Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/171

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necessary first to hoodwink, afterwards to ignore, the Swiss authorities. The Swiss who fought at Agnadello were illicit volunteers. It was the task of Julius to turn Swiss dissatisfaction to his own ends, and for this purpose he had an admirable instrument in Matthaus Schinner, Bishop of Sion. A man of energy and ambition, plausible and energetic, the enemy of France, Schinner was early in 1510 set to win the Cantons and the Diet for the Pope, and a defensive alliance was concluded. In July the Diet was asked to give effect to this agreement by assisting the Pope in the invasion of Ferrara, which persisted in hostility against Venice. To comply was an act of open hostility to France, the ally of Ferrara; moreover, Ferrara could only be reached through Milanese territory. However, the influence of Schinner prevailed, and 10,000 men set out. The Diet still hesitated; French gold was at work; Chaumont d'Amboise was prepared to resist any attack on the Milanese; the Swiss, without artillery and scant of victual, did not venture to advance beyond the land which lies between Como and the Lago Maggiore. In all their movements they were closely followed by the French, and finally they were forced to retire without having effected anything (September). During the winter negotiations proceeded between the Pope and the Swiss, the latter pressing in vain for the pay of the troops supplied. Meanwhile the offers of the King of France were met by the determined opposition of the Forest Cantons, whose antagonism to the French was growing, increased by measures directed against their trade with Milan. Maximilian, on the other hand, succeeded in concluding (February, 1511) a defensive treaty with a majority of the Cantons in favour of his duchy of Austria and his county of Burgundy. Thus the greatest powers of Europe were treating as equals with the league of peasants and burghers.

Meanwhile in the war France had held her own. An attack by sea and land on Genoa failed ignominiously. The efforts directed by Julius against Ferrara led only to the capture of Modena. Nor did Louis despise ecclesiastical weapons. A synod of French clergy at Tours (September, 1510) declared the King justified in making war on the Pope in defence of his States and his allies, and called for the summons of a General Council. Embarking on this plan with the support of the Emperor, the King was able to attract five cardinals to his side, who not long after issued an invitation to a General Council to be held at Pisa in September, 1511. Pressing on at the same time in arms, Chaumont d'Amboise threatened Bologna, where the Pope lay ill. The danger was extreme; but the unconquerable vigour of the Pope and opportune assistance from Venice averted the worst. Having repulsed the French, the Pope urged forward his schemes against Ferrara; taking the field himself in the snows of winter, he occupied Concordia, and besieged and took Mirandola (January, 1511). There his successes stopped. Trivulzio, who assumed the command after the death