Micco_Spadaro_-_Punizione_dei_ladri_al_tempo_di_MasanielloMicco Spadaro, Punizione dei ladri al tempo di Masaniello (1647)
Museo di San Martino

The viceroys who ruled the kingdom of Naples during the reign of the Spanish king Philip IV were:

As Clara Erskine Clement describes:

If Naples was in a pitiably wretched state when Philip III. came to the throne, it could not have improved during his reign. In fact, Philip IV., had he thought of it at all, might well have questioned if it were worth while to retain a possession so distant and so wretched. But we may doubt if the boy, a king at sixteen, knew anything of such matters. He left the government of his monarchy to Count Olivarez, who was too much occupied with the questions that Cardinal Richelieu gave him to solve, and with the more important countries under Spanish rule, to devote much care or thought to the peninsula of Naples, except to estimate the amount that could be wrung from it in taxes. Industry and commerce were words with no vital meaning to the Neapolitans; science, literature, and art could but feebly gasp at long intervals, weighed down as they were by miseries of every sort.

In fact, no manner of suffering was spared Naples at this period. Famine stalked the peninsula; men were sent to the north to fight for their tyrant at Madrid, while their own coasts were left to the depredations of pirates; earthquakes added their horrors to those of famine; in Calabria whole cities were destroyed, and human beings perished by tens of thousands. Never had the oppression of Spain been greater, and the terrible system of taxation was most severely felt by the poorest classes. Even these distresses might have been less fatal had there been an equable administration of justice; but it can scarcely be said that justice for Neapolitans existed at this time. . . . . .

In the midst of such a condition one would scarcely look for a luxurious and splendid court, and a merry life for those who lived above the abject wretchedness of the people, but could not have been ignorant of it. However, since the days of Don Pedro de Toledo, the viceroys had maintained a regal state, and in the beginning of the seventeenth century the officers of the palace, the guard of nobles, the various dignitaries in attendance, and the immense corps of servants transformed the residence of a subject into a royal dwelling in outward appearance. . . . . .

There were slight differences in the degree of personal magnificence assumed by the viceroys, but the result was the same. If they travelled, they made royal progresses, were splendidly entertained by the nobles, and made regal presents to their subjects. Occasionally a viceroy was very rich; but whether he were so or no, his wants could be supplied by donatives, and they received enormous sums in this way. Gifts varying from twenty to seventy-five thousand ducats were frequently made to them, and it is said that in six years the Count of Monterey received 43,000,000 ducats, of which but 17,000,000 reached the royal treasury. Capecelatro says that this viceroy required forty ships in which to transport his possessions, 4,500 packages of furniture, gold and silver plate, works of art, and other valuables, although much had already been sent away.

It was estimated that the Duke of Medina in six years took, in one form and another, 30,000,000 ducats, and left Naples in such poverty that scarcely a house existed in which a good meal could be served. As we walk to-day in the Strada Medina, or see the fountain bearing this name, we wonder that the starving Neapolitans permitted him to be thus honored, and are not surprised that when, three years later, a defender of their cause presented himself, they were ready for insurrection.

MasanielloPortrait of Masaniello by Onofrio Palumbo

The most important and dramatic event of the reign of king Philip IV took place in 1647. Tommaso Aniello (Masaniello) was a fisherman who led a revolt and became one of the most popular figures in Neapolitan tradition. The rebellion is extensively described by Clement:

The diary of Francesco Capecelatro affords the fullest and most generally accepted account of this rebellion. According to his story there had been an unusual spirit of unrest in Naples, when the news of an insurrection in Palermo greatly excited the Neapolitans. Placards were posted all over the city threatening revolution if the gabelles were not taken off. The viceroy was stopped on his way to church, and surrounded by a crowd from which he was extricated with difficulty. He made specious promises, threw the blame on the nobles who ordered the taxes, and could not have apprehended the seriousness of the situation, since he sent the greater part of the foreign troops into Lombardy; his thoughts being so occupied with the danger from the French in Northern Italy that the peril which threatened the Spanish rule in Naples escaped his notice.

Tommaso Aniello, or Masaniello, the able opponent of this Spanish Duke, was twenty-seven years old. He was of medium height, well-made, vigorous, and alert; his fair hair hung in curls about his head and neck; his face was grave, but his manner was cheerful and his brilliant black eyes were fearless in expression; his fisherman’s dress, although of a well-chosen color, lent no advantage to his appearance, and the impression of unusual character which he made on others must have resulted from his genuine claim to consideration. Masaniello had married Berardina Pisa in 1641; and so greatly had the pair suffered from poverty that he could not go out to fish, but was forced to pick up a few coins here and there by services far beneath even his humble occupation.

In the midst of their distress Berardina had attempted to bring into the city a bundle of flour, wrapped up and carried like a baby ; she was detected and imprisoned for eight days, while the flour paid the fine by which she was liberated. Masaniello deeply loved his wife; and this experience, added to insults which he frequently received, so wrought upon his mind and imagination that he determined to attempt the liberation of his people, preferring death while fighting in a just cause to starvation for his wife, his friends, and himself.

At times the desperate acts of the people increased the cruelty of the tax-gatherers and other officials; the blowing up of the custom-house in the market-place had this effect, while it but too clearly showed the dangerous condition of the public pulse. In July, on the fete of the Madonna of Carmel, it was the custom for a band of about four hundred lads, of the poorest classes, to make an assault on a castle of wood and canvas erected in the market-place. The boys were drilled for their part in this sham warfare, and in 1647 Masaniello was their chief and trainer. He was doubtless looking forward to this fete as a favorable time to incite the people to a demonstration, using his band of boys as a nucleus for a larger and more effective force.

But he was not destined to await his opportunity so long. On Sunday, July 7, a serious quarrel arose between the fruit-sellers from Pozzuoli and the buyers at Naples, concerning the division of the taxes between them. The viceroy, hearing of the disturbance, sent the deputy of the people to quell the excitement; and this officer found himself in the midst of a great tumult. Masaniello had brought his troop to the market-place for a grand review; a crowd had gathered to see it, and the quarrels of the fruit-sellers had attracted still greater numbers. The deputy could make no impression; the tax-gatherers insisted on their dues, and when they undertook to weigh the fruit, a general melee ensued.

The rabble first threw the fruit, and then hurled stones at the officers, set fire to such ruins of the custom-house as the explosion had left, burned the accounts, and, in short, inaugurated the insurrection. The deputy escaped to bear the news to the viceroy, who resolved to try leniency, and despatched two nobles to the market-place, who exceeded his commands, and assured the people that the gabelles would be abolished, and that they might rejoice and be content.

The people listened attentively, and when the message was ended, Masaniello, who had mounted a horse, exclaimed, “Now let us go to the Palace.” The crowd had provided themselves with such weapons as they could lay hands on, and made a strange procession of old and young, ragged and bare-footed, who whistled and sung and began to be excited by the mere realization of their brute force. Arrived at the palace, this passionate multitude thronged its court, shouting again and again, “Long life to the King of Spain! down with the gabelles ! “Addresses were made by some of the nobles, promising the people many benefits, but not all that were demanded. The viceroy, after showing himself on a balcony, made his retreat, and after many dangers and narrow escapes reached a convent, being indebted to the bravery of a few friends who had protected him, and afterwards saved themselves with difficulty.

The mob furiously strove to batter down the gates of the convent, when, fortunately, the Archbishop of Naples, Ascanio Filomarino, appeared, and having great influence with the people, was able to hold them in check until he could send to the viceroy for a written promise that the taxes on food should be abolished, and the bread be of better quality.

Meantime the viceroy had fled to the castle of S. Elmo, and his wife and children to Castel Nuovo. All the provisions that could be gathered were sent to these two strongholds, and the soldiers within reach were massed in the barracks on Pizzofalcone, a proper number being detailed for guard duty in the park of the Palazzo Reale. These preparations made, the Duke of Arcos awaited further developments with all the equanimity at his command; but it is not difficult to imagine the wrath of a proud Spaniard thus set at defiance by a people whom he despised, and who were essentially as disgusting as he and his class considered them, as vile, let us say, as he and other Spanish viceroys had made them.

Night brought new horrors; the churches were filled with monks and others who went in processions singing litanies and praying for peace, but were not permitted to pass into the streets. The mob broke open the prisons, and set the inmates free, while all robbers and murderers who were concealed in the city left their hiding-places. The archives of the prisons were burned, the toll-booths destroyed, and after going from one gate to another the rabble attacked the houses of those who had made money by carrying out oppressive laws. The rebels met no resistance; the owners of these houses thought only of escape, and paid any price to boatmen who rowed them to places of safety along the coast. The fine furnishing, pictures, and plate were thrown in a heap and burned, and a rebel detected in concealing a jewel or any object of value was compelled to throw it into the fire.

The people so urgently needed arms that they even attempted to seize those at S. Lorenzo; but the Spanish garrison fired on the mob, and thus excited it to deeds of greater cruelty. The city presented a frightful spectacle; the confusion became terrific, revealed as it was by conflagrations in various quarters.

Masaniello emerged as a leader, as did his adviser, called “mind of Masaniello,”

Giulio Genuine [Giulio Genoino], who from first to last fanned the flame of passion in the people, and in every way excited their thirst for revenge, while he so skilfully concealed his part that long after this evening the viceroy habitually confided in him and acted on his advice.

Genuine at once addressed the people, encouraging them to persevere in their rebellion until the viceroy should comply with their demands. Dwelling especially upon their need of arms, he so wrought upon their passions that before day came they broke into the shops where weapons were sold, seized all they could find, and possessed themselves of several pieces of light artillery. During this dreadful night Masaniello was first spoken of as the leader of the insurrection.

The morning of July 8 revealed the vast change which had occurred in the affairs of Naples since the preceding sunrise. Then the people muttered under their breath; now they shouted aloud and stated their ultimatum, cheap food and good food, or anarchy and the horrors that follow in its train. But a day has passed since the proud viceroy stood with his heel on the neck of the starving, suffering people; now he trembles in terror in his hidingplace, ready to promise anything that is demanded, if so his life can be assured.

As the day passed, the tumultuous crowds throughout the city were greatly increased by the country people. Discontented peasants, vagabonds, and robbers, and a multitude of half-naked women and children suddenly appeared, as if they arose from the very stones of the street, and added their groans, shouts, and hisses to the terrific noises that already existed. Armed with all sorts of implements, these crowds surged hither and thither doing infinite mischief, and occasionally firing a magazine or committing some act fatal to their own numbers, thereby increasing their violence.

Meantime the Duke of Arcos held a council, and determined to send an embassy to treat with the people. Diomed Carafa, Duke of Maddaloni, and several other noblemen rode to the market-place, where the Duke addressed the people with all the persuasiveness at his command, and in the name of the viceroy promised free trade in food and a general pardon to all who laid down their arms and returned to their homes and occupations. The people listened only to reply in loud shouts, “No lying promises! we will have the privileges of Charles V.,” which meant, “We will have no taxes, and the people shall share equally with the nobles in the government.” The Duke of Maddaloni could get no satisfaction beyond this, and rode away, promising to bring them the veritable document of Charles V.

Masaniello did not leave the market-place, and in consultation with his advisers made a list of the palaces and houses to be destroyed. At evening the conflagrations began, to the infinite satisfaction of the mob, who shouted, “We now burn our own blood; so may those who have sucked it from us burn in hell! ” Again, as on the previous evening, the processions of monks appeared only to be insulted and driven back, while the churches were filled by suppliants for a divine interposition which should save their city and their lives.

On July 9 the condition was more frightful still, and the destruction of property such as makes one sigh in reading of it even now. Splendid works of art, all kinds of rich furniture, tapestries and stuffs, and even casks of coins, boxes of pearls, and other priceless treasures were cast into the flames, along with lap dogs and other pets, while fine horses were stabbed in their stalls; and this vandalism was raging in all the surrounding regions as well as in Naples. From many castles tongues of forked flames ascended, leaving blackened ruins and smouldering ashes to mark the spots where they had so proudly raised their massive towers, as if defying the world to conquer them.

In spite of all these horrors the viceroy still hoped for a reconciliation with the people, and this hope was the only refuge from despair. Cowardly as it seems in one view, in another it required great courage to send his friends to face the hideous multitude and make promises in his name. Some of his ambassadors were surrounded by the mob, and only escaped by making the most abject submission to its demands. The second time that the Duke of Maddaloni endeavored to be heard he carried a manifesto declaring that all criminals should be pardoned, and all taxes taken off that had been imposed since the time of Charles V.

Suddenly Masaniello sprung upon the Duke, seized him by his belt and his long hair, and tore him from his horse; others bound his hands tightly with a rope, and gave him to the keeping of two of their leader’s most trusted aids. By this act Masaniello annihilated a superstition that had controlled the people for centuries; no longer were the persons of the nobles to be respected, and never again could they be considered sacred as before.

The viceroy’s amazement at this deed was inexpressible, and, blaming himself for sending men into such dangers, he hastily despatched a prior to beg for the Duke’s release. The people answered him with renewed shouts for the privileges of Charles V. However, the Duke escaped, by the aid of one of his jailers for whom he had once done a favor, and after many adventures joined his family in a place of safety to which they had retreated.

The Duke of Arcos now sought the aid of Cardinal Filomarino. He did this unwillingly, as the Spaniards distrusted the Neapolitan pastors, with whom they were constantly at war, and especially this man, who had been the persistent friend of the people. The Cardinal assured the viceroy that his mission to the market-place would be worse than useless if he could not show them the old document of which they had heard, together with a reliable promise that it should be ratified. On no other condition would he go. The parchment was found; and thus armed, the Cardinal proceeded on his mission. He was welcomed heartily, but was soon convinced of the impossibility of peace; he feared the total destruction of the city, and resolved to remain in the midst of the people.

The rebellion had gained strength that day, and another night of horrors was approaching. The mob had possession of S. Lorenzo and the artillery; two divisions of troops had been made prisoners, and a list of thirty-six houses to be burned had been made out; in fact, many were already in flames, as well as vast piles of household goods and decorations. . . . . A procession bore an effigy of Philip IV. through the streets crying, “Long life to the King of Spain,” while the royal standard, together with that of the people, waved above S. Lorenzo.

Meantime the Cardinal Filomarino met with endless difficulties in his negotiations with the leaders of the rebellion in the Carmelite convent, to which he had retired. Some of the rebels even demanded that the castle of S. Elmo should be surrendered to them, and when the words “pardon” and “rebellion” were read in the message of the viceroy, they were answered by angry declarations that there was no question of pardons, as no rebels existed. The Cardinal exhausted himself to no purpose, and the sun rose on another day of wrath.

The news of the escape of the Duke of Maddaloni maddened still more the already furious mob, and the destruction of the Duke’s property was at once decreed; but his palace was found to be filled with bravoes in his employ, who fired on the people, who quietly deferred the vengeance they did not fail to take later.

During these troublous days Masaniello developed rapidly, acquiring such coolness and ability to lead and command others as is rarely found in older men of wide experience; and it began to appear that, wild as were the more apparent deeds of the rebellion, an organization was forming of which the first positive proof was an edict calling an assemblage in the market-place. . . . . .

While the meeting in the market-place was in progress, the Cardinal received a message from the viceroy consenting to an agreement which had been proposed; and Masaniello and others proceeded to the Carmelite monastery to complete the conditions of the negotiation. Suddenly a shot was fired; Masaniello hastened to the gate, crying, “Treason!” while ineffectual shots were repeated behind him. The market-place was soon the scene of a fierce struggle between the people and about three hundred banditti, who had suddenly appeared on the scene, having been sent by the Duke of Maddaloni to avenge the insults he had received from Masaniello. A frightful carnage ensued; and even within the convent many were dying, the Cardinal not being able to confess and absolve them as fast as his services were required.

Masaniello had learned from an expiring bandit that Giuseppe Carafa, a brother of the Duke of Maddaloni, and his cousin, the Prior of the Johannites of Rocella, were in the convent of S. Maria la Nuova. A party of attack was organized, and difficult as was the ascent of the
height over the steep, slippery ways that led to the monastery, four hundred armed men soon surrounded it. Finding the gates closed, they set fire to them, thus forcing the monks to throw them open. The mob soon filled the corridors and refectory, crying out for the chief of the bandits.

A well-known servant of Carafa was discovered, which convinced the people that his master was not far away; but during the few moments gained by closing the gates the relatives of the Duke had fled by a back way into a mean street, and the Prior reached a house where he dressed himself in the garb of a woman and so escaped to safety. Giuseppe Carafa was less fortunate. He soon realized that he was pursued, and ran into the cottage of a low woman, who made a feint of concealing him while in the act of betraying him, in spite of his promises of untold treasures if she but saved his life. He was seized and dragged away; and though he offered twenty thousand ducats for his life, no one listened, and he was murdered in the Piazza del Cerriglio, a place of bad omen, where the crown fell from the head of Louis of Taranto when on his way to the coronation of Joanna I., and his head severed from his body, while all sorts of horrible indecencies were perpetrated on his corpse. He was the first noble slain in this rebellion, and few were more hated; he was of a rash temper, and had committed many crimes himself, besides employing others to do desperate deeds for him. Masaniello made an address to the pallid head, and had it set up in the centre of the marketplace, with seventeen others, above which was a tablet inscribed ” This is the penalty for Traitors.” . . . . .

The people knew that the Spaniards could, by use of the artillery, level the whole city and destroy thousands, but in their desperation even that seemed preferable to a prolongation of such lives as they had lived. On the other hand, the viceroy wished to save the city if possible, and he realized, better than his enemies, the weakness of his garrisons, and the difficulty he should have in increasing his stock of provisions, already painfully small. His great anxiety was to make some terms with the rebels; almost any terms which would put an end to the present condition, and give him an opportunity to take such steps as would enable him to break what he might well consider an enforced agreement.

But even the wrath of man may be satiated; and after five days of horrible fury and bloodshed it was announced in the Church of the Carmelites that the negotiations had been satisfactorily ended. With great difficulty Masaniello had also been persuaded to have a conference with the viceroy, as it was fitting for the leader of the people to do.

The fisherman was strangely distrustful of his advisers. He said he saw the gallows looming up before him, and insisted on being shrived before the meeting; and even after that the Cardinal had great difficulty in persuading him to go at all. He refused to enter the castle, and would only go to the palace, and before setting out he sent to know how many armed men he could rely on. He was told that he had 140,000, and could double the number if only arms could be had.

One cause for the apparent indecision of the Captain-General was his physical condition. After the assault of the bandits there had been a report that the springs at Poggio Reale were poisoned, and Masaniello had so feared death by that means that he had suffered much from thirst, and was almost starved. On this day he had taken but a bit of bread and wine which the Cardinal’s physician had first tasted. At length Masaniello began to prepare for the audience, and late in the day all was in readiness.

The Cardinal entered his carriage with his steward, the traitorous Genuino, and two others of his suite. Masaniello rode on one side, and the deputy of the people on the other. The fisherman was dressed in silver brocade with a jewelled sword by his side, while his head, usually bare, was covered by a white hat with plumes.

Domenico Gargiulo-Rivolta di Masaniello (Napoli, Museo di San Martino)Domenico Gargiulo, La rivolta di Masaniello del 1647 Napoli,
Museo di San Martino

Doinenico Gargiulo, called Micco Spadone, painted pictures of many scenes in this rebellion. He represented Masaniello in this costume, with a medallion of the Madonna of Carmel on his breast, riding at the head of a concourse of men and boys. His white horse gallops past the market-place, where bloody heads are ranged around a marble pedestal, and the gibbet and wheel await their victims.

As the procession moved towards the palace, many thousands assembled, and the armed bands lowered their colors before the Cardinal and their chief. Over the gate of the palace of the Prince of Cellamare, in the square of the castle, effigies of Charles V. and Philip IV. were placed, beneath a canopy. Here Masaniello stopped, spread out the old and new charters before him, and assured the multitude that everything was properly settled.

Shouts of “Long life to the King and his most faithful people of Naples!” rent the air. Masaniello saw that the courtyard was full of Spanish and German soldiers. Spanish infantry was drawn up at the entrance to the square, so that the carriage passed with difficulty, and ramparts of earth had been thrown up in various directions. While he heard words of peace, he saw such signs of war as could not escape the keen sight of the fisherman.

The viceroy received Masaniello in the saloon of Alva; and once in his presence, the fisherman threw himself at the feet of the Duke, who raised him up, embraced him, and with him and the Cardinal retired to another room. The tumult without became so great that the viceroy begged the chief to show himself on a balcony, which he did, and returning to the room, fell in a swoon, which greatly alarmed the Duke, who feared the consequences should anything befall this man while in his company. But Masaniello soon revived, the articles of the treaty were confirmed, and their publication in two days agreed on. The viceroy then conducted him to the staircase, called him the faithful servant of the King, and the defender of the people, gave “him a gold chain, offered him a hand to kiss, and finally dismissed him with a second embrace.

It was said that a peace was concluded but the streets were in a tumult, watch-fires were kindled, and there was no seeming of order. Masaniello still governed the city; he had a scaffold before his house; his decrees were issued “by the command of the illustrious Lord, Maso Aniello of Amalfi, Captain-General of the most faithful people.” During the night a cry of “Treason and Banditti!” was raised; and without a trial or hearing, more than a dozen heads were cut off by his orders. A secretary read to him petitions presented on the point of a halberd, which he answered with the authority of a ruler. Prices of food were fixed, and many decrees issued relative to the smallest matters of conduct and even of costume.

It was soon apparent that order and discipline were undermined in all the relations of life. Employers could not rely on their servants, who were summoned to arms, and even rewarded for betraying their masters, and insubordination was everywhere apparent, when, on July 13, the viceroy and Masaniello met in the cathedral to publish the new treaty with fitting solemnity; and here, where so many scenes important in the history of Naples had been enacted, the Spanish power was strangely humiliated.

The Captain-General permitted no cavalier to accompany the viceroy; he disarmed the nobles, while the streets were lined with the people bearing weapons. The Cardinal was seated under the Baldachin, and the treaty confirming the old privileges was read. It also pardoned all excesses that had been committed, and consented to the bearing of arms by the people until the ratification of the treaty should be received from Madrid, probably three months.

The viceroy confirmed the treaty by an oath with his hand on the Gospels. The Cardinal sang the Te Deum, and the people shouted, Long life to the King of Spain!” Masaniello, who had been very uneasy, declared that he was now nobody, and attempted to throw off his silver brocade in the middle of the cathedral; and this being prevented, he threw himself at the feet of the Cardinal and kissed them. The ceremony ended, the people fired their rifles, the viceroy proceeded to the castle amid cries of “Long life to the King and the Duke of Arcos!” and Masaniello walked home, the colors being lowered as he passed the soldiers.

Now, alas ! when the power of Masaniello was at its height, his conduct was that of a madman. In a sense he commands our respect; for vile as his methods had been, and much as we shudder at his deeds, we yet admire the one man who had been brave enough to lead a revolt against Spanish oppression. But the excitement, the unusual life, fasting, and fear of poison, the heat of summer, and a morbid dread of the Duke of Maddaloni which haunted him incessantly, combined to produce insanity. . . . . .

Masaniello appeared to be possessed by two fiends, madness and cruelty; he ordered executions by the score, and two hundred heads decomposing under the burning sun made the air of the market-place like a plague. Many nobles had fled from Naples, and his tyrannical rage began to produce its effect on his followers; even those who had been most faithful to him were in fear for their lives. At length the viceroy and some of the people came to an understanding, and an approaching feast day, July 16, was fixed as the time when the power of Masaniello must end.

All preparations were made, and a strange gloom seemed to hang over the city. The Cardinal officiated in the church of the Carmine, and the service was scarcely ended when Masaniello seized a crucifix, and mounted the pulpit. His address was that of a madman; he confessed his sins, and called on all who heard him to do likewise; he desired to show his emaciation from anxiety and sleeplessness, and began to undress himself, but a monk seized him and conducted him into the convent, where he threw himself on a bed and fell asleep from sheer exhaustion.

The bravoes employed by the viceroy to murder Masaniello had been in church, and after the scandalous scene which closed the service they followed him to the convent and asked for the Captain-General. The monks, suspecting their errand, and endeavoring to protect the wretched, insane sleeper, caused a contention which aroused Masaniello, who, believing that his friends were seeking him, went at once to the gates and showed himself to the assassins. Shots were instantly fired; and as he fell, mortally wounded, he cried out, “Oh, ye vagabonds!” His head was cut off at once, and one of the bravoes, seizing it by the hair, rushed out with it, shouting, “Long life to the King of Spain!”

The people in the streets were as if paralyzed, and not a hand was raised against the murderers, who were soon protected by Spanish troops. Capecelatro relates that he was walking in the park with the Duke of Arcos and other gentlemen; the viceroy had said that he would give ten thousand ducats to any one who would bring Masaniello to him, dead or alive; and at that moment the news of what had been done was received. A fierce tumult ensued ; the head was carried to the viceroy on a pike, and the body, after being roughly treated, was buried near the gate of the market-place. Many of Masaniello’s followers were arrested, his relatives were taken into custody, and so uncertain was the viceroy as to what might happen, that he ordered the fortifications to be repaired at once.

The Cardinal Filomarino hastened to the palace, and with the viceroy and many noblemen rode to the cathedral, and thence to the market. Everywhere was heard the cry, “Long life to the King and to the Duke of Arcos!” The brother and brother-in-law of Masaniello were the only men excluded from the general pardon. The privileges which had been granted to the fisherman were confirmed, and the nobles began to re-enter their homes on that very day. Through the night all was quiet; the people seemed half stupefied; but when, in the morning, the Commissary-General announced that the price of bread would be raised, they awoke, and declared their leader to have been betrayed and assassinated.

They dug up the corpse, and sewed the head in its place; they washed and anointed the body, and dressed it in splendid clothes ; they covered a bier with white silk, on which their dead captain was laid, with his sword and staff of command by his side. The officers who had been appointed by Masaniello bore the bier; four thousand priests conducted the procession by the order of the Cardinal; muffled drums were beaten, banners dragged on the ground, and the soldiers lowered their arms as the dead captain was carried past them. Bells tolled from every tower, and windows were illuminated in all the streets; forty thousand men and women followed the bier, singing litanies and telling their rosaries; the cortege left the Carmine at the twenty-second hour of the day, and only returned at the third hour of the night. The interment was made, with all honorable ceremonies, near the door of the church. No viceroy or prince scarcely a sovereign could be buried with more imposing rites than was the fisherman of Amalfi, Tommaso Aniello.

Unfortunately for both Neapolitans and Spaniards, the death of Masaniello was but the close of the first act of the rebellion. He had led his followers but nine days; the revolution endured as many months, during which law and order were non-existent. Men were governed by their worst passions; reason and right were overshadowed by rage and lawlessness, and a reign of perfect anarchy ensued. It soon appeared that the promises of the viceroy were simply illusive; he was obliged to retire to Castel Nuovo a second time, and a worse phase of the rebellion was inaugurated than had yet been experienced.

After all the horrors that attend such periods, after two months of the most frightful confusion and crime, on September 7, 1647, a second treaty was made and confirmed with the same solemn ceremonies as the first. . . . . . .

The Viceroy had tried to leave the city’s governance to Genoino, who was unable to resist the most extreme demands of the populace. Extremists took control, exiled Geneino and proclaimed a Neapolitan Republic under French protection (Henry II, Duke of Guise, was proclaimed “dodge.”) Philip IV’s illegitimate son, John of Austria, arrived with a Spanish force and surrounded Naples. He waited until the exhaustion of the insurgents and their disaffection from Henry II allowed him to move in.

The final action occurred on April 5, 1648, when Don John of Austria, whose forces had been increased, put an end to the rebellion in the same market-place in which it had begun. Don John required his troops to confess and take the sacrament. The plan for the day’s work had been so made that the portions of the city held by the rebels were surrounded by their opposers when the new viceroy, the Count of Onate, came on with the cavalry. The people made but slight resistance at the garrisons which they held, and De Reumont tells us that

“At the ninth hour of the day the Spaniards were masters of the whole city. A Te Deum was sung in the cathedral, the houses were adorned with tapestry, white flags and handkerchiefs waved from the windows. In many places the image of the king was set up and hailed with great rejoicings. Every one appeared to rejoice in the restoration of peace; the citizens embraced each other in the streets. Nine months of mob dominion, the insecurity, the war, the confusion and lawlessness, had made such an impression that the party of ‘Peace at any price’ carried off the victory without a struggle.”

The Count of Onate had a task before him which would have disheartened many brave men, but he was especially fitted to cope with the momentous questions to be solved. He was the right man to rivet the bonds with which the Spaniards again fettered the Neapolitans. His phenomenal energy found full employment; not Naples alone, but the whole kingdom was completely unsettled; bands of banditti and such vagabonds as always hang about an army were now scattered throughout the country; the entire population was suspicious, and apparently watching for an excuse for another uprising; the need of more Spanish troops was great; the defences required strengthening; the artillery must be placed in Castel Nuovo, and no one of these things could be accomplished without the danger of exciting fresh disturbances.

The viceroy met all these difficulties with firmness, and his wisdom guided him safely through numberless dangers. He made friends of the people, and held such an attitude towards the aristocracy as tended so to raise the estate of the vassals and lessen the arrogance and tyranny of the nobility, as to make them all more orderly and profitable subjects of his Majesty of Spain than they had been for a long time. The nobles were soon afraid to protect banditti, and a better condition existed at the capital and in its neighborhood ; but there were enormous difficulties to be overcome in the provinces, and the account of Capecelatro, who was governor of Calabria, shows a state of affairs which could only be met by a despotism which could not be vindicated in our time.

The Count of Onate brought greater tranquillity and prosperity to Naples than had existed there for a long period, which was vastly to his credit, since he assumed its government when it was apparently lost to Spain; but in spite of this he was suddenly deposed in 1653, greatly to his own surprise and to that of those who realized the value of his services. His fall was doubtless due to the influence of the nobles who had not been able to mould him to their will. But their reign was over; they could not reinstate themselves in their former tyranny, and they profited little by change of viceroys.

When the Count of Onate resigned his place to the Count of Castrillo, he had driven the French from Naples and from their strongholds at Piombino and Elba; the administration of justice was well established; the robbers and banditti were banished, and taxes were less oppressive and more equally distributed than since the days of Don Pedro de Toledo.

The Count of Castrillo was scarcely at home in his new office when the French under the Duke of Guise again appeared on the coasts ; but so little success attended their projects that they soon sailed away, not to trouble Naples again for more than a century. Three years later a pestilence ravaged the whole kingdom, and was probably fatal to a greater number than any plague of modern times. Gradually, too, the effects of the rule of Onate were lost; exorbitant rates were decreed, and a tax again put on food ; all the old suffering was renewed, and nothing better could be hoped for without a radical change in the government, which was not to come until half a century more of abject misery had ground the Neapolitans into the depths of moral and physical inferiority.