Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XXXVIII. - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 4 (Diplomatic Missions 1506-1527)
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LETTER XXXVIII. - 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.: —
Yesterday I reported to your Lordships the events of the day. This morning we learn that the French will be in the course of to-morrow in the neighborhood of Castel Franco, on Bolognese territory; and to-morrow also Monseigneur d’Allegri is expected here, who comes to confer with his Holiness and the commanders of the Italian troops as to the manner in which this enterprise is to be carried on. In speaking this morning of the coming of Monseigneur d’Allegri, his Holiness manifested a desire that on his arrival there should also be an ambassador here from your Lordships; for as matters relating to the welfare of Italy are to be discussed, his Holiness wishes that Florence should be represented on the occasion. It would be well, therefore, if Messer Francesco* were to start from Florence to-day, as has been spoken of.
The troops of the Pope here scoured the country yesterday almost up to the very walls of Bologna, and captured some cattle. They came, however, very near being surprised by some of the Bolognese cavalry, who issued from the city to pursue them, but did not come far enough to overtake the Pope’s troops. It is said that Messer Giovanni has sacked several monasteries which had commenced to obey the bull of excommunication.
The quarters for the Duke of Ferrara are ready, and a quantity of his baggage has arrived, and it is said that he will be here himself very shortly. The Venetian ambassador, who has followed the court as far as Cesena, has stopped there, and has not yet been seen either here or at Furli.
I recommend myself to your Lordships.
Imola, 22 October, 1506.
[* ]Messer Francesco Pepi was the ambassador that was sent to the Pope. One of his autograph letters, dated 25 October, 1506, informs us of his departure from Florence and his arrival at Firenzuola, and of his intention to proceed immediately to Imola on his mission to the Pope. The following is the letter: —
Very dear Niccolo: —
I received your letter yesterday whilst I was still on the other side of the Giogo; for although I left Florence on Thursday, I have been delayed by an unfortunate accident that happened to me on the road, and prevented my being with you yesterday evening, as I had intended. I am now about to start from Firenzuola, and send this to you by my courier. I beg you will recommend me to his Eminence the Cardinal Volterra, and make my excuses to him for not answering his letter, thank him most warmly for his letter and the information it contains, and assure him that it is only the absolute want of time that prevents my writing to him; please read this letter to his Eminence.
I wish to avoid all pomp and ceremony on my arrival, if the locality will serve as an excuse for it, and if it comports with the dignity of our republic; for I should rejoice more at one good service rendered to our most illustrious Signoria than at a thousand demonstrations. And I believe that it would suffice if it were publicly understood at Florence that the omission of ceremonies was at my own particular request. I am entirely ready, however, to accommodate myself altogether to whatever his Eminence may deem proper, for in minimis et in maximis, I desire to conform to his judgment and advice, for it was with that determination that I started from Florence.
If it be not deemed improper that I should enter the city this evening alone and accompanied by only one servant, I will do so; and I would mount at once, leaving all my other servants behind, unless it be deemed better that I should stay over at Tosignano with all my servants, for if I were to arrive alone it might be regarded as though I were not there. I have with me eight mounted servants, my son and my son-in-law, a steward Ser Agostino, and two grooms and my courier, all in good order and well mounted. I have also four other cavaliers with me, one of whom is of the family of the Peruzzi and one of the Venturi, who have some business here at court. We started together, and they have kept me company all the way, and intend to lodge in the same place with me. I mention all this to you so that you may know the extent of accommodation I require. After having written from Florence to his Eminence and to yourself, I learned that Messer Neroni is charged with the matter of lodgings, and so I wrote to him to procure me good lodgings, for there is some relationship between us. I shall dine to-day at Pian Caldoli, but send my courier all the way through, and beg you will send him back to me, as I shall remain at Tosignano until you inform me as to the order of proceeding which I shall have to follow, upon which point you will consult with his Eminence. Say to the Archdeacon that I do not reply to his letter, there being no occasion for it, as I shall do so in person. Recommend me to him, et bene valete.
Francesco de Pepi,Doctor and Ambassador.Florence, 25 October, 1506, 13th hour.