31 August 2006


Meantime the whole city was in arms, and Lorenzo de’ Medici accompanied by many armed men had returned to his house. The palace was recovered by the people, and those who had seized it were all captured and put to death, and the name of the Medici was shouted throughout the whole city; whilst the heads and limbs of the conspirators were paraded on pikes or dragged through the streets, and the Pazzi were pursued by everybody with violent abuse and acts of cruelty. Their houses were already in the possession of the populace, and Francesco was dragged naked from his bed and led to the palace, and there hung by the side of the Archbishop and the others. But it was impossible either on the way there or afterwards to induce Francesco by any degree of maltreatment to say one word of what had been said or done by the conspirators; and fixedly looking in another direction he sighed in silence without one word of complaint. Guglielmo dei Pazzi, brother-in-law of Lorenzo, was saved in Lorenzo’s house, both on account of his innocence and through the influence of his wife Bianca. Every citizen, armed or not, called at Lorenzo’s house on this occasion to offer him his personal service or his substance; such was the power and public favor which the house of Medici had acquired by their prudence and liberality. Rinato dei Pazzi was living in retirement at his villa when these disturbances occurred. When he heard of the affair, he attempted to fly in disguise, but was recognized on the road and captured and carried to Florence; and although he repeatedly entreated his captors to kill him on the road, yet he could not prevail upon them to do it. Messers Jacopo and Rinato were condemned to death, and executed four days after the attempt upon the Medici. Amongst the many persons that were killed during those days, and whose limbs encumbered the highways, Messer Rinato was the only one that excited commiseration; for he had ever been regarded as a wise and good man, and was known to be free from that pride of which the other members of the Pazzi family were accused. And so that these events might not fail to serve as an extraordinary example, Messer Jacopo, who at first was buried in the tomb of his ancestors, was removed thence, like an excommunicated person, and interred outside of the city walls. And even from there his body was taken and dragged naked through the entire city with the very rope with which he had been hanged; and then, as though unfit to be buried in the earth, the same persons who had dragged the body through the streets of Florence, cast it into the waters of the river Arno, which were at that moment unusually high. A truly memorable instance of the instability of fortune, for a man to fall from such a position of wealth and prosperity, to such a depth of misfortune, ruin, and disgrace. Messer Jacopo dei Pazzi was said to have had some vices, amongst others gaming and swearing, which were compensated for, however, by his many charities, for he gave most liberally to the churches and the poor. It may also be said in his favor, that, on the Saturday preceding the Sunday that was devoted to so many murders, he discharged all his debts, so as to save others from being involved in his misfortunes; and returned with the most scrupulous care to the real owners all the goods which he had in his own and in the public warehouse belonging to others. Giovan Battista da Montesecco was beheaded after a lengthy examination; Napoleone Franzesi escaped by flight from the punishment of death; Guglielmo dei Pazzi was exiled; and such of his cousins as remained alive were imprisoned in the lowest dungeons of the castle of Volterra. All these disturbances being thus ended and the conspirators punished, the obsequies of Giuliano de’ Medici were celebrated with general lamentations; for he had possessed as much liberality and humanity as could be desired in any one born to such high fortune. He left a natural son, born a few months after his death, who was named Giulio, and who had all the virtues and good fortune now known to the whole world,* and of whom we shall speak more fully when we come to the affairs of the present day if God spares our life. The troops that had been collected under Giovan Francesco da Tolentino in the Romagna, and under Messer Lorenzo da Castello in the Val di Tevere, and who were already on the march to Florence to support the conspirators, returned home when they heard of the disastrous failure of the enterprise

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