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Anthonio d'Anula, ambassador of Venice with the Emperor; who told me, that the great Turk himself (religion excepted) is a good and merciful, just and liberal prince, wise in making and true in performing any covenant, and as sore a revenger of truth not kept. He prayed God to keep him long alive ; for his eldest son Mustapha is clean contrary, given to all mischief, cruel, false, getting he careth not how unjustly, and spending he careth not how unthriftily, whatsoever he hand on; wily in making for his purpose, and ready to break for his profit, all covenants; he is weary of quietness and peace, a seeker of strife and war, a great mocker of mean men, a sore oppressor of poor men, openly contemning God, and a bent enemy against Christ's name and Christian
But to go forward with my purpose. The Turk being once disclosed an open enemy to the Emperor, many mean men began to be the bolder to put out their heads to seek some open remedy for their private injuries; France being at every man's elbow to hearten and to help whosoever had cause to be aggrieved with the Emperor.' And first, Octavio duke of Parma, much aggrieved, as nature well required, with his father's death, and, besides that, fearing the loss not only of his state but also of his life, fell from the Emperor in the end of the year 1550.
Pietro Ludovico Farnesio, (son to Pope Paul the Third) duke of Placentia, father to this Octavio duke of Parma, which married the Emperor's base daughter, and to Horatio duke of Castro, who of late had married also the French king's base daughter, and the two cardinals Alexandro and Ramu. sio Farnese, was slain, men say, by the means of Ferranto Gonzaga governor of Milan, by whose death the state of Placentia, belonging then to the house of Farnese, came into the Emperor's hands. The whole process of this man's death is at length set out in the stories of Italy; my purpose is only to touch it, because hereby_rose such a heat betwixt the whole family of Farnese and Don Ferranto Gonzaga, as hath stirred up such a smoke in Italy betwixt the Emperor and France, as is not like to be quenched but with many a poor man's blood, as Horace noteth wittily out of Homer, saying:
" What follies so ever great princes make,
Che people therefore go to wrake."
Octavio being sorest grieved with his father's death, and being best able to revenge it, was so feared of Gonzaga, that he thought himself never assured for Pietro Ludovico's death, as long as Octavio his son should live: for men never love when they have just cause to fear, but must needs still mistrust without all hope of reconciling whom they have before hurt beyond all remedy of amends. And yet I heard a gentleman of Milan say (who was sent hither to the Emperor by Gonzaga), that Octavio is such a prince for good nature and gentle behaviour, that he supposed there was not one in Italy but did love him, except it were his master Gonzaga. These two princes being neighbours, the one at Milan, the other at Parma, shewed small friendship the one to the other. But Octavio was evermore wrong to the worse by many and sundry spites, but chiefly with daily fear of his life by poisoning: for the which fact certain persons in Parma were taken and laid fast. Nevertheless, Octavio's nature is so far from seeking blood and revenge, and so given to pity and gentleness, that although they went about not only to give away his state by treason, but also to take away his life by poisoning, yea, and after that the deed was proved plainly on them, and sentence of death pronounced openly against them, yet he gave them life and liberty which would have taken both from him.
And when Monsieur de Thermes earnestly told him that where the evil were not kept in with fear of justice, the good should never live in surety and quietness: his answer was, that he so abhorred the shedding of blood in others, as he would never wash his hands in any, let his enemies do to him the worst they could. Adding, that he thought it his most honour to be unlikest such for his gentleness, which were misliked of all men for their cruelty : whereby he hath won that he which of good nature can hurt none, is now of right loved of all, and only hated of him whom no man in Italy for his cruelty doth love. And this talk is so true, that it was told in another language, but in the self same terms, at an honourable table here in Brussels, by a gentleman of Milan an agent in the court, a doer for Gonzaga, who the same time was prisoner in Parma.
And although Octavio by good nature was harmless in not seeking revenge, yet he was not careless by good reason in seeking his remedy; but made oft and great complaints of his griefs to the Emperor, which were so hotly made, but
they were as coldly heard ; that at length Octavio finding least comfort where of right he looked for most aid, and seeing that displeasures could not be ended in Gonzaga, nor could not be amended by the Emperor; then he, compelled against his nature, turned his hate due to Gonzaga to revenge this undeserved unkindness in the Emperor, even as Pausanias did with Philip king of Macedonia, who, conquering with policy and power all outward enemies, was slain when and where he thought himself most sure of his dearest friend, for unkindness, because Philip ought and would not revenge Pausanias on him that had done him a foul displeasure.
Octavio seeing what was done to his father, even when his grandfather was Pope, thought, that now as his house decayed, so his jeopardy increased : and therefore against a desperate evil began to seek for a desperate remedy, which was fetched from Rome, a shop always open to any mischief, as you shall perceive in these few leaves if you mark them well.
Octavio complained to Pope Julius the third of the wrongs of Gonzaga and of the unkindness of the Emperor, desiring that by his wisdom and authority he would now succour him, or else not only he should lose his life, but also the Church of Rome should lose her right in Parma, as she had done before in Placentia. The Pope gave good ear to this talk, for he spied that hereby should be offered unto him a fit occasion to set the Emperor and France together by the ears. He thought the Emperor was too big in Italy, having on the one side of Rome, Naples under his obedience; on the other side, Siena, Florence, and Genoa at his commandment, besides Placentia, Milan, Monteferrato, and a great part of Pied
The Emperor being thus strong in Italy, the Pope thought his own state to be his so long as it pleased the Emperor to let him have it; and therefore if Parma were not left an entry for France to come into Italy, he might over soon be shut up in present misery, when all outward aid should be shut out from him.
The Pope's counsel was, that Octavio should put himself under the French king's protection, who he knew would most willingly receive him; Parma lying so fit for the French king, whensoever he would set upon the enterprise of Milan. This practice of the Pope, Monsieur de Thermes the French king's ambassador did utter before the consistory of cardinals
at Rome; proving that the Pope, not the King his master, was the occasion of that war.
When Octavio with the whole house of Farnese became thus French, the Emperor, more fearing the state of Milan than lamenting the loss of Octavio, persuaded on his side the Pope to require Parma as the Church's right, and to punish Octavio as the Church's rebel, promising that he himself, as an obedient son of the Church, would stretch out his arm and open his purse in that recovery of the Church's rights : nevertheless the Pope must bear the name of the war, because he might not break peace with France. Thus princes openly countenancing quietness, and privily brewing debate, although they got others to broach it, yet God commonly suffereth themselves to drink most of the misery thereof in the end. The Pope, seeing that he must either begin the mischief or else it would not on so fast as he wished to have it, set lustily upon it; and first cited Octavio, after excommunicated him, and shortly after besieged Parma, aided both with men and money by the Emperor; which thing the French king began to stomach, thinking that the Emperor did offer him both wrong and dishonour, in not suffering him, being a king, to help a poor man that fled to his aid. And thus these two princes, first helping others, began by little and little to fall out themselves. And that the Pope did set these two princes together, a pasquil made at Rome and sent to this court doth well declare. And seeing that you so well understand the Italian tongue, and that if it were turned into English it would lose the whole grace thereof, I will recite it in the tongue that it was made in.
Interlocutori PASQUILLO et ROMANO.
Pasq. Hanno bel gioco il Re e l'Imperatore,
Il Re dice, no, no, Scoprite presto,
Tutti stanno a vedetta.
Lo Imperatore ancora
Metti questi in disparte.
Nè giova al nostro dir, questo sarà, questo è. The French king in the summer, 1551, proclaimed war against Charles king of Spain, abusing that name for a subtlety to separate the whole quarrel from the Empire: when the Emperor would not be persuaded at Augsburg that either the Turk would, or the French king durst, make him open war, or that any prince in Italy or Germany could be enticed to break out with him.
Monsieur Mariliac, the French ambassador at Augsburg, even bare the Emperor in hand that such rumours of war were raised of displeasure, and that his master intended nothing so much as the continuance of amity; yea this he durst do, when many in the Emperor's court knew that the war was already proclaimed in France.
The Emperor, blinded with the over good opinion of his own wisdom, liking only what he himself listed, and contemning easily all advice of others (which self-will condition doth commonly follow, and as commonly doth hurt all great wits), did not only at this time suffer himself thus to be abused; but also afterward more craftily by the Pope for the continuance of war at Parma, and more boldly by Duke Maurice for his repair to Inspruck, and not the least of all, now lately at Metz by some of his own counsellors for the recovery of that town. But princes and great personages which will hear but what and whom they list, at the length fail when they would not, and commonly blame whom they should not: but it is well done, that as great men may by au. thority contemn the good advice of others, so God doth provide by right judgement that they have leave in the end to ear both the loss and shame thereof themselves.