The new Signoria(1) entered into office, and were stricter than the last. They sent for the citizens and required everyone to pay his debts; and they imprisoned them in the Bargello and the Stinche. Many were afflicted and worn out by so many wars.
In addition to other hardships, corn was sold at 50 _soldi_ a bushel, beans at 46 _soldi_ a bushel, white bread at 1 _soldo_ 8 _denari_ a pound, and flour rose to 3 _lire_ a bushel.
On this 1st March our ambassadors returned from France, and Antonio Canigiani had been knighted by the French king. We did him honour, sending an escort to meet him.
The price of crushed beans now increased to 4 _lire_ a bushel, peas to 5 _lire_, corn to 49 soldi, and everything dearer; and a little later corn rose to 3 _lire_ 8 _soldi_ a bushel.
> (1) Alamanno Rinuccino in his _Ricordi Storici_ also speaks ill of this _Signoria_.
5th February. The French Cardinal Sammalò,(1) who had just been made cardinal by the Pope, entered Florence. He had come here with the King of France as a bishop; and now he was returning to France. He had many horsemen with him. He was lodged in Santa Maria Novella in the papal apartments. All this time it was said that the King of France was in a bad situation, and there was cause for fear.
> (1) Guillaume Briconnet, Bishop of Saint-Malo. From the 25th January, the Pisan ambassadors had written that the _Reverandissimo_ of Saint-Malo, a man, they said, "of great intellect and authority," was going to be sent to Florence by the King of France, not on his way to France, but to remain in Tuscany or the neighbourhood, in order to preserve peace during the stay of the king in the kingdom of Naples; and in case of his going to Pisa begged the Signori to receive him and his suite with honour, "going to meet him outside, and with as many men" as was possible. He had left Rome the morning of the 27th January (_Lettere_, quoted i. 38).
King Louis XII convokes a synod of French bishops at Tours, where it is decreed that the pope, Julius II, has no right to make war upon a foreign prince, and, in case he should undertake such a war, the foreign prince had the right to invade the Ecclesiastical States and to withdraw his subjects from their obedience to the pope.
Michelangelo flees Florence, abandoning his post as military engineer in charge of the city's fortifications. A letter from Michelangelo to his friend Battista della Palla on the 25th of September 1529 makes clear his reasons:
> Battista, dearest friend, I left Florence, as I think you know, meaning to go to France. When I reached Venice, I inquired about the road, and they told me I should have pass through German territory, and that he journey is both perilous and difficult. Therefore I thought it well to ask you, at your pleasure, whether you are still inclined to go, and to beg you; and so I entreat you, let me know, and say where you want me to wait for you, and we will travel together. I left home without speaking to any of my friends, and in great confusion. You know that I wanted in any case to go to France, and often asked for leave, but did not get it. Nevertheless I was quite resolved, and without any sort of fear, to see the end of the war out first. But on Tuesday morning, September 21, a certain person came out by the gate at S. Niccolo, where I was attending to the bastions, and whispered in my ear that, if I meant to save my life, I must not stay at Florence. He accompanied me home, dined there, brought me horses, and never left my side till he got me outside the city, declaring that this was my salvation. Whether God or the devil was the man, I do not know.