Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XXXVIII. - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 3 (Diplomatic Missions 1498-1505)
Return to Title Page for The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 3 (Diplomatic Missions 1498-1505)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Also in the Library:
LETTER XXXVIII. - 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.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
Magnificent Signori: —
I wrote two letters to your Lordships yesterday, which will be brought to you by the same courier, whose departure has been delayed until this evening, and who, according to what I hear, will not start for Florence until the third hour of night. I acknowledged in my last the receipt of your private despatch per express, containing the news of the capture of Don Michele. But as this news had already reached the Pope, as mentioned in my letter, and as his Holiness had already written to you, there was no occasion to do anything more in the matter. Nevertheless your Lordships’ letter was communicated to the Pope, and produced the same effect as mentioned in my letter of the 1st; that is to say, his Holiness manifested much pleasure, and then demanded with great earnestness to have Don Michele delivered to him. And he seemed confident that this request would not be refused, and to-day he said, smiling, that he wanted to talk with Don Michele and to learn some tricks from him, so as to enable him the better to govern the Church.
I have told your Lordships in my last of yesterday, that Pietro d’ Oviedo, together with an envoy of the Pope, was to have left this morning for Florence with the countersigns of the fortresses. Your Lordships must know that they have not yet started, for the reason that, as the Pope was negotiating for the amicable transfer of these fortresses, the Duke held back and wanted guarantees, and stood upon other trifles, and at the same time the Pope did not yet want to force him. The guarantees demanded by the Duke are that the Cardinal d’Amboise shall pledge himself in his own handwriting that all the Pope’s promises shall be carried out; in other words, that D’Amboise shall become surety for the good faith of the Pope. The Cardinal d’Amboise has until now refused to do this, and no one believes that he will be induced to consent to it in any way or at any price. And thus this matter has been discussed all day, and the final impression is that without any other pledges on the part of the Cardinal d’Amboise, Messer Pietro d’ Oviedo will start to-morrow morning with the countersigns, “and thus the Duke is little by little slipping into his grave.”
Certain young Roman gentlemen, followers of the Duke, came to-day to his Eminence of Volterra and complained that, whilst the Florentine merchants were well received at Rome, their own men and their effects that were with Don Michele had been seized and taken from them, in consequence of which they made these complaints, and even threats. His Eminence answered them sharply, saying that the Florentine merchants came to Rome unarmed and for a useful purpose, and not with the intent to do harm to any one; and that, if their men and things had been seized and spoliated, it was because of the injuries which they had in the past inflicted upon the inhabitants of the country, and because they had now come amongst them again without any guaranty or assurance not to do them fresh harm. These young men finally went away as they had come. His Eminence thinks, nevertheless, it would be well for you to gather all the facts and proofs of the case, and proceed the same as others who have been despoiled by the Duke. These have made public declaration of their grievances, and have proceeded against the Duke in the regular legal way, and their petitions have already been filed. Amongst these figure the Duke of Urbino, who claims two hundred thousand ducats, and the Cardinal San Giorgio, who claims fifty thousand ducats for account of his nephews. By adopting the same course yourselves, you would always be able to justify this late incident by proving the damages which you have suffered at the hands of the Duke.
The engagement of Gianpaolo Baglioni remains suspended, so far as your Lordships are concerned, for the reasons mentioned before, that the Cardinal d’Amboise is dissatisfied with him; for after having given Gianpaolo permission to go to Perugia, he ordered him to do several things, none of which he has done; and also because, despite of all the letters written and all the money paid him, he has never yet come here. His Eminence fears that, unless measures be taken to remedy this in some way, all the money paid by the king of France and D’Amboise to enable Baglioni to mount his troops may after all have been expended only for the benefit of some one else. And his Eminence of Volterra sees no other remedy than to have this business ratified by your guaranty, — which he thinks can be concluded here if Gianpaolo arrives here with his company before the departure of the Cardinal d’Amboise, so that he may talk and demonstrate to him that everything is in order. His Eminence furthermore is of the opinion, that, if D’Amboise should have left before Gianpaolo arrives here, you should do your utmost to bring this matter to a conclusion before the Cardinal shall have left Tuscany; otherwise he fears the result may be such as has been indicated above.
Rome, 3 December, 1503.