Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER IV. - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 3 (Diplomatic Missions 1498-1505)
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LETTER IV. - 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, etc.: —
By the enclosed of the 27th, which has been retained until the 29th, your Lordships will have been informed of all that has taken place since the arrival of Machiavelli. That letter was not sent for want of the convenience of a courier, and from my desire to forward it free of expense. But as some one leaves this evening for Florence, I will not miss the opportunity of writing to your Lordships what I heard from the king, before whom I presented myself to-day immediately after dinner, accompanied by Machiavelli and Ugolino Martelli. We spoke to his Majesty conformably to what we had already twice said to the Cardinal d’Amboise, as reported in the enclosed. Nor did the king’s replies vary in general from what the Cardinal had said; but he added specially that he was organizing a new corps of fourteen hundred lances and twenty thousand infantry, and had given orders that very day that a cousin of D’Aubigny’s should be placed in charge of the citadel of Milan with one hundred Scottish lances, which he has collected for the purpose of reducing that stronghold to subjection; and that besides these he would send there some two or three hundred lances, of certain detached bands, which he would unite and send into that duchy. We did not fail to encourage him to this, and even to greater preparations, and to point out to him that it would be highly advantageous for him to re-engage as many Italian troops as possible, showing him the course pursued in that respect by his adversaries. His Majesty replied that he would do so, but that it was necessary that your Lordships should take into your pay as many as you possibly could; adding, that the Pope had written him that he was forming a corps of four hundred men-at-arms, and that although he had given the captaincy to the Duke of Urbino, wishing thus to honor the Prefect, yet that this was merely a matter of courtesy; and that he should give orders that these troops should be commanded by able men, and such as were experienced in the profession of arms. His Majesty affirmed most energetically, and showed by his manner, that he felt sure of the Pope; respecting Spanish affairs and the ratification of the truce, he expressed the same opinion as the Cardinal Legate, which I have communicated to you in the enclosed, and he said that by Friday the answer ought to be here, and that then your secretary could return to Florence, either with the news of the definite conclusion of the truce and peace, or of war. Here we did not fail to remind his Majesty, in the event of war being the result, of the measures necessary to be taken for the protection of his own interests as well as those of his allies; the most important of which measures were to have a large fleet at sea, and to strengthen Tuscany with good troops.
It remains for me to inform your Lordships that, before our interview with his Majesty, the envoy of the Marquis of Mantua, and another individual who came here by post, sent by that prince, had an audience of theking. I could learn nothing of the object of their coming, except what his Majesty told me so soon as I presented myself; namely, that these gentlemen had been sent by the Marquis of Mantua for no other purpose than to urge him to attack the Venetians; and that he, on his part, would not fail to furnish what troops and men-at-arms he could possibly raise for that purpose. His Majesty added, that the envoy from Ferrara had made him similar offers; to all which I replied in a becoming manner, urging his Majesty to take that course.
To-day the ambassadors of the Emperor of Germany dined with the Cardinal Legate; they have as yet not had an audience of the king, and it is believed that the reason is that his Majesty wishes first to know what propositions they bring, so as to prepare himself to manage the business with the more credit to himself. The ambassador from Genoa gave us to understand, this morning, that by order of his Majesty and his own government all their vessels that were in port were to be stopped, as he wished to arm them for his service; from the same source we learn the death of the Marquis of Saluzzo. We hear furthermore, from various quarters, that the king has sequestered all the revenues of Monsignor Ascanio; and that he has sent for a number of Milanese gentlemen, noted as being of the Sforza party, and has banished them to different places, fixing the time when they must report themselves there.
After writing thusfar, I went to make my visit to the Spanish ambassador, as agreed with the Cardinal Legate yesterday. I conversed with him on general matters, having due regard to the honor of both sovereigns, as well as that of your Lordships. He replied to me most graciously, and in the course of his remarks assured me that the ratification of the truce would unquestionably come, and would not be delayed beyond this week, and might even reach here this very night.
I mention this to your Lordships, so that you may know what I have learned from that ambassador; beyond which I have nothing to report.
I recommend myself humbly to your Lordships, quæ bene valeant.
Lyons, 30 January, 1504.