Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/176

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easily restored throughout the duchy. The Venetians fell back, and their recent conquests were re-occupied by Cardona, and the imperial troops, who inflicted on them a serious defeat. But no combination of disasters could bend the Signoria to accept the Emperor's terms.

French prestige was low in 1513. Henry VIII routed the famous French cavalry at Guinegaste and captured Terouanne. The Swiss invaded Burgundy with imperial aid, and la Tremouille was forced to ransom the province and its capital, by the promise to surrender Milan and pay 400,000 crowns. The refusal of Louis to ratify this bargain hardly improved the situation. But towards the end of the year he recovered the papal friendship by recognising the Lateran Council, and abandoning the schismatic cardinals. The remainder of his reign, until his death in January, 1515, was spent in preparations, military and diplomatic, for the recovery of his lost position in Europe. Various marriage arrangements were mooted, of which only one came into effect, the third marriage of Louis, with Mary the sister of Henry VIII. The alliance with Venice was maintained; with the rest of the European powers a relation ensued of precarious hostility, tempered by more or less insincere offers of friendship.

Thus the accession of Francis of Angouleme found France prepared for war, and secured at least on the side of England. The gallant young King was eager for the paths of glory. His enemies made ready to receive him,—Ferdinand, the Swiss, and Maximilian with unequivocal hostility, the Pope prepared to accept a profitable compromise. But Francis could not pay Leo's price, which was nothing less than Naples for Giuliano de' Medici. Thus of the Italian powers Venice alone stood on his side.

The lack of Swiss foot-soldiers was supplied partly by German levies, partly by recruits raised by Pedro Navarra, who had entered French service, on the frontiers of France and Spain. The ordonnances were raised to 4,000 lances. Genoa was ready to join the French, and the Swiss, alarmed by rumours, sent a considerable reinforcement into Milan, which was employed to occupy Susa and the Alpine passes. In June and July a further and larger contingent entered the Milanese. Lack of pay and provision soon made itself felt, to the damage of discipline and goodwill. However the promise of papal and Florentine help eased the situation.

At length in August the French army, more powerful than any that had been hitherto raised in these wars, was ready to move. To avoid the passes held by the Swiss, Trivulzio led the bulk of the army by an unknown road over the Col d'Argentiere, while another force advanced by the Maritime Alps towards Genoa. The French vanguard surprised by their unexpected arrival a body of Italian horse under Prospero Colonna, whom they defeated and captured at Villafranca near Saluzzo. The Swiss, surprised and disconcerted, short of pay and provisions, mistrustful