Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XVI. - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 3 (Diplomatic Missions 1498-1505)
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LETTER XVI. - 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: —
Yesterday I wrote to your Lordships per express, and despatched it with my letter of the 11th through the hands of the Pandolfini, in reply to yours of the 8th, which came also per express. You will have seen from mine the determination of the Pope on the subject of the affairs of Romagna, and all that can be said of his Holiness at this moment. You will also have learned from it the projects of the Duke, who is occupied meanwhile in raising both infantry and cavalry with which to pursue his march into Romagna; and I believe that he delays in great part for the purpose of knowing your decision. For here we can neither treat with him nor do anything else, because we do not know what your Lordships’ disposition or determination in the matter may be. I have several times asked you for your views, but being still without any reply we are completely at a loss what to do.
As I have explained in former letters to your Lordships, the Pope for the moment favors the Duke, for he feels himself bound by the promises which he has made to him, and also from his desire not to let those places fall into the hands of the Venetians. His Holiness seems resolved to do everything in his power to prevent them from being swallowed up by the Venetians. I believe he is conferring to-day with some eight or ten of those Cardinals who have the honor of the Church most at heart, to determine about sending an envoy to Venice, to which I have referred in my letter of the 11th. It seems that his Holiness has no doubts as to getting those places back that have been taken by the Venetians, who, he thinks, will consent to anything. His advisers urge him by all means to try and get possession of them, demonstrating to him that he can afterwards dispose of them according to the demands of honesty and justice, etc., etc.
I have conferred to-day with his Eminence of Volterra respecting your Lordships’ reply on the subject of Citerna. He is constantly after San Giorgio, trying to bring the matter to a conclusion; our Cardinal thought that he would be able to effect an even exchange with San Giorgio, by giving him one of his fortresses for Citerna, but San Giorgio declines such an exchange, and demands two hundred ducats, saying that he has such an offer from some one else. Our Cardinal would not like that such an expense should be incurred, and yet he does not know how it can be avoided, if it is really desired by your Lordships to have Citerna, for we may lose the chance altogether. San Giorgio has given him to understand that, unless we decide to-day or to-morrow to take it on those terms, he will go to the feet of his Holiness, and make known to him that Citerna, which fell to him by lot, has been occupied by the Florentines, and make this a subject of complaint. The negotiations are therefore continued, and we shall take such a course as his Eminence may deem best so as to quiet the matter. For, having to reprove others for attempting to take what does not belong to them, it behooves us to avoid all occasions for incurring reproof for the same thing in our turn.
Yesterday evening, Pope Julius II. took formal possession of the Castel San Angelo with all due solemnity, and has appointed the Bishop of Sinigaglia as his Castellan. The former Castellan has left according to report, with the promise of being made Cardinal.
By my letter of the 10th, I informed your Lordships of the report of the passage of the Garigliano by the French; but since then we have no particulars. True, letters were received last night by some of the Colonnese here, that some four thousand French had crossed the river, and that Gonsalvo, who was about a mile distant with his army, could not prevent them, owing to the swollen state of certain water-courses between himself and the French. But that, the waters having subsided, Gonsalvo charged upon the French, who, having no cavalry, were dislodged from a bastion which they had constructed, and were completely routed. A portion of them were killed, and a portion driven into the river and drowned. This news was spread by the Colonnese, and although it is now the twenty-third hour, yet up to the present it is not confirmed. The French here do not believe it, and say that their infantry which had crossed the Garigliano was protected by their artillery, which they had placed on the river-bank and on board of vessels, so that the Spaniards could not attack them. We must wait for time to clear up this matter, and when the truth is known your Lordships shall be advised.
It is now one o’clock at night, and up to this moment the above news has neither been confirmed nor contradicted. The Cardinals did not meet with the Pope to-day to discuss the affairs of Romagna, but I believe they will do so to-morrow. I send this through the hands of P. del Bene, who tells me that he may possibly despatch a courier to night.
Rome, 13 November, 1503.