The duke of Milan becomes lord of Genoa—The king of Naples and the duke of Milan endeavor to secure their dominions to their heirs—Jacopo Piccinino honorably received at Milan, and shortly afterward murdered at Naples—Fruitless endeavors of Pius II. to excite Christendom against the Turks—Death of Francesco Sforza, duke of Milan—Perfidious counsel given to Piero de’ Medici by Diotisalvi Neroni—Conspiracy of Diotisalvi and others against Piero—Futile attempts to appease the disorders—Public spectacles—Projects of the conspirators against Piero de’ Medici—Niccolo Fedini discloses to Piero the plots of his enemies.
While Florence and Italy were in this condition, Louis XI. of France was involved in very serious troubles with his barons, who, with the assistance of Francis, duke of Brittany, and Charles, duke of Burgundy, were in arms against him. This attack was so serious, that he was unable to render further assistance to John of Anjou in his enterprise against Genoa and Naples; and, standing in need of all the forces he could raise, he gave over Savona (which still remained in the power of the French) to the duke of Milan, and also intimated, that if he wished, he had his permission to undertake the conquest of Genoa. Francesco accepted the proposal, and with the influence afforded by the king’s friendship, and the assistance of the Adorni, he became lord of Genoa. In acknowledgment of this benefit, he sent fifteen hundred horse into France for the king’s service, under the command of Galeazzo, his eldest son. Thus Ferrando of Aragon and Francesco Sforza became, the latter, duke of Lombardy and prince of Genoa, and the former, sovereign of the whole kingdom of Naples. Their families being allied by marriage, they thought they might so confirm their power as to secure to themselves its enjoyment during life, and at their deaths, its unencumbered reversion to their heirs. To attain this end, they considered it necessary that the king should remove all ground of apprehension from those barons