(Monday). Our Capitano, the Marchese di Ferrara, came to Florence, arriving at about 22 in the evening (6 p.m.), with a great company of crossbowmen on horseback, and musketeers, and we escorted him into the city with great honour, lodging him in the same house which he had before. He had about 50 mules laden with baggage, and remained in Florence till Saturday, the 12th, when he took his baton and went into camp.
(1) He had wished to deliver Pistoia from the yoke of the Florentines, and give it to the King of Naples.
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.
The plague had increased to such an extent that I went away to my villa at Dicomano with all my family; leaving my apprentices to attend to the shop.
At this time Count Carlo came to Florence, and was appointed a Capitano, and two separate camps were formed, he going into the Perugian territory and defeating the papal troops, which departed utterly routed. And after this the ducal forces(1) could have been broken up; but through the fault of our Capitano, the Duke of Ferrara, and through the dissensions amongst the citizens, no action was taken, or else the enemy would certainly have been conquered. The Duke of Calabria pitched his camp before Colle. People continually deceive us, and we cannot be victorious, as God punishes us for our sins.