secondly, of the sums drawn from the towns tributary to Florence,
amounting to 120,000 ducats ; and thirdly, of the balaello, a direct im-
post, and sort of tithe, producing 160,000 ducats.
This brings him to the revenues of the Pope, which he estimates to
be altogether about 420,000 ducats ; and he then returns to the expendi-
ture and personal qualities of the pontiff: "He is learned in classic
literature and the canon law, and above all is a most excellent musi-
cian ; when he sings with anyone, he causes that person to be given
100 ducats, or more ; and, to mention a circumstance previously for-
gotten, (by him, the ambassador), the Pope derives from vacancies
some 60,000 ducats, or more, annually, which is about 8,000 ducats per
month ; and this he expends in gifts, and in playing at primero, a game
in which he delights greatly."
These examples suffice to show the lively and graphic character of
Zorzi's report: it is given with infinite simplicity, and in an easy con-
versational style, so that the reader seems to hear and see all that the
Summary of the Report of Marco Minio, returned from the Court (of
Rome), June, 1520, Sanuto, vol. 28.
Marco Minio was the successor of Zorzi, but his report is unfort-
unately very short. He begins with the revenues, which he finds to
be inconsiderable. " The Pope has but a small income from the papacy,
and the revenues are of three kinds : first, the annates, from which he
derives 100,000 ducats annually; but of the consistorial annates, which
are drawn from the bishroprics and abbacies, the one-half belongs to
the cardinals : from the various offices he draws about 60,000 ; and from
compositions 60,000 ducats the year. He has no ready money, because
he is very liberal, and cannot keep money ; and, moreover, the Flor-
entines, and his relations will never permit him to retain a penny; and
the said Florentines are greatly detested at court, for in everything
said or done there must ever be mingled these Florentines. The Pope
remains neutral iDetween France and Spain; but he (the speaker) con-
siders the Pope to be inclined toward Spain, because he was restored
to his native city by Spain, and even owes to the Spaniards his elevation
to the papacy. The cardinal de' Medici, his nephew, who is not of
legitimate birth, has great influence with the Pope ; he is a man of
much practical ability. (We perceive from this remark that the car-
dinal's reputation had increased since the time of Zorzi.) He pos-
sesses great authority, yet he does nothing of importance without first
consulting the Pope; he is now at Florence, where he holds the gov-
ernment of the city. Cardinal Bibbiena is also in considerable esteem
with the Pope, but this Medici does everything."
The ambassador assures his countrymen that the sentiments of the
Pope are tolerably favorable toward them (the Venetians). He did
not certainly desire to see Venice greater than she was, but would not
permit the republic to be destroyed for any advantage in the world.
Diary of Sebastiano de Branca de Telini, in the Barberini Library,
No. 1 103.
This diary is comprised in sixty-three leaves, and extends from
April 22, 1494, to 1513 and the times of Leo X. It is certainly not to
be compared to Burcardus ; and since very little of what was passing
was known to the writer of it, we cannot use it even for the rectifica-
tion of that author's observations. Branca de Telini saw nothing more
than was seen by all the world.
Thus he describes the entrance of Charles VHL whose army he
estimates at from 30,000 to 40,000 men. He considers Charles himself
to be the most ill-looking man he had ever beheld; but his people, on
the contrary, he thought the handsomest in the world : " A more
beautiful race was never seen." Telini must not be taken literally; he
is fond of expressing himself in this manner. He relates that a man
had paid as much as 300 ducats for a horse !
Caesar Borgia was the most cruel man that ever lived. The times
of Alexander were marked and distinguished by atrocities, famines,
and exorbitant imposts. " Pope Alexander ordered the whole revenues
of all the priests, and all the public officers, and all the churches both
within and without Rome, to be set aside for three years, for the pur-
pose of a crusade against the Turks, and then he gave the total amount
to his son for the more effectual prosecution of the war." According
to Branca, Caesar Borgia gave audience to no one but his executioner,
Michilotto. All his servants went richly clothed, " dressed in brocade
of gold and silver even to their stockings; their slippers and shoes
were made thereof."
Telini was a great admirer of Julius H. "Never did any Pope so
THE HISTORY OF THE POPES 187
much as has been done by Pope Julius." He enumerates the cities that
he subdued, but is of opinion that by his wars he had rendered himself
guilty of the death of 10,000 men.
Next came Leo : he began with promises " that the Romans should
be free from imposts, and that all offices and benefices within the city
of Rome should be conferred exclusively on Romans: all which oc-
casioned great rejoicings throughout Rome."
Our diarist occasionally brings forward individuals in private life;
and we are here made acquainted with the boldest and most renowned
of procurators. " Benvenuto Moccaro, the most terrible man (the
most powerful — most violent) that ever had been seen in Rome for a
private man in Rome." He lost his life by means of the Orsini.
Even in this, otherwise unimportant work, we see the spirit of the
times and of the several administrations reflected as in a mirror. We
have the times of terror, of conquest, and of tranquillity, as exhibited
under Alexander, Julius, and Leo, respectively. Other diaries, on the
contrary, that of Cola CoUeine, for example, extending from 1521 to
1561, contain nothing whatever of importance.
Vita Leonis X. Poiitißcis Maximi per Franciscum Novellum Romanum,
J. V. Professorem. Bibl. Barbcrini. [The Life of Leo X Pontifex
Maximus, by Francesco Novelle, a native of Rome, Professor of
Civil Law. Barberini Library.]
Others (remarks the author) could relate and describe what is
here, and other things unknown to me, much better than I have done.
Without doubt they could; his little work is altogether insignificant.
Qucedani historica qua ad notitiam temporum pertinent pontißcattmm
Leonis X., Adriani VI., dementis VII. Ex libris notariorum sub
iisdeni pontiiicibus. [Certain historical notices pertaining to the
pontificates of Leo X, Adrian VI, and Clement VII, taken from
the books of the notaries under the said pontiffs.] Extracted by
Felix Contellorius. Barberini Library. 48 leaves. >
Short notices of the contents of the instruments; as, for example —
Leo X assigns to his sister the Countess de Medici de Rudolfi 285
golden ducats from the treasury, to be charged upon the dogana for
I have occasionally made use of these notices. Perhaps the most
interesting and remarkable, as having hitherto remained without men-
tion, is the following extract from a brief of June 11, 1529: Cer-
tain valuables belonging to the Papal See had been given in pledge to
Bernardo Bracchi, and at the time of the sacking of the city Bracchi
thought it advisable to bury them in a garden. He confided
the place of their concealment to one man only, a certain Geronimo
Baccato of Florence, to whom he told it, to the end that someone
might be able to point it out in case of any mischance befalling himself.
Some short time after this confidence was made, Bernardo Bracchi
was seized by the Germans and grievously maltreated ; Geronimo, then
believing that his friend had died under the torture, imparted the secret
in his turn to one sole person, and from a similar motive. But this man
was not so discreet : the Germans heard of the concealed treasure, and
by renewed and more severe tortures they compelled Bracchi at length
to disclose the place of its deposit. To save the valuables, Bracchi en-
tered into an obligation to pay the sum of 10,000 ducats ; but Geronimo
considered himself as a traitor, and killed himself from shame and rage.
Sommario di la relation fatta in pregadi per S. Aluixe Gradenigo, ve-
nuto orator di Roma, 1523, Maso. [Summary of the report made in
the Senate by Aluize Gradenigo, ambassador returned from Rome,
1523, May.] In Sanuto, vol. 34.
He first speaks of the city, which he declares to have increased in
a short time by about 10,000 houses : next he proceeds to the constitu-
tion. Of the conservators, he reports that they claimed precedence of
the ambassadors, who refused to allow the claim ; with regard to the
cardinals, he says that Giulio de' Medici had risen still higher in reputa-
tion ; he calls him, " a man of the highest authority and a very rich car-
dinal, he ranked before all with Pope Leo, a man of great powers and
high spirit: the Pope [Leo] did whatever he desired to have done."
He describes Leo X as " of very lofty stature, with a very large head
and a most beautiful hand : he was an admirable speaker, and made
great promises, but did not keep them. The Pope had very frequent
recourse to borrowing money ; he then sold the different offices, pledged
the jewels and valuables of the papacy, and even the apostles (apos-
toli),* to procure himself money:" He estimates the temporal revenues
at 300,000 ducats; the ecclesiastical at 100,000.
He considers the policy of Leo to have been decidedly adverse to
France. If at any time it seemed otherwise, the Pope was only dis-
sembling. " He feigned to be the friend of the French King." But
at the time to which our report refers, he was openly and avowedly
opposed to France, the cause of which, according to Gradenigo, was
that " M. de Lutrech and M. de I'Escu were reported to have said that
he (the King) wished ' le recchia del papa fusse la major parte restasse
di la so persona.' " Does this mean that he desired to have nothing
remaining of the Pope but his ears? Certainly a very coarse jest, and
in extremely bad taste. Leo took it very ill. On receiving intelligence
of the conquest of Milan, he is related to have said that this was but
the half of the battle.
Leo left the papal treasury so completely exhausted, that it was
found needful to employ for his obsequies the wax candles that had
been provided for those of the cardinal St. Giorgio, who had died a
short time before him.
The ambassador awaited the arrival of Adrian VI. He describes
the moderate and regular habits of that pontiff's life, and remarks that
he had at first maintained a strict neutrality between the two great
parties. " It is said that the Pope, as regards his own opinion, is neu-
tral, although he is a dependent on the Emperor, and has it much at
heart to effect a truce, that he may the better attend to the affair of
the Turks. These things are inferred from his daily proceedings, as
well as from the discontent of the viceroy of Naples, who repaired to
* This may possibly mean the figures so called in the canon law, and which
of the apostles in silver or other pre- may have been matter of sale; but this
cious metals, or their relics; or it may last is the less probable suggestion,
possibly allude to the writs of appeal, — Tr.
THE HISTORY OF THE POPES 189
Rome in the hope of prevailing on the pontiff to declare himself for
the Emperor ; but his holiness refused to do so ; whence the viceroy
departed vi^ithout arriving at his ends. The Pope is deeply intent on
the affairs of Hungary, and desires that an expedition should be set on
foot against the infidels. He is afraid that the Turk may effect a
descent upon Rome, and is therefore anxious to see the Christian
princes united, and to make universal peace, or, at the least, a truce for
Sommario del viaso di oratori nostri andono a Roma a dar la obe-,
dientia a papa Hadriano VI. [Summary of the journey made by
our ambassadors to Rome to present our allegiance to Pope Adrian
This is the only report which possesses the interest of a traveller's
description, and which also alludes to subjects connected with art.
The ambassadors describe the flourishing state of Ancona, and the
fertility of the March. In Spello they were hospitably received by
Orazio Baglione, and proceeded thence to Rome.
They also describe an entertainment given to them by Cardinal Cor-
nelio, a fellow-countryman. The account they give of the music they
heard while at table is worthy of notice: " There were brought to the
table every kind of musician to be found in Rome ; excellent flute-
players were sounding continually ; there were harpsichords producing
most wonderful tones, with lutes and four violins." Grimani also in-
vited them to a feast. " Then at dinner there were musicians, and
among them a most ill-favored woman, who sang to the lute most ad-
They next visited the churches; at that of Santa Croce certain orna-
ments were in course of preparation for the doors: "Some ornaments
and arches of doors gathered from the spoils of antiquity." Every little
stone that was being wrought there deserved, in their opinion, to be
set in gold and worn on the finger. They next proceed to the Pantheon,
and there an altar was in process of erection, at the foot of which
was the grave of Raphael. They were shown decorations, apparently
of gold, looking as pure as that of the Rhenish " gülden " ; but they
were of opinion that if the gold had been real. Pope Leo would not
have permitted it to remain there. They express their admiration of
the columns — larger than their own of St. Mark. " They support the
roof, which is a dome, and is formed by certain beams of metal."
They give themselves up, with infinite simplicity, to their admira-
tion of the Roman antiquities. I know not whether this book will fall
into the hands of antiquaries. The following description of the colossal
statues in the Quirinal (on Monte Cavallo) is, at least, very striking:
" Monte Cavallo is so called, because, on the summit of the hill, which
is very well peopled, there is a certain structure, formed of a piece of
very rough wall (a rude pedestal), on one of the angles of which there
is a horse of stone — apparently Istrian — very ancient and corroded by
time, and on the other corner is another horse, both of them modelled
from the middle forward, the head, neck, fore-feet, shoulders, and half
the back ; beside them stand two great giants, men double the natural
size, naked, and each holding back one of these horses with one arm.
The figures are very beautiful, finely proportioned, and of the same
stone with the horses; and the horses are also beautiful, equally so
with the men : under one of them are inscribed the words ' Opus Phidice,'
and under the other ' Opus Praxitelis,' both inscripitons being in hand-
some capital letters." The ambassadors then visit the Capitol, where
they find, among many other beautiful statues, " a peasant in bronze,
drawing a thorn from his foot, made in the natural rustic manner; to
those who look at him he seems to be lamenting the pain of that thorn
— a work of absolute excellence." They next proceed to the Belvedere,
where they admire above all things the Laocöon. The German lans-
quenets have hitherto been charged with having rendered it necessary
to restore an arm to this masterpiece of art, but we here find that the
arm had disappeared before the city had been entered by these soldiers.
" Everything is entire except that the right arm of Laocöon is want-
ing." They are in an ecstasy of admiration, and declare of the whole
group that " it wants nothing but life." They describe the boys ex-
tremely well : " One of them is laboring with his little arm to withdraw
his leg from the rabid serpent ; but finding that he cannot help himself,
is turning his weeping face imploringly toward his father, whose left
arm he holds with his other hand. A different sorrow is perceived in
each of these boys ; the one is grieving for the death that he sees so near
him, the other because his father can give them no help, but is himself
suffering and his strength failing him." They add the remark that
King Francis I had requested the gift of this noble work from the
Pope, when they met at Bologna ; but his holiness would not consent
to rob his Belvedere of the original, and was having a copy made for
the King. They tell us that the boys were already finished, but that
if the maestro lived five hundred years and labored a hundred at his
copy, it would never attain the perfection of the original. In the Bel-
vedere they also found a young Flemish artist, who had executed two
statues of the Pope.
They next inform us of the pontiff and of his court. The most im-
portant fact they communicate is, that the Cardinal of Volterra, who
had previously been able to repress the Medici, had been arrested and
was held in prison, because letters of his had been seized, wherein he
exhorted King Francis to venture an attack on Italy at that moment,
seeing that he could never hope to find a more favorable opportunity.
This enabled Cardinal Medici to rise again, and the imperial ambas-
sador Sessa supported him. The change in Adrian's policy may very
probably have been determined by this incident.
dementis VII., P.M., Conclave et Creatio. [Clement VII, Pontifex
Maximus, the Conclave and his Elevation.] Barberini Library,
No. 4, 70 leaves.
We find the following remark on the title-page : " The style of this
conclave resembles that of Giovanni Battista Sanga, epistolary secre-
tary to Clement VII." But this opinion may be rejected without hesita-
tion. Another manuscript of the Barberini Library, bearing the title
" Commentaries on the Affairs of His Own Times, by Vianesio Albergati
of Bologna," contains nothing besides this conclave. It forms the first
part of his " Commentaries," of which there is no continuation to be
found. We may assume, therefore, that the author of the above-
mentioned conclave was Vianesio Albergati.
But who was this author? Mazzuclielli names many Albergati, but
not this one.
In a letter of Girolamo Nepo we find the following anecdote:
THE HISTORY OF THE POPES 191
" A native of Bologna caused intimation to be given to Pope Adrian
VI that he, the Bolognese, had an important secret to communicate
to his hoHness, but had no money to defray the cost of his journey to
Rome. Messer Vianesio, a friend and favorite of the Medici, made
interest for him, and at length the Pope told him he might advance the
twenty-four ducats required by the Bolognese for his journey, which
should be returned to him. Vianesio did so ; his man arrived, and
was brought into the palace with the utmost secrecy. ' Holy Father,'
said he, ' if you would conquer the Turks, you must prepare a vast
armament both by land and sea.' This was all he had to say. ' Per
Deum ! ' exclaimed the Pope, whom this greatly irritated, the next time
he saw Messer Vianesio, ' this Bolognese of yours is a great cheat; but
it shall be at your cost that he has deceived me' ; and he never returned
the twenty-four ducats expended by Vianesio."
This Albergati is in all probability the author of the Conclave in
question; for in the little work before us he says that he had acted as
intermediary between the Medici and the Pope — " Mc ctiaiii iiitcr-
nuntio." He was well acquainted with Adrian, whom he had previously
known in Spain.
He has, nevertheless, erected to the memory of this pontiff the most
inglorious monument that can well be conceived. His remarks serve
to show us the extent and depth of that hatred which Adrian had
awakened among the Italians. " If we consider his avarice, cruelty,
and ignorance of the administration of the principality, with the rough
and savage nature of the barbarians he brought with him, he may fairly
be accounted among the worst of the Popes." He is not ashamed to
repeat the most contemptible lampoons on the departed pontiff. One,
for example, where Adrian is first compared to an ass, then to a wolf:
" Post parlo faciem induit lupi acrem " — Presently after he puts on the
fierce looks of a .wolf ; nay, finally, even to Caracalla and Nero. But
if we ask for proofs of this imputed worthlessness, we find the ill-used
pontiff fully justified, even by what Vianesio himself relates.
Pope Adrian VI had a room in the Torre Borgia, the key of which
he always kept in his own possession, and which those around him
named the " Sanctum Sanctorum." This room was eagerly examined
on the death of the pontiff. As he had received much and spent noth-
ing, it was supposed that his treasures would be found in this chamber ;
but the sole contents were books and papers, with a few rings of Leo
X, and scarcely any money. It was then at last admitted " that good
use had been made of what had been ill gotten."
The complaints of this author as to the delays interposed in public
business may be better founded. It was Adrian's habit to say, " We'll
consider of it, we'll see about it." It is true that he referred the ap-
plicant to his secretary ; but after long delays, this officer also referred
him to the auditor of the treasury, who was indeed a well-intentioned
man, but one who could never bring any matter to a close, bewildering
himself by an excessive but ill-directed activity. " He was impeded
by excess of diligence." The applicant returned once more to Adrian,
who repeated his " Cogitabimiis, vidcbimus."
But in proportion with his abuse of Adrian is the eulogy he bestows
on the Medici and Pope Leo X. His goodness, the security enjoyed
under his government, and even his architectural labors are all lauded
From the remarks of Albergati I conclude that the Arazzi of Raphael
were originally designed for the Sistine Chapel. " Which chapel Julius
II adorned with admirable paintings, the work of Michael Angelo, a
most illustrious painter and sculptor, of which it is the general judg-
1 92 RANKE
merit that no work more perfect has existed in our times. And after-
ward Leo X further ornamented the halls with textures of gold and
radiant colors, after the designs of that most renowned architect and
painter, Raphael the Urbanese, the beauty of which most perfect work
enchants the eyes of all men."
Instruttione al Card Reverendissimo di Farnese, che fu poi Paul III.,
quando andb legato all' Imperatore Carlo V. doppo il sacco di Roma.
[Instruction to the Most Reverend Cardinal Farnese, afterward
Paul III, when he went as legate to the Emperor Charles V after
the sack of Rome.]
I first found this instruction in the Corsini Library, No. 467, and
afterward obtained a copy in the handwriting of the middle of the six-
This document was known to Pallavicini, who refers to it in his
" Istoria del Concilio di Trento," lib. ii. c. 13; but the following chap-
ters will make it obvious that he has not made so much use of it as
his words would imply ; he has taken his narrative from other sources.
These instructions are highly important, not only as regards the
affairs of the papacy, but also in relation to the collective policy of
Europe at a most momentous period ; they likewise contain many re-
markable and weighty particulars not to be found elsewhere. I have
therefore thought it advisable to print them entire, for it is certain that
no mere extract would satisfy the well-informed reader; they amply
merit the few pages that will be devoted to them.
In June, 1526, the Pope had issued a brief, wherein he succinctly
enumerated all the points on which he felt aggrieved by the Emperor.
To this the Emperor made a very animated, not to say vehement, reply,
in September, 1526. The State-paper which appeared at the time under
the title " Pro Divo Carolo V. . . . apologetici libr." (see Goldast,
" Politica Imperialia," p. 984), contains a circumstantial refutation of
the Pope's assertions. To these writings the instruction before us may
now be added. It will be found that they consist of two parts : one
in which the Pope is spoken of in the third person, and which was prob-
ably composed by Giberto, or some other confidential Minister of the
pontiff; it is of the utmost importance in relation to the earlier events,
whether during the pontificate of Leo or that of Clement : the second
is much shorter, and begins with the words " Not to enter into the
causes whereby we were constrained " ; and here the Pope speaks in
the first person : it was therefore most probably drawn up by himself.