been wrought some choice productions of the Pisan
sculptors,[*126] but their tendency to clothe nature in the forms
of antique design met with little sympathy, and no imitation, from
students whose minds were preoccupied by tales of St. Francis, and
thus it is unnecessary here to notice them further. The Sienese
school is in an entirely different category. Without encumbering
ourselves at present by the definitions and distinctions of German
æsthetic criticism, we shall merely remark that the painters of
Siena, from Guido until late in the fifteenth century, never lost
sight of that sentimental devotion which we have already described
as the soul of Christian art, and which so curiously pervades the
statutes of their guild formerly quoted. The cathedral of Orvieto was
founded in 1290 by a Sienese architect, who, as we may well suppose,
brought some of his countrymen to assist in its embellishment, and
to infuse these principles among the native students, who, from
assistants, became master-artificers of its decorations. Nor was
this the only link which connected Sienese art with the confines
of Umbria. The scattered townships in the Val di Chiana preserve
in their remaining early altar-panels clear evidence that these
were supplied from Siena; and Taddeo Bartolo, repairing thence in
1403 to Perugia, and perhaps to Assisi, left proofs that the bland
sentimentalism of his native school might be united with a tranquil
majesty, to which the Giottists had scarcely attained.[*127]

[Footnote *126: The Pisan sculptors were for the most part Maitani,
the Sienese. Cf. L. DOUGLAS, in _Architectural Review_,
June, 1903.]

[Footnote *127: Dennistoun says nothing of the magnificent work of
Simone Martini, the Sienese, in S. Francesco, at Assisi.]

Having thus briefly touched upon foreign influences which told on
the pictorial character of Umbria, we are prepared to consider the
most remarkable artificers whom it has produced, especially in the
duchy of Urbino. Of these the first place is due on many accounts
to ODERIGI DA GUBBIO,[*128] for, besides his claim to be
founder of the schools of Gubbio and Bologna, he is celebrated among
the most excellent miniaturists of his time by Dante, who has placed
him in purgatory, a sentence justly deemed by Ticozzi somewhat severe
for "the head and front of his offending," that of over-zeal in his

     "'Art thou not Oderigi? Art not thou
     Agobbio's glory, glory of that art
     Which they of Paris call the limner's skill?'
     'Brother,' said he, 'with tints that gayer smile,
     Bolognian Franco's pencil lines the leaves:
     His all the honour now, my light obscured.
     In truth I had not been thus courteous to him
     The whilst I lived, though eagerness of zeal
     For that pre-eminence my heart was bent on.
     Here of such pride the forfeiture is paid;
     Nor were I even here, if, able still
     To sin, I had not turned me unto God.
     O powers of man! how vain your glory, nipt
     E'en in its height of verdure, if an age
     Less bright succeed not. Cimabue thought
     To lord it over painting's field, and now
     The cry is Giotto's, and his name eclipsed.'"[129]

[Footnote *128: Cf. VENTURI, _Storia dell'Arte Italiana_
(Milano, 1907), vol. V., 837, 1003-4, 1014, 1022.]

[Footnote 129: CAREY'S _Dante_, Purg. XI., 76.]

Baldinucci has written a life of this master, chiefly in confirmation
of his theory that all modern painting was produced from the
personal influence of Cimabue, a dogma combated by Lanzi. His death
is placed in 1299, which would make him contemporary with that
Florentine artificer, and Vasari calls him the friend of Giotto, who
was much his junior. The preservation of his name is perhaps chiefly
owing to Dante's notice, though the antiquaries of Gubbio now reject
the lapidary inscription which claims for the latter a residence in
their town. There is in truth a sad deficiency of facts regarding
Oderigi, and no work from his hand being now known, speculation as
to his style would be useless.[130] That the painters connected with
Gubbio in the following generation may have been formed under his
instructions, is however a conjecture fairly admissible.

[Footnote 130: The Ordo Officiorum Senensis Ecclesiæ, a MS. of 1215,
in the library of Siena, has been ascribed to him, by confusion
with another Oderico, a canon there; it possesses no artistic merit

Of these Cecco and Puccio were employed, probably as mosaicists,
in 1321, upon the cathedral of Orvieto, whence they may have
brought back to Umbria enlarged principles of art. But, abandoning
conjectural grounds, let us notice the earliest Eugubinean painter
whose works have survived to our own time. GUIDO PALMERUCCI
is said to have been born about the time of Oderigi's death, while
others consider him as his pupil. Assuredly the observation of Lanzi,
which appears to rank him with the Giottists, is not borne out by the
frescoes in his native town attributed to him, for these have nothing
of the dramatic action which Giotto introduced, and their details,
as well as their general manner, resemble colossal miniatures.
This is especially the case in a figure of S. Antonio, the only
remains of some mural paintings which covered the exterior of a
chapel[*131] belonging to the college of painters, founded at Gubbio
in the thirteenth century. The character of the saint is grand, the
attitude solemn, the expression spiritualised; and an Ecce Homo still
in the Church of S. Maria Nuova there, exhibits a similar style.
Among the few fragments of mouldering frescoes to be seen at Gubbio,
I have found no others ascribed to Palmerucci, but Passavant tells
us he wrought in the town-hall about 1345. At Cagli two interesting
frescoes in the church of S. Francesco have been lately brought to
light from behind a great altar picture, and successfully moved to
the adjoining wall. They represent two miracles of St. Anthony of
Padua, and I am inclined to ascribe them to Palmerucci, or some able
contemporary. The actors and bystanders are equally remarkable for
heads of staid devout composure, which under Giottesque treatment
would have been in a far higher degree animated and dramatic. In the
beautiful art of pictorial glass, Gubbio has also a notable name in
ANGIOLETTO, who embellished the chapel-window of St. Louis
at Assisi, and enriched the cathedrals of Orvieto and Siena with his
gem-like decorations.

[Footnote *131: He refers to S. Antonio Abate, I suppose. There is
nothing by Palmerucci in S. Maria Nuova, but a Madonna and Saints and
Gonfaloniere kneeling are attributed to him in the Prefettura.]

To the same city belongs the little we know of the Nelli
family,[*132] yet that little is well calculated to call forth
our regrets for their lost works. MARTINO NELLI was a junior
contemporary of Palmerucci. In his fresco over the gate of
S. Antonio, representing the Madonna enthroned, with elaborate
architectural accessories, there may be traced an approach to the
mild devotional abstraction with which the purist Christian artists
tempered the

     "Maternal lady with the virgin grace."

But in a smaller work of his son OTTAVIANO, the church
of S. Maria Nuova possesses the very finest existing specimen of
the Umbrian school, exempt from injury or restoration. The lovely
and saint-like Madonna, the seraphic choir that forms a glory
around her, the Almighty crowning the "highly favoured among women,"
have perhaps never been equalled among the happiest embodyings of
devotional genius; nor are the rich colouring, the accessory saints,
and the portraits of the Peroli family, who, in 1403, commissioned
this grand work, inferior in merit. He is supposed to have been
born about 1375, and, after executing in Assisi, Urbino, and other
circumjacent towns, works long perished, to have died in 1444. Of the
mural paintings by his brother Tomaso, in S. Domenico and under the
Piazzone of his native town, it is impossible to say more than
that whatever of the family inspiration may have guided his pencil
has been nearly obscured by cruel restorations.

[Footnote *132: Cf. MAZZATINTI, _Documenti per la storia
delle Arti a Gubbio_, in _Arch. St. per le Marche e per l'Umbria_,
vol. III., p. 1-48. Ottaviano was living certainly after 1444.]

[Illustration: _Alinari_


_After the fresco by Ottaviano Nelli in S. Maria Nuova, Gubbio_]

Among the pupils of Ottaviano,

     "Who on high niche or cloister wall,
     Inscribed their bright-lined lays,"

about Gubbio, are PITALI, DOMENICO DI CECCHI, and
BERNARDINO DI NANNI: to these may be added GIACOMO
BEDI, a name that has escaped the historians of Italian art,
by whom were painted in the church of S. Agostino four scenes in
the life of the saint, which retain a freshness and force of colour
equal to any productions of the age. With these the influence of
Oderigi seems to have become extinct in his native town, before the
close of the fifteenth century, long ere which it had, however, been
transported elsewhere by Gentile da Fabriano, who, emerging from his
Apennine home, reproduced in Florence and in Rome the characteristics
of that master, amid universal applause, and, carrying them to
Venice, founded there the religious feeling which the Bellini,
Vivarini, and Cima di Conegliano sustained, imparting at the same
time that taste for luxuriant colouring which Titian brought to
perfection. But, ere we turn to the school of Fabriano, we may here
translate from the original quaint Italian a letter from Ottaviano,
illustrative of the early patronage of art by the Montefeltrian
family. No trace of the works there mentioned now remains.[133]

[Footnote 133: _Carteggio d'Artisti_, I., p. 131. Countess Caterina,
to whom it is addressed, was wife of Count Guidantonio, mentioned
in vol. I., p. 42. For some notices of Ottaviano, I am indebted to
a short account of him by Signor Luigi Bonfatti of Gubbio, whose
zealous researches will, it is to be hoped, soon enable him to
illustrate as it deserves the hitherto neglected art of Umbria. His
theory that Gentile was a pupil of Ottaviano may be redargued by
their ages being nearly equal, but an examination of the surviving
frescoes at Gubbio has inclined me to believe that the former drew
from the same school of Oderigi, as represented by the Nelli,
some of those inspirations of holy pathos, and something of that
playful brilliancy of tints, which he subsequently combined with new

     "To the illustrious and lofty Lady, the Lady Caterina,
     Countess of Montefeltro, and my special Lady.

     "My special Lady, illustrious and lofty Madam, after due
     commendation, &c. I have received your benign letter,
     reminding me of the figures which I promised to make for
     your Ladyship. When your servant Pietro found me, I was on
     horseback, going upon certain business of my own, and so
     could not well tell him all my reasons, which I now expose
     to your Ladyship. When your Ladyship left Gubbio, I was, as
     you know, to furnish the _palliotto_;[134] after I had done
     it, I went from Gubbio to execute a small job which I had
     promised above a year past; for they would wait no longer,
     and I should have lost it had I not forthwith commenced.
     But I trusted that your Ladyship's kindness would hold me
     excused, for I counted that your commission, and that of my
     Lord, your son, would be completed against your Ladyship's
     return to Gubbio. In order, however, that your piety may be
     satisfied, I shall set myself warmly and fervently to do it
     quickly, and thus your intention will take effect. There
     is no one at S. Erasimo, so I must cause lime and sand be
     carried thither, and get them ground down, and also wood
     for the framework. If your Ladyship would but write to the
     friars of S. Ambrogio, or indeed to your factor, to prepare
     these things for me: but if not, I shall do my best; for
     you, my special Lady, never had servant more willing to
     do your Ladyship's commands than myself, and so you may
     count upon me as a faithful servant to the utmost of my
     power. I believe I have instructions for the work you wish
     in S. Erasimo [representing] your son, my Lord, kneeling
     with his servant and horse before that patron saint. Thus
     I recollect everything your Ladyship wishes of me, and God
     grant me grace to perform it all. Prepared for whatever
     your Ladyship wills; your most faithful,

     "OTAVIANO, painter of Gubbio.

     "From Urbino, the last of June, 1434."

[Footnote 134: Palliotto was the painting or wood-carving
occasionally placed on the altar-front in early times, for which a
hanging of brocade or muslin was afterwards substituted.]

In a sketch having no pretensions to a history, we need not pause
upon names now known only from old records, and must keep strictly to
those whose genius has left a decided impress upon the development of
art in Umbria. We therefore pass over artificers belonging to various
communities along the Apennines who appear on the rolls of Orvieto,
including several from Fabriano. About the middle of the fourteenth
century, the latter town boasted an ALLEGRETTO NUZIO, some
of whose altar-panels may still be traced in La Marca, embodying
a sentimentalism of expression, combined with a richness in the
accessories, which remind one strongly of the finest productions of
Memmi, and lead us to suspect an infusion of the Sienese style.[*135]
But the renown of Allegretto rests more on that of his pupil
Gentile, whom we have already named as the first who carried the
characteristics and fame of the Umbrian manner beyond the seclusion
of its highland cradle.

[Footnote *135: Some magnificent works by Allegretto Nuzi of a most
surprising loveliness may be seen in Fabriano.]

FRANCESCO DI GENTILE was born at Fabriano about 1370, and,
after maturely studying all that was best there and at Gubbio,
he set forth to enlarge his field of observation. Florence was
perhaps his first point of attraction, for nowhere else could he see
such beautiful art. But resisting those seductions which the vast
compositions of the Gaddi, Orcagna, and other Giottists held out to
an ardent and youthful ambition, he preserved in their purity the
holy inspirations of the fatherland, and meeting little sympathy for
these among the fraternity of St. Luke, he sought for himself a more
suitable companionship in the cloister of S. Domenico. There it was
his good fortune to discover a man whose rare character realised
those transcendental qualities, of which we read in the saintly
legends of pristine times, without regarding them as real ingredients
in human character.

FRA GIOVANNI DA FIESOLE had spent the years which other
youths wasted on stormy pleasures in acquiring the art of miniature
painting, and its sacred representations took such hold of his
feelings, that, abjuring the world, he assumed the habit of St.
Dominic. But finding that his art, far from interfering with the
holy sentiments which a tender conscience considered as inseparable
from his new profession, tended directly to spiritualise them,
the neophyte continued to exercise it; and upon settling himself
in the convent of S. Marco, he extended his style to fresco, ever
adhering to those pure forms of celestial bliss which no one before
or since has equalled. It is related of him that, regarding his
painting in the light of a God-gift, he never sat down to exercise
it without offering up orisons for divine influence, nor did he
assume his palette until he felt these answered by a glow of holy
inspiration. His pencil thus literally embodied the language of
prayer; his compositions were the result of long contemplation on
mystic revelations; his Madonnas borrowed their sweet and sinless
expression from ecstatic visions; the passion of our Saviour was
conceived by him in tearful penitence, and executed with sobs
and sighs. Deeming the forms he thus predicted to proceed from
supernatural dictation, he never would alter or retouch them; and
though his works are generally brought to the highest attainable
finish, the impress of their first conception remains unchanged. To
the unimaginative materialism of the present day, these sentences
may seem idle absurdities, but they illustrate the character of Fra
Giovanni, and no painter ever so thoroughly instilled his character
into his works. Those who have not had the good fortune to see
any of these cannot form an idea of the infantine simplicity, the
immaculate countenances, the unimpassioned pathos apparent in his
figures, nor of the transparent delicacy of his flesh-tints, and the
gay and cheerful colouring which he introduces into the details,
without injury to the angelic grace of the whole. These qualities
procured for their author the epithet of Angelico; his personal
virtues were acknowledged by an offer of the see of Fiesole, which
his humility declined and by the posthumous honour of beatification;
his paintings, to borrow the words of Vasari, elevated the utmost
perfection to the ideal of art, by improving without abandoning
its original type; and, in the characteristic language of Michael
Angelo, he must have studied in heaven the faces which he depicted on

[Footnote 136: Such testimony, from artists so antipathic to his
practice, is a curious tribute at once to his merit and influence.]

Such was the instructor with whom, although his junior, Gentile
thought it no disparagement to place himself,[*137] and his works
testify to his having caught much of the spirit as well as the
elaborate finish of his master. But whilst Angelico passed his
time in decorating the cells of his convent with frescoes, whose
holy beauties have confirmed the faith and purified the secret
contemplations of many a recluse, his pupil returned to the world,
to follow up a successful career. Called to Orvieto about 1423,
he there painted two altars, which, though not his best works, are
peculiarly interesting in contrast with the grand productions which
at a later period his master executed for that cathedral.[*138] In
the registers of the fabric, he is, in 1425, designated as "master
of the masters"; and the fame which he thus acquired brought him
successive commissions at Florence and Siena, after which he was
extensively employed in enriching the cities of Umbria and La Marca
with works of which no trace now exists.[*139] Among these towns
were Gubbio and Urbino; but still more interesting to our immediate
subject,--the development of art under the Feltrian dukes,--is
the altar-piece executed by him at Romita, near Fabriano, and now
plundered and scattered by the French, part of which adorns the
Brera Gallery at Milan. The Madonna is crowned by her Son, the Dove
fluttering between them, the Father rising pyramidally behind, amid a
choir of cherubim; below, in the empyrean void, is an arch spanning
the sun and moon, on which stand eight angels, making melody of
praise on various instruments. So extended was the reputation of this
work, that Raffaele is believed to have been attracted thither in
his youth, to imbibe that devotional sentiment which he was destined
to advance to its culminating point of excellence. Another fountain
of his early inspiration was the famous, but now defaced, Madonna of
Forano, near Osimo, whose angelic beauty is described as well-fitted
to have left an indelible charm upon minds less pure and enthusiastic
than his. On the mere evidence of its ecstatic loveliness, it was
generally ascribed to Beato Angelico; but as there is no account of
the Frate having visited La Marca, it may probably have been produced
by Gentile, when his return to his native mountains had freed him
for a season from mundane impressions, and had restored him to the
sanctifying influence of its legendary abstractions.

[Footnote *137: Gentile da Fabriano was the pupil of Allegretto Nuzi,
not of Fra Angelico.]

[Footnote *138: There is only one fragment of Gentile's work in the
Duomo of Orvieto: a Madonna, painted in 1425.]

[Footnote *139: A fine work still remains at Perugia, No. 39, in Sala
V., Pinacoteca.]

[Illustration: _Alinari_


_After the gonfalone by a pupil of Fiorenzo di Lorenzo in S.
Francesco Montone_]

From thence he proceeded to Venice, where many of his most brilliant
performances were achieved; but these, too, are nearly all lost to
us. There, in contact with the busy world, and sharing its honours,
distracted, it may be, by the bright tints and smiling landscapes
just then imported from northern lands, his devotional inspirations
were gradually tinged by naturalism. His principal commission was
a fresco of the naval victories of the Republic; and I have seen
a small picture by him of the rape of the Sabines, whose feeble
paganism belongs, no doubt, to his later years, and sadly proves how
essential were these inspirations to his success. At Venice he opened
a school, which enjoyed high reputation, and which probably numbered
among its pupils Pisanello, the Vivarini, and Bellini, although
chronology throws a doubt upon some of Vasari's assertions as to this
point. A new field of glory opened before Gentile, when invited by
Eugene IV. to decorate with mural paintings the since rebuilt church
of the Lateran, where he painted four prophets in chiaroscuro, and
placed below them the life of the Baptist,--works unfinished at his
death in 1450, and now destroyed, but which Michael Angelo, little
qualified as he was to appreciate the delicacies of religious art,
characterised as worthy the _gentle_ name of their author.

On quitting the cloister of S. Marco, Gentile had carried with him
a portion of the devotional feeling which hung around the studio of
Fra Giovanni, and along with it much of the taste for rich ornaments,
for gold and brocades, for fruit and flowers, in which both of his
instructors delighted. But whilst Allegretto and Angelico kept such
foreign aids in subservience to the predominating sentiment of their
works, their pupil caught from the great world, in which he freely
mingled with credit and applause, an admiration of mundane grandeur
which, in his later compositions, is singularly combined with the
spirit of religious art. His immaculate Madonnas are worshipped
less by angelic choirs of cherubim and seraphim, than by the great
ones of the earth in their trappings of dignity; and of all sacred
themes, the Epiphany, or adoration of the Magi kings at the stable
of Bethlehem, was his choice. Such is the magnificent altar-panel
which he wrought in 1423, for the church of the S. Trinità at
Florence, now one of the most precious monuments in the Belle Arti
there. Still more gorgeous is his crowded composition painted for
the Zeni of Venice; but there he has contaminated the purist spirit
of Christian painting, for in the suite of the eastern kings is
portrayed the patron of the picture, with all the gallant company who
attended his embassy from the Republic to Usamkassan, sovereign of
Persia. The unequalled variety of groups, the elaborate splendour of
oriental costumes, the crowd of horsemen in contrasted attitudes, the
lavish adoption of gold, form a dazzling but harmonious whole, which
has scarcely any parallel in painting. It is not improbable that
this and similar works, besides introducing a new element into the
semi-Byzantine practice of the Venetian school, may have spread to
Albert Durer and other Germans, who long after visited that

     "Ruler of the waters and their powers,"

an influence carried by them to Nuremberg and Cologne, to enrich
the already gaudy tendencies of ultramontane taste. But Gentile da
Fabriano possesses another claim upon the student of early painting,
hitherto inadequately noticed. To the lessons of his father, a
learned mathematician, he may have owed the linear perspective which,
in many of his productions, anticipated the improvements of Piero
della Francesca. This is observable in the Zeno picture, and still
more in a small predella in my possession, where his favourite theme,
the Epiphany, is completed by a background accurately laid out in
lines and compartments, such as we see in the Dutch gardens of the
seventeenth century. But to this question we must return.

Among the artists who maintained in Umbria the influences left
by Ottaviano and Gentile, two were of special merit, NICOLÒ
ALUNNO, of Foligno, and BENEDETTO BONFIGLI, of Perugia. Their works
have been often confounded, but with the latter only have we to do,
for, besides being nearer to Gentile both in age and in manner, he
is generally considered as the master of PIETRO PERUGINO,[*140] and
thus forms a link in the artistic chain which we are endeavouring to
establish, through the best Umbrian painters, from ODERIGI OF GUBBIO
to RAFFAELE OF URBINO. Of Bonfigli there are several interesting and
well-preserved specimens in his native town, dated about 1466, but
it must be owned that none of the earliest known works of Perugino
exhibit much trace of his style. These, however, are all supposed
posterior to Pietro's first visit to Florence, where his ideas must
have undergone vast development from the examples of Masaccio and
other masters, who there formed a galaxy of talent about the middle
of the fifteenth century.[*141] In that city he formed his early
friendship with Leonardo da Vinci, which Sanzi says was cemented
by parity of age as of affection; and it is singular how little
such sympathy can be traced in their genius or works. When, on the
other hand, we contrast the placid features which Vannucci uniformly
limned, rarely ruffled by sorrow, never clouded by sin, with the
furious mien and restless energy of Michael Angelo's creations, we
may well credit Vasari's story of their quarrel, and can account
for the scrimp justice accorded to the painter of Città della Pieve
by his Florentine biographer. They pretend not, indeed, to the
bold character of Signorelli, nor even to the severity of Mantegna,
or Piero della Francesca; but those who criticise them as stiff,
timid, and monotonous, in contrast with the performances of the next
generation, would arrive at more just conclusions did they include in
the comparison those painters who had preceded him, and whose example
was his early guide.

[Footnote *140: We do not know who Perugino's Perugian master was;
but it was more likely to be Fiorenzo di Lorenzo than Bonfigli.]

[Footnote *141: There is no trace of Masaccio's influence in
Perugino's work. He was influenced by Signorelli, and slightly by

       *       *       *       *       *

Let us turn to Urbino. Lanzi tells us that Giotto, Gentile da
Fabriano, and their respective followers, left works in that little
capital; where Pungileone has shown that Ottaviano Nelli exercised
his profession from 1428 to 1433, and Paolo Uccello of Florence in
1468, with other artists detected by the same zealous antiquary. Of
such works, however, nothing can now be traced. The oldest paintings
I could discover there were those in the oratory of St. John Baptist
by Lorenzo and Giacomo di San Severino, Lanzi's blunders regarding
whom have been corrected by the Marchese Ricci. The principal
composition is the Crucifixion, with a dramatic action influenced by
Giottesque feeling: the three other walls seem to have been occupied
by a history of the titular saint, two passages of which are almost
destroyed. Those remaining, though not exempt from retouching, are
sufficiently preserved to enable us to detect a masterly and novel
arrangement, and a character of devotion more consistent with the
Umbrian manner, though marred by hard colouring. The date 1416 is
added to the painter's epigraph. We learn from an old chronicle that
Antonio da Ferrara painted the Montefeltro chapel in the church of
S. Francesco in 1430, a fact scarcely reconcileable with Vasari's
assertion that he was a pupil of Angelo Gaddi. He is also said to
have executed an _ancona_ for the church of S. Bernardino, portions
of which may probably be recognised in some figures still in the
sacristy. In that of S. Francesco at Mercatello, among several
memorials of a similar period, are {1843} two frescoes characterised
by grand design, ample draperies, and full colouring, but deficient
in delicacy. The _lunette_ of the marriage of St. Catherine outside
the door is somewhat later, and very superior, and may be from the
pencil of Pietro della Francesca. Of none of these works, nor of
two good panel pictures in the same church, have I been able to
find any account. In the hospital of S. Angelo in Vado is a panel
altar picture in utter ruin, which has possessed surpassing beauty.
The martyrdom of St. Sebastian is there powerfully conceived, and
executed with the finest feeling. The inscription seems to have been,
_Hieronymus Nardia Vicentis fecit_; the date probably towards the
close of the fifteenth century. Such is the beggarly account we have
to offer of early art in the country of Raffaele, and thus might we
dismiss the speculations of those who would fondly trace its primary
influences on his dawning genius.

But though time and whitewash have combined to narrow this branch of
our inquiry, we must not overlook an artist who ranks high among the
reformers of painting, and upon whom the patronage of Duke Federigo
was specially lavished. His family name has not come down to us, but
he is generally known by the matronymic of Piero della Francesca,
from the Christian name of his mother, though sometimes designed
Pietro del Borgo, or Il Borghese, from Borgo S. Sepolcro, his native
town. His life has unfortunately been left in much obscurity by his
only biographer Vasari, who might have well bestowed somewhat more
pains upon the career of one born in a neighbouring town, who left
his finest works at Arezzo, and whose merits he is more inclined to
magnify than to slight. The loose assertions of this author have
been adopted by most succeeding writers, without addition and with
little investigation; but of the school in which Pietro acquired the
rudiments of his art, and of the earlier period of his career, we
remain still uninformed, though his age and Apennine origin favour
the conjecture that he may have imbibed his first lessons from works
of Ottaviano Nelli the contemporary Umbrian master.[*142] Beyond
question two very different manners appear in the productions of his
pencil; the first, crudely composed and laboriously frittered into
detail, with much of the contracted ideas and bright tinting of the
old miniaturists; the second, broad and masterly in conception, and
executed with a flowing pencil, though retaining an elaborate finish.
Both styles are united in a little picture at Urbino, which we shall
presently describe, the Flagellation being in the earlier, the three
portraits in the larger manner. If born, as Vasari incorrectly
states, in the last years of the fourteenth century,[*143] Piero,
instead of being patronised by Guidobaldo I., must have reached at
least eighty-four in that Duke's time; indeed, he would have been
past middle life ere Federigo, whom, as we shall presently see, he
calls his chief patron, succeeded to that state in 1443. "Guidobaldo
Feltro" may, however, probably be a mistake of Vasari for Count
Guidantonio, in which case a solution would be afforded for several
of his manifold contradictions; and at that court, if not in earlier
life, our artist might have been the associate or pupil of Nelli.
Passing over works now lost which del Borgo is stated on the same
authority to have executed at Pesaro, Ferrara, Ancona, and Loreto,
we find him called by Nicholas V. to Rome, where his frescoes appear
to have been destroyed in the many alterations made on the Vatican
Palace before that century closed.

[Footnote *142: Piero della Francesca was the pupil of Domenico

[Footnote *143: Piero was born in 1416.]

Piero della Francesca is also asserted by Vasari to have been
one of the most profound mathematicians of his day, and to have
improved perspective and the management of light by an adaptation
of geometrical principles to painting. The latter of these opinions
has been received, and constitutes the highest claim of this
master upon the historians of art. The point has not as yet been
illustrated by any writer competent to pronounce with accuracy
upon such pretensions,[*144] but the merit of having shown how to
ameliorate perspective, especially in architectural design, is
generally granted to Piero. Pascoli and others have regarded him as
its father. Lanzi thinks him the first who revived the ancient Greek
notion of rendering geometry subject to painting in general, although
Brunelleschi, Paolo Uccelli, and others had already applied the same
principles with less science to architectural details; and he combats
the priority in these respects asserted by Lomazzo for Foppa of
Brescia. The claims of Leon Battista Alberti,[*145] the architect,
seem to have been settled by Vasari's opinion that distance was
better described by his pen than delineated by his pencil. The same
author enlists our sympathy in favour of Il Borghese, representing
him as defrauded of his fame by an unscrupulous scholar, Fra Luca
Pacioli, a Franciscan, who, after learning from him mathematics,
availed himself of his instructor's after blindness to plagiarise his
manuscripts, and eventually published them as his own.[*146] Into
this controverted matter we need not enter, further than to pronounce
with Tiraboschi, Rosini, and Gaye a verdict of _not proven_, and to
observe that the celebrity attained by the friar's scientific works
ought to reflect some merit upon his instructor. Yet justice to both
parties requires us to extract the generous testimony volunteered to
the painter by his pupil, in dedicating to Duke Guidobaldo his Summa
de Arithmetica, Geometria, &c.: "Perspective, if closely looked into,
would certainly be nothing without the aid of geometry, as has been
fully demonstrated by Pietro di Franceschi, our contemporary, and
the prince of modern painting. During his assiduous service in your
Excellency's family, he composed his short treatise on the art of
painting and the power of linear perspective, which is now deservedly
placed in your library, rich with books in every branch." These,
surely, are not the words of a literary pirate; indeed, Vasari's
whole account is vague and confused. After telling us that Pacioli
had appropriated the matter of Piero's many MSS., then existing at
Borgo San Sepolcro, he adds that most of his writings were deposited
in the Urbino library, where it is obvious that neither he nor
those who have repeated his assertions ever sought them. After
every possible search, I have reason to believe that that library
now contains but two treatises by Il Borghese, nor have I found any
evidence of others having ever been there. Both are in Latin, and are
fairly transcribed on vellum in contemporary hands, with diagrams
upon the margin.[147] The former is entitled _De Perspectiva_, but
the subject is, in fact, Light,[*148] and its effect upon objects
and colours. In place of a general title, it sets out with a dictum
that "light is to philosophical inquiry what demonstrative certainty
is to mathematics." The volume, bearing the arms and initials of
Duke Federigo, must have been written for his library: though
anonymous, it is clearly the work referred to in a dedication which
we shall presently quote, the only other MS. upon perspective in the
collection being that by Vitellioni (No. 265).

[Footnote *144: Cf. PICHI, _La Vita e le Opere di Piero
della Francesca_ (Borgo S. Sepolcro, 1893); WITTING, _Piero
dei Franceschi_ (Strassburg, 1898); CROWE & CAVALCASELLE,
_op. cit._, vol. III. BERENSON, _op. cit._, p. 69, says:
"The pupil of Domenico Veneziano in characterisation, of Paolo
Uccello in perspective, himself an eager student of this science, as
an artist he [Piero] was more gifted than either of his teachers."
Fra Luca Pacioli, one of the finest mathematicians of his day,
praises Piero, and speaks of his renowned treatise on perspective,
"now in the library of our illustrious Duke of Urbino."]

[Footnote *145: Cf. on this point MUNTZ, _Precursori e
propugnatori del Rinascimento_ (Firenze, 1902), p. 59 _et seq._ For
his life _Vita Leonis Baptistae de Albertis_, by an anonymous author,
believed to be Alberti himself, in MURATORI _R.I.S._, vol.
XXV., partly translated in EDWARD HUTTON, _Sigismondo Malatesta_
(Dent, 1906), pp. 163-9. Cf. also MANCINI, _Vita di L.B.A._ (Firenze,
1882), and _Nuovi documenti e notizie sulla vita e gli scritti di
L.B.A._, in _Arch. St. It._, Series IV., vol. XIX.; also SCIPIONI, in
_Giornale St. d. Lett. Ital._, vol. II., p. 156 _et seq._, and vol.
X., p. 255 _et seq._]

[Footnote *146: This is a tale like so much in Vasari. Piero
was never blind at all it seems. BOSSI, in his work on Leonardo's
_Cenacolo_ (Milan, 1810), deals minutely with this libel.]

[Footnote 147: Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 1374 and 632. The manuscripts
by him, mentioned in No. 131 of the _Quarterly Review_, as in the
possession of his descendant, Count Marini, of Borgo S. Sepolcro, no
longer exist; and a small portrait there of himself does not appear
to be by his hand. As a further specimen of the Friar's ideas on
this matter, we may offer an extract from his _De Divina Proportione
Epistola_ (Venice, 1509), wherein he compares perspective to music,
ranking both with the geometrical sciences, since just as "the former
refreshes the mind with harmony, the latter delights it greatly by
correct distance and variety of colours." "Who, indeed, is there
that, seeing an elegant figure with its exact outlines well defined,
and seeming to want nothing but breath, would not pronounce it
something rather divine than human? And painting imitates nature as
nearly as can be told, which is proved to our eyes in the exquisite
representation, so worthily composed by the graceful hand of our
Leonardo, of the ardent desire after our salvation; wherein it is
impossible to imagine greater attention than that of the apostles,
aroused on hearing, in the words of infallible truth, 'One of you
shall betray me,'--when, interchanging with each other attitudes and
gestures, they seem to converse in startled and sad astonishment."]

[Footnote *148: "He was perhaps the first," says Mr. Berenson, "to
use effects of light for their direct tonic or subduing or soothing
qualities." He uses light as the "plein air" school of France uses
it. See a chapter devoted to his work in my _Cities of Umbria_
(Methuen, 1904).]

The other volume has for title _Petri Pictoris Burgensis de Quinque
Corporibus Regularibus_. The five bodies discussed in it are, the
triangle of four bases, the cube with six faces, the octagon with
eight faces and as many triangles, the duodecahedron with twelve
faces and as many pentagons, the icosahedron with twenty faces and as
many triangles. We shall extract from the dedication to Guidobaldo I.
a passage relating to the essay and its author: "And as my works owe
whatever illustration they possess solely to the brilliant star of
your excellent father, the most bright and dazzling orb of our age,
it seemed not unbecoming that I should dedicate to your Majesty this
little work, on the five regular bodies in mathematics, which I have
composed, that, in this extreme fraction of my age, my mind might not
become torpidly inactive. Thus may your splendour reflect a light
upon its obscurity: and your Highness will not spurn these feeble and
worthless fruits, gathered from a field now left fallow, and nearly
exhausted by age, from which your distinguished father has drawn
its better produce; but will place this in some corner, as a humble
handmaid to the numberless books of your own and his copious library,
near our other treatise on Perspective, which we wrote in former
years. For it is usual to admit, at the most luxurious and festive
banquets, fruits culled by a rude and unpolished peasant. Indeed, its
novelty may ensure its proving not unpleasing; for though the subject
was known from Euclid and other geometers, it is now [first] applied
by me to arithmetical science. At all events, it will be a token and
memorial of my long-cherished attachment and continual devotion to
yourself and your illustrious house."

This must have been written after 1482, when, if Vasari's dates be
accurate, Piero was at least eighty-four years old, and had been
blind during five lustres; a circumstance which, though not entirely
inconsistent with his cultivation of the exact sciences, would
occasion an impediment not likely to be passed over by him, when
pleading as an apology the disabilities of age. The researches of
Abbé Pungeleoni have, however, established that no such calamity
had befallen our painter in 1469, when he was the guest of Giovanni
Sanzi, at Urbino; and it is no way referred to in Pacioli's
dedication, written in 1494, while he was still alive. Altogether,
it may be questioned whether that alleged bereavement was not one
of Vasari's many inaccuracies, the most valuable portion of whose
account of this master is a notice of the frescoes executed by
him in the choir of S. Francesco, at Arezzo, wherein are depicted
the Discovery and Exaltation of the true Cross, and the Vision
and Victory of Constantine. These noble works, uniting a happy
application of his favourite studies on perspective and light, with
a grandeur and movement unknown to most of his compositions, are
now mere wrecks,[*149] in which, however, may be traced not a few
ideas subsequently appropriated by more celebrated artists. The
most remarkable of them is the Vision, the original drawing for
which has been published by Mr. Young Ottley. In the play of light
and the management of chiaroscuro, there is far more profound study
than was usual among his contemporaries, and in no other work of so
early a date have these been as successfully treated. By a not very
intelligible juxtaposition, the companion compartment is occupied
by an Annunciation, grave, solemn, almost severe, as are most of
his later paintings. The lowest and largest space on either side
of the choir, is filled by the Battle, whilst Constantine prays in
a corner, surrounded by his courtiers. These may have suggested to
Raffaele the same subject for the Stanze, but they afford no details
calculated to animate his pencil. Soldiers, horses, and banners are,
indeed, mingled together with a bustle and energy of action hitherto
unattempted; but the effect is neutralised by an all-prevailing
confusion, and by a want of groups or episodes to concentrate
the spectator's scattered interest or admiration. The design is
generally good; the modelling and character of the heads are, as
usual, excellent; the costumes are richly varied; and the horses
remind us, by their action, of Pisano's pictures and medals. If it be
true that Raffaele has repeated some of the noble ideas here freely
lavished, it seems more probable that, in his Liberation of St.
Peter, he wished to excel the tent scene, than that he bore in mind
the crowded men-at-arms when composing the Victory of Constantine.
The elements have conspired against this _chef-d'oeuvre_ of Pietro
del Borgo. Its walls were frightfully riven during last century by
an earthquake, and its menacing cracks have since been shaken by
thunderbolts. Although the repairs have been judiciously limited
to securing the plaster, without attempting any restoration of the
frescoes, several compartments are almost wholly defaced. Some female
groups, however, remain, which yield to nothing that Masaccio has
left for the plaudits of posterity.

[Footnote *149: They are in quite fair preservation as things go.]

In much better preservation is a hitherto unnoticed painting on
the wall of a chapel in the cathedral of Rimini, dated 1448. It
represents Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, whom we have so often
named in the first volume of this work, kneeling in prayer before
his patron saint, Sigismondo, king of Hungary. The wide and once
beautifully graduated landscape has unfortunately suffered; but the
favourite dog,[*150] crouching behind, is evidently as striking
a likeness as his master, whose dignified character and serious
pose give to what is but a laboriously accurate portrait, the
spiritualised grandeur of a noble devotional composition. It embodies
the verity of nature, exempt from the vulgarity of naturalism.

[Footnote *150: There are two greyhounds lying side by side facing
opposite ways.]

We have to lament the disappearance of whatever works in fresco
Pietro del Borgo may have executed for Urbino, unless we attribute
to him, on an already noticed lunette over the outer doorway of S.
Francesco, at Mercatello, a beautiful half-length Marriage of St.
Catherine. Of the small pictures, which he is said by Vasari to have
painted for that court, one only remains; it is in the sacristy
of the Urbino cathedral, and is a monument of great interest as
regards the master and his patrons. On one side is the Flagellation
of Christ before Pilate, in an open court enriched with a beautiful
perspective of colonnades and architectural ornament. On the other
is introduced a detached group of three figures in conversation,
magnificently attired, who are generally called at Urbino the
successive sovereigns Oddantonio, Federigo, and Guidobaldo I.; but
their ages, compared with that of the painter, are irreconcileable
with such a supposition. The Abbé Pungeleoni, in his _Life of
Sanzi_, considers them to represent Count Guidantonio and his
successors, Oddantonio and Federigo; or they may more probably be
portraits of Oddantonio and the two evil counsellors who led him and
themselves to destruction, as narrated in our third chapter.[151]
In the graphic character and fine modelling of their features is
displayed one of those peculiar excellences which Il Borghese was
able, from his knowledge of perspective and light, to introduce into
the practice of pictorial art, and which he is said to have carried
out by making finished figures of clay, and draping them with various
materials. This precious little picture is signed _Opus Petri de
Borgo Sci. Sepulcri_, and we have already quoted it as illustrative
of both his first and second manner. I have been so fortunate as to
trace three more of the Urbino pictures of this master, hitherto
unnoticed. At the devolution of the duchy to the Holy See, they
found their way into the possession of Urban VIII., and now adorn
the private apartment of his successor, Prince Barberini, at Rome,
where they pass under the name of Mantegna. The first, a portrait
of Duke Federigo and his son, has been already described. Having
been executed about 1478, when Guidobaldo was five or six years
old, and when the painter, according to Vasari, was above eighty,
it would afford conclusive evidence against the hitherto received
date of Pietro's birth.[152] The other two are companion pictures,
and though hung too high, appear in excellent preservation. Both
are architectural designs on panel, one representing the court of a
palace, the other a basilicon-like interior, with elaborate plastic
decorations and very clever perspective; a variety of figures are
introduced, but the subjects are not known.[*153] To these, and
still more to some of his earlier productions, may be applied the
observation of Fra Castiglione, that "the works of Pietro, and those
of his contemporary, Melozzo da Forlì, with their perspective effects
and intricacies of art, are appreciated by connoisseurs rather than
admired by the uninitiated."[*154]

[Footnote 151: Passavant conjectures this group to be a satire upon
three neighbouring princes who were Duke Federigo's enemies, and
seems to consider the picture influenced by some Flemish master. If
painted after the visit of Justis of Ghent, it can hardly represent
Oddantonio. See below, ch. xxx.]

[Footnote 152: It is very unsatisfactorily engraved in
BONNARD'S _Costumes du Treizième au Quinzième Siècle_.]

[Footnote *153: None of these three belongs to Piero.]

[Footnote *154: It is a curious comment on this that a man like Mr.
E.V. Lucas, certainly not "a connoisseur," tells us in his book,
_A Wanderer in London_ (Methuen, 1906), that he "once startled and
embarrassed a dinner table of artists and art critics by asking
which was the best picture in the National Gallery. On my modifying
this terrible question to the more human form--Which picture would
you choose if you might have one? and limiting the choice to the
Italian masters, the most distinguished mind present named at
once Tintoretto's _Origin of the Milky Way_.... After very long
consideration," he continues, "I have come to the conclusion that
mine would be Francesca's _Nativity_. Take it for all in all, I am
disposed to think that Francesca's _Nativity_ appeals to me as a work
of compassionate beauty and charm before any Italian picture in the
National Collection."]

The important influence of Pietro del Borgo upon Umbrian art is
confirmed by Vasari, in naming among his scholars Perugino and
Signorelli, the latter of whom worked at Urbino in 1484, and again,
ten years later. But were our information as to his pupils more
ample, we might probably find among them Melozzo da Forlì, to whom,
and to other names connected with the duchy we shall return in our
thirty-first chapter. Prominently among its painters, Lanzi has
enumerated Bartolomeo Corradi, who became a predicant friar by the
title of FRA CARNEVALE. Nothing is known of this talented
limner beyond the fact that he combined his art with the duties of
parish priest, at Castel Cavellino, and died soon after 1488. His
best known work was executed for the great altar of S. Bernardino,
near Urbino, as an _ex voto_ commemoration of Federigo's piety on
the birth of his son in 1472. In it the Duke's portrait, and those
of several of his children, are said to be introduced. Indeed, there
are not wanting old authorities who regard the Madonna and Child as
likenesses of Countess Battista and her infant Guidobaldo. I receive
with caution a conjecture which, repugnant to the ideas of Umbrian
art at that period, would fasten a charge of profane naturalism upon
one whom I should gladly consider as a purely Christian painter.
Pungeleoni ascribes to him a small devotional picture preserved in
the church of the Zoccolantines at Sinigaglia, in which two accessory
figures probably represent the Prefect Giovanni della Rovere and his
wife, the sister of Duke Guidobaldo I.; but their marriage only took
place about the supposed time of this painter's death; and, at all
events, had the Abbé ever seen it, he could not have mistaken it for
a sketch of the altar-piece of S. Bernardino. The latter remains in
the Brera, at Milan, among the unrestored French plunder; and I have
sought in vain for other identified works of Carnevale in the duchy,
although inclined to attribute to him more than one fine but nameless
altar-picture which I have found there.[155]

[Footnote 155: Such is the magnificent Annunciation in a small chapel
three miles west from Pesaro, known as the Madonna del Monte, but
properly the oratory dedicated in 1505 to the Madonna dell'Annunziata
di Calibano, by Ludovico del Molino, _alias_ degli Agostini. Its pure
and beautiful countenances are less beatified in expression than
earlier Umbrian works, but in composition and draperies it yields to
none, and excels all others in gorgeous effect. The gilding is freely
laid on in broad masses, and a scintillation in solid gold streams
from the Almighty upon the Madonna's bosom, while the angels' wings
are starred with peacock's plumage. Yet, as in Gentile da Fabriano's
best works, all this glitter is subdued by an earnest and solemn
feeling becoming the theme. The panel is inscribed "_Ludovicho di
Jachomo Aghostini merchatanti da Pesaro a fato [fare] deta tavola a
di xxiv. di Decienbre, mdx._" How unfortunate that the pious donor
had not recorded the artist's name as well as his own! I was unable
to visit an altar-piece at Montebaroccio ascribed to Fra Carnevale's

Our description of Duke Federigo's palaces has made us acquainted
with the name of FRANCESCO DI GIORGIO, a painter and sculptor, as well
as an architect and engineer. In the two former of these capacities
he can be appreciated only in his native Siena, where two of his
very rare pictures remain in the Belle Arti.[*156] His tendency
to Umbrian feeling is obvious, and had Padre della Valle been
acquainted with the productions of Fabriano and della Francesca,
he would have detected in him a nearer approach to their manner
than to that of Signorelli. But his fame depends on his numerous
creations in architecture and fortification; whilst his inventions
in military engineering were important additions to the art of war,
as then conducted. Vasari's brief and blundering notice of him was
supplemented by the researches of Padre della Valle, whose greedy
patriotism maintained for him the merit of the Urbino palace, a
claim of which we have formerly disposed.[157] Gaye, and the editor
of the Florentine edition of Vasari {1838}, have added many new and
interesting notices;[*158] but his name has of late received still
more ample illustration at the hands of Carlo Promis, of Turin, by
whom his life and principal writings have been edited, at the expense
of the Chevalier Saluzzi. Francesco, son of Giorgio, son of Martino
of Siena, was born in a humble rank about 1423; and, our earliest
notice of his professional labours is in 1447, when we find he was
one of the architects of the Orvieto cathedral. In 1447, we find him
in Duke Federigo's service, which Promis supposes him to have entered
shortly before; and there he appears to have remained until the death
of that prince in 1482. The palace of Urbino having been already
many years in progress, and not being mentioned by him, there is no
reason to suppose he was much occupied upon it; and we find his own
pen attesting the onerous duty imposed upon him by Federigo, as his
military engineer. In July 1478 he was attached to the allied army,
which the Duke commanded; and, in his autograph MS. speaks of having
a hundred and thirty-six "edifices" on hand at once by his order.
Among these, doubtless, there were many strongholds in the duchy; and
he has left descriptive plans of Cagli, Sasso Feretro, Tavoletta, and
Serra di S. Abondio. From various authorities cited by Promis, we may
add, as probably of his construction, Castel Durante, S. Angelo in
Vado, Orciano, S. Costanzo, S. Agata, Pietragutola, Montecirignone,
S. Ippolito, Montalto, La Pergola, Cantiano, Fossombrone,
Sassocorbaro, Mercatello, Costaccioro, Mondavio, and Mondolfo,
besides numerous churches which he certainly planned for Federigo.
The fortresses of Urbino have been estimated at nearly three hundred,
a number which must seem at once superfluous and incredible, but
for the entire change which the arts of war and defence were then
undergoing, consequent on a general introduction of artillery.[*159]
Federigo, perceiving the importance of strengthening his castles and
citadels against

     "The cannon-ball, opening with murderous crash
     The way to blast and ruin,"

not only kept in active employment the most able engineer whom Italy
then possessed, but, according to that artist's testimony, by his own
experience and judicious suggestions, greatly facilitated the tasks
which he imposed upon Francesco di Giorgio.

[Footnote *156: There is a predella picture by him at S. Domenico,
in Siena, and another in the Uffizi Gallery. He was the pupil of

[Footnote 157: See vol. I., pp. 147-50, 161-3; _Lettere Sanesi_,
III., p. 79; _Carteggio d'Artisti_, _passim_, I., pp. 255-316.]

[Footnote *158: Cf. also BORGHESE & BANCHI, _Nuovi Documenti
per la Storia dell'Arte Senese_ (Siena, 1898).]

[Footnote *159: On the fortresses of the Marche generally, see
GASPARI, _Fortezze Marchigiane e Umbre_, in _Arch. St. per
le Marche e per l'Umbria_, vol. III., p. 80 _et seq._]

Nor was it his professional services alone which the Sienese artist
placed at his patron's disposal. The documents published by Gaye and
Promis show him accredited on various occasions as the Duke's envoy
to the government of his native city; and his _Liber de Architectura_
is dedicated to Federigo, at whose request, probably, it was
composed. Vasari adds that he portrayed him both in painting and on
a medal; and, in return perhaps for these diversified labours, that
prince thus interceded for his admission into the magistracy of Siena.

     "Mighty and potent Lords and beloved Brethren;

     "I have here in my service Francesco di Giorgio, your
     fellow-citizen and my most favourite architect, who desires
     to be placed in your magnificent magistracy, as the
     ambition of his genius, excellence, prudence, and worth. I
     therefore pray your Highnesses that you will be pleased to
     elect him thereto, and to admit him into the number of your
     public men, which I shall regard as a special boon, as will
     be more fully stated to you on my behalf by your mighty
     ambassador. And your Lordships may be assured that were I
     not convinced that only good, faithful, and useful service
     is to be looked for from him, I should not propose him, nor
     intercede in his favour. And nothing more gratifying could
     I ever receive from your Lordships, to whom I offer and
     commend myself.

     "From Durante, the 26th July, 1480.

     Capit. Gener., et S. Ro. Ecclesie Gonfalonierus."[160]

[Footnote 160: MSS. in Public Library at Siena; printed in Bottari,
Lettere Pittoriche I. App. No. 36, and in Gualandi, Memorie

Although this request was unsuccessful, so well was Francesco
appreciated at home, that on several occasions Duke Guidobaldo vainly
applied to the magistracy for his services. Yet he was frequently
employed in the duchy from 1484 to 1489, the palace at Gubbio
affording him partial employment. His military reputation being now
widely spread, he had commissions from various princes, especially
the sovereigns of Milan and Naples; but through these labours we need
not follow him. The time of his death is not known; he, however,
outlived most of the fortresses he had raised for Federigo, which
were dismantled by order of his son, on abandoning his state in
1502, a policy suggested by confident reliance on his subjects'
attachment, as the best guarantee of his eventual restoration.
Francesco's MSS., dispersed in various libraries, are described in
Promis's first volume. One of them, on architecture, transcribed for
Guidobaldo II., was presented by him to Emanuel Filibert, Duke of
Savoy, in 1568, and now ornaments the Royal Library at Turin. The
invention of that variety of bastion called in Italy _baluardo_, and
in Germany _bollwerk_, has been claimed for several engineers, among
whom are three names belonging to Urbino,--Duke Francesco Maria I.,
Centogatti the painter, and Commandino the mathematician. Promis, in
the second volume of his work already quoted, disposes of all these
pretensions in favour of Francesco di Giorgio. His learned discussion
may be allowed to decide this point, to which little interest
now attaches, as well as the question of explosive mines for the
destruction of military defences. Such an application of gunpowder
had already been partially resorted to, but the Sienese engineer
first established its importance and methodised its application.


     Giovanni Sanzi of Urbino--His son the immortal
     Raffaele--Early influences on his mind--Paints at Perugia,
     Città di Castello, Siena, and Florence--His visits to
     Urbino, and works there.

With GIOVANNI SANZI[*161] we have already made acquaintance
as an epic poet. The patient labour of the Abbé Pungeleoni, and
the critical acumen of Passavant, have amply refuted Malvasia's
spiteful, and Lanzi's careless but often quoted assertions, that
the father of Raffaele was an obscure potter, or, at best, an
indifferent artist, from whom his son could learn little.[162] Those
only who have traced out his pictures in the remote townships and
villages of his native duchy, and who estimate his works by coeval
productions, can appreciate his real merits. Giovanni Sanzi was of
a humble family in the village of Colbordolo, a few miles east of
Urbino, for whose fictitious ancestry of artists there has been
substituted by his painstaking but most puzzle-headed eulogist, a
pedigree of peasantry from the middle of the fourteenth century. The
son of one Sante, he assumed the patronymic Santi or Sanzi, which
was subsequently euphonised by Bembo for his son into Sanzio. His
grandfather Peruzuolo, after his losses by the Malatesta forays
already alluded to,[163] had sold the petty holdings he possessed at
Colbordolo, and removed his family to Urbino, where Sante became a
retail dealer in various wares, and where he seems to have died in
easy circumstances in 1485, nine years before his son. The inquiries
of Pungeleoni have failed to ascertain the time of Giovanni's birth,
but it was probably to these losses that the poet thus touchingly
alludes, in his dedication,[164] as the impulse under which he
became a painter:--"It would be tedious to relate the many straits
and headlong precipices through which I have steered my life since
fate devoured in flames my paternal nest, wherein was consumed all
our substance; but arriving at the age when perhaps inclination
would have led me to some more useful exercise of talent, of the
many lines by which I might have gained a living, I devoted myself
to the marvellous art of painting, which indeed (in addition to the
round of domestic cares, of all human concerns the most ceaseless
torment) imposes a burden heavy even to the shoulders of Atlas,
and in which distinguished profession I blush not to be enrolled."
Neither are we enabled to throw any light upon the lessons to which
Giovanni resorted for instruction in the calling which he thus, at
some sacrifice of material interests, had adopted. The catalogue of
contemporary artificers introduced into his Chronicle, including
all that was eminent from Gentile da Fabriano to Leonardo da Vinci,
shows a most extensive acquaintance with their respective styles, as
well as their names.[165] Mantegna is one of them whom he specially
extols; there is, however, no similarity between their productions.
Yet, though we know nothing of Sanzi's artistic education, the
works which Nelli, Gentile da Fabriano, and Piero della Francesca
left in Urbino must have influenced his early impressions; and it
is singular that nothing is said by them of these, and others who
painted in the duchy, beyond the passing notice bestowed with little
discrimination on all his contemporaries. The marked exclusion
from this list of Justus of Ghent is plausibly conjectured by
Passavant to indicate a professional jealousy of one who treasured
as his secret the so-called oil painting brought by him from
Flanders, and certainly never attained by Giovanni. Sanzi's manner
partakes generally of the Umbrian character,--grave, reflective,
self-possessed, without aiming at dramatic effect or artificial
embellishment, yet not deficient in variety, or graceful expression.
More severe than Perugino, he approaches the serious figures of
Melozzo da Forlì, but subdues their naturalism by an infusion of
devotional sincerity and simple feeling. He is partial to slender
forms and delicately drawn feet and hands, but the contours are dark
and hard, the flesh-tints dull and heavy, tending to cold gray in the
shadows, and generally deficient in middle tints and reflections.
His female faces are oval, often of a dusky complexion, and their
foreheads singularly full. In the nude, he was in advance of his
age, and in landscape he attained great proficiency. Pungileone
enumerates about twenty of his pictures, many of them still in their
original sites, and exhibiting considerable inequality of merit.
But his _capo-d'opera_, and one of the most important monuments of
Umbrian art, is the fresco in the Tiranni chapel, at S. Domenico
of Cagli. In the recess over the altar is the Madonna, enthroned
between two angels, in one of whom is understood to be portrayed
the young Raffaele, then a child of eight or nine years old. At the
sides stand Saints Peter, Francis of Assisi, Thomas Aquinas, and
John Baptist. On the lunette above, Christ has just emerged from his
tomb in the mountain rock: a glorious Deity, the conqueror of death,
he bears in his left hand the banner of salvation, while his right
is raised to bless a redeemed world, and scattered around lie six
guards asleep, foreshortened in various and difficult attitudes. The
vaulted roof displays a choir of angelic children, sounding their
instruments and chanting songs of glory to the Saviour, who occupies
its centre, holding the book of life: and on the external angles
are small medallions of the Annunciation. There is, perhaps, no
contemporary painting superior to this in grandeur of composition and
stately pose of the figures; nor is it less admirable for novelty of
composition and variety and ease of movement. The design is at once
correct and flowing, and the expression, though fervid, oversteps not
truth and nature. Passavant well observes that the breadth, vigour,
and dexterous treatment of this painting proved its author to have
been well practised in fresco, although but one other such work of
his has escaped destruction or whitewash. In his house at Urbino,
there is a small mural painting, removed many years since from the
ground-floor to the first story, which tradition fondly claims as a
boyish production of Raffaele, but which Passavant ascribes to Sanzi,
conjecturing it to represent his wife and child. It is impossible to
pronounce a satisfactory judgment as to the master, from the load of
over-painting in oil. Though called a Madonna and Child, it seems
rather a gentle mother, who, having hushed her babe to sleep upon
her knee, reads from the breviary on a stand by her seat, and the
composition and attitudes present a charming naïveté and natural
expression. Connoisseurs agree in rejecting its claims as a work of
Raffaele; nor does it quite resemble his father's usual type, though
it is difficult to substitute any more plausible theory for the
conclusion of Passavant. The reader may form his own judgment from
the accompanying outline, bearing in mind that much of the drapery
belongs to the pencil of a merciless restorer.

[Footnote *161: See works quoted p. 138, note *1 _supra_.]

[Footnote 162: _Elogio Storico di Giovanni Santi_; Rafael von Urbino.
The few facts of importance which the Abbé's microscopic researches
have ascertained are scarcely extricable from the confusion that
prevails in his eulogy and its accompanying, or rather darkening,
notes. The catalogue of Sanzi's works is useful to travellers, though
sadly deficient in judicious criticism. The good Padre was more able
to appreciate a mouldering MS. than a fine painting.]

[Footnote 163: See vol. I., p. 94.]

[Footnote 164: See it already described at p. 138.]

[Footnote 165: See Appendix III.]

[Illustration: Rafaello Sanzi di Anni Sei nato il dì 6 apr. 1483
Sanzi Padre dipinse

_Gio. Sanzi pinx._ _L. Ceroni sculp._


_From a picture once in the possession of James Dennistoun_]

       *       *       *       *       *

Such was the father to whom there was born at Urbino, on the 6th of
April, 1483,[*166] a son RAFFAELE[167]; the superiority of
whose qualities to those of preceding artists, and to ordinary men,
has been acknowledged in several languages by the epithet "divine."
Although ever the object of pride and popularity to all Italy, the
incidents of his life have, until of late years, been comparatively
neglected, and more ample justice has been rendered to his fame by
ultramontane than by native biographers. Vasari's narrative, though
compiled with more than his usual pains, and lavish in laudatory
epithets, is far from satisfactory. Its author was the partial
historian of a rival school, the favourite pupil of its jealous head.
As a Florentine, moreover, he was bound by Italian usage to keep in
shadow the merits of all "foreign" competitors and teachers. Raffaele
he never saw, whose best pupils had left Rome ere Vasari visited the
eternal city: with his Apennine home, its records and memorials, the
latter had probably no personal acquaintance. While, therefore, we
own our obligations to the writer of Arezzo for many important facts
and valuable criticisms, we feel surprised that during above two
centuries no attempt was made to supplement his obvious deficiencies.

[Footnote *166: The works on Raphael would fill a library. In
addition to the usual sources of information, see--

BRANCA, _L'ingegno l'arte e l'amore di R. e la nevrosi del
suo genio_ (Firenze, 1895).

CAMPORI, _Notizie ined. di R. tratte da docum. dell.
archivio palatino di Modena_ (Modena, 1862).

CAMPORI, _Notizie e docum. per la vita di Giov. Santi e di
R._ (Modena, 1870).

CROWE & CAVALCASELLE, _Raphael: His Life and Works_ (London,

FUA, _Raffaello e la Corte di Urbino_, in _Italia
Artistica_, An. IV., p. 178 _et seq._

MUNTZ, _R. sa vie, son oeuvre et son temps_ (Paris, 1881).

MUNTZ, _Raphael: His Life, Works, and Times_. Edited by Sir
W. Armstrong (London, 1896).

ALIPPI, _Un nuovo documento int. a R._ (Urbino, 1880).

ROSSI, _La casa e lo stemma di R._, in _Arch. St. dell'arte_
(Roma), An. I., fasc. I.

ANON., _La Casa di R. in Roma_, in _Arte e Storia_
(Firenze), An. VI., No. 17.

RICCI, _La Gloria d'Urbino_ (Bologna, 1898).

ANON., Notice of a portrait of R. in the collection of James
Dennistoun (Edinburgh, 1842).]

[Footnote 167: We have already accounted for the change of his
surname to Sanzio, at p. 216. His Christian name, in modern Italian
Raffaello, seems to have been spelt by himself Raphællo and Raffaele.
*Raphael was born on Good Friday, 28 March, 1483.]

[Illustration: _Anderson_


_After the portrait by himself in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence_]

Another meagre life of Raffaele, composed soon after his death, and
upon which Vasari seems to have drawn largely, was published by
Comolli in 1790, from an anonymous MS.

It may be well to preface these observations by borrowing a passage
of equal aptness and eloquence from an able review of Passavant's

[Footnote 168: _British and Foreign Review_, vol. XIII., p. 248.]

"We may doubt whether in the whole range of modern history, or
within the compass of modern Europe, one moment or one spot could
be found more singularly propitious than those which glory in
Raffaele's birth. He was happy in his parentage and in his patrons,
in his master and in his pupils, in his friends and in his rivals:
the first misfortune of his life was its rapid and untimely close.
He was late enough to profit by the example, early enough to feel
the living influence of four of the greatest masters of his art, of
Leonardo da Vinci, Michael Angelo, Giorgione, and Fra Bartolomeo. The
art of painting in oil had been introduced into Italy barely half a
century before his birth; its technical difficulties were already
mastered, but it still awaited a master's hand to develop its latent
capabilities. His short life included the Augustan age of papal Rome,
the age of its splendour and magnificence, if not of its power, and
he died almost before the far-off sound of the rising storm had
broken the religious calm, or foretold the coming miseries of Italy.
The two pontiffs whom he served out-shone the most illustrious of
their predecessors in their luxurious tastes and lavish patronage
of the fine arts; and these arts still served the Church, not only
with the grateful zeal of favoured children, but with the earnest
devotion of undoubting faith.... In the age of Raffaele, while the
rich and often graceful legends of the Catholic mythology still
retained their ancient hold on the popular belief, the growing taste
among the learned of the day for the literature and philosophy of
ancient Greece had done much, by softening their early rudeness ere
it chilled their early feeling, to mould them to the higher purposes
of art. Christian art too, relinquishing at last her long attachment
to traditional types and conventional treatment, was willing to
exchange a fruitless opposition to the graces and beauties of ancient
art, for a bold attempt to enlist them in her service."

In truth, when we examine the character and the times of those men
who have left the stamp of their genius most deeply on the mind or
destinies of mankind, we generally find a providential adaptation
of the one to the other. So was it with the greatest masters of
art. Had Michael Angelo appeared a century sooner, he would have
found the public unprepared, by a gradual advance of naturalism,
for the revolution which he was destined to bring about. They would
have seen in him the terrible, without perceiving how much truth
accompanied it. Deprived of the sympathy and encouragement which no
wayward spirit ever more demanded, he would have failed to achieve
the marvellous, and might have perhaps scarcely risen above the
monstrous. Leonardo da Vinci could, in any epoch, have given sweet or
intellectual qualities to beautifully moulded features, but instead
of enlightening the world upon the theory and practice of his art,
and developing the infant powers of mathematical engineering, he
might in an earlier age have been an alchymist, in a later one the
improver of spinning-jennies. Titian, who would have been cramped by
the lessons of a Crivelli, grew to manhood ere the league of Cambray
had curbed the golden coursers of St. Mark's; and thus he formed
his beau-ideal of noble bearing ere the subjects for his pencil had
ceased to be the arbiters of Italy, the merchant-princes of the
world. A mind such as Raffaele's, would in all circumstances have
found or created materials of beauty. He might have been the purest
of devotional painters in the days of Giotto, a reformer of corrupted
taste in those of Bernini; but, placed on the confines of the old
manner and the new, it was his proud distinction to perfect them both.

Our antecedent remarks on the Umbrian masters have afforded us data
for ascertaining the state of painting in the duchy at the advent
of Raffaele. There were, indeed, few pictures within its bounds
upon which the youthful aspirant might form an exalted style, but
in his father he possessed an instructor competent to point out
all that was worthy of study among contemporary limners, as well
as to initiate him in the mechanism of his profession.[169] Too
early was he deprived of this advantage,[*170] but not before he
had been the companion of his parent's labours. Whilst we refuse to
even his precocious genius the credit of working upon the fresco at
Cagli,[171] the introduction of his portrait into it proves that he
witnessed its progress. It was perhaps on similar opportunities that
he imbibed, before the beautiful Madonnas of Romita and Forano, those
purely devotional inspirations which are believed to have influenced
his earlier and happier creations.[172]

[Footnote 169: See Appendix IV.]

[Footnote *170: Giovanni died when Raphael was eleven, in 1494.]

[Footnote 171: See above, p. 218.]

[Footnote 172: See above, p. 195-6.]

With a mind thus prepared, and with the encouraging example of the
Feltrian court, where talent and genius were sure passports to
patronage and distinction, he was sent to study at Perugia soon after
his father's death. This bereavement, which clouded his domestic
peace not less than his artistic prospects, occurred in 1494, and
was immediately followed by the loss of his maternal grandfather
and grandmother, leaving him in the hands of a selfish and litigious
stepmother. At this juncture, his guardian and paternal uncle
Bartolomeo judiciously selected as a master for him Pietro Vannucci,
called Perugino,[*173] the tender melancholy of whose candid and
unimpassioned countenances contradict Vasari's wanton libels on
his fair name, not less than a motto on his self-limned portrait,
first noted by Mr. Ruskin, which indicates his belief that the fear
of God is the foundation of artistic excellence.[*174] Whatever
difference of opinion regarding the merits of that painter may have
originated in the occasional inequality of the works attributed to
him, no contemporary sent forth more scholars of excellence, or so
faithfully maintained the integrity of Christian sentiment against
ever increasing innovations. Unfortunately we are possessed of no
authentic particulars regarding the interval which young Sanzio spent
in a studio so congenial to his nature, or the paintings in which
he had a hand; and thus those years most important to the formation
of his character and style are a blank in his biography.[*175] At
Perugia and elsewhere there are a few devotional pictures ascribed
to him, by tradition or as signed with his initials; but even were
their authenticity less doubtful, their insignificance and entire
conformity to the type of Perugino would almost remove them from
criticism. The admitted fact that Pinturicchio, a man of high genius,
and about thirty years his senior, had recourse to the beardless
Raffaele for designs, when employed to paint the cathedral-library
at Siena, establishes thus early the two leading features of his
after life, supereminent ability and conciliatory manners; and two
of these drawings remain to prove how superior were the conceptions
of the boy, to the execution of his matured comrade, excellent as
that beyond all question is. He probably attended Perugino to Fano
in 1497, when painting those lovely altar-pieces in S. Maria Nuova,
which yield to no other production of his placid and expressive
pencil, although we can scarcely accept a tradition which ascribes
to the pupil some Madonna groups in the predella, upon the ground of
their excelling his master's capacity.

[Footnote *173: This is not so. The first master of Raphael was
Timoteo Viti, who, having left home in 1490 to enter Francia's
workshop, returned to Urbino in April, 1495. Timoteo was then
twenty-six years old. There is a beautiful portrait of him by himself
in the British Museum. The first undoubted work of Raphael, probably
painted while he was a pupil of Timoteo, is the _Vision of a Knight_,
in the National Gallery. Having served his apprenticeship to Timoteo,
Raphael entered the most famous workshop in Umbria--one of a crowd of
pupils--that of Perugino.]

[Footnote *174: The suggestion that Perugino was an atheist, and died
without the Sacraments of the Church, rests on no good foundation.]

[Footnote *175: The first independent picture which he painted after
coming to Perugia was the _Crucifixion_, now in the possession of Mr.
Ludwig Mond. This was painted in 1501 or early in 1502, because the
Vitelli for whom it was painted were driven out of Città di Castello
in the latter year. I know nothing of any return to Urbino in 1499.
He went back in 1504.]

[Illustration: _Alinari_


_After the picture by Giovanni Santi, in the Pinacoteca of Urbino_]

Raffaele is supposed to have returned in 1499 to a home where he
found few attractions. The moment was unpropitious for attracting
the ducal patronage. Guidobaldo had retired from the Bibbiena
campaign invalided and dispirited; the descent of French armies upon
Italy banished from his thoughts the congenial pursuits of peace,
and he repaired to Venice to take part in the coming strife. There
was little inducement for the young Sanzio to establish himself
at the board of an ungracious stepmother, so he set forth to try
his fortunes at the neighbouring capital of Vitelli, and Città di
Castello was enriched by the first works undertaken on his own
account. One of these, S. Nicolò di Tolentino crowned by the Madonna,
has disappeared in the rapine of the French revolutionary invasion;
but another altar-picture of the Crucifixion, lately obtained
from the Fesch Gallery by Lord Ward, enables us to appreciate
this artist's extraordinary promise. But for the name RAPHAEL
URBINAS, this would probably be ranked with the works of
Perugino in which he was assisted by his pupil; and such as best
know the paintings of that master at his happiest moment, can most
appreciate the compliment of classing with them the unaided though
imitative efforts of a lad of seventeen. The Sposalizio of the
Madonna, abstracted from Città di Castello by the French, and now at
Milan, is of four years later date, being marked 1504; but it was
little more than a repetition of a similar work of his master, which,
during the same havoc, was carried across the Alps, and remains at
Caen in Normandy.[*176] The only specimen of his pencil still in the
city which was the cradle of his fame, is a processional standard of
the _confraternita de' giustiziati_ in Trinity Church, representing
on its two sides the Trinity with Christ on the Cross, and the
Creation of Eve.[*177] Though a mere wreck, it shows a novelty of
composition and a delicacy of execution already distinguishing him
from the manner of Perugino.

[Footnote *176: This work is a copy of Raphael's picture by Lo
Spagna. Cf. BERENSON, _The Study and Criticism of Italian
Art_, vol. II., p. 1-22.]

[Footnote *177: The only work of Raphael's left in Perugia is the
fresco of Christ and Saints, in St. Severo, 1505.]

The fame of these maiden efforts spread along the valley of the
Tiber, and the novice was soon recalled to Perugia, to paint for the
Oddi family an altar-piece of the Coronation of the Madonna, now with
its predella in the Vatican Gallery. In rich and varied composition,
it excels all antecedent representations of this favourite Umbrian
theme, and establishes a decided advance beyond the standard of
beauty adopted by Perugino. Now, too, he began his wonderful series
of small devotional pictures, embodying the Madonna in conceptions of
beauty which none other but the sainted limner of Fiesole has ever
approached. On this his first emancipation from Umbria, he became
acquainted with the classicism and naturalism then revolutionising
art. At Siena, his perception of beauty was gratified by an exquisite
Grecian statuary group of the Graces, which he transferred to his
tablets, and afterwards reproduced in a picture. Tempted by the
proximity of Florence, he seems to have then glanced at, rather
than examined, those new elements which Masaccio and Verocchio had
introduced, and which a host of able masters were enthusiastically

[Footnote 178: The frequent contradictions of the many writers upon
Raffaele throw a doubt upon most of his movements. Our rapid sketch
has been compiled after a careful comparison of authorities, which
we cannot stay to criticise or reconcile. *In 1504 Raphael went to
Florence. The assertion that he accompanied Pinturicchio to Siena
seems a mere invention of Sienese municipal vanity.]

[Illustration: _Alinari_


_From the picture by Giovanni Santi in the Palazzo Ducale, Urbino_]

The miserable state of his native duchy, as well as his many
professional engagements, fully accounts for his prolonged absence
from it; but a better state of things was now restored, of which
he hastened to avail himself. He reached Urbino in 1504, before
midsummer of which year, the Duke had returned to enjoy a tranquil
home, for the first time during above two years. The visit was well
timed, and fraught with important results to the young painter, for,
besides sharing his sovereign's patronage, he became known to his
sister, widow of the Lord Prefect, and to her son, who was about that
time formally adopted as the future Lord of Urbino. The accession of
Julius II., uncle to this youth, and his partiality to art, opened
up a wide field of promise to one thus favourably introduced to the
Pope's nearest relatives. But these dazzling prospects, and the
charms of a cultivated court, were postponed to that professional
improvement for which he thirsted; and, after executing some minor
commissions for Guidobaldo, the young Sanzio hastened back to
the banks of the Arno, where the muse of painting was rewarding
the worship of her ardent and talented votaries with revelations
of high art rarely before or since vouchsafed. The favour he had
already earned from the Prefectress is testified by the following
recommendation, which he received from her on setting out.

     "To the magnificent and lofty Lord, regarded with
     filial respect, the Lord Gonfaloniere of Justice of the
     distinguished republic of Florence.[179]

     "Magnificent and lofty Lord, respected as a father! The
     bearer hereof will be Raffaele, painter of Urbino, who,
     having a fine genius for his profession, has resolved to
     stay some time at Florence for study. And knowing his
     father to be very talented, and to possess my particular
     regard, and the son to be a judicious and amiable youth, I
     in every way love him greatly, and desire his attainment
     in good proficiency. I therefore recommend him to your
     Lordship, in the strongest manner possible, praying you,
     as you love me, that you will please to afford him every
     assistance and favour that he may chance to require; and
     whatever such aids and obligations he may receive from
     your Lordship, I shall esteem as bestowed on myself, and
     as meriting my special gratitude. I commend myself to your

     "From Urbino, 1st October, 1504.

     "JOANNA FELTRIA DE RUVERE, Ducissa Soræ et Urbis

[Footnote 179: Pietro Sodarini, Gonfaloniere for life. The original
in Latin is printed in BOTTARI'S _Lettere sulla Pittura_,
I., 1. A loose expression might lead to the conclusion that Giovanni
Sanzi was still alive, though he died in 1494; and on the strength of
it, Rosini raises doubts as to the authenticity of the letter, or the
identity of the painter, in which we cannot join.]

This letter probably obtained him more civility than substantial
benefit; as his various Florentine works attributed to this period
were commissioned by private parties. Among these was Taddeo Taddei,
correspondent of Bembo, and a well known friend of letters, for whom
he painted the Madonna del Cardellino and another Holy Family, and of
whose hospitalities and many favours he expresses a deep sense, in
recommending him to his uncle's good offices at Urbino, whither the
Florentine probably repaired to visit its famed court. Other kind
friends and patrons were Lorenzo Nasi and Angelo Doni; but his chief
object seems to have been the society and instructions of the best
painters, which the acquaintance of his early master Perugino with
Florence, as well as his own winning manners, must have facilitated.
Leonardo da Vinci, whom Giovanni Sanzi couples with Perugino, as

     "Two youths of equal years and equal love,"

was then at the height of his fame, and in direct competition with
Michael Angelo, the eventual rival of Raffaele, whose energetic
genius was already striding forward on his ambitious career.
Fra Bartolomeo was adapting their new and advanced style to the
devotional feeling which hung around his cloister in the frescoes
of Beato Angelico. Domenico Ghirlandaio was dead, but his mantle
had fallen on a son Ridolfo, whom the young Sanzio selected as
his favourite associate, to the mutual advantage of both. In such
companionship did Raffaele study the grand creations of preceding
painters; borrowing from them, or from living artists, ideas and
expedients which his fertile genius reproduced with original
embellishments. The influence of Da Vinci may be distinctly detected
on some of his Madonnas and portraits of this period,--that of the
Dominican monk on others, and on his general colouring; but the
fresco of the former at S. Onofrio, and many works of the latter,
prove that they reciprocated the obligation, by freely adopting
his design. Early prepossessions as yet kept him exempt from the
contagion of mythological compositions; but in portraiture he found
a new and interesting field, and several admirable heads, produced
at Florence, attest his great success, as a naturalist of the most
elevated caste.

[Illustration: _Alinari_


_After the picture by Timoteo Viti in the Palazzo Ducale, Urbino_]

In an æsthetic view, the paintings and drawings executed by Raffaele
at Florence are of infinite importance, but it would lead us much too
far to examine the progressive development and naturalist tendencies
which they display. We have not attempted to separate his various
residences there from 1504 to 1508; for during these three years and
a half, that city may be regarded as his head-quarters, varied by
visits to Perugia, Bologna, and Urbino, which we shall now notice.
In 1505, he was summoned to the first of these cities to execute
three altar-pictures; one of which, at Blenheim, has been beautifully
engraved by Gruner[*180]; another adorns the Museo Borbonico; the
third, representing the coronation of the Madonna, is in the Vatican.
Of the last commission some curious particulars are preserved.
The nuns of Monte Luce having selected the young Sanzio, on the
report of several citizens and reverend fathers, who had seen his
performances, agreed to give him for the picture 120 golden ducats,
and to another artist, Berto, 80 more for the carved framework and
cornice, including three predella subjects; 30 ducats of the price
being paid in advance. Raffaele's impatience to return to his studies
soon carried him again to Florence, and a new contract for execution
of the work was made in 1516; but death had removed both the abbess
and the artist ere it was fulfilled, and ten years more elapsed
before the picture was terminated by his pupils. The earliest attempt
of Raffaele upon fresco, in the church of S. Severo, at Perugia,
is dated 1505; its chief interest arises from being a first and
incompleted idea of the grand composition which, originating with
Orcagna and Fra Angelico, he developed in the Disputa of the Vatican
Stanze. Two years later he revisited Perugia, to paint for the
Baglioni one of his noblest and most elaborate altar-pictures, which,
indeed, may be regarded as his first important dramatic composition.
Its subject was the Entombment; the many extant sketches for which,
prove the care exercised upon the cartoon, which he prepared at
Florence. It is now the chef-d'oeuvre of the Borghese Gallery, and
its beautifully pure predella is preserved in the Vatican. The
same subject was treated by Perugino, in, perhaps, the finest of his
panel pictures, which now ornaments the Pitti Gallery.

[Footnote *180: Now in the National Gallery.]

[Illustration: _Alinari_


_After the picture by Raphael called La Donna Velata in the Pitti
Gallery, Florence_]

We shall not discuss whether Raffaele's acquaintance with Francia
was formed by correspondence, or during a visit to Bologna, but
one letter addressed by him to that charming artist is preserved,
referring to much previous intercourse, and to a friendly interchange
of drawings, and of their respective portraits. Their works, at all
events, were mutually well known to each other, partly no doubt
through Timoteo Viti, the pupil of both. It is worthy of note that
Sanzio, writing to this friend after quitting Florence, the hotbed of
classicism and naturalism, commends his Madonnas as "unsurpassed in
beauty, in devotion, or in execution," thus showing the comparative
value he attached to these respective excellences, among which
"truth to nature," the favourite test of Vasari and later critics,
has no place; and it is only when he comes to speak of the artist's
own portrait, that he lauds it as "most beautiful, and life-like
even to deception." It was this common sentiment that linked these
master-minds: Raffaele was in the main a devotional painter, Francia
was almost exclusively so.

The year 1506 was momentous to Urbino. In the spring Guidobaldo
returned, after a long absence from his capital, occasioned by
pressing solicitations of his brother-in-law the Pope, that he would
remain near him. The following autumn brought the Pontiff in person
to visit his relation, at whose court his Holiness spent four days.
During part of this year, Raffaele is supposed by Passavant to have
resided in his native city, and possibly he may there have been
presented to Julius; at all events he must have become known to
several members of the polished circle at Urbino, whose acquaintance
ere long proved useful and honourable to him at Rome, and who
were able to forward his interests, both with that Pope and his
successor. Such were Giuliano de' Medici, Castiglione, Bembo, and the
Cardinal Bibbiena, while the high tone of intellect and taste, which
prevailed in that select society, was calculated to improve as well
as gratify his noble nature. Nor was his pencil idle in the Duke's
service. Our information does not enable us absolutely to decide what
of his Urbino works were produced on this occasion, and which of them
are referable to his former visit, but we willingly adopt Passavant's
classification of the pictures he is supposed to have painted for
Guidobaldo, the first three being ascribed by that author to the year

1. Christ in the Garden, with three disciples sleeping in the
distance, No. VIII. of Passavant's Engravings, a Peruginesque
picture, "of miniature finish" as described by Vasari, before whose
time it had passed to the Camaldolese Convent at Urbino, having been
gifted by Duchess Leonora to two members of that fraternity at her
son's baptism. Long subsequently, a prior of the Gabrielli is said
to have alienated it to his own family; and in 1844 it was purchased
from the Roman prince of that name by Mr. William Coninghame, at the
sale of whose interesting collection in 1849, it was acquired by Mr.
Fuller Maitland of Stansted in Essex.

2. and 3. Two small pictures which, unless commissioned as _ex voto_
offerings, belong rather to the class of romantic than devotional
compositions. They represent St. George and St. Michael subduing
their respective monsters, allegories of their triumphs over sin. The
former of these is supposed to have been executed for Guidobaldo, and
presented by him to the French King, by whom the latter was ordered
as its companion. Both remain in the Louvre.

4. Another St. George slaying the Dragon with a lance, while the
former one uses a sword. This picture, signed on the horse trappings
RAPHELLO V., is of especial interest to our countrymen,
the Knight's knee being encircled by the Garter of England, as patron
of that order: it was painted by the Duke's command in commemoration
of his receiving this distinction; and in all probability was
carried as a present to Henry VII. by Castiglione, in 1506, when
he went to London as proxy at his master's installation. There it
graced the palace of the Tudors and Stuarts until sold for £150 by
the Commonwealth to Lord Pembroke. It was subsequently purchased
by Catherine of Russia from the Crozat Collection, in which it is

[Illustration: _Anderson_


_After the spoiled picture by Raphael in the Galleria Barberini in

5. and 6. Two easel pictures of the Madonna, stated by Vasari to have
been commissioned for the Duke of Urbino, are traced by Passavant
to the Imperial Gallery at St. Petersburg, and to M. Nieuwenhuys of

7. The portrait of Raffaele by himself, now in the Florence Gallery,
is understood to have been executed at Urbino in 1506, whence it was
carried to Rome by Federigo Zucchero, and placed in the academy of
St. Luke, until obtained thence by the influence and gold of Cardinal
Lorenzo de' Medici. Passavant considers that the hair and eyes have
been darkened by restorations, and corrects a mistake of the Canonico
Crespi, who has occasioned some confusion by mistaking an old copy of
it still in the Albani Palace at Urbino for a fresco, and by writing
to Bottari in 1760 as if he had there discovered an original likeness
of Sanzio.[*181]

[Footnote *181: None of these pictures save the last seems to be from
Raphael's hand.]

The Holy Family and St. John in the Ellesmere Collection, called the
Madonna del Passeggio, is alleged to have been presented by a duke of
Urbino to Philip II., and by him to the Emperor. Thence it is traced
through Queen Christina to the Odescalchi and Orleans Galleries.
Passavant appears to consider the Penshanger Madonna to have also
been painted in the duchy. To the same period are ascribed missing
portraits by Sanzio of Duke Guidobaldo I. and his Duchess, as well
as of Bembo, Giuliano de' Medici, and others of their court.

Though somewhat out of chronological order, we may here mention
the portrait of a duke of Urbino, with those of Julius II., and a
Magdalene, all said to have been from his easel, and to have belonged
to the ducal family, particulars of which will be found in the list
of Urbino pictures in the Appendix to our third volume. It, however,
seems doubtful if he ever did portray either of his successive
legitimate sovereigns; but a half-length of Lorenzo de' Medici, the
usurping Duke, was purchased in Florence by the late M. Fabre about
twenty-five years ago, and is now in the museum bequeathed by him to
Montpellier. It is ascribed to Raffaele, and there is a good copy of
it in the hall of Baroccio at the Uffizi of Florence. We have not
connected any other works of his with Urbino, which, after the visit
of 1506, he was not destined again to see.

Writing from Florence to his maternal uncle, on the 21st of April,
1508, he expresses his regrets for the recent death of Guidobaldo, in
brief and somewhat common-place terms; and, passing to other matters,
begs that the Duke's nephew and heir may be requested to recommend
by letter his services to the Gonfaloniere, for employment on some
frescoes then in contemplation at Florence. He desires that the
favour may be asked in his own name, as essentially advantageous to
his views, specially commending himself to the young Prefect as an
old servant and follower. Yet it would seem that he had already made
for himself a better title to such patronage, in a mural painting of
the Last Supper in the refectory of S. Onofrio. The recent discovery
of this precious work, after centuries of oblivion, restores to him
the credit of his most important Tuscan production, and adds another
to the many attractions of Florence.[*182]

[Footnote *182: This is not by Raphael.]


     Raffaele is called to Rome, and employed upon the
     Stanze--His frescoes there--His other works--Change in his
     manner--Compared with Michael Angelo--His death, character,
     and style.

The letter alluded to at the close of our preceding chapter may be
regarded as the matured result of Raffaele's careful study of the
Tuscan masters, and an index of his resolution to rival the admired
cartoons which had recently placed Da Vinci and Buonarroti at the
head of living artists. Another scene was, however, reserved for his
triumphs. Julius II. had begun to construct the metropolitan church
and palace of Christendom with an energy befitting his character and
the undertaking. Michael Angelo and Bramante were already in his
service, and he sought to enlist talent and genius from all quarters
for this object. The friendly influence of the ducal family, the
recommendations of Bramante, or his own extending fame, possibly an
acquaintance formed with him at Urbino in 1506, may have suggested
Raffaele as a worthy associate in the work. On the Pope's summons
he abandoned his projects at Florence early in the autumn of 1508,
and, leaving several pictures to be finished by his worthy follower
Ridolfo Ghirlandaio,

     To the great city, an emporium then
     Of golden expectations, and receiving
     Freights every day from a new world of hope."

The tower of Borgia, named from Alexander VI., was at that period
the pontifical residence, and on its decoration the best artists
had been successfully employed. The lower story was terminated under
Alexander by Pinturicchio and his pupils; the upper had already
engaged the hands of Piero della Francesca, Signorelli, and Perugino,
but several of its compartments remained unpainted. One of these
was assigned to Raffaele, and so gratifying was his success that
the Pope, with headlong and unhappy haste, ordered all the finished
frescoes of the upper suite to be demolished, and the four rooms of
which it consisted to be delivered over to his unfettered discretion.
This lamentable precipitancy effaced many works of inestimable
importance to art, and condemned the noblest productions of pictorial
genius to walls in every respect ill-adapted for their reception.
The frescoes now occupying these _stanze_ are to Italian painting
what the Divina Commedia of Dante is to Italian poetry: the lovers
of both, in despair of imitating their excellences, have expended
their enthusiastic admiration in volumes of illustrative criticism.
These compositions of Raffaele form a magnificent epic in which
are strikingly interwoven the endowments of human intellect, the
doctrines of Catholic faith, and the incidents of ecclesiastical
history, all as conducing to the triumphs of the Christian church.

The four rooms may be regarded as four books, each subdivided
into as many themes or cantos. In the Camera della Segnatura, the
ceiling presents allegorical figures of Poetry, Jurisprudence,
Philosophy, and Theology, with a large composition on the side walls
corresponding to each. For Poetry we have Mount Parnassus, with
Apollo and the Muses on its laurel-clustered summit, surrounded by
the most famous bards and minstrels. Jurisprudence is a severely
simple group, consisting of Prudence, Temperance, and Fortitude,
the virtues by which justice is promoted on earth; while the
text-books of Roman and Canon law are issued by Justinian and
Gregory IX., in subsidiary panels. Philosophy is embodied in the
famous School of Athens, as it has been incorrectly named, where
fifty figures, attending a scholastic disputation between Plato
and Aristotle, include the noblest names of ancient science, the
selection of whom displays extraordinary knowledge of the history
of mind. Theology, generally called the Disputa del Sacramento,
is divided into two scenes. Seated in the heavens amid an angelic
choir, the Holy Trinity is surrounded by the Madonna, the Precursor,
and a glorified assemblage of patriarchs, prophets, and warriors of
the Old Testament; apostles, evangelists, and martyrs of the New
Dispensation. Below, the fathers of the Church and its most eminent
divines expound to an audience of distinguished personages the
mysteries of faith, which are symbolised by the Eucharist exposed
upon an elevated altar in token of man's redemption.

The stanza called that of Heliodorus has on the roof four signal
manifestations of himself by the Almighty to the patriarchs. The
first mural compartment represents the holiest mystery of the Romish
faith established in the Miracle of Bolsena, whereby a doubting
priest was supernaturally convinced of the divine presence in
transubstantiation. Opposite is the miraculous deliverance from
prison of St. Peter, the founder of the Romish Church; and the
two corresponding subjects illustrate the power committed to his
successors for arresting the invasion of pagan force personified in
Attila, and for cleansing from the temple of Christ its sacrilegious
plunderers, with Heliodorus at their head.

Having thus illustrated the divine origin of man's chief faculties,
and of ecclesiastical authority, Raffaele in the two remaining rooms
exchanged allegory for historical delineation. That called the Stanza
del Incendio shows us the Coronation of Charlemagne by Leo III., and
the justification of that Pontiff on oath in presence of the same
Emperor; the Victory of Leo IV. over the Saracens at Ostia, and his
supernaturally staying a conflagration which threatened the basilicon
of St. Peter,--a theme belonging rather to the category of the
second room. The ceiling here, having been executed by Perugino, and
reverently spared by Raffaele from the sweeping sentence of Julius,
has no immediate bearing upon these subjects, though full of fervid

The last and largest of the suite is called the Hall of Constantine,
whose religious history is there delineated in four leading scenes:
his Baptism, by St. Silvester; his Vision of the Cross before Battle;
his Victory over Maxentius at the Ponte Milvio; and his Donation of
Rome and its temporalities to the successors of St. Peter. The roof,
of posterior date and far inferior merit, has nothing to do with
Raffaele's creations.

This meagre outline may indicate the leading theme of these the
grandest compositions of modern art; but to form an idea of their
difficulties, of the varied and profound knowledge they display, of
the many noble episodes they embrace, and of all the interesting
portraits they embody, demands no brief or light study, no ordinary
learning or accomplishment. Nor is it easy to appreciate their
technical merits or artistic beauties, vast as is their extent, with
baffling and insufficient cross-lights, and a surface considerably
impaired. Hence the general disappointment felt by casual and
superficial visitors, and the superior gratification afforded
by good engravings of the series. In these, and in the not less
perfect tapestry-cartoons which it is the privilege of our country
to possess, may be appreciated Raffaele's unity of composition, his
symmetrical and unostentatious design, his full contours and flowing
lines, and the earnest but unaffected sensibility which distinguishes
his transcendent works.

That the whole sixteen mural paintings and two of the ceilings were
designed by Raffaele is beyond question; the portions executed by
himself, and those assigned to his pupils, are matter of keen
controversy, upon which we need not enter. It is, however, agreed
that the Camera della Segnatura, and half that of Heliodorus, belong
to the reign of Julius, whilst the Stanza del Incendio was painted
under Leo X., when Sanzio's manifold employments and commissions
obliged him to entrust too much to his scholars. Of the Sala di
Costantino only two figures, painted in oil as an experiment, had
been finished when premature death closed his career of glory. The
price allowed for each fresco seems to have been about 1200 ducats of
gold.[183] Theology, the earliest of the series, painted immediately
on his arrival at Rome, has most of the freshness and devotional
sentiment of his early genius and Umbrian education. It and the
Philosophy are most pregnant with abstruse scholarship, drawn in
part from the learned companionship of Duke Guidobaldo's court. The
glowing and harmonious colouring of the Heliodorus, and Miracle of
Bolsena fully equals any known production of Venetian art; and in the
Incendio, the Heliodorus, and the Battle of Maxentius, we have the
energy and vigour of Michael Angelo, without his exaggerations. In
all may be seen the vast stride he had made from the timid Cenacolo
at Florence, while his transition from Peruginesque hatching to a
full and free streak, and a bold handling, is particularly traceable
in the Disputa, which Passavant justly characterises as surpassing
every antecedent effort of pictorial art.

[Footnote 183: FEA, _Notizie_, p. 9. Raffaele's own letter
of 1514 mentions that sum for each Stanza.]

The death of Julius II. in 1513, eventually proved nowise detrimental
to Raffaele's advancement; for the new Pope not only followed out
those decorations which he found in progress at the Vatican, but soon
made new calls upon their artist, whose labours during the remaining
seven years of his short span appear almost beyond belief. Of the
Stanze, ten new subjects were composed, and several of them in part
executed by him in that time, besides the architecture and all the
elaborate decoration of the Loggie, the finished cartoons for twelve
or thirteen large tapestries, the decorations of the Farnesina,
Bibbiena, Lante, Madama, and Magliana villas, the frescoes of Sta.
Maria della Pace, the Chigi Chapel in Sta. Maria del Popolo, a
variety of altar and cabinet pictures, including his Madonnas of San
Sisto and del Pesce, the Sta. Cecilia, and, last but most glorious
of all, the Transfiguration; besides numerous portraits, and many
drawings for the burin of Marcantonio. Add to this a journey to
Florence in 1514, his architectural designs for several palaces there
and at Rome, a general superintendence of the antiquities in and
around the Eternal City, and the principal charge of the building of
St. Peter's, at a yearly salary of 300 scudi.

The necessary results of thus over-taxing mind and body was
prejudicial to the quality of the works, and to the constitution
of their author. His paintings, left in a great measure to pupils,
often showed a hurried and inferior execution, ill compensated
by the broader treatment which he was forced to adopt. The
metropolitan fabric, itself an ample occupation for the highest
genius and constant industry of one man, languished under inadequate
superintendence. The delicate frame of Raffaele, exhausted by mental
fatigue, was incapable of resisting the first attack of disease.

But brief and utterly imperfect as this sketch has hitherto been, we
must now greatly curtail it, and pass by many of his most glorious
undertakings, to touch upon one or two general views.

[Illustration: _Alinari_


_After the picture by Raphael, once in the Ducal Collection at
Urbino, now in the Brera, Milan_]

The devotional influences of the Umbrian school, from which Raffaele
must have imbibed his youthful impressions, were reproduced in his
juvenile works under forms of loveliness new to that mountain land.
His visits to Florence offered fresh inspirations, and taught him
to ingraft upon the conventionalities of Christian art, whatever
his keen sense of beauty could cull from the creations of beneficent
Nature. But he painted her and all her works,

     "Not as they are, but as they ought to be;"

nothing mean or debasing found a place in his inventions, and homely
accessories were either refined or thrown into shade. On the banks of
the Arno he became acquainted with another class of elegant forms,
wherein the ancients had developed a beau-ideal, faultless in its
external qualities, but alien to religious sentiment. The reaction
against paganism, which Savonarola's eloquence had effected in the
Tuscan capital, contributed perhaps to save Raffaele from this snare;
but at the court of Rome, and more especially under the Medicean
Leo, the temptation became too strong. Before the twofold seduction
of incarnate beauty and classic forms, the types of his pristine
admiration were gradually effaced, and his fidelity to them waxed
faint. After elevating Christian painting to its culminating point,
he lent himself unwittingly to its degradation, by selecting depraved
loveliness equally for a Madonna or a Venus, by designing from it
indiscriminately a Galatea or a saint. True, that what he lost in
purity is, in the opinion of many, more than counterbalanced by his
progress towards breadth and vigour; but without entering upon so
wide an element of controversy, we may note the fact that, though
all his pupils boldly followed that "new manner," their career was
one of rapid descent, and that those who departed most widely from
their master's purest conceptions have obtained least admiration from

Yet we must in a great measure acquit Raffaele of participating in
the corruption which he shrank from combating. No work of depraved
taste or immoral tendency has been brought home to his pencil,
though the dissolute habits of his age readily applauded such
libertinism in Giulio Romano, Titian, and Correggio. As to the
long current statement, that his premature death was a well-earned
result of vicious indulgences, the evidence, when sifted by
recent research, entitles him to at least a negative verdict. No
contemporary testimony gives the slightest countenance to the charge.
It originated in a vague and random sentence of a commentator upon
Ariosto, wherein four assertions out of six are palpably unfounded,
and its gossiping character procured it a too ready admission from
Vasari. The pure character of his works meets it with an effectual
contradiction, on which those who best understand physiological
conformation will most implicitly rely:--

     "Love is too earthly, sensual for his dream;
       He looks beyond it with his spirit eyes."

Another allegation remains to be examined, more detrimental to the
artist, though less so to the man. During his progress through
various styles, and in the composition of many works, Raffaele is
said to have freely appropriated the ideas of others. There can
scarcely be a doubt that his Graces were suggested by the antique
marble at Siena; that several noble conceptions were transferred by
him from the Carmine to the Vatican; that a group in the Incendio del
Borgo was borrowed from Virgil's Trojan epic; that the arabesques of
the Loggie were partly taken from the thermal corridors of Titus;
and that other still more curious resemblances have been detected
by an acute writer to whom we have already referred.[184] But such
appropriations were established by authoritative precedents, from
the conventionalities of Christian painting to the plagiarisms
of Michael Angelo. The right to repeat themselves or others was
recognised, though men of high genius rarely stooped to its absolute
exercise. Raffaele,--"always imitating, always original," if we
follow Sir Joshua's not unbiased strictures,--will accordingly be
found, on closer examination, to have adapted rather than adopted
the thoughts of others. Like the busy bee, culling sweets from every
flower, he separated the honey from the wax, and reproduced, in new
shapes and varied combinations, whatever of beauty he met with in
nature or art. We may add another dictum of Sir Joshua,--"his known
wealth was so great, that he might borrow where he pleased without
loss of credit." These considerations seem fairly applicable to the
influence exercised by Michael Angelo upon a few works of Sanzio.
But if not the canon of criticism must be impartially administered.
When the vigour of Buonarroti is adjudged to have been filched from
Signorelli, his stalwart anatomy acknowledged as the legacy of
Pollaiuolo; when Domenichino stands arraigned for transferring to
his chef-d'oeuvre, the communion of St. Jerome, the exact motive
and theme of his master, Ludovico Caracci's canvas in the Pinacoteca
at Bologna, it will be time to admit Reynolds's proposition, that
"it is to Michael Angelo we owe even the existence of Raffaele,
and that to him Raffaele owes the grandeur of his style." Sanzio,
in truth, shrank not from competing with whatever he deemed worthy
of emulation. But his was a fair and friendly rivalry, however
little its spirit was understood or reciprocated by the wayward and
overbearing Florentine, whose charge against Raffaele and Bramante
of undermining him with Julius II., adduced in an idle letter, is
not only contradicted by the character of these great men, but it
is palpably improbable. To their influence, Buonarroti ascribes the
suspension of that Pontiff's tomb, regarding which we shall have
much to say in our fifty-third chapter. But as neither of them were
sculptors, and as the Florentine was not yet known to the Pope,
either as an architect or a painter, such jealousy would have been
absurd; whilst the taunt of Sanzio's owing all he knew of art to
Michael Angelo can only be regarded as the petty ebullition of a
notoriously wayward temper. The employment of the latter upon the
huge bronze statue of his Holiness at Bologna, was the real reason
for the interruption of the monument, which it was reserved for Duke
Francesco Maria I. to have completed.

[Footnote 184: _Quarterly Review_, No. cxxxi. pp. 20, 25, 32, 42.]

Between these great masters no parallel can be fairly drawn, and
had they wrought in the same town they would seldom have been
placed in rivalry. But belonging to different states, and heading
the antagonist schools of Rome and Florence, the sectional spirit
of Italy has placed them in contrast, and has adopted their names
as watchwords of local jealousy. In truth, Raffaele's advancement
in anatomical accuracy was a necessary consequence of the growing
naturalism of his time; and the improvement could not fail to
develop the breadth of his pencil, as well as to enlarge the sphere
of his compositions. The absolute amelioration of his works, after
he settled at Rome, was therefore inevitable from the spirit of
the age acting upon a genius not yet matured. That spirit Michael
Angelo exaggerated rather than embodied; and to the purer taste of
his rival many of his productions must have been beacons rather
than models. There is, indeed, some truth, with much malice, in the
sarcasm of Pietro Aretino, that the former painted porters, the
latter gentlemen. Induced, perhaps, by some such idle sneer, Raffaele
executed his Isaiah, to prove that the new manner was not beyond
his grasp; but this, his first, and fortunately his last work, in
which a direct imitation of the terrible Florentine is discernible,
is now the least admired of his mural paintings; and some portion
of its Michael Angelesque character has even been attributed to the
after-restorations of Daniele di Volterra. The Poetry in the Stanze
and the frescoes in the church of La Pace, which he has been supposed
to have borrowed from the same source, are traced by more recent
critics to works of Andrea l'Ingegno at Perugia and Assisi. After
these observations, it is scarcely requisite to notice the remark
of Vasari regarding the opportunity stealthily afforded to Raffaele
by Bramante for plagiarising from his rival's gigantic creations on
the roof of the Cappella Sistina. The casual manner in which the
allusion is made does not warrant its being taken up, as it has been,
in the light of a charge against the honour both of Sanzio and his
friend; and even had it been so intended by the Florentine, various
circumstances, besides the high character of those inculpated, are
sufficient to negative the charge. If Raffaele followed Buonarroti's
manner, it must be admitted that he alone did so without thereby
deteriorating his own. Nor ought we to forget that most critics by
whom this question is handled have merely repeated the loose views
of the biographer of Arezzo, whose great aim it was to prove that
the excellences of Sanzio were all borrowed from his Florentine

The parallel which suggests itself between these gifted
competitors[*185] has been thus stated with equal eloquence and
truth: "The genius of Michael Angelo differed from that of Raffaele
even more in kind than in degree; limited in its object, but intense
in its energy, it gloried in the exhibition of its own colossal
strength, and looked with contempt on those gentler graces that
waited unbidden on the pencil of their favourite worshipper. When the
rivals approached, it was by no common movement; Michael Angelo stood
aloof on the lofty eminence he had chosen; it was Raffaele alone who
dared at times to traverse the wide space that divided them. So great
were the difficulties, so bold the attempt, that all his success,
rapid and wonderful as it was, would have seemed almost necessary
to rescue a character less modest and unassuming than his, from the
charge of hardihood and presumption. With a noble candour he could
scarcely have learned from his haughty antagonist, Raffaele was among
the first to see, the most prompt to acknowledge, the new grandeur
he had given to art.... Even when he rises to the very confines of
sublimity, it is still the sublimity of the beautiful; and when
Michael Angelo stoops for a brief space to court the aid of beauty,
it serves like a transparent veil to soften rather than conceal the
native sublimity of his genius.... Michael Angelo, the painter of
the old covenant, has embodied his genius in the stern and gigantic
forms of Moses and the Prophets; but he failed where Raffaele has
shown as signally his skill, in the gentle dignity of the Saviour
and the heavenly purity of a mother's love.... In his paintings, as
in his character, there appears an unconsciousness of excellence,
a consummation of art carried up to the simplicity of nature, that
anticipates criticism, and allows us to indulge undisturbed in a
fulness of admiration, which grows on the reason long after it has
satisfied the heart. In Michael Angelo's best works there is often,
on the contrary, somewhat so strange and so studied in gesture
and attitude, so evident a design upon our wonder, as almost to
provoke us to resistance, and impair the pure magic of the effect by
attracting our attention to the cause."[186]

[Footnote *185: Far from the parallel "suggesting itself," only a
disorderly mind would make it. No comparison is thinkable between
work that is absolutely different. One might as well compare a valley
with the sea.]

[Footnote 186: _British and Foreign Quarterly_, vol. XIII.]

Honoured by the Pontiff and his brilliant court, idolised by a band
of enthusiastic pupils, engrossed by distinguished commissions,
Raffaele had few thoughts to bestow on his early home. His ties
there had become few and feeble. His father's house had entirely
failed; his only near relation was a maternal uncle, who retained
his warm affection, and scarcely survived him. In writing to that
uncle in 1514, to acquaint him with his signal success and augmenting
wealth, he desires special commendations to the Duke and Duchess,
modestly suggesting that they might be pleased to hear how one
of their servants was doing himself honour. Gratifying as his
extending reputation must have been to them, we find no trace of
special exertions on their part to promote it. Indeed, they had ample
occupation on their own concerns, in the revolution which soon after
exiled them during the rest of Leo's pontificate.


_After the picture by Raphael in the Louvre_]

One of Raffaele's best patrons was Agostino Chigi, a Sienese banker,
who, after a most successful career at Rome, became in the prime
of life the millionaire of his day, and who employed his great
wealth, and the preponderating influence it gave him with the papal
government, in a judicious promotion of art. His commissions to
Raffaele include the mural paintings of his chapel in the Madonna
della Pace, the architecture, sculpture, and mosaics of his other
chapel in the Madonna del Popolo, and the architecture and internal
decorations of his urban villa, now the Farnesina. The last has a
melancholy interest, from being the latest work which exercised the
cares of the illustrious artist. Whilst superintending its frescoes
in March, 1520,[187] a summons from the Pope brought him with hurried
steps to the Vatican, where, arriving overheated, he was detained in
a large and chilly saloon until perspiration was checked. An attack
of fever naturally followed, which, advancing to the stage called
pernicious, proved too much for his delicate and over-excited frame,
especially when still further exhausted by injudicious bleeding, in a
belief that the attack was pleurisy. Aware of his danger, he sought
support in his hour of need from the ministrations of religion and
the rites of his Church. Such is the now received account. The most
authentic particulars are contained in a letter, dated from Rome five
days after his death.

[Footnote 187: Yet this casino, begun in 1511, is by some said to
have been completed several years before.]

"About ten o'clock on Good Friday night [April 6th] died Raffaele of
Urbino, the most gentle and most eminent painter, to the universal
regret of all, but especially of the learned.... Envious death,
cutting short his beautiful and laudable undertakings, has torn
from us this master, still young, upon his very natal day. The Pope
himself indulges in uncontrolled grief, and, during the fifteen
days of his illness, sent at least six times to visit and console
him.... We have, indeed, been bereaved of one of rare excellence,
whose loss every noble spirit ought to bewail and lament, not simply
with passing words, but in studied and lasting elegies. He is said
to have left 16,000 ducats, including 5000 in cash, to be divided
for the most part among his friends and household; the house of
Bramante,[188] which he purchased for 3000 ducats, he has given to
the Cardinal [Bibbiena] of S. Maria in Portico. He was buried at the
Rotonda, whither he was borne by a distinguished cortège. His soul
is beyond a doubt gone to contemplate those heavenly mansions where
no trouble enters, but his memory and his name will linger long on
earth, in his works and in the minds of virtuous men.--Much less
loss, in my opinion, though the populace may think otherwise, has
the world sustained in the death of Agostino Chigi last night, as
to which I say little, not yet having heard of his affairs. I have
only learned that, between cash, debts owing to him, securities,
alum-mines, real estate, bank capital, appointments, bullion, and
jewels, he has left eight millions of golden ducats."

[Footnote 188: It stood in front of St. Peter's, and was removed when
the piazza was extended.]

It may be that Raffaele was timeously taken from the evil to come;
since death exempted him from witnessing like Michael Angelo, a
deluge of mediocrity he would have been powerless to withstand.
But the blow was deadened by no such calculation, and seldom have
obsequies so pompous been accompanied by grief as universal. By the
bier, around which his funeral rites were celebrated, there was
hung his great picture of the Transfiguration: the inspired beauty
of its upper portion, and the unfinished state of the remainder,
most touchingly testified his almost superhuman powers, and their
untimely extinction. The place of his sepulture was behind an altar
in the Pantheon Church, for the erection and endowment of which he
provided by testamentary bequest, and where his bones have of late
been reverently but unwarrantably disturbed. This selection appears
to have been dictated by the recent interment near the spot of Maria
Bibbiena, the grand-niece of his friend the Cardinal, to whom he had
been betrothed, and who had lately predeceased him. The little that
we know of this engagement is from the painter's own letter to his
uncle in 1514; and it would seem to have been sought by the Cardinal
rather than by the bridegroom, who appears to have abandoned his
matrimonial arrangements to friendly match-makers with more than
Italian indifference. The idle tale of his looking to a Cardinal's
hat is now set at rest, as well as nearly all the gossip that had
long circulated as to his supposed dissolute habits, and his liason
with that Roman matron whose ample contours and rich flesh-tints have
come down to us on his canvasses, and who, whether his mistress or
not (examples of such licence being then almost universal), seems to
have been a favourite model in his school.[189]

[Footnote 189: Passavant treats the usual legends regarding the
Fornarina as after inventions, and ascribes the earliest notice of
her to PUCCINI'S _Real Galleria di Firenze_, I., p. 6.]

The same pure taste and feeling for beauty, which characterise
the frescoes and pictures of Sanzio, would have raised him to
equal excellence in other branches of art. They are visible in
his architectural compositions, and in his numerous drawings. The
statue of Jonah in the Sta. Maria del Popolo, supposed to have been
modelled, if not wrought, by his hand, proves what he might have
attained in sculpture. He had no time for literary undertakings, but
some sonnets, casually preserved on the back of his sketches, exhibit
him as a cultivator of letters. An interesting result of his official
charge of the antique monuments remains in an eloquent report to the
Pope, in which,

     "Rome's ancient genius, o'er its ruins spread,
     Shakes off the dust, and rears its reverend head."

Its authorship has given rise to some controversy, and it seems not
unlikely that the materials supplied by Raffaele were thrown into
shape by his friend Castiglione.

It would be interesting as well as easy to adduce from contemporary
pens proofs of the general admiration for his talents, and popularity
of his manners. But we close this notice, too brief for the subject,
though already exceeding our due limits, with the testimony of his
earliest biographer, and of one of his most recent critics. Vasari
thus commences his life of Sanzio: "The great bounty which Providence
occasionally displays, in heaping upon a single individual an
unlimited measure of favours, and all the rare gifts and graces which
generally are distributed over a long interval and many characters,
may well be seen in Raffaele Sanzio of Urbino. Equally worthy and
engaging, he was endowed with a modesty and goodness sometimes united
in those who, adding to a certain noble refinement of disposition
the attraction of amiable manners, are gracious and pleasing at all
times and with all persons. Nature presented him to the world when,
already vanquished in art by the hand of Michael Angelo, she wished
to be outdone by Raffaele, alike in art and in courtesy. In him she
luminously displayed the most singular excellences, conjoined with
such diligence, discretion, grace, comeliness, and good breeding, as
might have concealed even the greatest blemish, or the most hideous
vice. Hence it may safely be asserted, that those who possess such
rare qualities as were united in Raffaele of Urbino are not mere
human creatures, but rather, if such language be allowable, mortal
divinities." Still more eloquent is the passage lamenting his
untimely death: "Oh, happy and blessed spirit, every one delights to
talk of you, to dwell upon your actions, and to admire every design
which you have left. Well might the art of painting die when this her
noble child was called away; for when his eyes were closed she was
left all but blind. To us, his survivors, it now remains to follow
the example of his excellent manner, cherishing in our memory, and
testifying by our words, the remembrance due to his worth and our
own gratitude. For in truth we have colouring, invention, indeed the
whole art brought by him to a perfection hardly to have been looked
for; nor need any genius ever think to surpass him." In the words of
a writer upon whom we have already drawn:--"Cut down in the flower of
his age, and,--like a favoured tree of his own most favoured land,
while laden with golden fruit, bearing in still unopened blossoms
the promise of a yet brighter future,--he was mourned widely as he
was admired, deeply and truly as he had been loved. Young as he was
in years, and modest in his bearing, there is a feeling of reverence
blended in the fond regret with which even strangers dwell upon his
memory, recount his virtues, and seek to read their impress and
reflection in his works."[190]

[Footnote 190: _British and Foreign Review_, vol. XIII., p. 274.]

A critical examination of the peculiar merits of Raffaele's pencil,
and of the benefits which he brought to art, would lead us further
than this sketch will permit: yet there are certain points so
apparent even to superficial observers, some qualities so unanimously
dwelt upon by his eulogists, that it would be incomplete without
a passing notice of them. To him the perception of beauty was a
sixth sense, ever in exercise, and applied to the creations of his
genius, as well as to his studies from nature. To its test were
submitted those traditional forms of devotional art which influenced
his early training; it imparted life and movement to Perugino's
so-called monotonous poverty; it modified the dramatic action of the
Florentine manner; it caught the full tones of Fra Bartolomeo, and
gave dignity to the simper of Leonardo; it showed that anatomical
accuracy required no muscular contortions; it realised the grand
without verging upon the monstrous; it separated grace from grimace.
This was an innate and personal gift, that could neither be taught
nor imitated. The elevated character, harmonious composition, correct
design, and just colouring which Raffaele stamped upon his school,
were manifested in various degrees by his pupils, but the spirit of
their master was a boon from nature, which none of them could seize
or inherit. There are impetuous and daring minds who delight more
in the energy of Michael Angelo's terrible forms; others luxuriate
with greater fondness on the mellowed depth of Titian's magic tints;
whilst to some the artificial contrasts of Correggio's brilliant
lights, and Leonardo's unfathomable _chiaroscuri_ have irresistible
charm. These eminent qualities are, however, the separate endowments
of four individual minds; but Raffaele, deficient in none of them,
possessed, in no less perfection, other more important requisites
which we have noticed. It was this happy union that rendered him the
unquestioned prince of painters, while the ready obedience of his
unerring hand enabled him to realise the pure conceptions of his
refined mind with a delicacy and truth which seem to defy imitation.

Yet his sterling merit was undeviating propriety in the conception
and execution of his works. Nothing ever emanated from his pencil
offensive to religion, morals, or refinement; all that bears his
name would honour the most fastidious reputation. To him accordingly
there was granted a purity of taste, in none other united to equal
genius. It was this that maintained the elevation of his style amid
the conflicting difficulties and temptations of that "new manner"
which it was his mission to perfect. Thus, although it is in the
productions of his second period that we find the beau-ideal most
perfectly realised, yet, even his later works, which descend to
a closer imitation of nature, seldom fail to invest her with a
dignity rare in the external world. In proportion, therefore, as he
discovered or adopted the more elaborate resources and processes of
his art, his ripening mind supplied him with themes and conceptions
worthy of them, and of immortality. The various series of subjects
which he invented for the Stanze, the Tapestries, and the Loggie,
indicate a grasp of intelligence, a variety of acquirement, never
before or since brought into the service of art, and establish
beyond question that the intellect of Raffaele fully equalled his

[Footnote *191: Raphael seems to us to-day to have been a supreme
portrait painter. His other easel pictures, splendid as they often
are in "space composition," seem to lack sincerity. His frescoes have
a perfect decorative value, but little force or real contact with
life. If they sum up the Renaissance, they do so only in part, with
much sacrifice of truth and of that virility and assured contact of
life which were its most precious possessions.]


     Timoteo Viti--Bramante--Andrea Mantegna--Gian
     Bellini--Justus of Ghent--Medals of Urbino.

Having thus traced the advance of painting in the duchy of Urbino,
from Oderigi da Gubbio, the friend of Dante, to Raffaele Sanzio,
its _facile princeps_, it might be well to pause, and leave its
rapid descent under a new dynasty of dukes to be followed in a
future portion of our work. Yet there are still some native names,
belonging to the better period both by date and by merit. Of these
the principal was TIMOTEO VITI, who was born of reputable
parentage in Urbino about 1470, and whose mother Calliope was
daughter of Antonio Alberti of Ferrara, by whom the Giottesque
manner had been brought to that city. Timoteo was sent to Bologna to
profit by the instructions of Francesco Francia, and remained there
from 1490 to 1495. The Christian painters of that city had chosen
for their Madonnas a peculiar type, which, after being transmitted
through several artists, attained its perfection from Francia's
pencil. It may be distinctly traced in the best remaining specimen
of Lippo Dalmasio, of whom we have already spoken,[192] a lunette in
fresco, representing the Madonna and Child between two saints, which
is over the door of S. Procul at Bologna. There we find a pensive
cast of head gently bent on one side in dreamy contemplation,--the
sweetly naïve features, with less indeed of a divine or seraphic
expression than we see in those imagined by the Florentine and
Sienese masters, but whose look seems to indicate that, though
of earth, their owner was not earthy,--though a child of fallen
humanity, she had not tasted of actual guilt. Those who know the
Madonnas of Francia need not be told that they resemble sinless
women more than beautiful beings. Somewhat of the same sentiment
may be traced in the earlier productions of Timoteo Viti. Thus his
Magdalen, which, though now in the Pinacoteca of Bologna, was painted
for Urbino, is a grand figure in red drapery largely cast, standing
in front of a wide cavern. Her girlish countenance appears too pure
and gentle to have felt carnal passion, too placid to have wept over
human sin; her reverential attitude aspires heavenward, without, like
most of her class, appearing to loathe the earth. The mild character
of Timoteo, as well as his promising talents, established him in
the friendship of his master, whose diary touchingly records the
affection with which he bade god-speed to his pupil, on quitting his

[Footnote 192: See above, p. 161.]

[Footnote 193: "On the 4th April, 1495, my dear Timoteo went away,
to whom may God grant all good and success." He seems to have been
received at first into Francia's "workshop" as a goldsmith, to work
for the first year without pay, the second at sixteen florins a
quarter, the last to be free, working by the piece. This indenture
was, however, broken by mutual consent after fourteen months, on his
wish to pass into the painters' studio.]

[Illustration: _Alinari_


_From the picture by Timoteo Viti in the Palazzo Ducale, Urbino_]

Few of this painter's early works are identified, and no frescoes
from his designs appear to survive; but his altar-picture painted
for the Bonaventura chapel in the church of S. Bernardino at Urbino,
and now by the hazards of war in the Brera at Milan, offers one of
the most remarkable compositions of the age. The Annunciation, that
graceful theme of Christian art, had hitherto been treated upon one
uniform type, and though ever attractive was generally trite. The
Virgin surprised by her heavenly visitor was a subject requiring, in
contrast, the purest earthly and celestial beauty which the painter
could invent. The early masters sought not to introduce any other
character than that of hallowed loveliness, refined from worldly
sentiment; their successors added what was meant for grace of manner,
which in their hands generally fell into affected mannerism. Timoteo
held a middle course, giving play to his fancy, but restraining its
flight by the spell of holy reverence. Amid a fine and far-stretching
landscape stands the Virgin, nobly beautiful, gazing with prayerful
aspect upon an angel, whose demi-figure issues from a cloud.
Far above her head the infant Saviour, supported by a dove in a
triangular halo of dazzling splendour, descends from the skies to
become incarnate in the womb of Mary; his foot poised upon a globe,
and the cross resting in his left hand, whilst his right is raised
in benediction. The archangel with out-stretched arms indicates the
mother to the child, and the child to the mother, thus beautifully
executing his mission by an expressive sign. In front of her, but
on a lower level, so as to appear of less majestic presence, stand
the Precursor and St. Sebastian; the former points to the principal
group as the fulfilment of a cycle of prophecy which in his person
was complete; the latter is a graceful prototype of that long series
of martyrs who were destined to seal with blood their testimony to
the atonement thus initiated. One portion of this novel theme had
been anticipated by Giovanni Sanzi, in whose representation of the
same subject at the Brera, though composed after old conventional
ideas, the divine Infant is seen descending from the Almighty upon
the Virgin, instead of the dove, which usually figures as the Holy
Spirit. But such innovations were looked upon with watchful jealousy
by a Church wedded to traditional conventionalities. Doubts were
raised as to the orthodoxy of this representation of the Trinity,
and an unfortunate ruddy tint suffused over the plumage of the snowy
dove was construed into a stain on the immaculate character of the
conception, which is usually represented as coincident with the
Annunciation. The altar-piece was removed to undergo along with its
author a searching examination, which resulted in its restoration as
an object of devotion, and in his escape from the rigours of the Holy

Two altar-pictures by Timoteo remain in the cathedral-sacristy of
his native city,[*194] besides a St. Apollonia in the church of
the Trinità. These exhibit much soft expression and devotional
feeling, combined with considerable breadth of execution; yet
they scarcely possess the simple sentiment of the earlier Umbrian
artificers, the noble character of Sanzi, or the fervour and finish
of Francia. During his residence at Urbino, he may not improbably
have influenced the young Raffaele's opening genius; but, ere long,
fame's many-tongued trumpet told him how much he had to learn of his
countryman, from whom he soon received an invitation to assist in
executing the commissions which were crowding upon him at Rome; and,
like many other gifted artists, Timoteo deemed it no degradation to
work under his younger but more matured genius. Although one of the
latest painters who retained that devotional spirit which we have
endeavoured to trace from the Umbrian sanctuaries, his manner, at an
after period of his life, changed with the influences to which he was
exposed in the atmosphere of the Vatican; and some of those works
produced under the superintendence of Raffaele which are generally
ascribed to his hand, such as the Sybils in the S. Maria della
Pace,[*195] display a very decided tendency to "the new manner."
Few paintings have given occasion to greater variety of opinion
and conjecture than this fresco, both as to the share in it which
belongs to Timoteo, and as to the source from which the conception
was derived. The theme is unquestionably referable to an authority
older than that of Michael Angelo; and it is remarkable that, instead
of the charge of plagiarism from his great rival being brought home
to Raffaele, as has been frequently asserted, the former must have
owed to Perugino, Pinturicchio, and Andrea d'Assisi the idea of
rendering the sybils of mythological fable subservient to religious
representation.[*196] By all these artists, pagan pythonesses
had been grouped with scriptural prophets, as foreshadowing the
mysterious plan of human salvation, and the fresco of the Pace must
be regarded as a felicitous adaptation of Umbrian feeling to the
tastes of such a patron as Agostino Chigi, deeply imbued with the
classic tendencies of the Roman court.[197] The repeated restorations
to which this fine work has been subjected render criticism of its
merits in a degree nugatory, but the inferiority of the Prophets to
the Sibyls is generally admitted.

[Footnote *194: In the Cathedral sacristy is the St. Martin and St.
Thomas of 1504, with the founders beside them. In the Pinacoteca
there is a half figure of S. Sebastian, the figures of S. Roch and of
Tobias with the Angel. The S. Apollonia, once in S. Trinità is now in
the Gallery. Of these, the S. Sebastian, S. Roch, and Tobias show the
influence of Giovanni Santi, the other two the influence of Raphael.]

[Footnote *195: Timoteo painted the Prophets above the Sibyls in S.
Maria della Pace, in Rome.]

[Footnote *196: The Sibyl was not exclusively Pagan. Consider the
first verse of the _Dies Irae_, which ends--

     "Teste David cum Sibylla."]

[Footnote 197: See the learned observations of PUNGILEONE,
in the _Elogio Storico di Timoteo Vite_, pp. 23-38.]

Vasari, after communication with our painter's family, represents
him as pining for his native air in the capital of Christendom,
where his stay cannot have been of very long duration, as we find
him in 1513 one of the magistracy of Urbino. Here he shared his time
between the sister arts of poetry, music, and painting, "delighting
to play upon various instruments, but especially the lyre, to which
he sang improviso with uncommon success." On Vasari's authority,
we are also told that he "was a cheerful person, naturally gay and
jovial, handsome, facetious in conversation, and happy in his jokes."
One of the most remarkable productions of his Raffaelesque period
is a _Noli me tangere_ (the appearance of Christ to the Magdalen
after his resurrection), in the chapel of the Artieri, at Cagli,
executed about 1518, which has been, perhaps, over-praised by Lanzi
and others: the difficulty of the subject may in some degree disarm
our criticism of its rather crowded and ungainly composition. On
the whole, the merit and beauty of the few known productions of
his pencil may well make us regret those which have disappeared,
or which pass under other names; and, although Passavant accuses
him of affectation and mannerism, the constraint apparent in some
of his earlier productions may possibly be more justly ascribed to
awkwardness. Pungileone supposes him to have returned to Rome in
1521, two years before his death, and there to have acquired a number
of the cartoons and drawings of his friend Raffaele. Of these, and
his own designs, a considerable portion passed a few years ago into
the Lawrence collection, which the vacillation and ill-timed economy
of our rulers allowed to be in a great measure dispersed.

       *       *       *       *       *

Few artists have been the subject of more controversy than
BRAMANTE. His architectural works procured him high reputation, for he
is associated with the genius of Julius II., and the vast piles of
the Vatican: but his name and family have been disputed, as well as
the place and province which gave him birth; while his biographers,
besides confounding him with an entirely different person, Bramantino
of Milan, have aggravated the confusion by conjuring out of these
two a third artist, who exists only by their blundering. Bartolomeo
Suardi, instead of being master of Bramante, as Orlandi and others
have supposed, was a pupil who, from attachment to his instructor,
added to his own name the diminutive Bramantino. He chanced, however,
to have a scholar, Agostino, who, by also adopting that designation,
has further perplexed matters; three persons being thus almost
inextricably mixed up. For our purpose it is enough thus to supply
a key to these masters, and to observe that their relative merits
coincide with their chronology; the first being a bright light of
the golden age, the last an obscure painter of the _decadence_, who
has left us little beyond the reflected lustre of a borrowed surname.
But although the minute diligence of Lazzari and Pungileone seems to
have set this matter at rest, their tedious disquisitions supply few
important facts or useful criticisms, and a brief notice will suffice
for our present purpose.

Donato Bramante appears to have been born at Monte Asdrualdo, near
Fermignano, in 1444, of parents in comfortable circumstances. As
his first efforts were devoted to painting, he would naturally find
instructors among the Umbrian artists already noticed; but for
his education we have no particulars, beyond a conjecture that he
studied under Fra Carnevale.[*198] At his father's death, in 1484,
he was already abroad, probably in Lombardy, where most of his
pictorial works were produced, and where some frescoes may still be
seen, meriting no ordinary meed of approbation, and particularly
distinguished by fidelity in portraits and accuracy of architectural
perspective; qualities learned, doubtless, from the productions of
Melozzo da Forlì and Piero della Francesca. Of these mural paintings,
the most interesting remains in the church of the Canepa, at Pavia,
and exhibits the artist presenting a model for that building to its
founder, Duke Gian Galeazzo Sforza, his Duchess, and his mother.
Rosini ascribes to him freedom of design, ease in movement and
draperies, grand conceptions, and much ability in perspective.
Indeed, whilst the colder genius of ultramontane nations has seldom
occupied itself with more than one branch of art, many Italian
masters attained to excellence in several; and Bramante's reputation
as an architect being established, his engineering talents were
called into exercise by Ludovico il Moro, upon the fortifications
of Milan. There too he built several churches, and constructed as
a sacristy for S. Satiro, one of those small round Grecian fanes
which have been considered so peculiarly his own, that various
churches of that type are ascribed to him on no better grounds than
their form. The conception is, however, of earlier origin, for it
appears in not a few miniatures and small devotional panels of the
preceding century. He had adopted it in a little chapel of the
Madonna di Riscatto, on the banks of the Metauro, opposite Castel
Durante, said to have been his earliest work, and the idea was freely
used by Perugino and his pupils, Raffaele included. It takes the
form of a round building cased by Corinthian pilasters, in an easel
picture preserved at Urbino, in the sacristy of Sta. Chiara, which
is interesting as an architectural study, and has been attributed to
Bramante, or to Giorgio Andreoli, the porcelain enameller of Gubbio.
A symmetrically elegant Doric chapel, at S. Pietro in Montorio
at Rome, is the chef-d'oeuvre of this classic style, and it was
reproduced by della Genga in scenic decorations prepared at Urbino
for the representation of Bibbiena's _Calandra_.

[Footnote *198: He was probably the pupil of Luciano da Laurana and
Piero della Francesca.]

As the flower of Bramante's life went by during his long stay
in Upper Italy, it is there that his pictorial talents must be
appreciated, and that his most numerous, if not his most famous
fabrics, may be found. But when Lombardy became the battle-field
of Italian independence, when art was there neglected and personal
safety compromised, he bethought him of the monuments of antique
genius still scattered over the capital of her classic times, and
came to Rome in quest of improvement as well as employment. The
moment was not propitious, for Alexander VI. was no Maecenas. Yet in
the public works, both of fresco-painting and architecture, Donato
had a share; and he supplied designs for several private churches
and palaces, varying the scene of his labours by prolonged visits to
Naples and Tivoli.

On the accession of Julius II. his star rapidly rose to the zenith
of his reputation. His Urbino extraction was a recommendation to
the new Pontiff, which his talents fully justified, while the vast
conceptions and daring energy of his Holiness found in Bramante a
willing and apt minister. To raise a temple wherein the Christian
world might worship the living God, was a project worthy of their
united genius, and it was entertained in a manner befitting the
enterprise. There, grandeur of design was seconded by resolute
purpose; nor were means and will deficient for levying from the piety
or fears of mankind contributions apparently inexhaustible. But in
a struggle with time, man is seldom victorious. The shadows of age,
falling upon the Pontiff and his architect, warned them that their
day was far spent. Anticipating the night that approached to arrest
their labours, they worked with a zeal which knew no repose, but
which proved fatal to the stability of their fabric. Death overtook
them both ere any part of St. Peter's approached to completion, yet
not before the too hurried masonry had begun to yield under its own
weight. The inadequate foundations occasioned much supplementary
trouble and outlay to those who conducted the edifice towards a
conclusion, which it did not reach until 1626, a hundred and twenty
years after it had been begun by Bramante.

By some who witnessed the rapid and indiscriminate destruction
of old St. Peter's,--that ancient basilicon, which early art had
done its best to decorate, which Christian devotion had sanctified
by cherished traditions, and over which time had cast a solemn
halo,--Bramante has been blamed as a reckless innovator; and the
charge meets a ready response from those who, in their search for
primeval monuments of Catholic faith, pass from the glare and
magnificence of the modern fane to mourn over broken sculptures and
shattered mosaics buried in its rayless crypt. It would be easy to
defend the architect at the expense of his master; but upon looking
more closely into the charge, we shall find that the original fabric
having become ruinous, its reconstruction was begun half a century
before the accession of Julius, and that its last remains were
not removed until a hundred years later. Thus it would seem that
the demolition of so much that is ill replaced to the churchman
and scholar of art, even by the gorgeous temple which commands
our wondering admiration, must have proceeded from other reasons
than haste. The slippery foundations that from time to time have
occasioned infinite anxiety and expense, both for the church and
adjoining buildings, were doubtless the original cause which lost us
the basilicon of Constantine.

But Julius was not the man to devote himself exclusively to one idea,
even though a favourite one. Wishing to provide a palace for his
successors worthy of the neighbouring fane which he had founded, he
put the Vatican into Donato's hands. That pontifical residence, after
being enlarged by Nicolas V. and Sixtus IV. was in a great measure
reconstructed by Alexander VI., whose predecessor, Innocent VIII.,
had erected a casino in the adjoining gardens of the Belvidere.
In order to unite this casino to the palace, Bramante contrived a
double corridor, the vast intervening area of which he designed for
festive spectacles. This fine idea, left by him unfinished, was
marred by succeeding architects, who broke up the extensive court by
cross galleries and unseemly appendages. We may, however, pardon the
transmutation, as it has afforded admirable accommodation for the
treasures of art, ever since accumulating in these almost boundless
museums. In that handsome street to which Julius bequeathed his name,
there may be seen near the church of S. Biagio, straggling vestiges
of vast substructions, with rustic basements resembling the gigantic
masses of fabulous ages, on which have been reared some mean and
modern dwellings. These are the sole remains of a vast undertaking,
nobly conceived by the Pontiff, and ably commenced by his architect,
in order to unite under one palace the scattered law-courts and
public offices of Rome. But it was Bramante's misfortune to serve a
restless spirit, which attempting more than the span of human life
could overtake, left its finest conceptions abortive.

The merits of Bramante were appreciated by his contemporaries as well
as by posterity, and gained him a substantial meed of honour and
wealth. At the pontifical court he moved in a circle where refinement
perfected the emanations of genius, and which included the choicest
spirits of a brilliant age. Enriched by papal favour, magnificent in
his expenditure, frank and joyous in his nature, he lived up to the
advantages of his position, and made his palace the resort of many
celebrities: there his Umbrian countrymen, Perugino, Pinturicchio,
and Luca Signorelli, frequented his board; and after his death the
house was bought by his friend Raffaele. He was a poet, for in Italy
all sentiment readily falls into rhyme; but he was likewise a man
of the world, whose natural tact and ready fluency compensated for
a defective education. Dying in March, 1514, he was buried beneath
that splendid fane which he had founded, but which many successive
architects failed to raise. No monument testifies the gratitude of
his countrymen, yet his name is entwined with garlands of undying
verdure, and some of the noblest Italian piles bear the impress of
his solid and enduring style.

       *       *       *       *       *

FRA BERNARDO CATELANI was a Capuchin monk of Urbino, whose
devotion sought scope in the exercise of Christian art, and who is
generally considered a follower of Raffaele, although this is doubted
by Grossi. Nor does it much matter, for the only work now identified
with his name is an altar-piece of the Pietà with two attendant
saints, in the church of his order at Cagli. Still less is known
of one CROCCHIA of Urbino, named by Baldinucci as a pupil
of Raffaele. His countryman, Centogatti, is said to have exercised
the arts of architecture, sculpture, and painting, and to have
instructed Duke Francesco Maria I., and also Gian Battista Comandino,
in engineering. To him Lomazzo ascribes the invention of _baluardi_,
and the erection of walls round his native town; but in both respects
he appears mistaken, as we have had occasion to show in speaking of
Francesco di Giorgio.[199]

[Footnote 199: See p. 214 above. In an old MS. chronicle I
find, besides most of the names here enumerated, the following
now-forgotten painters of Urbino, at the close of the fifteenth
century:--Bartolomeo di Maestro Gentile, Bernardino di Pierantonio,
Ricci Manara, Francesco di Mercatello, and in 1528 Ottaviano della

       *       *       *       *       *

The patronage extended to Francia by Duke Guidobaldo seems, from
Vasari's authority, to have been of a very undiscriminating
character, for his commissions to that painter of sweet Madonnas
consisted of a Lucrezia, and a set of horse-trappings, whereon was
depicted a blazing forest, with various animals escaping from it.
Gaye has recovered some facts as to the favour bestowed by this
dynasty upon Andrea Mantegna. In 1511, Duchess Elisabetta wrote
to interest her brother, the Marquis of Mantua, in favour of his
son Francesco, expressing herself as mindful of the regard she had
borne his father, on account both of his own merits and his devotion
to her family. Andrea's acquaintance with Giovanni Sanzi, already
referred to, may have been formed on his journey to Rome in 1488,
or on his return thence in 1490; but his fame had ere then reached
Umbria, for in 1484 Ludovico Gonzaga, bishop of Mantua, wrote to the
Prefect della Rovere, pleading his excuse for declining an order for
a Madonna, his time being engrossed in the palace of Mantua. Vasari
further tells us that Marco Zoppo, another Lombard painter, took a
portrait of Guidobaldo when in the Florentine service. To his reign
probably belongs a very grand specimen of Giovanni Bellini in the
church of S. Francesco at Pesaro. We have already noticed him as a
pupil of Gentile di Fabriano; and his visit to the duchy may have
enabled him to confirm his early devotional impressions, by there
depicting that favourite theme of the mystic school, the Coronation
of the Madonna, surrounded by witnessing saints. The countenances,
though without the unearthly inspiration belonging to the Umbrian
art, have great beauty softened by reverential sentiment, and a
colour which glows even through the dirt of centuries. In the Sta.
Maria Nuova of Fano are preserved two of Perugino's finest works,
the Annunciation, and the Madonna enthroned between six saints,
exhibiting all the qualities of his best time, with less timidity
than belongs to his manner. The latter was executed in 1490, and
the predella had been considered equal to Raffaele, who of course
was then too young for such an undertaking. Such are some of the
remaining pictures which must have influenced taste and art in
the duchy. The catalogue is far from complete, for in the obscure
villages may still be discovered altar-panels of scarcely inferior
importance, besides not a few transported thence to Milan, Berlin,
and other galleries.

We owe to Lord Lindsay some very interesting views on the influence
of early Teutonic art beyond the Alps, a subject long overlooked
and still far from exhausted.[200] Among its masters no celebrity
equals that of Jean Van Eyck. He was not only _capo-scuola_ in the
Low Countries and inventor of a new method and vehicle of painting,
but was the first to introduce that "feeling for nature and domestic
sentiment" which, subordinate at the outset to religious delineation,
has continued, through many phases, and for the most part with
strictly naturalist aims, to characterise the Flemish pencil. The
fame of his mechanism spread into Italy, and Vasari speaks of a
bath scene being sent by him to Duke Federigo of Urbino. This was,
however, probably the same work described as belonging to Cardinal
Ottaviani by Facio, who wrote about 1456. In a room lighted by a
single lamp, a group of nude females issued from the bath, an aged
beldame, their attendant, bathed in perspiration, their thirsty dog
lapping water. A mirror accurately gave back the scene, reflecting
the profile of the one whose figure was turned from the spectator.
Without, was elaborate and far-spreading scenery, with men, horses,
castles, hamlets, groves, plains, and mountains, dexterously
graduating away as the evening shadows fell. Keeping in view the
state of art at that time, this painting, of which all further trace
mysteriously vanishes, must have exercised an important influence.
The borrowed illumination, the mirror reflections, the nude forms,
the heated atmosphere detected by its physical effects on animal
life, the minutely pencilled landscape, the delicately receding
perspective, were all more or less innovations in Italy, apart from
the colour and surface produced by the new process.

[Footnote 200: _Sketches of the History of Christian Art_, Letter
VIII., especially part II., §§ 1, 2, 4, and part III., § 6.]

Among the followers of Van Eyck who first made their way to the
Mediterranean shores was JOSSE or JUSTUS OF GHENT, who, under the
signature of Justus de Alemania, appears to have executed an
Annunciation in fresco, at the convent of Sta. Maria di Castello
at Genoa in 1451.[*201] Admiration for Van Eyck's bath scene may
probably have obtained for him an invitation to Urbino, where,
however, he does not seem to have shared the ducal patronage, but
was employed by the fraternity of Corpus Christi to paint for them
an altar-piece, which, after nine years of labour, was completed in
1474, and is still preserved in the church of Sta. Agata.[*202] It
was executed in oil, about ten feet square without the now missing
predella, and seems to have cost 500 florins, besides materials.
Its subject was appropriately the Institution of the Eucharist, in
contradistinction from the Last Supper, and it is treated after
the manner of the Romish mass,--Christ distributes the sacramental
wafer to his Apostles kneeling round a table, over whom hover two
white-draped angels of the Van Eyck type. Four personages stand
apart, spectators of the sacred mystery, and these, by the legitimate
rules of sacred art, might be portraits. Among them may be easily
recognised the Duke; and a turbaned figure is said by Baldi to be the
ambassador from Usum-cassan, King of Persia, while visiting the court
in 1470-1, on a mission to unite the Italian princes in a league
against the Turk,--a fact garbled by Michiels, whose commendations
of the picture are greater than its distance above the eye allows me
to confirm or challenge, as, without scaffolding or a very strong
glass, all detailed criticism must be in a great measure conjectural.
Neither have I discovered that influence upon art at Urbino which he
and Passavant impute to this Fleming, whose only other known work in
Umbria was a now lost church standard.

[Footnote *201: But Justus de Alemania, who painted at Genoa, and
Justus of Ghent, are different persons.]

[Footnote *202: Now in the Pinacoteca.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Art has in many instances been able largely to compensate the
liberality of its early patrons. Besides preserving to after times
the person of those

     "Whose barks have left no traces on the tide,"

it has frequently transmitted to us the form and comeliness of
men whose characters, actions, or talents have left an impress
on their age. Although the pencil and the chisel were at first
rarely dedicated to portraiture, a mode of representation arose in
Italy during the fifteenth century which supplied this want with
singular success. Reviving classical taste found few more attractive
relics than the coins and medals of Greece and her colonies; but
their imitators, struck with the inferiority of those under the
Roman empire, adopted, and even surpassed, the bold style and
high relief of the former. When almost every principality in the
Peninsula possessed a mint, and die-cutting was a usual branch of
the goldsmith's craft, there were great facilities for the new
art. The circulation of precious metals being very limited, trade
was then conducted chiefly by barter, or by the transmission of
coin in sealed bags, stamped with the value they contained, whilst
small transactions were made almost solely in copper money.[203]
Heroic medals, which soon became the established meed of egotism
and incense of flattery, were at first cast,--and, when machinery
became more perfect, were struck,--in an alloy of copper, under the
name of bronze. Those of the fifteenth century were of great size,
varying from one to four and a half inches in diameter; many bear
the names of well-known sculptors and painters as their artists,
and exhibit a grandeur of conception unequalled in other numismatic
productions.[*204] About three hundred and seventy-five such medals
have been published in the Trésor de Numismatique et de Glyptique,
and although the _procédé Collas_ there adopted in general fails
to preserve the sharpness and finish given to the originals by
careful retouching, no work of art is so delightful a companion
to Italian mediæval history. Zannetti's elaborate collections on
Italian coinages, and the fifth volume of Cicognara's great work upon
sculpture, may also be consulted with pleasure and advantage.

[Footnote 203: The coinage of Duke Federigo consisted of Bolognini
and Piccioli. The former were small thin silver pieces, weighing
19-1/2 grains, of which 3-1/2 were copper alloy, and forty of them
made a florin. The florin, a nominal coin, thus contained 634-34/59
grains of pure silver, and 146-1/2 grains of copper; and supposing
pure silver worth, as now, 5s. 6d. an ounce, it would be worth 7s.
3-1/4d. sterling, making a bolognini 7-1/3 farthings. The piccioli
(3-3/5 to a farthing) were about the size of bolognini (52 or 56 to
the ounce); but were of copper alloyed with about three per cent. of
silver. All this Duke's coinage seems to have been minted at Gubbio,
and it is described at great length by Reposati, in his _Zecca di
Gubbio_. See p. 41 above, and Author's Preface.]

[Footnote *204: See on this subject the most excellent book by
G.F. HILL, _Pisanello_ (London, 1905); a good bibliography
is there given.]

The only medallist of Urbino now known was called Clemente, and,
besides the portrait by him to be immediately noticed (No. I.), he is
said to have ornamented the great hall of the palace with six round
bas-reliefs of Duke Federigo's exploits. Seven medals of that prince
have come to my knowledge, all of extreme rarity: the first five are
described and engraved in the _Zecca di Gubbio_; the first, second,
and fourth in the Trésor de Numismatique; the sixth is probably
unnoticed elsewhere. The heads of all are in profile.

No. I. A medallion of 3-5/8 inches diameter. The Duke's bust is in
armour, on which are chased a Lapitha reducing a Centaur, and other
emblematic devices; his cap, called by the French a _mortier_, is
of the usual cinque-cento form, exactly resembling a round Highland
bonnet. The legend is a Latin couplet, signifying,


The reverse is redundant in allegory. In base, the eagle of Jove
supports with extended wings a stage whereon are three devices,--the
globe of command, with on one side a cuirass, buckler, and sword,
and on the other a clothes-brush[205] and olive-branch; overhead are
the planetary signs of Jupiter between Mars and Venus. On the vacant
spaces are the names of the hero, "FEDERIGO THE INVINCIBLE, COUNT
OF URBINO, A.D. MCCCCLXVIII.," and of the artist, "THE WORK
OF CLEMENTE OF URBINO." The surrounding astrological legend runs


[Footnote 205: Riposati mistakes this for a metal weight. The French
work does not venture on any conjecture as to the object represented.]

The date indicates this medal to have commemorated his campaign
in Romagna against Colleone, in 1467, and notwithstanding the
questionable taste of crowding in so many symbolical appendages, its
merit is ranked high by Cicognara (see his eighty-sixth plate).

No. II. A medal 1-6/8 inches across, which was probably cast at
Naples in 1474, by order of Ferdinand, in honour of Federigo's visit
and installation as a knight of the Ermine. Being no doubt prepared
before his arrival, the likeness is not striking. Round the bust is
reverse, over a collared ermine, "ROYAL CAPTAIN-GENERAL. THE WORK

No. III. A similar but smaller medal, executed after he had been
elevated to the dukedom. His head is bald, and the legend is
the motto of the Order.

No. IV. A medal 3-3/8 inches across, commemorating his dignities
of Duke and Gonfaloniere of the Church. Round his bust in armour,
with the mortier cap, we read, "OF THE DIVINE FEDERIGO DUKE OF
reverse he is represented in a cuirass, mail-coat, jack-boots, and
the mortier cap, mounted on a heavy war-horse in housings of mail.
He moves forward, stretching forth his truncheon in the attitude of
anxious command, a two-handed sword on his side. Legend, "THE
WORK OF SPERANDEI," who was a native of Mantua, greatly
patronised by the sovereigns of Ferrara.

No. V. is a magnificent production, and of peculiarly English
interest. On a medal 4-3/4 inches across, clasped round by the badge
and gothic motto of the Garter, is a noble bust of Federigo in
armour, his massive bald head uncovered. The reverse has five winged
loves supporting an ample basin, from whence issue two grape-laden
cornucopiæ; between them the crowned eagle of Montefeltro sits on
a globe of command, gazing sunward, and supporting the armorial
shield of that house, with the papal arms in pale as borne by the
Gonfaloniere: the contracted inscription "DUKE FE." appears
on the ground. Riposati conjectures that in this device may be
preserved the design of a fountain for serving wine to the populace
during the festivities on his investiture with the English order;
at all events, this piece, in size and style, perhaps the grandest
medallion of the age, bears interesting testimony to the honour in
which that decoration was held.

No. VI. Among the Vatican Urbino MSS. (No. 1418) is a case containing
two impressions, stamped on leather, of another medallion, which we
have nowhere else met with. It is 3-1/2 inches in diameter, and round
The reverse gives us a mounted knight cap-a-pie, who tramples down
an armed soldier, while charging others who fly; in the distance
are seen cities, and a martial host. Legend, "MARS GIVES HIM A
FRANCESCO, OF PARMA." This alludes to his successes against the
Florentines when general of Sixtus IV.

No. VII. A medal of Federigo by Francesco di Giorgio, has neither
been described nor preserved, unless it may have been No. V. above.

We have no medal of Duke Guidobaldo I.; but two have come down to us,
representing his consort and her favourite Emilia Pia, so similar in
character as to indicate probably the same artist and period, which
Riposati presumes to have been in the Duchess's widowhood.

I. Elisabetta's bust on a medallion 3-1/2 inches in diameter; her
hair braided under her cap, and gathered behind into a long pendant
tail or fillet plaited with ribbon; her forehead, neck, and
shoulders ornamented with chains; legend, "ELISABET GONZAGA, THE
FELTRIAN, DUCHESS OF URBINO": which we give. The mystic science
of emblematic devices was often used by medallists without proper
discrimination; and Riposati avows himself unable to interpret its
allegorical reverse: the French editor describes it as a nearly nude
female reclining on the ground, her head supported against a wicket,
grasping in both hands a fillet from which a wig flies away, with the
motto, "THIS TELL TO FUGITIVE FORTUNE"; he interprets her
attitude as contemptuous towards a passing opportunity, in allusion
to her recent widowhood spurning fresh ties.

II. The medal of Emilia was evidently a posthumous memorial; we
reproduce it also. It is 3-1/4 inches broad, the bust in the costume
of the Duchess, and is inscribed "EMILIA PIA THE FELTRIAN":
on the reverse, a tapered pyramid crowned by a cinerary urn, with
"TO HER CHASTE ASHES." The whole is studiously classical,
and pagan in feeling. Her name Pio, turned into the adjective _pia_,
becomes a complimentary epithet.

In order to dismiss this branch of our subject, we may here mention,
that, although a few smaller medals were struck for the second
dynasty of Urbino, none of them are worthy of special notice; indeed,
this art was entirely degenerate after 1500.




     Birth and elevation of Sixtus IV.--Genealogy of the
     Della Rovere family--Nepotism of that pontiff--His
     improvements in Rome--His patronage of letters and
     arts--His brother Giovanni becomes Lord of Sinigaglia
     and Prefect of Rome--His beneficent sway--He pillages a
     papal envoy--Remarkable story of Zizim or Gem--Portrait of
     Giovanni--The early character and difficulties of Julius
     II.--Estimate of his pontificate.

On the 21st of July, 1414, in the village of Celle, upon the Ligurian
coast, near Savona, there was born to Leonardo della Rovere and
Luchina Muglione, a male child, who, fifty-seven years thereafter,
was called to fill the chair of St. Peter, from whence he showered
upon his numerous relations temporal and ecclesiastical dignities.
That Pontiff was Sixtus IV.; of these relatives many have already
found a place in our pages; and from their stock sprang the second
ducal dynasty of Urbino.

Upon the origin of this family a mystery has been thrown, by writers
devoted to adulation rather than to truth. There was established
near Turin a race of della Rovere, lords of Vinovo, whose nobility
is traced from the eighth century, and from whom it was the pride of
Sixtus to claim a descent, which his flatterers readily humoured,
and which the annalists of Urbino adopted as an article of their
political creed. Posterity has repudiated the allegation, for "in
Italy, at least, it is vain for heraldry to tell a tale that history
will not substantiate."[206] The seigneurs of Vinovo were not,
however, loath to admit a blood connection with two Popes, who, in
return for such aggregation to the old stock, conferred cardinals'
hats upon their cousins of Piedmont. Although the tombstone of
Leonardo was said to exhibit the Vinovo bearings, with a suitable
difference, his humble birth is universally admitted. The burgess
of Savona plied a fisher's trade, and even his son is supposed to
have followed in boyhood the same apostolical calling; an occupation
singular rather than inappropriate, for one destined to wear "the
fisher's ring," and to wield the authority of him who was divinely
called to be a netter of men. The superstition or policy of Sixtus
stamped with unmerited importance certain quasi-supernatural
incidents attending his birth. Whilst pregnant, his mother dreamt
that a boy was born to her, whom two Franciscan friars forthwith clad
in the tunic, cowl, and cord of their order. The name Francesco was
accordingly bestowed on the child, whose gestures seemed to confirm
its sacred vocation, the first motions of its little hands being
those of benediction. Whilst undergoing the usual ablutions, the
infant appeared faint and dying, whereupon its mother vowed that, if
preserved to her, it should wear the Franciscan dress for the next
six months. The removal of this habit having on two occasions been
followed by dangerous illness, the boy's destination to a monastic
life was confirmed, and his training conducted accordingly.[*207]

[Footnote 206: MARIOTTI'S _Italy_.]

[Footnote *207: For birth of Sixtus IV., cf. CREIGHTON, _op.
cit._, vol. IV., p. 65, and authorities there quoted. "His father was
a poor peasant in a little village near Savona, and at the age of
nine Francesco was handed over to the Franciscans to be educated. He
acted for a time as tutor with the family of Rovere, in Piedmont, and
from them he took the name by which he was afterwards known."]

After rapid progress in classical and dialectic studies, he went
to the university of Bologna, and in his twentieth year maintained
various public disputations before a general chapter of his order
at Genoa, with erudition and success which astonished his audience,
and gained him the marked commendation of his superiors. He then
graduated in philosophy and theology at Pavia, and in his public
displays distinguished himself by a simple and perspicuous style
of argument comparatively exempt from the jingle of words that
usually characterised these exercises. His celebrity extending in
all directions, he was engaged by the authorities of many large
towns to deliver lectures, which were attended by the most learned
ecclesiastics, his preaching being not less acceptable to the
people of all ranks. His friendship and counsel were sought by the
distinguished men of his time, including Cardinal Bessarion; and
he employed his pen in various religious controversies, especially
in one, carried by other disputants to blows, between two branches
of Franciscans, the Minims and Predicant Friars, as to "whether
the blood of Christ shed in his passion partook of his divinity."
Having attained the rank of General, he proved most zealous in
the inspection and reform of the convents under his jurisdiction,
personally visiting them in all quarters. At length, in 1467, he was
made Cardinal by Paul II., whom he was chosen to succeed on the 9th
of August, 1471.

We have had occasion, in a previous portion of this work, to notice
the policy of Sixtus as it affected the duchy of Urbino, and it
forms no part of our plan to enter further into the events of his
pontificate. Neither need we detail those in that of his nephew
Julius II., except in so far as they fall to be narrated in our
Third and Sixth Books. Our present purpose is to offer a condensed
view of the della Rovere family, preceding its establishment in the
sovereignty of Urbino, and to enliven what would otherwise be a dry
genealogical sketch, by a few passing observations on the character
of its two Pontiffs, and on the influence of their reigns.

The children of Ludovico Leonardo della Rovere by Luchina Stella
Muglione were these:--

1. FRANCESCO, afterwards Sixtus IV.

2. RAFFAELE, whose line will presently occupy our attention.

3. A sister, whose husband Giovanni Basso and children were adopted
into the family of della Rovere and bore that name. They were:--

     1. GIROLAMO of Recanate, made Cardinal of S.
     Chrisogono in 1477, and died in 1507.

     2. ANTONIO, who married in 1479 Caterina Marciana,
     niece of Ferdinand of Naples, and died soon after.

     3. GUGLIELMO, who died in 1482.

     4. FRANCESCO, Prior of Pisa.

     5. BARTOLOMEO.[208]

4. IOLANDA, who married Girolamo Riario, and, dying in 1471,

     1. CARDINAL PIETRO RIARIO, the favourite of his
     Uncle Sixtus IV., who died in 1474.

     2. GIROLAMO, Lord of Forlì, and, in right of his
     wife, Caterina Sforza, sovereign of Imola, whose name is
     familiar to those who have followed our narrative, and
     who was assassinated in 1488. Among their children were
     Ottaviano, dispossessed of his states by Cesare Borgia
     in 1500; Orazio, Bishop of Lucca; Galeazzo; and Cesare,
     Patriarch of Constantinople. Their line still subsists
     in the Riario Sforza of Naples, one of whom was in 1846
     Cardinal Camerlingo at Rome.

     3. OTTAVIANO, Bishop of Viterbo.

     4. A daughter, married to one Sansonio, whose son Raffaele,
     made Cardinal of S. Giorgio in 1477, has been mentioned as
     an accomplice in the Pazzi conspiracy.

[Footnote 208: Most of these were buried in the church of Sta. Maria
del Popolo, at Rome, where their funeral inscriptions may be found.]

RAFFAELE DELLA ROVERE, younger brother of Sixtus, had, by
Teodora Manerola--

1. BARTOLOMEO, Bishop of Ferrara and Patriarch of Antioch.

2. GIULIANO, who became Pope Julius II., and whose natural children

     1. RAFFAELE, who married Niccolosa Fogliano of
     Fermo, and was murdered in 1502.

     2. FELICE, famed for her beauty and talents, who
     married Gian-Giordano Orsini, not Marc Antonio Colonna, as
     stated by Roscoe.

3. LEONARDO, created Prefect of Rome in 1472. He died 1475,
leaving no issue by Giovanna, natural daughter of Ferdinand King of
Naples. According to Giannone, she was Catarina, daughter of the
Prince of Rossano, by Dionora, sister of Ferdinand, and she brought
him the duchy of Sora, which descended to his heirs.

4. GIOVANNI, Duke of Sora, Prefect of Rome, and Seigneur of
Sinigaglia, to whom we shall return.

5. LUCHINA, whose children were adopted as of the della
Rovere name. By her first husband Gabriele Gara, a gentleman of
Savona, she had--

     1. RAFFAELE.

     2. SISTO, Cardinal of S. Pietro in Vinculis, who
     died in 1517, aged forty-four. His death is said to have
     been occasioned by terror for the menaces of Leo X., who
     suspected him of aiding his cousin the Duke of Urbino
     in recovering his state, by advancing money out of vast
     benefices, estimated at 30,000 to 40,000 ducats a year.
     De Grasses describes his frame as exhausted by shameless
     debaucheries, and adds, that he could neither read nor
     write. The latter assertion is so incredible as to throw
     doubt upon the former; yet such an accusation in the diary
     of a papal master of ceremonies seems to infer that similar
     immoralities were then scarcely regarded as scandalous in
     the sacred college. The taint left by Alexander VI. had not
     yet been effaced by blood and tears in the sack of Rome.

     3. SISTA, whose first husband, Geraud d'Ancezun,
     died in 1503, after which she married Galeazzo, son of
     Count Girolamo Riario.

     By her second husband, Gian-Francesco Franciotti Lucca,
     a merchant in Rome, who was her junior by eleven years,
     Luchina had--

     4. GALEOTTO, Cardinal of S. Pietro in Vinculis,
     and Archbishop of Benevento, who died in 1508, aged
     twenty-eight. In 1505 he was appointed to the Cancelleria,
     and his public revenues, amounting to 40,000 ducats a year,
     were liberally administered in the patronage of letters.

     5. NICOLÒ, who left a son Giulio.

     6. LUCREZIA, wife of Marc Antonio Colonna, who
     fell at the siege of Milan, in 1522.[209]

[Footnote 209: Cristoforo and Domenico della Rovere, brothers, and
successively cardinals of San Vitale, were of the Vinovo family.
The former has a tomb in the Church del Popolo, the latter was
distinguished for his intelligent patronage of art. I have failed
to affiliate Clemente, Bishop of Mende, surnamed _il Grasso_, made
cardinal 1503, and died next year; and Stefano, who was nephew of
Julius II., and had a son, Gian Francesco, Archbishop of Turin, who
died in 1517.]

GIOVANNI DELLA ROVERE, Prefect of Rome and Seigneur of
Sinigaglia, died in 1501, having married in 1474 Giovanna di
Montefeltro, who, dying in 1514, had issue--

1. FEDERIGO, who died young.

2. FRANCESCO MARIA, who, as Duke of Urbino, will occupy attention in
our next Book.

3. MARIA, married in 1497 to Venanzio Varana, Lord of Camerino, who
was slain in 1503, with three of his sons, by order of Cesare Borgia.
Another son, Sigismondo, shared the campaigns of his maternal uncle
the Duke of Urbino, and failing to recover his patrimonial state from
the usurpation of his uncle Giulio Cesare Varana, was assassinated
at his instigation in 1522: his wife was Ottavia, daughter of Giulio
Colonna. A scandalous intrigue of Maria in her widowhood will be
mentioned in the life of her brother,[210] but it did not prevent her
finding a second husband in Galeazzo, son of Girolamo Riario, Lord of

4. COSTANZA, who died unmarried at Rome in November, 1507.

5. DEODATA, a nun of Sta. Chiara at Urbino.

[Footnote 210: See below, ch. xxxii.]

On the accession of Sixtus, the papal treasury was supposed to be
full of money and jewels, which it had been the passion of Paul
II. to accumulate. Yet he declared that but 5000 crowns were found
in bullion, and the few precious stones that were forthcoming
appeared not to have been paid for. Notwithstanding this seeming
disappointment, which was very generally discredited, and the outlay
of 20,000 crowns for the funeral of Paul, and for his own coronation,
he discharged the debts of several antecedent pontiffs, and
particularly those due by Paul for St. Mark's palace. But these heavy
expenses, with the alleged simony attending his election, and the
enormous sums lavished by his nephews, gave colour to an allegation
that he had seized and misapplied large hoardings of his predecessor.
The favour bestowed by him upon his nephews was excessive, even in
days when nepotism was at its height, and his fondness for the two
Riarii originated suspicions casting a dark shadow upon his moral
character; while gossip, with its usual inconsistency, lent currency
to the surmise that they owed to him their paternity as well as
the advancement of their fortunes.[211] One of his early acts was
to confer upon Pietro, the elder of them, and upon Giuliano della
Rovere, cardinal's hats on the same day. These cousins were, however,
of very opposite habits, and so long as Pietro lived, Giuliano's
influence with his uncle was small. The former, known as Cardinal of
S. Sisto,

     "Whom the wild wave of pleasure ever drove
       Before the sprightly tempest, tossing light,"

was magnificent beyond example, lavish in his tastes for silver and
gold stuffs, splendid dresses, spirited horses. He was surrounded
by troops of retainers, and filled his house with rising poets and
celebrated painters. He was munificent to the learned, generous to
the poor, and frequently celebrated public banquets and games at
prodigious expense. Though he lived but two years and a half after
his elevation to the purple, he had in that brief space completed a
rarely equalled career of civil and ecclesiastical preferment, of
public extravagance, and personal debauchery. Taddeo Manfredi, Lord
of Imola, having been expelled by domestic intrigues, was bribed by
the Cardinal with 40,000 crowns to assign that fief to his brother
Girolamo Riario, an arrangement sanctioned willingly by Sixtus,
reluctantly by the consistory. After making a progress to Lombardy
and Venice as papal legate, with a pomp unequalled even in an age
of splendour, Pietro returned to Rome, and died in January 1474, of
fever aggravated by previous excesses. Panvinio says he seemed born
to waste money, and estimates his expenditure whilst cardinal at the
enormous sum of 270,000 golden scudi.[212]

[Footnote 211: Muratori has not scrupled to adopt this opinion, for
which I can discover no adequate ground, and which is inconsistent
with the accepted genealogy of the Riarii.]

[Footnote 212: The sumptuous and lavish festivities of the age, and
the extent to which art was combined with classical associations in
public displays, may be estimated from Corio's elaborate description
of the reception at Rome, in 1473, of Duchess Leonora of Ferrara,
with her suite, including 60,000 horses. *Cf. _Annalisti di Tisi_,
quoted by CORVISIERI, q.v. in _Archivio Romano_, vol. I.;
_Il Trionfo Romano di Eleanora d'Aragona_. CREIGHTON, _op.
cit._, vol. IV., pp. 75-77, gives a splendid sketch of his life.]

The wars into which the Pontiff recklessly plunged, from rage
against the Medici and anxiety to consolidate a sovereignty for
Count Girolamo, occasioned vast expense, and the deficiency of his
exchequer led him to adopt expedients of an eventually dangerous
tendency. Panvinio asserts for him a disreputable priority in the
creation of places and offices, in order to raise a revenue by their
sale. The simony thus systematised tended at once to taint the
morals and degrade the reputation of the Roman court. Under Borgia's
pontificate we have seen it carried to a frightful height, and
attended by scandals the most heinous; in that of Leo X. it became a
mainspring of the Reformation.

Yet it was not by wars alone that the papal treasury was embarrassed,
nor were the bounties of Sixtus limited to claims of nepotism, for
he reaped from many the praises due to a liberality large rather
than discriminating. The whirlwind of Turkish invasion had lately
swept over the ruins of the Eastern Empire, and for the Christian
princes who fled before it, abandoning their states to seek a
precarious hospitality, Rome formed the natural refuge. Thither
came the expelled despots of Albania and the Morea, the crownless
queens of Cyprus and Bosnia, all of whom received from the Pontiff
a welcome and honourable entertainment due to their misfortunes and
to their virtual martyrdom. To such European princes as visited
the Eternal City, in performance of their religious duties, he
accorded a splendid reception. But there were other outlays still
more creditable to him, as adorning the city and ameliorating the
condition of its inhabitants. He was the first pope who earnestly
set about rescuing from degradation the monuments of ancient Rome,
and improving the modern city. Among numerous public buildings
erected, restored, or decorated by him were the Ponte Sisto, the
great hospital of Santo Spirito, the old Vatican Library, the
aqueduct of Trevi, the churches of La Pace, il Popolo, S. Vitale, S.
Sisto, S. Pietro in Vinculis, and many others. To the Riarii, by his
encouragement, we owe the Cancelleria Palace and the adjoining church
of S. Lorenzo in Damaso. The restoration of that of the SS. Apostoli,
begun on a grand scale by his nephew Pietro, was interrupted by the
early death of that dissolute minion, whose tomb remains in the
choir, finely conceived and beautifully executed. Nor was public
convenience overlooked amid such magnificent creations. As Augustus
was said to have replaced his capital of brick with one of marble,
it became proverbial that Sixtus rebuilt in brick what he found of
mud. He paved the streets, re-opened the sewers, conveyed the _aqua
vergine_ to the heart of the city. By proclaiming the jubilee at the
end of twenty-five years, instead of each half-century, he doubled
the influx of pilgrim revenues; and, warned by the catastrophe of
its preceding celebration, when crowds had been trodden down on the
Ponte S. Angelo, he provided for the devout multitude a new access
to S. Peter's by the bridge which bears his name. His beneficial
undertakings, however, extended far beyond the Eternal City: he
cleared out the choked harbour of Ostia, thoroughly repaired the
crumbling church of St. Francis at Assisi,[*213] and began, in
honour of the Santa Casa at Loreto, that gorgeous fane which was
unworthily finished by the next Pontiff of his name. Neither was
he indifferent to the social disorganisation of his metropolis. He
curbed its lawless state by a rigorous police. Public begging was
strictly suppressed; and all who could not prove some legitimate
means of livelihood were banished. Malefactors of every sort, after
summary conviction, were whipped through the streets, and consigned
to the galleys or the gallows. Daily executions took place for a
time, and though the measures adopted were both sanguinary and
oppressive, order and security were in a great degree restored to the

[Footnote *213: Cf. FRATINI, _St. della Basilica e del
Convento di S. Francesco in Assisi_ (Prato, 1882), p. 260 _et seq._]

There is reason to fear that the stern discipline, whereby he
vindicated public manners, was not applied to his personal habits.
Yet the character given of him by Infessura, whereon depends most
of the scandal by which his memory has been blackened, appears so
grossly exaggerated as to defeat its own end, and to establish a
charge of prejudice, if not of malevolence, against its author. To
transcribe it would be to stain our pages; but its purport is summed
up in some ribald Latin verses, borrowed, probably, from Pasquin,
which impute to the Pope every imaginable iniquity and disgraceful
indulgence, and congratulate Nero in being at length exceeded in

[Footnote *214: "Sixtus," says CREIGHTON, "changed the
course of life in Rome because his own recklessness was heedless
of decorum. Hitherto the Roman court had worn a semblance of
ecclesiastical gravity.... Rome became more famous for pleasure than
for piety.... The Rovere stock was hard to civilise.... Hitherto the
Papacy had on the whole maintained a moral standard; for some time to
come it tended to sink even below the ordinary level. The loss that
was thus inflicted upon Europe was incalculable" (_op. cit._, vol.
IV., p. 132-3).]

Although the name of Sixtus, as a friend of letters and arts,
has been dimmed by the more glorious ones of Nicolas V. and Leo
X., which at no long intervals preceded and followed him, the
memorials remaining of his judicious patronage are interesting and
important. Innocent III., in building the Hospital of S. Spirito, had
embellished it with six frescoes illustrative of its destination.
To these Sixtus added twenty-seven others, forming a cycle of
the personal and public incidents of his life, from his mother's
miraculous vision, to his anticipated introduction into Paradise by
St. Paul, in recompense of his piety. These paintings are no longer
visible; nor do we know from whose pencils the vast series emanated,
but in the Sistine Chapel, which perpetuates his name, and was his
most important artistic undertaking, his choice was unexceptionable.
Apart from the celebrity conferred upon it by the subsequent impress
of Buonarroti's stupendous inventions, the series wherein the lives
of our Saviour and of Moses are contrasted constitutes a chapter of
scarcely equalled importance in the progress of Christian painting.
Who can view the mighty themes of that oratory,--the types and
antitypes of scriptural history on its walls, the creations of
Omnipotence on its roof, the final Judgment over its altar,--without
gratitude to the della Rovere pontiffs, by whom these triumphs were
commissioned, and for the most part carried out? This may, indeed,
be called the foundation of the Roman pictorial school. Giotto, Fra
Angelico, Gentile da Fabriano, and Masaccio had, indeed, visited
the metropolis of Christendom, but no pontiff before Sixtus had
summoned hither, and at once employed, all the most distinguished
artists of Central Italy. The glorious band, though headed by
Perugino,[*215] consisted of Florentines,--Signorelli, Botticelli,
Rosselli, della Gatta, and Ghirlandaio; but these soon returned to
the art-loving and art-inspiring Arno, leaving on the plain of the
Tiber few other works, and a most transient influence, in exchange
for the classical ideas which they had imbibed in "august, imperial
Rome," and which quickly supplanted the sacred traditions of their
native school. Although Pinturicchio was not associated in their
labours upon the Sistine, he was busy upon other not less important
mural decorations, which still adorn the churches of Aracoeli, Sta.
Croce in Gerusalemme, and S. Onofrio. But Sta. Maria del Popolo was
especially the scene of his triumphs, under the auspices of various
Cardinals della Rovere, and other members of the consistory, who were
instigated by example of his Holiness to such laudable employment of
their exorbitant incomes.

[Footnote *215: Pinturicchio was also among them; neither can
Signorelli be called a Florentine. Dennistoun is (_infra_) mistaken
in thinking that Pinturicchio did not work in the Sixtine Chapel. The
Baptism of Christ and the Journey of Moses are both from his hand.]

Panvinio speaks of this Pope's solicitude to gather from all Europe
additions to the library founded by Nicolas V., and attest his having
first put it upon a satisfactory footing, by appointing qualified
persons to superintend it, and by assigning it an adequate endowment.
Though the rooms in which he placed books have been devoted to other
purposes, ever since Sixtus V. removed the augmented collection to
its present site, a most interesting memorial of the Pontiff's family
and court remains, and has till lately adorned its original locality.
It is a fresco, now transported to the Vatican Picture-gallery,
wherein Sixtus sits in a noble hall of imposing architecture, with
his librarian Bartolomeo Sacchi, surnamed Platina, kneeling at his
feet, and pointing to an inscription, which enumerates in rough
Latin verses, those ameliorations for which Rome was indebted to his
Holiness. In attendance stand his two favourite cardinal nephews;
Pietro, with features expressive of unrefined sensualism, wearing the
russet habit of the mendicant fraternity, from whose discipline he
emerged to lavish ill-gotten gold with rarely equalled prodigality;
whilst in the cold and unimpassioned countenance of Giuliano, we
vainly seek for those massive features, and that angry scowl, which
the pencil of Raffaele subsequently immortalised. The group is
completed by the two younger nephews, Girolamo, Lord of Forlì, gawky
and common-place in figure, with the Prefect Giovanni, of blunt and
burly aspect. It would be difficult satisfactorily to render so large
a group in these pages, but we give an unedited and speaking likeness
of the Pontiff from a miniature of the same size prefixed to the MS.
of Platina's _Lives of the Popes_, dedicated to him and now in the
Vatican Library.

Besides the claims of this fresco upon our notice, from representing
the important members of the della Rovere family, it would be still
more interesting to us, were it, as formerly supposed, from the
pencil of Pietro della Francesca, court-painter of Urbino. It is now,
however, ascribed, almost beyond question, to a pupil of his, sung by
Giovanni Sanzi, as

                     "Melozzo, dear to me,
     Who to perspective farther limits gave."

His accurate study of geometrical principles taught him the most
difficult art of foreshortening, which he particularly adapted
to ceilings and vaulted roofs with a magical effect heretofore
unattempted. Applying a like treatment to the human form, he
succeeded in giving to the features a relief not inferior to that
attained by the plastic manner of Squarcione and his followers,
but infinitely excelling them in natural and noble character; and
thus, for the first time since the revival, as in the picture just
described, he gave to simple portraiture the stamp of historical
delineation. Melozzo, by birth a Forlian, had probably attracted the
notice of Girolamo Riario, on taking possession of his new state,
and the patronage bestowed upon him by the Count and his brother the
Cardinal, reflects credit upon their discrimination. In 1473, he was
employed by the latter to paint, in the apsis of SS. Apostoli at
Rome, our Lord's Ascension in presence of the apostles, one of the
grandest works of the time, miserably sacrificed by the destructive
alterations of last century. Some much over-daubed fragments of this
wonderful composition are built into the great stair at the Quirinal
Palace, and single heads are preserved in the sacristy of St. Peter's.

The favour of this Pontiff, whom the prejudiced Infessura has
libelled as "the enemy of literary and reputable men," included
merit from every quarter. Baccio Pintelli, of Florence, was his chief
architect; Antonio Venezianello was conjoined by him with the Umbrian
della Francesca and Signorelli to decorate the sacristy at Loreto;
he pensioned Andrea d'Assisi, when early blindness had clouded those
great gifts ascribed to him by Vasari; the Tuscan Verrocchio, who had
come to Rome as a goldsmith, became, by his encouragement, a sculptor
of eminence, and the inventor of that charming style which da Vinci
brought to perfection in Lombard painting.

       *       *       *       *       *

Deferring our notice of Giuliano, the favourite nephew of Sixtus
IV., we shall now mention his younger brother GIOVANNI,
immediate ancestor of the della Rovere Dukes of Urbino. He was born
in 1458, but we have no information as to his life before his uncle's
elevation. The ancient and honourable dignity of Prefect of the
favoured [_alma_] city of Rome was held by the Colonna, from the time
of Martin V., until the death of Antonio, Prince of Salerno, in 1472.
His son, Pier-Antonio, had been named to that office in reversion by
Pius II., but, upon the ground of nonage, Sixtus set aside his claim
and appointed his own nephew Leonardo della Rovere. He, too, having
died in 1475, the Pontiff conferred the prefecture, (with remainder
to his eldest son), on his next brother, Giovanni, to whom, on the
12th of the preceding October, he had given an investiture, in full
consistory, of Sinigaglia, Mondavio, Mondolfo, and Sta. Costanza.
At the same time, his marriage with Giovanna, second daughter of
Federigo, the newly-created Duke of Urbino, was celebrated with
becoming pomp, her dowry being 12,000 ducats; and on the 28th the
almost childish couple made a festive entry into their tiny state.
The Duke's presence and influence, though gladly given, were probably
not required to secure them a rapturous welcome, for elevation from
obscure provincialism to petty independence was ever a welcome boon
to an Italian community. To signalise and commemorate the auspicious
event, a young oak tree was planted in the piazza, with the motto in
Latin, "Long may it last," and was inaugurated amid boundless and
universal joy. A tournament was next day celebrated, succeeded by a
ball, in which the sovereigns and their new subjects freely mingled.

From the narrative of Fra Graziano[216] we learn the immense benefit
which the new order of things brought to that hitherto obscure town.
Though boasting a certain importance under imperial Rome, it had
become so decayed as hardly to afford stabling for twenty horses.
The Prefect lost not a moment in meeting the exigencies of his
position; and though but a boy in years, proved himself possessed
of matured wisdom. Summoning from all quarters the best architects
and engineers, he opened new streets, and paved them; built palaces,
churches, convents, and a large hospital; constructed a harbour,
erected a citadel, and fortified his capital. But his most happy
expedient was the encouragement of an annual fair, which, gradually
extending in importance, rendered Sinigaglia a mart of commerce, and
continues to this day the most important in Italy.[*217] Nor were
his exertions confined within the city. Mondaino and other places of
minor note shared these improvements; and he brought from Lombardy
and Romagna a population of skilful agriculturists, to clear and
cultivate the forest lands which spread far around, until his state
became a fertile and corn-exporting district.

[Footnote 216: Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 1023.]

[Footnote *217: Cf. L. SIENA, _Storia di Sinigaglia_
(Sinigaglia, 1764), p. 277 _et seq._; ANSELMI e
MANCINI, _Bibliografia Sinigagliese_ (Sinigaglia, 1905);
and MARCUCCI, _Francesco Maria I. della Rovere_, Parte I.
(1490-1527) (Sinigaglia, 1903).]

The moral welfare of his people was meanwhile not overlooked; and
the strict propriety which he exerted himself to maintain, was
enforced by example as well as by precept. In his own practice,
and in the circle of his sanctimonious court, the decencies of
life were enforced with an almost monastic discipline, strangely
at variance with the usages of his age, and the temperament of his
near relations. Fra Graziano sums up his character as moderate in
his tastes, prudent in his counsels, mild, liberal, and just in
his administration, devoutly religious in his observances. His
consort possessed virtues, graces, and accomplishments worthy of her
husband's merits and her own beauty.

The Prefect does not, however, seem to have been able in person to
superintend the beneficent administration which he had the good sense
to institute, for the Pontiff's doating nepotism required much of
his presence after the loss of Pietro Riario. The youthful couple
accordingly spent several years at the Vatican; and on their return
home, in 1479, Giovanni was presented by the city of Sinigaglia with
twelve silver cups weighing eighteen pounds. In 1482, they were
again sent for by Sixtus, who gave his nephew a palace on the Lago
di Vico. Even after his uncle's death, the Prefect enjoyed a large
share of papal favour, having from Innocent VIII., the baton as
captain-general of the Church. But, on the accession of Alexander
VI., the star of the della Rovere waned. In Cardinal Giuliano his
Holiness saw a powerful and talented rival; in the Prefect an
obstacle to his ambitious views for his bastard progeny. The former
prudently retired to France; the latter lived quietly in his vicariat.

       *       *       *       *       *

In 1494, the Lord of Sinigaglia signalised himself by a feat worthy
the freebooting practice of his times. Zizim, or Gem, son of Mahomet
II., had right by his father's will to half the Turkish empire, but
was expelled by his brother Bajazet, in 1482.[*218] Having fled
to Rhodes, and placed himself under the protection of the Grand
Master, Bajazet offered the latter a pension of 40,000 (or as some
say 450,000) golden ducats, on condition of his being retained in
safe custody. From Rhodes he was removed to France, and, in 1489,
was brought to Rome, where, though received with much distinction by
Innocent VIII., he found himself virtually a prisoner, or hostage.
Bajazet, after failure of an attempt to have him assassinated, agreed
to pay that Pontiff and his successor, the same yearly subsidy of
40,000 ducats for his custody and entertainment, besides supplying
the Holy See with various important Christian relics from Palestine.
In 1494, the Sultan's usual annual pension having been remitted to
Rome through one Giorgio Bucciardo, accompanied by costly presents
for Alexander VI., the envoy, on leaving Ancona, where he had
disembarked, was set upon and plundered by Giovanni della Rovere.
After appropriating most of the treasure, to extinguish alleged
arrears of pay from the Holy See to himself and his troops, the
Prefect sanctified the deed by dedicating the residue to pious works,
employing the rich oriental stuffs for church ornaments. Soon after,
there were circulated in Rome, certified copies of a correspondence
between Alexander and the Sultan, with the oral instructions of his
Holiness, which Bucciardo had been induced to divulge, and which
throws a curious colour on this chapter of diplomacy.[219]

[Footnote *218: The best contemporary account of Djem is that of
GUGLIELMO CAOURSIN, _Obsidimis Rhodii Urbis Descriptio_
(Ulm, 1496). Cf. BURCHARD (ed. Thuasne), I., p. 528.
The amount seems to have been 45,000 ducats. See especially
HEIDENHEIMER, _Korrespondenz Bajazet II.'s mit Alexander
VI._, in _Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte_, vol. V., p. 511 _et
seq._ As usual, Creighton's account, _op. cit._, vol. IV., is
most excellent, written with the pen of a statesman. Heidenheimer
maintains the authenticity of the letters, and Creighton agrees
with him. "If the letters were forged, the forgery was the work of
Giovanni della Rovere," but there is no good ground for questioning
their genuineness.]

[Footnote 219: These papers have been printed in Bossi's Italian
translation of ROSCOE'S _Leo X._, vol. IV., p. 220; but our
extracts were made from a MS. in Vat. Ottobon, Lib. No. 2206, f. 17.]

The envoy, on being accredited to the Sultan, had to state to his
Highness, that the King of France was advancing upon Rome and
Naples, in order to dispossess Alfonso, the Pope's vassal and ally,
and to carry off Gem, with the project of providing him with a fleet,
and supporting him in an invasion of Turkey. That as his Holiness had
incurred great expenses in military preparations against a danger
thus affecting the Sultan as well as himself, he prayed from him an
advance of the 40,000 ducats due in November, to be remitted by the
bearer. And he was further to induce his Highness to adopt every
means likely to alienate his Venetian allies from French interests in
the approaching struggle, and to attach them to the party of Naples.

The Sultan's answer is contained in a letter addressed to the
Pontiff, wherein this passage occurs:--"For these reasons, we began,
with Giorgio Bucciardo, to consider that for your Potency's peace,
convenience, and honour, and for my satisfaction, it would be well
you should make the said Gem, my brother, die, who is deserving
of death, and detained in your hands; which would be most useful
to himself and your Potency, most conducive to tranquillity, and
further, very agreeable to myself! And if your Mightiness is content
to oblige me in this matter, as in your discretion we trust you will
do, it is desirable, for maintenance of your own authority, and for
our full satisfaction, that your Mightiness will, in the manner
that seems best to you, have the said Gem removed from the straits
of this world, transferring his soul to another life, where it will
enjoy more quiet. And if your Potency will do this, and will send us
his body to any place on this side of our channel, we, the foresaid
Sultan Bajazet Chan, promise to pay 300,000 ducats at any place your
Mightiness may stipulate, that your Potency may therewith buy some
sovereignties for your sons." To this cold-blooded offer are added
many general professions of eternal amity towards his Holiness, and
promises that his subjects will everywhere forbear from aggression
upon Christians; and after stating that he had in the envoy's
presence taken his oath for the performance of all these obligations,
he concludes thus:--"And further I, the aforesaid Sultan Bajazet
Chan, swear by the true God, who created the heaven, the earth, and
all things therein, in whom we believe, and whom we adore, that I
shall make performance of every thing contained above, and shall
never in any respect countermine or oppose your Mightiness. From
our palace at Constantinople, the 15th of September, in the year of
Christ's advent, 1494."

Although discredit was thrown upon these documents by the Roman
court, and the whole affair was alleged to be a device of Cardinals
della Rovere and Gurk, to screen the Prefect at the Pontiff's
expense,[220] it appears clear that a bribe was offered by Bajazet
for the destruction of his brother, who did not long survive this
incident. Alexander accepted 20,000 ducats from Charles VIII. to put
Gem into his hands during six months, as a tool for his ambitious
design upon the East; and in the treaty between his Holiness and
the French monarch, dated 15th January, 1495, there is a special
article that the former should consign "the Turk" to his Majesty
as a hostage, to be kept in the castle of Terracina, or elsewhere,
in the ecclesiastical territories, from whence Charles came under
a promise not to remove him "unless in case of need, in order to
prevent an invasion of the other Turks, or to make war upon them."
He also bound himself to defend the Pope from any descent of the
Infidel upon the Adriatic coast, and, on quitting Italy, to restore
Gem to his custody, his Holiness meanwhile continuing to draw the
Sultan's pension, and for due observance of these conditions, Charles
bound himself in a penalty of 800,000 ducats. By another article he
undertook to arbitrate in the complaint brought against the Prefect,
in the affair of Bucciardo and the captured subsidy. It is further
stipulated that the Cardinal della Rovere should be restored to
favour, and replaced as legate at Avignon; and that, on termination
of the Neapolitan enterprise, Ostia should be again surrendered into
his hands.[221]

[Footnote 220: _Lettere de' Principi_, II., 4.]

[Footnote 221: _Molini Documenti di Storia Italiana_, I., 23.]

This oriental Prince's sudden demise, which soon followed, was
attributed to various causes, but a general belief imputed it to
poison, in implement of the Pope's engagement to Bajazet. Zizim
is represented as far superior to his countrymen in mind and
attainments; and we shall by and by find him honoured as a Maecenas
of literature. A very different impression is, however, left by the
amusing, but obviously caricatured, description of him transmitted
from Rome in 1489, by Andrea Mantegna, the painter, to his patron
the Marquis of Mantua:[222]--"The Turk's brother is here, strictly
guarded in the palace of his Holiness, who allows him all sorts of
diversion, such as hunting, music, and the like. He often comes to
eat in this new palace where I am painting,[223] and for a barbarian,
his manners are not amiss. There is a sort of majestic bearing about
him, and he never doffs his cap to the Pope, having in fact none; for
which reason they don't raise the cowl to him either.[224] He eats
five times a-day, and sleeps as often; before meals he drinks sugared
water like a monkey. He has the gait of an elephant, but his people
praise him much, especially for his horsemanship; it may be so, but
I have never seen him take his feet out of the stirrups, or give any
other proof of skill. He is a most savage man, and has stabbed, at
least, four persons, who are said not to have survived four hours.
A few days ago, he gave such a cuffing to one of his interpreters
that they had to carry him to the river, in order to bring him round.
It is believed that Bacchus pays him many a visit. On the whole he
is dreaded by those about him. He takes little heed of any thing,
like one who does not understand, or has no reason. His way of life
is quite peculiar; he sleeps without undressing, and gives audience
sitting cross-legged, in the Parthian fashion. He carries on his head
sixty thousand yards of linen, and wears so long a pair of trowsers
that he is lost in them, and astonishes all beholders. Once I have
well seen him, I shall forward your Excellency a sketch of him, which
I should send you with this, but that I have not yet fairly got near
him; for when he gives now one sort of look and then another, in the
true inamorato style, I cannot impress his features on my memory.
Altogether he has a fearful face, especially when Bacchus has been
with him. I shall no longer tire your Excellency with this familiar
joking style; to whom I again and again commend myself, and pray your
pardon if too much at home." Homely it is in good earnest, being
written in the Lombardo-Venetian dialect, some passages of which
baffle translation.[225]

[Footnote 222: _Lettere Pittoriche_, VIII., p. 23.]

[Footnote 223: In the Belvidere, where his frescoes have
unfortunately perished.]

[Footnote 224: Panvinio tells us that, being received in full
consistory on his arrival in Rome, he refused to kiss the Pope's toe,
but only his knee.]

[Footnote 225: The reverse of this caricatured portrait may be
found in a curious account of this unfortunate prince's romantic
adventures, given by the Turkish historian, Saadeddin-effendi,
and printed by Masse in his _Histoire du Pape Alexander VI._, pp.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is, however, time to return from the digression into which this
singular and romantic history of the Turkish Prince has tempted us.
Alexander, greatly exasperated by the insults put upon his envoy,
and by the loss of a most opportune remittance, threatened the
Prefect with deprivation of his state; but finding his people, and
the neighbouring communities prepared to stand by him, deferred his
vengeance. Notwithstanding a reference of the whole affair to the
French monarch, by the treaty of 1495, nearly six years elapsed ere
Giovanni della Rovere was formally absolved from the daring exploit.
He was not spared to witness the revival and aggrandisement of
his family's fortunes by his elder brother's election to the papal
throne. On the 6th of November, 1501, death found him already attired
in a winding-sheet appropriate to the devotional habits of the age,
the cowl formerly worn by the beatified Fra Giacomo della Marca.

Two miles west from Sinigaglia, on a rising ground which overlooks
the city, commanding the fertile vale of the Misa, from its Apennine
rampart to the bright waves of the blue Adriatic, there stands a
convent of Zoccolantine Franciscans. It was founded by the piety
of the Prefect and his consort; it was the chosen retreat of their
devotional hours, and was selected by them as the spot for their
last repose. There he was laid, agreeably to his dying wish, in
the Franciscan habit; and a plain marble slab in the pavement
commemorates his titles, and her worth, "in prosperity and adversity
comparable, nay preferable, to the best and noblest of her sex."
There, too, was composed by Father di Francia, guardian of the
convent, that brief record of the merits of his sovereign and patron
from which the preceding sketch has in part been compiled. The
original MS. has disappeared in the general havoc of ecclesiastical
treasures; but in the adjoining church there has been marvellously
preserved from the sacrilegious rapine of French invaders, from the
selfish gripe of unscrupulous collectors, and from the merciless
ignorance of modern restorers, an interesting memorial of the
persons, piety, and artistic tastes of this princely pair. Into a
small picture of the Madonna and Child are introduced, on either
side, portraits of Giovanni della Rovere and his wife, their arms
devoutly crossed, their dress displaying no royal gauds except her
simple string of pearls, and a large crystal bead suspended from his
neck by a double gold chain. Their regular and unimpassioned features
are, probably, somewhat idealised by the pencil of one more happy,
as well as more habituated, to embody inspirations of religious
mysticism, than to portray the indexes of human passion. Nothing is
known of the artist, but he must have been among the foremost in the
Umbrian school.

By his will, the Prefect left his only son under the joint
guardianship of the Venetian senate, his widow, his brother the
Cardinal, and the gallant Andrea Doria, whose faithful services
we have formerly mentioned. To his consort he bequeathed 20,000
ducats, and 7000 to each of his daughters. On the 18th of November,
Francesco Maria rode through Sinigaglia, to receive the allegiance
of his subjects; but being only eleven years of age, his mother
continued to govern for his behoof, whilst his education was chiefly
conducted at the court of her brother, the Duke of Urbino. For a
time she was spared the fate of the Romagnese princes; and it was
not until Guidobaldo's second flight that the arms of Borgia reached
her frontier. Aware how deeply her personal safety was perilled by
the approach of so sanguinary a foe, her friend Doria, who commanded
the garrison, sent her off disguised in male apparel; and, after
a fatiguing flight through mountain-paths, she reached Florence,
accompanied only by one confidential servant and a female attendant.
The defence of her citadel against an overwhelming force being
utterly vain, Doria retired just before the massacre of his allies by
Cesare Borgia, which we have recounted in our nineteenth chapter of
this work. There, too, we have narrated the young Prefect's escape
to France, where he remained under his uncle's auspices, until the
latter was called to assume the triple tiara. Giovanna lived until
1514, and passed from worldly trials just before adverse fortune had
again exiled her son from his rightful states. Ere we proceed to
consider his eventful life, we shall close this chapter with a few
brief notices of his uncle Giuliano, the greatest of the della Rovere

       *       *       *       *       *

An account of JULIUS II. should be, in a great degree, a
history of Italy during the crisis of its fate; but as we have in
other portions of this work to glance at those events of his life
and pontificate most connected with the politics of Urbino, and with
the succession of his nephew to that duchy, we shall here, as in the
case of his uncle Sixtus, limit ourselves to a few notices of his
character and personal history, including his exertions in behalf of

Giuliano della Rovere[*226] was in most respects the reverse of
Pietro Riario, his cousin and rival in the affections of Sixtus IV.
Moderate in his tastes and habits, his attendants were chosen for
their orderly lives; his equipages were as scanty as the exigencies
of rank would permit; his table was economical as his apparel,
unless when called upon to show fitting hospitality to persons of
distinction. Among the virtues with which he adorned the dignity
of cardinal, Panvinio enumerates the modesty of his demeanour, the
gravity of his address, the elegance of his winning manners. The
less partial Volterrano characterises him as somewhat severe in
disposition, and of a genius ordinary as his learning. Dignities were
conferred upon him in rapid succession by his uncle, including the
sees of Albano, Sabina, Ostia, Velletri, and Avignon, with the more
important offices of Grand Penitentiary and Legate of Picene and
Avignon. The latter appointment occasioned his prolonged residence
out of Italy during the reign of Innocent VIII., and afforded him a
convenient escape from the snares of his inveterate enemy Alexander
VI. Their mutual disgusts, arising from opposite characters and rival
interests, were, according to Infessura, brought to a climax by the
Cardinal's adherence to Neapolitan interests, in December, 1492, on
the question of Leonora Queen of Hungary's divorce. He then retired
to his citadel-see at Ostia, where, at the abbey of Grotta Ferrata,
his moats and battlements remain, witnesses to his warlike spirit,
as well as to the perils of those troubled times. But, considering
himself even there insecure, he ere long withdrew to Naples, whence,
after narrowly escaping seizure by the Pope's emissaries, he again
reached Ostia in an open boat. On the approach of an army under
Nicolò Count of Pittigliano, he fled thence to France, leaving the
garrison in charge of the Prefect, who soon capitulated, on condition
that neither he nor his brother should incur ecclesiastical censures.
Grotto Ferrata was about the same time seized and delivered over to
Fabrizio Colonna, on payment of 10,000 ducats.

[Footnote *226: For authorities for Pope Julius II., cf.
CREIGHTON, vol. V., pp. 305-6, where an excellent _résumé_
is given.]

The outrages which the Cardinal had thus received at the hands of
the Borgian Pontiff, in unworthy vengeance for his honest opposition
to the nepotism and other scandals which then disgraced the Vatican,
galled his pride, tending to rouse that fierce spirit which, although
alien to the character ascribed to his earlier years, became the
bane of his pontificate. This was, indeed, the turning point of
his life, and it developed a policy utterly at variance with his
ultimate views. Having attended Charles in his march across the Alps,
his ardent temperament often aided to sustain that weak monarch's
wavering resolutions. Had he then considered more his country's
interests, and less his private wrongs, the storm might yet have been
averted, and Italy might have been spared, for a time, from those
ultramontane armaments which he now conducted into her bosom, but
which it was the aim of his after-life to eject. The French King,
having achieved his rapid acquisition of Naples, instigated the
Colonna to seize upon Ostia, and, as he passed northward, restored
it to its cardinal-bishop, who there once more sought security
from the Pope. But Giuliano found in his stronghold no adequate
protection against so bitter and unscrupulous a foe. Alexander, on
the retirement of the French army, entered into an alliance with the
reinstated King of Naples, and in 1497 employed Gonsalvo di Cordova
to reduce Ostia, whose garrison had embarrassed the navigation of the
Tiber, and intercepted supplies from his capital. Eschewing the risks
of an unavailing resistance, the Cardinal once more escaped by sea,
and rejoined Charles at Lyons, whilst the Great Captain was rewarded
for his easy conquest with the Golden Rose.

Cardinal della Rovere, having in 1597 been declared enemy of the Holy
See, and deprived of his benefices by the Pontiff, against the will
of the consistory, withdrew for security to his native shores, and
awaited at Savona the conclusion of what was to many of his order
a reign of terror. At the moment of Cesare Borgia's invasion of
Urbino, he narrowly escaped the fate destined for his brother-in-law
Guidobaldo, and his nephew, the young Prefect. On pretence of a
complimentary mission to Louis XII., the papal fleet had sailed
towards Provence, with orders to visit Savona, where, if the Cardinal
did not voluntarily pay his respects to the envoys, he was to be
inveigled on board, and carried off. But warned by past experience
against civilities emanating from such a quarter, he escaped the
danger by cautiously evading the perilous invitation.

The sudden and unanimous election of Giuliano to succeed Pius
III.--which we have elsewhere narrated--may well be deemed
marvellous, considering the various interests that distracted the
conclave, and the influence still ostensibly possessed in it by
Valentino, the arch-foe of the Rovere race. There could be no more
convincing proof that all parties were tired of the recent system,
nor of their resolution to put an end to similar enormities. His
morals, though hitherto far from immaculate, were pure in comparison
with those which prevailed around him; above all, his lapses were
neither matter of bravado, nor of open scandal.[227] His errors were
of a loftier range, and if more directly perilous to the public,
they belonged to a nobler category, and sprang from generous and
praiseworthy impulses, and tended to public objects and the elevation
of the papacy. Ascending a throne shaken by complicated convulsions,
succeeding to a treasury drained for selfish ends, and to an
authority waning under long-established abuses, it was his bounden
duty to beware _ne aliquid detrimenti respublica capiat_. But, not
content with resisting such further "detriment to the commonwealth,"
and with recovering the ground recently lost, his conscience, more
perhaps than his ambition, urged him to new triumphs. He was a great
pontiff after the mediæval estimate of the papacy. Little occupying
himself with the bulwarks of a faith which he presumed impregnable,
or the dogmas of a church still paramount over Christendom, he
considered the temporal sovereignty and aggrandisement of the Keys to
be his special vocation. Like the early Guelphs, he regarded Italy
as St. Peter's patrimony, to be vindicated from all intruders: to
establish her nationality, and extirpate the barbarian invaders,
were merely steps to that end. Italian unity, though not as yet
proposed for political aspirations or utopian dreams, was the result
towards which this policy would probably have led both Julius and
his successor, had the former been longer spared, and had the narrow
views with which the latter pursued it not involved him in continual
difficulties, and accelerated the decline of papal ascendancy.

[Footnote 227: He had certainly two natural children, and Bernardo
Capello alludes to the inroads upon his constitution, occasioned
by gout and _morbus Gallicus_ (Ranke, App., sect. i., No. 6); the
latter term seems, however, to have been often in that age completely

But no personal ambition ever dictated the schemes of Julius, nor
did a thought for the nations whose destinies he hazarded ever cross
his mind. In the spirit of a crusader he marched against Perugia and
Bologna; he personally superintended the siege of Mirandula; and
when he donned the casque and cuirass, it was because they were to
him more familiar than the wiles of diplomacy. A stranger to those
dilatory tactics which we shall find marring the reputation of his
nephew, the Duke of Urbino, success crowned his aggressive measures
and impetuous movements, when greater circumspection might have
been attended with less advantageous results; and it was his good
fortune not to outlive those reverses which his precipitation almost
necessarily incurred. He was, in truth, gifted with qualities and
talents befitting the camp rather than the consistory, and Francis I.
pronounced him a better general of division than a pope. Had he been
bred a condottiere, the political aspect of Italy might have been
convulsed by him, and the papacy might have suffered still more from
his sword than it did from his policy. Yet if his militant tastes
occasioned greater scandal than the less blustering turbulence of
Alexander and Leo, and have proved equally detrimental to popery,
they are hallowed in the eyes of its champions in consideration
of his purer motives. By them accordingly he is upheld as one of
its pillars, while by most historians he has been mentioned as a
favourable exception to the prevailing bad faith of his times. Yet,
though greedy of conquest, he was far from indifferent to those
internal reforms requisite for the stability of his government.
According to Capello, the Venetian envoy, he possessed great
practical sagacity, and was led by no one, though willing to hear
all opinions. His judicious measures added two-thirds to the revenue
of the Holy See, chiefly by correcting the depreciated currency in
which it was paid. In personal expenses he was penuriously sparing,
contracting with his house-steward, to whom he allowed but 1500
ducats for the monthly bills of the palace.[228]

[Footnote 228: Ranke, Appendix, sect. i. No. 6.]

But this picture has its reverse. In the two following chapters
of these memoirs we shall find the head of the universal Church
harassing his flock by perpetual warfare--the high-priest of the
Christian hierarchy seemingly indifferent to the purity of Catholic
rites, and utterly oblivious of peace and charity.

By lovers of art the memory of Julius II. will ever be embalmed
among the foremost of its princely patrons, and his appreciation
of literature may be learned from his remark, that letters are
silver to the people, gold to the nobles, diamonds to princes. We
have elsewhere to speak of his vast undertakings in architecture,
sculpture, and painting, which earned from Vasari the reputation
of a spirited pontiff, bent upon leaving memorials of a zealous
and liberal encouragement of art. His lavish outlay on St. Peter's
strikingly contrasts with his habitual economy. To meet it he
authorised a general collection, towards which the Franciscans
gathered 27,000 ducats, and in 1507 he proclaimed a sale of jubilee
indulgences. This device laid all Christendom under contribution, and
proved so productive that he and Leo were tempted almost annually
to repeat it, little aware what weapons they were thus forging for
future schismatics. The example of his uncle Sixtus, in summoning for
the decoration of his capital whatever talent merited such patronage,
was followed up by him with the energy belonging to his nature.
Besides commencing the metropolitan fane, the immense _cortile_,
corridors, and _loggie_ of the Vatican, and the unequalled frescoes
of the _stanze_, he was truly the founder of a museum of ancient art.
He rescued the Laocoon and rewarded its discoverer; the Apollo and
the Torso took their epithet of Belvidere from the pavilion in which
he placed them.

Rome owes to him, among other improvements, one of its longest and
finest streets, bearing his name, where he began a series of palaces
for public offices and the courts of justice, unfortunately never
completed. The churches which he re-founded or decorated include
S. Pietro in Montorio, Sta. Agnese, SS. Apostoli, and the Madonna
del Popolo. In the last of these are the beautiful windows which
he brought two famous glass-painters from Marseilles to execute;
and beneath them those purest specimens of the revival, in which he
invited Sansovino's exquisite chisel to commemorate his talented
rival Ascanio Sforza, and his cousin the Cardinal of Recanati. For
objects so laudable the moment was propitious, and fortune seconded
his efforts; but it was more than chance which enabled him to select
at once the greatest painter, the most gifted sculptor, and the first
architect whom the modern world has seen,--to give simultaneous
employment worthy of their genius to Raffaele, Michael Angelo, and

His successor has found among ourselves a biographer[*229] who
brought the enthusiasm of a eulogist to grace the more solid
qualifications of a historian, whose eloquence has thrown around
the era of Leo a brilliancy leaving in comparative obscurity the
pontificate of Julius, whence many of its rays were virtually
borrowed. But the progress of our narrative will lead us to introduce
some less flattered sketches of the Medicean pontiff. In stimulating
the search for choice fragments of antique sculpture, the son of
Lorenzo de' Medici but followed the course which his father had
indicated, and which Julius had zealously pursued. St. Peter's,
perverted under him into a crowning abuse destined to wean men from
their old faith, had been founded by his predecessor as the mighty
temple of a church, Catholic in fact as well as in name. Michael
Angelo, summoned by Julius to decorate his capital with the grandest
of his efforts in architecture, sculpture, and painting, was banished
by his successor to waste his energies in engineering the marble
quarries of Pietra Santa. Raphael was diverted by Leo from that cycle
of religious frescoes which the genius of Julius had commissioned,
in order to distract his powers upon multifarious, less important,
and less congenial occupations.

[Footnote *229: WILLIAM ROSCOE, _Life of Leo X._, 4 vols.
(3rd ed.), 1847.]

Nor need we fear a comparison between these pontiffs on more
important points of their respective policy. The wars of Julius were
undertaken for the aggrandisement of the papacy, and his nephew was
used as an instrument to that end. Those of Leo were waged for the
interests of his family at the expense of the Holy See. The former is
reported to have left five millions of golden ducats in the treasury;
the latter unquestionably burdened it with heavy debts. The measures
of Julius may have encouraged divisive courses and a schismatic
council; but those of Leo matured the Reformation, and permitted a
small cloud, which he might have dispersed while forming upon the
horizon, to spread unheeded over the heavens, until Central Europe
was withdrawn from the light and influence of the Roman church.

In fine, during the pontificates of Sixtus and of Julius more was
done for the encouragement of literature and arts, for the temporal
extension of the papacy, and for the embellishment of its metropolis,
than has ever been effected in any similar period. The combined
reigns of the two Medicean popes have left no equal memorials. It
cannot be doubted that the patronage bestowed by his ancestors on
men of science and letters was liberally continued by Leo; yet it is
as much to the zeal of partial historians, as to his own policy of
success, that he stands indebted for the halo of glory which marks
his as a golden age. In many instances he but followed out the aims
of Julius, reaping their undivided glory; in others he fell sadly
short of his predecessor in energy and comprehensive views. The bad
seed which he freely scattered ripened into irreparable mischiefs
under his vacillating nephew, and the sack of Rome, which we shall by
and by describe, was their crowning calamity. After that event the
proud city was once again left desolate and impoverished, the prey
of barbarian spoilers; its population thinned, its court outraged,
its glories gone. When the judgment of posterity has passed into a
proverb it is too late to question its equity, or to appeal from its
fiat, and the name of Leo the Tenth will thus remain identified with
his age as the star whence its lustre was derived, although Italy was
then brightened by not a few orbs of scarcely inferior brilliancy or
less genial influence.




     Youth of Duke Francesco Maria I.--The League of
     Cambray--His marriage--His first military service--The
     Cardinal of Pavia's treachery--Julius II. takes the field.

To the family della Rovere, whom we have traced in the preceding
chapter, an heir was born on the 25th of March, 1490. His father,
the Lord Prefect, acknowledged his arrival to be a divine blessing,
and, as then usual, testified gratitude by the selection of his
baptismal names. St. Francis was the established tutelary saint of
the family, under whose guidance Sixtus IV. believed himself to have
obtained the tiara, and to whom his brother the Prefect addressed his
orisons for a male child. It came into the world on the fête of the
Annunciation, and was immediately christened Francesco Maria,[*230]
in honour of the saint and of the Madonna. In this, his only male
offspring, centred the hopes and interests of the Lord of Sinigaglia;
and after his death, in 1501, the boy was carried to the court of
Urbino, where his progress was watched with almost paternal anxiety
by Duke Guidobaldo. His mother occasionally visited there after her
widowhood, although from motives of perhaps misplaced delicacy,
she resided chiefly on her husband's fiefs of Sora and Arci in the
Neapolitan territory.

[Footnote *230: See MARCUCCI: _Francesco Maria I. della
Rovere_ (Sinigaglia, 1903).]

The first care of his uncle Guidobaldo was to obtain for him a
renewal of the prefecture of Rome, which his father had held; and as
that appointment was in the hands of Alexander VI., an enemy of the
della Rovere, the Duke of Urbino had recourse to the influence of
Louis XII. with the Pontiff. This application was warmly seconded in
the same quarter by the Cardinal of S. Pietro in Vinculis, paternal
uncle of Francesco Maria, and an adherent of the French interests.
The readiness wherewith his Holiness accorded this dignity, and even
held out hopes of marrying his niece, Angela Borgia, to the young
Prefect, induced his uncles to hint at their project of adopting him
as heir to the dukedom, a step which required the papal sanction. But
they were met by temporising answers, and found, ere long, that the
apparent frankness of Alexander was but a cover to that deep-laid
plot of destruction, involving both Guidobaldo and his nephew, which
we have already developed.

Meanwhile, Francesco Maria's education advanced in letters and arms,
with every aid which books, talented preceptors, and distinguished
society could afford. His earliest instructor had been Antonio
Crastini of Sassoferrato, a man of excellent judgment, and well
skilled in theology and philosophy, to whom his father had entrusted
the command of Sinigaglia, and whose services were eventually
rewarded by Julius II. with the sees of Cagli and Montefeltro.
Ludovico Odasio still resided at the court of his former pupil
Duke Guidobaldo, who placed under his superintendence his youthful
relation. The lad, though small in stature for his years, was
remarkable for strength and activity, as well as for an active
temperament and lively talents. He was liberal, and even careless,
of money; but all his pleasure was in the military art, all his
ambition centred in martial glory, for Nicolò of Fossombrone,
and another famous astrologer, had predicted from his horoscope
high deeds of arms. After passing hours in the study of history
and classical literature, and of those sciences wherein princes
then sought pre-eminence, he found relaxation in horsemanship and
martial exercises, under the eye of such honoured veterans of Duke
Federigo as still wore their well-won laurels in the palace of
his son. Thus was his youthful mind moulded to the noblest forms of
chivalry, without those idle appendages which the affectation of
other times has exaggerated into caricature.

[Illustration: _Alinari_


_After the picture by Titian in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence_

_(From the Ducal Collection)_]

The whirlwind that broke in upon this calm, and sent the Lords of
Urbino and Sinigaglia into houseless exile, has been described in
the eighteenth chapter of these memoirs. Francesco Maria, after
accompanying his uncle's midnight flight as far as Sta. Agata,
reached Bologna through mountain paths; and, having by great prudence
escaped the attempts of Giovanni Bentivoglio to apprehend him, in
compliance with Valentino's orders, he made his way by Genoa to
Savona, where his uncle, the Cardinal della Rovere, resided. But
the latter, not satisfied of his security, and anxious to place him
where he would have better means of improvement, sent him to his see
of Avignon, and thence recommended him to Louis XII., who received
him with high favour. In the court then established at Lyons he
resumed his education, especially in those military and personal
accomplishments for which it was distinguished, and quickly acquired
great proficiency in the French language. There he attached himself
much to the youthful Gaston de Foix, acting as his page of honour,
and gained some notice from the King, who bore testimony to his
precocious attainments in chivalry, by bestowing upon him the order
of St. Michael ere he had completed his thirteenth year.

The events already recorded in connection with the death of Alexander
VI., restored Francesco Maria to his rights unquestioned; but his
first care was to obey a summons of his cardinal uncle, who had been
elected to the tiara. Travelling from France with his cousin-german
Galeotto Franciotti, whom Julius had named to the hat just vacated by
himself, he reached Rome amid public rejoicings on the 2nd of March,
1504. He immediately received the command of a hundred men-at-arms,
and steps were promptly taken for his public recognition as
heir-apparent of Urbino. Accompanying Guidobaldo into the Marca, he
was welcomed at Sinigaglia, on the 17th of June, by the unanimous
voice of his people. On the 18th of September he was invested with
the dukedom of Urbino in reversion, when he received the homage of
his future subjects with a ceremonial which we have described at p.
37, and which was attended by delegates from all parts of the state,
to adhibit the consent of their constituents. As a finishing stroke
to these measures for consolidating the della Rovere sovereignty, a
marriage was about the same time contracted between the Prefect and
Leonora Gonzaga, daughter of Francesco Marquis of Mantua. To this
arrangement, which turned out in all respects fortunate, the wishes
of her aunt, the Duchess Elisabetta of Urbino,[*231] were mainly
conducive; and preliminaries were negotiated by Count Castiglione,
whose high favour with both contracting parties, as well as his
diplomatic address, well qualified him for the mission. It was
announced in January, 1505, but the ceremony was postponed for
four years, on account of their youth. To the charms of the bride,
Castiglione bears this tribute: "If ever there were united wisdom,
grace, beauty, genius, courtesy, gentleness, and refined manners,
it was in her person, where these combined qualities form a chain
adorning her every movement."

[Footnote *231: She was betrothed in the same month in which her
father died. The marriage had long been desired by Elisabetta.
Giustiniani mentions a report of it in his Despatches (_Dispacci_,
vol. II., p. 359) even in 1503. Mrs. ADY (_Isabella d'Este_,
vol. I., p. 267) says the Marquis of Mantua desired it "as a means of
obtaining the Cardinalate which he had been striving to obtain for
his brother during the last fifteen years."]

[Illustration: _Anderson_


_After the picture called "La Flora" by Titian in the Uffizi Gallery,

But although too young for matrimony, the Prefettino was allowed to
flesh his maiden sword under his future father-in-law's command, in
the expedition undertaken by Julius against the lords of Perugia and
Bologna. In a military view the campaign was totally uninteresting;
but in some skirmishes before Castel S. Pietro, Francesco Maria
gained his general's approbation, and thus favourably entered upon
the career wherein he was destined to high distinction. The greater
part of his time was spent at Urbino, acquainting himself with the
people over whom he was to reign, and with the duties that awaited
him. Its limited court was rich in merit, and beneath an exterior
of elegance and high polish, learning and accomplishments of every
sort were cultivated and honoured to a degree elsewhere unknown.
The laxity of morals which, notwithstanding the example of both
sovereigns, accompanied that refinement, may be estimated from an
anecdote sadly instancing the failing in Francesco Maria's character,
which proved the bane of his whole life. We shall narrate it in the
words of an anonymous diary, already largely drawn upon for the reign
of Guidobaldo I.[232] "The Duke, [Guidobaldo] having brought up about
his person one Giovanni Andrea, a bravo of Verona, he made him his
favourite, and conferred upon him the order of the Golden Spur, as
well as the fief of Sasso-Corbaro, and some mills on the Foglia. He
was extremely handsome and generally liked; and it happened that
Madama Maria, daughter of the late Prefect Giovanna of Sinigaglia,
and widow of Venanzio of Camerino, who had been slain by Cesare
Borgia, was residing in Urbino with her son. Being still young, she
fell in love with this Giovanni Andrea, and was reported to have
borne him a son. Whereupon her brother, the Prefect, sent for him one
Saturday evening, and in the ducal chamber beset him with his people,
and assassinated him with twenty-four blows. At the same moment,
one of his attendants went out and slew a servant of Madama Maria,
who was said to have delivered their messages. On the following
evening, being Sunday, the body was carried to the cathedral with
distinguished honours, accompanied by all the gentlemen of the ducal
household, and by a concourse of the citizens, for he was generally
lamented by persons of every rank, and no one had died for a length
of time more regretted. And this occurred on the 6th of October,

[Footnote 232: Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 904, f. 89.]

       *       *       *       *       *

We have elsewhere endeavoured to sketch the brilliant society in
which the Prefect's youthful mind was developed; in due time we shall
find several of its prominent members crossing him in the tangled
weft of human destiny, as friends or foes, according to their several
interests. We have also noticed the affectionate duty he continued to
interchange with the Duke and Duchess, and the circumstances in which
he succeeded to their state. Guidobaldo closed his life of suffering
on the 11th of April, 1508, and on the 14th Francesco Maria, after
high mass in the cathedral, produced the will naming him heir of the
duchy and dignities.[*233] The gonfaloniere of Urbino then presented
to him the city keys in a great silver basin, and also its standard,
accompanied with a complimentary address. He next was arrayed in the
ducal mantle of white satin doubled with gold brocade, and a cap
faced with ermine, over which was placed the coronet; then mounting a
superb charger richly housed, he was escorted through the principal
streets by an enthusiastic multitude shouting "ROVERE and
FELTRO, DUKE and PREFECT!" in whose joyous hurrahs it would have been
difficult to identify the disconsolate populace who not many hours
before had raised their coronach over Guidobaldo's mortal remains. On
returning, his horse was seized as their perquisite, and his mantle
torn into shreds, which were scrambled for as relics to be treasured
in memory of the day.

[Footnote *233: Cf. LUZIO E RENIER, _Mantova ed Urbino_
(Torino, 1893), p. 182.]

This spontaneous loyalty, and their satisfaction at the maintenance
of their national independence, did not, however, prevent the
citizens from recollecting their interests. On the new Duke's first
appearance at Urbino the authorities had gathered round his horse to
kiss his hands and knees, and to beseech attention to their wishes.
Pleading recent fatigues, he declined entering then upon business,
and the gonfaloniere, readily accepting the excuse, summoned a sort
of parliament of the principal inhabitants to decide what favours
and privileges should be asked as a preliminary to their homage.
Estimating this movement at its actual value, rather than by its
bearing upon any theories of self-government, Baldi has entered into
no details of these demands: their object may, however, be guessed
at from the municipal concessions made by Francesco Maria on the
31st of May, whereby precedence was granted to the gonfaloniere over
the podestà; and the salaries of the city physician, lawyer, and
schoolmaster were undertaken by the sovereign, who also consented to
a modification of the imposts on agricultural produce.[*234]

[Footnote *234: The document is printed by LUZZATTO, _Comune
e principato in Urbino nei secc. xv. e xvi._, in _Le Marche_ (1905),
An. v., p. 196 _et seq._]

Although the popularity both of the extinguished dynasty and of the
youth who was destined to replace it, together with an absence of
all conflicting claims, rendered the succession safe and certain,
every measure which prudence could suggest had been taken by the
Pope to secure its being peacefully effected. A few excitable
spirits having assumed arms, in apprehension of some revolutionary
movement, a proclamation was issued on the morning subsequent to
the Duke's decease, commanding all to lay them down. On the 17th a
papal brief was addressed to the people, condoling with them on their
bereavement, and applauding their dutiful and orderly reception of
Francesco Maria. An envoy, deputed by the community to present their
answer, returned on the 30th, delighted with the gracious reception
he had met with, and with the Pontiff's flattering assurances. The
ceremony of swearing allegiance was out of delicacy postponed until
the 3rd of May, the day subsequent to his respected predecessor's
funeral. Summonses for both solemnities were issued to the various
communities in the following terms:--

     "Right well-beloved,

     "On the second of the ensuing month will be celebrated the
     obsequies of the illustrious Lord Duke, our father of happy
     memory, for which it behoves you to send here in good time
     as many as possible of your well-qualified fellow-citizens,
     suitably dressed for the occasion. And to such of them
     as you shall please to choose, you shall give a special
     mandate for adhibiting the oath of fidelity to us in name
     of your community, taking care that it be in regular form
     as a public instrument. From Urbino, this 25th of April,


The deputations willingly rendered the required homage, for they
considered this perpetuation of their independence as a boon doubly
grateful in the person of a sovereign representing their old and
loved dynasty, whose opening character promised no unworthy successor
to his esteemed uncle and father. During some days the Duke attended
to various demands and representations of the commissioners, and, by
well-timed favours to their different cities, quickly established
himself in the good graces of his new subjects. The Duchess Regent
proved a kind and prudent counsellor until he came of age, and long
continued her assistance in his affairs of state, residing at his
court while he had a home to share with her. The great discretion
and good feeling he now manifested towards her, and the scrupulous
anxiety he testified to retain around him all Guidobaldo's tried
friends and servants, quickly ripened the popularity which his
fortunate position had sown, and which eventually enabled him
to recover and maintain his sovereignty in circumstances nearly

[Illustration: _Anderson_


_Supposed portrait of Duchess Leonora, from the picture by Titian in
the Uffizi Gallery, Florence_]

The restless spirit of Julius fretted against the resistance still
offered by the Venetians to his incorporating with the papal states
those places in Romagna which they had seized, upon the fall of
Valentino, nor would he accept the compromise which they proposed,
of surrendering Rimini, on receiving from him a formal investiture
of Faenza. They were also suspected of irritating by their intrigues
the feverish state of that district, and of undermining the
preponderating influence which it was his policy there to establish.
On pretext of crowning Maximilian, whose title to the imperial
dignity had not been completed by that formality, the Pontiff invited
him to march into Italy, and support his views. The Emperor, in
accepting the proposal, demanded free passage through the Venetian
territories, with a threat of forcing his way, if obstructed.
Assured of support from their ally of France, the Signory offered
compliance, on condition of his going unarmed: but, spurning such
terms, he, in February, moved with an army upon the valley of Trent.
He was, however, effectually held in check by the Venetian generals,
Nicolò da Petigliano and Bartolomeo d'Alviano; whilst Louis, besides
sending Gian Giacomo Trivulzio to their support, instigated the Duke
of Gueldres to carry fire and sword into Lower Germany. Maximilian,
finding his hands full, made a hasty truce with the Venetians in
May, and turned to punish Gueldres. The Venetian and French armies
being thereupon disbanded, the moment seemed to Julius favourable
for renewing his designs upon Romagna, and in the following November
he sent the Cardinal of Sta. Croce to take part in negotiations,
which had been opened at Cambray, for reconciliation of the Emperor
and the French monarch. Maximilian readily lent himself to any
measures calculated to efface his recent disgrace in the Alpine
valleys, and to recover some places in Friuli which had remained
in the enemy's hands; Louis was induced to accede, in order to
wrest from Venice such portions of the old Visconti duchy as owned
her sway; and Ferdinand joined the coalition in hopes of regaining
several Neapolitan sea-ports, over which the Lion of St. Mark still
waved in security of certain advances by the Republic for the wars
of Lower Italy. Out of these elements there was concluded, on the
10th of December, a famous treaty, which denounced the Venetians as
ambitious perturbators of Italy and all Christian lands, and declared
war against them as the common enemies of the allies, who pledged
themselves to take the field before April, for recovery of Ravenna,
Cervia, Rimini, and Faenza to the Holy See, and of the territories
respectively claimed by the other contracting powers in Austria,
Lombardy, and Calabria. A subsidiary article took Francesco Maria
under their special protection, and guaranteed his states; whilst
by another the Duke of Ferrara was left free to become a party, on
payment to the Emperor of a sum of money in dispute between them.
Such was the notable League of Cambray, misnamed holy, on the vague
pretext that the maritime Republic, by retaining Ravenna and Cervia,
impeded the pacification of Christendom, and a general armament
against the Turks. Not only was it an innovation upon the established
custom of pitting the German and French interests against each
other, and settling their differences on the blood-stained plains
of Lombardy, but, as the first great coalition of European powers
for one common political object, it may be regarded as founding the
modern system of diplomacy.

Yet, though this formidable confederation was the child of his
own brain, matured by the address of his legate, Julius shrank
before the Promethean monster, and paused ere he animated it by his
ratification. Well might it startle him to find that his labours
for the ulterior emancipation of Italy from foreign yoke were
about to divide one of her finest states among her most formidable
ultramontane foes. Had Duke Guidobaldo been spared a little longer,
his cool head and pacific disposition, as well as his friendship for
the Signory and his influence with the Pope, might have counteracted
the unnatural combination; but the die was cast, and the Pontiff had
only to await the course of events for an opportunity of undoing his
present work.[*235]

[Footnote *235: The league of Cambrai is one of the great crimes of
history. The man who devised it and urged it upon Europe was the
head of European Christianity, Pope Julius II. Beside this, the
sensualities and murders of the Borgia go for nothing. His policy,
created by hate, succeeded in so far as it established the States of
the Church and murdered Italy. Yet looking back now, we may judge
of the price that has been required of the Church for that treason.
Beggared of her possessions, at the mercy of the new Italian kingdom,
he who sits in the seat of Julius is a prisoner in the Vatican--the
prisoner of history.]

Unable to hold a military command, which would have better suited
his talents and tastes than the duties of Christ's vicegerent upon
earth, Julius gratified his family predilections by appointing his
nephew Francesco Maria to be captain-general of the ecclesiastical
troops. His investiture took place in the church of S. Petronio, at
Bologna, on the 4th of October, 1508, when he received the pontifical
baton from the Cardinal of Pavia, a prelate whose destiny we shall
find, ere long, fatally bound up in his own. But the time for active
service not being yet arrived, he contented himself with a review
of the forces thus placed under his charge. Being considered equal
to such a command, it is not surprising he should think it time to
celebrate his long-projected nuptials.[*236] On the 5th of November,
Julius wrote to the Duchess Elisabetta, to send a _lettiga_ or
litter, with three horses, in order to bring his bride on a visit to
Urbino, where the ceremony took place on Christmas Eve, 1508.[*237]
The letters, addressed to Federigo Fregoso by Bembo, who arrived on
the 19th, unveil some proofs of the bridegroom's felicity which it
were more decorous to pass over; but its revelations throw light
upon the contrasted feelings of the still mourning court. "Our
reception was truly chilling: no joy or hilarity in the palace; even
in the city its wonted aspect; our happy youth himself quite frigid;
but there is hope that he will become more ardent...." Writing a
week after the marriage, he says that as soon as it was over, the
Duke manifested the most unbounded affection, which became daily
more passionate; and declares that he had never met with a more
comely, merry, or sweet girl, who, to a most amiable disposition,
added a surprisingly precocious judgment, which gained for her
general admiration.[238] This event was hailed at Urbino with great
public rejoicings and sumptuous fêtes, and the triumphal arches,
theatres, and other architectural and pictorial works required for
the occasion, were executed under the direction of Timoteo Vite and
Girolamo Genga. In 1843 I saw, in the hands of Padre Cellani, at
the Augustine convent in Pesaro, an interesting memorial of this
marriage. It is a small MS. psalter, with a frontispiece illuminated
in the manner of the Veronese limners, representing Nathan rebuking
David, whose crown and sceptre are fallen to the ground--a singular
theme for a bridal present, which, from the legend "LIONOR GOZAGA
URBINI DUCISSA," with the impaled arms of the two families,
it may have been. The Lady Leonora was about his own age, and,
although neither her beauty nor accomplishments have met with the
same celebration as those of her aunt the Duchess Elisabetta, we
shall have ample opportunity of observing in her character much
energy and good sense, with undeviating affection to her husband;
whilst the pencil of Titian has preserved to us a person which in a
sovereign must have been lauded as handsome.

[Footnote *236: On the 25th of August, Francesco Maria had paid a
visit to Mantua to see his betrothed. "Come," said Leonora's uncle
to him, "and when you have seen Madonna Leonora and the Marchese's
horses you will have seen the two finest things in the world."
Francesco Maria spent two days there travelling incognito with but
four persons. Cf. JULIA CARTWRIGHT, _op. cit._, vol. I., p.
310. An amusing letter from Federico Cattaneo to Isabella d'Este, who
was absent, describes the meeting of Francesco Maria and his future
bride. Leonora was fourteen, and they were married at Christmas.]

[Footnote *237: Cf. LUZIO E RENIER, _op. cit._; p. 195, for
the entry of the Duchess into Urbino.]

[Footnote 238: It is difficult to reconcile with these details of an
eye-witness the statement of Leoni, followed by Riposati and others,
that the marriage was privately performed at Mantua in February,
1509. In May of that year the Duke was unanimously chosen a Knight
of the Garter at a chapter of that order, but for reasons which it
is now too late to investigate, the nomination was not confirmed by
Henry VIII. At next election he had but one vote out of ten, and his
name does not again occur in the record preserved by Anstis.]

[Illustration: _Franz Hanfstaengl_


_Possibly a portrait of Duchess Leonora of Urbino. After the picture
by Titian in the Imperial Gallery, Vienna_]

From his honeymoon happiness the boy-bridegroom was speedily summoned
to the field. After issuing a preparatory apostolic admonition to
the Signory, on the 27th of April, 1509, Julius ordered his nephew
to assume offensive operations against Romagna, supported by the
Baglioni, Vitelli, and other vassals of the Church. The Duke was
already on foot, and after some skirmishes before Rimini, he attacked
Brisghella on the 4th of May; the place speedily surrendering, he
occupied himself in saving its inhabitants, so far as possible,
from the miseries of a sack, which Muratori denounces as worthy of
the Turks, and which Roscoe unwarrantably imputes to him as an act
of wanton cruelty. Following up this success, he, with youthful
enthusiasm, adopted various expedients for harassing the enemy, but
obtained still more credit for the judgment displayed in a singular
dilemma, which might have disconcerted a more experienced commander.

There existed between some bands of Spanish and Italian soldiery
in his camp, various heart-burnings ready to kindle at a spark.
Ramocciotto, an Italian captain, having been sent upon secret duty,
as evening approached his men were seized with a vague impression
that he had met with foul play from the Spaniards. Just then, during
a wrangle among some camp-followers about a baggage-mule, one of them
called out in stentorian voice, "_Taglia! taglia!_" meaning that
the packing-cords should be cut. These words, which rang through
the stilly air, were mistaken for "_Italia! Italia!_" and were
caught up by the feverish followers of Ramocciotto as a watchword,
which they loudly echoed, and rushed to arms. Their cry and action
were repeated by most of the troops, who had just finished their
evening meal, and in a moment the camp was a scene of inexplicable
confusion, the fury of some and the consternation of others combining
to produce a general panic. Francesco Maria and his officers were
taken by surprise, but with great presence of mind he ordered an
advance upon Faenza as the readiest means of restoring order. The
gloom of twilight now settled down upon the camp, augmenting the
embarrassment, and ere the troops evacuated it, a good many Spaniards
had been cut down in the _mêlée_. Military discipline at length
prevailed, and the Duke, finding the town on its guard, returned to
quarters. Ramocciotto's reappearance appeased the originators of the
tumult, but it was not till next day that a stern inquiry detected
its casual origin. Thus did the promptitude and prudence of the
juvenile general save his character from compromise, and his little
army from disaster.[239]

[Footnote 239: Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 489. This is but a fragment of the
life of Francesco Maria by Urbano Urbani, who was his secretary at
this time. Our account of the League of Cambray has been taken from
it, collated with many published authorities. Urbani's full work,
which I have not discovered, has been largely drawn upon by Leoni,
Baldi, and other biographers.]

The ecclesiastical army consisted of eight thousand infantry and
one thousand six hundred horse, a force by no means adequate for
the service it was called upon to perform. The Pontiff, with fatal
partiality, had entrusted the entire control of the commissariat and
stores for the campaign to the Cardinal of Pavia, of whom the remark
passed into a proverb, that whoever would make up a jerkin of every
colour should employ the words and actions of the Legate of Bologna.
Francesco Alidosio was second son of the Lord of Castel del Rio, an
inconsiderable mountain fief adjoining the state of Imola, which
latter, after being long held in sovereignty by his family, had been
bought or wrested from his grandfather by Sixtus IV. and the Sforza.
Having been educated for the Church, he attached himself on the death
of that Pontiff to Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere, whose entire
favour and confidence he won, not only by long personal service,
but by firmly withstanding various offers made him by the Borgia to
dispose of his master by poison. As soon as his patron was placed
in the chair of St. Peter, his services were rewarded by a scarlet
hat, followed by the see of Pavia, the rich office of Datario, and
other valuable preferments. But his character had been regarded as so
questionable, in the scandalous pontificate of Alexander, that many
objections were raised in the consistory to his promotion, and even
the silver-tongued Jovius attributes his rapid advancement to the
advantages of a fine person and an unscrupulous pliancy of principle.
The influence he had obtained over the open-hearted Julius was
maintained by his facility in accommodating himself to the outbreaks
of his patron's impetuous temper; and it entirely blinded the Pope to
the danger of reposing implicit confidence in such a counsellor. But
the Cardinal, not satisfied to share these favours with another, did
all in his power to obtain an undivided mastery over his affections,
and especially to supplant his nephew in his regards. The means which
he adopted to effect this were, as we shall soon see, to thwart all
the Duke's plans, and throw upon him the blame of their failure. But
the mainspring of his hopes and intrigues was the restoration of
Imola to himself or his brother; and as the policy of Julius rendered
him deaf to such a request, even from a favourite, the latter
scrupled not to purchase his object from the French, by betraying to
them those interests with which as legate of Bologna he was entrusted.

Francesco Maria accordingly found his movements hampered at every
turn by the scarcity of supplies, and, in answer to unceasing
remonstrances, had from the Legate abundance of fair words and
sounding promises leading to no result whatever. This was the more
provoking, as sound policy required a speedy conclusion to operations
carried on in a province that, though in hostile hands for the time,
was eventually destined to remain under the papal sway, towards which
it was therefore of importance to conciliate the population, rather
than to oppress them by military exactions. Notwithstanding these
difficulties, the Duke reduced the castles of Granaruolo and Roscio,
Faenza surrendered, and the siege of Ravenna seemed approaching a
favourable conclusion, when the Venetians, panic-stricken by the
French successes in Lombardy, and especially by the rout they had
sustained on the 14th of May, at Vaila in the Ghiaradadda, sued for
peace. They hoped, by offering to the Pope, the Emperor, and the
Spaniard, all the places occupied on their respective territories,
to conciliate these powers, and so be enabled to maintain themselves
against French aggression. Their envoy addressed himself to arrange
with the Legate a suspension of arms, whilst he should forward to the
Pope a formal renunciation of the disputed towns in Romagna; but the
wily Cardinal, who, whether from inherent dishonesty, or with some
selfish end in view, seems to have acted with invariable bad faith,
urged him to resign these places directly into his own hands, and,
when the agent persisted in adhering to his instructions, he was
thrown into irons and threatened with a halter. Nor was this the only
manifest instance of the Legate's treachery; for besides thwarting
the Duke on every occasion, and keeping him in the dark as to most
important arrangements, he sent some of his own adherents to attack
and pillage the garrison of Faenza, as it quitted the city upon a
capitulation accorded by himself. Francesco Maria, disgusted with
his duplicity, of his own authority liberated the envoy, and so was
brought into angry collision with the Cardinal, thus aggravating a
quarrel ere long to end in blood.

[Illustration: _Brogi_


_After the picture by Titian in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence_]

The difficulties of the youthful commander were increased by the
inopportune arrival of four thousand Swiss mercenaries, who, finding
matters in train for a pacification which would dash their hopes of
booty, could scarcely be restrained from an immediate assault upon
Ravenna. Their ruffianly intentions being insidiously encouraged by
the Legate, it was only by great prudence and decision that the Duke
prevented them from sacking that city, when evacuated on honourable
terms by the Venetian authorities. This conciliatory policy was
rewarded by a speedy surrender of Cervia, followed on the 11th of
June by that of Rimini, the last of the towns claimed by Julius,
upon which Francesco Maria lost no time in disbanding his army and
returning home. As soon as he was gone, the Cardinal, steady only to
his duplicity, imprisoned the Venetian officers who had imprudently
lingered within his reach. Although this campaign lasted but six
weeks, and produced no considerable engagement, it afforded to the
young Duke an insight into mankind, as well as a lesson in military
affairs, which enabled him to pass at once from boyhood to the
experience, as well as the reputation, of an able commander.

As soon as Francesco Maria was liberated from camp duties, he sent
to Mantua for his bride, and at his uncle's desire carried her to
visit Rome. The Roman citizens, ever devoted to festivity, received
him with distinction, due not less to his personal merit than to
his high rank and near relationship to the Pope. Among the pageants
exhibited in honour of his marriage were tilting in the Piazza
Navona, and a masque celebrating his successes in Romagna, after the
manner of those triumphs which that capital used to witness some
fifteen centuries before. He carried Giuliano de' Medici with him to
the papal court, and effected his reconciliation with Julius, who,
suspecting him of some intrigues at Bologna, had given orders for his
imprisonment; thus swelling that debt of the Medici to his family,
which Leo X. subsequently and most ungratefully expunged.

The Duke also used his influence for removal of the interdict from
Venice, the tried ally of his house; and this the Pontiff more
readily granted, having now gained all he hoped from the compact of
Cambray, and being ready for any new coalition that might tend either
to aggrandise the Holy See or to liberate Italy from foreign yoke.
He therefore cared not for the remonstrances of his late coadjutors
against his abrupt secession from their common policy; and, aware
how little signified Maximilian's languid operations, he only sought
an apology for putting himself in direct opposition to the French,
whose successes in Lombardy were assuming a serious aspect. This was
soon afforded by the hollow counsels of the Cardinal of Pavia, whom
he had despatched to the camp of Louis on pretence of congratulating
him upon his victory at Vaila, but in fact to watch his intentions.
In this monarch the Legate found one as ambitious as his master, and
not more scrupulous than himself; he therefore with characteristic
treason encouraged the projects he had shrewdly penetrated,
stipulating in return for the sovereignty of Imola, as soon as
Louis should, by his secret aid, add Bologna and Romagna to his
Milanese possessions. As an underplot in this drama of ingratitude
and treachery, the Cardinal of Rouen proposed that Julius should be
deposed by a general council, with a view to securing for himself the
tiara. Such at least were the ends which the French King soon after
openly pursued; and those historians who seek to establish a case
against the Cardinal of Pavia, explanatory of his subsequent conduct,
charge him with thus early selling himself to Louis, and betraying
his partial and confiding patron the Pope.

The Legate, therefore, on his return to Rome, warmly seconded the
Pontiff's views. A rupture with France was the preliminary move in
the game he had arranged with Louis, and his zeal in promoting it
seemed the surest disguise of his ulterior designs. Florence and
Ferrara were bound to the French interests, while Venice was their
determined foe; so it only remained for the Pope to join stakes with
the Signory, and the party was made up. His intrigues to secure the
support of Spain, Austria, and England, and to retain the Swiss in
his service, do not require our particular notice.

Unwarned by recent events in Romagna, and blinded by affection for
his nephew, and for the Cardinal of Pavia, to the character of the
latter, and to the insuperable antipathy which had grown up between
them, the Pope, unfortunately, again delegated to them the joint
conduct of the war. The first advance was made against Ferrara,
with the view, doubtless, of restoring the Polesine to Venice, and
extending the temporal sway of the Keys to the banks of the Po.
Francesco Maria, who, after wintering in Rome, had returned home
with his Duchess in May, entered the Ferrarese ere July was over,
at the head of six thousand infantry, and one thousand five hundred
horse, and quickly became master of a great part of that duchy. But
this army was unequal to operations against the city of Ferrara,
strong in its surrounding marshes; and an expected contingent of
ten thousand Swiss were intercepted by Chaumont, the French general
(called Ciamonte by Guicciardini,) and sent back to their mountains
by the combined means of force and gold. The naval armament against
Genoa, then in the hands of Louis, proving also a failure, and the
Cardinal Legate conducting his department as unsatisfactorily as
before, the Duke of Urbino heard with joy that the Pontiff was on
his way to the scene of operations. On the 15th of September he
passed through Pesaro, leaving the Apostolic benediction, and various
indulgences, in acknowledgment of his enthusiastic reception. When
he reached Bologna, he found Modena, which had lately surrendered to
his army, threatened by Chaumont in person, and a strong feeling
abroad among the ecclesiastical officers, that they had been deluded
by the Legate, who prevented them from clenching their success by the
capture of Reggio, and had wiled them to a fruitless demonstration
before Ferrara, thereby not only wasting precious time, but exposing
the army to great hazard, and leaving Modena and Bologna uncovered.
The Pope immediately directed his nephew to send the Cardinal, under
arrest, to Bologna, which he did, with every mark of consideration;
but the extraordinary influence which that sneaking spirit exercised
over the frank and open-hearted Julius, diverted his suspicions, and
was rewarded with new favours.

The unpromising aspect of his affairs, which brought the Pontiff in
person to Bologna, did not improve. Disappointed of the assistance
he looked for from Switzerland and Naples, feebly supported by his
allies of Venice and Mantua, his troops were reduced to a defensive
position, fatal to the prestige which had attended their first
successes. Encouraged by this state of matters, and by the approach
of Chaumont's powerful army, the friends of the exiled Bentivoglii
began to agitate for their restoration to the sovereignty of Bologna.
Nor were these the worst mortifications awaiting the proud spirit
of Julius. The clergy of France had met at Lyons, and decided upon
convoking a general council at Pisa, to sit in judgment upon his
conduct, a movement already openly supported by Louis, the Emperor,
and Florence, and by five members of the Sacred College. These
anxieties fretted his fractious temperament into an illness, so
serious at his advanced age, as to threaten a fatal termination;
and in the prospect of thus losing the mainspring of the war, his
confederates were little inclined to compromise themselves by fresh
exertions. His courtiers, too, alarmed at the prospect of clinging to
a falling cause, beset him with persuasions to obtain a truce on any
terms. But they mistook the character with whom they had to deal.
In deference to their representations, he opened a negotiation with
the French general, wherein, far from assuming a suppliant air, he
prescribed as a preliminary stipulation, the sacrifice of the Duke of
Ferrara to his vengeance, as a rebellious vassal. Thus passing

     "Out of the speech of peace that bears such grace
     Into the harsh and boisterous tongue of war,"

he sent a summary threat to his Venetian allies, and to the Marquis
of Mantua, that unless their promised contingents instantly marched
to his support, he would arrange matters with the French King for
their extermination.

The moral influence of this indomitable courage retrieved his
affairs. The Venetian, Mantuan, and Neapolitan succours successfully
and quickly arrived; many small free companies flocked to his
standard; and the Bolognese factions postponed their movement till a
fitter moment. Breaking off all negotiations, he thundered censures
against Chaumont and the Duke of Ferrara, and ordered his now ample
army to assume offensive operations. His physical energy was at the
same time restored, and the threatened eclipse proved but a passing
cloud, from which his indomitable genius burst forth with renewed


     The Duke routed at Bologna from the Cardinal of Pavia's
     treason, whom he assassinates--He is prosecuted, but
     finally absolved and reconciled to the Pope--He reduces
     Bologna--Is invested with Pesaro--Death of Julius II.

In December the Duke of Urbino returned the challenge to a general
engagement, which Chaumont had boastfully given him a few months
before, and, after carrying some places of minor importance, encamped
before Mirandola. To the surprise and no small scandal of all, the
Pontiff, scarcely recovered from a dangerous malady, and braving
the unusual rigours of the season, repaired to head-quarters. In
reply to representations of his advisers against a step hazardous
to his health, and unusual, if not unbecoming, in the head of the
Christian Church, he urged the necessity of vigorously, and at any
personal risks, meeting the disgraceful and schismatic proposal for
a council at Pisa,[*240] by proving himself both able and willing to
perform the duties of his high office, in wielding its temporal and
spiritual arms against all enemies and perturbators of the Church,
as well as in maintaining its doctrines, and supporting its friends.
This ill-judged decision is said to have been strongly prompted by
his evil genius the Cardinal of Pavia, who, speculating upon the
chance of its cutting short his master's life, made sure of, at all
events, turning to the advantage of his French friends the command
at Bologna, which upon the Pope's departure would once more devolve
upon him as legate. Guicciardini further charges him with promoting
the bootless demonstration against Mirandola, in order to divert the
army from Ferrara, whose inadequate defences might have rendered it
an easy as well as important conquest. In the first days of the year,
Julius reached the camp, attended by three cardinals, and took up
his quarters in a cottage exposed to the fire of the walls. It is
stated in an old chronicle, that a cannon ball having fallen close
to his pavilion, the enraged Pontiff ordered it to be sent to Loreto
as an _ex voto_ offering, and threatened to deliver over the place
to a sack. Severe cold and deep snow in nowise daunted him, and his
presence alarming the garrison, whilst the besiegers were stimulated
to exertion by his persuasions, the town was soon reduced, but, by
extraordinary exertions on the part of Francesco Maria, was saved
from pillage.[*241] Its garrison had been commanded by a natural
daughter of Gian Giacomo Trivulzio,[*242] who, on being rudely asked
by the Legate, in presence of Julius, if she were the woman who would
hold the place against the Pontiff, replied, "Against you I could
easily have defended it, but not against him."

[Footnote *240: Little is known of the steps which led to the Council
of Pisa. See some interesting letters printed in CREIGHTON,
_op. cit._, vol. V., p. 329 _et seq._]

[Footnote *241: Cf. SANUTO, _Diario_, vol. XI., p. 721 _et
seq._ It was the Pope who threatened pillage. CREIGHTON,
_op. cit._, vol. V., p. 143.]

[Footnote *242: She was the widow of the Count Ludovico of Mirandola.]

Julius, satisfied with this success, retired to Ravenna: whilst his
nephew, who about this time was warned by the Doge of Venice of a
plan concerted by the Cardinal of Rouen for poisoning him, led the
army towards Ferrara. As the best means of relieving that town,
and perhaps in concert with the treacherous Legate, Trivulzio, who
since Chaumont's death, commanded the French troops, amounting to
fifteen thousand lances, and seven thousand infantry, now marched
upon Bologna, avoiding a battle, which the Duke of Urbino would
gladly have hazarded. The latter, however, by forced marches arrived
there before him, and encamped at Casalecchio, three miles south
of the city. The French army was by this time at Ponte Laino, about
five miles north-west from the gate; and the Duke lost no time in
advising the Legate of the position of affairs, offering to throw two
or three thousand men and some artillery into Bologna. After losing
much valuable time in consultation with some of the citizens, the
Cardinal declined these as unnecessary. This answer appears to have
converted into certainty the suspicions which Francesco Maria had
long entertained of his coadjutor's good faith. He knew the garrison,
consisting of about twelve hundred troops, to be utterly inadequate
to resist the French; he was also aware that the exiled Bentivoglii,
then hovering about at the head of a strong band of adherents, were
eagerly looked for by their numerous partisans within the walls, to
whom the Cardinal had rendered his ecclesiastical authority doubly
odious, by a series of oppressive measures totally inconsistent with
its usual mild sway, and intended, no doubt, to promote his own
treasonable ends, by alienating the inhabitants from the established
order of things. Strongly impressed with the urgency of the crisis,
the young Duke persisted in his intention of reinforcing the
garrison, but some older officers, persuaded by renewed assurances
from the Cardinal, overruled him in council, and their march was
postponed until morning,--a delay fatal to the cause, and pregnant
with complicated evils.

So little was the Duke of Urbino satisfied with this resolution,
that he posted videttes under the walls, and spent the night in
reconnoitring with his staff. Midnight had just passed when a
confused murmur from the city attracted his attention. The word
_Chiesa!_ or church, seeming to prevail amid the din, he had hope
that the Legate's authority was maintained; but presently the
watchword being heard more distinctly, it proved to be _Sega!
Sega!_ signifying "The saw! the saw!" a badge and war-cry of the
Bentivoglii. After some time lost in painful suspense, it was
ascertained from the sentinels that the French and the Bentivoglii
were masters of the place. Aware of his critical situation, but
retaining his presence of mind, Francesco Maria gave instant orders
for a retreat, fixing a point of rendezvous five miles on the road
towards Romagna. Thither he marched his cavalry in perfect order,
by the level country, and was followed by the Venetian and other
infantry along the high ground. The latter, being set upon at once
by the enemy and the country people, fell into confusion, and, but
for the Duke's strenuous persuasions, and a successful charge which
he made with his cavalry upon their assailants, their officers
would have given way to a general panic, and the army must have
been annihilated. The coolness of their juvenile commander so far
reassured them that the retiring army encamped on the morrow between
Forlì and Cesena, without much further loss than their artillery
and baggage.[243] The vast quantity of booty obtained for this
misconducted affair the nick-name of "donkey-day."

[Footnote 243: So say the Urbino writers. Guicciardini characterises
the escape of the army as a panic-rout, in which the whole
camp-equipage and colours, including the ducal standard, fell into
the enemy's hands. Sanuto says that 200 men-at-arms were slain.]

Bologna was lost on the night of the 21st of May, and, beyond all
question, it fell from the Legate's fool-hardiness or treason. The
catastrophe which followed it called forth a bitterness of feeling
fatal to impartial judgment, and the historians whom we have chiefly
followed were friendly to the Duke of Urbino, and consequently
prejudiced against the Cardinal.[244] Yet, after full allowance
for this circumstance, there seems no reasonable doubt that the
latter secretly favoured the French interests, and neutralised those
measures by which Francesco Maria would have saved the city. He
placed the gates in charge of noted partisans of the exiled family,
by whom they were opened after nightfall to receive the Bentivoglii,
followed by the main body of the French army. It was even alleged
that he had previously sent away his most valuable effects; at all
events, he wanted courage to share the success which had crowned
his treason, and, in real or pretended panic, escaped upon a mule,
disguised in a lay habit, and attended by only two followers. Nothing
could palliate his flight without an attempt to warn the Duke of his
danger, or to concert measures for the preservation of his army; and
his whole behaviour lays him open to the suspicion of an intention
to sacrifice both. Against such a combination of untoward events
the friends of the Church could not struggle, and the mass of the
Bolognese, smarting under recent oppression, welcomed their former
rulers with joy, and vented their insensate fury in smashing the
bronze statue of the Pope, which Michael Angelo had executed in the
short period of fifteen months, and which was afterwards cast into a
cannon bearing the Pontiff's name.

[Footnote 244: Not only Leoni and Reposati, but the MSS. in the
Urbino library, which refer to these transactions, must be so
regarded. We have compared all of these, especially Baldi's life of
this Duke, and the defence of him against Guicciardini, which he
left prepared for the press in No. 906 of the Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 924
contains the pleading of the younger Beroaldo in favour of the Duke,
when charged with the Cardinal of Pavia's murder. No. 1023, art. v.,
and No. 819, fol. 335, the former by Monsignor Paolo Maria Bishop of
Cagli, the latter anonymous, have supplied us with some new facts.
Guicciardini, admitting in other passages the Legate's bad faith and
his antipathy to Francesco Maria, blames his deficiency of courage or
judgment in the Bologna affair, and lashes the aggravated vices of
his character. Roscoe has not here exercised his usual acumen.]

From Castel del Rio, a petty fief which his family had retained
after losing the seigneury of Imola, the Cardinal on the 22nd sent
courier after courier to Julius at Ravenna, preoccupying his ears
with representations against his nephew, upon whose cowardice he cast
the whole blame of the recent disaster. The latter, having sought
an audience of the Pope, found him alike prepossessed against him,
and deaf to his self-justifications; indeed, his attempts to unmask
the traitor were denounced as suggestions of envy and malice, and
he was superseded in his command. A temper less forbearing might
well be incensed by this climax of injury, at the hands of one whose
bad faith and malignity had long rankled in his fiery bosom. To
see his uncle at once sacrificed and cajoled, to be himself made
the scapegoat, while the true criminal was trusted and honoured,
were trials beyond endurance, even apart from the taunt by which
they were aggravated. As he quitted the presence-chamber, towering
with just indignation, and accompanied by two officers and as many
orderlies, he unluckily met the Legate on his mule, attended by a
hundred light-horse. Regardless of his escort, the Duke rushed upon
him and plunged a poignard into his entrails, which passed through to
his saddle.[*245] The blow was repeated by the officers, his guard
attempting neither redress nor vengeance, and in a few minutes the
Cardinal had gone to his dread account, exclaiming repeatedly in
Latin, "From crime comes mischief." This deplorable event happened
on the 24th of May.[246] Its details are variously stated, and one
account says that the rencontre occurred ere the Duke had seen
his Holiness, while the Legate was returning from an audience; on
the whole, we have preferred that of Giraldi, whose uncle was an

[Footnote *245: The account of Paris de Granis (given by
CREIGHTON, _op. cit._, vol. V., pp. 305-19) somewhat differs
from that given here.]

[Footnote 246: Several letters, quoted by Sanuto, MS. Diary, XII.,
158-161, say the 23rd, being Saturday; but Saturday fell on the 24th.
See Filippo Giraldi, Vat. Ottob. MSS. No. 3153, f. 90.]

Francesco Maria was quickly aware of the horror of this outrage,
and immediately after arranging matters in the camp, retired to his
state, to repent, it is hoped, as well as to abide its results.[247]
The sacrilegious nature of the offence might indeed be palliated
in the letter, by the lay dress which the Cardinal chanced to wear,
but his episcopal dignity and holy character as vicegerent of the
papal authority were notorious, and the blind partiality of Julius
seemed to have increased as his misconduct became more palpable. The
situation of that old man was indeed calculated to bend even his
stern nature. He had committed an enterprise of doubtful policy, and
against which a large portion of the Church was openly declared,
to his most trusted friend and to his favourite nephew. The design
had utterly miscarried; Bologna, acquired by him so happily, was
lost; a victorious enemy was within a few leagues of him; and his
friend had been murdered by his nephew, after mutual recriminations
of treachery. The attendant cardinals and prelates, jealous of a
more favoured brother, exulted in the deed while condemning its
manner; but their master is described by Paris de Grassis as giving
way to the most exaggerated demonstrations of excessive grief,
renouncing food and shutting himself out from converse. After hastily
authorising negotiations with Trivulzio, he set out for his capital
in a litter. At Rimini he was startled by a formal citation to appear
before the Council of Pisa, and passed through Pesaro on the 11th of
June. But on reaching Rome his spirit had rallied. On the 18th of
July he summoned a general council at the Lateran, and declared that
of Pisa schismatic and null; he thundered excommunications against
Louis, the Florentines, and all its adherents; he deprived the
cardinals who attended it; and declared war anew against France, as
an enemy of the Church and of Italy. About the same time he suspended
his nephew from all his dignities, and summoned him to answer at
Rome for the assassination of the Cardinal of Pavia.

[Footnote 247: We obtain a curious glimpse of his home-circle at
this critical moment from the correspondence of Bembo, who, having
just quitted Urbino on his way to Venice, wrote thus to Fregoso from
Cesena, where he was waiting a passage by sea. "But what, I say,
are you and your ladies, and the Duke, and the rest of you grandees
about? What is my Ippolita doing? Is she entangled in the toils of
Secundio or Trivulzio? Oh dull and drivelling me, who, abandoning
my loves to the rapine and plunder of men of war, am here sitting
on a sandy shore more pluckless and besotted than the very shells!
Many salutations in my name to both their Highnesses, and to Emilia,
and the lively Margherita, and to Ippolita of many admirers, and to
my rival Alessandro Trivulzio." This badinage was surely ill-timed,
within a month of the defeat of Francesco Maria and the Cardinal's

The accounts we have of the proceedings against the Duke of Urbino
upon this charge are somewhat contradictory. Baldi says that his
impetuous temper, ill-brooking the severity of one whom he was
conscious of having honestly served, tempted him to throw off his
uncle and seek an engagement under Louis; and the monitory issued
against him by Leo X. in 1516 charges him with employing Count
Castiglione on such a mission: but this foolish idea quickly passing,
he obeyed the citation. On his arrival, attended by Castiglione, he
was put under arrest, and obliged to give bail in 100,000 scudi to
await the sentence of a commission of enquiry, consisting of six
cardinals, one of whom was Giovanni de' Medici, afterwards Leo X.
The process was long and complicated, for the Duke had many proofs,
oral and documentary, to adduce of the Legate's secret intelligence
with the French and the Bentivoglii. The pleading in his defence,
by Filippo Beroaldo the younger, has already been referred to as in
the Vatican library, and is a very remarkable declamation. Instead
of urging the hot blood of one-and-twenty in extenuation of a
sudden outbreak of fury under strong provocation, it justifies the
assassination as merited by the Cardinal's notorious and nefarious
treasons. Representing his life and morals in the darkest colours,
it brands his boyhood as base; his puberty as passed in flagitious
intercourse with bawds and gamblers; his youth as debauched by
bribery, peculation and sacrilege; his mature age as degraded by
the sacrifice of friends, the plunder of provinces, the open sale
of sacred offices. It charges him with having had the throats cut
of four eminent citizens of Bologna, against whom no accusation was
brought, and leaving their bodies in the piazza; and further alleges
that, having heard of the beautiful daughter-in-law of one of these
victims, he sent for her to his presence, when his attendants,
alarmed by fearful cries, broke open the doors and discovered him
in the act of violating her person. After narrating his manifold
treacheries towards the Pontiff and the Duke, the advocate, far from
palliating the homicide, boasts of it as a public service, and,
declaring that Francesco Maria was an instrument in the Almighty's
hand for the great and benevolent purpose of ridding mankind of
such a monster, only laments, for the public weal, that the holy
inspiration which dictated it had not been sooner vouchsafed to this
"liberator of the commonwealth." Lowering his tone, however, towards
the close of this inflated oration, he appeals to the judges to spare
a hero whose promise of future usefulness was precious to Italy,
and in whose acquittal many princely personages were interested.
The fierce philippic of Beroaldo was reproduced under a poetic garb
in the satirical ode of Giovio, which Roscoe has printed. Neither
authority can be deemed unprejudiced, but public feeling seems to
have confirmed these invectives, and even Guicciardini attempts not
to answer for the Cardinal's good faith.

Whilst this investigation was experiencing the law's delay, Julius
was attacked by a quartan ague of a dangerous character. With wonted
wilfulness, he refused all proper nourishment, eating only fruit,
until his constitution was nearly exhausted. A fainting fit having
occasioned rumours of his death, tumults arose, but were vigorously
suppressed by the Duke of Urbino, who by a happy device got the
Cardinal of S. Giorgio to carry him the viaticum. The apparition by
his bedside of the person supposed likely to succeed him at once
recalled his energies, and induced him to adopt the most likely means
of disappointing such expectations. He therefore no longer hesitated
to eat an egg, into which two yolks had been introduced by the Duke's
order, that he might take twice as much sustenance as he was aware
of; and from that hour his strength rallied. A deep-rooted affection
for his nephew, rekindled by this double service, prompted him to a
reconciliation, and in his first burst of gratitude he granted him
absolution for his crime, and sent him home with a donative of 12,000
scudi. But as his Holiness had been induced to this reconciliation
by personal favour, and perhaps by at length perceiving the Legate's
faithlessness, Francesco Maria declined availing himself of such an
acquittal; and the process for murder, resumed at its own instance,
hung over him until, on the 9th of December, a consistorial bull
issued, fully absolving him of the charge.

       *       *       *       *       *

But to return to the seat of war, whence this untoward incident
had removed the Duke of Urbino at a moment of peculiar interest.
The King of Spain having contributed a powerful contingent, the
new armament against Louis was placed under command of Raimondo
di Cardona, viceroy of Naples, with the Cardinal de' Medici as
legate. The Venetians, as before, were parties to this league, as
well as Henry VIII.; Florence, still in the hands of its republican
faction, and the now restored Bentivoglii, supported the French;
whilst Maximilian, though its nominal adherent, was as usual equally
inefficient in war or peace. Romagna again became the destined scene
of the new struggle, and there, as in Lombardy, its chances proved
adverse to Louis. The Duke of Urbino, apparently from an unworthy
jealousy, refused to act under the Viceroy's command, but he gave
free passage to the army on its route through his state, supplying it
with provisions, and permitting his troops to march under its banner.
He even repaired to Fossombrone, to testify respect and hospitality
to the general, but, suddenly taking alarm, and suspecting sinister
intentions, he withdrew to Urbino in a somewhat ungracious manner.
Light may be thrown upon these eccentric movements from the
correspondence of Castiglione, by which it would seem that Julius,
relapsing into suspicion, had about this time spoken of his nephew
as a traitor, who deserved to be quartered for maintaining, through
Count Baldassare, a secret understanding with France and Ferrara;
indeed, that he even diminished his company by sixty men-at-arms,
and threatened to place the Duc de Termes over his head. It is not
unlikely that, disgusted by this new insult, he may have intrigued
with the French party in a moment of weakness. At all events,
so deeply was the Pope mortified, that, in an access of renewed
irritation, he declared him rebel, and absolved his subjects from
their allegiance. Francesco Maria was consequently absent from the
bloody field of Ravenna, where his early friend the chivalrous Gaston
de Foix met a heroic but premature death. The French army which he
commanded paid dearly, by his loss and that of their best troops,
for a nominal victory which eventually proved a ruinous reverse. It
was gained by the Duke of Ferrara's well-timed charge, and of forty
thousand left dead in the field, above half had fought under the
lilies of France. Indeed, but for the Viceroy's disgraceful flight,
in a panic by some attributed to his suspicion of the Duke of Urbino,
it might have been considered a drawn battle. So great was his terror
that he passed through Pesaro with but two attendants, leaving his
Spaniards to regain the Neapolitan frontier as they might.

This remarkable engagement took place on Easter Day, the 11th of
April, but four days after the Pontiff had issued the bull against
his nephew.[*248] Notwithstanding this fresh provocation, the latter
afforded every support to Cardona's troops, who,

     "Masterless, without a banner fled";

and, after placing his family out of harm's way, in S. Leo, hastened
to Rome to console the Pope. But his Holiness was in no melting or
wavering mood. With the brief remark, "At all events, I have united
our enemies," he quickly repaired the recent breach by recalling
the bull against Francesco Maria, and presented him with the baton
of command. The Duke, remedying past misunderstandings by new
exertions, hurried to Romagna to rally the broken battalions of the
league, and to raise fresh levies. Ere the French could recover
from the paralysing effects of their dearly bought success, he had
regained that country, and, on the 21st of June, took possession
of Bologna without a blow. Following up his advantage, he mastered
with equal ease Modena, Parma, and Piacenza; but Reggio offered a
resistance worthy of the heroic ages. It was held for the Duke of
Ferrara by Count Alessandro Ferrofino, who, having detected some of
his soldiers attempting to spike the guns, set them astride upon a
mortar, and blew them into the air, assuring the bystanders that
he most willingly would serve his Holiness in the same way. When
ecclesiastical censures were thundered against the garrison, he
made its chaplain return a pop-gun excommunication of the Pontiff.
After two months had passed in this bootless struggle, Alfonso sent
his countersign to the commandant as an authority to surrender;
but, aware that his master was then at Rome, in the Pope's power,
the Count returned it, vowing that he would not yield till hunger
had driven him to eat off his right hand; adding, however, that, if
his Highness had a fancy to give away the fortress, he was ready to
consign it, with all its contents, by inventory, to whoever might
be commissioned to relieve him of the command. This proposal was
complied with, and the indomitable captain marched out his little
garrison, with a safe conduct from the Pope whom he had defied.[249]

[Footnote *248: The battle of Ravenna is fully described by
GUICCIARDINI, _Opere Inedite_ (Firenze, 1857), vol. VI., p.
36 _et seq._, in letters from his father and brother. The French had
everything in their hands, the route was complete. They should have
pressed on to Rome and Naples, and have reduced the Pope to terms and
annihilated the Spanish power in Italy. But Gaston was in his grave.
Cf. CREIGHTON, _op. cit._, vol. V., p. 168.]

[Footnote 249: Giraldi Dialogo, Vat. Ottob. MSS. No. 3153.]

The Emperor, ever ready to abandon a falling cause, withdrew his
contingent from the French service, and acknowledged the authority
of the Lateran council, which had been opened on the 3rd of May. The
Duke of Ferrara, too, thought it full time to make his peace with the
Pope; while Louis, thus abandoned, could no longer maintain a footing
in Italy, where but a few strongholds remained in his possession; and
Milan was restored to Maximiliano Sforza, son of Ludovico il Moro.
The overtures of Alfonso were, however, unavailing, being met in no
generous spirit by his ecclesiastical overlord. On proceeding to Rome
to plead his own cause, he was called upon to surrender his fief to
the Holy See, and was treated as a prisoner. By the energetic aid
of the Colonna chiefs, he escaped to his impenetrable swamps, and
hastened to accredit Ariosto as his minister to appease the Pontiff,
a mission which totally failed, the poet's silver tongue having
barely obtained grace for himself as envoy of a rebel. Francesco
Maria marched, by order of Julius, towards the Polesine, but malaria
prevailing there after recent inundations, fever ravaged his army,
and their leader averted the fate of his grandfather in these fens,
by a timely retreat to his mountain air. We are gravely told by
Giraldi that "the house of Ferrara mysteriously bears the name of
the Deity" [_Est_], an idea which their repeated escapes by similar
apparently special interpositions of Providence may have suggested.

It was during the Ferrarese expedition, and avowedly at the Pope's
urgent desire, that the Medici were re-established at Florence by
the league. The Duke of Urbino's absence from that enterprise has
been accounted for by Guicciardini and Giovio, as the result of
personal feeling against the Cardinal Giovanni, and as contrary
to his uncle's instructions. This innuendo becomes important from
being the first symptom of misunderstanding between the dynasties of
Urbino and Florence, and as apparently the origin of Guicciardini's
prepossessions against Francesco Maria, which, adopted by subsequent
writers, especially by Roscoe and Sismondi, have led to very general
misrepresentations of his after policy and motives. The whole
intercourse of that Duke with the Medici, down to 1515, affords a
virtual contradiction of latent enmity at this juncture, and the
special charge in question is inconsistent with the facts stated by
Leoni, who avers that, had Francesco Maria not been then engaged in
operations against Ferrara, he would gladly have accompanied the
combined forces to Florence, and that he actually connived at their
carrying with them a portion of his artillery, contrary to private
instructions from his Holiness, who, when the moment for action
arrived, is alleged to have favoured the independence of Florence,
perhaps under some vague apprehension of eventual dangers from
Medicean ambition.

Italy, now freed from ultramontane oppressors, saw Milan restored
to its native princes, and Florence again in the hands of her most
influential family. Thus far had the favourite aims of Julius been
attained; but, instead of hailing these events as the basis of a
general pacification befitting his advanced years, he fretted in the
recollection that Naples yet owned a foreign yoke, and that Louis was
still intent upon vindicating his title to a Cisalpine dominion. The
convulsive throes of a stranded leviathan were no unfit parallel to
the versatile efforts wherein the old man consumed his waning powers.
But, in the multifarious projects which agitated his yet elastic
mind, the interests of his again favourite nephew were not forgotten.
A brief of the 10th of January, 1513, granted to the latter plenary
remission for all his undutiful errors against the Church, as a
prelude to new favours, which must now be detailed.[250]

[Footnote 250: The preceding account of the judicial process, and of
the Duke's conduct in regard to the campaign of Ravenna, has been
chiefly taken from Baldi, as his narrative is more intelligible
and consistent with the best historical authorities, than the
indistinct and garbled statements of Leoni and Riposati, who gloss
over such facts as they cannot satisfactorily clear up. Guicciardini
asserts that Francesco Maria set his peasantry upon the troops of
Cardona as they fled through the duchy from the rout of Ravenna, a
statement more reconcileable with that author's prejudice than with
probability. The legal evidence of both the Duke's absolutions will
be found in No. V. of the Appendix, and Giraldi is our authority for
some minor details. We have purposely avoided mixing up with this
personal narrative the more general events of the French war. They
are succinctly given by Roscoe, _Leo X._, ch. viii. and ix.]

His uncle had entertained a scheme of purchasing for him the vague
rights over Siena which the Emperors had long, though ineffectually,
asserted; but a more hopeful expedient for his aggrandisement
opportunely presented itself. We have, in a former chapter, narrated
the circumstances under which Alessandro Sforza became invested
with Pesaro in 1445. His grandson Giovanni, the outraged husband
of Lucrezia Borgia, died in 1510, leaving, by his second marriage,
an only son Costanzo, about a year old. Galeazzo, natural brother
of Giovanni, who was himself of illegitimate birth, governed the
state, as tutor of this nephew, until the child's death, in August,
1512, and so entirely acquired the good will of the people, that
they proclaimed him their seigneur. The odious tyranny exercised by
all petty princes of Italy is a fertile theme for dreamy poets and
philosophising liberals; but, whilst the relative oppression was much
the same under all forms of government in the Peninsula, personal
safety was perhaps best maintained in those least exposed to internal
convulsion. From such shocks the minor sovereignties were more exempt
than the republics, and the residence of a court was beneficial as
well as flattering to the community; hence the fall of an hereditary
dynasty was, in almost every instance, lamented by its subjects.
These are not, indeed, necessarily the best judges of their own
welfare; yet their deliberate and repeated convictions, when free
from the influence of demagogues, and tested by impartial history,
can hardly be remote from truth.

The investiture of Pesaro had legally lapsed by the young Costanzo's
death, and although, in many instances, the assumption of similar
rights by illegitimate claimants had been passively permitted by the
Church, Galeazzo would have gladly shrunk from a contest which the
avowed policy of the reigning Pope rendered inevitable and hopeless.
Tempted, however, by the unanimous support of the people, he assumed
on his own account the authority he till now had held in behalf of
his nephew. Julius instantly recalled the Duke of Urbino from Lugo,
to commence operations for the reduction of Pesaro, with Cardinal
Sigismondo Gonzaga as legate. After a brief resistance, Galeazzo
surrendered the citadel, on the 30th of October, by a capitulation
which insured him an annuity of 1000 scudi of gold, and the allodial
holdings of his family. These he conveyed to the Duke for 20,000
ducats, including the Villa Imperiale, and on the 9th of November he
quitted Pesaro, attended by nearly the whole population, who bewailed
with bitter tears the extinction of a dynasty to whom they were
fondly attached. The melancholy procession accompanied their lord as
far as La Cattolica, from whence he retired to Milan, and there met a
violent death in the following year.

The Cardinal Legate remained at Pesaro to administer the government
in behalf of the Holy See, and the Duke returned home. Julius had
already made one exception to his policy of bringing the minor fiefs
under direct sway of the Church, by renewing the investiture of
Urbino in favour of his nephew, and the opportunity was too tempting
for repeating a measure recommended by the ties of natural affection.
The unmerited suspicions and hasty severity which he had manifested
towards Francesco Maria seemed to warrant some consideration; there
was also an arrear of about 10,000 scudi of pay and advances, by
the late and present Dukes, in the wars of the Church, which her
exhausted treasury was unable to discharge, but for which it was
desirable to secure compensation ere the tiara should encircle a less
friendly brow.[251] Accordingly, one of the Pontiff's latest acts was
to gain the consent of the consistory of his nephew's investiture in
Pesaro, to be held in vicariat for the annual payment of a silver
vase, a pound in weight. The bull to this effect is dated the 16th
of February, 1513, and on the 21st his busy spirit was at rest.
Three weeks later, the Duke and Duchess of Urbino took possession of
Pesaro, and were flatteringly welcomed. Indeed, the people, finding
the fate of the Sforza sealed, appeared to have looked about for any
means of emancipation from ecclesiastical rule; and, ere Galeazzo had
quitted the capital, the council entertained a proposal to petition
the Sacred College in favour of Francesco Maria as his successor.
This step, whether suggested by Julius or not, greatly strengthened
his hands in carrying through the arrangement which he had at heart,
and it enabled the citizens to receive their new lord with peculiarly
good grace.

[Footnote 251: Yet Julius was reported to have left in St. Angelo,
400,000 ducats of gold, besides jewels, and no state debts. Vat. Urb.
MSS., No. 1023, f. 297.]


     Election of Leo X.--His ambitious projects--Birth of Prince
     Guidobaldo of Urbino--The Pontiff's designs upon that
     state, which he gives to his nephew--The Duke retires to

The Duke's influence, as head of the della Rovere family, was
paramount in the conclave, composed as it was of relations, friends,
and creatures of the late Pope in overwhelming majority. The election
was therefore to a great degree in his hands, and when it fell
upon the Cardinal de' Medici, he rejoiced in the elevation of a
personal friend. He and his brother Giuliano, their nephew Lorenzo,
and their cousin Giulio, afterwards Clement VII., had been welcome
guests at Urbino, during their family's long exile from Florence.
Indeed, we have noticed Giuliano as one of the most brilliant
ornaments of Guidobaldo's court, where he resided so long that the
apartment devoted to his use still bears his name in the palace. The
restoration of the Medici to supremacy in their native city had been
the doing of Julius; the choice of their cardinal as his successor
was the act of his nephew.[*252] Thus was the bond of friendship
confirmed by ties of gratitude. But from such fetters princes are
often prone to assume an exemption, and Francesco Maria was destined
to experience that they are not more binding upon pontiffs.[253]

[Footnote *252: This is rather vague. We are not told what Francesco
Maria did that justifies Dennistoun in saying that the election of
Leo X. was his act. I can find no evidence of Francesco Maria's
personal influence in the conclave. If the election of Leo was an
arrangement, it was Cardinal Riario to whom it was due. The charge of
ingratitude therefore falls to the ground.]

[Footnote 253: To inaugurate the new pontificate, and mark the
contrast of Alexander and Julius with their successor,--its Maecenas,
Agostino Chigi, erected a triumphal arch, inscribed,--

     "Olim habuit Cypris sua tempora; tempora Mavors
     Olim habuit; sua nunc tempora Pallas habet."

     Venus here reigned supreme, by Mars displaced;
     Our happier age by Pallas' sway is graced.

To this doggerel there quickly appeared the rejoinder,--

     "Mars fuit, est Pallas, Cypria semper ero."

     Once Mars, Minerva now, but Venus still.]

Leo X. has been one of the most fortunate of men. His all but
sovereign birth was still more distinguished by the merit of his
family, to which history has done the amplest justice. His natural
talents and tastes were not only of a high order, but were perfectly
adapted to the golden age in which he lived, and to the high career
for which he was destined. His rapid and premature advancement to
the first dignities of the Church stimulated instead of relaxing his
mental discipline. He obtained the triple tiara at the unprecedented
age of thirty-seven, and wore it during the brightest period of the
papacy. Though cut short in the flower of manhood, he lived long
enough to link his name with the most splendid era of modern history,
and although his measures accelerated the crisis of the Reformation,
he died ere their seed had borne that dreaded fruit. In fine, his
eventful life has been celebrated by at least one biographer worthy
of the theme. On the wide field which such a character opens we shall
have little opportunity to expatiate. Our narrative has to do with
its darker shadows, and to hold up this Pontiff as the implacable
foe of a dynasty which had singular claims upon his favour and

[Illustration: _Anderson_


_After the picture by Raphael in the Pitti Gallery, Florence_]

The general estimate of Julius and of his successor has been shrewdly
conceived and tersely expressed by Sismondi. "The projects of the
former had prospered beyond the ordinary calculations of policy;
his impetuosity, by surprising his enemies and throwing all their
plans into confusion, had often availed him more than prudence
could have done; he had also extended the temporal possessions of
the Church beyond what any of his predecessors had effected. Yet he
had caused so many mischiefs, he had occasioned such vast bloodshed,
he had so swamped Italy with foreign armies, even while he pretended
to rid her of the barbarians, that his death was hailed as a public
blessing, and the cardinals responded to the feeling of Rome, Italy,
and all Christendom in desiring that his successor should in no
respect resemble him. As he had been old, restless, impatient, and
passionate, they sought to replace him with one less aged, and whose
tastes were for literature, pleasure, and epicurean indulgences....
Leo was quite the opposite of his predecessor; his temperament
was far less stern, irascible, or unforgiving. Towards intimate
associates his manners were singularly cheerful and gracious. The
protection he extended to letters and arts, the favours which he
lavished upon savants, poets, and artists, drew from all Europe a
chorus of commendation. But, on the other hand, his character fell
very short of that of Julius in frankness and elevation; all his
negotiations were stained by deceit and perfidy. Whilst he talked
of peace he fanned the flame of war; no pity for the inhabitants of
Italy, crushed by barbarian hosts, ever influenced his conduct. His
ambition, nowise inferior to that of his predecessor, was not veiled,
even to himself, by motives equally respectable. His object was not
the independence of Italy, nor the aggrandisement of the Church, but
the advancement of his own family."

The Cardinal Giovanni de' Medici, second son of Lorenzo the
Magnificent, was elected Pope on the 11th of March, 1513, and
was crowned on the 19th. The Duke of Urbino had repaired to Rome
to offer his congratulations in person, and attended the solemn
installation at the Lateran, with twenty-four mounted gentlemen
and as many footmen; but mingling regard for the dead with respect
for the living, he and all his suite appeared in black velvet and
satin, as mourning for his uncle. The device worn on the Pontiff's
liveries at this pageant, was in harmony with his previous character
and present professions: under a golden "yoke" was inscribed the
word _suave_, meaning something more winning than the scriptural
phrase "easy," from which it was borrowed. When two more years had
gone by, Francesco Maria was an outlaw, crushed under that gentle
yoke, and stripped of his all; whilst the Duke of Ferrara, the next
great feudatory of the Church who followed in the procession, could
scarcely maintain himself by French aid, until the death of his
pontifical oppressor enabled him to parody on his medals another
and more appropriate text, in memory of his escape, "Out of the
LION'S mouth." At this coronation there was witnessed an
unwonted spectacle, the fruit of Alexander's aggressions on the
Campagna barons. The humbled chiefs of Colonna and Orsini walked side
by side, and their reconciliation was commemorated by a rare medal,
on which the crowned column of Colonna is fondly hugged by the Orsini
bear, with the motto, "For their country's safety." Francesco Maria's
reception was as cordial as distinguished, for the promptings of
ambition had not yet transformed Leo's naturally bland and gracious
nature into unrelenting and bitter hate. He was accordingly confirmed
in his dignities, and retained for a year as Captain-General of the
Church, with 13,844 ducats of pay, besides 30,000 of allowances for
his company of two hundred men-at-arms, and a hundred light cavalry;
nor could words exceed the kindness of the letter in which Bembo
intimated this to him on behalf of the Pope.[254]

[Footnote 254: Papal brieves of Aug. 4 and April 17, 1513, in
Archivio Diplomatico at Florence, and Bembo's public despatches, ii.
No. 8. Roscoe has no authority whatever for representing the Duke as
at this period the Pope's "formidable rival."]

When the coronation fêtes were over, he returned home to enjoy one of
those brief intervals of repose which rarely fell to his lot. His
almost continual absence on military service had indeed been greatly
felt in his capital, and most of the distinguished men who frequented
it under Duke Guidobaldo were now dispersed. Some of them, however,
had continued towards his nephew their friendship and services,
either under his own banner or in diplomacy. Among these was
Baldassare Castiglione, to whose good offices the reconciliation of
Francesco Maria with Julius has been partly attributed. In the affair
of the Cardinal of Pavia, the Count warmly espoused his part, and
invented for him, as a deprecatory device, a lion rampant proper on
a field gules, holding a rapier, and a scroll inscribed, _Non deest
generoso in pectore virtus_, "Worth is never wanting in a generous
breast"; but this emblem was seldom used, being odious to the college
of cardinals, as approving a sacrilegious precedent. Castiglione's
elegant endowments were especially qualified to gain him the ear of
a prince whose pride it was to emulate his predecessors, as much
in the grace of their court as in the fame of their arms; and the
preference for so small a state shown by him whom monarchs would
have delighted to honour, was fit subject for gratitude, independent
of the real services which the Duke derived from the friendship of
one so well versed in business. It is stated, although on doubtful
authority, that he went upon a mission from Urbino, to urge on Henry
VIII. a descent upon Calais,[*255] in the hope of such a diversion
recalling Louis from Italy. If so, it was probably in arranging the
treaty of Malines on the 5th of April of this year. In the prospect
of adding Pesaro to his dominions, Francesco Maria had promised to
Castiglione a fief in his dependencies, and in September, 1513, a
charter was granted to him of Novillara, erected into a countship.
The letter of donation specially mentions the faithful, sincere,
and acceptable services of Baldassare; his elegance in the Latin
and Italian languages; his skill in military and civil affairs;
and confers upon him this favour rather in earnest of future and
more ample benefits, than as a reward of the fatigues, perils, and
anxieties which he had already undergone for the Duke.[*256] Of this
grant he received a willing confirmation from Leo X., to whom, on his
elevation, he had borne Francesco Maria's first congratulations. The
brief to this effect dwells on the peculiar satisfaction with which
the Pope thus testified, from long acquaintance, his high merits, his
distinguished birth, his literary acquirements, his military fame,
and his exemplary devotion to the Holy See.

[Footnote *255: Henry landed at Calais August 1st, 1513; it was
then in English hands, as it remained till Mary Tudor lost it
in 1558. From Calais Henry advanced to the siege of Terouenne.
Castiglione was, of course, in London in 1506 to receive the Garter
for Guidobaldo from Henry VII.; a second journey seems apocryphal.
On Castiglione at Urbino and elsewhere, cf. LUZIO e RENIER, _Mantova e
Urbino_ (Torino, 1893), pp. 174, 234, 242 _et seq._]

[Footnote *256: Yet he seems to have suffered in the war. His long
residence at Urbino may well have been due to the Duchess, who loved
him sincerely.]

The estate thus associated with Castiglione is generally said to owe
its name to its "noble air"; and certainly upon the Italian principle
that a healthful atmosphere must be sought in high places, that of
Novillara ought to possess unusual virtues. But the learned Olivieri
has corrected this vulgar error, and has derived its denomination
from the Latin _nubilare_, which he renders as an open shed for the
housing of grain,--a grange, as it might be called. He has traced
it back to the twelfth century, and to the fourteenth ascribes
an imposing tower of three commodious stories built here by the
Malatesta. Hither was conducted, on her first arrival, Camilla of
Aragon, bride of Costanzo Sforza Lord of Pesaro; and its inaccessible
situation did not prevent a splendid manifestation of the general
joy, in fêtes and pageants, commemorated in a volume of excessive
rarity, which seem more proportioned to the affectionate gallantry of
her husband and subjects, than to the resources of their state, or to
the conveniences of this palace. Representations of the community
of Pesaro induced Francesco Maria to obtain from Castiglione a
restitution to them of this Castle, in 1522, under promise of
replacing it by an equivalent, which was never redeemed. Years passed
away, notwithstanding repeated remonstrances on the part of Camillo,
son of the Count, in which he even induced the Emperor to join. At
length, in 1573, Guidobaldo II. conferred a tardy compensation, by
granting to Count Camillo the Castel del Isola del Piano. This Duke
had previously built an addition to the palace of Novillara, with
elaborate decorations never completed. At his son's marriage with
Lucretia d'Este, this fief, then worth 500 scudi a year, was settled
upon her, but rarely occupied. It subsequently caught the young
prince Federigo's fancy, who had planned for its beautiful gardens
and frescoes, when untimely death cut short his schemes, and brought
the nationality of Urbino and Pesaro to a close.

In the present day Novillara consists of about a hundred houses,
huddled together, threaded by narrow alleys, and walled in by
terraces. It overlooks Pesaro and Fano, the valleys of the Isauro
and Metauro, with the hilly land which separates them. Northward the
eye rests on Monte Bartolo, but southward it roams as far as Loreto,
and in clear weather the Dalmatian coast may be discerned. The tower
of the Malatesta, which formed a landmark to the whole surrounding
country, fell in 1723, and the dilapidated fabric of the della Rovere
now harbours a few squalid families, adding another to the melancholy
wrecks of departed grandeur too frequent in this fair land. Yet
Novillara will pass down the stream of Italian literary history as
the title of its courtly lord, and its magnificent panorama may well
repay the traveller who has leisure and strength to scramble to its

The early policy of Leo was entirely pacific. The leading aim of his
diplomacy was to soothe those irritations which his predecessors had
fomented throughout Europe, and to heal the wounds thence resulting
to Italy. His only aggressive measures during 1513 had been directed
against the French, with the patriotic view of thwarting renewed
attempts upon the Peninsula, in which they were seconded by Spain
and Venice. In this object he was successful, but as the various
and complicated transactions by which it was effected are foreign
to our immediate purpose, we refer the reader for details to the
tenth, twelfth, and thirteenth chapters of Roscoe's delightful work,
although naturally representing them in the lights more favourable to
the Pontiff's motives than we are prepared fully to approve. Power
is, however, a dangerous draught, often exciting the thirst it seeks
to slake. Before the Keys had been many months in Leo's possession,
the establishment of his own family in the two fairest sovereignties
of Italy became the object for which he was to

     "Cry havock, and let slip the dogs of war."

Anticipating changes which might occur upon the death of Ferdinand
II. of Spain, he conceived hopes of throwing off foreign domination
in Naples, and providing for it a king of Italian birth, in his own
brother Giuliano the Magnificent. With this ulterior advancement
in fancied perspective, he removed him from the management of
affairs at Florence, and substituted his nephew Lorenzo, intending
ere long to assert for the latter a titular as well as a virtual
sovereignty, and to extend his sway over all Tuscany, Urbino, and
Ferrara. These ambitious and revolutionary projects required powerful
aid, which could be most readily secured by finding a sharer in the
adventure. Such a one readily occurred in Louis XII., whose consent
to copartnery could scarcely be doubted, when his long-cherished
acquisition of the Milanese was offered as his share of its gains.
It was no serious objection to this scheme that it inferred a total
subversion of Leo's anti-gallican policy; and, intent only upon his
new views, he secretly negotiated with the French King to bring once
more into Lombardy those troops which, but the year before, he had
been the chief means of ignominiously chasing beyond the Alps. Should
this move place the great powers in general collision, there was all
the fairer chance for papal ambition in the scramble; and it mattered
little that Italy should again be laid in ashes, and saturated with
blood, so that the Medici became arbiters of her destiny.

With a view to these arrangements, Giuliano was betrothed in the
following year to Filiberta of Savoy, maternal aunt of Francis, heir
to the French crown. But a fatality seems to have attended most
papal diplomacy: based upon nepotism or personal ambition, it was
generally thwarted by its own fickleness or imbecility. Doubtful of
the success of his scheme upon the crown of Naples (which Louis was
little disposed to gratify, although prepared to concede to Giuliano
the principality of Tarento), or impatient perhaps of waiting for
its becoming vacant, the Pontiff turned his views upon Parma and
Piacenza, as a convenient interim state for his brother, to be
aggrandised by the purchase of Modena from the Emperor for 40,000
golden ducats. But here he was met by a difficulty of his own recent
creation, for the establishment of Louis at Milan must have proved
dangerous to the proposed principality of Giuliano; so, once more
shuffling the cards, he prepared some new combinations for preventing
the French expedition into Italy. One of these was an intrigue to
detach the Venetian republic from the party of Louis, for which
purpose he sent thither his adroit secretary Bembo, whose memorial
to the senate has been printed by Roscoe. This attempt, however,
entirely failed, and the King's death, on the 1st of January, alone
prevented the detection of his faithless ally.[257]

[Footnote 257: One of the shrewd agents of the maritime republic
supplied a key to the policy of Leo, by observing that it consisted
in immediately opening a secret understanding with the avowed enemy
of whatever prince he leagued with. His intrigues in behalf of his
brother and nephew are illustrated by some documents in the _Archivio
Storico Italiano_, Appendix I., 306.]

In returning from Venice, Bembo paid one more visit to the Feltrian
court, now at Pesaro, rejoicing in the recent birth of an heir to
the Dukedom. There he found many changes. The gay and accomplished
circle, in whose lighter or more pedantic pastimes he had borne a
willing part, was scattered, many of its members like himself to hold
appointments of trust and dignity. But it was a sincere satisfaction
to him again to meet the Duchess Elisabetta, now recovered from the
deep despondency he has so touchingly described, and enjoying the
society of her accomplished niece and successor, as well as of her
former mistress of the revels, the merry Emilia Pia. In company
of these ladies, the diplomatist forgot during a brief interval
the cares of state, and lingered for two days on the excuse of
indisposition, until he thought it necessary to explain his delay
in a letter to Cardinal Bibbiena of the 1st of January, 1515.[258]
The fatigues of riding post a hundred and forty miles from Chioggia
in two days and a half required this repose, and induced him to
continue his journey in less hot haste. Yet Bembo, with all his
accomplishments, was but a sunshine courtier, as we shall see some
fifteen months later.

[Footnote 258: See below, p. 368.]

It would seem that, at the time of Giuliano's marriage, the idea
of providing for him large additions in Romagna to his Lombard
principality was the leading motive of his brother's policy,
and that the Dukes of Urbino and Ferrara were already viewed as
stepping-stones to his exaltation. The command of the pontifical
troops was accordingly bestowed upon him as Gonfaloniere, on the
24th of June, 1515, at once an injustice and an insult to Francesco
Maria, in whose hands its baton remained unsullied.[*259] The fair
professions with which the Duke was superseded were vague and
unsatisfactory, and he received warning from various quarters of
the sinister designs whereof he was the destined victim. These,
however, being as yet immature, the Pontiff maintained professions
of unwavering favour, and, in a brief dated on the 16th of August,
he assures the Duke that he will readily regard certain services as
entitled to the largest and most liberal remuneration in his power.

[Footnote *259: However, Francesco's record was not a very brilliant
one. He failed to take Mirandola without Julius II., and the affair
of Ravenna would, one might think, have ruined any soldier.]

Yet Giuliano must be acquitted of the ingratitude and perfidy
shown to his former friend by the Pope and his nephew Lorenzo. The
hospitalities of Duke Guidobaldo had in his case fallen upon no
arid soil. His fondest recollections of lettered intercourse and
of youthful love were centred in Urbino. He remembered that it was
Francesco Maria who, six years before, had interposed to screen him
from the jealousies of the late Pontiff, and who had warmly urged the
restoration of his family in Florence. He therefore firmly refused
to acquiesce in any projects which would aggrandise himself at the
Duke's cost; and, in token of good will, while on his way to France,
made a detour to visit him at Gubbio, where he thus addressed him:
"I have heard, my Lord, that it has been represented to you how the
Pope has a mind to take your state from you, in order to give it me;
but this is not true, for, on account of the kindness, favour, and
benefits I ever have received from your Excellency and your house,
I should never consent to it, however much desired by his Holiness,
lest other princes of your rank should resolve, in consequence, never
again to give such refuge at their courts as was granted to me and
mine. Be assured, therefore, that, whilst I live, you not only will
receive no molestation on my account, but will be ever regarded by
me as an elder brother."[260] Upon these assurances, Francesco Maria
not only suspended the defences of his duchy, which he had begun
to put in order, but accepted an engagement for himself, with two
hundred men-at-arms and a hundred light horse, under Giuliano, the
pontifical captain-general. To secure himself, however, against all
contingencies, he applied to the Pontiff for leave to bring into the
field a thousand infantry, in addition to his usual following. The
scruples of Giuliano did not in any way soften his brother, whose
intrigues against Urbino are prominent in the curious despatch of his
secretary Bibbiena, which Roscoe has printed under date the 16th of

[Footnote 260: Dialogo Giraldi, Vat. Ottob. MSS. No. 3153.]

Louis XII. died on the 1st of January, 1515, and was succeeded by
his second and third cousin, Francis I. This event changed not the
projects of Leo in behalf of his brother, whose marriage to the
Princess of Savoy was solemnised in February, and who was received
by the French monarch with kindness and distinction. To render his
position fully worthy of the match, the Pope invested him with Parma,
Piacenza, and Modena, yielding a revenue approaching to 48,000
ducats. He likewise settled a large pension upon the princess, and
provided for the pair a magnificent palace in Rome, to which they
were welcomed with a pomp unusual even in these days of pageantry.

Leo's position with reference to Francis I. was in many respects
embarrassing, and the defence of his policy, elaborately undertaken
by Roscoe, has established the writer's bias rather than the
Pontiff's rectitude. That monarch was steadily pursuing those
schemes upon the Milanese which Leo had the year before suggested
to his predecessor; and the amicable relations established with
the Medici by Giuliano's marriage gave him additional reason to
rely upon the Pontiff's support in the struggle which must follow
his descent upon Italy. But to restrain the French beyond their
Alpine barrier was the favourite, as well as the natural policy of
his Holiness, and it was that which tended most to the security of
his brother's newly-acquired Lombard sovereignty. He therefore,
in July, after some months of anxious vacillation, avowed his
adherence to the league of the Emperor with the Kings of England
and of Spain, to which Florence, Milan, and the Swiss were parties.
Yet he was far from hearty in the cause, and, during the brief
campaign which succeeded the arrival of a French army in Lombardy,
the ecclesiastical contingent limited their efforts to watching the
safety of Parma and Piacenza. Nor did the other allies show much
more zeal, excepting the Swiss, whose impetuous valour brought on
the pitched battle of Marignano on the 13th of September, and lost
them the prestige which had stamped their infantry as invincible. The
costly victory there gained by the French was speedily followed by a
surrender of his claims upon Milan by Duke Maximiliano Sforza, who
was content to enjoy for the remainder of his life a home and pension
provided by his conqueror.[*261]

[Footnote *261: The defeat of the Swiss at Marignano opened the way
for the long fight between Francis I. and Charles V. It decided many
things--the future of monarchy in Europe, for instance, as well as
the fate of the republican army "so long invincible in Italy." Cf.
CREIGHTON, _op. cit._, vol. V., p. 243. "What will become
of us," said Leo to Giorgi, the Venetian Ambassador, who brought him
the news of the defeat--"and of you?" "We will put ourselves in the
hands of the Most Christian King," he added, "and will implore his
mercy." Cf. the _Relazioni Venete_, 2nd series, vol. III., p. 44,
quoted by Creighton, who, as always, takes the view of a statesman,
and not merely that of a scholar. Sforza surrendered Milan on October
4th. The Pope signed terms with Francis October 13th, 1515. The Pope
was then in Viterbo, which he left for Bologna in November, coming to
Florence on the last day of that month. In December he was back in
Bologna to meet Francis. He returned to Florence and left for Rome on
February 19th, 1516.]

The principal object of Francis being thus effected, he was not
indisposed to reconciliation with the Holy See, for which Leo had
sedulously retained an opening by keeping Ludovico Canossa throughout
the contest as an accredited agent at the French head-quarters. But
the Pontiff met the usual reward of trimmers. The tardy accommodation
offered by his envoy came too late to save Parma and Piacenza, for
which alone he had become a party to the war. The French monarch
would not hear of renouncing what he insisted were intrinsic
portions of the Milanese, but offered to meet with the Pontiff and
arrange in person a lasting amity, Bologna being named for the
interview. Upon the diplomatic arrangements which there occupied
these potentates in the end of the year we need not touch, further
than to notice that the intercession of Francis in favour of the
Duke of Urbino, which the latter had hastened, after the battle of
Marignano, to bespeak by means of a special envoy, proved quite
ineffectual. It obviously was dictated less by any interest in the
Duke's welfare than by the wish to thwart a favourite project of his
fickle ally, and it at once was met by reference to an article which
the Pope had adroitly inserted in the treaty, that Francis should in
no way interfere for the protection of any undutiful vassal of the
Holy See. From Bologna Leo proceeded to Florence, where he remained
most of the winter, maturing his schemes for the ruin of Francesco

The death of Ferdinand of Spain in January, 1516, soon reawoke the
ambitious hopes of Francis, by reminding him of his predecessor's
dormant claims upon the Neapolitan crown. But a new combination of
circumstances gave another turn to his thoughts. The efforts of the
Venetians to recover Verona and Brescia from Maximilian brought the
latter into Lombardy at the head of fifteen thousand Swiss troops,
by whom Lautrec, the French general, was for a time hard pressed,
and Leo, ever anxious to conciliate a conqueror, hastily sent
Cardinal Bibbiena with reinforcements to the Emperor's camp. Yet the
storm, passing off suddenly and harmlessly, left few traces besides
jealousy, which the prudence of that wily legate scarcely prevented
from arising in the mind of Francis towards his slippery ally.

These vacillations on the part of Leo have been slightly touched
upon, in order to clear the ground for displaying his ambitious
nepotism in its proper field,--the duchy of Urbino. This, his
prevailing weakness, had met with many disappointments. No opening
occurred for its exercise in the direction of Naples. Parma and
Piacenza had passed from his grasp, by reluctant surrender to a
professing ally. But, worst of all, his favourite brother Giuliano,
the object in whom centred most of his schemes, had been removed
by death on the 17th of March, not without surmise of poison from
the jealousy of his nephew Lorenzo.[*262] Although his great
popularity favoured the ambitious views which were thrust upon him
by the Pontiff, his mind lay rather towards elegant pursuits and
splendid tastes, than to such high aspirations. Indeed, the Venetian
ambassador, Capello, represents his dying request to Leo as in favour
of Urbino[*263]; but the Pope waived the discussion of a point upon
which his resolution was taken. Lorenzo, his successor in the papal
favour, was a much more willing, though less conciliatory, instrument
of his Holiness's designs.

[Footnote *262: Giuliano had certainly been ailing for months. His
death did not seem to have been unexpected.]

[Footnote *263: So does Giorgi. Cf. _Relazioni Venete_, 2nd series,
vol. II., p. 51.]

Lorenzo de' Medici was eldest son of Pietro, the first-born of
Lorenzo the Magnificent.[*264] He was born on the 13th of September,
1492, and his youth was passed amid many trials. His father, after
ten years of exile from Florence, had been drowned in the Garigliano,
in 1504, and, four years thereafter, his sister Clarissa's marriage
with Filippo Strozzi involved him in a second banishment. He was of
good person and gallant presence, endowed with a stirring spirit,
but destitute of generous or heroic qualities. Giorgi, another
Venetian envoy, even considered him scarcely inferior in cunning and
capacity to the redoubted Valentino. The government of Florence was
committed to him by Leo, on his uncle Giuliano being called to a
higher destiny, and feeling his advancement restrained by the prior
claims, as well as by the moderation of the latter, he is believed to
have removed him by poison; at all events he was immediately named to
succeed him as gonfaloniere of the Church.

[Footnote *264: Cf. VERDI: _Gli ultimi anni di Lorenzo de'
Medici duca d'Urbino, 1515-1519_ (Pietrogrande, 1905).]

This renewed outrage upon Francesco Maria's military rank,[*265]
and the death of the only individual of the Medici upon whom he had
any reliance, warned him of the approaching crisis in his fate. The
influence of Alfonsina degli Orsini in favour of her son Lorenzo
stimulated the Pontiff's projects, unwarned by a prediction of
Giuliano that, by following the courses of the Borgia, he would
probably suffer their fate. The immediate pretext, adopted for
outpouring the accumulated vials of papal wrath, was the Duke's
declining to march his troops into Lombardy under Lorenzo as
gonfaloniere, in consequence, as Giraldi informs us, of information
that his death was resolved upon should he trust his person within
his rival's power. Accordingly, Leo was no sooner returned to Rome,
than, affecting to consider this refusal, as the act of overt
rebellion by a subject against his sovereign, he issued a severe
monitory against his feudatory, summoning him thither to answer
various vague or irrelevant charges, one of these being the Cardinal
of Pavia's slaughter, of which he had already received no

     "Ragged and forestalled remission,"

on a report subscribed by Leo himself. Various diplomatic
functionaries at the papal court vainly interceded that he should
appear by attorney, instead of surrendering in person; and he
meanwhile garrisoned Urbino, Pesaro, and S. Leo. The Duchess Dowager,
whose arms had frequently received and fondled the infant Lorenzo,
while her husband's court sheltered the elder members of his house,
hastened to Rome as a mediatrix; but it was with difficulty she
made her way to the Pope's presence, and she obtained no mercy for
her nephew, nor protection for her own alimentary provisions out
of the duchy, his Holiness refusing to listen to any propositions
until the Duke had obeyed the monitory by appearing at Rome before
the 2nd of April. In consequence of his failure to do so, a bull of
excommunication went forth on the 27th, depriving him of his state,
and all dignities held of the Holy See, and absolving his subjects
from allegiance, on pain of ecclesiastical censures. By a gratuitous
exercise of malevolence, the papal influence was employed with the
King of Spain for confiscation of Sora, and his other patrimonial
holdings in Naples, thus visiting him with instant beggary. On the
18th of August, his dukedom and ecclesiastical baton were conferred
upon the unworthy Lorenzo, who, in the following month, was also
invested with the prefecture of Rome.

[Footnote *265: I do not see how this was an outrage. Francesco had
been already dismissed: see _supra_ 360. Besides, he had certainly
made overtures to the French. Cf. GUICCIARDINI, _Storia
d'Italia_, vol. XII.]

[Illustration: _Alinari_


_After the picture by Bronzino in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence_]

The value of political gratitude is strikingly illustrated in the
fact, that these outrageous measures were adopted, in a consistory
composed for the most part of creatures of the della Rovere family,
with the single dissentient voice of Cardinal Grimani, of Venice,
Bishop of Urbino, whose independence earned him an exile from Rome.
Nor was this the only painful lesson of the worth of courtier
fidelity now taught to that illustrious house. Even the civilities
of Bembo to the Duchess Dowager sank to a low grade, as he thus
acknowledges in a letter to Bibbiena of the 19th of April:--"The Lady
Duchess of Urbino, whom I visited yesterday (a duty which I, however,
very rarely perform), commends herself to you, as does also the Lady
Emilia. On these dames the Signor Unico [Accolti] dances attendance.
He is more than ever in the heat of his old passion, which he
declares now numbers five lustres and a half; and he has better
hopes than heretofore of at length obtaining the consummation of his
desires, having been asked by the Lady Duchess to _improvisare_, by
which means he trusts to move that stony heart to tears--at the
least. He is to rehearse in two or three days, and as soon as he
does so, I shall report to you: would that you could be here, as he
is sure to do it right well." It can scarcely be doubted that this
innuendo was meant to apply to the more exalted of these ladies.
Whether as a caustic sneer, or a current scandal, it comes ill from
such a quarter, and only adds a new proof of the poet's inordinate
conceit. Nor did it go unpunished, for we find such vain effrontery
thus lashed by Gandolfo Porrino, a contemporary satirist:--

     "In such affairs the palm he gives to one beyond all gold,
     Urbino's Duchess dowager, your cousin scarce yet old.
     Long at that court Lord Unico had paragoned her face,
     With words and pen, in wondrous phrase, to angels' matchless grace.
     Till, gazing on those saint-like eyes, while tears bedimmed his own,
     The secret of his passion thus he breathed to her alone:
     'All goddess fair! my love for thee all other loves exceeds,
     No Launcelot, no errant knight, its lightning course outspeeds!
     Prithee with me participate the boon that cannot cloy,
     And share in mutual confidence a bliss without alloy.'
     Unlike those artful hypocrites who evil speeches spurn,
     But wink at acts, the prudent dame thus answer did return:
     'Remember that we hapless wives must each their lord obey,
     Tyrant or kind, his dread behests we never may gainsay;
     Mine is the Duke, to whom your wish propose, should he assent,
     As well I wot, right readily your whim shall I content.'
     Confounded by her sarcasm the carpet-knight was left
     Poor victim of his vanity, of self-respect bereft."

The now inevitable war was opened by a simultaneous movement upon the
duchy from three several quarters. Renzo, that is, Lorenzo da Ceri,
accompanied by Lorenzo de' Medici and a powerful army, advanced from
Romagna; Vitello Vitelli marched upon Massa Trabaria; and, on the
12th of May, Gianpaolo Baglioni seized on Gubbio.[*266] The force
thus poured upon the state amounted to seventeen thousand foot,
above a thousand men-at-arms, and near two thousand light horse.
That which Francesco Maria could bring into the field numbered about
nine thousand men, and being averse to entail upon his subjects the
miseries of an unavailing struggle, he authorised their surrender,
excepting the citadels of Pesaro, Urbino, S. Leo, and Maiuolo, which
he garrisoned for resistance. His attempts to obtain the mediation
or support of foreign powers entirely failed. Their sympathy and
condolence were freely doled out to him, but none gave hope of
efficient aid, except Maximilian, whose promises, on this as on all
other occasions, proved quite worthless. It only remained to bow, as
his uncle Guidobaldo had done, before the storm, and await happier
times. On the 31st he sent off from Pesaro his consort, in an ailing
state, his infant son, and the dowager Duchess to their relations at
Mantua, with such valuables as they could transport in six or eight
vessels, and, speedily following them, he embarked at midnight and
reached that city in disguise.

[Footnote *266: Cf. PELLEGRINI, _Gubbio sotto i conti e
Duchi d'Urbino_, in _Boll. per l'Umbria_, vol. XI., p. 221. Gianpaolo
Baglioni da Perugia entered the Eugubine territory with 100 knights,
500 horse, and 3000 foot. The Duke wrote that he could not defend
Gubbio. On the 31st May the Consiglio was called together, and it
decided: "redire ad Romanam ecclesiam et sub regimine s. D.N."]

Pesaro, after an eight days' siege, capitulated on honourable terms,
in breach of which Tranquillo Giraldi, the commandant, was hanged
upon a vague accusation of bad faith. Urbino having, by order of its
sovereign, been surrendered without a blow on the 30th of May,[*267]
the community, on the 16th of June, sent deputies to kiss the Pope's
feet on taking possession of the state, in hopes of obtaining
relaxation of the interdict; but his Holiness raised it only for
such as adhered to the existing order of things. He committed the
government of the town to its new bishop, Giulio Vitelli, who
intrigued at all hands to induce the magistracy to follow the example
set them in other places, of petitioning his Holiness to give them
an independent sovereign, in order that the exaltation of his nephew
to the dukedom might seem a popular measure. On the 16th of June
the interdict was removed from all the duchy except S. Leo, which
alone held out; but, faithful to the proverb of hating him whom he
had injured, the Pontiff was deaf to all entreaties for restoration
to church privileges of his victim, who consequently remained in
hiding at Goito near Mantua, apart from his family, that he might
not involve them in excommunication, and giving out that he had fled
across the Alps, in order to baffle those who sought his life.

[Footnote *267: ZACCAGNINI has published an unknown poem
on this taking of Urbino. See _Un poemetto sconosciuto sulla presa
d'Urbino del 1516_, in _Le Marche_ (1906), An. VI., p. 145.]

The example of Guidobaldo kept alive his hopes of regaining his
sovereignty, as that Duke had done, by means of S. Leo. But ere he
could organise measures for a descent, he had the grief of learning
its fall. As there is always something of romantic adventure in
the surprise of a place impregnable by ordinary expedients, we may
dwell for a moment on the third and last successful leaguer of this
fortress. The garrison consisted of a hundred and twenty men, one
tenth of whom had fallen in its defence. After three months spent in
hopeless assaults, a Florentine carpenter, named Antonio, observing
from the opposite heights the absence of sentinels over one of the
most precipitous parts of the rock, attempted to make his way up the
face of it, sometimes aided by plants and bushes in the clefts, but
generally driving iron spikes into their crevices, and fastening
ropes, ladders, or beams, as he advanced. After four nights of this
perilous toil he reached the wall, which he found, as expected,
without defenders. Having reported the way accessible, a number of
light infantry were entrusted to his guidance, whom he ordered to
strip their headgear and shoes, and to strap upon their backs their
shields, swords, and hatchets. On the 30th of September, under cover
of a wet and foggy night, he conducted these safely to the summit,
accompanied by a drummer and four pair of colours. At daybreak,
an alarm was given from the watch-tower of an assault upon the
gate, towards which the besiegers had sent a party; and, whilst the
defenders hurried in that direction, Antonio, with some fifty men,
cleared the walls, displayed their colours, and beat to arms. Ere the
garrison had recovered their presence of mind, the gate was opened by
the escalading party to their comrades, and the place was carried.
The citadel was held for twenty-five days longer by a handful
of desperate men, but they at length surrendered to one Antonio
Riccasoli of Florence, who placed upon the castle a vainglorious
inscription, claiming for himself the genius of another Dedalus. The
fortress had been commanded by Sigismondo Varana, Count of Camerino,
the Duke's young nephew, assisted by an experienced captain of the
Ubaldini; and the good treatment experienced by the garrison gave
rise to a suspicion of treachery on their part, Sigismondo alone
being sent to Volterra as prisoner of war. Much of the Duke's
treasure was taken, and the loss of S. Leo proved a serious blow to
his interests.[268]

[Footnote 268: Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 906, 907, 928; Vat. Ottob. MSS. No.


     The Duke returns to his state--His struggle with the
     usurper--His victory at Montebartolo.

Meanwhile the fatal wars originating in the League of Cambray were
finally concluded, by a treaty offensive and defensive, between the
young monarchs of France and Spain, guaranteeing their respective
Italian possessions, which was signed at Nogon on the 13th of August,
and was followed by that of London on the 29th of October, to which
the Pope, the Emperor, Charles V., and Henry VIII., were parties.
A general pacification having been thus obtained, Francesco Maria
was further than ever from assistance in recovering his rights,
yet the moment seemed not unfavourable for a single-handed attempt
at asserting them. The numerous condottieri of all nations, thus
thrown loose without prospect of new occupation, offered him their
services on very easy terms, preferring employment on the credit
of eventual pay, with the chance of interim pillage, to a life of
listless beggary. The French and Venetians secretly favoured any
adventure which should rid their territories of such odious inmates,
and the Duke found no great difficulty in mustering, by the beginning
of the year, three thousand eight hundred infantry and six hundred
light horse. He placed the latter under his wife's cousin, Federigo
Gonzaga, Marquis of Bozzolo, a young man who singularly mingled
the staid wisdom of a veteran commander with the jovial manners of
a free companion, and was thus equally the confidential adviser
of his general, and the idol of his men. He had also become a
personal enemy of Lorenzo, from having been deprived by him of the
command committed to him by Giuliano de' Medici. This motley army
was composed of tried soldiers, but was deficient in the material
for a sustained campaign, notwithstanding the Duke's great exertions
and sacrifices, by borrowing money at all hands, and by selling his
wife's valuables, to provide for it the most necessary munitions.
Before taking the field, he, on the 17th of January, addressed to
the Sacred College, and publicly placarded, this earnest protest and
vindication of his measures, which, although prolix, is an important

     "Most reverend and respected Lords: I have ever flattered
     myself that the long persecutions, which exposed me to so
     many perils, have not lost me your Reverences' favour,
     nor rendered you personally hostile to me; indeed, I
     feel assured that you have always looked upon me with
     compassion, and pitied my misfortunes. Nor did I enjoy,
     amid such adversities, any consolation more efficacious
     than my conviction that your Sacred College considers me in
     nowise worthy of such persecutions. But, as I always have
     been, am, and shall through life continue, your most humble
     and obedient servant, I hold myself bound to account to
     you for every action, and to defend myself from whatever
     imputations my enemies may have made to your very reverend
     Lordships, in whom repose all my hopes of protection.

     "I presume that you have heard of my new enterprise against
     my own state, dictated, not by any desire to disturb,
     embarrass, or molest the interests of the Church, but
     rather by a wish to commit my life upon the hazard of the
     war, trusting that God will so direct its issue as that
     my innocence, so known to his divine providence, may be
     equally manifested to all the world. And in this assurance
     I proceed, not rashly or presumptuously, but aware that
     neither my resources, which are at present next to nothing,
     nor those of the most potent monarch, would suffice to
     resist the might of his Holiness, supported as he is by
     all the sovereigns and powers of Christendom; relying,
     moreover, on Almighty God, the King of kings, who can, and,
     as I hope, will, aid and defend me in this calamity, since
     He, to whom the hearts of men are open, knows that I have
     no other expedient left for my peace or life itself. After
     having betaken myself to the illustrious Lord Marquis, my
     father-in-law, at Mantua, and placed myself in a sort of
     voluntary imprisonment; after having lost my fortresses,
     and nearly all my worldly possessions; and having even
     made up my mind to promise his Holiness not to make any
     attempt upon my state, or disturb his nephew, to whom he
     had given it,--my sole wish being to live; still, so far
     from obtaining a relaxation of the censures, other and
     harsher interdicts were constantly issued against me, with
     positive injunctions to my distinguished father-in-law not
     to harbour me in his territory. Nay, I daily discover plots
     against my life by poison or the dagger; which, however, I
     attribute not to my Lord his Holiness, convinced that his
     clemency and goodness are irreconcilable with so ardent a
     thirst for my blood, and such perfidious ingratitude for
     the numberless benefits which, setting aside more remote
     recollections, he and all his house received from myself,
     when in straits similar to what I now endure, but rather to
     my enemies, who, in effecting my ruin, bring infamy upon
     his Holiness, and think thus to force me to flee for my
     life into Turkey.

     "Compelled, then, by these considerations, I have set
     forward towards my own home, in the belief that, even
     should my death ensue, infamy never can; and in the
     conviction that, if it was right for his Holiness, whilst
     living as a cardinal in honour and dignity, to occasion
     the cruel sack of Prato, in order to regain those rights
     of citizenship from which he had been outlawed, it will be
     far more justifiable in me, an outlaw, not from one city,
     but from all Christendom, and deprived, not merely of my
     temporal dignities, but almost of the means of subsistence,
     the sacraments of the Church, and the intercourse of
     mankind, by a persecution which directs at once temporal
     and spiritual weapons against my station, life, and
     soul;--it will, I say, be justifiable for me to attempt
     my restoration to the state, of which, in the opinion of
     my own people, and of all men except his Holiness, I am
     the legitimate sovereign. I therefore supplicate your
     most reverend Lordships, by the pity due to such as have
     blamelessly fallen into misfortune, that you will deign to
     afford me protection, falling upon some means or expedient
     for mitigating the Pontiff's feelings; seeing I cannot but
     think that your influence, his own natural goodness, and my
     innocence must break down that obduracy which the unjust
     lips and guileful tongues of my adversaries have raised
     towards me in the mind of his Holiness; for, to regain
     his favour, there is no submission or endurable penance
     that I would refuse. And, should I not be deemed worthy of
     such compassion, you, my very reverend Lords, may at least
     condescend in silence to favour my cause with your best
     wishes and thoughts, and efficiently to recommend me to
     the unfailing bounty and justice of God. If my success be
     as signal as I hope, I shall stand indebted to your most
     reverend Lordships, believing that the Almighty has heard
     your reasonable desires, and extended his protection to me
     through your merits. Or, on the other hand, should my puny
     force not be overborne by the weight of the papal power,
     backed by spiritual weapons, it will be a palpable miracle,
     and proof sufficient that my innocence, though on earth
     condemned by men, will be cleared in Heaven by a higher
     and more equitable Judge. And so, ever kissing humbly your
     Reverences' hands, I commend myself to your favour. From
     Sermene, the 17th of January, 1517."

The narrative of Giraldi[269] is a safe authority as to many details
of this enterprise, his uncle Benedetto having been an officer much
in the Duke's confidence. We, therefore, venture to extract the
harangue which he puts into the mouth of Francesco Maria, before
marching from Sermene, not, of course, as his verbatim address to his
followers, but as containing the understanding on both sides of their
respective obligations.

[Footnote 269: Vat. Ottob. MSS. No. 3153, f. 115.]

     "'Soldiers and Comrades, I have assembled you here, in
     order that you may fully learn my mind and intentions, and
     that I may know yours. I therefore acquaint you that I have
     arranged with your leaders, who have promised, and bound
     themselves by articles, to accompany me into my state of
     Urbino, and to re-establish me in my home, and to maintain
     me there during life, indifferent to pay or remuneration
     beyond such as I may be able to give,--I confiding to them
     my state and person, in reliance upon your good faith. I
     now wish to know if you are all agreed to follow me in this
     enterprise; and, should this be your pleasure, I desire
     from you an oath never to abandon me on any contingency
     that may occur, and that, in case of being forced to
     quit me by the pressure of events without completing our
     undertaking, you will oblige yourselves to return to this
     place as a rendezvous, and, further, that you shall not
     desert me for any offers or bribes of the enemy. Avowing to
     you at the same time that, at this moment, I have not above
     a ducat a-piece to give you, I nevertheless feel confident
     our gains will be great, unless fortune be more than
     adverse; and I promise that all the booty will be yours,
     and that I shall be your comrade, never sparing my life
     while it lasts. If you accept these my terms, you must all
     swear to observe them; otherwise I shall not move from this
     territory of my brother-in-law.' Whereupon they all, with
     extended hands, took an oath never to abandon him during
     life; and so they set forth in the name of God, on the 17th
     of January, led by Federigo di Bozzolo."

The Pontiff was taken at unawares, for, believing his enemy utterly
crushed, he made light of such warnings as had reached him of a
contemplated movement against the duchy; but now that the expedition
was matured, he knew well the slight hold which the usurper had upon
the affections of his nominal subjects. Nor was he more at ease as to
the inclinations of his new allies in Lombardy, whose stipendiaries
had thus suddenly turned their arms against him. His anxiety was in
no way diminished by the representations of his confidential friend
Bibbiena, who, actuated perhaps by some lurking kindness for the
house of Urbino, urged him to abandon the Borgian policy he had in
hand, until such persuasions were silenced by the threatened poignard
of Lorenzo. Ere effectual precautions could be adopted in Romagna,
Francesco Maria had rallied round him eight thousand infantry and
fifteen hundred horse, most of them veterans, and with these he
marched about the middle of January. Passing Rimini, where his
rival lay "sorely perplexed and bewildered" (to use the phrase of
Minio, the Venetian envoy), he advanced under every discouragement
of an inclement season, his men wading through snow to the middle,
and swimming frequent-swollen torrents. From the secrecy of his
preparations and the poverty of his resources, his commissariat was
altogether inadequate; but, on reaching his frontier, the refusal of
Gradara to submit afforded his men an excuse for compensating their
privations by its sack.

His subjects had been prepared by emissaries for a general revolt.
On the 1st of February, Count Carlo Gabrielli raised the cry of
"Feltro! Feltro!" at Gubbio, and it was enthusiastically responded
to through the smaller towns. On the 5th, the Duke was within a few
miles of Urbino, then held by Bishop Vitelli, with a garrison of
two thousand men, who, distrusting the inhabitants, summoned their
militia to muster at S. Bernardino, and closed the gates as soon as
the city had thus been cleared of its able-bodied men, refusing to
readmit them on pain of instant death. The excluded citizens vented
their indignation at this trick, in threats and abuse of the garrison
from under the very walls, which at length provoked a sortie of
four hundred infantry in order to disperse them. At this juncture,
a squadron of one hundred cavalry, sent on by Francesco Maria under
Benedetto Giraldi of Mondolfo, for the purpose of supporting the
expected rising in his favour, arrived three miles below Urbino, and,
whilst breathing their horses, heard that the enemy were abroad.
Benedetto immediately left his little force in charge of his brother
Annibale, and rode on with but five officers to reconnoitre. The
adventure which followed, equally worthy of a bold knight-errant and
a Christian soldier, must be told as in the Dialogue of his nephew
Tranquillo. "Coming suddenly upon the detachment, about half a mile
from the town, Benedetto exclaimed, 'Look there! as these are the
first of our master's foes we have fallen in with, it would surely be
a shame to let them get back to the city without a taste of us: I am
therefore resolved to make a dash at them, and if you will follow me,
by God's grace we shall have the first victory.' This said, he rushed
into the midst of them, with vizor up and lance in rest, overthrowing
many by the shock. His weapon having broken, he performed prodigies
with his sword, and, aided by his followers, who had not shrunk
from his summons, the enemy's leaders were slain, and their whole
battalion dispersed in panic through the fields, where most of them
were put to death by the excluded townsfolk, who had mustered at
the first alarm. I, too, came up with our squadron, in time to cut
off a good many of them; but I had little cause to congratulate
myself upon that success, for, passing near my brother [Benedetto],
he said to me, 'Annibale, I am killed.' Whereupon, looking towards
him, I observed a cut in his face, and told him to fear nothing, as
face wounds were not mortal; but he replied, 'It's worse than that,
for I am run through the body by a pike.' At these words my heart
seemed riven asunder; yet, in order not to alarm him, I desired him
to cheer up, and commend himself to God Almighty, and to the most
glorious Mother of the Saviour, and to vow his armour and horse to
Loreto, adding that I too would offer a housing worth twenty-five
ducats. 'I am content,' answered he, 'to give this horse, a gallant
Turkish charger bestowed upon me by the Marquis of Mantua, along
with these arms; but I have only one favour to ask of the Saviour
of mankind, which is, that he will permit me to live long enough to
confess myself.' As he said this an Observantine friar, who had on
former occasions confessed him, came up, and, after thanking God
for having heard his prayer, he summoned the monk, and returning
to Cavallino confessed himself. There being no surgeon at hand, a
gentleman of Mantua named Stigino cleansed the wound by suction, and
ascertained that the bowels were not pierced, which afforded me much
hope. I sent for many surgeons. The first that arrived was Maccione
of Fossombrone, who dressed the wound with charmed bandages, a thing
that much displeased my brother; and for conscience-sake he refused
to be doctored in that way, until persuaded by a friar, who assured
him there was no sin, seeing that there had been no diabolical
incantation used; and, being told of numerous miracles effected by
these cloths, he submitted to them, and ere long was restored to

The sally-party from the garrison having been repulsed by Giraldi's
squadron, aided by a considerable force from Gubbio, Fossombrone,
and Sinigaglia, which just then most opportunely appeared, they
found little safety by returning to quarters. The citizens still
within the walls rushed to arms, even the women and children showered
missiles on the retreating soldiery, and the Bishop, dispirited by
the disaster, capitulated next day. But being seized with a panic,
his garrison withdrew ere their safe-conduct was signed, and were
beset by the infuriated troops and inhabitants, who attacked them on
every side with arms, bludgeons, and stones, slaying or capturing
them to a man. The Duke thus entered his capital, and was welcomed
with demonstrations of joy, only equalled by those which, fourteen
years before, had hailed his uncle's return in similar circumstances.

As it was no easy task to restrain an army so composed from reaping
the spoils of victory in a way opposite to wishes and the interests
of Francesco Maria, he lost no time in employing them against Fano,
a town which, not belonging to his state, might with less scruple
be abandoned to plunder. The assault, however, miscarried through
Maldonato, a Spanish captain, whose treasonable correspondence with
Rome began already to be intercepted, and was ere long exposed.
After this check, the troops were dispersed among the villages,
until the inclement weather should pass; their head-quarters were at
Montebaroccio, a very strong position midway between the upper part
of the duchy, which acknowledged its legitimate sovereign, and the
cities of Pesaro, Fano, and Sinigaglia, which were garrisoned by the
ecclesiastical troops.

Meanwhile the Pope, trusting to time more than the sword for ridding
him of an enemy destitute of all resources, had directed his nephew
to leave them an open field, until his preparations for their
destruction should be complete. He hastily called upon the Emperor
and the Kings of France and Spain for assistance, whilst Lorenzo was
mustering the ecclesiastical and Florentine militia, under Guido
Rangone of Modena, Renzo da Ceri, and Vitello Vitelli. No expense
was spared from the papal treasury to raise an overwhelming force,
and Lorenzo borrowed 50,000 golden florins from his fellow-citizens.
Charles contributed four hundred Neapolitan lances, and Francis
promised three hundred more, on condition of the surrender by Leo
of Modena to his ally the Duke of Ferrara. By these means was
levied an army of fifteen to eighteen thousand infantry, a thousand
men-at-arms, and at least as many light cavalry, with fourteen pieces
of artillery.

The Lord of Urbino appears to have looked without reason for
reinforcements from Venice,[*270] but Minio mentions that his army
now consisted of twelve thousand foot, and that he had received a
money subsidy from an unknown quarter, probably his father-in-law,
the Marquis of Mantua. Yet his position was in all respects critical.
In an enterprise depending on prompt success, each hour lost was the
enemy's gain. His present life of bootless and bootyless inaction
disgusted his Spaniards, who not only murmured, but, unmindful of
their vow of service, began to desert to the ecclesiastical camp,
attracted by superior pay. Worst of all, the enthusiasm that had
enabled Guidobaldo to win back his state for a brief interval,
now languished in the cause of his nephew, whose coup-de-main
had failed, and whose resources were inadequate to a prolonged
struggle, the burden whereof must fall upon his loyal subjects. In
these circumstances, he resorted to an expedient which relieved the
dull incidents of a petty campaign by one of a novel and romantic
character. Hoping to bring the war to a speedy issue, he sent Suares
de Lione, a Spanish officer, and his own Secretary, Orazio Florido,
with the following instructions, and message to his adversary:--

     "As it is creditable to a prince warring for any cause,
     to endeavour that his object should be effected with the
     least bloodshed and injury to the country, especially
     if it be his intention to become its sovereign, and as
     I conceive that the Lord Lorenzo must share in this
     sentiment, I have devised an expedient most convenient
     to both of us. For if he desire the acquisition of this
     state as ardently as appears from the late and present
     campaign, he will be delighted to satisfy that longing
     promptly, and without further burden to its inhabitants, by
     putting to the test his own bravery and that of his troops.
     I therefore empower you, Captain Suares and Orazio, to
     challenge him forthwith to combat in any place he likes;
     four thousand men against four thousand, or three, two, or
     one thousand, or five hundred, or one hundred, or twenty,
     or four, or any smaller number he may choose, provided he
     and I are included,--all to be on foot, with the usual arms
     of infantry; or lastly, if he will fight me alone with the
     readiest arms, so much the better, that thus, by the death
     or imprisonment of one of us, the victor may obtain the
     most satisfactory solution of his wishes, and relieve the
     lingering suspense of not a few.

     "Relying on the courage of his Lordship, and many about
     him of not less honourable pretensions, that these so
     reasonable proposals will be received with pleasure, I
     shall await your return, promptly to prepare for whatever
     alternative he may accede to. I limit the answer to three
     days; adding that, if he prefer fighting in considerable
     numbers, he may do so with three hundred picked men of the
     light cavalry, armed with lance, sword poignard, and mace.
     Or, if none of the aforesaid conditions please him, which
     I cannot believe possible, remember to offer that, if he
     will engage with these three hundred light horse, and all
     my infantry, he may have the advantage of five hundred or
     a thousand foot beyond what I can bring into the field,
     equally armed. And the present memorandum you will deliver
     into his Lordship's hands."[271]

[Footnote *270: It was against Venice that Leo had first, in March,
1517, tried to get help.]

[Footnote 271: Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 1023, f. 141. It has been printed
by Leone, p. 222.]

This step, natural to a gallant soldier of almost desperate fortunes,
with neither means nor inducement for a prolonged struggle, could
have no recommendation for his opponent, now at the head of an
overwhelming force, backed by the papal treasury and the united
arms of most European powers. Lorenzo felt nettled at a proposal
which it would have been folly to accept, but which could scarcely
be declined without incurring a slur; and, after answering that he
could entertain no such cartel until his challenger had evacuated
those places which he had forcibly seized, his temper showed itself
by arresting its bearers, notwithstanding their safe-conduct.
The Spaniard was speedily released; but the secretary was sent
to Volterra or Rome, to be disposed of by the Pope, where, with
revolting treachery and meanness, he was subjected to imprisonment
and torture, in the hope of drawing from him the secrets of his
master, whose vigorous resistance Leo strongly suspected to be backed
by the French monarch.

The war was now carried on by manoeuvres and skirmishes, which have
no interest beyond the light they throw on the spirit of this unequal
contest. Among the reinforcements that flocked to the papal standard
was an undisciplined band which crossed the Apennines from Tuscany,
carrying fire and sword through the highlands of Montefeltro. The
Duke was unable to leave the low country exposed by marching in
person to the relief of his faithful mountaineers, but sent into
these defiles a squadron of light horse, who, falling upon the rabble
at unawares, amply avenged their excesses. On the 25th of March, the
inhabitants of Montebaroccio, having voluntarily admitted a body
of papal troops, were visited by severe retribution as a warning
to others; the place was sacked and burned by the Spaniards, seven
hundred men and fifty old women being put to the sword,--a repulsive
comment upon the Duke's boast, that though the walls of his towns
were held for others, the hearts they contained were all his own.
These partial successes turned the tide of feeling somewhat more
favourably for the della Rovere cause, and we learn from the Minio
despatches, that the war, unpopular at Rome from the first, now
occasioned great anxiety to the government, from the difficulty in
raising funds to continue it. The Pope retired frequently to his
villa at La Magliana, less from the love of field sports, than to
indulge his chagrin.[*272] Such were his straits for money, that he
deposited jewels in pawn with the Cardinal Riario, for a loan of 7000
ducats. This sum, with 5000 more, having been despatched to Pesaro
in a convoy of waggons, was captured by the Duke, and along with it
were found certain letters, written in name of his Holiness, advising
Lorenzo, in the event of any suspicion attaching to the Gascons in
his service, either to ship them at once for Lombardy, or to have
them summarily massacred. These missives, having been circulated
in the ecclesiastical camp, occasioned a prodigious ferment, and
it was with the utmost difficulty that Lorenzo, by denying their
authenticity, induced the French troops to remain under his command,
until an opportunity offered of conciliating them by the plunder of
Sta. Costanza.

[Footnote *272: "Gli pareva gran vergogna della Chiesa che ad un
duchetto basti l'animo di fare questa novità; e il papa tremeva, ed
era quasi fuor di sè." Cf. GIORGI, _Relazioni Venete_, 2nd
series, vol. III., p. 47.]

After many complicated movements in the lower valley of the Metauro,
attended with no decided advantage, and important only as having
enabled the youthful Giovanni de' Medici to flesh that sword which
soon after won him the laurels of a bright but brief career, the
papal army sat down before Mondolfo. The resistance of that small
town was encouraged by the state of the besiegers, and embittered by
their savage reputation. The Minio despatches of this date represent
them as suffering from a scarcity of provisions and a dearth of bread
and wine, adding that "the captured castles envy the dead, by reason
of the cruelties practised on the survivors." Its garrison consisted
of two hundred Spaniards and three hundred militia, so determinedly
supported by the inhabitants, that breaches opened during the day
were made up before morning, mines were met by counter-excavations,
and subterranean galleries were often scenes of death-struggles.
Provoked by this obstinacy, Lorenzo swore never to raise the siege
until he had razed the place to its foundations, put the males to the
sword, and handed over the women to the Devil's service. But in the
end of March, a few days after he had uttered this savage bravado,
his own career was arrested. Whilst, with more bravery than prudence,
he served a battery in the dress of a common soldier, a Spaniard, to
whom his person was known, marked him from the walls, and shot him as
he leaned upon a cannon to take aim. The ball took effect above the
left ear; and the wound extended down his neck to the shoulder.[273]
He was removed to Ancona, and for above a week continued in extreme
danger, refusing to be trepanned; but by the end of the month his
convalescence was complete.

[Footnote 273: This account is adopted by Leone, p. 230, by Sismondi,
and by Centenelle, Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 907. Baldi (Vat. Urb. MSS.
No. 906) and Guicciardini say that Lorenzo, having undergone much
personal fatigue at the battery, was walking away to repose himself
in a sheltered spot, when a bullet from the walls hit him on the
head, grazing his skull to the nape of the neck.]

The Pontiff "evinced extreme grief" at so untoward an accession to
the mishaps of this ill-advised and unlucky campaign. It had hitherto
been conducted by Renzo da Ceri and Vitellozzo Vitelli, who were
supposed to thwart the usurper from an apprehension that he might
become another Cesare Borgia. The Cardinal de' Medici, however,
attributed these successive miscarriages to the incapacity of Renzi,
and seriously complained to the Venetian envoy that, in consequence
of his reputation in the Signory's service, "we engaged him for this
undertaking, and don't perceive that he has effected anything. While
he commanded a small infantry force, he appeared never to be idle for
a day, yet, since he has been at the head of an entire army, he has
contrived to demean himself very ill, and to show that he is not a
man of great exploits." It will be curious to find this very officer
afterwards employed by the Cardinal when Pope, and fully bearing out
the mean opinion here expressed of him, when his present impugner had
the folly to instruct him with the defence of Rome itself.

Neither the dissatisfaction of his subjects nor the coldness of his
allies inclined Leo to abandon an enterprise which exhausted his
resources and bathed Italy in civil blood. Thundering forth a new
and more severe excommunication against Francesco Maria and his
abettors, he, on the 30th of March, despatched a cardinal legate to
the camp, under whose command things went from bad to worse. The
defence of Mondolfo was protracted with extraordinary resolution.
Even after a large space of wall had been thrown down by two mines,
the besiegers were kept at bay during ten hours of hard fighting,
whilst the women supplied missiles and coppers of boiling water, and
the priests, waving aloft their crucifixes, mingled absolution of
the dying with prayers for the survivors. This vain struggle against
fearful odds ended in an ill-observed capitulation, in defiance
of which the town was sacked and set on fire. Two incidents may
illustrate the undisciplined state of the troops. Before entering
the place, two Spanish and a Ferrarese soldier agreed to share
equally their respective booty. Whilst the Italian fought, his
comrades were plundering, and eventually refused to divide the spoil
according to stipulation, an evasion in which they were backed by
their countrymen. The Ferrarese, with permission of his officers,
challenged his faithless partners, and a ring, or rather square,
having been cleared, by tying together eight pikes, he sprang into
it, armed but with sword and half-shield, offering to fight them
both at once, a proposal which they prudently evaded by surrendering
a just portion of their plunder. After the town had capitulated, "a
wrangle arose between an Italian and a German about a flagon of wine,
the former raising the shout of 'Italy! Italy!' the latter responding
'Germany! Germany!' Whereupon the infantry came to blows, and many
were killed on either side; and when, at the peril of his life, the
right reverend Cardinal had well nigh quelled the fray, an Italian
struck a German captain on the head with his musket and killed
him. This made the fight rage fiercer than ever, and the Spaniards
having sided with the Germans, the Italians were routed, and all
their quarters pillaged, including those of Signor Troilo Savello.
The army remains divided and dispersed; most of the Italians are
departed, whilst the infantry have betaken themselves towards Fano,
and continue thus separated." It is curious to detect in these and
similar incidents[274] an undercurrent of national feeling, during
that dreary age when the Peninsula was torn into sections by communal
policy and dynastic ambition. Had that cry of _Italia! Italia!_ been
then raised by her leading spirits, with earnest good faith, apart
from individual ends, how different had been her after fate and
present attitude!

[Footnote 274: See above, p. 325.]

The legate, who thus, with difficulty and personal danger, averted
a general massacre, was the Cardinal Bibbiena, not de' Medici, as
accidentally misstated by Roscoe. After long employing his diplomatic
talents against his former friend, the Lord of Urbino, he now
compassed his final ruin by exertions of the camp, for which he was
less qualified. The mutinous _mêlée_ which he had witnessed prepared
him for the discovery, that moneys raised by extraordinary exertions
were ill-spent upon an army "thrice as numerous on pay-day as in
action." It was, therefore, to the commissariat and finance that
his chief attention was given; but, warned by the recent explosion
of national antipathies, he separated the quarrelsome soldiery in
various cantonments around Pesaro. The Italians garrisoned the
city and Rimini, the Spaniards were encamped on the adjoining
Monte Bartolo, the Germans lay on the middle of that hill around
the Imperiale palace, the Corsi (Dalmatians) occupied the foot of
it, and the Gascons bivouacked on the adjacent plain. The last of
these were in very bad repute at Rome; and finding themselves kept
for several weeks in that exposed situation, many deserted to the
della Rovere camp at Ginestreto, near Montebaroccio. After letting
slip an apparently favourable opportunity for striking a blow at
these disorganised troops, Francesco Maria subsequently did so by a
surprise, which we shall narrate in his own words, addressed next
morning to the Duchess.

     "To the most illustrious Lady, my Consort, my lady Eleonora
     di Gonzaga, Duchess of Urbino, &c.

     "Most illustrious Lady, my Consort,

     "Since the enemy took the field I have often wished to come
     to action, and have used my ingenuity for this object,
     little heeding their superiority to my brave band, both
     in men-at-arms and in infantry, but all to no purpose.
     At length, finding that his Reverence the Legate, Renzo
     di Ceri, Vitelli, and their other principal leaders had
     retired into Pesaro, with a host of men-at-arms, whilst
     about three thousand foot, with the light horse and
     the Gascon wings, lay on the road to Fano, the Spanish
     lansquenets and the Corsi, to the number of at least six
     thousand, being quartered in the Imperiale, there seemed a
     chance of having at them. Accordingly, at half-past eleven
     o'clock last night, on ascertaining their position, and the
     most effective mode of attacking it, I advanced at the head
     of my infantry and a detachment of cavalry. After passing
     the Foglia, I sent the latter to a certain spot in the
     plain, and, leading the rest by the hill-side to the summit
     of the Imperiale, I charged the enemy about two hours after
     daybreak, and, by God's grace and the gallantry of my men,
     routed them ere they could form, killing, and taking many.
     So sudden and vigorous was our onset over the rocks on the
     seashore, that they were unable to gain their houses; and,
     as we drove them with great loss over the hill, they were
     intercepted below by my cavalry, so that between the two
     few escaped. Some of the officers made their way into the
     church of S. Bartolo, and into the palace of the Imperiale,
     where they attempted to fortify themselves, but with a few
     of my people I soon captured them all. We followed the
     fugitives with great slaughter to the very gates of Pesaro,
     the garrison of which, at least five thousand strong, would
     neither support nor admit them, whilst the Gascons, though
     witnessing the rout and drawn up in battle array, equally
     withheld succour. Thus, without loss, we remained masters
     of their camp, their colours, many prisoners, and all their
     officers but two who were killed; and I, having taken up my
     quarters here, hasten to inform your Excellency of these

     "But I must not omit to tell your Ladyship how, three days
     since, as Signor Troilo Savello, on his march from Rome
     with fifteen hundred foot and some horse, was avoiding the
     outpost at Sassoferrato, and attacking my castle of Sta.
     Abonda, he was routed and rifled by a couple of hundred
     infantry and a few cavalry from my garrison at Pergola, and
     scarcely escaped being himself taken. In Montefeltro, too,
     several incursions of the Florentines have been repulsed;
     and between Massa and Lamole seven hundred of them, who had
     taken post on a hill and in a very strong pass, were well
     beaten and driven out of it by a hundred of my people.

     "I wished to give your Ladyship all these particulars,
     that you may share with me the encouragement they afford
     us. The favour which God has this morning vouchsafed us,
     and for which our gratitude is due, gives me hope that
     the justice of my cause will be daily advanced by new
     successes; and so to your Ladyship do I commend myself:
     from my joyous camp near Genestreto, 6 May, 1517.

     "_Consors_, FRANCISCUS MARIA DUX URBINI, &c. _ac
     Alme Urbis Prefectus._"[275]

[Footnote 275: Vat. Urb. MSS., No. 1023, art. vi.]

To this spirited despatch little remains to be added. The assailants
ascended from the Rimini side, leaving below a strong body of horse
to cut off the fugitives. The troops being discouraged by the absence
of Maldonato's Spaniards, who had straggled behind, and by the late
hour at which, owing to blunders of their guides, they reached the
mountain, the Duke encouraged them with assurances that the chances
of success were greatest after daybreak, as the sentinels would
be less on the alert; and for an omen of victory, and a badge to
distinguish them from the enemy, he desired them to twine oak twigs,
emblematic of his name, round their headgear. He led their file in
person; and after a complete victory was left with eight hundred
prisoners on his hands, besides the entire camp equipage and much
booty. Next day the Gascons, who had not shared in the rout, came
over in a body to Francesco Maria, headed by Monsieur d'Ambras, who
returned to the court of Francis I., after publicly declaring that
he would no longer permit his men to be sacrificed by officers that
could neither protect them nor annoy their enemy, but would leave
them under a prince whose tactics and discipline were a pattern even
to his foes. This secession did not, however, prevent his master
bolstering up the papal policy by loans of 100,000 livres Tournois
to Lorenzo, and half that sum to the Pontiff, a course condemned by
Sismondi in his French history.


     Continuation of the ruinous contest--The Duke finally
     abandons it--Death of Lorenzo de' Medici--Charles V.
     elected Emperor.

About this time a serious conspiracy against Leo was discovered. The
prime mover in it was Alfonso Petrucci, Cardinal of Siena, whose
property having been confiscated, and his family ruined by the
Pontiff, he burned for revenge, and induced one Battista, a famous
surgeon of Vercelli, along with the Pope's valet, to enter into his
views. Leo being ill of fistula, it was arranged that Battista,
who had procured recommendations as a skilful operator, should
introduce poison into the dressings. The plot was revealed in time,
and the Pontiff used every art, with promises of reconciliation and
renewed favour, to entice the principal culprit to Rome. Having
with difficulty effected this, he imprisoned him, along with his
brother-cardinals Raffaello Riario and Bandinello Bishop of Sauli,
along with the captain of the Sienese troops. Cardinal Alfonso was
secretly put to death; the surgeon and the valet were publicly hanged
and quartered; Sauli, condemned to perpetual imprisonment, was
liberated but to die; while Riario, after purchasing at a high rate
restoration to his escheated dignities, spent the brief remainder
of his life in voluntary exile. Cardinals Soderini and Adriano of
Corneto (the latter of whom held the sees of Hereford and Bath, and
was papal collector in England), having confessed in open consistory
their privacy to the plot, escaped from Rome. The former was saved
by chancing to ride out to the chase on a mule, instead of going as
usual in his litter, which followed at some distance, and was seized
by the guard in consequence of his scarlet robe being left in it,
whilst the culprit, in a simple chaplain's dress, fled to the Colonna
strongholds. A mystery which hung over the fate of Adriano has been
partially cleared up by my friend Mr. Rawdon Brown from the Sanuto
Diaries, wherein it appears that he safely reached Venice through
Calabria, and that the occasion of his unaccountable disappearance
was a journey to the conclave on Leo's death, not his flight from
Rome in the present year, as stated by Guicciardini, Valeriano, and

[Footnote 276: Vat. Urb. MSS., No. 907, f. 28, 30. The Minio
despatches are full of details of this conspiracy unknown to Roscoe.]

Thus baffled in the field, and betrayed in the consistory, Leo found
a great effort necessary. On the 20th of June he wrote a letter to
Henry VIII., which has been published by Rymer, representing, in
vague generalities, and abusive terms, the outrages committed against
the dignity and temporal dominion of the Church by relentless robbers
and adversaries, and enjoining him to contribute assistance, in the
way to be orally explained by the bearer, a predicant friar named
Nicholas.[277] He also made renewed instances with his other allies
for more efficient aid against his contumacious vassal in Umbria, and
sent to levy six thousand Swiss. In order to raise money for these
new expenses, he, on the 26th of June, created thirty-one cardinals,
thus at once filling his treasury with the price of their hats, and
surrounding himself by chosen adherents. Nor did he omit still more
profligate expedients. He had repeatedly profited by Maldonato's
perfidy in the Urbino war, and now offered him 10,000 ducats, with
the dignity of cardinal to his son, if he would deliver up Francesco
Maria alive or dead.[278]

[Footnote 277: Rymer, vol. IV., p. 135. On the 21st of December
Lorenzo de' Medici had written to thank the King of England for his
good wishes conveyed through the Bishop of Worcester, then resident
at Rome. See a curious letter of the following June, from Wolsey to
the usurping Duke, Appendix VI.]

[Footnote 278: Centenelle, Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 907.]

After the affair at Imperiale, the Papal troops keeping close in
their garrisons, Francesco Maria had recourse to a partisan warfare
of sallies and surprises, which greatly harassed them, but did
not give sufficient employment to his own somewhat unmanageable
levies. He had now ascertained from intercepted letters the full
extent of Maldonato's treason; but, ere he ventured upon making an
example, he thought it well to put his troops into good humour by
a foraging expedition, which should also free his own state from
their burdensome presence. Gian Paolo Baglioni, Lord of Perugia,
had, during the whole campaign, been in the field against the Duke
with three thousand men, and his relation and rival Carlo, exiled by
his intrigues from that city, besought Francesco Maria's aid for his
re-establishment. No proposal could have been more opportune, and the
Duke drew all his forces towards the vale of Tiber.

But his army, disorganised by the intrigues of Maldonato and one
Suares (not the bearer of his cartel), broke out into tumult at
Cantiano, clamouring for pay or pillage, and both of these officers,
heading the mutiny, insulted and threatened their general. In this
predicament, his adherents quickly collected from the neighbouring
villages some money, church plate, and other valuables, which brought
the refractory troops into better humour; and the opportune news of
considerable booty having been obtained beyond the frontier, by the
advanced guard of Gascons, induced them to move upon the Pianello di
Perugia. The Spanish troops whom the Duke had brought from Lombardy
consisted of two battalions, that of San Marco under Maldonato, and
that of Verona under Alverado. The disaffection was confined to a
portion of the former, and had for some time been detected through
intercepted correspondence of their officers. On the march through
the Apennines, Francesco Maria gradually prepared their comrades of
Verona for the vengeance he had in store for the traitors. When all
was ready, he halted on a small plain, and, whilst the surrounding
defiles were being occupied by his staunchest adherents, he formed
the Spaniards into a square, with their officers in the middle, whom
he thus addressed: "Gentlemen and Captains! You are aware how I
entered this country under your protection, and how, in committing
myself into your hands, on your promise never in life or in death to
abandon me, I relied upon your long-established reputation that you
never had betrayed any of your leaders. I now, however, find that
some among you seek miserably to sell me, and so for ever stain your
honourable name; and this I presently shall prove, if you think fit,
with the double object of saving myself from assassination and you
from disgrace, but on condition that you shall at once take such
steps as you deem best adapted to rescue me from pressing peril,
and yourselves from lasting contumely." This harangue, falling upon
well tutored ears, was answered by shouts of "Death to the traitors!
reveal them at once!" Proofs were then read that Maldonato had
engaged to slaughter the Duke and Federigo del Bozzolo, for the
bribe of a life-pension to himself of 600 ducats, an episcopal see
to his son, and double pay during the whole campaign to his troops.
There is said to be a standard of honour among thieves; that of the
Spaniards was piqued by this melodramatic impeachment of their truth,
and the opportune discovery of further treasonable documents in the
baggage of Maldonato's mistress exasperated them to fury. That craven
captain threw himself at the feet of Francesco Maria, whom he had
recently insulted, and prayed for mercy; but the latter withdrew
from the square, saying that he left the affair to the soldiery. A
cry then arose, "Let the faithful officers come out!" They did so,
leaving eight whose names had been denounced, and who were instantly
massacred by the troops. Thus was the army saved from destruction by
the coolness and decision of its leader, and the companies of San
Marco and Verona, purged from the imputation of perfidy, were from
that day embodied in a single battalion.

Having so happily scotched the vipers that endangered his safety, the
Duke of Urbino made his descent upon Perugia. After a short siege,
during which he extended his forays as far as Spoleto and Orvieto,
spreading alarm to the gates of Rome, that city capitulated on the
26th of May, receiving Carlo Baglioni as its master, and paying a
ransom of 10,000 scudi, which Vermiglioli, the biographer of Gian
Paolo, alleges the latter, with the bad faith usual in that age,
to have shared, although the money had been raised from his own
adherents. The same authority now estimates the Duke's army at twelve
thousand men, with which it was his intention to make a diversion
into the Florentine territory. But hearing that the Legate had taken
the field, he hurried back across the Apennines, though too late
to save Fossombrone and La Pergola. His wish of engaging the enemy
having been foiled by their retreat into Pesaro, he had recourse to
his former tactics of removing the seat of war from his own state,
and turned his arms against the more wealthy towns of the Marca. Many
of these, including Fabriano, Ancona, and Recanati, compounded for
exemption from military violence, by paying seven or eight thousand
ducats each. Corinaldo was saved by a well-timed sally, but Jesi,
contrary to the wish of Francesco Maria, was sacked by his Spaniards,
to whom his orderly and methodical way of laying the country under
contributions, and pillaging only the refractory, was far from

The lesson he had given to these free lances appears for a time
to have borne fruit, and the following report by Minio, of a
conversation with the Pontiff, affords honourable testimony to their
steadiness, whilst it exhibits very graphically the character of the
contest at this juncture. "I afterwards inquired of his Holiness if
he had any news? He told me Francesco Maria was encamped under a
castle named Corinaldo, situated in the Marca, and that infantry had
been detached from his Holiness's army for its defence, so he hoped
not to be disappointed; a trust wherein I think the Pontiff will
be deceived, as he was regarding the other places. I said to him,
'It is a good sign, his inability to make any further progress, and
merely laying siege to a few inconsiderable castles;' and to this
his Holiness rejoined, 'He does it to raise money, as he did by the
other places.' He then told me that Don Ugo de Moncada had been with
the Spaniards, but was unable to make any settlement; adding, with an
air of surprise, 'I was willing to give them three arrears of pay,
yet they did not choose to come away, but despatched a friar to say
that should I undertake an expedition against the infidels, they are
willing to accept this offer, and serve.' I answered, that if so,
they were willing to fight against the infidels on the same terms
for which they now served Francesco Maria against the Holy See! The
Pope evinced little hope of an agreement with these Spaniards. On my
observing, 'The Viceroy [Don Ugo] has quitted Naples, we know not
wherefore, unless it be to come to your Holiness's assistance,' he
replied, 'They do say they are coming to aid me;' and then continued,
with a smile on his lips, 'See what a mess this is! The French
suspect these Spaniards of playing them some trick, and the Spaniards
fear lest the French, through Francesco Maria, should attack them in
the kingdom of Naples.' In order to elicit something more, I said
that I deemed it mere suspicion on either side; and he replied, 'It
is so.' I next asked how his Holiness stood with the Swiss? and he
answered, 'We shall have the Grisons, but the Cantons have not yet
decided, though they were to do so in a diet; at all events, I shall
have some, and I have sent them the pensions they required of me.'"
On the 14th of July, two days after this despatch, Minio reports that
Don Ugo had been dismissed by the Spanish troops, drawn up in three
fine battalions, with the following reply: "That they did not intend
to desert Francesco Maria, unless war were waged [by him] against
their most Catholic King, or some attempt made to occupy the kingdom
of Naples, or unless his Holiness shall commence hostilities against
his most Christian Majesty; in any other event they meant to keep
their faith to Francesco Maria, and would in no respect fail him."

From various passages in the same envoy's despatches, it is clear
that these jealousies, though here ridiculed by Leo, were shared by
himself in a high degree: his own policy being generally hollow and
Machiavellian, he looked for no longer measure of good faith from
his allies. Ever since interest had been made at Bologna by Francis
I. in behalf of the Duke of Urbino, the Pontiff regarded him as at
heart adverse to all nepotic schemes upon that principality; and, at
this particular juncture, suspicion was strengthened by a variety
of circumstances, singly of little moment. Among these, were the
retention by his Holiness of Modena and Reggio; the apparent slight
of passing, in the late wholesale distribution of cardinal's hats,
over Ludovico Canossa, who, while legate in France, had gained the
King's affections, more perhaps than was approved at the Vatican;
the dilatory advance of those French lances long since promised
to Lorenzo de' Medici; but most of all the adherence to the della
Rovere banner of the Gascons, who owed at least a nominal allegiance
to the French crown. Influenced by these doubts, and the apparently
interminable expenses of this miserable and mismanaged contest, the
Pope so far lost heart, about the end of July, as to hint at an

The Duke of Urbino's next move was to repeat at Fermo his Perugian
policy of restoring an exiled faction, by expelling Ludovico
Freducci, then head of the government, who after a gallant struggle
suffered a complete rout, with the loss of six hundred slain. The
Duke then directed his march upon Ascoli, but was recalled by
learning the approach of two thousand Swiss to reinforce the papal
troops. Hurrying to intercept them, he by forced marches suddenly
appeared near Rimini, where he found that, simultaneously with their
arrival, M. de l'Escu had at length brought up his three hundred
French gens-d'-arms, with instructions from Francis to arrange,
if possible, some issue to this unhappy war. Nor was the Legate
disinclined to the proposal, for the Pontiff had been playing a
ruinous game, which disgusted his allies, alienated his subjects, and
drained his treasury.

An interview was, therefore, held at the monastery of La Colonella,
between the Duke, Cardinal Bibbiena, and the French captain. A
guarantee of 10,000 ducats of income in any residence he should
select was offered to Francesco Maria, if he would resign his state.
But he declared himself ready to die rather than so to sell it
and his honour, avowing, however, that if the Pope were resolved
to deprive him of his sovereignty on account of the Cardinal's
slaughter, he would abdicate in favour of his infant son, and carry
his army to Greece, to fight for the recovery of Constantinople. When
negotiations had been thus broken off, as described by Giraldi, the
smooth-tongued churchman, nothing abashed by the contrast of their
early familiarity with their present circumstances, invited him
to partake of a splendid collation. This he courteously declined,
and retired to breakfast with l'Escu, answering the Cardinal's
remonstrances by a jesting but pungent remark, that "priests kill
with wine-cups, soldiers with the sword." The Duke making somewhat
minute inquiries as to the Swiss reinforcements, the Legate
laughingly asked, "if he destined for them such a supper as he
provided for the Germans and Spaniards at the Imperiale"; to which
he rejoined, "And why not, if they are my foes?"[279] Nor was the
taunt lost upon him. Next night he led his men through the Marecchia,
and surprised the Swiss levies who were quartered in S. Giuliano,
a suburb of Rimini beyond that river. Notwithstanding a gallant
resistance, they were driven into the stream, with severe loss on
both sides, whilst Francesco Maria, after receiving a ball in his
cuirass, dexterously withdrew from his perilous position, under cover
of the smoke raised by a vast funeral pile, on which he left the
bodies of four hundred slain, amid a mass of combustibles. He now
resumed his projects of carrying fire and sword into Tuscany, and
reached the Upper Vale of the Tiber at Borgo S. Sepolcro, but, for
want of artillery, was unable to do anything against the fortified
places. The Duke's whole policy in this protracted and inconclusive
warfare has been severely blamed by Roscoe, and there can be no doubt
that, in his circumstances, rapid and aggressive tactics were most
likely to succeed. Had he, by a series of uninterrupted advantages,
maintained the impression made at his first onset, or had he risked
all in one engagement when his enemies had been daunted by Lorenzo's
severe wound, it is clear, from the Minio despatches, that Leo might
have been frightened into fair terms, at a moment when treason
was rife even within the Sacred College. The like result would,
perhaps, have been attained with greater certainty, had he, instead
of harassing his own territory and La Marca with an exhausting
civil war, carried his arms at once across the Apennines, and, by
threatening Siena or Florence, made it a question whether the Medici
were to lose Tuscany or gain Urbino. But we shall have ample reason,
in other instances, to perceive that procrastination was more
natural to him than energy, and, in the present case, delays for a
time appeared injurious to his enemies rather than to himself. It is,
however, fair to admit that, whilst his biographers continually claim
for him anxiety to bring on a decisive action, even the prejudiced
Guicciardini never accuses him of having evaded one.

[Footnote 279: These anecdotes are preserved by Baldi, to whom, and
to Minio Centenelle and Giraldi, we owe many new details of this
campaign. Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 906, 907; Ottob. 3153.]

A general feeling gained ground that this weary and wasteful strife
was approaching its close. The Duke's mercenaries, seeing no
prospect of their pay, which was contingent on complete success, and
dissatisfied with their limited opportunities for pillage, began to
look out for some more profitable engagement. Their most Christian
and most Catholic majesties had also combined to bring the struggle
to a conclusion, by recalling their respective subjects from the
army of Francesco Maria; nor did the Spaniards think it a disgrace
to entertain tempting offers for their secession from a cheerless
enterprise. Three of their captains accordingly went to Rome, on the
6th of August, apparently with his sanction, and offered for 60,000
ducats to place the whole state of Urbino in the hands of these two
monarchs, for their award as to which competitor should be preferred.
The Pontiff at first made a show of entertaining this proposition, in
so far at least as regarded the duchy proper; but this was probably
a pretext for gaining time until the arrival of four thousand
lansquenets, whom he expected from the Emperor. Accordingly, on the
14th, in an audience with Minio, he denounced these terms as "the
most brutal possible, nor could Francesco Maria send to demand of
me what he does, were he the Grand Turk, and encamped at Tivoli!
He wants us to give him up the places we hold, namely, Pesaro and
Sinigaglia: see, by your faith, what notions he has! We really
desired this agreement, that we might attend to the Turkish affairs,
but these people are indeed elated and brutal." The like opinion
prevailed at Rome, and the imperial ambassador deprecated the
arrangement to his Holiness as disgraceful. It was therefore rejected
after some delay; nor was it until the papal court had taken new
alarm, on the Duke's movement into Tuscany, that the Spaniards were
bought off by the auditor of the treasury, who had been sent for the
purpose to their camp near Anghiari. He was met by the Duke, with
his faithful partisan di Bozzolo, and the Spanish captains. After a
protracted discussion, the former went forth, moved almost to tears,
exclaiming, "It is impossible for me to accept these terms." In his
absence it was agreed that the duchy should be given up to Lorenzo,
and that the Spaniards should accompany Don Ugo de Moncada towards
Naples, after receiving 50,000 ducats, under an obligation to serve
in reinstating Lorenzo in Urbino, if called upon to do so.

On hearing these stipulations, Francesco Maria had an altercation
with the Spanish captains, which ended in his riding over to the
quarters of his other adherents, who yet remained faithful, and who
were with difficulty dissuaded from falling upon the renegades. An
idea now entertained, of making a last stand in the highlands with
that residue, was soon abandoned, for similar influences were at work
on them. But, mindful of their solemn obligation not to quit the
field until victory had crowned their enterprise, they resolved to
retire with honour intact. The Gascons, accordingly, by the mediation
of l'Escu and Guise, obtained from the Pontiff not only an exemption
from their engagement, but such a capitulation for the Duke of
Urbino as he might, with due regard to his dignity, accept. In order
to persuade the latter to such a course as circumstances rendered
necessary, the entreaties of his friends were added to the pressing
instances of Don Ugo and the French generals. The French and German
troops, after receiving 25,000 ducats, were to fall back upon Milan,
leaving him safely at Mantua; but the Italian soldiery appear to
have shared no part of this golden harvest.

The conditions obtained for Francesco Maria were as follows:
Plenary absolution for himself, his family, and adherents, from
ecclesiastical censures; permission to him and them to retire where
they pleased, and to take any service except against his Holiness;
leave to remove all his private property in arms, artillery, and
furniture, especially his MS. library; the enjoyment of their
usufructuary rights to the dowager and reigning Duchesses; a general
amnesty and exchange of prisoners, including Sigismondo Varana. This
convention was accepted by his Holiness on the 16th of September, and
it fell to Bembo's lot, as papal secretary, to affix his signature
to what he, perhaps, persuaded himself were favourable terms for his
former friend and benefactor.

The conduct of the Spaniards was regarded with universal contempt
and disgust. As they withdrew towards the Neapolitan territory, a
formidable band four or five thousand strong, the men of Gubbio stood
on their defence, but those of Fabriano, less alert, were surprised
and pillaged to the value of 2000 scudi. "But if the wretches sinned
at Fabriano, they did penance at Ripatrasone; for, in trying to sack
it also, many of them were slain, and the survivors were taken to
Gerbe, in Africa, where they nearly all died,--some from drinking too
much, some from drinking too little. The former by great good luck
were drowned, and the latter, marching through that country in the
parching summer heats, with water scarce, and no wine, perished of
thirst; so that they had better have followed the Duke to marvellous
enterprises and mighty gains, rather than have left to the world a
degraded name." There is something quaint in the concentrated rancour
wherewith Giraldi thus dismisses these selfish adventurers; and not
less so in the following rustic memorial. Grateful for their escape,
comparatively scathless, from perils which nearly menaced them, the
people of Maciola, a village two miles from Urbino, placed in their
church a votive picture to the Madonna, which is still inscribed with
these simple verses:--

     "A horrible war [raged] in the state of Urbino,
     In fifteen hundred and seventeen,
     [With] many troops brave and chosen
     Led by the Duke Lorenzino,
     When Francesco Maria into his duchy
     Was returned, with capital troops,
     Spaniards, Mantuans, and other clans,
     Each one a paladin in arms;
     Urbino then, and all the district,
     Being in great peril and dread.
     Oh, Virgin Mother! ever kind to us,
     Often did the host approach our walls,
     And God alone it was who defended them:
     Therefore has been dedicated to thee this image by thy worshippers
     Of Maciola, with their grateful vows."

In the war thus concluded, Francesco Maria struggled for eight
months, single-handed and penniless, against the temporal and
spiritual influence of the Holy See, backed by all the continental
powers. Unable to carry his object by a coup-de-main, he was in
the end vanquished by the superior resources of his oppressor.
In a parting address to his subjects, he assumed the tone of
victory, asserting that he withdrew, not under compulsion, but from
consideration of their interests, which a prolonged struggle must
have deeply compromised. Thus retiring with honour, he promised to
return to them with glory, when he could do so without detriment to
their welfare. He was escorted by l'Escu as far as Cento, whence he
rejoined his family at Mantua, presenting his consort with sixty-four
standards, taken during this brief and unequal campaign, wherein his
talents had been developed, his character strengthened, his fame

We have dwelt somewhat minutely--it may be tediously--upon these
events, for the contest was one of vital moment to Francesco Maria,
his duchy being at once the theatre of operations and the guerdon
of victory. Yet this petty war was pregnant with results of wider
interest; for the enormous drain of money it occasioned so aggravated
the financial difficulties of the papacy, as to bring to a crisis
those abuses which finally matured the Reformation. The Minio
despatches abound in proofs of the desperate state to which the
treasury was reduced, and of the simoniacal expedients resorted to
for ready money. One of these may be noted as compromising Bembo,
who so often re-appears in these pages. He and Sadoleto had, since
Leo's accession, monopolised his private brieves, which afforded
them a handsome return, from gratuities and bribes, to the exclusion
of the other papal secretaries. Now, however, the latter offered to
their needy master a purse of 25,000 ducats, if admitted to share
the spoils, which was greedily accepted, without regard to vested
interests; and his Holiness was delighted to find the purchase-money
of his ordinary secretaryships thereby raised at once from 6000 to
7000 ducats each. The imposition of one tenth laid on the clergy,
avowedly for the proposed Turkish crusade, was absorbed by this
Urbino campaign, which was thought to have cost the Holy See thirty
thousand men, and a million of scudi. Even Henry VIII. was applied
to for a loan of 200,000 ducats, which he characteristically evaded
by offering 100,000, on condition of levying for himself the clergy
tenths. But let us take the Pontiff's own statement, volunteered
to Minio:--"See, by your troth, what a business this is! The war
costs us 700,000 ducats; and we have been so ill served by these
ministers, that worse cannot be imagined: this very month we had to
disburse 120,000. When we commenced the war we had some few funds,
which we had not chosen to touch, but the Lord God has aided us. We
should never have thought it possible to raise 100,000 ducats, and
we have obtained 700,000; see how astonishing this is! Had we deemed
it possible to obtain 700,000 ducats, we would have undertaken the
expedition against the Turks single-handed."

       *       *       *       *       *

But where was the minion for whom all this crime and misery had
been perpetrated? From Ancona he paid a brief visit to the Vatican,
on his way to Florence, where he slowly recovered from his severe
wound, only to plunge deeper in debaucheries more congenial to his
degraded character than the privations of military life. He was
never named during the rest of the contest, but as soon as it was
over he met his uncle at Viterbo, where, and in the neighbouring
country, the papal court passed most of October in field sports. His
hard-won sovereignty seems to have afforded him little satisfaction
or interest; but in the following year he became an instrument
for the further promotion of his uncle's ambition. His marriage
having been negotiated through Cardinal Bibbiena to Madelaine de la
Tour, daughter of Jean Count of Boulogne and Auvergne, a relation
of the French monarch, the titular Duke of Urbino proceeded to
Paris in the spring of 1518, for the double ceremonial of his own
nuptials, and the Dauphin's baptism, at which he stood sponsor on
the 25th of April, as proxy for the Pontiff. Both these events
were celebrated with much festive merriment in the gay capital of
France, and the young couple were overwhelmed by splendid dowries
and wedding-gifts by the Pope and the Monarch. But their bridal joy
was of brief duration. The Duchess died in childbed on the 23rd of
April following, and was followed to the grave five days after by
her husband, who expiated with his life the dissolute vices in which
he had continuously indulged. Their child survived to be a scourge
of the Huguenots, in the person of Catherine de' Medici, wife of
Henry II. of France, mother of Francis II., Charles IX., and Henry
III.,--in the last of whom the line of Valois and the descendants of
Duke Lorenzo became extinct.

Hearing of Lorenzo's desperate state, the Pope despatched Cardinal
Giulio de' Medici to maintain at Florence the supremacy of his
house. The titular dukedom of Urbino passed, in terms of the
new investiture, to the infant Catherine; but the territory was
unceremoniously seized by his Holiness, notwithstanding the wish
of its inhabitants for restoration of their legitimate sovereign.
Montefeltro, with S. Leo and Maiuolo, was assigned to Florence, in
security or compensation for 150,000 scudi said to have been advanced
in the late war, and the remainder of the duchy was annexed to
the Church. The walls of its capital, whose loyalty to its native
princes amid all their reverses is finely commemorated in the current
appellation of _Urbino fidelissimo_, were thrown down, and its
metropolitan privileges transferred to Gubbio, which had shown itself
less devoted to the della Rovere interests.

       *       *       *       *       *

We may here mention the fate of Gian Paolo Baglioni, known to us,
in 1502, as one of the confederates of La Magione, who, in the
quaint words of an unpublished chronicle, escaped the violin-string
of Michelotto at Sinigaglia "to fall into the pit which he had
digged." We have more lately seen him, in 1517, buying off Francesco
Maria from the city of Perugia, with a bribe shared by himself, and
have at the same time alluded to the broils there raging between
various members of his family. These it would be beyond our purpose
to follow; but they were attended by a series of bad faith on his
part, and of suffering on that of the people, which gained for him
the merited title of tyrant of Perugia. Less, perhaps, with the
intention of vindicating the latter, than of liberating himself from
a talented and unscrupulous vassal, who, long accustomed to rule
supreme in that city, ill brooked and scarcely yielded that obedience
to the Holy See which Julius II. had imposed on him in 1506, Leo
summoned Gian Paolo to Rome in 1520, with amicable professions. There
he arrived on the 16th of March, and next day sought an audience of
the Pontiff in S. Angelo, the gates of which were immediately closed
upon him as a state prisoner. After he had lingered for some months
in mysterious durance, unconscious of the charge brought against him,
a plan was formed to liberate him, disguised as a woman who visited
the castellan; but at that juncture the Pope, who, according to the
gossip of a contemporary diarist, had dreamt at La Magliana of a
mouse escaping from a trap, sent a summary order for his execution,
which took place secretly on the 11th of June.

The singular good fortune which accumulated coronets and crowns
on the brows of Charles V., until he found himself sovereign by
inheritance of a large portion of Europe, here demands our notice.
The Emperor Maximilian had, by Mary, daughter and heiress of Charles
the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, a son Philip, who predeceased him in
1506, after marrying Joanna, daughter and heiress of Ferdinand
and Isabella of Aragon and Castile. Joanna being disqualified
by mental imbecility, the united crowns of Spain devolved, on
the death of Ferdinand in 1516, to her son Charles, who already
held the Netherlands through his grandmother, Mary of Burgundy.
As representative of the house of Aragon, he was also sovereign
of Naples and Sicily; but the former crown required the papal
investiture, which Leo was loath to bestow, partly with a vague
hope of reserving it for one of his own race, partly from aversion
to the establishment of a new line of foreign rulers in the Italian
peninsula. On the death of Maximilian in January 1519, without
having formerly received the imperial crown, his grandson, Charles,
stepped into Austria, as his natural heritage, and sought still
further aggrandisement by offering himself candidate for the throne
of Germany. Little as the balance of power was then comprehended in
European policy, this young monarch's rapid acquisitions called forth
many jealousies. Francis had a double motive for standing forward
as a competitor for the empire;--the dignity was flattering to his
gallant character and ambitious views, and he grudged it to a younger
rival, whose overgrown territory already hemmed him in on every side.
Leo, at heart disliking them equally, as ultramontane sovereigns
formidable to Italy, on the ruins of whose freedom were based the
successes of either, sought to play them off against each other, so
as to weaken and embarrass both. But in spite of these intrigues,
Charles was elected emperor on the 28th of June, 1519, when but
nineteen years of age.

The Pope had covertly supported the claims of Francis, with whom he
intended some ulterior combination for expelling the Spaniards from
Lower Italy. But the accession of strength which their sovereign thus
acquired gave Leo an excuse for changing sides, an evolution grateful
to his faithless nature. The struggle was once more to be made in
Lombardy, and, as Charles was bent upon wresting the Milanese from
his rival, the opportunity seemed tempting of recovering Parma and
Piacenza for the Church by his means. To men in the Duke of Urbino's
desperate position, any convulsion would be welcome, as offering the
chance of better things. The impression left by his biographers, that
he maintained a cautious neutrality in the contest thus opening,
is disproved by some documents in the Bibliothèque du Roi, which
establish him as a retained adherent of the French monarch.[280]
One of them is an undated draft of articles proposed by him, his
nephew Sigismondo Varana, Camillo Orsini, the Baglioni, and the
Petrucci, as conditions of their entering the service of Francis,
with the usual pay and allowances. They stipulated for his constant
protection and support in the recovery of their respective states,
and for the restoration of various allodial fiefs claimed by them
in Naples, as soon as Francis should, with their aid, regain that
kingdom. Francesco Maria, finding it necessary to quit the territory
of his brother-in-law Federigo, now Duke of Mantua, who had been
named captain-general of the ecclesiastical forces, and to surrender
the allowance of 3000 scudi, hitherto made by him for the Duchess's
maintenance, asked a pension of equal amount from his new ally,
together with 1500 scudi in hand, to meet the expense of removing
his family to a place of security, probably Goito. He accompanied
these overtures with a plan for very extended operations upon Central
Italy, whereby, with the assistance of Venice and Genoa, armaments
by sea and land were to be directed in overwhelming force, at once
against Tuscany and the Papal States. The result of this negotiation
does not appear, but the only one of its provisions which seems to
have taken effect was the Duke's pension, for which he writes thanks
to the French Monarch from the camp of Lautrec on the Taro, the 27th
of September, 1521. Giraldi mentions that he suddenly quitted the
French service in consequence of a slight from Lautrec at a council
of war, and he appears then to have retired to Lonno on the Lago
di Guarda. From that lovely spot he watched the course of events,
until the wheel of fortune should bring round his turn. The ladies
of his family meanwhile lived in great seclusion at Mantua, and on
the 19th of July, 1521, the dowager Duchess writes him, that she
and his consort frequented the convents, soliciting from the nuns
their prayers that God would direct his counsels, and vouchsafe
the fulfilment of his wishes.[281] As the strife approached, these
distinguished ladies withdrew to Verona. Upon its progress we need
not dwell. By his oppressive sway Lautrec had rendered the French
name odious at Milan, and when the confederate army approached its
walls, bringing with them Francesco Sforza, second son of Ludovico
il Moro, and brother of Maximiliano their last native sovereign, the
people hailed them as liberators, and expelled their foreign masters.

[Footnote 280: MOLINI, _Documenti di Storia Italiana_, I.,
pp. 122, 135.]

[Footnote 281: Oliveriana MSS. No. 375; I., pp. 51, 75.]


     Death of Leo X.--Restoration of Francesco Maria--He
     enters the Venetian service--Louis XII. invades the
     Milanese--Death of Bayard--The Duke's honourable reception
     at Venice--Battle of Pavia.

News of the evacuation of Milan by the French reached Leo X. at
his hunting-seat of La Magliana, five miles down the Tiber from
Rome. Though not quite well, he hurried to his capital on the
24th of November, to witness the bonfires and rejoicings at their
discomfiture, and on the morning of the 1st of December was found
dead in bed.[*282] The mystery attending this sudden death of one in
the prime of life has never been cleared up. Suspicions of poison
were rife at the time, and have not been removed; they point at
the Duke of Urbino or of Ferrara, whom he had grievously outraged,
or at Francis I., whom he recently disgusted, as its probable but
undetected author. In absence of tangible accusation or tittle of
evidence, it seems needless to repel such a charge from Francesco
Maria, especially as other accounts impute the Pontiff's dissolution
to malaria fever, to a severe catarrh,[283] to debauchery, or even
to excessive exultation at the joyful news. So unexpected was the
event that there was not time to administer the last sacrament, a
circumstance which gave occasion to this bitter epigram, in allusion
to the notorious venality of church privileges during his reign:--

     "Why were not Leo's latest hours consoled
     By holy rites? such rites he long had sold."[284]

[Footnote *282: He seems to have received the news at La Magliana
on November 25th. He returned to Rome at once. The illness was not
considered serious till November 30th. He died on the evening of
December 1st. Cf. PARIS DE GRASSIS, in ROSCOE, _Leo X._, App.
CCXII.-IV., and clerk's letters of December 1st and 2nd, in BREWER,
_Calendar_ (1824-5).]

[Footnote 283: Such is the opinion of a monkish chronicler who wrote
in 1522. Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 1023, f. 297. Even in 1517 the Venetian
envoy Giorgi reported him as afflicted by an internal plethoric
disease, a catarrh, and fistula. Vettori discredits the rumours of
poison, and Guicciardini says they were hushed up by his cousin the
Cardinal, lest they should give umbrage to the French monarch, with
whom it was his interest to stand well at the approaching conclave.
On the whole, the opinion of most weight is that of the Master of
ceremonies, who distinctly asserts that poison was detected on a
_post-mortem_ examination. Roscoe's innuendo inculpating Francesco
Maria is a glaring proof of his aptitude to do scanty justice to that
Duke, whose admitted hastiness of temper cannot, in absence of one
contemporary or serious imputation, be considered any relevant ground
for suspecting him of slow and stealthy vengeance. Another Venetian
ambassador mentions, in proof of the utter exhaustion of the papal
treasury, from the profusion of Leo and the greed of his Florentine
retainers, that the wax lights used at his funeral had previously
served for the obsequies of a cardinal.]

[Footnote 284:

     "Sacra sub extrema si forte requiritis hora
     Cur Leo non potuit sumere? vendiderat."

     _Bibl. Magliabech. MSS._, cl. vii., No. 345.]

Tidings so momentous to Francesco Maria reached him when on a visit
to the Benedictine monastery at Magusano, on the Lago di Garda. He
had audience on the same day with Lautrec and Gritti, the French and
Venetian commanders, who bade him God-speed. Hurrying to his consort
at Verona, he there spent two days in consulting with such friends
as were at hand, and despatching courtiers to others, his resolution
being taken to strike a speedy blow for recovery of his state. The
impoverished finances of the papacy encouraged the attempt, and he
was quickly in communication with Malatesta and Orazio Baglioni, who
had been in like manner despoiled of Perugia. But before assuming
offensive operations, he commissioned a special envoy to lay before
the conclave a statement of his grievances, and a justification of
the measures he was about to pursue.[285] In two days more he reached
Ferrara, with the Baglioni, at the head of three thousand foot and
above five hundred horse. On the 16th he was at Lugo, where, and all
along his route by Cesena, numerous reinforcements poured in. "His
subjects," to borrow the words of Muratori, "desired and expected
him with clasped hands, because they loved him beyond measure for
his gracious government." Anticipating a renewal of his "Saturnian
reign," they, on his approach, flew to arms, threw the lieutenant of
Urbino out of the palace window, and welcomed him with the well-known
cry of "Feltro! Feltro! the Duke! the Duke!"

[Footnote 285: Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 921.]

Pesaro received him on the 22nd, after a slight hesitation as to
their relations with the Church; but the citadel was held by eighty
men, there being no artillery at hand to bring against it. In
absence of cannon-balls, it was carried by paper pellets thrown in
from cross-bows, on which were written offers of a thousand scudi
to the castellan, and twenty-five to each soldier. The terms were
accepted, and the money advanced by Alfonso of Ferrara. On the day of
the Duke's arrival there, a deputation from Urbino laid its homage
at his feet, and, being thus secure of his own subjects, he turned
to succour his friends. Taught by the lesson of three successive
pontificates, whose policy it had been to crush the feudatories of
Umbria, he saw the necessity of making common cause with such of
these as still maintained a precarious independence. He therefore
undertook the re-establishment of his nephew, Sigismondo Varana,
and of the Baglioni, ere he devoted himself to the consolidation
of his own authority. After two days' repose in Pesaro, he marched
by La Pergola to Fabriano, where, hearing that Sigismondo had been
cordially received at Camerino, he, on the 28th, turned towards
Perugia, and, by the 5th of January, had reinstated the Baglioni,
notwithstanding a spiritless resistance by their uncle Gentile, and
by the vacillating Vitelli. Contrary to his own judgment,--but, as we
shall presently see, by a happy chance,--he was induced to accompany
his Perugian allies with seven thousand men in a foray upon Tuscany,
for the double purpose of annoying the Medici, by whom Gentile was
supported, and of re-establishing Pandolfo Petrucci as tyrant of
Siena.[*286] When, however, he found no responding movement from
within, and that the army of Giovanni delle Bande Nere was hovering
in the neighbourhood, he withdrew to Bonconvento, and endeavoured to
gain credit for his forbearance by despatching to the magistracy of
that city the following oily missive:--

     "Most illustrious and most excellent Lords, much honoured

     "The true, ancient, and cordial friendship which has ever
     existed between your lofty republic and my most illustrious
     house, and the recollection I retain how invariably my
     distinguished predecessors have been united in special
     good-will with your city of Siena, induce me, being of the
     same sentiments, to follow in the steps of my said most
     eminent ancestors, resolving that there shall never be
     any failure on my part towards your noble commonwealth.
     And in order that your Excellencies may at present have
     some proof of this, I have, for the peace and order of
     your town, adopted the resolution which your envoys will
     comprehend from the tenor hereof, and which I feel assured
     cannot be otherwise than welcome and acceptable to you.
     I therefore pray you not only readily to give the like
     credence to what these envoys will tell you on my part, as
     you would to myself, but also to bear in mind the close and
     affectionate amity wherein I am most ready to persevere,
     nor on your side restrain or fall short of our wonted and
     long-established kindliness, increasing, and, if possible,
     extending it by an ampler interchange of charity; for you
     will assuredly ever find me prepared and ready to benefit
     and uphold your republic as much as your Excellencies could
     ever desire, to whom I offer and commend myself. From
     Bonconvento, the 15th of January, 1522.


[Footnote *286: Fabio, not Pandolfo Petrucci. The latter died at S.
Quirico, in Osenna, in May, 1512. Borghese Petrucci, his son, soon
became the "best hated man in Siena." Four years after his father's
death both he and Fabio were declared rebels. Leo X. put Raffaello
Petrucci in Borghese's place. Raffaello died in 1522, and then some
of the _Nove_ brought back Fabio, who had married Caterina de'
Medici, niece of the Pope. But after a rule of less than two years he
was again an exile. "Thus," says Ferrari, "the Petrucci returned to
their primitive obscurity." Cf. LANGTON DOUGLAS, _A History
of Siena_ (Murray, 1902), p. 212.]

[Footnote 287: From the Italian original in the Archivio Diplomatico
at Siena.]

In truth, the Duke's own affairs required his full attention, for the
power of the Medici, though shaken, was still formidable, and its
natural representative, the Cardinal Giulio, was influential in the
Sacred College, and almost sovereign at Florence. Francesco Maria
therefore observed a prudent neutrality, when the Bande Nere advanced
to support the claims of Gentile Baglioni upon Perugia. These, being
warned off the ecclesiastical territory by the consistory, turned up
the valley of the Tiber, and, passing the Apennines, made a descent
upon Montefeltro, where they plundered until the end of February,--an
outrage for which the Cardinal was greatly blamed, as a convention
had already been signed between him and the Duke for their respective
states of Florence and Urbino. Much light is thrown upon these very
complicated transactions by a careful examination of Castiglione's
letters. To his dexterous diplomacy that convention seems to have
been chiefly owing. He endeavoured to clench the reconciliation by
an engagement for Francesco Maria in the Florentine service, and a
marriage between Prince Guidobaldo of Urbino and Caterina de' Medici,
daughter of Lorenzo, and heiress of his pretensions. The failure of
this plan, from backwardness on the part of the Cardinal rather than
of the Duke, was, perhaps, fortunate for the intended bridegroom's
domestic peace; and the contending claims which it was meant to
solve never ripened into importance. The condotta had a better issue:
avowedly for but one year, it seems to have been intended rather to
neutralise a troublesome foe than with the idea of calling the Duke's
service into actual requisition. Indeed, although he was nominally
captain-general, with 9000 ducats of pay, besides 100 broad scudi for
each of his two hundred men-at-arms in white uniform (three mounted
soldiers counting as one man-at-arms), this was expressly their
peace establishment and pay, to be increased in case of war.[288]
Castiglione's success in these arrangements was facilitated by
his having confided to Cardinal Giulio a refusal at this time, by
Francesco Maria, of very flattering proposals from the French court,
and the same good offices extended to disabusing the Duke in the eyes
of Emanuel, the imperial ambassador, who, believing him committed to
Francis, was countermining his interests in the consistory, and with
the Cardinal.

[Footnote 288: Archivio Diplomatico of Florence, May 25, 1522.]

Whilst immersed in these transactions, the election in which he was
so deeply interested came suddenly to a conclusion, brought about
indirectly by his means. The choice of the conclave astonished
Italy, for it fell upon an ultramontane cardinal, unknowing and
unknown in Rome. Adrian Florent,[*289] a Fleming of humble birth,
was a man of mild temper, peaceful habits, and literary tastes. He
had been preceptor of Charles V., and held the see of Tortosa. This
selection so curiously illustrates the haphazard results, which
have not unfrequently baffled both policy and intrigue in papal
elections, that we may pause for a moment on the circumstances
alleged by Guicciardini to have brought it about. The Medicean party
had not strength, at once, to carry their Cardinal, in the face of
the old members of the College, who were adverse from introducing
the hereditary principle into their selection, yet hoped in time to
exhaust the patience or the strength of their seniors. But whilst
Medici and Petrucci were thus ingeniously devising delays, news
reached them of the Duke of Urbino's descent upon Tuscany, causing
them respectively to tremble for their supremacy in Florence and
Siena, and to question the policy of procrastinating at the Quirinal,
whilst interests so momentous were elsewhere in peril. In this
state of matters the Cardinal of Tortosa "was proposed, without any
intention of choosing him, but that the morning might be wasted;
whereupon his eminence of San Sisto, in an endless oration, enlarged
upon his virtues and learning, until some of the members beginning to
accede, the others successively followed with more impetuosity than
deliberation, whereby he was unanimously then chosen Pope. The very
electors could allege no reason why, at a crisis of such convulsions
and perils for the papacy, they had selected a barbarian pontiff,
so long absent, and recommended neither by previous deserts, nor by
intimacy with any of the conclave, to whom he was scarcely known by
name, having never visited Italy, nor had he any wish or hope to do
so."[290] The Roman populace resented a choice which they felt as an
insult, and as the cardinals emerged from durance, they were assailed
by execrations of the mob.[*291]

[Footnote *289: Adrian Floriszoon, the son of a ship's carpenter
named Floris. His education was chiefly theological; humanism had not
penetrated Louvain.]

[Footnote 290: Guicciardini, lib. xiv.]

[Footnote *291: This account of Adrian VI.'s conclave is inaccurate
and confused. Cf. CREIGHTON, _op. cit._, vol. VI., pp. 216-222. The
Duke of Urbino seems to have had no influence in the conclave.]

Francesco Maria had every reason to be gratified by an election
he had most unwittingly influenced, for the exclusion of Cardinal
Giulio was of vast importance to his interests, which must have
been seriously compromised by the nomination of a hostile pontiff,
at a moment when his affairs were in so precarious a juncture. He
accordingly lost no time in accrediting to Adrian VI. in Spain,
an envoy who pleaded his cause to such good purpose, that a bull
was issued on the 18th of May, reinstating him in all his honours,
including the prefecture of Rome, which, on the death of Lorenzo,
had been conferred upon Giovanni Maria Varana, uncle of Sigismondo,
whose state he had usurped under the sanction of Leo. Meanwhile his
respectful and judicious demeanour had obtained from the Sacred
College, before the Pope's arrival, an acknowledgment of his rights,
upon the following conditions, dated at Rome, the 18th of February.
"The Lord Duke of Urbino promises to accept neither pay, engagement,
nor rank from any prince or power, and to take service only with the
Apostolic See, should he be required; but if not called upon by it,
to attach himself to no party without leave and sanction from the
Pope, and the Holy See, as represented _ad interim_ by the Sacred
College. Also, he renews his obligation in future never to oppose
the papal state; and further, for due observance of these terms, and
more ample assurance of his Holiness and the Apostolic See, he binds
himself within one month to deposit his only son as a hostage, in the
hands of the Marquis of Mantua, captain-general of the ecclesiastical
troops. On the other hand, the Sacred College undertakes to defend
and protect the Lord Duke's person, as well as to maintain him in
peaceful possession of the castles, fortresses, cities, and towns,
held by him now or before his deprivation; and further, to use
influence with our Lord the Pope for his reinvestment in the same, on
the terms of his former tenure."[292]

[Footnote 292: These articles are to be found in the Archivio
Diplomatico at Florence.]

Nor was it only from the Medicean faction that the Duke's
tranquillity was threatened. Whilst his fortunes were yet in
suspense, he was warned by Castiglione, then diplomatic resident
at Rome for his brother-in-law the Duke of Mantua, that Ascanio
Colonna was agitating certain vague pretensions on the duchy of
Urbino, through his mother Agnesina di Montefeltro. The nature of
these claims, which were from time to time revived, is not very
intelligible. All authorities make Giovanna, wife of the Prefect,
older than Agnesina, wife of Fabrizio Colonna, both being daughters
of Duke Federigo. Thus, even supposing Francesco Maria's title
irretrievably annulled, by the deprivations he had successively
sustained from Julius II. and Leo X., if the old investitures did
confer any rights upon females, his nephew Sigismondo Varana,
grandson of Giovanna, would have excluded the Colonna. Ascanio's
intrigues were, however, neutralised by the dexterity of Castiglione,
and the influence of the Duke of Mantua, until Francesco Maria's
cordial reconciliation with the Church and the Emperor had rendered
his position secure.[293] Even the Medici thereupon refused to
promote the pretender's views, and his only adherent was Gian Maria
Varana, who, having within a few weeks succeeded in recovering
possession of Camerino, sought so to occupy the Duke of Urbino as to
prevent his espousing the cause of Sigismondo, its rightful lord.
The latter also looked for support to his wife's uncle, Cardinal
Prospero Colonna, whilst the interests of his competitor were backed
by Cardinal Innocenzo Cibò, his brother-in-law. But ere these
respective claims could be tested, they were sadly set at rest by
the death of "poor dear but ill-starred Sigismondo," as he is called
by Castiglione, who was set upon and slain on the 24th of June by
a band of assassins, whilst riding with five attendants near La
Storta. This foul deed, in accordance with the wild habits of that
age, and the fratricidal tendencies of the Varana family, was imputed
to Ascanio Colonna at the instigation of Giovanni Maria, uncle of the

[Footnote 293: However these pretensions may have originated, they
derived a _quasi_ warrant in 1525, from a conditional investiture of
the duchy for three generations, granted by Clement VII. to Ascanio
"in case it should happen to lapse to the Holy See," Agnesina being
there mentioned as eldest sister. Charles V. was vainly solicited by
Ascanio to render this condition eventual, or by some other means
to make good his possession, and the claim did not drop until 1530.
Nor was it the only one vamped up on account of Duke Guidobaldo's
unfruitful marriage. In 1505 the Prince of Salerno seems to have made
similar pretensions through his mother, a sister still younger than
Agnesina; and in order to dispose of these, Julius II. is said to
have offered him his own daughter Felice, a union which however did
not take place.]

When reassured of pacific and equitable measures, Francesco Maria
dissolved a defensive league for mutual maintenance, which he had
formed on the 4th of March with the Baglioni, Sigismondo, and the
Orsini, to which the Cardinal de' Medici was a party. The strongholds
of S. Leo and Maiuolo, however, remained till 1527 in the hands of
the Florentines, mortgaged for their advances to Leo in the late
war. During these complex negotiations, an offer from Lautrec of
service under the lilies of France was declined by the Duke, on a
plea of reserving himself for the disposal of his ecclesiastical
overlord. Nor was the opportunity he looked for long delayed.
Pandolfo Malatesta, on ceding to Venice his pretensions upon Rimini,
after being expelled therefrom by Duke Valentino, had accepted from
that republic the castle of Cittadella near Padua, with large pay
in their service. His son Sigismondo availed himself of the Pope's
absence, and the unsettled ecclesiastical policy, to surprise Rimini
and its fortress towards the end of May. The consistory hastily
mustered all their means to meet the emergency, and called upon the
Duke of Urbino as their vassal to take the field. His answer was that
without money he could do nothing. About the beginning of August
the _rocca_ was retaken by Giovanni Gonzaga for the Church; but the
place was not finally recovered till Adrian sent thither some Spanish
troops, when the people at length rose, and drove out the interloper,
whose cruelties had alienated all his supporters. In this paltry
fray the Duke appears to have lent some trifling aid, which the
Pontiff gratefully acknowledged in writing to Leonora on the 24th of
December. When it was over, he turned to the internal affairs of his
duchy, disorganised by the long and severe struggle of which it had
been the scene. In the spring of 1523 he brought home the ladies of
his family

     "Into their wished haven";

but of their once lively court we have little to record. Much had
occurred to chasten the naturally staid temperament of Duchess
Leonora. Retrenchment was imperatively imposed by accumulated
debts and dilapidated finances: the brilliant assemblage which had
frequented the saloons of Urbino seventeen years before was thinned
by death, scattered by dire events, alienated by ingratitude, or
seduced by newer attractions.

It was at this time that Pesaro seems to have become the permanent
residence of the ducal establishment, although the original capital
was frequently visited by its successive princes. Sanuto's Diaries
afford us glimpses of life at that court, in detailing the journey
to Rome of four Venetian envoys in March of this year. They arrived
on Good Friday, half dead of fatigue, fear, and hunger, having
ridden one hundred and twelve miles in two days, through wretched
weather and a plague-stricken country. The two Duchesses of Urbino
immediately sent them a pressing invitation to transfer their
quarters from the inn to better lodgings. This was about sunset, and
twilight had scarcely set in when both these ladies arrived in a fine
gilt coach, lined with white cloth and trimmings of black velvet,
drawn by four beautiful black and grey horses. They were suffering
from fever, the younger Duchess having risen from bed expressly to
visit the envoys, and apologise for a reception which, but for so
unlooked-for an arrival, would have been more conformable to their
wishes. Yet the apartment was tapestried from roof to floor, the beds
with gold brocade coverlets, and the curtains very handsome. Next
morning, after breakfast, the guests went to the palace to wait upon
the Duchesses, who met them in the fourth ante-room, whence, after
sundry ceremonies, they handed the ladies and their attendants into
the presence-chamber, newly done up with arrases, gilding, and a daïs
of silk. After conversing in an under-tone for three-quarters of
an hour, they retired with the like formalities. On Easter Sunday,
after vespers, they had an audience of leave, when the younger
Duchess, being very seriously indisposed, received them familiarly
in a bed-chamber so small that they could not all enter it, renewing
many excuses for their indifferent entertainment, in consequence of
the religious observances, and the recent arrival of the household
at Pesaro. On their return from congratulating the new Pontiff, the
envoys passed by Gubbio, where the Duchesses again surprised them by
a visit ere breakfast was over, attended by several lovely maidens.

The engagement which Francesco Maria had accepted, to command the
Florentine armies for a year, did not call him from this retirement;
it was important only as indicating an apparent reconciliation
with the Cardinal de' Medici, to which the latter was induced by
apprehension that he might have otherwise proved a formidable
opponent to his interest in a future conclave. After a somewhat
serious illness, the Duke repaired to Rome, to offer his homage on
the arrival of Adrian in Italy, and was honourably received and
formally invested with his restored dignities. He rode there escorted
by two hundred lances, and was lodged by the Venetian ambassador in
the palace of S. Marco. His late eventful history rendered him an
object of general interest, and he was universally admitted to have
borne his reverses with firmness, his successes with moderation.
To commemorate these, he adopted this device, invented for him by
Giovio,--a palm-tree, whose crest was weighed downwards by a block
of marble, with the motto, "Though depressed, it recoils." This
emblem of valour and constancy, which adversity could bend but could
not break, he bore upon his banner and trumpets, and frequently
introduced it in his coinage.

The repose of Italy was, as usual, of brief duration. Wearied of
those contests in which the ambition of France had for thirty years
involved the Peninsula, the leading powers began to regard Francesco
Sforza's maintenance in the duchy of Milan as their best guarantee
of peace. This policy was warmly adopted by the Emperor, interested
alike in the welfare of the Neapolitan territory, and in humbling
his rival Francis I. The result was a new confederation, to which
the Pope, the Emperor, Henry VIII., Venice, Milan, and Florence were
parties, but which brought on a general war, the very evil it was
intended to avert. Francesco Maria's condotta with the Florentines
being expired, he was named to succeed Teodoro Trivulzio, whose
supposed French tendencies occasioned his removal from command of
the Venetian troops. Those of the Church were committed to the
Marquis of Mantua, and Prospero Colonna was general-in-chief of the
League Lautrec and l'Escu[294] having been recalled, the Admiral
Gouffier de Bonnivet was sent into Lombardy to make good the title
of his master to the Milanese, whose daring spirit looked not beyond
the glory of encountering single-handed the armies of Europe. This
struggle, eventually so ruinous to Italy, so fatal to Rome, had
scarcely commenced ere Adrian was called from events which he was
in no respect fitted to direct. He died on the 24th of September,
1523,[*295] and was succeeded on the 19th of November by the Cardinal
de' Medici, as Clement VII., whose first act was an adherence to the

[Footnote 294: Odet de Foix, Seigneur de Lautrec, and the Seigneur de
l'Escu were both brothers of the chivalrous Gaston de Foix.]

[Footnote *295: He died on the 14th September. For details, cf. Duke
of Sessa's letters in _Bergenroth_, pp. 597, 599.]

Prospero Colonna did not long survive the Pontiff. From him, perhaps,
Francesco Maria adopted the over-cautious policy which marked his
military manoeuvres during the remainder of his life, and which
contrasts strongly with the dashing valour of his early career. For
this he has been severely blamed by Sismondi, and we shall see it
attended with very miserable results. Fortunately for the Duke's
fame, his reputation in arms had been firmly established before the
later and more important years of his military prowess arrived. Ere
the allies had completed their preparations, the French poured into
Lombardy, carried Lodi, and laid siege to Cremona. The Venetian
troops occupied the banks of the Oglio, where they were joined by
the Duke of Urbino, as soon as he had received credentials and
instructions from the senate; his own stipulated contingent, under
his lieutenant-general Landriano, having already effected a junction.

Machiavelli, ever prone to cast reflections on mercenary troops, has
remarked that the Republic lost her superiority from the time that
she extensively employed them. This, however, is but a partial view
of the case. By their means, backed by their maritime supremacy,
and by her matchless diplomatic system, she gradually extended
her mainland territory, in spite of the unmilitary genius of her
people, until jealousy combined nearly all Europe against her in
the League of Cambray. But there was another fault inherent in
the organisation of her armies. Dark suspicion was the permeating
principle of her policy. Each branch of the executive jealously
watched the others. Magistrates distrusted their colleagues; fathers
set spies upon their sons, husbands upon their wives; governors and
governed doubted their paid troops, or countermined their selected
generals. The senate accordingly sent with their stipendiary forces
commissioners instructed to watch, and empowered to control, the
leaders--a check necessarily inducing dissension, for, as Macaulay
has happily remarked, what army commanded by a debating club ever
escaped discomfiture and disgrace? Under the title of _proveditori_,
these official spies performed some of the duties belonging to
commissaries-general; and although this plan for controlling soldiers
of fortune, who owed little fidelity to the cause, and whose ruling
principle was usually self-interest, might seem the result of wise
precaution, it practically occasioned perpetual embarrassments, and
fomented personal quarrels, paralysing operations in the field. Such
an _imperium in imperio_ had in this instance its usual results.
Distracted councils and divided responsibility hampered free action,
and rendered abortive the best-laid plans.[*296] Throughout the long
war now opening, the system was pregnant with peculiar mischief, and
it ought to bear much of the blame of that dilatory inefficiency
which is charged against Francesco Maria. Thus the Proveditore Emo,
at the very outset of this campaign, prevented him from crossing the
Oglio to harass the retreat of Renzo da Ceri, who, after loitering
away two months before Cremona, was recalled to the siege of Milan.
The Duke, however, soon after advanced to the Adda, and during the
rigour of winter occupied his troops in fortifying themselves at
Martinengo, from whence they were enabled to annoy the enemy by
continual forays towards Lodi.[297]

[Footnote *296: As usual, Machiavelli is right. If the _proveditori_
had so bad an influence (and it was doubtless bad) the results should
have been earlier seen, for it was an old custom with that Republic.
Francesco Maria, whom Dennistoun rates so highly as a soldier, as we
have seen, was not more harassed by these spies than his forerunners,
Carmagnuola Colleoni and Sigismondo Malatesta. The custom rose out
of the decision to employ no citizen as a captain-general. Nor was
Venice alone in this practice; Siena and Florence followed it too on

[Footnote 297: Sismondi's strictures curtly express the judgment
pronounced upon Francesco Maria by those who follow, without
examination, the prejudiced narrative of Guicciardini. Yet, as
they are founded upon admitted defects in his generalship, it may
be well to lay them before the reader. "He was not deficient in
military talent, nor probably in personal courage, but, taking
Prospero Colonna as his prototype, he exaggerated his method. His
only tactics consisted in the selection and occupation of impregnable
positions; whatever his numerical superiority, he evaded fighting; no
circumstance, however urgent, could bring him to a general action;
and by his obstinacy in refusing to risk anything, he made certain
of losing all." But in estimating the commander we should not put
out of view the discouraging nature of the cause, which this author
elsewhere happily describes as a war without an object. *This applies
better to the petty wars of Central Italy at this time and in the
fifteenth century. Waged by paid captains, they may be said to have
been without an object, or rather with but one object--war itself.
One and all they ended in nothing, though here and there, as with the
Sforza, the condottiere managed to establish himself. There was not,
save in Florence, Milan, and Venice, a sufficiently strong economic
reason to cause a real war. Such as they were, these wars were due to
the greed of petty princes, in which the professional armies enjoyed
themselves (few being killed) in sacking towns and cities whose
inhabitants, altogether at their mercy, were the only victims. To
drag out the war and to avoid serious fighting as much as possible
were naturally the first objects of the average condottiere.]

The command vacated by the death of Prospero Colonna was conferred
upon Don Carlos de Lanoy, Viceroy of Naples, who arrived at
head-quarters in the spring, and, upon drawing together the
confederates from their winter quarters, found himself at the head
of about twenty thousand foot, and four thousand lances and light
cavalry. Among their leaders were the Constable de Bourbon, the
Prince of Orange, and Don Ugo de Moncada, with all of whom we shall
often meet during the next few years.

In the confederate army there were too many conflicting interests,
too many rival leaders; but it was the peculiar misfortune of the
Duke of Urbino to serve a power whose jealousy exceeded all rational
bounds. It was not without considerable persuasion that he obtained
of the Signory sanction to cross the Adda, and unite their troops,
amounting to twelve hundred horse and six thousand foot, with the
forces of the League. The first combined operation was directed
against Gherlasco, which Francesco Maria, though in command of the
rear-guard, was permitted to carry by assault with his own division,
being greatly aided by using explosive shells. From thence they
advanced to Vercelli, taking Trumello, Sartirana, and other places
by the way. This movement was intended at once to cut off supplies
from the French army posted at Novara, and to intercept a strong
body of Swiss, for whom they were anxiously waiting. The allies
having reached Vercelli, it became a race which army should first
gain the bridge of Romagnano, to the west whereof lay the Swiss
subsidy. The French had almost passed, when Lanoy fell upon their
rear, which suffered immensely in men, baggage, and artillery; and
their commander, Bonnivet, was wounded. The credit of all these
arrangements is claimed by Leone for the Duke of Urbino, whose
annoyance may be imagined when he found himself arrested from reaping
the full benefit of their success, by interference of Pietro da
Pesaro, the Proveditore. That officer, standing upon the engagement
of the Venetian contingent to serve only within the confines of the
Milanese, objected to their passing the Sesia, which here formed
its limit, and thus nullified the resolution of the confederates
to follow up their partial victory by such a well-timed attack as
might drive the enemy across the Alps. The indignant army appealed
to Francesco Maria to break through this official obstruction, but
the commissioner was right to the letter, and the stern Signory
sanctioned no latitude of construction on the part of its servants.
The Duke, however, gained his consent by private remonstrances, at
once temperate and energetic, but especially by threatening to throw
up his commission from the senate, and as a free captain to pass with
his own company into the allies' service, leaving the Proveditore,
with a disorganised contingent, to bear the whole responsibility of
losing so admirable an opportunity of cutting short a struggle, which
it was in every view the interest of his republic to close.[298]

[Footnote 298: The details given by Paruta appear to bear out
this statement of the Duke's policy, but establish that, in the
eyes of his employers, his prudence and caution availed more than
dashing gallantry, an admission important in estimating his conduct
throughout the campaign of Lombardy, and throwing light upon the
hesitation which marked his subsequent career. Indeed, according to
this author, the orders of the Signory were to avoid fighting as much
as possible.]

The conduct of the French troops devolved, in consequence of the
Admiral's wound, upon Piere de Terrail, Chevalier de Bayard, who was
not long spared in a command which the blunders of his predecessor
had rendered hopeless. On the 30th of April, whilst drawing off
the rear-guard under the enemy's fire, a shot fractured his spine.
Refusing to be carried from the spot, he had himself supported
against a tree, with his face to the foe, and continued to give his
orders with composure: at length, feeling the hand of death upon him,
he confessed himself to his faithful squire, kissing the hand-guard
of his sword as a substitute for the cross. The imperialists
remaining masters of the field, he was approached by the Constable
Bourbon, to whose words of sympathy and regret he sternly replied,
"Grieve not for me, but for yourself, fighting against your king and
country." His fall was reported to Charles V. by the imperial envoy,
Adrian de Croy, in these touching terms:--"Sire, although the said
M. Bayard was in the service of your enemy, his death is certainly a
pity; for he was a gentle knight beloved of all, whose life had been
as well spent as ever was that of any of his condition, as, indeed,
he fully testified at its close, which was the most beautiful I
ever heard tell of." Thus fell, in his forty-ninth year, the flower
of French chivalry, "the fearless and irreproachable knight." His
army evacuated Italy before the end of May, and the Duke of Urbino
being entrusted with the recovery of Lodi, found it defended by
his relation and attached comrade-in-arms, Count Francesco del
Bozzolo, who, perceiving his position hopeless, soon capitulated upon
honourable terms.

After the ample details we had given of the comparatively unimportant
Urbino war, our rapid glance at the events in Upper Italy, from
1521 to 1526, may seem superficial. But as these Lombard campaigns,
although momentous to Europe, told very slightly upon the general
policy of the Peninsula, and as Francesco Maria bore no prominent
part in their varying results, we must be content to pass over them
thus cursorily, rather than to carry the reader too far from the more
especial object of these volumes. We may, however, pause for a moment
upon the reception accorded to the Duke at Venice, when summoned
thither to receive public thanks for his services, graphic details of
which are supplied by the unedited Diaries of Sanuto.

After he had, in compliance with orders from the Signory, disbanded
their infantry, and disposed of their cavalry in the mainland
garrisons, he proceeded to the maritime capital. At Padua, the
rectors had been premonished to pay him every attention; at the mouth
of the Brenta, and on the outskirts of the city, he was met by two
deputations, each consisting of thirty young men of distinction, and
was addressed in a Latin oration, "which he did not understand." He
was then escorted to the Rialto; and, after being welcomed by the
Doge, and all the foreign ambassadors, except the French, he was led
on board the Bucentaur, an honour paid only to highest rank or rarest
merit; and thus, amid a flotilla of state galleys and gondolas,
crowded with a lively population in gala attire, their princely guest
was conducted along the grand canal, its palaces glittering with
brocades and arrases, its windows radiant with sparkling eyes and
rich carnations, such as Titian and Pordenone loved to commemorate in
glowing tints. The Duke wore a suit of black velvet, with frock and
cap of scarlet, and was housed in an apartment prepared at the Casa
di San Marco, near San Giorgio Maggiore, with fifty ducats a day for
his expenses.

This festive welcome took place on the 25th of June. Next day
being Sunday, the Duke presented himself at the Collegio, dressed
in black damask over a white doublet, with a rose-coloured cap; a
small person, of indifferent presence [_poca presentia_]. He was
received outside of the audience-hall by the Doge and Signory;
when admitted, he spoke in a few words, and with low voice, of his
constant readiness to serve their state with life and limb. To
which the Doge replied, that he had acquitted himself well, but it
was their trust that he would do still better in future, and that,
being fully assured of his fidelity, they had selected him for
captain-general. The privileges of citizenship had been given him
many years before, in compliment to his uncle Guidobaldo, but the
general's baton was to be conferred upon him on the 2nd of July. In
deference, however, to the predictions of an astrologer, he requested
that his investiture might take place on the 29th of June, being St.
Peter's day. Accordingly, the magnates and diplomatic functionaries
of the most luxurious city in Christendom being assembled within
its picturesque and time-honoured cathedral, Francesco Maria, was
led in, magnificently arrayed in gold lama and damask, amid the din
of trumpets and bagpipes. After celebration of high mass, during
which he was seated on the Doge's left, the insignia, consisting of
a silver baton, and crimson standard with the lion in gold, were
blessed at the high altar, and consigned to his hands by the Doge, as
badges of authority, which he then swore to employ for the glory of
God, and for maintenance and defence of the Republic. This solemnity
was hailed by the spectators' shouts, the clang of bells, the crash
of martial music, the roar of artillery, and, as the Duke was
conducted to his gondola by a long procession of military and civil
dignitaries, the gorgeous piazza and gay canals displayed a splendour
unwonted even in Venice.

Unfavourable rumours of the Duchess's health rendered him impatient
to be done with these honours, and were probably the true reason
for his desiring that the installation might be accelerated. But
the fashionable club or company della Calza so urged his remaining
for their festival, which had been fixed for the 3rd in compliment
to him, that he could not well refuse a short delay in order to be
present.[299] The sports were enacted on that usual scene of Venetian
magnificence, the grand canal, decked out in many-tinted draperies,
and thronged by gay parties. The club, with the Duke of Urbino and
other honoured guests, were conveyed in two large flat barges,
lashed together and beautifully curtained, wherein assembled the most
distinguished youths of both sexes, who revelled in music and dancing
as they glided along the glassy surface. At length they stopped at
the massive, but now crumbling, Foscari palace, to witness a race of
four-oared gondolas, and concluded the entertainment with a supper
on the Rialto. Next day their sports were renewed, with addition of
a déjeuner, where fancy confections were presented to the principal
guests--a triumphal chariot to Francesco Maria, an eagle to the
imperial ambassador, and so forth.

[Footnote 299: See vol. I., p. 68, for a notice of this association,
so often mentioned in Venetian history.]

On the 5th of July, after ten days spent in these monotonous
gaieties, the Duke returned to Pesaro in his twelve-oared barge; but
his repose there was brief, for the second act soon opened of that
bloody drama wherein the ambition of Charles and Francis involved
Italy. An incursion of imperialists into Provence under the renegade
Bourbon had shifted the scene to France; but the French monarch,
by a sudden movement across the Alps, transferred it once more
into Lombardy, and took possession of Milan. The Signory hastily
summoned their general from his duchy, to guard their frontier. The
established order of Italian policy, however, rendering it probable
that new and contradictory combinations would speedily arise, his
instructions were to act upon the defensive; and a like temporising
spirit prevailed in the councils of his Holiness, who secretly lent
an ear to proposals of Francis for a combined effort to shake off
the Spanish domination in Naples. The Duke's undecided tactics, so
condemned by Sismondi, were therefore in accordance with orders,
which the ever-present Proveditore took care were complied with. He
thus had no share in the great battle of Pavia, which crushed the
chivalry of France, accelerated the climax of Italian subjugation,
and rendered Spanish influence fatally paramount in Southern Europe.
It was fought on the 25th of February, 1525, and left Francis
prisoner in his rival's hands. Francesco Maria thereafter retired to
Casali, suffering from a combined attack of gout and tertian fever,
in which he was attended by his Duchess, who had hastened to see

[Footnote *300: The battle was fought on the 24th February.]


     New league against Charles V.--The Duke's campaign in
     Lombardy--His quarrels with Guicciardini--Rome pillaged by
     the Colonna--The Constable Bourbon advances into Central
     Italy--The Duke quells an insurrection at Florence.

The papal policy since the accession of Julius had been directed
to two leading objects. The first was to prevent any ultramontane
power from attaining a decided preponderance in Europe; the second,
to recover Italy from the barbarians, and restore its Neapolitan
and Milanese states to native dynasties.[*301] The only effective
check upon the unprecedented dominion of the Emperor having been
annihilated by the overthrow and imprisonment of his sole rival, it
became necessary for the Pontiff, in conformity with the former of
these purposes, to support the cause of France. The other object
was more than ever important, now that Milan was virtually at the
conqueror's mercy; and a proposition for confirming the sovereignty
of Sforza in that duchy, and placing the Marquis of Pescara on the
throne of Naples, appeared to His Holiness happily to meet the
exigencies of the case. Clement, possessing neither the discernment
of Julius nor the finesse of Leo, saw no difficulty in effecting this
convenient scheme, by simply uniting the independent states in a
conspiracy to expel Charles beyond the Alps. But he reckoned without
his host. The Marquis of Pescara, who was high in the imperial
service, betrayed the plot in time to frustrate its execution. His
death occurred soon after, from wounds received at Pavia, or possibly
from poison, and the year was spent in intrigues and counterplots,
which concern our present subject only as giving occasion to this
letter, addressed by Francesco Maria to Cardinal Wolsey:--

     "Most illustrious and most worshipful Lord,

     "Having learned that his serene Majesty [Henry VIII.] has
     named me his adherent in the league lately made with his
     most Christian Majesty, it becomes a duty, which I by these
     letters discharge, to tender my respects, and humbly to
     kiss his hand, having no other proof at present to offer
     of the extreme obligation which, in addition to numberless
     others, I owe to his Majesty, for this affectionate and
     honourable recollection of me. And knowing the love which
     your most illustrious and reverend Lordship has ever
     exhibited towards my house, and especially for myself, I am
     satisfied (as, indeed, I have heard from the reverend Lord
     Protonotary Casale) that you have always borne in mind the
     services towards that crown of my most famous progenitors
     and myself. Whence, in addition to the boundless obligation
     I lie under to his most serene Majesty for naming me his
     adherent, I hold myself therein indebted to your most
     reverend and illustrious Lordship, considering it in a
     great measure owing to you. I have therefore written these
     presents, not as mere thanks, for I would not so commence
     what I cannot complete by words alone, but that you may
     know the great obligation I feel and have expressed, and
     how intensely I desire an opportunity of effectively
     demonstrating my natural and deserved anxiety to do you
     service; the which will be clearly made patent to your most
     reverend and illustrious Lordship, so often as I have it
     in my power to act upon my intentions. And, recommending
     myself to your good favour, I pray that you still keep
     in mind my services to his majesty. From Verona the 14th
     February, 1526.


     "EL DUCA D'URBINO."[302]

[Footnote *301: So far as Julius is concerned, his one object was the
absolute temporal dominion of the Church in Italy. He made the coming
of an ultramontane power into Italy a certainty. His successors
struggled in vain to save themselves and incidentally Italy from the
consequence of his crime. But the policy of the Papacy was wise, if
selfish. The only road to Italian unity lay through predominance of
one power--Venice or Milan, for instance, or the Church herself. The
popes successfully prevented this unity for more than a thousand
years, really in self-defence--the defence of their temporal power
at any rate; their international claims were destroyed by an eager
and passionate nationalism. We have seen in our day how Piedmont
united Italy, first destroying the Papacy, which remains merely as a
spiritual power that seems in Italy to be slowly passing away.]

[Footnote 302: Brit. Mus. Cotton. MSS. Vit. B. VIII., f. 16, b. In f.
49, of B.V. there is a mutilated letter of compliment from the Duke
to Henry VIII., in Latin, dated at Urbino 19 March, 1522.]

At length, in May 1526, a new confederacy was announced, in which
the Pope, Francis I. (who had regained his liberty in March), Henry
VIII., Venice, and Florence, were marshalled against Charles V.,
nominally to wrest from him the Milanese, which remained in his hands
after the battle of Pavia. The citadel of Milan, however, was still
held by Francesco Sforza; and the Duke of Urbino, by the senate's
orders, led the Venetian troops from Verona to his relief, but under
protest that he considered them unequal to the service. On his march,
he received offers from an adherent of the Sforza to admit him into
Lodi, and immediately detaching Malatesta Baglione to avail himself
of the proposal, hastened onwards with the army to his support. The
attempt was completely successful, and after a gallant resistance
the imperialists evacuated the place on the 24th of June. This
acquisition was of the utmost importance to the allies. It secured
them command of the Adda, and gave them a strong position in the
enemy's country, from whence they could operate with equal facility
against Milan, Cremona, or Pavia.

The army of the League which now mustered at Lodi is estimated by
Guicciardini and Muratori at sixteen thousand foot and four thousand
horse. The Duke of Urbino was commander-in-chief of the Venetians;
Count Guido Rangone held the same rank in the ecclesiastical forces,
which included, however, the papal and Florentine contingents, led by
their respective captains-general, Giovanni de' Medici and Vitello
Vitelli. The embarrassment occasioned by so many commanders, under no
common head, was especially felt by Francesco Maria, who, although
admitted by Guicciardini to have been pre-eminent in rank, authority,
and reputation, as well as actually leader of the combined army,
was controlled by Pesaro, the Venetian Proveditore, and thwarted
by the Pope's anomalous appointment of that historian himself as
lieutenant-general, with ample indeed almost absolute powers in the
army and throughout the states of the Church.

Francesco Guicciardini was a Florentine gentleman, born in 1482, and
educated for the law, who, profiting by the partiality of Leo X. for
his fellow-citizens, had held several important civil appointments,
and had been successively named governor of Modena, Reggio, and
Parma, to which Clement added, in 1523, a jurisdiction over all
pontifical Romagna. He was gifted with considerable talents and
great command of language, but these promotions had rendered him
vain and overbearing. The accounts given us by the Urbino writers,
of one whom they had good reason to regard with prejudice, should
be received with caution; yet some anecdotes have come down which
confirm the allegation of Leoni, that his dogmatical pretensions
were neither authorised by etiquette, nor supported by his judgment
or military experience.[303] No defect of character was less likely
to meet with toleration from the blunt and hasty Francesco Maria,
and in consequence of their being opposed to each other at the
council-board, alike in momentous and trifling matters, scenes of
insult and violence ripened aversion into rancour. In this contest
the Florentine had the worst, but he amply availed himself of his
pen as a means of vengeance; and in his History, which has become
a standard authority, he studiously and throughout misrepresented
the Duke of Urbino. Lipsius, while bearing strong testimony to
his general truth and impartiality, admits that he on no occasion
concealed his detestation of that prince. Later writers, especially
Sismondi, have adopted his strictures with little modification,
and an ingenious defence of the Duke, prepared by Baldi after his
death, having never seen the light, the portraits of him hitherto
passing current in history are exaggerations of a malevolent pencil.
Yet it appears beyond question that an over-dilatory and cautious
system increased upon Francesco Maria, and, in conjunction with
other circumstances, greatly hampered his tactics and impaired their
success, during his service under the lion of St. Mark.

[Footnote 303: Leonardi's recollections of Francesco Maria, Vat. Urb.
MSS., No. 1023, f. 85, and Baldi's defence of him from Guicciardini's
charges, _Ibid._, No. 906, f. 214.]

The allied forces very considerably outnumbered those of Charles,
who were scattered among several garrisons and detached positions.
The moment, therefore, seemed propitious for following up their
recent success, and effecting the main object of the campaign by a
decided blow against Milan. That capital was occupied by about nine
thousand imperialist troops, who blockaded Sforza in the citadel,
and who, in letters casually intercepted, represented the citizens,
though disarmed by their conquerors, as mature for a rising. A prompt
movement for the relief of the hard-pressed fortress was therefore
urged by Guicciardini, and seconded by the Proveditore, whose ear
he had gained. The reasons by which Francesco Maria combated this
proposal savoured unquestionably, even by Leoni's admission, rather
of hollow excuses than of sound judgment, for whilst he awaited the
Swiss auxiliaries, he allowed reinforcements to reach the imperial

Some light is, however, thrown upon this seeming inconsistency by an
argument in his Discorsi Militari, wherein the Duke illustrates, from
this very passage in his life, two axioms he broadly lays down,--that
to rely mainly for the success of a war upon the support of a people,
however gallant, is a great risk, if not inevitable ruin; and that no
popular rising ever succeeded of itself, or without an overpowering
force to second it. Considering that his uncle and himself had
thrice regained their state by a popular emeute, this doctrine may
seem ungracious from his mouth. Without, however, entering upon a
question which the recent experience of Europe has greatly affected,
or examining instances adduced by the Duke in support of his views,
it seems likely that his reasoning was adopted to cloak some unavowed
motive. Perhaps the alternative suggestion which he offered may
afford some clue to the truth, keeping in view the relationship and
confidential intercourse which had ever been maintained between the
princes of Urbino and Ottaviano Fregoso. His proposition was that,
instead of opposing their new and ill-disciplined levies to the
veteran and lately victorious occupants of Milan, the allies should
draw off towards Genoa, and there restore the supremacy of the
Fregosi, thus giving time for the arrival of Swiss subsidies, and
enabling them perhaps to intercept the reinforcements which Bourbon
was bringing by sea from Spain. The motive alleged by Sismondi for
this policy rests upon the broader ground of the Duke's desire to
humble Clement, in revenge for all he had suffered, rather from the
Pontiff's family than from himself; and it must be admitted that
much of his conduct during this lamentable and inglorious war, until
it ended in the sack of Rome, could scarcely have been different if
actuated by that ungenerous calculation. Yet in the instance now
under our consideration, it is but fair to notice Leoni's assertion,
that his opinions were supported by Giovanni de' Medici _delle Bande
Nere_, whilst those of Guicciardini, obtaining the suffrages of the
other leaders, carried the day.

With such diversity of opinion prevailing among commanders of
nearly equal authority, it is not surprising that the advance upon
Milan should have been most sluggish. After spending nine days in
marching about twenty miles, the army, on the 6th of July, drew
round that city, which the enemy, notwithstanding Bourbon's arrival
the preceding night with the Spanish succours, are supposed by
Sismondi to have been on the point of evacuating. The artillery
having next morning begun to play upon the walls, a sally was made,
and the allied troops, finding themselves under fire, behaved most
scandalously, so that, had not Francesco Maria with the cavalry
promptly supported the panic-stricken infantry of his own and the
papal brigades, they must have suffered a total rout. Alarmed at
these symptoms of unsteadiness, and unseconded by the expected
insurrection within, the Venetian Proveditore and Guicciardini
insisted upon a general retreat, as the only means by which their
forces could escape destruction. In despair, they besought the Duke
to take the retiring army under his command, a charge which he did
not accept without taunting them on a result that so fully bore out
his predictions, and proved their rashness in exposing an unorganised
host of raw Italians to fight the veterans of Germany and Spain.
But the moment was too critical for recrimination. Two hours before
dawn the camp was silently raised, and the army withdrew in good
order about twelve miles to Marignano. Their rear was effectually
guarded by Giovanni de' Medici against any sally of the imperialists,
but no less than four thousand of the foot were missing, having
ignominiously deserted their colours.

Such is the account of Leoni and Baldi. Guicciardini, on the other
hand, takes to himself credit for using every argument with the Duke
against a retreat, which he designates as uncalled for and infamous.
Upon his despatches were, no doubt, formed the opinions expressed in
the following letter of the Bishop of Worcester to Cardinal Wolsey:--

     "Most Illustrious and Reverend Lord," &c.

     "I have hitherto daily informed you of what was going
     on, by longer or shorter letters, as time permitted. At
     present nothing new has transpired, except that, on the
     night of the 7th inst., the Duke of Urbino, captain-general
     of the ecclesiastical and Venetian forces, after most
     strenuous and gallant operations against the enemy, from
     which a successful issue was expected, suddenly changing
     his intention, notwithstanding numerous protests, drew off
     his army to Marignano, a town ten miles from Milan. Which,
     though the Duke, as usual, entangles it with numerous
     reasons, has exposed him to no slight disparagement from
     the public. I have only further humbly to commend myself to
     your most illustrious Lordship. From Rome, 11th July, 1526.

     "Your most illustrious and reverend Lordship's
     _Humillimum manicipium_,

     "HI[~C]. EP[~S]. WIGORNIEÑ."[304]

[Footnote 304: Brit. Mus. Cotton. MSS., Vit. B. VIII., f. 93 b. In
this volume are many despatches regarding the Lombard campaign, and
the assault on Rome in 1526.]

The prejudices of Guicciardini are admitted by the Venetian Paruta,
who tells us that the Signory were satisfied with their general's
explanations, but cautioned him for the future, to communicate his
views more frankly to the papal commissioner. It is a passage of
history hard to clear up, and in every view redounding little to the
credit of its actors, whether we most blame the Duke's policy or the
unsteadiness of his troops. Exposures so disgraceful well merited
the sneer, that the swords in that army had no edge; and Sismondi
admits that its spiritless conduct goes far to justify its leader's
dispiriting tactics.[*305]

[Footnote *305: See Guicciardini's despairing letters to Giberti,
_Opere Inedite_ (1857-67, Firenze), vol. IV., pp. 73-146. Francesco
Maria was to blame; he lost time in crossing the Adda, from
whatever cause; he delayed again while the generals of the Emperor
strengthened their lines round Milan--even when the allies arrived
and their army numbered 20,000 against the 11,000 of the besiegers.
He waited the arrival of the Swiss, he said, and went off meanwhile
at the heels of the Venetian Proveditore to besiege Cremona. The
Rocca of Milan fell on July 24th.]

On the 22nd of July, the confederates, having been joined by five
thousand Swiss levies, again approached the city, and were met by
about three hundred women and children, whom Sforza had dismissed
as embarrassing his defence. Shamed by their representations, the
leaders, in a council of war, decided upon a new attempt to relieve
the citadel, which, however, Giovanni de' Medici, after inspecting
the works of the besiegers, opposed as too perilous. Whilst they
lost time in these discussions, Sforza was fairly starved out, and
surrendered the fortress on the 24th. Leoni and Baldi agree in
charging these dilatory and unsatisfactory proceedings upon the other
generals, and the total inefficiency of the army, rather than upon
Francesco Maria's tactics. They may be considered as biased, but the
following anecdotes will show how far the Florentine historian had
reason to be impartial.

At one of the war councils held in the Certosa of Pavia, Guicciardini
having cast some doubt upon an opinion expressed by the Duke, was
thus answered: "Your business is to confer with pedants." These
rude words were accompanied by a knock-down blow on the face,
followed by an order to get up and begone! Leonardi, who preserves
this incident, adds, "Such pugilistic sport was habitual to my Lord
Duke; and it was well for those who could command their temper in
reasoning with him, as he was ever ready to strike any one who
argued against his views with disrespect." The historian's original
prepossession against Francesco Maria, is ascribed by Baldi to a
vain ambition of precedence. While lieutenant-general of the papal
forces he displayed it towards Guido Rangone, his superior officer,
and insisted on taking rank at the council-board of the Marquis of
Saluzzo, when he arrived in command of the French contingents. These
absurd pretensions were at first treated with indifference, but
finally brought him into a wrangle with the Duke, over whom he also
claimed a similar right, from the fact of being in the papal service,
waiving it only out of consideration for his sovereign rank. In
that instance, also, he is said to have been struck by the choleric
prince; at all events he was expelled from the council-chamber, and
a strong representation of his misconduct was made to the Pope, who
consequently cancelled his anomalous commission, and appointed him
governor of Modena.

Sismondi, embodying Guicciardini's one-sided narrative,[*306] has
thrown upon Francesco Maria the entire odium of the ludicrously slow
movements of the army, averaging about four miles on each alternate
day, and of their double miscarriage before Milan. The fatal tendency
of such measures, however they might have originated, admits of no
question, and the responsibility of their failure must fall upon the
most influential leader. It is always difficult in a heterogeneous
confederacy to maintain that unity of purpose which may compensate
for diversity of interests, and which can only be insured by prompt
action and brilliant success. But the sentiment "that reputation was
neither to be gained by risks nor lost by delays," which Bernardo
Tasso puts into the Duke's mouth, in describing a council of war
whereat he assisted,[307] not only advocates quite a different
policy, but too well confirms the charge brought against him as one
of those

     "Generals who will not conquer when they may."

[Footnote *306: See his despairing letters cited above, p. 441, note
*1. He was a true patriot and thought for Italy. The Duke's dilatory
and inconclusive actions while Italy was slowly dying, and might have
been saved, as he thought, disgusted and enraged him.]

[Footnote 307: _Lettere_, I., p. 28, edit. 1733.]

When, however, he perceived victory to be hopeless, in an army
distracted by the jealousies of rival leaders, he had proposed
the nomination of a commander-in-chief, avowing himself ready to
accord him implicit obedience. In this he was again thwarted by
Guicciardini, who represented his suggestion to the allied powers
as dictated by personal ambition of the post. The plan fell to the
ground, and its author, fretted by the difficulties of his position,
was attacked by severe illness. Of this the Proveditore availed
himself to lead Malatesta Baglione, with three thousand troops, to
Cremona. Like Milan, it was occupied by an imperialist brigade, who
besieged in the citadel a handful of Sforza's adherents. The Duke's
warnings as to its military difficulties having been received with
indifference, this enterprise was on the point of miscarriage, on
learning which he rose from a sick bed, and hurried with fresh forces
to the scene of action. His presence infused new energy into the
operations, and on the 23rd of September the town was evacuated by
the imperialists upon capitulation.

This success was scarcely within his grasp when a courier arrived
from Rome, with tidings which gave a new aspect to affairs. Clement,
who had succeeded to the turbulence of his predecessors, without the
energy of Julius, or the address of Leo, made himself a dangerous
domestic foe in the Colonna,--broken, but not crushed by the rancour
of Alexander VI. Cardinal Pompeo Colonna, a man indifferent to
religion, whose unbounded ambition aimed directly at the tiara,
and whose brows better became a condottiere's casque than a mitre,
forgetting his duty as one of the Sacred College, entered into
treasonable correspondence with the imperialist leaders; and his
brother Marcello, having been driven from his fiefs by the Pope,
threw himself at the feet of Charles V., offering to support his
views upon Italy if reponed by his assistance. They also used their
influence at Venice in preventing his Holiness from raising a loan
to recruit his crippled resources, and, in concert with Don Ugo
Moncada, commander of the Neapolitan army, strove to alienate him
from the League. Don Ugo, a Spaniard by birth, was the worthy pupil
of Cesare Borgia, without his reputation for success. In every
important engagement his sword had been tarnished by defeat; his
character and personal adventures combined each brutal attribute
of a condottiere, with scarcely a redeeming trait of honour. The
plan of these confederates was by a coup-de-main to dictate terms
to the Pontiff; or, failing success in this, to give occupation at
home for the contingent he then maintained with the allied army
of Lombardy. Accordingly, the Colonna troops, who had assumed a
threatening attitude in the Campagna, were suddenly withdrawn beyond
the frontier; and a son of Prospero Colonna hastened to the capital
to throw himself at Clement's feet, assuring him of the pacific
disposition of his house, and that their levies were destined for
the imperial service at Naples. The Pope, being deceived into a
belief so conformable to his wishes, turned a deaf ear to the warning
of more clear-sighted men, and, disappointed of his loan, thought
only of reducing a war establishment he could no longer pay. But
so soon as his soldiery were dismissed, the Colonna recalled their
army of two thousand men, which, led by Pompeo with equal celerity
and success, reached the Lateran gate ere treachery was suspected.
Resistance being hopeless, they, on the 20th of September, marched
through the city into the Trastevere, where they were welcomed to
refreshments provided by the Cardinal's order. Thence they passed
into the Borgo S. Spirito, where are situated the Vatican, St.
Peter's, and the castle of St. Angelo, and within three hours had
pillaged that rich quarter, sparing neither the palace nor the
metropolitan church. The Pope, who had at first resolved to await
death in his pontifical chair, scarcely escaped with a few valuables
into the fortress, which, from unpardonable negligence, was entirely
unprovisioned. To arrest these horrors, the Pontiff next day made a
hasty four-months' truce, stipulating for the immediate evacuation of
Rome, as the condition on which he should recall Guicciardini with
the ecclesiastical troops from Upper Italy; three days, however,
elapsed ere the troops withdrew, laden with a booty estimated at
300,000 ducats.[308]

[Footnote 308: This treaty is printed by Molini, in the _Documenti di
Storia Italiana_, I., 229. At p. 204 of the same volume is a despatch
throwing valuable light on the tangled diplomacy of these times. The
details of this event are often mixed up with those of the far more
atrocious sack of Rome perpetrated by Bourbon a few months later; the
best account of it is by Negri, an eye-witness, in the _Lettere de'

Upon the capitulation of Cremona, Francesco Maria stole a few days
for the society of his Duchess, and the affairs of his state, but was
speedily recalled to his post by the unsatisfactory aspect of matters
in Lombardy. The papal troops had been withdrawn; the garrison
of Cremona, whose services the Venetians would not retain at his
suggestion, had entered into new engagements with the enemy; fourteen
thousand _lanznechts_, alias _lansquenet_ infantry, under Georg v.
Fründesberg, were marching from Germany by the Val di Sabbia to
support the imperial cause. His first care was to check the pillage
of Cremona, a service which the citizens acknowledged by presenting
to him a golden vase weighing twenty pounds, and beautifully chased
with appropriate devices. He found the Marquis of Saluzzo arrived
with about five thousand levies from France, and that the _bande
nere_, amounting to almost as many, had been engaged by that power,
on Guicciardini's departure, whose absence proved a vast relief
to him. The army is now estimated at twenty-five thousand men by
Sismondi, who, echoing the charges of that writer, severely blames
the Duke for not supporting the naval attack made by the French upon
Genoa, a scheme for which we have seen him contending at an earlier
period. But a passage in his own _Discorsi Militari_ expressly states
the Venetian force at four thousand infantry and five thousand
cavalry, to keep in check both Fründesberg's lansquenets and ten
thousand men at Milan; and it explains his tactics to consist in
making Cremona the centre of a line of defence, embracing Bergamo on
the right, and Genoa on the left, which, being vastly too extended
for his force, necessitated his keeping his men together, in order
to move upon any exposed point. Accordingly, considering it most
incumbent to intercept the battalions of Fründesberg, he, after
throwing garrisons into some important places on his right flank,
pushed towards Mantua with about ten thousand men. Although sadly
impeded by dreadful weather, and by difficulties of transport, the
Proveditore having secured all the cattle to carry his own baggage
to Venice, he came up with the enemy at Borgoforte, on the Po, and,
interrupting their passage, drove their main body down the course of
that river. Deep snow and mud embarrassing his evolutions, he could
only hang upon their rear as far as the Mincio, where they were
met by a reinforcement with artillery from Ferrara. Thereupon the
Duke recalled his skirmishers, and left the Germans to pass the Po
unobstructed, on the 30th of November.

In this affair fell Giovanni de' Medici, whose birth we have formerly
noticed.[309] His name is consecrated to military renown by a halo
which his lion-heart well merited, and which has gained no additional
brilliancy from the attempts of some writers to elevate his fame at
Francesco Maria's expense. In this unworthy effort--as on too many
like occasions--Guicciardini has been followed by the historian of
the Italian republics. The charges of misconduct adduced against
the Duke of Urbino, in his movement against Fründesberg, are by no
means borne out by the more detailed accounts supplied by Leoni
and Baldi. He seems to have done everything that the state of the
elements would allow; and even accused himself of occasioning the
death of his faithful captain Benedetto Giraldi of Mondolfo, by
answering his plea, that his charger was completely knocked up, with
the sarcasm,--"What! you to whom I give a hundred scudi of yearly
pay, have not a fresh pair of horses at such a moment!" Stung by this
reproach, the gallant officer urged his steed to new efforts, and
shared the fate of Giovanni de' Medici. The brigade of the latter,
out of respect for their leader, assumed those mourning scarfs which
procured them the name _delle bande nere_; and most of them soon
after passed to Rome in the papal service.

[Footnote 309: See above, p. 385.]

The German lansquenets, whom Fründesberg had brought into Italy,
were in fact a free company, levied by himself on a mere plundering
adventure, without the pretext of pay. Alarmed at a reinforcement
of so obnoxious a character, the confederates bethought themselves
of renewed efforts. But disgusted with a drawling campaign, wherein
no party had exhibited either good heart or doughty deeds, they had
recourse to diplomacy, which, ever fluctuating between an inactive
war and a solid peace, failed to create any general interest.
The truce with Moncada being expired they had no difficulty in
enrolling the unstable Pontiff once more on their side; but intent
on his private quarrel with the Colonna, and burning to avenge the
outrage lately received at their hands, he gave no co-operation
to the League. His tortuous and feeble policy preferred rousing,
by small intrigues, the old Angevine party at Naples against the
imperial government, and sought the more sympathetic attractions
of a petty strife with his refractory vassals. Having engaged the
_bande nere_, he let them loose to carry fire and sword into the
Colonna holdings, depriving, at the same time, Cardinal Pompeo of
his hat, and thundering excommunication against his whole race.
As the spring advanced, he extended this inglorious warfare, with
"a worse than Turkish" virulence, into the Neapolitan territory.
Meanwhile, the Viceroy Lanoy, after narrowly escaping the fleet of
Andrea Doria, landed ten thousand fresh troops at Gaeta, and advanced
upon Rome, supported by Moncada and the Colonna. But the vengeance
of God against the Holy City was reserved for other hands. After a
slight check from the _bande nere_, at Frosinone, the Viceroy most
opportunely received letters from his master, disavowing the Colonna,
and breathing affectionate duty to the Pontiff. He thereupon made
overtures of reconciliation, and after various demurs, prompted
by the Pontiff's vacillating hopes and fears, but which, in the
exhausted state of his treasury, appear the dictates of insanity,
an eight months' truce was signed on the 15th of March, between the
Pope and the Emperor. It provided for a mutual restitution of all
conquests in Lower Italy, a restoration of the Colonna to their
estates and honours, and a payment by his Holiness of 60,000 ducats
towards the costs of the war. Should the French and Venetians accept
of this truce, the lansquenets were to be withdrawn from Italy; at
all events they and the Constable Bourbon's army were forthwith to
quit the ecclesiastical and Florentine territories. Whilst intimating
this arrangement to the Duke of Urbino, by a brief of the 16th of
March, Clement represents it as dictated by stern necessity, the
whole weight of the war having fallen upon himself, and as the sole
means of saving his own existence, and preserving "all Italy from

Whilst these events were in progress in Lower Italy, the negotiations
for a general peace had produced no fruits, conducted, as they were,
with little good faith or honesty of purpose. The only one really
interested in prolonging the struggle was Francis I., whose children
were still in his rival's hands. The Italian states, weary of a
bootless contest, and disgusted by the feeble egotism of Clement,
fell into inertness akin, perhaps, to the fascination under which the
feathered tribes are said to become victims of their reptile-foe.

That foe was Charles Duke of Bourbon, son of Gilbert Count de
Montpensier, who died at Pozzuoli, in 1495, by Chiara Gonzaga,
sister of Elisabetta Duchess of Urbino. He was next heir to the
crown of France, after Francis Duke of Angoulême, who succeeded to
it as Francis I., and Charles Duke d'Alençon, whose blood had been
attainted for treason. Louis XII., having removed this attainder,
and restored the d'Alençon branch to their rights, incurred the deep
displeasure of Bourbon, who was, however, pacified by receiving, at
the age of twenty-six, the office of grand constable,--the highest
dignity of the realm. He greatly distinguished himself in Francis's
early Italian campaigns, but was recalled from the command at Milan
in 1516, in consequence of his overbearing conduct and ambitious
views. By Anna, sister of Charles VIII., whom he married in spite
of a hideously deformed person, he had the dukedom of Bourbon,
with an immense fortune; but his extravagant prodigality plunged
him into great embarrassments, and a suit brought after his wife's
death by the mother of Francis I.--whose love he was alleged to
have slighted--threatened him with utter ruin, by evicting him
from his wife's estates. In these circumstances, his jealous and
fiery temper was ready to seize upon any pretext for entering into
treasonable correspondence with the Emperor and King of England;
and, on a promise of the crown of Provence, he undertook to head an
insurrection in France as soon as Francis should cross the Alps. That
monarch having discovered the plot, at once sought the Constable in
one of his own castles, and frankly told him what he had learned.
The hypocrite had recourse to abject asseverations of innocence and
fidelity, and was ordered to attend his sovereign into Italy; but,
perceiving that his protestations had not removed suspicion, he fled
in disguise to the territory of Charles, and was declared rebel. His
perfidy and rancour now knew no bounds; he was ever after prominent
and indefatigable in the wars against his country, and mainly
instigated the descent upon Provence in 1524. He next entertained
a hope of the dukedom of Milan, by Clement's sanction; but he had
played away his honour in a losing game: despised by himself and
his employers, the prestige of success passed from his arms. Yet
his peculiar talent for courting popularity ensured him the zealous
support of his troops, who knew also that a bankrupt in character
and purse was the best leader for men intent upon pillage. To the
single merit of a winning manner, he united many odious qualities.
His unmeasured ambition was restrained by no principle, either
as to its objects, or the means of attaining them. His pride was
vain-glory, venting itself in capricious and ill-directed schemes,
and stimulating into fury a wayward and sanguinary temper, which,
when exasperated by exile and outlawry, became ungovernable.

During the war of Lombardy, the imperial generals were in a great
measure left to their own resources, both as to its conduct and its
supplies. Bourbon had for about a year maintained his army in Milan
without pay, by merciless plunder of the townspeople, upon whom
insult and outrage were unsparingly heaped. But their patience and
their means were nearly exhausted, and the difficulty of recruiting
his commissariat was greatly aggravated by judicious dispositions of
the allied army, directed by the Duke of Urbino. A forward movement
was therefore resolved upon, and as occupation and pillage were the
only chances of keeping together such disorganised troops, he led
them in search of both. Indifferent whether the spoils of Florence or
Romagna should prove the more convenient prey, he effected a junction
with Fründesberg's new levies, whose circumstances and objects
exactly corresponded with those of his own forces, and on the 30th of
January their united divisions passed the Po.

Our authorities are in many respects contradictory regarding these
operations, and especially as to the part which Francesco Maria took
in them. He seems to have been laid up at Parma, with an attack of
gout and fever, from the 3rd to the 14th of January, and to have
spent most of the next two months with his Duchess at Gazzuolo in the
Mantuese, for recovery of his health. It is insinuated by Sismondi
that this was but an excuse for abandoning the field, at a moment
when it would have been scarcely possible to pursue the policy, which
that author ascribes to him, of never risking in a general action the
prestige of invincibility. On the other hand, Leoni asserts that, at
a council of war held in Parma on the 11th of February, plans for
the campaign were proposed in writing by the different confederate
leaders, when that sent by the Duke was treacherously suppressed
by Guicciardini. Judging from the results of the campaign, there
can be no doubt that the imperialists ought to have been attacked
at this juncture; and if a general onset had been ordered on the
13th of March, when they broke out into open mutiny, Bourbon being
obliged to fly for his life, or, a few days after, when Fründesberg,
a monster of sacrilege and blasphemy, according to the Italian
historians, died of apoplexy, they would in all probability have
been totally exterminated. But they were the reserved instrument of
divine judgments; and it signifies little now to speculate whether
the immediate motives which paralysed the League were the Duke's
ill-timed caution, his anticipation that the starving band would ere
long of itself dissolve, or his personal enmity to the Pope. It is,
however, important to keep in view the cold and selfish character of
Venetian policy, and the hampering influence which their system of
_proveditori_ necessarily had upon the measures of their generals.

When Francesco Maria returned to the camp, the imperialists, who had
passed the Trebbia on the 20th of February, were slowly advancing
through the ecclesiastical state of Modena upon Bologna. His tactic
was to place them between two hostile armies; so the Marquis of
Saluzzo, with the French, ecclesiastical, and Swiss troops, preceded
them, leaving garrisons in the principal places, the Duke following
with the Venetians, some thirty miles in their rear. Against this
plan, which Guicciardini designates a strange proceeding, and
which even Baldi most justly criticises, the other leaders vainly
protested, alleging, among other reasons, that whilst the army
in advance must be speedily weakened by detaching garrisons, the
Venetians would probably hang back when their own frontier was freed
from danger. News of the truce between the Pope and the Viceroy now
arrived, and the Duke, disgusted at this new proof of Clement's
fickleness, and indifference to his allies' interests, withdrew
his army across the Po. But the courier who brought the treaty to
Bourbon at Ponte-Reno, with an order to obey its provisions, was
nearly cut to pieces by his troops, infuriated at this interference
with their hopes of booty, and the Constable refused to abide by
it. The fresh jealousy of their unstable ally, thus suggested to
the Venetians, afforded their leader a new apology for not exposing
their troops in a general action for the preservation of Bologna.
But when Bourbon had passed by that city towards Romagna and Urbino,
somewhat more spirit was infused into his movements, as the danger
seemed to approach his own frontier. He immediately sent forward
two thousand men to protect the duchy, and desired his family to
be removed for safety to Venice. On the 5th of March he had struck
his camp at Casal-Maggiore, and proceeded in pursuit of the enemy.
On that day they passed under Imola, which, with the other cities,
was garrisoned by detachments of Saluzzo, in accordance with tactics
already explained. Bourbon now scoured the plains of Romagna in
search of plunder, skirmishing occasionally with the French division.
When at Meldola on the 14th he bethought him of a descent upon Siena,
whose old Ghibelline and anti-Florentine preferences promised him a
welcome. He, therefore, penetrated the Apennines by forced marches
up the passes of the Bidente, and on the 18th reached S. Pietro in
Bagno, burning and pillaging as he went.

When the Constable's refusal to accept the treaty was known at Rome,
Clement, more perplexed than ever, besought Lanoy to hurry on and
induce him to a halt, or at all events to withdraw the Spaniards and
men-at-arms from his command. To this the Viceroy with much apparent
zeal consented; but doubts have been thrown on his sincerity, for
both he and Moncada, whilst professing cordial co-operation with the
Pope, are suspected of having secretly stimulated Bourbon's advance
upon Rome, as the only means of appeasing the troops, trusting that
the grandeur of the enterprise would, in their master's eyes, readily
excuse its criminality. It seems doubtful whether Lanoy actually met
the Constable; and his mission was understood to have exposed him
to great personal risk from the lawless and ungovernable troops. He
at all events conveyed to Bourbon a proposition for the immediate
payment to his army of 80,000 ducats, with 60,000 more during May,
on condition of their retreat within five days; these sums to be
advanced by Florence, on the Viceroy's guarantee for repayment of
one-half by the Emperor. The direct object of this proposal was to
divert the impending storm from Tuscany; and it was fully sanctioned
by Clement, true to the policy of Medicean pontiffs, who ever
regarded Florence as their patrimony, Rome as their life-interest. In
the negotiations to which it gave rise there was a double difficulty.
Whilst the demands of a mutinous and starving army were paramount to
all other considerations, each party of the confederates struggled to
throw upon another the burden of meeting them. The same selfishness
sought individual security against the future movements of the
general foe, by turning him upon some friendly frontier. The wealthy
Florentines lavished their gold to send him back upon Upper Italy,
which the timely distribution of a few thousand men in the Apennine
gorges might have prevented him from ever quitting. The game of the
Proveditore Pisani was to leave no obstacle in the way of his advance
in any direction save that of the Venetian terra-firma domain, and
to detain the Duke of Urbino with his army of observation as long as
possible near that frontier. The French strove at all hazards to keep
him clear of their Lombard conquests. The Pontiff, little dreaming
of an attack upon his capital, was distracted between the care of
Romagna and Tuscany, whilst his fickle imbecility deprived him of all
sympathy at his allies' hands; indeed, in this conflict of interests,
his pusillanimous tergiversations rendered him the weaker vessel,
and he consequently became the chief sufferer. Nor did the Duke of
Urbino escape suspicions of bad faith, for he is accused of a secret
understanding not to impede Bourbon's descent upon Tuscany, which
would naturally liberate his own duchy from danger. Guicciardini,
indeed, not only considers revenge for former injuries of the Medici
as the key to Francesco Maria's dilatory and inefficient proceedings
against the imperialists, but regards his conduct as justified by the
provocations received. These sentiments were at all events cherished
by the soldiery of Urbino, who wrote "FOR VENGEANCE" upon
the houses which they fired on their march through the Florentine
territory. Nor were these provocations light, for the grudge which
Leo had bequeathed was aggravated by a continued retention of the
fortresses in Montefeltro, and still more by an investiture of the
entire duchy, granted in 1525 by Clement, in total defiance of
the della Rovere rights, to Ascanio Colonna, whose claims we have
already considered.[310] This grant, though virtually annulled by the
same Pope's subsequent confirmation of the reinvestiture given to
Francesco Maria by Adrian VI., gave rise to renewed anxieties on his
part about two years later, and it was not until 1530 that we shall
see them finally extinguished by the Duke's generous hospitality to
his rival.

[Footnote 310: Above, p. 420.]

On the 22nd of April the Constable, finding the mountain peasantry
exasperated to a dangerous pitch by the merciless rigours of his
lawless soldiery, and his own sanguinary nature being goaded by their
ribald taunts, cut short these miserable intrigues by advancing into
Tuscany.[*311] The confederate leaders, having at length decided
on saving Florence, united their divisions, and on the 25th passed
the Apennines near the present Bologna road. The Duke now received
an offer of his fortresses of S. Leo and Maiuolo, which still
remained pledged to that commonwealth. This he answered by general
professions, and next day, sending on the army to Incisa to intercept
the approach of Bourbon, he proceeded with a band of faithful
followers to the Tuscan capital. The republican faction, calculating
upon his support, flew to arms and seized the Palazzo Vecchio, while
once more the unpopular sway of the Medici trembled in the balance.
But the Duke, with a nobility of purpose that goes far to absolve
him from suspicion as to his good faith with the Pope throughout
this campaign, rejected the temptation of avenging his many wrongs,
and, by extraordinary personal exertions, succeeded in quelling the
insurrection, and maintaining the established government. Thus, for
the first time, the city saw its Palazzo taken without a revolution
following. In gratitude for this service his fortresses were
immediately given up to Francesco Maria, who in due time received
also the thanks of his Holiness. The act for their restitution was
signed on the 1st of May, and on the 14th S. Leo was surrendered to
his lieutenant Orazio Florido.

[Footnote *311: He halted at S. Giovanni in Val d'Arno, where, though
he ought never to have been allowed to come so far, he might have
been easily crushed in that narrow pass. But if the Duke of Urbino
showed now a certain activity, it was not of the sort to crush this
adventure. Bourbon wheeled into the Via Francigena and marched down
to Rome and death. "To Rome! to Rome!" were his dying words.]

Bourbon's head-quarters were meanwhile at Montevarchi, near
Arezzo, where, seeing his approach to Florence foiled, and the
dissatisfaction of his followers on the increase, he decided upon
making a dash at Rome; his only alternative being to lead them to
pillage, or perish at their hands. As a blind to the Pope, he sent
forward a courier to demand free passage to Naples; and, after
receiving some supplies from Siena, he abandoned his artillery and
heavy baggage in order to lighten his march. He began it on the 26th,
and, notwithstanding incessant rains and an entirely disorganised
commissariat, he passed without halt or question by Acquapendente and
Viterbo to Rome.[312]

[Footnote 312: Many facts regarding the war in Lombardy and the march
to Rome are given by Baldi (Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 906) with a minuteness
and impartiality not found in other writers. The feeble views of
Clement are illustrated by his brieves to the Duke of Urbino, noticed
in I. of the Appendix to our next volume.]



(Pages 33, 34)


The same extremes of reprobation and flattery which alternate
in notices of the Duke Valentino puzzle us as to his personal
appearance. Giovio, the ardent collector of historical portraits,
while describing those which he had brought together, thus comments
upon that of Borgia:--"He is said to come of a plague-stricken stock
and of corrupted blood; for a livid rush overspread his face, which
was full of pimples shedding matter. His eyes, too, were deeply
sunk, and their fierce snake-like glance seemed to flash fire, so
that even his friends and comrades could not bear to look upon them;
yet, while flirting with the ladies, he had a wonderful knack of
playing the agreeable." The pen which inscribed these sentences was
evidently charged with even more than its wonted gall; but, after
every allowance, they cannot well be reconciled with a report of the
Venetian envoy Capello, dated in 1500, and bearing that "the Pope
loves and greatly fears his son the Duke, who is aged twenty-seven
years; his head is most beautiful; he is tall and well made, and
handsomer than King Ferdinand."

Nor can we attain to any more satisfactory conclusion from such
pictures as are alleged to transmit his features. We have no key to
identify as his any of the heads introduced by Pinturicchio into
those fine but little noticed frescoes commissioned by Alexander
VI. for the Torre di Borgia, now a wing of the Vatican Library. The
exquisite medallists of Romagna do not appear to have exercised their
skill upon his bust. Of easel portraits I am aware of six, which I
mention for the curious in such matters, although not prepared to
consider any of them genuine.

1. The elegant effeminate-looking Spaniard in the Borghese Gallery,
attributed to Raffaele, is now admitted to be a misnomer both of
subject and artist.

2. A mean head, in the manner of Federigo Zuccaro, was purchased
a few years ago at Rome by my late friend Monsignor Laureani,
librarian of the Vatican, as that of Valentino, and passed from
him, in 1844, to my friend the Cavaliere Campana. Its sinister and
spiteful expression is not unworthy of such a monster; and allowing
an artist's licence in disguising a complexion which no one would
willingly represent, it might tally with Giovio's too graphic
details. The figure is, however, short, while Capello describes
Cesare as tall.

3. A letter from Giuseppe Vallardi to Count Cesare di Castelbarco
Visconti was privately printed at Milan in 1843, in which he claims
to have discovered in the Count's palace a portrait of Borgia by
Raffaele, the original chalk study of which belonged to himself. From
the mass of verbiage usual in similar Italian effusions of "municipal
fanaticism," there may be extracted an allegation that the picture
had been painted from that earlier drawing about 1508, and a bold
inference is hazarded from their style that both were the handiwork
of Sanzio. The lithograph, however, would entitle us to ascribe them
rather to the Milanese school, and such is admitted to be the opinion
of various connoisseurs. No fact is adduced to authenticate the head,
or to show that Raffaele ever saw Valentino; indeed, the name seems
to libel a countenance so gentle, refined, and unimpassioned.

4. Vallardi mentions in the same letter another Borgian head, by
Giorgione, as in the Lochis Gallery at Bergamo, of which I cannot
speak, not having seen it.

5. A handsome over-dressed youth was engraved for Gordon's _Life of
Alexander VI._, in 1729, from a picture said to belong to D. Giuseppe
Valetta of Naples, which I entirely failed in tracing while in Italy.
Neither have I discovered any authority for supposing that soulless
epicurean to be Cesare Borgia.

Finally, we may include Fuseli's notice of a picture by Titian,
no longer, however, in the Borghese collection, representing a
conference between the Usurper of Romagna and Machiavelli. A finer
subject for the pencil of that intellectual limner could hardly be
found, but Valentino's prodigality was apparently never lavished on
art.[313] In his eleventh lecture, Fuseli also mentions a portrait of
Cesare by Giorgione, as hanging for study in the Royal Academy.

[Footnote 313: In Leonardo da Vinci he saw only a military engineer.
His commission, desiring that great genius to survey and report
upon all his fortresses, in the summer of 1502, is quoted in
BROWN'S _Life of Leonardo_, p. 118, and accordingly Urbino
was visited by him on the 30th of July.]


(Page 34)


The loss of all early records of the Order, in consequence of their
having long been entrusted to the private and insecure custody of
its successive officers, has already placed us at disadvantage in
noticing the admission of Duke Federigo, but from various sources
we are enabled to glean much more satisfactory notices as to the
election and installation of his son to this honourable knighthood.
The chapter at which he was chosen is not preserved by Anstis, but
its date is known from the following letter, the original of which,
in Latin, I had the good fortune to discover in the Oliveriana
Library at Pesaro.[314]

[Footnote 314: MSS. No. 374, vol. I., p. 55.]

     "Henry, by the grace of God, King of England and France,
     Lord of Ireland, to the most illustrious and potent
     Prince the Lord Guido Ubaldo, Duke of Urbino, our most
     dear friend, health and augmented prosperity. We wrote
     lately to inform your Highness that we had resolved upon
     forthwith summoning a chapter of our military Order of the
     Garter, for the purpose of creating your Sublimity a knight
     thereof, and by the same letters gave you tidings of such
     creation. We have now to signify how, in fulfilment of that
     our promise, we have made your Highness a Knight of that
     Order; and this we have done most cordially, not only on
     account of our old necessity, which formerly occurred to
     us with your father the illustrious Duke of happy memory,
     but also in consideration of your singular merit and
     virtues. Indeed we are assured that henceforward your
     Highness will ever be regarded as our most attached cousin
     and intimate friend, which you will more fully learn from
     our distinguished cousin the Lord Talbot, a knight of that
     Order, as also from the Reverend [Richard Bere] Lord Abbot
     of Glastonbury, and the Venerable Sir Robert Shirbourn,
     Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in London, our counsellors and
     ambassadors, whom we have sent to offer our catholic and
     filial obedience to our supreme Lord [Julius II.]. To these
     our envoys we have committed all the knightly insignia
     of the Garter, to be made over to your Highness, and our
     anxious desire is that you will accept them in the same
     spirit of cordial affection in which they are sent. We pray
     you further to receive these our ambassadors as accredited
     in our behalf, and that you will please to aid them with
     your favour and counsels, which will be to us peculiarly
     agreeable. Finally, as the Venerable Mr. Robert Shirbourn,
     one of these our envoys, is by our command to remain for
     some time as our minister at the Roman Court to transact
     certain affairs of ours with our Lord his Holiness, we
     therefore beseech your Sublimity that you will vouchsafe
     to assist him, as our agent, with your gracious influence,
     which has great and just weight with our Holy Father, and
     that you will extend to him such favours as he may request;
     by all which you will do us a singular pleasure. Further,
     if it be in our power any way to oblige you, freely make
     use of us and ours. From our palace near Westminster, the
     20th of February, 1503-4.[315]


[Footnote 315: It is pleasant to find the arts from time to time
becoming handmaids of history as well as of religion; and the
friendly feeling for England then cherished at Urbino is curiously
illustrated by a bequest of Bishop Arrivabene, who, in 1504, left 400
golden scudi to be expended in decorating a chapel, dedicated to St.
Martin and St. Thomas of Canterbury: the Duchess Elisabetta was one
of the trustees, and the fresco ordered by them from Girolamo Genga
included a representation of the English saint, and a portrait of
Duke Guidobaldo.]

The instructions to these ambassadors, dated the 20th of February,
and printed by Anstis, run thus:--

"And after due recommendacions, and presentaciones of the Kinge's
lettres [to Duke Guidobaldo], firste the saide Abbot of Glastonburye
shall make a brefe oracion, wherein he shall not onlye touche the
laudes of the noble Order of the Garter, and of the Kinges Highnes
as sovereigne of the same, but also declare the great vertues and
notable deades of the saide Duke, and how his progenitors and
auncestors have been accepted thereunto, and to theyr greate honor
have used the same, with the desyrous mynde that the sayde Duke is to
be honored therwithal; for the which consideracions and causes the
Kinge's Highness, by the assent of the Companions of that Order, have
been the rather moved and induced to name and elect him thereunto,
trustinge verelie that, his greate noblenesse with other of his
valiant actes and singuler vertues consydered, he shall not onlye
greatlye honor the saide Order, but also take greate honor by the
same. Shewinge fynallye that the Kinge's Highnes, for the singular
zeale, love, and affection which his Grace beareth unto hym, hath
sent hym them ornaments belonginge to the sayd Order, and with as
good and hartye mynde wylleth hyme to be honored therewith as anye
other prince lyvinge, desyring him therefore thankfullye to accept
the same, and to use and weare it in a memoriall of his Grace, and of
the saide notable and auncyant Order.

"And, after the proposition so sayde, they shall present theyr
commyssyon unto the sayde Duke, and cause the same openlye to be
read, and so followinge, the Abbot of Glastonburye shall in good
and reverent manner requyre him to make his corporall othe for the
inviolable observaunce of the same, lyke as, bye the tenure of the
saide estatuts, every Knight of that Order is bownde to do, in form

"Ego Guido Ubaldus, Dei Gratia Dux Urbinatis, honorificentissimi
atque approbatissimi Ordinis Garterii Miles et Confrater electus,
juro ad hæc sancta Dei evangelia per me corporaliter tacta, quod
omnia et singula statuta leges et ordinationes ipsius dignissimi
Ordinis bene sincere et inviolabiliter observabo. Ita me Deus
adjuvet, et hæc sancta Dei evangelia!

"Which othe geven, Sir Gybert Talbot shall deliver the Garter to hym,
and cause the same in good and honorable manner to be put about his
legge, the saide Abbott of Glastonburye sayinge audablye thes wordes

"Ad laudem et honorem summi atque omnipotentis Dei, intemeratæ
Virginis et Matris suæ Mariæ, ac gloriosissimi martiris Georgii,
hujus Ordinis Patroni, circumcingo tibiam tuam hoc Garterio, ut
possis in isto bello firmiter stare et fortiter vincere, in signum
Ordinis et augmentum tui honoris.

"Which thinge so don, the saide Sir Gylbert shall deliver unto the
saide Duke the gowne of purple couler, and cause hym to apparrell
hymself with the same, the saide Abbot of Glastonburye sayinge thes
wordes followinge, at the doinge on of the same:--

"Accipe vestem hanc purpuream, quâ semper munitus non verearis pro
fide Christi, libertate ecclesiæ et oppressorum tuitione fortiter
dimicare, et sanguinem effundere, in signum Ordinis et augmentum tui

"And then followinge, the sayd Sir Gilbert shall cause the sayde
Duke to do upon hym the mantle of blew velvett, garnyshed with the
scute and crosse of Saint George, and the said Abbot of Glastonburye
sayinge thes wordes:--

"Accipe clamidem coelestis coloris clypeo crucis Christi
insignitam, cujus virtute atque vigore semper protectus, hostes
superare, et pro clarissimis tuis meritis gaudia tandem coelestia
promereri valeas, in signum Ordinis et augmentum tui honoris.

"And when the saide Duke shall be so apperrylled with the ornaments
aforesaide, the saide Sir Gylbert shall put the image of Seinte
George abowt his necke, the saide Abbott saying thes wordes:--

"Imaginem gloriosissimi martiris Georgii, hujus Ordinis patroni, in
collo tuo deferes, cujus fultus presidio hujus mundi prospera et
adversa sic pertranseas, ut hostibus corporis et animi devictis,
non modo temporalis militiæ gloriam, sed perennis victoriæ palmam
accipere valeas, in signum Ordinis et augmentum tui honoris."

Hollinshed, following Hall, informs us that "Sir Gilbert Talbot,
Knight, Richard Bere, Abbot of Glastonburie, and Doctor Robert
Sherborne, Deane of St. Paules, were sent as ambassadors from the
King to Rome, to declare to Pius the third of that name, newlie
elected pope in place of Alexander the Sixt, deceased, what joy and
gladnesse had entered the King's heart for his preferment. But he
taried not the comming of those ambassadors, for within a moneth
after that he was installed, he rendered his debt to nature, and so
had short pleasure of his promotion.... The King caused Guidebald,
Duke of Urbine, to be elected Knight of the Order of the Garter, in
like manner as his father Duke Frederike had been before him, which
was chosen and admitted into the Order by King Edward the Fourth. Sir
Gilbert Talbot, and the other two ambassadors, being appointed to
keepe on their journey unto Pope Julius the Second, elected after the
death of the said Pius the Third, bare the habit, and collar also,
unto the said Duke Guidebald."[316] It must, however, be observed
that letters of safe conduct for these ambassadors are stated to have
been issued under the Privy Seal on the 22nd of February, 1504, as if
but then beginning their journey. This mission was in accordance with
the statutes of the Order, which provided that, within four months
of the election, special messengers should be despatched to invest
each foreign knight with the insignia, and that, within eight months
after the investiture, he should send a proctor to England to receive
installation in his name.

[Footnote 316: Hall quaintly says that the King intended "to stop two
gappes with one bushe."]

We learn from Burchard that the three envoys reached Rome the 12th
of May, 1504. They were met by Sylvester Gigli, Bishop of Worcester,
Anglican resident at the papal court, and had a splendid reception.
On the 20th they had an audience, when, the minister of Louis XII.
having protested against Henry taking the style of France, they
were admitted as the ambassadors of England only. No details have
reached us of the investiture. The authority to which we naturally
turn for the circumstances attending this interesting episode of our
narrative is Polydoro di Vergilio, a native of Urbino, and historian
of England; but a fact, which to the writer ought to have been of
peculiar importance, is passed over without details. As, however,
the supposed autograph copy of his History varies considerably from
printed editions, we shall here quote from it the entire passage,
proving the incorrect manner in which this work is given to the

"Alexandro Sexto mortuo, creatus est Pontifex Franciscus, Senensis
antistes, qui Pii fuit Secundi ex sorore nepos, voluitque et ipse
Pius Tertius in memoria avunculi vocari. Hic amicissimus erat regis
Henrici [VII.], qui, ut primus omnium Christianorum principum bono
patri de adepto pontificatu congratularetur, confestim Gilbertum
Talbott equitem, Ricardum Beer Abbatem Glasconiensem, et Robertum
Scherburn decanum divi Pauli Londinensis oratores designavit ad ipsum
pontificatum. Sed Pius non expectavit gratulationem, qui obiit sexto
et vigesimo die quam sedere coeperat. Creatur in ejus locum Julianus,
Cardinalis Sti. Petri ad Vincula, patria Ligur, dictusque est Julius
Secundus. Huic postea illi tres regis oratores congratulatum inerunt,
quos Hadrianus Castellensis episcopus Herefordensis, quem paulo
ante Alexander Cardinalem fecerat, Romæ hospitio excepit. Hunc rex
Henricus sub idem tempus ab Herefordensi sede ad Bathoniensem ac
Wellensem transferri curavit. At Hadrianus, ut præter sua quotidiana
obsequia, quæ tam regi quam Anglis omnibus libens præstabat, aliquo
diuturniori memoriæ monumento relinqueret, apud omnes testatum se
memorem fuisse acceptorum beneficiorum ab Henrico, atque nomen
Anglicum amasse, donavit regi palatium magnificum quod ipse Romæ
in Vaticano ædificaverat, ornavitque regis insignibus, ut in
ea luce hominum aliquod egregium opus nomini Anglico dedicatum
conspiceretur.[317] Item, iidem oratores detulerunt habitum Garterii
ordinis Guidoni Duci Urbini, principi seculo nostro Latinæ Linguæ
simul ac Græcæ ac militaris disciplinæ peritissimo, quem Rex paulo
ante in Collegium ipsius Ordinis asciverat. Dux postea destinavit
in Angliam Baldasarem Castilliorum, natione Mantuanum, equitem tam
doctrinâ quam bellicâ virtute præstantem, ut suo nomine ejus Ordinis
cerimonias exequeret. Fuit Baldaser ab Henrico perbenigne exceptus,
atque comiter habitus; qui, finitis ceremoniis, non indonatus,
postmodum ad suum Decem redivit."[318]

[Footnote 317: The palace thus gifted to Henry is believed to have
been that in Borgo, called Palazzo Giraud, in which many of our
countrymen have of late received the splendid hospitalities of Prince

[Footnote 318: Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 498, f. 273. For Polydoro di
Vergilio, see above, pp. 115-18.]

There is thus no authority for a statement in the printed version of
this History, adopted by Hall, Baldi, and others, that the decoration
was conferred in consequence of Guidobaldo's own wish to belong to
an Order, of whose illustration he had become cognisant from its
having been borne by his father. Perhaps the requests which conclude
the letter of Henry VII. may give the most satisfactory key to the
royal policy. Informed, as he no doubt was, of the state of affairs
at the Papal court, he must have been aware that to conciliate the
Duke was the wisest course for those who had favours to gain from the
Pontiff. Be this as it may, the Garter was received by Guidobaldo at
Rome in June, as became so singular an honour, and was proudly worn
next St. George's day in compliance with the rules of the Order.
Having resolved suitably so to acknowledge the dignity by a special
envoy to London, he selected as his proctor Castiglione, the choicest
spirit of his elegant court. The first we hear of this intention is
from the Count's letter of 2nd March, 1505, confidently informing
his mother that he would probably be sent to represent his master
at his installation in England. The plan, however, remained long in
abeyance. Castiglione spent the autumn at the baths of S. Casciano in
Tuscany, for an old injury or wound in his foot, and, in the end of
the year, went on a mission to Ferrara.[319] At length he set out,
on the 24th of July, 1506, accompanied by Francesco di Battista di
Ricece, and Giulio da Cagli, with their respective suites. Among the
presents he was charged to deliver to the King were some falcons,
three of the finest racers of the Urbino breed, and a precious
little picture, by Raffaele, of St. George as patron of the English
Order, which we have already mentioned at p. 233. He was at Lyons in
September, and this notice of his arrival at Dover is preserved by

"The 20th of Octobre, the twenty-second year of our soverain lord,
King Henry VII., there landed at Dover a noble ambassadeur, sent
from the Duc of Urbin, called Sir Balthasar de Castilione, whiche
came to be installed in his lorde's name; whiche Duc had receyved
before by the Abbot of Glastonbury and Sir Gilbert Talbott, being the
King's commissionaris, the Garetier, &c., to the Ordre apperteyning.
And, to mete with the said ambassadeur, was sent Sir Thomas Brandon,
havyng a goodly companye with hym of his owne servants, all verely
well horsed, unto the see-seyde; whiche, after they met togedre,
kept contynnually compagnie with hym, and, when they approched nere
to Deptford, ther met with the forsaid ambassadeur by the King's
commandement, the Lord Thomas Dokara, lord of St. John's, and Thomas
Writhesley, alias Gartier princypall king of Armes. Whiche lord of
St. John's had in his compaignie thirty of his servaunts, all in
a lyvery new, well horsed, every [one] of his gentlemen beryng a
javelayn in his hand, and every yeman havying his bowe and a sheffe
of arrowes, and soe convoyed hym to his lodging, and on the morrow
unto London. And by the waye ther met with the said ambassadeur
dyvers Italyens, as the Pope's Vicecollector, Paulus de Gygeles
[Giliis], with dyvers [others]; and soe convoyed hym to the Pope's
Vicecollector's hows, wher he was lodged."

[Footnote 319: I can find nothing in support of Roscoe's assertion
that he was wounded while aiding Guidobaldo to recover his duchy, and
the whole facts seem to contradict it. _Leo X._, ch. vii., § 7, note.
That usually accurate writer has fallen into the mistake of ascribing
to the Count's _sister_ his interment and monumental inscription in
the church of the Minims, near Mantua, while the epitaph which he has
printed, bears that Aloysia Gonzaga placed it over a worthy _son_,
whom she unwillingly survived. Several dates in our text are supplied
from Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 904, p. 43.]

Two days after Castiglione reached London he was sent for by the
King, whose marked favour, whilst he stated the objects of his
mission in an eloquent Latin address, is recorded in his own letters.
The installation took place on the 10th of November, upon the
following commission, printed by Ashmole:--

"Henry, by the grace of God, &c. Forasmuch as we understand that
the right noble prince Gwe de Ubaldis, Duke of Urbin, who was
heretofore elected to be one of the companions of the said noble
Order, cannot conveniently repair into this our realm, personally to
be installed in the collegiate church of that Order, and to perform
other ceremonies whereunto by the statutes of the said Order he is
bound, but for that intent and purpose hath sent a right honourable
personage, Balthasar de Castilione, Knight, sufficiently authorised
as his proctor, to be installed in his name, and to perform all other
things for him, to the statutes and ordinances of the said Order
requisite and appertaining. We, therefore, in consideration of the
premises, will, and by these presents, give unto you licence, full
power, and authority, not only to accept and admit the said Balthasar
as proctor for the same Duke, and to receive his oath and instal him
in the lieu and place and for the said Duke, but also farther, to do
therein as to the statutes and laudable usages of the said Order it
appertaineth; and this our writing shall be to you and every of you
sufficient discharge in that behalf. Given under the seale of our
said noble Order of the Garter, at our mannor of Grenewiche, the 7th
day of November, the twenty-second year of our reign."

After the ceremonial was concluded, the Count visited the other
knights in the name of his master. This installation by proxy has
given rise to a confusion that he was himself honoured with the
Garter, which Roscoe first exposed. It is probable, however, that
he was knighted by Henry, a dignity he had vainly looked for at the
hand of Julius II. before his departure; at all events he received
from him, besides gifts of horses and dogs, a gold chain or collar
of SS links, from which depended two portcullises and a golden rose
with its centre of silver. This chain, long peculiar to English chief
justices, is traced by Dugdale from the initials of Saint Simplicius,
a primitive Christian judge and martyr; and the badge was adopted
by that monarch as heir of the Plantagenets through both rival
roses. The decoration, mistaken by Marliani for the collar of the
Garter, was destined by the Count as an heirloom, and it accordingly
surrounded his armorial coat in that dedication copy of his letter
to Henry, narrating the life of Guidobaldo, which he described by
Anstis. On the 9th of February, 1507, he was at Milan on his return
to Urbino, where he arrived about the end of the month, charged with
affectionate letters and messages from Henry, and with rich presents.
His conversation, of all that he had seen in a country so imperfectly
known, was greatly relished by the Duke, and his anecdotes of its
court, its wealth, and its wonders long continued to enliven the
palace-circle of Montefeltro.


(Page 138)


Considering the importance of Sanzi's Rhyming Chronicle of Duke
Federigo to the literary history of Urbino, and the almost total
neglect in which it has hitherto lain, we shall here describe with
some minuteness the only copy of it known to exist. It is a large
and thick folio volume, No. 1305 of the Ottoboniana MSS. in the
Vatican Library, written on paper in a firm Italian hand of the
fifteenth century, expressly for the Duke Guidobaldo I., to whom it
is dedicated. Some passages have been interpolated on the margin, and
others are altered by pasting a new version over the cancelled lines,
in a character slightly different from that of the text, of which,
being probably autograph, a fac-simile is given on the following

[Footnote 320: This marginal interpolation, occurring in the
dedication, runs thus:--"Pregandoti humilmente ryguardi ly gloriosi
fatti del tuo famoso padre, e non la basseza del myo style [not
"srypt," as Passavant reads it], ornato solo da me dy quella sincer
fede che deue vn fydeli servo al suo signore."]

The general title, supplied in a much later hand, runs
thus:--"Historia della Guerra d'Italia nel tempo de' PP. Pio e Paolo
II., del 1478, in versi di Gio[~v]. Sati al Duca di Urbino"; but the
Chronicle itself is thus headed, "Principio del opera composta da
Giohanni Santi, pictore, nelaquale se contiene la vita e gesti de lo
illustrissimo et invictissimo Principe Federico Feretrano, Duca di
Urbino." A prose dedication occupies four pages, and is followed by a
prologue of nine chapters in verse; the poem itself is divided into a
hundred and four chapters, arranged in twenty-three books, the whole
work consisting of about twenty-four thousand lines.[321] It may be
not uninteresting to print the contents of these chapters, supplying
the omitted titles of the two first.

[Footnote 321: Several errors in the numeration, both of the folios
and chapters, might readily deceive a superficial observer, and have
misled even Passavant.]

[Illustration: [Transcriber's Note: handwritten text; see footnote
320 above]]


     CAP. I. [Of the race of Montefeltro preceding Duke
     Federico, and of his birth and betrothal.]

     CAP. II. [Of the boyish embassies of Count
     Federico; of his education and marriage.]

     CAP. III. Nel quale se tracta de la prima militia
     sua cum Nicolo Picinino.

     CAP. IV. Nel quale si tratta la rocta di Monte

     CAP. V. De la predicta rocta di Monte Locho.


     CAP. VI. Nel quale se tratta el rincondurse del C.
     Federico cum Nicolo Piccino e el guerre de la Marca.

     CAP. VII. Nel quale se tratta la morte del Duca
     Oddantonio el diventare el Conte Signore de Urbino.

     CAP. VIII. Nel quale poi uarie cose, se tratta le
     rebillione de la Marca contra el Conte Francesco Sforza.

     CAP. IX. Nel quale se tratta l'aspera guerra per
     Papa Eugenio al Conte Federico.

     CAP. X. De varie cose e del tradimento de
     Fossambrone contra del Conte Federico.

     CAP. XI. De la rotta del Signore Sigismondo ha


     CAP. XII. Nel quale se contiene la guerra de
     Toscana per il Re Alfonso contra Fiorentini, et la condutta
     del Conte Federico cum loro.

     CAP. XIII. Nel quale se tratta de lo assedio di
     Pionbino per el Re Alfonso.

     CAP. XIV. De la morte del Duca Phillippo, et
     diverse guerre de Lombardia.


     CAP. XV. Nel quale se contiene la condutta del
     Conte cum el Re Alfonso, et la guerra di Toscana al tempo
     di Ferrante Duca de Calabria.

     CAP. XVI. De uarie cose de Lombardia, et la lega
     quasi de tutta Italia, e l'andata del Conte a Napoli.

     CAP. XVII. Parlamento insieme del S. Sigismondo et
     de Conte a Ferrara, per el mezo del Duca Borso.

     CAP. XVIII. Resposta del Conte al S. Sigismondo
     nel predicto parlamento.


     CAP. XIX. Nel quale se contiene la guerra fra el
     S. Sigismondo el Conte de Urbino, et la uenuta del Conte
     Jacomo Piccinino contra del S. Sigismondo.

     CAP. XX. De la preditta guerra.


     CAP. XXI. Nel quale se contiene el principio et
     uarie guerre del Reame di Napoli al tempo del Duca Giohanni
     contra de el Re Ferrante.

     CAP. XXII. Del andata del Conte Jacomo nel Reame
     contra de el Re Ferrante.

     CAP. XXIII. De la rotta del Re a Sarno, et el
     correre scontro de dui Braceschi cum dui Feltreschi.

     CAP. XXIV. Del fatto e l'arme de Santo Fabiano.

     CAP. XXV. Del preditto fatto d'arme de Santo

     CAP. XXVI. Del predicto fatto d'arme.


     CAP. XXVII. Nel quale se contiene uarie e diuerse
     ribellione de cipta e castelli de la predicta guerra del

     CAP. XXVIII. De la correria del Aquila a la citta,
     et la expugnatione de Albi.


     CAP. XXIX. Nel quale se contiene le predicte
     guerre del Reame, et molti expugnatione de castelli, et
     lo assedio famossissimo de Casteluccio, et la uenuta del
     Signori chi erano in Abruzo per la sua liberatione.

     CAP. XXX. De la oratione fatta a li militi del
     Conte, et la expugnatione di Castellucio.

     CAP. XXXI. Dele preditte guerre del Reame e dela
     rotta del S. Napolione inela la Marca.


     CAP. XXXII. Nel quale se contiene la rotta che
     dette el Conte al S. Sigismondo ha Senegaglia.

     CAP. XXXIII. Del preditto fatto d'arme.

     CAP. XXXIV. De la preditta guerra contra el S.
     Sigismondo, et lo aquisto de diverse sue terre.

     CAP. XXXV. De la preditta guerra contra el S.
     Sigismondo, et la industriosa expugnatione de la Rocha de
     Veruchio, et la assedio di Fano.

     CAP. XXXVI. Del medesimo assedio di Fano, et la
     uictoria di quello.


     CAP. XXXVII. Nel quale se contiene l'ultima ruina
     del S. Sigismondo, landata del Papa Pio in Ancona et la sua
     morte, la creatione de Paulo II., la ruina del stato de
     Deifobo da l'Auguilara, et la guerra de Cesena, da poi la
     morte del S Malatesta.

     CAP. XXXVIII. De la uictoria de Cesena la morte
     del Duca Francesco [Sforza] et l'andata del Conte ha Milano.


     CAP. XXXIX. Nel quale se contiene la nouita de
     Fiorenza nel sesanta sei, et la guerra de Romagna per
     Bartholomeo da Bergamo.

     CAP. XL. De la preditta guerra de Romagna.

     CAP. XLI. Oratione del Conte a li suoi militi
     nante el fatto d'arme de la Mulinella.

     CAP. XLII. Del bellissimo fatto d'arme fra
     Bartholomeo, el Conte a la Mulinella.

     CAP. XLIII. Del preditto fatto d'arme de la

     CAP. XLIV. De la preditta guerra, e 'l sachegiare
     el Conte alle del Amone.


     CAP. XLV. Nel quale se contiene la guerra et lo
     assedio de Arimino per Papa Paulo.

     CAP. XLVI. Del preditto assedio de Arimino, et una
     proua mirabile del S. Roberto.

     CAP. XLVII. De la preditta guerra, e una alto
     pensiero del Conte per la liberatione de Arimino.[322]

     [Footnote 322: This chapter being numbered XLVI. by mistake
     in the original, the subsequent numbers here given are
     always in advance by _one_ until Cap. LXXIII.]

     CAP. XLVIII. De la preditta guerra, e locutione
     del Conte ali militi nante el fatto, d'arme da Ceresuolo.

     CAP. XLIX. De la uenuta de le gente de la Chiesa a
     trouare el Conte.

     CAP. L. Del bellissimo fatto d'arme da Cerisuolo.

     CAP. LI. Del preditto fatto d'arme de Cerisuolo.

     CAP. LII. Dela rotta dele gente de la Chiesa a

     CAP. LIII. Del fine de la guerra di Arimino.


     CAP. LIV. Nel quale se tratta la rebellione de
     Volterra contra Fiorentini, et l'andata del Conte per

     CAP. LV. Del campegiare de Volterra.

     CAP. LVI. Del sacho de Volterra.

     CAP. LVII. Dela tornata del Conte a casa, et dela
     morte dela excellentissima donna sua, Madonna Baptista


     CAP. LVIII. Nel quale se contiene le fabriche et
     magni hedificii che fea murare el Conte, et inparte la sua
     uita altempo di pace.

     CAP. LIX. Delo istudio del Conte, et dela venuta
     del Cardinale de Samsixto ad Ogobio.


     CAP. LX. In questo se contiene l'andata del Conte
     ha Napoli, et molti honori et dignita quale habbe in quella

     CAP. LXI. Et quale tratta como el Conte fu fatto
     Duca de Urbino, et delo assedio dela cipta de Castello.

     CAP. LXII. De varie turbulentie, et precipue de


     CAP. XLIII. Nel quale se contiene la venuta delo
     Re Ferrante a Roma, l'andata del Duca, et la dignita de la

     CAP. LXIV. Como el Duca receue la Galatea, et de
     la morte del Duca Galeazo Duca de Milano.

     CAP. LXV. Del luoco, et como, el di che fu morto
     el preditto Duca Galeazo Maria.

     CAP. LXVI. Discurso de la dubia uita de Signori et
     de grani ciptadini.


     CAP. LXVII. Nel quale se contiene la tornata del
     Conte Carlo [Braccio] a Montone, le nouita de Penisia per
     la sua uenuta, et landata che lui fea contra Senesi.

     CAP. LXVIII. Del andare el Conte a campo a
     Montone, et la expugnatione de esso Montone.


     CAP. LXIX. Nel qual se contiene como el Signor
     Carlo Manfredi fu chaciato de Faenza da el fratello
     chiamato el Signor Galeotto; la mossa che fece el Conte in
     suo favore, et como nel tornare adrieto essendo a Sanmarino
     se ruppe uno piede.

     CAP. LXX. Del modo et conmo el Duca se ruppe
     el piede, et de la grauissima sua egritudine et de la
     conjuratione contra li Medici in Fiorenza.

     CAP. LXXI. De lo insulto contra de Laurentio de
     Medici, et de la morte del suo fratello Giuliano.

     CAP. LXXII. De la destrutione de la casa de
     Pazzi, et del principio de la guerra de Toscano nel


     CAP. LXXIII.[323] Nel quale se tratta el primo
     anno dela guerra di Toscana.

     [Footnote 323: This chapter, being omitted in the original
     numeration, the subsequent five numbers are in advance by

     CAP. LXXIV. Dela unione che fece insieme el Duca
     Alfonso Duca di Calabria, el Duca de Urbino.

     CAP. LXXV. Delo assedio del Monte Samsavino, et
     dele dificulta che il Duca ui sostinne.

     CAP. LXXVI. Oratione lunga del Duca ali militi al
     Monte Samsavino.

     CAP. LXXVII. Dela preditta oratione.

     CAP. LXXVIII. Del astutia che uso el Duca per
     hauere la triegua al Monte Samsavino.

     CAP. LXXIX. Dela proposta del Duca dela triegua
     ali Signori del Campo, et dela expugnatione del Monte.[324]

     [Footnote 324: This chapter being omitted in the original
     numeration, the subsequent numbers are in advance by
     _three_ until No. XCVII.]


     CAP. LXXX. Nel quale se contiene el secondo anno
     dela guerra de Toscana.

     CAP. LXXXI. De diuersi danni de Perusini, et dela
     morte del Conte Carlo, e altre cose.

     CAP. LXXXII. Dela ruina de Casole, luoco de
     Senesi, et dela uitoria del Signor Roberto ala Magione.

     CAP. LXXXIII. De molti danni de Perusini per
     el Signor Roberto, et l'aquisto per el Duca del Monte

     CAP. LXXXIV. De liberarse li Perusini dali danni
     de Signor Roberto et delo assedio di Colle.

     CAP. LXXXV. Del predicto assedio di Colle.

     CAP. LXXXVI. Dela battaglia prima data ha Colle.

     CAP. LXXXVII. De poi piu baptaglie data ha Colle,
     et la uictoria hauta di lui.

     CAP. LXXXVIII. De l'andata di Lorenzo di Medici a
     Napoli, et la pace cum Fiorentini del Papa et del Re.


     CAP. LXXXIX. Dela stantia del Duca a Viterbo, et
     dela dignita del Capello et dela Spada.

     CAP. XC. Delo aquisto de Furli per et Conte
     Geronimo Riario, et prima del andata del Duca.

     CAP. XCI. Dela uictoria di Furli, et la
     possessione de esso per el preditto Conte, et la uenuta de
     Turchi a Otranto.

     CAP. XCII. De la guerra de Turchi in Puglia.


     CAP. XCIII. Nel quale se contiene la guerra de
     Ferrara per li Venetiani contra del Duca Ercule di Este,
     et prima dela practica de essa guerra, l'andata del Conte
     Geronimo a Vinesa.

     CAP. XCIV. Dela preditta guerra de Ferara, et
     landata del Signor Roberto da Santo Seuerino a Vinesa.

     CAP. XCV. Dela partita del Duca da Urbino per
     andare a Milano, e una disputa dela pictura.

     CAP. XCVI. Dela ditta guerra de Ferrara, et dello
     assedio de Figaruolo.

     CAP. XCVII.[325] Del preditto assedio de
     Figaruolo, le turbulentie de Roma, l'andata del Signor
     Roberto Malatesta.

     [Footnote 325: This number being repeated by mistake in the
     original, the subsequent numbers are in advance by _two_.]

     CAP. XCVIII. Del ditto assedio de Figaruolo, e
     de la morte de Messer Pier deli Ubaldini al bastione dala

     CAP. XCIX. Dela aspre battaglie quale deva el
     Signor Roberto da Santo Seuerino a Figaruolo.

     CAP. C. Como el Signor Roberto da poi molte
     baptaglie vinse Figaruolo.


     CAP. CI. Nel quale se contiene el ponte che fece
     el Signore Roberto per passare el Po, la rotta del Duca di
     Callabria a Campomorto.

     CAP. CII. Como se parti da Castello le gente
     Feltresche, et andaro a Furli.

     CAP. CIII. Dela egritudine del Duca, et la uenuta
     sua in Ferrara.

     CAP. CIV. Dela morte del Duca, et del Signore
     Roberto Malatesta.


(Page 138)


The inscription upon the humble headstone of the sovereigns of
Sinigaglia in the nave of Sta. Maria delle Grazie, runs thus:--



     Senogalliæ vetustissimæ civitatis
     Dominus, Almæ urbis Prefectus,
     Sori Arcanæque Dux, exercituum Sixti
     Quarti, Innocentii Octavi, summus Imperator,
     Maximorum Pontificium Sixti nepos,
     Julii Secundi frater, cum uxore suâ
     Joannâ Monfeltriâ, Federici Urbini
     Ducis filiâ, præstantioribus
     Et nobilioribus feminis, adversis
     Secundisque rebus, conferendâ et
     Preferendâ, magnum hoc templum
     Affundamentis erexit; et multis
     Egregiis tam bello quam pace actis,
     Procaci abreptus morte,
     Anno Domini MDI.,
     Ætatisque suæ quadragesimo quarto,
     Hic tumulatur.


(Page 348)


Having no wish to overload these pages with a papal bull, either in
its barbarous Latinity or in a crabbed translation, we shall content
ourselves with abbreviating the formal record of the investigation
and sentence of absolution, dated the 9th of December, 1511, by
which the Duke of Urbino was acquitted of the slaughter of the
Cardinal of Pavia. Julius, in that document, sets forth that, after
reducing Bologna to obedience of the Church, he placed over it
the Cardinal as legate, who ungratefully betrayed his duty to the
Pope and the Church by secretly plotting for restoration of the
Bentivoglii, and for defeat of the army under command of the Duke,
as well as by withdrawing to Ravenna on pretext of terror, but in
fact to conceal his treason. That having, by these and many other
enormities, incurred the guilt of treason and lèse-majesty, he was
slain by Francesco Maria; and that, on a complaint of this outrage
being preferred, his Holiness, judging from the first aspect of the
affair that this crime against the dignity of the purple afforded so
pernicious an example, and such general horror and scandal abroad, as
to require an impartial inquiry, had remitted it to six cardinals,
in order to make sifting inquest into the matter, receiving secret
oral testimony, without reference to the ties of blood, but with
ample powers, judicial and extra-judicial, to carry out the process
to its conclusion, and to pronounce sentence therein. And the
apostolic procurator-fiscal having appeared to support the charges,
required the Duke's committal to prison ere he should be allowed
to plead, in order to secure the due course of justice against any
elusory proceedings; whereupon he was put under arrest in his own
house, and bound over to appear in the sum of 100,000 golden ducats.
Thereafter, the judges having taken evidence and published it, the
Pope advocated the cause and pronounced an acquittal, which the
Duke refused to accept, insisting that the prosecution should take
its course, and returning under arrest until it should do so. This
having been proceeded with, the cardinals gave sentence, acquitting
him "of the said charge of homicide, and the punishment it legally
inferred," and debarring all future action thereanent at the public
prosecutor's instance. Whereupon Julius embodied this narrative in
a bull subscribed by eighteen cardinals, and formally guaranteed by
the amplest authority, as a protection to Francesco Maria against any
future question affecting his tranquillity and status.[326]

[Footnote 326: The notorial transumpt of this bull, verified in 1516
by three notaries in presence of the municipality of Urbino, is
preserved in the Archivio Diplomatico at Florence, and the preceding
abridgment was made from an authenticated extract obtained by me
there in 1845. In the same archives there is another formal acquittal
to the like purpose, which it is needless to quote.]

The remission of the Duke's subsequent misconduct was contained in
a papal brief of the 10th of January, 1513, addressed to himself,
wherein it was stated that he had been accused by many of maintaining
intelligence with the King of France before the battle of Ravenna,
and of other intrigues against the Roman Government, as well as of
various crimes, including slaughter of cardinals and lèse-majesty,
and that he had in consequence been deprived of his dukedom and
dignities; but that having experienced his zeal and good faith in
the like matters, the Pontiff could not persuade himself of his
guilt, for which reason he, _ex motu proprio_, granted to him and his
adherents plenary remission from all spiritual and temporal censures
and sentences incurred therein, and restored him to all his honours
and dignities. The entire wording of this document, the original of
which is preserved along with the bull just quoted, shows a studious
exactitude and elaboration of terms, so as to guard it against
future question; but, considering its importance with reference to
the prosecution subsequently mooted against the Duke by Leo X., it
may be well here to give the _ipsissima verba_ of the remission
clauses. The brief is addressed, but has no counter-signature; a
transumpt of it in the same archive has the name "Baldassar Tuerdus"
as a counter-signature.

"Motu proprio, et ex certâ nostrâ scientiâ ac maturâ deliberatione,
et apostolice potestatis plenitudine, apostolicâ auctoritate, tenore
presentium, tibi et illis plenarie remittimus pariter et indulgemus,
teque ac illos, et illorum singulos, ab omnibus sententiis censuris
et penis quibuslibet, spiritualibus et temporalibus, a jure vel ab
homine quomodolibet promulgatis, auctoritate scientiâ et potestate
predictis, absolvimus et liberamus, ac te tuosque filios, natos et
nascituros ac heredes quoscunque, ad Vicariatum, Ducatum, Comitatus,
teque ac subditos, adherentes, complices ac sequaces, ac singulorum
eorundem heredes, ad feuda, dominia, honores et dignitates, offitia,
privelegia, bona ac jura, ac ad actus legitimos, quibus forsan
premissorum, et aliâ quâcunque occasione, etiam de necessitate
experimendâ privati, censeri possetis, auctoritate scientiâ et
potestate premissis restituimus, et etiam reintegramus, et ad eundem
statum reducimus et reponimus, in quo tu et illi eratis ante tempus
quo premissa commisissetis; districtius inhibentes quibuscunque
officialibus nostris, et dicte Ecclesie, qui sunt et pro tempore
erunt, ne contra te et subditos, adherentes, complices et sequaces,
aut aliquem vestrum, occasione hujusmodi criminum possint procedere,
aut occasione premissorum te vel illos, aut aliquem eorum, molestare
quoquo modo presumant; ac decernentes ex nunc irritum et inane
quicquid ac quoscunque processus et sententias, quos seu quas
contra inhibitionem nostram hujusmodi haberi contigerit, seu etiam


(Page 392)


The following letter has been lately printed by the Marchese Caponi,
in the _Archivio Storico Italiano_, vol. I., p. 472, from the
original in his possession:--

     To the most illustrious and most excellent Prince our Lord
     Lorenzo de' Medici, Duke of Urbino, dear to us as a brother.

     Most illustrious and most excellent Lord Duke, dear to us
     as a brother,

     The Signor Adriano, your Excellency's servant, has
     delivered your most courteous and kind letters addressed
     to us, on eagerly perusing which we recognised with great
     satisfaction your Excellency's friendly dispositions in
     our behalf. We have in consequence received the said
     Signor Adriano with the greatest possible civility, and
     have freely offered and promised him our every favour and
     support in all places and circumstances. Having learned
     that your Excellency takes no small pleasure in dogs,
     we now send you by your said servant some blood-hounds
     [_odorissequos_], and also several stag-hounds of uncommon
     fleetness, and of singular strength in pulling down their
     game. And we farther specially beg of you to let us know if
     there be anything else in this famed kingdom that you would
     wish; and should you in future boldly make use in your
     affairs of my assistance, good-will, and influence, such as
     it is, whether with his Majesty my sovereign, who is most
     favourably disposed towards you, or with any other person
     whatsoever, you will find me willing and ready to oblige
     you. May you be preserved in happiness. From our palace in
     London, the 28th of June, 1518.

     As your Excellency's brother,




[Transcriber's Note: In the original genealogical tables, natural
children are denoted by a wavy line, here represented by the !


      |                       |                    |                 |
  POPE SIXTUS IV.,                  | MENEROLA.       | BASSO,              RIARIO.
  b. 1414, d. 1484.                 |                 | d. 1483.
                                    |                 |
     _______________________________|                 |
    |                                                 |
    |       __________________________________________|________
    |      |               |           |            |          |  1476.
    |  Cardinal, of    Prior of                 d. 1482.              MARCIANA,
    |  S. Chrisogono,  Pisa.                                          niece of
    |  d. 1507.                                                       Ferdinand
    |                                                                 of Naples.
    |             |                       |                                |            1474.                               |
  Patriarch    POPE JULIUS II.,        of Sora,       | nat. daughter   of Rome, Lord of  | MONTEFELTRO,  DELLA ROVERE. |         | FRANCIOTTI,
  of Antioch.  b. 1453, d. 1513.       Prefect of     | of Ferdinand    Sinigaglia,       | of Urbino,                  |         | DELLA ROVERE,
                       !               Rome, d. 1475. | of Naples,      b. 1458, d. 1501. | d. 1514.                    |         | of Lucca.
                       !                              | Duchess of                        |                             |         |
                       !                              | Sora.                             |                             |         |
                       !                              |                                   |                             |         |
                       !                             S.P.                                 |                             |         |
     __________________!     _____________________________________________________________|                             |         |
    !                       |                                                                                           |         |
    !                       |      _____________________________________________________________________________________|         |
    !                       |     |         |                            |                                                        |
    !                       |  RAFFAELE.  SISTO, Cardinal  GERAUD    | SISTA = GALEAZZO    _______________________________________|
    !                       |             of S. Pietro     D'ANCEZUN,          RIARIO.    |                  |                |
    !                       |             in Vincula,      d. 1503.                       |                  |                |
    !                       |             d. 1577.                                     GALEOTTO, Cardinal  NICOLÒ = ----  LUCREZIA = MARCANTONIO
    !                       |______________________________________________________    of S. Pietro in            |                  COLONNA.
    !                                                                              |   Vincula.                   |
    !_______________________________________________________________________       |                              |
    |       1          2                  |                       |         |      |           ___________________|
  RAFFAELE, = NICOLOSA = ANTONIO        FELICE = GIAN-GIORDANO  GIULIA.  CLARICE.  |          |        |  1541.
  d. 1502.    FOGLIANO,  DELLA ROVERE.           ORSINI, of                        |        GUIDO.  LAVINIA = PAOLO ORSINI.
              of Fermo.                          Bracciano.                        |
     |                 |         1509.                          1497. |   2                 |         |
  died young.  DUKE OF URBINO,     | d. of Francesco     VARANA,            R. SFORZA.  d. 1507.
               b. 1490, d. 1538.   | Marquis of Mantua,  d. 1503.
                                   | d. 1543.
     |                      1534.    |        1548.                     |   1547.               |  1548.                    |     1552.                  |
  died young.  d. of Giovanni | DUKE OF URBINO, | d. of Pier-Luigi,             D'ARAGONA            § Marq. of         d. 1561.    § Marquis of      Archbishop of
               Maria, Duke of | b. 1514,        | Duke of Parma,                DI MONTALTO.           Montecchio, of                 Massa.          Urbino, 1533,
               Camerino,      | d. 1574.        | d. 1602.                                             whom the Dukes                                 d. 1578.
               b. 1523,       |      !          |                                                      of Modena.                                          !
               d. 1547.       |      !          |_______________________________________________________________________________________________________   !
                              |      !____________________                              |                                        |                      |  !______________
     _________________________|                           !                             |                                        |                      |                 !
    |                  1560.  |                           !                  1570.      |           1599.                        |  1565.               |  1583.          !
          BORROMEO,          S.P.     Duke of Gravina.    !  d. of Ercole II., | DUKE OF URBINO,      | d. of Marquis of S.             SEVERINO,    d. 1632.  D'AVALOS,  !
          brother of                                      !  Duke of Ferrara,  | b. 1549 + 1631.      | Lorenzo, b. 1585.               Prince of              Marq. of   !
          S. Carlo.                                       !  b. 1536,          |                      |                                 Basignano.             Pescara.   !
                                                          !  d. 1598.         S.P.                    |                                                                   !
         _________________________________________________!                                           |                          _________________________________________!
        |                                    |                                                        |                         |                                  |
        |      { 1. COUNT ANTONIO      A daughter = SIGNOR GUIDOBALDO                                 |                     IPPOLITO, Marq. = ISABELLA VITELLI  GIULIANO,
  A daughter = {    LANDRIANO.                      RENIER.                                           |                     of S. Lorenzo.  | DELL'AMATRICE.    Abbot of
               { 2. SIGNOR P. ANTONIO                                                                 |                                     |                   S. Lorenzo.
               {    DA LUNA.                                                                          |       ______________________________|__________
                                                                                                      |      |       |   1599.                         |
                                                       _______________________________________________|   GIULIO.  LIVIA,  = FRANCESCO MARIA II.,  LUCREZIA = MARCANTONIO,
                                                      |        1621.                                               b. 1585.  DUKE OF URBINO.                  Marq. Lante.
                                               FEDERIGO-UBALDO,  = CLAUDIA DE' MEDICI, = ARCHDUKE LEOPOLD
                                               b. 1605, d. 1623. | b. 1606, d. of        of Austria.
                                                                 | Ferdinand I.,
                                                                 | Grand Duke of
                                                                 | of Florence.
                                                                 |   1637.
                                                             VITTORIA, = FERDINAND II., Grand
                                                             b. 1622,  § Duke of Florence,
                                                             d. 1694.    b. 1630, d. 1670.

DESCENT OF THE MEDICI, as connected with URBINO.

_From Les Généaologies Souveraines._

  5th from Lippo de' M. of
  Florence who d. 1258,
  d. 1428.
     |                           |
  _Pater Patriæ_, | DE' BARDI.  d. 1440.        | CAVALCANTI.
  d. 1464.        |                             |
                  |                             |
              d. 1472.       | TORNABONI.  DE' M.,        | ACCIAJOLI.
                             |             d. 1477.       |__________________________________________________
       ______________________|__________________________                                                     |
      |                           |                     |                                                    |
  LORENZO DE' M.,    = CLARICE  BIANCA = GUGLIELMO   GIULIANO                                                |
  _the Magnificent_, | ORSINI.           DE' PAZZI.  DE' M.,                                                 |
  d. 1492.           |                               d. 1478.                                                |
                     |                                  !                                                    |
                     |                               GIULIO DE' M.,                                          |
                     |                               CLEMENT VII.,                                           |
                     |                               d. 1535.                                                |
      _______________|_____________________________________________________________                          |
     |                            |                 |                              |                         |
  d. 1504.       | ORSINI.    LEO X., d. 1521.  _the Magnificent_,  of Savoy.               Count of         |
                 |                              Duke de Nemours,                            Anguillara.      |
                 |                              d. 1516.                                                     |
              LORENZO DE' M., = MADELEINE           !               _________________________________________|
              Duke of Urbino, | DE LA TOUR.         !              |
              d. 1519.        |                 IPPOLITO DE' M.,   |
                 !            |                 Cardinal,          |
                 !            |                 d. 1535.           |
                 !            |                                    |
                 !        CATERINA DE' M., = HENRY II.             |
                 !        d. 1589.           of France.            |
                 !                                                 |
            ALESSANDRO DE' M., = MARGARETTA OF AUSTRIA,            |
            Duke of Florence,    bastard of Charles V.             |
            d. 1537.                                               |
  DE' M.            | of Imola.
                GIOVANNI DE' M.,    = MARIA SALVIATI.
                _delle bande nere_, |
                d. 1526.            |
                            COSIMO I. DE' M., = ELEONORA DI TOLEDO.
                            GRAND DUKE        |
                            OF FLORENCE,      |
                            d. 1574.          |
                        |                                   |
               d. 1587.                            d. 1608.                |
           |                                               1    |    2
  GRAND DUKE OF        of Austria.        of Urbino,       |           of Austria.
  FLORENCE, d. 1621.                      d. 1623.         |
                           FERDINAND II. DE' MEDICI, = VITTORIA DELLA ROVERE,
                           GRAND DUKE OF FLORENCE,   § Princess of Urbino.
                           d. 1670.


  AGAPITO, eleventh in descent = CATERINA CONTI.
  from Pietro Colonna,         |
  who lived in 1100.           |
          |                              |
         in 1407, d. 1431.                        | DA FONDI.
     |                                    |                         |
  of Marsi.     |                 Paliano, d. 1471. | COLONNA.   d. 1438. § Count of
                |                                   |                       Urbino.
      __________|______                             |
     |                 |                            |
  d. 1484.         Constable of     | MONTEFELTRO,  |
       |           Naples, d. 1520. | d. 1522.      |
       |                  !         |               |
     MUZIO,               !         |               |
     d. 1516.          SCIARRA.     |               |
                                    |               |
      ______________________________|               |_______
     |                              |                       |
  Constable of     § D'ARAGONA,  b. 1490,    Fr. Marquis    |
  Naples, claimant   natural     d. 1548.    of Pescara,    |
  of Urbino,         branch of               d. 1525.       |
  d. 1557.           the Crown                              |
                     of Naples.                             |
     |                    |         |                       |
           | CONTI.    GIOVANNI,  ANTONIO. | CONTI.      d. 1523.
           |           d. 1508.            |____
      _____|_________________________           |
     |          |          |         |          |
  POMPEO,       |                    |                     GARA DELLA
  d. 1532.      |                    |                     ROVERE.
                |                    |
              MARZIO,             OTTAVIA = SIGISMONDO
              d. 1546.                      VARANA,
                                            d. 1522.

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