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his royal mafter to be complied with. He ftill, however, promifed to make every reafonable conceffion, if they would lay down their arms, and quietly enter upon a treaty of fettlement and accommodation.
The paffions of the rioters were too much inflamed to be fatisfied with any thing but the whole of their demands, and they proceeded to fresh acts of violence ;-nor could the interceffion of the principal noblementhe remonftrances of the archbishop of Naples, who was held in the greatest veneration by them-the prayers of the clergy--the expofition of the hoft, and of the miraculous blood and facred head of Saint Gennaro---nor repeated proceffions, allay the tumult. They would accept of no offers fhort of fecing the original charters of Ferdinand and Charles, (which, by fome means or other, were not to be found among the archives), and having them folemnly ratified by the viceroy and the different councils.
Though Mafaniello, as already obferved, had been advanced to be generaliffimo of the mob, upon account of his courage and natural bravery, yet the people at the fame time appointed an old prieft, named Julio Genovino,
ftern refolution and rough courage, of which he afterwards gave many proofs. He got his living by angling for small fish, with a cane, hook, and line; and fometimes he bought fish in the market, which he fold again by retail: In short, he was one of thofe whom the Neapolitans call Pefcivendoli.
He lived, as before obferved, in a corner of the great market-place; and it strangely happened, that under one of the windows of his house were fixed the arms and name of Charles the Fifth, of a very ancient standing. This circumstance, trivial as it may appear, feems to have given rise to Masaniello's exertions in favour of his countrymen; and it was understood to be a mysterious presage of what afterwards happened; viz. that this retailer of fish (as he would often jocularly say of himself) fhould reftore the city to a state of exemption and liberty, and recover and establish the charter of privileges which had been granted by that great and invulnerable monarch to the people of Naples.
Being naturally of a bold and enterprizing difpofition, and of a warm and paffionate temper, Masaniello could not behold the diftreffes of his fellow-citizens with indiffer
Such were the effects of the viceroy's illtimed lenity; and alike fatal will the confequences moft affuredly be, whenever the mob, through the inftigation of the defigning or the defperate, are excited to tumult, and fuffered to get the upperhand. Better were a few worthlefs lives loft at firft, through a firm and manly exertion of the governing powers, than that the fober and peaceable fhould be fubject to the horrible depredations and maffacres that attend an extinction of that due fubordination which can alone enfure peace and happiness.
On the morning of the 10th of July, Mafaniello made a general review of thofe under his command, and found them to amount to one hundred and fourteen thousand men, armed and embodied, befides a great number of citizens that were not inrolled.
While this was going on, the archbishop exerted himself with the viceroy to bring about the wifhed-for accommodation; and the original charters of Ferdinand and Charles being now found, things were in a good train, and there appeared a probability of feeing the diftractions which reigned, at an end. The rabble, fatisfied with the vengeance they
had taken, and dazzled by the profpect of fo many immunities and privileges as they were on the point of enjoying, abated of their former fury, and even fighed after peace: but a fatal and unexpected accident entirely ruined thefe good difpofitions, and blew up the flames of difcord to a greater height than ever.
Juft at the very time when the marketplace, as well as the church and convent of Carmine, were crowded with an infinite number of people, who all waited with impatience to learn the fuccefs of the pending negociation; about five hundred banditti, well armed and mounted, came into the marketplace, where they were received with demonstrations of joy, upon their giving out, "that they had been fent for by Dominico Perrone, (the perfon mentioned before as the third in command), and were come for the service of the most faithful people; which was the denogave themselves.
mination the rabble
As foon as Mafaniello faw the new comers, he thanked them for their good will, and, telling them to alight, appointed them different quarters of the city, where they should expect his further orders, on foot: upon which Perrone, who was by, told him, that he judged
it much more proper to affign them a feparate ftation to themfelves, and by no means to difmount them, because, being on horfeback, they would be much readier to affift him in cafe of any urgent neceffity.
To this Mafaniello replied, "that it was altogether unneceffary for them to continue as a feparate body, and that they would be as ferviceable to him on foot as on horfeback.” But Perrone, warmly infifting upon their going mounted, and in a body, and that without being able to give any good reason for it, Mafaniello began to fufpect that fome dark bufinefs was going forward, and therefore peremptorily commanded the banditti to go on foot to the quarter he affigned them, and not to ftir from thence without his orders.
He had no fooner fpoke than a mufquet was fired off, which Mafaniello confidering as the fignal of fome mifchief, cried out, Treafon! Treafon! there is a plot on foot! and immediately five mufquets were difcharged at him by fome of the banditti, who had found means to mix themselves among the crowd that furrounded him. He, however, received hurt, though a bullet or two came fo near him as to finge his fhirt.