ALEXANDER 292 ALEXANDER cum which deeply modified the course of Italian his- tory and the career of the Horgias. Charles VIII died in April. 1498, [ireceded to the tomb by his only son. and left the tlirone to lii.s cousin, the Duke of Orleans, King Louis XII, who stood now in need of two papal favours. In liis youth he had been co- erced into mar- rying Jane of V a 1 o i s , the saintly but de- formed daugh- ter of Louis XI. Moreover, in or- der to retain Brittany, it was essential that he should marry his deceased cousin's widow, Queen Anne. No blame at- taches to Alex- ander for issuing the desired de- cree annulling the King's mar- riage or for granting him a ilispensation from the im- pediment of af- fi n i t y . The commission of investigation appointed by him established the two fundamental facts that tiie marriage with Jane was invalid, from lack of con- sent, and that it never had been consuinmated. It was the political use made by the Borgias of their opportunity, and the prospective alliance of France and the Holy See, which now drove several of the Powers of Europe to the verge of schism. Threats of a council and of deposition had no terrors for Alexander, whose control of the Sacred College was absolute. Delia Rovere was now his agent in France; .scanio Sforza was soon to retire perma- nently from Rome. Louis had inherited from his grandmother, Valentina Visconti, strong claims to the Duchy of Milan, usurped by the Sforzas, and he made no secret of his intention to enforce them. Al- exander cannot be held responsible for the second "barbarian" invasion of Italy, but he was quick to take advantage of it for the consolidation of his tem- poral power and the aggrandizement of his family. On 1 October, 1498, Caesar, no longer a cardinal, but designated Duke of Valentinois and Peer of France, set out from Rome to bring the papal dispensation to King Louis, a cardinal's hat to his minister D'Am- boise, and to find for himself a wife of high degree, lie still longed for the hand of Carlotta, who resided in I'" ranee, but since that princess persisted in her re- fusal, he received instead the hand of a niece of King Louis, the sister of the King of Navarre, Charlotte l)'.lbret. On 8 October, 1499, King Louis, accom- panied by Duke Ca-sar and Cardinal della Rovere made his triumphal entry into Milan. It was the sig- nal lu begin operations against tlio petty tjTants who were devastating the States of the Church. Alexan- der would have merited great credit for this much- needcil work, had ho not .spoiled it by substituting his own family in their place. What his ultimate inten- tions were we cannot fathom. However, the tyrants who were expelled never returned, whilst the Borgian "lynaslv came to a speedy end in the pontificate of Julius 11. In the meantime Caesar liad carried on his campaign so succcs.sfiilly that by the year 1501 he was ni.asler of all the usurped papal territorj- and was nia<le Duke of Komagna by llie Pope, whose affection for the brilliant young general was manifested in still other ways. During the war, however, and in the midst of the Jubilee of 1500 there occurred another domestic murder. On 15 July of that year the Duke of Biseglia, Lucretia's husband, was attacked by five masked assassins, who grievously wounded him. Con- vinced that Caesar was the instigator of the deed, he made an unsuccessful attempt, on his recovery, to kill his supposed enemy, and was instantly dispatched by Caesar's bodyguard. The latter, having com- pleted, in April, l.iOl, the conquest of the Romagna, now aspired to the conquest of Tuscany; but he was soon recalled to Rome to take part in a different en- terprise. On 27 June of that year the Pope deposed his chief va.ssal, Federigo of Naples, on the plea of an alleged alliance witli the Turks to the detriment of Christendom, and approved the secret Treaty of Granada, by the terms of which the Kingdom of Na- ples was partitioned between Spain and France. Alexander's motive in thus reversing his former policy with respect to foreign interference was patent. The Colonna, the Savelli, the Gaetani and other bar- ons of the Patrimony had always been supported in their oppo.sition to the popes by the favour of the Ara- gonese dynasty, deprived of which they folt them- selves powerless. Excommunicated by the Pontiff as rebels, they offered to surrender the keys of their castles to the Sacred College, but Alexantler demanded them for himself. The Orsini, who might have known that their turn would come next, were so short- sighted as to assist the Pope in the ruin of their hereditary foes. One after another, the castles were surrendered. On 27 July, Alexander left Rome to survey his conquest; at the same time he left the widowed Lucrezia in the Vatican with authority to open his correspondence and conduct the routine business of the Holy See. He also erected the con- fiscated possessions of the aforesaid families into two duchies, bestowing one on Rodrigo, the infant son of Lucrezia, the other on Juan Borgia, born to him a sliort while after the murder of Gandia, and to whom was given the latter's baptismal name (Pastor, op. cit.. Ill, 449). Lucrezia, now in her twenty-third year, did not long remain a widow; her father destined her to be the bride of another Alfonso, son and heir of Duke Ercole of Ferrara. Although both father and son at first spurnetl the notion of a matrimonial alliance between the proud house of Este and the Pope's illegitimate daughter, they were favourably influenced by the King of France. The third mar- riage of Lucrezia, celebrated by proxy in the Vatican (30 December, 1501), far exceeded the first in splen- dour and extravagance. If her father meant her as an instrument in her new position for the advance- ment of his political combinations, he was mistaken. She is known hencefortli, and till her death in 1519, as a model wife and princess, lauded by all for her amia- bility, her Trtue, and her charity. Nothing could well be more different from the fiendish Lucrezia Bor- gia of the drama and the opera than the historical IJuchess of Ferrara. Cipsar, liowever, continued his infamous career of simony, extortion, and treachery, and by the end of 1502 hail roimtied out liis posses- sions by the capture of Camerino ami Sinigagha. In October of that year the Orsini conspireil with his generals to destroy him. With coolness and skill Cae- sar decoyed the conspirators into his power antl put tlicm to death. The Pope followed up the blow by proceeding against the Orsini witli greater success than formerly. Cardinal Orsini, the soul of the con- spiracy, was committed to Castle St. Aiigelo; twelve days later he was a corpse. Whether he died a nat- ural death or was privately executed, is uncertain Losing no time, Ca-sar returned towards Rome, and so great was the terror he inspired that the frightened barons fled before him, says Villari (1. 3,")G), "as from the face of a hydra". By .pril nothing remained to the Orsini except the fortress of Bracciano, and
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