Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Flight of the Earls (Author: Tadhg Ó Cianáin)

section 123

On the twentieth of November there came to Rome from the Christian King of France, to offer his submission and humility to his Holiness the Pope, and to kiss his foot on his behalf, an ambassador extraordinary. The Duke de Nevers was his name. He was Duke of Retel, High Prince of Arques, Prince of Porsien, Marquis of l'Isle, Earl of Montserrat, and Governor and Lieutenant-General under the King in the province of Champagne and Brie. Carlo Gonzaga de Clèves was his baptismal name. The Duke entered Rome in great splendour and grandeur, by the gate of Sant' Angelo in particular, near and close to the church of Saint Peter. There were three score mules drawing their carriages at the head of the procession, wherein were his livery, his plate, and his valuables, and upon their heads were grand, variegated, particoloured embroidered clothing, with conspicuous, silken combs. After these there were twelve mules carrying beautiful, short, painted trunks, and on each mule there was a sheet of red velvet adorned with gold and silver thread, and the coat of arms of the Duke himself skilfully wrought on each sheet. On each mule there were very broad, strong blinkers1, and they were all made of pure bright, refined silver. The long hooks, and all the buckles and nails of their bridles and harness were likewise made of silver. There were tall plumes, with variety of all colours, standing on the heads of the mules. Long, stout reins of red silk, having large tassels at their ends, were attached to the bridle of each mule. A great guard of the Pope's cavalry came after these, having gone out from the city with the Pope's brother, John Baptist Borghese, to meet the Duke. The Cardinals'


own mules, to the number of about forty, with red footcloths, came after these, and on each of them rode a cardinal's servant. Next there were a trio of noblemen and a trio of trumpeters. After these came the footmen of the Duke himself in very grand livery, twenty in number, and riding on horses. After these were the Duke's pages, twelve in. number, and their dress was of yellow velvet. After these were the Romans, about two hundred great noblemen, riding on beautiful, mettlesome horses, and dressed in black. Next were the Frenchmen, eighty horsemen on beautiful, active, swift, well-equipped horses, with many golden chains about their necks. Forty barons and lords came next, two and two, and they were as stately as the Frenchmen, but their dress was of dark colour. After these there were four of the Pope's trumpeters, and four drummers belonging to the Romans. They wore red, glittering suits. After them were sixty men of the officers and servants of the Pope on horseback. They and their horses were dressed in red. After them was a large group of the nobles of the Romans. After these were four great noblemen of the chief country of the King of Spain, dressed in black. Next to them were twenty titled noblemen, and they were from France. Precious, grand, and valuable were their dress and their horses. After these came the Duke of Force, with a great group of horsemen, dukes and princes of Rome and of the rest of Italy. The Duke of Force came with the greatest splendour and grandeur in all the world. After these there came the Pope's brother, with the Pope's Swiss guard about him. In front of him on the road there were four horsemen in red suits with great maces of pure bright silver. Next came twelve lackeys of the Duke's party and six Swiss in suits of yellow. Following them were two coloured men, their garments made of red damask, with much wide, golden laces. Near them was a team of beautiful horses, with saddles of red velvet covered with embroidery in golden thread. The Duke himself came next,


riding on a beautiful, white, small, stout horse, a footcloth of Indian velvet, covered with golden laces, upon his saddle. The long, strong hooks of the bridle, its buckles, the stirrups of the saddle, and all its parts, were made entirely of red gold. About himself was a splendid, valuable garment, all embroidered with golden thread. There were many diamonds and precious stones united in the cord of his hat on his head, and his hand was continually in motion doffing his hat while saluting and bowing to those who saw and welcomed him. The Patriarch of Jerusalem was on his right hand, the Archbishop of Volterra on his left. After them was Monsignor de Brèves, the ambassador in ordinary of the King of France in the city, with a noble archbishop on either side of him. After these were fifty bishops and grand prelates of the Church, each riding on a beautiful mule, with the most excellent saddles and footcloths.