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commanders of the papal troops, who exe- CHAP. cuted him on the gallows as a traitor.(a) The fortresses of Majuolo and Sinigaglia were im- A. D: 1516. mediately surrendered; but that of S. Leo, A. Pont. IV. being well garrisoned and situated on a precipitous rock, was deemed impregnable.(b) After a siege of three months, its conquest was however accomplished by the contrivance and exertions of a master-carpenter, who having ascended by night the steepest part of the rock, and concealed himself by day under its projections and cavities, enabled the besieged to fix their ladders, by means of which one hundred and fifty chosen men arrived early in the morning at the summit; a part of whom, carrying six standards, having scaled the walls, the garrison, conceiving the place was stormed, abandoned its defence and the gates were opened to the besiegers.(c) The conquest of the whole state being
(a) Guicciard. Storia d'Italia, lib. xii. ii. 118. But Leoni asserts, that Mondolfo was executed contrary to his capitulation with Lorenzo. Vita di Fran. Maria duca d'Urbino, lib. ii. þ. 189.
(6) “ E' posta la Rocca di S. Leo nella sommità di un sasso,
di circuito di ben due miglia, fatto dalla natura “ inaccessabile, e maravigliosamente dall' arte ajutato." Bonamini, Mem. Istor. di Guido Postumo Silvestri. Nuova Raccolta d Opuscoli. vol. xx. par. ii. p. 19.
(c) Guicciard. lib. xii. p. 118.
A. t. 41.
CHAP. thus accomplished, Leo invested his nephew
Lorenzo with the duchy of Urbino and its deA. D. 1516. pendent states of Pesaro and Sinigaglia ; and A. Pont. iv. in order to give greater validity to the act of
investiture, he caused it to be authenticated by Lorenzo assumes the the individual signatures of all the cardinals, title ofduke excepting only Domencio Grimani bishop of
Urbino, who refused to concur in despoiling the duke of his dominions. Fearful, however, of having incurred the indignation of the pope, Grimani, a few days afterwards, prudently withdrew from Rome and did not return until after the death of the pontiff.(a)
The exiled duke, thus deprived of his doThe pope minions, requested the pontiff that he would absolve the at least liberate him from his ecclesiastical cen
sures; but Leo refused him even this consola-
to have felt no remorse for the assassination of another, and that too a cardinal of the church, professed his anxiety in labouring under the displeasure of the pope ; and
(a) Guicciard. lib. xii. v. ii. p. 118.
16) “ Che gli concedesse almeno di potere salvar l'anima sua.” Leoni. 191.
thus the pontiff, to whom the care of all Christ- CHAP.
XIV. endom was intrusted, after despoiling the object of his resentment of all his possessions in A. D. 1516. this world, refused to pardon him even in the
A. t. 41. A. Pont. IV.
Soon after the retreat of Maximilian and The Venethe dispersion of his immense army, the duke tians reco
ver the city of Bourbon relinquished the government of
of Brescia. Milan, and that important trust was committed to Odet de Foix Sieur de Lautrec, who had greatly distinguished himself by his important services in Italy. The cities of Brescia and Verona yet retained their fidelity to the emperor, or rather the inhabitants were kept in subjection by the powerful garrisons of German and Spanish troops by which they were defended. On the disgraceful return of the emperor elect to Vienna, the Venetians resolved to attempt the recovery of these important places. They increased the number of their troops, the chief direction of which was intrusted to Andrea Gritti, who was joined under the walls of Brescia by Lautrec, at the head of five hundred lances and five thousand French infantry. After bombarding that city for several days with forty-eight pieces of heavy artillery, the French and Venetian generals compelled the besieged to a capitulation, by
A. At. 41.
CHAP. which it was agreed that if effectual assistance
did not arrive within eight days, they should A. D. 1516. surrender the place. The vigilance of the A. Pont. IV. besiegers having prevented the approach of
the expected succours, this city, on the day appointed, once more passed under the dominion of the Venetians, to the great joy of the major part of its inhabitants.
The attack of the united armies upon the city of Verona was not attended with equal success. Their forces were now indeed increased to twelve hundred men at arms, two thousand light horse, and twelve thousand foot. But the place was defended by Marc-Antonio Colonna, who, with the consent of the pope, had quitted his service for that of the emperor elect, and had garrisoned the place with a force little inferior to that of his enemies. So numerous a body within the walls, whilst it discouraged the besiegers from an immediate attack, suggested to them the expedient of reducing the place by famine. They therefore took their position before the city, the inhabitants of which endured with exemplary patience all the extremes of hunger, of opression, and of misery. The besiegers, however, soon began to find that the inconveniences which they themselves experienced from the
Vei ona successfully defended
M. A. Colonna.
A. D. 1516.
want of supplies, were scarcely inferior to .CHAP. those of the besieged. After having been obliged to plunder and desolate for their support A. xl. 41: the surrounding country, they resolved at the expiration of two inonths to attempt to storm the city. The artillery was therefore employed with unceasing activity ; the walls were frequently destroyed so as to admit of an assault; the French and the Venetian troops emulated each other in the courage which they displayed on this occasion ; but the firmness and perseverance of Colonna resisted the shock. With incredible assiduity he repaired the breaches in the fortifications ; he repulsed the besiegers in many severe engagements, and frequently, instead of waiting the approach of his enemies, led out his troops and attacked them in their intrenchments. From the month of August to that of October the fate of the city remained in suspense ; when information being received that a strong reinforcement was on its march from Trent, to the assistance of Colonna,(a) the besiegers suddenly broke
(a) It was also rumoured, that fifteen thousand Swiss, in the pay of the king of England, were expected at Milan. Mural. Annal. x. 127.