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A. Et. 40.
appeared to have serious intentions of enter- CHAP. ing into a treaty, and required as a preliminary that the states of Parma and Piacenza should A. D. 1515. be guaranteed to the church, the refusal of A. Pont
. III. which he conceived would afford him a sufficient apology for joining the cause of the allies. At other times he is said to have made propositions couched in such ambiguous terms, as, when assented to, always required further explanations, and which left the negotiations in the same state of suspense as when the treaty begun. The French and Italian writers are agreed in considering the conduct of the pontiff on this occasion as the result of artifice and disingenuousness :(a) but they appear not sufficiently to have attended to the difficulties of his situation or at least not to have made suf, ficient allowance for them. As head of the church, and, both by his disposition and office, the acknowledged arbiter and mediator of Europe, he ought not perhaps to have been solicited to take a decided part in the threatened hostilities; and as a prince whose temporal authority was supported rather by public opinion and the favour of surrounding states than by
(a) Guicciard. Storia d' Ital. lib. xii. ii. 87. Muratori, Annali – Ital. x. 107. Ligue de Cambray, lir. iv. ii. 411,
CHAP. his own forces, it was evident that he could
not, without endangering his own safety, acA. D. 1915. cede to the propositions of the king. If thereA. Pont. III. fore the reiterated efforts of the French mo
narch to engage the pope in his interests were not followed by the consequences which he wished, they were followed by such as he might reasonably have expected, and instead of inducing the pope to unite the power of the Roman and Florentine states with the arms of France, compelled him, in conformity with his former maxims, to embrace the cause of the allies. In the month of June he issued a monitory, subjecting, in general terms, all those who should again disturb the states of the church, and in particular Parma and Piacenza, to the penalties of excommunication ;(a) and in July, he openly acceded to the general league expressly formed for the defence of Milan. Nor, if a decision could no longer be delayed, can it be denied that in making this election he chose the part that did the most credit to his character, or that an opposite conduct would have rendered him deservedly liable to the suspicion of having sacrificed his
(a) This document is preserved in Lünig, Cod. Diplomal. Ital. v, ii. þ. 802.
principles and his country to the favour of the CHAP. French monarch and the aggrandizement of his own family
A. D. 1515. A. Et. 40. A. Pont. IIT,
The first decisive indications of approach- Revolt of ing hostilities appeared in Genoa, where Otta- Fregoso at viano Fregoso, who held the chief authority in that city, which he had obtained by the favour and preserved by the assistance of the pope,(a) unexpectedly relinquished his title of doge, and assumed that of governor for the king of France. That so bold a measure could not be adopted without the participation and encouragement of the king, was apparent; but the event proved that the eagerness of Fregoso to avail himself of the honours and emoluments that were to be the rewards of his defection had prematurely led him to this treacherous attempt. The
(a) Leo in one of his letters thus addresses Fregoso and the magistrates of Genoa: “ Egimus cum Florentino
rum magistratibus, Laurentioque Mediceo, fratris nostri $6 filio, mandarent jis equitibus, qui Pisis sunt, ut ad vos !' tuendos defendendosque contenderent, vobisque præsto
essent, quo tempore, quo loco jussissetis. Quod si vobis " opus erit majore auxilio, Florentinorum Equites milites" que, quotquot habent, & nostræ copiæ omnes, ad vos, “ statumque vestrum & dignitatem retinendam, atque op
pidum conservandum, & confirmandum celeriter trajici, to entur." ap. Fabr, in vita Leon, X. þ; 88,
CHAP. Adorni and the Fieschi, the ancient enemies of
the Fregosi, were vigilant in grasping at any A. D. 1515. opportunity that might effect his ruin. UnitA. Pont. III. ing their arms with those of Prospero Colonna,
who commanded the forces of the duke of Milan, and being joined by six thousand Swiss who had already arrived in Italy, they proceeded towards Genoa. Fregoso had assembled for his defence about five thousand men; but conceiving that they would be unable to support so powerful an attack, and despairing of obtaining timely aid from France, he was reduced to the humiliating necessity of having recourse to the pope to protect him from the chastisement which his treachery had so justly merited. Whether Leo believed Fregoso to be sincere in his contrition, or whether, as is much more probable, he was unwilling to exasperate the French monarch, certain it is that on this occasion he exerted his authority with Colonna to prevent the intended attack, and a negotiation was entered into, by which Fregoso was allowed to retain his authority as doge, on his engaging not to favour the cause of the French, and paying to the Swiss a considerable sum of money as an indemnification for their expenses.(a)
(a) Guicciard. lib. xii. ii. 87. Murat. Annali, x. 111.
A. D. 1515.
In order to exculpate himself from the dis- CHA P. grace which he had incurred by this transaction, Fregoso is said to have addressed a letter to Leo X. in which, after having parti- A. Pont. III. cularized all the motives of his conduct and
Fregoso alleged all the excuses in his power, he finally attempts to endeavours to vindicate the steps which he had vindicate taken by the example of the pontiff himself; the pope. assuring him, “ that he well knew it would be “ difficult to apologize for his conduct, if he
were addressing himself to a private indivi
dual, or to a prince who considered mat“ ters of state by those rules of morality which
are applicable to private life. But that " in addressing himself to a sovereign who " was inferior in talents to no one of the age, " and whose penetration must have discovered " that the measures which he had adopted
were such as appeared necessary for the pre" servation of his authority, any further ex
cuse must appear superfluous ; it being well “ understood that it was allowable, or at least
customary, for a sovereign to resort to expedients of an extraordinary nature, not
only for the preservation, but even for the " extension and increase of his dominions." On this production, in which Fregoso is supposed to have satirically alluded to the con