Lorenzo and Giovanni, sons of Piero Francesco de' Medici, were detained in the Palagio; and it was said that some wished them to be put to death, but the reason was not given. On the 29th they were liberated; and on the 14th May they went away, being restricted within certain boundaries.(1)
(1) Florentine historians give as the motive of such provisions a dissension between these Medici and Piero, but disagree as to its causes. Contemporary writers, however, point to their too close adherence to the King of France. I hoped to throw some light upon this matter from the documents, but a deliberation of the Signori and Collegi of the 29th April, 1494, by which they are condemned for life to remain a mile outside the city, only has these words: justis causis, ut dixerunt moti, et ad Statum multum pertinentibus, etc. And nother on the 9th November, which permits them to return begins thus: Attenta humanitate et bonis moribus Laurentii et Ioannis Pier Francisci de Mediciis et qualiter, contra justicia et omne debitum, et ad instantiam tirannorum, fuerunt relegati, etc. They actually left the city on the 14th May, as Landucci says, that is, fifteen days after the deliberation, as it had been decreed; and on the day following, the proof of their presence beyond the boundary fixed was produced, they having gone to inhabit the villa of Castello (Libro di deliberazioni ad annum of the Signori e Collegi, in the State Archives of Florence.)
Lorenzo son of Piero Francesco de' Medici returned, and dined at this own house of the Gora, and the same evening he went to meet the king, who was stopping at Legniaia, in the house of Piero Capponi. And on this same day the Bargello was made prisoner in the church of the Servi.(1) Also more French entered the city than any other day, and they filled every house, even the poorest, including all Camaldoli.
(1) His name was Piero Antonio dall' Aquila. The day before, a reward had been promised to anyone who would give information as to where he was hidden; and on the 14th the Priors decreed quod dono tradatur to the Signor Giovanni da Maddaloni, oratore (representative) of the King of France, who would receive him in the king's name.
Lorenzo son of Francesco de' Medici and his brother, and several other exiled citizens, returned to Florence, because the sentences were remitted of all those who had been exiled from 1434 onwards. Observe that Lorenzo de' Medici and his brother were also reinstated in their rights. And every house in the city was full.
Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:
The king left Florence after having dined, and went for the night to the Certosa, and all his men went before or after him, so that few remained here. It was said that Fra Girolamo of Ferrara, our famous preacher, had gone to the king and declared that he was not doing the will of God in stopping, and that he ought to leave. It was even said that he went a second time, when he saw that the king did not leave, and declared again that he was not following God's will, and that whatever evil should befall others would return on his head. It was thought that this was the cause of his leaving more speedily, because at that time the said Fra Girolamo was held to be a prophet and a man of holy life, both in Florence and throughout Italy. At the same time there came to Florence the captain of the French troops in Romagna, whose name was Begni,(1) and he told the king rather dictatorially that he ought to leave on every account, as the weather was favourable, and he declared that it would be ill to delay the advance. And in fact the king did leave, for he put more faith in this seigneur than in all the rest, and deservedly, as he was an extremely intelligent and worthy man, according to what was said; and this was in reality the strongest reason which induced him to leave.(2)
(1) Robert Stuart, Comte de Beaumont le Roger, Seigneur of Aubigny-sur-Nerre.
(2) On this day the Signori designed Guglielmo d'Antonio Pazzi, Braccio di Domenico Martelli, Niccolo Antinori, and Lorenzo di Pier Francesco de' Medici to go the following morning and accompany the king as far as Siena. Afterwards they substituted Francesco de' Rossi for the Medici.
Landucci, Luca, trans. Alice de Rosen Jervis, J.M. Dent & Sons, 1927. "A Florentine Diary", p. 72
8th February. The Signoria went to visit him, and later, after having dined, sent eight(1) of the chief citizens to hear what he desired. And he asked for the money which had been promised to the king, and the loan of 40 thousand florins besides.
(1) Ammirato and the documents published in vol. i. of the Negotiations diplomatiques de la France avec la Toscane give five, and the names are as follows: Guidantonio Vespucci, Tanai de' Nerli, Guglielmo de' Pazzi, Francesco Valori, and Lorenzo de' Medici, who had changed his family name, taking that of Popolani.
5th March. Four ambassadors were chosen to go to the King of France and Naples, who were: Messer Guido Antonio, Pagolo Antonio Soderini, the Bishop de' Pazzi, and Lorenzo son of Piero Francesco de' Medici.(1)
(1) Landucci is not correct in the names of these ambassadors the work already quoted, Negotiations, etc., we read the instruction given to them and their names, but instead of Soderini and Pazzi are Bernardo Rucellai and Lorenzo Morelli. Ammirato, however, gives Soderini instead of Morelli; the truth is that the latter was appointed to replace the former, who was prevented from leaving on account of illness.
From Rome. Christus. On the 2nd day of July, 1496.
Magnificent Lorenzo, etc., — I write this merely to inform you that on Saturday last we arrived here in safety, and went immediately to visit the Cardinal di San Giorgio, to whom I presented your letter. I believe he was glad at my arrival, and he straightway expressed a desire that I would go and inspect certain statues, which detained me for the remainder of that day, so that I was unable to deliver your other letters. On the Sunday the Cardinal went to his new house(1) and there caused me to be summoned. I went to him accordingly, and he asked my opinion of the statues I had seen. I told him what I thought ; and certainly I consider that some of them are very beautiful. He then asked me if I had sufficient courage to undertake a beautiful work on my own account. I replied that I should not be able to produce any work equal to those I had been shown, but that I was willing he should see for himself what I could do. We have bought a piece of marble sufficiently large for a life-size figure, and on Monday I shall begin to work upon it.
Last Monday I delivered your other letters to Pagolo Rucellai,(2) who offered to place the money at my disposal, and to Cavalcanti. Afterwards I gave the letter to Baldassarre, and asked him to give me back the Cupid (banbino), saying that I was willing to refund the money. But he answered me only with rough words, saying he would rather break it into a hundred pieces : he had bought the banbino he said, and it was therefore his: he had letters from the person to whom he sold it showing that its new owner was well satisfied with his bargain : and he did not think he would be compelled to return it. He complained bitterly of you, saying you had spoken ill of him.
Some of our Florentines took the matter up, hoping to get it settled, but they were unable to do anything. I am now hoping to arrange the matter through the medium of the Cardinal's good offices, for so I have been advised to proceed by Baldassarre Balducci.(3) I will keep you informed as to how the business proceeds. I have nothing more to add. I commend myself to you. May God guard you from evil.
MICHELAGNIOLO, in Rome.
(1) The Palazzo della Cancelleria.
(3) A Florentine engaged in the banking house of Iacopo Gallo, the latter a Roman. Both were on terms of considerable intimacy with Michelangelo,