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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 472 pages of information about History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy.
to him and injurious to themselves; for if they allowed matters to take their ordinary course, Piero would be in no danger whatever, while they themselves would incur many; for the magistrates who were opposed to him would allow him to rule the city, and his friends would make him a prince, and their own ruin would be inevitable, as happened in 1458; and though the advice they had just heard might be most consistent with good feeling, the present would be found to be the safest.  That it would therefore be best, while the minds of men were yet excited against him, to effect his destruction.  It must be their plan to arm themselves, and engage the assistance of the marquis of Ferrara, that they might not be destitute of troops; and if a favorable Signory were drawn, they would be in condition to make use of them.  They therefore determined to wait the formation of the new Signory, and be governed by circumstances.

Among the conspirators was Niccolo Fedini, who had acted as president of their assemblies.  He, being induced by most certain hopes, disclosed the whole affair to Piero, and gave him a list of those who had subscribed their names, and also of the conspirators.  Piero was alarmed on discovering the number and quality of those who were opposed to him; and by the advice of his friends he resolved to take the signatures of those who were inclined to favor him.  Having employed one of his most trusty confidants to carry his design into effect, he found so great a disposition to change and instability, that many who had previously set down their names among the number of his enemies, now subscribed them in his favor.

CHAPTER III

Niccolo Soderini drawn Gonfalonier of Justice—­Great hopes excited in consequence—­The two parties take arms—­The fears of the Signory—­Their conduct with regard to Piero—­Piero’s reply to the Signory—­Reform of government in favor of Piero de’ Medici—­Dispersion of his enemies—­Fall of Lucca Pitti—­Letter of Agnolo Acciajuoli to Piero de’ Medici—­Piero’s answer—­Designs of the Florentine exiles—­They induce the Venetians to make war on Florence.

In the midst of these events, the time arrived for the renewal of the supreme magistracy; and Niccolo Soderini was drawn Gonfalonier of Justice.  It was surprising to see by what a concourse, not only of distinguished citizens, but also of the populace, he was accompanied to the palace; and while on the way thither an olive wreath was placed upon his head, to signify that upon him depended the safety and liberty of the city.  This, among many similar instances, serves to prove how undesirable it is to enter upon office or power exciting inordinate expectations; for, being unable to fulfil them (many looking for more than it is possible to perform), shame and disappointment are the ordinary results.  Tommaso and Niccolo Soderini were brothers.  Niccolo was the more ardent and spirited, Tommaso the wiser man; who, being

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