List Of Contents | Contents of The Borgias, by Alexandre Dumas, Pere
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the Orsini and Vitelli their ancient engagements in the way of
military service and an the same conditions.

"His Excellency promises further not to insist on the service in
person of more than one of them, as they may choose: the service that
the others may render shall be voluntary.

"He also promises that the second treaty shall be ratified by the
sovereign pontiff, who shall not compel Cardinal Orsino to reside in
Rome longer than shall seem convenient to this prelate.

"Furthermore, since there are certain differences between the Pope
and the lord Gian Bentivoglio, the confederates aforesaid agree that
they shall be put to the arbitration of Cardinal Orsino, of His
Excellency the Duke of Romagna, and of the lord Pandolfo Petrucci,
without appeal.

"Thus the confederates engage, each and all, so soon as they may be
required by the Duke of Romagna, to put into his hands as a hostage
one of the legitimate sons of each of them, in that place and at that
time which he may be pleased to indicate.

"The same confederates promising moreover, all and each, that if any
project directed against any one of them come to their knowledge, to
give warning thereof, and all to prevent such project reciprocally.

"It is agreed, over and above, between the Duke of Romagna and the
confederates aforesaid, to regard as a common enemy any who shall
fail to keep the present stipulations, and to unite in the
destruction of any States not conforming thereto.

                         "(Signed) CAESAR, PAOLO ORSINO.
                                   "AGAPIT, Secretary."

At the same time, while Orsino was carrying to the confederates the
treaty drawn up between him and the duke, Bentivoglio, not willing to
submit to the arbitration indicated, made an offer to Caesar of
settling their differences by a private treaty, and sent his son to
arrange the conditions: after some parleying, they were settled as

Bentivaglio should separate his fortunes from the Vitelli and Orsini;

He should furnish the Duke of Valentinois with a hundred men-at-arms
and a hundred mounted archers for eight years;

He should pay 12,000 ducats per annum to Caesar, for the support of a
hundred lances;

In return for this, his son Hannibal was to marry the sister of the
Archbishop of Enna, who was Caesar's niece, and the pope was to
recognise his sovereignty in Bologna;

The King of France, the Duke of Ferrara, and the republic of Florence
were to be the guarantors of this treaty.

But the convention brought to the confederates by Orsino was the
cause of great difficulties on their part.  Vitellozza Vitelli in
particular, who knew Caesar the best, never ceased to tell the other
condottieri that so prompt and easy a peace must needs be the cover
to some trap; but since Caesar had meanwhile collected a considerable
army at Imala, and the four hundred lances lent him by Louis XII had
arrived at last, Vitellozzo and Oliverotto decided to sign the treaty
that Orsino brought, and to let the Duke of Urbino and the lord of
Camerino know of it; they, seeing plainly that it was henceforth
impassible to make a defence unaided, had retired, the one to Citta
di Castello and the other into the kingdom of Naples.

But Caesar, saying nothing of his intentions, started on the 10th of
December, and made his way to Cesena with a powerful army once more
under his command.  Fear began to spread on all sides, not only in
Romagna but in the whole of Northern Italy; Florence, seeing him move
away from her, only thought it a blind to conceal his intentions;
while Venice, seeing him approach her frontiers, despatched all her
troops to the banks of the Po.  Caesar perceived their fear, and lest
harm should be done to himself by the mistrust it might inspire, he
sent away all French troops in his service as soon as he reached
Cesena, except a hundred men with M. de Candale, his brother-in-law;
it was then seen that he only had 2000 cavalry and 2000 infantry with
him.  Several days were spent in parleying, for at Cesena Caesar
found the envoys of the Vitelli and Orsini, who themselves were with
their army in the duchy of Urbino; but after the preliminary
discussions as to the right course to follow in carrying on the plan
of conquest, there arose such difficulties between the general-in-
chief and these agents, that they could not but see the impossibility
of getting anything settled by intermediaries, and the urgent
necessity of a conference between Caesar and one of the chiefs.  So
Oliverotto ran the risk of joining the duke in order to make
proposals to him, either to march an Tuscany or to take Sinigaglia,
which was the only place in the duchy of Urbino that had not again
fallen into Caesar's power.  Caesar's reply was that he did not
desire to war upon Tuscany, because the Tuscans were his friends; but
that he approved of the lieutenants' plan with regard to Sinigaglia,
and therefore was marching towards Fano.

But the daughter of Frederic, the former Duke of Urbino, who held the
town of Sinigaglia, and who was called the lady-prefect, because she
had married Gian delta Rovere, whom his uncle, Sixtus IV, had made
prefect of Rome, judging that it would be impossible to defend
herself against the forces the Duke of Valentinais was bringing, left
the citadel in the hands of a captain, recommending him to get the
best terms he could for the town, and took boat for Venice.

Caesar learned this news at Rimini, through a messenger from Vitelli
and the Orsini, who said that the governor of the citadel, though
refusing to yield to them, was quite ready to make terms with him,
and consequently they would engage to go to the town and finish the
business there.  Caesar's reply was that in consequence of this
information he was sending some of his troops to Cesena and Imola,
for they would be useless to him, as he should now have theirs, which
together with the escort he retained would be sufficient, since his
only object was the complete pacification of the duchy of Urbino.  He
added that this pacification would not be possible if his old friends
continued to distrust him, and to discuss through intermediaries
alone plans in which their own fortunes were interested as well as
his.  The messenger returned with this answer, and the confederates,
though feeling, it is true, the justice of Caesar's remarks, none the
less hesitated to comply with his demand.  Vitellozzo Vitelli in
particular showed a want of confidence in him which nothing seemed
able to subdue; but, pressed by Oliverotto, Gravina, and Orsino, he
consented at last to await the duke's coming; making concession
rather because he could not bear to appear more timid than his
companions, than because of any confidence he felt in the return of
friendship that Borgia was displaying.

The duke learned the news of this decision, so much desired, when he
arrived at Fano on the 20th of December 1502.  At once he summoned
eight of his most faithful friends, among whom were d'Enna, his
nephew, Michelotto, and Ugo di Cardona, and ordered them, as soon as
they arrived at Sinigaglia, and had seen Vitellozzo, Gravina,
Oliveratta, and Orsino come out to meet them, on a pretext of doing
them honour, to place themselves on the right and left hand of the
four generals, two beside each, so that at a given signal they might
either stab or arrest them; next he assigned to each of them his
particular man, bidding them not quit his side until he had reentered
Sinigaglia and arrived at the quarters prepared far him; then he sent
orders to such of the soldiers as were in cantonments in the
neighbourhood to assemble to the number of 8000 on the banks of the
Metaurus, a little river of Umbria which runs into the Adriatic and
has been made famous by the defeat of Hannibal.

The duke arrived at the rendezvous given to his army on the 31st of
December, and instantly sent out in front two hundred horse, and
immediately behind them his infantry; following close in the midst of
his men-at-arms, following the coast of the Adriatic, with the
mountains on his right and the sea on his left, which in part of the
way left only space for the army to march ten abreast.

After four hours' march, the duke at a turn of the path perceived
Sinigaglia, nearly a mile distant from the sea, and a bowshot from
the mountains; between the army and the town ran a little river,
whose banks he had to follow far some distance.  At last he found a
bridge opposite a suburb of the town, and here Caesar ordered his
cavalry to stop: it was drawn up in two lines, one between the road
and the river, the other on the side of the country, leaving the
whole width of the road to the infantry: which latter defiled,
crossed the bridge, and entering the town, drew themselves up in
battle array in the great square.

On their side, Vitellazzo, Gravina, Orsino, and Oliverotto, to make
room for the duke's army, had quartered their soldiers in little
towns or villages in the neighbourhood of Sinigaglia; Oliverotto
alone had kept nearly 1000 infantry and 150 horse, who were in
barracks in the suburb through which the duke entered.

Caesar had made only a few steps towards the town when he perceived
Vitellozzo at the gate, with the Duke of Gravina and Orsina, who all
came out to meet him; the last two quite gay and confident, but the
first so gloomy and dejected that you would have thought he foresaw
the fate that was in store for him; and doubtless he had not been
without same presentiments; for when he left his army to came to
Sinigaglia, he had bidden them farewell as though never to meet
again, had commended the care of his family to the captains, and
embraced his children with tears--a weakness which appeared strange
to all who knew him as a brave condottiere.

The duke marched up to them holding out his hand, as a sign that all
was over and forgotten, and did it with an air at once so loyal and
so smiling that Gravina and Orsina could no longer doubt the genuine
return of his friendship, and it was only Vitellozza still appeared
sad.  At the same moment, exactly as they had been commanded, the

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