Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XXXII. - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 4 (Diplomatic Missions 1506-1527)
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LETTER XXXII. - 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.: —
My letter of the 10th informed your Lordships of what was passing here. This morning after the signing of the documents the Pope had me called to him and said: “I believe that your Signoria, seeing the progress I have made in this enterprise against Messer Giovanni Bentivogli, must wonder that, having so long ago asked them for Messer Marc Antonio and his men-at-arms, which they had offered me in the manner you know, I have not ere this required them to send them to me. Know then, and you may write this to your Signoria, that I have delayed to make the demand because I wished to satisfy ad plenum their desire as made known to me by you on their behalf, and did not want to make the demand until your Signoria should know, and be able to see, the certainty of my success in this enterprise, and that the assistance which I had counted upon was quite sure. For the French are on the way here, as many as I had asked for and even more, and I have satisfied their demands for money and for everything else. Besides my own four hundred men-at-arms I have those of Gianpaolo to the extent of one hundred and fifty men-at-arms, and the one hundred Stradiotes which I told you I was expecting from the kingdom of Naples, and which you must have seen. The Marquis of Mantua has joined me with one hundred light-horse, and has given orders for one hundred more. You will see the Duke of Ferrara join me at Imola with more than one hundred men-at-arms, and all his other troops are likewise at my command. I have paid the money for the infantry that is coming with the French, and for that which has been raised here for my account; and finally, so that every one may know that I will make no terms with Messer Giovanni, I have, as it were, published a crusade against him. Now if your Signoria do not wish to be the last, as they have promised me, they will have to hasten their troops forward; and for that reason I desire you to send at once an express to signify to them on my behalf my wish that they will be pleased to send the Signor Marc Antonio Colonna toward Imola with the one hundred men-at-arms which he commands. And say to your Signoria, that, although they can themselves see that I am able to do without those troops, yet I desire them, not for the value of their services nor for the honor which it would be for me, but for the sake of having just grounds for benefiting your Signoria, and to favor them in whatever they may desire most, when the occasion shall occur, which will always be so long as the Church shall enjoy that high reputation and credit to which I hope to elevate her.”
I replied to his Holiness, that I would immediately communicate his wishes to your Lordships; and when he asked me how long it would take these troops to reach Imola, I said that my messenger could not reach Florence in less than two days, that it would require two days more to transmit the orders to Cascina, and that then the troops would need at least seven days to march from Cascina to Imola. This seemed to him too long, and he solicited me again to write at once and to let him know immediately when I received a reply.
Cardinal Este arrived here yesterday evening, and the Duke is momentarily expected at Imola, as the Pope had told me. The Marquis is marching with all the troops towards Imola, and the Pope will start in that direction to-morrow or the day following. Yesterday a brief was expedited from the consistory in virtue of which the Pope concedes to the king of France the right to dispose of all the benefices of the duchy of Milan, the same as the Count Francesco had enjoyed; this is the last request which the king of France has made of the Pope in connection with this affair. It is said that the Bolognese have abandoned Castel San Piero, but purpose defending the two smaller castles nearer to the city.
Since Messer Jacopo, the Chancellor of Messer Giovanni, has been dismissed by the Pope in full consistory, as I have already written, the ambassadors have notified his Holiness that they have been recalled, and asked for leave to go; to which the Holy Father replied, that he neither gave nor withheld that leave to them, but that he advised them to be careful not to go to Bologna, as they would be cut to pieces there because of the sad accounts which Messer Jacopo, the Chancellor of Messer Giovanni, had given of them. The ambassadors understood this to mean that they are not to leave, and so they have remained; and the Pope has commissioned Bishop Pazzi, who is governor of this place, to watch them carefully and not to let them go.
I recommend myself to your Lordships.
Furli, 12 October, 1506.