The Signory, induced by the necessity of the case, of which they were previously aware, and further encouraged by the advice of those who now addressed them, gave authority to fifty-six citizens to provide for the safety of the republic. It is usually found that most men are better adapted to pursue a good course already begun, than to discover one applicable to immediate circumstances. These citizens thought rather of extinguishing existing factions than of preventing the formation of new ones, and effected neither of these objects. The facilities for the establishment of new parties were not removed; and out of those which they guarded against, another more powerful arose, which brought the republic into still greater danger. They, however, deprived three of the family of the Albizzi, and three of that of the Ricci, of all the offices of government, except those of the Guelphic party, for three years; and among the deprived were Piero degli Albizzi and Uguccione de’ Ricci. They forbade the citizens to assemble in the palace, except during the sittings of the Signory. They provided that if any one were beaten, or possession of his property detained from him, he might bring his case before the council and denounce the offender, even if he were one of the nobility; and that if it were proved, the accused should be subject to the usual penalties. This provision abated the boldness of the Ricci, and increased that of the Albizzi; since, although it applied equally to both, the Ricci suffered from it by far the most; for if Piero was excluded from the palace of the Signory, the chamber of the Guelphs, in which he possessed the greatest authority, remained open to him; and if he and his followers had previously been ready to ADMONISH, they became after this injury, doubly so. To this pre-disposition for evil, new excitements were added.
The war of the Florentines against the pope’s legate, and the causes of it—League against the pope—The censures of the pope disregarded in Florence—The city is divided into two factions, the one the Capitani di Parte, the other of the eight commissioners of the war—Measures adopted by the Guelphic party against their adversaries—The Guelphs endeavor to prevent Salvestro de Medici from being chosen Gonfalonier—Salvestro de Medici Gonfalonier—His law against the nobility, and in favor of the Ammoniti—The Collegi disapprove of the law—Salvestro addresses the council in its favor—The law is passed—Disturbances in Florence.