Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER V. - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 3 (Diplomatic Missions 1498-1505)
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LETTER V. - 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.
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Magnificent Signori: —
I wrote yesterday that I had despatched an express to your Lordships, as a reply to my letter of the 17th seemed to me to be unduly delayed. Since then your Lordships’ courier Ardingo arrived, bringing me your letters of the 19th and 20th instant. So soon as I had perused their contents, I presented myself before her Excellency, and communicated to her in the most becoming terms what your Lordships have charged me with touching the propositions made to her Excellency by the Duke of Milan. After that, I stated to her the offers made by your Lordships, and endeavored to make her understand that you would certainly never fail to do all that might inure to the honor, safety, and advantage of her Excellency, employing such arguments as I thought necessary and proper to persuade her, etc. To which her Excellency replied that all her hopes were in your Lordships; and that the only thing that caused her pain in this whole matter was the dishonor which she feared she would incur, and the respect which she felt she ought to observe towards her uncle. But that, knowing now the final resolves of your Lordships, she would endeavor to come to a prompt decision, and remove, so far as in her power, all difficulties that might interpose. After having replied in a becoming manner, and referred to your Lordships’ letter of the 19th, in relation to the outrage committed upon some of your subjects, I begged her Ladyship to come to a speedy decision, and took my leave.
Later in the day, Messer Baldraccani called to see me, and, after having made excuses for her Excellency’s not having personally informed me of her intentions, alleging that it was owing to her being indisposed, and most unhappy on account of the serious illness of her son Lodovico, by Giovanni de’ Medici, he communicated to me, on behalf of her Excellency, that she did not regret having, regardless of all else, thrown herself into your Lordships’ arms, in whom she placed all confidence and hope. That she consented to accept the engagement on a peace footing for one year, on the basis of your Lordships’ last offer of twelve thousand ducats. But for the sake of being able more completely to justify her taking this step before the whole world, and with the more honor and credit to her government, her Excellency desired that your Lordships would bind yourselves to defend, protect, and maintain the integrity of her dominions, which she was fully assured your Lordships would do anyhow, without any special obligation to that effect. Yet that she greatly desired such an obligation from your Lordships, which she knew you would not refuse her, as it would be in the highest degree honorable for her, and in no way prejudicial to your Lordships. And, lastly, Messer Baldraccani said that her Excellency desired to have a settlement, if not in full, then at least in part, for her former services; that she needs it for her many wants and urgent necessities, and that she cannot believe that the charges which you have to provide for are so heavy as to be an obstacle to such a settlement; and therefore she charged me most emphatically to write to your Lordships, and urge this matter on her behalf.
As to the first point, namely, the acceptance of an engagement for a year, etc., I replied in the most amicable manner, saying that I felt sure that the good opinion which her Excellency had of our republic would even increase with time and experience. But as to the obligation which her Ladyship asked for, I regarded it as superfluous for the very reasons alleged by her Excellency herself. And as I had no authority to conclude anything not comprised in my commission, her Excellency might for the present accept the engagement, and afterwards write to her agent at Florence to present her demands, which I believed would be favorably received.
Messer Antonio replied that her Excellency wished to close the entire business at one and the same time, and that therefore she had requested that I should write to your Lordships to send me the necessary powers, promising at the same time to ratify any agreement that might be made by me in your name. All the arguments I could present to the contrary could not induce her to alter her decision; and I am therefore obliged to submit to you the demands made by her Excellency as they have been presented to me; so that your Lordships may in your supreme wisdom decide, and promptly advise me of, your ultimate resolve, and so that I may be enabled to return to Florence, which is my most earnest desire.
Respecting the indemnity for former services, I observed that her Excellency had spoken to me some days ago about it, and that I had written to your Lordships on the subject, and that you had replied; and therefore it seemed to me superfluous to repeat the same thing over again, particularly as I knew your favorable disposition, as well as the difficulties which prevent you from doing anything in the matter now. Nevertheless, by way of satisfying her Excellency, I would write once more very urgently on the subject.
Yesterday, when I complained to the Countess on behalf of your Lordships of the outrage committed by some of her archers upon your people at Salutare, she made me the most strenuous excuses, saying that she had directed her men to go and gather the harvest of a certain Carlo Buosi, who cultivated a farm on her territory; that this Carlo had been killed not long since by Dionigio Naldi to revenge the Signor Ottaviano; and that when the country people saw her archers carry off the harvest, they had shouted to them that they would be cut to pieces, and otherwise overwhelmed them with insulting words, so that the archers felt themselves as it were constrained to resent this abuse. Her Excellency added, that she was nevertheless grieved at heart about it, and as proof of it she had at once ordered the leader of her archers, who had begun the disturbance, to be disarmed and dismissed from her service; and this has been done.
I recommend myself most humbly to your Lordships.
Quæ bene valeant.
Furli, 23 July, 1499.
P. S. — The fifty mounted crossbowmen which the Duke had taken into his pay leave to-morrow for Milan.