Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/165

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violence of its civic feuds, which had largely contributed to its defeat in the commercial race with Venice. These disputes had in the past centred about the two great plebeian families of Adorno and Campo-Fregoso. The quarrel, which now arose, was a quarrel of class against class. The nobles had been perhaps unduly encouraged by their aristocratic French rulers. At any rate it seems clear that they were guilty, on more than one occasion, of arrogant and injurious conduct towards the common people, many of whom were in their own esteem, as in their wealth, equal to the nobles. In June and July, 1506, matters came to a head. An attack was made on the nobles, especially on the powerful family of Fiesco. Neither Ravenstein the governor, nor his deputy Rocquebertin, showed much zeal or capacity in dealing with the trouble. Matters were allowed to go from bad to worse. At first the common people were content with the concession of two-thirds of the public offices, instead of the half share hitherto allowed to them. Then the artisans, as opposed to the rich plebeian merchants and bankers, more and more got the upper hand. Tribunes of the people were appointed, and finally an artisan, a dyer, Paolo da Novi, was elected to be Doge. Meanwhile the cities on the sea-coast were taken by force from their noble governors, and in November siege was laid to Monaco, which was held by the noble Grimaldi. Five months the siege lasted, while in Genoa the French garrison was obliged first to vacate the Palace and retire to the Castle, and finally carried on an active war of bombardment against the town. Monaco held out with conspicuous bravery against great odds, until relieved in March by Yves d'Allegre.

Julius was disturbed in the enjoyment of his victorious sojourn at Bologna by the news that the French King was coming in person with a large army to punish his rebellious city. Himself a native of Savona and a favourer of the popular party in Genoa, the Pope, while opposed to the coercion of Genoa, feared also ulterior designs of the French King. The ambition of the Cardinal of Rouen was well known, and it could only be satisfied at the expense of the existing pontiff. In alarm Julius withdrew to Rome, where he followed events in the north with anxiety. The King, with nearly 10,000 Swiss, and an army apparently disproportionate to his task, was at Asti on April 16, 1507. His troops at once moved on Genoa, by Buzalla. The command of the army was in the hands of Charles d'Amboise. On the $5th of April he began the attack, ordering the capture of a bastion planted on the highest point of the hills surrounding Genoa, and commanding the whole position. The access was very difficult, and the Swiss disliked the task. However, they were shamed into doing their duty by a troop of dismounted men-at-arms who advanced to the assault. When the place at length was reached the Genoese took to flight without further resistance, but many of the assailants were wounded on the way. After some scattered fighting, that night the army held the heights overlooking Genoa, The next day