Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/155

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and with Germans from the Rhine. Meanwhile a part of Maximilian's army and a Venetian contingent were needed to protect the north-west.

Delays were many, but at length the allied force moved from Genoa, partly by land, partly by sea. It was now October, and the autumnal gales imperilled and impeded the naval force. The land forces suffered equally from heavy rains. At length Maximilian reached Pisa. The united army reached the total of about 2,500 horse and 4,000 foot. With this inadequate power, ill-provided with heavy artillery, Maximilian, himself literally penniless, determined to undertake the siege of Livorno, the last outlet of Florence to the sea. The Venetian and Genoese fleet moved up and occupied the harbour, while Maximilian directed the land attack. The town was in evil case, supplies short, the garrison weak and demoralised. But aid was promptly sent from Florence, and on the 29th of October a French squadron sailed in, favoured by a stormy wind which prevented the allied fleet from offering opposition. A fortnight later, while the Genoese were disputing the orders of the King, the Frenchmen sailed out again, leaving 500 soldiers and abundant stores. The weather, rainy and cold, discouraged and incapacitated the besiegers. Discipline was bad, and nioney scarce. Maximilian therefore determined to raise the siege and discussed the chances of a direct attack on Florence; Soon that was also given up, and he left hurriedly for Lombardy, perhaps disturbed by rumours of an attack upon his line of retreat. By the beginning of December he was at Pavia. Here he heard that Ferdinand of Aragon had concluded a truce with France. Alarmed perhaps for his own hereditary dominions and for the empire, certainly disgusted with all he had seen and suffered in Italy, Maximilian hurried across the Alps, there to expend his desultory vigour in other plans, fruitless indeed and unpractical, but none more fantastic and fruitless than the enterprise of Pisa.

If Louis of Orleans had had his own way, the expedition of 1494! would have been directed against Milan. A year later he would have seized the welcome opportunity to punish Ludovico for his treachery. What the jealousy of Charles had perhaps prevented, Louis XII found himself in a position to carry out. On his accession he took the title of Duke of Milan in addition to that of King of Sicily; and a full year was spent in diplomatic and military preparations. The treaty with England was renewed. A treaty was concluded with the Catholic Kings of Aragon and Castile (July, 1498), in which no mention was made of the King of Naples. Though Louis could not secure the neutrality of Maximilian, he was able to win his son Philip, ruler of the Low Countries, by some concessions in Artois. With the Swiss the French King contracted a league (March, 1499), by which the cantons stipulated to supply the King with men at a fixed rate of pay, and received in return an annual pension of 20,000 florins, and a promise of pecuniary or other assistance in their own wars. The powers of Italy, except Milan and Naples, were