Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER I. FROM LUCA DEGLI ALBIZZI TO THE SIGNORIA OF FLORENCE. - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 3 (Diplomatic Missions 1498-1505)
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LETTER I. FROM LUCA DEGLI ALBIZZI TO THE SIGNORIA OF FLORENCE. - 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 and Illustrious Signori: —
We are now at the fourteenth hour, and have as yet no further news from the Gascons, as M. Samper has not returned from there, although we expect him at every moment. Everything remains in confusion and uncertainty, and things augur badly for us, for at every moment we hear of some fresh attempt or outrage against us; and no sooner is one disposed of than four others occur, — enough to convince any one that they are endless. Moreover, a number of Germans came into my chamber this morning, saying that at the time when the Emperor came to Pisa they were three months in our service, and that one hundred and thirty of their companions under command of a captain called Antonio Buner had never been paid; and with insulting and threatening language they demanded immediate payment from me. I told them that I knew nothing whatever of the matter; but if they would depute two of their number I would give them letters to your Lordships so that you could settle with them. But they refused this, and the only arrangement I could make with them, after much abusive language on their part, was that I should write to your Lordships; and if within forty-eight hours they were paid they would be satisfied; if not, they would pay themselves with my blood. M. Saliente and some other Frenchmen happened to come in at the time; they seemed frightened to death, and were as much alarmed by this crowd as I was myself. They excused themselves, and comforted me with fresh water, and approved the proposition that I should write you. Beaumont seemed utterly disheartened, and manifests great regret at this occurrence; but he sees no remedy for it, and seems really distressed that both his good will and his ability are of no avail. The captain of the Swiss seems full of good intentions, but brings forth nothing. All this, however, may be merely pretended, and may have no other object than the justification of the king at our expense.
As for myself, I augur very ill of the situation, and should deem it well if your Lordships would consider whether, without prejudice to our republic, I might think of my own safety; for what has not yet taken place may occur at any moment. I beg your Lordships, however, not to attribute this suggestion to cowardice on my part, for I am resolved to face any danger that may be deemed for the interest of our republic.
All these proceedings tend only to make us despair of Pisa, and to apprehend even worse, and therefore, as I have several times written to your Lordships, it is well to watch the whole of this game, and amongst many evils to choose the least, and above all promptly to apply the remedies that can be thought of, so as to produce an immediate effect. Weigh all this carefully, and confine yourselves to such measures and dispositions as the times demand; and believe him who tells you in good faith that the eye speaks the truth, rather than the ear.
Your Lordships must understand that I had been notified some days before of the above-mentioned trouble with the Swiss; but not wishing to annoy your Lordships, and believing that I should be able to defend myself against such dishonesty, I did not inform your Lordships of it before; nor should I have said anything on the subject now, but that I recognize the manifest danger.
I recommend myself to your Lordships.
Lucas Antonio degli Albizzi,
From the Camp before Pisa, July 8, 1500,
P. S. — For God’s sake do not forget the provisions, for that would be the completion of our ruin. De Beaumont must also be provided for; he has begun to importune me, and never sees me without worrying me on that point.