Discords of Florence—Jealousy excited against Neri di Gino Capponi—Baldaccio d’Anghiari murdered—Reform of government in favor of the Medici—Enterprises of Sforza and Piccinino—Death of Niccolo Piccinino—End of the war—Disturbances in Bologna—Annibale Bentivoglio slain by Battista Canneschi, and the latter by the people—Santi, supposed to be the son of Ercole Bentivoglio, is called to govern the city of Bologna—Discourse of Cosmo de’ Medici to him—Perfidious designs of the duke of Milan against Sforza—General war in Italy—Losses of the duke of Milan—The duke has recourse to the count, who makes peace with him—Offers of the duke and the Venetians to the count—The Venetians furtively deprive the count of Cremona.
While the affairs of Romagna proceeded thus, the city of Florence was not tranquil. Among the citizens of highest reputation in the government, was Neri di Gino Capponi, of whose influence Cosmo de’ Medici had more apprehension than any other; for to the great authority which he possessed in the city was added his influence with the soldiery. Having been often leader of the Florentine forces he had won their affection by his courage and talents; and the remembrance of his own and his father’s victories (the latter having taken Pisa, and he himself having overcome Niccolo Piccinino at Anghiari) caused him to be beloved by many, and feared by those who were averse to having associates in the government. Among the leaders of the Florentine army was Baldaccio d’Anghiari, an excellent soldier, for in those times there was not one in Italy who surpassed him in vigor either of body or mind; and possessing so much influence with the infantry, whose leader he had always been, many thought they would follow him wherever he chose to lead them. Baldaccio was the intimate friend of Neri, who loved him for his talents, of which he had been a constant witness. This excited great suspicion in the other citizens, who, thinking it alike dangerous either to discharge or retain him in their service, determined to destroy him, and fortune seemed to favor their design. Bartolommeo Orlandini was Gonfalonier of Justice; the same person who was sent to the defense of Marradi, when Niccolo Piccinino came into Tuscany, as we have related above, and so basely abandoned the pass, which by its nature was almost impregnable. So flagrant an instance of cowardice was very offensive to Baldaccio, who, on many occasions, both by words and letters, had contributed to make the disgraceful fact known to all. The shame and vexation of Bartolommeo were extreme, so that of all things he wished to avenge himself, thinking, with the death of his accuser, to efface the stain upon his character.