the Neri, and his most intimate friend the poet Guido Cavalcanti
among the Bianchi.
They were all permitted to return before long (but after Dante
's term of office was over), and came accordingly, bringing at least the Scriptural allowance of ‘seven other’ motives of mischief with them.
Affairs getting worse (1301), the Neri, with the connivance of the pope (Boniface VIII.), entered into an arrangement with Charles of Valois, who was preparing an expedition to Italy
was meanwhile sent on an embassy to Rome
(September, 1301, according to Arrivabene
but probably earlier) by the Bianchi, who still retained all the offices at Florence
It is the tradition that he said in setting forth: ‘If I go, who remains?
and if I stay, who goes’ Whether true or not, the story implies what was certainly true, that the council and influence of Dante
were of great weight with the more moderate of both parties.
On October 31, 1301, Charles took possession of Florence
in the interest of the Neri.
being still at Rome
(January 27, 1302), sentence of exile was pronounced against him and others, with a heavy fine to be paid within two months; if not paid, the entire confiscation of goods, and, whether paid or no, exile; the charge against him being pecuniary malversation in office.
The fine not paid (as it could not be without admitting the justice of the charges, which Dante
scorned even to deny), in less than two months (March 10, 1302) a second sentence was registered, by which he with others was condemned to be burned alive if taken within the boundaries of the republic.2
From this time the life of