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spending half a million, he layeth up yearly one million. But certainly he is the richest prince in all Europe of coin. The form of his government is absolute, depending only of his will and pleasure, though retaining in many things the ancient officers and shew. But those magistrates resolve nothing without his express directions and pleasure. Privy council he useth none, but reposeth much his trust on sound secretaries, and conferreth chiefly with his wife, as his father did with one of his secretaries. For matter of examinations, one Corbolo hath the especial trust; he doth favour the people more than the nobility, because they do bear an old grudge to the gentlemen, and the people are the more in number, withoưt whom the nobility can do nothing. One thing in him giveth great contentment to the subjects, that he vouchsafeth to receive and hear all their petitions himself. And in his absence from Florence, those that have suit do resort to the office, and there exhibit their bill endorsed; whereof within three days absolute answer is returned them, unless the matter be of great importance, then have they direction how to proceed. He is a great justicer; and for the ease of the people, and to have the better eye over justice, hath built hard by his palace a fair row of houses for all offices together in one place.
Two years sithence he married la Signora Bianca his concubine, a Venetian of Casa Capelli, whereby he entered straiter amity with the Venetians : with the pope he had good intelligence, and some affinity by the marriage of Signor Jacomo, the pope's son, in Casa Sforza.
To the emperor he is allied, his first wife being the Emperor Maximilian's sister.
With Spain he is in strait league, and his mother was of the house of Toledo ; his brother likewise, D. Pietro, married in the same house. With France he standeth at this present in some misliking.
With Ferrara always atjar, as with all the Dukes of Italy for the preseance in some controversy.
All his revenues arise of taxes and customs : his domains are very small.
He hath by his first wife one son, of the age of four or five years, and four daughters; he hath a base child by this woman, and a base brother, D. Joanni, sixteen years of age, of great expectation.
Two brothers, D. Pietro, and the cardinal.
The Duke of Ferrara, Alfonso d'Este, the fifth duke, now about forty years of age; his first wife Lucretia, daughter to Cosmo de Medici, whom they say he poisoned ; his second, daughter to Ferdinand the emperor ? his third wife now living, Anne daughter to the Duke of Mantua. He hath no child. The chief cities of his state are Ferrara, Modena, and Reggio: he is rich in money, growing, as the most of Italy, of exactions; of all the princes of Italy alone inclineth to the French; with the pope hath some jar about the passage of a river. The Vene
. tians and he fall in great hatred ; with Florence hath enmity; with Lucca little skirmishes every year for a castle he buildeth on their confines, to raise a
great toll in a strait passage, by reason of his mother a Guise.
William, of the house of Gonsaga, the third Duke of Mantua; his wife Barbara, daughter to the Emperor Ferdinand, by whom he hath a son of twenty
age, and a daughter. His son is called Vincentio, his daughter Anne married of late to the Duke of Ferrara ; his son likewise married a year sithence to the Prince of Parma's daughter. The duke his self very deformed and crook-backed, well in years, Montferrat likewise appertaineth to him. Divers of his house have pension always, and serve the King of Spain ; his brother, the Duke of Nevers, remaineth in France. He only seeketh to maintain his estate and enrich himself; his greatest pleasure is in horses and building.
The Duke of Urbin, Francesco Maria, of the house of Roveré, the second of that name, a prince of good behaviour and witty. In his state are seven reasonable fair cities ; Pesaro, Augubio, Sinigaglia, Fossombrone, Sanleo, Cagli, Urbino ; Pesaro and Sinigaglia are fortresses on the sea-side, Urbin and Sanleo on the Apennine, well fortified. He holdeth three provinces, Montefeltro, Massa Trebaria, and Vicariato di Mondavio.
There have been good princes and valiant of that house, not so great exactors as the rest of Italy therefore better beloved of their subjects, which love restored their house, being displaced by Pope Leo X.
His wife Leonora, sister to the Duke of Ferrara, by whom he hath no children, and now is divorced. He hath two sisters, the one married to the Duke of
Gravina, the other to the Prince Bisignano, and a third is to marry, whose name is Lavinia.
Ottaviano, first Duke of Castro, then of Camerino, and after of Parma and Piacenza, with great trouble restored to his estate; now is aged and liveth quietly : his wife Marguerite, daughter to Charles the Fifth, first wife to Alexander de Medici, first Duke of Florence. He hath one son called Alexander, now general for the King of Spain in the Low Countries; his daughter Vittoria was mother to the Duke of Urbin.
The Cardinal Farnese, his uncle, of great credit in that college, long time hath aspired to be pope, but withstood by the King of Spain; on whom though now that house depend, yet forgetteth not, as he thinketh, the death of Pier Luigi, and the loss of Parma and Piacenza, restored to their house by the French.
The young princes of Mirandola, in the government of their mother Fulvia Correggio, and under the protection of the King of France, who maintaineth there a garrison.
The Duke of Savoy, Carlo Emanuel, a young prince of twenty-one years, very little of stature, but well brought up and disposed. His territory is the greatest of any Duke of Italy, having Piemont beyond the Alps, and Savoy on this side; divers fair towns and strongholds, richly left of his father, who was accounted a very wise prince. This duke, as is thought, is advised to remain always indifferent between Spain and France, being neighbour to them both, unless some accident do counsel him to declare himself in behalf of either. Therefore both those princes go about by marriage to have him nearer allied to them. His mother was sister to King Francis the Great; his father being expulsed his dominions by the French, was restored by the King of Spain, with whom while he lived he had strait intelligence. As yet his inclination doth not appear, he retaineth his father's alliances with Venice, especially in Italy, and with the emperor. With Florence he hath question for pre-eminence.
* His revenues are judged to a million of crowns yearly; now he is in arms against Geneva, and guarded against Bern.
Of free estates, Lucca the least, is under the protection of the King of Spain : small in territory : the city itself well fortified and provided, because of the doubt they have of the Duke of Florence.
Genoa is recommended to the King of Spain, their galleys serve under him, and the chiefest of their city are at his devotion. Though there is a faction for the French, whereto he doth hearken so weakly, that the Spaniard is there all in all ; by whom that state in few years hath made a marvellous gain. And the King of Spain hath great need of their friendship for their ports, where embark and land all men, and whatsoever is sent between Spain and Milan.
They hold Corsica an island, and Savona a fair