A certain hermit came here to preach and threatened many ills. He had been at Volterra, serving at a leper hospital. He was a lad of twenty-four, barefoot, with a wallet on his back; and he declared that St. John and the Angel Raphael had appeared to him. And one morning he went up on to the ringhierra of the Signori to preach, but the "Eight" sent him away. And each day some incident happened.
(1) This was Ludovico Sforza, called Il Moro, uncle to the reigning duke, and at that moment exiled.
A man who was said to be a Venetian was hung in the Mercato Nuovo, for having stolen some florns off a money-changer's table the evening before, in broad daylight; and he had been caught and taken to the rector,(1) and was condemned to be hung.
At this time Signor Roberto made an incursion into the Pisan district with many men, and came as far as the Port of Pisa and set it on fire, but did not do it much harm; and then he advanced into the Val di Calci, and burnt the mills and took much booty, after which he retired beyond the Serchio. And in this direction the Duke of Calabria(2) penetrated as far as the Poggio Imperiale, with the design of capturing it, but he did not succeed.
And meanwhile our troops advanced as far as Siena, and pillaged the country, and took a certain fort called Selvoli and held it for some time, that is to say, till the 4th April.
And the plague was making now great ravages, having increased again.
And we were continually raising fresh bands of infantry; and the Venetians sent us a number of soldiers, that were all despatched to the Pisan territory.
And the Capitano now went into the Pisan territory, awaiting Count Carlo(3) and a large body of cavalry.
(1) The rector of the Arte del Cambio (Money-chamber's Guild).
(2) Alfonso d'Aragona, son of Ferdinando, King of Naples.
(3) Count Carlo da Montone, son of the famous Braccio, sent by the Venetians to aid the Florentines.
There was a skirmish outside Pisa between our Capitano and Signor Roberto, and a good number were slain. And it was said that our Capitano had no wish to vanquish the enemy, and therefore did not do his duty; this was the unanimous opinion of the people.
A horseman of Signor Roberto was arrested on the Ponte a Valiano, who was carrying letters to Signor Roberto's son; which letters shed some light upon an intended conspiracy; and in consequence of this, Antonio Pucci and other citizens left for the Pisan territory, and in a few days got a number of soldiers together.
The Duke of Urbino came to Florence, lodging in the house of Giovanni Tornabuoni, and he was received with honour. And on the 29th he left for Milan, to take up his post as Capitano generale, stopping at Ferrara where Signor Roberto was. There they besieged a fort called Ficheruolo till the 1st June.(1)
And in these days the Duke of Calabria on the other hand was besieging Ostia, near Rome; and on the 10th June it was said that he had taken it, but this was not true. He sacked Corneto,(2) however. The Sienese now recalled some of their exiles.
(1) This is not correct; see note to 2nd July.
(2) These are all facts relating to the war which had lately broken out between the Venetians and the Pope on the one hand, and the Florentines, Milan, and Naples on the other. Federigo, Duke of Urbino, was Capitano generale, and Commander of the League against Venice, and Roberto di Sanseverino was in the service of the latter.
In a tabernacle in Orto Sa' Michele there was placed the figure of San Tommaso beside Jesus, and the Jesus in bronze, which is the most beautiful thing imaginable, and the finest head of the Saviour that has as yet been made; it is by Andrea del Verrocchio.