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LETTER III. - 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 12th, and sent it yesterday morning in haste by an express. In that letter I informed you that the Legate would make his entry here to-day, and that throughout the Siennese dominions he had paid his own expenses, and that his retinue consisted of one hundred and ten cavaliers or less, and between thirty and forty sumpter mules, and about forty persons on foot; that he personally would lodge in the episcopal palace with forty or fifty of his cavaliers, and that the remainder would be accommodated in the different hostelries, and their expenses paid by the municipality; and that so far as I could learn he would leave here on Monday or Tuesday. Since then the Legate has arrived, and is lodged as I had written you; instead of paying his expenses, however, they have presented to him in the name of the Signoria all sorts of eatables, as is customary with ambassadors, but in such profusion that it is said they have cost more than one hundred ducats. Beyond this, however, they do not trouble themselves about them, but let them shift for themselves. The said Legate will leave here on Monday morning, and will go to Poggibonsi; on Tuesday he will proceed to San Casciano, and according to what he says himself he expects to reach Florence on Wednesday. Having heard from several persons that the Legate said this at table, I have no reason to doubt it; and as it seems to me now that I have nothing further to do here, I shall leave to-morrow morning, and shall come leisurely but direct to Florence. Should your Lordships think of any other commission to charge me with on the way, you can let me know.
Whilst here, and amongst these Spaniards, I have learned something which I think it would be well your Lordships should know also. It is this. About one month ago two letters were received here from the Emperor of Germany, both to the same effect; namely, one to the Balia, and the other to Pandolfo, informing them of his coming into Italy, and expressing his confidence in the good faith of this city, and advising them to make no further payments to France under their agreement, showing them that, having been made against him, it is no longer valid. The letter to Pandolfo contains, besides the above, many particulars for his instruction, which he has shown to the Balia and others, and of which he is very proud.
I understand that the proposed coming of the Emperor does not please him at all, like one who is well off and sees no advantage in further labors; and speaking the other day with a friend he said to him, “If this Emperor comes, it will benefit no one but the Pisans.” But Pandolfo does not believe in the Emperor’s coming, and relies upon the Swiss and the Venetians, who he thinks will not adhere firmly to him. Nevertheless he goes on making preparations: first, by making every one here believe that the Emperor is his particular friend, so as to deprive the malcontents of the hope of support; and secondly, by doing all he can really to make him so, although up to yesterday morning he had not received any letter from his envoy to the Emperor. I say this because I am told this morning that he received such letters last night, and if I can learn anything of their contents I will inform your Lordships.
In conversing with some of the Legate’s people, and with some persons of intelligence, I learn that the object of his mission is to do all in his power to prevent the Emperor’s coming; and by way of removing the necessity of his coming to Italy to be crowned, the Legate is authorized, jointly with another German cardinal whose name has escaped me, to crown the Emperor at home. But if he sees that the Emperor is resolved anyhow to come down into Italy, then he is to persuade him to come unaccompanied by any armed force; assuring him of the friendship of France, and all the guaranties of security he can ask for. And if all this does not produce the desired effect, and he sees that the Emperor is bent upon coming with an armed force, then he is carefully to find out the Emperor’s resources, and whether they are sufficient to overcome all the obstacles he may encounter, and to report the same; and in such case he is to amuse the Emperor with assurances of the high opinion which his Holiness the Pope entertains of his Majesty.
I mention these things to your Lordships, not as being true, but simply as having heard them from men of serious character; and mainly because I know that it will do no harm that you should know these things, as I said in the beginning.
Whilst writing, the brother of the Cardinal Ceserino arrived at this hostelry, with fifteen horse; he is on his way from Rome to Bologna on some business, and will remain here to-morrow, and then go on to Florence with the Legate. It is thus that the stream is constantly swelling.
I recommend myself to your Lordships, quæ bene valeant.
Sienna, 14 August, 1507, 21st hour.
MISSION TO THE EMPEROR OF GERMANY.*
[* ]The two Reports“On the Affairs of Germany,” and the “Discourse on the Affairs of Germany and on the Emperor,” printed in this volume, are the result of the observations made by Machiavelli during this mission.