Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/285

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lodging in a kitchen, swearing at his officers, joking with the soldiers, and endearing himself to the camp by his fund of anecdote and his rough wit. Mirandola fell at last; but the Pope could make no further progress. Negotiations were set on foot, but came to nothing. In May, 1511 the new French general Trivulzio made a descent on Bologna, which was greatly exasperated by the misgovernment of the Legate Alidosi, expelled the Pope's troops, and reinstated the Bentivogli. Michael Angelo's statue of Julius was hurled from its pedestal, and the Duke of Ferrara, though a reputed lover of art, could not refrain from the practical sarcasm of melting it into a cannon. Alidosi, gravely suspected of treachery, was cut down by the Duke of Urbino's own hand. Mirandola was retaken, and Julius returned to Rome apparently beaten at every point, but as resolute as ever. All Europe was being drawn into his broils. He looked to Spain, Venice, and England to aid him, and this actually came to pass.

Before, however, the "Holy League" could take effect, Julius fell alarmingly ill. On August 21 his life was despaired of, and the Orsini and Colonna, whom he had inconsiderately reinstated, prepared to renew their ancient conflicts. One of the Colonna, Pompeio Bishop of Rieti, a soldier made into a priest against his will, exhorted the Roman people to take the government of the city upon themselves, and was ready to play the part of Rienzi, when Julius suddenly recovered in spite of, or because of, the wine which he insisted on drinking. His death would have altered the politics of Europe; so important a factor had the Temporal Power now become. It would also have saved the Church from a small abortive schism. On September 1, 1511 a handful of dissentient cardinals, reinforced by some French bishops and abbots, met at Pisa in the guise of a General Council. They soon found it advisable to gather more closely under the wing of the French King by retiring to Milan, whose contemporary chronicler says that he does not think their proceedings worth the ink it would take to record them. The principal result was the convocation by Julius of a genuine Council at the Lateran, which was actually opened on May 10, 1512. A step deserving to be called bold, since there was in general nothing that Popes abhorred so much as a General Council; significant, as an admission that the Church needed to be rehabilitated; politic, because Julius's breach of his election promise to summon a Council was the ostensible ground of the convocation of the Pisan.

Julius would have commenced the campaign of 1512 with the greatest chances of success, if his operations had been more skilfully combined; but the Swiss invasion of Lombardy on which he had relied was over, before his own movements had begun. Scarcely had the Swiss, discouraged by want of support, withdrawn across the Alps, when Julius's army, consisting chiefly of Spaniards under Ramon de Cardona, but with a papal contingent under a papal legate, Cardinal de' Medici,