Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XVII. - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 3 (Diplomatic Missions 1498-1505)
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LETTER XVII. - 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, etc.: —
Our last of the 8th instant was a reply to two of your Lordships’ communications of the 14th and 30th ultimo; and although we suppose that our despatch has reached your hands safely, yet we deem it well to send a duplicate. Nothing special has occurred since, nor have we anything else to write beyond what we have already said to your Lordships; namely, that if you wish to preserve the friendship of his Majesty of France, you must make up your minds to reimburse him the amounts which he claims to have paid out for your account to the Swiss and the other troops employed in the siege of Pisa. And this comes to our ears from so many quarters that in our judgment there is really no other remedy; for in matters of this kind his Majesty would demand the same satisfaction, if the amount were only one hundred francs, as he does for the thirty-eight thousand francs which he claims. And so long as his Majesty has such a subject of complaint against your Lordships, it will be useless to argue, or to think of obtaining the least thing in your favor. After this it is of the utmost importance that the ambassadors should come here to remove the opinion entertained here, and which has been suggested to the court here, as to your Lordships’ alienation from the king and the want of union amongst yourselves, to which two causes the departure of the former ambassadors and the non-arrival of the new ones are attributed. Every day fresh rumors are set afloat here; at one moment it is that you have sent ambassadors to the Turk, at another it is to the Emperor of Germany. We do our best to contradict these reports everywhere, but shall not be able to do so any more, if the departure of your ambassadors to his Majesty is delayed any longer. We desire to do our duty in calling your Lordships’ attention to this, and to repeat doing so very often, so that in any event we may never be charged with having neglected our mission in this particular. And we tell your Lordships frankly that our labors here can be of no further advantage, for which we have given you the most conclusive reasons.
At another interview which we have had with Monseigneur d’Alby, for the purpose of contradicting the report that your Lordships had sent ambassadors to the Emperor, etc., he declined to speak on any other subject except the money which his Majesty had paid out for your account, and to inquire of us whether the ambassadors had yet left Florence to come here. We desire, moreover, not to fail to remind you, with all due respect for your Lordships, of the importance of making some one here your friend, who from other motives than mere natural affection will watch your Lordships’ interests here, and will occupy himself in your behalf, and of whose services those who may be here as your agents may avail themselves for your advantage. We will not discuss here any further why and how necessary this is. You have in Florence many distinguished and wise citizens, who have been here as ambassadors, and who can give you better reasons than we can for such a measure. But we will only say upon this point, that it is with just such weapons that the Pisans defend themselves, and that the Lucchese attack you; and that the Venetians and King Frederick, as well as all others who have any business to transact at this court, help themselves; and whoever does not do the same may be said to think of gaining a lawsuit without paying an attorney.
Corcou has returned here; we leave it to your Lordships to judge of his reason for coming back. He has made such a report of the state of things at Florence, that, if Messer Giulio Scurcigliati, on whom, as a disinterested party, some reliance can be placed, had not arrived since then, affairs there would seem to be turning to everybody’s advantage except that of your Lordships. As this Messer Giulio will have fully reported to you of all he has done, we will not weary you with giving an account of it, but shall confine ourselves merely to his request to recommend to your Lordships a lawsuit that is pending between himself and the heirs of Paolo Antonio Bandini, in relation to which his Majesty will also write you.
As we have already stated in our previous letter, ambassadors from Germany are on the way here; but they are personages of less importance than what was reported a couple of months ago. His Majesty the king leaves to-morrow for Blois; we shall follow him there, hoping for the news that your Lordships’ ambassadors have really started. We shall continue with the utmost diligence to do all in our power for your advantage, and humbly recommend ourselves to your Lordships, quæ bene valeant.
Francesco della Casa,
Melun, 14 September, 1500.