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hand, were poor, yet had a mind to live as if they were rich, and so there was nothing for it, but rapine, extortion, and every other iniquity. Whether Cæsar and the Pope had wider designs than the reduction of these oppressors to order, we can never know. Machiavelli and most contemporaries thought that they had, but German historians of to-day differ. Probably the contemporaries knew best, but nothing can matter less.

We may as well finish Cæsar's story, because we never know until a man's end, whether the play has been tragedy or comedy. He seemed to be lord of the ascendant, when, in the summer after the transaction of Sinigaglia (1503), the Pope and he were one evening both stricken with malarious fever at Rome. There was talk of poison, but the better opinion seems to be that this is fable.30 Alexander VI. died; Cæsar, in the prime of his young man's strength, made a better fight for it, but when at last he recovered, his star had set. Machiavelli saw him and felt that Fortune this time had got the best of virtù. His subjects in the Romagna stood by him for a time, and then tyranny and disorder came back. The new Pope, Julius II., was not his friend, for though Cæsar had made the Spanish cardinals support his election, Julius had some old scores to pay, and as Machiavelli profoundly remarked, anybody who supposes that new services make great people forget old injuries, makes a vast mistake. So Cæsar found his way to Naples, with a safe conduct from Gonsalvo, the Great Captain. He reaped as he had sown. Once he had