Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER VII. - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 3 (Diplomatic Missions 1498-1505)
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LETTER VII. - 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 had written the enclosed yesterday, and was just about to despatch the bearer of this, Ardingo, when Messer Giovanni da Casale came to see me, and told me on the part of her Excellency that I need not write, as her Excellency the Countess was satisfied not to ask any further obligations from your Lordships, feeling perfectly assured that you would not act differently in your dealings with her than what she would have done towards your Lordships; and requesting me to come to her Excellency this morning for the purpose of signing the engagement, etc.
Fully persuaded that the business would actually be closed, and the curate of Casina being about to despatch an express to Lorenzo di Pier Francesco, I availed myself of that opportunity to write to your Lordships expressing my belief that the matter was as good as concluded. This morning, then, fully persuaded that everything would be closed according to the understanding, and being with Messer Giovanni in presence of her Excellency, she said to me that she had reflected upon the matter during the night, and thought that it would be more for her honor in attaching herself to your Lordships, if you were to declare that you would obligate yourselves to defend her dominions, as her secretary had previously explained to me. She had therefore resolved again to ask me to write to your Lordships about it. Her Excellency added, that, if she had given me to understand differently through Messer Giovanni, I must not be astonished at it, for the more matters of that kind were examined, the better were they understood. I could not but feel disappointed at this sudden change, and manifested my feelings both by words and gestures, saying that your Lordships would also be greatly surprised, as I had written you that her Excellency was satisfied upon every point without exception. But as I could get nothing else from her Excellency, I feel constrained to send you the enclosed, and to inform you specially by this of what has taken place, so that your Lordships may judge of it, and promptly decide what is to be done.
* To-morrow I purpose going to Castrocaro, to see if I can secure the Corbizzos against Dionigio Naldi and his partisans; her Excellency, the Lady Catharine, has offered to do her best to aid me in this matter. Whatever the result may be, I will advise your Lordships, to whom I humbly recommend myself. Quæ bene valeant.
Furli, 24 July, 1499.
COMMISSION TO THE ARMY IN THE FIELD AGAINST THE PISANS.*
[* ]After the departure of Machiavelli, the Lady Catharine sent an envoy to Florence with the following credentials: —
“To the Illustrious and Magnificent Lords, Priors, etc., etc.: —
“In compliance with the promise given to your commissioner, Messer Niccolo Machiavelli, I send to your Lordships the worthy Messer Joanni, my auditor, who is to explain to your Lordships the matter with which he is charged in my name. I beg your Lordships will deign to accord to him your confidence, the same as you would do to me were I personally in presence of your Lordships, to whom I do not cease to recommend myself.
“Catharine Sforza,Countess of Riario, Furli, and Imola. “Furli, 3 August, 1499.”
[* ]On the refusal of the Pisans to accept the decision given by the Duke of Ferrara as umpire in the peace negotiations between the Venetian and Florentine republics, the Signoria of Florence determined to resume the war with increased vigor, so as to bring these rebellious subjects once for all to submission. They therefore engaged fresh troops, and gave the supreme command of them to Paolo Vitelli, and the principal charges to his brother Vitellozzo and the Count Rinuccio da Marciano. As Vitelli had proposed to begin this enterprise with the capture of Cascina, the Signoria convoked the Council to hear their opinions and then to decide upon the matter. The Council approved the plan proposed by Vitelli, and twelve days after the meeting of the Council Cascina was recovered by the Florentines. This enabled the army to advance and approach the walls of Pisa, after having assaulted and taken the castle of Stampace. But Paolo Vitelli, who commanded the expedition, did not know how to take advantage of the terror of the enemy, and permitted the victory, which he held in his hands, to escape him; for Pisa would undoubtedly have been taken if Paolo had dared to push forward. But by his temporizing he afforded the Pisans the opportunity to recover their courage, so that they obliged him to abandon the castle of Stampace, and to withdraw from before the walls of Pisa; for it was not long before, aided by sickness produced by the malaria, the Pisans had the satisfaction of seeing Vitelli raise the siege of their city. The Signoria suspecting their commander of treason, had him arrested at Cascina, and thence brought to Florence, where after two days he was beheaded. Thus terminated the discreditable campaign of 1499; but it was resolved to resume the war in the following year under better auspices. The Signoria, anxious to secure the help of powerful allies, sent Pietro Soderini as ambassador to Georges d’Amboise, Cardinal of Rouen and governor of Milan for Louis XII., king of France, requesting him to let them have a portion of his troops to aid them in recovering Pisa. D’Amboise yielded to their request, and agreed to send them five thousand Swiss infantry and five hundred lances, the latter to be paid by the king, and the former by the Florentines, who were also to supply the artillery and whatever else might be necessary for a siege. The Seigneur de Beaumont was appointed captain of this force, at the request of the republic, who had on former occasions experienced his friendship. This auxiliary corps lost much precious time on the road to Pisa; and no sooner had they arrived at the Florentine camp than difficulties arose between these troops and the Florentine commissioners, Giovan Battista Ridolfi and Luca degli Albizzi, to whom Machiavelli had been sent as an adjunct in the beginning of June. The Gascons mutinied, and the Swiss insulted Commissioner Luca degli Albizzi, held him prisoner, and under false pretences extorted from him the sum of thirteen hundred ducats; and the whole expedition proved a complete failure.