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ANECDOTES And CHARACTERS.
Character Of Jambs I. King Of Scotland.
[From the first Volume of Mr. Pinkerton's Hiftory of Scotland under the Houfe of Stuart.]
"\ FTER two weak and in_£\_ active reigns, and two regencies of no fuperior character, a monarch is to fucceed, whofe government is to be diftinguifhed for its novelty and vigour; and the houfe of Stuart is at lad to know a fovereign. James had now attained his thirtieth year; and his prime of life was yet further recommended by every advantage which natural talents, and a complete education, could beftow. In perfon he was rather under the middle fize, but endued with fuch firmnefsand agility as to excel in every manly exercife. In wreftling, in the management of the bow, or the fpear, in throwing the quoit, in running, in horfemanfhip, he yielded to none. But his mental abilities were yet more confpicuous. A man of fcience and learning, an excellent poet, a matter of mufic, the fame of his accomplifhments reflected glory even on the throne. Illuftrious in every perfonal virtue, free from any perfonal vice, his very amufements adorned
his character; his hours of leifure being frequently dedicated to elegant writing, and miniature painting, to mechanical arts, and to the cultivation of the garden and the orchard.
"The features of his government it is more difficult to difcriminate. If we believe fome writers, not lefs than three tlioufand men were put to death in the two firft years of his reign; and after the inroad of Donald Balloch, three hundred highland banditti met with thr fame fate. Happily thcfe matters are quite unknown to contemporary and authentic monuments of our hiftory: the juftice of James fell only on a few nobles, and fome chiefs of clans; but the numerous dependants of thofe victims of equitable feverity embraced every occafion to excite difcontents, and propagare falfehoods againft the government, falfehoods which have even paft into the page of hiftory, for one of the misfortunes of the houfe of Stuart has cbnfifted*in the prejudices of feveral Scotifh hifto. A % ri.nio
rians. If any blame muft fall, let it fall where it ought, upon the mis-rule of the houfe of Albany. To a people who had lived for half a century under a loofe and delegated government, and who had been accuftomed to regard licence as liberty, it is no wonder that the punifhment of crimes feemed quite anew and ftrange cruelty: that a falutary ftrength of government appeared defpotifm: that a necefiary and legal taxation aflumed the fhape of tyrannic extortion. The commons, led by the nobles, abfurdly regarded the caufe of the
latter as their own, and few not tliat the king in cruQiing theariftocracy was doing the mpft eflential fervice to his people. The plans of James were fagacious and profound, but fometimes incur the charge of temerity; and while they partake of the greatnefc of genius, they are limited by the want of a fufricient power in the Scotilh monarchy for their complete exeanion. In a word, James is fully entitled to the uncommon character of a great fovereign, in the arts of government and of peace,"
The Life of Pope Leo X. [From Mr. Noble's Memoirs ofthe Illustrious House Of Medici.]
«y^110VANNI, a younger fon \JJ of Lorenzo the Magnificent, obtained by the care of his father a cardinal's hat, when only fourteen years of age, it having been conferred upon h'm by the favour of pope Innocent VII t. the friend of Lorenzo. From his high rauk, and the youth of his brother Pietro's children, he was fet, by the Medici, at the head bf his family, to whom they looked up for protection in the grievous misfortunes that overwhelmed them.
** The cardinal had been included in the profcription which his brother's ill conduct had drawn upon the Medici, and he had undergone a feries of ex raordinary adventures; but he found in the Courts of Guido and F.anafco, dukes ot (Jrbino, a friendly alylum
"Florence, it muft be remarked, after the death of Pietro, was
at the lowefr. ebb, and feemed finking into ruin. The Pifans, having been joined by Genoa and Lucca, bid defiance to the Florentines; inftead of a&ing only upon the defenfive, they attacked and took Arezza. Cortona fell a victim to Lodovico Sforza, furnamed the Moor, duke of Milan, whofe fears of France only kept him from laying fiege to the capital; and when this peifidious monfter was, in Ijco, expelled his dominions by Lewis XII. it gave no advantag: to Florence; and to fill up the raeafure of her misfortunes, Balione, her general, deferted to her enemies.
"From thefe misfortunes, and the unhappy divifions in the republic, Giovanni flattered him(elf be might he able to procure the return of himfelt and his family, efpeciO'ly as cardinal ofo za, As if united by fimilitude of fortunes, declared his intereft to be infeparably the fame with that of the Medici. But all thefe plcafing appearances vanifhed; cardinal Sforza died; Pifa was deferted by her allies j and cardinal de la Rovere, the nephew of Sixms IV. became pope, Oft. 17, 1503, fucceeding Pius III. who bad furvived his election only a month. The new pontiff took the name of Julius II. and one of his firft afts of power was, to declare bimfelf the ally of Florence, with whom he firft figned a treaty, and then a peace. Florence, by this extraordinary alteration, regained her loft dominions, and civil difcord fubfiding, the Medici feemed for ever excluded her walls.
"Giovanni's drooping hopes, however, were foon railed again by the folly of Soderini, who had exafperated his new ally, the pope, by imprudently permitting a general council, called by Lewis XII. to fit at Pifa. In revenge for this infult, and to take from the French a power that was their great fupport, his holinefs determined to reftore the Medici, as it would neceflarily deftroy Soderini, who was at the head of the republic, and in his ftead place Giovanni, who was, both from intereft and inclination, the enemy of a nation that he could not endure.
"Several favourable circumftances occurred to promote this change. The Florentines, difgufted with Soderini's impolitic condud, of having himlelf declared gonfalonier for life,'in i-nitation of Csefar's perpetual di&aorihip, were convinced that they were no more fafe under him than they had been before the expulfion of the Medici, nor that they enjoyed more freedom under the government of Soderini than they had done under that of the exiled family; snd
they perceived, that they were neither fo rich nor fo happy as before the expulfion of the latter.
"Soderini too was the ally of France, who had treated the commonwealth with an excefs of haugh* tinefs. Great number') of the citizens were lecretiy attached to the Medici from friendship, intereft, or gratitude, and not a few from fear and the love of change, which always has its charms with the populace.
"No perfon could be better adapted to profit by thefe favour ible conjunctures than Giovanni; he poflefled every requifite to pleafe, was in the prime of his life, handfome, graceful, polire, affable, magnificent, and liberal. So many fplendid qualities, clothed with the cardinslate, and inverted with both the legatinefhips of Perufia and Bologna, with the recollection
x of his father's great merit, confirmed the wavering, and won new partizans. The religious looked upon him as the mediator between them and heaven, and the young nobility trufted to him to fupport
. them in their extravagancies.
"fn this crifis nothing could be more opportune than the gonfalonier's joining the French in their attempts upon Milan; as it convinced Julius that he and France were not to be feparated, and determined him no longer to defer the ruin of his intereft in Florence by the recal of the Medici.
"Upon the eve, as Giovanni fuppofed, of this being accomplifhed, he faw himfelf, by the lots of the battle of Ravenna, a prifoner to Lewis XII. of which Julius was no fooner informed, than, by a monitory addrefTed to the conqueror, he demanded his liberation.
•• Giovanni at the fame time reA 3 ceivtd ceived from his holinefs a commiffion to abfolve fuch of the victorious foldiers as applied for pardon, for having dared to withfland the arms of the vicar of Chrift, and a power of granting funereal rites to the dead: it isimpoflible to exprefs the effects this produced. The foldiers refpe&ing him as alone having true apoftolic power, thronged to him, and not only the common men, but the ennobled perfous of the illuftrious families of Vifconti, Palavicini, and Trivalzi; perhaps too the opposition of Giovanni's character to San Severino, the legate of the council of Pifa, not a little contributed to this, for he was referved, haughty, and fevere; and inftead of the habit of peace, in which his rival appeared, he wore bright fhining armour.
"To prevent the defertion of the army, which looked up to him with reverence and love, it was refolved to fend him into France, no place in Italy being judged proper to confine him. Giovanni finding the intention of his enemies, prudently ^rew every impediment in the way, prolonging his Hay in the camp as long as poflible; and when obliged to commence his journey, he pur/ued the lame plan, flattering himfelf that fome favourable circumfiance might offer to aflift him in making his cfcape.
"Early one morning, as Giovanni was preparing to take a boat to pafs over the river Po, oppofite to Bifignana, Kinaldo Zallo, a no-, ble Venetian, obferving the facred diguitv of the prifoiier, refolved, if poffible, to procure him hi6 liberty: for this purpote he collected with expedition his domeftics, and fome peafants of the' village of Del Cairo, whom he ordered to advance fhouting, and fall upon the guard. The project aufwercd
the kind defign of Zallo, for 're guard affrighted, by fuppofing them a regular body of lorces, deferted their prifoner, to feek their own fafety in flight.
"His efcape gave new life to the hopes of the party; Julius inftantly renounced the treaty he had folemnly concluded with Florence, and at a congrefs of the holy league it was refolved, through the periuaCon of the papal anilKuTador, feconded by the entreaties of Julian, the brother of Giovanoi, to reftore the Medici to their country. To carry this into effdf, Giovanni was inverted with legatine power throughout Tufcany, and put at the head of the pontifical army, which was joined by the troops of Naples, commanded by the viceroy of Ferdinand the Catholic.
"It was to no purpofe the Florentines urged the repeated treaties that had been concluded between them and the allies, and the exaftnefs with which they had fulfilled the laft. The confederates infilled upon Soderini's abdicating thegonfalonierfhip, and admitting the Medici into Florence; this he absolutely refufed.
"The fordid avarice of Soderini defeated its own aim, and befriended the Medici to a great degree; he Iwd heretofore reigfcd the allifiance of the emperor Maximilian at a flipulated price, fo now he refufed to part with thirty thoufand ducats, which the covetous viceroy afkcd as the terms of betraying the 4ntereft of the exiled family.
"He foolifhly relied upon the faith of the fickle multitude. Fatal feeiirity! Prato was flormed, and Piftra revolted, declaring for the Medici. Thefe misfortunes filled Florence with difcooteot, aud whilll a revolt was each moment mem threatened, Julian, with three other young noblemen, accompliftied the revolution. The names'of thefe grandees were Bartolomeo Valori, Paulo Vettori, and Antonio Francefco Albizi; the Scheme was planned in a conference held at a country feat not far from Florence.
"They carried their intentions into execution by fecretly entering the city with their partizans, when, feizing Soderini, they obliged him, by threatening inftant death in cafe ofrefufal, to quit the magiftracy. The unhappy man tremblingly complied with commands he durft not difpute, and fled immediately after to Ragufa by fea, with the money he could convey away; but the four youths who undertook the plot feized upon the public treasury, and then aflembled the people, taking advantage of the univerfal panic to procure the repeal of the banilhment of the Medici.
"The artful Julius, gratified that be had restored the exiled family, wifhed them only to be efleemed as private citizens of Florence, fuppofing them equal in that capacity to contend with the French faction; and flattered himfelf, that whilft he thus kept them, he might depend upon the fidelity of Giovanni. This however did not 6tisfy the cardinal; he was too penetrating to be long the dupe of the pontiff's ambition. • "To counteract his holinefs's defign, he ufed all thofe biandifhments that feemed fo natural to him, and which won, defervedly won, every heart. He protected the women of Prato from the brutality of the foldiers, and put a flop to the carnage of the men of that place. He acted with moderation to all; he interceded with his friends to fpare the moft violent enemies of bis houfe. He gained
the young nobility by an excefs of liberality.
"Having by thefe means prepared for the completion of his project, he excufed himfelf* front paying the viceroy of Naples, pretending that he could not procure the money, owing to the French fadtion in the city, who threw every obflacle to it in his way. The greedy vice-king fell into the fnare 10 artfully laid for him; he, anxious to Secure the Stipulated fuin, and difregarding the manner in which it was railed, told Giovanni that he might difpofe of the city in what manner he chofe, as moft conducive to obtain the wiflied-for money.
"This was a moment not to be loft: he aflembled the people in the great Square, where he Stationed his friends, many of whom were lately won by the money he had judicioufly applied; thefe all voted for a change in the form of government, and placed none but fuch as he approved in the magiftracy; few, except Baptiflo Kodolphi, the new gonfalonier, and the other officers of juftice, oppofing it, but thefe were borne down, as prejudiced to their own intereft; thofe who had the fame Sentiments, finding themfelves Surrounded by the Neapolitan troops, lent for the prefent purpofc by the viceroy, knowing how vain, how dangerous would be their opposition, appeared to acquiefce in what they could not prevent.
"This revolution at once furprifed and alarmed Julius; knowing that the Catholic king paid no regard to the moft Solemn treaties, when it was his intereft. to break them, he imagined that Giovanni had won him over by Some extraordinary temptation, never fuppofing that the young cardinal A + could