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AMADEUS IX., count of Savoy, was surnamed the "Happy," on account of his virtue and piety, his readiness to forgive those who offended, his love of justice, and his study to promote the welfare of his subjects. He succeeded Lewis in 1464, and though his bodily infirmities prevented his engaging in any great exploits, he acquired and maintained a very exemplary character. He was eminently distinguished by the benevolence of his disposition. Being once asked by a courtier, whether he kept hounds? he pointed to a great number of poor people, who were seated at tables, eating and drinking, and replied, "Those are my hounds, with whom I go in chace of heaven!" When he was told that his alms would exhaust his revenues; "Take the collar of my order," he said, " sell it and relieve my people." He married Tolando of France, who concurred with him in all his good deeds. His death, in 1472, at the age of 37, and after a reign of seven years, was universally regretted.
ST. NICHOLAS DE FLUE, a very distinguished patriot of Switzerland, was born at Saxelen in 1417. Descended from an ancient family, he signalized himself in defence of his country, and particularly during the war which the Swiss supported against Sigismund archduke of Austria. He was no less remarkable for humanity and valour. To his countrymen, when they were preparing to pillage and burn the convent of St. Margaret, near Diessenhosen, he exclaimed, "If God grant you victory over your enemies, use it with moderation, and spare those edifices which are consecrated to him." This remonstrance was effectual, and preserved the convent from destruction. To the most excellent qualities of the heart and understanding, to great political sagacity, he added the exterior graces of figure, dignity of character, and the most winning affability. Raised by his countrymen to high employments in the state, he repeatedly declined the office of landamman from motives of delicacy, because he disapproved the principles of the governing party. At length, hurried away by his detestation of evil, and a zeal for monkish devotion, he quitted his family in the 50th year of his age, and retiring from the world in a fit of gloomy superstition, turned hermit. The place of his retreat was Ranft, a few miles from Saxelen, where he built an hermitage, and a small chapel, and practised all the severities required by that austere mode of life with the strictest observance. But though he withdrew from the world, the flame of patriotism was not extinct, but he was the happy instrument of rescuing Switzerland from the impending horrors of civil discord. When a quarrel took place among the cantons, and the deputies assembled, in 1481, at Stantz, in order to compromise the difference, De Flue quitted his hermitage, and in the 64th year of his age, travelled during the night, and arrived at Stantz on the very morning when the deputies, having failed to terminate their dispute amicably, were preparing for their departure. He conjured them to remain; and, having by his mediation succeeded in composing the public dissensions, returned to his hermitage, where he died, in 1487, in the 70th year of his age, regretted and esteemed by all Switzerland. Such a general opinion of his extreme piety prevailed among his contemporaries, that the bigotry of those times ascribed to him an exemption from the common wants of human nature. The following epitaph was inscribed on hjs tomb : " Nicholas de Flue quitted his wife and children to go into the desert; he served God nineteen years and a half without taking any sustenance. He died in 1487,"
BARTHOLOMEW COLLEONE, an Italian adventurer, was born of a noble family at Bergamo, in 1400. When young in years he escaped, by the contrivance of his mother, from the castle of Trezzo, where their cousins had confined them, who aimed at being sole lords of their seigniory, and who had murdered Bartholomew's father and uncle. He took refuge with the lord of Crema; and as the youth grew up, he became page to Arcello the tyrant, or lord, of Placentia, who instructed him in military tactics. He was distinguished as well for courage as for bodily strength and agility. When in complete armour, he could outrun the lightest footmen; and without arms he could overtake a horseman on the gallop. He preserved this extraordinary vigour to a great age. He first served under Braccio de Montone, and then entered into the service of Joan, queen of Naples, and that queen was greatly indebted to his valour for the recovery of her dominions. He commanded the Venetians in the war with Philip Visconti, duke of Milan. He rendered several important services to the republic, particularly in destroying the army of Nicholas Pier cinino, which he effected by conveying a fleet into the lake of Garda, across the mountain of Torboli. On the concluding of peace, he was nobly recompensed, but quarrelling with the Venetian proveditor, he went over, in 1445, with a body of 1500 horse, to the party of Philip Visconti, and after his death continued to serve Francis Sforza, for whom he gained th§
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battle of Frascata, over the French. He again entered into the Venetian service, and again, upon a dispute, left it, and engaged with Sforza, now become their bitter enemy, and victory seemed to change sides as he did. The Venetians, at length, determined durably to fix him; and they made him generalissimo. During nearly twenty years, in which he held this high office, he was the terror of all the enemies of the Venetians. Many sovereigns and states made him the most magnificent offers to draw him over to their service, but in vain; the Venetians found means to secure his attachment by liberal emoluments, and every mark of esteem and confidence. Such was his reputation, that he was appointed commander-in-chief of a holy league against the Turks, for which Paul II. published a bull in 1468, but which was rendered abortive by the death of that pontiff*. Colleone principally resided at the castle of Malpaga, in the territory of Bergamo, and no prince or person of eminence, who travelled in that part of the country, neglected to pay him a visit. He was a patron of literature, and loved to entertain men of learning, to whose disputes he listened with pleasure. He amassed vast wealth, the greatest part of which he left to public purposes, having no direct heirs, and being dissatisfied with his collateral relations. He died in 1475, at his castle of Malpaga; and the Venetians honoured his memory with an equestrian statue of gilt bronze, of excellent workmanship, erected in the square of St; John and St. Paul, and bearing this inscription: " Bartholomeo Coleono Bergomensi, ob militare imperium optime gestum. Senatus consultus Joanne Mauro et Marino Venerio curatoribus, A. S. 1495." It is said that Coheone left as his dying advice to the Venetians, that they should never entrust so much power to another general, which they carefully observed. After his death 4000 of his soldiers refused to obey any other com mander, and served for fifteen years without a leader, practising the discipline he taught them.
RENATUS ACCIAIOLI, descended from a noble family of Florence, atchieved the conquest of Athens, Corinth, and a part of Boeotia. Having no male issue by Eubois, his wife, he bequeathed Athens to the Venetians, Corinth to Theodosius Palasologus, who had married his eldest daughter, and he gave Boeotia to Anthony, his natural son, who also made himself master of Athens; but it was taken from his successors in 1455, by Mahomet II.
FRANCIS SFORZA, the son of James Sforza, by Lucia, Trezana, was born in 1401, and trained up by his father to the profession of arms. At the age of twenty-three he defeated the troops of Braccio, who disputed with him the passage of the Aterno. In this action his father was drowned, and Francis, though illegitimate, succeeded him. He fought successfully against the Spaniards, and contributed a great deal both towards raising the siege of Naples, and to the victory which was gained over the troops of Braccio near Aquila, in 1425, where that general was killed. After the death of queen Joan, in 1435, he espoused the interests of the duke of Anjou, to whom she had left her crown, and by his courage and abilities ably supported that unfortunate prince. He made himself master of several places in Ancona, from which he was driven by pope Eugenius IV., who defeated and excommunicated him; but he soon re-established his affairs by a victory. His reputation was now so great, that the pope, the Venetians, and the Florentines, chose him for their general against the duke of Milan. Sforza had already conducted Venetian armies against that prince, though he had espoused his daughter. The duke dying in 1447, the inhabitants of Milan invited Sforza, his son-in-law, to lead them against that duke. But, after some exertions in their favour, he turned his arms against themselves, laid siege to Milan, and obliged them to receive him as duke, notwithstanding the rights of Charles, duke of Orleans, the son of Valentine Milan. In 1464, Lewis XI., who hated Orleans, gave up to Sforza the rights which the crown of France had over Genoa, and even put into his hands Savona, a town belonging to that republic. The duke of Milan soon after made himself master of Genoa. He died in 1466, with the reputation of a man who was willing to sell his blood to the best purchaser, and who was not too scrupulous an observer of his word. His second wife was Blanche Maria, natural daughter of Philip Marie, duke of Milan. She bore him Galeas Marie, and Ludovic Marie, dukes of Milan; Philip Marie, count of Pavia, Sforza Marie, duke of Bari, Ascanius Marie, bishop of Pavia and Cremona, and a cardinal. He was taken prisoner by the troops of Lewis XII., and confined for some time in the tower of Bourges. He was a cunning man, and deceived cardinal d'Amboise when that prelate aspired at the papacy. His daughters were Hippolyta, married to Alphonso, king of Arragon, afterwards king of Naples, and Elizabeth, married to William, marquis of Montferrat. He had also several natural children. GALEAS MARIE SFORZA, son of Francis, succeeded his father as duke of Milan; but his debaucheries caused the people to revolt, and he was assassinated ten years after, in 1476. His son, John Galeas Marie, was for a little time under the guardianship of his mother, but the government was seized } his uncle, Ludovic Marie, a monster of iniquity; who, by ow poison, cut him off in 1494. ISABELLA of ARRAGON, daughter of Alphonso, duke of Calabria, the son of Ferdinand, king of Naples. In 1489 she was married to John Galeazzo Sforza, then but young,
under the guardianship of his uncle, Lewis Sforza, who on seeing Isabella conceived a passion for her. The lovers having been married only by proxy, Lewis contrived to keep them asunder, and declared his passion to Isabella, but was repulsed by her, and she exhorted her husband to shake off his uncle's yoke. Lewis's love turned into hatred, and he married Alphonsina, daughter to the duke of Ferrara, a woman of an ambitious and intriguing spirit, and by their contrivance John Galeazzo was poisoned. Lewis then assumed the sovereign power, and Isabella fled for refuge to Naples, which was soon after taken by the French, and she had to lament the loss of all her family. She then retired to a small town in the kingdom of Naples, which had been assigned her for a dower, and died in 1524. She left a daughter, who married Sigismund, king of Poland.
CATHERINE SFORZA, natural daughter of Galeas Marie, was a celebrated heroine. She married Riario, prince of Forli, who was assassinated by Francis Ursus, who had revolted against her husband. Falling with her children into the hands of the enemy, she escaped to Rimini, still attached to her person, and defended it with such bravery against her enemies, who threatened to put to death her children if she did not surrender, that at last she restored herself to sovereign power. She afterwards married John de Medicis, and again in 1500, defended Forli against the duke of Valentinois. When obliged to surrender, she was confined in the castle of St. Angelo, but soon after was liberated. She died soon after.
_ FRANCIS MINUTOLI, nephew to the bishop, did such signal services to the republic of Pisa, that he was admitted into the number of its noble families in the year 1496.
BONA, an Italian peasant, in the Valteline. While this young woman was tending her sheep, she was met by Peter Brunora, a Parmesan officer of note, who, remarking her vivacity and noble mien, took her with him as his mistress. He delighted to be accompanied by her to the chase, and all manly diversions. She went with him to serve the great Sforza against Alphonso, king of Naples, his first master. He afterwards entered again into the service of the latter; but, being one of those roving spirits by which the age of chivalry is characterized, he sought again to return to Sforza, was discovered in the attempt, and sent to prison. Resolute to deliver him, Bona engaged the princes of Italy, the king of France, the duke of Burgundy, and the Venetians, to give her letters to Alphonso, soliciting his freedom. At such solicitations he was obliged to grant him his liberty, which he not only obtained through the means of Bona, but the command of the Venetian troops, with 20,000 ducats.
Considering the obligations she had conferred upon him,