Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XXIV. - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 3 (Diplomatic Missions 1498-1505)
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LETTER XXIV. - 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: —
After writing you on the 13th by the courier Carlo, in reply to yours of the 11th, there arrived here on the same day the Conte Lodovico della Mirandola with his troops. I can now give you an exact account of these forces, having myself counted thirty-four men-at-arms and seventy light-horse; they are quartered at Doccia, three miles from here, in the direction of Bologna. I also wrote to your Lordships in my last as well as in previous letters, that the negotiations with the Bentivogli were being much pressed; and that the Protonotario was here, and was receiving the most friendly attentions at the hands of the Duke. Yesterday morning I conversed quite a while with his Reverence; he spoke of the great advantage which the Duke’s friendship would be for them, if they could rely upon it, and how much the Duke, if well advised, ought to desire their good will. In short, I gathered from what the Protonotario said, that the treaty between them would have been already concluded, but for the fact that the Duke wanted the Pope to be a principal party to the agreement; it having always been the ambition of the Pope to bring Bologna back to her obedience to the Church, which other pontiffs had not succeeded in doing. And therefore the Duke wanted the Pope to make this treaty, for which purpose Messer Romolino, his Excellency’s secretary, has been sent on horseback to Rome. I learn that the convention between them contains two principal items. First, an alliance between the Bishop of Euna or the Cardinal Borgia and these Bentivogli, which is to be effected in one of two ways: either the Protonotario quits the Church, and marries the sister of the Cardinal, or Messer Hermes Bentivogli marries her, after having first broken off his engagement with one of the ladies of the Orsino family. The other is, that the Bentivogli are bound to sustain the Duke with a certain number of men-at-arms against whoever may attack him. It is said that some differences have arisen in consequence of the Duke’s claiming to have that service performed by the Bentivogli without any compensation to them, whilst they demand to be paid for it in full, or at least in part. There are also some old accounts to be settled by this treaty; and something is said about a Cardinal’s hat for the Protonotario, in case he does not leave the Church. Of all this I have no particulars, nor can I vouch for all I have written above.
Messer Romolino started this morning, and went in company with the Protonotario in the direction of Bologna, for the purpose of conferring with Messer Giovanni about the treaty. Messer Romolino will continue on from there towards Rome. I therefore write you this so that, inasmuch as he does not travel by post, your Lordships may show him some honor when he reaches Florence, and learn something from him concerning these matters. It is said at court that the Duke will leave here on Tuesday, and will go to Cesena, where he will halt with his troops. As the messenger that was sent a few days ago by his Excellency to the Orsini has not yet returned, we are without news from Fano; but I was told to-day that a difference had arisen between Vitellozzo and Gianpaolo in relation to the conditions of the treaty, with which the former is exceedingly dissatisfied.
Of the Swiss and the men-at-arms that are yet to arrive here, I know nothing more than what I have written in my last. Money is expected from Florence to enable the troops here to take the field; and eight days ago the same Guglielmo Buonaccorsi whom I have mentioned in former letters was sent there. To return to the treaty with the confederates, the opinion here is that they will never be able to make it general, so as to embrace every one, unless they should agree amongst themselves to attack some third party; and therefore let those who fear this think of it betimes, and take the necessary steps to prevent such an arrangement.
I recommend myself to your Lordships.
Imola, 14 November, 1502.
P. S. The messenger that brings this is to leave here to-morrow at noon; I was obliged to employ one of my own servants for this purpose, as there was no other opportunity of sending it. Your Lordships will please pay him six lire.