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tated design against the duchy of Urbino, and
of raising his family to a sovereign rank. It A. D. 1516. is probable, however, that in this design, Leo A. Pont. Iv. was actuated not only by motives of ambition,
but by his resentment against the duke, who had on several occasions manifested a disposition hostile to his views, and particularly at the time of the restoration of the Medici to Florence, when he had refused to afford them his assistance as general of the church; although he had been directed by his uncle Julius II. to grant them all the support in his . power. These private reasons of dislike were, however, cautiously suppressed, and motives of a more public nature were alleged by the pontiff in justification of the violent measures which he had in contemplation. Among these Leo did not forget to enumerate the assasination of the cardinal of Pavia, in the streets of Ravenna, perpetrated by the duke with his own hand, in a season of tranquillity and confidence; the animosity shewn by the duke against the papal troops, as well on other occasions as after the battle of Ravenna, when he expelled the unfortunate fugitives who had es-caped that dreadful day from his dominions ; his treacherous negotiations with foreign powers, and his contumacy as a vassal of the holy
see in refusing those supplies which it was his CHAP. duty, and which he had positively stipulated, to provide. For these ostensible reasons Leo A. D. 1516. issued a monitory to the duke, of which he A. Pont. IV. was no sooner apprized than he quitted his capital and retired to Pesaro. Here he endeavoured by all the means in his power to appease the resentment of the pontiff; for which purpose he dispatched to Rome the duchess Elizabetta the widow of his predecessor, by whose intercessions he hoped to avert the danger with which he was threatened. The reception of the duchess was not, however, such as from her ránk, her accomplishments, and the services rendered by her husband and herself to the family of the Medici, she was entitled to expect. In two audiences, obtained not without difficulty, she remonstrated with the pontiff on the severity of his conduct towards the representative of a family which had so long been connected by the ties of friendship with his own, and which had manifested the sincerity of its attachment by the protection afforded to the Medici in the midst of their calamities and when they had no other refuge. She reminded the pope of the intimacy which had so long subsisted between the duke and his late brother Giuliano, who had always avowed the warmest at
A. t. 41.
CHAP. tachment towards the family of his protectors;
and she declared that it would be an instance A. D:2:56 of ingratitude which she could not believe A. Pont. iv. would be countenanced by so generous and
magnanimous a prince as his holiness was universally esteemed to be, if his nephew Lorenzo, who, when an infant, had so often been caressed in her arms, should now rise up against his benefactors and expel them from the very place which had been the scene of their kindness to him.(a) These supplications had, however, little effect on the determination of the pontiff; who informed the duchess in reply, that he expected the duke to make his
appearance at Rome according to the tenor of the monitory; the term of which being now nearly expired, he should, from his
personal respect to her, enlarge for a few days.(b) Instead, however, of proceeding to Rome, the duke retired from Pesaro to the court of his father-in-law Francesco Gonzago at Mantua, whither he had already taken the precaution of sending his wife and family, having first garrisoned the citadel of Pesaro with three
(a) Leoni, vita di Fr. Maria duca d' Urbino, lib.ii. p.
171. et seq.
16) Ibid. lib. ii. p. 174.
thousand men, the command of whom he CHAP.
XIV. intrusted to Tranquillo da Mondolfo an officer in whom he placed great confidence. Availing himself of the disobedience of the A. Pont. IV. duke to the paramount authority of the holy see, Leo issued a decree of excommunication, by which the duke was declared a rebel and deprived of his titles and offices, and all the cities in the state of Urbino were placed under an interdict as long as they avowed their allegiance to him. The princes of Christendom were admonished not to afford him any assistance and even the duchess Elizabetta was deprived of her dowry arising from the territories of her late husband.(a) At the same time Lorenzo de' Medici, as general of the church, accompanied by the expérienced commander Renzo da Ceri, entered the duchy of Urbino by way of Romagna at the head of one thousand men at arms, one thousand light horse, and twelve thousand infantry. Vitello Vitelli with upwards of two thousand men attacked the dominions of the duke on the side of Lamole, and Giovan-Paolo Baglione, attended by an apostolic commissary, pro
A. D. 1516.
(a) Leoni, vita di Fr. Maria duca d'Urbino. lib. ii. p. 180.
A. D. 1516.
A. Et, 4i. A. Pont. IV.
CHAP. ceeded towards the city of Urbino, by way of
Gubbio.(a) Such an attack was irresistible; and the duke himself, being apprized of the forces brought against him, conceded to his subjects, in express terms, the liberty of entering into such stipulations with the conquerors as they might think conducive to their own safety.(b) The city of Urbino immediately surrendered to the pontifical arms, and this example was followed by all its dependent cities and places, except the citadel of Pesaro and the fortresses of Sinigaglia, San Leo, and Majuolo. After sustaining a cannonade of two days, Mondolfo, to whom the defence of the citadel of Pesaro had been intrusted, agreed to surrender the place if effectual assistance did not arrive within twenty days; but when the time had expired, Mondolfo, instead of complying with the terms of the treaty, again attacked the besiegers with his artillery. The straits to which the garrison was reduced soon, however, gave rise to mutiny and disorder; and the soldiers seizing upon their leader delivered him up as the price of their own security to the
(a) Leoni, vita di Fr. Maria duca d'Urbino. lib. ii.
16) Guicciard. lib. xii. ii. 117.