Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XI. - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 3 (Diplomatic Missions 1498-1505)
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LETTER XI. - 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, under cover to Rucellai, were of the 6th and 7th, and were forwarded by a courier despatched by the Bolognese. I gave you therein full account of the condition of the Duke’s affairs, and of his expectations to be named General of the Holy Church at the first meeting of the consistory. This meeting took place yesterday, but according to what I hear, the subject of the Duke’s affairs was not touched, and the consistory confined itself exclusively to ecclesiastical affairs, and to the regulations that are usually made at the beginning of every new Pontificate. The war between France and Spain was also discussed, and the advantage which it would be for all Christendom if they could settle their differences; and it appears that the new Pope is disposed to aid in bringing about such a settlement, if he has it in his power. The Duke’s concerns therefore remain in the same uncertainty, and wise persons augur most unfavorably lest he should come to a bad end, although the new Pope has always been regarded as a man of entire good faith. The Duke has been raising men-at-arms here, and according to what some people have told me he has also sent into Lombardy to raise infantry, hoping to recover his states by means of these troops, and by the help of the reputation which he would derive from being Gonfalonier and General of the Holy Church. But having been disappointed in his hopes of being made Gonfalonier at the first consistory, I do not know whether he will change his plans, or whether he will persist in his efforts to obtain that appointment anyhow. I desire much to receive instructions from your Lordships as to what course I shall pursue with regard to the Duke. Here it is thought advisable to induce him to go to Florence, and to give him some guaranties for that purpose; but I know not whether your Lordships are of the same opinion.
His Eminence of Volterra and several other Cardinals have spoken to his Holiness in relation to the affairs of Romagna, and they think the Pope well disposed to prevent that province from falling into the hands of the Venetians; for after a good deal of discussion he said to them: “I have ever been the friend of the Venetians, and am so still, provided they make no unjust pretensions. But if they attempt to take what belongs to the Church I shall do the utmost in my power to prevent them, and will stir up all the princes of Christendom against them.” Our Cardinal thus feels assured that, so far as it depends on his Holiness, matters will go no further.
Letters from the French army inform the Cardinal d’Amboise that, having thrown a bridge over the Garigliano, a portion of their forces crossed the river under protection of the artillery which they had on the bank of the river and on board of their vessels, and that the enemy had retreated with a portion of his artillery. The French intend now throwing two more bridges over the river, so as to secure their communications more effectually, by having both sides of the river occupied by the French. Sandricourt was the first to pass, and the Bailli d’Occan followed in the evening. Gonsalvo is about a mile distant, where he has thrown up some intrenchments. The French are resolved to fight and conquer, or to pursue him in case he should attempt to retreat. There is great rejoicing here amongst the French at this news; they seem to think that victory is theirs already. May God so direct things that all will be for the best!
Messer Bartolommeo d’ Alviano and the Orsini are at Alagna, and it is said that they are busy completing their companies there. The Cardinal d’Amboise, on receiving the news of the passage of the Garigliano, has requested his Eminence of Volterra to write to Gianpaolo Baglioni to start immediately with what forces he may have, and to proceed in the direction of the Abruzzi. He has ordered the Savelli to do the same; and has begged our Cardinal to write to your Lordships to have the remainder of the sum due to Baglioni ready, so that he may not be delayed on that account.
A messenger has arrived here from Messer Ambrogio di Landriano, saying that the great expenses of the camp have entirely exhausted his means, and although the time for further payments has not yet arrived, yet he demands money. We have given him fair words, but await your instructions as to what course we are to follow with regard to him. He represents the army to be thoroughly united and in the best spirits, and that they have twice offered battle to the Spaniards, who each time declined it. In addition to the other measures which the Cardinal d’Amboise has taken on the receipt of the above news, he has written to the commanders to make publicly known to those Sicilian lords who adhere to the Spanish side, that they will be pardoned if even now they will join the French.
D’Amboise has news this morning that several places in the Abruzzi have revolted, which makes him the more anxious that the Savelli and Baglioni should go there; and he renews his request that I should write to your Lordships to take such measures that there shall be no delay on account of the nonpayment of the remainder of what is due to Gianpaolo. I believe that the ratification of his engagement, which should have been concluded ere this, will be promptly attended to. Nothing else of any interest.
I recommend myself to your Lordships.
Rome, 10 November, 1503.