Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XXXI. - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 3 (Diplomatic Missions 1498-1505)
Return to Title Page for The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 3 (Diplomatic Missions 1498-1505)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Also in the Library:
LETTER XXXI. - 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.
About Liberty Fund:
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
Magnificent Signori: —
My last was of the 30th ultimo, and before that I had written on the 28th and 29th. I have now to communicate to your Lordships that the articles of agreement between his Excellency the Duke and Messer Giovanni Bentivogli were, with the help of God, finally settled and concluded. I send this intelligence by an express messenger, believing it to be of great interest to your Lordships. For besides the other advantages which our republic will derive from it, there is one that is not to be esteemed lightly; namely, that the Duke begins to show himself less disposed to follow his own caprices, and recognizes that everything will not yield to his good fortune. This will dispose him to listen more readily to any proposals your Lordships may choose to make to him. Although it was my duty to have sent you a copy of this treaty, yet it was impossible to obtain it this evening; and I therefore preferred to send you this information at once, rather than delay by waiting for a copy of the treaty. Various opinions prevail here as to the course which the Duke will now pursue in his affairs. For the matter with Bologna as well as that with the Orsini being settled, and there being hope also of terminating the Urbino business favorably, as we shall know by to-morrow what the Signor Paolo has effected by his visit there, nothing now remains in uncertainty except what the Duke is going to do with all the troops he has collected here; and whether the French in whole or in part will have to return to Lombardy or go to Naples; or indeed whether his Excellency, despite of all treaties, will have to keep them here for his security, especially against the Vitelli and the Baglioni. Upon this latter point I have never learned anything more than what I have several times written to your Lordships; namely, that on the one hand the Duke manifests an evil disposition towards them, and on the other hand I have heard from that same friend of mine, that, if the Duke were to go to Rome and remain there, he would find out the difference between the Jews and the Samaritans, as I have written you more in detail in my last.
As to the other point, whether the French are to go to Naples either with or without the Duke, I have done my utmost to find out something, but can learn nothing positive. From what I have heard, however, I am more inclined to say not than otherwise; for on my speaking to-day on that subject with the friend to whom I have several times referred, he told me that one of these Frenchmen had shown him a letter from Naples, from which it appears that the French have the upper hand there, and that consequently the presence of these troops was not needed there. Drawing that letter from his pocket, he gave it to me, and your Lordships will find a copy of it herewith enclosed. I can say nothing further on this subject; but by Tuesday we shall see which way this water will run, and which conjecture may prove to be the most correct; for I judge from many indications that the Duke will leave here with all his troops within three or four days.
It is said that the first halt will be at Furli, and that then they will advance promptly from there. You will be better able to judge of this than from the reports that are now circulating here. And by way of giving your Lordships a better idea of the spirit that animates the Duke towards his late enemies, you must know that for the last eight days there has been a messenger here from Pandolfo Petrucci, and one from Gianpaolo Baglione, but neither of them has been able to obtain an audience from his Excellency, or has really any hope of it. A friend of mine told me that he had heard one of these gentlemen allege in justification of their case against the Duke, that they had wanted to make him king of Tuscany, but that he had not only declined the offer, but went and denounced it to his Majesty the king of France; and that this is the only thing that Vitellozzo complains of on the part of his Excellency.
I have again to inform your Lordships that there is no news from Urbino since the departure of the Signor Paolo Orsino and Messer Antonio del Monte; but by to-morrow something is expected from there, as I have already advised you. To-day it is reported at court that the people of Camerino have destroyed a castle in their neighborhood, belonging to the Church, and called San Severino.
I recommend myself to your Lordships, quæ bene valeant.
Imola, 2 December, 1502.
Please pay the bearer of this six lire. This letter should reach you at least by the 4th instant.