Front Page Titles (by Subject) MISSION TO THE LORD OF PIOMBINO. * - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 3 (Diplomatic Missions 1498-1505)
Return to Title Page for The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 3 (Diplomatic Missions 1498-1505)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Also in the Library:
MISSION TO THE LORD OF PIOMBINO. * - Niccolo Machiavelli, The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 3 (Diplomatic Missions 1498-1505) 
The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings of Niccolo Machiavelli, tr. from the Italian, by Christian E. Detmold (Boston, J. R. Osgood and company, 1882). Vol. 3.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
MISSION TO THE LORD OF PIOMBINO.*
LETTER OF THE MAGISTRACY OF THE TEN TO THE LORD OF PIOMBINO.
The entire faith and the very high estimation in which we hold your illustrious Lordship, induce us confidently to ask you to consent to do what our commissioners will ask of you, namely: — Having to withdraw our Captain-General with his troops from the neighborhood of Pisa, for the purpose of sending him to Arezzo, and desiring to replace these troops by others, and in the absence of our general to have a chief capable of properly commanding them, and not knowing to whom we could better confide this responsibility, we have concluded to commit it to your charge, feeling assured that the affection which you bear us will induce you to accept it willingly, and that you will with the utmost possible promptitude proceed with your troops to the Pisan territory. And we feel convinced that, when you are once on the spot with your troops, our interests there will be fully protected.
And so that you may have some one to guide you there, we send you our most valued citizen, Niccolo Machiavelli, to accompany and guide you by the most convenient route. And we beg you most earnestly to comply with our request and expectations with your accustomed promptitude and prudence, feeling assured that you will do so cheerfully, as the charge which we ask you to accept is a most honorable one, etc., etc.
MISSION OF MACHIAVELLI TO THE SAME.
You will proceed to Pontedera, where you will present yourself to the illustrious Lord of Piombino; and after having presented our letters of credence, you will explain to him that you have been sent by us because we had been informed by his chancellor, who is here, and through our ambassadors at Milan, that it is his Lordship’s desire to receive from us, besides the sum stipulated in the contract for his engagement, the additional sum of five thousand ducats; alleging that this was promised him, and that it would be no more than proper inasmuch as his lordship is in no way inferior to the Count Rinuccio. In relation to which demand we have judged that you could better explain by your personal presence what we have to say on the subject; which in fact amounts to this, that we are sincerely desirous of satisfying his Lordship generally in every respect, because of the good faith and affection which he has manifested towards our republic, and which we appreciate highly. You will enlarge upon this in the most effective manner, so as to show our favorable disposition towards his Lordship, but you will do it in vague and general terms, so as not to commit us to any positive obligation whatever.
As regards this demand for an increase of compensation, you will say that, so soon as we received notice of it, we examined the register of our military engagements, where we found in the second chapter that his Lordship had agreed with his Excellency the Duke of Milan and our magistracy that his compensation for the engagement was to be 2,400 ducats, and as much more as our magistracy might deem proper. And that upon this point we beg his Lordship to content himself with what at one time had been satisfactory to him. And although this matter was left to our discretion yet we trust that his Lordship will take into consideration the circumstances in which we find ourselves, but that he may count upon our good will; and that he will excuse us on account of the many considerations which we are obliged to have in this matter. And thus you will offer to his Lordship for another time all that is due to his valor and good conduct, and to the love we bear him; keeping however in your language always within the limits of friendly expressions, from which he may know our good feelings towards him and may hope to realize them. But above all you must have patience if he should threaten a rupture, and let him run on, and then reply and use your best efforts to induce him also to have patience.
It may also happen that his Lordship will claim from you the additional forty men-at-arms provided for in the third clause of his engagement. To which you will reply that, as his engagement was in common between us and his Excellency the Duke of Milan, it would not seem proper for us to make any alterations or additions to it without the concurrence of his Excellency, because of his interest in the matter. But that we will write to Milan about it and await a reply, which we doubt not will be in accordance with his Lordship’s desire. And so far as we are concerned in this matter you will assure his Lordship that we shall strive in every way to meet his wishes; and you will excuse this delay on account of the necessity above stated of having the concurrence of the Duke of Milan, because of his interest in the matter.
With these considerations you will carry out the first and second part of your commission; and you will do so in such manner as at the moment may seem most suitable to you.
Decemviri Libertates et Ballæ