Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/172

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of Chaumont (February, 1511), recovered Concordia and Mirandola, and in May Bologna was abandoned to him. The Pope retired to Ravenna. Misfortune brought with it dissension. The Pope's nephew and commander-in-chief, the Duke of Urbino, charged by the Pope's favourite, Cardinal Alidosi, legate of Bologna, with the blame for the loss of that city, and unable to get support from his uncle, fell upon his accuser and slew him. The Pope's fortunes were at their lowest ebb, but his will was unshaken. Returning to Rome, he met the hostile summons to a General Council by summoning a Council of his own to meet at the Lateran in April, 1512. For material help he turned to Spain; but in the crisis of discussion fell sick almost to death. Baffling his enemies by a complete recovery, he fortified himself against them by concluding with Venice and Spain in October, 1511, the Holy League for the recovery of all papal territory. It was soon afterwards joined by Henry VIII.

The Swiss also aided the papal plans, while making war for the first time on their own behalf. The failure of 1510 still rankled, and the commercial hostility of the Forest Cantons together with the hope of Milanese booty predisposed not only the soldiers of fortune, but also the governments, to warlike action. ,A grievance of Schwyz having been lightly treated by Louis, the Schwyzers took up arms (November, 1511) and summoned their allies. The call was obeyed, and towards the end of the month troops were collecting on the old marshalling ground between the lakes. Venetian aid was solicited and promised. Gaston de Foix, now Governor of Milan, was menaced at the same time on the side of Parma and Bologna. With the scanty forces at his disposal he could only impede, not prevent, the advance of the enemy towards Milan. But there the Swiss successes ended. They were unable to undertake the siege of Milan. No help came from Venice or the Pope; and the invaders were obliged to retreat, which they did in great disorder.

In spite of this second rebuff, the opening months of 1512 saw once more the King of France and the other Powers competing for the favour of the Swiss. The King of France was unable to satisfy their inordinate demands. Yet his need of an ally was extreme. The English and the Spaniards were threatening an invasion of France. Brescia and Bergamo had been recovered by Venice (January, 1512). The forces of the Holy League were menacing Ferrara and Bologna. Maximilian was vacillating, and in April concluded a truce with the Pope and Venice. Momentary relief was brought by the brilliant and brief career of Gaston de Foix, duke of Nemours. Early in the year 1512, the young general repulsed a dangerous attack of the allied forces directed against Bologna, and, on hearing of the fall of Brescia, he at once withdrew from Bologna all the forces that could be spared, crossed the Mantuan lands without leave, met and defeated Giampaolo at Isola della Scala, and in nine days