Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER IX. - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 4 (Diplomatic Missions 1506-1527)
Return to Title Page for The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 4 (Diplomatic Missions 1506-1527)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Also in the Library:
LETTER IX. - 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.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
Magnificent Signori, etc.: —
All three of us having met here to-day, partly to see each other once face to face, and partly to talk over what ought to be done now after the devastation of the country, which may be said to have been carried out most effectually. The news of our meeting having reached Pisa, Tarlatino addressed a letter to us, saying that, if we would consent to it, four of their citizens would come to confer with us, namely, Francesco del Torto, Matteo di Gaddo, Antonio dell’ Oste, and Carlo Bandella. Deeming it well to hear what they had to say, they came, and we received them with a courteous welcome. After resting a little while, Francesco del Torto spoke in the name of all, and said that their Signoria and people had appointed twelve deputies to proceed to Florence and throw themselves at the feet of our illustrious Signoria for the purpose of composing the differences between the commune of Pisa and the republic of Florence; that they had come to make this determination known to us, and to ask of us a safe-conduct for this deputation. We began our reply in the most friendly terms possible, so as to impress them thoroughly with the kindly disposition which our city entertained towards them; and then we went on to say that what had done them most harm hitherto was their attempt to gain time, whilst if they had not done so, but had rather anticipated time, their harvest would have remained safe, and would not have been taken from them; and that these delays, on which they perhaps still counted, might prove as injurious to them in the future as they had been in the past. And if they wished to hasten matters, it would be well for them to settle the outlines of an arrangement with us, even if they could not conclude anything definitely; that this might be done in one day, as they could at any moment communicate with Pisa; and that it would not be so easy at Florence to settle the difficulties that might arise during the negotiations. Nevertheless, the safe-conduct was at their disposal, and they might adopt either course that seemed to them best; but that in our judgment the first was the best, being the shortest. They replied, that they liked our suggestions, but, having no power to negotiate with us, they could do no more than to ask for the safe-conduct. They would, however, return to Pisa and talk the matter over with the authorities, and then take one course or the other, and would make known to us what had been decided upon; and then they would ask for the safe-conduct, or would endeavor to negotiate with us; and thus the matter was left.
Our discussion was pretty long, and touched upon various subjects, and from their language and their actions they seemed to us really well disposed; and it may well be that, whether they come here or proceed to Florence to settle the details, a satisfactory result will be reached. They said that we must not be surprised if during to-morrow, or even the next day, we were not to hear anything more from them, but that such delay would only serve more certainly to reach a satisfactory conclusion. To this we have urged them, and in all our arguments we have endeavored to inspire them with confidence that they may expect from our city more clemency, more security, and more advantages than they themselves could ask for. They expressed themselves satisfied of this, and disposed to persuade those of their fellow-citizens who remained obstinate, or who held different opinions. Thus matters stand, and your Lordships can now form as good a judgment of the matter as we can ourselves. We must wait now to see what they will decide upon, of which your Lordships shall be promptly advised. We do not send the names of the deputies appointed by the Pisans, as Niccolo has communicated them in a note to your Lordships this morning. All these negotiations do not cause us to relax in the least our efforts in this enterprise, which we shall continue to press until we have the proof in hand that they are really in earnest, which we are disposed to believe from what they have said to us in public, and since then to each one of us in particular, unless, indeed, they are otherwise interfered with, from which Heaven preserve us! We recommend ourselves to your Lordships, quæ bene valeant.
From the Camp in the Val Serchio, 20 May, 1509.