A story by popular tradition
A tailor named Francis lived in Naples, in the first half of 1400.
In the struggle between Aragon and Anjou he chose the Anjous and sided with the defeated King René.
Master Francis (that was his name) was considered a popular leader and never missed an opportunity to speak ill of the Spaniards and he kept defending the French. He hated so much Alfonse that he did not bother to show it publicly.
All this was reported to the king who, for his knowledge and for his own fun, wanted to personally hear the tailor’s insults. He decided to go out riding among the people, turning through the streets of the city, where he happened to get near Master Francis, who never tired of insulting him.
Alfonse, knowing it was the tailor, listened to him carefully and he heard what the man was saying as he passed by: “And how good you are on horseback,” he said by a little high voice. “How much pride and arrogance you have. You’ll see, that will not last long, because King René is going to come and he will chase you.”
After this episode, the King sent for Master Francesco. The tailor, who perhaps was better in talking than in acting, began to tremble with fear.
He foresaw hanging from a rope in the public square, so he thought of making a will and he entrusted to his wife, his children and all his belongings.
He went to the palace where he was received with courtesy, with bows and kindness by dignitaries and officials. Then, when he came before the king, he was even more surprised by the welcome and kindness the King showed him .
“I will use your art,” Alfonse said, “and your services, because I know how much you are bound to me and how you speak well of me.”
Francis at these words was frightened, even more believing that the King wanted to make fun of him before sentencing him to death.
Alfonse continued by that tone and before letting him go away, he gave him a bag of gold crowns for his family and its needs. Still stunned Francis went home, told everything to his wife, praising the Spanish King and totally modifying his previous opinion about the King.
This is just one of the episodes passed on Alfonse of Aragon.
It seems that he was a benevolent Sovereing with the Neapolitans: a strategy designed especially with the purpose of not increasing the love they felt for the French.