The house of Lapo being burnt, as mischief begins with difficulty but easily increases, many other houses, either through public hatred, or private malice, shared the same fate; and the rioters, that they might have companions more eager than themselves to assist them in their work of plunder, broke open the public prisons, and then sacked the monastery of the Agnoli and the convent of S. Spirito, whither many citizens had taken their most valuable goods for safety. Nor would the public chambers have escaped these destroyers’ hands, except out of reverence for one of the Signors, who on horseback, and followed by many citizens in arms, opposed the rage of the mob.
Contrary measures adopted by the magistrates to effect a pacification—Luigi Guicciardini the Gonfalonier entreats the magistrates of the Arts to endeavor to pacify the people—Serious riot caused by the plebeians—The woolen Art—The plebeians assemble—The speech of a seditious plebeian—Their resolution thereupon—The Signory discover the designs of the plebeians—Measures adopted to counteract them.
This popular fury being abated by the authority of the Signors and the approach of night, on the following day, the Balia relieved the admonished, on condition that they should not for three years be capable of holding any magistracy. They annulled the laws made by the Guelphs to the prejudice of the citizens; declared Lapo da Castiglionchio and his companions, rebels, and with them many others, who were the objects of universal detestation. After these resolutions, the new Signory were drawn for, and Luigi Guicciardini appointed Gonfalonier, which gave hope that the tumults would soon be appeased; for everyone thought them to be peaceable men and lovers of order. Still the shops were not opened, nor did the citizens lay down their arms, but continued to patrol the city in great numbers; so that the Signory did not assume the magistracy with the usual pomp, but merely assembled within the palace, omitting all ceremony.
This Signory, considering nothing more advisable in the beginning of their magistracy than to restore peace, caused a relinquishment of arms; ordered the shops to be opened, and the strangers who had been called to their aid, to return to their homes. They appointed guards in many parts of the city, so that if the admonished would only have remained quiet, order would soon have been re-established. But they were not satisfied to wait three years for the recovery of their honours; so that to gratify them the Arts again met, and demanded of the Signory, that for the benefit and quiet of the city, they would ordain that no citizens should at any time, whether Signor, Colleague, Capitano di Parte, or Consul of any art whatever, be admonished as a Ghibelline; and further, that new ballots of the Guelphic party should be made, and the old ones burned. These demands were at once acceded to, not only by the Signors, but by all the Councils; and thus it was hoped the tumults newly excited would be settled.