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SECOND MISSION TO SIENNA. - 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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SECOND MISSION TO SIENNA.
Resolved,16 July, 1505.
You will proceed on horseback to Sienna, so as to arrive there to-morrow morning at business hours, and you will immediately call upon the Magnificent Pandolfo, for whom you have our letters of credence. You will express to him the pleasure we have derived from his having sent a confidential agent to communicate to us the information he had received of Bartolommeo d’ Alviano’s intention to proceed immediately to Piombino. You will thank Pandolfo for the offers he has made to us, and add at once that we have sent you to him for the purpose of learning from his Lordship what he thinks ought to be done so as to prevent any further disorders; enlarging upon the subject as you may judge necessary for the purpose of more effectually finding out the truth. You will treat the subject in all its bearings, for which purpose you will have to take counsel of yourself, and govern your conduct with your habitual prudence.*
Magnificent Signori, etc.: —
I had an interview this morning with Pandolfo, so soon as he had risen, for I arrived here before even the city gates were opened. When I communicated to him the instructions which I had from your Lordships, he did not allow me to enter into any explanations, but said: “I will tell you how this matter stands. The Signor Renzo da Ceri had seized on my territory some five hundred head of cattle, whereupon I sent Cornelio Galanti to Bartolommeo d’ Alviano to complain of this robbery, with orders, if he did not obtain satisfactory redress, to proceed to Rome, there to lodge a complaint with his Holiness the Pope. Cornelio went, and I believe some arrangement is likely to be effected between Renzo and the owners of the cattle. Cornelio wrote me furthermore, that Bartolommeo had given him to understand that he could no longer supply provisions for his soldiers, and had decided at any rate to break up on the following Thursday, which happens to be this very morning, and to move to Campiglia, there to take up his quarters, and then to act as fortune might dictate. I was surprised and displeased at this, and at once sent a mounted messenger to inform your Gonfaloniere of this, writing at the same time again to Cornelio to see the Signor Bartolommeo again, and to advise him, on my part, to desist altogether from such an enterprise, which, without adequate support, was downright madness, and that I could see no chance of his having any reliable support. And to tell him furthermore, that in our territory he could have only what he could steal, and nothing more; adding, that he would certainly have a reply to that letter to-day, and therefore it would be well for me to await its arrival before writing to your Lordships; and that for the moment he could tell me nothing but what he had already written to you, namely, that he was ready to do all that he and his city were able to do, and that he would send for me so soon as the answer came.” And therefore, as I was to see him again, I did not care to enter into any further particulars with him at that moment. After dinner, at about the seventeenth hour, Pandolfo sent for me, and according to what I had heard he had invited some five or six of the chief citizens to dinner, during which he had some little conversation with them about my mission, and these were still with him when I arrived at his house. Having seated myself amongst them, Pandolfo told me that he had received an answer from Cornelio, who informed him that he had tried by a long argument, on behalf of Pandolfo, to dissuade D’ Alviano from advancing towards Sienna, but that it had produced no effect, and that D’ Alviano was to break up that very morning and move his camp to the mill of Vetrella, and that the next day he was to proceed to San Giovanni di Selva, between Montefiascone and Viterbo, where he was to receive some money; but that he did not know how much nor from whom; and that D’ Alviano said that he had large resources of money, infantry, and artillery, but left us to guess from whom. It was clear, however, that it must be Gonsalvo who supplied him with infantry from Piombino, as well as with artillery which he has there, and also that it might easily be that such of the Spanish infantry as were at Gaeta, and which it was said were to embark for Sicily, would go back to Piombino to join D’ Alviano.
This information seemed to make it clear to Pandolfo that he would have to mount, and for this purpose he has already taken such measures as are within his means. He has written to Cornelio not to return, but to follow D’ Alviano’s army, and to advise him of its movements from point to point. He has also written to Gianpaolo Baglioni promptly to mount, and move with all his men across the Chiane into the Maremma; and he advises you to send all your forces to Campiglia in the Maremma. Pandolfo added, that although himself and all these citizens were disposed to do all they could to prevent this movement of D’Alviano’s, yet they did not know how they could, nor how their own security would be thereby insured, as it would expose them to drawing a war upon themselves, not having yet concluded any definite engagement with you. And therefore it seemed to him that an agreement should first be concluded with you, and that, if his views had not heretofore been fully understood, he thought the state of Sienna would be satisfied to agree upon the following basis, viz.: — First, prolong the truce of ’98 as it stands for another five years; and should it contain any article not suited to the present state of things, or likely to give rise to disputes, it might be struck out; and to add merely that the Siennese shall be obliged during the entire term of five years to keep fifty men-at-arms at the service of the Florentine republic. That although at first one hundred had been spoken of, yet he had thought that it would matter little to you if the number were reduced to only fifty; for inasmuch as they would have to remain always armed, even at home, it would involve them in an expense that would become insupportable; and that their giving you fifty men-at-arms for your service was intended more as an evidence of their friendship than for anything else. Second, in the event of Pisa being recovered by your Lordships within the five years, then Montepulciano is to remain free to the Siennese; but the Pisan territory as well as the fifty men-at-arms to be subject to your will and pleasure. If, however, Pisa is not recovered within the five years, then they do not give up their claims to Montepulciano, which in that case remain the same as before the conclusion of the agreement, which however is to hold good anyhow until it is formally abrogated.
I replied to all this, that I had no instructions to discuss this subject, but could write to Florence about it; still, if I were to express my opinion, it was that I did not see how such an agreement would relieve his apprehensions; and that there was always much time lost in such negotiations, whilst Bartolommeo was already in the saddle. To which Pandolfo observed that there were but two articles to be agreed upon, which could be done within four days, and that no time need be lost on that account; but that you could push your men on to Campiglia, whilst he would send his into the Maremma; and that other expedients might also be tried, which would be the most effective way perhaps of putting down D’ Alviano, namely, to take the Vitelli away from him, who had sixty men-at-arms. And here he swore that he would be hanged if D’ Alviano moved forward, if deprived of the Vitelli; and that other Condottieri besides the Vitelli might also be detached from him. And if all this should involve your Lordships in some expense, it would nevertheless be money well laid out, as it would be the means of securing you against D’ Alviano, not only for the present, but for all time; for he was a man to be feared by all who had possessions, whilst he had none, and was always armed. And being, moreover, of a ferocious and reckless disposition, and Italy being full of thieves, accustomed to live upon what they could take from others, these all flocked to him to share in his plunder.
I did not fail to say in reply to Pandolfo, that inasmuch as he knew D’ Alviano best, so it behooved him more than any one else to oppose his schemes, and that he ought not to wait for others to do everything; and that he ought promptly to apply those measures which he constantly urged upon others to take. I also reminded him that we lacked neither troops nor favors, which were always at the service of others when they were ready to accept and employ them for the common advantage; but if not, and if Tuscany had to undergo fresh troubles, we knew well that these very troubles would cause some to succumb, whilst others escaped; but that it was the most feeble who would succumb. Here he resumed his remarks, and attempted by a long argument to justify the past, and concluded by asking me to write to your Lordships, and saying that it would be agreeable to him to have me remain until your answer came as to what you had resolved to do, and so that he might inform me verbally of the progress of D’ Alviano. But he requested me to ask your Lordships not to mention his name in case you should publish your intentions; and he complained that his name had been mentioned by the individual whom he had sent to you with the information that had caused your Lordships to send me here.
I must not omit mentioning to your Lordships that Pandolfo told me that, by way of anticipating, he had already ordered letters to be written to the Vitelli to endeavor to detach them from D’ Alviano. He said also that he believed that he would be able to keep the said Signor Bartolommeo in suspense for six or eight days on pretence of intending to send him money; but that he would not do so unless he had first come to an agreement with your Lordships. And he added, that, if the two states came to terms, they would not lack means for restraining D’ Alviano, and that you ought to remember that he had held him in check in 1489, when he was in the service of the Venetians.
I have thus far written only what I have from Pandolfo’s own lips. I might have written you the various replies I made to his remarks, but omit them, so as not to weary your Lordships. Nor can I form an opinion whether he is to be believed or not, for I have seen nothing here that would enable me to form a better judgment upon this point than what your Lordships can do yourselves. I will only tell you that you have nothing to expect from here, for Pandolfo has no fear of D’Alviano for the moment; and if what he says be the truth, it is not present fear that will make him act, but that of the future.
I have had a call from a Siennese who professes to be very friendly to our republic, and he told me that you must not rely upon anything that Pandolfo promises or says; and that he knows for certain that the Venetians are spending money here, and are mixed up in this complication; that a few days since Guido Orlandi returned from Venice, where he went some weeks ago with Messer Petruccio, who has remained there; that this Guido was brought here in a cart, having injured one of his legs on the road, whilst carrying despatches; and so soon as he arrived here, Pandolfo visited him, and then immediately despatched Cornelio Galanti to D’Alviano to urge him to move forward, and to inform him that he had already sent some persons to the Siennese frontier to receive his men, and provide quarters for them; that Pandolfo’s design is to destroy our present Gonfaloniere, who seems indisposed to enter into close relations with him, whilst the others would readily come to terms with him, each having an interest in doing so. This Siennese thinks that there are great intrigues going on here, and promises to inform me of many other things whilst I am here. This man has quite good manners and seems very intelligent, but shows himself so violent against him who governs here that it destroys my faith in him. Nevertheless I write you what he has told me, and shall continue to do so if he tells me anything more; and your Lordships will make such use of the information as will prevent all harm.
The present courier leaves at the twenty-second hour. Your Lordships will please have the expense reimbursed to Francesco di Luzio. Valete!
Sienna, 17 July, 1505.
Magnificent Signori, etc.: —
I wrote to your Lordships at length yesterday and sent it by an express who should have arrived at the second hour of the night. I look for a reply at latest by to-morrow, so as to permit my return. This morning at the Duomo I was addressed by one Ser Paolo di Pietri di Paolo, who lived at Florence while banished from here. He began by telling me of his deep obligation to our city for having served him more than once as a refuge and shield in his adversity, and for the great kindness and benevolence shown him by our citizens. Amongst many other matters he mentioned Messer Francesco Gualterotti; at first he said that he did not wish to speak of public affairs, as he could not open his heart to me as he should desire, but he offered me his services for any personal or private matter. Nevertheless I led him on indirectly, so that after a good deal of talk we came to discuss the events of the day; and he assured me that D’ Alviano had actually started for Campiglia, and that Gonsalvo was to aid him with infantry, and perhaps even with the troops that were now at Piombino; and that the Venetians were to supply him with money, and that Sienna would permit him to force a passage through her territory, without, however, furnishing him troops, or giving him any other open support. But when I asked what D’ Alviano wanted to do at Campiglia, this Ser Paolo said: “Take that place, give the Pisans more room, and then act according to his success; but that he ought to remember that on a former occasion he came to the very gates, and that perhaps he might try the same thing now, and leave Campiglia aside.” And then he added, that he wondered much that our city had not been willing to make sure of him who governed here, by coming to some arrangement with him respecting Montepulciano, as had been several times proposed; and that it seemed to him that by such an arrangement you would be “selling the sun in July”* to the Siennese; for that when once masters of Pisa, not only Pandolfo, but Montepulciano, Sienna, and all the rest of Tuscany, would be at your discretion. I remarked to him that the fault was theirs if no agreement had been concluded, for Florence had ever been disposed to do all that was reasonable; but that now it seemed to me that matters had come to that point that it was useless to talk of any agreement since Pandolfo had combined with Bartolommeo and his adherents. Whereupon he answered quickly, that I ought not to say so, for in his judgment the present moment was most favorable for you to effect an arrangement; but that no time was to be lost, as the negotiations between Pandolfo and the others amounted only to conferences and words, and that it would not cause Pandolfo much pain to deceive the Venetians, although they had already spent a good deal of money; and then he intimated to me that this money was paid through his hands. And in the same way, he said, Pandolfo would not mind deceiving Gonsalvo, for that both the Venetians and Gonsalvo were governed in this matter by the advice of Pandolfo, who had gained such influence with both that they believed and confided entirely in his intelligence. And that he believed that Pandolfo would gladly make an arrangement with you so as not to lose altogether the advantages of these movements, and fearing lest the whole responsibility should fall upon him as on a former occasion, and that thus an arrangement with you would be the safest thing for him.
To all this I replied that it was difficult on the one hand to believe that all these movements were of so much importance, and on the other, that Pandolfo could stop them at his pleasure; and therefore I imagined that Pandolfo would either not come to any agreement, or that, if he did, all these preparations had no other object than to alarm, but not injure us. That we were in condition not to fear even the most vigorous attacks, and much less any feeble ones; and then I told him the state of our forces and that of our allies. He answered, that the more secure you were, the better pleased was he; that he did not know whether this contemplated movement was great or little, but this much he knew, that whether great or little it depended altogether upon Pandolfo, whose brains had originated it all. And here he enlarged upon Pandolfo’s ability, referring again to the great credit which he had acquired everywhere, and that he had his foot, so to say, in a thousand stirrups, but so that he could withdraw it from them at his pleasure. And here he left me, having concluded by saying that an arrangement with Pandolfo seemed to him of the greatest advantage for us.
As I wrote yesterday to your Lordships the substance of the conversation I had with that other friend, so I have deemed it proper to give you a full account of this one also. Both showed themselves in the beginning of their conversation dissatisfied with Pandolfo, but, as you will have observed, their conclusion was very different. I did not mention the name of the one yesterday, so as not to compromise him; but I gave you the name of the first one, for it seemed to me that his communications were less likely to expose him to danger, and so that your Lordships, knowing who it was, might be able to judge better what confidence to put in his statements. I have nothing else to write unless it be that I have omitted to inform your Lordships, in my letter of yesterday, that when Pandolfo told me, in my last conversation with him, that he would do all in his power to oppose D’Alviano, I replied that I believed it, having seen that he had sent to Florence to enlist infantry; in answer to which he said that the men enlisted at Florence were not for that purpose, but that one of his lately created captains of police had engaged thirty men, which statement I have since found to be true.
Since writing yesterday Pandolfo has sent to inform me that one Bastiano of Cortona, for a long while his barber, having gone to Cortona a few days since to assist at the marriage of his sister, has been detained by the commandant on suspicion of his being engaged in some conspiracy against the state. Pandolfo thinks that the truth must have been found out by this time, and desires that you would make him a present of this man, and release him. He requests me to ask this of your Lordships in his name, which I do herewith, and recommend myself to your Lordships, quæ bene valeant.
Sienna, 18 July, at the 15th hour.
Magnificent Signori, etc.: —
The enclosed I wrote to your Lordships yesterday, so that you might make such use of the information contained therein as may be of advantage; I shall continue in the same way to write what I see and hear. This morning came your Lordships’ letter in answer to mine; I went immediately to Pandolfo, and communicated to him your Lordships’ reply. Respecting the proposed truce or league he said, that difficult things should be left alone, and that very often the wisdom of men did not suffice to oppose the will of Heaven, which chooses to conceal its designs as it has done hitherto. As to the Vitelli and the other Condottieri, he says that that was an idea and plan of his own, as he thought that there would be no more effectual way to repress the audacity of D’ Alviano; but he could not say on what terms and conditions they could be engaged, unless he should hear from them, as he had written them for the purpose with the view of sounding them; and that he should have a reply from them to-day, which he would immediately communicate to me; and that he believed he would be able to get them, unless they had formed some fresh engagement with D’ Alviano, of which he said he knew nothing. As to the others, he had not approached them, fearing lest Bartolommeo should find it out; for he was very reluctant to offend him, unless he had first closed an arrangement with you, as he did not want to make an enemy for himself without at the same time gaining a friend. And having opened himself freely and told you his mind frankly respecting the truce, and being willing to agree to everything that was reasonable, it ought to be an easy matter to come to an agreement, if you really wished it; but if you did not wish it, then indeed everything became difficult. And if the question was now as to fifty men, it arose from the fact that Montepulciano was not conceded to them entirely free, as was the case when they consented to one hundred men-at-arms. And here he enlarged much upon this point, showing that we must look to such an agreement as the true means for securing the tranquillity of Tuscany; but if your Lordships would frankly declare that under no circumstances would you make such a treaty, and that you regarded it for the common good not to light a new conflagration, he would be much better satisfied than to keep matters in uncertain suspense as at present. And as in all my replies to his arguments I insisted mainly upon the shortness of the time, as in fact I had done from the beginning, and as your Lordships advise in your letter, he answered that to conclude such an agreement would require only hours, and not days; and that possibly Bartolommeo might remain some days in the place where he now is, as he had written to Gianpaolo to the effect that he wished to confer with him at Graffignano, and that the latter must now be on his way there; that perchance the money with which Bartolommeo intended to pay his men at Selva might not have arrived; and therefore, he said, that to avoid having him unexpectedly upon his back he had sent the Podestas into their several Podesterias on the confines of the Maremma, to have the harvest brought into the towns and places, and to make provision of flour; but that he believed he would most likely have to wait awhile, and that thus there would be abundance of time. He added, that he did not know what Bartolommeo could want from Gianpaolo.
Not wishing to weary your Lordships, I do not repeat the answers I made to Pandolfo’s arguments, but shall only report his conclusions, which are as follows. By making an arrangement with him you secure yourselves by such expedients as you together may employ, one of which is to dismember the forces of Bartolommeo. But if no agreement is concluded then, he says, he will not be able to exert himself in a manner that would be manifestly hostile to Bartolommeo. But nevertheless he would oppose him, and do all in his power to that effect.
Your Lordships must judge now from all I have written what Pandolfo’s object really is, for there is little or nothing to be gained from being face to face with him. He professes not to know what this enterprise of Bartolommeo’s is founded upon, but that it may nevertheless have very solid foundations; and he swears that Bartolommeo shall have neither the troops nor the subjects of this state at his disposal. He says that he does not believe that Gianpaolo will support him with his infantry, nor does he know whether the Vitelli will serve him with theirs; but that he will know of it if they do; for he keeps a confidential person near Bartolommeo, who informs him of all his movements, which he is thus enabled to make known to us. He also tells me that he has written to Rome to ascertain what this whole affair is really based upon, and that he will inform you so soon as he has a reply. I am told that on hearing of the death of the Cardinal Ascanio, Pandolfo was quite gloomy for a while, but that he is now quite cheerful again and full of hope. One sees no great preparations going on here. In a long conversation which I had yesterday with Messer Antonio da Venafro, who is as it were the very soul of Pandolfo, and without equal amongst the other men here, he talked of nothing else but this agreement, which, he said, ought to be made for mutual safety, as then it would be easy to destroy any support that D’ Alviano might have. And one of the first steps which he suggested was to disarm Bartolommeo, but that for this the agreement ought first to be concluded. Your Lordships will now take all I have written into consideration, and will in your high wisdom decide what course will be the best.
Pandolfo has asked me several times whether the Marquis of Mantua has received his pay; I have invariably answered, that at the time of my departure from Florence it was about to be sent to him. And this morning he told me that he had heard from Lombardy that this engagement would not be carried out, because the Marquis saw that difficulties were being made, and he had not received any money. I replied the same as before, but felt inclined to tell him that I had news from your Lordships that you had paid him; but that you had to keep it secret, so as to enable you to lay a new impost, under the general impression that this money had yet to be paid. I did not say it, however, not knowing whether it would be proper. It will be time enough, however, whenever your Lordships wish it to be known.
Were it not that I am aware of your Lordships’ anxiety to have my letters, I should have waited until evening to despatch this, so that I might have given you whatever news Pandolfo may receive from D’ Alviano’s camp. But not to keep your Lordships in suspense, I send this now, it being the seventeenth hour, and you will please have Francesco del Nero reimbursed fifteen carlini.
That Bastiano of Cortona, Pandolfo’s barber, whom I have recommended to your Lordships by the enclosed, has returned here, having most probably made his escape. Pandolfo tells me that he fears lest proceedings may be taken against this man’s property, and begs me to ask your Lordships to prevent it, offering to have him appear whenever you may require it. I urge this matter on Pandolfo’s behalf, and beg you will favor me with a reply that I may show him.
I recommend myself to your Lordships.
19 July, 1505, at the 17th hour.
I have forgotten to tell your Lordships that Pandolfo has begged me a great many times to request you not to mention him in connection with the information which he gives respecting Bartolommeo d’ Alviano, as he should be obliged to deny it; and therefore he wishes you to keep all his dealings with your Lordships secret.
Magnificent Signori, etc.: —
By my despatches of yesterday your Lordships will have learned what is passing here. Respecting the plan of detaching the Vitelli from D’ Alviano, which Pandolfo proposes as the best and really necessary means for getting rid of D’ Alviano, he says that he has given me only his own opinion without knowing what the Vitelli may intend; and therefore he must wait for a reply to the letter which he wrote them on my arrival here, in which he sounded them in a general way as to whether they were disposed to leave D’ Alviano. Since then the Chancellor of the Balia came to me yesterday evening at the second hour of night, and told me that Pandolfo had received letters in relation to that matter from Cornelio Galanti and from the Vitelli; and although they contained nothing that could not be deferred until to-morrow, nevertheless in compliance with his promise to let me know immediately what he might hear from the camp, he informed me that he had been advised that, according to orders, the troops had reached Selva, and that Bartolommeo intended going as far as Alviano, and that his resolve to advance was fixed and absolutely irrevocable; that he was waiting for the receipt of certain moneys to move, but did not know exactly when. He said moreover with regard to Gianliso and Vitello Vitelli that they were ready to do whatever his Magnificence wished, although they would first have to write to Messer Giulio, their uncle, and to their other brother, who were at Castello, for they were accustomed to do nothing without mutual consent. He said also that he had heard from Rome that the Abate d’ Alviano had gone to Naples, after having first conferred with the Pope. After this communication the Chancellor left me, with the request that I would call in the morning upon Pandolfo. Accordingly, I was with him this morning, and he repeated to me the same that he had sent the Chancellor to tell me yesterday evening; and furthermore, that the army would move on Tuesday next, and would advance in this direction by short marches, so that he believed that within three days they would enter the Siennese territory; and that Bartolommeo had sent him word that when he should come within his dominions he would publish an order that no one should touch anything provided that he could purchase with his money whatever he might need, and that he ought now to make up his mind whether he would have him pass as a friend or as an enemy.
Respecting the Vitelli he told me that he had received a general reply from them, as he had written to them in the same general way to know whether they were disposed to leave Bartolommeo in case he should want them himself, and that he had not mentioned the Florentines nor any one else. And although they placed themselves entirely in his hands, yet as he did not altogether know their views, he did not know what to say. Still, to enable me to write something definite, he would say that he thought the Vitelli would be satisfied with an engagement for sixty men-at-arms, which is the number they have with Signor Bartolommeo; and that an engagement for one year, with the usual pay and provisions, would probably content them; and that he would manage to have the state of Sienna contribute one third of the pay. After that he started a doubt, saying that he did not know whether the Vitelli would be willing to serve within your territory; still he believed that the difficulty might be solved by stipulating in the engagement that, if you should require them to serve in any enterprise specially your own, you should not be able to compel them to serve you in person, but that in such case it should suffice that they should supply only forty men-at-arms under some other captain; and that this would be the best plan for you to adopt. Pandolfo added however, afterwards, that such an engagement could not be made with the Vitelli without first concluding an arrangement with him, for the reasons which he had already explained to me; for he did not want to make an enemy of Bartolommeo without securing at the same time your friendship. I said that your Lordships were well satisfied with his having pointed out the evil, but not so with the remedies; for if the danger was so near, as he had repeatedly declared, and likely to injure him as well as yourselves, as he professed to fear, then it behooved himself as much as you not to stand upon difficulties in obviating it. And if the best remedy was to detach the Vitelli from Bartolommeo, then it should be done in a shorter and more direct way than that he was taking, and should not be managed like discussing an engagement in January that was to go into effect the following May. And that it seemed to me that fortune had now placed before him an opportunity for recovering your Lordships’ confidence, which he had lost by his former conduct; and that if he succeeded, by whatever means he could, in inducing the Vitelli to leave D’ Alviano, thus giving you a proof of his friendly disposition, he would not fail in concluding an agreement with you, either for a Condotta or anything else he might desire that was consistent with honor. To which he replied, that by acting thus he would at once make D’ Alviano his enemy, and that you might afterwards abandon him, and therefore he would not act differently from what he proposed. He did not believe, however, that there would be a lack of time, if you should be willing, because he did not think Bartolommeo would move as promptly as he had said, owing to the Abate’s having gone to Naples for the purpose probably of obtaining the money which Bartolommeo wants to pay out. He added, that he thought the Pope urged Bartolommeo to this movement, so as to give occasion for the French to come into Tuscany and thus produce some disturbances; for he feared lest this Pope should some day become another Alexander VI. I told him that this was an additional reason for promptly crushing out this spark, and whenever I have spoken to him I have urged him to think well of the consequences which this movement of D’ Alviano’s might produce, and that your Lordships were ready to take any course and to employ all your power to save your state, as well as to take vengeance upon any one who attempted to injure it. But all I said seemed of no use, and I believe that his resolution is definitely taken. It would indeed be a good thing if we could get at the real truth of this affair.
Your Lordships will observe that all the information I have respecting Bartolommeo comes from Pandolfo, and whenever he tells me anything he conjures me to request your Lordships never to quote him; he also desires that the negotiations with the Vitelli may be kept secret. He declined to write them again to-day, or to go any further with them at present, hoping to have some reply from you upon which to base further negotiations with them.
To come back again to the information I have obtained respecting D’ Alviano, I would say that your Lordships should not rely upon it more than necessary, and that it would be well to try and obtain some information about him from some other quarter. Thus you could learn from Borgo and from Cortona whether any infantry are being raised at Castello or Perugia, and also whether Gianpaolo has passed the Chiane with his troops; for although Pandolfo says that he may arrive at any moment, yet we do not hear that he has really started. And this morning Pandolfo informed me that Gianpaolo would not go to meet Bartolommeo at Graffignani, as he had told me yesterday, because he had sent Ser Pepo to look for him at Alviano, where Bartolommeo was reported to have gone.
I must not omit to repeat to your Lordships that Pandolfo has affirmed to me a thousand times that without the Vitelli D’Alviano would have to abandon his enterprise, as he could not move one step forward without them. The reasons which he alleges for this are, that the force of the Vitelli is large, and that if they were to leave him they would turn against him; and such a sudden defection would disconcert the other troops, so as to produce the results which he predicts.Your Lordships will now form your own judgment of these matters.
I recommend myself, etc.
20 July, at the 15th hour of the day.
Your Lordships will please reimburse Francesco del Nero fifteen carlini for the present express.
Magnificent Signori, etc. —
Immediately on receipt of your Lordships’ letter of yesterday, dated at the sixteenth hour, I called again on Pandolfo, and had a long conversation with him, so far as seemed to me proper, on the subject contained in your Lordships’ letter. His Magnificence found no difficulty in replying, having clearly in his mind all that he had said to me in answer to your first letter, and assuring me again that this movement was altogether displeasing to him, in proof of which he said that he had opposed it whenever he could, by informing you of it, and at the same time dissuading D’ Alviano. And moreover, that for the purpose of getting at the truth of the matter, and the better to understand the condition of this whole business,he said that he had written to his agent at Rome, directing him to see the Cardinal Santa Croce, and ascertain whether Bartolommeo had undertaken this movement by order of Spain; for if he had done so at the suggestion of that king, he would have to adopt a different course from that which he would have to follow if done without such direction; that he had received a reply to that inquiry this morning, from which it appeared that Santa Croce had said that he knew nothing about it, but believed that Bartolommeo did not have the approval of Spain. To make quite sure, however, he would write to Gonsalvo, and communicate to him thereply he might receive; but that he believed that Gonsalvo had ordered D’Alviano to desist altogether from this attempt. It is thusthat Pandolfo pretends to have done all that was possible for him, both by way of negotiation and stratagem. But that if it should become necessary to act openly and employ force, then he would need your Lordships’ concurrence and support, which he could not rely upon without a full understanding, and therefore he had always told me that it was necessary to conclude an agreement, and then to provide more powerful remedies. And that it had never been true that in this affair he had both the bridle and the spurs; that as to the spurs he had never had any, but as to the bridle he drew that as much as he could. But as he doubted his own ability to do all that was necessary, he asked the co-operation of your Lordships, but wanted it in such wise as would prove of advantage to each party, and not to one only.
I have endeavored to give to your Lordships the exact words of Pandolfo, so that you may the better judge of his intentions, and decide what course it will be best to follow for the interests of our republic. I do not write all the replies I made to Pandolfo, not wishing to consume your Lordships’ time; but I said all that my experience and judgment suggested; although it was of but little avail, for Pandolfo is a man who has all his plans definitely made, and is resolved to carry through whatever he desires. And therefore I said to him, in one of my answers, that I did not understand how Gonsalvo could order Bartolommeo not to march, as his Condotta expired on the 20th of this month; to which he replied, that it was himself who had stated that Bartolommeo’s engagement with the Spaniards ran only to July 20, because the last time that he was with Bartolommeo, and when speaking to him about engaging with the French or with you in consequence of the negotiations opened by Rucellaio, Bartolommeo said that he should be free to do so after July 20; whence he had concluded that Bartolommeo’s engagement with the Spaniards terminated on that day. But that he had understood since then that it continued in force till the end of October, which was most likely to be true, for it had commenced in October, and such engagements are usually made for an entire year; it might possibly, however, contain a clause that permitted D’Alviano to engage two or three months in advance with some other party. Pandolfo told me furthermore, that he had heard from Rome that the Pope was urging Bartolommeo to leave the territory of the Church, and that, for fear lest he should attack and plunder his troops who are at Otri, he had sent there such infantry and horse as he had at Rome. I observed further to Pandolfo,that inasmuch as Gonsalvo was not in accord with Bartolommeo, the latter could not avail himself of the infantry from Piombino, or of such as might come there. He replied to this that I was correct, but that he believed D’ Alviano would obtain infantry from elsewhere, and that it was for this reason that Bartolommeohad sought an interview with Gianpaolo to ask him for his infantry, and that Gianpaolo had gone to meet him, as he had previously told me, and had not sent Ser Pepo there, as he had subsequently stated. But that he did not believe that Gianpaolo would aid him, and that he would so advisehim; and that he had given orders to Cornelio to intervene in their negotiations so as to know all about it, and that so soon as he should hear in reply he would inform me.
After all this long discussion and dispute about this whole business, I said to Pandolfo, so that he might see that others understood all these natural or accidental subterfuges and evasions, that all these intrigues confused me to that degree that I feared it would turn my head before I could return home; for at one moment I was told that Bartolommeo was advancing with infantry and money furnished him by Spain, and then again that he was without either, and that Gonsalvo would order him to remain quiet; and again I hear that he will move in two or three days, which would show that he had received all the assistance he needs; and now I am told that he has been begging for infantry from Gianpaolo. One day I hear that the Pope depends greatly upon him, and the next that he is afraid of him. At one moment it is said that there is the best possible understanding between him and the state of Sienna, and the next moment that his soldiers are plundering the Siennese; and therefore I begged his Magnificence to explain to me all these contradictions. Pandolfo replied: “I will answer you as King Frederick answered a similar question asked by one of my envoys; namely, that to avoid falling into error we must shape our course according to events from day to day, and must judge of things from one hour to another, for time and circumstances are more powerful than human intelligence.” He said also that the present times were influenced by the spirit of D’ Alviano, a man who at the same moment inspired his neighbors with hope and fear whilst he was thus armed. Thereupon I told him of the measures which your Lordships have taken with regard to Mantua and Milan, so that others may the less look to them for support.
Nothing more was said about the Vitelli, as Pandolfo had not yet received a reply to the letter which he wrote yesterday, in which he enlarged a little more upon this affair. Nor has it been possible as yet for me to have a reply from your Lordships to what I wrote you about in my despatch of yesterday. No further news from the camp of D’ Alviano.
I recommend myself to your Lordships.
Sienna, 21 July, 1505, at the 19th hour.
Pandolfo has again spoken to me about his man from Cortona, and offers to have him appear before your Lordships if any unfavorable report is made respecting him.
Magnificent Signori, etc.: —
Your Lordships’ last letter of the 21st reached me the same day at the twenty-second hour. Having noted what your Lordships write respecting the proposition of Messer Michele de’ Ricci, I called on Pandolfo and executed your Lordships’ commission in such manner as seemed to me proper. Pandolfo replied that he had not had any conversation with Messer Michele on the subject; and that, if the latter had made that proposition, it was done doubtlessly because he desired that an agreement should be concluded, and because it probably seemed to him the best thing to be done. And when I asked him what he thought of it, he said that he would have to confer with some of his citizens on the subject; but if he had to give his individual opinion about it, without further reflection, he would say that he saw no security in it for the people of Sienna. We discussed this matter for a while, and although I thought I perceived clearly what his sentiments were, yet it seemed to me well not to write immediately to your Lordships, for I imagined that possibly, on further reflection, Pandolfo might assent in part to the proposition. Nor could I yet write differently to your Lordships yesterday, not having had any further answer from Pandolfo, who has been occupied with the citizens of Sienna in a solemn festivity in honor of the return of the Nine. He excused himself on this ground, and deferred his reply until this morning.
Having gone therefore at a suitable hour to the Duomo, I found Pandolfo there with four of his leading citizens; and having joined them, Pandolfo said to me in few words that he would leave me with Messer Antonio da Venafro, who would inform me of their conclusion. Being thus left alone with Messer Antonio, he said to me that he saw no security for the Siennese in this proposition of Messer Michele, for he noticed that it exposed them to two dangers; the one, in case the king for some reason should or could not decide; and the other, that if he did he might adjudge Montepulciano to your Lordships. And although it was believed here that your Lordships would cheerfully accede to a relinquishment of it, in case the king, after having restored Pisa to you, were also to adjudge Montepulciano to you; yet as but one of two results is possible, they would be left in doubt, and would therefore never consent, unless means should first be found to dissipate that uncertainty; and for this he knew of no better way than to do as had been proposed in the beginning. For to try and have the king do some act to reassure the people of Sienna would be a protracted affair, whilst there is hardly time to make suitable preparations for resisting those who desire to destroy Tuscany.
And thus Messer Antonio talked much more at length than what I have written. In reply I said all that seemed to me proper for the justification of your Lordships’ course, whilst he with his utmost ability neglected nothing to prove how much Pandolfo desired this agreement with your Lordships, and as he wished to conclude it with a good will, so he purposed to execute it even with a better will. Antonio added, that it would be so manifestly for your advantage that, knowing your wisdom, he was astonished at the difficulties made in deciding to conclude it; and that he could not comprehend whence this reluctance arose. And as he went so far in this matter I could not help pointing out to him that the difficulty lay more with others than with your Lordships, and was more particularly caused by those who wanted to take a greater share of things than what belonged to them; and that the impediments in the way of such a treaty were not so much the separation of Montepulciano, although that involved both loss of honor and advantage, as the proceedings of certain private persons here, which had caused a mistrust in the minds of many persons, and made them doubt whether even the cession of Montepulciano would be of any use; for they seem to think that others wish to subject them to their will both by insults and violence. The reason for their believing this was, amongst other things of the past which I will not now repeat, the rupture of the agreement with Lucca, and the breaking of the engagement of Giovanpaolo, and the present movement of Bartolommeo d’ Alviano, with which we are threatened at the same time that we are solicited to favor it. He knew well that enmities were engendered by injuries, and friendships by benefits; and that it was a great error to attempt to make any one a friend by beginning with injuring him; and that therefore I had said several times to Pandolfo, to him, and to many other citizens, that to conclude this agreement easily it would be necessary for them to remove this mistrust that had sprung up, and to do this the greatest efforts must be made by those who were most to blame for its existence; and that it was the business of the Siennese to show themselves ready and united, and with a single purpose to resist Bartolommeo. That such a proof of good will would promptly produce friendship, and would assuredly put an end to all mistrust; otherwise, there being no time to build up such a friendship, I feared we should see the whole business get into such confusion as to fill every one with fear, and that within a short time here I had seen many people who would laugh in the summer but cry in the winter. That I had said on former occasions, and would now again remind him, that it was generally the feeble who had most to fear and least to gain from disorders.
Messer Antonio nevertheless maintained his case, and lacked neither words nor reasons to demonstrate to me that, Sienna not having any agreement with Florence, you could not reasonably desire nor expect any benefits at their hands; and that this had been the cause of the rupture of the agreement with Lucca, and of the breaking of Gianpaolo’s engagement, and of their doing nothing to remedy the present evil. For unless you became their shield, they could not draw the sword against others. But if a treaty were once concluded between you, you would at once become masters of Tuscany. And then he enlarged anew upon the great advantages that would result to you in consequence, saying to me several times, “Believe me, Niccolo, he who blames Pandolfo may give you many reasons, but will not tell you all that he has in his heart.” I combated him the best I could, but could get nothing else out of him.
Pandolfo tells me that he has no news from D’ Alviano’s camp, and presumes, from the fact that Cornelio has not written him, that the army did not move yesterday as he had written. He promises to let me know so soon as he hears anything. This rests entirely with him, as I have no means of obtaining information on the subject from any other source.
Sienna, 23 July, 1505.
Your Lordships will please have Francesco del Nero reimbursed fifteen carlini for despatching this letter at the seventeenth hour.
Magnificent Signori, etc.: —
By my last, dated yesterday at the seventeenth hour, I communicated to your Lordships the replies made to me by Pandolfo, and afterwards in his name by Messer Antonio da Venafro, to the proposition made by Messer Michele Ricci, as stated in your Lordships’ letter of the 21st. You will have seen from my letter that we have to give up this negotiation for an agreement, or to conclude it in the manner suggested in my first letter to your Lordships. Yesterday evening at about the twenty-fourth hour Pandolfo had me called, and informed me that he had received letters from Rome of the 22d, and from the camp of the same date. He read me the letter from Rome written in cipher, which, however, had been deciphered between the lines as is customary. The agent whom he keeps in that city informs him that the Cardinal Santa Croce had received a reply from Naples to the inquiry which he had made of Gonsalvo, as to whether Bartolommeo had started this movement with his knowledge or not; and that this reply stated that it was contrary to the wishes of Gonsalvo; and that he had sent a special messenger to Bartolommeo ordering him not to interfere in the affairs of either Tuscany or Pisa; and that the Cardinal de’ Medici had received the same information from the agent whom he keeps near Gonsalvo. Of the letter from the camp Pandolfo read me only that portion which referred to the Vitelli; and which says that an answer had been received from Messer Giulio and their brother Giovanni, who are both entirely satisfied to comply with Pandolfo’s wishes, offering at the same time to do whatever may seem best to him, and expressing in the most ample and earnest terms their anxious desire to do whatever may be agreeable to him. He told me furthermore, that this letter informed him that the troops had not yet started from Selva, as had been lately reported; but that they were to start this morning for Capo di Monte by the road of the Maremma, and that Gianpaolo had met Bartolommeo, who had asked his support, which the former, however, had neither promised nor refused.
I thanked Pandolfo for this information, but passed over that part relating to the Vitelli, not having as yet a reply from your Lordships to what I had written upon that point; it seemed to me, moreover, best to do so, as Pandolfo himself said nothing more about it, except what he had read from the letter. I told him that I was not pleased with the conduct of Gianpaolo; that it would have been more proper for him to refuse Bartolommeo absolutely; and that he, Pandolfo, ought to do everything in his power to make Gianpaolo refuse his support to Bartolommeo, which I believed would be easy for him to do, inasmuch as Gianpaolo had all confidence in him, and was in fact in his pay. He replied, that he had ordered him on returning towards Perugia to approach as near as he could to this place, so that he might go to meet him; or to come even as far as Sienna, as he wished to confer with him in person upon this business. I asked him what he believed of Bartolommeo, and whether he thought that he would advance notwithstanding Gonsalvo’s orders to the contrary, supposing the information from Rome to be true. He replied, that he could not judge; but that reason should counsel D’ Alviano not to advance in opposition to Gonsalvo’s will, he being in his service until October, but that he was not yet clear upon this point; although it would seem to him clear enough, if it were true that the Abate d’ Alviano had gone to Naples for money, as had been written to him. But that, nevertheless, even if reason counselled D’ Alviano not to advance, desperation might cause him to do so; and for that reason he advised your Lordships not to fail in making suitable preparations. And that although three out of four who act from desperation generally end badly, yet it would be well not to allow Bartolommeo to be thus driven on by desperation, as we cannot move any one thing without stirring a thousand others, and events are very uncertain. And then he enlarged again upon the point that it behooved your Lordships to put your foot upon this first spark of a conflagration, and that you could become masters of Tuscany by uniting it; and that this union would combine such forces that it could defend itself against whoever might attempt to assail it, and would be respected by everybody. And that if you suspected the Orsini, you could detach the Vitelli and the Baglioni from their faction, which it would be easy to do, inasmuch as they would feel themselves more secure under the protection of united Tuscany than under that of the Orsini; that in truth this matter seemed to him so easy, and offered such security, that he really believed the only reason why it was not done was because it was God’s will that this fair province of Italy should be ruined. In the course of his remarks he said that there was another means by which Bartolommeo could be rendered harmless, and that was to make him suspect to the Pisans, which might be done in a thousand ways. He did not want to enter into particulars upon this point; but respecting the other matters he said many things, to which I replied fully; but I abstain from writing them all to your Lordships, so as not to weary you fruitlessly.
I shall send this letter to the post so that it will be forwarded by the first courier that leaves; I would have sent it by an express, but that would leave me only one single scudo, and I am indebted at my hostelry. I beg your Lordships will either recall me, which would be most agreeable to me, or that you will provide me with the necessary means.
I recommend myself to your Lordships.
[* ]This mission to Sienna has reference to the attempt made by Bartolommeo d’ Alviano, a Condottiere in the service of Spain, to assail the Florentine dominions and to furnish help to the Pisans. Pandolfo Petrucci, who was in secret understanding with D’ Alviano, had advised the Florentine government of this movement, for the purpose of deceiving them, and with the view of getting some military engagement from them. No such engagement, however, was made with him, as his duplicity and hostility to the republic were well known. Bartolommeo d’ Alviano was subsequently defeated at Torre di S. Vincenzio in the Maremma, on the 17th of August, by the Florentines, under command of Antonio Giacomini. Vide Buonaccorsi’s Journal, pp. 107-115, where he gives all the details of this affair.
[* ]An Italian proverb, which means to sell to any one what belongs to everybody.