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Title: The Conspiracy of Gianluigi Fieschi, - or, Genoa in the sixteenth century.
Author: Celesia, Emanuele
Language: English
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                            THE CONSPIRACY


                          GIANLUIGI FIESCHI.

  Painted by Luca Combiaso         Engraved by H. Adlard.
  _SEE PAGE 195._]


                            THE CONSPIRACY


                          GIANLUIGI FIESCHI,


                           EMANUELE CELESIA.

                     TRANSLATED FROM THE ITALIAN,
                           DAVID H. WHEELER.

                      SAMPSON LOW, SON & MARSTON,
                    MILTON HOUSE, 59, LUDGATE HILL.

               [_The Right of Translation is Reserved._]


IT is perhaps matter for just surprise that English literature has been
so little enriched during the last quarter of a century by archivic
researches in Italy. While these studies have greatly modified the
views of Italian historians, it may be safely said that, with few
exceptions, English history of Italy remains substantially as it was in
1840. The conspiracy of Gianluigi Fieschi, now presented to the English
reading public, is one of those works which strongly mark the progress
of historical research in the Italian Peninsula; and though it treats
of an episode, that episode is so woven into the great events which
surrounded it as to give a vivid picture of the condition of Italy in
the sixteenth century. The work has therefore seemed to me to have
sufficient historical value to merit translation into our language.

I have been more influenced, however, by a desire to make some of those
who read only English acquainted with an Italian author who seems to
me entitled to a larger public than his own people. There is no good
reason why a greater number of Italian writers should not be favoured
with an English dress; and it is probably more the effect of accident
than want of merit in Italian writers that their works are much more
rare in our tongue than those of French and German authors. The younger
historical writers of the time, to which class M. Celesia belongs, have
peculiar claims upon our attention, because they are the first truly
independent writers of the Peninsula, and their works are the first
fruits of liberal institutions and a Free Press. It would be only a
first homage to their worth and sincere devotion to liberal principles
to translate their best works into our language rather than absorb the
substance of them into our own books. This reasoning has induced me to
turn aside for a little while from the labour of preparing a history of
Genoa to render M. Celesia’s beautiful Italian into an English, which I
freely confess to be imperfect in comparison with the original.

The first impression of the general reader may be that this book treats
of events so distant in time, and so different in moral scenery, from
the political and social conditions in which we live as to afford
little or no instruction to us. No history, except that of one’s own
country, affords precise forms in which to mould the present; and what
are called historical parallels do not really exist, since every series
of political events has peculiar elements which make close analogies
with any other series impossible. Those who quote events in the history
of other times and peoples as containing precise instruction for
present national action usually deceive their auditors all the more
completely from being deceived themselves. It is only in the abundant
matter of general principles that history contains lessons of political
wisdom. In this sense the work before the reader is not without
valuable instruction. M. Celesia has given us a view of the social and
political condition of the masses who have too often been excluded from
history because they had been excluded from power in the state.

We see, in fact, some painful scenes of that long tragedy which ended
in the disfranchisement of the Italians, in the very period when most
other European nations were making the bases of their institutions
broader by enlarging the liberties of their peoples; and we see clearly
that two vast despotisms--one reposing on a fiction of the continued
life of the Roman Empire and the other on a perversion of the principle
of Christian Authority--conspiring now together, now against each
other, bewildered the intellect and destroyed the political vitality of
Italy, gradually reducing her to a mere geographical expression. The
people struggled in vain, partly because they struggled blindly, partly
because a pernicious error placed them in exceptional conditions by
stripping them of a part of their rights avowedly in the interest of
humanity at large. So far this struggle was peculiar in form; but at
bottom it was a struggle for popular rights, and its disastrous close
is here shown to have been due to no fault of the people themselves. It
is just here that less than justice has been done to the Italians, and
this work well illustrates the stupendous falsehood which slew them.

Our interest in this error might be less if it were dead; but it lives
and embarasses the Italians of our own day. We have just been gravely
informed by a French statesmen[1] that Rome does not belong to Italy,
but to the whole catholic world; and the statement is a key not only
to current Italian difficulties but also to the failure of the nation
to keep pace with the rest of Europe in the sixteenth century. Then,
more than now, other nations conceived themselves to have a mission
to preserve institutions which Italy was disposed to condemn and
abolish. Then a larger number of Italians than now were bewildered by
the legal or historical claim set up for a dead Empire and a Christian
Church founded upon force, and in their bewilderment went over to their
enemies. But below all this, a brave people struck manful blows for
their salvation, and when they fell were suffocated with the terrible
doctrine that Italy does not belong to herself. The statement of Count
Persigny was and is, in its political significance, when applied to
Italian politics, exactly like a declaration that London does not
belong to England or Paris to France.

I do not forget that the falsehood has been acted upon as a truth in
Italy for some centuries; but political piracy cannot win the moral
approval of our times on the plea that it has been practised for a
long period. The real effect of the doctrine, whatever be its force
from a history made by applying it, is to condemn a whole people
to a certain dependence on other nations, to give France, Austria
and Spain--or to go back to the sixteenth century, France and the
Empire--rights or duties in Italy which must impair the rights of the
Italians. A creed which has this fatal element may be pushed to its
logical consequence--the assassination of a nation. In the sixteenth
century this was done. It was cruel--too cruel to be described--when
history accused the fallen of cowardice, incapacity for liberty and
superstitious devotion to Rome. From such atrocious slanders, the
Italians of the sixteenth century deserve a vindication. M. Celesia has
felt this part of his office so warmly that his word may seem those of
an advocate rather than of an historian to those who forget the wrongs
done to his people in the name of history. But he who fully weighs the
injustice against which our author protests will rather wonder at the
moderation and critical calmness of the greater part of the book than
complain of the glow of honest indignation which lights up some of his

The critical reader will regret that the work is not fortified by more
copious references. The truth is that it is not the fashion in Italy to
quote authorities, and the citations given were prepared by the author
for this edition. I have added a few explanatory foot-notes; but the
reader is referred for fuller information regarding events in earlier
Genoese history to a forthcoming work on that subject.


GENOA, _June, 1865_.




  The Valley of Entella and Lavagna--The Origin of the Counts of
  Fieschi--Their Conflicts with the Commune of Genoa--The Treaty
  of Peace between the Fieschi and Genoa--Civil Contentions--The
  Riches and Power of the Counts Fieschi--Innocent IV. and Hadrian
  V.--Cardinal Gianluigi Fieschi--The Fieschi Bishops and Lords of
  Vercelli and Biella--Famous Fieschi Warriors--Isabella, wife of
  Lucchino Visconti--St. Catherine--The Arms of the Family--Liberality
  and munificence of the Fieschi--Gianluigi II.--Sinibaldo, lord of
  thirty-three walled castles.



  Leo X., and his false glories--Desperate condition of the Italian
  states in the sixteenth century--Their aversion to the Austrian
  power--The Sack of Rome--Wars and Plagues--Charles V. and Francis
  I.--The Despotism of Christian powers causes Italian peoples to
  desire the yoke of the Turks--The Papal theocracy renews with the
  empire the compact of Charlemagne.



  The Nobles and the People--Andrea Doria and his first
  enterprises--How he abandoned France, and went over to the
  Emperor--Accusations and opinions with regard to his motives--The
  laws of the _Union_ destroyed the popular, and created the
  aristocratic Government--The objects of Doria in contrast with those
  of the Genoese Government and the Italian Republics--The lieutenants
  of Andrea and his naval forces--Popular movements arrested by bloody



  Maria della Rovere and her children--The natural gifts of
  Gianluigi--Andrea Doria prevents his marriage with the daughter
  of Prince Centurione--Gianluigi’s first quarrels with Gianettino
  Doria--Naval battle of Giralatte and capture of the corsair
  Torghud Rais--Count Fieschi espouses Eleonora of the Princes of
  Cybo--The hill of Carignano in the early part of the sixteenth
  century--Sumptuousness of the Fieschi palace--Gianluigi, Pansa and
  other distinguished men--Female writers--Eleonora Fieschi and her



  The political ideas of the sixteenth century--The advice of Donato
  Gianotto to the Italians--Generous aims of Gianluigi Fieschi--His
  reported plots with Cesare Fregoso disproved--The conspiracy with
  Pietro Strozzi a fable--Fieschi has secret conferences with Barnaba
  Adorno, lord of Silvano--Pier Luca Fieschi and his part in the
  conspiracy of Gianluigi--The Count sends Cagnino Gonzaga to treat
  with France--The purchase of the Farnesian galleys--Francesco



  He aspires to grandeur for his family--His hostility to the emperor
  and to Doria--He encourages Gianluigi in his designs against the
  imperial rule in Genoa--Attempts of Cardinal Trivulzio to induce
  Fieschi to give Genoa to France--France is induced by the count to
  relinquish her hopes of obtaining Genoa--Verrina and his spirited
  counsels--Vengeance of Gianluigi against Giovanni Battista della



  Character of the Fieschi family--Gianluigi acquires the friendship of
  the silk operatives and other plebeians--The Duke of Piacenza selects
  the count to arbitrate his differences with the Pallavicini--Secret
  understandings between the count and the duke--Gianluigi puts
  his castles in a condition for war--Gianettino Doria, to pave
  the way to supreme power gives Captain Lercaro an order to kill
  Fieschi--Industry of Verrina--The decisions of history on the merits
  of Fieschi should be made in view of the political doctrines of the
  sixteenth century.



  Bloody propositions attributed to Verrina--The count repulses all
  treacherous plans--New schemes--The conspirators introduced into the
  city--Gianluigi pays his respects to Prince Doria--Gianettino removes
  the suspicions of Giocante and Doria--The supper of Gianluigi--The
  guests embrace the conspiracy--Eleonora Cybo and her presentiments.



  Measures taken by the Count--Occupation of the gate of the Archi
  and of San Tommaso--Death of Gianettino Doria--Fieschi did not seek
  the death of prince Doria--Schemes of Paolo Lavagna--Taking of the
  arsenal--Fall and death of Gianluigi--Flight of Andrea Doria to
  Masone--The place where Gianluigi was drowned--The several arsenals
  of Genoa--The death of Count Fieschi deemed a misfortune by the



  Gerolamo Fieschi continues the insurrection in his own
  name--Consultations at the Ducal palace and fighting at San Siro--The
  news of the death of Gianluigi discourages the insurgents--Paolo
  Panza carries to Gerolamo the decree of pardon--Verrina and others
  set sail for France--The African slaves escape with Doria’s
  galley--Sack of Doria’s galleys--Return of Andrea and his thirst for
  vengeance--Decree of condemnation--Scipione Fieschi and his petitions
  to the Senate--Schemes and intrigues of Doria to get possession of
  the Fieschi estates--Destruction of the palace in Vialata--Traditions
  and legends.



  Count Gerolamo declines propositions of the government--Intrigue of
  the imperial party and revolutionary tendencies of the populace--The
  Republic is induced by Andrea Doria to assault Montobbio--The
  count’s preparations for defence--Verrina and Assereto assigned
  to the command of the works--Andrea induces the government to
  decline negotiations with Fieschi--Agostino Spinola closely
  invests the castle--Mutiny of the mercenaries of the count--He
  offers to surrender the castle on condition of security for the
  lives and property of the beseiged--Opposition of Doria to this
  stipulation--The treason of his mercenaries compels Fieschi to
  surrender--Doria, notwithstanding the entreaties of the government,
  treats the defeated Fieschi with great cruelty--Punishment of the
  Count of Verrina and other accomplices--Raffaele Sacco and his
  letters--The castle of Montobbio razed to the foundations.



  The ferocity and excesses of Andrea Doria--The benefits which he
  derived from the fall of the Fieschi--The Farnesi participated in
  Genoese conspiracies--Schemes of Andrea Doria against the duke
  of Piacenza--Landi is instigated by Andrea to kill the duke--The
  assassination of Pierluigi--The assassins and the brief of Paul III.



  Intrigues of Figuerroa and the nobility--The law of Garibetto--New
  efforts of Spain to give Genoa the character of a Duchy--The firmness
  of the senate and Andrea foils the scheme of Don Filippo--The
  reception of the Spaniards by Doria and by the people--Sad story of a
  daughter of the Calvi--Don Bernardino Mendozza and his relations with
  Prince Doria--Baneful influence of the Spanish occupation.



  The revolt of Naples--Andrea Doria subdues it--Plots of the
  exiles against his life--Giulio Cybo seizes the feud of Massa and
  Carrara--His schemes for revolutionizing the Republic--Conference
  of the Genoese exiles in Venice--Capture of Cybo--Doria labours
  to have the emperor condemn Giulio to death--Punishment of
  Cybo and his accomplices--Letter of Paul Spinola to the
  Genoese government--Scipione Fieschi and his disputes with the
  Republic--Maria della Rovere--Eleonora Fieschi; her second marriage
  and death.



  Ravages of the Barbary Corsairs--Bartolomeo Magiocco and the Duke of
  Savoy--The conference of Chioggia--Siege of Siena--Doria assassinates
  Ottobuono Fieschi--Sampiero di Bastelica and his memorable fight with
  Spanish knights--Revolts in Corsica--Vannina d’Ornano--The Fieschi
  faction unites with Sampiero--Ferocity of Stefano Doria--Sampiero is
  betrayed--Pier Luca Fieschi and his career.



  Bonfadio executed in prison and his body burned--Errors in regard to
  the year of his death--The causes of his arrest and punishment--He
  was not guilty of the vices ascribed to him--The true cause of his
  ruin was his Annals--The pretence for his condemnation was his
  Protestant opinions.



  The Fieschi at the court of France--Louis XIV. supports their
  claims--Bad effects of the law of Garibetto--Severe laws against
  the Plebeians--Death of Andrea Doria--Estimate of his public
  services--New commotions--Magnanimity of the people--The old nobles
  make open war on the Republic--Treaty of Casale in 1576--The Spanish
  power in Italy, particularly in Liguria--Aragonese manners corrupt
  our people--New taxes and customs--The nobility accepts the fashions,
  manners and vices of the Spaniards--Change of the character of the
  Genoese people--Last splendours of Italian genius.



IT would be difficult to find in the history of the sixteenth century
a name more fiercely assailed than that of Gianluigi Fieschi. From
Bonfadio down to the most recent historians, the Count of Lavagna has
received the same treatment at the hands of our writers which the
learned vulgar are accustomed to give to Catiline. This levity of
judgment is a new proof that history is too high a pursuit for servile

The classic invectives of Cicero and the glittering falsehoods of
Sallust, both written with masterly eloquence, and their echo taken up
by inferior writers have disfigured the manly form of Sergius, and his
cause, supported by the most generous and cultivated Romans, has come
down to us described as the base plot of abandoned men.

Catiline could not have been base. He was illustrious by birth,
well-known for his talents and powerful on account of his numerous
dependants and friends. He stood on the last round of the ladder
leading to the consulship and was supported by knights and senators;
by Antonius Geta, Lentulus, Cethegus and even by Cæsar who was
no stranger to the conspiracy. Crassus favoured him, though he
afterwards turned informer against the conspirators. Entire colonies
and Municipalities supported him. In upper Spain, Gneus Piso, in
Mauritania, Publius Sittius Nucerinus and the legions were his
partisans; in fine, he was the head of all the reformers of Italy and

I do not excuse his violence, his disorderly life and his vices;
though we know of these only through his enemies. But his aims were
unquestionably high and noble. Roman liberty was buried in his tomb
and not even the dagger of Junius Brutus could recall her to life.
I hold it incontestable that the movement, far from being a plot of
reckless men, was general and spontaneous towards that freedom which
Lucius Sylla had extinguished in blood; a movement for which there was
crying urgency in Italy, where crowds of slaves were supplanting the
Latin races, and throughout the dominions of the Republic. In vain have
cunning rhetoricians taught us to execrate the name of the great Roman,
the last of the Tribunes. He has left for history a page written with
his own blood which is more lasting than all envy. It shows us one who
fell dead on the same ground where he steadfastly fought, displaying in
his last hour an heroism which is inconsistent with the crimes coupled
with his name.

Cicero himself tells us that the friendship of Catiline had such
fascinations that he had barely escaped its influence. It may be true
that his pallid face, his fierce eyes and his nervous step, now
quick, now slow, terrified the publicans and patricians of Rome; but
none can believe that he butchered his own son, immolated victims to
the silver eagle of Marius, or handed round in nocturnal conventicles
a cup full of foaming blood. Catiline was a bad man because he was
vanquished; but Salvator Rosa, the soldier and painter of Masaniello,
when he drew Catiline as a stern and magnanimous man did not believe
him a low plotter, and the great captain of our century declared that
he preferred the part of the great Latin conspirator to that of the
versatile Tully.

The character of the Count of Lavagna has been depicted in similar
colours by servile writers skilful in inventing calumnies. Catiline
and Fieschi had the same ambition and a common aim. The former, in
his familiar letters to Lentulus which were published in the Senate,
declared that no venal ambition led him to make war. He said that his
estates were security for his debts and that the liberality and wealth
of Orestilla and his daughter would provide for any deficiency. He
averred, he was impelled by wrongs and slanders, that he made the cause
of the unfortunate his own, because he was defrauded of the fruit of
his labours, and, while he was falsely suspected, was forced to see
base men taking his place.

The same is true of Fieschi, whose death, Gianettino Doria had sworn.
In Genoa, not less than in Rome, a partisan contest between the
nobles and the people had lasted for centuries. Here, after the civil
conflagrations, as after the scourgings of Rome by Marius and Sylla,
liberty gradually expired. In both Republics, the people were bowed
down by the insolence of the great. They were deprived of all share in
the government, and corrupt ambition had unbounded sway. In Liguria,
Andrea Doria had completed the triumph of the party of the nobles and
imperialists and the ruin of popular liberty. Though he forbore to
assume a princely title, he was a true king in authority, his nephew
aspired to regal honours, and every popular right was trampled down by
the Spanish power. According to Bonfadio this subjection was too bitter
for the great soul of the Count Lavagna long to endure the humiliation.
But his enemies wrote, and by a thousand channels circulated, the most
incredible things as parts of his designs:--That he attempted by base
intrigues to ruin the Republic, that he aimed to seduce it to servitude
to his family or to France, to exterminate the Doria family, to lay
bloody and felonious hands on the bank of St. George, to put the city
to fire and sack. The decrees and official reports of the Republic do
not warrant such statements, and a theory more honourable to him is
justified by the gentleness of his character, by the Guelph traditions
of his house, by the fact that he prevented the murder of Doria, in his
palace, and by the conspiracy itself, the fury of which was directed
against the ships of Doria, sparing those of the Republic.

It was necessary for Doria that black designs should be attributed
to Fieschi, otherwise his fearful vengeance would have been
unjustifiable. The slander was profitable also to the Spanish Cæsar,
for it took away from his path a powerful family opposed to the
Aragonese power in Italy. And as matter of fact, these idle tales,
written in Genoa and diffused in France and Spain, were never believed
among us. The greater part of the patricians did not credit them for
they were Fieschi’s friends and would have saved him if the overbearing
spirit of Doria had not imposed his will upon the senate. Such slanders
found no credit with the people, who placed their love upon that
philanthropic family and perpetuated its memory in national songs.

Catiline and Fieschi intended to awaken in their native lands the love
of expiring liberty, and in that aim they had the support of many
nobles and of the people. The pride of Roman patricians could bend to
an alliance with the people, but they scorned to share their rights
with foreign slaves. The Count of Lavagna grasped the hand of the
people, but he refused the alliance of France. This fact testifies for
both to the honesty of their designs; for to a traitor all paths are
good so they but lead to his end.

Catiline, slandered by Cicero upon the rostrum, fulminates in his turn
against his detractor, and though he quits Rome unattended, his exit
is imposing and momentous. Fieschi, bending to the necessities of his
time, found more quiet and secret paths to his end; and when accused
by the minister of Cæsar with seeking to foment a revolution, he
confronted Andrea Doria with a frankness which eluded the Admiral’s
keen vigilance. From the blood of Catiline sprung the dictatorship of
Cæsar; from that of Fieschi, the oligarchic government and the Spanish
dominion in Genoa.

Doria, becoming the supporter and partisan of Charles V. and Phillip
II. prevented Genoa from entering into the league of the Italian
Republics against the Spanish yoke. Genoa, united to the enemies of
Florence and Siena in the time of those memorable sieges, allied
with the enemies of Naples when that people was rising for liberty,
the friend of all the enemies of Italy, dates from that period her
unfortunate decline. The movement of Fieschi, if he had accepted the
alliance of France, might have averted the catastrophe. The French
and Republican league might have extirpated the Spanish power in the
Peninsula, and saved Italy from forging her own chains. It might have
spared Genoa her struggles with the Barbary states, the revolt of the
Corsicans, the decline of her commerce with the East and the most
disastrous of all her civil tumults.

The Genoese people struggled long against that fatal alliance, cemented
with their blood, which Fieschi strove to break. They left no means
untried to dissolve it, using now supplication, now the sword and the
scaffold. And for more than two centuries, a half subdued populace
never grew weary of pouring its indignant complaints into the ear of
the nobility. I have compared Catiline and Fieschi. The resemblance
has not escaped historians. But their works and discourses have been
reported, and judged by their enemies and by the faction which they
strove to displace from power. The name of Count Fieschi waits to be
rehabilitated by time which cancels great wrongs, impartially dispenses
praise and blame, and gives each man that place in the esteem of
posterity which his works merit.

From the earliest times our country was lacerated by two hostile
factions. There were annalists and writers who recorded and magnified
the exploits of those belonging to their party and silently passed over
the praiseworthy actions of their political opponents. Procopius and
Iornandes represent the two creeds which in their time were contending
for the support of the nation. Anastaius is the biographer of the
Popes, as Paul Diacono is of the Longobardic kings. In every province
there were Malaspini and Dino Compagni, imperialists, fighting against
the Guelph and Republican spirit of the three Villani. From the union
of these hostile elements come forth the critical historian of the
nation--Macchiavelli. But when the Germanic irruption cut the nerves of
the Latin traditions, when Charles V. and Andrea Doria reestablished
the foreign power in Italy, the Guelph spirit was silenced, the Journal
killed, the Chronicle and official falsehoods so misrepresented events
as to render history nearly impossible. John Mark Burigozzo, a Lombard
shopkeeper, was the last annalist who recorded the sorrows of the
people. Then came classic, courtly and salaried historians--history
written by the victors. There is need of great caution in reading the
verdict of a history written with the sword. “Woe to the vanquished” in
history as on the battle-field. Corrupt ages praise successful crimes,
and it is only by great effort that after times emancipate themselves
from these servile adulations. There is a coward instinct in man which
prompts him to applaud force and despise the fallen. The conscientious
historian should enter his free protest against such dishonourable
acquiescence in forced verdicts. It is time that history should be
relieved from the tyranny of eloquent but mendacious tongues, and many
powerful ones should be deposed from ill-gotten thrones. It is time to
ask of many who have been called heroes what use they made of their
swords and how they served Italy, and to concede--the supreme right of
misfortune--a tardy tribute of regret to one who fell victim to a high
and generous purpose.

What is the verdict recorded against Fieschi?

Among the writers who were his contemporaries stand foremost, Bonfadio,
Campanaceo, Sigonio, Capelloni, Foglietta, Mascardi and Casoni. I do
not mention foreigners, first among whom are Tuano and the Cardinal de
Retz. I omit, too, the modern writers, since they have all followed
with the assiduity of copyists the earlier historians, making no
effort to study the public archives or even to criticise the text
which they copied. Nevertheless, it is important to give the reader
some account of the historians of that epoch; since the first duty of
one who attempts to describe past events is to employ criticism in its
widest sense, and so to separate the true from the false. Nor can
this be done without carefully weighing the credibility of authors who
have gone this way before us and taking account of the passions which
governed them when they wrote.

The first historian of Fieschi was Bonfadio who was employed by the
senate to write the annals of the Republic. He was a witness of the
events which he described and on the very night of the rising, he
went to the senate in company with Giovanni Battista Grimaldi. Yet
we can yield him little faith; since, writing at the command of the
government, he could not do less than speak harshly of the government’s
enemies. He confesses that he had not in his hands the records of
the conspirators’ trial. He ignores many facts, and never names the
accomplices of Fieschi, scarcely suspecting that there were any. Having
a mania for classic imitation, and borne away by the current of his
times, he depicts Gianluigi as a man thirsting for base deeds and for
blood; so, that if his immortal pages served to render the memory of
Fieschi odious at a time when men had little concern for the honour
of the vanquished, they are certainly too careless and too partial to
satisfy the future. The unfortunate author, who was truthful in all
other matters and failed in this only, because it treated of a plot
against the powerful Doria, reaped bitter fruits for his great bias
against Fieschi.

Not less unjust was Giuseppe Mario Campanaceo, who added to his history
of the conspiracy a comparison between it and that of Catiline. “Both,”
he says, “sprung from noble stock. Both were crushed under the ruin
they plotted for others. In the one, a fierce look, a sanguinary
countenance; in the other, a singular beauty and a virginal candour.
The Roman was stained with bloody and licentious deeds; the Genoese
bore the fame of goodness of heart and grace of manners. The Roman was
verging towards age; the Genoese was in the freshness of his youth, yet
he surpassed the conspirator of the Tiber as much in deceitfulness as
Catiline excelled him in warlike exploits.”

If on minor points the narration of this writer is more accurate, it
still bears the seal of the degraded time in which it was written.
Though the author professes to have taken great pains to discover the
truth, having spent a long time in Genoa for that purpose, it is very
easy to see that he did not escape the contagion of party feeling and
of the malevolence of the faction then dominant in Liguria. It is not
strange, therefore, that he finds a mean and avaricious spirit in
Gianluigi, while he describes Gianettino as an illustrious victim,
rather, as the most virtuous knight of all Christendom.

Carlo Sigonio, in his life of Andrea Doria, and, among Genoese writers,
Oberto Foglietto have treated the matter with elegance of diction but
with unblushing plagiarism.

The same may be said of Lorenzo Capelloni, who described the conspiracy
of Fieschi in a report to Charles V. He was too devoted to Cæsar, and
to Doria, whose life he wrote, not to imitate the others whom we
have mentioned in treating the attempt of Fieschi as a plot of like
character with that of Cybo which he also described.

Agostino Mascardi, who was more of a rhetorician than an historian,
tells us nothing new. Casoni was less devoted to the Spanish power and
therefore more humane towards Fieschi, but he adopted without question
the opinion professed by the party in power who never opened the
archives of the state for the study of the historian.

We therefore conclude that a prudent and impartial criticism forbids
us to give full faith to those who have given to Count Fieschi a
dishonourable place in history.

In our opinion two qualifications are essential to the historian:--That
he be able to collect the most accurate accounts of the facts, and
that party spirit do not cloud the serenity of his mind. The writers
whom we have mentioned lack these credentials. In fact, after studying
the annals of the sixteenth century, we are satisfied that most of
them were ignorant of the true causes of events. Sometimes they knew
only a part of the facts; sometimes, acting under the influence of
personal or political jealousy, they betrayed the truth by silence,
by misrepresentation or by additions of what would serve their own
purposes or the wishes of their masters.

The reader must judge whether we have truly balanced the account.

We see, from what has been said, that it was impossible Fieschi should
have had truthful historians in the provinces ruled by Charles V. It
was not to be expected in Genoa, where the supreme authority of the
Dorias compelled even the least servile writers to the most skilful
management of conscience and speech.

Neither in Tuscany, where the seeds of the Medicean tyranny were
already springing up; not in Lombardy, which was the battle-ground of
the two opposing factions; not in the kingdom of Naples tossed like a
foot-ball from one master to another, but at the moment in the grasp of
Cæsar. Finally, not in Rome where the Spanish government, in its war to
the death upon the spirit of civil and religious liberty, found a swift
accomplice in the Papal court which employed the zeal and devotion
of its inquisitors in consigning to the flames both books and their
authors. It is enough that no writer in Italy was permitted to answer
the blind devotee of Rome, Baronius.

A few noble spirits arose to tell the truth of the Austro-Spanish
power; such as Bandello, Ariosto, Boccalini and Tassoni; nevertheless
in the period between Charles V. and the middle of the 17th century no
true light of history shone on the Peninsula.

Learned and literary men lived in the courts, then the only dispensers
of fame, and writers were more valued for their promptness in serving
masters than for their mental acquirements. Even the best writers
exhausted their ambition in the chase for courtly favour. It is not
true that the protection of princes was useful to letters and arts;
it only seduced them from the path of duty. Truth was banished from
books because it displeased our masters, and history was sure to be
smothered if it contained more than panegyric. Spanish wordiness
had corrupted liberal studies and Italians were no longer honestly
indignant against the oppressors of their country. They descended from
employing their imaginations in intellectual creations to pandering to
the senses. Literary entertainments, like falcons and buffoons, served
for the sport of courtiers, as an instrument of corruption rather than
a stimulant to generous pursuits. Intellect being thus prostrated,
Fieschi could find no historian courageous enough to clear away the
falsehoods that blackened his fame and constrain his calumniators to
an honest confession. Cybo, Farnese, and whoever else, following the
footsteps of Fieschi, opposed at the price of their lives Spanish
influence, shared the historical misfortune of the Count of Lavagna.

It was necessary, then, to rewrite this history and I resolved to
attempt the task. There are subjects (and the conspiracy of Fieschi
is one of them) which seen from a distance fill us with apprehension,
but when we approach and handle them, the alarm which possessed us
generally disappears. I approached my subject with honest boldness
and having studied it intimately, I have dared to rebel against the
common opinion of the learned. If it were necessary to quote all the
authorities for a conviction so opposed to the current of corrupted
history the list would be too long. I, therefore appeal to the
cultivated who will, I hope, bear me witness that very little within
the range of the subject has escaped my notice. I ought, however, to
remark that the Archives of Madrid and Paris have furnished me with
foreign notices of the revolts of Fieschi and his partisans, and
that more perfect information has been obtained from the Archives
of Genoa, Florence, Parma, Massa and Carrara, and from some codexes
and manuscripts which once belonged to Cardinal Adriano Fieschi (the
last of the Savignone branch of the Fieschi family) whose heir, Count
Alessandro Negri di S. Front, kindly permitted me to consult them at
my pleasure. I render him my most hearty thanks. I have drawn other
materials from the writings of the sacred college of Padua in favour
of the Republic and the pleadings of the famous jurists who sustained
the Fieschi party. Many other notices have been taken from private
libraries in Genoa, which are at once so numerous and so difficult of
access. Some documents very favourable to the cause of Fieschi were
recently published by the erudite Bernardo Brea, but the greater part
of them were already familiar to me; for the history which I now send
to the press was written several years ago--a proof of which is that
many extracts from it were then published in the journals. It is hardly
worth while to dwell upon the reasons which kept me from publishing the
work: The times were not, and are not, propitious to historic studies;
yet I am forced in my own despite to bring my manuscript to light, lest
I be accused of treading in the footsteps of a great author who has
recently removed many a stain from the name of Fieschi and lashed his
detractors with the severest condemnation.[2]

A modest cultivator of peaceful studies, I do not fear that any will
suspect me of aiming to destroy the reverence due to a great name;
or that I shall receive the sentence pronounced by Richelieu, who,
on reading the conspiracy of Fieschi written by Cardinal de Retz in
his youth, prophesied that the author would develop a turbulent and
revolutionary spirit.

My humble condition and the honesty of my intentions render me safe
from similar vacticinations. Though in my opinions upon the conspiracy
I depart from the paths beaten by other writers, it is not without
adequate reasons. I feel that the religion of truth, has had hitherto
too few worshippers, that reverence for the unfortunate great of Italy
has been long put under ban, and do not hesitate to say that if what
I shall dare to write was not unknown by others it was most certainly
concealed. What were the aims of Fieschi? What of Andrea Doria? Whither
tended the uprising of the people? Who breathed life into the cause of
national independence? To these questions, so far as I know, no one
has yet made a sufficient answer; and, indeed, how can one write of
Fieschi and Doria without investigating their personal motives, prying
into the secrets of their hearts? Our historians, copying each other
and compressing the tragedy of a century into a few pages, have given
us only the conspiracy and the uprising, that is the least philosophic
moment. For us, history begins where the strife ends. The designs
which animate the combatants do not die with them, and they expand into
the most interesting questions. Let the writer who does not feel the
greatness of his mission shun these questions, I prefer that the reader
shall not believe me a timorous friend of truth.

If once terror chained men’s souls, if great names could not be
discussed, to-day, delivered from the febrile excitements of our
predecessors, we may freely praise and blame the men and deeds of three
centuries ago.

Nor is this all. A general history of Italy remains to be written, and
the materials are scattered in the archives of our communes. Italy will
write it when she shall have secured independence and a true national
unity. In the meantime, mindful of the saying of Vico that, “we ought
to seek for minute notices of facts and their antecedents rather than
general causes and events, since by an accurate study of the facts
themselves it becomes easy to find the causes and to clear up effects
which often seem incredible to us,” I have devoted my utmost strength
to removing a portion of that veil which covers the name of Fieschi,
happy if I am able in this effort to correct some erroneous opinions
and to prepare matter for the future historian of the nation.



 The Valley of Entella and Lavagna--The Origin of the Counts of
 Fieschi--Their Conflicts with the Commune of Genoa--The Treaty
 of Peace between the Fieschi and Genoa--Civil Contentions--The
 Riches and Power of the Counts Fieschi--Innocent IV. and Hadrian
 V.--Cardinal Gianluigi Fieschi--The Fieschi Bishops and Lords of
 Vercelli and Biella--Famous Fieschi Warriors--Isabella, wife of
 Lucchino Visconti--St. Catherine--The Arms of the Family--Liberality
 and munificence of the Fieschi--Gianluigi II.--Sinibaldo, lord of
 thirty-three walled castles.

THAT portion of Eastern Liguria, where, according to Dante,

              “Fra Siestri e Chiavari
  S’adima la bella fiumana,”[3]

retains in our day but little resemblance to the ancient seat of the
Counts of Lavagna. Instead of forts and castles crowning every gentle
elevation, the modern tourist finds a church dedicated to St. Stephen,
and his eye wanders over hills, swelling above each other towards the
encircling mountains and covered with olive gardens and orchards. The
din of arms, the clash of maces and shields, is no longer heard; but
instead the ear is saluted with the songs of peaceful burghers whose
humble ambition finds content in gathering the fruit of the vines,
weaving their nets, and drawing from their famous caves that slate
which covers all the roofs of Liguria.

The banks of that stream which our ancestors called Entella, and
we moderns Lavagna (from the name of the adjacent commune), have
preserved, through the changes of centuries, their wonderful charms.
It rises in the humble valley of Fontanabuona, is enriched by numerous
tributaries from vales on either hand, and slips quietly into the sea
after a course of only twenty-four miles.

Some tell us that in ages which have no authentic history the ancient
Libarna was here, and that the name was afterwards corrupted into
Lavagna; but our modern geographers do not accept the opinion. It is
certain that Lavagna became the seat of a count of that name, who,
about the year one thousand of our era, ruled over the contiguous
districts of Sestri, Zoagli, Rapallo, Varese, and a great part of
Chiavari. From this epoch, for many centuries, the history of the
whole region was absorbed in that of the great family who ruled that
portion of Liguria. The origin of these Counts is lost in mediaeval
darkness. Giustiniani, Prierio, Panza, Sansovino, Betussi, and Ciaccone
believe that they came of the stock of the Dukes of Bourgogne or of
the Princes of Bavaria, and they affirm that the counts were called
FLISCI, because they watched over the collection of the imperial taxes.
On this point nothing can be said with certainty. For our part,
remembering that from the time of Otto the Great four powerful families
ruled over all Liguria--that is the Counts of Lavagna and Ventimiglia,
and the Marquises of Savona and Malaspina--we are led to believe that
the Fieschi, like the Estensi, Pallavicini, Malaspina, and many other
powerful houses, had a Longobardic derivation. This belief is supported
by the fact that the Counts of Lavagna ruled with Longobardic laws,
and drew from that nation, their Christian names as Oberto, Ariberto,
Valperto, Rubaldo, Sinibaldo, Tebaldo, and others of like formation,
which we find on every page of their family records. The Longobards
ruled almost a century and a half in Liguria, and it is probable that
many families of that nation founded feuds and took firm root with
their estates and castles.

It is certain that the first count of the name clearly mentioned in
history was a certain Tedisio, son of Oberto, who ruled the county
of Lavagna in 992, and who had previously accompanied King Arduinus
through all his campaigns. From him descended, in the right line,
Rubaldo, Tedisio II., Rubaldo II., Alberto, and Ruffino. In the will
of Ruffino (1177) the name Fieschi occurs for the first time.[4] Then
followed Ugone and Tedisio III., brother of Pope Innocent IV. It is
not our purpose to speak of their genealogy, but we refer the curious
reader to works on that subject.

The Counts of Lavagna, at a very early period, enlarged their
jurisdiction by acquiring many surrounding castles and feuds. The
growth of their power was so rapid that the Genoese people, in the
earliest days of the communal system (1008), found it necessary to
put a check on the increasing influence of this family. The Genoese
attempted to take possession of the castle of Caloso, the first
seat of the Fieschi, and then held by Count San Salvatore. The
Fieschi anticipated and foiled the movement by pushing forward their
conquests so as to include in their dominions Nei, Panesi, Zerli,
and Roccamaggiore. This conflict gave rise to long and indecisive
struggles, which did not end until the Genoese army, returning from the
Romagna in 1133, marched through Lavagna, dismantled its fortresses,
and, to secure the obedience of the Counts, fortified Rivarolo, in the
very heart of the country. The Counts rallied from the effects of this
staggering blow, and, by dint of extraordinary address and courage,
recovered their estates and independence.

When Frederick I. besieged Milan, the Fieschi went to his camp to
pay him homage, and the Emperor, by royal decree, dated the 1st of
September, 1158, invested Count Rubaldo Fieschi with all the ancient
lands and rights of his family.

This patent conferred upon the Counts the following territories and

The waters of Lavagna and the tolls (_pedaggio_) for the highways along
the sea-shore and the road through the mountains; feudatory rights over
the men who held allodial properties in the three plebeian hamlets of
Lavagna near the sea, Sestri, and Varese; and finally the wood which
has the following boundaries--from the Croce di Lambe to Monte Tomar,
thence to the bridge of Varvo, lake Fercia and Selvasola, returning to
the point of departure at Croce di Lambe.

The Fieschi were thus rendered independent of the republic, and, about
1170, having made a secret treaty with Obizzo Malaspina and the counts
of Da Passano, they invested Rapallo, and put Genoa to such straits
that she was forced to ask aid of the marquises of Monferrato, Gavi,
and Bosco. The soldiers of the allies under the command of Enrico il
Guercio, Marquis of Savona, punished the contumacy and audacity of the

Finally, to compress much into few words, the commune of Genoa, on
the 25th of June, 1198, made a treaty with the Counts of Lavagna. The
latter bound themselves to content their ambition with the possession
of Lavagna, Sestri, and Rivarolo, and the commune conferred many
honours and privileges on the counts, especially reaffirming the rights
conveyed to the family by the Emperor. The Fieschi further pledged
themselves never more to draw sword against the city of Genoa or her
allies, the Bishop of Bobbio, and the Lords of Gavi, and to become
citizens of Genoa.[5] At the time of this treaty Count Martino was
the sole head of the whole family, but after his death they separated
into many branches. The principal line retained the name Fieschi; the
others were called Scorza, Ravaschieri, Della Torre, Casanova, Secchi,
Bianchi, Cogorno, and Pinelli.

It is not our intention to speak further of the junior branches. The
treaty with Genoa marks the close of the wars between the commune and
the Fieschi, and the beginning of our domestic divisions, which for
centuries weakened the republic, and compelled the lover of repose to
seek it in voluntary exile. Those who adhered to the empire were called
_Mascherati_, and the opposite faction _Rampini_, headed by Fieschi.
It would be a long work and one outside of our purpose to describe
the various changes of fortune through which the Counts of Lavagna
passed, tossing up and down in the fury of political strife; but it is
noteworthy that they always maintained the character of defenders of
popular liberty.

When Galeazzo Sforza was in power, they lived at Rome in exile, and
their castles were occupied by ducal garrisons; but after the death
(1476) of this tyrant, they rushed to arms, assailed the ducal palace
in Genoa, and forced Giovanni Pallavicini, governor under Sforza, to
take refuge in the fortress of Castelletto. Having made themselves
masters of the city, far from assuming supreme powers, they immediately
summoned the great parliament of the citizens who elected eight
captains of liberty, six of whom were taken from the people and two
from the patricians. Giano Giorgio and Matteo Fieschi were placed
at the head of the army; but to defend the city from the threatened
invasion a spirit of greater force and audacity was needed. The eyes
of the people fell upon Obietto Fieschi, who was at Rome a prisoner
of Sixtus IV., the ally of Sforza. He eluded the Pope’s vigilance,
put himself at the head of his own vassals, and fought long, until,
defeated by the imperial forces under Prospero Adorno, he was forced
to take shelter in the castles of his county. The fortresses of
Pontremoli, Varese, Torriglia, Savignone, and Montobbio were one
after the other wrested from him, and he himself was captured and
conducted to Milan, where, becoming involved in a plot against the
Duchess Bona, he was detained in prison. His brother, Gianluigi, took
his place and kept alive the fire of liberty. He routed Giovanni del
Conte and Giovanni Pallavicini, in Rapallo, with terrible slaughter.
He afterwards entered into negociations, and ceded Torriglia and
Roccatagliata to Prospero Adorno.

But the Sforza government had so outraged the Genoese that popular
indignation ran high against it, and Prospero Adorno resolved to free
himself from his unfortunate alliance, and, to strengthen his new
position, sought and obtained the aid of the counts of Lavagna. The
Lombard regency sent a splendidly equipped army of more than sixteen
thousand men, to compel the rebels to return to their allegiance; but
Gianluigi Fieschi assaulted them in flank and rear with such skill
and courage that he put them to complete rout. The enemy took refuge
in Savignone and Montobbio, but Fieschi refused to listen to terms of
accommodation, stormed those strongholds, recovered his feuds, and
retained the prisoners as a ransom for Obietto.

The Fieschi may have been restless partisans and promoters of intestine
strife, but they were never tyrants. Their broad lands, from which
they drew large revenues and considerable armies, enabled them to make
war upon a republic already strong in arms, and to snatch victory from
the troops of foreign lords. At this period they held in the duchies
of Parma and Piacenza the feuds of Calestano, Vigolone, Pontremoli,
Valdettaro, Terzogno, Albere, Tizzano, Balone, and a number of smaller
castles; in the territory of Lunigiana--Massa, Carrara, Suvero,
Calice, Vepulli, Madrignano, Groppoli, Godano, Caranza, and Brugnato;
in Valdibubera they were masters of Varzi, Grimiasco, Torriglia,
Cantalupo, Pietra, and Savignone; in Piedmont--Vercelli, Masserano, and
Crevacore; in Lombardy--Voghera (which Tortona sold to Percival Fieschi
in 1303), and Castiglione di Lodi; in Umbria--Mugnano; in the kingdom
of Naples--San Valentino; in Liguria, to say nothing of Lavagna, where
they coined money before 1294,[6] they possessed more than a hundred

It should be added that most of these possessions came into their power
by conquest, purchase, or imperial gift before Innocent and Hadrian
ascended to the Pontifical throne. Nicolò Fieschi alone, to pass by
others of the family, bought seventy castles in Lunigiana from the
bishop of Luni and from the lords of Carpena then very powerful. He
ceded a great part of these feuds to the Republic, when he took the
leadership of the Guelphs and formed alliance with Naples against the
Ubertines (1270). This was the origin of long and bitter contests which
finally ended in a treaty of peace and the absolution of Genoa from
the interdict hurled against her by Pope Gregory at the instance of
Cardinal Fieschi, whose lands the Republic had seized. The convention
provided for the cession of a great part of the Cardinal’s feuds to
Genoa (1276). We believe there is no other family which counts in
its registers two Popes, seventy-two Cardinals and three-hundred
Archbishops, Bishops and Patriarchs. Sinibaldo who assumed the tiara
in 1242 under the title of Innocent IV, was an illustrious Pontiff.
Frederick II, who had found in him when cardinal a warm ally, proved
the strength of his hostility when he became Pope. The Emperor shut up
the Pope in the castle of Sutri in 1244 and the Genoese sent twenty two
galleys to raise the siege and rescue the pontiff. Innocent accompanied
his deliverers to Genoa and from here travelled by the mountain
road of Varazze to the castle of Stella, of which Jacopo Grillo (an
accomplished troubadour) was lord, and remained there for forty days.
A fountain from which he was wont to slake his thirst is still called
_Fontana Del Papa_. From Stella he journeyed by way of Acqui to Lyons,
where he summoned a general council and excommunicated Frederick, his
son Corrado and his followers and partisans the Duke of Bavaria and

The Emperor to avenge this affront, captured and destroyed the castles
of the Fieschi in Liguria. The Pope, to rebuild and secure a home
wasted by many invasions, formed the magnificent scheme of surrounding
Genoa with walls and converting it into a refuge for the Guelph party.
He selected for his own residence the convent of S. Domenico,[7]
which had been the church of St. Egidius (having been donated to that
patriarch in 1220.) The Ghibellines, learning the Pope’s design, raised
a tumult and prevented the erection on that site of the palace which
afterwards adorned the summit of Carignano.

Ottobuono, son of Tedisio, followed Innocent in the papal dignity and
took the name of Hadrian V. As legate of Urban IV, he had conducted
with success some difficult political negotiations. In the Council of
Lyons and in his embassies to Germany and Spain, the superiority of his
mind had given him a foremost place. When he ascended the pontifical
throne, he curbed the insolence of Charles of Anjou who was abusing his
office as Senator of Rome. His reign was short, for as Dante sings,

  “Un mese e poco piu provò Come pesa il gran manto”[8]

The great Poet condemns him to the circle of the avaricious in
Purgatory, perhaps on account of the vast wealth which he amassed while
cardinal, the rental of which exceeded a hundred thousand gold marks.

Luca Fieschi, Cardinal of S. Maria Invialata, was still richer. He,
like all the rest of his family, wielded the sword as well as made
pastoral addresses. The famous Sciarra Colonna, captured by him at
Anagni, had bitter experience of his warlike spirit. This cardinal as
legate of Clement V in Italy, accompanied Henry VII in his expedition
to our Peninsula in 1311. It was through his influence that Brescia
and Piacenza were saved from pillage as a punishment for their revolt.
After Henry’s coronation in Rome, the cardinal obtained by a decree,
issued at Pisa in 1313, the full confirmation of all his ancient feudal
rights. In his will, he ordered that, whoever of his heirs should be
patron of the church of S. Adriano in Trigoso should build, on the
estates of Benedetta De Marini, a church of equal size and beauty with
that in Trigoso, and he bequeathed a large amount of property to be
spent in its construction. This is the origin of that Gothic church in
Vialata whose sides are covered with alternate slabs of black and white
marbles. The word _Vialata_ is not derived from the violets which once
blossomed over that height, as some tell us, but from the cardinalate
of that temple which the vandals of our time have not yet entirely
disfigured. The friends of Luca Fieschi erected an honourable monument
to him, in the duomo of Genoa, some remains of which are yet visible on
a side door of our cathedral.

Giovanni Fieschi, bishop of Vercelli and Guelph leader was also a
military chieftain. In 1371, he marched upon Genoa at the head of eight
hundred horse to avenge his family who as rebels had been dispossessed
of the castle of Roccatagliata by the Republic. He waged a long war
with the Visconti. They had robbed him of Vercelli, but he reacquired
this feud by subsequent treaty. He obtained from the Pope the temporal
sovereignty of that city; and Boniface IX and his successors invested
him with Montecapelli, Masserano and Crevacore. After his death,
Vercelli passed into the hands of his nephew Gianello, of good fame
both as a cardinal and warrior. It was by his influence and that of
Giacomo Fieschi, Archbishop of Genoa, that the Republic undertook
to rescue Urban IX when he was besieged in Nocera di Puglia. Nor
were Guglielmo and Alberto Fieschi without military celebrity. They
conquered the kingdom of Naples for their uncle Innocent IV. Not less
warlike were Emanuele and Giovanni Fieschi, who as bishops and lords
governed Biella in the middle of the fourteenth century. Giovanni,
however, had the misfortune to incur the displeasure of his people, was
driven from power, and ended his days in prison, 1377. The civil life
of Genoa for many centuries was a succession of political revolutions.
The leading spirits were always the Fieschi and Grimaldi, Guelphs,
and the Spinola and Doria, partisans of the Empire. Carlo Fieschi was
certainly a turbulent spirit and a promoter of discord. In order to
remove from power the opposite party, he handed the Republic over to
Robert of Naples, and Francesco Fieschi attempted to give Genoa to his
son-in-law the marquis of Monferrato. Francesco had fought as Guelph
general against Opizzino Spinola and the marquis of Monferrato had
given him valuable aid in the campaign which he successfully closed by
burning Busalla and desolating the Spinola estates.

But Francesco exercised the rights acquired by conquest with a
moderation unusual in those times; and he committed the government of
the city to sixteen citizens.

For the rest, the Fieschi though sometimes turbulent and dangerous to
the peace of the city, never laid violent hands on the liberties of
the Republic. Their struggles aimed to emancipate the city from the
influence and control of the imperial party, and they always faithfully
served those to whom they offered their arms.

It is fitting to enumerate among the heroes of this noble line a
Giacomo Fieschi whom St. Louis created a grand marshal of France as
a reward for many distinguished services. Innocent IV. invested this
Giacomo with the kingdom of Naples and it is probable that Charles V
alluded to this fact when, writing to Sinibaldo Fieschi, he declared
him descended from the loins of kings. Nor can we omit Giovanni Fieschi
who, in 1337 governed the province of Milan and fell bravely in battle;
nor Danielo and Luca Fieschi who served as Florentine generals. It was
this Luca who in 1406 conquered Pisa.

The Fieschi race is not famous alone for its men; its women have
been distinguished for purity of life and force of character, a few,
unfortunately, for vicious practices. We pass by Alassina, wife of
Moruello Malaspina whom Dante, after having lived in her court, praised
for her virtues. We know little else of her career. We pass Virginia,
daughter of Ettore Fieschi and wife of the Prince of Piombino, a wise
and virtuous matron; and also Jacopina who after the death of her first
husband, Nino Scoto, married Obizzo da Este.

Alconata, or according to others Gianetta Fieschi, daughter of
Carlo and wife of Pietro de Rossi, lord of Parma, was notorious for
lascivious manners, and a still more infamous celebrity attaches to
the name of Isabella Fieschi, wife of Lucchino Visconti. The Milanese
Chroniclers tell us that Fosca (an epithet given to Isabella) obtained
permission from her husband to attend the naval tournament held in
Venice at the feast of the ascension in 1347. Magnificent preparations
were made in Lodi for the journey of the duchess. She selected for her
cortège the flower of the Lombard knights and ladies. It is said that
every dame was accompanied by her admirer. Isabella was received at
Mantua with distinguished courtesy by Ugolino Gonzaga whom she made
happy by her embraces. On her arrival in Venice she abandoned herself
to the arms of Doge Dandolo and the most elegant and accomplished
gentleman of that republican court. The dames of her cortège, as
usually happens, followed the example and imitated the gallantries of
their mistress.

The fame of these amours reached Milan, where after the return of
the party, the dames one after another confessed their errors. No
husband was more deeply wounded than Lucchino, and he resolved to
avenge his dishonour in the blood of Fosca. The unscrupulous Genoese
dame, on learning the intention of her outraged lord, frustrated
it by administering to him, according to tradition, a slow poison.
Isabella was the most beautiful woman of her time; she had a numerous
family which she confessed on her death bed to have been the fruit of
her intrigues with Galeazzo, nephew of Lucchino, who was a brave and
accomplished knight.

The daughter of Giacomo Fieschi and Francesca di Negro made ample
amends for the licentiousness of these members of her family. We
speak of that Catherine whom the church has glorified as a saint. She
was beautiful in person, simple in her tastes and pure in her life.
From her earliest years she avowed her desire to take the veil; but,
constrained by her parents, she married Giuliano Adorno, a man addicted
to every species and degree of vice. The virtues and prayers of
Catherine, whose pure spirit above all earthly aims looked steadfastly
towards heavenly things, were powerful enough to draw him back to the
paths of virtue.

She was a miracle of love and wisdom. She wrote learned works,
especially a treatise upon Purgatory, which received the encomiums of
Cardinal Bellarmino, of the doctors of the Sorbonne and of the first
philosophers and critics of that period (1510.)

Her relative and disciple, Tomasina Fieschi, imitated the devotional
spirit of the sainted Catherine. Nor was she less charming in
person nor less gifted in literary talents; but her manuscripts are
unfortunately lost and time has destroyed all but the sweet perfume of
her virtues.

In the beginning of the thirteenth century, the counts of Fieschi
separated into two branches, that of Savignone of which we do not
purpose to write, and that of Torriglia. Both however continued to call
themselves counts of Lavagna, in memory of their origin.

At this early period they were followers of the imperial party and they
received from Frederic, as his feudatories, the armorial bearing of
three azure bars on a silver field. But when Frederic quarrelled with
the Holy See the Counts embraced the Papal side and became leaders of
the Guelph party. Then they placed the cat (gatto) over their crests in
honour of the Bavarian family, head of the Guelph faction in Germany,
which probably gave us the name. Later, they wrote under the cat
“_sedens ago_” a symbol, says Federigo, of that wisdom which produces
by force of intellect rather than of hand.[9] The Torriglia branch used
sometimes to place a dragon upon their helmets; but the cat, as more
ancient, was the true armorial bearing of the family.

The Lords of Este and Monferrato, the Gonzaga, Visconti Orsini,
Sanseverini, Sanvitali, Caretto, Pallavicini and Rossi took their
spouses from the Fieschi family, and received feuds, estates, and
burghs as dowries. The most illustrious families of Italy coveted
alliance with their blood. Even the counts of Savoy intermarried with
them and in this way acquired large possessions in Piedemont. Innocent
IV. married his niece Beatrice to count Tomaso of Savoy, and gave as
dower the castles of Rivoli and Viana, together with the valley of
Sesia. In 1259 count Tomaso was created by Innocent _gonfaloniere_ of
the church; and Ottobuono Fieschi liberated from prison in Asti Amedeo,
Tomaso and Ludovico, sons of Tomaso.

They were not less generous and distinguished at home. About the
year 1286, they erected a large tower and a castle at the gate of
Sant’Andrea. In times equally remote, Opizzo Fieschi built for his
residence a marble palace on the piazza of the duomo, enriching it
with statutes, decorations, and precious vessels. This palace served
afterwards for the council chamber of the Podesta, until Boccanegra
took possession of it. Innocent IV. was born there. They built several
other palaces in the city, which enjoyed full immunity; neither the
sheriff nor his officers could cross their thresholds to serve writs
or capture those who had taken refuge within them. The greater part of
their palaces were destroyed in the rage of civil war. The one which
Carlo Fieschi fortified near the church of S. Donato was ruined in
1393, and a year later that of cardinal Giacomo Fieschi, one of the
most sumptuous in Italy, shared the same fate.

They did not content themselves with adorning Genoa with palaces. The
convents of Servi, S. Leonardo, and S. Francesco bear witness to their
public spirit, not to mention the many hospitals, churches, and other
public edifices with which they enriched the Eastern Riviera. These
public charities were at various times rewarded with dignities and
privileges, especially by a decree that the first-born of the count of
Lavagna should sit in the council chamber above the elders and next
to the Doge. The office of doge, denied by law to the nobles until
1528, the Fieschi, in the height of their power, conferred upon their
adherents, and in peaceful times they were by this means masters of the
Republic. There is no instance in which a Fieschi, in any revolution,
attempted to grasp at supreme power, or lay violent hands on popular

Gianluigi II. was no exception to this rule. He purchased from Corrado
Doria the feud of Loano, and was ambitious of becoming master of Pisa.
When the Pisans asked as a favour to be incorporated into the Republic
of Genoa, Gianluigi, as a means to his private ambition, discouraged
his fellow-citizens from accepting the gift. The Genoese were so
enraged at discovering the motives and intrigues of Fieschi, that a
year after they excluded the nobles from office, took possession of the
Fieschi castles, and elected eight tribunes of the people as heads of
the government. Louis XII., instigated by the nobility, punished this
plebeian audacity by restoring the Fieschi to their ancient dominions,
and assigning them the government of all Eastern Liguria. At that time
the king visited Genoa, and lodged in the Fieschi palace in Carignano,
where, perhaps in the festal rejoicings, he encountered that Tomasina
Spinola, who, according to the chronicles of the period, was so smitten
with his personal charms, that she died soon after of her unhappy love.

The riches and power of Gianluigi gave him the title of Great, and his
virtues and varied abilities acquired him such consideration that, when
after the death of his first wife, Bartolomea della Rovere, he wedded
Catherine, sister of the Marquis of Finale, the senate paid homage to
his distinguished merit by proclaiming a safe conduct from Corvo to
Monaco for all who should attend the espousals. His son, Sinibaldo,
did not, like his father, cultivate the friendship of the French. His
brother was assassinated by the Fregosi, and to obtain vengeance he
used his influence to elevate the Adorni to the place occupied by the
Fregosi. When Ottaviano Fregoso returned to power, Sinibaldo retired
to his estates, formed an alliance with the Adorni, and marched upon
Genoa in 1522. He fought bravely against the French when Cesare Fregoso
led them against the city, but he was made prisoner, and only obtained
his liberty by the payment of a heavy ransom. Afterwards he united with
Andrea Doria to expel the French from Genoa; he captured Savona by
storm, and gave powerful aid to Andrea in carrying the Republic over to
the Imperial cause. Having lost his brothers, he came to be the sole
head of his family, and inherited all the vast possessions and wealth
of his father. Charles V. confirmed his titles to his estates. He went
as the ambassador of the Republic, to assume the investiture from the
emperor of some castles, and spent on the occasion a large sum which he
would not permit the Republic to repay.

Sinibaldo united to his feuds Pontremoli, for which he paid twelve
thousand gold crowns[10] to Francesco Sforza. His united possessions
now embraced thirty-three walled castles, besides innumerable estates
and villas on the sides of the Appennines, bounded by Genoa and Sarzana
on the sea, and by Tortona, Bobbio, Parma and Piacenza, inland.

He was also master of many other feuds separated from his county. He
drew such large revenues from these lands that the Republic had no
other citizen of equal wealth, and he lived with a pomp and luxury
till then unknown in Italy. His munificent generosity earned him
the merited praise of Ariosto, who places him at the fountain of
Malagigi,--foremost among those whose lances are wounding the fierce
image of avarice.

He died in 1532, leaving Maria della Rovere a widow. She was the niece
of Julius II., and bore Sinibaldo a numerous family. He was buried,
wrapped in silk cloth of gold, in the vault of his fathers, in our
cathedral, and Ugo Partenopeo pronounced his funeral oration.

The eldest son of Sinibaldo was that Gianluigi, whose career we are
about to describe. But in order to pronounce a just opinion of his
actual character, we believe it important to speak at some length of
the condition of Italy and the Republic of Genoa when he appeared on
the political stage. A great man is, in our opinion, the expression of
a social want; he embodies and expresses the ideas of the times wherein
he is born, and therefore is a compendious symbol of the people among
whom he lives.



 Leo X., and his false glories--Desperate condition of the Italian
 states in the sixteenth century--Their aversion to the Austrian
 power--The Sack of Rome--Wars and Plagues--Charles V. and Francis
 I.--The Despotism of Christian powers causes Italian powers to desire
 the yoke of the Turks--The Papal theocracy renews with the empire the
 compact of Charlemagne.

THE age of Leo X., in painting whose meretricious splendours, our
historians have rivalled each other, was one of the most unfortunate in
the history of Italy. Let others call the age of Valentine and Charles
V. the age of gold; Raphael, Titian, and Michael Angelo cannot make us
forget Leyva, Baglioni, and the barbarians who overran Italy, bringing
in plague, famine, and intestine war. Swiss and French in Lombardy,
French and Spaniards in Naples, Swiss and Germans in Venetia rendered
every region desolate and every government despotic. Julius II. spoke
falsehood when he boasted that he had expelled the Ultramontanes from
Italian soil; he merely drove out one foreigner by the help of another,
and the last invaders filled the people with desperate longing for the
old oppressors. After his death the Papal dignity was conferred on Leo
de’ Medici, whose name has a false lustre in letters and arts.

It was a grave delusion or a sychophantic flattery to attribute to
him the impulse that revived liberal studies. The great intellects who
flourished under his pontificate had risen to fame before his time.
He covered them with wealth and honours out of no sympathy with their
pursuits, but to emasculate their independent spirits and stifle the
groans of the nation in whose bosom the spirit of independence began to
react under the hammer of incessant misfortune.

The manners of Leo were wholly corrupt and his religion atheism. The
Lutheran doctrines which spread in his time owed their success to
the trade in indulgences, the profits of which he conferred before
collection upon his sister Magdalene Cybo, to repay her family for the
princely receptions they gave him in Genoa.

The scribblers called him The Great, because they lived upon him, and
were only idle ornaments of a luxurious court. He entertained the
Romans with feasts and games, because he was a devotee of pleasure,
and, according to the saying of the people, wished to enjoy the papacy.
But the chases of Corneto and Viterbo, the infamies of Malliana, the
suppers of the gods, and the fisheries of Bolsena were paid for with
money borrowed at forty per cent. The people of the Romagna, bleeding
under his insatiable collectors of revenue, prayed for the Turkish
yoke, as a relief from that of the Popes. When it was his plain duty to
restore his wasted provinces by permanent peace, he excited new wars,
for whose conduct he had neither money, energy, nor talents. History
has been strangely generous with Leo. His intrigues, his wrongheaded
policy, the fictitious conspiracy of Florence,--for which Macchiavello
was beheaded, Braccioli and Capponi killed, and many others imprisoned
or banished,--still await a pen sharp enough to cut away his borrowed

At the death of Maximilian of Austria, the electors conferred the
empire on Charles V. of Spain, who was already master of the Two
Sicilies. The power of Charles threatened the independence of Rome, and
Leo formed a league with France, in the audacious hope of expelling
the Spaniard from Italy. But he betrayed his ally for a dukedom in
the kingdom, conferred on his bastard son Alexander de’ Medici. A war
broke out, and the Papal and Imperial troops, led by Prospero Colonna
and Marquis Pescara, had already occupied Milan, when the sudden death
of Leo cut short his enterprises. His successor was the Flemish Van
Trusen, under the title of Hadrian VI. He had never set foot in Italy,
and was therefore called a barbarian. The corrupt prelates despised a
Pope, under whom absolution cost only a ducat.

Hadrian was unable to continue the war, the Papal treasury having been
drained by the prodigality of Leo. Besides the Rovere, Baglioni and
Malatesta had seized the Papal dominions. The other states of Italy
were not more fortunate than the Papal. Venice had been bleeding to
death since the league of Cambray; Florence was under the heel of
Julius de’ Medici; the lords of Mantua and Ferrara were in the grasp
of a master; the Marquis of Monferrato and the Duke of Savoy were
protected by French garrisons; the kingdom of Naples was barbarized
and taxed to the verge of ruin by those Spanish hordes who from the
poverty of their clothing were called the _Bisogni_.[11] Charles did
not pay his armies a sous, and they had scarcely routed the French
under Lautrec when they began a general pillage of Italy. Though the
Pope was Charles’ ally the pontificial territory did not escape the
common fate. The excesses of Ultramontane lust and avarice bred a
terrible pestilence in Florence and in Rome; new wounds for Italy. When
the plague had reached its height, the pontiff in an insane fright
abolished the sanitary laws on the plea that they were offensive to
Heaven and heretical. Thus the pestilence, encountering no obstacles,
raged with unchecked violence.

We are told that in these straits, the Romans longing to find a
barrier to such a flood of woes, sacrificed a bull with all the pagan
ceremonies to the divinities of the ancient Republic. To such a degree
had the atheism of the popes taken root among the people!

Julius, of the Medici family, succeeded to Hadrian VI.; but he did not
bring peace to Italy. The French, led by Bonnivet made a new attempt
to recover Lombardy. Prospero Colonna made them pay dearly for the
enterprise; but Francis I. invaded Italy in force, and Milan, desolated
by the plague, came into his power. Who at that period cared for the
independence of Italy? Venice, Venice alone. In the battle of Pavia,
Francis I. was beaten and captured. Venice seeing the knife pointed at
her own breast by Imperial hands, proposed to Louisa of Savoy, mother
of the captive French king and regent of France, a general league of
the enemies of Spain, the mustering of armies and the liberation of the
illustrious prisoner. The Pope opposed the scheme and bound himself
closer to the emperor whose satellites he paid largely for leaving him
in peace. The German leaders divided the money and went on robbing the
subjects of the Pope.

In the meantime the treaty of Madrid (1526) released Francis I. from
prison and he made haste to violate the stipulations extorted from
him by force. He formed an alliance for the liberation of Italy,
with the Pope, the Venitians and Francis Sforza. The French monarch
proclaimed himself the apostle of liberty for oppressed people and
awakened everywhere the spirit of resistance to the Spanish power. A
strange delusion that the French monarch sought to enfranchise Italy
seized upon the most illustrious men of our Peninsula. The Genoese were
especially forward in urging the Pope to abandon the Imperial alliance
and join the French league. Foremost among those who shared this
delusion was Giammateo Ghiberti of Genoa, chancellor of Clement VII.,
a knight of stainless honour and a prelate uncontaminated by the moral
leprosy which raged in the Roman court.

The choicest spirit in literature and science supported the generous
hopes of Ghiberti. Among them was Pietro Bembo who had been secretary
to Leo X., Ludovico Canossa, the French ambassador in Venice, and
Jacopo Sodoleto, an extraordinary genius whom the amorous overtures
of the beautiful Imperia failed to degrade. Sodoleto, a man deeply
religious and patriotic had urged Clement to make bold reforms in
the bosom of the church. He founded in Rome, with the cöperation of
Ghiberti, Bembo, Caraffa and many others, the oratorio of divine love,
and he openly professed his belief in the doctrine of justification by
faith, a dogma of the evangelical churches.

Around these leaders, the lovers of liberal studies and of their
country, began to form a party, which included such men as Valeriano
Pierio, Vida, Bini, Blasio, Negri, Navagero and even Berni, who, when
he saw that Pope Clement neglected the advice of patriots and clung
to Spain, prophesied that the Pope and his shearers would share the
ruin of Italy. This awaking to liberty and the increasing aversion of
the Italians to the Imperial power, stimulated the Spanish governors
to harsher measures. The desertion of their party by the duke of
Milan furnished the conquerors with a specious pretext for desolating
whole provinces and draining the blood of the people by taxation and
subsidies. This unfortunate country saw at that moment a spectacle of
unbridled barbarity without parallel in history. The Spanish soldiers
were quartered in the houses of the Milanese, and the citizen was
treated not as a host but as a prisoner. His feet were tied to a bed,
or to a beam; or he was thrown into a cellar, where he would be
tormented into surrendering money or lands; or to the gratification
of a more vile cupidity. When the unfortunate victim died of grief
or, impelled by rage and despair, drowned himself in a well or threw
himself from a window, the _Bisogni_ immediately sought another house
in which to renew the same barbarities. The Lombard provinces had not
even the consolation of human pity. The duke of Urbino, commanding the
armies of Venice and Rome, gave them no encouragement to hope. Indeed,
he lacked the means for open war or even for skirmishing with the
Spanish army. Germany poured down new soldiers. Shall we say soldiers?
George Frandesperg marched at the head of fifteen thousand robbers, and
swore to put a halter round the neck of the Pope and to pay his legions
with the pillage of Italian cities.

Nor were foreigners the only tormentors of the bleeding peninsula. In
Rome the Orsini supported the Pope the Colonna were partisans of Cæsar.
Cardinal Pompeo collected eight thousand peasants on the _Agro Romano_
and unleashed them against the Vatican. They made a general pillage and
their leader compelled the _Sultan of Christianity_, as he styled the
Pope, to break the league he had formed with Venice and France. Deeds
were committed which history shrinks from recording. The Ultramontanes,
not content with enslaving provinces, slaked their thirst in the blood
of the people. The inhumanity of the Germans, the avarice of the
Swiss--who even then made merchandise of their fealty--the rapacity of
the Aragonese and the licentiousness of the Gauls reached and polluted
everything in Italy.

It is true that there was this diversity in their manners, that the
Swiss and Germans, despising the restraints of both law and religion,
utterly despoiled the vanquished and revelled in every species of
brutality; while the French divided the spoils with those to whom
they belonged and seduced, instead of violating, the women. As for
the Spaniards, words are inadequate to describe the cruelty with
which they slaughtered and tore in pieces our conquered populations.
Macchiavello has finely contrasted the French and the Spaniards of
that time. “The Frenchman is equally prodigal of his own property
and that of his neighbour and he robs with small concern whether he
is to eat the booty, destroy it or make riot of it with the lawful
owner. The spirit of the Spanish plunderer is different; when he robs
you do not hope to see a shred of your own again.” Spanish despotism
imprinted its bloody hands on the face of every province. Witness
the pillage of Rome by the Constable of Bourbon--who perished there,
perhaps by the hand of Cellini--for proof that the Goth Alaric and
every other barbarian leader were less ferocious than a christian
army. The Spanish hordes plundered all the wealth and precious vessels
which the devotion of christendom had amassed in the churches of Rome
during twelve centuries. The Spanish catholics were worse vandals than
the German Lutherans. Whoever escaped the clutches of the one was put
to death by the other, or at best only saved himself by paying heavy
ransom. In Rome the most venerable things were put to unseemly uses.
Drunken soldiers in sacred robes and mitres danced obscene dances in
the streets and public squares, and their impious mockeries always
ended in bloody saturnalia. The corpses of murdered citizens strewed
the streets; and after nine months of this carnival of death, a fierce
pestilence broke out to complete the desolation.

The emperor derived no advantage from imprisoning the Pope, wasting his
provinces and butchering his people. A pressing want of money induced
Charles to restore Julius to his throne, as the same motive had led him
to liberate the French king. It seems incredible that the master of
Spain, the Netherlands, Sicily, the Lombard provinces and Mexico should
have drawn no profit from his vast possessions. The Lutheran movement
in Germany, the threats of France, the distrust of the king of England,
the secret intrigues of the Pope and the doubtful fidelity of some
Italian princes, whom Venice was inciting to revolt, may have conspired
to palsy his arms in the very moment of victory.

A little before the sack of Rome, Odo di Foix, lord of Lautrec and
general of France avenged the defeat of his sovereign at Pavia by
capturing this city and subjecting it to an eight day’s pillage.
The edifices were so ruined and the population so thinned that
Leandro Alberti writes;--“The sight of it excited compassion.” It is
melancholy satisfaction to write, that, of the crowds of foreigners who
poured into Italy to plunder and ravage, very few returned to their
native lands. The Peninsula became their sepulchre--of the French
particularly--who to speak truth, seldom committed those excesses which
were common to the Spaniards and Germans. It may be added, too, that
it has always been the misfortune of France to make useless conquests
in Italy. Her army which, after the destruction of Melfi, advanced
to the siege of Naples, counting more than twenty-five thousand men,
was so thinned by pestilential fevers that two months afterwards it
did not contain four thousand men fit for duty. The frightful plague
did not spare Lautrec, and after the treaty of Antwerp only a few
skeletons were permitted to set foot on the soil of France. The army
which deluged Rome with blood met with a more calamitous fate. Shut
up in Naples under the Prince of Orange, governor of that city, it
was attacked and mowed down by a pestilence which was at once the
consequence and punishment of its insane license. Even Francis Bourbon,
count of San Polo, who, the _Bisogni_ having left nothing to plunder,
put the villages and hamlets through which he passed to fire and sword,
was totally defeated and made prisoner in Landriano (1529) by the
ferocious Antonio di Leyva, the scourge of Lombardy.

The kings becoming weary, the people being drained of their blood, the
necessity of peace was strongly felt. Charles V., who had no title to
greatness, but the extent of his dominions, who was crooked in design
and avaricious of spirit, hastened to form an incestuous union with
the Pope, and the fruit of their embraces was the slavery of Florence.
Cæsar bound himself to immolate the Republic to the vengeance of
Clement and put under Papal pay the hordes of assassins who had already
desolated the greater part of the Peninsula. The bastard Alexander de’
Medici married a bastard daughter of the emperor; whence the treaty
of Cambray by which France delivered Italy, bound hand and foot to
Charles Fifth, recovering Bourgogne and his children for the shameful
desertion. He ignominiously lost in this treaty the honour which he
preserved stainless in his defeat and capture at Pavia. This king had
strange contradictions in his character. He promised, with apparent
sincerity, liberty to nations and then abandoned them at caprice; he
was hated by people whom he overwhelmed with public burdens, but loved
by the learned whom he protected and honoured. He offered his hand to
the heretics of Germany, and burned under a slow fire the heretics of
France. He invited the Turks into Italy and betrayed the Venitians and
Florentines; but he kept faith with his bitter enemy, granting Charles
V. safe conduct through French territory.

The pontiff being about to crown Charles in Bologna with the Lombard
and Imperial diadems, the latter ordered the Italian princes, as his
vassals, to pay him homage on that occasion (1530). Alfonso d’Este,
Frederick Gonzaga, the dukes of Urbino and Savoy, and the Marquis of
Monferrato submitted to him; the Republics of Genoa, Siena and Lucca
counted themselves happy in being permitted to retain their old form of
government, and Florence which under the influence of Nicolò Capponi
had elected Christ for its king, now vainly defended by the brave
Ferruccio was forced to humble herself to slavery. That portion of
North Italy which in modern language is called Piedmont was involved
in equal if not greater disasters. On account of its situation between
Austria and France, it was overrun and desolated by barbarian invaders
from 1494 to 1559. “We do not believe,” say the commissioners of Henry
VIII. of England, “that it is possible to find in all Christendom
greater wretchedness than reigns in this country. The best towns are
either in ruins or depopulated. There are few districts in which
food is to be found. The extensive plain, fifty miles in length,
which lies between Vercelli and Pavia, once so fertile in cereals and
wines, is reduced to a desert. The fields are uncultivated; except
three poor women gathering a few grapes, we saw not the shadow of a
human creature. There, they neither sow nor reap; the country sides
are growing wild, and the uncultivated vines are returning to their
primitive state.”

Charles III., the unfortunate, was ruling over these desolated
provinces and his subjects suffered every species of indignity, outrage
and despotism. To render matters, if possible, a little worse, Gonzaga
urged the Emperor to reduce to a swamp all that wide plain between the
Alps and the Po to form a barrier to French invasion of Lombardy.

In fine, there was no city in all Italy which was not conquered and
oppressed by foreign armies. Of Genoa I shall speak in its place. It
is worth while to mention Nice, where in 1538 Paul III. held the
congress at which a truce was concluded between Cæsar and Francis I.
Five years afterwards, Francis marched upon and besieged it with the
help of the Turks. This siege is memorable in Italian history for the
heroic spirit of Segurana, but after the death at the sword’s point
of all her bravest defenders, the city was forced to surrender. The
citizens abandoned their homes, though they had obtained a promise of
immunity for their property from pillage by the soldiery. The Turks
kept faith, while the French violated their pledges, thus giving rise
to a general desire among Italians to become subject to the Turks,
from a conviction that they could no longer endure the weight of their
misfortunes. There were writers as Vives, who speaking of Italy, (1529)
sought to discourage this sentiment, telling the Italians that the
Turks would heap worse miseries upon them. But it is incredible that
Soliman could have equalled the endless tortures inflicted by Francis
I. and Charles V. Segni says: “More than two hundred thousand persons
killed in war, more than a hundred cities and important castles sacked
and destroyed, so many thousands of innocent men and women destroyed by
pestilence and famine that one cannot number them, matrons debauched,
maidens ravished, abominable practices with children, an endless
catalogue of crimes against religion and nature committed against each
other by christians, all owe their origin to the implacable enmity of
two men, who were born and have grown old in eternal hatred to each
other. They are not weary of shedding the blood of their fellows; they
continue to fight and will fight to the end of their lives.”[12] He
proceeds:--“Afflicted peoples cannot do better than pray God to destroy
or subject them both to the sway of the grand Turk, so that the world
may come under the power of a single monarch, who, though he be a
barbarian and an enemy to our laws, may give us a little repose wherein
to rear our children to a life, of poverty indeed, but free from the
burdens of our miserable existence.”

The people of Germany, always restless under the yoke of ancient Rome,
were rising against the Papal power, which had taken the place of
the ancient empire. At the voice of Luther laying bare the festering
diseases of the Roman court, the learned of Italy were moved. The
Pope comprehended that there was no other means of extirpating the
seeds of reform which had already sprung up in Italy but to ally
himself with catholic Spain: she was in the zenith of her glory.
Such captains as Cortes and Pizzaro sailed away with a galley and
returned conquerors of a new world. Who better than the compatriots of
Torquemada could suffocate in blood the free voices of the disciples
of Huss and Wicliffe? From that moment the compact of Charlemagne was
renewed between Charles V. and the Roman theocracy, and through it the
Spaniards tightened their grasp on Milan, Naples, Palermo and Cagliari,
and established their ascendency over the whole Peninsula.

From Charles V. dates our humiliation and slavery. From his time the
Peninsula has had no proper history. Its vicissitudes and calamities
are only episodes of the great drama enacted by the nations who have
fought against each other for our blood. The council of Trent was
not an act of national life. It grew out of the philosophic spirit
of reform and the scandals of the Roman court, and was initiated by
Germany and France while England was separating herself from the
catholic church. This celebrated synod shows nothing but the conflict
between the church and the empire, between the reformers and the
courtiers of Rome struggling to maintain their privileges, between
the Popes who fought to maintain their abuses and the secular princes
who secretly laboured to shake off the priestly yoke. The Italian
people had no part in it. The religious discussions upon divine grace,
predestination and justification by faith did not reach us, who were
everywhere plotting to recover our independence and freedom.

In fact this is the century of popular conspiracies, which were always
strangled by degenerate nobles and foreign armies. It is true that the
most illustrious Italians sided with the people and died for their
righteous cause; but these were vain struggles. From the day that
Lorenzino de’Medici, for whom the Spanish power (which Duke Alexander
was consolidating in Italy) was too bitter, formed the design of
restoring the Republic and then, bought by promises of lascivious
embraces, stifled his own purpose, the spark of liberty took fire and
in every city the plebeians rose against their foreign oppressors.

Such, briefly, was the condition of Italy in the early part of the
sixteenth century, in which she lost that preëminence and reputation
under which she had hitherto flourished. It is necessary to study this
period, because it was then that Europe initiated the great work of her
civil renovation, while in Italy there was desperate strife between
dying liberties and rising tyrannies. Two hostile forces were wrestling
together and shaking men’s souls; the regal and foreign dominion
supported by the nobles, and the generous pride of citizens making
heroic sacrifices to remain a people. Charles V. turned the trembling
balance. Only in that age could have risen the company of Jesus,
who did not, like the monks, constitute a democracy but an absolute
monarchy such as Cæsar was founding on the ruins of our communes. The
disciples of Loyola and the nobles were the sole supporters of the
Austro-Spanish power, and they showed a common solicitude to strengthen
the principles of despotic government.



 The Nobles and the People--Andrea Doria and his first enterprises--How
 he abandoned France, and went over to the Emperor--Accusations and
 opinions with regard to his motives--The laws of the _Union_ destroyed
 the popular, and created the aristocratic Government--The objects of
 Doria in contrast with those of the Genoese Government and the Italian
 Republics--The lieutenants of Andrea and his naval forces--Popular
 movements arrested by bloody vengeance.

WE turn with painful recollections from the conditions of Italy to
that of the Genoese Republic. Our annals offer us only vicissitudes
of intestine divisions and wars, in which, however, there were heroic
achievements that have rendered the Republic illustrious.

The history of Liguria is full of the Doria name. There is no modern
family which can boast so many examples of heroism as this house,
and only the Scipios among the ancients are entitled to equal fame.
From the earliest times they were partisans of the empire; while the
Fieschi, after Innocent IV. maintained the cause of the people, drawing
to that side the powerful family of Grimaldi. The Doria and Spinola
formed alliance, and became the leaders of the Ghibellines. From that
moment a warm contest arose between these great families, and it did
not end until, in 1257, the people elected Guglielmo Boccanegra captain
and defender of their liberties. After his death, the hostile nobles
renewed their insane discords; but the people, weary of these domestic
wars and following the examples of other Italian communes, drove
out the nobles, (1340) and created Simon Boccanegra first Doge. The
nobles were by law excluded from this highest office, and even from
the command of a galley;[13] and not a few illustrious families passed
into the ranks of the people by their own election. It is well known
that before the reforms of Doria, the so-called nobles were held in
less honour than distinguished men of the people, because their rank
excluded them from the Dogate and many other offices. The Doria and
Spinola came to power in a revolutionary period, and in violation of
law. This severe prohibition was afterwards modified, but the office
of Doge continued to be a popular prerogative. The principal families
of the people were the Adorni and Fregosi, in whose hands the supreme
offices remained for several centuries, and these names are conspicuous
in our civil conflicts which were so frequent and bitter that in one
year the head of the government was four times changed. In these
calamitous times--redeemed from disgrace by the three manly figures of
Columbus, Julius II., and Andrea Doria,--the Genoese, whose misfortune
has ever been to despise servitude and to be incapable of preserving
liberty, were compelled to invoke the protection of princes strong
enough to curb the ambition of individual citizens. But it was always
stipulated that the franchises of the city should not be impaired,
nor its laws changed; there was, in fact, no true transfer of power.
Whenever we were borne down by foreign arms, it was the work of the
nobility conspiring against the people.

Even in the time of Louis XII., when Italy was yielding him a tardy
and reluctant obedience, the Genoese rose in rebellion, triumphed over
the plots of the nobles, threw down the government of the royal vicar,
drove out the army of Cleves, assembled in the Church of St. Maria di
Castello, and elected eight tribunes of the people. The nobles were put
to flight, the hostile army routed, and supreme power returned to the
hands of the people.

The Geonese showed themselves truly great. They drew out of his
workshop Paolo da Novi, a silk dyer, and despite his modest refusals
elected him Doge. Nor did they err in electing the modest operative
to the highest office. “Paolo,” as Foglietta writes, “was a man of
honour and integrity, pure from every vice, and proof against all the
temptations of the great.” His first and sole study was the glory and
unity of the Republic. He, in fact, reconquered some feuds for the
state, particularly Monaco, which the Grimaldi had usurped.

In the midst of Paolo’s generous designs, Louis XII., to whom the
Geonese nobility had opened the doors of their country, descended
upon him with a formidable army. Genoa was converted into a field
of battle; every plebeian became a soldier, and the valour of the
citizens checked the impetuous advance of the French battalions. But
the patriots were overcome by numbers and discipline; Paolo di Novi was
betrayed and butchered; the people were reduced to slavery. Rodolfo
di Lanoia, to whom Louis committed the government of the city, was
constrained to resign his office,--says Foglietta--on account of the
boundless avarice and insolence of the nobles who struggled to advance
their private interests by ruining the public weal.

As Boccanegra was the father of our popular liberty so Doria was its
executioner. He wrested the government from the hands of the people,
and committed it to those of the nobles. He momentarily silenced, but
did not destroy, the rage of parties. By depressing the populace, he
cut the nerves of the Republic; he gave us independence in name, but he
destroyed the franchises of the citizens. A great historian has justly
said, that the liberties given us by Andrea Doria are ridiculous; the
future will accept that as the final decision of history.

Andrea was a soldier from his youth. He learned the rudiments of war
from Domenico Doria, who was of his blood and had distinguished himself
in the court of Innocent VIII. He served successfully under the Pope,
Ferdinando the old of Naples and his son Alfonso II., and sustained
the siege of Rocca Guglelma against Gonsalvo di Cordova. Afterwards he
fought under Giovanni della Rovere, duke of Urbino, and having been
elected tutor of the duke’s son, Francesco Maria, he saved him from the
intrigues of Cæsar Borgia, by taking him to Venice and entrusting him
to the protection of the Venitian senate.

He allied himself with the party of the Fregosi, who were friends of
his house; and when Doge Ottaviano besieged for twenty-two months
the fortress of Cape Faro, which was held for the French; he fought
single-handed with the brave Emanuel Cavallo, and was slightly wounded
in the contest.

But his greatest glory was acquired in naval war. His battles with
the Moors and Turks gave him fame and wealth, and after the battle of
Pianosa (1519), in which, with six vessels, he conquered thirteen of
the enemy’s; capturing several with the famous corsair Gad Ali’ he
became the terror of Saracen ships. When the Fregosi were driven from
power and their places taken by the Adorni, Doria, disdaining to serve
under this family, sold his services to France, and took with him six
galleys belonging to the Republic, which he never restored. The motive
of this appropriation of public property was his bitter animosity to
Spain, whose party the Adorni and the Republic had embraced. This
animosity was rendered more violent by the sack of Genoa in 1522
by the Spanish army, a pillage so horrible that when the authors
of it, Pescara, Colonna and Sforza, presented themselves to Pope
Hadrian humbly asking pardon, the pontiff indignantly repulsed them,
crying,--“I cannot, I ought not, I will not forgive you.”

Doria was so incensed that he condemned to chains and the galleys,
without hope of redemption, all Spaniards who fell into his hands.

In the year 1527, Pope Clement VIII. was allied with his most Christian
Majesty, with the Venitians the Florentines and other governments
against the power of Charles. To further the objects of the alliance
Francis sent Lautrec into Italy at the head of forty thousand men,
and Andrea Doria besieged Genoa with a large force. It is not within
our scope to describe how the Republic, through the influence of
Cæsar Fregosi and Doria, went over to the party of France. Francis,
to gratify the wishes of Andrea, entrusted the government to Teodoro
Trivulzio, Antoniotto Adorno, having gracefully retired from the office
of Doge.

Doria having been created admiral of France, with a salary of
thirty-six thousand crowns, rose to great fame, on account of his
victories and those of his lieutenants. Among these victories, that of
Filippino Doria in the gulf of Salerno, deserves a brief mention, both
because it was won by Italian arms, and because something should be
added to the accounts given by other authors. Lautrec, while besieging
Naples, desired to blockade the port, so as to prevent the supply of
provisions to its defenders, and sent for the galleys of Doria, seven
of which were then in Leghorn, under the command of Filippino Doria
Count of Sassocorbario and Canosa and Andrea’s cousin.

Naples, surrounded on every side, would have been unable to sustain the
siege, and the viceroy, Hugo Moncada, saw the necessity of breaking
the enclosing lines by some daring undertaking. He collected six
galleys called the _Capitana_ and _Gobba_, (the property of Fabrizio
Giustiniano) one belonging to Sicames, another which was the property
of Don Bernardo Vallamarino, the _Perpugnana_ and _Calabrese_. To
these were added ten brigantines and some smaller vessels. The viceroy
embarked upon the ships twelve hundred Spaniards clad in mail and
commanded by the flower of the officers and barons of the kingdom.
Finally, he himself joined the expedition and gave the command of
the artillery to Gerolamo da Trani and that of the army to Fabrizio
Giustiniano, called the hunchback, a brave Genoese in the pay of Spain.
The latter, knowing the courage and skill of the Ligurian mariners
advised that the Spanish fleet should avoid a close engagement with
Doria; but a contrary opinion prevailed.

Count Filippino was in the waters of Salerno when the report reached
him that the imperial fleet had left Naples.

He asked Lautrec to reinforce him with only two hundred infantry.
Of the eight vessels under his command, that is, the _Capitana_,
_Pellegrina_, _Donzella_, _Sirena_, _Fortuna_, _Mora_, _Padrona_ and
_Signora_, he sent the three last under the command of Nicolò Lomellino
out to sea as if they wished to escape, with orders, however, to turn
about, and, driving down before the wind, attack the enemy in the
rear. Filippino with the remaining five vessels awaited the assault of
Moncada, who, trusting to the strength of his fleet and the bravery
of his captains, confidently looked for a signal victory. The galley
of the viceroy closed with the Capitana, the flag-ship of Doria, who,
firing his basilisk, small cannon and falconets, raked the Spanish
vessel from prow to poop with such fatal accuracy that forty armed men
were killed, among whom were the bravest barons of the kingdom, Leo
Tassino, a nobleman of Ferrara, Luigi Cosmano a famous musician, Don
Pietro di Cardona and many others. The batteries of Moncada replied
but did little damage to the Genoese. The _Gobba_, the galley of
Sicames and that of Don Bernardo were more fortunate. They closed with
the _Pellegrina_ and the _Donzella_ and the Spanish soldiers boarded
without difficulty. The _Perpugnana_ and the _Calabrese_ cannonaded the
_Sirena_ until she was forced to surrender. Doria had now lost three
galleys, the _Capitana_ and the _Fortuna_ were in imminent danger of
being boarded, not being able to sustain the attacks of six galleys
and fifteen smaller vessels whose grappling irons were seizing them
on every side. Everything looked propitious for Moncada and victory
seemed secure to him, when the three galleys which Doria had sent to
sea turned their prows and bore down swiftly before the wind. At close
quarters, they poured in a terrible fire which dismasted the Spanish
vessels and strewed their decks with the dead. The viceroy himself
while standing upon the quarter deck of his vessel with his sword
in one hand, and _rotella_ in the other, animating his crews, was
wounded in his right arm by an arquebus, his left thigh was broken by
a falconet and he fell among his men mowed down under the fire-balls
and showers of stones poured in by the Genoese. Having captured the
flag-ship of the viceroy, Lomellino assailed the _Gobba_. Here more
than a hundred arquebusiers were killed, Cæsar Fieramosca lost his life
and Giustiniano was wounded and lost his galley. Filippino Doria now
released from their chains the convicts and the Turkish slaves with a
promise of liberty and sent them to recover the _Donzella_, which they
soon accomplished. They attacked the _Pellegrina_ and the _Sirena_ with
such fury that the _Perpugnana_ and _Calabrese_, seeing further defence
useless, turned their prows and sailed away seaward. The brigantines
were reduced to helpless wrecks and the remainder of the Spanish
vessels found it impossible to continue the conflict. The marquis of
Vasto and Ascanio Fieramosca, after having displayed a most admirable
courage, seeing their galleys reduced to a sinking condition, Gerolamo
da Trani killed, their captains wounded, their soldiers shattered and
pounded by stones and half consumed by fire, gracefully surrendered to
Nicolò Lomellino who was already at close quarters with the _Mora_.
Sicames and Don Bernardo Vallamarino, fighting to the last, were killed
and their ships sunk. All the lancers were killed, but their leader
Corradino escaped with the galley _Perpugnana_. The killed amounted
to more than a thousand and the prisoners were much more numerous.
Among the latter, the ancient chronicles enumerate the marquis Vasto,
Ascanio Fieramosca, the Prince of Salerno, the marquis Santa Croce,
Fabrizio Giustiniano, and other illustrious barons and famous warriors.

This action was fought on the 28th of April, 1528. It was not long
after this signal victory so fatal to the imperial power and counted so
honourable to the name of Doria--though it was fought by his lieutenant
Filippino--that Andrea changed sides and enlisted under the very power
he had conquered.

History has not yet given a satisfactory account of the motives which
led Doria, hitherto a violent enemy of Cæsar, to desert the standard
of France and offer his sword to Spain. It was a desertion fruitful
of numberless misfortunes as we shall show in the progress of this
work. It is certain that this change contributed more largely than
anything else to alter the fortunes of Italy, and to reduce her to
slavery under the empire. It induced both peoples and princes to
submit to the Spanish power, Luigi Alamanni, seduced by the influence
of Andrea, adopted that policy, though he was one of the warmest
friends of liberty, and he attempted to persuade the Florentines to
ally themselves with Cæsar. The unfortunate patriot suffered for his
delusion. The people hearing the rumour that he advocated such opinions
compelled him to seek personal safety in exile from Florence.

Returning to the question, we mention first the reasons put forward by
the historians for the justification of Doria. They tell us that France
had not paid him according to her promises; that Frances I. took away
from him the prince of Orange whom Doria had captured, thus defrauding
the Admiral of the twenty thousand ducats of ransom; that the king
sought to get possession of the marquises Vasto and Colonna with a
like motive; that this monarch granted favours in prejudice of Genoese
rights to rebellious Savona; and that a rumour ran of the king’s having
given this city in feud to Montmorency.

However, Doria was blamed (according to the testimony of Varchi,) by
the greater part of the Italians, and many accused him of desertion
and treason. They said that his conduct was not dictated by his
resentment at the liberty of Savona, or the slavery of Genoa, which
he himself enslaved, but rather by his boundless appetite for wealth
and honours. Some affirm that Giovanni Battista Lasagna, whom Doria
had sent to Paris to treat for the recovery of Savona, informed him
that the king’s council had determined to deprive him, not only of his
prisoners, but also of his own life, and that this information led him
to enlist under Cæsar. Others, on the contrary, say that the king of
France having heard that Doria intended to abandon his service, sent to
him Pierfrancesco di Noceto, Count of Pontremoli and his esquire, to
dissuade him from that design and to promise payment of the ransom of
Orange and other prisoners as well as the Admiral’s personal salary. It
is difficult to arrive at the truth when testimony is so conflicting.
One fact only is unquestioned: that before the last day of the month of
June, the period at which his contract with France would expire, he
mounted his galley and repaired to Lerici.

At Lerici, Filippino, having abandoned the blockade of Naples,
joined him, and by the good offices of the marquis Vasto he opened
negociations with Cæsar and entered into the service of Spain, sending
back to Francis the decorations of the order of St. Michael with which
that monarch had honoured him. This desertion to the imperial party
gave to Charles V. (as Segni has sensibly said) the victory in the
Italian strife.[14]

While these events were passing, there were secret and public
consultations in Genoa, for the purpose of quieting the political
factions, uniting the citizens and organizing the civil government on a
better basis. The chief honours of this undertaking belong to Ottaviano
Fregoso, who in 1520 was engaged in these efforts, acting with Raphael
Ponzoni. For the time these praiseworthy designs were unsuccessful,
because Federico Fregoso, archbishop of Salerno and brother of the
Doge, opposed the project with all his ingenuity and power,[15] going
so far as to drive out from the Cathedral of San Lorenzo those citizens
who had assembled to promote concord. The difficult task was resumed
in 1528, and, amidst the horrors of a pestilence which was mowing
down the population, a union was effected without the coöperation of
Doria, though it is now clearly proved that even France counselled the
measure. On the 12th of December, Doria, contrary to the general wish
of the citizens, including his own relations who were open partisans
of France, presented himself before Genoa, landed his mariners and
without bloodshed liberated the city from the control of the small
French garrison.[16]

It is painful to see this brave Admiral selling his sword now to the
Pope, now to Naples, now to France, and finally to Spain! It is painful
to see him becoming the ally of foreign oppressors who sought to subdue
our peoples and engulf Italy. History must pronounce him more fortunate
than great. In truth, most of his undertakings were singularly
successful; but his attempts to capture the famous corsair Chisr,
better known under the name of Barbarossa, who was governing Algiers
for Selim with the title of _Begherbeg_, were not crowned with success.
Indeed, a rumour ran that between these two lords of the main there was
a secret contract that they should never meet in pitched battles. It is
certain that Doria conducted his war upon his rival with much coldness
and rather as a neutral than as an enemy. He permitted the pirate to
escape at Prevesa (1539), when he had the power to destroy his fleet.

This failure of Doria left the fierce corsair to spread the terror of
his name for many years along the Italian coasts, particularly in the
kingdom of Naples, where he had already carried desolation and ruin,
devoting to fire and pillage Noceto, Sperlunga and Fondi. He had been
attracted thither by the beauty of Giulia Gonzaga, who narrowly escaped
his hands by fleeing in her night dress, accompanied only by a single
page. The poor page suffered most, for she caused him to be stabbed
because he had that night either seen or dared too much.

Doria is also accused of having used every means to excite the Turks
against Venice; and this Republic, through his plotting, was assailed
in her Greek possessions. Doria, by refusing to unite his forces to
those of the Pope and the Venitians, incurred the responsibility for
the capture of seven thousand Christians at the siege of Corfu, the
pillage of the Ionian Islands and of Dalmatia. Having become a blind
devotee of Spain, whose rule in the Peninsula he wished to strengthen,
he refused to fight at Prevesa, because the Venitians had declined to
receive his _Bisogni_ on board their galleys; or, which amounts to
the same thing, in order to let a flood of Turks overwhelm Venice and
render her submissive to the yoke of Spain. All parties accused him of
having promoted the ruin of Christians by the very means to which they
looked for salvation.

As to the history of his policy in Genoa, if it were our office to
write the life of Andrea, there is much that deserves to be rendered
more clear. It was not a sagacious policy to subject the Republic to
Spain at a time when the seeds of civil concord were springing up. It
was more foolish to permit a foreign ruler to carry on her government,
and despite the entreaties of his relatives to permit Savona to be torn
from the body of the Republic.

Nor should it be forgotten that soon after this, he, to promote
his own ends, wished to make Genoa a partner in his alienation from
France, though his family favoured the _union_ promoted by the amiable
Trivulzio and the King of France. Truth requires us, also, to assert
that he did not enter the service of Spain with the praiseworthy object
of recovering Savona for Genoa. He drove out the French from Genoa in
September, 1528, but Savona had been from the first of July reconciled
and restored to the Republic, a fact which is proved by a decree of
Francis I. soon to be printed.[17] When Guicciardini wrote that, “among
the motives attributed to Doria for his change of masters, it was
believed that the most probable and the principal one was, not offended
pride for having been too highly esteemed or any other personal
discontent, but the desire to advance his own greatness under the name
of national liberty,” we think the verdict creditable to the first of
our Italian historians.

But these accusations cannot deprive Doria of the merit of having
refrained from assuming the absolute sovereignty of his country;
though we know that the love of liberty in his fellow citizens must
have been, sooner or later, fatal to such an ambition. In such an open
assault upon popular liberty, he would have found enemies in his own
house, as he did, in fact, when he enlisted in the service of Spain.
This is proved by the documents which Molini[18] found in the French
Archives, and is a conspicuous proof of the profound antipathy of
Liguria to Spain. Doria, knowing well the liberal tendencies of his
fellow citizens, contrived to get princely authority and power without
assuming the name.

The laws of the _union_ shaped by him changed the face of the Republic.
His chief reform consisted in removing the middle classes from the
public offices by adding new families to the nobility. The gentlemen
resented the elevation of plebeians to their side; the lower classes
complained; for though the law left them free to ascribe themselves
to the nobility, it was soon seen that this law was a new deception.
The constitution of Doria was fashioned with aristocratic aims, and if
it established equality, it was only among the nobles. The people had
neither guaranty nor representation. Leo writes that however wisely
the instrument was framed, it failed to establish the rights of the
plebeians. This class had no more share in the state than the peasantry
of the Riviera, and remained, with its precarious and humble title of
citizenship, subject to the nobility.

The law which changed a family into a collection of persons, or
_Albergo_, was more than unjust, it was iniquitous. Those who entered
these _Alberghi_ were forced to renounce their own names, however
honourable they might be, to extinguish their own memory and that of
their ancestors, in order to assume the name of the congregation; so
that for example, a Biagio Asereto would be compelled to take the name
of a Vivaldi for no other reason than that the latter name was borne
by more persons. Many truly illustrious and most honourable houses
preferred to remain in the number of the people; and it is related that
of two brothers Castelli; one made himself a noble under the title
of Grimaldi, while the other remained a man of the people under his
christian name Giustiniano.

It can no longer be denied that the laws of 1528 destroyed the
government by the people and created that by the nobility. The book of
gold was opened every year to eight plebeians of the city and of the
Riviera; but this was not enough to silence the just complaints of that
portion of the people, who until these reforms had always taken part in
public affairs. In 1531, to satisfy the common grievance, forty-seven
families, who before had been left forgotten among the lower class,
were enrolled among the nobles; the expedient did not at all tend to
remove the defects of the constitution. These admissions into the class
who held power were controlled by the caprices of a single person or at
best only a few. Every year eight senators were appointed to select the
eight families for promotion, and in practice each senator selected one
from his friends among the people. The gravest abuses grew out of this,
and the book of gold was often opened to the most vulgar and degraded

Neither moral nor intellectual qualifications, nor even distinguished
services rendered to the country, could break down the barrier to the
patriciate; but the inscribing of a name often served for the dowers
of Senator’s daughters--nay, it was even sold.

The new nobles, in order to increase their numbers and to retain the
friendship of the people, inscribed their relatives and friends,
however despicable might be their social condition. There was even a
greater abuse. The chancellors, who kept the book of gold, inscribed
names at their pleasure. In 1560 the names of three families were
ordered to be erased, having been entered without authority.

These abuses were never fully abolished until the reforms of 1576 which
entirely excluded the people from the public offices.

We have seen that the reforms of Doria, practically placed the
government in the hands of the nobles. The newly inscribed were few
in number; and things were so arranged that the old patricians always
had the control in the administration. This created a new element of
discord in the hatred which sprung up between the old and the new
nobles. A profound rancour diffused its virus through the body politic,
and clanships grew strong and fought hard against each other. Nothing
was wanting but names; and names are sometimes a great power, by which
to designate the opposing factions. The names were found, and the old
nobles were called the _Portico of San Luca_, and the new, _Portico
of San Pietro_. Both epithets were derived from the places where the
hostile factions were accustomed to assemble.

The new men, finding that they could not triumph by weight of numbers
in the public councils, resolved to attempt secret ways to their
end. They managed so well that in 1545 they secured the election to
the Dogate of Giovanni Battista de Fornari.[19] The faction of San
Luca raised a great outcry of indignation, but in vain. De Fornari,
a new noble, stepped over their heads into the highest office. They
remembered the humiliation, and afterwards avenged themselves upon the
new Doge.

From what we have said it will be seen that the laws of Andrea, far
from restoring the Republic, sowed new seeds of discontent between the
nobles, so concordant in their discord, and the people over whom they

Doria, Admiral of Cæsar, conqueror by the arms of his lieutenants in so
many battles, and owner of more than twenty galleys, concentrated all
power in the hands of the old nobility, whom he made blindly devoted to
his interests. It is no marvel that he directed at pleasure the ship of
the Republic. Without the name, he possessed the supremacy and honours
of a prince. Men called him the Father of his country and the Restorer
of liberty. What we have said shows the nature of the liberties which
he gave the State, and they will be further illustrated in the progress
of this history. He loved his country; but he spent all his long life
in establishing a stable despotism in the room of tumultuous liberty.
He loved his country; but obeying the orders which he received weekly
from Cæsar, he enslaved that country to Spain. On the contrary, the
Republic had always better consulted her interests by standing in a
neutral attitude between contending princes.

Ottaviano Sauli gave eminent proof of such political wisdom when the
Republic sent him as its envoy to the Duke of Milan, and he brought
back and enforced by his advice the counsel of that prince, to keep
neutral and resist the influence of Cæsar in Genoa. The government
preferred this policy, and in its letters to the English king, to
Venice and to Florence, openly avowed that its chief care was to live
in freedom; that it knew the advantages of neutrality, and would not
bow to the will of others; that its single aim was to strengthen and
maintain its integrity and its policy of supporting the independence of
the other Italian Republics.[20]

These were generous words, and they were supported by deeds. But Doria
willed the supremacy of Spain, and he triumphed. Then Genoa, in the
siege of Florence, favoured the enemies of Italy; even threw a lance at
Siena; extinguished in blood the revolt of Naples, and, with the arm of
Doria, strangled everywhere the voice of national liberty.

From that moment the robust vigour of the Republic began to decrease,
and the shadows of old age fell on her. The lifeless forms of the
court of Spain took the place of our civil strifes and our heroic
achievements abroad.

Doria, though naturally disposed to temperate and modest habits of
life, gradually developed the pomp and state of a prince. He lived in
Fassolo, in the houses once given to Pietro Fregoso for his brave deeds
in Cyprus (1373). Doria called from every part of Italy the most famous
architects to embellish this palace. The sculptures of Montorsoli and
of Giovanni and Silvio Corsini da Fiesole, the paintings of Pierin
del Vaga, Pordenone, Gerolamo da Trevigi, Giulio Romano and Beccafumi
rendered this residence famous throughout Italy. Here he was surrounded
by his own soldiers, and received, writes Mascardi,[21] not as a simple
citizen, but as a proud grandee. The same author ascribes to this
luxury of life the origin of the conspiracy of Fieschi; and he approves
ostracism by republics of citizens who affect the manners of princes.

These mimicries of royalty gave general dissatisfaction; but the
selection of Gianettino di Tommaso as his adopted son and his successor
in the dignity of Admiral, was even more unpopular.

We find notices of this young man which represent him to have once,
on account of the slender means of his father, kept a shop for the
sale of oil. Afterwards he entered the service of Bernardo Invrea, a
silk-weaver, and remained with him until, being pursued by the sheriff
for some offence, he found it necessary to seek safety on board the
galleys of Andrea, to whom he was allied by blood.

Taking up from necessity the profession of arms, Gianettino soon
acquired a considerable name for warlike feats marked by enterprise and
audacity. He possessed an intrepidity rather singular than rare. He
soon became haughty and despotic putting on airs fitter for a Castilian
than a Genoese, and decorating himself with a coat of arms as though
supreme authority were already in his hands. The prince, instead of
correcting these excesses, permitted the arrogant youth to lord it over
the plebeians and to indulge his wild caprices at pleasure.

Count Filippino Doria, as we have seen, contributed to the fame of
Doria. He was of humble fortune until the Duke of Urbino, as a mark of
gratitude for having perilled his life to succour the duke in a single
combat, conferred upon him an estate of the Urbino family. Some other
members of Doria’s house, who had been schooled under him, gave good
proof of their skill and acquired riches and honours which reflected
lustre on their master. Such were Francesco Doria di Giovanni;
Antonio Doria, marquis of Santo Stefano, Aveto and Ginnosa, and one
of the principal generals at the victory of San Quintino; Giovanni
Battista Doria, son of Antonio and heir of his valour; Giorgio Doria,
and Domenico Doria who having abandoned the cloister was called the

To these we should add, Andrea Doria d’Alaone; the brothers Cristoforo
and Erasmo Opizio, who as lieutenants of Andrea went in 1534 to the
aid of Messina; Giorgio di Melchiorre; Imperiale di Bartolomeo, lord
of Dolceaqua; Lamba di Alaone; Lazzaro di Andrea; and Scipione di
Antonio, all in repute as brave Admirals; and they sailed so many ships
and gained so many victories that it seemed as if this family claimed
exclusive dominion of the seas.

When Andrea prepared for any enterprise he commanded, in addition to
the _triremes_ of the empire, not less than twenty _taride_ or large
galleys of his own, manned by his own officers and crews and paid by
the emperor at the rate of five hundred broad ducats of gold per month
for each vessel. He took with him, also, the ships of the Republic,
and those of his relations and of other citizens who chartered their
_panfili_, or vessels of sixty oars, to the emperor of Spain. At the
assault of Prevesa the prince commanded, not to speak of square-sailed
galleons and caracks, twenty-two triremes whose names we find set down
in the chronicles of that period.[22] Antonio Doria, who was only less
illustrious in naval warfare than Andrea--though, as Badaero wrote in
his report to the Venitian senate, he was so fond of traffic that,
when his ships passed from one port to another, they carried so much
merchandise that they looked like merchantmen--had six vessels in his
division. There were many other Genoese ships in this expedition. Two
belonged to Onorato Grimaldi, lord of Monaco; two were the property
of the Cicala, and one each of Centurione, Preve, the Gentile and
Francesco Costa, not to speak of many others. The Fieschi also sent a
vessel, and the Republic furnished twelve.

In fact there was no distinguished family which did not arm a ship,
but not one of these houses could rival Doria, not even the Cicala
who always kept not less than six galleys in commission. It is worth
while to remind the Italians, who are so prone to forget the glory of
their ancestors, that Andrea was the first to use armoured ships in
battle. In his assault on Tunis, he had in his fleet a galleon called
Sant’Anna, to which he was principally indebted for the victory which
restored Muley-Hassan to his throne. This ship was the first ever clad
with slabs of lead fastened by pivots of bronze. She was built at Nice
in 1530, and was equipped by the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem.
She was manned by three hundred warriors and carried many guns. The
solidity of her armour rendered her invulnerable to the enemy’s fire.
There were a large chapel and sumptuous saloons under her decks, and
what seems more strange, ovens so well arranged that they furnished her
crew with fresh bread daily.[23]

The Republic having broken with France, was prostrated under the
power of Spain and Doria. The citizens were profoundly indignant
at this double servitude. They were prohibited by law, under the
severest penalties, from proposing or advocating any change in the
new constitution of the Republic; so that many, before the attempt
of Fieschi, ardently wished to throw off the yoke and place the
country once more under the protection of France. In 1534, Granara and
Corsanico went to Marseilles followed by many of the people with the
intention of preparing a revolution. The enterprise became known by
Doria, and Granara lost his head. Corsanico was captured by Doria, and,
without the least form of condemnation, hurled into the sea.

A few months later, Tomaso Sauli who had attempted a similar conspiracy
with Cardinal di Agramonte, in Bologna, was condemned and quartered.
The exiles excelled all others in their devotion to liberty; and in
1536, led by Cæsar Fregoso and Cagnino Gonzaga, with ten thousand foot
and eight hundred horse, they marched to attack Genoa. This is not the
place to relate how after a few skirmishes they broke up their camp;
it is only to our purpose to add that hundreds of citizens who were
suspected of complicity with the exiles lost their heads, while their
houses were levelled with the earth.

Not only in Genoa, but throughout Liguria these conspiracies abounded;
especially in Chiavari, where the revolt of Fregoso, of which
Stradiotto was the leader, had its origin. Blood whenever it was shed,
far from quenching the thirst for liberty, begot new advocates for
the old supremacy of the people. Soon after, that is in 1539, a pious
priest named Valerio Zuccarello, beloved by the people, was accused
of revolutionary sympathies and leanings to France. He was subjected
to an inquisition and lost his head on the scaffold. The nobility
struggled to maintain its power; the people to regain the inheritance
of which they had been defrauded. The Republic was passing through such
pains as these when Gianluigi Fieschi listened to her complaints and
resolved to avenge them.



 Maria della Rovere and her children.--The natural gifts of
 Gianluigi.--Andrea Doria prevents his marriage with the daughter
 of Prince Centurione.--Gianluigi’s first quarrels with Gianettino
 Doria.--Naval battle of Giralatte and capture of the corsair Torghud
 Rais--Count Fieschi espouses Eleonora of the Princes of Cybo--The hill
 of Carignano in the early part of the sixteenth century--Sumptousness
 of the Fieschi palace--Gianluigi, Pansa and other distinguished
 men--Female writers--Eleonora Fieschi and her rhymes.

MARIA Grasso della Rovere, the spirited niece of Julius II. after the
death of Sinibaldo removed from the city to her castles, first to
those in Pontremoli and Valditaro where she gave birth to Scipione,
and then to Montobbio where she established her residence. In those
days our matrons, when their husbands were fighting abroad or when they
became widows, took active charge of their estates and, laying aside
all elegant recreations, employed their zeal in promoting their family
fortunes. From this came the masculine counsels and splendid examples
which illustrated their history. Of such was Maria della Rovere,
daughter of the Duke of Urbino.

Emancipated from the luxury and pomp of her Genoese life, she applied
herself, like a good farmer’s wife, to restore the fortunes of her
house and to pay the large debts of Sinibaldo, especially the twelve
thousand ducats of gold due to Sforza for the feud of Pontremoli. Her
chief care, however, was the education of her children. The eldest
of them, Gianluigi, was ten years of age at the death of his father.
The others were Gerolamo, Ottobuono, Camilla (who became the wife of
Nicolò Doria, illegitimate son of Cardinal Gerolamo), Angela, Caterina,
and Scipione, born after his father’s death. There was in addition a
Cornelio, who though illegitimate (his mother was a certain Clementina
of Torriglia), was much beloved on account of his spirited character.
Some report that Sinibaldo had other illegitimate children, and number
among them a Giulio and a Claudia, the latter of whom married into the
family of the Ravaschieri.

The children were instructed by Paolo Panza, a man of many literary
acquirements, who trained them in liberal studies.

The ardent spirit of Gianluigi imbibed less from the gentle
instructions of Panza than from the masculine promptings of Maria della
Rovere, who, in the fashion of Spartan mothers, exhorted him not to
forget the paths by which his ancestors reached fame, contending as
Guelphs for the rights of the people. Influenced by such counsels, he
grew up into youth, and acquired strength both of body and mind in
rough exercises of arms and in the chase. He was so skilful in these
arts and in swimming, that the most robust of his rivals could not
excel him. His mother taught him to hate the rule of strangers; and
he must very early have become an enemy to the Dorias, whom he saw
grasping the destinies of the Republic.

When he was eighteen years of age he took charge of his patrimony,
which the prudence of his mother and the address of his guardian, Paolo
Pansa, had so much improved that it is said to have yielded two hundred
thousand crowns of rent. On the fourth of June, 1535, Charles V.
confirmed his title to the domains of his ancestors, and continued in
him the titles of Vicar-general in Italy, Prince of the empire, Count
of the sacred palace, and imperial councillor. Perhaps it was on that
occasion that he also received from Cæsar the two thousand gold crowns
mentioned by some writers.

On coming to the city from Montobbio, he was honoured with festive
receptions by all the nobility; his manners and his gentle courtesy
acquired him the love of the best among the people. Bonfadio[24]
describes him as beautiful of countenance, skilful in the use of arms
and the management of horses, remarkable for the beauty and strength of
his body, manly in speech, grateful, obliging and winning to others:
in fine his sweetness of character and vivacity of temper completes
the picture of an Alcibiades, formed for captivating all hearts. In
fact he was called an Alcibiades, and perhaps he was one, the vices
included; it is certain that in patriotism he deserved the name. It
is said that when, mounted upon a bay saddle-horse, caparisoned with
orange-coloured velvet trappings laced in vermillion, and poitrel
of silver, he rode through the narrow and crowded streets of Genoa
followed by his valets and equerries, the people gathered from every
side to do him honour, and he repaid them all with a salute full of
winning courtesy. He dressed with the luxury which had come down to
him from his illustrious ancestry. A picture, which many believe to be
that of Gianluigi, represents him in a black velvet morning gown having
the sleeves slashed, as was the fashion of the time; there is a collar
about his neck with cannon shaped points, and a chain from which hangs
a medallion bearing the motto _Gatto_. His head is covered with a cap,
also of black velvet, surmounted on the left side by a white plume. The
limbs are comely and chaste, the air brave and courteous, the hair of a
mulberry tint, the hands white with fingers long and clean as those of
a virgin, the eyes black and brilliant. Leandro Alberti describes him
as a prudent, brave and eloquent young man. Porzio[25] writes that he
served not without honour in the wars of Lombardy under the standards
of the marquis Vasto. But though fond of glory and successful in arms,
he scorned to seek fame in other enterprises while the times forbade
him to use his sword for national liberty.

Endowed with such gifts, there was no illustrious family which did
not seek his hand for a daughter. Among the beautiful damsels who in
every part of Italy were ambitious of the title of Countess of Lavagna,
he fixed his eyes upon Ginetta, daughter of Prince Adamo Centurione.
In every maidenly grace she was unrivalled. The prince and his wife
Oriettina, who loved Gianluigi, were delighted to expouse Gianetta
to the most virtuous knight in Genoa. However, difficulties arose
which overthrew the project; and as the misfortunes of Fieschi begin
from this disappointment, we deem it of importance to touch upon some
circumstances which were unknown to, or have been ignored by historians.

The Prince Centurione was a firm supporter of the Austro-Spanish
rule, and was united to the Dorias. He had fought, as a volunteer and
at his own expense, in the wars of Charles in Germany; and his vast
wealth procured him favours from the principal monarchs. When the
emperor passed through Genoa, his minister asked Doria to lend the
royal visitor two hundred thousand crowns, for his enterprise against
Algiers. The Genoese responded that he would immediately supply his
sovereign with all the money he might need. He presented the money to
the emperor and with it a receipt for its payment. The emperor, not
wishing to be outdone in generosity, tore the receipt in pieces. Prince
Adorno also lent two hundred thousand crowns of gold at one time to
Duke Cosimo. He paid eight hundred thousand pieces for the marquisate
of Steppa and Pedrera, in Spain, and a large sum to marquis Antonio
Malaspina for the estates of Monte di Vai, Bibola and Laula. He bought
other castles in the Langhe; and the Venitian ambassadors reported that
his rents amounted to a million of ducats.

Memoirs worthy of credit relate that Centurione one day informed Andrea
that he had contracted Gianetta in marriage to the first gentleman in
Genoa, and named Fieschi; to which Doria answered that no gentleman
in Genoa could rank higher than Gianettino, his successor in the
admiralty and heir of all his possessions, adding that Centurione ought
to renounce Fieschi and give the hand of his daughter to the prince’s
nephew. Centurione did not at first consent to break his faith; but the
solicitations of Andrea, with whom he did not wish to be at enmity,
at length triumphed over his scruples and he espoused Gianetta to
Gianettino giving her a dower of seventy thousand gold crowns of the

This violation of plighted faith deeply wounded Gianetta who had set
her affections on Gianluigi; and the Princess Oriettina took it so
much to heart that she fell sick, and finding herself near death, as a
last proof of her devotion to the Fieschi family had that life of St.
Catherine written which is still preserved in manuscript in the library
of the Genoese studio. This broken contract of marriage was the first
spark of that great fire which blazed up between Fieschi and Doria.[26]

The count was gifted with great powers of dissimulation and he did
not permit Doria to perceive that he felt the insult. He carried an
open face and silently matured his vengeance. He contracted greater
familiarity with the new nobles, the old being devoted partisans of

The haughty arrogance of Gianettino added new fuel to the fire. This
youth forgetful of the humble place from which he had risen, adopted
an insolence of tone and a luxury of life which gave general offence.
The natural insolence of his character had been greatly increased by a
military life and the habit of command.

The control of twenty galleys, the succession as admiral and the proofs
of personal courage which he had given raised him above the mass of the
citizens;[27] but instead of knightly courtesy he had a scornful and
imperious look, and he never entered the city without being attended
by a cortège of officers and armed men. He affected in a free land the
sumptuous customs of princes.

The people, whom he thrust aside, hated him; the nobles caressed
him as a means of getting privileges and honours, but they secretly
despised him because he, not content to be their equal, regarded them
as subjects. The plebeians murmured; “why such arrogant assumption in
a land whose laws forbid despotism! He who refuses to treat you as an
equal wishes to make you his slave.[28] See how bravely he drives it
towards princely powers?”

Thus the people abhorred Gianettino as its future tyrant, and longed
for a favourable moment to strike down the Spanish power and restore
the rule of the citizens. The old prince either encouraged or
regarded without displeasure, the insolent habits of his heir which
were bringing odium upon his house. Gianettino became unboundedly
arrogant after his victory over the Corsair Dragut, or Torghud Rais,
once governor of Montesche. The annals of Liguria give us but few
particulars of this fight, and some modern writers believe that no such
battle was ever fought. We have found in old chronicles the materials
for correcting the errors and supplying the defects of those who have
written upon the subject. This will not lead us beyond the range of our
subject; since the honours showered upon Gianettino for this victory
stimulated Gianluigi to illustrate his own name by deeds not less
worthy of fame, while the pride of the young Admiral grew so high that
he insolently treated the count as his inferior.

In the spring of 1539, Prince Doria was with the army in Sicily, and
Torghud took advantage of his absence to make a piratical cruise in the
Ligurian sea. Andrea, as soon as he received notice of the movement,
sent his nephew to oppose the Corsair. The latter had already began
his depredations along the coast, and had desolated Capraia, carrying
off seven hundred prisoners and a large Genoese galleon. Gianettino,
having a fleet of twenty galleys and a frigate commanded by a certain
Fra Marco, acted upon his knowledge of the Corsair’s habit of beating
up against the wind, and pursued him by the use of his oars. At the
same time he sent his lieutenant, Giorgio Doria, with six galleys and
the frigate to the bay of Giralatte where he believed the pirate to
have run for shelter. His calculations proved to be accurate. Torghud,
believing these galleys to be the principal fleet of the Genoese, left
two vessels to guard his booty, and sailed to attack Giorgio Doria with
nine ships, two of which he had captured from the Venitians at Prevesa.

Hearing the sound of the engagement, Gianettino, who was not far
distant, sailed into the waters of Giralatte and joined his lieutenant.
The Corsair seeing himself outnumbered, retired from the contest and
endeavoured to escape; but Gianettino pursued him so closely that he
soon saw flight to be impossible and resolved to sell his life as
dearly as possible.

He raised his oars to the sound of trumpet and tymbal, according to
Barbary customs and accepted the battle. The numbers and weight of
vessels were equal, and both parties had equal enthusiasm, courage and
obstinacy. But a cannon ball from a Genoese galley opened the side of
the corsair’s flag-ship, and a tempest of fire battered the rest into
shapeless wrecks. Some of the pirates flung themselves desperately
into the waves, and others turned the prows of their shattered vessels
and attempted a new retreat. Among the latter was the terrible pirate
Mami Rais de’ Monasteri, in Africa who had once before been a prisoner
of Antonio Doria and had been liberated on payment of a ransom.
Giorgio pursued him now without success; but with this exception the
whole fleet was captured including the two vessels left by Torghud to
guard his booty. These last were captured by Count Anguillara who was
fighting under Doria’s flag.

The losses of Doria were small, but that of the enemy was terrible,
since every one of them who swam to shore was mercilessly put to the
sword by the Sicilians. Torghud was made prisoner and the chronicles
say that “after having been well flogged he was put in chains.” He
offered without avail fifteen thousand ducats for his ransom.

On the 22nd of June 1539, at vespers, Gianettino entered the port of
Genoa with the galleys captured from the corsair. The citizens flocked
in crowds to welcome the victors and two thousand christians who had
been delivered from captivity, and to see the humbled lord of the main.

Torghud managed with such tact that he obtained admission to the
presence of the Princess Peretta, and addressed her in proud and
threatening terms of reproach for the harsh treatment which he had
suffered; but he soon adopted a humbler tone and begged to be sent to
Messina, where Andrea Doria still remained with his army. This favour
he obtained, and he renewed to Andrea his offer of a heavy ransom,
but still without success. A few years after, his countrymen, who
valued him highly as a commander, offered new terms, and this time
Andrea yielded to the temptation. The commission had not a sufficient
sum to pay the ransom, and borrowed it in Genoa from the noble family
Sopranis, giving as security the island of Tabarca. Thus Torghud,
conquered by Genoese arms and ransomed by Genoese gold, recovered his
liberty and renewed his piracies on the seas to the detriment of all

It is needless to say that the success of Gianettino aroused a spirit
of emulation in Count Lavagna. But he saw that the Dorias, accusing
him to Cæsar of revolutionary opinions, had shut him out from honours
and official position; and, not wishing to employ his talents in
strengthening the Spanish power in Italy, he sought repose for his
active spirit in domestic enjoyments.

He married Eleonora, of the family of Prince Cybo, though his mother
at first strongly opposed the alliance, preferring for her son a
more wealthy and illustrious bride. By this marriage Fieschi came
into a certain relationship to Catherine de’ Medici, wife of Henry
II.,--Catherine Cybo, duchess of Camerino and aunt of Eleonora, being
of the blood of the Medici, and therefore of the queen of France.

The marriage contract was prepared on the 15th of September, 1542 in
Milan by Galeazzo Visconti and Gerolamo Bertobio, notaries, in the
presence of Francesco Guiducci and Giuseppe Girlandoni, representative
of Cardinal Innocent Cybo (the same to whom Philip Strozzi bequeathed
his blood to be made into a pudding) and of Lorenzo and Ricciarda Cybo,
on the one side, and Paolo Pansa the attorney of Count Fieschi on the
other. The dower amounted to hardly nine thousand gold crowns of the
sun and two thousand more for the wedding outfit. The Strozzi papers
contain an act under date of January 18th 1543 written by Bernardo
Usodimare-Granello, scribe of the archepiscopal court of Genoa, by
which Count Gianluigi acknowledges that Rev. Ambrogio Calvi, attorney
and agent of Cybo, had paid four thousand gold crowns of the sun and
deposited five thousand more with the brothers Giuliano and Agostino
Salvaghi who had become securities for the dowry. The act further
acknowledged the payment of one thousand crowns for jewellery and
ornaments and provides that the other should be furnished by Cybo
in silver, gold and gems. In the same act, Count Fieschi pledged as
security for the dowry the castle of Cariseto and its appurtenances,
which he had obtained by purchase, and he promised to obtain the
consent of Cæsar to the transfer of the estate within one year from the
date of the instrument.

The preparations for the wedding and the festivities connected with the
espousals were on a splendid scale. The flower of the Genoese nobility
came to congratulate the spouses at their residence in Vialata.

Two powerful families possessed the magnificent hill of Carignano, the
Fieschi, and the Sauli. Each family had there a splendid palace. During
the minority of Gianluigi, silence had reigned in his, while that of
the Sauli had been greatly enlarged and embellished.

The Sauli were new nobles belonging to the popular party, like the
Fieschi, Farnari, Promontori and Giustiniani; yet few of the nobility,
old or new, equalled them in wealth and gentility of blood. Marcantonio
Sauli, a grave priest, whose life Soprani wrote, had splendidly
adorned his palace, and there the Genoese ladies were wont to meet for
pleasure, and the elders of the city to debate on the affairs of the

At the marriage of Gianluigi, his palace resumed its ancient gaiety,
and the Sauli, surpassed by the Fieschi in magnificence, were filled
with envy; and this was the first cause of those differences and
rivalries which separated these distinguished families.

Louis XII., who had been the guest of the count’s grandfather, speaking
of the sumptuousness of the palace in Vialata, said that it surpassed
that of his own. And the palace of Fieschi was in fact a kingly
residence. The annalists tell us that the hill of Carignano,[29] on
which it stood, was adorned with fifty villas, houses and gardens. The
principal of these were the palace of Madonna Marisla, the mother of
Cardinal Sauli, those of Nicolò, Giovanni Battista and Giuliano Sauli,
and the houses of Pietro Negrone and Rolando Ferrari.

From the summit of this hill you have a commanding view of the city,
and of the port crowded with a forest of masts; the villas of Albaro
are spread out before you; gardens and palaces cover the slopes of
gentle declivities, or are scattered along the sides of the mountains
which, swelling skyward, make at once a rampart and a diadem for Genoa.
Valleys and slopes of marvellous beauty attract the eye towards the
shore line, fringed with orange gardens, of Nervi and Recco, until
Portofino, with its wave-washed rocks, closes on that side the charming
basin of the gulf; while westward lie the bewitching shores of Voltri,
Albissola and Savona, closed in the long prospective by Cape Noli
standing boldly in the face of the sea; and throughout the wide horizon
the waving surface is white with cities, castles and villages, which
are garlanded round with orchards and olive groves, reflecting their
verdure in the crystal mirror of the Mediterranean.

In the centre of this smiling scene, roofed with a sky yet more
bewitching than the landscape, rose the palace of Count Fieschi, faced
with alternate slabs of white and black marble, crowned with two grand
towers, and decorated with emblems and statues on its front and sides.

In the _Fogliazzi Notarili_, which are preserved in the city library,
there is an instrument dated March 30th, 1468 executed by Luca and
Matteo Fieschi, sons of Daniel and Ginevrina Fieschi, from which we
learn that in front of the palace there lay an open lawn extending
towards the sea, that the villas and orchards of the estate covered
the whole space as far as San Giacomo. On the east, west and south
the grounds were bounded by public streets, and on the north lay the
farms of Francesco del Monte and of the heir of Oberto Della Rovere.
Subsequently to the date of this instrument, Bartolomeo Fieschi added
villas and fields to this estate; but on the southern side it suffered
some detriment from the opening of stone quarries by the government for
which the Doge Battista Fregoso paid damages in 1479.

We also learn, from the records of _Bailia della Moneta_ in the bank
of St. George, that sixty citizens having, on the 21st of March, 1484
engaged, to extend the mole of the harbour twenty-five or thirty goe
(a goe was ten palms or nine feet) the Doge and the elders authorized
the rectors of the commune to quarry stone on private property, and for
this purpose some lands were ceded by the same Bartolomeo Fieschi, thus
decreasing the extent of his estate southward, though it did not reach
the sea before this cession.

Behind the palace, lay a botanical garden which Sinibaldo had enriched
with rare species of plants and beautified with little lakes and
fountains making it, according to Spotorno, among the first of its kind
in Italy.

Sinibaldo employed excellent architects and builders, whose names have
not come down to us, to decorate and enrich his home, some time before
Paul III., on his return from Nice, lodged here as Fieschi’s guest. The
wrath of man, rather than the hand of time, has so completely destroyed
these monuments that not even the ruins remain for our admiration. The
reader will therefore receive with favour the results of our researches
into the true position and boundaries of the Fieschi palace and
gardens, which in their time were famed for their outward magnificence
and for the sculptures, carved work and pictures within the palace. Of
these works of art all but one have perished from the memory of man.
This was a painting in the vestibule which treated the fable of the
giants hurling thunderbolts at Jupiter and some enterprises of the
Fieschi family. We think it just to inform our readers of its origin
and character.

The wealthy citizens of Genoa were accustomed, like those of every
part of Italy, to adorn their mansions with paintings allusive to the
exploits of themselves or their families. For example, history has
preserved the memory of an allegory given to Gerolamo Adorno by Paolo
Giovio, which was sketched in colours by Titian, and wrought into a
rich embroidery by Agnolo di Madonna, a Venitian embroiderer. Giovio,
in his brief dialogue, speaks of three emblems which were painted in
many places in the Fieschi palace. The bishop of Nocera writes that
Sinibaldo and Ottobuono, with whom he was on familiar terms, asked him
to execute an allegorical picture, representing the vengeance they had
taken for the death of their brother, Count Gerolamo, whom the Fregosi
had cruelly murdered. This revenge had removed from among the living
the instruments of the deed, Zaccaria Fregoso, Signors Fregosino,
Lodovico and Guido Fregosi. With this bloody reprisal the Fieschi
satisfied their anger, saying that no Fregoso lived to boast that he
had spilled the blood of a Fieschi.

Giovio represented this tragic vengeance by an elephant attacked by
a dragon. The latter attempts to wind himself about the legs of his
antagonist, so as to pierce his bowels and insert his deadly poison.
But the elephant, knowing by instinct the danger to which he is
exposed, turns himself round and round until he places a rock or a tree
between himself and his enemy. Then he beats the dragon to death. This
allegory was interesting, from the fine contrast of the two animals,
and the Spanish motto, _No vos allabareis_--by which Fieschi would say
to the Fregosi, “You cannot boast of your crime against our blood.”

Sinibaldo had another allegory executed in the palace of Vialata. He
and Ottobuono were forming an alliance with the Adorni and many of
their partisans urged them to protract the negotiations, since the army
of the king of France was near at hand and Ottaviano Fregoso, supported
by his party, had a very firm hold on the government and would be able
to make a spirited defence if assailed at that moment.

To this the Fieschi replied that they well knew the time for action,
and on this incident they asked Giovio to execute an allegory. The
artist remembering what Pliny says of the halcyons who await the
spring solstice to make their nests and lay their eggs when the
waves are tranquil, painted a calm sea and a serene sky with a nest
extending from the prow to the poop of a vessel with the heads of the
halcyons raised over the prow and a motto in French--_nous savons
bien le temps_--meaning to say we well know when to make war on our
adversaries; and the chronicler adds, they thus foreshadowed their
triumph over their rivals.

The Fieschi palace had other allegorical paintings treating various
subjects. Some of them described tender love passages in the lives
of the Fieschi. In one was told the story of a gentlewoman loved by
Sinibaldo. It would seem that she grew jealous and reproached him
with want of fidelity, because he mingled much in the company of
other dames. Sinibaldo, in order to excuse and justify himself with
his mistress, demanded of Giovio an appropriate representation in
allegory. The artist represented a mariner’s compass lying on a chart
with the needle fixed; overhead a blue sky spangled with golden stars,
and underneath the motto, _aspicit unam_. The sense of this allegory
being that, though the heaven is full of beautiful stars, the needle
points to one alone, that is, the North star. The offended dame was
cured of her jealousy. The allegory was much praised, says Giovio,
by many persons, including Fieschi’s secretary, Paolo Panza. We have
already said that the elect of the city came to congratulate Gianluigi
on his return to Carignano, and that the luxury displayed by him on
the occasion of his marriage surpassed all bounds. Some conception of
this luxury may be formed when we remember that Genoa was at that time
the richest city in Italy, and that its wealth found expression in a
prodigality of money so excessive, that Partenopeo in an assembly, at
the time Giovanni Battista Sauli entered upon the magistracy, prayed
the government to impose restrictions on the waste of the national
wealth. In fact, on the 16th of December, 1500, the elders issued
a proclamation forbidding wives to spend on their personal attire
more than a third part of their dowers, and ordained other sumptuary

The flower of the Genoese youth frequented the Fieschi palace, not
merely for amusement and pastime, but they cultivated there letters and
polite studies. Liguria had at that period some erudite scholars, who
employed themselves in teaching youth the sciences and eloquence. The
Fieschi did not rank last in these pursuits; and it had become a family
tradition for the sons to cultivate letters, and acquire the doctorate
in law. Gianluigi was versed in every branch of learning, and, though
it has been written that he never had other books in his hands than
the life of Nero and the conspiracy of Catiline, it is certain that
he studied the Latin and Italian masters, especially Tacitus and

Paolo Panza, who wrote the lives of the pontiffs of the Fieschi
family, and graceful Latin and Italian verses of such merit that
Ariosto compared them to those of Trissino and Molza, lived in the
house of Gianluigi, and aided him in his literary pursuits. Through
his instructions the young count acquired a love for learning, and
was led to open his doors to the most cultivated men of his time. And
these were more numerous than might be expected in a city immersed in
commerce and maritime enterprises. Braccelli and Antonio Gallo had
acquired repute as historians: Giacobo de’ Fornari, as a Greek scholar:
Geronimo Palmaro, Bartolomeo Guistiniano, Nicolò da Brignali and
Bartolomeo were men of great learning, and Grimaldi Rosso, who reached
the dogate in 1535, was equally master of medicine, mathematics, and

These noble examples were followed by Nicolò Senarega Gentile, a
renowned lawyer, Marcantonio Sauli, and P. Ilarione, who wrote
learnedly on the subject of exchanges. We omit Ansaldo Ceba, who was
both a warrior and a poet, because he lived somewhat later; but we must
mention Emanuele Grimaldi, whose pleasing rhymes were published in
1549; Captain Alessandro Spinola, whose literary merits were eclipsed
by his fame in the field, and particularly that obtained at Golletta,
where he was the first to mount the hostile ramparts. Among our warrior
poets we should not pass by the brave Cesare Fregoso, though he had
been killed a few years earlier by the Spaniards. He wrote Latin songs
which were highly praised, but have unfortunately been lost. He was a
man truly great in everything. Matteo Bandello, who took shelter in
his palace, and received from him both protection and honour, bears
testimony which is alike honourable to both protector and protected.
But it would be beyond our province to enumerate all the learned men of
that period.

Perhaps the reader will be pleased to know something of the famous
women who surrounded the countess Eleonora. She was herself, instructed
in letters, as well as in all those accomplishments which became a lady
of her time.

Among her friends were Arcangela di Negra, and also the venerable
Battista Vernazza, daughter of the great Ettore, from whose pen we have
treatises, songs and epistles.

Among the latter her answer to Doctor Tomaso dal Moro, who had
endeavoured to win her to the doctrines of Luther, then being
secretly diffused through Liguria, is singularly charming. Bandello
mentions with praise an Antonia Scarampi,[30] and we may add Peretta
Scarpa-Negrone, whom her contemporaries commend for her skill in
poetry, calling her a new Corinna. Livia Spinola has left us good
rhymes; Maddalena Pallavicini, wife of the marquis of Ceva, wrote
verses which are not without merit, and Placida Pallavicini won the
encomiums of Paolo Foglietta. The first rank in the Pallavicini
sisterhood is due to Argentina, who became the wife of Guido Rangone,
and whose literary accomplishments were the theme of the wisest men of
that period.

Gerolamo Ruscelli da Viterbo, a literary man of high repute among
his contemporaries, tells us that the greater part of the Genoese
gentlewomen cultivated belles-lettres; and in an epistle which he
published in 1552, he enumerates among the most rare women of Italy
twenty-three of Genoa and six of Savona. He mentions among the first
of Genoese ladies, Pellegrina, Lercari, “a virgin not less virtuous
than beautiful,” and Nicoletta Centurione-Grimaldi, on whom he lavishes
every sort of praise. Among those of Savona he speaks of Leonora
Falletti, countess of Melazzo, as one whose happy compositions had
stimulated the ambition of many learned men. Among the poetesses of
Liguria, are also to be numbered Benedetta Spinola, daughter of Alfonso
marquis of Garessio, and wife of Giovanni Battista, prince of the blood
of Savoy and lord of Racconigi; Claudia della Rovere, countess of
Vinovo in Piedmont; and Caterina Gastodenghi, who enjoyed the praises
of Dolce, Parabasco, and many others.

The gentle consort of Count Fieschi held the central place in this
circle of cultivated gentlewomen; but unfortunately the rhymes of
Eleonora, which gave her so much credit with her contemporaries, are
no longer in existence. The few specimens of her talent which remain
to us give ample proof of her genius. They were published in Turin
in 1573, with the verses of Faustino Tasso, a Venitian, and of three
other poetesses, of whom one belonged to her husband’s house, that
is, Ortensia Lomellina de’ Fieschi. The others were Nicoletta Celsa
and Laura Gabrielli degli Alciati, Eleonora was not inferior to her
aunt Caterina, duchess of Camerino, who knew Hebrew, Greek, and Latin,
and who found comfort when Paul III. deprived her husband of his
possessions, in the friendship of wise men and in philosophical studies.

But the genial studies, the love and charms of his wife, did not
enervate the manly spirit of the count. At every step his mother’s
voice reproached him for attempting no daring enterprises. From the
towers of his palace he saw Genoa lying at his feet and seeming to call
him to deliver her. He looked out upon the sea and saw it whitened
with the sails of Gianettino, his rival and the expected despot of his
native land. A sense of magnanimous indignation warmed his bosom. The
son of Sinibaldo, the heir of such an illustrious house, could not
endure the sight of his country sitting under the shadow of a foreign
power, if not enslaved, certainly not free.



 The political ideas of the sixteenth century--The advice of Donato
 Gianotto to the Italians--Generous aims of Gianluigi Fieschi--His
 reported plots with Cesare Fregoso disproved--The conspiracy with
 Pietro Strozzi a fable--Fieschi has secret conferences with Barnaba
 Adorno, lord of Silvano--Pier Luca Fieschi and his part in the
 conspiracy of Gianluigi--The Count sends Cagnino Gonzaga to treat with
 France--The purchase of the Farnesian galleys--Francesco Burlamacchi.

ACCORDING to our belief, a single idea directed the movements of the
Peninsula in the first part of the sixteenth century--the thought
common to all the people of emancipating the country from that foreign
power which was corrupting the national character, literature, and
art. Classic and courtly history has found in these stormy years only
local and isolated conspiracies; few writers, we might almost say none,
have heard, in these risings of peoples crushed under the ambitions of
the great, the mighty groan of a dying nation not yet resigned to her
terrible fate.

The national Guelph tradition refused to yield place to the new
imperial system which was slowly destroying the old charters of the
communes. There were generous throbs which showed that the old body
politic, though sore wounded, still contained the breath of life; every
city of Italy on the verge of the grave rose up with the last strength
of an expiring man, protested with blood, and died.

Palermo protested in her hero Giovanni Squarcialupo whose death
consecrated her cause; she renewed her life in the patriotism of the
Abbattelli, who could not turn back her destiny. Naples was lit up
with insurrection. Milan, always foremost in magnanimous enterprises,
raised her head, when Morone incited the marquis of Pescara against the
emperor, and that nobleman first promised to lead the revolution and
then betrayed it to the tyrant. Perugia in vain set up the banner of
the Republic; Florence fought, Siena renewed the memory of Saguntum,
and Lucca burned audacious fires of civil and religious liberty.
There was scarcely a city or village which did not recall its Latin
traditions, and combat the monarchical power which was descending like
a tempest on the whole nation.

The blood which was poured out like water did not profit our cause.
Some died in battle, some lost their heads on the block, and others
preferred banishment to being witnesses of the national degradation.
Hospitable Venice, who alone was clean from the Spanish leprosy, opened
her doors to the fugitive patriots, and they, having broken their
swords, continued to protest with their pens. Italian statesmen had
good reason to struggle against the growing importance of the house of
Hapsburgh, whose only enemy was France then barely escaped out of her
contests with feudalism and with the English.

Donato Gianotti, the successor of Machiavelli, as secretary of the
Florentine Republic, wrote a wonderful address to Paul III., in which
he urged that Genoa should be redeemed from the hands of the Dorias and
Spaniards, and the republic and principalities bound in alliance with
France, as necessary measures for the defence of national liberty. The
object of this discourse, so rich in political wisdom, was to warn the
Italians of the danger of neglecting their own interests.

“They cannot,” he says, “secure their safety except by making
preparations to take up arms against that power _which can only secure
itself in its possessions by enslaving all Italy_.”[31] Gianotti urged
the importance of tempting the confederates of the emperor, and, if
possible, enlisting them in the national cause, and adds: “The State
of Genoa under the authority of Andrea Doria, ought to be reconciled
to the King of France; and I do not believe the Genoese would be
disinclined to it, for their sympathies are for France, and they know
the advantages to a Republic of independence and the free use of
their political power. It was useful to the Genoese, at the moment,
to follow the influence of Doria and, ceasing to be French, to become
imperialists, as a step towards liberty; but at present it would not be
less useful to them to unite, without altering the form of their state,
with the other governments of the Peninsula.”

Gianotti expressed the hope that the Pope’s authority might induce
Doria to risk his fortunes with those of Italy, and he thinks there
could not be obstacles on the part of the French monarch, because
political prudence would counsel him to ally himself with Genoa,
without seeking to govern her as a subject province: “rather,” he
adds, “the French king should refuse to govern Genoa, as such power
would involve most embarrassments for himself. The French king should
make allies of the Genoese, solely in order to detach them from his
enemies.” He makes a similar suggestion to all the Italian states,
especially Siena and Florence, “who for common interests ought to make
common cause.” He argues that such a policy would free these states
from that dependence on the empire, which some believed necessary
to their existence, and would give them the repute of being able to
live without leaning on foreign support. He advocates the policy
which adjusts itself to the conveniences and changes of the times,
and enforces this reasoning by the conduct and aims of the Emperor
which left the Italians no hope but in war. He advises that arms and
munitions both of offence and defence be acquired with as much haste as
possible; that friendship be cultivated with foreign powers. “_Peace_,”
he concludes, “_may be more fatal than war_, for the former must in
the end subject us to despotism, while war may fortify our present
liberties and restore those of which we have been defrauded.”[32]

This apparent digression upon the discourse of the Florentine
statesman is very much to our purpose, and that his counsels were
warmly welcomed by the Count Lavagna is manifest, for his scheme is
moulded upon Gianotti’s plan. The Florentine laid down three rules
of policy,--That our provinces, especially Genoa, break with the
Emperor; that they form alliance with France--not to put themselves
in her power, but to keep her from becoming their enemy,--and that,
without seeking material aid from France, all the Republics should make
vigorous preparation for war against the empire.

On these principles Fieschi constructed his too-much calumniated plot.
Those who have written about it, without studying the character of the
times, rather as romancers than historians, have transmitted us a fable
that he sought the supreme control of the Republic; but he sought no
other end than to bring back the government to its ancient principles.
Revolution in Genoa never aimed at enslaving the people. In those
centuries we had foreign generals and ministers among us, but never
absolute rulers; and if these ministers attempted tyranny, they paid
for their audacity with their blood, like Opizzino d’Alzate, or were
expelled, like Trivulzio and others.

Gianluigi was not so short-sighted as not to know the temper of the
Genoese, or to forget the lesson of then recent examples. He sought not
to usurp the government and become the oppressor of the people, but to
confer on his native land the blessings of its ancient order.

Though writers in the pay of Spain accused him of corrupt ambition,
lust of gold and thirst for blood, it is time to render him the tardy
justice of saying that no document can be quoted which proves that he
cherished such infamous projects--projects alien to his gentle and
humane character, to the traditions of his family, and to the spirit
of the Guelph party then supported by the most sound and cultivated
intellects of Italy.

Sismondi alone, of all historians, seems to us to have comprehended the
real object of Fieschi. “Andrea Doria,” he writes, “had restored the
name of Republic to his country, but not liberty nor independence. He
called to the government a strict aristocracy, of whom Gianettino was
the master. He bound the fate of his country to that of Austria, by
bonds which humiliated the best part of the Genoese. Fieschi planned
his conspiracy in order to deliver the country from the yoke of Spain
and the Dorias.”[33]

The events we proceed to describe set the seal of truth upon the words
of this illustrious historian.

Some tell us that Gianluigi plotted, so early as 1537, with Cesare
Fregoso, to place the Republic in the hands of the French king; for
which, Bonfadio adds,[34] he would have lost his head, if Andrea
Doria had not saved him from the rigours of the law. This report was
set on foot by the marquis Vasto, governor of Milan, who, after the
assassination of Cesare Fregoso and Antonio Rancone, the messengers
of King Francis to Soliman, endeavoured to justify his treachery by
declaring, among other things, that he had found in commentaries of
Fregoso, (which he never had in his hands) proofs that Fieschi took
part in that plot. But these pretended conspiracies with the King of
France are now destroyed by very authoritative testimony. If Bonfadio
had remembered that, in 1537, Fieschi was still a lad, he would have
hesitated to adopt that slander. It is known, too, that personal
enmity existed between the families Fregoso and Fieschi of so bitter a
character as to forbid all possibility of common political views and
intimate secret negotiations. The memory of the day, when Doge Giano
Fregoso and his brother Fregosino, encountering Gerolamo Fieschi,
killed him with many blows, was not effaced; nor was it forgotten that
the Fieschi retired to their castles to plan their revenge, collected
three thousand soldiers and besieged the city from the valley of
Bisagno, where the Fregosi were entrenched. A battle was fought, in
which the Doge was defeated. The Fieschi entered the city as victors,
killed Zaccaria Fregoso, dragged his corpse through the populous
streets, and elevated Antoniotto Adorno to the office of Doge. From
that day a mortal hatred had divided the two families. This fact alone
renders the story of a plot with Fregoso highly improbable.

Bonfadio also accuses Fieschi of having attempted to betray the city to
Pietro Strozzi, which, he says, would have been done, if Bernardino di
Mendozza had not arrived with a strong body of _Bisogni_, in good time
to overthrow the conspiracy. Some add that the count sent one Sacco,
to Strozzi to instigate him to attack Genoa and to act as a guide. The
circumstance deserves investigation.

In August, 1544, when the emperor had marched into France, Pietro
Strozzi collected an army at Mirandola, with the design of attacking
the territories of Milan in concert with Enghein. Aided by Pierluigi
Farnese, he had already crossed the Po, and entered the province
of Piacenza, where he lay encamped on the slopes of the Ligurian
mountains, when, being assailed by Ridolfo Baglione and imperial troops
sent from Naples, he was forced to fall back to Serravalle, on the
banks of the Scrivia. Here he was overtaken by the prince of Salerno,
and forced to accept battle. The fight was at first favourable to
Strozzi, but in the end he suffered defeat. There were few killed,
because the Italians recognized their brotherhood on the field of
battle, threw down their arms and embraced each other. Strozzi took
shelter with the remnant of his army in the territory of the Republic.
The Fieschi, fearing the rage of a conquered Strozzi, and perhaps an
assault upon Montobbio, fled into the city, and remained there until
Strozzi evacuated his camp in the Apennines. This shows how completely
Bonfadio was in error.[35]

Though, however, the count of Lavagna (then lord of thirty-three
castles) had no secret correspondence with Fregoso nor Strozzi, he
certainly had political relations with other persons; and this is what
remains after eliminating the falsehoods spread abroad by Spain.

Having formed the purpose of deposing the old nobility and restoring
the popular government, Fieschi saw that his best policy was to follow
the fortunes of the Adorni, whose party his ancestors, and especially
his father, had zealously supported. The views of Gianluigi found an
echo in the breast of Barnaba Adorno, count of Silvano, of whom we must
briefly speak.

Silvano is situated in the Val d’Orba in Monferrato, two miles beyond
the Giovi. On the east and west lie the villages of St. Cristoforo,
then a feud of the Dorias, of Montaldeo--honored as the birth-place,
at a later period, of cardinal Mazzarino--and Mornese, a feud of the
Serras; on the south lay Cremolino, possessed by the Dorias; and on
the north the castles of Carpineto, and Montaldo, and the city of
Alessandria. Nearer and almost contiguous to Silvano stood the castles
of Lerma, Tagliolo, Ovada, Rocca Grimaldi, Capriata, and Castelletto
Val d’Orba, also feuds of Barnaba Adorno.

Silvano was fortified by two large and strong towers, and was the usual
residence of Adorno, who had strong friends and political allies in
all the castles and villages around him. He devoted his early years
to arms, and, rising to the rank of colonel under Cæsar, he acquired
distinction in Provence and in the kingdom of Naples. In the latter he
obtained the feud of Caprarica. Weary of the tumults of war, he retired
to his home and married Maddalena, daughter of the Doge Antoniotto
Adorno. In beauty, this woman was excelled by few persons of her time.

The quiet of Adorno was disturbed by serious quarrels, especially by
one with count Paolo Pico of Mirandola, who attacked his lands and put
Castelletto to fire and sword. This strife, so bloody in the civil war
which it inflamed, was not less spirited before the tribunals of the
empire; but it is not our province to enlarge on its many vicissitudes.

Adorno cherished the design of cultivating the popular party, and so
raising the declining fortunes of his house, and he soon began to
attempt plots against the new order in Genoa.

In this purpose he turned to the count of Lavagna, through the
mediation of a Fra Badaracco, and, after many debates, it was resolved
to unite their forces for the overthrow of the Dorias. Barnaba was to
be elevated to the Dogate, and the count to govern the eastern Riviera
as his father had done before him. They further agreed to place the
Republic under the protection of France, without prejudice, however,
to its liberties, and solely to secure it from the vengeance of Cæsar.
Fra Badaracco, in order to find partisans, held conversations with some
gentlemen whom he supposed to be dissatisfied with the government of
the Dorias. But these persons exposed the matter in the senate: the
friar was arrested, and some letters of Barnaba Adorno were found on
his person. After having been tortured, Bardaracco was decapitated,
having confessed that, besides Adorno, Gianluigi Fieschi and Pietra
Paolo Lasagna were concerned in the conspiracy. The senators, not being
able to obtain proofs of their guilt, decided not to prosecute the

Having thus failed in his first effort, the count sought new paths
to his end. He saw that it was necessary to have an understanding
with the king of France, as a means of restraining the army which the
emperor had in the territories of Milan, and to secure the capture of
the fleet of Doria, which was the chief prop of the imperial power. It
was plain that these naval and military forces would easily quell any
insurrection, unless the troops of France in Piedmont were directed to
hold the army of Cæsar in check. Gianluigi was induced to enter into an
understanding with France by one of his relatives by blood, of whom we
ought briefly to speak, because his name has been almost forgotten in
our domestic histories.

A branch of the Fieschi family, expelled from Genoa in 1339, had taken
up its residence in Piedmont and acquired there both possessions and
honours. A certain Giovanni Fieschi--made bishop of Vercelli by Clement
VI., in 1348--gave a share of the temporal government of his diocese to
his brother Nicolò, and conferred upon him some lands and castles.

We find in the archives of the court at Turin that the Fieschi ruled
in Masserano until 1381, and that Nicolò, Giovanni, and Antonio formed
an alliance with count Verde. Some few years later, or in 1394,
Lodovico Fieschi, also bishop of Vercelli and cardinal, petitioned
Boniface IX. for the repayment of a large sum of money spent by him in
maintaining the rights of his church, and he obtained permission to
alienate from the jurisdiction of the church the castles of Masserano
and Moncrivello, and to confer the feud upon his brother Antonio. This
investiture was confirmed by subsequent popes, especially by Julius
II.; and Alexander VI. added, in 1498, the feuds of Curino, Brusnengo,
Flecchia, and Riva, assigning them to the brothers Innocenzo and Pier

The first of these had a son named Lodovico, and this Lodovico a
daughter named Beatrice, whose hand her father gave to Filiberto
Ferrero, a citizen of Biella, adopting him as a son.

The Fieschi possessions in this way passed into the family of Ferrero;
and he, having obtained for his son Besso the hand of Camilla, niece
of Paul III., secured the investiture of Masserano, then created a
Marquisate. Whoever is desirous of learning how these feuds came into
the possession of the Ferreri to the exclusion of the male line, and
particularly of Gregory and Pier Luca Fieschi, may consult _Curzio

This Pier Luca II., lord of Crevacuore, where he had an excellent
mint, of whose coinage some specimens are preserved to us, constantly
revolved revolutionary projects, as a means of recovering his lost
dominions, and urged Count Gianluigi to proclaim himself a partisan
of France. It is certain that by the advice of Pier Luca, Gianluigi
bought the Farnesian galleys, of which we shall presently speak.

The count received Pier Luca at his house in Vialata with every mark
of affection, and lent a willing ear to his suggestions; but fearing
that France would wish to reduce Genoa to the condition of a French
province, he resolved to ascertain the views of the ministers of that
power, and to obtain pledges for the security of popular liberty.

He entrusted this negotiation to Gian Francesco, (called Gagnino)
Gonzaga of the family of the dukes of Sabbione, a brave soldier,
hostile to the empire. With his uncle Frederick he had fought against
Cæsar at Parma, and later as a colonel of the Florentines in the
celebrated siege of Florence. Being an open partisan of the French, he
was banished from his native land.

Gonzaga presented himself before the French council of state, and
reminded the ministers of the many services which the Fieschi family
had rendered to the French crown; he showed clearly that the only
means of driving the Spaniards from Lombardy, was to destroy the
communication with their other Italian states: and the first step to
this end would be to remove from power in Genoa the faction of the
Dorias. Fieschi, he added, could accomplish this more easily than any
other person, and he would attempt the enterprise if France would
encourage his efforts, and promise not to lay violent hands on the

Doria had many enemies in Paris. Though the Chancellor Du Prat was
dead and the constable Montmorency was fallen, yet the animosities
awakened by Doria in that court were not buried. Delfino still
remembered that Doria had taken Genoa from the dominion of France and
he meditated vengeance.

The count of San Polo had not forgotten that Andrea caused his defeat
and captivity at the battle of Landriano, by informing the Spaniards of
the difficulties he was encountering in his retreat. Cardinal Tournon
was unable to pardon Doria for throwing many obstacles in his way when
he went to Rome to attend the conclave assembled to elect a successor
to Clement VIII. Admiral Annebaut hoped to command the army to be sent
for the conquest of Lombardy as soon as the revolution should break out
in Genoa.

Thus all the ministers, actuated at once by personal and political
motives, favoured the plans of Fieschi. Gonzaga was welcomed with
delight and obtained a solemn promise that the crown of France would
renounce all pretensions to the government of Genoa. He was also
empowered to make use of the French troops in Piedmont in garrison
at Turin, Moncalieri, Savigliano and Pinerolo; and to select in the
port of Toulon such ships as might be adapted to serve the purposes of

This negotiation, securing the coöperation of France without
compromising the independence of the country, is highly creditable to
Gianluigi and shows the keenness of his political vision which forecast
all the dangers and complications of foreign assistance. Perhaps he
listened too hopefully to these promises of foreign succour; but if
French diplomatists then deceived him, he afterwards showed that he
lacked neither courage nor will to undertake his revolution without
their coöperation.

France was at that time prodigal of flattery to Italy. She drew from
us her luxury, her arts and the embellishments of her life; perhaps
also her vices which she repaid to us with usury. She had apparently
no schemes for the overthrow of the Italians, and sincerely, though
not disinterestedly, sought our emancipation from the Spanish power.
We are indebted to her for restraining Cæsar from destroying among us
even the name of liberty; and this explains why our Republics, our
people and our first intellects were so friendly to France. Whatever
secret designs she may have cherished, she promoted popular franchises
in Italy. She encouraged agriculture and commerce, and in war for
the most part abstained from pillage and carnage, so that the people
butchered by the Spaniards cried out, “Would that the French were here
to liberate us from these miscreants!”

Some tell us that the Count, besides the aid promised, received an
annual sum from France and that he was also salaried by Cæsar. But we
have never found any credible testimony for such statements, and the
authors seem to have spun them out of their own fancies or received
them upon the faith of partisan writers. They should be consigned to
that mass of idle rumours or malevolent slanders which we have set
aside. Of similar cloth is the fable of the journey of Ottobuono,
brother of Gianluigi, to Paris, and also to Rome to ask justice for a
grave injury inflicted upon him by Gianettino.

In the mean while, Gianluigi lost no opportunity of making partisans.
The times were propitious. The Duke of Piacenza, wishing to restrain
the license of the nobles published a proclamation requiring them
to reside in the city. This command offended not a few who were
feudatories, but not subjects, of the duke. Among these were the
Borromeo of Milan, who possessed Guardasone in the province of Parma,
and the Fieschi who held Calestano. Gianluigi sent a message to the
duke asking that the order might be revoked in his favour. His request
was granted, and he went in person, ostensibly to thank the duke and
render him homage as his feudatory, but in reality to treat for the
purchase of the Farnesian galleys, a measure recommended by Pier Luca
as necessary to the contemplated revolution.

To conceal his true intent he wrote to the Senate, on the 28th of
September, 1545, that he was in Piacenza to pay homage to the duke, and
that he found nuncios coming there from all the Italian provinces. He
therefore advised that the Republic should also send a representative.
The Senate followed his advice, and charged him with the honourable

Although the galleys of which we have spoken had already been asked
for by Pietro Strozzi, by Prince Adamo Centurione, and by Cardinal
Sauli, for a nephew who had already paid a part of the price, yet the
duke, knowing the use Gianluigi intended to make of them, gave him the
preference. The purchase was effected on the 23rd of November, 1545.
The galleys were named the _Capitana_, _Vittoria_, _Santa Caterina_ and
_Padrona_, and had on board, in addition to arms and equipments, three
hundred persons condemned for life, one hundred and eighty-five for
various terms of years, and one hundred and eighty Turkish and other

The price amounted to thirty-four thousand gold crowns, to be paid in
several instalments; one third on delivery of the vessels, another on
Lady day, 1546, and the last one year later. The deferred payments were
secured upon the feud of Calestano, with the consent of Gianluigi’s
brother Gerolamo, who was lord of that property.[36] The contracting
parties were, on one side, Paolo Pietro Guidi, president of the ducal
chamber, and Giovanni Battista Liberati, the duke’s treasurer; and the
Count of Lavagna on the other. We must not omit, among the conditions
of the sale, that three of the galleys were to remain for two years
longer in the service of the Apostolic See, Count Fieschi receiving the
Papal bonds held by Orazio Farnese.

The low price of the galleys is explained by this condition, in virtue
of which they were bound to remain in the port of Civita Vecchia, and
the count was obliged to provide for the maintenance and pay of the
officers and crews without deriving any advantage from the ownership.
Gianluigi assigned the command to Giulio Pojano, who had also commanded
them under Orazio Farnese when the emperor undertook the war of Algiers.

We are not able to decide with certainty whether, after this purchase,
the count went to Rome, as some affirm. We find however that Duke
Pierluigi, having proclaimed a tournament in Piacenza to take place
on the 21st of February, 1546, and requested that the ladies of his
feudatories should also attend, the countess Eleanora, as well as many
others, complied with the invitation and was presented by her husband
to the duke, who now treated Gianluigi as his equal.

Duke Farnese announced another tournament for the autumn of the same
year, to celebrate the marriage of Faustina Sforza with Muzio Visconti
Sforza, marquis of Caravaggio. At this festival the flower of the
Italian nobility was gathered together; and in the tournament of the
20th of October, 1546, Nicolò Pusterla and Count Fieschi obtained the
highest honours.

It is not known what means the duke intended to employ for carrying
out the contemplated revolution. Perhaps both Fieschi and Farnese were
yet undecided. It is not impossible (we have strong testimony for the
theory) that they waited, with the hope of enlisting on their side one
who had even more audacity and strength than themselves, and who would
have brought no mean forces into the alliance.

One of those reformers who makes centuries glorious was maturing a
scheme of greater scope than that of Fieschi. Francesco Burlamacchi,
born of a noble house in Lucca, had conceived the lofty design of
revolutionizing, under popular auspices, the Tuscan cities oppressed
by Cosimo; allying them to the still surviving republics of Lucca
and Siena; embracing in the new nation Perugia, which since 1540 had
maintained itself under popular government against the Papacy; taking
away from the Apostolic See the temporal power, and restoring the
church to the consecrated poverty of the Gospel.

He confided in the popular discontent at domestic and foreign tyranny,
and not less in the reformed doctrines which were advocated by the
most distinguished Italians, especially by those of Lucca. He proposed
his scheme to his friends and sought partisans among the Florentine
exiles, the faction of the Strozzi, and even among the German Lutherans
who had at their head Phillip Landgrave of Hesse, and Frederick, duke
of Saxony. Impatient of delay, he went in person to Venice, then
the asylum of the Tuscan and Genoese exiles, and solicited their
coöperation. He made an arrangement with Leone Strozzi, prior of Capua,
by which the latter agreed to support the enterprize; but Strozzi
thought it wiser to procrastinate until the result of the Germanic war
should be known.

Burlamacchi, having been created commissary of ordnance at Montagna,
resolved to undertake his daring enterprize without waiting longer for
foreign aid. He intended to rouse the people to arms, march rapidly
upon Pisa--whose fortress, commanded by Vincenzo del Poggio, would be
opened to him without bloodshed--to capture Florence, and thence spread
the generous fire of liberty over the Peninsula.

The revolution was planned with great prudence and all contingencies
were amply provided for. Unfortunately, however, he was obliged in
the exercise of his office as Confaloniere of justice to issue a
proclamation against one Andrea Pezzini who was cognisant of the
conspiracy. This person in order to gratify his malice, revealed the
whole scheme to Duke Cosimo. The government of Luca, mortally terrified
by the Pope and the emperor, arrested Burlamacchi, in August 1546, and
obtained from him by torture a confession of his revolutionary designs.
Luca consigned him to the imperial ministers by whom he was beheaded in

Some confused and scattered papers which we have seen imply that there
were messages and interviews between Gianluigi and Burlamacchi, and
this corresponds with that which Adriani has written of the Lucchese
revolutionist, viz: that he had formed friendship and made allies in
every part of Europe. It is then very probable that he sounded Count
Fieschi, whose enmity to the Spaniards was well known, as one whose
great wealth and numerous dependents would greatly reinforce the
revolution. Fieschi was often at his castle in Pontremoli and it would
have been easy for the two to hold secret interviews without awakening
the least suspicion. It is possible that Fieschi though satisfied of
the good faith of France, believed that nothing could be attempted
in Italy without her active coöperation or, being a Guelph, disdained
to embark in a scheme for the overthrow of the temporal power of the

These first plots of Fieschi confute the charge, disproved by other
and more direct evidence, made by sacred college of Padua, that he
conspired against the government of the Dorias with the sole object of
destroying Gianettino who was paying court to the countess of Lavagna.



 He aspires to grandeur for his family--His hostility to the emperor
 and to Doria--He encourages Gianluigi in his designs against the
 imperial rule in Genoa--Attempts of Cardinal Trivulzio to induce
 Fieschi to give Genoa to France--France is induced by the count to
 relinquish her hopes of obtaining Genoa--Verrina and his spirited
 counsels--Vengeance of Gianluigi against Giovanni Battista della Torre.

ALEXANDER FARNESE was elevated to the Papal throne under the title of
Paul III., not so much for his personal talents as by the influence of
his sister Clara whom he rewarded, as tradition reports, by giving her

The old Alexander VI., having by accident made her acquaintance, was
inflamed by her charms with an ardent passion, and found means to open
his heart to her. The cunning Farnese at once saw the delirium of the
gray-headed pontiff and did not yield to his solicitations until he had
promised her brother a cardinal’s hat. When the time for making the
nomination approached, the Pope was disposed to fulfil his pledge; but
he found a spirited resistance in Cæsar Borgia, who having never kept
faith with any one was very unwilling that the holy father should abide
by his promises. The name of Abbott Farnese was cancelled from the
list and another inserted in its place. On the eve of the ordination
of the Cardinals, Clara, suspecting what had happened, passed a night
with the pontiff and when he, drunken with lust and wine, fell into a
profound slumber, she searched his papers and ascertained the truth of
her suspicions.

Being an adept in copying and reckless of consequences, she rewrote
the list, counterfeiting the Pope’s handwriting, and placed the name
of her brother first on the roll. On the morrow, she put on all her
seducing charms and detained her paramour in his bed until messengers
came to inform him that the concistory was assembled and only waited
his presence. Clara had foreseen that, if he were called in haste, he
would have no time to look over his papers. In fact, he entered the
concistory and gave the list to the secretaries without looking it
over. His surprise was great when the name of Farnese was read out; but
he preferred silence to the exposure of his senile debaucheries.

It is not our purpose to go over the long career of Farnese. While
yet a youth he had been imprisoned in Sant Angelo for counterfeiting
a brief, and Alexander VI. would have beheaded him if he had not
contrived to escape from prison. We shall not repeat the errors of
his contemporary historians, that he united the black act to his
astronomical learning, and that he thus, through intercourse with
demons, learned many secrets and became skilled in political intrigues.
It is enough to say that, on arriving at the pontifical throne, he
devoted all his efforts to the aggrandizement of his family; and, not
content with obtaining the duchy of Camerino for his bastard son
Pierluigi, intrigued to elevate him to the government of Parma and
Piacenza, and even raised his eyes to that of Milan.

It was not then a reproach, says Segni,[37] that a Pope had
illegitimate children and sought by every means to confer upon them
wealth and dignities; on the contrary, the Pontiff who aspired to
temporal grandeur was in repute as a man of prudence and sagacity.
Paul III. intrigued for a long time with the emperor to acquire the
duchy of Milan for Pierluigi, though he well knew that Charles, in
occupying Lombardy, had protested that he did not wish to hold it for
his own advantage but for that of Italy. In these intentions he was
confirmed by the influence of the Venitians, the marquis Vasto and
the king of France. The Spanish monarch had already disappointed the
ambition of the duke of Orleans, who aspired to the duchy, and he also
refused it to Pierluigi. But the Pope, after long intrigues to overcome
the scruples of the cardinals, gave his son the investiture of Parma
and Piacenza, making them tributary to the church in the sum of nine
thousand ducats.

This act created enmity between the Farnesi and the emperor, though
Paul III. had furnished the latter with men and money for his war
against the Duke of Saxony, sending twelve thousand horse under the
command of Ottavio Farnese and Alessandro Vitelli. But the increasing
greatness of Charles, throwing into the shade the prerogatives and
power of the Papal See, the disappointed hope of a principality
and the league of the emperor with England the enemy of the Papacy,
rendered Paul a bitter foe of Spain and awakened in him the ambition to
crush the imperial power.

Andrea Doria hated the Farnese not less cordially than Charles. He
had opposed the advancement of this family for ten years, and had
frustrated a proposed league between the Papal See and the empire.
He had influenced Charles to refuse the duchy of Milan to Pierluigi,
and subsequently to deny Ottavio, son of Pierluigi, the government
of Tuscany according to a promise the emperor had made when Ottavio
married his illegitimate daughter Margaret, of Austria. Doria urged
against the last scheme that if the Farnese were made masters of
Tuscany they would become powerful enough to lay hands on the Lombard

There were still other motives for Andrea’s jealousy of the power of
the Farnese family. A member of the Doria house named Imperiale being
reduced to extreme poverty had obtained an appointment in the army
of Andrea. He distinguished himself in many actions and rose to the
highest honours and wealth. But having satisfied his military ambition
he became a priest, in which character he was first abbott of San
Fruttuoso and afterwards, through the influence of Andrea, bishop of
Sagona in Corsica. Wishing, however, to advance his worldly interests
he retired into Apulia where he acquired many estates, and was elevated
by Andrea to the government of Melfi, in which he largely increased his

Before his death, remembering the kindness of Doria, he bequeathed to
him all his possessions. The Papal nuncio seized upon and sequestrated
the estates of the bishop, claiming that they belonged by right to the
church. Andrea protested against this insult before the Papal court,
but Rome, being at once a party to the cause and the judge of it,
decided in its own favour and issued a decree despoiling the admiral of
all his rights in the property of his relative. Paul III. fearing the
vengeance of the admiral of the empire, deputed his nephew Alexander
Farnese to offer, as a compensation for the outrage, the power of
nominating a successor to the bishop. Doria disdained to render a
vassal’s homage to a Farnese and ordered Gianettino to assail and
capture the Papal galleys in the port of Genoa. This capture inflamed
the wrath of the pontiff, and as an act of reprisal he arrested some
Genoese who were in Rome, threatening to confiscate their goods unless
his ships were immediately released. The Senate laid the matter before
Andrea, who answered that Gianettino had captured the Papal vessels
solely because he was stronger at sea than his adversary. Afterwards,
in order to avoid complicating the Republic with his private quarrel,
he released the galleys of the pontiff, after having satisfied the
Farnese that he did not lack the power but the will to revenge himself.

The Pope was induced by Charles V. to restore to Andrea his defrauded
rights; but the Farnese was deeply chagrined and, not being able to
strike openly at the emperor’s favourite, sought secret ways of venting
his displeasure.

Private ambition, personal mortification and political views united to
stimulate the pontiff to humble the emperor, expel the Spaniards and
crush the Dorias. As it was obviously vain to oppose Cæsar so long as
Genoa, governed by the constitution of Doria, was under the Spanish
influence, he naturally fell in with projects which contemplated a
revolution in the Republic.

It is certain, says a modern writer, that Paul was skilled in mingling
modern passions with the administration of his venerable office. He
stood between the old world and the new, and he possessed the spirit
of both; and if the election of Clement had not deprived him of the
pontificate for ten years (as he often lamented) perhaps the fortunes
of Italy, which were not yet desperate, might have been saved by his
industry or, at least, would not have suffered total shipwreck.

At that period several Fieschi families were in a flourishing
state, among them that of Ettore, of the Savignone line, who had
espoused Maria di Gian-Ambrogio Fieschi. From this marriage were
born, Francesco, Giacomo, Nicolò, Paride, Gian-Ambrogio, Urbano and
Innocenzio. Ettore having given some of his property in Rome to Giacomo
and Nicolò, who as priests were stationed in that city, at the death of
the first the father found it necessary to make a journey thither.

Having presented himself to the Pope he was graciously received and
obtained the bishopric of Savona for his second son.

In their conferences the Pontiff spoke of the past grandeur of the
Fieschi family, of the hospitality he had received in the palace in
Vialata in the time of Sinibaldo, and expressed surprise that none
of the sons of Sinibaldo, whom he knew to be young men of spirit
and ambition, had sought honours in the Papal court,--honours which
could not be denied to the scions of a noble house, which counted two
successors of St. Peter and four hundred mitred heads in its ancestry.
He also begged Ettore to inform Fieschi that he entertained the most
flattering opinion of their merits, and should be happy to give full
proof of his esteem.

On his return to Genoa, Ettore informed Gianluigi of the sentiments of
Paul III. and of his nephew the cardinal towards the family, and the
count resolved personally to render thanks to the Pontiff. He visited
Rome, though dissuaded by Panza, in May, 1546 (as Bonfadio tells us).
Some maintain that he went there at other periods, but we find no
authentic evidence to support the assertion.

Paul received Gianluigi in the kindest manner, and took pains to show
him honour. During their conversations he spoke much of the ancestors
of the count as having been the first citizens of Genoa. He lamented
that the Dorias had overshadowed the family of Fieschi. Andrea, he
said, by his political tact and by refraining from assuming in name the
power which he possessed in reality, had rendered his vast influence
less obnoxious to his countrymen, but that Gianettino would not imitate
this temperate policy nor long delay to place his yoke on the Genoese.
Count Fieschi, he added, would be the first one humbled, as being the
most dangerous enemy to the empire. He intimated that if Gianluigi had
the spirit to oppose the Doria ambition, the support of the Holy See
would not be wanting in the hour of trial.

He gave a more positive proof of his willingness to act by proposing
that the count should immediately take command of the three galleys
included in the Farnese purchase, which still remained in the service
of the papal government, in order, said he (and he smiled cunningly),
that they may not again be captured by Doria. This conversation, so
familiar and hopeful, greatly encouraged Gianluigi and induced him to
put his designs into immediate execution.

An event occurred during this visit to Rome which nearly overthrew
all these revolutionary schemes. Cardinal Agostino Trivulzio, who,
as protector of France, lost no occasion for promoting the policy of
that nation, established relations of intimacy with Gianluigi, and
undertook to demonstrate that the difficulties of his enterprise were
such as to render it necessary to concede to France the government
of Genoa. France, he said, would place the count at the head of the
local administration, and would give him the command of six galleys,
equipped on a war footing and maintained at the expense of the crown,
of which he could make such use as seemed best. France would also
station a heavy body of troops at Montobbio, to prevent the advance of
the Austro-Spanish troops, and make Fieschi captain of a cavalry force
with the annual pay of ten thousand crowns.

These new propositions came through Prince Giano Caracciolo,
governor-general of Piedmont, and had his seal to their authenticity.
They entirely destroyed the previous arrangements made by Gagnino
Gonzaga, and contemplated the subjection of the Republic to a foreign
power. They did not please Gianluigi, who desired to enlarge the
liberties of his country, not to change the masters of the Republic.

Nevertheless, he asked time for consideration, and without making
further steps in his design he returned to Genoa. Pondering over the
difficulties of his undertaking and the new claims of France, he would
probably have relinquished the enterprise, if Gianettino, who, in the
tone of one who held the dominion of the waves, complained of the
purchase of the Farnese galleys, had not used such bitter and imperious
threats as to inflame anew the resentment of the count. The success
and malevolence of Gianettino, to whom as to the rising sun all eyes
were turned, fortified Gianluigi in his determination to overthrow the
expectant tyrant of Genoa.

Fieschi having delayed to respond to Trivulzio, the latter, fearing
that the new propositions would discourage the count, sent to him
knight Nicolò Foderato of Savona, a relative of Fieschi, to tell him
that Francis I. would abide by the agreement made with Gonzaga, adding
that he had only to recommend vigilance and prudence in guiding his
ship safe into port.

Gianluigi was delighted beyond measure at this favourable turn of
affairs. He subscribed the stipulations at once and sent back the
messenger with warm thanks for the generosity of the French monarch.
Francis really desired above everything to recover his lost dominion
over Liguria, but he was persuaded to defer that ambition to a more
favourable combination of circumstances.

Fieschi now exposed his plans (in this point all the historians agree
and are confirmed by the manuscripts we have seen) to three of his
most devoted friends, Raffaele Sacco, Vincenzo Calcagno and Giovanni
Battista Verrina. He submitted to them the question whether he should
attempt a revolution relying solely on his own forces, or undertake it
in alliance with France.

Sacco was born of not obscure lineage in Savona, being descended from a
knight of Malta and entitled to the annual gift of a paschal lamb. We
find that a branch of the Sacco family living in Genoa had been united
to the family of Venti, and not long after, in 1363, to that of the
Franchi. Sacco was auditor and judge in the feuds of the count and knew
intimately the feelings of his master. He advised that the French arms
be accepted--an opinion partly explained by his being of Savona. Your
forces, said he, are too weak to oppose those of Doria and the emperor;
and though it may be easy to capture the city by a _coup de main_, it
will be impossible to hold it unless you are promptly reënforced by a
good body of troops.

Vincenzo Calcagno was beloved by Gianluigi for long and faithful
services. After the warmest protestations of his fidelity and
obedience as a vassal, he spoke at length of the evils of civil war
and foreign intervention which must follow from an attempt to change
the government. He enlarged on the difficulties of the enterprise.
Doria had twenty galleys. The sea coast and nobility were his. Foreign
rule was hateful to the Genoese, but above all that of France. Francis
occupied by home politics, embarrassed in Lombardy and in Naples,
would not bestow a thought on Genoa if he did not hope to acquire his
lost power over her. The nobility are in power and hate revolution,
and even the plebeians would oppose a new order of things unless
proposed by a noble. The people are unwilling to obey men without high
rank, accustomed not to yield even to the nobles without desperate
necessity,--and, stimulated by recent events, they would demand full
control of the government. But granted that the revolution may succeed,
no sooner would the new state be created than the crests of Adorni and
Fregoso would be seen in the foreground.

These powerful families, still beloved by the people, would never
consent to submit the government to the control of a species of
prince--a thing they have for centuries resisted with their blood--so
that the efforts of the count will not enhance his personal grandeur,
but only promote the interests of rival families; the name of Fieschi
will become a reproach, distrusted by the nobles, despised by the
people and hated by Cæsar.

Calcagno would have gone on to dissuade the count from the whole scheme
if the impetuous Verrina had not interrupted him with impatience and

The family of Verrina was originally of Voltri, and came into the city
in 1475. Stefano Verrina had enrolled himself as a noble attached
to the company or _Albergo_ of the Franchi. John Baptist Verrina di
Vincenzo, a most honourable citizen, was then living in Carignano,
though born near the church of San Siro, not far from the count, and
was managing his affairs. Party spirit and private animosities rendered
him a violent enemy of the old nobles; and he could not digest it that
those who had long been excluded from public offices should, through
the reforms of Doria, be invested with the entire control of affairs.
He had once been rich, but his excessive generosity had wasted his
wealth, and he was now supporting the declining fortunes of his family
upon the liberality of Fieschi. His intellect was of a high order, his
courage that of a hero; his spirit was high and venturous, ever intent
on the loftiest designs. He had assumed for a motto--_The world belongs
to him who will take it_.

Verrina demonstrated with great force and eloquence that too much
had already been done to leave any pretext for abandoning the
enterprise--that retreat was more dangerous than the battle.

Revolutionary schemes ought to be executed as soon as formed. The
plans of Fieschi had reached such a stage that the only thing left was
to bring them to completion, to dare everything, to risk life itself
in the struggle. He argued that the enterprise was not difficult;
the Doria ships were idle and their crews scattered along the coasts,
the garrison of the city was reduced to only two hundred and fifty
infantry, many of whom were vassals of the count. The people wanted a
change of government; the Senate was sleeping in imaginary security. It
was folly to procrastinate the hour for delivering the country from the
ambition of Gianettino, when everything was smiling upon their hopes
and nothing but their own hesitation foreboded danger.

He said that it was useless to ask the aid of the French, who had been
humiliated by the captivity of their king and were getting the worse
in their struggle with Charles V., master of all Germany. The very
example of Doria proved the nature of French sympathy for Italy. Doria
had learned too well that Francis desired to reduce the importance of
Genoa by removing Savona from her jurisdiction, and making the latter
the capital of Liguria. The count, said he, has the means of full
success. Raise the cry of popular liberty, and thousands of swords will
be uplifted for the cause. Let Gianluigi dare to proclaim liberty to
these oppressed multitudes. Let him dare to announce himself as their
liberator. When Cæsar fell, Pompey was not declared a rebel, but the
saviour of Rome. Let our master imitate the high example now, when
every wind is propitious; France friendly, Rome and Piacenza ready for
alliance with us, and the people prompt for action.

The arguments of Verrina overcame the doubts of the count, and
he resolved to proceed with the general plan then worked out. He
instructed Foderato to communicate to Trivulzio his desire that the
original compact with Gonzaga be observed in every particular. In the
meantime he came into closer relations with Paul III., by means of the
Pontiff’s nephew the cardinal; and to complete all his preparations he
resolved to go to Piacenza and confer with the duke.

It is of importance to observe that Fieschi, following the counsels of
Verrina, declined the proffer of French troops and galleys. Some paint
this friend of the count as a species of demon. They tell us that he
wished to murder the nobility and appropriate their goods, because he
was overwhelmed with debts, and to raise the count to the office of
Doge, or rather to make him the tyrant of Genoa. In truth, we find
these fables in all the historians, even in the least passionate and
partisan, who seem to have taken no pains to sift testimony, but to
have accepted the Spanish slanders without question.

In a city like Genoa, but recently deprived of the popular liberty
which she had enjoyed for centuries, the idea of destroying free
institutions could not have entered the brain of a sane politician.
Neither Verrina nor the count were so short-sighted as to believe that
an enterprise which the emperor, with the support of all the nobles,
had found impossible could be easily executed by them. The ancient
story is repeated in our times. The victors have written the history of
the vanquished with the sword.

This seems to us the place to describe an atrocious deed, which shows,
on the one hand, the great affection of the count for the members of
his family; and, on the other, how deeply he felt injuries and how
terribly he avenged them. The tragedy of which we now speak still
lives in tradition on the spot where it was enacted. We have drawn
the history of it from old documents, which agree in general with the
account written by Bandello, who received it from the lips of Catando
d’Arimini, an intimate friend of Gianluigi.[38]

We have already stated that Sinibaldo had, besides his legitimate
children, a son named Cornelio and a daughter named Claudia. This
daughter was beautiful and attractive in person and manners. While
yet very young she was married to Simone Ravaschiero di Manfredi. He
was a rich and influential citizen of Chiavari and desired a family
alliance with the Fieschi, in order to secure their assistance against
count Agostino Lando, with whom he was contesting the jurisdiction of a
castle in the duchy of Piacenza. The marriage was celebrated with the
splendour to which the Fieschi were habituated, and Claudia took up her
residence in Chiavari, acquiring through the purity of her life and the
charms of her conversation the admiration of all who knew her. Giovanni
Battista Della Torre, one of the most high-born and wealthy citizens
of the district, paid her such assiduous court that she soon perceived
the object of his attentions. She defended herself with dexterity and
disappointed the hopes of her admirer. The young man, beside himself
with his foolish passion and consuming with amorous fires, studied to
find some means of obtaining by stratagem that which had been denied to
his love.

He chose the occasion of her husband’s absence in Genoa to adjust his
accounts with Gianluigi, and, by bribing a servant, penetrated into the
chamber of Claudia and concealed himself under her bed.

The lady was accustomed, when her husband was absent, to require
her maid before she retired to rest to examine all the corners and
hiding-places of her apartments; and on that evening, as if presaging
the danger which was near, ordered the servant to make careful search
whether any one was there concealed. The maid looked under the bed,
and, seeing a man hidden there, uttered a loud cry, at which Claudia
leaped from her couch and ran into her father-in-law’s room. The old
man roused his servants, armed them and went to take vengeance on the
violater of his domestic dominions. But Della Torre, finding his plot
had failed, leaped from a window of considerable height, and, falling,
received severe bruises and wounds. Nor would he have escaped, if some
neighbours who heard the noise of his fall had not come to his relief
and saved him from the fury of Manfredi, by bearing him away to the
house of one of them.

On the following morning Manfredi sent swift messengers to inform his
son and Gianluigi of what had happened. The count was terribly enraged,
but he concealed his anger and waited to know the nature of Della
Torre’s wounds and what hope there might be of his recovery. Learning
that, though disfigured for life, he would recover from the effects
of the fall, he called to him his brother Cornelio and his cousin
Simone and said to them: “You know, Cornelio, the outrage which Della
Torre has committed against our sister Claudia, and I believe that if
you have the spirit which belongs to your blood you will arrange with
Simone to take such vengeance as the case requires. I have prepared
two galleys, manned by twenty well-armed and brave men each. Set
sail. Three hours before dawn you will be in Chiavari. There, without
any delay, you will assail the house of Della Torre, and if you tear
him into a thousand pieces you will give him that reward which his
crime merits. Having accomplished your purpose, take refuge in my
castles which are near there and of which I give you the countersigns.
Afterwards leave me to provide for everything. Unless you discharge
this duty, you, Cornelio, will never come into my presence lest I kill
you with my own hands; and you, Simone, will be no longer kinsman nor
friend of mine.”

The two promised to execute his commands, and setting sail, they
arrived at Chiavari at the hour appointed. Having landed, three of
them went to the gates of the town and asked the guardian to admit
them. Once within, the three threw out the drawbridge, and the others,
who were concealed close at hand, thus marched in, threatening the
guardians with death if they raised an alarm.

They made straight for their enemy’s house, broke down the door, rushed
into the apartment where Della Torre was sleeping and tore him in

Having accomplished their vengeance, they retired to the castle of
Roccatagliata, where the government did not dare to molest them.



 Character of the Fieschi family--Gianluigi acquires the friendship of
 the silk operatives and other plebeians--The Duke of Piacenza selects
 the count to arbitrate his differences with the Pallavicini--Secret
 understandings between the count and the duke--Gianluigi puts
 his castles in a condition for war--Gianettino Doria, to pave
 the way to supreme power, gives Captain Lercaro an order to kill
 Fieschi--Industry of Verrina--The decisions of history on the merits
 of Fieschi should be made in view of the political doctrines of the
 sixteenth century.

IN monarchical states great families usually derive their importance
from the head of the nation, who overshadows them all; but in cities
ruled by the people, every house has its peculiar position and
character. In Genoa, families had features and qualities which had
characterized them and given them a distinct history for centuries.
The Adorni and Fregosi always loved authority; the Durazzi were
distinguished for munificence; the Serra for legal learning; the
Pinelli for indomitable energy; the Lomellini for liberality; the Doria
and Spinola for military genius. The Fieschi had always maintained and
guarded, though with a partisan spirit, the popular franchises.

We find in the annals of this illustrious race a Nicolò and a
Percivale, who, as imperial vicars, granted liberty to the Florentines
and Luchesi. We find in the long history of their political power in
Genoa that the Fieschi never struggled for supreme position as did the
Adorni, Fregosi, Spinola, and Doria. Carlo Fieschi, as the chief of
the Guelphs, was, in 1318, placed at the head of the government, with
Gasparo Grimaldi for colleague, but he never attempted any legislative
or constitutional charges for the sake of remaining in office. Bonfadio
himself, though their enemy, declares that, though the Fieschi
surpassed in power all other families, they never laid hands on popular
rights.[39] They were in Genoa what the Capponi were in Florence.

This reputation of the counts of Lavagna rendered it easy for Gianluigi
to obtain followers. To cover his true designs, he made no change
in his manners or life, carried an open and jovial countenance, and
studied more than ever to promote domestic tranquility. His palace was
open to all; he was generous with his friends, affable and courteous
to every one. He courted the rich with flattery and blandishments, the
poor with gifts. His table, spread with regal profusion, was free; and
he seemed to have no other cares besides races, the chase and the dance.

He cultivated friendship with the old nobles, but had greater intimacy
with the new. The Dorias did not complain of the count’s relations
with the new nobility; for, though his house was old and illustrious,
its traditions were Guelph, and the new patricians and the leading
popular families belonged to that party. In his intercourse with
these persons, on whom he relied for assistance, he spoke sneeringly
of the reforms of 1528, which had advanced the Portico of San Luca to
the highest power, created deep-rooted antipathies, and weakened the
Republic. Sometimes he showed a profound passion, and his broken and
threatening tone conveyed a meaning beyond the import of his words.

Having won the favour of the rich and distinguished popular families,
he cultivated the love of the plebeians. In this, his pleasant and
familiar manner secured him great success. He treated them as his
equals, and, the true Alcibiades of his time, he adapted himself to
their personal characteristics and prejudices. Chronicles tell us
that he watched from his towers to see if the chimneys of the poorer
classes smoked regularly at the hour for preparing food, and sent
provisions whenever this token of a meal was missed on any roof. Such
wise generosity acquired him the affection of the people. The foreign
wars and the stagnation of trade had impoverished a great part of the
citizens, especially the spinners and the silk operatives, then called
Tuscans, of whom there were fifteen thousand in Genoa.

The history of the manufacture of silk, through which so many Italian
families acquired wealth and rank, has not yet been adequately treated.
The history of trades and crafts in the Peninsula would be a useful
work, and would show that even in the midst of the fiercest contests of
faction, commerce was always held in merited honour and was regulated
by few and simple restrictions;--that merchants and artisans had their
art-unions or corporations with their own laws, arms and masters, that
the trades were thus united in associations as a means of perfecting
their products and as a security against fraud. The historian of our
manufactures would tell us that in Genoa, before 1432, the trade of
silk-weaving had its _capitudini_, or officers, consisting of two
consuls and six councillors, who inspected the quality of the fabrics,
provided for their sale, took charge of the profits and decided
upon the complaints of the operatives. The government issued many
proclamations and made numerous laws to promote the woollen trade;
among which those of Doge Pietro Fregoso are remarkable. He forbade the
operatives, who lived in the quarter still called _Borgo del Lanieri_,
to leave the walls of the city, or carry elsewhere their tools and
skill, under penalty of confiscation of goods and other pains. Some
illustrious men were enrolled and matriculated in the art of silk,
among them Doge Paolo da Novi; and Gianettino Doria himself, when his
father Tomaso fell into poverty, spent his youth among the silk-weavers
of our city. The silk operatives venerated the _Volto Santo_ of San
Cipriano, a circumstance which explains the extraordinary number of
these images which are to be found in Genoa and along the eastern

Not less prosperous than the silk manufactures were the corders and
beaters of wool, also united into associations. They gave a great
impulse to traffic and navigation. The beginnings of our civilization
were born of industrial arts. The marines artisans, and tradesmen
formed the only army of the Republic when it made war on feudatories
and compelled them to swear allegiance to the commune. These brave
plebeians--to-day operatives, to-morrow soldiers, not more masters of
the shuttle and the oar than of the sword, tempestuous in character
but fervent in faith--created in Genoa fruitful industries and immense
social power; and though in the fury of faction they sometimes shed
blood in the streets of Genoa, they atoned it by giving her, through
formidable fleets, the dominion of the seas.

Guglielmo Embriaco, the hero of the first crusade, is the
representative of this Genoese thrift and courage. Our armies were
nothing more than associations. Such companies subdued the Euxine.
The Giustiniani captured Scio, Samos, and other islands, and divided
their gains _pro rata_ per man in proportion to the expense which each
had borne; the Cattaneo at Phocis, the Gattilusio at Mytilene, and
the Zaccaria in Negroponte. Elis and Achaia adopted the same rule.
It rarely happened that one who was not inscribed in a trade and
to the commune obtained any position as a master-workman. The very
nobleman who was a Ghibeline outside the walls became a Guelph when he
established his residence in the city; and though from his castles in
the passes of the Apennines he might have once plotted to invade us,
he had no sooner recorded himself as a citizen than he counted it an
honour to guide our fleets and overthrow our enemies. There was at one
time a law which forbade the nobles to command even a ship; and many
great nobles enrolled themselves with the people to open the path to
naval and military authority.

The mark of these Guelph institutions on the people of Genoa was
deep and enduring. The Genoese of our day are living proof of their
lasting influence. Labour and banking produced immense wealth. The
Genoese became the bankers of Europe. In the year 1200 they drew the
first bill of exchange.[40] It was drawn on Palermo. They diffused the
Arabic system of notation. In 1148 they created, for the conquest of
Tortosa, the first public debts which they afterwards consolidated,
appropriating the city and port customs to pay the interest. They
founded the Bank of St. George, on whose model those of England and
Holland were constructed, and they planted colonies everywhere. Along
the inhospitable coasts of the Caspian and Aral, in Turchestan and
Thibet, the pilgrim was safe in person and property who declared, “I am
a Genoese.”

We return from this digression to the thread of our narrative. The
long wars had lessened the gains of our trades-people; even the silk
operatives were by the want of markets reduced to extremities. In that
year, too, food was dear throughout Italy; and the merchants who held
grain kept it back from sale in order to raise the price. Gianluigi,
wishing to provide for the pressing wants of so many operatives,
called to him Sebastiano Granara, consul of the weavers, obtained
a list of the most distressed families, and sent them sums of money
with a request to keep secret the name of the donor, and to inform him
whenever they were again in urgent need.

He frequently requested the artisans and mechanics who were natives of
his lands (they were more than two hundred) to come to him in Vialata,
where he opened to them his granaries, and otherwise succoured them. By
such acts of generosity he acquired the favour of the people, who were
ready, as a proverb has it, “to carry water for him in their ears,” and
to defend his person at their own peril.

Having by such practices obtained the sympathy of the new nobles and
the humble classes who lived by their daily labour, the count began
to provide the arms and soldiers which he should need, and, with
great tact, availed himself in the exigency of the discords among the
neighbouring governments.

Pierluigi Farnese, after having obtained from Paul III. the investiture
of Parma and Piacenza, soon found that he had not sufficient forces to
maintain his power in these provinces. Gerolamo Pallavicini, marquis
of Cortemaggiore, and others of that family to whom the duke had
prohibited the trade in salt, raised an armed rebellion. The Rossi,
Sanseverino, Pusterla of Milan, and other feudatories, were supporting
the insurrection. It was also encouraged by Giovanni del Verme, lord of
the Romagna, a personal enemy of the duke, and by Beatrice Trivulzio,
who being incensed against Paul III. for conceding the port of the Po
in Piacenza to Michelangelo Bonaroti, excavated a new harbour, and
deprived the divine architect of his reward.

The duke collected an army, and, as soon as he felt able to contest
the field, demanded from some of his enemies the restitution of his
dominions in their possession, claiming that these lands and feuds had
been ceded to them by his predecessors to the prejudice of the ducal
rights. The Pallavicini, who were particularly included in this demand,
made such preparations as were possible to secure their own rights and
repel all the duke’s attempts at aggression.

The estates of the Pallavicini and Fieschi were separated only by a
little stream; and the count seeing a war cloud on the horizon, so
near to his own fields, visited his feuds in the summer of 1546, under
pretence of watching over his property. He spent some time at Lavagna,
Montobbio, and Pontremoli. Here he collected his dependents, formed
them into companies, and held musters and reviews. He would have gone
farther, if the emperor, fearing that the Pallavicini dispute with
Pierluigi would excite a general Italian war, and so distract his
attention from his campaign against the Smacalda league in Germany, had
not sent peremptory orders to Don Ferrante Gonzaga, who had succeeded
to Marquis Vasto in the government of Milan, to pacify the quarrel,
threatening the whole weight of the imperial displeasure against any
who should refuse his mediation.

The duke was induced to lay down his arms by the shrewd Pontiff, who
did not wish an open rupture with Cæsar, and Count Fieschi was chosen
by Farnese as arbiter of the rival claims. These two--Farnese and
Fieschi--had been on intimate terms some years before, at the time
when the former came to Genoa, (1542), in company with Annibal Caro
and Appollonio Filareto, his secretaries, to pay homage to the emperor
and to ask a congress in the name of the Pope--the congress which took
place in Busseto.

Fieschi, mindful of old ties, conducted the negociation with so much
dexterity that he obtained from Pallavicini more than the duke had
dared to hope. A friendly and familiar correspondence always continued
between them, as several letters we have had in our hands prove. Among
them there is one of the 3rd of February, 1546--now preserved among the
Farnesian papers in Parma--in which the count recommends to the duke
a master-workman, Giacomo Merello, “a maker of cannon of rare skill
in his profession,” who had a law-suit with another master workman in
Parma. In these letters the count acknowledges that he has received
many favours from the duke.

In their many interviews in Piacenza, Farnese, who knew what had been
said and done at Rome, spoke freely of his hatred towards Cæsar, who
had openly favoured the Pallavicini, and who was a constant enemy of
the advancement of the Farnese family. He avowed that he was ready to
throw himself into any undertaking which should promise him revenge.
The count in his turn, enlarged on the enmity between himself and the
Dorias, the oppressors of his country, on the plots of Gianettino,
already known to him, and finally asked the assistance and support of
the duke in his contemplated insurrection. It is needless to say that
the duke gave liberal promises of aid in a work which would take away
the influence of the Dorias, his hereditary enemies, and doubtless add
something to his personal importance and wealth.

Meantime Gianluigi, who could ill tolerate delay, enlisted in his
service a large number of men, then just discharged from the ducal
army, and distributed them among his most remote castles. Having
returned to the city, he kept Farnese advised, by frequent messengers
and letters of all his movements and successes. Some of these letters
are now passing through the press. In one of these, dated the 17th of
April, he complains to the duke that Gianettino had given him an order
from Cæsar to send his fourth galley to cruise for pirates; he speaks
of plots woven for him by the young admiral, and asks the advice of

The Duke advised that his plans be hurried forward, and mentioned, as
a special inducement, that Renèe, of France, duchess of Ferrara, had
again offered French aid through Pierluigi. But it is certain that the
count made no more use of this offer than he had made of others like it.

We find in ancient chronicles a statement which would be greatly to
the credit of both Farnese and Fieschi. They had, according to these
writers, laid the foundations of a league common to all the Italian
princes, the object of which was to remove from the Peninsula every
vestige of foreign power; but historical fidelity compels us to say
that we have found no document which clearly proves the fact. In July,
the count went to Montobbio, drilled his vassals in military exercises,
and put his castles in such a state of defence as to be able to resist
a long siege. He then went through, one after another, his principal
feuds. It is worth our while to touch in passing upon the condition of
some of them at the time of which we write.

Passing along the Eastern Riviera from Genoa, the count would first
enter into Recco. It was then a large borough with three hundred and
seventy-four fires, and he had built in it a superb palace called the
Astrego. He drew from this feud select mariners, to man his galleys. He
visited Roccatagliata and Cariseto, castles of considerable strength.
He added to their defences and supplied them with provisions. We find
that he spent some time at the castle of Varzi, on the slope of Penice,
formerly one of the principal fortresses of the Malaspini, near Bobbio.
He remained longer still in Lavagna. This region, though not then so
prosperous as it was before Frederick II., reduced it to a desert,
(1245) and levelled the fourteen castles which the counts had built
there, was yet a feud of considerable importance, on account of its
slate quarries.

The Lavagna property included, to say truth, only a little group of a
hundred and thirty-six houses, but the surrounding country was adorned
with many burghs, as Centurion, San Salvatore, the earliest seat of
the Fieschi family, Cogorno and Brecanecca, forming in all five hundred
and seventeen fires and six churches. Besides the valley of Lavagna
was full of little estates and burghs, such as Torre, Vignale, Villa
Fronte, Aveglio, Cortemiglio, Rimaglio, Pregio, Bausalo and Oneto.
Lavagna was the heart of the Fieschi dominion. From this point it was
easy to lay hands on the Lombard provinces or to draw thence men and
arms. In those days the burgh of Sestri, close by, was one of the
most busy points of transit, and was the best station from which to
send goods into Lombardy. Merchandise was transported from Sestri to
Castiglione, and ten miles only remained to Varese, also the property
of the Fieschi. It counted two hundred fires, and was prosperous with
the trade of Lombardy. Then, crossing the Apennines, twelve miles of
travel brought the merchant to Val di Taro, a burgh of one hundred and
fifty houses, which overlooked forty-two villages, subject to Count

Having examined his resources and put his castles in a state of
defence, constructing strong outer walls, for those which seemed to him
to be weak, under pretence of “fortifying himself against the Duke of
Piacenza, who was too fond of his neighbour’s property,” he passed over
to Pontremoli.

Leandro Alberti, who visited this noble and luxurious castle about that
period, says that it stood near the mouth of the Magra, and at the foot
of the Apennines. It was fortified by three fortresses, and numbered
eight hundred houses, while its jurisdiction embraced forty-eight
contiguous burghs, not to mention the valleys of Volpedo, Rosano,
Zeiri, and the hamlets along the banks of the Crania, which counted one
thousand and eight hundred fires. Giustiniani says that the lord of
Pontremoli could easily put under arms two thousand men.

Gianluigi spent some time here, having conferences with Count Galeotto
Mirandola, the Pusterla and Cybo, the marquises of Valdimagra, the
Bentivoglio, the Strozzi and others, who were restless under the
imperial yoke; and in these negociations he was ably seconded by
Catando d’Arimini and by Giulio Pojano, to whom he had assigned the
command of his galleys.

The count did not return into the city until the end of autumn.
Pierluigi Farnese, to remove all suspicions of the plot, wrote many
letters to the Genoese government, and took great care to show his
anxiety to render every service or favour in his power. The object of
these letters, which may be said to contain little political wisdom,
was much more grave and serious than their tone implied. The golden
style of Caro, who dictated them, gives them a certain charm; but their
highest value lies in showing how skilfully Pierluigi and Fieschi
planned and worked to elevate their friends to office under the Doria
government, to get the control of public affairs out of the hands of
Andrea, and so pave the way to the success of their great insurrection.

One fact is very important. The doctors of the law and the magistrates
of the _Ruota_ always possessed large powers in the Republic, and
the practical operations of the government depended almost entirely
on their counsels. When Fieschi had made such military preparation as
seemed sufficient for a revolution, he naturally sought to get the
lawyers on his side, as the only class who could organize and maintain
the new government. By the aid of the Duke of Piacenza, he contrived
to place in the principal offices of the _Ruota_, and even in the
vicarate of the city, men who shared his own political views, and were
distinguished for political sagacity and administrative ability. On the
25th of May, 1486, duke Pierluigi wrote to the Doge and Governors that
M. Hettore Lusiardo, a gentleman and doctor of Piacenza and a person of
great learning, desired to obtain an appointment in the _Ruota_ of the
Republic. And he adds, “I am greatly pleased to see my vassals honoured
according to their merits, and I cheerfully use my influence to advance
them to such positions as they desire. On this occasion I hope your
highnesses may lend a favourable ear to my intercession on behalf of
Messer Hettore, since in employing this person you will at once gratify
me and secure the services of a man worthy of your esteem, as he will
show when put to the proof.”

In another letter of December 17th, he renewed the same request:
“Writing on another occasion, I have asked your favour for Messer
Hettore Lusiardo, one of my Piacentine gentlemen and doctors, and a
person of rare personal qualities, who desires a place in the _Ruota_
of your city. Wishing much that he may obtain his request, I repeat my
recommendations in the strongest possible terms; and if you can give
him such a place as he desires, you will not only serve a person worthy
of your confidence and the favour he asks, but also do me a great

In another letter of the 24th of November, we read: “M. Bernardo
Alberghetti da Rimini, at whose request I write, is a doctor in law of
much learning, long practice, and strict integrity--qualities which
I know him to possess, both from the reports of others and from my
personal experience, having employed him for many months. He would
still be in my service but that I have no employment of moment for
him, and he deserves something better than a subordinate position. He
wishes to enter into the _Ruota_ of your most noble city as a means of
advancement, and hopes that my recommendation may have some value with
your Excellencies. I esteem him to be, as I have said, a person of most
excellent qualifications, and I doubt not I shall have well served your
interests in sending him to you, and I therefore the more boldly pray
you for love of me to give him your approval.”

In the same year the official term of the vicar of the city expired,
and the office was of such importance that the conspirators exerted
themselves to fill it with a person entirely devoted to their
interests. On the 13th of September, Farnese wrote: “When Count Fieschi
was last in Piacenza, I warmly recommended to him Mr. Camillo Villa, a
Piacentine doctor in law, and urged him to ask from your Excellencies
in my name the office of vicar in your city for this person. Though
I am certain that the count would not fail in doing me this service,
and believe that I may rely much upon your courtesy to me, and though
I have recently by letter renewed my request to the count, yet I deem
it not discourteous, as the time for filling this post draws near, to
recommend Mr. Camillo directly to your excellencies. Should you grant
my request, you will both secure to your city an officer who will
always serve you well and do me a personal kindness.”

It is hardly necessary to say that Farnese obtained from the Senate
all these appointments. Secret as were these intrigues, they did not
escape the acute eyes of Panza, who inferred that the count was engaged
in some conspiracy. He therefore took opportunities for watching his
movements and his manners; and finding that the count withdrew from
his former familiarity with his old tutor, he was led by his affection
to admonish him of the dangers before him. But Gianluigi broke off his
reproofs with ill-concealed impatience and answered him with the words
of Cato: “If I believed that the shirt I wear knew the secrets of my
heart, I would tear it off and give it to the flames.” Then checking
his impetuous speech, he added that he would do nothing that should not
be worthy of his own fame and that of his ancestry.

Panza was not the only person to suspect the count of some conspiracy
against the power of Cæsar. John Vega, ambassador of Spain at Rome,
conceived doubts of his fidelity, and set Ferrante Gonzaga to watch his

Gonzaga sent to Prince Andrea his secretary, Maone, with the letters of
Vega and other documents which referred to a conspiracy, believed to be
forming by Gianluigi.

Andrea rejected the tale as the work of some malignant slanderers, and
replied that he knew Fieschi was not a man to conspire against the

Though the purchase of the pontifical galleys was a sharp thorn in the
side of Gianettino, who aspired to an exclusive dominion of the seas,
yet it was not an act sufficiently singular to awaken the suspicions of
the Dorias.

The most wealthy families were accustomed to arm galleys; and the Sauli
had negociated for the purchase of these same triremes, intending to
use them in their maritime enterprises.

The behaviour of Fieschi contributed still more to remove from the
minds of Gianettino and the prince every shadow of suspicion. He
frequently visited Andrea and congratulated him that, though more
than eighty years of age, he enjoyed vigorous health; and he was so
affectionate and obsequious to Gianettino that the young admiral tried
to obtain for him a suitable rank in the imperial army. It should not
be forgotten, however, that one motive of Gianettino was, to remove
Fieschi from Genoa, as the only one likely to make an effective
opposition in his personal ambition. It is certain that from the time
Vega declared Gianluigi to be engaged in machinations against the
empire, Gianettino conspired to remove from his path the only person
who could be an obstacle to his own advancement. He only awaited
Andrea’s death to put off the slight mask which he had hitherto worn;
and in expectation of that event he had entrusted to Captain Lercaro
the business of assassinating the count. This was proved by letters
of Gianettino which fell into the hands of Fieschi, and were by him
shown to many persons; though the writers in the interest of the empire
asserted that these documents had been forged by Gianluigi.

About this time a messenger in the confidence of Cæsar brought word
to the count that Andrea’s solicitations on behalf of his nephew were
about to be successful, and that Gianettino would soon be invested
with absolute power, on the same conditions as those by which Casimo
II. had ten years before been raised to the government of Florence.
This report, whether true or false, was circulated among the friends
of the count, and doubly inflamed their resentment. They resolved, in
their indignation, not to procrastinate longer the deliverance of the
Republic, and to strike down with one blow the ambitious youth who was
conspiring for supreme power.

The count’s first step was to recall from Civita-Vecchia the fourth
galley under the command of Giacobbe Conte, on pretence of arming it as
a privateer, and sending it to cruise against the Barbary commerce in
the east. He had two other ships ready to sail in neighbouring ports.
With these vessels he was able without exciting suspicion, to bring
into the city the troops concealed in his castles. He placed some of
them on board his triremes; others were concealed in his own house and
those of his fellow-conspirators.

Verrina was the soul of every movement. He knew all the arts of
ingratiating himself with the plebeians, and winning their sympathies
to the cause of his master. He began to allude in guarded phrases to
the necessity of a revolution in the interest of popular government;
and at the same time contrived to have many vassals of the count
enrolled in the permanent militia of the Republic. Many artisans and
mechanics to whom he gave presents, promised him the service of their
arms to rescue by force a castle of the count from some Florentine
merchants, who, he said, had seized it for debts. He was a man capable
of inventing traps and lures for all sorts of birds, and he enrolled no
one, whom he believed fitted for the work of the conspiracy, until he
had sounded the note best adapted to charm his recruit.

Calcagno, though he had dissuaded the count from drawing the sword,
was so overcome by his love for his young master, that he was the
most ardent worker in the conspiracy. He was assigned the office of
providing arms and provisions for the troops gradually being collected
and introduced into the city. Sacco was appointed to maintain order
and discipline among these soldiers. Ottobuono, brother of Gianluigi,
was sent to the court of France to secure the sympathy of the French
monarch for the cause of the approaching revolution.

The Republic was at this moment without a Doge, Giovanni Battista di
Fornari having retired from the magistracy. The galleys were idle and
without crews, because the season was unpropitious for navigation.
There were few of the permanent militia in the city, and these for the
most part were devoted to Gianluigi. Giulio Cybo and other marquises
of Valdimagra, had a considerable force ready to break into the city
at the first opportune moment. The plebeians were ripe for revolution;
the Dorias and nobility without the least suspicion. All things seemed

Such was the condition of Genoa on the eve of the conspiracy.
“Strange,” says Cardinal de Retz, “ten thousand persons in Italy were
awaiting the outbreak of the insurrection, and there was not one to
betray the plot.”[41]

We ought not, in my judgment, to decide upon the merits of this
conspiracy according to the views of our own time, in which political
movements are discussed on principles of justice, but rather to give
the conspirators the benefit of the opinions and politics of their
own age. The doctrines of Macchiavelli, on which Gianluigi had formed
his principles, aim at the immediate interests of states and derive
principles from facts. The theory of Guicciardini is the same. Whoever
undertakes to philosophise on the political ideas of the sixteenth
century will find that State policy never professed any higher creed
than utility, and that those who were ambitious of repute as statesmen
were not bound by a public moral sentiment to show the justice of
their methods for obtaining desirable ends. Whoever had introduced on
the scenes of state craft abstract maxims of morality would have been
hissed off as a fool. The creed ran thus:--“Do you wish to free your
country? Caress the tyrant and then kill him. Your dagger is sharper
than the eyes of his satellites. Audacity and courage are everything.
He who falters for an instant is undone. Every means is just which
leads to success.”

Gianluigi held these maxims and he could not lay them aside without
freeing himself from the age in which he lived. It was natural,
therefore, that with his noble intention of destroying the empire of
the Dorias he should use every instrument which seemed adapted to
his purpose. His heart was bursting with suppressed rage; but his
serene look and urbane manners proclaimed him a peaceable and loyal
citizen. His nerves were strung with the spirit of revenge, but his
frank countenance, affable speech and good humour were those of a
mild-mannered and unruffled gentleman. Once only he broke out against
his rival with fierce invectives; but ever after he feigned content
and put to sleep his adversary’s vigilance while meditating his blow.
He knew no other paths to his end than those pointed out by the state
craft of his time. Why should he awaken suspicion in the Dorias when
all his interests said, “Deceive them”? It is folly to arm an enemy who
is delivering himself unarmed into your power. Such, we have said, was
the political morality of the speculative minds of that day.

In other respects Fieschi was counted virtuous and honourable and
uncorrupted in the bosom of a corrupt society; so that it is very
doubtful whether he had a natural son named Paolo Emilio who was
afterwards a captain in the pay of France, of which fact we find
mention in some memoirs. Fame said of him that he had never punished,
even in the slightest manner, any person in his service or vassalage.

He deceived the Dorias and betrayed them against faith; but only for a
political object. The high design of overthrowing one who had attempted
his assassination and of liberating his country ought, if it cannot
absolve him, to moderate the condemnation of posterity. Brutus, too,
was a deceiver and he is reputed great.

Whatever be the ideas of those who read in the nineteenth century,
it is clear that the statesmen of the sixteenth heartily approved of
Fieschi’s work. He was what these times made him. A stranger to the
spirit of the classic revolutions of the earlier part of his century,
to the ascetic revolts of Savonarola, to the paralytic ardours of
Soderini, he drank in with his Guelph principles the dissimulation of
Rome. An Italian and a disciple of Macchiavelli, he wished to liberate
his country without the aid of foreign arms.

A more favourable time could not have been desired. The outbreak of
the conspiracy would terrify Charles who was deep in the German wars;
Fieschi would be able to form close alliances with France, England,
Denmark and Turkey; he would stir the languid pulses of the Italians
and unite together Rome, Venice, Genoa, Parma and Ferrara; Lucca and
Siena, yet free, were ready to join the Italian confederacy; Naples and
Milan would raise their heads.

Three centuries more of abject servitude were reserved for Italy.



 Bloody propositions attributed to Verrina--The count repulses all
 treacherous plans--New schemes--The conspirators introduced into the
 city--Gianluigi pays his respects to Prince Doria--Gianettino removes
 the suspicions of Giocante and Doria--The supper of Gianluigi--The
 guests embrace the conspiracy--Eleonora Cybo and her presentiments.

EVERYTHING being now in readiness, the count called together a few of
his most trusted partisans to consult upon the time and plan of their

About this time were celebrated the espousals of Giulio Cybo, prince
of Massa and Carrara and brother of Eleonora Fieschi, with Peretta,
the sister of Gianettino. Verrina proposed that Gianluigi should give
a splendid banquet to the young couple which the Dorias would be
obliged to attend; and, that in the midst of the festivities, assassins
concealed for the purpose should fall upon and butcher them. We find
that Verrina sent a messenger to Milan to make purchases for the
banquet and that with these purchases he introduced into the palace
some chests filled with ammunition, swords, arquebuses, pikes and
halberds.[42] However, the count refused his assent to the proposition
as a violation of the laws of hospitality.

If we may believe Sigonio, Verrina formed another not less inhuman
project. An ecclesiastic of an illustrious family was about to
celebrate his first mass in the church of St. Ambrogio, and the Dorias,
Adamo Centurione, his son Marco, Figuerroa and other old nobles were
expected to be present. Verrina proposed to follow the example of the
Pazzi in Florence and of Olgiato in Milan and to assassinate them
while kneeling at the altar; then to rouse the city, take possession
of the senatorial palace, crown Fieschi with the diadem of the Doges
and put to the edge of the sword all who offered resistance. But this
atrocious design against the liberties of the republic is denied by
all the historians of the period. Even the writers most partial to the
Dorias tell us that Gianluigi rejected the temptation to assassinate
Gianettino under the shadow of the crucifix, though he was convinced
that he could find no better opportunity of crushing his rival at a
single blow.

The count abhorred bloodshed. In fact but little was spilled in all
the fierce civil commotions of Genoa. These revolutions resemble wars
of adventurers which have no other aim than to capture the enemy.
There was no fighting to the death; he who refused to yield the field
or broke the lines of his enemy was proclaimed conqueror without more
ado. He who got possession of the government palace seldom punished
his adversaries beyond confiscation of goods and banishment. Our
laws and our history are full of examples. Gianluigi contemplated
such a revolution and could not bring himself to approve schemes of
corruption and slaughter.

Other propositions were then made. Among these the most prominent was
that of awaiting the period for electing a new Doge, that is the fourth
of the following January. The entire nobility would then be assembled
in the government palace, and a single blow would sever the knot. The
plan seemed every way feasible and Gianluigi was disposed to follow it;
but it was abandoned because it was found Gianettino would be absent
and escape the vengeance of Fieschi. It was at length resolved to make
a bolder attempt on Christmas Eve, 1547 (old style.)

Orders were therefore issued on this plan to the corporals in the
city and to conspirators in other places, particularly to Gianluca
Fieschi, Giulio Cybo and the marquis of Valdimagra. A number of armed
men were introduced into the city under cover of the festivities of
that day on which the burghers are wont to flock into the city from
every direction. Much artifice was employed in bringing in the troops.
They entered in small bodies and by different gates, some even by
subterranean passages which conducted to the palace of the count.
Some wore the habit of mountaineers, others had various disguises. A
number were loaded with chains under pretence that they were criminals
condemned to serve on the galleys of the count. Some were lodged in
the houses of the conspirators, but the greater part in the palace in
Vialata and neighbouring houses. Still, the main body of the soldiers
was not brought within the walls, but distributed over mount Fasce and
contiguous heights, ready to enter the gates so soon as a smoke should
rise from the hill of Carignano. Such was the good order and discretion
of the conspirators that the Senate had not the faintest suspicion.

Early in the day count Fieschi, mounted upon a spirited jennet, rode
through the populous streets. He had never appeared so jovial and
composed, his strong will governing his impetuous nature.

We find in some letters of Sacco,[43] of which we shall speak in
another place, that a personage whose name is concealed held a
conference that day with the count in the palace of Vialata. This
person discoursed of the popular dislike for the Doria government, and
concluded by saying that the count had only to wish it to become master
of Genoa. It is easy to see, that the count brusquely repulsed the
insinuation. Sacco believed that this man had been sent by Gianettino
to pry into the plans and purposes of Fieschi; but it is now certain
that the Dorias were living in entire ignorance of the tempest
gathering over their heads. The unknown personage must have been one of
the spies whom Figuerroa kept on the trail of all the opponents of the
Spanish power in Italy.

Near the close of the day the count visited several families. He went
to the Doria palace, where, finding in the vestibule the children
of Gianettino with their father, he caressed and kissed them with
much tenderness. After some conversation he drew Gianettino aside
and begged him to make no opposition to the departure of some of his
vessels which were that night to sail for the Levant. He added that if
the vessels should discharge some fire-arms in the port, he hoped the
admiral would give himself no concern. He also requested Gianettino
to interpose his good offices with prince Doria in case the prince
should oppose the count’s plan of privateering. This plan was in fact
a violation of the treaty between the emperor and the Turks, because
the galleys of Fieschi would have sailed from a port over which Doria
was, as the admiral of Cæsar, master and guardian. Gianettino, not from
any love he bore the count, as a modern writer remarks, but because the
favour was of trivial importance, promised to use his influence with
the prince if it should become necessary, and gave to his captains the
order requested by Fieschi.

Afterwards, Gianluigi went to the apartment of Andrea who was lying in
bed suffering from pains and a fever. It happened that the prince was
at that moment in conversation with Gomez Suarez Figuerroa, who, having
received repeated messages from Gonzaga respecting the conspiracies of
Fieschi, had come to speak of the soldiers taken by the count from the
duke of Piacenza and other facts wearing an ambitious appearance. But
so soon as Andrea saw the count on his threshold, at the sight of the
ingenuous and courteous youth whom he loved almost as a son, he bent
his head to the ear of the minister and whispered,--“Tell me yourself
if it be possible that a base spirit can be concealed under that
angelic countenance.”[44]

After a brief conversation the count retired, mounted his superb jennet
and rode gracefully along the streets. Figuerroa exhausted all his arts
to remove the delusion of Doria but without success.

Shortly after, Andrea was on the verge of making the discovery by other
means, but in this case, by combinations of chance, Gianettino was the
person to dissipate his apprehensions. Giocante, of the Casa Bianca
family, who had once been in the service of the Venitians, had command
of the permanent militia.

He had distinguished himself in many actions and especially when
fighting with Doria at the head of a large body of Ligurians in favour
of France against the Bourbons, he raised the siege of Marseilles.
Colonel Giocante had received on this very day several messages
informing him that many soldiers of various detachments had left their
quarters and taken refuge in the house of Fieschi. Doria being in fact,
though not nominally, the head of the republic, Giocante informed him
and Adamo Centurione of what had occurred. As soon as he had read
the letter, Andrea called Gianettino and ordered him to provide for
the emergency; but Gianettino related the conversation he had just
held with the count and reasoned that the momentary desertion of a
few soldiers, who were probably vassals of the Fieschi and wished to
celebrate the day in Vialata, was of no importance. He concluded by
saying that Giocante attached consequence to frivolous matters, and so
entirely removed the suspicions of the prince.

The restless Verrina was not idle. At nightfall he collected, in the
house of Tomaso Assereto, more than thirty gentlemen whose families
had but recently been inscribed in the book of gold. Fieschi, after
leaving Doria went directly to this place and invited these new
noblemen to sup with him that night in Carignano. Arriving there
many were surprised to find, in place of festive preparations, the
halls filled with arms and armed men, strange faces and the din of
warlike preparation. They looked round for the count, but he had gone
to confer with Verrina and to learn whether he had visited all the
stations and the mustering places of the conspirators, whether the
Senate entertained any suspicions or his near neighbours the Sauli had
obtained any information of the conspiracy. Verrina assured him that
all was prepared and that none of their adversaries suspected their
preparations for revolution, and the count joined his guests.

These gentlemen, alarmed at finding the palace a camp rather than
a festive hall, gathered about him to learn the cause of these
extraordinary sights and sounds. Then the count changing his careless
look into one of stern purpose and striking the naked table with his
fist, broke out,--“The time so longed for by us, young friends, has at
last arrived. Our native land is to-night in our hands to be liberated
from the tyranny of the few and restored to a popular government.
This is my banquet, these are the festivals to which I have invited
you. You will never be invited to a more honourable feast. With the
approbation of Cæsar, (and if you wish I will show you the proofs and
letters.) Gianettino Doria grown to excessive power and riches has
long aspired to tyranny in Genoa. But finding me an obstacle to his
designs, because I am not less devoted to the public good and the
liberties of the nation than were my ancestors, he employs himself day
and night in conspiring against my life. He has often vainly tried
poison; now he trusts to the secret dagger. Who of you does not swell
with indignation at the insolence of the old nobility, who both in
their private life and in the public offices deprive you of honour and
hold you in derision? I tell you that more bitter and shameful things
are reserved for us. If we suffer so much to-day, what shall we have
when the patricians, with Gianettino at their head, shall have drawn
to themselves all public authority and reduced us to vassalage? You
will become a plebeian herd! Let us then grapple like heroes with evils
which overhang me, yourselves and the country. It is my design to kill
the ambitious tyrant and Doria himself, to capture their galleys, to
occupy the government palace and by destroying a few powerful enemies
to restore popular liberty.

“Even though the result of this enterprise were doubtful, I have such
confidence in your courage and patriotism, that I believe you would
not leave me to encounter the danger alone. But the city is now in
our power. Three hundred of my bravest men are with me, the greater
part of the soldiers who guard the government palace are my partisans.
The keepers of the gates are for us and await a preconcerted signal. A
galley rides at anchor in the port armed with a body of men unsurpassed
for equipment, strength and courage. One thousand and five hundred
artisans are in arms to follow me. Two thousand men from my castles are
at the gates. As many more from Piacenza will follow them. We have no
enemy before us. The night is serene and everything is propitious. You
will not be companions in the battle but spectators of a victory. Give
your love to your country; raise your courage, your confidence. The
glory and honour of this undertaking are not only yours to share but
yours to dispense.”

We have preferred to translate from the Latin of Bonfadio[45] this
speech of the count rather than to compose one in the style of
rhetoricians. Bonfadio, who was a witness of that revolt, thus clearly
displays the object of Fieschi to overthrow Gianettino who aimed to
master the republic and to build again the popular government. Still,
we are not able to agree with Bonfadio that the count intended to
assassinate Andrea; because what we have written tends to prove the
contrary, and still more because the murder of the old and decrepit
prince would have provoked universal condemnation, and finally because
the means of escape were left open to him. It was doubtless for the
interests of Bonfadio to receive this fable and incorporate it in his
history, to justify Doria’s sanguinary vengeance.

The words of Gianluigi powerfully moved his guests. They
enthusiastically offered to share the perils of the enterprise. Two,
Giovanni Battista Cattaneo-Bava and Giovanni Battista Giustiniano,
alone refused to take arms; not because they dissented from the
views of Fieschi, but because they trembled at the sight of muskets
and sabres. Some of their companions drew their daggers and wished
to assassinate the cowards on the spot; but Gianluigi interposed
and contented himself with confining them under guard to prevent
their revealing the conspiracy. This is a new proof of the count’s
unwillingness to shed blood.

Fieschi then placed, one by one, under the eyes of his companions the
letters of Pierluigi, of cardinal Farnese and of others, which clearly
showed that Gianettino aspired to royal state and, as if already
mounted to a throne, was planning the death of the count. A cry of
indignation burst from the whole company and all swore to liberate the
country and the count from the plots of the common enemy.

Fieschi then visited his wife whom he found immersed in the most
profound sorrow. The military preparation, the clang of arms and the
crowd filling the palace had too clearly revealed to her that a bloody
enterprise was on foot. He tried to console her, told her for the first
time the long history of his conspiracy and assured her that no danger
lay before him. But Eleonora strove to change his audacious purpose.
She kissed him, she hung upon his neck and exhausted her affectionate
acts to bend his resolute will. Pansa entered at that moment and he,
too, tried to divert him from the undertaking; but with no better
success than the countess Eleonora. Fieschi embraced his beloved spouse
whose tears moved his heart to profound pity; but his preparations were
made, and if he had wished it there was no place for retreat. When the
stern voice of Verrina called him from her arms, the tears disappeared
in an instant from his eye-lashes; the husband vanished and only the
conspirator remained. Eleonora fell lifeless into the arms of Pansa.

The count returned to the hall, ordered a frugal meal and then
distributed the arquebuses, pikes, spears, swords and coats of mail.
There was a story that at that moment the soot of the chimney caught
fire and that the cries of the countess filled the heart of the count
with painful forebodings. There were other fables; that a flock of
birds rising from the garden below flew off to the left, that during
the day his horse stumbled and nearly threw him from his saddle, that
a dog bayed long and mournfully, that setting his foot carelessly on
the threshold of his palace as he went out he nearly fell down. They
tell us that Calcagno, who was at his side at this moment, said to
him that according to the ancients sinister presages usually foretold
success, and then the count recovered his spirits and drawing his sword
said:--“Let us go,” leading the way to the street.

Thus far we have in these fables only the mania for classic imitation
which bewildered the historians of Gianluigi, and led them to underrate
his courage. Now come the calumnies. We are told that the count ordered
that whosoever moved from the ranks or hesitated should be run through;
that being asked on the way by a noble, who wished to save some friend,
whether all the nobility were to be butchered, he answered that all
should be slain beginning from his own nearest relatives. It is clear
that these romancers destroyed all confidence in their veracity by such

To disprove their partial statements it is only necessary to say that
Gianluigi himself had prevented the assassination of the two nobles who
had refused to follow him. He forbade an attack on the palace of Prince
Doria, and would not even consent that Sebastiano Lercaro should be
killed, though he knew that this person had accepted the commission of
Gianettino to assassinate himself.

Having drawn up his ranks and exhorted the men to prefer a glorious
death to preserving their lives by cowardice, he sent off one hundred
and fifty infantry to occupy the Borgo de’ Lanieiri, and marched down
the descent of San Leonardo followed by the gentlemen and by the select
part of his troops. The hour was about midnight.



 Measures taken by the Count--Occupation of the gate of the Archi
 and of San Tommaso--Death of Gianettino Doria--Fieschi did not seek
 the death of prince Doria--Schemes of Paolo Lavagna--Taking of the
 arsenal--Fall and death of Gianluigi--Flight of Andrea Doria to
 Masone--The place where Gianluigi was drowned--The several arsenals of
 Genoa--The death of Count Fieschi deemed a misfortune by the Italians.

HALTING for a moment at the foot of the hill, near the ancient houses
of the Frangipani, the count sent his brother Cornelio to capture
and hold the gate of the Archi in order to secure a way of retreat
to his castles in case the enterprise should fail. He directed his
brothers Ottobuono and Gerolamo, who had just returned from the court
of France, to hold themselves and their men in readiness to attack
the gate of San Tommaso at a preconcerted signal. The capture of
that strong place being an affair of moment, Calcagno was ordered to
support the attacking party with the main body of the troops. These
were the movements in the city. As for the harbour, Verrina had orders
to work his galley outside of the Mandraccio and up to the gates of
the arsenal, thus laying siege to the ships of Doria. Then Tommaso
Assereto, who, as an officer under Andrea, had the countersigns, was
to enter the arsenal, by fraud or force, on the land side. The great
stress of the enterprise lay in taking these ships of Doria, because
they constituted the emperor’s naval force and were able to command the
Mediterranean. Therefore, to make sure work at this point, the count
sent orders to Scipione Borgognino, one of his vassals and a brave
soldier, to embark the flower of the troops upon some floats which had
been prepared and to storm the arsenal on the sea side, and having
gained the inside to open the gates unless Assereto had already forced

The count reserved to himself no particular command, but was at liberty
to fly to the point of greatest need. He entered the city through the
gates of St. Andrea, passed down the streets of Prione and San Donato,
gained the piazza of Salvaghi and advancing to the bridge of Cattanei,
now destroyed, waited near Marinella until Verrina should inform him
with a discharge from a bombard that the attack on the arsenal was

He intended, having occupied the arsenal and mounted crews on the
galleys of Doria, to unite the various corps distributed through the
city and move to the assault of the Doge’s palace, the taking of
which would crown the enterprise with complete success. He employed a
subtle artifice to secure the death of Gianettino. It was reasonably
apprehended that the young admiral, awakened by the din which would
necessarily be made in the harbour and arsenal, would take refuge in
a galley which always rode at anchor under the prince’s palace. To
exclude this mode of flight, a large number of floats heavily laden
were placed, some days before, in front of this ship so as to render it
impossible to move her. Finally, it was agreed and ordered that the cry
used to arouse the plebeians and win their stout arms to the cause of
Fieschi should be:--“_The people and liberty_.”

This was the general plan of insurrection. At first every movement was
successful. Cornelio occupied the gate of the Archi with but little
bloodshed; but the fortress of San Tommaso proved a serious obstacle
to the conspirators. Captain Sebastiano Lercaro and his brother were
in command there. Both had the reputation of being valiant soldiers,
and they were thoroughly devoted to the Dorias to whom they owed their
rank in the permanent militia. As soon as they saw a large body of men
moving against them and heard the air ring with the name of Fieschi,
they prepared for a vigorous defence.

Captain Lercaro, who, according to rumour, had accepted a commission
to assassinate Fieschi, knew well that his own life and that of
his masters’ depended upon a successful resistance, and he exerted
himself with such spirit and prowess that he several times repulsed
the assailants with serious loss. But Gerolamo and Ottobuono returned
to the assault with undiminished courage, and Calcagno came to their
succour with reinforcements. The conflict now became too unequal. Many
of the soldiers of the government were killed and wounded, others threw
down their arms, while some turned their swords against those of their
companions who still faced the enemy.

Lercaro, seeing himself well-nigh abandoned and his brother stretched
at his feet by a blow from a halberd, surrendered to the Fieschi.
Manfredo Centurione, Vincenzo Promontorio, Vaccari and some other
officers and soldiers followed his example.

The palace of Prince Andrea stood within a stone’s throw of the gate of
San Tommaso which the Fieschi had now occupied. Gianettino, awakened
by the din of arms and fearing that there was a mutiny on his galleys,
determined to go immediately to the arsenal. His consort in vain urged
him with tears not to set foot outside the palace, as though she too
had sad presage of her destiny. In vain Andrea united his prayers to
those of his wife. “This, said the prince, is not a mutiny or quarrel
among our crews. It is the roar of battle.” A relentless destiny drew
the young admiral on to his fate. Still believing that it was some
disturbance among his own crews, he set forth for San Tommaso to obtain
troops to quell the disorder. He had only a page as an escort. The
flicker of his own lamp revealed him to his enemies, and rejoicing at
their good fortune they permitted him to approach and fall into their
net. Arriving at the walls, he demanded in his usual imperious tone
that the door be opened. At that moment, pierced by many pikes, he
fell in a pool of his own blood. It is now known that the first and
fatal blow was dealt by Agostino Bigelotti da Barga, a soldier of the

Gerolamo Fieschi now began to fortify his position. Gianettino, the
expected tyrant of Genoa, being dead, it was no longer desirable to
assail the Doria palace. The decrepit Andrea was not obnoxious to their
rage. He was in error or spoke falsely who wrote that Fieschi desired
the death of Prince Doria that he might plunder the splendid carvings,
sculptures and furniture of the Doria palace. The government itself by
the mouth of the lawyers of Padua, affirmed that Fieschi did not wish
to assault that house or to vent his wrath against the prince, towards
whom he felt no personal grudge. This is the most splendid testimony
that Gianluigi did not aspire to power but to liberate the Republic.
And if those who undertook to transmit to posterity the memory of
these events had studied the official documents, they could not have
distorted history by such grave errors. It is noteworthy, too, that the
name of France was not uttered on that fatal night.

Count Gerolamo left his brother Ottobuono to guard the gates and
marched through the principal streets to arouse the people for the
national cause. The word liberty, rung in the ears of people but
yesterday despoiled of rights which they had enjoyed for centuries,
produced a marvellous effect in the deep midnight silence. New crowds
crying, “_Gatto and liberty_” gathered around the Fieschi standard.
The very women who, when the first uproar called their husbands and
brothers into the streets, clung to them with tears, when they heard
the name of Fieschi hushed their sobs and uttered cries of joy. Such
was the power of that name. The night was now dark; the confusion and
the terror became indescribable. The shouts of the populace and the
blare of the trumpets filled the old nobles with mortal dismay, and
closing their massive doors they did not venture to set foot in the

Suarez Figuerroa, the minister of Cæsar, who had foreseen the
conspiracy, though he had not believed the outbreak so near, was seized
with a mortal fright, and wandered half insane through the streets in
search of a way of escape from the city. Paolo Lasagna encountered him
and dissipated his personal fears by assuring him that however the
conflict might end, the character which the minister of Cæsar bore
would perfectly protect him from harm, and conducted him to the ducal
palace. Lasagna, though he was not opposed, being a new noble, to the
movement on foot, yet being a follower of the Adorni party, he thought
the occasion propitious for the restoration of his friends to power.
Therefore collecting some of his political sympathisers, he conferred
with them, and they decided to wait until the balance should incline
in favour of one or other of the contending parties. If the attempt of
the Fieschi should be crushed, they would do nothing. But if it should
triumph, then they would unite with the Spinola party and rouse the
city with the cry of Barnaba Adorno. For the present, they would watch
the course of the storm and see whom it destroyed.

As we have said, the Ducal office was at that time vacant, and
Nicolò Franco was administering the government. Besides Lasagna and
Figuerroa, there were collected about him in the palace Cardinal
Gerolamo Doria and Prince Adamo Centurione who had taken refuge there
at the first sounds of revolution. On receiving intelligence of the
assault on the gate of San Tommaso, they sent to reinforce it Bonifacio
Lomellini, Cristoforo Pallavicini and Antonio Calvi with fifty men
of the Ducal guard. The reinforcement had hardly reached the street
Fossatello when it was surrounded and badly handled. The survivors
with difficulty gained the Centurione palace and took shelter there.
Francesco Grimaldi, Domenico Doria and some other nobles had taken
refuge in this palace. They reproached the fugitive soldiers with their
cowardice and offered to lead them against the enemy. Though but few in
number they advanced boldly against the revolutionists at San Tommaso;
but Calcagno made a vigorous sortie and routed them, killing some and
capturing others.

The count’s enterprise was moving with full sails. Tommaso Assereto,
who was appointed to carry the arsenal by a _coup de main_, arrived
at the door and giving the countersign was about to enter without
bloodshed, when his enthusiastic men sprang from under cover to enter
with him and the garrison rushing to arms repulsed them with serious
loss. The first attempt having failed, they went to the count who was
awaiting the result of the attack in the street of Maruffi near the
piazza San Pancrazio. He was fretting wrathfully because his ears
had not yet been saluted by the bombard as arranged with Verrina.
At the news of the repulse, he broke into imprecations upon their
cowardice, and ordered Scipione Borgognino to embark at once on the
floats and attack the arsenal by sea, while he in person led the attack
by land. To assail a strong fortress with boats is a very perilous
undertaking and it would not have been attempted but for the fierce
ardour of Borgognino who, though not seconded by the galley of Verrina,
determined to risk the assault.

Unfortunately the galley of Verrina was stationed in that part of the
port which is called the Mandraccio, and when he attempted to work her
towards the arsenal, she struck full on a sand bank under water, and
held so firmly that their utmost efforts could not get her afloat.
This was the cause of Verrina’s unexpected delay. At length, however,
by superhuman exertion and enthusiasm they succeeded in lifting her
off the bar and, with three other frigates, which had that same night
arrived in port (as we read in the report of the Republic to Ceva
Doria) moved forward to the assistance of Borgognino. The latter
had overcome every resistance and driven the defenders from every
defensible part of the works, and the count, hearing the roar of the
battle within, assailed the gates at the moment Borgognino, beating
down all opposition, rushed into the arsenal and ran to open it to his

A more complete success could not have been hoped for by the
conspirators. Of all their attacks that of Assereto only had failed,
and that chiefly because the disaster of the galley had prevented a
simultaneous assault by sea and land.

The night was dismal; the sea stormy; the cries of the Doria slaves,
the clanking of their chains and the disorder of the assailants
rendered the arsenal a scene of indescribable confusion. The count,
seeing the necessity of preventing revolt among the galley slaves
who were breaking their chains, with his natural audacity threw
himself on board the galley in which the greatest disorder reigned,
manned it with his own men and gave the command of it to some of his
most trusted followers. Order was soon restored and he resolved to
go into the city. He attempted to pass from the _Capitana_ to the
_Padrona_ which was moored by the side of the former. But the shock
of a float suddenly striking against them drove the vessels apart and
the frail and imperfectly fastened bridge which connected them fell,
carrying him with it down into the sea. With him fell the hopes of the
revolutionists. Though the count was an able swimmer, he could not save
himself on account of being encumbered with arms, and in the darkness
and confusion no aid was rendered him.

This is the history of his death according to the writers of the time,
with the addition that the count and Gianettino perished in the same
moment. But as the water in the arsenal was not deep and the count’s
strength and skill as a swimmer must have enabled him to save himself
in spite of his armour, we are inclined to adopt the opinion of
Campanaceo that he struck his temples against the bridge in falling and
either fell senseless into the waves, or was so weakened by the blow as
to be unable to make any exertion. In fact, when the corpse was taken
from the water the head was found to have suffered a severe contusion.

Meanwhile, Prince Doria seeing that Gianettino did not return and
hearing the cries and tumult among the galleys, despatched messenger
after messenger to learn the occasion of the unwonted uproar. Captain
Luigi Giulia at length brought him word that the Fieschi were in arms
and the city ringing with their name. The old admiral fumed with
vexation that his decrepitude forbade him to mingle in the fray. He
was induced by the tears of Princess Peretta and the entreaties of his
servants to send his wife into the adjacent convent of the _Canonici
Regolari di San Teodoro_ and the widow of Gianettino with her children
into the monastery of Gesu and Maria. Then mounting on horseback,
escorted by Giulia, Count Filippino and four servants, he rode to
Sestri whence he went upon a small oared bark to Voltri, and thence
sent information of the revolution to the duke of Florence and Gonzaga
in Milan, who were the only zealous partisans of the imperial cause in
Italy. He was then placed in a palanquin and carried to the castle of
Masone, a feud of Adamo Centurione, fifteen miles distant from Genoa in
the heights of the mountains. In this painful journey, he read upon the
faces of his attendants the fate of Gianettino and wept bitter tears,
over it, but his grief was partly soothed by the hope of immolating
the whole Fieschi family to his terrible vengeance.

The first part of this conspiracy thus ended in a great misfortune;
but it saved the Republic by Gianettino’s death. There can be no doubt
that, had he survived he would have gratified his own lust of dominion
and fulfilled the wishes of Cæsar, who desired to divide Italy into
principalities subject to himself and founded on the ruins of the
republics averse to his empire.

The body of Gianettino was buried in the subterranean chapel of San
Matteo which is now adorned with the monument of Andrea, a beautiful
work of Montorsoli.

A brief episode will be permitted us here on the place in the harbour
where Gianluigi was drowned. It is necessary to confute the error of
those who tell us it occurred in the station of Mandraccio. The mistake
arose from the confusion of various arsenals whose true position has
been lost in the great changes wrought by time. The first arsenal of
which we shall speak was nothing more than a small basin near the
piazza Molo, protected in 1276 by a strip of land covered with heavy
stones and palissades. Then galleys were built there. At an earlier
period ships were constructed along the Borgo di Pre, then outside the
walls, particularly in front of the commandery of St. John and near the
basin of St. Limbania.

It is difficult to comprehend how the Genoese, without any tolerable
dockyards, were able in so short a time to put to sea the memorable
fleets which sailed for Palestine, and the two sent against Pisa in
1120 and 1126. The first Pisan expedition numbered eighty galleys, four
large ships, thirty-five gatti, twenty-eight calabi and other small
craft manned by twenty-two thousand combatants; and the second counted
eighty triremes and forty-three boats. We have credible testimony that
the Genoese equipped, in seven years, six hundred and twenty-seven
triremes; and in 1295, in less than a month, they put to sea two
hundred galleys and other ships of which one hundred and five were
entirely new, and embarked on them thirty-five thousand warriors, eight
thousand of whom were dressed in silk and purple. The founder of the
arsenal of which we speak was a certain Oliverio a cistercense monk of
the Badia of St. Andrea in Sestri. He constructed two roads on that
strip of land, of which we have made mention, leading down to the gate
of the Molo, where there was already a bridge of large stones on which
rose a light-house for the convenience of mariners. In the same year,
Marin Boccanegra raised a high wall around the Borgo di Molo which was
then outside of the piazza of that name. This wall ran from the church
of Our Lady of Grace along the shore to the tower of the light-house,
then, turning, it passed behind San Marco and in front of Bordigotto
famous in popular legends for its fountain of blood and here Boccanegra
excavated the little port which was called Mandraccio. Here was moored
the galley of Fieschi, and the shallowness of the water rendered it
difficult to work her out into the harbour. We find in fact that
though the excavations of Boccanegra are described as very deep, yet
that there was not sufficient water in any part of the Mandraccio to
float heavy galleys. Some years after the attempt of Fieschi, that is
in 1575, that part of the port which lies between the Ponte Cattanei
and the little mole of Mandraccio then called the _Goletta_ was dried
under the direction of the Sicilian engineer Anastasio, and the rocks
lying at the bottom of it were broken up and excavated for the distance
of twenty palms.

To enlarge this arsenal and protect it from the fury of the waves,
Boccanegra commanded, in 1283 the colossal structure of the Molo
extending it one hundred and fifteen cubits into the sea. On the
opposite side of the arsenal, rose the Ponte Cattanei, called by the
name of the family who built it, and there was a passage by an easy
stair to the Ponte di Mercanzia which led to the Portofranco and the
Custom House. The latter occupied the ground floor of the bank of St.
George, a palace which was adorned in 1262 with some marbles taken from
the palace of the Venitians in Constantinople. To the right of the bank
stood, and still stands, the Ponte Reale and next it those of Spinola,
Legna and Calvi. In the vicinity of this last, the third arsenal was
begun in the period of which we write, and behind it a fourth was
afterwards constructed.

The third arsenal, situated between the church of S. Fede and S.
Antonio, was built in 1282 and ten thousand marks of the booty taken in
Pisa in 1215 were appropriated for its construction. It was afterwards
doubled in size and half of it was appropriated to the wine trade and
the collection of duties on the same. The other part was used as a
station for galleys.

Gianluigi on the night of the 2nd of January, passed from the street
of Maruffi by way of Sottoripa to that part of the arsenal which was
used for the trade in wine, and the gate of that part was opened by
his men. From this gate he passed into the back part of the arsenal,
where the Doria galleys lay, and there he was drowned and buried in the
muddy bottom of the dock. He could not have met his fate in the fourth
arsenal, which is the one existing in our day, because it was then
unoccupied. Though begun in 1457 the works had fallen into ruin from
the want of skill in the builders, and, they were not reconstructed
until 1596.

The news of Fieschi’s death was received by the liberal spirits of
Italy as a national misfortune. Matteo Bandello a month after the event
wrote:--“He was a young man of great heart and excellent speech; his
literary studies and the instructions of the learned and virtuous Paolo
Panza had given him a maturity of judgment wonderful for his years.
There is no learned man of Italy or France who had not commended him
for his rare virtues, his intellectual gifts and the greatness of soul
which led him though so young to combine everything with admirable
prudence for freeing his country from the Spanish yoke.”[46]

Nor ought we to omit that opinion which, according to the same author,
was expressed by Catando d’Arimini who lived on intimate terms with
the count. Catando said:--“In a conference held at Montebrano by the
Fregosi, you, my masters, justly commended Gian Aloise Fieschi, for he
truly deserved your praise. But I think that the most of you honoured
his memory with your good opinion on the basis of the current estimate
of his great virtues and singular mental accomplishments. But if you
had known him as familiarly as I, the day would be too short to express
your admiration. If I wished to recount to you all his merits, it would
be easy to begin but impossible to finish my discourse. I shall omit
then his birth which opened for him the paths to honour, his boyhood
which impressed all the Genoese with boundless expectation of his
future, the prematurely ripened intelligence which he used in winning
the love of the people and the good will of the nobility, so that the
people adored him and the nobles admired and esteemed him. I forbear to
enlarge on the repute which he had among the peasants of the Eastern
Riviera and in the mountains towards Parma and Piacenza; on the fact
that his vassals never complained of the slightest injustice, and that
he was so liberal when they were in want that they adored him as a
Providence, and that his neighbours had the highest respect for his
wisdom. I pass by his affection for his brothers whom he wished to be
honoured as himself, that he loved and aided his friends with fraternal
warmth and avenged injuries with a prompt hand.” The orator concluded
by saying that the most distinguished proof of Fieschi’s greatness was
that he attempted great enterprises. We shall not dwell on the people’s
grief over the death of Gianluigi. It kept alive his memory in national
songs and mariner’s hymns, which are so full of patriotic fervour that
they deserve to be collected and preserved. To justify this opinion,
we give two stanzas of a popular song preserved in a codex of Beriana
the subject of which is the death of the count, the sorrow felt by the
Genoese at his loss and their high estimate of his merits.

    E se l’alto e magnanimo desìre
  La fallace fortuna fece vano,
  Non vi si può imputar, non si può dire
  Che v’abbi offeso alcun valore umano;
  Che per voler nel mondo voi ferire
  Non era in terra così ardita mano:
  Ma un elemento solo ebbe per sorte
  Di farsene sepolcro e darvi morte.

    A gran pianto e dolor restiamo noi
  Che seguitiam vostre vestigie in terra:
  Perchè rimasti siamo senza voi
  Che padre erate agli nomini di guerra,
  Come se senza i chiari raggi suoi
  Lasciasse il sole in tenebre la terra;
  Chi sarà senza voi mai piu giocondo?
  Spento il vostro valor fu oscuro il mondo.



 Gerolamo Fieschi continues the insurrection in his own
 name.--Consultations at the Ducal palace and fighting at
 San Siro.--The news of the death of Gianluigi discourages
 the insurgents.--Paolo Panza carries to Gerolamo the decree
 of pardon.--Verrina and others set sail for France.--The
 African slaves escape with Doria’s galley.--Sack of Doria’s
 galleys.--Return of Andrea and his thirst for vengeance.--Decree
 of condemnation.--Scipione Fieschi and his petitions to the
 Senate.--Schemes and intrigues of Doria to get possession of the
 Fieschi estates.--Destruction of the palace in Vialata.--Traditions
 and legends.

WHEN Verrina had secured possession of the arsenal he landed and
marched to meet the count; but, learning that Gianluigi had entered
the palace on the opposite side, he halted his men and awaited the
orders of his master. He could find no trace of the count from the
moment he had gone on board the Capitana, and after some delay he went
to that vessel and finding her bridge broken began to suspect what
had happened. His courage did not fail him. He immediately ordered
the waters to be searched all around the galley, and having satisfied
himself of the fate of his master would not allow the body to be taken
up lest the sight of it should discourage his men. He left the arsenal
in the charge of Tommaso Assereto and marched into the city, sending
the diver who had found the body to report their great calamity to
Gerolamo Fieschi. At the same time he requested an interview with
Gerolamo in order to devise means to conduct their enterprise without
the inspiration of its master spirit.

Gerolamo Fieschi, though full of audacity had not a hundreth part of
his brother’s talents. Seeing that the death of Gianluigi had invested
him with the headship of the family, he relied on the fidelity of
his vassals and fellow-conspirators, and resolved to prosecute the
revolution in his own name. But, overburdened by grief and weighty
thoughts, he suffered Verrina’s messenger to depart without any
adequate answer. This neglect lost him the powerful support of
Verrina’s genius and threw the weight of the undertaking upon himself,
a youth with no training or talent for so great an enterprise. He
gathered about him a select body of militia and marched towards the
Ducal palace, hoping to crown the conspiracy by a single blow.

As we have said some Senators were assembled in this palace; and among
them was the historian Bonfadio in company with Giovanni Battista

A consultation was held after the news of the failure at San
Tommaso, and it was determined to cease offering armed resistance
to the conspirators and to endeavour to restore peace by friendly
negotiations. Some persons offered to be the bearers of a peaceful
message to the count; these were Gerolamo Fieschi and Benedetto
Fiesco-Canevari, both of the Savignone branch of the family; but
leaving the Ducal palace they did not again return thither.

Cardinal Gerolamo Doria and senators G. B. Lercaro and Bernardo
Interiano-Castagna were then commissioned to carry to the count
a request in the name of the Republic to desist from his violent
proceedings and make known the object of his movement. But the
commissioners having walked a short distance outside of the chancel,
seeing arms and crowds of people, were terrified and turned back. At
the moment, the guard of the palace, not seeing the senators, fired on
the crowd wounding some persons and killing Francesco Rizzo an honoured
citizen. The senators regained the hall, and a new deputation was
appointed consisting of Agostino Lomellini, Giovanni Imperiale-Baliano,
Ansaldo Giustiniani and Ambrogio Spinola, citizens of the highest
rank and reputation. This deputation went in search of the count; but
near the church of San Siro, they found the streets thronged with
insurgents, and a combat occurred between the guard acting as escort
for the senators and the people. It was a confused nocturnal battle and
the soldiers were repulsed and fell back with the deputation.

In that midnight skirmish, Lomellini, after barely escaping death,
was taken prisoner and conducted to San Tommaso; but he had the good
fortune to make his escape during the same night. The brave Giustiniani
alone refused to yield or fly and demanded permission to pass on, as a
peace messenger, to the quarters of Count Fieschi. He was led to the
presence of Gerolamo and inquired for the Count of Lavagna. Gerolamo
brusquely informed him that there was no longer any Count Fieschi but
himself, and added that until the Ducal palace was delivered to his
forces it would be a waste of words to make propositions. He would talk
of peace after the surrender of the government into the hands of his
partisans. With these words, Giustiniani was dismissed and the troops
ordered to collect in the piazza of San Lorenzo and in front of the
adjacent palace.

Giustiniani, justly inferred from Gerolamo’s incautious speech that
the rumour of the death of Gianluigi had good foundation, and that
the conspiracy, having lost its able leader, would be easily crushed
under the management of a young man without reputation or the support
of popular affection. He returned to the palace in haste, informed the
senator that Gianluigi was dead, and encouraged them to a spirited

The government recovered its confidence, sent heralds to proclaim
with the sound of the trumpet the death of Gianluigi and ordered the
nobles to arm their servants and dependents. These last orders were
unnecessary. So soon as the trumpeters announced the fate of the great
leader, the multitudes of plebeians were seized with terror, the lines
of the troops thinned rapidly and the squares and streets began to be

The artisans and mechanics, particularly, who were not attached to
Gerolamo by the memory of kindness or by the affection of vassals had
no longer a cause to maintain and they retired in despair to their
homes. It was almost day break. The best and most liberty-loving
citizens felt that the enterprise had fallen into the waves with
Gianluigi, and fearing to be seen in arms when the day dawned and thus
to expose themselves to the vengeance of the patricians, made haste
to abandon the field of victory. Many others who had stood ready to
throw themselves into the ranks of the victors now sought the security
of their own houses. All seemed to accept the unhappy fate of Fieschi
as the judgment of God against the revolution. Uncertainty, panic and
fright filled all breasts. The vassals of the count stood fast from
loyalty to their lord, and the soldiers who had deserted the standards
of the Republic were firm from desperation. A few others heroic
by nature, among them the strong armed and stout hearted Gerolamo
d’Urbino, did not tremble or hesitate but resolved to meet every danger
with steadfast courage.

The government learned all these things by means of messengers and
spies who circulated among the insurgents, and it was proposed to
attack the forces yet remaining under the standard of Gerolamo.
However, the more prudent part--taking account of the limited number of
their troops, the uncertainty of their fidelity, the ferocity of the
conspirators in whom desperation would increase animosity and courage
and that much blood must be shed in such a contest--thought it more
wise to pursue a policy of compromise and conciliation.

It happened that just then Paolo Panza appeared before the senate to
protest his entire innocence of any part in the conspiracy which had
been planned and executed under his very eyes, and the fathers knowing
his temperate and conciliatory spirit appointed him with Nicolò Doria
as a commission to ask peace.

Panza was authorized to offer pardon to Gerolamo and all the other
conspirators and insurgents on condition of their retiring from the
city. The count was at first irresolute. He had not pushed his attack
at once upon the palace and was now falling back and fortifying himself
at the gate of the Archi. The authority of his preceptor finally
prevailed over his ambition and animosity, and he promised to withdraw
his men from the city. The act of pardon was written and subscribed by
Ambrogio Senarega chancellor of the senate and ran as follow:--

“The illustrious Signoria and magnificent procurators of the most
serene Republic of Genoa, considering that when sudden tumults occur
in Republics nothing more conduces to the preservation of the state
and the weal of the citizens than to destroy quickly both the causes
and the means of such disorders, which grow more violent by being
protracted; and Count Gio. Ludovico Fieschi having during the past
night, when no one suspected his design, taken possession of two of
the city gates as means for carrying on an insurrection against our
authority; and this movement having created a tumult in our midst and
many citizens having taken up arms in favour of the count to the great
detriment of public order; and an attack having been made during this
night upon the galleys of Prince Doria and most of the said galleys
having been seized and disarmed and Signor Gianettino their captain
killed; for these and many other persuasive and conclusive reasons
believing it their duty to omit no means for restoring tranquility,
and that the best way of making peace is to obtain possession of the
gates without further bloodshed and to remove the insurgents outside
the walls of the city; and being informed that these ends may be gained
by granting a general pardon: Therefore in virtue of these our letters
of grace, pardon and remission, granted under due form of ballot, the
illustrious Signoria and magnificent procurators, supported by the
will of a great part of the citizens who have come to this palace in
the confusion of the night in order to aid in preserving the Republic,
do herewith pardon free and absolve the said count Gerolamo Fieschi
and all his brothers, together with every other citizen or inhabitant
of this city or its jurisdiction and every foreigner of whatever rank
quality or condition, for any and every crime, offence or license
which they have committed in the rebellion raised this night by the
said count, in taking the city gates, attacking the galleys and
whatever else they have said or done with or without arms to give
aid and comfort to this said plot, conspiracy or insurrection. And
we declare that in whatever manner they may have been concerned in
this conspiracy and whatever crimes, including high treason, they may
have committed, none of them, either collectively or singly, shall
be liable to question or trial, to confiscation of goods or personal
harm. We intend that this pardon shall be universal and embrace every
offence whatever, committed in executing the designs of the said Count
Fieschi and we grant herewith the most complete pardon, remission and

Count Gerolamo, trusting to the good faith of the Republic, spent
a brief hour in Carignano and then set out with his followers for
Montobbio, not wishing to depart from Italy lest the Dorias should
assail his feuds. Ottobuono, Cornelio, Verrina, Sacco, Calcagno and
other leaders of the conspiracy took a more prudent course and set sail
on their galley for France. Mindful that a government rarely or never
pardons treason, they removed themselves from its reach and took with
them the prisoners they had captured at San Tommaso. When they arrived
off the mouth of the Varo they set the captives at liberty; among them
were Sebastiano Lercaro, Manfredi Centurione and Vincenzo Vaccari. By
releasing these prisoners they deprived themselves of a guarranty which
might have saved their lives at a later period. These conspirators were
not the only persons who sailed from the port that morning.

The convicts and Turkish captives on board the Doria galleys had broken
their chains and they resolved to avail themselves of the universal
confusion to make their escape. The ships of Prince Doria, Antonio
Doria and some other private persons were lying dismantled in the
harbour. In the fury of the tumult the galleys of Andrea were plundered
by the plebeians and by the slaves, and the latter collected with their
booty on board the Capitana which had escaped the fury of the sack.
There was a good reason for this exception.

This galley, formerly called the Temperanza, had been a Venitian vessel
and the men of Barbary had captured her and four other triremes in
1539, near Corfu in the waters of Paxo, taking prisoner at the same
time the Commandant Francesco Gritti.

Dragut Rais was so pleased with the sailing qualities and rich
equipment of the Capitana that he made her his flag-ship. Gianettino
Doria captured her in the engagement in which the corsair himself fell
into our hands. On the night of the second of January the African
prisoners to the number of three hundred or more threw themselves on
board this galley, as a piece of their own property, and sailed out to
sea. Though two galleons of Bernardino Mendozza, which were anchored in
another part of the harbour and so escaped the pillage, were sent in
chase at early dawn, the fugitives made good their flight and after a
long voyage arrived safely in Algiers.

The Doria fleet suffered grave damages in that night pillage, the
furniture and rigging being reduced to a mass of ruins. These disorders
originated with the liberated slaves, and the bad example was followed
by the convicts who afterwards carried confusion and alarm into the
city. Many of the lowest class of the people penetrated into the
foundries and shipyards of Doria, and what they could not carry away
they threw into the sea. During the following days, the convicts were
hunted out in every quarter of the city and taken back to their oars,
and some of the equipments of the ships were recovered by the zealous
efforts of Adamo Centurione whose pecuniary interests were united to
those of Doria.

It is worth while to observe that the storm of this conspiracy broke
over the ships of Andrea. The government issued a proclamation that
whoever should have taken or should find anything belonging to the
galleys of the prince, as arquebuses, pikes, halberds, visors, helmets,
corselets, axes or any other arms or tool belonging to these vessels,
should within three days consign them to the justices in the Riviera,
or to the agents of Doria in Genoa, or deposit them in the churches of
San Vito and Annunziata.

Our historians have neglected to describe one of the galleys of Doria
which was a wonderful specimen of Genoese naval architecture. She
was built by Doria in 1539 for the personal use of Charles V. in his
expedition to Tunis, and surpassed all other galleys by fifteen palms
in length and four palms in breadth[47]. She bore three standards of
crimson damask, each twenty-three palms in length and beautifully
embroidered in gold. The one in the midst had in the centre a star
with golden rays and appropriate inscriptions; that at the stern bore
the figure of an angel and the one on the prow a shield, a helmet and
a sword. Besides, there were three flags at the poop also of damask
and thirty palms in length, and another banner of white damask was
embroidered with chalices, pontifical keys and red crosses, with
fitting inscriptions. There were two flags of red damask bearing the
imperial columns and the device--_plus ultra_--invented by the Milanese
Marliano, physician to Charles V. and an excellent mathematician.
The vessel also had twenty-four other flags of yellow damask and
appropriate devices. The saloon was adorned with beautiful arabesques
in blue and gold, and the sides were tapestried with cloth of gold and
silver, hung so as to represent pavillioned domes. The castle on the
poop was covered with exquisite carvings and there were two carpets for
the deck, one of scarlet cloth for daily use and another, for state
occasions, of crimson velvet and brocade of gold. The crew wore satin
jackets. The gun carriages, rigging and other furniture were all in
the most perfect style and finish of the naval art of that period. The
slaves and convicts ruined all these splendid equipments and furniture.

After this pillage, prisoners of war and other slaves were treated with
greater severity. For, though up to this period the young men served
at the oar, yet many of the Mamalukes, as the Barbary prisoners were
called in Genoa, had some privileges from the government and their
servitude was not of a strict and painful character. Some of them had
the permission to engage in minute traffic within the city and had
their markets in the piazza of the arsenal and the Piano of St. Andrea.
There they shaved and trimmed the beards of the citizens, and none
could equal them in this art. They traded in coffee, sugar, brandy,
pipes, tobacco and game. They practised small frauds in their trade
and some of them grew rich, while many were able to buy themselves
out of bondage. These privileges were now taken away from them, and
were not restored until many years after. In this way the rigours of
slavery were increased among us, though the system was restricted to
the “infidels” who were either bought in Egypt or captured in war.
It is true that a law of the Republic forbade the buying and selling
of slaves in the land of the Sultan; but this provision was evaded
by shipping the captives to Caffa where the Grand Turk sent agents
for the traffic. Our statutes by enacting grave penalties against
slave-stealers, held slaves to be the absolute property of their
masters; and in 1588 it was ruled that in a case of shipwreck the loss
should be distributed _pro rata_ counting all sorts of merchandise
“including male and female slaves, horses and other animals.”

The government hastened to inform the emperor and Ferrante Gonzaga of
the insurrection. The latter sent Cavalier Cicogna on a mission to the
senate and he himself at the head of a strong force advanced to Voghera
to watch the movements of the Fieschi at Montobbio. All the Italian
princes friendly to the empire congratulated the Republic on its escape
from the conspiracy. Cardinal Cibo, who sent as his messenger Ercole
de Bucchi, the Duke of Florence, by his legate Jacopo de’ Medici, and
the ten conservators of liberty of Siena, by M. Nicodemo, offered their
services and assistance to the government in case of need.

We find also a letter of Giulio Cybo, Marquis of Massa, in which he
declares that he has collected troops at Borghetto to march to the
assistance of the Republic; but it became known afterwards that these
troops had been massed to aid the Fieschi insurrection. They did not
pertain alone to the Marquis of Massa, but also to Gasparo di Fosnuovo
and other feudatories. We shall presently speak of the congratulations
sent by the Pope and Pierluigi Farnese.

The government pledged itself to universal amnesty; we shall now
see how it kept faith. Encouraged by the departure of the Fieschi,
the senate despatched Benedetto Centurione and Domenico Doria to
escort Andrea back to the city and to condole with him for the loss
of Gianettino. This last was a piece of hypocrisy, for they secretly
rejoiced over their deliverance from the rising tyrant. Andrea returned
on the sixth of January and was received with regal pomp. We learn from
old documents that the wrathful old man cloaked his vengeance under
the mantle of patriotic zeal, and, assembling the fathers on the very
day of his return, told them in well-rounded phrases that the amnesty,
having been granted under the pressure of necessity and without the
free choice of the senate, ought not to be observed. It was, he said,
of bad example and precedent to treat with rebels; in a free country
the voice of pity and affection ought to be unheeded and the rigour of
the law steadfastly administered. It was needful, to save the Republic
from the perils which still impended, to make terrible examples. The
senate should make haste to prove to Cæsar its zeal by punishing the
outrages perpetrated against ships under his flag; those only deserved
pardon whose participation in the conspiracy had been forced or the
effect of momentary passion. The Fieschi as enemies of the emperor and
rebels against the Republic ought to be condemned to death and their
goods confiscated. In no other way could the senate meet the wishes of
Cæsar and prove their zeal for the public safety.

Those who did not agree with these sentiments of vengeance rather
than justice did not dare to lift their voices against the will of
Doria. The senate referred the question to a commission of jurists,
who rather than incur the enmity of Doria, devoted themselves to
find a justification for breach of faith and a decree of blood. They
reported:--“The act of pardon is not binding because it was conceded
in a rebellion with the sword at the throat of the nation; and because
it was not granted in a regular session of the senate but by a number
of them casually met and having no power under the laws to make
decrees and issue amnesties.” They further declared that Doria as the
representative of Cæsar could proceed against the rebels, because
neither he nor his master had given any promise of pardon. This opinion
was chiefly invented by Bernardo Ottobuono who exhausted much subtle
argument to procure the condemnation of the Fieschi. His dialectic and
legal skill was at that time in great repute among the partisans of
Spain; now history stirs his forgotten pleadings, only to put a note
of infamy before his name. The senate, having heard the complacent
judgment of its legal advisers, took up the filthy burden and hastened
to be rid of it by condemning the Fieschi. It is a new proof that
Prince Doria possessed an absolute power over the Republic. But this
solicitude for vengeance has crowned his name with an eternal reproach.

The act of pardon was revoked; the Fieschi and the soldiers who had
deserted the standards of the senate, particularly Gerolamo d’Urbino,
were declared guilty of high treason. The decree of condemnation bore
the date of the 12th of February. We report it in full because, though
rather an act of wrath than of justice, it serves to acquit Gianluigi
of many crimes of which he was afterwards accused.

“The illustrious Doge and magnificent Governors and Procurators of the
most serene Republic of Genoa.

“Every state is governed by two things which are divine principles,
reward and punishment, the first encouraging the good to honest living
and love of country and the second withholding the bad from treason and
insurrection. If the reward of well-doing be taken away the motives
for patriotism cease to exist and if criminals are not punished the
ill-disposed are encouraged to continuance in disobedience when new
occasions are presented them. Iterated crimes are the most dangerous,
since they always increase in magnitude and peril, and small beginnings
of treason threaten the safety of Republics.

“On the night before the third of January in this present year,
Gianluigi Fieschi having secretly assembled armed men and concealed
them in his house, corrupted and enticed some soldiers in the pay of
the Republic, and with his brothers Gerolamo, Ottobuono and Cornelio
and other partners in his guilt, issued forth armed, assailed and
killed many of the guards, seized the gates of the city and cruelly
assassinated Gianettino, lieutenant of Prince Doria, Captain General of
the emperor on the seas; then, uttering seditious cries, they incited
the people to take up arms against the Republic, and induced some of
them to break into the arsenal where lay the unprotected galleys of the
said Prince Doria, the defender of Christianity, and to pillage the
said vessels and liberate their slaves and convicts.

“Not content with these crimes, the conspirators turned their arms
against the commissioners of the senate, and demanded that this Ducal
palace should be surrendered into their hands, threatening death to
such as should resist their will. Having been admonished to lay down
their arms and cease to disturb the public peace, they refused to
obey until they obtained grace and pardon for themselves and their
accomplices, which condition the senate accepted, believing it the
most speedy remedy for the disorders of the afflicted city, and the
best means of saving public liberty. The said conspirators then
departed from the city, not because of the pardon given by the senate,
but because Gianluigi Fieschi had perished in the sea, many of
their followers had deserted them and the troops of the Republic had
recovered one of the gates of the city.

“These facts show the heinousness of the crime attempted against the
state and what weighty evils were devised to its hurt, and furthermore
that the Republic is still in peril from the consequences of the
pardon extorted by force and without foundation in justice, equity or
religion. The authors of these acts of treason must not escape the
reward of their crimes.

“Therefore, we the illustrious Doge and magnificent governors of the
most serene Republic of Genoa, having taken our vote in due form of
law, do declare and condemn as traitors, rebels and enemies of the
state, the late Gianluigi Fieschi and his brothers Gerolamo, Ottobuono
and Cornelio, and we banish them perpetually from the dominions of
Genoa and confiscate all their property for the use of the state. We
further order that the Fieschi palace in Vialata be razed to the ground
and we give authority to the rectors of the city to destroy also all
other houses belonging to the Fieschi family, if they shall deem it of
public utility.

“We further declare and condemn as public enemies and traitors with the
same penalties Raffaello Sacco of Savona, doctor in law and auditor
of the said Gianluigi Fieschi, Vincenzo Calcagno, servant of Fieschi,
and Giacobo Conte, son of the late physician of that name (who was an
Hebrew) and captain of a galley of the said Gianluigi. We decree also
that the houses of the said persons be reduced to ruins.

“We further declare and condemn as rebels and enemies of the Republic
Giovanni Battista De Franchi--Verrina, Scipione dal Carretto of Savona,
Domenico Bacigalupo, Gerolamo Garaventa and Desiderio Cambialanza; and
we confiscate their goods and authorize the illustrious rectors to
destroy their houses if they shall believe such destruction for the
good of the Republic.

“We also confiscate the goods of Battista son of the late Pantaleo
Imperiale-Baliano, Geronimo, son of the late Vincenzo Usudimare, of
Gerolamo De Magiolo son of Martino, of Fiesco Botto and Lazzaro De
Caprile, and we banish each of them for fifty years. These persons are
ordered to depart forthwith from the city and the territories of the
Republic and to remain abroad under peril of death.

“We also declare rebels and banish the undernamed persons for the
periods following their names, varying according to the degree of
their guilt: Francesco Pinello of Gavi for eight years; Francesco
Curlo, Bernardo Celesia, Tommaso de Assereto called _Verze_, Gerolamo
Marrigliano, called _Garaventino_ and Gerolamo Fregoso, son of the
late Antonio, for fifty years each; Battista Giustiniano son of the
late Baldassaro, Paolo Geronimo Fieschi, Francesco Badaracchi and
Pantaleo Badaracchi called Tallone--brothers and butchers in Suziglia,
for ten years each; Gerolamo del Fiesco son of the late Gio. Giorgio
for ten years; Francesco Marrigliano, son of the late Biaggio, barber
in Bisagno, and Andrea di Savignone for five years each; Nicolò
of Valdetaro, Giovanni Battista Retiliaro and Benedetto Botto for
ten years each. All the said persons will be required to leave the
territories of the Republic within fifteen days and to remain beyond
the frontiers for the periods assigned them severally under peril of

“Whereas the laws of the Republic forbid citizens to hold commerce with
banished persons under heavy penalties, to prevent any from incurring
these penalties through ignorance, we ordain that no citizen whatever
shall hold any intercourse or have any correspondence by messengers or
by letters with the said rebels and exiles, particularly that no one
shall go or send any message to Montobbio under the penalties contained
in the laws. And let every citizen be wary of his conduct, for they who
shall be guilty will be severely punished.”

Many have written that Scipione Fieschi was also involved in the
condemnation of his brothers; but the documents above given prove the
contrary. This youth was hardly eighteen years of age and was pursuing
legal studies in Bologna according to the custom of Genoese noblemen.
We find in the list of the doctors in law of 1390 the names of Doria,
Spinola, Salvago, Imperiali, Dinegro, Grilli and Montaldi, and, as we
have shown, the Fieschi were conspicuous in legal learning. From a
very early period they had studied law in Bologna. The registers of
illustrious pupils from 1260 to 1300 contains the names of several
Fieschi who attended the lectures of the distinguished jurists of
that school, chief of whom was Jacopo d’ Albenga. About 1348, Emanuel
Fieschi, in order to facilitate the studies of his family in that
city, founded there a perpetual college, and endowed it with a liberal
income. His nephew Papiniano added largely to the endowment.

When Scipione heard of the events of Genoa, he removed to Valdetaro,
and from this feud of his family wrote to the senate, on the 17th of
January, as follows:--

“When I heard of the insurrection in my native city I was more dead
than alive; and if the shedding of my blood or giving my life could
repair the misfortune, your excellencies may be sure I would not shrink
from the sacrifice. I have an intense sorrow of heart that one of my
house should have attempted revolution, and especially a revolt against
the authority of that prince who has always protected and benefited
our family and to whom I hope always to be a good servant. Being most
innocent in this conspiracy, I pray your excellencies to receive and
hold me as a good son of the Republic. Such I am and hope always to
remain, ever willing to expose my life to any peril for the public
good. I pray you not to abandon me as a member of my brother’s family,
to have compassion on my misfortune and not to permit that the fault of
another shall prejudice me or bring me evil. With a heart disturbed and
pained by these events beyond my power to describe, I kiss your hands
and recommend myself to your clemency.”

We shall hereafter see how the senate was affected by his pathetic
appeal, and how it accepted him as a son.

Doria, indefatigable in the pursuit of revenge, instituted search for
the corpse of Gianluigi. Few believed he was dead, and Doria feared
that he had escaped into France and was preparing to let loose a new
tempest upon the government.

After four days of search, the corpse was found by a diver named
Pallino. Doria wished to vent his wrath and awe the people by
suspending the body before the gates of the arsenal; but he did not
dare to run the risk of a new popular outbreak. The body was therefore
returned to its grave in the waves. Two months after Doria caused it
to be fished up again, weighted with a mass of stones, carried out and
launched into the deep sea.

The vacancy in the office of Doge, created by the resignation of
Giovanni Battista di Fornari, was filled by the election of Bendetto
Gentile. Fearing that the confederates of Fieschi might renew their
insurrection and that it might break out in the very hall of the
senate, the new Doge forbade the wearing of arms in the Ducal palace.
At the same time he sent Ceva Doria as a legate to Cæsar in Germany
(the brothers Luca and Giovanni Battista Grimaldi were already at
that court for other business) to inform the emperor fully of the
perils from which Genoa had escaped and to assure him of her constant
devotion. Ceva Doria had secret instructions to ask the consent of
Cæsar to the absorption of the Fieschi estates by the Republic. The
request particularly regarded Varese, Roccatagliata and Montobbio,
in the last of which Count Gerolamo was fortified. Ceva Doria was
instructed to manage the matter with much dexterity. He was to
represent that Varese and Roccatagliata belonged by ancient rights to
the Republic and that Montobbio was a cause of incessant irritation
and frequent danger to the city; that the Republic would be gratified
if the emperor should wish to honour and reward his faithful servant
Figueroa with some feud; that they had already occupied Roccatagliata,
Varese and Calice and that Ferrante Gonzaga had protested, but that
Domenico Doria, the commissioner of the Republic, had satisfied the
imperial governor that the occupation was necessary to protect these
feuds from the Lords of Lando. Ceva Doria was also instructed to devise
a plan for securing the imperial approval to the confiscation of the
castles of Torriglia and San Stefano.

When Prince Doria learned of these negotiations with the emperor, not
wishing that the rich estates of his enemy should go into other hands
than his own he sent Francesco Grimaldi to the emperor to oppose the
wishes of the senate and to obtain the best of the Fieschi feuds for
himself. He did in the end obtain the greater part of this property, as
we shall hereafter show. Antonio Doria also prayed the Spanish monarch
to permit him to occupy Santo Stefano, he having bought the Malaspina
claims upon the feud. Antonio at the same time besought the senate to
preserve strict secrecy in this negotiation lest the prince should be
offended on hearing of the intrigue. Ceva Doria complained strongly of
this disagreement between the envoy of the Republic and that of Andrea;
particularly that Grimaldi preserved a surly and reserved manner and
refused to communicate anything of importance to his colleague.

The emperor sent Don Rodrigo Mendozza to the senate to report his
satisfaction at the escape of the Republic from such grave perils. He
also sent letters to Andrea containing solemn assurances that he would
repair the losses sustained by the prince. At the same time he ordered
Don Ferrante Gonzaga to proceed to the punishment of the Fieschi
without a moment’s delay. The crime for which the imperial governor was
required to proceed against them was that, being vassals of the empire,
they had assailed the emperor’s galleys and admirals. Gonzaga wrote to
the senate and to Doria on the subject, but his proceedings did not
have any result because Andrea and the senate had already decreed the
utter extermination of the Fieschi. Cæsar did not, however, content
himself with this, and, on the 27th of October, 1547, he proclaimed
the Fieschi as rebels and divested them of all their feuds, which he
gave to Andrea to be held for the children of Gianettino. The cession
included Montobbio, Varese, Roccatagliata, Valdetaro, Pontremoli and
Santo Stefano. This first decree did not take full effect, because the
Republic had some of the castles in its power, especially Pontremoli
where the inhabitants had anticipated Gonzaga and surrendered to
Gasparo Di Fornari who occupied it for the Republic.

Doria was not content with obtaining the greater part of the Fieschi
feuds. He insisted upon the destruction of the sumptuous palace in
Vialata and it was razed to the foundations. The work of demolition
was conducted with such angry haste that a great part of the walls
fell into the gardens of Ambrogio Gazella and the Republic paid for
the removal of the rubbish. A slab of infamy was affixed to a wall
near the ruins bearing a decree that nothing should ever be built upon
the ground where a citizen had conspired against his country. The
inscription no longer exists. The tables now in Vialata refer to rights
of private property. Merciful time has cancelled the records of infamy
against Gianluigi, though he has preserved them against the names of
Vacchero, Raggio, Della Torre and Balbi.[48] The stone (as we find in a
decree of 1715) was torn down, not by order of the Doge but by unknown
hands, about 1712, perhaps by some of Gianluigi’s relatives.

Ancient tradition tells us that the marbles of the Fieschi palace
were employed to embellish that of the Spinola which was erected on
the ruins of the tower of the Luccoli. It is that edifice faced with
alternate black and white marbles which stands on the piazza Fontane
Morose. We know not whether the tradition be true, but it is certain
that the statues in the palace of Spinola pertain to the family of
its owners. The stones and marbles of Vialata were bought at auction
by one Antonio Roderio and were scattered. The sculptures and other
ornaments of the magnificent fountain which adorned the garden shared
the same fate. They were the work of Giovanni Maria di Pasalo who,
not having been entirely paid for his work by Fieschi, received some
compensation from the Republic. The government took possession of the
furniture and precious vessels which the palace contained not excepting
the silver service which according to a memoir of Count Gianluigi Mario
to the king of France (preserved in Beriana) was valued at one hundred
thousand crowns.

Nothing remains of the splendid residence of the counts but a narrow
subterranean passage whose architecture is of the fifteenth century.
The walls are brick and it is covered with slate. Time and damp have
nearly destroyed it. A branch of it once extended to the sea where
the battery of Cava was afterwards erected, but not a vestige of this
part now remains. The principal passage led to the valley of Bisagno,
outside the gate of the Archi, and served for a means of retreat from
the city in times of revolution. It is probable that this passage
furnished Gianluigi with the means of introducing into the city, a few
days before the insurrection, the armed men from his castles.

The imperial party were not content with the ruins of the Fieschi
palace, but wished to destroy all the monuments of the family’s
greatness. Two houses fronting the cathedral were appropriated for the
debts of Fieschi and thus escaped ruin. The very churches were not
spared. The arms surmounted by a cardinal’s hat which Lorenzo Fieschi
had placed in Santo Stefano in 1499 when Donato Benci, a Florentine
sculptor and architect, executed some works in that church, were now
removed. Throughout the Eastern Riviera, the Doria faction glutted
their vengeance upon the dwellings and castles of the Fieschi. In
Chiavari they publicly tore down and threw into the sea an inscription
which attributed the foundation of the church of St. Giovanni to
Bardone Fieschi.

Nor were the Dorias alone in hastening the destruction of the Fieschi
palace. The Sauli whose quarrel with the Fieschi we have mentioned, had
seen with envious eyes the erection of a palace in their neighbourhood
which outshone the splendour of their own, and they were ambitious
of being sole masters of the hill of Carignano. There were other
stimulants to vengeance. Popular legends tell us (and we count legends
more valuable than the breath which scatters them) that the Sauli
family attended divine service in the church of the Fieschi in Vialata.
One day Bendinelli Sauli, in a friendly manner asked the Fieschi to
delay the service a little in order that his people might be present.
The Fieschi responded:--“If you wish to hear mass at your pleasure,
build a church of your own.” Sauli remembered the discourteous speech
and, in 1481, bequeathed two hundred and fifty shares in the bank of
St. George to be left at interest for sixty years and then expended in
erecting a magnificent church and two hospitals in Carignano.

The descendants of Bendinello, stimulated by old and new antipathies,
were gratified witnesses of the destruction of the mansion of their
rivals, and near it they erected the church which commemorated the
bequest of their ancestor. As soon as the palace of the Fieschi was
destroyed, Galeazzo Alessi was called to Genoa and in 1552 he commenced
the church of Carignano. The superb basilica cost the Sauli a hundred
thousand gold crowns. It would be a perfect monument to their wealth
and public spirit, if the front were not disfigured by some statues of
inferior workmanship. They embellished their vengeance by a beautiful
christian charity which survives the antipathies out of which it grew.
Stefano Sauli, a descendant of Bendinello, bequeathed another large
legacy to construct the massive bridge which conducts to the church and
unites the two hills.

But public and private wrath did not fully attain their end. A
beautiful picture of Gianluigi and portraits of Verrina and Sacco
escaped the vandalism of their enemies. In the dark and narrow chapel
of the cathedral near the tomb of the Fieschi family, there is a
picture painted by Luca Cambiaso representing the protectors of Genoa,
St. John the Baptist, St. Lawrence and St. George. In the face of the
last saint you have the features of Gianluigi, and tradition tell us
that the others are Sacco and Verrina.

It did not occur to Andrea Doria, when he was destroying every trace of
his rival, that the love of friends would entrust the image of the dead
to the holy guardianship of the altar.



 Count Gerolamo declines propositions of the governments--Intrigues of
 the imperial party and revolutionary tendencies of the populace--The
 Republic is induced by Andrea Doria to assault Montobbio--The
 count’s preparations for defence--Verrina and Assereto assigned to
 the command of the works--Andrea induces the government to decline
 negotiations with Fieschi--Agostino Spinola closely invests the
 castle--Mutiny of the mercenaries of the count--He offers to surrender
 the castle on condition of security for the lives and property of the
 beseiged--Opposition of Doria to this stipulation--The treason of
 his mercenaries compels Fieschi to surrender--Doria, notwithstanding
 the entreaties of the government, treats the defeated Fieschi
 with great cruelty--Punishment of the Count of Verrina and other
 accomplices--Raffaele Sacco and his letters--The castle of Montobbio
 razed to the foundations.

THE castle of Montobbio was a beautiful and strong fortification,
situated ten miles from Genoa, occupying the brow of a mountain, and
looking down on a deep valley closed round with spurs of the Apennines.
The Beriana papers assert that it once belonged to an Obizzo di
Montobbio who sold it, in 1232, to Ansaldo Di Mari. We find no record
of the transfer to the Fieschi family. The torrent of Scrivia on the
south, and the wooded heights encircling it on every side, render the
position naturally impregnable. The rough crests afford no convenient
positions for placing batteries so as to enfilade the redoubts or
batter the walls. In fact, it often held large armies in check.

Gianluigi had greatly increased its power of resistance by employing in
his works the science of fortifications which was just then invented.
The use of bastions with angles dates from that period. Giuliano da
San Gallo employed them in the fortress of Pisa and Andrea Bergauni at
Nice. The count repaired the curtains and the walls, increasing the
width to fifteen feet, sloped their sides and constructed new bastions.
Portions of the walls which had been damaged by time were repaired, and
new videttes and towers were erected on the flanks. The residence of
the Count was situated on a mass of wall which commanded the whole rock
and was protected against both internal and external assault.

The senate saw at once that the obstinacy of the count rendered their
task a very difficult one; and as the place was deemed impregnable to
assault they set about plans for obtaining it by other means. They
first sent Paolo Pansa to Montobbio to offer Gerolamo fifty thousand
gold crowns of the sun to surrender the castle; but Fieschi, naturally
distrustful of men who had already violated their solemn pledges of
amnesty, refused to negotiate, replying to Pansa that he held Montobbio
in the name of the king of France and would defend it to the last

The news of the Fieschi movement had alarmed all the friends of the
Spanish power. They anticipated that the rebellion would aid France to
diffuse general discontent in Italy, and their fears were strengthened
by the connection of the conspiracy with French intrigues and
movements. When therefore Fieschi declared that he would hold Montobbio
for France, his enemies did not for a moment doubt that the French king
would accept a castle so conveniently placed for kindling revolutionary
fires in Genoa. There was therefore a general concert of action among
the adherents of the empire to crush out the spark which otherwise
might wrap all Italy in flames. Cosimo collected his forces in Pisa and
put them under the command of Vitelli. He also ordered the immediate
return of Stefano Colonna from Rome, put him at the head of the Ducal
cavalry, and prepared to risk his own person in the imperial cause.
Gonzaga sent a large force to the frontiers of Bobbio under the command
of Ludovico Vistarino. Even the cardinal of Trento sent to Gonzaga to
enquire on what point he should precipitate six thousand men whom he
had collected to aid in crushing the Fieschi. Cæsar ordered Andrea to
invest Montobbio without a moment’s delay, offering to furnish the men
and money for the siege and empowered the admiral to cede Montobbio,
Cariseto and Varese to the Republic.

The French were not the only enemies before whom Spain trembled. The
adherents of Fieschi in Genoa, threatened a new outbreak. A rumour ran
that Gianluigi was not dead, but had gone to Provence to collect men
and arms, and the fable found such support in the popular affection
for him that it required a long time to dissipate the delusion. The
plebeians were expecting him to come to their deliverance and were on
the alert to second his first assault on the common enemy. Indeed, one
night a cry was raised for the Adorni (the name was synonymous with
popular liberty) and the people rushed to arms to the great fright of
the Dorias. The prince knew the popular faith in Gianluigi and had
lacked the courage to gibbet his body, according to the custom with
traitors, lest it should raise a popular tempest. Bonfadio, though
the instrument of the Doria faction, admits this to have been Doria’s
motive for refraining from putting this seal of treason on his enemy.
The same historian tells us that there was a constant peril of a new
rising, and that to prevent it the city guards were increased and eight
citizens appointed to suggest to the senate the most effectual means
of quieting the people and such additional laws as would meet the
exigencies of the occasion.

Andrea, stimulated by the messages of the emperor and by his desire
to avenge the blood of Gianettino through the extermination of the
Fieschi, made incessant appeals to the government for the Storming of
Montobbio. The senate yielded to these solicitations and also empowered
Andrea (this we learn from many documents) to undertake the operation
at his own charge and in the name of the emperor. Agostino Spinola was
ordered to mass his troops and closely invest the castle. This soldier
and scholar had followed the imperial fortunes since 1536 when Barnaba
Visconti, Bagone and Fregoso attempted to revolutionize Genoa. After
the expulsion of the French, he held a considerable corps of infantry
against Novi where Origa Gambaro, widow of Pietro Fregosi, a woman of
intrepid character, maintained the war with the aid of French troops.
The valour of Spinola overcame all obstacles. He opposed courage to
courage, treachery to treachery; and having allied himself with the
Cavanna faction in Novi, he defeated and destroyed the French army and
their leader Belforte, and thus restored Novi and Ovada to the Republic.

In the beginning of April 1547, he collected a considerable body of men
and began to make approaches to the castle of Montobbio. To prevent the
introduction of troops and supplies into the fortress he ordered Lamba
Doria, Bernardo Lomellini and Gabriele Moneglia to seize the passes of
the Apennines and keep close guard on the frontier. Gonzaga rendered
valuable aid in these operations. He sent captain Oriola with a company
of Spanish infantry to Torriglia with orders to assist the Genoese
generals in divising means to approach Montobbio.

Though the roads were rocky and broken, Spinola brought up many guns
by the way of the Gioghi and along the Scrivia, which is formed by the
confluence of the Laccio and Pantemina under the heights of Montobbio.
Flippo Doria, who had already acquired distinction in naval warfare,
was assigned to the command of the artillery. Andrea required that
Francesco and Domenico Doria should have command of a body of two
thousand infantry. The commissaries of the Republic were Cristoforo
Grimaldo Rosso, and Leonardo Cattaneo, with Domenico De Franchi, and
Domenico Doria for substitutes.

Count Gerolamo did not lose courage at the sight of these formidable
preparations to assail his stronghold, but applied himself diligently
to increasing his means of resistance. He fortified the approaches,
repaired the curtains, videttes and battlements, and added new bastions
and other works of defence. He had already collected a large body of
mercenaries and to cover Montobbio had garrisoned Cariseto and Varese.
He asked vainly for the assistance of the French troops in Mirandola,
and then turned his attention to negotiations with Pierluigi Farnese.
This duke pretended loyalty to the empire, but he secretly furnished
men and supplies, permitted his vassals in the mountains to enlist
under the standards of Fieschi and instigated the people of Valnura and
Trebbia to obstruct the passes in front of the imperial troops.

Gerolamo, knowing the worth of Verrina’s advice and courage and the
intrepidity of Assereto and the band of heroes who had taken refuge in
Marseilles, sent many messengers to urge them to share with him the
peril and glory of the siege. These refugees had sent Ottobuono and
Cornelio Fieschi to the court of France to plead their cause, and the
king had received them with marks of favour and promised to restore
their fallen fortunes. The assurances were reiterated frequently, but
the French monarch took no steps to prove his sincerity. Verrina and
Assereto grew weary of the tedious delay and accepted the invitation
of Gerolamo without awaiting the return of the Fieschi, preferring
the risk of battle to begging for aid which was always promised but
never given. They crossed Piedmont and found means to enter Montobbio.
Gerolamo received them with joy and committed the defence to their
hands. Later, Ottobuono came to Mirandola and Verrina and Vicenzo
Varese went there to aid him in urging the French commander to assist
in the defence of the castle. They solicited in vain. This refusal of
France to succour Gerolamo is a new proof that Gianluigi had not agreed
to deliver Genoa into the hands of the French monarch. Francis was
prodigal of promises, but he left the Fieschi to encounter the forces
of the empire alone.

Spinola planted batteries on a height now called _Costa Rotta_
near Granara, a village to the west of the castle; but though he
bombarded the citadel for forty days he was not able to gain one inch
of ground, while the fire of the fortress mowed down the flower of
his troops and daily explosions of his own guns added to the loss
of life. Besides, the inclemency of the season and incessant rains
prevented the formation of lines of circumvallation. The besieged were
greatly encouraged, and the soldiers of the Republic proportionately
demoralized, by these circumstances. On the tenth of May the podestà
of Recco was ordered to send to Montobbio as a reinforcement to the
besiegers all the men of that commune between the ages of seventeen
and sixty years.

On the contrary, Paolo Moneglia and Manfredo Centurione had obtained
possession of Varese, with little loss of life, through the treachery
of its commandant, Giulio Landi, who surrendered it hoping to obtain
the investiture of the feud. But this success by no means compensated
for the losses under the walls of Montobbio. The castle of Cariseto
opposed a vigorous resistance to the troops of the Republic. The people
of that feud destroyed the roads, constructed fortifications and closed
up the passes which led to the place. Boniforte Garofolo succeeded at
length in forcing a path across the rugged summits of the surrounding
hills and stormed the out-lying defences. The attack began at dawn of
the 14th of April. The besieged flocked to the parapets, loop-holes
and barbicans, and with their musquetry and cannon held the assailants
at bay. The battle lasted the entire day. On the morrow, the Genoese
artillery shattered a large tower which fell burying a considerable
part of the defenders under its ruins. This misfortune discouraged the
rest and they offered to make a conditional surrender of the place.
Garofolo demanded a surrender at discretion, and the garrison insisted
upon security for their lives and property. Gian Francesco Niselli, a
friend of Fieschi and Pierluigi Farnese, was by accident in the place
at the time of the assault, and he, seeing the hopelessness of the
defence, sent messengers to Count Paolo Scotti requesting him to obtain
the permission of Farnese for the retreat of the garrison into the
territory of Piacenza. The duke readily consented, and the peasants and
soldiers effected their retreat in the following night. They lit up
fires on the side of the place which the enemy held and retired over
broken and difficult foot-paths through the mountains.

The duke had been deeply affected at the death of Gianluigi; but
to avoid a rupture with the empire he had sent Ottavio Bajardi to
Ferrante Gonzaga, offering his troops and even his own person to the
imperial cause. But he at the same time contrived to have the Pope
secure him immunity from imperial demands. He sent Agostino Landi,
count of Compiano, to congratulate Doria on his escape from the perils
which had overhung his house and sent back to him a great number of
fugitive slaves, belonging to the Doria galleys, who had taken refuge
in the mountains of Piacenza. He afterwards sent Salvatore Pocino to
the emperor to deny charges of complicity with Gianluigi. The emperor
knew all the facts and received the envoy with great coldness; but the
duke’s son who was in the imperial service pleaded more successfully
for his father.

Meanwhile, the large imperial army, which had been massed in Varese to
support the siege of Montobbio, kept the duke in constant apprehension
that it might be destined to punish him for his treachery. These fears
were strengthened by the fact that Gonzaga had added to Vistarino
and Oriola five other captains, Sebastiano Picenardi, Lodovico da
Borgo, Pier Francesco Trecco, Osio Casale and Gianfrancesco Ali, with
considerable bodies of troops and strict orders to levy new recruits
in Monticello and Castelvetro, feuds of the duke. To provide for
the danger, Farnese, who had Cornelio Fieschi under his protection,
reorganized the army of twelve thousand infantry which he had collected
in January at Cortemaggiore, sent commissaries to forbid enrolment
of imperial troops in his feuds, fortified the castles in his
jurisdiction, placed six hundred infantry at Borgo, a greater number at
Bardi and ordered Francesco Clerici commanding at Compiano to be on the
alert and in constant readiness for battle. Shortly after he instructed
his commissioner in Venice to ask the consent of that Republic to his
drawing eight thousand arquebuses from Brescia. He was allowed to draw
only five thousand. These operations led to reciprocal suspicions,
rancours and threats between Farnese and the imperial captains, and
Gonzaga, to prevent an open outbreak, recalled Vistarino from Bobbio.

This measure relieved Farnese from his present peril and he resolved
to take advantage of the siege of Montobbio to get possession, in
advance of the imperial troops, of some feuds of the Fieschi. He seized
Calestano, and then sent Gianantonio Torti with a strong force to
occupy Valditaro. As the Fieschi had some imperial vassals in these
feuds, Farnese informed Gonzaga that he wished to hold them for the
interests and rights of the empire. He did not wait for an answer,
but hurried his troops into the feuds. His designs upon Valditaro were
thwarted by Scipione and Cornelio Fieschi, who threw themselves into
it with about one thousand of their vassals and shut the gates in the
faces of the Ducal forces. He called Scipione to himself in Piacenza
and persuaded him that the forces of his family were too weak to
contend with the empire. Scipione consented that the duke should occupy
the castle in the interest of his family. He returned to his vassals
and persuaded them to enlist in the service of Farnese, who sent his
agent, doctor Giovanni Landemaria, to take possession in his name. The
acts of the notary Bartolomeo Bosoni clearly prove these facts.

Gonzaga was enraged at this stratagem of Farnese; and in fact the
occupation was of short duration. On the death of Farnese, Valditaro
was created a principate by the emperor and passed to Agostino Landi
whose ancestors had once held it. The inhabitants always retained their
love for the Fieschi house, and remembered long the mild government of
their old masters. They several times conspired to restore Scipione who
was born among them. In 1552, Gonzaga, incensed at these movements,
instigated Landi to dismantle the forts and towers lest they should
afford a place of refuge for the Fieschi.

More than ten thousand balls had been thrown at Montobbio; but the
Fieschi, safe in their defences, laughed at the rage of the assailants
and their own fire often seriously damaged the enemy. The people of
the surrounding country scarcely concealed their sympathy for the
besieged and furnished the castle with meat and provisions of every
kind. The commissioners of the Republic complained of this and said
that the inhabitants of Bargagli, Stroppa and other villages never
brought even an egg to the camp of the Genoese, while they gave liberal
supplies to the enemy. Spinola, despairing of success in the siege,
united with the commissaries in urging the government to attempt a new

At this time Doria learned of the death of king Francis, and this
event removed all apprehension that the French would relieve Montobbio
and attack the Spanish power in Italy. The recent victory of the
emperor over Frederick of Saxony at Elbe stimulated Andrea to a more
enthusiastic support of the imperial cause and to make a vigorous
opposition to the proposals of accommodation which the senate assembled
to discuss. He declaimed wrathfully against the shameful cowardice of
making terms with traitors and declared that the Fieschi could hope
nothing from France, because the new king Henry II. could not, if he
wished it, devote any attention in the first month of his reign to the
petty concerns of Montobbio and its handful of defenders. Though the
majority of the senate favoured a treaty with Gerolamo, the powerful
will of Doria prevailed and new troops were sent to Spinola. The prince
sent to the duke of Florence for bombardiers, munitions and other
military material of which there was a scarcity in the army of Genoa.
The duke furnished these and a considerable force of infantry under
Paolo da Castello; Ferrante Gonzaga sent two companies of four hundred
arquebusiers, Filippo Doria was ordered by Andrea to make new surveys
of the heights around Montobbio and to endeavour to place his artillery
in better positions, and this general moved his guns to the less
elevated height called Olmeto in our time and renewed the attack.

This bombardment produced no better results than the first one and the
siege must have failed had not fortune opened a new and easier road to
victory. A general order forbade any person not in the army to approach
within two miles of the bastions under penalty of death. One day a
soldier of the garrison dressed as a mountaineer was arrested in the
act of examining the works of the besiegers, and on his person were
found letters of Gerolamo to his brother Ottobuono. In these letters
the count declared that he could not continue the defence for more than
three months as his military supplies were insufficient for a longer
period, and he urged Ottobuono to secure the immediate aid of France.
Spinola was greatly encouraged by this discovery of the weakness of
his adversary. He detained the soldier for some days and then, having
seduced him by splendid promises, sent him back to Montobbio with a
false letter of Ottobuono, in which the writer informed the count
of the death of king Francis and declared that the only hope of the
besieged was in an accommodation with the senate.

This intelligence greatly dispirited the garrison, in whom the want
of supplies and the obstinate courage of the besiegers were beginning
to produce apprehension. But desperation lent them new strength and
they made several bold sorties which seriously damaged the enemy. To
the want of supplies, a new and more dangerous evil was soon added.
The mercenaries collected by Fieschi in the neighbouring feuds, being
poorly fed and receiving no pay, began to murmur and finally refused
to expose themselves to further peril. The count found that his own
life was threatened by these rebellious soldiers, and in letters
written on the 20th of March to Gian Maria Manara in Valditaro he asked
ten faithful men to serve as a guard of his own person. Manara was a
physician by profession and had so much influence with the Fieschi that
they had left him to govern at pleasure the whole valley of the Taro.
He furnished the men and obtained other reënforcements from captain
Mengo da Montedoglio who commanded in Valditaro for Farnese. Gerolamo
also sent a messenger to Cardinal Farnese to ask asylum in the church
of that prelate in case he should be reduced to extremities. In this he
was successful, and the cardinal also wrote to the Duke of Piacenza to
give Gerolamo all possible aid.

During the first days of May the siege was prosecuted with increased
vigour. The artillery of Filippo Doria poured a storm of shot into the
castle, the walls fell down in large pieces and the outer curtains were
ruined. There were many indications that the resistance could not
long continue. Still, the subordinates of Gerolamo restored during the
night the damage caused by the Ligurian and Florentine guns during the
day and there was no sign of discouragement in the intrepid leaders.
But the mercenaries continued to murmur and to refuse obedience to the
commanders, complaining of their privations and demanding their wages.
The count saw that it was necessary to surrender. Gerolamo Garaventa
and Tommaso Assereto went to the camp of Spinola and offered to yield
the place but on terms which the victors would not accept.

The Genoese general resolved to make a final assault upon the work. He
sent trumpeters to proclaim that all who wished to save their lives
must come within his lines; all who resisted the assault would be put
to the sword. But though they had been many days in great privation,
only two of the soldiers of Fieschi obeyed the summons. The assault was
begun with great fury and, added to the discontent of the mercenaries,
convinced Fieschi that he must surrender at once. He offered Spinola
the castle on condition that the lives and goods of the defenders
should be respected.

The senate met in Genoa to consider this proposition and the debate
shows that the Fieschi had many sympathizers in the senate and that
Andrea Doria was the real master of the Republic. After two days of
discussion the senate resolved to accept the offers of Fieschi.The
count, who knew how little value the pledges of the government really
possessed, asked to be secured against the vengeance of Andrea Doria.
The senate promised to secure the assent of Andrea to the negotiation
and applied to him for the purpose. But the prince, who knew that
Gerolamo was now in his power, refused his coöperation and the senate
had not the courage to maintain their position.

The garrison at Montobbio were greatly distressed by this attitude of
Doria. All means of obtaining provisions were cut off, and they must
soon be reduced by starvation. Still, they held a bold front to the
enemy and resolved to die fighting rather than surrender at discretion.
But the mercenaries broke into open rebellion and the more desperate,
after demanding their pay on the instant, seized a tower which had
hitherto defied all the enemy’s guns and surrendered it to the soldiers
of the Republic. The count and his faithful soldiers were obliged to
take shelter in a wing of the fortress. The treason of the adventurers
(which is spoken of not only in inedited documents but also by Adriani)
took away all hope from the defenders. They resolved to imitate the
garrison of Cariseto and retire by night over the rugged and almost
inaccessible heights in their rear. But Vicenzo Calcagno reminded them
that the count, who was corpulent of body, would not be able to make so
fatiguing a march over wild mountain paths and that the troops of Doria
held all the passes behind them. Assereto and some others resolved
to risk the journey and set out; but after a fatiguing march over
toilsome foot-paths they were surrounded and forced to surrender. The
count who still hoped that the Republic would make good its promises
yielded the castle to Spinola, who entered it with flying banners on
the morning of the 11th of June.

Spinola, as a faithful servant of Andrea, ordered his Corsicans as soon
as he had taken possession of the works to execute Calcagno, Manara and
some other partisans of the count suspected of having participated in
the murder of Gianettino. Domenico Doria, il Converso, also made some
executions. The rest, including the mercenaries, were held as prisoners
of war. But these last only were permitted to depart on parole. Count
Gerolamo, Verrina and Assereto were reserved for public execution in
the city and were treated with great inhumanity.

At the news of the surrender of Montobbio, the senate again assembled.
Most of the senators held that one of the first families of Italy,
bound by relationship to the most illustrious houses, ought not to
be plunged into deeper calamity. They plead with Doria. The Fieschi
had been sufficiently punished by the confiscation of their property,
the destruction of their houses and the death of Gianluigi. Why vent
unchristian rage on the heads of Gerolamo and his brothers? They were
unfortunate young men to whom the plots of their brother had been
unknown. Gianluigi had suddenly precipitated them into rebellion
and they deserved pardon for their almost involuntary share in the
conspiracy. Let Doria open his great heart to more generous, to more
magnanimous counsels. Let him imitate the example of Cæsar who would
not condemn to death the Saxon whom he had conquered in battle.

Doria was deaf to these appeals of the senators. He refused all
compromises. The Fieschi and their companions must die. The writers in
the Doria interest do not disguise this fact. Mascardi says:--

“Those who favoured clemency were in the majority. They urged that
forbearance was a necessary quality in governments, that the violence
of Gianluigi mitigated the guilt of his confederates and that the youth
of his brothers ought to extenuate their offence. Andrea Doria was
greatly displeased to see the Republic so basely betrayed, and going
into the senate he spoke with so much force and authority that the
unfortunate men were condemned to death.”

In the monastery of St. Andrea della Porta lived a sister of the
Fieschi named Suor Angela Catterina. She imitated the example of the
two pious women in her family, of whom we have elsewhere spoken, and
she was held in high esteem. As soon as she heard of the condemnation
of her brother, Gerolamo, she made the most earnest supplications to
the government on his behalf.

“I could not,” said the afflicted sister, “abandon a brother in such
a terrible calamity. That God, whom human judges ought to imitate, is
compassionate as well as just with sinners. Senators should remember
that Gerolamo was drawn into the conspiracy of his brother without any
previous knowledge of his intentions, and, that he himself has never
plotted against the Republic, that he surrendered Montobbio with the
confident expectation that the senate would spare his life. The senate
should keep faith and pardon this son of Sinibaldo one of the warmest
advocates and defenders of the union and liberty of the country. Let
them remember what Christ said: ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they
shall obtain mercy;’ almost beside myself with grief and more dead than
alive, I fall at the feet of the prince and conjure him by the mercy of
Christ to pardon my poor brother.” It was in vain. She was encouraged
to hope, but the pardon never came. The senate had not the courage to
take the victim out of the hands of Doria.

The populace was still agitated and full of seditious plans. Though
a deep mystery enveloped the action of the government, the people
suspected the vindictive intention of Doria and threatened revolt. This
led the government to transfer the execution from Genoa to Montobbio.
Two priests were at once despatched to the castle, Gian Maria Paulocio,
one of the officers of the Ruota, and Tommaso Doria, to examine the
prisoners and report their defence to the senate.

Soon after the _Podesta_ for criminal cases was also sent, under
decree of the 4th of July. This was Polidamante del Majno a man of
considerable talents. The count, Verrina and other leaders were
subjected to the rope torture, a useless barbarity because they
were already condemned to death. Polidamante tried every means to
escape this painful office, and we learn from some letters of his to
the senate that he had protested against being commissioned for the

The Republic had begun by declaring the Fieschi guilty of high treason
and denying them trial or defence. He subsequently wrote to the senate:
“If your excellencies do not make some change, I shall be in a very
painful position and people may justly think that I prosecute this
unfortunate affair (maladetta causa) with personal motives. You know
how I laboured to relieve myself from this duty. Therefore I beseech
you to relieve me at once from my present embarrassment by declaring
clearly that we may admit new testimony, or by revoking your second
decree, and proceeding logically by carrying out your first executive
mandate.” The senate solved the difficulty by ordering the punishment
of the prisoners without trial. The common soldiers were pardoned. Some
of the conspirators were condemned to the halter, others to the oar.

The sentence was executed on the 23rd of July. Desiderio Cangialanza
was the first to mount the scaffold and he was followed by some whose
names history has not preserved. It was too busy with laudations
of Doria and invectives against the fallen. Gerolamo, Verrina and
Assereto, being patricians, were beheaded in the chapel of San Rocco
at the foot of the fortress. Servile as was the age it was forced
to admire the heroic bearing of Verrina whose character was cast in
the old Roman mould. He was twice tortured, but he would not utter
a word about the secrets of the conspiracy. The night preceeding his
execution he spoke with serenity of the doctrines to which he had given
his faith, and encouraged his companions to meet their last hour with
courageous composure. He went to the scaffold with the step rather of a
conqueror than of a criminal.

The sentence of death embraced the exiles Ottobuono and Cornelio, and,
what is more iniquitous, the youthful Scipione and his descendants to
the fifth generation were banished. Some writers have maintained that
Sacco was also executed at Montobbio. But though the documents relating
to the treaty with Gerolamo are few and it is apparent that many have
been surreptitiously removed from the public archives, yet we have been
so fortunate as to find some letters of Sacco himself which entirely
invalidate this statement. Another person has already printed some of
them. His correspondence with Luigi Ferrero of Savona, in February,
show that he was then in Turin on his way back from France.

In Turin he was befriended by presidents Catto and Birago. The latter
concealed him in one of his own houses on the banks of the Po. He had
friends, kept up party affiliations, and hoped that the recent death of
the English monarch would occasion a war in Italy. In other letters,
addressed to his wife Alessandra, he alludes to his hope of French
interference and expresses an intention of returning to that court. He
gives her advice for the management of domestic affairs and recommends
her to Nicolò Doria, Antonio De Fornari and Giovanni Gerolamo Salvago.
There is a letter to count Gerolamo Fieschi in which he asks a hundred
crowns and letters of recommendations to the king of France, Delfino,
the admiral and the cardinals Tornone and Ferrara. He exhorts the
count to be diligent in furnishing his fortresses and to put on a bold
front in order to discourage his enemies and inspirit his friends.
The records of the trial show that the Ferrero gave these letters to
the senate. The most important of these epistles is the one written
in July to Pietro Francesco Grimaldi Robio, doctor of the college of
judges, in which he exculpates himself from the charge made by Verrina
of having been the first instigator of the conspiracy. He shows that
Verrina had been the beginning, middle and end of the plot. He says
that if Calcagno were alive, he would fully exculpate him from the
accusations; but as this person was dead it only remained for him to
recite all the facts of the conspiracy. This history he says will show
him to have been innocent. His only fault was that he had been born
in Savona. Had he been a Genoese he would have communicated his first
knowledge of the plot to the senate and thus escaped condemnation, or
be as lightly punished as many of his present accusers. He admits that
he concealed the conspiracy but asks: “Ought I to have denounced the
count, my master and exposed him to death and infamy? If this silence
is a fault, I do not hesitate to accept the responsibility of it, I
have already written to the Doge and I repeat, that if the senate will
send to Turin a person in whom they have confidence I will recite the
whole story of the plot. I do not say this to beg pardon for what I
have done, but to disprove unjust charges heaped upon my name.” These
are the customary phrases of informers.

These papers show that Sacco was not involved in the condemnation
of his accomplices. For the rest, we are not permitted to know what
was the nature of his revelations, because the most important papers
of this trial are wanting. We believe, however, that some mutilated
documents refer to this matter. We learn from them that a certain
Filippo di Graveggia carried letters under the saddle of a mule to
Parma, Bologna and other cities.

Having restored order, the government informed its friends of the
taking of Montobbio, especially Duke Cosimo whose aid had been so
valuable to the besiegers. But there were ominous signs of discontent
in all classes of the people in every part of the Republic. The
government sent Tommaso Spinola and Antonio Doria to Henry II. to
condole with him on the death of his father and congratulate him on
his accession to the throne; but the more important part of their
business was to spy out the movements of the Fieschi and to render them
obnoxious at the court where the name was held in such high esteem.

The fortress of Montobbio shared the fate of the palace in Vialata. The
government, in concert with Doria and Figueroa, decreed on the 11th of
June that it should be levelled with the earth, “so that,” said the
proclamation, “no evidence may remain that any fortification has ever
existed there.” Even the brow of the mountain was ordered to be thrown
into the valley so that no castle could ever be erected on the site.
Whoever should attempt to build there was declared a rebel and his
goods confiscated to the state.

Prince Doria assumed the charge of this demolition, but the expense was
borne by the Republic. Giovanni Bozzo, podestà of Montobbio, reported
on the 10th of August that Paolo di Mirandola had excavated three mines
under the castle, one on the East side seventy-six palms in length
with openings at the two sides; the second, on the South, ran twenty
palms into the mountain from the bank of the stream, the third, on the
West side where the principal battery had stood, penetrated a distance
of ten palms. Mirandola, he reports, declared that the mines must be
extended as the castle had the strength of steel. The explosion of
these mines blew the whole work to the ground reducing it at once to a
total ruin.

In our time even the face of nature is changed. Wild weeds grow on that
slope where gardens once bloomed. The daffodils which breathe their
perfume over the place are the only witnesses to ancient culture. A
beautiful lake which lay at the foot of the castle has disappeared. It
probably covered a spot to which tradition gives the name _Lago della



 The ferocity and excesses of Andrea Doria--The benefits which he
 derived from the fall of the Fieschi--The Farnesi participated
 in Genoese conspiracies--Schemes of Andrea against the duke of
 Piacenza--Landi is instigated by Andrea to kill the duke--The
 assassination of Pierluigi--The assassins and the brief of Paul III.

THE office of historian becomes a painful one when we are required
to describe some of the actions of Andrea Doria, actions which throw
a shade over his fame, and take away a part of his laurels from the
greatest admiral of Italy. It is a work of simple devotion to truth
to show that Andrea maintained the Spanish power in the Peninsula,
and that he overstepped all bounds in his rage against the defeated
Fieschi. Sismondi says that the prince in destroying his enemies to
avenge Gianettino went to lengths of ferocity unworthy of a great man.

He had applied to himself that saying of Lorenzo di Medici: “While
there are _Gatti_ in Genoa the Republic will never have peace, and
perhaps on this account found it easier to obtain Medicean aid in
exterminating these _Gatti_.” At all events he gave himself no rest
while the work of destruction remained incomplete. He embraced in his
scheme of vengeance the Strozzi and their allies.

The activity of Andrea was wonderful. Wherever he had representatives,
public or private, thither flew his messages and messengers. He
neglected nothing at home or abroad. Politics, arms, arts, commerce--he
had his eye on everything--on the exiles especially. Aided by Cosimo,
he set an assassin named Bastiano da Finale to dodge the steps of
Piero Strozzi who was marching to Siena. He employed seven assassins
to murder Ottobuono, Scipione and Cornelio Fieschi. We learn from
Venitian letters preserved in the Tuscan archives that one of these
wretches accompanied by two companions went several times to Venice
to assassinate the brothers of Gianluigi. This correspondence relates
that this assassin was artfully banished from Genoa as a popular
conspirator, as a means of giving him access to the Genoese exiles,
though he was secretly recommended by Doria to the ambassador of the
emperor. Doria would have better provided for his fame if, content with
depriving the Fieschi of the means of revolution, he had declined the
services of bravos and refused the price of blood so lavishly offered
by the emperor.

After the capture of Montobbio, Doria, under orders from Cæsar invested
the Republic (February 29th, 1548) with the feuds of that place, of
Varese and Roccatagliata. Cristoforo Lercaro had already occupied the
last in the name of Genoa. The cession was made to appear as a gift,
though the Republic already possessed the right of eminent domain
over Roccatagliata and the valley of Neirone. The governor of Milan
held fast to Pontremoli, in order, as Doria advised, to keep that
strong post then the key of the Lombard provinces, in imperial hands.
Gonzaga also occupied Loano, Carrega, Grondona, Borbagia, San Stefano
d’Aveto, Calice, Veppo and other castles, a part of which Charles (June
19th 1548) gave in feud to various partisans of the empire. This was
not imperial munificence, but king-craft and a device to strengthen
the Spanish power in Liguria. Andrea obtained some wealthy feuds,
among them Torriglia, (which was erected into a marquisate) Carrega,
Garbagna, Grondona and ten other castles. San Stefano d’Aveto was ceded
to Antonio Doria who was hiring four galleys to the empire. Ettore
Fieschi, of the Savignone branch, received some feuds as a reward for
not having shared in the conspiracy of his relatives. The castle of
Castelano was ceded to the Duke of Parma. Agostino Landi retained the
burgh of Valditaro. This Landi had promised to assassinate Pierluigi
Farnese whom Doria had condemned to death for his secret intrigues with
Gianluigi. It is worth our while to clear up the history of this part
of Andrea’s vengeance.

The cities of Parma and Piacenza, having been detached from the duchy
of Milan and put into the hands of the Holy See, were ceded by Paul
III. to his natural son Pier Luigi Farnese who had been legitimated
in 1501 by Julius II. To secure his son in this new duchy, the Pope
supported Charles in the German war and in his expedition to Tunis,
where, aided by Doria the emperor restored the inhuman Muley-Hassan
to the throne which he mounted by the assassination of his twenty-two
brothers. The alliance of Farnese with the empire was cemented by the
marriage of Pierluigi’s son, Ottavio, with Margaret a natural daughter
of Cæsar and widow of Alessandro de Medici. Francis Sforza died and the
duchy of Milan reverted to the empire giving rise to a war with France.
The Pope thought to gain profit for Pier Luigi out of this contest for
the duchy by securing him the investiture, and Cæsar, at the conference
of Busseto, promised to grant the pontiff’s request. The emperor did
not keep his pledge and the Pope began to abandon the imperial cause.
He reproached Charles with the fact that certain prelates devoted to
the empire had proposed in the council of Trent innovations on the
rights of the Papal See, and expressed his discontent with the mild,
treatment of the partisans of Luther in Germany. He went further and
began to intrigue, in 1547, for a league with France against Charles.

Francis I. at the moment when he was most zealously engaged in uniting
England, Germany and Italy against Spain was stricken by death at
Rambouillet after a twenty years’ conflict with the increasing power of
Charles Fifth. The emperor now saw himself without a rival and hastened
to take advantage of the occasion. He renewed hostilities against the
Duke of Saxony, though his army had been thinned by the withdrawal
of the Papal troops. It is not our purpose to recount the story of
this Germanic war. Charles conducted it to a successful termination
because the affairs of Italy no longer distracted his attention. But
his victories over the league of Smacalda increased the suspicions and
fears of Paul III. who saw that if Charles was successful in Germany
he would be master at the council of Trent. It was no secret that the
emperor designed to take that occasion for avenging himself on the
Pope for sympathy with the Fieschi and France. The Roman court was too
jealous of its prerogatives not to be alarmed at the prospect of having
its power limited by an ambitious monarch favourably disposed towards
the policy of the German reformers. It was thought necessary to remove
the seat of the council to some city nearer to Rome and more under
Papal influence, where Charles could not intrigue nor display his arms
with so much effect.

Fortune favoured the Pope. Some of the assembled prelates fell sick and
the physicians, especially Fracastoro who was employed by Rome for the
business, reported that a fierce contagion had broken out in the city.
Many of the prelates abandoned Trent in great haste and the council
was removed to Bologna. The cardinals and bishops of the imperial
faction remained in Trent by express order of Charles. The remainder,
thirty-four in number, accompanied the Papal legates. There were mutual
recriminations and the very council assembled to destroy scism was
menaced with a scism in its own bosom.

Cæsar made angry appeals and intrigued adroitly to secure the
reassembling of the Synod in Trent. The Pope refused, and Charles
avenged himself by that decree of _Interim_, in which he declared
that until the council should be reconvoked in Trent every one was
at liberty to think as he pleased in matters of religion. The decree
occasioned great scandal in the church.

“It was believed,” says Varchi, “that the emperor wished to restore the
Papacy to the simplicity and poverty of times when prelates did not
meddle with temporal government but contented themselves with their
spiritual functions. The gross abuses and vile practices of the Roman
court had awakened in many an ardent desire for such a reform.” This
gave bitterness to the enmity between the Pope and Charles. The pontiff
directed his hostilities especially against the two imperial ministers
in Italy, Anotonio Leyva and Andrea Doria. On the death of the first,
the whole weight of Papal displeasure fell on the head of the latter,
who earlier in life had received from Rome a consecrated sword and
hat for his victories over the Turks. We have elsewhere shown how the
opposition of Doria to the growth of the Farnese family and his other
acts hostile to Paul III. had led the latter to favour the Fieschi
conspiracy against Doria and Spain. Some deny that Paul favoured the
conspirators and adduced the testimony of Don Appollonio Filareto,
secretary to Pier Luigi Farnese. This secretary, though confined for
three years as a prisoner in Milan and put to torture, steadfastly
denied that the French knew of the plans of Fieschi. But this is
contradicted both by the current opinion of that time and by authentic
and credible documents extant. Charles was so certain of the complicity
of the Pope with Fieschi, that when Paul sent Camillo Orsino to Madrid
to complain to the emperor of the murder of his son Pier Luigi and ask
the restitution of Piacenza to the Apostolic See, he boldly charged the
pontiff with this crime.

As soon as Andrea learned through the ministers of Cæsar that Paul
had been concerned in the Fieschi movement, and that Pier Luigi had
given material aid to Gianluigi he was inflamed with an ardent desire
to punish old and new treacheries by a signal act of vengeance. From
that hour, Farnese was condemned to the fate of the Fieschi. Moreover,
in gratifying his own passion for revenge, Andrea was furthering the
schemes of Charles. He launched himself into the matter with the ardour
of youth.

The news that Charles was suffering from a mortal sickness filled Doria
with apprehension of wide-spread conspiracy against Spain in case
of the emperor’s death. Pier Luigi, in fact, as soon as he received
the same intelligence, began to raise troops, fortify castles and
enlist able commanders among whom were Bartolomeo Villachiara, Sforza
Santa Fiore, Sforza Pallavicino and Alessandro Tommasoni da Terni. He
collected arms everywhere. We find in old documents that he bought at
one time four thousand arquebuses, for a gold crown each, from the
celebrated Venturino del Chino, armourer of Gordone in Valtrompia.
Bonfadio tells us that these military preparations awakened grave
suspicions in the neighbouring cities of the empire who feared that
these arms were to be used against themselves. The fear of revolution
was widely diffused. Doria could not be an idle witness of this drawing
of swords in places so near, especially after the share of Farnese in
the Fieschi plot. He had then two motives for prompt action; to secure
the safety of the empire and to avenge the blood of Gianettino.

Pier Luigi has been traduced by the malice of writers in the Spanish
interest. It is true that Cellini declares him avaricious, and many
historians affirm that he was intemperate and a votary of licentious
pleasures. Even Aretino admonished him to husband more carefully the
strength of his manhood. But the fable of Varchi that he ravished
Cosimo Gheri, bishop of Fano, though repeated in our days has no longer
any supporters. It is now beyond question that the story began with
Pier Paolo Vergerio, a malignant slanderer of Farnese. The slander was
refuted at the time by Bishop Della Casa in the time of Vergerio, and
later by Ammiani, Poggiali, Morandi, Cardinal Quirino and Apostolo
Zeno, not to mention many others. Pier Luigi was great by rank and
by nature. He restrained the arrogance of his nobles and had studied
much to elevate his people to an equality with their lords. He was
supported in these plans by the distinguished literary men who served
as his secretaries; Claudio Tolomei, Giovanni Battista Pico, David
Spilimbergo, Gandolfo Porrino, Giovanni Paccini, Gottifredi, Rainerio,
Zuccardi, Tebalducci, Apollonio and Caro. The last after the death of
his master was pursued by assassins and with great difficulty saved his
life by fleeing into the province of Cremona.

This open friendship of Farnese for the people, at a time when the
lords were everywhere practising great severity, added to the hatred of
the imperial agents and whetted their desire for vengeance. There was
still another cause of quarrel. The port of the Po at Piacenza had been
ceded by Paul III. to the divine Bonarotti (taking away certain rights
upon it from the Pusterla and Trivulzio) and Bonarotti had rented it
to Francesco Durante, and the nobles taking the sides of the defrauded
parties resolved to wreak their vengeance on the pontiff’s son. A
conspiracy was formed at the head of which were Giovanni Anguissola,
Camillo and Gerolamo Pallavicini and Giovanni Confaloniere. But the
soul of the plot was count Agostino Landi, the same person who informed
the government at Lucca of the conspiracy of Pietro Fatinelli, and thus
betrayed him to death.

Andrea opened his heart to Landi and showed him the golden promises of
Cæsar. Casoni relates this and he founded it upon irrefragible proofs
which he had in his hands. He adds that the prince pledged to Landi
the hand of the sister of Gianettino for his son with a wealthy dowry.
This marriage afterwards took place. It was important that, after the
assassination of the duke, the duchy of Piacenza should revert to
the empire, and to secure this result Doria intrigued with Gerolamo
Pallavicino, Marquis of Cortemaggiore and Busseto, whose mother and
wife had been held in captivity by Farnese and who was therefore
anxious to punish the affront. The conspirators in Piacenza at first
really intended to establish a popular government; but Doria adroitly
induced them to communicate with Gonzaga. It was not difficult then to
secure the subjection of Piacenza to the empire.

A warm animosity burned between Gonzaga and the duke on account of
the priorship of Barletta which Gonzaga had obtained for his son to
the exclusion of Horace Farnese. Gonzaga made many attempts upon the
life of Pier Luigi. Annibal Caro, who in July, 1547 was sent by the
latter to Milan informed his master of these plots; but the duke had no
presentiment of his imminent peril. The efforts of Gonzaga, however,
all failed, and with the knowledge of Charles, he sent captain Federico
Gazzino to order the conspirators to proceed with their work.

On the tenth of December 1547 Giovanni Anguissola went to the castle
which Farnese had erected to command the city and demanded instant
speech of the duke on matters of pressing urgency. Having entered,
Anguissola and his friend Giovanni Valentino threw themselves upon
the duke and killed him with stabs in his face and breast. On leaving
the apartment, the assassin killed a priest and a servant who were
rushing in to ascertain the occasion of the duke’s cries, struck down a
German lancer who threw himself before him and ran to rejoin his fellow
conspirators, who, led by Confaloniere immediately overpowered the
garrison of the citadel. Others, headed by Landi and the Pallavicini
brothers, attacked and soon captured the castle with but little loss of
life. Some mercenaries fleeing from the citadel spread a report that
the Spaniards had attacked the castle; and the plebians, to whom the
very name Spaniards was odious, rose in arms, gathered around Tommasoni
da Terni, captain of the city militia, and marched to the citadel to
recover it by storm.

The battle could not have been long or doubtful; for only thirty-seven
conspirators were in possession of the fortress. But they invented
an expedient which served them in the stead of force. They hung the
corpse of the duke to the wall and afterwards threw it into the moat.
The sight destroyed the hopes of the people. The conspirators found
means to increase the number of their adherents and to occupy the city.
Captain Ruschino arrived before the gates, according to a previous
understanding, at the head of a considerable body of infantry and
shortly after the castellan of Cremona arrived with reinforcements.
These were followed by Gonzaga himself who took possession in the name
of Cæsar. The vengeance of Doria was complete.

The Venitians were greatly grieved by these events; indeed, all the
governments in Italy which were unfriendly to the Spanish power were
alarmed at its success. The nobles of Piacenza regretted too late that
they had changed masters without gaining their liberties. Gonzaga had
promised to destroy the citadel, but he increased its strength and it
remained for three centuries.

Piacenza was never restored to the Farnese in spite of that spirited
discourse which Casa wrote to Cæsar and which we find in his works.
The Pope in full concistory asked an account from the emperor of the
assassination of his son and the seizure of Piacenza, and demanded the
punishment of Gonzaga. But the emperor pleased with his success, paid
no attention either to the threats of the Pope or the appeals of his
son-in-law and Margaret. Gonzaga was not even content with Piacenza
but attempted to grasp Parma also. He moved an army against it, but
the valour of Camillo Orsino rendered his efforts fruitless. To secure
his grandson against Spanish treachery, Paul kept him near his own
person in Rome, until Ottavio, weary of living in privacy put himself
into the power of the ministers of Charles and returned to Parma. The
old pontiff, pricked to the heart by the death of his son and the
fruitlessness of his appeals to other governments against Spain, soon
ended his days in bitterness and sorrow (1549).

Though the assassins of Farnese obtained rewards from the emperor they
were long the objects of atrocious persecutions from Rome. Anguissola
was created governor of Como; but he sought refuge from many assassins
who dodged his steps in the Pliniana villa which he had constructed.
Beleseur, French ambassador, having encountered him in the Grisons
tried to pierce him in the very palace of the bishop with the dagger
of papal vengance. A certain Rinaldo Rondinello, of the mountains of
Cesena, long followed him in the mantle of a friar; and when this
assassin was punished, many others rose up to take his place, until
Anguissola seeing himself the object of universal scorn and the mark
of every stiletto terminated his miserable life in sorrow and remorse.
Gerolamo Pallavicini who with his brother Alessando and others was an
accomplice in that crime was making the campaign in Flanders in 1552,
in company with his relatives. Eight masked men one day assailed him,
killed all his relatives and left him stretched upon the earth with
five severe wounds. However, he recovered and retired to his castle
of Castiglione di Lodi, which he had obtained from the Fieschi. He
made a vow to marry the first woman whom he should meet. Fate was
propitious and Gerolamina Virotelli, the daughter of a mountaineer and
a woman of more than womanly prudence, made the evening of his life
cheerful. Count Landi died in remorse and bequeathed a rich legacy
to the heir of the murdered Farnese Gonzaga, too, died miserably.
Some assassins, Corsican soldiers of Ottavio Farnese, several times
attempted to kill him; but it was reserved for the Genoese to avenge on
him the death of the Fieschi and Farnese, and his other crimes. Tommaso
Marini and Ottobuono Giustiniani obtained a decree from Charles, that
Gonzaga be subjected to an examination for the robberies with which
he was charged. The emperor acquitted him, but removed him from the
governorship of Milan and the disgrace so wounded him that he died of
his grief.

These acts of vengeance were followed by others of a fierce character.
In these, Andrea Doria was the instructor. At the death of Pier Luigi
nothing remained for him but to punish the Pope for his complicity with
the Count of Lavagna; but the elevation of Paul and the sanctity of
his office put him out of the reach of personal violence. Other arms
than daggers must be employed, and fortune put them into the hands of
Doria. We must here premise that after the death of Gianluigi, the
Pope, to suppress the rumour that he was accessory to the conspiracy,
sent Andrea a brief, condoling with him for the death of Gianettino.
The fierce Genoese, who well knew the arts of Roman wolves, swallowed
his resentiment and was silent until the time arrived to settle his
account with the successor of St. Peter. As soon as he learned through
Cristoforo Lercaro Di Salvo, captain of Chiavari, that Pier Luigi was
dead, he took that same brief, changed only the names and sent it
back to the author as _his_ letter of condolence for the death of the
pontiff’s son. The injury was great; but the punishment was terrible.

These punishments and assassinations did not restore order and
confidence. The blood which had been spilled fertilized the soil for a
new harvest of disaster and suffering.



 Intrigues of Figuerroa and the nobility--The law of Garibetto--New
 efforts of Spain to give Genoa the character of a Duchy--The firmness
 of the senate and Andrea foils the scheme of Don Filippo--The
 reception of the Spaniards by Doria and by the people--Sad story of a
 daughter of the Calvi--Don Bernardino Mendozza and his relations with
 Prince Doria--Baneful influence of the Spanish occupation.

CHARLES V. had long cherished the design of rendering the entire
Peninsula subject to his authority. He was master of the Sicilies and
the Milanese and controlled Tuscany through the servility of Cosimo;
and if he were able to complete the conquest of Genoa, it would be easy
to expel the French army from Piedmont where Henry II. was preparing to
renew the war in Italy. It is true that the emperor through the senate
and Doria actually directed Genoese affairs; but dependence on the will
and favour of individuals did not seem to Charles either a dignified or
durable means of power. The conspiracy of Fieschi had been crushed; but
it had left discontents behind it and a new outbreak was possible at
every hour. Besides, Charles thirsted to be complete master of a city
which was in his view, and in fact, the connecting link between the
kingdoms of Spain and his Lombard provinces.

Figuerroa, knowing the wishes of his master, opened his views to the
old nobles who were his intimates and drew them over to his wishes.
He terrified them by setting forth the prospect of new conspiracies
and the popular affection for Gianluigi which was still strong in
the city. He told them that Andrea was too decrepit to combat these
approaching perils and that prudence counselled adequate provisions
to suppress revolt. Figuerroa found in the minds of the old nobles,
morbidly sensitive to the least breath of popular commotion, complacent
acquiescence, and he induced some of the faction of San Luca to address
a petition to the emperor in Germany, in which they exaggerated the
Fieschi movement, showed the uncertain faith of many of the Italian
princes and the danger of general revolt and concluded by requesting
that the security of Genoa be provided for by a Spanish garrison and a
more stable form of government.

The emperor answered the appeal by sending Nicolò Perenoto, lord of
Granveille and imperial councillor, with some engineers, to construct
a fortress on the hill of Pietra Minuta as a rein on the Genoese
populace. This fortification garrisoned by a strong Spanish force would
have secured the imperial power and stifled all attempts at revolution.
But Andrea, who wished to rule Genoa himself, vehemently opposed the
erection of a fortress to be occupied by imperial troops. The prince
desired to be the sole imperial representative in Genoa and to keep the
Spanish crown in a state of dependence upon his loyalty. He therefore
resisted the innovation with all his power, and boldly told Granveille
that he must lay aside the project. When the imperial minister informed
him of the petition sent by the Genoese nobility to the emperor, the
old man called to him the persons chiefly concerned in that business,
reproached them spiritedly for the weakness they had shown in falling
into an imperial trap, and induced them to recant their approval of
this scheme of national humiliation.

But Granveille still hoped to win Doria’s consent to the wishes of the
emperor, and he frequently sent his engineers to Pietra Minuta for the
purpose of defining the position of the new citadel. The people saw
these surveys, and they one day broke into tumult, rushed to the place
and would have killed Granveille and his engineers if the senate had
not forseen the danger and stationed troops so as to prevent access
to the hill. The emperor was now convinced that he could only carry
out his plans by an open war both with Andrea and the people; and he
therefore wrote to the prince that he would renounce a project which
seemed so distasteful to his admiral.

Doria on his side pledged himself to reform the government and give
it such a direction as to put it out of the power of a few persons to
reëstablish the popular constitution. He accordingly instituted the
provision called _Garibetto_ which entirely excluded popular families
from political power and gave rise to many civil disorders and finally
to intestine war. It completed the alienation of the masses from
the nobility and destroyed the vital force of the Republic. But the
plebeians, the more they were depressed, burned the more for liberty.
The spirit of revolution sometimes slumbered but was never entirely
extinguished. The opposition of Doria and the threatening attitude of
the populace deterred the Spaniards and the greater part of the old
nobles from carrying out their scheme of building a fortress to overawe
the people. But though Charles bent to the will of our people in that
project, he secured through the prince a more oligarchic form of
government and removed the new nobles from power. This success and the
increasing subservience of Doria inspired Charles with new hope that he
might get Genoa entirely in his power as a first step to the complete
control of the Peninsula. He renewed his efforts with more shrewdness
and contrived a scheme for taking the populace by surprise and lulling
to sleep the vigilance of the old admiral.

A conference was held in Piacenza by the Duke of Alba, Gonzaga, an
envoy of Cosimo, and Tomaso de’ Marini a Genoese knight. It was agreed
that when Doria had sailed to Spain, to escort the Archduke Maximilian,
Gonzaga should enter the city with a large body of imperial troops and
Cosimo should support the movement with some regiments of infantry. The
pretext for this military concentration was afforded by the fact that
the Prince Don Phillip, called into Germany by his father, would return
with Doria to Genoa and Cosimo and Gonzaga would go thither to pay him

Having made these arrangements, the Duke of Alba sailed with Doria for
Spain (July, 1548) in order to prepare other parts of the conspiracy.
But the Genoese fortunately received information of the plot. The Pope,
who, since the death of his son, distrusted the emperor more than
ever, having heard of the conference in Piacenza, instructed Carlo
Orsino, governor of Piacenza, to ascertain what had been done by the
conspirators. Orsino laboured so well that he penetrated the mystery.
Some incautious words of Gonzaga put him on the scent of the movement
and enabled him to inform the Pope of the nature of the emperor’s
plans. Paul communicated this intelligence to Leonardo Strata, a
Genoese noble living in Rome, and Strata immediately wrote to the
senate. The scheme was so bold and unexpected that the senators were
at first disposed to distrust the report. But their doubts were soon
removed. Gonzaga soon after sent a messenger to notify the government
that Don Phillip would soon arrive in Genoa, and to ask quarters in the
city for two thousand cavalry and as many arquebusiers. At the same
time, Cosimo wrote asking permission to pay homage to the prince in
Genoa and to bring as an escort, to protect him against the plots of
Genoese exiles, two regiments of cavalry and two of infantry. Andrea
also wrote from Rosas (October 19th, 1548) a letter to the Doge, which,
as an eloquent proof of his servility to Spain, we give entire:--

“I send with this galley Don Michele de Velasco and with him three
quarter-masters whom His Highness the prince desires to have forwarded
in advance of himself, for reasons which you will more fully learn
from his ambassador, Figuerroa. Their mission as you will learn is to
prepare lodgings for this court. It seems expedient for me to write
you these few words, as a citizen, praying you to give me pleasure by
issuing orders that these quarter-masters be allowed to accompany Don
Michele, and assigning them without delay all the lodgings which may be

“Receive them with such marks of esteem as you are accustomed to give
when the honour of princes and the glory of the city are concerned, in
order that His Majesty and this Illustrious Prince, his son, may know
that, not only in this, but in matters of much greater moment, you
are delighted to render him service. For, besides the general repute
which your excellencies will gain by such a course of conduct, the
favour of His Majesty and His Highness will be much greater towards
you, and their love for the Republic will be increased so that they
will the more cheerfully aid her in the hour of need, as hitherto. Your
Excellencies should remember that we have no other light or support
but the great goodness of His Majesty which permits us to live within
his kingdoms without any sense of subjection, and that for this reason
alone the whole city ought to do spontaneously whatever is required
in these circumstances, and all the more that in these matters which
require small sacrifices we shall gain large favour and induce His
Majesty to grant us privileges of greater importance. I know well that
our citizens will interpose obstacles as they are accustomed to do
in such emergencies; but your Excellencies, knowing the convenience
and importance of the matter, will strive to remove all difficulties,
compel all to preserve order and obedience and punish whoever makes
opposition in such a way as to render them a warning and example to
all the rest. I have nothing more to add on this subject; for I am
sure that you, as wise men, will carefully reflect on the duty we owe
the emperor, and voluntarily and cheerfully give those orders that
are required; the more that the stay of the prince will be only for a
few days, and small as the favour will be, His Majesty will reckon it
a great one and always remember your good will and that of the city
towards Himself. His Highness will also be gratified for your prompt
good service and all his suite will leave you greatly pleased by your
hospitality. M. Domenico Doria, the bearer of this letter, will speak
more fully of this concernment to your Excellencies, to whom I commend
me with affectionate solicitude.”

These simultaneous requests removed the doubts of the senators. They
showed an admirable firmness in refusing quarters for the soldiers of
Gonzaga and Medici. Gonzaga renewed his request and the senate replied
that if he appeared at the gates with more than twenty horses he would
find them shut in his face. He came with three hundred infantry and two
companies of cavalry, but he was obliged to quarter himself outside
of the walls, in Sestri. Cosimo, seeing the firmness of the senate,
relinquished the design of coming. But no one dared resist Doria, and
his Spaniards were received in the city.

While these events were transpiring Don Phillip sailed out of Spain
with a fleet of fifty-eight galleys, of which nineteen belonged to
Prince Doria and six to Antonio Doria, two to the prince of Monaco
and two to Visconte Cicala. There were forty other vessels of which
six were Genoese. Don Phillip took passage on board the admiral’s
galley, a vessel wonderful for her size, construction and equipment.
The designs of the embellishments were made by Pierino del Vaga, and
executed by Carota and Tasso, Florentine artists. The standards were
painted by Vaga. The gilding, the satins and the rich brocades rendered
the vessel a marvel of beauty. The young prince, astonished by this
magnificence, was prodigal of honours and marks of affection to Andrea,
hoping to captivate the old man and secure his coöperation in the plot
against the Republic. As they neared our coasts, Phillip inquired of
the admiral where he would be quartered in Genoa. The admiral responded
that he hoped to have that honour for his palace in Fassiolo, where the
emperor had been his guest. The young Prince showed dissatisfaction at
the response and rejoined that he wished to reside in the Ducal palace.
“That,” replied Andrea “Is not in my power. Your Highness may ask it
of the senate, though I am of opinion that those who live there will
not willingly evacuate it.” These frank words enraged Phillip, and his
wrath was yet more inflamed immediately after by letters of Gonzaga
which reported that their plan could not be put into execution. The
young prince broke out into angry imprecations; but his preceptor,
the Duke of Alba conjured him to conceal his displeasure lest the
suspicions of the Genoese should be increased, and Phillip constrained
himself to a complacent reception of the messengers of the Republic.

He landed at Savona and was entertained by Benedetta Spinola, a
beautiful and courteous widow. After a brief stay he proceeded to
Genoa. The princess Peretta received him in the Doria palace with the
highest honour. The Doge and the senators, the Genoese cardinals Doria
and Cybo, Lord Bishop Matera, envoy of the Pope, and the ministers of
other nations went to pay him homage.

We shall not dwell on the sumptuous reception of Phillip by the
nobility, or the splendour which Doria displayed with his open court
and princely banquets for the Spanish barons. The luxury of the
decorations, the richness of the furniture, the splendour of the
carpets and service of every kind and the wealth sunk in the banquets
of that palace were then the marvel of Italy. Don Phillip and his suite
were filled with admiration by the magnificence of their reception.

The Genoese populace did not participate in these festivities.
They could ill brook these servile attentions towards those who
were conspiring, not merely to deprive them of political power,
but to take away the independence of the Republic; and, looking on
with ill-concealed rage, they were more than once on the brink of
revolution. On the 3rd of December at midnight, the people rose at the
cry of “_Ammazza, Ammazza_”--kill them, kill them--and rushed to attack
fifty of the _Bisogni_ who were in a tavern of the mole; and they would
have despatched the Spaniards, if Colonel Spinola had not arrived on
the ground with a strong body of infantry in time to quell the tumult.
But the rage of the populace continued. Don Phillip had requested the
city police to arrest a certain Don Antonio d’Arze, a Spaniard guilty
of homicide. After the arrest, he sent eighty Spanish arquebusiers to
conduct the criminal from the prison on board a galley. Near the Ducal
palace, this body of Spaniards met the city guard. The _Bisogni_ had
their matches lit, and the guard, believing that the imperial troops
came to assault the palace, prepared to make a desperate resistance,
and in fact drove the Spaniards back by force. Many of the latter were
wounded and some lost their lives. In a twinkling, the rumour ran that
the Spaniards had attacked the Ducal palace; the people collected in
crowds and would have put the Spaniards to the edge of the sword if the
Doge and two governors of the palace had not mingled in the crowd and
soothed the irritation. Prince Doria himself was carried in a palanquin
through the most populous quarters, and besought the people to lay
aside their hostile intentions. The populace was held in subjection by
force and supplications; but the Spaniards lost no time in returning on
board their ships, and Don Phillip departed dissimulating his animosity
against the city.

We must here speak of an incident which occurred while Don Phillip was
the guest of the city; though Bandello places it some years earlier.

In one of the many descents of the Turkish corsair upon the Riviera,
they had captured a Genoese girl about ten years of age, belonging,
says the chronicle, to the illustrious family of the Calvi. Being of
remarkable beauty she was sold by the pirates at a high price to a
merchant who carried her into Spain. Here she grew more beautiful with
years and inspired a son of the Duke of Alba with an ardent passion
which he found means to satisfy. When Don Phillip came into Italy,
the young man was obliged to accompany the cortège; but not wishing
to leave the young woman, he took her on board one of the vessels and
brought her to Genoa. Annina had never forgotten her parents and her
native city; and as soon as she landed, she induced her pages by rich
presents to find her lodgings on the piazza Maruffi, near the palace
of Stefano Fieschi and in the residence of the Calvi. Annina entered
her father’s house with joy, and, seizing a moment when her lover was
occupied with Don Phillip, she dismissed her domestics and revealed
herself to her parents. The embracings, the tears, the transports of
tenderness, cannot be described. But the noble girl broke off these
demonstrations of affection. “It is time that I think of my liberation.
Though loaded with ornaments, I have been hitherto only a slave, and
I owe it to my dignity and my blood to atone in the shadow of the
altar for my dishonourable though forced manner of life. Take me to
a convent before my master learns that I belong to you, and put me
in a cell where none may ever hear my name pronounced.” Her parents
approved her choice and at once sent her to a monastery near the city,
where she was received under another name. She had scarcely departed
when the knight came to find his mistress, and, inquiring for her,
he read in the silence of the pages that she had fled. He was at
the first moment about to wreak his anger on these servants; but he
restrained himself and demanded of the Calvi the restoration of the
girl. An angry contention arose which raised a tumult in that part of
the city. In a few moments the piazza was full of men of both nations.
Among the first to enter the house of Calvi to succour the Genoese was
Giovanni Lavagna, allied by blood to the Fieschi. He was one of the
most reckless warriors of his time. Encountering the Spanish knight at
the head of the staircase surrounded by armed men and threatening the
bystanders, he demanded the cause of his discourteous manners. Alba

“It does not concern thee, white moor and traitor that thou art!”

Lavagna was not accustomed to receive abuse with patience, and he
angrily retorted:--

“Moorish Jew, thou liest in the throat!” and drawing his sword, threw
himself upon the Spaniard. The fight was of brief duration. Despite
the assistance of his companions, the knight was pierced to the heart.
The Spaniards descended into the piazza and came to blows with the
populace, who killed some and put the others to flight. Lavagna
fearing the vengeance of Phillip took refuge in the province of

Don Phillip did not relinquish the hope of reducing Genoa to the
condition of a province, and he was encouraged by Gonzaga, Figuerroa
and the Duke of Alba. The plan of the new fortress was again taken up.
The partisans of Spain reasoned that the popular hostility to Spain
constantly threatened the city with revolution and that so stubborn a
people needed a strong rein. It was reasonable enough they said that
Doria, when he was in the full vigour of life, should have opposed the
erection of the citadel, but now when he was old and infirm almost to
decrepitude he ought no longer to resist the will of Cæsar.

Charles sent to Genoa a certain Sigismondi Fransino with instructions
to confer with Doria and Centurione and endeavour to gain their
consent to the fortification. Some engineers also came secretly, for
the purpose of selecting the most convenient site. They renounced the
plan of fortifying Pietra Minuta and recommended that the fortress of
Castelletto should be restored. Doria hearing of this new plan and
wishing to finish once for all with these projects for the humiliation
of Genoa, sent Adamo Centurione into Flanders to confer with Cæsar
and convince him that there was imminent peril of losing the Republic
altogether unless these schemes were renounced. Charles made the most
formal pledges that he would put a stop to the intrigue and never again
raise the question. The advice of Don Bernardino Mendozza probably
had more weight with Charles than the remonstrances of Centurione.
Mendozza was a man of infinite cunning and dexterity in politics. He
pointed out to his sovereign the excessive devotion of the Genoese to
the acquisition of wealth, and advised him to employ every artifice to
get their money into the imperial treasury in the form of loans secured
upon lands, privileges, feuds and jurisdictions in Sicily, Naples and
Spain. “Thus,” said the adroit politician, “you will bind the Genoese
to the fortunes of your kingdom by a voluntary chain; since when their
riches are in your hands they will be naturally inclined to increase
and maintain your power. This hold upon their affections will be worth
more than any fortress.”

This shrewd advice was followed; every inducement was held out to
the wealthy nobles to place their money in the hands of the emperor,
with such securities and guarantees as would infallibly induce other
citizens to follow the example and bind themselves with their fortunes
to Spain. By this expedient Charles seemed to leave the Genoese their
independence, but he really made them tributary to his crown, Phillip
II. pursued this policy with even greater assiduity and it became
hereditary in the Spanish princes. It was in fact for two centuries the
political science by which the court of Spain regulated the affairs
of Italy; and the people found themselves insensibly bound, without
their own action, to the interests and policy of that crown. It must be
said that some give a different version of the affair of the citadel.
Writers of weight tell us that, even in this, Doria was subservient to
Charles; but we cannot believe it possible. His steadfast resistance
to that scheme is more consistent with the greatness and fame of the
illustrious admiral; and, though he was a vehement partisan of the
imperial cause, he could not have wished to become, like Cosimo, its
slave. When the Medici gave up to imperial troops the fortresses of
Florence and Leghorn, he found himself in the hands of a master, and
never digested the retort of Venice, who refused to treat with him
“because he was, in his own house, the servant of another man.”

We think the truth to be that when Doria saw the unanimity of the
people in opposing the erection of a citadel, he wisely resolved to
support his fellow-citizens, and the people are entitled to the chief
praise for the failure of that scheme. They were not yet corrupted by
the servility of the nobility, and might have renewed the examples of
their ancient valour and prevented the foreign power from striking root
in the Republic. They lost no opportunity of manifesting their profound
dislike of Spain, as Doge Lercaro himself testifies. When Charles gave
to Cosimo the government of Piombino, then in the hands of the Appiani,
the Genoese rose up in arms and demanded of the senate that galleys be
despatched to Elba to expel the Florentines and Spaniards. This time,
too, it was Doria who held back the arms of the people.

It is easy to see that the new ties between Genoa and Spain were the
principal occasion of our decline. Doria, by breaking the French
alliance and persecuting the men of Barbary (instead of courting their
alliance after the example of Venice) hastened our fall. Our commerce
gradually declined. French and Barbary fleets roved over our seas and
destroyed our marine. The city was put to great straits, and longed
in vain for the only remedy for its maladies, the alliance of France
to open up the commerce of the East. Fieschi, who had courted these
benefits, was remembered the more sadly as disasters multiplied upon
the Republic.

The government comprehended that some important and energetic
measures must be taken to restore our fortunes; and, after mature
reflection, the senate resolved to attempt the recovery of our Eastern
trade. The only remnant of our extensive possessions in the Levant
was the island of Scio, which was still held by the family of the
Giustiniani. In 1558, Giovanni Di Franchi and Nicolò Grillo were sent
to Constantinople, with eight vessels bearing costly presents for the
Sultan and his principal ministers, to ask a renewal of trade and
treaties of amity and commerce such as the Porte maintained with the

The Porte was disposed to accept our trade and friendship, but the
king of France raised objections which destroyed the hopes of Genoa.
He showed the Porte that the Genoese were the fast allies of Spain,
and could not remain neutral between Spaniards and Turks; that all the
maritime enterprises of Charles to the damage of the Turks had been
conducted with Genoese fleets; that Doria the greatest of the enemies
of Turkey and the admiral of Spain, lived in Genoa and ruled it at
his caprice; that, in fine, the Porte could not safely listen to the
proposals of the Genoese unless they declared themselves enemies of
Spain. These arguments changed the purpose of Soliman, and he sent the
Ligurian ambassadors home without giving them audience. The Republic
lost hope of reacquiring that commerce with the East which had once
enabled it to triumph over Pisa and Venice.

Such were the consequences of our fatal bondage to the empire. The
people, guided by infallible instincts, showed in this matter more
wisdom than their rulers. If we had shaken off the imperial embraces,
we might have obtained from the Turks all those privileges which
the Venitians had acquired a few years before; nor should we have
had rivals to contest our gains. The French were falling into civil
commotions which turned their attention from commercial enterprises.
The English seldom showed themselves in our seas. The Dutch had not yet
thrown off the yoke at which they were fretting, and the Venitians soon
after, becoming as inimical as the Spaniards to the Turkish power, were
excluded from Eastern markets. The Levant, still rich in silk fabrics,
might have been a fountain of vast wealth for Genoese merchants.



 The revolt of Naples--Andrea Doria subdues it--Plots of the
 exiles against his life--Giulio Cybo seizes the feud of Massa and
 Carrara--His schemes for revolutionizing the Republic--Conference
 of the Genoese exiles in Venice--Capture of Cybo--Doria labours
 to have the emperor condemn Giulio to death--Punishment of Cybo
 and his accomplices--Letter of Paul Spinola to the Genoese
 government--Scipione Fieschi and his disputes with the Republic--Maria
 della Rovere--Eleonora Fieschi; her second marriage and death.

ANDREA Doria had finally extinguished in Genoa the popular conspiracies
for liberty, and on the ruins of the Guelph Fieschi house had firmly
planted the Spanish tyranny. Still, in every corner of the Peninsula,
the people, not yet corrupted by the servility of the great, cherished
the memory of better days, and scarcely concealed their antipathy to
Spain. The sword of Doria--which is still sacriligiously suspended over
the high altar of the church of San Matteo--was once more stained with
the blood of the people.

Don Pietro di Toledo, a man of integrity, but haughty and devoted to
Rome, was very solicitous to introduce the Spanish inquisition into
Naples in order to wash out in blood the stains of heresy. Orchine
da Siena, Lorenzo Romano, Montalcino and Vermiglio were preaching
the doctrines of Luther and Zuingle and secretly diffusing the works
of Melancthon and Erasmus. The people learned the intentions of
Toledo, and rose almost to a man, protesting against inquisitors and
martyrdoms. Their protests yielded no fruit and they seized their arms,
deposed the foreign governors and created new magistrates, promising,
however, to maintain their devotion to the empire. Toledo issued a
proclamation that he would proceed to the trial and punishment of
Tommaso Aniello of Sorrento and Cesare Mormile, who were reputed the
leaders of the sedition. The two rebels came before the judges with
such a mass of followers, that the court counted it better policy to
honour rather than punish them. But the viceroy, determined to terrify
Naples, barbarously butchered Gianluigi Capuano, Fabrizio d’Alessandro
and Antonio Villamarino, and threatened capital punishment against any
who should remove the bloody corpses.

This exasperated but did not awe the populace. They made common cause
with the barons, sent deputies to the emperor and signed a truce with
Toledo until the imperial answer should be known. The truce was worse
than war. The _Bisogni_, who had taken refuge in the castles, not only
destroyed the surrounding houses, but in their frequent sorties killed
all who fell into their hands, and the populace retorted by killing the
Spanish prisoners whom they had captured.

Toledo saw that he was too weak to make head against the enraged
populace, who were already investing the forts and citadels held by
his troops, and sent for Doria to deliver him from his embarrassment.
Andrea was ill prepared for so grave an undertaking. His galleys were
damaged and without crews; for besides the Barbary slaves who fled in
that fatal night of the Fieschi, the convicts had first sacked the
ships and then taken refuge in the Apennines. But the admiral entered
on the project of aiding Toledo with unwonted zeal. He obtained money
from Prince Centurione, enlisted new crews and officers, and soon had
a fleet ready to sail. The galleys were sent off under his lieutenants
Marco Centurione, son of Adamo, and Antonio Doria. Thanks to these
ships of Doria, Toledo suppressed the revolt in Naples, took capital
vengeance on the leaders and punished the people with heavy taxation.
Yet it has been said that the emperor _pardoned_ the rebels! History
spoke falsehood. Still, this stormy protest of the people saved Naples
from the inquisition. The masses well knew the real object of Toledo.
He sought less to crush heresy than to exterminate the spirit of

The Neapolitans were a few years later silent witnesses of fierce
religious persecution. The inquisition employed such zeal, that to
mention Montalto alone, two thousand persons were butchered and
nearly an equal number condemned to death in eleven days. Tradition
says that the executioner cut them down in the streets, like so many
goats. While, through the assistance of Doria, the Spanish power
took firm root in Italy and crushed the spirit of popular liberty,
(I hope that none will believe my respect for the truth dictated by
antipathy towards the great admiral) not a few daring spirits still
struggled to emancipate the nation and to destroy the prop on which
the emperor leaned. The times were sanguinary; blood was washed out
with blood. The partisans of Fieschi raging for vengeance often
attempted to assassinate Andrea; and the obstacles in their way only
increased their fury. In August, 1547, four men of Valditaro, to whom
Galeotto of Mirandola added eight of his bandits, were sent to Genoa
for the purpose of assassinating Doria while he should be coming out
of his palace. It was intended that a conspiracy organized in the
city should seize the moment for proclaiming a popular government
and maintaining it by force of arms. Galeotto promised to lead the
enterprise in person. He was a terrible man, and his partisans believed
that no enterprise could miscarry which had at its head so practiced
a conspirator and assassin. The histories relate of him that when the
Count Gianfrancesco, a literary man of note, had been restored to the
government of Mirandola by the officers of Julius II., Galeotto, in
a night of October, 1533, scaled the fortress with forty companions,
killed the count who was kneeling before the crucifix, his uncle and
his son Alberto, and then shutting up the dependents of the count
in the prison of the fortress took possession of the government of
Mirandola. Charles V. condemned him to death for this horrid crime;
but Galeotto defended himself alike against the arms and the treachery
of Leyva, and finally surrendered the castle to Henry of France for a
large compensation.

With such men, the conspiracy did not seem likely to fail of its
principal object. However, the assassins could not find in Genoa safe
hiding for studying the habits of Andrea. Besides, the cunning old man
was on the alert for such plots, and never left his house except under
a strong escort of his faithful dependents. The assassins found it
necessary to save their own lives by a precipitate flight.

A second attempt at his assassination came to the knowledge of Doria.
Cornelio Bentivoglio, aided by the exiles, especially the Fieschi,
armed a galley with two hundred men and all necessary equipments, with
the design of entering the port by night and attacking the palace of
Doria. At the same time the exiles assisted by Pier Luigi Farnese were
expected to attack the city on the East side. On this occasion, also,
the leader had a reputation which promised success. Bentivoglio was
an audacious and fierce young man, who, having been expelled from the
government of Bologna by his father Costanzo, entered the military
service of France and obtained considerable repute in the art of war.
Perhaps the prince would have fallen under this conspiracy, if his own
counterplot against the Duke of Piacenza had not broken up the plans of

But the Fieschi party did not lay down their arms or relinquish their
hopes of vengeance. They enlisted Prince Giulio Cybo among others in
their cause. This nobleman having taken up and continued the conspiracy
of Fieschi, to whom he was allied, deserves a place in our history. The
arms of Cybo and Fieschi were the same; the former used more unworthy
means than the latter, but both ended their lives in misfortune
consecrated by patriotism.

The family of the Cybo was of very ancient, perhaps of, Byzantine
origin. They possessed in the tenth century islands and walled towns.
In 1188, Ermes Cybo subscribed the treaty of peace between the Pisans
and Ligurians. We find in old manuscripts that, in 1261, they had
palaces in the via del Campo. A Guglielmo Cybo, who died in 1311, built
the magnificent church of St. Francis in Casteletto and there was
erected the marble sepulchre of himself and his family. This Guglielmo
rendered important services to the Republic for which he obtained
the privilege of adding to his arms the device of the Republic.[49]
The family produced many other distinguished men, among whom may
be mentioned Innocent VIII. In his youth, this pontiff became the
father of a son named Francesco who was governor of Rome during the
pontificate of Innocent and married Maddalena de’ Medici sister of Leo
X. In the year 1500, Lorenzo Cybo was born of this marriage in St.
Pierdarena, a suburb of Genoa. Lorenzo devoted himself to arms, and in
the Milan war, carried the fortress of Monza by assault. The cardinal
Innocent Cybo, his elder brother, ceded him the county of Ferentillo
and he also governed Vetralla, Giano and Montegiove. Desirous of
enlarging his estates, he married Ricciarda daughter and heiress of
Alberico Malaspina, Marquis of Massa and Carrara and widow of Count
Scipione Fieschi who died in 1520.

Ricciarda bore Lorenzo several children, one of whom was Eleonora
wife of Gianluigi Fieschi. There were besides, Isabella, who married
Vitaliano Visconti Borromeo, Giulio and Alberico. Giulio, whose career
we shall briefly recount, was born in Rome in 1525, and was educated
in the court of Charles V. where the beauty of his person and the
sprightliness of his intellect acquired him the admiration of the
Spanish courtiers.

The mother of Giulio, who was in possession of Massa and Carrara,
formed the resolution of transferring the feud to the younger brother,
Alberico. Giulio went to Rome and in vain employed entreaty and
threats to change her purpose. He then resolved to take by force of
arms a property which he believed his own. In 1545, when Ricciarda and
Cardinal Cybo were in Carrara, he attacked the castle of that place at
the head of fifty men and endeavoured to capture his mother. She fled
into the tower and foiled his design. She punished with severity some
vassals who had aided Giulio, and returned to Rome where she ceded
the feud to Alberico. This increased the exasperation of Giulio who
renewed his hostile purposes with greater energy. Cosimo furnished him
some peasant bands of Pietrasanta, and Gianettino Doria supported him
with his fleet. In September, 1546, the disinherited count appeared
before Massa with one thousand infantry and one hundred cavalry. His
partisans in the town, especially the brothers Moretto and Bernardino
Venturini, seized the gate of St. Giacomo and opened it to Giulio, who
was recognized by the people as their rightful master. The fortress
was still held by Pietro Gassani; but Gianettino Doria arrived with
his galleys, landed artillery and forced him to surrender to Paolo
di Castello. The fortresses of Moneta and Lavenza were also given
up to the partisans of Giulio, who, grateful for the assistance of
Gianettino, espoused his sister Peretta. But his reign was of short
duration. Ricciarda appealed to Charles V., who ordered Gonzaga to have
the fortress consigned to Cardinal Cybo. Giulio refused, Cosimo turned
against him, captured him at Agnano, and the young count did not obtain
his liberty until he had ceded the castle (8th March, 1547) which was
occupied by Spanish troops until Ricciarda returned to it two years

It is probable that Giulio had at this time some intrigues with the
French court. The emperor had declared against him, and he was desirous
of obtaining the support of France by ceding the fortress of Massa.
The partisans of Spain were alarmed at the prospect of having a French
garrison so near to Genoa, and Andrea Doria assisted in forcing Giulio
to relinquish his hold on his father’s domains.

The young count, full of bitterness for the treatment he had received,
went to Gonzaga in Piacenza (the latter was called to Piacenza by the
assassination of Pier Luigi Farnese) and remonstrated against being
deprived of his inheritance. He received no encouragement from Spain,
who refused to restore the Castle of Massa, and went to Parma and
conferred with Ottavio Farnese who was also soured against the imperial
agents for old and new acts of hostility. He then returned to Rome
and negotiated with his mother, who agreed to recognize him as Lord
of Massa and Carrara for forty thousand gold crowns of the sun. He
borrowed twenty thousand gold crowns upon interest, and pledged the
twenty thousand crowns of the dower of Peretta for the rest. He applied
to Andrea Doria for the dower of his wife; but the prince, having
suspicions of Giulio’s complicity with Fieschi, refused to pay over the
money and neither personal entreaty nor the influence of friends could
induce the prince to satisfy the just demands of Giulio and Peretta. He
alleged that the damages he had suffered in the Fieschi sedition had
rendered it impossible for him to pay so considerable a sum, and wished
to charge Giulio with the expenses of Gianettino’s expedition of Massa.

The chronicle of Venturini, which we consult, disproves the statements
of those who wrote history without the aid of documents, and renders it
clear that Andrea debited Cybo with all the expenses incurred while the
galleys lay on the coast of Massa, of which he had preserved a minute
account rather as a merchant and usurer than as a Prince.

Cybo was thus deprived of the means of satisfying his mother and
recovering his paternal inheritance; and he conspired with the king of
France, Duke Ottavio and Signor Mortier to deal a great blow against
the Spanish power, beginningwith Genoa where the Dorias constituted
the prop of Spain. He held many consultations with the Cardinal of
Belais, the exiles Cornelio Fieschi, Paolo Spinola and others. The
confederates fixed on the following plan:--The movement should be begun
in Genoa where the Fieschi had warm friends and the Spaniards were
detested. Ottobuono Fieschi, who though living in Venice had devoted
dependents, should furnish five hundred infantry and Spinola should
introduce into the city and conceal in his house one hundred men of
the valleys; Giulio would send from Massa upon barks a body of men
ostensibly to be enrolled at Milan in the imperial regiment which he
commanded. They believed that Doria would have no suspicion on account
of the close alliance of Cybo with his family, and that all obstacles
would be easily overcome. Some persons were placed by intrigue in the
service of Andrea and Centurione, with instructions to assassinate
them at a preconcerted signal. It was believed that the death of those
two and a few other partisans of Spain would open an easy path to the
overthrow of the imperial power in Genoa.

Venice was at that period the asylum of all those patriots whom
domestic and foreign tyranny had driven into exile. In the shadow of
the lion of St. Mark, Donato Gianotti wrote his weighty prose and that
wonderful discourse to Paul III. of which we have spoken. There lived
Carnesecchi, Gino Capponi, Vico de’ Nobili, the Strozzi, Varchi, the
good Nardi and Lorenzino de’ Medici. The latter meditated there that
defence of his which has no comparison in our literature. Bartolomeo
Cavalcanti, a man of great talents and eloquence, disgusted with the
government of Cosimo, had voluntarily joined the exiles. There were
also many Genoese who had been expelled from home for complicity with
party broils. Thither went Cybo, Gaspare Venturini, Paolo Spinola and
captain Alessandro Tomasi of Siena, captain Paolo da Castiglione, who
was to have been of the party, pretended to be ill at the moment of
setting out and remained in Rome to betray the conspirators to the
ministers of Spain.

On Christmas Eve, Cybo collected his partisans in the house of
Gaspare Fiesco-Botto. There were present besides the exiles already
mentioned, the Fieschi brothers, Ottaviano Zino and Count Galeotto di
Mirandola. Cybo spoke warmly of the revolution which he was planning.
He declared that he wished to free the country from the yoke of Spain
and restore to its bosom the virtuous exiles whom he saw around him,
whose only crime was an ardent love of country. He desired to continue
the revolution begun by his unfortunate friend and relative the Count
Gianluigi, and to avenge his untimely fate. Fortune had crushed that
rising too soon to permit him to reënforce Fieschi with the troops
he had collected at Borghetto and ordered to move on Genoa. He had
afterwards pretended to support the Doria party only from motives of
convenience. But he would now throw aside the mask and proclaim them
to be traitors who had bound the Republic and delivered her to the
Spanish tyranny. Everything promised success to the new rising; the
arms were collected, all hearts burning for action and the Dorias
unprepared to encounter the popular storm. Cæsar himself was in no
condition to resist the sudden uprising of an indignant people, leagued
to sweep Italy clean of his barbarian hordes. The exiles were greatly
moved by these bold words, and swore to participate in the struggle for
emancipation. But Cosimo was watching Giulio; and Gonzaga and Doria,
to whom Castiglione had revealed everything, had their eyes on all the
conspirators. The informer paid dearly for his treachery. Venturini
tells us that he himself (perhaps with the connivance of Prince
Alberico) killed the traitor with his own hand.

The conspirators, true to their promises, abandoned hospitable Venice
and went to the posts assigned them by Cybo. Ottaviano Zino returned
to Genoa, and, while studying to seem idle, laboured incessantly to
prepare the populace for revolt. Paolo Spinola was sent to Garfagnana,
once subject to the Fieschi, where he hoped to find ardent partisans.
Others on similar missions travelled to other places. Cybo, who had
supreme command, obtained through the aid of Montachino a dependent
of Scipione Fieschi, three thousand gold crowns. The French agents
gave him countersigns for the Governor of Mondovi, Candele, who was
instructed to support the movement with two thousand infantry. He
then travelled through Ferrara and Parma to Pontremoli. The governor
of that feud, Pietro Dureta, encountered him at the ford of the Magra
and attacked him. Cybo drew his sword and raised the cry of _Gatto_
hoping to raise the vassals of Fieschi; but he was struck in the head
by a halberd, received a wound in his right hand and fell lifeless
to the ground. He was sent to Milan under a strong guard and Nicolò
Secco was appointed to prepare the process against him. The letters of
the Fieschi which were found on his person left no room to doubt his
guilt. Some tell us that he was several times tortured and confessed
that Farnese, Maffei, Ghisa and the Pope himself were accomplices in
the plot, and that the Fieschi and Farnese were its instigators. The
emperor did not wish to execute Cybo; and we find evidence in documents
of the period that even the bloodthirsty Gonzaga made every exertion
to save him. On the other hand Graneville and Doria laboured with all
their power to secure his punishment. In fact, so soon as Doria heard
of this plot, committed rather in intention than act and excusable by
the youth of the conspirator, “the prince (I use the words of Porzio)
inflamed to wrath by the offence and full of vengeful animosity,
disregarded the double tie which bound him to the young man, and made
incessant appeals to Cæsar for the blood of his relative.”

Many Italian and foreign princes asked grace for the prisoner, and
the emperor was at first undecided; but severity triumphed over
mercy--Doria desired vengeance and he obtained it. The victim met his
fate with manly intrepidity. He was beheaded and his body exposed
between two wax candles in the public square. Nearly all the historians
are in error regarding the time of his execution. The chronicle of
Venturini declares that it occurred on the 18th of May, 1548. He was
scarcely twenty years of age. Porzio says:--“His courage and military
capacity inspired all who knew him with the conviction that, if he had
not perished in boyhood, he would have become one of the first captains
of his age. He made a single mistake: that of endeavouring to expel
one foreigner with another--to drive out the Spaniards in order to
establish the French in Italy.”

Zino was not more fortunate in Genoa. His friends urged him to flee
from the city; but he, wrapped in false security, refused to follow
their advice. He was arrested and his mangled limbs were found one
morning on the piazza of the Ducal palace. Other accomplices lost their
property by confiscation or fell in other countries under the dagger
of assassins employed by Doria, to whom none could deny the right of
inflicting punishment at his own pleasure. He made free use of this
privilege of his position. It is certain that he was implicated in the
assassination of Luciano Grimaldi, Lord of Monaco, whom Bartolomeo
Doria Marquis of Dolceacqua killed with thirty-two stabs. Andrea
bequeathed this form of justice to his successor. So far as we know, no
one has ever been able to explain why Giovanni Andrea Doria imprisoned
his secretary Antonio Ricciardi da Loano, whom Spotorno calls one of
the brightest intellects of Liguria. The unhappy victim after being
buried for a long time in a dungeon, without being able to soothe
his angry master or ever learn the cause of his punishment, became
desperate and committed suicide by dashing out his brains against the
walls of his cell.

We do not know the fate of Paolo Spinola who was declared a rebel and
fled to Venice. There is in the Genoese archives a letter from him
written the 6th of April, 1548 to the Genoese government. It paints in
vivid colours the triple slavery of Genoa to Charles V., Doria, and the
bank of St. George which, having lands and jurisdiction of a peculiar
character, was a state within the state.

Spinola writes:--

“Your Excellencies having made a public proclamation, calling upon
me to render before you an account of my conduct within the term of
one month under pain of being declared a rebel, and this proclamation
having only at this moment come to my knowledge, I am constrained to
ask you as just persons--which I suppose you to be--to extend the time
and give me proper space for presenting myself before you, placing me
in fact in the same position I would occupy if the summons bore the
present date. And, as I know that all cities have malignant citizens
and Genoa above all others, (there being many among you who are opposed
to your peace and liberty) so that poor people are no longer free
except in name and your Excellencies can give no real security to
property and persons, it is necessary that men ask better guarantees
than those of the government from the persons who are masters of our
liberties. Andrea Doria being the chief of these our masters, prince
both in name and fact, and having more power than your Excellencies,
and I knowing him to be a mortal enemy of my family, I pray you if
you grant my first prayer to hear also the second, which is that you
furnish me a safe conduct of the said Andrea Doria promising me freedom
from all molestation, direct or indirect, on his part that of any
persons dependent upon him. Furthermore, for as much as the emperor,
to your shame and mine, takes more thought for the concerns of your
city than for his subject provinces, being in name our friend but in
fact our master and lord, and since I must pass through his dominions
to reach your city, I also ask the safe conduct of Don Ferrante, the
imperial lieutenant general in Italy, in the same terms as the former.
Further, having learned that the administration of the bank of St.
George has, contrary to all right and precedent, added its authority to
your summons, I ask that the said administration send me a safe conduct
of like tenor with the others above requested. So soon as I receive
these several safe conducts, I shall feel myself secure against the
malevolence of individuals, and will immediately place myself in your
hands and abide your just judgment.”

We have esteemed it our duty to give the letter of the illustrious
exile. We leave comment and criticism to other pens.

Among those condemned for contumacy to decapitation and confiscation of
goods was Scipione Fieschi. The sentence pronounced against him gave
rise to a legal cause which has no equal either in its duration or the
fame of the jurists who conducted it. Rolando a Valle was the advocate
of Fieschi, and the claims of the Republic were maintained by Giovanni
Cefalo, Tiberio Sigiano, Nervio, Menocchio and the college of Padua.
The case was contested with singular pertinacity, and most princes were
interested for one or the other party.

Scipione after the death of Gianluigi, not being able to return to
Loano which was bequeathed to him by his father, because the Dorias
had seized the feud, took refuge in Valditaro and there, as we have
seen, induced the people to put themselves into the hands of Pier
Luigi Farnese. He afterwards visited Rome, where the Pope received him
privately and treated him with great affection. At a subsequent period
he was the guest of Giulio Cybo in Massa and the two were warm friends.

When Cybo was arrested Scipione saw that it was necessary that he
exculpate himself before Cæsar, and he asked an imperial audience
through Francesco Barca, but the request was not granted. On the
contrary, when the emperor learned that Scipione was charged, in the
Cybo process, with being one of the chief accomplices he ordered
Suarez, by decree of March 14th, 1550, to institute proceedings against
him. He was cited to appear in Genoa for trial and obtained a safe
conduct; but afterwards he remembered the breach of faith with Gerolamo
and declined to appear. The case against him was conducted by Giovanni
Giacomo Cybo-Peirano, and after the death of this advocate, it was
carried on by his son. Doria himself employed an advocate to watch
the progress of the trial and hasten its completion. In the meantime
Scipione passed into France and entered the service of Henry II. He did
not however take up a permanent residence there, the jurists of Padua
having advised him to reside alternately at Rome, Venice and Mirandola.
We know that he was accused of receiving and favouring exiles from
Genoa, of capturing Spanish ships with his own galleys, of condemning
the prisoners to the oar and plundering the works of art which these
vessels were transporting to the empress Augusta. The archives of Spain
are full of accusations of similar character; but they are the fictions
of informers.

Figuerroa gave his decision on the 28th of January, 1552, but for some
reason it was not confirmed by the emperor, and this gave Scipione
strong hopes of being reinstated in his father’s domains. But Doria and
the Republic employed influences which overcame the imperial scruples
and Ferdinand confirmed the sentence on the 12th of April, 1559, in
such terms as to destroy all the hopes of Fieschi.

Nevertheless, in the treaty of Castel Cambrese, Phillip II. who had
succeeded to the crown of Spain, stipulated with Henry II. of France,
that all those who had been punished with confiscation for aiding
either crown should be reinstated in their property, particularly
mentioning Ottaviano Fregoso and Count Scipione and declaring them as
fully restored to their rights as though they were parties to the
treaty. Phillip further pledged himself to secure the restoration
to Scipione of those feuds which had been seized by the empire or
the Republic. The Spanish monarch issued his decree to the senate of
Milan ordering the surrender of Pontremoli to Fieschi; but it was not
carried into effect. The senate held that the condemnation was a just
punishment for a double treason committed both by Scipione and his
brothers and refused to obey the imperial decree. The queen of France
who had a high esteem for the young Scipione interceded for him, and
Ferdinand moved by her powerful entreaties on the 13th of July, 1552,
invested the count with Varese, Montobbio and Roccatagliata; at the
same time he signed some other decrees in his favour. These various
decrees gave rise to the controversy before the tribunals, with
Scipione on one side, and the Republic and the possessors of the feuds
on the other. The count maintained the nullity of his condemnation,
while the Republic insisted on its legality and maintained that
Scipione had lost all claims to the property confiscated for his
treason, and that the decrees of the emperor were without force or
validity. Finally, on the 2nd of August, 1574, the emperor Maximilian
gave his decision against the claims of Scipione and absolved the
Republic, Antonio and Pagano Doria, Ettore Fieschi (of the Savignone
branch) and Count Claudio Landi, who were in possession of the lands
and castles of the Fieschi.

We shall speak of Ottobuono Fieschi in another place. It is enough to
say here that, after the fall of Montobbio and the union of Valditaro
with Piacenza, he went to the court of Farnese, where he lived for some
time. He afterwards went to Mirandola under an escort of ducal cavalry,
and waited there for brighter days. Maria della Rovere shut herself
up in the castle of Calestano. The governor of Parma requested her in
the name of the duke to leave that residence, in order to relieve Pier
Luigi from the charge of sustaining herself and sons. The suspicions
of the imperial party respecting the duke were about this time turned
into certainty. Cesare della Nave, of Bologna, a man of good education
who had been created ducal commissary in Valditaro, divulged the fact
that Manara had been instructed by Pier Luigi to render all possible
assistance to Gerolamo at Montobbio. Maria then went to Rome, and
afterwards spent some time in Parma, where she dictated her will on the
23rd of October, 1553. She bequeathed all her property to her daughter
Camilla, wife of Nicolò Doria who afterwards as we shall see took up
the conspiracy of Gianluigi. Maria lived for several years after the
date of her will. The registers of the notary Antonio Roccatagliata
show that Camilla only entered upon the inheritance of her mother on
the 26th of September, 1561.

As for Panza, we find in some old manuscripts, for which we are
indebted to the courtesy of the learned Baron Giacomo Baratta, that
about 1550, he was archpriest in the parochial church of Rapallo.
Probably the preceptor of Gianluigi, after the destruction of his
master’s family, retired to some spot secluded from political tumults
and ended his days in the practice of those virtues which adorned his
previous life.

The memory of Eleonora wife of Gianluigi has been blackened by recent
accusations. After the death of her husband, beside herself with grief
she threw herself into the arms of her mother. The Strozzi papers
contain a petition addressed by her to Charles V. in which she sets
forth that her dower was secured upon the feud of Cariseto, and prays
that the emperor may command Gonzaga to deliver it to her with all
its appurtenances in satisfaction of her claims against the estate of
Gianluigi Fieschi. Perhaps she did not obtain her request; for we learn
from confused notices that she did not recover her dower for some years
after when she invested it in the bank of St. George.

Some years after Gianluigi’s death, she married Chiappino Vitelli. Her
husband was the son of that Nicolò who was killed by Braccolini for
stabbing his own wife, Gentilina, while she lay in bed beside him.
Chiappino was a brave soldier and a captain of some repute. He was a
friend of Cosimo, followed the fortunes of the empire and received
for his warlike virtues the investiture of Cetona with the title of
marquis. He distinguished himself in the affair of Pignone with the
Moors, in the liberation of Malta from the siege of the Turks, in
Flanders and in Holland. Phillip II. gave him the principal charge
of the last named war. He was at this time of monstrous obesity, and
having received several wounds had to be carried in a palanquin to
visit his trenches. While making the round of his work the Bisogni,
who fretted at being commanded by an Italian, threw him down into the
foss, (1575). On receiving intelligence of his death, Eleonora gave
up her life to pious duties, and entered the convent of the Murate in
Florence, a foundation noted for the illustrious women who fled to it
for peace, some of whom were members of her own family.

We find evidence that she lived in the same cell which had sheltered
Caterina Sforza Riario--the heroic mother of the heroic Giovanni of the
black bands--until new were constructed for her at her own expense.
She ended her days here in 1594, and Alberico I., prince of Massa and
Carrara caused her mortal remains to be placed, with an appropriate
inscription, beside those of her aunt Catterina, widow of Gio. Maria
Varano Duke of Camerino, who with a courage more than manly sustained
the siege of her castles by Mattia Varano.

The name of Eleonora was rendered immortal not only by her love of
letters, but also by her splendid charities, of which the Monte di
Pietà of Massa is a living monument.



 Ravages of the Barbary Corsairs--Bartolomeo Magiocco and the Duke of
 Savoy--The conference of Chioggia--Siege of Siena--Doria assassinates
 Ottobuono Fieschi--Sampiero di Bastelica and his memorable fight with
 Spanish knights--Revolts in Corsica--Vannina d’Ornano--The Fieschi
 faction unites with Sampiero--Ferocity of Stefano Doria--Sampiero is
 betrayed--Pier Luca Fieschi and his career.

THE cause of the empire vacillated in Germany, and the defeat of
Chiusa followed the rout at Lorene. Charles barely escaped the grasp
of the elector of Saxony, and retreated ill in mind and worse in
body to Villach in Carinthia. The Duke of Alba and Doria put forth
extraordinary exertions to provide him with money and reënforcements,
and Doria’s solicitude for the empire brought new calamities upon the
Republic. When his ships were absent in the imperial service, Dragut
landed at Rapallo, (July 6th, 1550) sacked the town, killed women and
children and carried off the flower of the population. A young peasant
named Bartolomeo Magiocco, having with difficulty escaped from the
town, bethought him of the peril of his betrothed, rushed through the
crowds of pirates, entered the house where she lay asleep, took her up
in his strong arms and bore her safely through a shower of Mussulman
bullets to the top of Mount Allegro. Other pirates infested our waters,
and our towns were so often pillaged that the inhabitants fled into
the mountains and left the coasts deserted and uncultivated. There
was not a hamlet which escaped pillage. The Duke of Savoy Emanuele
Filiberto while fortifying Mont Albano, Sant Opizio and Villafranca
came near falling into the hands of the Africans. A renegade Calabrian,
named Occhiali, hearing that the duke was in Villafranca, landed the
crews of several galleys at night, surrounded the ducal residence, and
awakened its master with the roar of arms. Emanuele escaped by a secret
passage unknown to the assailants. The victor of San Quintino could
ill digest it that he had been compelled to turn his back on a pirate.
He collected around him his pages and esquires, and the first peasants
whom he met, and assailed the Moors. They responded with such vigour
as to drive back his little band and he himself, after fighting long
with obstinate courage, was disarmed and captured; but two Savoyard
gentlemen set him at liberty at the price of their own captivity.
Occhiali returned to his ships loaded with booty and prisoners.
We learn from the chronicle of Miolo that the lords of Morseleto,
Gusinengo and Berra and the castellano of Valperga lost their lives in
this battle, while among the prisoners were seventy-five of the first
gentlemen of Savoy.

The duke mortified at his failure and particularly that two gentlemen
who had risked their lives for him should remain in the hands of the
Corsairs, was forced to offer as a ransom two thousand gold crowns of
the sun. The pirate required that, besides the payment of this sum,
the Duchess of Savoy should visit him and permit him to do homage by
kissing her hand. “This,” said he, “will render me famous throughout
Europe.” Strange union of African barbarity with the chivalry of the
middle ages! The Count of Savoy was not willing that the duchess
should humble herself in the presence of this renegade stained with
the most horrid crimes; but the prince felt deeply the misfortune of
his faithful courtiers and resorted to an artifice which secured their
liberation without humiliating the princess. A woman having the general
appearance of the duchess was clothed in her robes, taken on board the
moorish galley and with great pomp presented to the pirate, who fell on
his knees, kissed her hand with knightly grace, released the captives
and sailed back to Africa the happiest rover of the main.

While Charles was struggling with adverse fortune in Germany and
the Turkish fleets were desolating the coasts of Italy, Ferrante
Sanseverino, Prince of Salerno, formed a league with the Duke of Somma
and endeavoured to deliver Naples from the Spanish yoke. A conference
was held with the legates of France at Chioggia in which all those who
hated the Aragonese power participated. There were the Cardinals of
Ferrara and Tornone, Termes, Selves, the Count of Mirandola, Cornelio
Bentivoglio, Giulio Veri, and in fine nearly all the exiles. The
Cardinal of Tornone and Termes discouraged the Neapolitan revolution,
and the confederates turned their attention to Siena. Venice, as in
most occasions stood neutral. But Siena, irritated by recent wrongs
inflicted by imperial ministers, took part in the conference and Count
Pitigliano abandoned the standards of Cæsar and promised to carry the
city over to the side of France. As we have said France was to most
Italians the symbol of our independence, and whether or not she wished
us well she made copious promises, “according,” writes Macchiavelli,
“to the habit of that nation.”

Siena expelled Don Diego Urtado di Mendozza with his Spanish garrison
and established a free government; but the emperor at once despatched
the Marquis of Marignano to punish the rebellion, and France sent
Pietro Strozzi to make a diversion in favour of the city.

On the 16th of June, 1554, the Duke of Florence wrote to the government
of Genoa:--

“Your Excellencies will have learned that Pietro Strozzi, with about
four thousand infantry and three hundred horse, is advancing to unite
with the troops of Mirandola and then to penetrate into Tuscany
and make a diversion in favour of Siena. Being resolved to make a
spirited resistance, I have sent the Marquis of Marignano with about
two thousand infantry and seven hundred horse from my army, who will
encamp to-night at Pescia and advance to-morrow to fight the enemy at
the first good opportunity. I write to your Excellencies, as faithful
allies, to give you an account of our proceeding and to ask you to
add to our troops, for this emergency the one thousand Germans who
are stationed at Spezia, sending them forward direct to Pietra Santa
or embarking them for Leghorn, as shall seem to you most expeditious.
I promise you that as soon as this affair shall be terminated, your
troops shall be returned to you with any part of my own that you may
need. I earnestly entreat your instant coöperation in this matter,
which, as you will see, concerns our common interest and safety. Above
all act promptly for celerity is everything, as we are on the brink of
an engagement with the enemy.”

The Republic, forgetful of the generous sympathy of Siena in its own
straits and the solidarity of the two peoples, granted the request of
Cosimo and hastened to prop the declining fortunes of Spain.

Siena was defended by the bravest Italians of that period. Of many
illustrious names it will suffice to cite only those of Cornelio
Bentivoglio, who succeeded Termes in the supreme command, his
brothers Giovanni and Antongaliazzo--the first of whom was killed at
the battle of Marciano and the second taken prisoner--the Orsini,
Giovanni Vitelli, Adriano, Baglioni, Don Carlo Caraffa, Count Muzio da
Tolentino, Lionetto da Todi, an Avogardo, a Martinengo, Sampiero di
Bastelica and the Genoese Aurelio Fregoso--once a captain in the French
service--and Ottobuono Fieschi. Some other Genoese fought on the side
of Spain, against the brave city, among whom besides Doria (of whom we
shall speak presently) were Alberico Cybo Malaspina, who commanded the
troops of the Holy See. Phillip II. afterwards rewarded him for this
service by creating him prince of the empire and of Massa and Carrara.

The defence of Siena is one of the most brilliant episodes of Italian
history. The very women, led by Laudomia Forteguerri and Faustina
Piccolomini emulated the valour of ancient times. But it was all
fruitless. Leone Strozzi was killed at Piombino, Pietro his brother was
routed at Marciano, and the city, deprived of reënforcements by Doria,
who beat off the French fleet, was forced to yield. The remnant of the
defenders, reduced from forty thousand inhabitants to six thousand,
repaired to Montalcino where they set up their fallen Republic.

The she-wolf of Siena had fallen into the jaws of the Florentine
lion, but the French troops under the command of Flaminio Orsino,
Pietro Strozzi, Port’ Ercole, Orbetello and Talamone remained to be
vanquished, and the Count Marignano moved upon them with a strong army.
Andrea Doria supplied provisions and artillery and his forty galleys
prevented the reënforcement or retreat of the French by sea. Marignano
carried the fortress of Sant’Ippolito by storm, and successively
the castles of Avvoltojo and Stronco fell into his hands. Chiappino
Vitelli, captain in the pay of Orsino, distinguished himself greatly at
Stronco. Strozzi found his position untenable and retired with Orsino
to Montalto, a castle belonging to the Farnese, situated near the
sea. This retreat discouraged the friends of Siena and all the towns
which had favoured them surrendered to the imperials. At Avvoltojo,
Ottobuono Fieschi was taken prisoner and delivered to Andrea Doria.
Neither his own great age, nor the memory of his bloody vengeance
against the Fieschi family, softened the spirit of the admiral. It is
enough to make one’s heart bleed to think that he who had often spared
the lives of Turkish pirates, who treated the inhuman Barbarossa with
courtesy and released Dragut from his chains, ordered Ottobuono to be
brought to him enclosed in a sack and barbarously butchered before his

The murder of this brave warrior, captured while fighting for
national independence, deepened the resentment in the Genoese already
exasperated by the sanguinary vengeance taken against the Fieschi and
the perversion of the Republic. Nor was Genoa alone in opposing the
Doria government; the Ligurians generally shared the feeling of the
capital and the Corsicans, suffering under the despotism of our nobles,
began to show signs of revolt.

Fregoso and Sampiero shared the perils of Ottobuono in the siege of
Siena. Aurelio Fregoso and Fieschi had laid aside their hereditary
enmity at Mirandola and set out together for the seat of war. Eleonora,
widow of Gianluigi, had sealed this new friendship by giving in
marriage to Fregoso her sister-in-law Lucrezia Vitelli. Aurelio was
a soldier of great merit and was afterwards honoured for his valour.
Siena enrolled him among her citizens, Francesco Maria, Duke of Urbino,
invested him with the feud of St. Agata, and Cosimo himself treated him
as an intimate friend.

Sampiero, Fregoso’s companion in the vicissitudes of a stormy career,
was the most formidable soldier and captain of his time. The example
of the Fieschi whom he had known in Rome, Mirandola, Siena and France,
led him to draw his sword against the Genoese government; and therefore
we may be permitted to touch upon the overthrow of his family in a
struggle which dyed his native rocks with Genoese blood.

Sampiero was born in humble fortune at Bastelica (whence his surname),
and having studied the military art in his youth left his native island
and went to Rome. Here, none excelled him in strength and courage.
There is a tradition that an Orsini wished to deprive him of this
honour and for the purpose challenged him to a joust with a wild bull.
The young and reckless Samperio accepted the contest and cut down his
ferocious antagonist. He served successively the Florentines against
Pisa and the king of France. In the latter service his exploits in
Catalonia and Provence raised him to high reputation. The famous
defiance of Barletta is far less entitled to fame than his great
duel at the battle of Perpignano; but what great Italian writer has
preserved the memory of that deed?

On the evening of the tenth of October 1542, five hundred Spanish
knights issued from Perpignano with flying colours, and challenged
the besieging army to fight them man for man. Sampiero heard the
defiance and collected about him some of his bravest knights, among
whom were Pecchia da Borgo, Francesco da Verona, Ceccone da San
Zenese, Bartolomeo da Fano and other Italians to the number of fifty.
He led this little band to the tent of Delfino the French general,
and obtained permission to put his fifty against the five hundred
Spaniards. The French barons were astonished at his audacity, but
Sampiero without waiting to hear their objections dashed down upon the
Spaniards with such impetuosity as to hurl them backward at the first
shock. In endeavouring to retire the vanquished knights broke their
ranks and fell into a confusion which enabled the victors to kill many
and capture a larger number without the loss of a man.

After this victory, which would be memorable in any age, the Italians
returned to their tents, where the Marshal of France received them with
great honour, the flower of his knights greeting them with trumpets
and acclamations. Delfino received them one by one and gave them rich
presents--especially Sampiero, to whom he gave a rich gold chain.

The fame which he had acquired obscured the memory of his humble birth,
and he was counted worthy to espouse Vannina, daughter and heir of
Francesco, Marquis of Ornano. He served afterwards in the French army
of Piedmont and Paul III. received him at his court with every mark of
affection, when after the death of Pier Luigi he was collecting men and
captains to avenge the assassination.

The Genoese, suspecting intrigues between the Fieschi and the Pope,
seized Sampiero and he only recovered his liberty after urgent
solicitations of France in his behalf. This imprisonment filled him
with indignation and he resolved to revolutionize Corsica. He landed
in the island, under the protection of French and Turkish fleets, at
the head of a fine body of Italian soldiers and in a few days wrested
it from the Genoese, who had lost the affection of the people by
extortion and robberies under the name of imposts collected by bands
of thieves called tax and excise officers. The Genoese government
again erred by refusing friendly offers made by France. Termes, before
moving to the support of the Corsicans, prayed the Republic to ally
itself with France on terms which would preserve its independence,
and he pledged himself in this case to suppress revolt in Corsica.
The influence of Doria was powerful enough to secure the rejection of
this proposition, and though he was eighty-six years of age he, with
Agostino Spinola for colleague, undertook to crush the rebellion.
Both parties fought with equal valour; but the siege of Siena called
Doria from the Island to the coast of Tuscany, and Termes had not a
sufficient force to conquer the Ligurian power in Corsica.

At that time, Count Scipione Fieschi lived in the court of Catherine
de’ Medici, regent of the kingdom of France. The Republic sent there
Tobia Pallavicini and Gerolamo Lomellini, under pretence of promoting
amicable relations with that crown, but in reality to intrigue against
the Fieschi. But Catherine who had induced Henry II. to insert in the
treaty of Castel Cambrese stipulations in favour of the family, had
not changed sympathies and, instead of yielding to the influence of
the Genoese ambassadors, opened negotiations for the restoration of
Scipione to his ancestral rights.

Finding the Republic utterly averse to her wishes, she conceived a
strong animosity against it, and supported the movements of the Fieschi
and other exiles with a vigour which must have produced great results,
if the peace with Spain and the Huguenot war had not recalled all her
attention to home affairs.

Sampiero was one of the warmest friends both of the Fieschi and the
Queen regent, and discontented with peace he incessantly stimulated the
exiles to some noble enterprise. Leaving his wife in Marseilles, he
visited the courts of Italy and Navarre, and even sailed into Africa to
solicit the coöperation of the Turks. He visited the court of Soliman,
who, struck with his valour, loaded him with presents and dismissed him
with flattering promises.

The Republic was on the alert and took measures to thwart the schemes
of the exiles. Poison and daggers had failed, and the Dorias invented
another expedient. Sampiero returning from the East learned that his
wife Vannina, under the influence of priest Michelangelo Ombrone and
Agostino Bacigalupo, had sailed for Genoa. These messengers had been
suborned by the Genoese government to decoy Vannina into Genoa under
pretence that she might recover the confiscated feud of Ornano and
obtain her husband’s pardon, for whose head the Senate had offered a
reward of five thousand crowns.

This news inflamed Sampiero with the greater wrath that it was likely
to create the belief that she went there by his advice and so to injure
his fellow exiles. He lamented his misfortune to Pier Giovanni da
Calvese, who had been the companion of his journey into the East, and
Calvese informed him that he had known the fact for some days, but had
concealed it lest he should share the fate of Florio da Corte, whom
Sampiero had killed.

Sampiero was so angry that he ran his companion through and left him
dead on the spot. On arriving at Marseilles, he learned that the Queen
had sent Antonio San Fiorenzo in chase of Vannina, and that she had
been overtaken at Antibo and confined in the castle of Zaisi near
Aix. Sampiero started at once for the castle with the intention of
taking his wife under his own care, but the Count of Provence fearing
that he would do her mischief left her to choose her own course. The
magnanimous woman did not hesitate a moment to put herself entirely in
the power of her husband.

He was mortally wounded by the suspicion of the Corsicans that her
voyage to Genoa had been a treachery of his own, and he had no means of
exculpating himself but by taking vengeance for the crime on the person
of the offender. But he loved Vannina passionately and for some days
patriotism and affection contended for the mastery in his bosom. But
Vannina knew his perplexity, and came to his relief by imploring death
at his hands. She gathered about her the servants of her household and
her younger son Antonfrancesco (Alfonso was in the French court) and
addressing her husband in passionate terms, she said: “kneel before
me, and show to these persons that you still love me, that I am worthy
of you. Call me donna, Madonna.” Sampiero comprehended her thought and
fell at her feet covering her hands with tears and kisses. Then they
entered into a private apartment, and what passed between them there
is known only to God. The servants heard sighs, sobs, kisses; then a
shriek followed by a deep silence. Sampiero mounted his horse and rode
swiftly to Paris. By killing Vannina he satisfied the Corsicans of his
fidelity, and more, that no affection could withhold him from punishing
the guilty.

The hatred of Sampiero to the government of Genoa was doubled by the
part it had played in this tragedy of his domestic life. He obtained
the permission of the French Queen to undertake the war of Corsica,
and formed friendship among the Genoese exiles who shared his views,
“especially,” says Osino, “with a Gerolamo Fieschi and Cornelio
Fregoso. The latter used every argument and artifice to entice Cosimo
to favour the enterprise and even attempt it in his own name and
interest.” Cosimo temporized; and Sampiero, little accustomed to count
up obstacles or enemies, passed into Corsica with only two ships and a
few companions. One asked him:--“In case your ships should be lost, in
what could you trust for safety?” Sampiero replied: “I trust only to my

He seized the castle of Istria, routed the Genoese at Corte, and Terra
del Commune, opened its gates to his little band. It would be long
to recount all the battles which he fought against trained troops,
always winning victories. The battles of Vescovado and Pietra di
Caccia kindled a general revolution in the island. In the last, the
Genoese killed were more than three hundred, and they lost many more
as prisoners. Among the latter Sampiero found a Giovanni Battista
Fieschi (of the Savignone branch) and, instead of treating him as a
conquered enemy, entertained him with friendly courtesy in memory of
kindness done him by the Fieschi in France. In fact the Fieschi had
never refused him any favour; and when he sent Leonardo da Corte and
Anton Padovano da Brando to Paris, in quest of aid, Scipione Fieschi
had induced the Queen to give twelve thousand crowns and some troops.

The Fieschi favoured Sampiero because they believed trouble abroad
would render revolution easier at home. The energy and valour of this
warrior would have given the Republic infinite trouble, if treachery
had not interrupted the progress of his brilliant vengeance. Though
the forces of the senate in Corsica were large and had been reënforced
by German and Spanish infantry, they seemed powerless before the
revolution. Two causes rendered them impotent; the desperate ardour
of the islanders goaded to madness by the agents of the Bank of
St. George, and the absence of the popular element in the Genoese
administration. A people unaccustomed to arms, removed from all share
in the government, and jealously watched by a dominant oligarchy, is
not apt to rush enthusiastically upon death in defence of the power
of a few patricians. Finding the war going constantly against them,
the senators resolved to send into Corsica Stefano Doria, Lord of
Dolceaqua, and they expected him to sink the rebellion in a deluge
of fire. He was indeed a man of extraordinary military talents, and
his ferocity was still greater. Charles V. prized his soldierly
qualities, and Phillip II. created him colonel and knight of St. James
of Campostella. Emanuele Filiberto, also, of whom he was a feudatory,
covered him with honours, made him councillor and captain-general, and
entrusted him with the defence of Nice against the Turks. He acquired
distinction in the battles of Ceresole and Cuneo, and this induced the
Republic to select him for the Corsican war.

He accepted the appointment with great confidence, and swore to
exterminate the whole Corsican people. He said:--“when the Athenians
captured the city of Melas, after a siege of seven months, they
butchered all the inhabitants over fourteen years of age and
repopulated the island. The Corsicans merit a like punishment, and we
should imitate the example. Such vigour prepared the Athenians for the
conquest of the Pelopenesus, Greece, Africa, Sicily and Italy; and
only by exterminating their enemies did they acquire glory for their
arms. I know it will be said that such severity violates the rights of
peoples and the laws of humanity; but why listen to such follies? I
only ask that they shall be made to fear us, and, in comparison with
the applause of Genoa, I despise the judgment of posterity to which the
simple appeal.”

On these principles, Doria burned and devastated half the island, but
he did not conquer Sampiero. The conspirator in brief pauses of the
battle, assembled the people in Bozio and laid the foundations of a
Republic in the fashion of that of Sambucuccio di Alando. Doria was
recalled; Vivaldi and Defornari who followed him accomplished nothing
of moment.

The senate, despairing of victory in war, resorted to plots against
the life of Sampiero. He was riding one day with his son Alfonso
towards the castle of Rocca, when Raffaele Giustiniani, assailed him
with a band of horsemen. Among the assailants, were some Corsicans
who had deserted Sampiero, particularly Ercole da Istria and three
brothers Ornano. They attacked him in a disadvantageous position in
the valley of Cavro; but Sampiero told his son to save himself by
flight and plunged into the thick of his enemies. He prostrated Gian
Antonio Ornano with the fire of his arquebus, and was grappling with
his enemies when he was killed by a musket ball in the shoulder. It was
believed that Vittolo, his esquire, corrupted by the Genoese general,
fired the fatal shot. His death did not dishearten the Corsicans;
they fought two years longer under Alfonso, then only seventeen years
of age. But finally both parties grew tired of the war and terms of
accommodation were settled. The exiles now lost all hope of recovering
their country.

Though the Fieschi and their partisans were dead and Count Scipione
disinherited, it is not probable that Andrea Doria forgot that Pier
Luca Fieschi had advised Gianluigi to form an alliance with France;
but perhaps others anticipated him in that part of his vengeance.
We have seen that Paul III., having given his niece in marriage to
Ferrero, invested him with the Marquisate of Masserano which belonged
to Fieschi. The latter, indignant at this robbery, ceased to pay the
annual tribute to the Pope for Crevacuore. Paul, for this, and, says
the papal brief, “Also for falsifying money in his unlawful mints and
other crimes,” condemned him, deprived him of his feud and gave it also
to Ferrero. But neither the sentence, papal briefs or excommunications
sufficed to expel Pier Luca from his castle, which he afterwards sold
to the Duke of Savoy, (1548.) The duke took an oath that neither he
nor his descendants would cede the whole or any part of the county of
Fieschi to Ferrero or any person of his race. Gregory XIII. absolved
him from this oath, and in spite of Pier Luca the feud reverted to
Basso Ferrero and Clement XVII. erected it into a principate.

We do not know how Pier Luca died; but the manuscripts we consult speak
of his end as miserable. Almost all the Fieschi patrimony in Piedmont
fell into the power of the Ferrero, who treated their subjects with a
severity which strikingly contrasted with the paternal government of
their old masters and led to many seditions and revolts. Urban VIII.,
moved by the loud complaints of the people, deprived Prince Filiberto,
son of Basso, of his entire state, and his son, also named Basso, was
only permitted to assume the government through the interposition of
Duke Feria and Victor Amedeus II. We have before us a letter of the
latter, dated January 23rd, 1632, urging the people of Crevacuore to
accept Basso “who is not responsible for the faults of his brother and
father.” But the new Basso was no better than the old. Alexander VII.
removed him from the government and ordered the destruction of the two
fortresses of Masserano and Crevacuore. Here we pause; for the history
of these feuds is no longer within the range of our subject.

The Doria and imperial faction did not rest while one of the Fieschi
conspirators breathed the vital air. Even Giulio Pojano, who commanded
the galleys of Gianluigi, fell into snares set for him by that party.
He was accused of plotting against the life of Fulvia da Coreggio, wife
of Count Lodovico Mirandola, arrested by her orders and strangled in



 Bonfadio executed in prison and his body burned--Errors in regard to
 the year of his death--The causes of his arrest and punishment--He was
 not guilty of the vices ascribed to him--The true cause of his ruin
 was his Annals--The pretence for his condemnation was his Protestant

A PAINFUL episode of literary history is closely connected with the
Fieschi conspiracy, and it has not yet been fully described. If
that Bonfadio, with whose name the reader of these pages has grown
familiar, the Bonfadio who was condemned for infamous crimes to an
infamous punishment, was indeed an innocent man, the fact is one of
great importance. We are able to add something to the history of this
foreign[50] writer of Ligurian story whose fate illustrates that maxim
which affirms:--The causes of great events are always imperfectly
known; because those who are close at hand know only so much as persons
whose interests require concealment of the truth choose to tell; and
those who are distant interpret facts by passion, interest, caprice or
previously formed opinions.

Genoa was the first Italian commune in which history was written by
persons whom the government appointed for that purpose. As early as
1157, the great Caffaro wrote the annals of his country for that
period in which he had been a witness of her acts, and read them to
the elders, who ordered that his writings should be deposited in the
archives of the city and commissioned the chancellor of the commune
to continue the history. This was done down to 1264, and special
additions were subsequently made embracing a period of thirty years.
The increasing rudeness of the times, civil commotions in the city and
frequent changes in the form and personnel of the government, arrested
the progress of the annals near the close of the thirteenth century.
Paolo Partenopeo revived the work in 1528. The senate appointed him
to read rhetoric, especially the works of Aristotle on government,
“because,” says Partenopeo, “politics should be publicly taught in a
free city.” He wrote the annals of Genoa, and Bonfadio succeeded him in
the same office.

Bonfadio was born in Gorzano, near Brescia, and led a life of
vicissitudes and suffering. He was secretary to Cardinal Bari in Rome
and afterwards served Cardinal Ghinucci. Beset with many misfortunes,
which are unconnected with our subject, he wandered to Naples, Venice
and elsewhere, and finally through Count Martinengo was invited to
Genoa as a public reader of Aristotle. In Genoa his fate seemed to
change, and he wrote cheerfully of his pleasant sojourn and especially
of the gentle dames of our city. “It seems to me,” he says, “that even
the Turkish female slaves entitle Genoa to be called the city of love.”

He lived long with Stefano Pinelli and was on terms of intimacy with
Azzolino Sauli. G. B. Grimaldi, Domenico Grillo, Cipriano Pallavicini
and other young men of high birth and studious tastes. His reputation
in all branches of learning induced the senate to give him the
coveted office of public annalist from the year 1528. He entered
on it with pleasure and completed his task in a brief period; and
though he laments that the eagerness of the senate to see the work
did not give him time to clothe his narration with such a diction
as becomes history, yet in beauty of style and skill in arrangement
few Italian[51] histories can be compared with it. We must regret
that the work only comes down to the year 1550, in which he met his
unfortunate death. In that year he was torn from his studies and his
friends and condemned to the flames; and though many gentlemen laboured
with the greatest earnestness to save him, on the 19th of July he was
beheaded in prison (this his friends secured as a favour) and his body
was committed to the flames. We find the record in the books of the
condemned kept by the _Compagnia della Misericordia_.

Casoni erred, therefore, in stating that he was executed in 1582, as
also Tuano who fixes it in 1560, in which he is followed by Konning
and Bayle. Nor less inaccurate are Pagano Paganini, Cesare Caporale,
Chevalier Marini, Scipione Ammirato and Crescimbeni who tell us that he
died by fire, since his body was only burned after death.

We know that the _Biblioteca Civica_ of Genoa contains some rhymes of
an ascetic character which are usually attributed to Bonfadio, at the
end of which a marginal note says that he died in prison July 20th,
1561. This raised doubts about the year of his death and some have
argued that he was not beheaded at all but died a natural death. A
little experience in reading ancient manuscripts will enable any one
to see at a glance that this note belongs to a period much later than
the sixteenth century. Nor can that record by an unknown amanuensis be
compared for authenticity with the catalogue of the condemned kept by
the _Compagnia della Misericordia_. We pass over the rhymes. Except a
few sprightly lines, they show the devoted ardour of a monk rather than
the philosophic penetration and chaste diction of Jacopo.

The cause of his severe punishment was from the beginning involved in
obscurity, and the lapse of centuries has seemed to increase rather
than dissipate the darkness. He has been accused of dishonourable and
illicit love and of having disclosed state secrets. Others tell us that
powerful rivals in love caused his ruin, and still others that he had
incurred the enmity of powerful families who instigated his arrest and
condemnation. His biographers give us no light; rather they increase
the confusion. But the opinion has prevailed that he was executed for
illicit amours. The writers who maintained this opinion were of no
great weight, and it is time to show the inconclusiveness of their

The statutes of Genoa attached the penalty of death to the crimes of
Attic venery, heresy and witchcraft, for one of which Bonfadio must
have been punished. No one accuses him of the last two. Tuano, who is
quoted among those who charge him with lustful crimes, says nothing
clearly but only that “Bonfadio was punished for an offence which it is
prudent to conceal” (_ob rem tacendam_). But, besides that many things
are better concealed, it is important to remember that Tuano, who did
not even know the year in which Bonfadio was executed is a suspected
authority in Italian affairs. Paolo Manuzio leaves us in equal
uncertainty; in his golden Latin song he says that Bonfadio perished
for a crime over which the sword of justice could not slumber, but
he does not define the singular offence which he also says would not
tarnish the glory of his name. The only one of his contemporaries who
openly accuses him is the base Marini, whose verses, worshipped both
by princes and the populace, invested falsehood with the appearance of
truth. Cardano took up the tale and no one has yet destroyed the basis
of the calumny. The judicious and impartial critic knows how little
value is to be attached to any statement by Cardano; nor can a verse
of the author of the Adonis be accepted as a guide for the opinions of
posterity, especially since Garuffi has so severely criticized him for
traducing the memory of so great a writer as Bonfadio.

One must know little of the low morals of an age which put a price upon
sin and absolved offences before they were committed, to doubt that
the vice with which Bonfadio is charged prevailed to a fearful extent.

Genoa, though she had the forms of a Republic, was no better than
the rest of Italy. Let us admit then, for a moment, that Bonfadio
fell into the common sin. It was neither so new nor scandalous to
the senate as to have led to his death by fire. Such a charge was in
the sixteenth century little less than ridiculous. We have gone over
many volumes of the criminal _Ruota_ of the time, and, though we have
studied diligently, we find not a single case of severe punishment for
that crime. Whether no cases are found because proofs of such beastly
crimes are difficult to find, or because the vice was universal, is
hard to decide. We find that a Francesco Spinola called the _Caboga_,
who was brutally addicted to the vice was, not burned, but sent to the
frontiers a few years after the death of Bonfadio. Though in 1479,
a master workman in coral, who had violated a girl in Albaro was
quartered with red hot irons, the severe sentence was not for the rape,
but because he had afterwards killed his victim. It is not probable
then that the government was severe against so common a crime, or would
have condemned to the flames for it a man of such talent and position
as Bonfadio. Had this been his only offence, his numerous friends in
the senate would have encountered little difficulty in saving his life.
Andrea Doria so lauded in Bonfadio’s immortal pages, who controlled all
the affairs of the Republic, whose will was mightier than law, would
have saved him from death. We must therefore believe that the blow
which felled him came from a higher hand than Genoese law, from a hand
with which it was idle to contend. This conclusion will help us to find
elsewhere the true cause of his condemnation.

The most credible authorities of the time tell us that he was innocent
of these vices, and they add that he suffered for secret reasons of
state. Some even among these writers seem to have been borne down by
current opinion and doubt if he were not guilty, but they add that
it was only the pretext for his punishment. Such is the opinion of
Giammatteo Toscano who wrote indignant verses against the Genoese for
the murder of Jacopo. Caporali declared Bonfadio innocent. Ottavio
Cossi and Ghilini tell us that having offended in his writings some
very exalted persons, he was accused of infamous ardours. It is
probably true that he incurred the enmity of illustrious families whose
names were blackened in his history; Zilioli confirms this theory when
he says that Bonfadio’s history was _mortal_ to its author. Boccalini
states the case with much greater clearness, blaming the pen of
Bonfadio for having impeached the honour of great houses, adding that
an historian should imitate vine-dressers and gardeners: that is to
say, should speak only in the full maturity of events, when the great
who had done evil are dead and their children incapable of vengeance.
He enforces his theory by the example of Tacitus who preferred
violating the laws of history to running risk of personal danger. In
expressing these cowardly sentiments (an historian ought to tell the
truth and to throw down his pen when that becomes impossible) Boccalini
did not express his true opinions, and he was afterwards run through by
the Spanish ambassador in Venice for writing freely against Spain.

Laying aside as untenable the opinion of Marini and Cardano, we agree
with those who deny that Bonfadio had fallen so low, and we find
support in the testimony of Ortensio Landi, a contemporary of our
author and a man of great talents, who fell into disgrace at Rome for
evangelical opinions. He tells us that Bonfadio was condemned on false
testimony; and this was the belief of the learned of that period.
There is in fact nothing to support the theory that he was guilty
except the assertions of writers of little reputation for truth in
other matters, who were, indeed, only servile retailers of calumnies
which their authors wished perpetuated beyond the tomb. The nature of
the penalty, the secrecy of the trial and the position of the accused
were calculated to impress the popular mind with the belief in a crime
against nature--a crime which famous examples, especially that of
Brunetto Latini, showed to be the vice of _literary men and public
teachers of youth_. There is, besides, in man an instinct which finds
guilt where the axe falls. The public and the historians forgot one
fact, Bonfadio read his lectures in a church and his auditors were not
young boys. He says that he had “many aged listeners and more merchants
than Students.”

The true cause of his condemnation must be sought in his _Annals_. He
probably blamed pretty freely some persons who expected great praise.
This opinion is adopted by Teissier among foreign writers, and in Italy
by Fontanini and Mazzucchelli besides those already mentioned.

A careful reading of Scipione Ammirato will show that he really does
not differ from these writers. “He was punished,” says Ammirato, “for
teaching political principles contrary to those of his time and place,”
although Bonfadio supported the Doria and Spanish party and opposed
those who fought for more liberal government.

We must now enquire what persons offended by the bias of Bonfadio were
sufficiently powerful to satiate their vengeance in his blood?

The times were unpropitious to literary freedom. Offences of the
pen were punished by the dagger or by banishment. Boccalini was
assassinated in Venice; Sarpi fell under a stiletto aimed by Rome.
Oberto Foglietta was banished from Genoa, and if the government could
have put hands on him he might have gone to the scaffold. Every
independent writer was the target of powerful malevolence. So fell
Bonfadio. In describing the conspiracy of Gianluigi Fieschi, he used
unmeasured terms of reproach against that noble family and praised
beyond all limit the Dorias and the Spanish government. His treatment
of the Fieschi, whose fate nearly all lamented and who still had
powerful friends in the Senate, provoked the vengeance of the partisans
of Gianluigi and popular liberty and also of those nobles who were
hostile to Doria and Spain. All other attempts to avenge the dead had
failed, and they turned fiercely upon the historian who had outraged
the memory of the vanquished. They charged him with a crime which must
be punished by fire and secured his condemnation.

Nor did the rage of his enemies cease with his death; for they made
every exertion to prevent the publication of his _Annals_; and,
though the times were quiet and the Doria interest clamoured for the
publication, their enemies kept the work locked up in the public
archives. It was not published until 1586, (in Pavia by Gerolamo
Bartoli) that is thirty-six years after the death of its author. Though
Bayle and Papadopoli assert that Bonfadio himself published it, this
statement must be put down among the numerous errors of his biographers.

We have seen what was the probable reason for the attack of Bonfadio’s
enemies; it remains to investigate the pretext which they put forth,
since the charge of Attic venery cannot be entertained. Two other
crimes were punished among us by fire; and as there is no ground
for supposing him accused of witchcraft or magic, we are forced to
conclude that he was charged with holding the new religious doctrines
which were then striking root in Italy. This opinion, so diverse from
that hitherto held, may seem bold and we will briefly consider its

It is well known that the revival of letters paved the way for
religious reform. It is known, too, that Italy, seeing herself
deprived of political liberty, turned her attention to religious
freedom as the foundation of free institutions. In fact, the reformers
among us sought mainly to restore democracy to the church. The first
accents of religious liberty were heard on the banks of the Verbano
and the teachers were Bernardino Ochino da Siena and Pietro Martire.
Lucca, Pisa, Vicenza and Modena embraced the new doctrines, and Ferrara
received as a guest in 1535, Calvin, the friend of Renata.

In the court of this duchess, were found the most distinguished of the
reformers, among whom were Celio Secondo Curione and the beautiful
Olimpia Morato, a miracle of virtue and wisdom. The religious community
of Naples contained no less illustrious disciples all of whom belonged
to the highest families of the land. Some maintain that Vittoria
Colonna, Marchioness of Pescara, was of the number; Giulia Gonzaga and
Isabella Manriquez certainly were; the latter found an asylum among
the Lutherans. It is believed that Princess Lavinia della Rovere, of
the house of Urbino, and Margaret of Savoy, wife of Emanuel Filiberto,
embraced the new doctrines.

In those days the most cultivated Italians professed the boldest
doctrines. Vasari tells us that Leonardo da Vinci had formed such
heretical opinions that he accepted no religion whatever. Castelvetro,
accused of heresy, with great difficulty escaped the grasp of the
inquisition. Bishop Pietro Paolo Vergerio and his brother Giovanni
Battista, whose condemnation was written by the same pen which drew
the fatal capitulation of Forno; Guglielmo Grattarolo, Gerolamo Zanchi
a canon of the Lateran, Giovanni Montalcino, the Sozzini of Siena,
the brothers Scipio and Alberico Gentile and many other distinguished
literary men held the views of the reformers. Paul III., appalled by
the rapid progress of the new ideas, with his bull of April 1543,
established the tribunal of the Inquisition in every city, Venice
did not wish to suffer it; but Rome strangled Giulio Ghirlanda and
Francesco di Rovigo, and all the reformers (among them are mentioned
Trissino, Flaminio, Soranzo and Bembo) were forced to flee into exile.

Many noble men fell in Rome; Fannio Aonio Paleario and the Venitian
Algieri. The church was saved by sword and fire; and the ecclesiastical
writers agree with us in this:--It was the Inquisition that extirpated
the new doctrines in Italy; without this intervention of force, the
intellectual character of the Italians, the well-known licentiousness
of the Popes, the habit of our poets to sport at friars and nuns, and
the denial by our republics of infallibility to the Apostolic See, must
have combined to promote the complete triumph of the religious reform.

The church always had great power in Genoa. As early as 1253, the
friars of San Domenico executed a Master Luco as a heresiarch and
confiscated his goods. The church grew so arrogant that three years
later, Fra Anselmo, chief inquisitor, demanded that certain rules of
his should be incorporated among the statutes of the Republic. The
consuls refused to gratify him and the inquisitor excommunicated the
city and its district. The government sent ambassadors to the Pope
without success; it was forced to humble itself and register on its
statute books laws dictated by a priest. In 1459, a decree of the
Republic granted every facility and privilege to the father inquisitors.

The bull of Paul III. inflamed our inquisitors with extraordinary
zeal. The partisans of the new creed were increasing rapidly, and the
fathers resolved to convert or exterminate them. Among the heretics,
to say nothing of laics, was Cardinal Federico Fregoso whose books
on the psalms had been entered in the index. The prior of San Matteo
was accused of heresy in Bonfadio’s time and cited to appear before
the inquisition in Rome, in spite of the friendship and protection
of Doria and the government. It has never been clearly proved that
Bonfadio shared the views of the reformers, but everything conspires
to the support of that theory. However that may be, his opinions were
certainly such as to afford his enemies a pretext for the accusation.
He hated the priests and spoke and wrote bitterly against them. His
letters, which give him the first place in that branch of Italian
literature, show that he was opposed to all religious orders and
particularly the regular clergy called _Theatine_, who reciprocated the
sentiment and spoke of his death as a judgment of God. His annals and
the freedom of his speech made him many other enemies in Genoa, but
though they were powerful he despised them. Carnesecchi warned him
that one of them had established himself near his person and exhorted
him to be cautious. Bonfadio replied:--“The man of whom you write to
me from the Roman court always disliked me.... His eyebrows are shorn,
and he never laughs; wherefore I doubt that He who can do all things
is able to make the man good. He has done an evil work, but it was his
own proper work, and if he has poisoned the fruits of my labours that
was inevitable, because he bears a serpent in his bosom.” The serpent
uncoiled himself and Bonfadio was undone. It was not difficult for his
enemies to fasten upon him the charge of heresy, adducing as proofs his
intimacy with wicked or heretical men whom Rome had already doomed.
Among the first-class was Nicolò Franco, of Benevento, who perished
on the scaffold in Rome, prophesying the same fate for Pietro Aretina
whom that age, after loading him with honours and riches, blasphemously
called divine. Among the second class, that is those whom the church
accused of heresy, were the Martinengo, who all belonged to the party
of reform. We may mention Ortensia Martinengo, countess of Barco; Celso
Martinengo, whose letters to Angelo Castiglione carmelite of Genoa
(written for the purpose of converting Angelo to the new party) are
extant; Count Ulisse Martinengo who went to Antwerp as the minister of
the Italian church there when Gerolamo Zanchi declined the appointment.
Bonfadio was even more intimate with Lord Bishop Carnesecchi who
embraced the views of Luther in the school of Vermiglio and Ochino in
Italy and of Melancthon in France. Carnesecchi was executed in Rome in
precisely the same mode as Bonfadio in Genoa.

Bonfadio writing to Carnesecchi praises his divine talents and
adds:--“As the Romans preserve the statue which fell from heaven, so
may God preserve you for the edification of many and put off to a
distant day the fading of one of the first lights of Tuscan virtue.
May God enable you to be happy and live with that cheerfulness which
characterized you when we were together in Naples.”

He was also very intimate with Giovanni Valdes a Catalan, who was among
the first advocates of Luther’s opinions. After the death of Valdes,
he wrote:--“Whither shall we turn, now that Valdes is no more? This is
a great loss for us and for Europe; for Valdes was one of the rarest
men in Europe. His writings on the epistles of St. Paul and the psalms
of David are abundant proof of his ability. He was without controversy
a complete man in deed, word and counsel. His little spark of soul
kept alive his weak and emaciated body; his great part, that pure
intellect, as if outside of his frame, was continually uplifted to the
contemplation of truth and divine things.”

These words make it highly probable that Bonfadio held the doctrines
of the man he so highly esteemed, and show us that this friendship for
the enemies of Rome afforded sufficient ground for a charge of heresy.
This will seem very credible, when we remember that a canon of the
inquisition declared that the smallest evidences were sufficient for
conviction of heresy; a nod, suspicion or common report, especially
in the case of a man of letters, of whom Paleario wrote that the
inquisition was _sicam districtam in literatos_ (a dagger drawn against
literary men.)

We conclude then that the religious views of Bonfadio and his
friendship with the reformers gave his enemies the arms with which
they slew him. The court of Rome had its hands in the business, and by
the same act avenged its political friends, the Fieschi, and punished
a friend of the reformation. The records of Bonfadio’s trial were
never seen, and there is no proof that the criminal _Ruota_ of Genoa
condemned him. This is a new proof that the whole transaction was the
secret work of the agents of the inquisition. The records of such a
trial were not required to be filed in the archives of the state.
Nor is this all; the agents of Rome had the right to conduct the
trial without the participation of the civil power, whose duty was to
render a blind obedience to the orders of the religious tribunal. This
explains why the Dorias who had unlimited power over the government,
were powerless to save Bonfadio, when he was charged with holding the
opinions of the reformers, among whom we are disposed to number him,
accepting the authority of Gerdesio a contemporary whose statement to
that effect was not contradicted in his time.

Whatever views our readers may entertain of the merits of the contest
between the Fieschi and Doria, it is certain that the cruelties of the
latter provoked reprisals by the friends of the former, and Bonfadio
the illustrious but partial historian of the conspiracy, was one of
the most conspicuous victims. As Bonfadio succeeded Partenopeo in the
office of public instruction, Giammatteo followed Bonfadio. The Jesuits
enticed him, two years after his election, into their fraternity and
they intrigued with such success that the instructors of our youth were
chosen from their number, and men of genius were no longer employed by
the Republic.

It is true that Tasso was invited to Genoa with the offer of a liberal
salary; but it was the work of private citizens not of the government.
Torquato received the call with pleasure but he did not accept the
office. In 1614, Lucilio Vanini, the Italian Spinosa, opened public
schools among us. He pursued the system of Bonfadio with such success
that many young men were affected with heretical views and the teacher
was forced to seek his personal safety in exile. He took refuge in
France; but he was discovered and perished in the flames. Unfortunately
his doctrines had taken root among us. To omit many, the painter
Cesare Conte, the friend of Cambiaso, Chiabrera and Paolo Foglietta,
was arrested in 1632, by the sacred office and ended his days in the
dungeon of the ducal palace.



 The Fieschi at the court of France--Louis XIV supports their
 claims--Bad effects of the law of Garibetto--Severe laws against the
 Plebeians--Death of Andrea Doria--Estimate of his public services--New
 commotions--Magnanimity of the people--The old nobles make open war on
 the Republic--Treaty of Casale in 1576--The Spanish power in Italy,
 particularly in Liguria--Aragonese manners corrupt our people--New
 taxes and customs--The nobility accepts the fashions, manners and
 vices of the Spaniards--Change of the character of the Genoese
 people--Last splendours of Italian genius.

IT is not our purpose to follow Count Scipione in his wanderings;
we shall only speak of so much of his exile as is necessary to the
narration of the last of the Fieschi drama. He married Alfonsina,
daughter of Robert Strozzi and Maddalena de’ Medici, and obtained many
marks of esteem from the royal house of France, whom he and Strozzi
served. Elizabeth, wife of Charles IX., treated him with the same
familiarity as Catherine de’ Medici. He distinguished himself at the
siege of Rochelle, and Henry III. knighted him in the order of _Saint

Scipione left a son, Francesco, Count of Lavagna and Bressuire, who
fell at the head of his troops in the siege of Monte Albano (1621), and
from whose marriage with Anna Le Veneur a noble family was born. The
eldest, Charles Leo, married Gillona de Harcourt, (1643), who bore him
Gianluigi Mario, a name which the Genoese Republic never forgot. Louis
XIV. took him under his protection, and demanded of the Republic the
restoration to Mario of his ancestral domains. The Senate refused, and
he sent a formidable fleet, commanded by Segnalai (1684), who bombarded
the city, and ruined churches, monuments and palaces. Innocent XI.
interposed without effect; the fierce monarch required that the Doge
and four senators should supplicate mercy in Paris; that the Republic
should disarm its galleys and pay a hundred thousand crowns to Count
Fieschi. The Republic abandoned by Spain, was forced to accept these
conditions, and Louis on his part promised no longer to support the
pretentions of the Fieschi. Count Gianluigi Mario died in 1708, without
offspring, and the counts of Lavagna in the line of primogeniture ended
with him.

We have spoken in another place of the addition to our statutes of the
law called in derision, _Garibetto_,[52] the effect of which was to
exclude the new nobles and the men of the people from political power.

The artifice was this: The old and new nobles in equal numbers filled
the public offices, and, the latter being the more numerous class, the
individuals of it held the highest office less frequently than the
individuals of the old nobility. The rule was distasteful for many
reasons: it was not made in a lawful way, but imposed by the authority
of Andrea Doria, when many of the nobles themselves (says Doge Lercaro)
were opposed to the measure; and it was contrary to the wishes of the
vast majority that a few patricians should have almost exclusive claims
upon the Dogate.

The people were little pleased that they were now totally excluded from
that office, to which formerly they alone were eligible, while the
plebeians[53] fretted at the insolence of the patricians and Spanish
gentlemen among us.

There were new conspiracies. The spies of the emperor learned that a
Fra Clemente of the order of St. Francis had brought back from France
some schemes for a revolution and Suarez communicated the information
to the Senate. The friar was arrested at Ceva and, having been
tortured, he declared that De Fornari was intriguing with the king
of France to promote a revolution in Genoa. De Fornari, the same who
had been elected Doge against the wish of the old nobles, and who was
therefore very obnoxious to that party and idolized by the people, was
captured and confined in Antwerp.

Such movements led the Senate to distrust the people more than ever
and to deprive them of the right to bear arms. In fact, when Agostino
Pinelli was Doge, Italian troops were no longer trusted with the
custody of the ducal palace; but the Republic enlisted Swiss, German
and Trentine mercenaries. Giocante Della Casa Bianca who had commanded
the guard for twenty-five years, gave up his sword to a German
adventurer and accepted a subordinate position.

Besides, though the plebeians did not revolt or renew the conspiracies
of Fieschi and Cybo, the Senate endeavoured to ruin all those who were
pronounced friends of the ancient popular system. Oberto Foglietta
having published in Rome, where he resided (1556), two books on the
Genoese Republic, in which he exalted the popular citizens over the
patricians, declaring that the first had served the country with
greater fidelity than the second, the government declared him guilty of
felony and punished him with banishment and confiscation of goods. Many
years after, Giovanni Andrea Doria, to whom he dedicated his eulogies
of illustrious Ligurians, procured the revocation of the sentence.
While the Senate banished Foglietta, it praised to the skies the
ignoble treatise of Pellegro Grimaldi, who, though a Republican, taught
us to beg the favour of princes, and the logic of Lovenzo Capelloni,
who, adhering consistently to the party of the victors, declared that
the Holy See owed its fame to the house of Borgia.

On the 25th of November, 1560, Andrea Doria died, having lived almost
one hundred and one years. The nobles called him the father of his
country; but Cosimo, the old, was equally flattered. The plebeians with
more sense surnamed Andrea _Good Fortune_, because except in a very few
cases, his plans were always successful. He was the first admiral of
his time and conquered everybody but himself; sad proof of which are
the misfortunes of Fieschi, Farnese, Cybo and a long list of exalted
names. He bore arms against his country, to dissolve, he said, its
alliance with France; but the act was equally in his own interest after
he had deserted the French service.

If he emancipated us from France, he took away the popular franchises
and established the Spanish tyranny. He did not wish the office of
Doge; but being the minister of Charles V. in Italy and the lord
of the Main, it did not become him to descend to an office of less
rank. The magnanimity of his own heart and the temper of his fellow
citizens alike forbade him to assume the supreme power of a prince
in Genoa. That was probably destined in his mind for Gianettino, and
only the Fieschi conspiracy saved us from that fate. If Doria had
wielded his sword and shed his blood for Italy as he did for foreign
masters, he might perhaps have saved us three centuries of humiliation.
Foglietta proposed to him a more generous service; to despoil himself
of galleys, giving them or selling them to the Republic--an example
which other citizens would imitate--so that Genoa, having fifty ships
in her service, could hold French and Spaniards at bay and use the
seas for her commerce. Such a course would have given Andrea the
glory of Ottaviano Fregoso, who by destroying the forts of the Faro,
showed that he loved his country better than his personal dignity and
interest. But the Republic saw in her waters a fleet which belonged
to her sons, while she lacked ships to protect her coasts from the
pirates of Barbary. The splendid scheme of Foglietta came to nothing;
Andrea spent his life in keeping the seas open for French and Spaniards
and in maintaining foreign powers. He preserved to Genoa the name of
independence, but it was a mockery. Though he put on our necks the yoke
of Spain, he was great and strong enough to be the only minister and
agent of that power.

A great soldier in the service of the enemies of Italy, he stripped
the Republic of her popular power, founded an oligarchy on the ruins
of liberty and closed the glorious epopee of Genoese conquests in an
endless succession of domestic conspiracies and political contentions.
Such is our estimate of Andrea. We believe that now that the angry
passions which his actions evoked have ceased to glow, the sentence of
history should be written with impassable justice. After his death,
the Fieschi party again took courage. They attempted to remove the old
nobles from power and in 1560 (writes Doge Lercaro) conferences were
openly held in many places, especially in the house of Basadonne, so
that it was necessary to refer the matter to the Senate. Finally, the
nobles of San Pietro, headed by Matteo Senarega, a man of much legal
learning and political experience whom the arrogance of Doge Gianotto
Lomellini had driven from the secretaryship of state, resolved to renew
the Fieschi movement, humble the patricians and destroy the Spanish
power. The contest began in the election of Doge, each party wishing
to elect one of their own number, and they came to blows. The Porch of
St. Luca was supported by its large army of vassals, by the arms of
Spain and by the galleys of Prince Giovanni Andrea Doria. The porch of
St. Pietro had the support of the populace who hoped to regain their
old place in the political system of the Republic. In the midst of the
quarrel (1572) Galeazzo Fregoso arrived with two large triremes, and
after an enthusiastic reception by the people announced that the king
of France would give support to the popular cause.

Scipione Fieschi also repaired two ships in order to support the
revolution. But both found an invincible repugnance in the people
to a revolution supported by foreign arms, and relinquished the
enterprise. The people trusting in their own stout arms, revolted under
the leadership of Sebastiano Ceronio, Ambrosio Ceresa and Bartolomeo
Montobbio, sons of the people. However, the life and soul of the
insurrection was Bartolomeo Coronato, who though noble by birth,
patriotically espoused the popular cause. They occupied the city,
closed the streets with barricades and shut up the patricians in their
houses. These movements lasted for a month, the deputies of the people
demanding that the laws of 1547 be abolished and the most worthy of
the citizens inscribed in the book of gold. The Doge trembled at the
audacious demand and the Senate saw no escape from its perplexity until
Giovanni Battista Lercaro entered the hall and said:--“Since you have
not been able to save the country from its peril and are ignorant of
the art of governing, yield your places to better men. Elevated to your
offices by the spirit of faction and personal interest, you are unfit
to rule.”

These words of Lercaro, a man of great dignity and a noble of the
porch of San Luca, frightened the Senate who promptly declared their
willingness to follow his advice. But the plebeians always generous to
their own hurt, answered:--“We have not taken arms for political power.
We only want the law of Garibetto revoked.” Whereupon the Senate took
fresh courage, annulled the odious law, added three hundred families to
the nobility, abolished an unpopular excise duty upon wine and raised
the daily wages of the weavers three soldi. The populace were satisfied
and returned to their daily duties, while the nobles of San Pietro who
had feared a popular tempest managed the movement with so much address
that they obtained complete control of the state.

But the noblemen of San Luca, as indignant after, as pusillanimous
before the peril, refused to recognize the new laws and, abandoning
the city, retired first to their castles and afterwards collected
at Finale, then in the power of Spain. Here they declared open war
against the Republic, and failing to obtain assent to their demands by
the mediation of princes and even of the Pope, they invoked foreign
arms to desolate the country. A powerful fleet commanded by John of
Austria, brother of king Phillip, sailed into our waters. The old
nobles, knowing the hatred of our people to Spain, required that the
expedition should sail under Ligurian colours; but this did not secure
the success of the enterprise. Meanwhile Giovanni Andrea Doria, heir
of the political opinions of his Grandfather as well as his riches and
rank, stormed the castles of Spezia, Porto Venere, Chiavari, Sestri and
Rapallo; and without listening to proposals of peace proceeded to the
conquest of the western Riviera, capturing Noli and Pietra.

The nobility, whose remittances from Spain came in very slowly, was
reduced to such extremities as to be unable to continue the war.
Giacomo Durazzo was Doge. Prospero Fattinanti took his place and a
compromise was effected through the ambassadors of the Pope, the
emperor and the king of Spain assembled in Casale in 1576. The accord
of the two parties of the nobility excluded the people from all
political power. The plebeians were enraged at this new betrayal of
their cause, and Matteo Senarega who had laboured so hard to promote
popular rights, prophesied that the bondage of the plebeians would
be eternal. He wrote:--“He who is oppressed by a prince yields to
necessity and to destiny, with the consolation that a change of masters
may lighten his burdens; but he who sinks under the despotism of a few,
assuming the name of a Republic, loses his disgust at the tyranny in
the sound of a word and under a sweet delusion wears his chains for

The old and new nobles now intrigued with such success as to destroy
the spirit of popular liberty; and Coronato, whom Lercaro though of the
opposite faction praises so highly, lost his head on the scaffold. On
the other hand, Prince Giovanni Andrea Doria, who had dyed his sword
so often in the blood of his fellow citizens, was called, “_Preserver_
of the liberties of his country.” To this day he holds that rank in
history; but our history must be re-written.

We have seen that the reforms of Andrea destroyed the popular
constitution, placed all political power in the hands of the
patricians, and opened the doors of the Republic to Spanish supremacy.
When the city of Finale, exasperated by the lust and avarice of Alfonso
Del Caretto, shook off his yoke, the dispossessed lord appealed as
an imperial vassal to the Diet of Augusta; and the emperor, far from
favouring the Republic, which had taken part in the fall of Alfonso,
decided that the marquis should be restored to his feud, compelled
Genoa to pay him for the damage he had suffered. The Republic clamoured
against the sentence, it is true; but when a few years later Gabrielle
Della Cueva, duke of Albuquerque, and governor of Milan, garrisoned
Finale, Genoa had not courage to oppose the measure, and suffered a
foreign power to intrench itself in the very heart of Liguria. At the
death of Marquis Francesco (1598), the line of Carretto became extinct,
and the Senate allowed Finale to pass into the possession of Spain,
who, not content with this, assassinated Ercole Grimaldi, in order to
become master of the principate of Monaco, (1614.)

Conquests and wars were finished, and Genoa had scarcely strength to
keep down domestic revolt, and resist the aggressions of immediate
neighbours. The greater part of the conspiracies which for almost a
century disturbed the dreams of our masters, had no other object than
to restore the popular constitution. The free systems were falling
throughout the Peninsula. The people hoped when the council of Trent
was opened that it would not only correct the gross abuses of the Papal
court, but restore the church itself to its ancient democratic forms.
But when the council closed, it was found that no innovation had been
effected, that a few vices had been forbidden; but the Church remained
a monarchy, as Gregory VII. and Innocent III. had left it. Not content
with this, the Papacy, with its famous bull _In cœna domini_ (1567),
endeavoured to attach all the powers of the world to its triumphal car.
The fall of the communes was complete, and the Latin principle was
strangled by the monarchial and foreign element.

The Italian states, for the most part subject to foreign powers, were
changing into monarchies. Italy was a province of Spain; and yet so
detestable was that power that Navagero tells us, Paul IV. never
spoke of the emperor or the Spaniards without calling them “heretics,
robbers, accursed of God, children of Moors and Jews, offscouring of
the earth,” and bewailing the fate of Italy compelled to serve such
vile masters. Spain left such fierce antipathies behind her that the
interjection “Cursed be Spain,” came down to our times. A wise Pope,
Sixtus V., who tried to oppose the imperial power, died by poison
(1590). For two centuries, the decrees which regulated Italian
politics came from Madrid. Naples and Milan groaned in chains; the
lords of Mantua, Ferrara, and Parma, gloried in their shameful bondage.
Venice herself purchased peace by ignoble sacrifices. Of Rome I do not
speak. That she was badly governed, witness the incessant revolts of
her people, the conspiracy of Benedetto Accolti, and the obsequies of
Paul IV.

Emanuele Filiberto, who won for Austria the battles of San Quintino
and Gravelines, consolidated with his victories the foreign dominion;
and, educated in the school of Phillip II., he extinguished liberty in
Savoy by abolishing his states general, and bathed his valleys with the
blood of the Vaudois. The Republics of central Italy saw their last
days in the same terrible period; Florence was in the grasp of Cosimo,
Pistoia under the guns of a fortress; Arezzo paid with her liberties
for favouring the imperial army; Lucca bought with money and the blood
of Burlamacchi a short reprieve; Siena more generous than all others
fought to the last extremity and perished, like Saguntum, among her
own ruins. Thus while in the middle of the sixteenth century the great
nations were consolidated which now control Europe, Italy was dying
and dying by the fault of her own sons. The treaty of Castel Cambrese
recognized and sealed the foreign dominion.

From that moment, the love of letters ceased to be a worship. The form
was polished; but the spirit was stifled. Our most illustrious artists,
forced to live upon the patronage of foreign princes, preferred the
security of servile ease to the dignity and modesty of true art. The
money of the great seduced them to abandon truth and the people without
whom genius is neither great nor productive. Pleasure for courtiers
was their only aim. The country was dying, but no voice sang the hymn
of death; no one gave history those pages of heroism which save the
dignity of vanquished nations. On the contrary, Giovio with unblushing
brow eulogized his golden pen; Casa sang in honour of the Charles V.
whom he had once satirized. Alamanni apologized to the emperor for his
famous verse saying that it is the poet’s office to lie, and Cellini
himself could write:--“I work for pay.”

In this general decline, the ideas of Fieschi did not utterly die. Some
generous souls continued to protest. Let it suffice to cite Tassoni
and Campanella, the last of whom in his conspiracy against Spain was
supported not only by many barons but also by the Visir Cicala, a
Calabrian renegade (though of Ligurian descent) who promised to land
Turks in the kingdom. Nor would we forget that some of our nobles in
Genoa tried to tear up the poisonous plant which had taken root in the
Republic; as, for example, Agostino and Francesco, Pallavicini, Nicolò
Doria, who married a sister of Gianluigi Fieschi, and Agostino Vignolo
who during the Piedmontese wars intrigued with lord bishop Brissac to
aid the French arms.

But the Spanish government, which was destroying letters and arts,
struck its roots more deeply every day and we reached such depths
of degradation, we tremble in writing it, that the Senate issued a
decree in the Spanish language and consented that it should be used in
lectures and sermons. The plebeians, groaning under a double slavery,
sometimes appealed to Spain against the arrogant despotism of the
patricians; but the appeal reacted against the petitioners and Doctor
Ligalupo, a man of much learning and great virtue, was imprisoned for

In the reports of the Venitian ambassadors to the Senate, the condition
of Genoa is described in a few fit words; Badoero writes:--“They hate
the Spanish nation as strongly as possible and matters stand thus:--the
people see only France; those in power see only Spain, and none seem to
think of the common weal.”

With the loss of liberty our manners became dissolute. Courtesans
were held in honour. Imperia in Rome. Tullia in Venice were courted
by men of genius. Catarina da S. Celso, Vanozza, Borgia and Bianca
Capello married into illustrious houses. To speak of Liguria alone, a
brief of Pope Clement VII. to the archbishop of Genoa and the prior
of S. Teodoro, exhorts these prelates to unite with the government in
reforming the cloisters, because the nuns have become utterly dissolute
from contact with every sort of persons. The Genoese nuns had infamous
repute throughout Italy. Bandello says:--They go where they please
and when they return to the cloister say to the abbess “Mother, by
your permission, we have been to divert ourselves.” It seems that
subterranean passages were opened between the cloisters of nuns and
friars. In our times, when the convent of S. Brigida was torn down, in
the open walls were found skeletons of children who had been buried
there as soon as born. Cardinal Bembo justly said that “all human
vices and crimes were perpetrated in the cloisters under cover of a
diabolical hypocrisy.”

On the fourth of September 1551, another brief on the corrupt morals
of the convents was issued by Julius III., but it produced no effect.
Gregory XIII., in a third brief of the first of July, 1583, made a
new attempt to correct the gross immoralities of the cloister and
the fruitlessness of his efforts is shown by the fact that he issued
another soon after. The Aragonese license, penetrating the palace
and the sanctuary, corrupted everything exalted or sacred; and then
gradually diffused itself among the people, who had hitherto been so
virtuous that the magistracy of Virtue, instituted in 1512, had no
occasion to make regulations in regard to popular morals.

Before the Fieschi insurrection extraordinary imposts and forced loans
were unknown. The customs were collected on principles of equity. It
was wonderful to see the finances in healthful equilibrium, while
the strife of faction raged so fiercely. The city added a fleet and
an army to its forces at the cost of only four hundred and seventeen
thousand lire, and the entire income of the government was only four
hundred and thirty-five thousand lire. Love of country and not private
interest ruled the hearts of the citizens; public services were either
gratuitous or very slightly paid. In 1461, the annual pay of the Doge
was less than twelve thousand lire, with three thousand more for office
and secret expenses; that of the commander of the city guards was only
four thousand lire; and other salaries were in proportion.

But purity of manners disappeared when the foreign power was
consolidated, and the mechanism of the State was altered to suit
the character of our masters. To pervert the plebeians, the Senate
established the lottery (the first in Italy) in 1550, under the name
of _Borse della Ventura_ and it was so profitable to the treasury that
an impost of sixty-thousand lire was collected from it, and the sum
was increased year by year until it reached three hundred and sixty

Genoa, like Venice, committed the great error of oppressing her
dependencies with heavy imposts instead of treating them with generous
liberality. As early as 1539, a tax of four denari was levied on
every pint of wine and it soon after increased to eight soldi on each
mezzarola. Later, that is in 1588, the duty on salt was raised to a
crown per mina. Three per cent. was imposed on incomes, and a tax
was levied on fruits, and also on paper of which a large amount was
exported to foreign countries. These taxes were light in comparison
with the murderous taxation of our times, but they were none the less
annoying to citizens unused to the visits of tax-gatherers. It had not
been customary to drain the money of the poor, but the rich paid in
proportion to their splendid fortunes or new columns were opened in the
bank of St. George.

The governors of this bank, seeing the Republic restricted to a few
families and the Ottoman power becoming master of the seas, wisely
returned to the state (1562) Corsica, the cities of Ventimiglia and
Sarzana, with its strong castles, the burgh of Levanto and the populous
valley of Teico.

Our rich citizens lent their fortunes at high interest to the
government of Spain; but the industries which had been the life of the
people gradually declined.

In the first years of the century, Liguria was in its most flourishing
condition. The smallest hamlets had profitable industries and trade.
On the Western Riviera, Taggia was famous for its Muscatelle wines
which Alberti says were not inferior to those of Candia and Cyprus.
The trade in them was very active. Oneglia was prosperous, and Diana
sometimes produced twenty thousand barrels of oil in a single year.
Albenga, though its air was unwholesome (whence the proverb of the
time,) “Albenga piana, se fosse sana si domanderebbe stella Diana,” was
rich in the produce of its fruitful soil. There was universal movement,
industry, wealth. But it was of short duration; the new system of
government dried up all the fountains of our riches. In 1597, Genoa
was reduced to sixty-one thousand inhabitants; Savona which had once
counted thirty-six thousand citizens, in 1560 numbered only fourteen
thousand, and in 1625, the number had fallen to eight thousand. The
decrease was in this proportion throughout the Republic. Campanella
had good cause to say to Genoa:--“Leave your markets, your gains, your
barren glories! Blush for the riches of your citizens which contrast so
terribly with the misery of the Republic.”

The foreign influence slowly killed the manly virtues of the Genoese.
Italy no longer existed. We had a corrupt people in a corrupt state.
All care was given to externals; every free thought was a crime; we
were vile and called our vileness love of peace, and our indolence,
moderation; religion had become a superstition, and the rites of the
church merely a ladder to worldly preferment. Luxury and parade were
unparalleled; but poverty was seen through the pompous vestments. The
first born was rich, but his brothers were usurers or celibates in the
cloisters. In their vanity and degradation, the great forgot that they
had a country. Trade seemed ignominious to our princes and nobles,
and they believed that their names at the foot of a bill of exchange
would make a bad figure in history. This beggared many families to whom
false pride closed the paths by which their fathers had become great.
Knightly virtues disappeared; noble blood alone opened the paths to
eminence, and this was carried to such extremes that our patricians
refused to have for archbishop Belmosto, only because his name was not
in the book of gold. They were at once proud and ridiculous. In 1576,
a Nicolò Doria became Doge and first took the title of _Serenissimo_
and severe penalties forbade even the notaries to call other persons
than nobles--however illustrious and wealthy they might be--by the
title _Magnifico_. The notarial profession[54] itself was pronounced
in certain cases ignoble and mechanical. In the smaller towns the same
folly prevailed. In Ventimiglia and Finale, there were streets, porches
and walks to which the plebeians were not admitted. Genoa was only a
shadow, a pretence of a Republic.

Our wars and intestine struggles, our magnanimous enterprises abroad,
were succeeded by a servile tranquility. Our masters preferred their
gilded saloons to the dust of honourable fields; they lent their money
at usurious interest, and got titles and degrading premiums for their
baseness. There were, it is true, some naval engagements, but there
were no real wars. And this was the supreme misfortune; for long peace
wastes the strength of peoples and destroys both the habit and the
courage of noble enterprises. There lingered among us arts, letters,
wealth and trade; but the manly virtues were extinct.

The foreign leprosy gradually changed the character of our plebeians;
they began to tremble before the powerful from whom they were separated
by an immense interval. The two classes had nothing in common but vices
and the habit of servility. Universal corruption produced great crimes
and long catalogues of malefactors were often published. Nor was this
in Liguria alone; all the provinces of the Peninsula were involved in
a common demoralization. Assassins and robbers collected, not merely
in bands, but in armies, and desolated the country and even the
cities. They were led by trained warriors such as Alfonso Piccolomini,
Corsietto del Sambuco--who ventured to the very gates of Rome--and
Marco Sciarra who in Calabria took the title of king. Let no one
suppose that the numerous altars, crucifixes and images of Mary prove
the piety of our ancestors. They are witnesses for quite the contrary;
in the midst of innumerable crimes perpetrated in open day, these
religious emblems protected the citizen from the knife of the assassin
who was too superstitious to smite him at the foot of the altar.

Religion was then only a superstition and a terror. A multitude of
books appeared full of the wildest vagaries that fanaticism ever
produced. For example, there were the prophecies of S. Brigida
threatening the city with destruction! and through such follies the
cunning generation of men, who live upon hypocrisy, mystery and the
dead, amassed large fortunes. Their instructions were idle speculations
and appeals to human fears. In those days, patrician and jesuit
intrigues collected their followers in a little church situated in the
_Corsa del Diavolo_ and bound themselves by an oath to support for
public offices only those of their own faction. An opposite faction
organized, and from their standard--a black crucifix--were called _Moro
delle Fucine_. This was the origin of those pagan saturnalia which
survive in our times under the name of _Casaccie_.

Duplicity, fraud and treachery took the place of frank and fearless
honesty. Entire towns were infected with these vices like a species
of leprosy. The inhabitants of Borsonasca acquired a wide reputation
for shrewd frauds and deceptions. They understood every sleight of
hand, learned foreign tongues and imitated them with admirable skill;
they had cunning artifices for getting other people’s purses, and they
travelled in every country in Europe. Though born in the woods, they
entered boldly the palaces of nobles and even of princes, dressed
as physicians, merchants, bishops and cardinals. They sold charms,
medicines, false titles and privileges with such perfect art that they
often acquired extravagant wealth and high rank.[55]

Italy, sore wounded, did not die at once. Latin virtue and civilization
were so tenacious of life, that whereas nations usually grow barbarous
with the loss of liberty, Italy, trodden by foreign and domestic
tyrannies, preserved a remnant of her culture, and, though barren of
political genius, adorned her sunset with the splendours of science and

It was then that speculative philosophy achieved its greatest triumphs
among us. Pomponaceo, Telesio, Cardano, Bruno and Campanella,
precursors of Cartheusius and Bacon, opened new roads for the progress
of the sciences. Strange, too, but true, when Italy was perishing, she
produced her greatest soldiers--soldiers who led every other people
but their own to victory. The age of our prostration and servitude
produced Trivulzio, Medici, Gonzaga, Farnese, Colonna, Doria, Spinola,
Strozzi, and Orsini.

But Genoa, perhaps the last to die, was the first to rise; the day
came when, purified by suffering, she found strength to avenge
in a tempestuous uprising of her people the shame of her long


  Abbatelli, the, conspirators in Palermo, 87

  Adorno, Antoniotto, retires from the Dogate in 1527, 43;
    raised to the Dogate by the Fieschi, 92

  ----, Barnaba, Lord of Silvano, 94, 165

  ----, Maddalena, Countess of Silvano, 95

  ----, Prospero, conquers the Fieschi in 1476, 7

  Alba, Duke of, sails with Doria to Spain, 246, 250, 281

  Albenga, Jacopo di, distinguished jurist, 195

  Alberti, Leandro, quoted, 30, 67, 136, 332

  Alcibiades, Fieschi compared to, 66, 127

  Alessi, Galeazzo, architect of the church of Carignano, 202

  Alexander VI., Pope, 97, 107, 108

  ---- VII., Pope, 298

  Anguissola Giovanni, 236, 237, 239;
    his death, 240

  Ariosto, Lodovico, praises the verses of Panza, 82

  Aristotle taught in Genoa by public lectures, 300

  Assereto, Tommaso, co-conspirator of Fieschi, 154, 160, 166, 168, 193,
        209, 218;
    executed by the government, 220, 223

  Balbi, inscription to his infamy, in a rear wall of the Ducal palace,

  Bandello, Matteo, quoted, 83, 121, 173, 252, 329

  Barbarossa, Barbary corsair, 50, 287

  Bastelica, Sampiero, Corsican revolutionist, 285, 287-98

  Bavaria, princes of, 2, 10

  Belcœur, French ambassador in the Grisons, 239

  Belmosto, Archbishop of Genoa, 333

  Boccanegra, Guglielmo, Captain of the People, 38, 41

  ----, Maria, 171

  ----, Simone, first Doge of Genoa, 39

  Bona, Duchess, 7

  Bonfadio, historian, 25, 66, 91, 92, 93, 113, 126, 156, 177, 207, 234,

  Boniface IX., pope, 12, 97

  Bonnivet, French general, invades Italy, 25

  Borgia, Cæsar, intrigues of, 41-2, 106

  Borgognino, Scipione, storms the arsenal of Doria, 161, 167

  Borganasca, village in the Apennines, craftiness of its people, 336

  Bourbon, Constable of, 29

  Bourbons, the, 153

  Bourgogne, Dukes of, 2

  Braccialina, Gentilina, murdered by her husband, 279

  Braculli, historian, 82

  Brutus, Gianluigi Fieschi compared with, 146

  Burlamacchi, Francesco, his revolutionary schemes, 104

  Caffaro, first Genoese annalist, 299

  Calcagno, Vincenzo, co-conspirator of Fieschi, his origin and
        character, 116;
    at first opposed the conspiracy, 117;
    his part in it, 143, 158;
    supports the attack on S. Tommaso, 160, 162, 166;
    sails with other conspirators to Marseilles, 183;
    condemned to banishment, 192;
    killed by Spinola after the surrender of Montobbio, 220

  Calvi, Annina, touching history of, 252

  ----, Antonio, 166

  Calvin, guest of the Duchess of Ferrara, 309

  Cambiaso, Luca, painter, 202, 315

  Campanaceo, historian, 25, 169

  Campanella, writer and conspirator of Spain, 328, 333, 336

  Capello, Bianca, famous courtesan, 329

  Capelloni, Lorenzo, historian, 26, 319

  Capponi, family of, in Florence, 126, 268

  Capuano, Gianluigi, victim of Toledo in Naples, 260

  Caracciolo, Giano, Governor-General of Piedmont, 115

  Caraffa, an Italian reformer, 27

  Cardano, Italian author, 303, 306, 336

  Caretto, Marquis of, 16, 325

  Carnesecchi, writer of the sixteenth century, 268, 312, 313

  Caro, Annibale, author, 132, 137, 236, 237

  Casoni, Genoese annalist, 27, 236, 301

  Castelvetro, Lodovico, reformer, 309

  Castiglione, 269, 270, 312

  Catando d’Arimini, friend of Fieschi, 137, 174

  Catilini, Fieschi compared with, 17, 23

  Cato quoted by Fieschi, 140

  Cellini, Benvenuto, artist, 29, 235, 328

  Centurione, Prince Adamo, 67;
    promises his daughter in marriage to Fieschi, 68, 101, 149, 153,
        166, 185, 254, 261

  ----, Benedetto, 188

  ----, Gianetta, daughter of Prince Adamo, 67;
    espoused to Gianettino Doria, 69

  ----, Grimaldi Nicoletta, authoress, 84

  ----, Manfredo, 183, 211

  Charlemagne, 35

  Charles III. of Savoy, 33

  ---- V., Emperor, 20;
    his election, 24;
    great only in the extent of his dominions, 31;
    the humiliation of Italy dates from his reign, 36;
    his acquisition of Milan, 109, 111, 119, 146, 185, 230, 231, 234,
        237, 242, 245, 254, 262, 266, 279, 281, 283, 328

  ---- IX. of France, 322

  Clement V., Pope, 11

  ---- VI., Pope, 96

  ---- VII., Pope, 26, 32, 329

  ---- VIII., Pope, 43, 99, 297

  Colonna, Roman patricians, 28, 42

  ----, Stefano, 206

  ----, Vittoria, supposed to have been a Protestant, 309

  Columbus, Christopher, 39

  Conspiracies prevalence of, 36

  Conte, Giacobbe, commander of Fieschi’s galleys, 142, 192

  Coreggio, Fulvia, Countess of Mirandola, 298

  Corsairs, Turkish and Barbary, 282, 283

  Cosimo, Duke, 68, 104, 105, 169, 187, 206, 226, 229, 245, 265, 269,
      284, 293

  Cybo, Cardinal, 74, 187, 250, 264, 265

  ----, Caterina, Duchess of Camerino, 74, 85, 280

  ----, Eleonora, her marriage with Count Fieschi, 74, 265;
    her literary accomplishments, 85;
    her second marriage, 279;
    retires to a convent, 280

  ----, Prince Giulio, 144, 148, 150, 188;
    his conspiracy and misfortunes, 263 et seq.

  ----, Maddalena, received the profit of the sale of indulgences, 23

  ----, Ricciarda, 74, 264, 265, 266

  Dandolo, Francesco, Doge of Venice, 14

  Della Casabianca, Giocante, suspects the plot of Fieschi, 153, 318

  ---- Rovere, Bartolomea, 19

  ---- Rovere, Francesco Maria, 41, 59

  ---- Rovere, Maria, mother of Count Fieschi, 20;
    masculine vigour of her character, 64, 65;
    her last days, 278

  ---- Torre, Giovanni Battista, his passion for a sister of Fieschi,
    attempts violence to gain his end, 122;
    killed by the Fieschi, 124

  Di Negro, Arcangela, her character and literary accomplishments, 15,
      83, 194

  Doria, Andrea, 19;
    account of his family and services, 38 et seq.;
    his desertion of the French standard, 47;
    his relations with the Barbary pirates, 50;
    his vengeance against the Fieschi, 188;
    quenches revolt in Naples, 261;
    his death, and estimate of his character, 41, 228, 317

  ----, Antonio, 59, 197, 226, 230, 261, 277

  ----, Ceva, 167, 196, 198

  ----, Domenico, 41, 69, 166, 188, 197, 209, 220, 248

  ----, Filippino, 43, 44, 59, 169

  ---- Francesco, 59, 209

  ---- Cardinal Gerolamo, 65, 166, 178

  ---- Gianettino, adopted son of Andrea, his early life, 58;
    ostentation and insolence, 69;
    naval successes, 70-1;
    captures the Pope’s vessels in Genoa, 111;
    his death, 163

  ---- Giorgio, 59, 71

  ---- Giovanni Andrea, 191, 272, 319, 325

  ---- Lamba, 208

  ---- Nicolò, 328, 333

  ---- Pagonio, 277

  ---- Princess Peretta, 148, 169, 250, 266

  ---- Tommaso, 128, 222

  Dragut (Torghud Rais), Barbary pirate, conquered and taken by
        Gianettino Doria, 71;
    flogged after capture, 73;
    released by Andrea Doria, 73, 287;
    Genoese bankers lend him the ransom money, 73;
    pillages Rapallo, 281

  Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, his narrow escape from the pirate
      Occhiali, 282, 295, 309, 327

  Embriaco, Guglielmo, hero of the first crusade, 129

  Erasmus, reformer, 260

  Farnese, Alessandro, 107, 111

  ---- Cardinal, 157, 217, 271

  ---- Clara, mistress of Pope Alexander VI., 107

  ---- Orazio, 102, 103, 214, 237

  ---- Ottavio, 109, 212, 231, 239, 267

  ---- Pierluigi, Duke of Piacenza, 93, 209, 230;
    enters into the Fieschi conspiracy, 101;
    his disputes with feudatories, 131;
    conspiracy instigated against him by Doria, 233;
    murdered by Giovanni Anguissola, 237, 263, 275, 337

  Ferrara, Cardinal of, 225, 283

  Ferrero, Besso, 97, 297

  Fieschi, Adriano, Cardinal, 9

  ---- Angela Caterina, 65, 221

  ---- Antonio, 96

  ---- Bardoni, 201

  ---- Bartolomeo, 77, 78

  ---- Beatrice, 17, 97

  ---- Camilla, 65, 278

  ---- Carlo, 12, 17, 126

  ---- Claudia, 65;
    insulted by Della Torre, 122

  ---- Cornelio, brother of Gianluigi, 65;
    kills Della Torre, 124;
    captures the gate of the Archi, 160;
    retires into France, 183, 191, 209, 214, 224, 229, 268

  ---- Danielo, 13, 77

  ---- Emanuel, 195

  ---- Ettore, 14, 112, 230, 277

  ---- Francesco, 13, 112, 316

  ---- Gerolamo, brother of Gianluigi, 65, 92, 102, 160, 162;
    attempts to carry on the revolution, 177;
    treats with the Senate, 177;
    retires to Montobbio, 183;
    defends Montobbio against Genoa, 205;
    is executed as a traitor, 220, 223

  ---- Giacomo, 12, 13, 17, 112

  ---- Gianluigi, compared with Catilnie, xvii.-xxiii.;
    his family, 8, 9, 13, 38;
    his character and early life, 19, 65 et seq., 145;
    his tragic death, 168;
    estimation in which he was held in Italy, 173-5

  ---- Innocenzo, 97, 112

  ---- Lorenzo, 201

  ---- Luca, Cardinal and General, 11, 13

  ---- Ortensia Lomellina de, poetess, 85

  ---- Ottobuono, brother of Gianluigi, 65, 80, 101, 132, 143, 160, 162,
        181, 183, 189, 209, 216, 224, 229, 268, 277-8, 285;
    executed by order of Doria, 287

  ---- Ottobuono (Pope Hadrian V.), 10, 17

  ---- Scipione, brother of Gianluigi, 64, 65;
    writes to the Senate for pardon, 195, 214, 224, 229;
    his litigation against Genoa, 274, 290

  ---- Sinibaldo, father of Gianluigi, 13, 64, 78

  ---- Sinibaldo (Pope Innocent IV.), 9, 13

  Figuerroa, Gomez Suarez, Spanish minister in Genoa, 149, 152, 165,
      197, 226, 243, 276, 318

  Finale, Marquises of, 19

  Foderato, Nicolò, 115, 120

  Foglietta, Oberto, Genoese historian, xxvi., 40, 41, 307, 319, 320

  Fornari, Antonio de, 225

  ---- Francesco de, 296, 318

  Forteguerra, Laudomia, Sienese heroine, 286

  Francis I. of France, 25, 26, 34, 43, 115, 210, 215, 231

  Fregosi, family of, hostile to the Fieschi, 19, 79, 92;
    its power in Genoa, 39;
    driven from power by the Adorni, 42

  Fregoso, Aurelio, 285, 287

  ---- Cesare, 19, 43, 62, 83, 91, 208

  ---- Cornelio, 293

  ---- Frederico, 49, 311

  ---- Galeazzo, 322

  ---- Giano, Doge, 92

  ---- Ottaviano, 19, 49, 80, 276, 320

  ---- Pietro, 208

  Gad Ali, Barbary pirate, 42

  Gianotti, Donato, 88, 268

  Giovio, Paolo, 79, 80, 328

  Giustiniani, family of the, 75, 129, 257

  ---- historian of Genoa, 2, 137

  ---- Ansaldo, 178

  ---- Fabrizio, 44, 46

  ---- Giovanni Battista, 157, 193

  Gonzaga, Cagnino, 62, 98, 115, 152

  ---- Ferrante, Spanish governor of Lombardy, 132, 140, 169, 187, 197,
      198, 206, 212, 216, 230, 237, 238, 240, 245, 266, 321

  ---- Giulia, her escape from the corsair Barbarossa, 50;
    embraced reformed opinions, 309

  Gregory VII., Pope, 326

  ---- XIII., Pope, 297, 330

  Grimaldi, family of the, 12, 38, 40, 54, 60, 82, 272

  ---- Ercole, 325

  ---- Francesco, 166, 197

  ---- Giovanni Battista, 177, 196, 301

  Guercio, Enrico il, 5

  Guicciardini, the historian, 52, 144

  Harcourt, Gillona di, 316

  Henry II. of France, 74, 215, 242, 262, 276

  ---- III. of France, 316

  ---- VII. of France, 11

  ---- VIII. of England, report of his ambassadors on the state of
      Lombardy, 33

  Huss, 35

  Imperiali, family of the, 110, 178, 193, 194

  Innocent III., Pope, 326

  ---- IV., Pope, 17

  ---- VIII., Pope, 264

  ---- XI., Pope, 317

  Julius II., Pope, 39, 97, 230, 262

  ---- III., Pope, 330

  Laudi, Agostino, 121, 212, 214, 230 236, 240

  Lasagna, Pier Paolo, 96, 165

  Lautrec, Odo, 30, 43

  Lavagna, Counts of, 1-21

  Leo X., Pope, false praises of, 22;
    not the Reviver of Letters, 23

  Lercaro, Cristoforo, 229, 241

  ---- Doge, 256, 317, 321, 324

  ---- Sebastiano, 159, 162, 183

  Leyva, Antonio, 31, 233, 262

  Lomellini, Agostino, 178

  ---- Bernardo, 208

  ---- Gerolamo, 290

  ---- Nicolò, 44

  Louis XII. of France, 18, 40, 76

  ---- XIV. of France, 317

  Luther, Martin, 35, 259, 312, 313

  Macchiavelli, Nicolò, 24, 29, 82, 88, 144, 146, 284

  Malaspina, family of the, 3, 14, 68, 264, 285

  Mami Rais, pirate, 72

  Manufactures, prosperity of, in Genoa, 128

  Marini, Tommaso, 240, 245, 301, 303

  Mario, Gianluigi, 200

  Martinengo, family of the, 312

  Martire, Pietro, reformer, 309

  Mascardi, Agostino, xxvii., 58, 221

  Medici family, 24, 25, 32, 36, 248, 256, 264, 337

  ---- Giulio, 24

  ---- Lorenzino, 36, 268

  Melanchthon, reformer, 259, 313

  Mendoza, Bernardino, 92, 184, 254

  Mendoza, Don Diego, 284

  ---- Don Rodrigo, 198

  Michelangelo, artist, 22

  Mirandola, Galeotto, 137, 262, 269, 283

  ---- Paolo, 227

  Monaco, Lords of, 249

  Moncada, Hugo, 43-4

  Monferrato, Marquises of, 5, 13, 16, 25, 32

  Montorsoli, artists, 58, 170

  Morato, Olimpia, embraced reform, 309

  Nardi, Jacopo, historian, 268

  Navagero, 27, 326

  Occhiali, pirate, his singular treaty with the Duke of Savoy, 283

  Ochino, Bernardino da Siena, reformer, 259, 309, 313

  Olgiato, Milanese conspirator, 149

  Orange, Prince of, 31

  Ornano, Vannina, wife of Sampiero, 289;
    attempts to go to Genoa, 291;
    her tragic death, 293

  Orsini, family of the, 28, 234, 246, 285, 337

  Paleario, Aonio, reformer, 310, 314

  Pallavicini family, 16-17, 84, 132, 166, 290, 301, 328

  ---- Camillo, 236, 238

  ---- Gerolamo, 131, 236, 238, 240

  ---- Maddalena, 84

  ---- Placida, 84

  ---- Tobia, 290

  Panza, Paolo, tutor of Gianluigi Fieschi, 2, 65, 74, 82, 113, 140,
      158, 173, 180, 205, 278

  Partenopeo, Ugo, author, 20, 300, 315

  Paul III., Pope, 34, 78, 85, 88;
    shameful manner of his elevation, 107;
    his character and ambition, 110;
    his enmity to Doria, 111;
    encourages the Fieschi conspiracy, 114, 120, 230, 232, 234;
    his brief to Andrea Doria on the death of Giannettino, 239;
    the revenge of Doria, 240, 241, 289, 310, 311

  ---- IV., Pope, 326, 327

  Perenoto, Nicolò, 243

  Pescara, Marquises of, 24, 42, 87

  Philip, Landgrave of Hesse, 104

  ---- II. of Spain, 245, 249, 255, 276, 279, 286, 295, 327

  Piccolomini, Faustina, Sienese heroine, 286

  Pojano, Giulio, 103, 137, 298

  Pompanaceo, author, 336

  Ponzio, Camillo, author, 67, 153, 271, 272

  Renée, Duchess of Ferrara, 134, 309

  Retz, Cardinal, 144

  Romano, Giulio, 58

  Sacco, Raffaele, fellow conspirator with Fieschi, 93, 116, 143, 151,
      183, 192, 202, 224

  Salvaghi family, 75, 194, 225

  Sauli family, 75, 76, 140, 201

  ---- Azzolino, 301

  ---- Marcantonio, 75, 82

  ---- Stefano, 202

  ---- Tommaso, 62

  Savonarola, Gerolamo, 146

  Savoy, Dukes of, 25, 32, 297, 309

  Scarampi, Antonia, literary lady, 83

  Sciarra, Marco, brigand chief, 335

  Segni, author, 34, 109

  Sforza family, 6, 7, 26, 103, 231, 280

  Sicames, 44

  Siena, brave defence of, 286

  Sigonio, Carlo, author, xxvi., 149

  Sismondi, historian, 90, 228

  Sixtus IV., Pope, 7

  ---- V., Pope, 326

  Soderini, Pietro, 146

  Sodoleto, Jacopo, 27

  Soliman, Sultan, 34, 92, 258, 291

  Sopranis, 73, 75

  Spinola family, 12, 38, 39, 125, 126, 165, 172, 194, 337

  ---- Agostino, 207, 290

  ---- Benedetta, poetess, 84, 250

  ---- Livia, poetess, 84

  ---- Paolo, 268, 269, 270, 273

  ---- Tommaso, 226

  Spinosa, 315

  Strozzi family, 104, 137, 228, 268, 279, 337

  ---- Alfonsina, wife of Scipione Fieschi, 316

  ---- Leone, 286

  ---- Pietro, 92, 101, 229, 284, 286

  ---- Roberto, 316

  Tacitus, 82, 305

  Tassino, Leone, 45

  Tassoni, Alessandro, 328

  Tasso, Faustino, 85, 249

  ---- Torquato, 315

  Telesio, 336

  Toledo, Don Pietro, 259

  Torghud Rais (Dragut), pirate, 71, 73, 281

  Tornone, Cardinal of, 99, 225, 283

  Trissino, 82, 310

  Trivulzio family, 90, 131, 236, 337

  ---- Agostino, 114, 120

  ---- Teodoro, 43

  Tuano, author, 301, 303

  Urban VIII., Pope, 297

  Urbino, Dukes of, 28, 32, 59, 64, 287

  Usodimare, Gerolamo, 193

  Vaccari, Vincenzo, 183

  Vaga, Pierino, artist, 58, 249

  Valdimagra, Marquises of, 137, 144, 150

  Varchi, Benedetto, 48, 233, 235, 268

  Vasto, Del, Marquises, 46, 49, 67, 91, 109, 132

  Vega, Giovanni, 140

  Vergerio, Pier Paolo, 235, 309

  Verrina, co-conspirator of Fieschi, 116, 143, 148, 154, 158, 160, 183,
      193, 202, 209, 220, 223, 225

  Vinci, Leonardo da, 309

  Visconti family, 14, 74, 208

  Vistarino, Lodovico, 206, 212

  Vitelli, Allessandro, 109, 206

  ---- Chiappino, 279, 286

  ---- Giovanni, 285

  ---- Lucrezia, 287

  Wicliffe, reformer, 35

  Women, literary, in Genoa, 83

  Zaccaria family, 129

  Zanchi, Gerolamo, 310, 312

  Zeno, Apostolo, 235

  Zino, Ottaviano, 269, 272

  Zuingle, 259



[1] I refer to the letter of Count Persigny on the Roman questio

[2] The author alludes to Guerrazzi’s life of Andrea Doria.--Translator.

[3] Purgatorio, Canto XIX.

[4] Federico Federici, Della famiglia Fieschi, p. 2.

[5] Et quod obedissent Comuni Genuæ, et sponderent in Genua
habitaturos.--_Archives of Genoa._

[6] Federico Federici, Della famiglia Fieschi, p. 7.

[7] Paolo Panza, Vito d’Innocenzo IV.

[8] Dante, Purgatorio, Canto XIX.

[9] Federici, Della famiglia Fieschi.

[10] The gold crown referred to was worth about eleven francs.

[11] Bernardo Segni. Istorie Fiorentine. Lib II.

[12] Istorie Florentine, Lib. XI.

[13] Oberto Foglietta. Discorso sul governo, Popolare di Genova, p. 35.

[14] Istorie Florentine, Lib. II.

[15] Oberto Foglietta. Discorso, etc., p. 156.

[16] Molini. Documenti di Storia Italiana, vol. ii., p. 54.

[17] Bernabo Brea. Documenti sulla congiura del Fiesco.

[18] Molini. Documenti di Storia Italiana, Vol. ii., p. 60.

[19] A pun was circulated by the wits to the effect that henceforth
only that kind of bread would go to the oven. Casoni, Annali. Fornari,
root Forno, an oven.--_Translator._

[20] Archives of Genoa.

[21] Conguira di Luigi Fieschi. Naples, 1836, p. 5.

[22] Guazzo. Istorie. Venice, 1545, p. 329.

[23] Jacomin Basio. Dell’Istoria della sacra religione di S. Giovanni
Gierosolimitano. Parte III. Lib. VIII, p. 150.

[24] Annali di Geneva. Capslago, p. 135.

[25] Dell’Istoria d’Italia dell’anno, 1547, p. 24.

[26] Casoni. Annali della Republica di Genova, Lib. V. p. 250.

[27] Casoni. Annali, etc. Lib V. p. 158.

[28] Porzio ut sopra, p. 206.

[29] See Giustiniani, annali di Genova.

[30] Novelle, passim.

[31] The reader will hardly fail to notice the identity of this
language with that used by Cavour in 1859. See Hilton’s Brigandage in
South Italy. Vol. ii, p. 7.

[32] Discorso delle cose d’Italia e Papa Paolo III.

[33] Storia della liberta in Italià, Milano, tomo II., p. 122.

[34] Annali, p. 136.

[35] Annali, p. 138.

[36] Scarabelli, Guida di monumenti artistici di Piacenza. Lodi, p. 83.

[37] Istorie Fiorentine, Lib. XI.

[38] Bandello, Novelle. Parte II., xxxviii.

[39] Annali, p. 135.

[40] See Canale. Storia di Genova, vol. ii., p. 167. Edition of Le

[41] Congiura del Conte Fieschi.

[42] Archives of Genoa.

[43] Archives of Genoa.

[44] Porzio. Dell’Istoria. etc. p. 218.

[45] Bonfadio, anali p. 152.

[46] Bandello, Novelli. Parte II, XXXVIII.

[47] The palm referred to is equal to ten inches.

[48] The curious tourist will find on a rear wall of the Ducal palace
in Genoa two marble slabs bearing inscriptions to the infamy of Della
Torre and Balbi.--Translator.

[49] Documents in the archives of Massa and Carrara.

[50] Bonfadio, though Italian, was not Genoese--Translator.

[51] The annals of Bonfadio were written in Latin--Translator.

[52] A Genoese word, derived from _Garbo_, polished, courteous,
polite,--usually applied to manners.--Translator.

[53] This is enumerative of _three classes_, the nobles, the people,
and the plebeians; is common in Italian histories.--Translator.

[54] Notaries still constitute professional class in Genoa.--Translator.

[55] I find an euphemism current in Genoa which confirms the text.
A doubt respecting a man’s honesty is expressed thus: “_He is of

[56] The author refers to the expulsion of the Austrians in 1746, of
which revolution he has also written the history.--_Translator._

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This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
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