History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 552 pages of information about History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy.
discontented, on account of the Florentine magistrates having endeavored, perhaps too severely, to check their partiality for inveterate feuds and consequence bloodshed.  He was also aware that the people of Prato considered themselves injured by the pride and avarice of their governors, and that some were ill disposed toward Florence; therefore all things considered, he hoped to be able to kindle a fire in Tuscany (should Prato rebel) which would be fostered by so many, that those who might wish to extinguish it would fail in the attempt.  He communicated his ideas to Diotisalvi Neroni, and asked him, in case they should succeed in taking possession of Prato, what assistance might be expected from the princes of Italy, by his means?  Diotisalvi considered the enterprise as imminently dangerous, and almost impracticable; but since it presented a fresh chance of attaining his object, at the risk of others, he advised him to proceed, and promised certain assistance from Bologna and Ferrara, if he could retain Prato not less than fifteen days.  Bernardo, whom this promise inspired with a lively hope of success, proceeded secretly to Prato, and communicated with those most disposed to favor him, among whom were the Palandra; and having arranged the time and plan, informed Diotisalvi of what had been done.


Bernardo takes possession of Prato, but is not assisted by the inhabitants—­He is taken, and the tumult appeased—­Corruption of Florence—­The duke of Milan in Florence—­The church of Santo Spirito destroyed by fire—­The rebellion of Volterra, and the cause of it—­Volterra reduced to obedience by force, in accordance with the advice of Lorenzo de’ Medici—­Volterra pillaged.

Cesare Petrucci held the office of Provost of Prato for the Florentine people, at this period.  It is customary with governors of towns, similarly situated, to keep the keys of the gates near their persons; and whenever, in peaceful times, they are required by any of the inhabitants, for entrance or exit, they are usually allowed to be taken.  Bernardo was aware of this custom, and about daybreak, presented himself at the gate which looks toward Pistoia, accompanied by the Palandra and about one hundred persons, all armed.  Their confederates within the town also armed themselves, and one of them asked the governor for the keys, alleging, as a pretext, that some one from the country wished to enter.  The governor not entertaining the slightest suspicion, sent a servant with them.  When at a convenient distance, they were taken by the conspirators, who, opening the gates, introduced Bernardo and his followers.  They divided themselves into two parties, one of which, led by Salvestro, an inhabitant of Prato, took possession of the citadel; the other following Bernardo, seized the palace, and placed Cesare with all his family in the custody of some of their number.  They then raised the cry of liberty, and proceeded through the

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History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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