The Borgias HTML version
The Duke of Valentinois had continued his road towards Citta di Castello and
Perugia, and had seized these two towns without striking a blow; for the Vitelli
had fled from the former, and the latter had been abandoned by Gian Paolo
Baglione with no attempt whatever at resistance. There still remained Siena,
where Pandolfo Petrucci was shut up, the only man remaining of all who had
joined the league against Caesar.
But Siena was under the protection of the French. Besides, Siena was not one of
the States of the Church, and Caesar had no rights there. Therefore he was
content with insisting upon Pandolfo Petrucci's leaving the town and retiring to
Lucca, which he accordingly did.
Then all on this side being peaceful and the whole of Romagna in subjection,
Caesar resolved to return to Rome and help the pope to destroy all that was left
of the Orsini.
This was all the easier because Louis XII, having suffered reverses in the
kingdom of Naples, had since then been much concerned with his own affairs to
disturb himself about his allies. So Caesar, doing for the neighbourhood of the
Holy See the same thing that he had done far the Romagna, seized in
succession Vicovaro, Cera, Palombera, Lanzano, and Cervetti ; when these
conquests were achieved, having nothing else to do now that he had brought the
pontifical States into subjection from the frontiers of Naples to those of Venice,
he returned to Rome to concert with his father as to the means of converting his
duchy into a kingdom.
Caesar arrived at the right moment to share with Alexander the property of
Cardinal Gian Michele, who had just died, having received a poisoned cup from
the hands of the pope.
The future King of Italy found his father preoccupied with a grand project: he had
resolved, for the Feast of St. Peter's, to create nine cardinals. What he had to
gain from these nominations is as follows:
First, the cardinals elected would leave all their offices vacant; these offices
would fall into the hands of the pope, and he would sell them;
Secondly, each of them would buy his election, more or less dear according to
his fortune; the price, left to be settled at the pope's fancy, would vary from
10,000 to 40,000 ducats;
Lastly, since as cardinals they would by law lose the right of making a will, the
pope, in order to inherit from them, had only to poison them: this put him in the
position of a butcher who, if he needs money, has only to cut the throat of the
fattest sheep in the flock.
The nomination came to pass: the new cardinals were Giovanni Castellaro
Valentine, archbishop of Trani; Francesco Remolini, ambassador from the King
of Aragon; Francesco Soderini, bishop of Volterra; Melchiore Copis, bishop of
Brissina; Nicolas Fiesque, bishop of Frejus; Francesco di Sprate, bishop of
Leome; Adriano Castellense, clerk of the chamber, treasurer-general, and
secretary of the briefs; Francesco Boris, bishop of Elva, patriarch of