The conspirators' designs had already been fully disclosed to Piero; besides this, Domenico Martelli had informed him, that Francesco Neroni, the brother of Diotisalvi, had endeavored to induce him to join them, assuring him the victory was certain, and their object all but attained.
But to return to Luca; he was buried, with the rest of his family, in their ancestral tomb in S. Piero Maggiore, and in the same tomb there was afterwards buried Andrea, who left two sons, friars in S. Marco, where they received the habit from the Reverend Fra Girolamo Savonarola, to whom that Della Robbia family was ever devoted, portraying him in that manner which is still seen to-day in the medals.
Michelangelo immediately gave him such a thorough scolding that Cardiere plucked up courage, and set forth on foot for Careggi, a Medicean villa some three miles distant from the city. He had traveled about halfway, when he met Piero, who was riding home; so he stopped the cavalcade, and related all that he had seen and heard.
The other ambassadors watched the scene with curious eyes, but the first impression which Louis of Orleans made upon them was distinctly unfavourable. "He has a small head with not much room for brains," wrote Pietro Alamanni to Piero de' Medici; "Lodovico will soon get the better of him."
"It is well," said Piero, with a shrug, and they turned away from each other. "A mysterious old tiger!" thought the artist, "well worth painting. Ugly with deep lines looking as if the plough and the harrow had gone over his heart. A fine contrast to my bland and smiling Messer Greco my Bacco trionfante, who has married the fair Antigone in contradiction to all history and fitness.
Cosimo had shown consummate skill by governing Florence through a party created and raised to influence by himself. The jealousy of these adherents formed the chief difficulty with which his son Piero had to contend. Unless the Medici could manage to kick down the ladder whereby they had risen, they ran the risk of losing all.
On the 20th of January 1494 there was a heavy fall of snow in Florence, and Piero sent for the young sculptor to model a colossal snow-man in the courtyard of his palace.
He was a child, and the children of Prato understood him the Medici too; for when the work in Prato was finished, Piero de' Medici roused himself to find him work, again in a church, the Duomo of Spoleto, where he has painted very sweetly the Annunciation, the Adoration of the Shepherds, the Coronation of the Virgin.
It is true, works of art are not many there; but the statue of Grand Duke Ferdinand, with four Moors in bronze chained to his feet, a work of Piero Jacopo Tacca, made in 1617-1625, is something; though I confess those chained robbers at the feet of a petty tyrant who was as great a robber, he and his forebears, as any among them, are in this age of sentimental liberalism, from which who can escape, a little disconcerting.
Piero Fregoso was then doge of Genoa, and doubting his ability to sustain the attack of the king, he determined to give what he could not hold, to some one who might defend it against his enemies, in hope, that at a future period, he should obtain a return for the benefit conferred. He therefore sent ambassadors to Charles VII. of France, and offered him the government of Genoa.