Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER VIII. - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 3 (Diplomatic Missions 1498-1505)
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LETTER VIII. - 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: —
My last letters were of the 1st, on which day I wrote four letters to your Lordships and sent them by the Martelli and the Del Bene, and therefore assume their safe arrival. Since then nothing new of any moment has occurred; and yet, as Carlo Martelli is going by post to Florence, I would not have him go without sending you this letter by him. Since the creation of the new Pope everything has been very quiet in this city; the troops of the Orsini have left, although we have not yet heard of their having passed Monte Ritondo, where they were to make their first halt; nor are they very numerous. In the same way, Gianpaolo Baglioni had also gone; it was in fact these troops who it was feared might sack the city. As I have already stated in my previous letters to your Lordships, the election of this Pope was almost unanimous; for with the exception of three or four Cardinals who themselves aspired to the Papacy, all the others supported him, and D’Amboise favored him without stint. It is said that the reason of this general support was that he had promised to each whatever they asked, and consequently it is thought that the difficulty will be in the fulfilling of these promises. To the Duke Valentino, who has been of more service than any one else, it is said, he has promised to reinstate him in all his possessions in Romagna, and that he has given him Ostia as security, where the Duke keeps Mottino with two vessels of war. The Duke is lodged in that part of the papal palace called “the new rooms,” where he has some fifty of his retainers with him; it is not known whether he will depart or remain. Some say that he will go to Genoa, where he has most friends, and that from there he will go into Lombardy to raise troops, and that then he will move to Romagna. And this is very probable, for he has some two hundred thousand ducats or more in the hands of the Genoese merchants. Others say that he has no intentions of leaving Rome, and will await the coronation of the Pope, so as to be made Gonfalonier of the Church, in accordance with the promises made to him by Julius II.; and that by means of the reputation which this will give him he hopes to recover his states. Others again, who are no less sagacious, think that, inasmuch as the Pontiff had need of the Duke in his election, and having made him great promises therefor, he finds it advisable now to feed the Duke on hope; and they fear that, if the latter should not decide upon any other course than to remain in Rome, he may be kept there longer than may be agreeable to him; for the Pope’s innate hatred of him is notorious. And it is not to be supposed that Julius II. will so quickly have forgotten the ten years of exile which he had to endure under Pope Alexander VI. The Duke meantime allows himself to be carried away by his sanguine confidence, believing that the word of others is more to be relied upon than his own; and that the promise of a family alliance ought to be of some avail, for it is said that the marriage of Fabio Orsino with the sister of Borgia is definitely agreed upon; and also that the Duke’s daughter is to be married to the Little Prefect.*
I cannot tell your Lordships anything more of the Duke’s affairs, nor can I make up my mind to any definite conclusions in relation to them; we must bide the time, which is the father of truth. I shall not attempt to tell your Lordships of all the engagements and promises made to the barons and cardinals, for they are just what each one asked for. Romolino is to have the Chancellorship of Justice, and Borgia that of Prisons; but it is not yet known whether they will really take possession of these offices. And as I have said above, it seems as though the Pope would be obliged to temporize with them all; but he cannot delay much longer to declare and make known whose friend he really means to be. Gianpaolo, as I anticipated from the first, is taking the route to Perugia with the consent of the Cardinal d’Amboise, and will ask permission of your Lordships to quarter a portion of his forces at Cortona; and the Cardinal d’Amboise has requested me to write to your Lordships to be pleased to grant the request. Up to the present moment the agreement with Gianpaolo is not ratified, as it has been impossible to transact any business with the Cardinal d’Amboise. By way of enabling him to pay the remainder of his obligation to Gianpaolo, that Cardinal has written a letter to your Lordships, asking you to pay him, and promising that the amount shall be credited you on your indebtedness to the king of France. D’Amboise justifies his course at length in that letter, which is signed and sealed by his own hand. Should your Lordships deem it prudent to make this payment to Baglioni, then you will be able to avail of his services, even if his engagement should not be concluded, which is quite possible, as he will have received six months’ pay at the expense of others; but we do not by any means despair of concluding his engagement.
The French troops are all encamped on the upper side of the Garigliano, and although they have captured certain towers in that direction held for the Spaniards, they are now occupied in constructing a bridge over the river. And although the enemy is on the opposite side of the river, yet they say that with the aid of their fleet they cannot be prevented from crossing the river. The letter that brings this news is of the 30th ultimo, and says that the French talk very confidently. Certain Pisan envoys have arrived here for the purpose of felicitating the new Pope upon his election; and his Eminence of Volterra has arranged with the Pope that, when these envoys present themselves to address him, his Holiness is to say to them that it is his office to pacify Italy, and that inasmuch as Pisa by its revolt was the cause of the war, so he intends now to make her the means of peace by uniting her with Florence; and the Pope has promised to say this.
In my previous letter I wrote to your Lordships in relation to Citerna, and that the Cardinal Volterra had proposed that you should allow him to arrange with the Cardinal San Giorgio to obtain Citerna from him, so as to conceal in some way your possession of that fortress. I await your reply to that proposition. I think I shall present myself to his Holiness either to-day, or at the latest by to-morrow, and will inform your Lordships of the result.
Rome, 4 November, 1503.
[* ]This “Little Prefect” (Prefettino) was Maria della Rovere, son of Giovanni, Duke of Urbino, and Joanna Montefeltro. Immediately on his father’s death at Sinigaglia, in 1501, he succeeded at the age of eleven years, under the guardianship of his mother and his uncles, the then Cardinal Giuliano (now Pope Julius II.) and the Duke Guido, not only to the lordship of Sinigaglia and to that of other states, but also to the Prefecture of Rome. He married Eleanor, the daughter of the Marquis Francesco Gonzaga; he was general in the service of the Church, of the Florentines, and of the Venetians, and died in the year 1558.