Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER IX. - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 3 (Diplomatic Missions 1498-1505)
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LETTER IX. - 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: —
I sent my last of the 4th to your Lordships by Carlo Martelli, and, believing that it must have reached you safely, I did not write again by the courier. Having informed you in that letter of all that has been done with regard to the engagement of Gianpaolo, and that the Cardinal d’Amboise had written a letter to your Lordships requesting you to pay the remainder of his obligation to Baglioni, I shall say no more on that subject, as nothing new has occurred since; and I shall wait here until called upon, when I shall reply in accordance with your instructions. I have now to inform your Lordships that I presented myself yesterday at the feet of the Pontiff and expressed to him in your name the pleasure which his promotion to the Pontificate had given you; and having explained the reasons of this satisfaction on your part, I offered to his Holiness all that the power of your republic could do for the glory and prosperity of his Pontificate. His Holiness seemed pleased at this offer, and showed himself most grateful for all that I had said to him; saying in reply, that he had always counted upon our republic, but now that his power and authority had been so much increased, he desired to show his affection for her in every possible way, especially as being under the greatest obligations to his Eminence of Volterra, who had been in great measure instrumental in his election to the exalted dignity of the Pontificate. And thus after these customary ceremonies I took my leave. After that I received your Lordships’ letter of the 2d instant, in which you state that you have received the news of the election of the new Pope, and express surprise at not having had any letters from me. I think that you must have received immediately after writing to me four of my letters. It is not my fault that they have not reached you sooner, for the Del Bene gave me no notice of their despatching a courier on the night of the election. And I do not blame them, for they told me the next morning that they were under the impression that the letters which I had previously given them to forward contained the result of the election. Be that as it may, I think that your Lordships will be satisfied with my subsequent letters.
As yours of the 2d gave an account of the ruin of Romagna and of the disposition of the Venetians, as well as of the condition of things generally in that direction, his Eminence of Volterra was of the opinion that I ought immediately to communicate this information to the Pope, and the Cardinal d’Amboise was of the same opinion when he heard it. I therefore went to his Holiness and read him your letter. He said that Dionisio di Naldo, chief of the Valle di Lamona, rather supported the cause of the Duke Valentino than that of the Venetians, and that these matters would take a different shape when once his election to the Papacy was known; and that they had gone on thus because they had been ignorant of his election; but that he would speak to D’Amboise on the subject. After leaving his Holiness I spoke to their Eminences Ascanio, San Giorgio, and San Severino about it, and reminded them that it was not a question of the liberty of Tuscany, but of that of the Church; and that, if the Venetians were permitted to increase their power beyond what it was already, the Pope would end by being nothing more than the chaplain of the Venetians; and that it was their business to look to this matter, inasmuch as they might become heirs to the papal dignity; that we on our part had called their attention to it in time, and offered them what little assistance it was in our power to render.
These Cardinals showed that they felt the importance of the matter, and promised to do all that was possible. I also spoke to the Duke, and communicated the news to him, which seemed to me proper for the purpose of finding out how he felt on the subject, and whether there was anything to fear or to hope from him. When he heard of the affair of the Castellan of Imola and the attack of the Venetians upon Faenza, he became greatly excited and began to complain bitterly of your Lordships, saying that you had always been his enemies, and that it was of you and not of the Venetians that he had cause to complain. For with a hundred men you might have secured those states, but that you did not want to do it; but that he would manage so that you should be the first to repent of it. And now that Imola was lost to him, he would raise no more troops, nor risk losing what he had left for the sake of trying to recover what he had lost. That he would no longer be deluded by you, but would with his own hands turn over all that was left to him to the Venetians; and he believed that he would very soon see our republic ruined, and that then it would be his turn to laugh. As to the French, they would either lose the kingdom of Naples, or they would have their hands so full that they would not be able to render you any assistance. And then he went on speaking with great animosity and vehemence. I lacked neither matter nor words to answer him, and yet I thought it best to soothe him, and managed as adroitly as I could to break off the interview, which seemed to me to have lasted a thousand years.
I went again to see the Cardinals Volterra and Amboise, who were at table, and as they had been expecting me with the answer, I related to them precisely everything as it had occurred. D’Amboise was incensed at the language used by the Duke, and said: “God has never yet allowed any sin to go unpunished, and he certainly will not allow those of Cesar Borgia to pass.” In my letter of the 4th I mentioned to your Lordships the whereabouts of the Duke at the time, and the conjectures that were being made with regard to him. Since then we have seen that he has been gathering troops; and such of his ministers as I am acquainted with tell me that he intends going to Romagna at any rate, with all the troops he can collect. Now that the fortress of Imola is lost, and having seen the consequent anger of the Duke, I cannot say whether he may not change his purpose; at any rate, I can give your Lordships no further information respecting him. His Eminence of Amboise and the other Cardinals who watch the affairs of Italy think that with regard to Romagna one of two things will have to be done; namely, either to restore that province to the Church, or to hand it over to the king of France. Whether or not they will succeed in this I cannot tell, but I believe they will leave nothing undone to bring it about; and I really see no other remedy myself.
Of the French and Spanish troops I have at this moment nothing else to tell you but what I have already said in my letter of the 4th, no further news having been received here in relation to them. The French here are very hopeful that their army has passed the Garigliano, for the river being narrow their artillery is able to damage the enemy on the opposite shore, and having command of the sea they would be able to send some armed vessels up the river, so that the Spaniards will not be able to show themselves and prevent the French from crossing to the other side; and once having accomplished the passage of the river, they think that all else will be easy for them. This seems to me quite probable, for Gonsalvo has always kept himself behind his intrenchments, and has never shown himself in the open field. More than this I cannot write to your Lordships, but the end will show all. For once the French are not in want of money, for the Del Bene tell me that they have still fifty thousand ducats in sacks in their house, and there is no other money in circulation here but ducats.
The Pope will assume the tiara on Sunday, the 8th; that is, two weeks from to-day.