Front Page Titles (by Subject) COMMISSION AND INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN TO NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI, SENT TO ROME BY THE TEN OF LIBERTY, ETC., 24 OCTOBER, 1503. * - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 3 (Diplomatic Missions 1498-1505)
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COMMISSION AND INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN TO NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI, SENT TO ROME BY THE TEN OF LIBERTY, ETC., 24 OCTOBER, 1503. * - 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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COMMISSION AND INSTRUCTIONS
You will proceed with all diligence to Rome, bearing with you our several letters of credence to those most reverend Cardinals whose good will it is most important to conciliate, such as Rouen, San Giorgio, Santo Severino, Ascanio, San Pietro in Vincola, and Santa Prassede.† You will present yourself to these Cardinals in our name, and make known to each of them, that we had within the last few days appointed ambassadors,* who were all ready to start when we heard of the death of Pope Pius III., which greatly afflicted our whole city. And that although these ambassadors will not go now, yet we did not wish to fail in our duty, and have sent you to express to them our deep grief at this event, and our desire that they may give to the late Pontiff a successor such as the needs of Christendom and of Italy require; and that, knowing such to be also their desire, we offer them all the assistance in our power to that end.
You will regulate your language as you may deem best to suit each of these Cardinals, and according to the information which you will receive from our most reverend Cardinal,† with whom you will confer before anything else, and according to whose suggestions you will regulate your conduct. You will take with you also a copy of the military engagement of the Baglioni, concluded within the past few days in our name by his Eminence; and a minute of our declaration, which we desire to be added to it. In all this you will observe the following order; namely, you will first confer on the subject with our said most reverend Cardinal, and you will make him understand our wishes that he should explain, in accordance with that minute, that clause of the engagement relative to our being relieved of the expenses and the damages, etc., etc., and that we shall have the right, whenever we may have need of them, to claim the services of the four hundred lances provided for in the engagement. And that his Eminence will speak of it to the Cardinal d’Amboise, either in your presence or in private, and in such manner as he may deem best, so that the latter may understand it the same as we do; which should present no difficulty, as it appears plainly in the written instrument. And if our declaration is agreed to according to the said minute, then you will ratify the same, for which purpose we have given you our power; and you will bring back with you an authenticated copy of that ratification.
Should his Eminence Cardinal d’Amboise, however, make any difficulty on the subject, then you will not ratify the engagement, but will write to us immediately and await our further instructions. And in case difficulty is made, then it will be your business to terminate this affair in accordance with the terms of our declaration. Should it be objected that perhaps we will not pay, and that thus the king would not be served, you will reply that, if the agreement is not concluded within a certain number of days, we would be willing, Gianpaolo also consenting, to fall back upon the old agreement, in so far as we may have failed to fulfil our obligations. It being understood, nevertheless, that one payment to the king or to Gianpaolo shall be deemed sufficient.
In the same way, should either the Cardinal d’Amboise or Gianpaolo make any difficulty, and object to a mere oral ratification in that form, you may offer and promise them a ratification by your government in due form, which would be sent as required, after our first having received notice from you to that effect.
Beyond this we have no further particular instructions to give you, save that during your stay in Rome you will keep us diligently informed from day to day of all that may occur worthy of notice.
[* ]Pope Alexander VI. died August 18th, 1503, and on the 22d of September of the same year Francesco Piccolomini was chosen his successor, who took the name of Pius III. He died on the 18th of October, after having held the Pontificate only twenty-six days.On the 1st of November of the same year Giuliano della Rovere, Cardinal of San Pietro in Vincola, was elected Pope, taking the name of Julius II. In the interval whilst the Papal chair was vacant in consequence of the death of Pius III., Machiavelli was sent to Rome, chiefly to the Cardinal Francesco Soderini, to whom he presented the following credentials, in the original on parchment: —
“Ex Palatio Nostro die 23 Octobris MDIII.
“Priores Libertatiset Vexillifer Iustitiæ Populi Florentini.
[† ]The Cardinal Rouen was Georges d’Amboise, Archbishop of Rouen; the Cardinal San Giorgio was Raffaello Riario di Savona; San Severino was the Cardinal Federigo San Severino of Milan, with the title of San Teodoro; the Cardinal Ascanio was Maria Sforza, son of the Duke of Milan, with the title of Cardinale dei SS. Tito e Modesto Martiri; Cardinale Giuliano della Rovere had the title of San Pietro in Vincola; Antonio Pallavicini of Genoa was Cardinale di Santa Prassede.
[* ]The ambassadors appointed on the election of Pius III. were Messer Cosimo de’ Pazzi, Bishop of Arezzo; Messer Antonio Maligonella, Messer Francesco Pepi, Matteo di Lorenzo Strozzi, and Tommaso Paolo Antonio Soderini.
[† ]This was the Cardinal Francesco Soderini of Florence, Bishop of Volterra, with the title of Santa Susanna.