Excerpt from The Private Life of Galileo By Galileo Galilei, Maria Celeste Galilei, Mary Allan-Olney

Galileo Is Summoned to Rome

Finding from Monsignor Boccabella that the order for Galileo's appearance was actually being drawn up Niccolini hastened to advise both Galileo and Cioli of it adding that since matters had gone so far it would be Galileo's best policy to comply with the order as speedily as possible. He had endeavored to discover whether Galileo would be placed in confinement on his arrival at Rome but in vain from the friendly cardinals he could learn absolutely nothing. Every one was afraid of incurring censure if he so much as opened his mouth.

On the 19th of November Galileo was again called before the Inquisition of Florence. He declared himself ready and willing to obey and said that his only reason for delaying his journey to Rome had been his age and infirmities which were at that moment of a serious nature requiring medical treatment. The Pope accorded a delay of one month. On the 18th of December the Inquisitor of Florence wrote that his vicar had seen Galileo who was confined to his, bed and declared himself utterly incapable of undertaking a journey until his condition should be somewhat ameliorated. The Pope and the Congregation chose to treat this statement as a mere subterfuge .