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The History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella The Catholic, V3 by William H. Prescott

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HISTORY OF THE REIGN OF FERDINAND AND ISABELLA, THE CATHOLIC.

BY
WILLIAM H. PRESCOTT.

IN THREE VOLUMES.
VOL. III.

CONTENTS OF VOLUME III.

PART SECOND. [CONTINUED.]

CHAPTER X
ITALIAN WARS.--PARTITION OF NAPLES.--GONSALVO OVERRUNS CALABRIA.
LOUIS XII.'S DESIGNS ON ITALY
POLITICS OF THAT COUNTRY
THE FRENCH CONQUER MILAN
ALARM OF THE SPANISH COURT
REMONSTRANCE TO THE POPE
BOLDNESS OF GARCILASSO DE LA VEGA
NEGOTIATIONS WITH VENICE AND THE EMPEROR
LOUIS OPENLY MENACES NAPLES
VIEWS OF FERDINAND
FLEET FITTED OUT UNDER GONSALVO DE CORDOVA
PARTITION OF NAPLES
GROUND OF FERDINAND'S CLAIM
GONSALVO SAILS AGAINST THE TURKS
STORMING OF ST. GEORGE
HONORS PAID TO GONSALVO
THE POPE CONFIRMS THE PARTITION
ASTONISHMENT OF ITALY
SUCCESS AND CRUELTIES OF THE FRENCH
FATE OF FREDERIC
GONSALVO INVADES CALABRIA
INVESTS TARENTO
DISCONTENTS IN THE ARMY
MUNIFICENCE OF GONSALVO
HE PUNISHES A MUTINY
BOLDER PLAN OF ATTACK
TARENTO SURRENDERS
PERJURY OF GONSALVO

CHAPTER XI.
ITALIAN WARS.--RUPTURE WITH FRANCE.--GONSALVO BESIEGED IN BARLETA.
MUTUAL DISTRUST OF THE FRENCH AND SPANIARDS
CAUSE OF RUPTURE
THE FRENCH BEGIN HOSTILITIES
THE ITALIANS FAVOR THEM
THE FRENCH ARMY
INFERIORITY OF THE SPANIARDS
GONSALVO RETIRES TO BARLETA
SIEGE OF CANOSA
CHIVALROUS CHARACTER OF THE WAR
TOURNAMENT NEAR TRANI
DUEL BETWEEN BAYARD AND SOTOMAYOR
DISTRESS OF THE SPANIARDS
SPIRIT OF GONSALVO
THE FRENCH REDUCE CALABRIA
CONSTANCY OF THE SPANIARDS
NEMOURS DEFIES THE SPANIARDS
ROUT OF THE FRENCH REAR-GUARD
ARRIVAL OF SUPPLIES
DESIGN ON RUVO
GONSALVO STORMS AND TAKES IT
HIS TREATMENT OF THE PRISONERS
PREPARES TO LEAVE BARLETA

CHAPTER XII.
ITALIAN WARS.--NEGOTIATIONS WITH FRANCE.--VICTORY OF CERIGNOLA.--
SURRENDER OF NAPLES.
BIRTH OF CHARLES V
PHILIP AND JOANNA VISIT SPAIN
RECOGNIZED BY CORTES
PHILIP'S DISCONTENT
LEAVES SPAIN FOR FRANCE
NEGOTIATES A TREATY WITH LOUIS XII
TREATY OF LYONS
THE GREAT CAPTAIN REFUSES TO COMPLY WITH IT
MARCHES OUT OF BARLETA
DISTRESS OF THE TROOPS
ENCAMPS BEFORE CERIGNOLA
NEMOURS PURSUES
THE SPANISH FORCES
THE FRENCH FORCES
BATTLE OF CERIGNOLA
DEATH OF NEMOURS
ROUT OF THE FRENCH
THEIR LOSS
PURSUIT OF THE ENEMY
D'AUBIGNY DEFEATED
SUBMISSION OF NAPLES
TRIUMPHANT ENTRY OF GONSALVO
FORTRESSES OF NAPLES
CASTEL NUOVO STORMED
NEARLY ALL THE KINGDOM REDUCED

CHAPTER XIII.
NEGOTIATIONS WITH FRANCE--UNSUCCESSFUL INVASION OF SPAIN.--TRUCE.
TREATY OF LYONS
REJECTED BY FERDINAND
HIS POLICY EXAMINED
JOANNA'S DESPONDENCY
FIRST SYMPTOMS OF HER INSANITY
THE QUEEN HASTENS TO HER
ISABELLA'S DISTRESS
HER ILLNESS AND FORTITUDE
THE FRENCH INVADE SPAIN
SIEGE OF SALSAS
ISABELLA'S EXERTIONS
FERDINAND'S SUCCESSES
TRUCE WITH FRANCE
REFLECTIONS ON THE CAMPAIGN
IMPEDIMENTS TO HISTORIC ACCURACY
SPECULATIVE WRITERS

CHAPTER XIV.
ITALIAN WARS.--CONDITION OF ITALY.--FRENCH AND SPANISH ARMIES ON THE
GARIGLIANO.
MELANCHOLY CONDITION OF ITALY
VIEWS OF THE ITALIAN STATES
OF THE EMPEROR
GREAT PREPARATIONS OF LOUIS XII
DEATH OF ALEXANDER VI
ELECTIONEERING INTRIGUES
JULIUS II
GONSALVO REPULSED BEFORE GAETA
STRENGTH OF HIS FORCES
OCCUPIES SAN GERMANO
THE FRENCH ENCAMP ON THE GARIGLIANO
PASSAGE OF THE BRIDGE
DESPERATE RESISTANCE
THE FRENCH RESUME THEIR QUARTERS
ANXIOUS EXPECTATION OF ITALY
GONSALVO STRENGTHENS HIS POSITION
GREAT DISTRESS OF THE ARMY
GONSALVO'S RESOLUTION
REMARKABLE INSTANCE OF IT
PATIENCE OF THE SPANIARDS
SITUATION OF THE FRENCH
THEIR INSUBORDINATION
SALUZZO TAKES THE COMMAND
HEROISM OF PAREDES AND BAYARD

CHAPTER XV.
ITALIAN WARS.--ROUT OF THE GARIGLIANO.--TREATY WITH FRANCE.--GONSALVO'S
MILITARY CONDUCT.
GONSALVO SECURES THE ORSINI
ASSUMES THE OFFENSIVE
PLAN OF ATTACK
CONSTERNATION OF THE FRENCH
THEY RETREAT ON GAETA
ACTION AT THE BRIDGE OF MOLA
HOTLY CONTESTED
ARRIVAL OF THE SPANISH REAR
THE FRENCH ROUTED
THEIR LOSS
GALLANTRY OF THEIR CHIVALRY
CAPITULATION OF GAETA
GONSALVO'S COURTESY
CHAGRIN OF LOUIS XII
SUFFERINGS OF THE FRENCH
THE SPANIARDS OCCUPY GAETA
PUBLIC ENTHUSIASM EXTORTIONS OF THE SPANISH TROOPS
GONSALVO'S LIBERALITY TO HIS OFFICERS
APPREHENSIONS OF LOUIS XII
TREATY WITH FRANCE
GALLANTRY OF LOUIS D'ARS
CAUSES OF THE FRENCH FAILURES
REVIEW OF GONSALVO'S CONDUCT
HIS REFORM OF THE SERVICE
INFLUENCE OVER THE ARMY
HIS CONFIDENCE IN THEIR CHARACTER
POSITION OF THE ARMY
RESULTS OF THE CAMPAIGNS
MEMOIRS OF GONSALVO DE CORDOVA
FRENCH CHRONICLES

CHAPTER XVI.
ILLNESS AND DEATH OF ISABELLA.--HER CHARACTER.
DECLINE OF THE QUEEN'S HEALTH
MAD CONDUCT OF JOANNA
THE QUEEN SEIZED WITH A FEVER
RETAINS HER ENERGIES
ALARM OF THE NATION
HER TESTAMENT
SETTLES THE SUCCESSION
FERDINAND NAMED REGENT
PROVISION FOR HIM
HER CODICIL
SHE FAILS RAPIDLY
HER RESIGNATION AND DEATH
HER REMAINS TRANSPORTED TO GRANADA
LAID IN THE ALHAMBRA
ISABELLA'S PERSON
HER MANNERS
HER MAGNANIMITY
HER PIETY
HER BIGOTRY
COMMON TO HER AGE
AND LATER TIMES
HER STRENGTH OF PRINCIPLE
HER PRACTICAL SENSE
HER UNWEARIED ACTIVITY
HER COURAGE
HER SENSIBILITY
PARALLEL WITH QUEEN ELIZABETH
UNIVERSAL HOMAGE TO HER VIRTUES

CHAPTER XVII.
FERDINAND REGENT.--HIS SECOND MARRIAGE.--DISSENSIONS WITH PHILIP.--
RESIGNATION OF THE REGENCY.
PHILIP AND JOANNA PROCLAIMED
DISCONTENT OF THE NOBLES
DON JUAN MANUEL
PHILIP'S PRETENSIONS
HIS PARTY INCREASES
HE TAMPERS WITH GONSALVO DE CORDOVA
FERDINAND'S PERPLEXITIES
PROPOSALS FOR A SECOND MARRIAGE
POLICY OF LOUIS XII
TREATY WITH FRANCE
ITS IMPOLICY
CONCORD OR SALAMANCA
PHILIP AND JOANNA EMBARK
REACH CORUÑA
PHILIP JOINED BY THE NOBLES
HIS CHARACTER
FERDINAND UNPOPULAR
INTERVIEW WITH PHILIP
COURTEOUS DEPORTMENT OF FERDINAND
PHILIP'S DISTRUST
FERDINAND RESIGNS THE REGENCY
HIS PRIVATE PROTEST
HIS MOTIVES
SECOND INTERVIEW
DEPARTURE OF FERDINAND
AUTHORITIES FOR THE ACCOUNT OF PHILIP

CHAPTER XVIII.
COLUMBUS.--HIS RETURN TO SPAIN.--HIS DEATH.
COLUMBUS'S LAST VOYAGE
HE LEARNS ISABELLA'S DEATH
HIS ILLNESS
HE VISITS THE COURT
FERDINAND'S UNJUST TREATMENT OF HIM
HE DECLINES IN HEALTH AND SPIRITS
HIS DEATH
HIS PERSON AND HABITS
HIS ENTHUSIASM
HIS LOFTY CHARACTER

CHAPTER XIX.
REIGN AND DEATH OF PHILIP I.--PROCEEDINGS IN CASTILE.--FERDINAND VISITS
NAPLES.
PHILIP AND JOANNA
PHILIP'S ARBITRARY GOVERNMENT
RECKLESS EXTRAVAGANCE
TROUBLES FROM THE INQUISITION
FERDINAND'S DISTRUST OF GONSALVO
HE SAILS FOR NAPLES
GONSALVO'S LOYALTY
DEATH OF PHILIP
HIS CHARACTER
PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT
JOANNA'S CONDITION
CONVOCATION OF CORTES
FERDINAND RECEIVED WITH ENTHUSIASM
HIS ENTRY INTO NAPLES
RESTORES THE ANGEVINS
GENERAL DISSATISFACTION

CHAPTER XX.
FERDINAND'S RETURN AND REGENCY.--GONSALVO'S HONORS AND RETIREMENT.
MEETING OF CORTES
JOANNA'S INSANE CONDUCT
SHE CHANGES HER MINISTERS
DISORDERLY STATE OF CASTILE
DISTRESS OF THE KINGDOM
FERDINAND'S POLITIC BEHAVIOR
HE LEAVES NAPLES
GONSALVO DE CORDOVA
GRIEF OF THE NEAPOLITANS
BRILLIANT INTERVIEW OF FERDINAND AND LOUIS
COMPLIMENTS TO GONSALVO
THE KING'S RECEPTION IN CASTILE
JOANNA'S RETIREMENT
IRREGULARITY OF FERDINAND'S PROCEEDINGS
GENERAL AMNESTY
HE ESTABLISHES A GUARD
HIS EXCESSIVE SEVERITY
DISGUST OF THE NOBLES
GONSALVO'S PROGRESS THROUGH THE COUNTRY
FERDINAND BREAKS HIS WORD
THE QUEEN'S COOLNESS
GONSALVO WITHDRAWS FROM COURT
SPLENDOR OF HIS RETIREMENT

CHAPTER XXI.
XIMENES.--CONQUESTS IN AFRICA.--UNIVERSITY OF ALCALA--POLYGLOT BIBLE.
POLICY OF FERDINAND'S SEVERITY
ENTHUSIASM OF XIMENES
HIS DESIGNS AGAINST ORAN
HIS WARLIKE PREPARATIONS
HIS PERSEVERANCE
SENDS AN ARMY TO AFRICA
ADDRESSES THE TROOPS
THE COMMAND LEFT TO NAVARRO
BATTLE BEFORE ORAN
THE CITY STORMED
MOORISH LOSS
XIMENES ENTERS ORAN
OPPOSITION OF HIS GENERAL
HIS DISTRUST OF FERDINAND
XIMENES RETURNS TO SPAIN
REFUSES PUBLIC HONORS
NAVARRO'S AFRICAN CONQUESTS
COLLEGE OF XIMENES AT ALCALA
ITS MAGNIFICENCE
PROVISIONS FOR EDUCATION
THE KING VISITS THE UNIVERSITY
POLYGLOT EDITION OF THE BIBLE
DIFFICULTIES OF THE TASK
GRAND PROJECTS OF XIMENES

CHAPTER XXII.
WARS AND POLITICS OF ITALY.
PROJECTS AGAINST VENICE
LEAGUE OF CAMBRAY
ITS ORIGIN
LOUIS XII. INVADES ITALY 01
RESOLUTION OF VENICE
ALARM OF FERDINAND
INVESTITURE OF NAPLES
HOLY LEAGUE
GASTON DE FOIX
BATTLE OF RAVENNA
DEATH OF GASTON DE FOIX
HIS CHARACTER
THE FRENCH RETREAT
VENICE DISGUSTED
BATTLE OF NOVARA
OF LA MOTTA
THE SPANIARDS VICTORIOUS
DARU'S "HISTOIRE DE VENISE"

CHAPTER XXIII.
CONQUEST OF NAVARRE.
SOVEREIGNS OF NAVARRE
DISTRUST OF SPAIN
NEGOTIATIONS WITH FRANCE
FERDINAND DEMANDS A PASSAGE
NAVARRE ALLIED TO FRANCE
INVADED BY ALVA
AND CONQUERED
CHARACTER OF JEAN D'ALBRET
DISCONTENT OF THE ENGLISH
DISCOMFITURE OF THE FRENCH
TREATY OF ORTHES
FERDINAND SETTLES HIS CONQUESTS
UNITED WITH CASTILE
THE KING'S CONDUCT EXAMINED
RIGHT OF PASSAGE
IMPRUDENCE OF NAVARRE
IT AUTHORIZES WAR
GROSS ABUSE OF VICTORY
AUTHORITIES FOR THE HISTORY OF NAVARRE

CHAPTER XXIV.
DEATH OF GONSALVO DE CORDOVA.--ILLNESS AND DEATH OF FERDINAND.--HIS
CHARACTER.
MAXIMILIAN'S PRETENSIONS
GONSALVO ORDERED TO ITALY
GENERAL ENTHUSIASM
THE KING'S DISTRUST
GONSALVO GOES INTO RETIREMENT
THE KING'S DESIRE FOR CHILDREN
DECLINE OF HIS HEALTH
GONSALVO'S ILLNESS AND DEATH
PUBLIC GRIEF
HIS CHARACTER
HIS PRIVATE VIRTUES HIS WANT OF FAITH
HIS LOYALTY
FERDINAND'S ILLNESS INCREASES
HIS INSENSIBILITY TO HIS SITUATION
HIS LAST HOURS
HIS DEATH AND TESTAMENT
HIS BODY TRANSPORTED TO GRANADA
HIS PERSON AND CHARACTER
HIS TEMPERANCE AND ECONOMY
HIS BIGOTRY
ACCUSED OF HYPOCRISY
HIS PERFIDY
HIS SHREWD POLICY
HIS INSENSIBILITY
CONTRAST WITH ISABELLA
GLOOMY CLOSE OF HIS LIFE
HIS KINGLY QUALITIES
JUDGMENT OF HIS CONTEMPORARIES

CHAPTER XXV.
ADMINISTRATION, DEATH, AND CHARACTER OF CARDINAL XIMENES.
DISPUTES RESPECTING THE REGENCY
CHARLES PROCLAIMED KING
ANECDOTE OF XIMENES
HIS MILITARY ORDINANCE
HIS DOMESTIC POLICY
HIS FOREIGN POLICY
ASSUMES THE SOLE POWER
INTIMIDATES THE NOBLES
PUBLIC DISCONTENTS
TREATY OF NOYON
CHARLES LANDS IN SPAIN
HIS UNGRATEFUL LETTER
THE CARDINAL'S LAST ILLNESS
HIS DEATH
HIS CHARACTER
HIS VERSATILITY OF TALENT
HIS DESPOTIC GOVERNMENT
HIS MORAL PRINCIPLE
HIS DISINTERESTEDNESS
HIS MONASTIC AUSTERITIES
HIS ECONOMY OF TIME
HIS PERSON
PARALLEL WITH RICHELIEU
NOTICE OF GALINDEZ DE CARBAJAL

CHAPTER XXVI.
GENERAL REVIEW OF THE ADMINISTRATION OF FERDINAND AND ISABELLA.
POLICY OF THE CROWN
DEPRESSION OF THE NOBLES
THEIR GREAT POWER
TREATMENT OF THE CHURCH
CARE OF MORALS
STATE OF THE COMMONS
THEIR CONSIDERATION
ROYAL ORDINANCES
ARBITRARY MEASURES OF FERDINAND
ADVANCEMENT OF PREROGATIVE
LEGAL COMPILATIONS
ORGANIZATION OF COUNCILS
LEGAL PROFESSION ADVANCED
CHARACTER OF THE LAWS
ERRONEOUS PRINCIPLES OF LEGISLATION
PRINCIPAL EXPORTS
MANUFACTURES
AGRICULTURE
ECONOMICAL POLICY
INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS
INCREASE OF EMPIRE
GOVERNMENT OF NAPLES
REVENUES FROM THE INDIES
SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE
PROGRESS OF DISCOVERY
EXCESSES OF THE SPANIARDS
SLAVERY IN THE COLONIES
COLONIAL ADMINISTRATION
GENERAL PROSPERITY
PUBLIC EMBELLISHMENTS
AUGMENTATION OF REVENUE
INCREASE OF POPULATION
PATRIOTIC PRINCIPLE
CHIVALROUS SPIRIT OF THE PEOPLE
SPIRIT OF BIGOTRY
BENEFICENT IMPULSE
THE PERIOD OF NATIONAL GLORY

PART SECOND. [CONTINUED.]

CHAPTER X.

ITALIAN WARS.--PARTITION OF NAPLES.--GONSALVO OVERRUNS CALABRIA.

1498-1502.

Louis XII.'s Designs on Italy.--Alarm of the Spanish Court.--Bold Conduct
of its Minister at Rome.--Celebrated Partition of Naples.--Gonsalvo Sails
against the Turks.--Success and Cruelties of the French.--Gonsalvo Invades
Calabria.--He Punishes a Mutiny.--His Munificent Spirit.--He Captures
Tarento.--Seizes the Duke of Calabria.

During the last four years of our narrative, in which the unsettled state
of the kingdom and the progress of foreign discovery appeared to demand
the whole attention of the sovereigns, a most important revolution was
going forward in the affairs of Italy. The death of Charles the Eighth
would seem to have dissolved the relations recently arisen between that
country and the rest of Europe, and to have restored it to its ancient
independence. It might naturally have been expected that France, under her
new monarch, who had reached a mature age, rendered still more mature by
the lessons he had received in the school of adversity, would feel the
folly of reviving ambitious schemes, which had cost so dear and ended so
disastrously. Italy, too, it might have been presumed, lacerated and still
bleeding at every pore, would have learned the fatal consequence of
invoking foreign aid in her domestic quarrels, and of throwing open the
gates to a torrent, sure to sweep down friend and foe indiscriminately in
its progress. But experience, alas! did not bring wisdom, and passion
triumphed as usual.

Louis the Twelfth, on ascending the throne, assumed the titles of Duke of
Milan and King of Naples, thus unequivocally announcing his intention of
asserting his claims, derived through the Visconti family, to the former,
and through the Angevin dynasty, to the latter state. His aspiring temper
was stimulated rather than satisfied by the martial renown he had acquired
in the Italian wars; and he was urged on by the great body of the French
chivalry, who, disgusted with a life of inaction, longed for a field where
they might win new laurels, and indulge in the joyous license of military
adventure.

Unhappily, the court of France found ready instruments for its purpose in
the profligate politicians of Italy. The Roman pontiff, in particular,
Alexander the Sixth, whose criminal ambition assumes something respectable
by contrast with the low vices in which he was habitually steeped,
willingly lent himself to a monarch, who could so effectually serve his
selfish schemes of building up the fortunes of his family. The ancient
republic of Venice, departing from her usual sagacious policy, and
yielding to her hatred of Lodovico Sforza, and to the lust of territorial
acquisition, consented to unite her arms with those of France against
Milan, in consideration of a share (not the lion's share) of the spoils of
victory. Florence, and many other inferior powers, whether from fear or
weakness, or the short-sighted hope of assistance in their petty
international feuds, consented either to throw their weight into the same
scale, or to remain neutral. [1]

Having thus secured himself from molestation in Italy, Louis the Twelfth
entered into negotiations with such other European powers, as were most
likely to interfere with his designs. The emperor Maximilian, whose
relations with Milan would most naturally have demanded his interposition,
was deeply entangled in a war with the Swiss. The neutrality of Spain was
secured by the treaty of Marcoussis, August 5th, 1498, which settled all
the existing differences with that country. And a treaty with Savoy in the
following year guaranteed a free passage through her mountain passes to
the French army into Italy. [2]

Having completed these arrangements, Louis lost no time in mustering his
forces, which, descending like a torrent on the fair plains of Lombardy,
effected the conquest of the entire duchy in little more than a fortnight;
and, although the prize was snatched for a moment from his grasp, yet
French valor and Swiss perfidy soon restored it. The miserable Sforza, the
dupe of arts which he had so long practised, was transported into France,
where he lingered out the remainder of his days in doleful captivity. He
had first called the _barbarians_ into Italy, and it was a righteous
retribution which made him their earliest victim. [3]

By the conquest of Milan, France now took her place among the Italian
powers. A preponderating weight was thus thrown into the scale, which
disturbed the ancient political balance, and which, if the projects on
Naples should be realized, would wholly annihilate it. These consequences,
to which the Italian states seemed strangely insensible, had long been
foreseen by the sagacious eye of Ferdinand the Catholic, who watched the
movements of his powerful neighbor with the deepest anxiety. He had
endeavored, before the invasion of Milan, to awaken the different
governments in Italy to a sense of their danger, and to stir them up to
some efficient combination against it. [4] Both he and the queen had
beheld with disquietude the increasing corruptions of the papal court, and
that shameless cupidity and lust of power, which made it the convenient
tool of the French monarch.

By their orders, Garcilasso de la Vega, the Spanish ambassador, read a
letter from his sovereigns in the presence of his Holiness, commenting on
his scandalous immorality, his invasion of ecclesiastical rights
appertaining to the Spanish crown, his schemes of selfish aggrandizement,
and especially his avowed purpose of transferring his son Caesar Borgia,
from a sacred to a secular dignity; a circumstance that must necessarily
make him, from the manner in which it was to be conducted, the instrument
of Louis the Twelfth. [5]

This unsavory rebuke, which probably lost nothing of its pungency from the
tone in which it was delivered, so incensed the pope that he attempted to
seize the paper and tear it in pieces, giving vent at the same time to the
most indecent reproaches against the minister and his sovereigns.
Garcilasso coolly waited till the storm had subsided, and then replied
undauntedly, "That he had uttered no more than became a loyal subject of
Castile; that he should never shrink from declaring freely what his
sovereigns commanded, or what he conceived to be for the good of
Christendom; and, if his Holiness were displeased with it, he could
dismiss him from his court, where he was convinced, indeed, his residence
could be no longer useful." [6]

Ferdinand had no better fortune at Venice, where his negotiations were
conducted by Lorenzo Suarez de la Vega, an adroit diplomatist, brother of
Garcilasso. [7] These negotiations were resumed after the occupation of
Milan by the French, when the minister availed himself of the jealousy
occasioned by that event to excite a determined resistance to the proposed
aggression on Naples. But the republic was too sorely pressed by the
Turkish war,--which Sforza, in the hope of creating a diversion in his own
favor, had brought on his country,--to allow leisure for other operations.
Nor did the Spanish court succeed any better at this crisis with the
emperor Maximilian, whose magnificent pretensions were ridiculously
contrasted with his limited authority, and still more limited revenues, so
scanty, indeed, as to gain him the contemptuous epithet among the Italians
of _pochi denari_, or "the Moneyless." He had conceived himself, indeed,
greatly injured, both on the score of his imperial rights and his
connection with Sforza, by the conquest of Milan; but, with the levity and
cupidity essential to his character, he suffered himself, notwithstanding
the remonstrances of the Spanish court, to be bribed into a truce with
King Louis, which gave the latter full scope for his meditated enterprise
on Naples. [8]

Thus disembarrassed of the most formidable means of annoyance, the French
monarch went briskly forward with his preparations, the object of which he
did not affect to conceal. Frederic, the unfortunate king of Naples, saw
himself with dismay now menaced with the loss of empire, before he had
time to taste the sweets of it. He knew not where to turn for refuge, in
his desolate condition, from the impending storm. His treasury was
drained, and his kingdom wasted, by the late war. His subjects, although
attached to his person, were too familiar with revolutions to stake their
lives or fortunes on the cast. His countrymen, the Italians, were in the
interest of his enemy; and his nearest neighbor, the pope, had drawn from
personal pique motives for the most deadly hostility. [9] He had as little
reliance on the king of Spain, his natural ally and kinsman, who, he well
knew, had always regarded the crown of Naples as his own rightful
inheritance. He resolved, therefore, to apply at once to the French
monarch; and he endeavored to propitiate him by the most humiliating
concessions,--the offer of an annual tribute, and the surrender into his
hands of some of the principal fortresses in the kingdom. Finding these
advances coldly received, he invoked, in the extremity of his distress,
the aid of the Turkish sultan, Bajazet, the terror of Christendom,
requesting such supplies of troops as should enable him to make head
against their common foe. This desperate step produced no other result
than that of furnishing the enemies of the unhappy prince with a plausible
ground of accusation against him, of which they did not fail to make good
use. [10]

The Spanish government, in the mean time, made the most vivid
remonstrances through its resident minister, or agents expressly
accredited for the purpose, against the proposed expedition of Louis the
Twelfth. It even went so far as to guarantee the faithful discharge of the
tribute proffered by the king of Naples. [11] But the reckless ambition of
the French monarch, overleaping the barriers of prudence, and indeed of
common sense, disdained the fruits of conquest without the name.

Ferdinand now found himself apparently reduced to the alternative of
abandoning the prize at once to the French king, or of making battle with
him in defence of his royal kinsman. The first of these measures, which
would bring a restless and powerful rival on the borders of the Sicilian
dominions, was not to be thought of for a moment. The latter, which
pledged him a second time to the support of pretensions hostile to his
own, was scarcely more palatable. A third expedient suggested itself; the
partition of the kingdom, as hinted in the negotiations with Charles the
Eighth, [12] by which means the Spanish government, if it could not rescue
the whole prize from the grasp of Louis, would at least divide it with
him.

Instructions were accordingly given to Gralla, the minister at the court
of Paris, to sound the government on this head, bringing it forward as his
own private suggestion. Care was taken at the same time to secure a party
in the French councils to the interests of Ferdinand. [13] The suggestions
of the Spanish envoy received additional weight from the report of a
considerable armament then equipping in the port of Malaga. Its ostensible
purpose was to co-operate with the Venetians in the defence of their
possessions in the Levant. Its main object, however, was to cover the
coasts of Sicily in any event from the French, and to afford means for
prompt action on any point where circumstances might require it. The fleet
consisted of about sixty sail, large and small, and carried forces
amounting to six hundred horse and four thousand foot, picked men, many of
them drawn from the hardy regions of the north, which had been taxed least
severely in the Moorish wars. [14]

The command of the whole was intrusted to the Great Captain, Gonsalvo of
Cordova, who since his return home had fully sustained the high
reputation, which his brilliant military talents had acquired for him
abroad. Numerous volunteers, comprehending the noblest of the young
chivalry of Spain, pressed forward to serve under the banner of this
accomplished and popular chieftain. Among them may be particularly noticed
Diego de Mendoza, son of the grand cardinal, Pedro de la Paz, [15] Gonzalo
Pizarro, father of the celebrated adventurer of Peru, and Diego de
Paredes, whose personal prowess and feats of extravagant daring furnished
many an incredible legend for chronicle and romance. With this gallant
armament the Great Captain weighed anchor in the port of Malaga, in May,
1500, designing to touch at Sicily before proceeding against the Turks.
[16]

Meanwhile, the negotiations between France and Spain, respecting Naples,
were brought to a close, by a treaty for the equal partition of that
kingdom between the two powers, ratified at Granada, November 11th, 1500.
This extraordinary document, after enlarging on the unmixed evils flowing
from war, and the obligation on all Christians to preserve inviolate the
blessed peace bequeathed them by the Saviour, proceeds to state that no
other prince, save the kings of France and Aragon, can pretend to a title
to the throne of Naples; and as King Frederic, its present occupant, has
seen fit to endanger the safety of all Christendom, by bringing on it its
bitterest enemy the Turks, the contracting parties, in order to rescue it
from this imminent peril, and preserve inviolate the bond of peace, agree
to take possession of his kingdom and divide it between them. It is then
provided that the northern portion, comprehending the Terra di Lavoro and
Abruzzo, be assigned to France, with the title of King of Naples and
Jerusalem, and the southern, consisting of Apulia and Calabria, with the
title of Duke of those provinces, to Spain. The _dogana_, an important
duty levied on the flocks of the Capitanate, was to be collected by the
officers of the Spanish government, and divided equally with France.
Lastly, any inequality between the respective territories was to be so
adjusted, that the revenues accruing to each of the parties should be
precisely equal. The treaty was to be kept profoundly secret, until
preparations were completed for the simultaneous occupation of the devoted
territory by the combined powers. [17]

Such were the terms of this celebrated compact, by which two European
potentates coolly carved out and divided between them the entire dominions
of a third, who had given no cause for umbrage, and with whom they were
both at that time in perfect peace and amity. Similar instances of
political robbery (to call it by the coarse name it merits) have occurred
in later times; but never one founded on more flimsy pretexts, or veiled
under a more detestable mask of hypocrisy. The principal odium of the
transaction has attached to Ferdinand, as the kinsman of the unfortunate
king of Naples. His conduct, however, admits of some palliatory
considerations, that cannot be claimed for Louis.

The Aragonese nation always regarded the bequest of Ferdinand's uncle,
Alfonso the Fifth, in favor of his natural offspring as an unwarrantable
and illegal act. The kingdom of Naples had been won by their own good
swords, and, as such, was the rightful inheritance of their own princes.
Nothing but the domestic troubles of his dominions had prevented John the
Second of Aragon, on the decease of his brother, from asserting his claim
by arms. His son, Ferdinand the Catholic, had hitherto acquiesced in the
usurpation of the bastard branch of his house only from similar causes. On
the accession of the present monarch, he had made some demonstrations of
vindicating his pretensions to Naples, which, however, the intelligence he
received from that kingdom induced him to defer to a more convenient
season. [18] But it was deferring, not relinquishing, his purpose. In the
mean time, he carefully avoided entering into such engagements, as should
compel him to a different policy by connecting his own interests with
those of Frederic; and with this view, no doubt, rejected the alliance,
strongly solicited by the latter, of the duke of Calabria, heir apparent
to the Neapolitan crown, with his third daughter, the infanta Maria.
Indeed, this disposition of Ferdinand, so far from being dissembled, was
well understood by the court of Naples, as is acknowledged by its own
historians. [19]

It may be thought, that the undisturbed succession of four princes to the
throne of Naples, each of whom had received the solemn recognition of the
people, might have healed any defects in their original title, however
glaring. But it may be remarked, in extenuation of both the French and
Spanish claims, that the principles of monarchical succession were but
imperfectly settled in that day; that oaths of allegiance were tendered
too lightly by the Neapolitans, to carry the same weight as in other
nations; and that the prescriptive right derived from possession,
necessarily indeterminate, was greatly weakened in this case by the
comparatively few years, not more than forty, during which the bastard
line of Aragon had occupied the throne,--a period much shorter than that
after which the house of York had in England, a few years before,
successfully contested the validity of the Lancastrian title. It should be
added, that Ferdinand's views appear to have perfectly corresponded with
those of the Spanish nation at large; not one writer of the time, whom I
have met with, intimating the slightest doubt of his title to Naples,
while not a few insist on it with unnecessary emphasis. [20] It is but
fair to state, however, that foreigners, who contemplated the transaction
with a more impartial eye, condemned it as inflicting a deep stain on the
characters of both potentates. Indeed, something like an apprehension of
this, in the parties themselves, may be inferred from their solicitude to
deprecate public censure by masking their designs under a pretended zeal
for religion.

Before the conferences respecting the treaty were brought to a close, the
Spanish armada under Gonsalvo, after a long detention in Sicily, where it
was reinforced by two thousand recruits, who had been serving as
mercenaries in Italy, held its course for the Morea. The Turkish squadron,
lying before Napoli di Romania, without waiting Gonsalvo's approach,
raised the siege, and retreated precipitately to Constantinople. The
Spanish general, then uniting his forces with the Venetians, stationed at
Corfu, proceeded at once against the fortified place of St. George, in
Cephalonia, which the Turks had lately wrested from the republic. [21]

The town stood high on a rock, in an impregnable position, and was
garrisoned by four hundred Turks, all veteran soldiers, prepared to die in
its defence. We have not room for the details of this siege, in which both
parties displayed unbounded courage and resources, and which was
protracted nearly two months under all the privations of famine, and the
inclemencies of a cold and stormy winter. [22]

At length, weary with this fatal procrastination, Gonsalvo and the
Venetian admiral, Pesaro, resolved on a simultaneous attack on separate
quarters of the town. The ramparts had been already shaken by the mining
operations of Pedro Navarro, who, in the Italian wars, acquired such
terrible celebrity in this department, till then little understood. The
Venetian cannon, larger and better served than that of the Spaniards, had
opened a practicable breach in the works, which the besieged repaired with
such temporary defences as they could. The signal being given at the
appointed hour, the two armies made a desperate assault on different
quarters of the town, under cover of a murderous fire of artillery. The
Turks sustained the attack with dauntless resolution, stopping up the
breach with the bodies of their dead and dying comrades, and pouring down
volleys of shot, arrows, burning oil and sulphur, and missiles of every
kind, on the heads of the assailants. But the desperate energy, as well as
numbers of the latter, proved too strong for them. Some forced the breach,
others scaled the ramparts; and, after a short and deadly struggle within
the walls, the brave garrison, four-fifths of whom with their commander
had fallen, were overpowered, and the victorious banners of St. Jago and
St. Mark were planted side by side triumphantly on the towers. [23]

The capture of this place, although accomplished at considerable loss, and
after a most gallant resistance by a mere handful of men, was of great
service to the Venetian cause; since it was the first cheek given to the
arms of Bajazet, who had filched one place after another from the
republic, menacing its whole colonial territory in the Levant. The
promptness and efficiency of King Ferdinand's succor to the Venetians
gained him high reputation throughout Europe, and precisely of the kind
which he most coveted, that of being the zealous defender of the faith;
while it formed a favorable contrast to the cold supineness of the other
powers of Christendom.

The capture of St. George restored to Venice the possession of Cephalonia;
and the Great Captain, having accomplished this important object, returned
in the beginning of the following year, 1501, to Sicily. Soon after his
arrival there, an embassy waited on him from the Venetian senate, to
express their grateful sense of his services; which they testified by
enrolling his name on the golden book, as a nobleman of Venice, and by a
magnificent present of plate, curious silks and velvets, and a stud of
beautiful Turkish horses. Gonsalvo courteously accepted the proffered
honors, but distributed the whole of the costly largess, with the
exception of a few pieces of plate, among his friends and soldiers. [24]

In the mean while, Louis the Twelfth having completed his preparations for
the invasion of Naples, an army, consisting of one thousand lances and ten
thousand Swiss and Gascon foot, crossed the Alps, and directed its march
towards the south. At the same time a powerful armament, under Philip de
Ravenstein, with six thousand five hundred additional troops on board,
quitted Genoa for the Neapolitan capital. The command of the land forces
was given to the Sire d'Aubigny, the same brave and experienced officer
who had formerly coped with Gonsalvo in the campaigns of Calabria. [25]

No sooner had D'Aubigny crossed the papal borders, than the French and
Spanish ambassadors announced to Alexander the Sixth and the college of
cardinals the existence of the treaty for the partition of the kingdom
between the sovereigns, their masters, requesting his Holiness to confirm
it, and grant them the investiture of their respective shares. In this
very reasonable petition his Holiness, well drilled in the part he was to
play, acquiesced without difficulty; declaring himself moved thereto
solely by his consideration of the pious intentions of the parties, and
the unworthiness of King Frederic, whose treachery to the Christian
commonwealth had forfeited all right (if he ever possessed any) to the
crown of Naples. [26]

From the moment that the French forces had descended into Lombardy, the
eyes of all Italy were turned with breathless expectation on Gonsalvo, and
his army in Sicily. The bustling preparations of the French monarch had
diffused the knowledge of his designs throughout Europe. Those of the king
of Spain, on the contrary, remained enveloped in profound secrecy. Few
doubted, that Ferdinand would step forward to shield his kinsman from the
invasion which menaced him, and, it might be, his own dominions in Sicily;
and they looked to the immediate junction of Gonsalvo with King Frederic,
in order that their combined strength might overpower the enemy before he
had gained a footing in the kingdom. Great was their astonishment, when
the scales dropped from their eyes, and they beheld the movements of Spain
in perfect accordance with those of France, and directed to crush their
common victim between them. They could scarcely credit, says Guicciardini,
that Louis the Twelfth could be so blind as to reject the proffered
vassalage and substantial sovereignty of Naples, in order to share it with
so artful and dangerous a rival as Ferdinand. [27]

The unfortunate Frederic, who had been advised for some time past of the
unfriendly dispositions of the Spanish government, [28] saw no refuge from
the dark tempest mustering against him on the opposite quarters of his
kingdom. He collected such troops as he could, however, in order to make
battle with the nearest enemy, before he should cross the threshold. On
the 28th of June, the French army resumed its march. Before quitting Rome,
a brawl arose between some French soldiers and Spaniards resident in the
capital; each party asserting the paramount right of its own sovereign to
the crown of Naples. From words they soon came to blows, and many lives
were lost before the fray could be quelled; a melancholy augury for the
permanence of the concord so unrighteously established between the two
governments. [29]

On the 8th of July, the French crossed the Neapolitan frontier. Frederic,
who had taken post at St. Germano, found himself so weak, that he was
compelled to give way on its approach, and retreat on his capital. The
invaders went forward, occupying one place after another with little
resistance till they came before Capua, where they received a temporary
check. During a parley for the surrender of that place, they burst into
the town, and, giving free scope to their fiendish passions, butchered
seven thousand citizens in the streets, and perpetrated outrages worse
than death on their defenceless wives and daughters. It was on this
occasion that Alexander the Sixth's son, the infamous Caesar Borgia,
selected forty of the most beautiful from the principal ladies of the
place, and sent them back to Rome to swell the complement of his seraglio.
The dreadful doom of Capua intimidated further resistance, but inspired
such detestation of the French throughout the country, as proved of
infinite prejudice to their cause in their subsequent struggle with the
Spaniards. [30]

King Frederic, shocked at bringing such calamities on his subjects,
resigned his capital without a blow in its defence, and, retreating to the
isle of Ischia, soon after embraced the counsel of the French admiral
Ravenstein, to accept a safe-conduct into France, and throw himself on the
generosity of Louis the Twelfth. The latter received him courteously, and
assigned him the duchy of Anjou with an ample revenue for his maintenance,
which, to the credit of the French king, was continued after he had lost
all hope of recovering the crown of Naples. [31] With this show of
magnanimity, however, he kept a jealous eye on his royal guest; under
pretence of paying him the greatest respect, he placed a guard over his
person, and thus detained him in a sort of honorable captivity to the day
of his death, which occurred soon after, in 1504.

Frederic was the last of the illegitimate branch of Aragon, who held the
Neapolitan sceptre; a line of princes, who, whatever might be their
characters in other respects, accorded that munificent patronage to
letters which sheds a ray of glory over the roughest and most turbulent
reign. It might have been expected, that an amiable and accomplished
prince, like Frederic, would have done still more towards the moral
development of his people, by healing the animosities which had so long
festered in their bosoms. His gentle character, however, was ill suited to
the evil times on which he had fallen; and it is not improbable, that he
found greater contentment in the calm and cultivated retirement of his
latter years, sweetened by the sympathies of friendship which adversity
had proved, [32] than when placed on the dazzling heights which attract
the admiration and envy of mankind. [33]

Early in March, Gonsalvo of Cordova had received his first official
intelligence of the partition treaty, and of his own appointment to the
post of lieutenant-general of Calabria and Apulia. He felt natural regret
at being called to act against a prince, whose character he esteemed, and
with whom he had once been placed in the most intimate and friendly
relations. In the true spirit of chivalry, he returned to Frederic, before
taking up arms against him, the duchy of St. Angel and the other large
domains, with which that monarch had requited his services in the late
war, requesting at the same time to be released from his obligations of
homage and fealty. The generous monarch readily complied with the latter
part of his request, but insisted on his retaining the grant, which he
declared an inadequate compensation, after all, for the benefits the Great
Captain had once rendered him. [34]

The levies assembled at Messina amounted to three hundred heavy-armed,
three hundred light horse, and three thousand eight hundred infantry,
together with a small body of Spanish veterans, which the Castilian
ambassador had collected in Italy. The number of the forces was
inconsiderable, but they were in excellent condition, well disciplined,
and seasoned to all the toils and difficulties of war. On the 5th of July,
the Great Captain landed at Tropea, and commenced the conquest of
Calabria, ordering the fleet to keep along the coast, in order to furnish
whatever supplies he might need. The ground was familiar to him, and his
progress was facilitated by the old relations he had formed there, as well
as by the important posts which the Spanish government had retained in its
hands, as an indemnification for the expenses of the late war.
Notwithstanding the opposition or coldness of the great Angevin lords who
resided in this quarter, the entire occupation of the two Calabrias, with
the exception of Tarento, was effected in less than a month. [35]

This city, remarkable in ancient times for its defence against Hannibal,
was of the last importance. King Frederic had sent thither his eldest son,
the duke of Calabria, a youth about fourteen years of age, under the care
of Juan de Guevara, count of Potenza, with a strong body of troops,
considering it the place of greatest security in his dominions.
Independently of the strength of its works, it was rendered nearly
inaccessible by its natural position; having no communication with the
main land except by two bridges, at opposite quarters of the town,
commanded by strong towers, while its exposure to the sea made it easily
open to supplies from abroad.

Gonsalvo saw that the only method of reducing the place must be by
blockade. Disagreeable as the delay was, he prepared to lay regular siege
to it, ordering the fleet to sail round the southern point of Calabria,
and blockade the port of Tarento, while he threw up works on the land
side, which commanded the passes to the town, and cut off its
communications with the neighboring country. The place, however, was well
victualled, and the garrison prepared to maintain it to the last.[36]

Nothing tries more severely the patience and discipline of the soldier,
than a life of sluggish inaction, unenlivened, as in the present instance,
by any of the rencontres, or feats of arms, which keep up military
excitement, and gratify the cupidity or ambition of the warrior. The
Spanish troops, cooped up within their intrenchments, and disgusted with
the languid monotony of their life, cast many a wistful glance to the
stirring scenes of war in the centre of Italy, where Caesar Borgia held
out magnificent promises of pay and plunder to all who embarked in his
adventurous enterprises. He courted the aid, in particular, of the Spanish
veterans, whose worth he well understood, for they had often served under
his banner, in his feuds with the Italian princes. In consequence of these
inducements, some of Gonsalvo's men were found to desert every day; while
those who remained were becoming hourly more discontented, from the large
arrears due from the government; for Ferdinand, as already remarked,
conducted his operations with a stinted economy, very different from the
prompt and liberal expenditure of the queen, always competent to its
object. [37]

A trivial incident, at this time, swelled the popular discontent into
mutiny. The French fleet, after the capture of Naples, was ordered to the
Levant to assist the Venetians against the Turks. Ravenstein, ambitious of
eclipsing the exploits of the Great Captain, turned his arms against
Mitilene, with the design of recovering it for the republic. He totally
failed in the attack, and his fleet was soon after scattered by a tempest,
and his own ship wrecked on the isle of Cerigo. He subsequently found his
way, with several of his principal officers, to the shores of Calabria,
where he landed in the most forlorn and desperate plight. Gonsalvo,
touched with his misfortunes, no sooner learned his necessities, than he
sent him abundant supplies of provisions, adding a service of plate, and a
variety of elegant apparel for himself and followers; consulting his own
munificent spirit in this, much more than the limited state of his
finances. [38]

This excessive liberality was very inopportune. The soldiers loudly
complained that their general found treasures to squander on foreigners,
while his own troops were defrauded of their pay. The Biscayans, a people
of whom Gonsalvo used to say, "he had rather be a lion-keeper than
undertake to govern them," took the lead in the tumult. It soon swelled
into open insurrection; and the men, forming themselves into regular
companies, marched to the general's quarters and demanded payment of their
arrears. One fellow, more insolent than the rest, levelled a pike at his
breast with the most angry and menacing looks. Gonsalvo, however,
retaining his self-possession, gently put it aside, saying, with a good-
natured smile, "Higher, you careless knave, lift your lance higher, or you
will run me through in your jesting." As he was reiterating his assurances
of the want of funds, and his confident expectation of speedily obtaining
them, a Biscayan captain called out, "Send your daughter to the brothel,
and that will soon put you in funds!" This, was a favorite daughter named
Elvira, whom Gonsalvo loved so tenderly, that he would not part with her,
even in his campaigns. Although stung to the heart by this audacious
taunt, he made no reply; but, without changing a muscle of his
countenance, continued, in the same tone as before, to expostulate with
the insurgents, who at length were prevailed on to draw off, and disperse
to their quarters. The next morning, the appalling spectacle of the
lifeless body of the Biscayan, hanging by the neck from a window of the
house in which he had been quartered, admonished the, army that there were
limits to the general's forbearance it was not prudent to overstep. [39]

An unexpected event, which took place at this juncture, contributed even
more than this monitory lesson to restore subordination to the army. This
was the capture of a Genoese galleon with a valuable freight, chiefly
iron, bound to some Turkish port, as it was said, in the Levant, which
Gonsalvo, moved no doubt by his zeal for the Christian cause, ordered to
be seized by the Spanish cruisers; and the cargo to be disposed of for the
satisfaction of his troops. Giovio charitably excuses this act of
hostility against a friendly power with the remark, that "when the Great
Captain did anything contrary to law, he was wont to say, 'A general must
secure the victory at all hazards, right or wrong; and, when he has done
this, he can compensate those whom he has injured with tenfold benefits.'"
[40]

The unexpected length of the siege of Tarento determined Gonsalvo, at
length, to adopt bolder measures for quickening its termination. The city,
whose insulated position has been noticed, was bounded on the north by a
lake, or rather arm of the sea, forming an excellent interior harbor,
about eighteen miles in circumference. The inhabitants, trusting to the
natural defences of this quarter, had omitted to protect it by
fortifications, and the houses rose abruptly from the margin of the basin.
Into this reservoir, the Spanish commander resolved to transport such of
his vessels then riding in the outer bay, as from their size could be
conveyed across the narrow isthmus, which divided it from the inner.

After incredible toil, twenty of the smallest craft were moved on huge
cars and rollers across the intervening land, and safely launched on the
bosom of the lake. The whole operation was performed amid the exciting
accompaniments of discharges of ordnance, strains of martial music, and
loud acclamations of the soldiery. The inhabitants of Tarento saw with
consternation the fleet so lately floating in the open ocean under their
impregnable walls, now quitting its native element, and moving, as it were
by magic, across the land, to assault them on the quarter where they were
the least defended. [41]

The Neapolitan commander perceived it would be impossible to hold out
longer, without compromising the personal safety of the young prince under
his care. He accordingly entered into negotiations for a truce with the
Great Captain, during which articles of capitulation were arranged,
guaranteeing to the duke of Calabria and his followers the right of
evacuating the place and going wherever they listed. The Spanish general,
in order to give greater solemnity to these engagements, bound himself to
observe them by an oath on the sacrament. [42]

On the 1st of March, 1502, the Spanish army took possession, according to
agreement, of the city of Tarento; and the duke of Calabria with his suite
was permitted to leave it, in order to rejoin his father in France. In the
mean time, advices were received from Ferdinand the Catholic, instructing
Gonsalvo on no account to suffer the young prince to escape from his
hands, as he was a pledge of too great importance for the Spanish
government to relinquish. The general in consequence sent after the duke,
who had proceeded in company with the count of Potenza as far as Bitonto,
on his way to the north, and commanded him to be arrested and brought back
to Tarento. Not long after, he caused him to be conveyed on board one of
the men-of-war in the harbor, and, in contempt of his solemn engagements,
sent a prisoner to Spain. [43]

The national writers have made many awkward attempts to varnish over this
atrocious act of perfidy in their favorite hero. Zurita vindicates it by a
letter from the Neapolitan prince to Gonsalvo, requesting the latter to
take this step, since he preferred a residence in Spain to one in France,
but could not with decency appear to act in opposition to his father's
wishes on the subject. If such a letter, however, were really obtained
from the prince, his tender years would entitle it to little weight, and
of course it would afford no substantial ground for justification. Another
explanation is offered by Paolo Giovio, who states that the Great Captain,
undetermined what course to adopt, took the opinion of certain learned
jurists. This sage body decided, that Gonsalvo was not bound by his oath,
since it was repugnant to his paramount obligations to his master; and
that the latter was not bound by it, since it was made without his
privity! [44] The man who trusts his honor to the tampering of casuists,
has parted with it already. [45]

The only palliation of the act must be sought in the prevalent laxity and
corruption of the period, which is rife with examples of the most flagrant
violation of both public and private faith. Had this been the act of a
Sforza, indeed, or a Borgia, it could not reasonably have excited
surprise. But coming from one of a noble, magnanimous nature, like
Gonsalvo, exemplary in his private life, and unstained with any of the
grosser vices of the age, it excited general astonishment and reprobation,
even among his contemporaries. It has left a reproach on his name, which
the historian may regret, but cannot wipe away.

FOOTNOTES

[1] Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i. lib. 4, p. 214, ed. 1645.--Flassan,
Diplomatie Française, tom. i. pp. 275, 277.

[2] Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. iii. pp. 397-400.--Flassan,
Diplomatie Française, tom. i. p. 279.

[3] Guicciardini, Istoria, lib. 4, pp. 250-252.--Mémoires de La Trémoille,
chap. 19, apud Petitot, Collection de Mémoires, tom. xiv.--Buonaccorsi,
Diario de' Successi più Importanti, (Fiorenza, 1568,) pp. 26-29.

[4] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 3, cap. 31.

Martyr, in a letter written soon after Sforza's recovery of his capital,
says that the Spanish sovereigns "could not conceal their joy at the
event, such was their jealousy of France." (Opus Epist., epist. 213.) The
same sagacious writer, the distance of whose residence from Italy removed
him from those political factions and prejudices which clouded the optics
of his countrymen, saw with deep regret their coalition with France, the
fatal consequences of which he predicted in a letter to a friend in
Venice, the former minister at the Spanish court. "The king of France,"
says he, "after he has dined with the duke of Milan, will come and sup
with you." (Epist. 207.) Daru, on the authority of Burchard, refers this
remarkable prediction, which time so fully verified, to Sforza, on his
quitting his capital. (Hist. de Venise, tom. iii. p. 326, 2d ed.) Martyr's
letter, however, is dated some months previously to that event.

[5] Louis XII., for the good offices of the pope in the affair of his
divorce from the unfortunate Jeanne of France, promised the un-cardinalled
Caesar Borgia the duchy of Valence in Dauphiny, with a rent of 20,000
livres, and a considerable force to support him in his flagitious
enterprises against the princes of Romagna. Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i.
lib. 4, p. 207.--Sismondi, Hist. des Français, tom. xv. p. 275.--Carta de
Garcilasso de la Vega, MS.

[6] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 3, cap. 33.

Garcilasso de la Vega seems to have possessed little of the courtly and
politic address of a diplomatist. In a subsequent audience, which the pope
gave him together with a special embassy from Castile, his blunt
expostulation so much exasperated his Holiness, that the latter hinted it
would not cost him much to have him thrown into the Tiber. The hold
bearing of the Castilian, however, appears to have had its effect; since
we find the pope soon after revoking an offensive ecclesiastical provision
he had made in Spain, taking occasion at the same time to eulogize the
character of the Catholic sovereigns in full consistory. Ibid., lib. 3,
cap. 33, 35.

[7] Oviedo has made this cavalier the subject of one of his dialogues.
Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 3, dial. 44.

[8] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 3, cap. 38, 39.--Daru,
Hist. de Venise, tom. iii. pp. 336, 339, 347.--Muratori, Annali d'Italia,
(Milano, 1820,) tom. xiv. pp. 9, 10.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i. lib.
5, p. 260.

[9] Alexander VI. had requested the hand of Carlotta, daughter of King
Frederic, for his son, Caesar Borgia; but this was a sacrifice, at which
pride and parental affection alike revolted. The slight was not to be
forgiven by the implacable Borgias. Comp. Giannone, Istoria di Napoli,
lib. 29, cap. 3.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i. lib. 4, p. 223.--Zurita,
Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 3, cap. 22.

[10] Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i. lib. 5, pp. 265, 266.--Giannone,
Istoria di Napoli, lib. 29, cap. 3.--Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom.
i. lib. 3, cap. 40.--Giovio, Vita Magni Gonsalvi, lib. 1, p. 229.--Daru,
Hist. de Venise, tom. iii. p, 338.

[11] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., lib. 14, epist. 218.

[12] See Part II. Chapter 3, of this History.

[13] According to Zurita, Ferdinand secured the services of Guillaume de
Poictiers, lord of Clérieux and governor of Paris, by the promise of the
city of Cotron, mortgaged to him in Italy. (Hist. del Rey Hernando, lib.
3, cap. 40.) Comines calls the same nobleman "a good sort of a man, qui
aisément croit, et pour espécial _tels personnages_," meaning King
Ferdinand. Comines, Mémoires, liv. 8, chap. 23.

[14] Bembo, Istoria Viniziana, tom. iii. lib. 5, p. 324.--Ulloa, Vita et
Fatti dell' Invitissimo Imperatore Carlo V., (Venetia, 1606,) fol. 2.--
Mariana, Hist. de España, tom. ii. lib. 27, cap. 7.--Giovio, Vitae Illust.
Virorum, tom. i. p. 226.--Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 4,
cap. 11.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 10, sec. 13.

[15] This cavalier, one of the most valiant captains in the army, was so
diminutive in size, that, when mounted, he seemed almost lost in the high
demipeak war-saddle then in vogue; which led a wag, according to Brantôme,
when asked if he had seen Don Pedro de Paz pass that way, to answer, that
"he had seen his horse and saddle, but no rider." Oeuvres, tom. i. disc.
9.

[16] Ferreras, Hist. d'Espagne, tom. viii. p. 217.--Bernaldez, Reyes
Católicos, MS., cap. 161.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. lib. 19, cap. 9.

[17] See the original treaty, apud Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. iii.
pp. 445, 446.

[18] See Part II. Chapter 3, of this History.

[19] Giannone, Istoria di Napoli, lib. 19, cap. 3.--Zurita, Hist. del Rey
Hernando, tom. i. lib. 3, cap. 32.

[20] See, in particular, the Doctor Salazar de Mendoza, who exhausts the
subject,--and the reader's patience,--in discussing the multifarious
grounds of the incontrovertible title of the house of Aragon to Naples.
Monarquía, tom. i. lib. 3, cap. 12-15.

[21] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, tom. i. p. 226.--Chrónica del Gran
Capitan, cap. 9.--Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 4, cap. 19.

[22] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, ubi supra.--Chrónica del Gran Capitan,
cap. 14.

[23] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, ubi supra.--Chrónica del Gran Capitan,
cap. 10.--Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 4, cap. 25.--
Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 167.

[24] Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 167.--Quintana, Españoles
Célebres, tom. i. p. 246.--Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 228.--Ulloa,
Vita di Carlo V., fol. 4.

[25] Jean d'Auton, Histoire de Louys XII., (Paris, 1622,) part. 1, chap.
44, 45, 48.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i. p. 265.--Sainct Gelais,
Histoire de Louys XII., (Paris, 1622,) p. 163.--Buonaccorsi, Diario, p.
46.

[26] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 4, cap. 43.--Lanuza,
Historias, tom. i. lib. 1, cap. 14.

[27] Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i. lib. 5, p. 266.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo
V., fol. 8.

[28] In the month of April the king of Naples received letters from his
envoys in Spain, written by command of King Ferdinand, informing him that
he had nothing to expect from that monarch in case of an invasion of his
territories by France. Frederic bitterly complained of the late hour at
which this intelligence was given, which effectually prevented an
accommodation he might otherwise have made with King Louis. Lanuza,
Historias, lib. 1, cap. 14.--Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib.
4, cap. 37.

[29] D'Auton, Hist. de Louys XII., part. 1, chap. 48.

[30] Summonte, Hist. di Napoli, tom. iii. lib. 6, cap. 4.--D'Auton, Hist.
de Louys XII., part. 1, chap. 51-54.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V., fol. 8.--
Guicciardini, Istoria, lib. 5, pp. 268, 269.--Zurita, Hist. del Rey
Hernando, tom. i. lib. 4, cap. 41.--Giannone, Istoria di Napoli, lib. 29,
cap. 3.

[31] St. Gelais, Hist. de Louys XII., p. 163.--D'Auton, Hist. de Louys
XII., part. 1, ch. 56.--Summonte, Hist. di Napoli, tom. iii. p. 541.

[32] The reader will readily call to mind the Neapolitan poet Sannazaro,
whose fidelity to his royal master forms so beautiful a contrast with the
conduct of Pontano, and indeed of too many of his tribe, whose gratitude
is of that sort that will only rise above zero in the sunshine of a court.
His various poetical effusions afford a noble testimony to the virtues of
his unfortunate sovereign, the more unsuspicious as many of them were
produced in the days of his adversity.

[33] "Neque mala vel bona," says the philosophic Roman, "quae vulgus
putet; multos, qui conflictari udversis videantur, beatos; ac plerosque,
quamquam magnas per opes, miserrimos; si illi gravem fortunam constanter
tolerent, hi prosperâ inconsultè utantur." Tacitus, Annales, lib. 6, sect.
22.

[34] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 4, cap. 35.--Giovio,
Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 230.--Chrónica del Gran Capitan, cap. 21.--
Lanuza, Historias, tom. i. lib. 1, cap. 14.

[35] Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 11, sec. 8.--Zurita,
Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 4, cap. 44.--Mariana, Hist. de
España, tom. ii. lib. 27, cap. 9.

[36] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 231.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V, fol.
9.--Giannone, Istoria di Napoli, lib. 29, cap. 3.--Chrónica del Gran
Capitan, cap. 31.

[37] Don Juan Mannel, the Spanish minister at Vienna, seems to hare been
fully sensible of this trait of his master. He told the emperor
Maximilian, who had requested the loan of 300,000 ducats from Spain, that
it was as much money as would suffice King Ferdinand for the conquest, not
merely of Italy, but Africa into the bargain. Zurita, Hist. del Rey
Hernando, tom. i. lib. 3, cap. 42.

[38] Bembo, Istoria Viniziana, tom. III. lib. 6, p. 368.--Giovio, Vitae
Illust. Virorum, p. 232.--D'Auton, part. 1, chap. 71, 72.

[39] Chrónica del Gran Capitan, cap. 34.--Quintana, Españoles Célebres,
tom. i. pp. 252, 253.--Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 232.--Carta de
Gonzalo, MS.

[40] Giovio, Vita Magni Gonsalvi, lib. 1, p. 233.

[41] Gonsalvo took the hint for this, doubtless, from Hannibal's similar
expedient. See Polybius, lib. 8.

[42] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 4, cap. 52, 53.--
Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i. lib. 5, p. 270.--Giannone, Istoria di
Napoli, lib. 29, cap. 3.--Muratori, Annali d'Italia, tom. xiv. p. 14.

The various authorities differ more irreconcilably than usual in the
details of the siege. I have followed Paolo Giovio, a contemporary, and
personally acquainted with the principal actors. All agree in the only
fact, in which one would willingly see some discrepancy, Gonsalvo's breach
of faith to the young duke of Calabria.

[43] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 4, cap. 56.--Abarca,
Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 11, sec. 10-12.--Ulloa, Vita di
Carlo V., fol. 9.--Lanuza, Historias, lib. 1, cap. 14.

Martyr, who was present on the young prince's arrival at court, where he
experienced the most honorable reception, speaks of him in the highest
terms. "Adolescens namque est et regno et regio sanguine dignus, mirae
indolis, formâ egregius." (See Opus Epist., epist. 252.) He survived to
the year 1550, but without ever quitting Spain, contrary to the fond
prediction of his friend Sannazaro;

"Nam mihl, nam tempus veniet, cum reddita sceptra
Parthenopes, fractosque tua sub cuspide reges
Ipse canam."
Opera Latina, Ecloga 4.

[44] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, lib. 4, cap. 58.--Giovio, Vitae
Illust. Virorum, lib. 1, p. 234.

Mariana coolly disposes of Gonsalvo's treachery with the remark, "No
parece se le guardo lo que tenian asentado. En la guerra quien hay que de
todo punto lo guarde?" (Hist. de España, tom. ii. p. 675.)

----"Dolus an virtus, quis in hoste requirat?"

[45] In Gonsalvo's correspondence is a letter to the sovereigns written
soon after the occupation of Tarento, in which he mentions his efforts to
secure the duke of Calabria in the Spanish interests. The communication is
too brief to clear up the difficulties in this dark transaction. As coming
from Gonsalvo himself, it has great interest, and I will give it to the
reader in the curious orthography of the original. "Asi en la platica que
estava con el duque don fernando de ponerse al servicio y amparo de
vuestras alteças syn otro partido ny ofrecimiento demas de certificarle
que en todo tiempo seria libre para yr donde quisiese sy vuestras altezas
bien no le tratasen y que vuestras alteças le ternian el respeto que a tal
persona como el se deve. El conde de potença e algunos de los que estan
ceerca del han trabajado por apartarle de este proposito e levarle a Iscla
asi yo por muchos modos he procurado de reducirle al servicio de vuestras
alteças y tengole en tal termino que puedo certificar a vuestras alteças
que este mozo no les saldra de la mano con consenso suyo del servicio de
vuestras alteças asta tanto que vuestras alteças me embien a mandar como
del he de disponer e de lo que con el se ha de facer y por las contrastes
que en esto han entrevenido no ha salido de taranto porque asi ha
convenido. El viernes que sera once de marzo saldra a castellaneta que es
quince millas de aqui con algunos destos suyos que le quieren seguir con
alguna buena parte de compañia destos criados de vuestras alteças para
acompañarle y este mismo dia viernes entrar an las vanderas e gente de
vuestras alteças en el castillo de tarento con ayuda de nuestro Señor." De
Tarento, 10 de Marzo, 1502, MS.

CHAPTER XI.

ITALIAN WARS.--RUPTURE WITH FRANCE.--GONSALVO BESIEGED IN BARLETA.

1502, 1503.

Rupture between the French and Spaniards.--Gonsalvo Retires to Barleta.--
Chivalrous Character of the War.--Tourney near Trani.--Duel between Bayard
and Sotomayor.--Distress of Barleta.--Constancy of the Spaniards.
--Gonsalvo Storms and Takes Ruvo.--Prepares to Leave Barleta.

It was hardly to be expected that the partition treaty between France and
Spain, made so manifestly in contempt of all good faith, would be
maintained any longer than suited the convenience of the respective
parties. The French monarch, indeed, seems to have prepared, from the
first, to dispense with it, as soon as he had secured his own moiety of
the kingdom; [1] and sagacious men at the Spanish court inferred that King
Ferdinand would do as much, when he should be in a situation to assert his
claims with success. [2]

It was altogether improbable, whatever might be the good faith of the
parties, that an arrangement could long subsist, which so rudely rent
asunder the members of this ancient monarchy; or that a thousand points of
collision should not arise between rival hosts, lying as it were on their
arms within bowshot of each other, and in view of the rich spoil which
each regarded as its own. Such grounds for rupture did occur, sooner
probably than either party had foreseen, and certainly before the king of
Aragon was prepared to meet it.

The immediate cause was the extremely loose language of the partition
treaty, which assumed such a geographical division of the kingdom into
four provinces, as did not correspond with any ancient division, and still
less with the modern, by which the number was multiplied to twelve. [3]
The central portion, comprehending the Capitanate, the Basilicate, and the
Principality, became debatable ground between the parties, each of whom
insisted on these as forming an integral part of its own moiety. The
French had no ground whatever for contesting the possession of the
Capitanate, the first of these provinces, and by far the most important,
on account of the tolls paid by the numerous flocks which descended every
winter into its sheltered valleys from the snow-covered mountains of
Abruzzo. [4] There was more uncertainty to which of the parties the two
other provinces were meant to be assigned. It is scarcely possible that
language so loose, in a matter requiring mathematical precision, should
have been unintentional.

Before Gonsalvo de Cordova had completed the conquest of the southern
moiety of the kingdom, and while lying before Tarento, he received
intelligence of the occupation by the French of several places, both in
the Capitanate and Basilicate. He detached a body of troops for the
protection of these countries, and, after the surrender of Tarento,
marched towards the north to cover them with his whole army. As he was not
in a condition for immediate hostilities, however, he entered into
negotiations, which, if attended with no other advantage, would at least
gain him time. [5]

The pretensions of the two parties, as might have been expected, were too
irreconcilable to admit of compromise; and a personal conference between
the respective commanders-in-chief led to no better arrangement, than that
each should retain his present acquisitions, till explicit instructions
could be received from their respective courts.

But neither of the two monarchs had further instructions to give; and the
Catholic king contented himself with admonishing his general to postpone
an open rupture as long as possible, that the government might have time
to provide more effectually for his support, and strengthen itself by
alliance with other European powers. But, however pacific may have been
the disposition of the generals, they had no power to control the passions
of their soldiers, who, thus brought into immediate contact, glared on
each other with the ferocity of bloodhounds, ready to slip the leash which
held them in temporary check. Hostilities soon broke out along the lines
of the two armies, the blame of which each nation charged on its opponent.
There seems good ground, however, for imputing it to the French; since
they were altogether better prepared for war than the Spaniards, and
entered into it so heartily as not only to assail places in the debatable
ground, but in Apulia, which had been unequivocally assigned to their
rivals. [6]

In the mean while, the Spanish court fruitlessly endeavored to interest
the other powers of Europe in its cause. The emperor Maximilian, although
dissatisfied with the occupation of Milan by the French, appeared wholly
engrossed with the frivolous ambition of a Roman coronation. The pontiff
and his son, Caesar Borgia, were closely bound to King Louis by the
assistance which he had rendered them in their marauding enterprises
against the neighboring chiefs of Romagna. The other Italian princes,
although deeply incensed and disgusted by this infamous alliance, stood
too much in awe of the colossal power, which had planted its foot so
firmly on their territory, to offer any resistance. Venice alone,
surveying from her distant watch-tower, to borrow the words of Peter
Martyr, the whole extent of the political horizon, appeared to hesitate.
The French ambassadors loudly called on her to fulfil the terms of her
late treaty with their master, and support him in his approaching quarrel;
but that wily republic saw with distrust the encroaching ambition of her
powerful neighbor, and secretly wished that a counterpoise might be found
in the success of Aragon. Martyr, who stopped at Venice on his return from
Egypt, appeared before the senate, and employed all his eloquence in
supporting his master's cause in opposition to the French envoys; but his
pressing entreaties to the Spanish sovereigns to send thither some
competent person, as a resident minister, show his own conviction of the
critical position in which their affairs stood. [7]

The letters of the same intelligent individual, during his journey through
the Milanese, [8] are filled with the most gloomy forebodings of the
termination of a contest for which the Spaniards were so indifferently
provided; while the whole north of Italy was alive with the bustling
preparations of the French, who loudly vaunted their intention of driving
their enemy not merely out of Naples, but Sicily itself. [9]

Louis the Twelfth superintended these preparations in person, and, to be
near the theatre of operations, crossed the Alps, and took up his quarters
at Asti. At length, all being in readiness, he brought things to an
immediate issue, by commanding his general to proclaim war at once against
the Spaniards, unless they abandoned the Capitanate in four-and-twenty
hours. [10]

The French forces in Naples amounted, according to their own statements,
to one thousand men-at-arms, three thousand five hundred French and
Lombard, and three thousand Swiss infantry, in addition to the Neapolitan
levies raised by the Angevin lords throughout the kingdom. The command was
intrusted to the duke of Nemours, a brave and chivalrous young nobleman of
the ancient house of Armagnac, whom family connections more than talents
had raised to the perilous post of viceroy over the head of the veteran
D'Aubigny. The latter would have thrown up his commission in disgust, but
for the remonstrances of his sovereign, who prevailed on him to remain
where his counsels were more than ever necessary to supply the
inexperience of the young commander. The jealousy and wilfulness of the
latter, however, defeated these intentions; and the misunderstanding of
the chiefs, extending to their followers, led to a fatal want of concert
in their movements.

With these officers were united some of the best and bravest of the French
chivalry; among whom may be noticed Jacques de Chabannes, more commonly
known as the Sire de la Palice, a favorite of Louis the Twelfth, and well
entitled to be so by his deserts; Louis d'Ars; Ives d'Alègre, brother of
the Précy who gained so much renown in the wars of Charles the Eighth; and
Pierre de Bayard, the knight "sans peur et sans reproche," who was then
entering on the honorable career in which he seemed to realize all the
imaginary perfections of chivalry. [11]

Notwithstanding the small numbers of the French force, the Great Captain
was in no condition to cope with them. He had received no reinforcements
from home since he first landed in Calabria. His little corps of veterans
was destitute of proper clothing and equipments, and the large arrears due
them made the tenure of their obedience extremely precarious. [12] Since
affairs began to assume their present menacing aspect, he had been busily
occupied with drawing together the detachments posted in various parts of
Calabria, and concentrating them on the town of Atella in the Basilicate,
where he had established his own quarters. He had also opened a
correspondence with the barons of the Aragonese faction, who were most
numerous as well as most powerful in the northern section of the kingdom,
which had been assigned to the French. He was particularly fortunate in
gaining over the two Colonnas, whose authority, powerful connections, and
large military experience proved of inestimable value to him. [13]

With all the resources he could command, however, Gonsalvo found himself,
as before noticed, unequal to the contest, though it was impossible to
defer it, after the peremptory summons of the French viceroy to surrender
the Capitanate. To this he unhesitatingly answered, that "the Capitanate
belonged of right to his own master; and that, with the blessing of God,
he would make good its defence against the French king, or any other who
should invade it."

Notwithstanding the bold front put on his affairs, however, he did not
choose to abide the assault of the French in his present position. He
instantly drew off with the greater part of his force to Barleta, a
fortified seaport on the confines of Apulia, on the Adriatic, the
situation of which would enable him either to receive supplies from
abroad, or to effect a retreat, if necessary, on board the Spanish fleet,
which still kept the coast of Calabria. The remainder of his army he
distributed in Bari, Andria, Canosa, and other adjacent towns; where he
confidently hoped to maintain himself till the arrival of reinforcements,
which he solicited in the most pressing manner from Spain and Sicily,
should enable him to take the field on more equal terms against his
adversary. [14]

The French officers, in the mean time, were divided in opinion as to the
best mode of conducting the war. Some were for besieging Bari, held by the
illustrious and unfortunate Isabella of Aragon; [15] others, in a more
chivalrous spirit, opposed the attack of a place defended by a female, and
advised an immediate assault on Barleta itself, whose old and dilapidated
works might easily be forced, if it did not at once surrender. The duke of
Nemours, deciding on a middle course, determined to invest the last-
mentioned town; and, cutting off all communication with the surrounding
country, to reduce it by regular blockade. This plan was unquestionably
the least eligible of all, as it would allow time for the enthusiasm of
the French, the _furia Francese_, as it was called in Italy, which carried
them victorious over so many obstacles, to evaporate, while it brought
into play the stern resolve, the calm, unflinching endurance, which
distinguished the Spanish soldier. [16]

One of the first operations of the French viceroy was the siege of Canosa,
a strongly fortified place west of Barleta, garrisoned by six hundred
picked men under the engineer Pedro Navarro. The defence of the place
justified the reputation of this gallant soldier. He beat off two
successive assaults of the enemy, led on by Bayard, La Palice, and the
flower of their chivalry. He had prepared to sustain a third, resolved to
bury himself under the ruins of the town rather than surrender. But
Gonsalvo, unable to relieve it, commanded him to make the best terms he
could, saying, "the place was of far less value, than the lives of the
brave men who defended it." Navarro found no difficulty in obtaining an
honorable capitulation; and the little garrison, dwindled to one-third of
its original number, marched out through the enemy's camp, with colors
flying and music playing, as if in derision of the powerful force it had
so nobly kept at bay. [17]

After the capture of Canosa, D'Aubigny, whose misunderstanding with
Nemours still continued, was despatched with a small force into the south,
to overrun the two Calabrias. The viceroy, in the mean while, having
fruitlessly attempted the reduction of several strong places held by the
Spaniards in the neighborhood of Barleta, endeavored to straiten the
garrison there by desolating the surrounding country, and sweeping off the
flocks and herds which grazed in its fertile pastures. The Spaniards,
however, did not remain idle within their defences, but, sallying out in
small detachments, occasionally retrieved the spoil from the hands of the
enemy, or annoyed him with desultory attacks, ambuscades, and other
irregular movements of _guerrilla_ warfare, in which the French were
comparatively unpractised. [18]

The war now began to assume many of the romantic features of that of
Granada. The knights on both sides, not content with the usual military
rencontres, defied one another to jousts and tourneys, eager to establish
their prowess in the noble exercises of chivalry. One of the most
remarkable of these meetings took place between eleven Spanish and as many
French knights, in consequence of some disparaging remarks of the latter
on the cavalry of their enemies, which they affirmed inferior to their
own. The Venetians gave the parties a fair field of combat in the neutral
territory under their own walls of Trani. A gallant array of well-armed
knights of both nations guarded the lists, and maintained the order of the
fight. On the appointed day, the champions appeared in the field, armed at
all points, with horses richly caparisoned, and barbed or covered with
steel panoply like their masters. The roofs and battlements of Trani were
covered with spectators, while the lists were thronged with the French and
Spanish chivalry, each staking in some degree the national honor on the
issue of the contest. Among the Castilians were Diego de Paredes and Diego
de Vera, while the good knight Bayard was most conspicuous on the other
side.

As the trumpets sounded the appointed signal, the hostile parties rushed
to the encounter. Three Spaniards were borne from their saddles by the
rudeness of the shock, and four of their antagonists' horses slain. The
fight, which began at ten in the morning, was not to be protracted beyond
sunset. Long before that hour, all the French save two, one of them the
chevalier Bayard, had been dismounted, and their horses, at which the
Spaniards had aimed more than at the riders, disabled or slain. The
Spaniards, seven of whom were still on horseback, pressed hard on their
adversaries, leaving little doubt of the fortune of the day. The latter,
however, intrenching themselves behind the carcasses of their dead horses,
made good their defence against the Spaniards, who in vain tried to spur
their terrified steeds over the barrier. In this way the fight was
protracted till sunset; and, as both parties continued to keep possession
of the field, the palm of victory was adjudged to neither, while both were
pronounced to have demeaned themselves like good and valiant knights. [19]

The tourney being ended, the combatants met in the centre of the lists,
and embraced each other in the true companionship of chivalry, "making
good cheer together," says an old chronicler, before they separated. The
Great Captain was not satisfied with the issue of the fight. "We have, at
least," said one of his champions, "disproved the taunt of the Frenchmen,
and shown ourselves as good horsemen as they." "I sent you for better,"
coldly retorted Gonsalvo. [20]

A more tragic termination befell a combat _à l'outrance_ between the
chevalier Bayard and a Spanish cavalier, named Alonso de Sotomayor, who
had accused the former of uncourteous treatment of him, while his
prisoner. Bayard denied the charge, and defied the Spaniard to prove it in
single fight, on horse or on foot, as he best liked. Sotomayor, aware of
his antagonist's uncommon horsemanship, preferred the latter alternative.

At the day and hour appointed, the two knights entered the lists, armed
with sword and dagger, and sheathed in complete harness; although, with a
degree of temerity unusual in these, combats, they wore their visors up.
Both combatants knelt down in silent prayer for a few moments, and then
rising and crossing themselves, advanced straight against each other; "the
good knight Bayard," says Brantôme, "moving as light of step, as if he
were going to lead some fair lady down the dance."

The Spaniard was of a large and powerful frame, and endeavored to crush
his enemy by weight of blows, or to close with him and bring him to the
ground. The latter, naturally inferior in strength, was rendered still
weaker by a fever, from which he had not entirely recovered. He was more
light and agile than his adversary, however, and superior dexterity
enabled him not only to parry his enemy's strokes, but to deal him
occasionally one of his own, while he sorely distressed him by the
rapidity of his movements. At length, as the Spaniard was somewhat thrown
off his balance by an ill-directed blow, Bayard struck him so sharply on
the gorget, that it gave way, and the sword entered his throat. Furious
with the agony of the wound, Sotomayor collected all his strength for the
last struggle, and, grasping his antagonist in his arms, they both rolled
in the dust together. Before either could extricate himself, the quick-
eyed Bayard, who had retained his poniard in his left hand during the
whole combat, while the Spaniard's had remained in his belt, drove the
steel with such convulsive strength under his enemy's eye, that it pierced
quite through the brain. After the judges had awarded the honors of the
day to Bayard, the minstrels as usual began to pour forth triumphant
strains in praise of the victor; but the good knight commanded them to
desist, and, having first prostrated himself on his knees in gratitude for
his victory, walked slowly out of the lists, expressing a wish that the
combat had had a different termination, so that his honor had been saved.
[2]

In these jousts and tourneys, described with sufficient prolixity, but in
a truly heart-stirring tone, by the chroniclers of the day, we may discern
the last gleam of the light of chivalry, which illumined the darkness of
the Middle Ages; and, although rough in comparison with the pastimes of
more polished times, they called forth such displays of magnificence,
courtesy, and knightly honor, as throw something like the grace of
civilization over the ferocious features of the age.

While the Spaniards, cooped up within the old town of Barleta, sought to
vary the monotony of their existence by these chivalrous exercises, or an
occasional foray into the neighboring country, they suffered greatly from
the want of military stores, food, clothing, and the most common
necessaries of life. It seemed as if their master had abandoned them to
their fate on this forlorn outpost, without a struggle in their behalf.
[22] How different from the parental care with which Isabella watched over
the welfare of her soldiers in the long war of Granada! The queen appears
to have taken no part in the management of these wars, which,
notwithstanding the number of her own immediate subjects embarked in them,
she probably regarded, from the first, as appertaining to Aragon, as
exclusively as the conquests in the New World did to Castile. Indeed,
whatever degree of interest she may have felt in their success, the
declining state of her health at this period would not have allowed her to
take any part in the conduct of them.

Gonsalvo was not wanting to himself in this trying emergency, and his
noble spirit seemed to rise as all outward and visible resources failed.
He cheered his troops with promises of speedy relief, talking confidently
of the supplies of grain he expected from Sicily, and the men and money he
was to receive from Spain and Venice. He contrived, too, says Giovio, that
a report should get abroad, that a ponderous coffer lying in his apartment
was filled with gold, which he could draw upon in the last extremity. The
old campaigners, indeed, according to the same authority, shook their
heads at these and other agreeable fictions of their general, with a very
skeptical air. They derived some confirmation, however, from the arrival
soon after of a Sicilian bark, laden with corn, and another from Venice
with various serviceable stores and wearing apparel, which Gonsalvo bought
on his own credit and that of his principal officers, and distributed
gratuitously among his destitute soldiers. [23]

At this time he received the unwelcome tidings that a small force which
had been sent from Spain to his assistance, under Don Manuel de Benavides,
and which had effected a junction with one much larger from Sicily under
Hugo de Cardona, was surprised by D'Aubigny near Terranova, and totally
defeated. This disaster was followed by the reduction of all Calabria,
which the latter general, at the head of his French and Scottish
gendarmerie, rode over from one extremity to the other without opposition.
[24]

The prospect now grew darker and darker around the little garrison of
Barleta. The discomfiture of Benavides excluded hopes of relief in that
direction. The gradual occupation of most of the strong places in Apulia
by the duke of Nemours cut off all communication with the neighboring
country; and a French fleet cruising in the Adriatic rendered the arrival
of further stores and reinforcements extremely precarious. Gonsalvo,
however, maintained the same unruffled cheerfulness as before, and
endeavored to infuse it into the hearts of others. He perfectly understood
the character of his countrymen, knew all their resources, and tried to
rouse every latent principle of honor, loyalty, pride, and national
feeling; and such was the authority which he acquired over their minds,
and so deep the affection which he inspired, by the amenity of his manners
and the generosity of his disposition, that not a murmur or symptom of
insubordination escaped them during the whole of this long and painful
siege. But neither the excellence of his troops, nor the resources of his
own genius, would have been sufficient to extricate Gonsalvo from the
difficulties of his situation, without the most flagrant errors on the
part of his opponent. The Spanish general, who understood the character of
the French commander perfectly well, lay patiently awaiting his
opportunity, like a skilful fencer, ready to make a decisive thrust at the
first vulnerable point that should be presented. Such an occasion at
length offered itself early in the following year. [25]

The French, no less weary than their adversaries of their long inaction,
sallied out from Canosa, where the viceroy had established his
headquarters, and, crossing the Ofanto, marched up directly under the
walls of Barleta, with the intention of drawing out the garrison from the
"old den," as they called it, and deciding the quarrel in a pitched
battle. The duke of Nemours, accordingly, having taken up his position,
sent a trumpet into the place to defy the Great Captain to the encounter;
but the latter returned for answer, that "he was accustomed to choose his
own place and time for fighting, and would thank the French general to
wait till his men found time to shoe their horses, and burnish up their
arms." At length, Nemours, after remaining some days, and finding there
was no chance of decoying his wily foe from his defences, broke up his
camp and retired, satisfied with the empty honors of his gasconade.

No sooner had he fairly turned his back, than Gonsalvo, whose soldiers had
been restrained with difficulty from sallying out on their insolent foe,
ordered the whole strength of his cavalry under the command of Diego de
Mendoza, flanked by two corps of infantry, to issue forth and pursue the
French. Mendoza executed these orders so promptly that he brought up his
horse, which were somewhat in advance of the foot, on the rear-guard of
the French, before it had got many miles from Barleta. The latter
instantly halted to receive the charge of the Spaniards, and, after a
lively skirmish of no great duration, Mendoza retreated, followed by the
incautious enemy, who, in consequence of their irregular and straggling
march, were detached from the main body of their army. In the mean time,
the advancing columns of the Spanish infantry, which had now come up with
the retreating horse, unexpectedly closing on the enemy's flanks, threw
them into some disorder, which became complete when the flying cavalry of
the Spaniards, suddenly wheeling round in the rapid style of the Moorish
tactics, charged them boldly in front. All was now confusion. Some made
resistance, but most sought only to escape; a few effected it, but the
greater part of those who did not fall on the field were carried prisoners
to Barleta; where Mendoza found the Great Captain with his whole army
drawn up under the walls in order of battle, ready to support him in
person, if necessary. The whole affair passed so expeditiously, that the
viceroy, who, as has been said, conducted his retreat in a most disorderly
manner, and in fact had already dispersed several battalions of his
infantry to the different towns from which he had drawn them, knew nothing
of the rencontre, till his men were securely lodged within the walls of
Barleta. [26]

The arrival of a Venetian trader at this time, with a cargo of grain,
brought temporary relief to the pressing necessities of the garrison. [27]
This was followed by the welcome intelligence of the total discomfiture of
the French fleet under M. de Préjan by the Spanish admiral Lezcano, in an
action off Otranto, which consequently left the seas open for the supplies
daily expected from Sicily. Fortune seemed now in the giving vein; for in
a few days a convoy of seven transports from that island, laden with
grain, meat, and other stores, came safe into Barleta, and supplied
abundant means for recruiting the health and spirits of its famished
inmates. [28]

Thus restored, the Spaniards began to look forward with eager confidence
to the achievement of some new enterprise. The temerity of the viceroy
soon afforded an opportunity. The people of Castellaneta, a town near
Tarento, were driven by the insolent and licentious behavior of the French
garrison to betray the place into the hands of the Spaniards. The duke of
Nemours, enraged at this defection, prepared to march at once with his
whole force, and take signal vengeance on the devoted little town; and
this, notwithstanding the remonstrances of his officers against a step
which must inevitably expose the unprotected garrisons in the neighborhood
to the assault of their vigilant enemy in Barleta. The event justified
these apprehensions. [29]

No sooner had Gonsalvo learned the departure of Nemours on a distant
expedition, than he resolved at once to make an attack on the town of
Ruvo, about twelve miles distant, and defended by the brave La Palice,
with a corps of three hundred French lances, and as many foot. With his
usual promptness, the Spanish general quitted the walls of Barleta the
same night on which he received the news, taking with him his whole
effective force, amounting to about three thousand infantry and one
thousand light and heavy-armed horse. So few, indeed, remained to guard
the city, that he thought it prudent to take some of the principal
inhabitants as hostages to insure its fidelity in his absence.

At break of day, the little army arrived before Ruvo. Gonsalvo immediately
opened a lively cannonade on the old ramparts, which in less than four
hours effected a considerable breach. He then led his men to the assault,
taking charge himself of those who were to storm the breach, while another
division, armed with ladders for scaling the walls, was intrusted to the
adventurous cavalier Diego de Paredes.

The assailants experienced more resolute resistance than they had
anticipated from the inconsiderable number of the garrison. La Palice,
throwing himself into the breach with his iron band of dismounted
gendarmes, drove back the Spaniards as often as they attempted to set foot
on the broken ramparts; while the Gascon archery showered down volleys of
arrows thick as hail, from the battlements, on the exposed persons of the
assailants. The latter, however, soon rallied under the eye of their
general, and returned with fresh fury to the charge, until the
overwhelming tide of numbers bore down all opposition, and they poured in
through the breach and over the walls with irresistible fury. The brave
little garrison were driven before them; still, however, occasionally
making fight in the streets and houses. Their intrepid young commander, La
Palice, retreated facing the enemy, who pressed thick and close upon him,
till, his further progress being arrested by a wall, he placed his back
against it, and kept them at bay, making a wide circle around him with the
deadly sweep of his battle-axe. But the odds were too much for him; and at
length, after repeated wounds, having been brought to the ground by a deep
cut in the head, he was made prisoner; not, however, before he had flung
his sword far over the heads of the assailants, disdaining, in the true
spirit of a knight-errant, to yield it to the rabble around him. [30]

All resistance was now at an end. The women of the place had fled, like so
many frightened deer, to one of the principal churches; and Gonsalvo, with
more humanity than was usual in these barbarous wars, placed a guard over
their persons, which effectually secured them from the insults of the
soldiery. After a short time spent in gathering up the booty and securing
his prisoners, the Spanish general, having achieved the object of his
expedition, set out on his homeward march, and arrived without
interruption at Barleta.

The duke of Nemours had scarcely appeared before Castellaneta, before he
received tidings of the attack on Ruvo. He put himself, without losing a
moment, at the head of his gendarmes, supported by the Swiss pikemen,
hoping to reach the beleaguered town in time to raise the siege. Great was
his astonishment, therefore, on arriving before it, to find no trace of an
enemy, except the ensigns of Spain unfurled from the deserted battlements.
Mortified and dejected, be made no further attempt to recover
Castellaneta, but silently drew off to hide his chagrin in the walls of
Canosa. [31]

Among the prisoners were several persons of distinguished rank. Gonsalvo
treated them with his usual courtesy, and especially La Palice, whom he
provided with his own surgeon and all the appliances for rendering his
situation as comfortable as possible. For the common file, however, he
showed no such sympathy; but condemned them all to serve in the Spanish
admiral's galleys, where they continued to the close of the campaign. An
unfortunate misunderstanding had long subsisted between the French and
Spanish commanders respecting the ransom and exchange of prisoners; and
Gonsalvo was probably led to this severe measure, so different from his
usual clemency, by an unwillingness to encumber himself with a superfluous
population in the besieged city. [32] But, in truth, such a proceeding,
however offensive to humanity, was not at all repugnant to the haughty
spirit of chivalry, which, reserving its courtesies exclusively for those
of gentle blood and high degree, cared little for the inferior orders,
whether soldier or peasant, whom it abandoned without remorse to all the
caprices and cruelties of military license.

The capture of Ruvo was attended with important consequences to the
Spaniards. Besides the valuable booty of clothes, jewels, and money, they
brought back with them nearly a thousand horses, which furnished Gonsalvo
with the means of augmenting his cavalry, the small number of which had
hitherto materially crippled his operations. He accordingly selected seven
hundred of his best troops and mounted them on the French horses; thus
providing himself with a corps, burning with zeal to approve itself worthy
of the distinguished honor conferred on it. [33]

A few weeks after, the general received an important accession of strength
from the arrival of two thousand German mercenaries, which Don Juan
Manuel, the Spanish minister at the Austrian court, had been permitted to
raise in the emperor's dominions. This event determined the Great Captain
on a step which he had been some time meditating. The new levies placed
him in a condition for assuming the offensive. His stock of provisions,
moreover, already much reduced, would be obviously insufficient long to
maintain his increased numbers. He resolved, therefore, to sally out of
the old walls of Barleta, and, availing himself of the high spirits in
which the late successes had put his troops, to bring the enemy at once to
battle. [34]

FOOTNOTES

[1] Peter Martyr, in a letter written from Venice, while detained there on
his way to Alexandria, speaks of the efforts made by the French emissaries
to induce the republic to break with Spain, and support their master in
his designs on Naples. "Adsunt namque a Ludovico rege Gallorum oratores,
qui omni nixu conantur a vobis Venetorum animos avertere. Fremere dentibus
aiunt oratorem primarium Gallum, quia nequeat per Venetorum suffragia
consequi, ut aperte vobis hostilitatem edicant, utque velint Gallis regno
Parthenopeo contra vestra praesidia ferre suppetias." The letter is dated
October 1st, 1501. Opus Epist., epist. 231.

[2] Martyr, after noticing the grounds of the partition treaty, comments
with his usual shrewdness on the politic views of the Spanish sovereigns.
"Facilius namque se sperant, eam partem, quam sibi Galli sortiti sunt,
habituros aliquando, quam si universum regnum occuparint." Opus Epist.,
epist. 218.

[3] The Italian historians, who have investigated the subject with some
parade of erudition, treat it so vaguely, as to leave it after all nearly
as perplexed as they found it. Giovio includes the Capitanate in Apulia,
according to the ancient division; Guicciardini, according to the modern;
and the Spanish historian Mariana, according to both. The last writer, it
may be observed, discusses the matter with equal learning and candor, and
more perspicuity than either of the preceding. He admits reasonable
grounds for doubt to which moiety of the kingdom the Basilicate and
Principalities should be assigned. Mariana, Hist. de España, tom. ii. p.
670.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i. lib. 5, pp. 274, 275.--Giovio, Vita
Magni Gonsalvi, lib. 1, pp. 234, 235.

[4] The provision of the partition treaty, that the Spaniards should
collect the tolls paid by the flocks on their descent from the French
district of Abruzzo into the Capitanate, is conclusive evidence of the
intention of the contracting parties to assign the latter to Spain. See
the treaty apud Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. in. pp. 445, 446.

[5] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom, i. lib. 4, cap. 52.--Mariana,
Hist. de España, tom. ii, lib. 27, cap. 12.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V., fol.
10.

[6] D'Auton, Hist. de Louys XII., part. 2, chap. 3-7.--Zurita, Hist. del
Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 4, cap. 60, 62, 64, 65.--Giovio, Vitae Illust.
Virorum, tom. i. p. 236.--Giannone, Istoria di Napoli, lib. 29, cap. 4.

Bernaldez states, that the Great Captain, finding his conference with the
French general ineffectual, proposed to the latter to decide the quarrel
between their respective nations by single combat. (Reyes Católicos, MS.,
cap. 167.) We should require some other authority, however, than that of
the good Curate to vouch for this romantic flight, so entirely out of
keeping with the Spanish general's character, in which prudence was
probably the most conspicuous attribute.

[7] Daru, Hist. de Venise, tom. iii. p. 345.--Bembo, Istoria Viniziana,
tom. i. lib. 6.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 238, 240, 252.--This
may appear strange, considering that Lorenzo Suarez de la Vega was there,
a person of whom Gonzalo de Oviedo writes, "Fué gentil caballero, é sabio,
é de gran prudencia; ***** muy entendido é de mucho reposo é honesto é
afable é de linda conversarcion;" and again more explicitly, "Embaxador á
Venecia, en el qual oficio sirvio muy bien, é como prudente varon."
(Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 3, dial. 44.) Martyr admits his
prudence, but objects his ignorance of Latin, a deficiency, however
heinous in the worthy tutor's eyes, probably of no rare occurrence among
the elder Castilian nobles.

[8] Many of Martyr's letters were addressed to both Ferdinand and
Isabella. The former, however, was ignorant of the Latin language, in
which they were written. Martyr playfully alludes to this in one of his
epistles, reminding the queen of her promise to interpret them faithfully
to her husband. The unconstrained and familiar tone of his correspondence
affords a pleasing example of the personal intimacy to which the
sovereigns, so contrary to the usual stiffness of Spanish etiquette,
admitted men of learning and probity at their court, without distinction
of rank. Opus Epist., epist. 230.

[9] "Galli," says Martyr, in a letter more remarkable for strength of
expression than elegance of Latinity, "furunt, saeviunt, internecionem
nostris minantur, putantque id sibi fere facillimum. Regem eorum esse in
itinere, inquiunt, ut ipse cum duplicato exercitu Alpes trajiciat in
Italiam. Vestro nomini insurgunt. Cristas erigunt in vos superbissimè.
Provinciam hanc, veluti rem humilem, parvique momenti, se aggressuros
praeconantur. Nihil esse negotii eradicare exterminareque vestra praesidia
ex utrâque Siciliâ blacterant. Insolenter nimis exspuendo insultant." Opus
Epist., epist. 241.

[10] D'Auton, Hist. de Louys XII., part. 2, chap. 8.--Giannone, Istoria di
Napoli, lib. 29, cap. 4.--Guicciardini, Istoria, lib. 5, pp. 274, 275.--
Buonaccorsi, Diario, p. 61.

[11] Guicciardini, Istoria, lib. 5, p. 265.--D'Auton, Hist. de Louys XII.,
part. 1, chap. 57.--Gaillard, Rivalité, tom. iv. pp. 221-233.--St. Gelais,
Hist. de Louys XII, p. 169.

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