14th December (Sunday). We heard how those Frenchmen who were marking the houses in Rome had been driven away, and many had been killed; the Romans wishing to defend themselves and not accept the Frenchmen in their city.
This same day we heard that the Pope and the cardinals had entered the castle of Sant' Angelo, and that the Duke of Calabria had arrived there with a large force, so that it was judged that it would fare badly with the French. It was also said that the king had sent a proclamation to Pisa, to the effect that the Pisans should submit to the Florentines; otherwise the Florentines would make such war upon them that they would be entirely destroyed, at the expense of the said King of France; that is to say that the money which he was to receive would be used instead for the cost of such an expedition; which was not true, but there was always a great deal of talk.(1)
The same day Fra Girolamo did his utmost in the pulpit to persuade Florence to adopt a good form of government; he preached in Santa Maria del Fiore every day, and to-day which was a Sunday, he wished that there should be no women, but only men; he wished that only the Gonfalonier and one of the Signori should remain in the Palagio, and that all the offices of Florence should be there; and he preached much about State matters, and that we ought to love and fear God, and love the common weal; and no one must set himself up proudly above the rest. He always favoured the people and he insisted that no one ought to be put to death, but there must be other forms of punishment; and he continued to preach in this manner every morning. Many forms were drawn up, and there was much controversy among the citizens, so that every day it was expected that the bell would be rung for a parlamento.
(1) There must have been some truth in it, as we read in the Memoriale of Portoveneri, where there are so many notices of the rebellion and war of Pisa, that on the 4th December there reached this city a herald from the king with the articles which the latter had agreed to with the Florentines, in which it is said: "Everything must be given back that formerly belonged to the Florentines. And this day the said messenger of the King has gone to Sarzana and to Pietrasanta and to Fivizzano and to Bagnone and to Castel-Nuovo and all Luligiana, to consign it to the Florentines." This was agreed to in the treaty.
4th January (Sunday). We heard that the King of France had entered Rome by agreement,(1) but, nevertheless, they did not give up the Castel Sant' Agnolo to him. It was said that he had pillaged the Orsini.
8th January (Thursday). It was said that the King of France wished to have the Castel Sant' Agnolo and the Pope and the cardinals, and the brother of the Turk,(1) who were in the said castello, delivered over to him.
(1) This was Zim or Gemme, son of the great Maometto and brother of the reigning Bajazet II., with whom he was disputing the Empire, and therefore he had taken refuge with the Pope.
Upon returning from a visit to the French court, Benvenuto Cellini is imprisoned on a charge (apparently false) of having embezzled the gems of the pope's tiara during the war. He is confined to the Castel Sant'Angelo, escapes, is recaptured, and treated with great severity; he is in daily expectation of death on the scaffold. The intercession of Pier Luigi's wife, and especially that of the Cardinal d'Este of Ferrara, eventually secures Cellini's release, in gratitude for which he gives d'Este a splendid cup.