Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XXVI. - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 4 (Diplomatic Missions 1506-1527)
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LETTER XXVI. - Niccolo Machiavelli, The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 4 (Diplomatic Missions 1506-1527) 
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. 4.
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Magnificent Signori, etc.: —
I wrote to your Lordships on the 1st instant, and sent the letter by way of Castrocaro, enclosing at the same time one of the 28th ultimo. Yesterday evening I received your Lordships’ letter also of the 1st, in which you mention one of the 29th ultimo, but which has never been received. Yours of the 1st instant communicates the resolution taken by France in relation to the troops claimed by the Pope, and which the king cheerfully places at his service. This news had already been received here, and has encouraged the Pope to that degree that he looks upon Bologna as already conquered, and begins to think of other and vaster enterprises. It is said that this resolution of France is drawn up in terms most honorable for the Pope; and that the king has publicly discouraged both the Bolognese and the Venetian ambassadors, who supplicated him in favor of Bologna. I refrain from writing any particulars of this to your Lordships, for if true your ambassador will have informed you of it, and if false it is not necessary to write about it.
In my last I mentioned the murder in Bologna of the father of the Pope’s Datary, and the disturbances to which this event has given rise here, and that the Bolognese ambassadors had fled from Santo Arcangiolo to Rimini, and that the Pope had sent to call them back, promising them perfect security. And so it turned out, for the said ambassadors returned here yesterday before the Pope had made his entry. So soon as he had reached his lodgings they were admitted, but they merely kissed his feet without saying a word. This morning they presented themselves again before his Holiness, and in a lengthy address expressed the respect and devotion of the people of Bologna to the Church, referring to the treaties made with several of the Popes, and which had been confirmed by the present one. They concluded by explaining the political conduct of their city and asseverating their religious devotion to the laws.
His Holiness replied, that, if the people of Bologna were devoted to the Church, it was no more than their duty, for they were under obligations to the Church, which was as good a mistress to them as they were good servants to her; that he had come in person to liberate the city from her tyrants; and that as to the treaties he cared neither for those made by other Popes, nor for that made by himself, for neither his predecessors nor himself could have done otherwise, and that it was necessity and not his free will that had made him confirm the treaty; but that the time had now arrived for correcting these things, and it seemed to him that if he did not do so he would have no excuse to offer to the Almighty; and that it was for that reason that he had started from Rome, his object being to make Bologna govern herself properly, and for that reason he intended to come there in person; and if her government pleased him he would confirm it, and if not then he would change it; and to be able to do so by force of arms, in case all other modes did not suffice, he had provided himself with an army that would make all Italy tremble, let alone Bologna.
The ambassadors remained confounded, and after a few words of reply they took their leave. To-morrow there will be another review here of the men-at-arms, who are quartered in the vicinity of Santo Arcangiolo. I think orders have been given for the raising of infantry, and, according to what I hear, the Pope will go on Tuesday next to Furli, where his presence is much desired; for it is understood that that place, notwithstanding the proximity of the Pope, is constantly under arms, of which your Lordships can be more particularly informed by Pier Francesco Tosinghi.*
Since the Pontiff has been informed of the resolution of France, he has brought forward again the question of Marc Antonio and the hundred men-at-arms, which he asks of your Lordships. He has said repeatedly that he had not claimed them before, because he wished to satisfy your Lordships, who had importuned him to defer this demand as long as possible, and also for some other good reasons. But that he now desires most earnestly that these men-at-arms should be held in readiness to march promptly whenever he should require it. I for my part expect every moment that the Pope will have me called, and will charge me to write to your Lordships to start these troops. I recommend myself to your Lordships, quæ bene valeant.
Cesena, 3 October, 1506.
P. S. — Magnificent Signori, — It is now some days since I find myself greatly in want of money. I have not asked for any before now, because I counted every day upon returning to Florence; but seeing that this is delayed, I implore your Lordships for charity’s sake to supply me with means, and recommend myself anew.
[* ]This Tosinghi was Commissary-General in Castrocaro in 1506; and it was through him that Machiavelli generally sent his letters to Florence, and vice versa the Florentine government sent their letters through him to Machiavelli.