List Of Contents | Contents of The Borgias, by Alexandre Dumas, Pere
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been amply compensated by the surrender of the fortresses of Val di
Lamane and Faenza, by the capture of Farlimpopoli, and the surrender
of Rimini, which Pandolfo Malatesta, its lard, exchanged for the
seigniory of Cittadella, in the State of Padua, and far the rank of
gentleman of Venice.

Then Caesar made a proposition to Julius II: this was to make a
momentary cession to the Church of his own estates in Romagna, so
that the respect felt by the Venetians for the Church might save
these towns from their aggressors; but, says Guicciardini, Julius II,
whose ambition, so natural in sovereign rulers, had not yet
extinguished the remains of rectitude, refused to accept the places,
afraid of exposing himself to the temptation of keeping them later
on, against his promises.

But as the case was urgent, he proposed to Caesar that he should
leave Rome, embark at Ostia, and cross over to Spezia, where
Michelotto was to meet him at the head of 100 men-at-arms and 100
light horse, the only remnant of his magnificent army, thence by land
to Ferrara, and from Ferrara to Imala, where, once arrived, he could
utter his war-cry so loud that it would be heard through the length
and breadth of Romagna.

This advice being after Caesar's own heart, he accepted it at once.

The resolution submitted to the Sacred College was approved, and
Caesar left for Ostia, accompanied by Bartolommeo della Rovere,
nephew of His Holiness.

Caesar at last felt he was free, and fancied himself already on his
good charger, a second time carrying war into all the places where he
had formerly fought.  When he reached Ostia, he was met by the
cardinals of Sorrento and Volterra, who came in the name of Julius II
to ask him to give up the very same citadels which he had refused
three days before: the fact was that the pope had learned in the
interim that the Venetians had made fresh aggressions, and recognised
that the method proposed by Caesar was the only one that would check
them.  But this time it was Caesar's turn, to refuse, for he was
weary of these tergiversations, and feared a trap; so he said that
the surrender asked for would be useless, since by God's help he
should be in Romagna before eight days were past.  So the cardinals
of Sorrento and Volterra returned to Rome with a refusal.

The next morning, just as Caesar was setting foot on his vessel, he
was arrested in the name of Julius II.

He thought at first that this was the end; he was used to this mode
of action, and knew how short was the space between a prison and a
tomb; the matter was all the easier in his case, because the pope, if
he chose, would have plenty of pretext for making a case against him.
But the heart of Julius was of another kind from his; swift to anger,
but open to clemency; so, when the duke came back to Rome guarded,
the momentary irritation his refusal had caused was already calmed,
and the pope received him in his usual fashion at his palace, and
with his ordinary courtesy, although from the beginning it was easy
for the duke to see that he was being watched.  In return for this
kind reception, Caesar consented to yield the fortress of Cesena to
the pope, as being a town which had once belonged to the Church, and
now should return; giving the deed, signed by Caesar, to one of his
captains, called Pietro d'Oviedo, he ordered him to take possession
of the fortress in the name of the Holy See.  Pietro obeyed, and
starting at once for Cesena, presented himself armed with his warrant
before Don Diego Chinon; a noble condottiere of Spain, who was
holding the fortress in Caesar's name.  But when he had read over the
paper that Pietro d'Oviedo brought, Don Diego replied that as he knew
his lord and master was a prisoner, it would be disgraceful in him to
obey an order that had probably been wrested from him by violence,
and that the bearer deserved to die for undertaking such a cowardly
office.  He therefore bade his soldiers seize d'Oviedo and fling him
down from the top of the walls: this sentence was promptly executed.

This mark of fidelity might have proved fatal to Caesar: when the
pope heard how his messenger had been treated, he flew into such a
rage that the prisoner thought a second time that his hour was come;
and in order to receive his liberty, he made the first of those new
propositions to Julius II, which were drawn up in the form of a
treaty and sanctioned by a bull.  By these arrangements, the Duke of
Valentinois was bound to hand over to His Holiness, within the space
of forty days, the fortresses of Cesena and Bertinoro, and authorise
the surrender of Forli.  This arrangement was guaranteed by two
bankers in Rome who were to be responsible for 15,000 ducats, the sum
total of the expenses which the governor pretended he had incurred in
the place on the duke's account.  The pope on his part engaged to
send Caesar to Ostia under the sole guard of the Cardinal of Santa
Croce and two officers, who were to give him his full liberty on the
very day when his engagements were fulfilled: should this not happen,
Caesar was to be taken to Rome and imprisoned in the Castle of Sant'
Angelo.  In fulfilment of this treaty, Caesar went down the Tiber as
far as Ostia, accompanied by the pope's treasurer and many of his
servants.  The Cardinal of Santa Croce followed, and the next day
joined him there.

But as Caesar feared that Julius II might keep him a prisoner, in
spite of his pledged word, after he had yielded up ,the fortresses,
he asked, through the mediation of Cardinals Borgia and Remolina,
who, not feeling safe at Rome, had retired to Naples, for a safe-
conduct to Gonzalva of Cordova, and for two ships to take him there;
with the return of the courier the safe-conduct arrived, announcing
that the ships would shortly follow.

In the midst of all this, the Cardinal of Santa Croce, learning that
by the duke's orders the governors of Cesena and Bertinoro had
surrendered their fortresses to the captains of His Holiness, relaxed
his rigour, and knowing that his prisoner would some day or other be
free, began to let him go out without a guard.  Then Caesar, feeling
some fear lest when he started with Gonzalvo's ships the same thing
might happen as on the occasion of his embarking on the pope's
vessel--that is, that he might be arrested a second time--concealed
himself in a house outside the town; and when night came on, mounting
a wretched horse that belonged to a peasant, rode as far as Nettuno,
and there hired a little boat, in which he embarked for Monte
Dragone, and thence gained Naples.  Gonzalvo received him with such
joy that Caesar was deceived as to his intention, and this time
believed that he was really saved.  His confidence was redoubled
when, opening his designs to Gonzalvo, and telling him that he
counted upon gaining Pisa and thence going on into Romagna, Ganzalva
allowed him to recruit as many soldiers at Naples as he pleased,
promising him two ships to embark with.  Caesar, deceived by these
appearances, stopped nearly six weeks at Naples, every day seeing the
Spanish governor and discussing his plans.  But Gonzalvo was only
waiting to gain time to tell the King of Spain that his enemy was in
his hands; and Caesar actually went to the castle to bid Gonzalvo
good-bye, thinking he was just about to start after he had embarked
his men on the two ships.  The Spanish governor received him with his
accustomed courtesy, wished him every kind of prosperity, and
embraced him as he left; but at the door of the castle Caesar found
one of Gonzalvo's captains, Nuno Campeja by name, who arrested him as
a prisoner of Ferdinand the Catholic.  Caesar at these words heaved a
deep sigh, cursing the ill luck that had made him trust the word of
an enemy when he had so often broken his own.

He was at once taken to the castle, where the prison gate closed
behind him, and he felt no hope that anyone would come to his aid;
for the only being who was devoted to him in this world was
Michelotto, and he had heard that Michelotto had been arrested near
Pisa by order of Julius II.  While Caesar was being taken to prison
an officer came to him to deprive him of the safe-conduct given him
by Gonzalvo.

The day after his arrest, which occurred on the 27th of May, 1504,
Caesar was taken on board a ship, which at once weighed anchor and
set sail for Spain: during the whole voyage he had but one page to
serve him, and as soon as he disembarked he was taken to the castle
of Medina del Campo.

Ten years later, Gonzalvo, who at that time was himself proscribed,
owned to Loxa on his dying bed that now, when he was to appear in the
presence of God, two things weighed cruelly on his conscience: one
was his treason to Ferdinand, the other his breach of faith towards


Caesar was in prison for two years, always hoping that Louis XII
would reclaim him as peer of the kingdom of France; but Louis, much
disturbed by the loss of the battle of Garigliano, which robbed him
of the kingdom of Naples, had enough to do with his own affairs
without busying himself with his cousin's.  So the prisoner was
beginning to despair, when one day as he broke his bread at breakfast
he found a file and a little bottle containing a narcotic, with a
letter from Michelotto, saying that he was out of prison and had left
Italy for Spain, and now lay in hiding with the Count of Benevento in
the neighbouring village: he added that from the next day forward he
and the count would wait every night on the road between the fortress
and the village with three excellent horses; it was now Caesar's part
to do the best he could with his bottle and file.  When the whole
world had abandoned the Duke of Romagna he had been remembered by a

The prison where he had been shut up for two years was so hateful to
Caesar that he lost not a single moment: the same day he attacked one
of the bars of a window that looked out upon an inner court, and soon
contrived so to manipulate it that it would need only a final push to
come out.  But not only was the window nearly seventy feet from the

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