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THE SACK OF ROME.
(Guicciardini's History of Italy.)
On the 5th of May, the Con- was aided not only by the feeblestable de Bourbon encamped in ness of the defences, but also by the fields near Rome, and haugh- the bad behaviour of the defendtily sent a herald to the Pope to ers ; a plain proof of the difference demand free passage through the between troops used to war and a city, that he might lead his army mob of fighters hastily brought into the kingdom of Naples. together. Nevertheless, a body of Resolved to conquer or die, having the youth of Rome, led by the indeed no other resource, he next town officers, fought bravely under day at dawn began a violent assault the banners of the Roman people; on the Borgo, on the side of the but the great number of Ghibelmountains, and of the church of lines and of partisans of the CoSan Spirito. A thick fog that lonnas who were mingled with had risen during the night covered them, prevented a vigorous resistthe advance of the troops.
At the ance being made, for these did not very commencement of the attack, indeed desire the Imperialists to Bourbon, seeing that the Germans make themselves masters of Rome, did not act with sufficient spirit, but did not fear it much, hoping went to lead them on, and was that the enemy might be induced killed on the spot by an arquebus to favour their own party. The bullet. But this mischance, far Imperialists had no sooner secured from cooling the courage of the a passage for themselves, than soldiers, served only to animate every one fled into the town, them the more, and after having leaving the suburbs at the mercy fought furiously for two hours, of the victors. they at last penetrated into the The Pope, who was awaiting Borgo. As it is always very diffi- the result of the assault in the cult to storm towns without can- Vatican, when he learned that the non, they lost about a thousand | Borgo had been taken, fled at once men in the assault. Their courage into the castle of St. Angelo with several of the cardinals. It was asteries, the most celebrated relics a question whether he should re- and sacred things, were not promain there, or, passing through the tected from the avarice of the town with his light horse, should soldiers. In fact, it is impossible withdraw to a place of safety ; but to describe or even to imagine the he was destined to be an illus- desolation of this city, which trious example that the sovereign seemed destined to pass in turn pontiffs are liable to misfortune as from the highest pitch of grandeur well as the rest of men, although to the most frightful calamities ; it is not easy to destroy the rever- this was the second time that it ence inspired by the majesty of saw itself abandoned to the martheir rank. Bérard of Padua came tial fury, and it was nine hundred from the imperial army to inform and eighty years ago that the Goths him of the death of the Duke de had so ruthlessly plundered it. Bourbon ; he told him that the The booty was immense, by the soldiers, in consternation at this prodigious quantity of riches and loss, were very ready to make rarities accumulated for so long in terms. Clement at once sent to the palaces of the great and the their commanders, and while he shops of the merchants, and by the let a favourable opportunity of number and the rank of the priescape be lost, he ceased to take soners, from whom very large ranmeasures for the defence of the
soms were demanded. But the town.
height of misfortune was that the Without meeting any resistance, soldiers, and especially the Gerthe Imperialists soon got posses- mans whose hatred of the Roman sion of the Transtevère, and at five Church rendered them more furious, o'clock in the afternoon made their took several prelates, and after way into Rome by the bridge of having dressed them in their cereSixtus. With the exception of monial robes, mounted them on the Ghibellines and of some cardi-asses, and, in this unworthy plight, nals known for their attachment presented them as a laughing-stock to the emperor, and who, there to all the city. fore, flattered themselves that they Many persons perished amid would be treated with more favour tortures, or were so cruelly ill-used than the others, all the inhabitants that they died at the end of some were in flight, and confusion reign- days after having paid their raned everywhere, as is always the som. About four thousand men case in such scenes. Then the were killed in the attack, or in soldiery spread tumultuously the wild rage of pillage. All the throughout the town and pillaged palaces of the cardinals and of the on all hands, without distinction other nobles were plundered, exof friend or foe, and without any cept certain ones where the merregard to the dignity of the pre- chants had stored their goods, and lates ; the very churches, the mon- which were spared in consideration
of large sums of money. It hap- | bishops, who had not expected to pened, indeed, that several persons be insulted by their own countrywho had thus compounded with men, were seized and treated as the Spaniards, were pillaged by harshly as the rest. the Germans, or were obliged also Everywhere might be seen perto buy them off with more money. sons being tormented with the The Marchioness of Mantua paid utmost barbarity, to extort money fifty thousand ducats to guarantee from them, or to make them disher mansion against the greed of close where their property was the soldiery ; this sum was fur- hid. All the objects of devotion nished to her by the merchants and the relics with which the who had taken refuge with her, churches were filled, were trodden and the story was that her son, under foot, after having been deDon Ferdinand, had the fifth part spoiled of their ornaments ; and to of it. The Cardinal de Sienne, these acts of sacrilege the German always, like his ancestors, a friend barbarity added blasphemies and to the emperor, was made prisoner outrages beyond number. What by the Germans, who also sacked was of least ue, and what the his palace, though the cardinal had soldiers had not thought it worth arranged with the Spaniards to be while to touch, was pillaged by the spared this misfortune ; barehead- peasants from the estates of the ed and loaded with blows, they Colonnas who came to Rome when conducted him to the Borgo, and all was over. Cardinal Colonna, he only got out of their hands by who arrived the day after the giving them five thousand ducats. taking of the city, rescued several The Cardinals de la Minerve and ladies who had sought refuge in Ponant suffered almost the same his palace. It was said that the treatment. They paid their ran- | booty of the soldiers, in gold and som to the Germans, but that did silver and precious stones, was not prevent them from being both worth more than a million of led ignominiously through the ducats, and that the amount of town by these madmen. The the ransoms went far beyond this Spanish and German cardinals and
THE FALL OF CARDINAL WOLSEY.
(Lord Herbert of Cherbury's Life of Henry VIII.)
CARDINAL WOLSEY being now divers malversations of the cardivested of his late power (wherein dinal, was so far from disguising he had the glory, in some sort, to them, that she even misinterpreted have been superior to his king) his better actions. Edmund Camand for the rest being left alone, pion adds to these reasons, that and exposed not only to a general Sir Francis Bryan being in Rome, hatred, but to the private machi- did, by the means of a familiar nations of the present and future of one who kept the pope's papers, queen, became sensible of his ill obtain a letter of the cardinal's, estate ; though yet he did not which wrought his ruin in this believe himself so near his over- manner : having first showed her throw, as it appeared afterwards. the cardinals handwriting, and But what could he hope for, when then corrupted her, this courtesan such puissant enemies did procure so dexterously performed the rest, his destruction ? Therefore, though as upon pretence of visiting her he received some advices from servant in his study, she conveyed Rome, which might argue a care away this letter and gave it Bryan, rather than a power for his con- who failed not immediately to send servation, yet in effect what secret it to our king. Which relation of intelligence soever passed betwixt Campion, though I will not conthe pope and him, came to the tradict, yet I suppose to be the emperor first, and after to Queen more improbable, that I find by Catherine, who cunningly caused original despatches, Bryan was it to be whispered into the king's come from Rome before any arguears, by some more indirect ways, ment of the king's disfavour to the than it could possibly be imagined cardinal appeared. Howsoever, to proceed from her. Likewise the way the king took to overMistress Anne Boleyn, having throw him was merely legal, learned from some of the king's though approaching to summum wisest and gravest counsellors jus, after most men's opinion.
In the carriage whereof yet that there were a thousand pieces. Besecrecy was used, that the cardinal sides, the walls of his gallery on did not, or, perchance, out of great- the one side were hung with rich ness of mind would not, take notice suits of cloth of gold, cloth of of what was intended against him. silver, cloth of tissue, and cloth of So that though the bill or indict-bodkin ; on the other side was ment was (Oct. 9) put in (at the placed the most glorious suit of beginning of Michaelmas term), yet copes that had been seen in Engdid he ride that day to the chan- land. In a chamber near to the cery with his accustomed pomp. gallery was a great cupboard of Of which our king being adver-plate, of massy gold ; and in a tised, thought fit to forbid him the chamber adjoining, vast quantity place; as thinking it indecent, of other plate. All which the that a man, who was upon terms cardinal commanded Sir William of conviction, should administer Gascoyne (his treasurer) to deliver that high charge. Therefore the to the king, when he was required. Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk were sent, Oct. 18, to require the And thus fell the cardinal, toGreat Seal of him. But the car-gether with all his vast possessions, dinal, instead of rendering it, dis-into the king's hands. Concerning puted their authority, alleging the which the critics of the time gave place of Lord Chancellor was by sundry opinions, the most part yet the king's letters patents given him supposing him capable of the king's during life. The two dukes here- mercy, had he been either less rich, upon returned to court, bringing or more humble. They thought the next day the king's letters to him indeed condemned by law, the cardinal, who, having read but by the rigour of it. All which them, delivered immediately the they considered the more, that the Great Seal ; in sequence thereof, cardinal had so long exercised his also submitting himself to the legatine power, without that the king, who commanded him to king either seemed to dislike it, leave York Place, and simply to or any other had questioned him depart to Esher, a country house for it. Therefore, howsoever he near Hampton Court, belonging to was convicted by form of justice, the Bishop of Winchester. He they yet cleared him in great part, charged his officers also to inven- and not they only, but the king. tory and bring forth his goods. Insomuch, that the impression Whereupon much brave furniture taken of his ancient services was made into hangings, besides whole not defaced wholly. So that notpieces of rich stuffs, were set upon withstanding his best goods were divers tables in his house ; the seized on, and that the king might variety and number whereof may have taken therewith his other be imagined, when (as Cavendish possessions, and (with them) his hath it) of fine Holland cloth alone entire liberty, yet he both sent