Front Page Titles (by Subject) SECOND MISSION TO THE ARMY BEFORE PISA. * - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 3 (Diplomatic Missions 1498-1505)
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SECOND MISSION TO THE ARMY BEFORE PISA. * - 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 THE ARMY BEFORE PISA.*
TO ANTONIO GIACOMINI, COMMISSIONER AT THE CAMP.
Yesterday, on receipt of your letter, and upon the arrival of Luca Cavalcante, we wrote you what had taken place since we received the news of the rout of Bartolommeo, and directed you to move camp, and proceed towards Pisa; so that we presume that by the time this reaches you the army will have started and gone in the direction indicated in our instructions. By the present we desire to inform you that, having heard the opinion of the governor that it would be well not to lose the present favorable moment and opportunity to recover possession of Pisa, and to avenge some of the wrongs we have suffered at the hands of our neighbors, we have become most desirous to follow his counsels. And having this morning had the sum of one hundred thousand ducats accorded to us by the Council General, we deem it well, at all hazards, to make this attempt upon Pisa. And to enable us the better to decide upon this matter we wish you at once to see his Lordship the Governor, and agree with him respecting all things necessary for such an attack, omitting nothing, and beginning from the smallest up to the greatest, and to send us at once a full list of the same. And as the providing of the necessary things will require some days, we do not wish that time to be lost, but desire that it may be employed to the utmost possible advantage.
The first thing to do, therefore, is to show yourself with the army as near as possible before Pisa, at such a point as may seem best to you, and then to employ such means, be it either force or stratagem, as you may deem suitable for sounding the disposition of the Pisans since the news of our late victory, and see whether you cannot stir up some disturbance within the city itself; and in this way use every means of trying whether fortune may not have prepared some advantage for us without our being obliged to make greater efforts. And if after that the Pisans remain as obstinate as before, then move the army at once upon the Pisan territory, but in such a position that you may be able suddenly to fall upon the Lucchese; for it is under all circumstances our wish that, before attempting an actual assault upon Pisa, you should attack the dominion of Lucca, and plunder, waste, and ravage it with fire and sword in the most hostile manner, leaving nothing undone that can damage them; and above all, level Viareggio with the ground, as well as every other place of any importance. And so as to carry this out the more effectually, we desire that at the same moment of your entering with the army upon their territory, it shall also be assailed by the men of Pistoja, of Borghiniani, of Pescia, of Lunigiana, and in fact by all our other subjects who live upon the territory adjoining that of Lucca. And inasmuch as secrecy is of the utmost importance in this business, so that the Lucchese may not be aware of their being about to be assailed until they hear the sound of our trumpets, we shall not write to our different subjects what they have to do until a day or two before the attack is to be begun. If you think, however, that it would be better for you to write to them from the camp, then let us know, and we will simply direct them implicitly to obey your orders. If, on the other hand, you deem it best that we should write to them from here, then you will indicate to us the orders which we must give them; also the way in which you think this whole affair ought to be carried out.
To conclude now respecting all we desire to be done, and to reduce the whole to a few words, we want you to let us know at once all that you may need for the capture of Pisa, and for making a demonstration with the army before the town, so as to sound the disposition of its inhabitants; and in case this should produce no effect, what you may then need for moving the camp to a point from which you can suddenly strike the Lucchese in the above indicated manner. You are to advise us as to the orders to be sent to the people living near the confines of the Lucchese territory; and of whatever may occur to you as being necessary to give vigor to this attack upon the Lucchese; so that, after receiving your reply to this, we may understand how this affair is to be managed, and the time when it is to be begun, and how we can make sure that, having carried this matter through, we may proceed to the assault upon Pisa; so that the Lucchese, having to take care of their own wounds, may not attempt to try and heal those of others, and that they may know the fruits of war after having rejected those of peace. And so that our neighbors, seeing how, contrary to their expectations, we avenge bitterly any attempt to injure us, may themselves be more careful than they have been hitherto before planning any unjust designs against our state.
But in all this you must act with the utmost promptness, and before our army shall have forgotten how to conquer, or our enemies how to be beaten, and before unforeseen circumstances can arise from any quarter that could tend to chill the ardor of our troops.
We do not recommend what changes to make in the post according to the route you may take, confident that you have given all necessary orders upon that point.
If amongst the prisoners taken, there should be any secretary or agent of Lucca, or of Pandolfo or D’ Alviano, or of any other of the Orsini faction, you will send them to us here; and the same with any Pisan, or any other person notably our enemy.
TO ANTONIO TEBALDUCCIO (GIACOMINI TEBALDUCCIO).
Having seen from your last letter that you desire to have Niccolo Machiavelli with you, so as to be able to confer with him about all matters relating to our enterprise, we have sent him to you early this morning, with full instructions upon all points that are likely to present themselves. Our illustrious Signoria, desiring to act in this business with all deliberation and the approval of the mass of our citizens, although the money already voted for the purpose may be taken as an assurance that it is both approved and desired, have this morning anew submitted to the General Council the question whether the enterprise is to be carried out or not. The question was received with the greatest favor, and with the greatest unanimity it was approved, and decided that it should be undertaken at all hazards. The matter is therefore reduced to that point, that, God willing, we are bound to attempt it, and so it will be done. And as amongst the first preparations the raising of infantry is most important and necessary, and requires the utmost promptness, therefore it is one of the first matters to which we have turned our attention. And for this purpose we send you herewith a list of such constables as are with the army now, and a statement of the number of infantry that we have assigned to each. Have them come to you and ask them how soon they can fill up their number, and supposing that they will act with all promptness, let them send their agents here for money, which will be sent them without delay, so that they may proceed at once to recruit the necessary number of men.
We have nothing further to say at present, whilst awaiting the return of Machiavelli. You will take the same course with the other constables who are not with you in camp, but in the neighborhood, such as at Livorno, Rassignano, and such other places; having a clear understanding with them as to the time they may deem necessary for getting in order. And you will arrange with them to send their agents here for money, and to make their levies with all possible despatch. And if you think that the pay of the infantry can be reduced to fourteen lire and seventeen soldi, you must so inform us, as in that case we may increase the number in proportion.
P. S. — You know perfectly the number of pieces of artillery we have, but we do not know how many artillerists are necessary for their service, and how many you have now with you. Consult with the Governor, and remind him of this matter, as well as of anything else that it may occur to you we should provide from here, and inform us of it without delay.
TO ANTONIO TEBALDUCCIO.
Niccolo Machiavelli returned here yesterday evening, and having heard his verbal report, and read the list of articles which you require for your undertaking, we have decided to confine the same to Pisa, leaving all else aside for the present. And from last night until this evening we have attended to nothing else than to expediting to you as promptly as possible all the artillery and ammunition that you have called for, which we hope will reach you anyhow before the end of the present month. As to the infantry, which is of the most importance, and which it will require a longer time to bring together, we have noted the reduction which you have made in the list, and which we approve of. We have also noted whence you propose to obtain the rest of the infantry, and in accordance with your directions have this day expedited the Bolognese constables with money for a levy of one thousand infantry, and have ordered that the Marquis Galeotto Malespina shall raise four hundred of these; three hundred under his own command, and one hundred under that of his son. We leave it to you now to solicit the Marquis of Panzano and the Marquis of Massa. We have furnished funds to Gianotto da Carda and Giannesino da Serrezano for two hundred infantry; the Count Carpigna we purpose leaving aside, and in his stead have taken the Marquis Carlo del Monte, with four hundred stipendiaries.
We have had here the Governor’s Almoner, and the Chancellor of the Count Niccolo da Bagno, who has raised a doubt whether that gentleman can serve, owing to certain difficulties that have arisen at Cesena. We have ordered a messenger to be sent to him in all haste, and await his reply. Guido Vaini has been furnished with money for four hundred stipendiaries; money has also been sent to Messer Martino del Borgo and Bernardino da Carrara for three hundred and fifty men between the two. The twelve hundred ducats you ask for, for the purpose of forming a corps of two hundred men in your own way, will be sent to you, and we approve of your doing so. To Messer Pier Bernardo, brother of Messer Vittorio da Canale we have sent two hundred ducats for levying two hundred men: the money has been sent in letters of exchange on Fuligno, in accordance with your request. To Cecotto Tosinghi and Messer Criaco we have sent money to add one hundred men to each of their corps, and the same to the agent of Zitolo for increasing his corps two hundred men. It is necessary now that you should urge the rest of those who have to augment their Condotta, but they must not send their agents here to levy their increase, for Signor Piero has not yet sent here for his. You must also let us know how you think we ought to manage about the payment of the companies that are with you, and when you think that we ought to send the money for their pay. As Machiavelli has recommended to us that it would be well to publish in camp, and in the country around, that whoever wants money need only to come for it, so as to deprive such as may wish to raise troops in aid of the Pisans of all chance of doing so, we have concluded to have such publication made; but it will be proper to delay this until the money is actually there, or until you are sure that it will be there within a couple of days.
Machiavelli has also suggested to us that it would be well to send some one from here to Lucca to ascertain the real disposition of the inhabitants. After examining this suggestion, we deem it better that you should send some one from there, with such instructions as may seem to you proper, to try and see whether he cannot make sure of having their support in this enterprise.
We intend that the five hundred pioneers which you have asked for the siege works, as also the other five hundred for the camp service, shall be drawn from Cascine, from Lari, and from the mountains and other places in the neighborhood. We wish to pay them with our money and settle with them every evening, and will send you the order to do so. Meantime you will instruct the Rectors as to what they will have to do to find a sufficient number of men for this service. The young men for the service of the pioneers, and for yours, are already selected, and will be promptly expedited; and you must let us know if amongst those intended for your service there may be any that suit you better than the others. This is all we have to say on this subject. As the sailors of the galleys and brigantines have to be paid in September, we desire that out of the moneys you may have in hand you would send four hundred and fifty ducats gold to the commissary of Livorno, Zanobi Ridolfi; and you will write him that this sum is sent expressly for the pay of the equipages of the said galleys and brigantines; and we wish you to send this sum so that it shall be received on the 28th instant.
end of vol. iii.
University Press: John Wilson & Son, Cambridge.
[* ]After the defeat of Bartolommeo d’ Alviano, mentioned in the note to the preceding Mission, the Florentines imagined that they ought to take advantage of the ardor created by that victory, and attempt the conquest of Pisa. Great preparations were made for this purpose, and pressing orders were sent to Antonio Giacomini, the Commissioner at the camp, to lead the army immediately before the walls of that city. Machiavelli was sent to the camp to concert with Giacomini all necessary preparations and provisions for this enterprise, which, however, proved a failure, in consequence of the cowardice of the troops, as related by Buonaccorsi, p. 115. We give some of the letters that speak of the measures taken by the republic of Florence, and of the orders given; as also of the mission of Machiavelli.