But it was only the sacred majesty of the host that had protected this man, who was indeed from this moment regarded as a false prophet: the crowd allowed Savonarola to return to his convent, but they regretted the necessity, so excited were they by the Arrabbiati party, who had always denounced him as a liar and a hypocrite.
The conflicts which for a time turned Oxford into a kind of image of what Florence was in the days of Savonarola, with its nicknames, Puseyites, and Neomaniacs, and High and Dry, counterparts to the Piagnoni and Arrabbiati, of the older strife, began around a student of retired habits, interested more than was usual at Oxford in abstruse philosophy, and the last person who might be expected to be the occasion of great dissensions in the University.
Now Ser Ceccone had no positive knowledge that Tito had an underhand connection with the Arrabbiati and the Court of Milan, but he had a suspicion of which he chewed the cud with as strong a sense of flavour as if it had been a certainty. This fine-grown vigorous hatred could swallow the feeble opiate of Tito's favours, and be as lively as ever after it.
The Attitude of Savonarola toward the Renaissance His Parentage, Birth, and Childhood at Ferrara His Poem on the Ruin of the World Joins the Dominicans at Bologna Letter to his Father Poem on the Ruin of the Church Begins to preach in 1482 First Visit to Florence San Gemignano His Prophecy Brescia in 1486 Personal Appearance and Style of Oratory Effect on his audience The three Conclusions His Visions Savonarola's Shortcomings as a patriotic Statesman His sincere Belief in his prophetic Calling Friendship with Pico della Mirandola Settles in Florence, 1490 Convent of San Marco Savonarola's Relation to Lorenzo de' Medici The death of Lorenzo Sermons of 1493 and 1494 the Constitution of 1495 Theocracy in Florence Piagnoni, Bigi, and Arrabbiati War between Savonarola and Alexander VI. The Signory suspends him from preaching in the Duomo in 1498 Attempts to call a Council The Ordeal by Fire San Marco stormed by the Mob Trial and Execution of Savonarola.
And the faction against Savonarola, named the Arrabbiati, seemed positively to regard the distress with glee, for these fanatics went about crying aloud, "At last we can all perceive how we have been deceived! This is the happiness that the Friar predicted for Florence!" Moreover they proclaimed that now was the time to overthrow the Government.
No other words were spoken by the condemned men, for at this moment one of the Arrabbiati, a personal enemy of Savonarola, breaking through the hedge of guards around the scaffold, snatched the torch from the executioner's hand and himself set fire to the four corners of the pile.
The followers of the monk, by far the largest section of the people, received the name of Piagnoni or Frateschi. The friends of the Medici, few at first and cautious, were called Bigi. The opponents of Savonarola and of the Medici, who hated his theocracy, but desired to see an oligarchy and not a tyranny in Florence, were known as the Arrabbiati.
We are not strong enough to make head on our own behalf; and if the Frate and the popular party were upset, every one who hears me knows perfectly well what other party would be uppermost just now: Nerli, Alberti, Pazzi, and the rest Arrabbiati, as somebody christened them the other day who, instead of giving us an amnesty, would be inclined to fly at our throats like mad dogs, and not be satisfied till they had banished half of us."
In the face of all public and private corruptions, his soul is as Piagnone as Savonarola's, and the vices of Arrabbiati, small and great, are always his text, upon which he preaches virtue. Zola is to me so vast a theme that I can only hope here to touch his work at a point or two, leaving the proof of my sayings mostly to the honesty of the reader.
But now we must look out for some other man among us who will manage to get into the confidence of our sworn enemies, the Arrabbiati; we need to know their movements more than those of the Frate's party, who are strong enough to play above-board.