History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 472 pages of information about History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy.
who were discontented from the causes above mentioned, having many of them been acquainted with Walter, when upon a former occasion he had governed Florence for the duke of Calabria, thought they had now an opportunity, though with the ruin of the city, of subduing their enemies; for there was no means of prevailing against those who had oppressed them but of submitting to the authority of a prince who, being acquainted with the worth of one party and the insolence of the other, would restrain the latter and reward the former.  To this they added a hope of the benefits they might derive from him when he had acquired the principality by their means.  They, therefore, took several occasions of being with him secretly, and entreated he would take the command wholly upon himself, offering him the utmost assistance in their power.  To their influence and entreaty were also added those of some families of the people; these were the Peruzzi, Acciajuoli, Antellesi, and Buonaccorsi, who, being overwhelmed with debts, and without means of their own, wished for those of others to liquidate them, and, by the slavery of their country, to deliver themselves from their servitude to their creditors.  These demonstrations excited the ambitious mind of the duke to greater desire of dominion, and in order to gain himself the reputation of strict equity and justice, and thus increase his favor with the plebeians, he prosecuted those who had conducted the war against Lucca, condemned many to pay fines, others to exile, and put to death Giovanni de’ Medici, Naddo Rucellai, and Guglielmo Altoviti.

CHAPTER VIII

The Duke of Athens requires to be made prince of Florence—­The Signory address the duke upon the subject—­The plebeians proclaim him prince of Florence for life—­Tyrannical proceedings of the duke—­The city disgusted with him—­Conspiracies against the duke—­The duke discovers the conspiracies, and becomes terrified—­The city rises against him—­He is besieged in the palace—­Measures adopted by the citizens for reform of the government—­The duke is compelled to withdraw from the city—­Miserable deaths of Guglielmo da Scesi and his son—­Departure of the duke of Athens—­His character.

These executions greatly terrified the middle class of citizens, but gave satisfaction to the great and to the plebeians;—­to the latter, because it is their nature to delight in evil; and to the former, by thus seeing themselves avenged of the many wrongs they had suffered from the people.  When the duke passed along the streets he was hailed with loud cheers, the boldness of his proceedings was praised, and both parties joined in open entreaties that he would search out the faults of the citizens, and punish them.

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