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LETTER I. - 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.: —
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.