10th December (Wednesday). Money was continually being found hidden in the Dogana (city customs), underneath coals and heaps of nails, etc., to which the above-mentioned citizens who were imprisoned confessed by degrees. It was said that the king had reached Viterbo, and that the Pope had consented to give him a safe-conduct.
22nd December (Monday). It was said that the king was still at Viterbo; everyone went on talking of the French, of Rome, and Pisa, and how Rome would not give a safe-conduct. The Duke of Calabria had arrived there, to resist the French.
This day many things were voted in the Palagio: Anyone who slew a man could not return to Florence; and a law as follows against the unmentionable vice: the first time the offender to be punished with gogna,(1) the second time, to be fastened to a pillar, and the third time, to be burnt; and many other laws, all recommended by the Frate.
(1) Alia gogna was when a prisoner was exposed on the outer wall of the prison of the Bargello, with his hands bound behind him to one of the iron rings, bare-headed, with his hat at his feet to receive soldi, and a placard on his breast upon which his crime was written. He had to remain there an hour, during which time the old bell of the prison was rung. (Trans.)
In the name of God, this First day of July, 1497.
Most Revered and Dear Father, — You must not be surprised that I have not yet returned to you, for I have failed in all my attempts to settle my business with the Cardinal, and I have no wish to leave Rome until I have received satisfaction and have been paid for my work. With these exalted personages one has to go slowly, for they cannot be forced into action. I believe, however, that the end of the coming week will certainly see all my affairs arranged.
I must tell you that Fra Lionardo(1) has returned here to Rome, and says he was obliged to flee from Viterbo and that his frock has been taken away from him. He wished to return to you: wherefore I gave him a gold ducat for his journey, which he asked of me. I think you must already know of this, for by now he ought to be with you.
I know of nothing else I have to tell you, for I am surrounded by uncertainties and know not as yet which way matters will turn : but I hope soon to be with you once more. I am well, and trust that you are the same. Commend me to my friends.
MICHELAGNIOLO, Sculptor, in Rome.
(1) Lionardo Buonarroti, already mentioned as having entered Savonarola's order of Dominicans.