Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER VIII. - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 4 (Diplomatic Missions 1506-1527)
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LETTER VIII. - 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 29th ultimo, and sent the letter to Giovanni Borromei at Mantua. I wrote again very briefly yesterday, and sent it to your Lordships by one of the Pope’s couriers who was going to Florence; in that letter I advised you of the arrival of the Emperor’s agent, together with the Signor Costantino. This present letter I shall send you by Messer Francesco da Santa Fiore, Pandolfo Petrucci’s secretary, who returns by way of Florence. I avail myself of this opportunity to give you the news that the meeting of the Emperor with the Grand Master did not take place. Nevertheless the Grand Master was yesterday at Peschiera, and the Emperor left Arco to go to Trent, which seems rather a bad way of getting here. Some three thousand German infantry came here to-day; they are said to be a part of the garrison of Vicenza. I do not see that any other troops arrive, and learn from persons coming from Innspruck that there are none on the road, and that nothing is said there of any troops that are to come here. The Bishop Lieutenant, desiring to relieve the city, at the request of the inhabitants, and believing himself that there were troops enough here to warrant their going out into the country to be quartered in some of the neighboring castles, whence they could press the enemy and at the same time relieve the city, requested the French troops that are here to do so; but they replied that they would not leave the city to advance without orders from the Grand Master. As chance would have it, news came at the same time that the Emperor had sent the Signor Lodovico da Gonzaga to Monseigneur de Chaumont with a similar request, and that the latter had made a similar reply; namely, that without fresh orders from the King he would not make his troops go beyond Verona. Thus the Imperialists are beginning to talk very disparagingly about the French; say that the Emperor will make terms with the Venetians, and drive the French out of Italy. Consequently, the whole of last night the French troops in the city remained under arms and on horseback; and some of the gentlemen here were greatly afraid that the French would return this morning to Peschiera, and that on the day after the Venetians would come back here. And yet to-day all seems to be arranged, but how it was done I know not. The French captains have had a long consultation with the Bishop, but the result of it is not yet made public. But we see as it were from a distance that here are two sovereigns, one of which has the ability to make war, but is not willing, whilst the other is willing but lacks the ability; and the one who is able trifles away his time. Would to God that he pushed matters energetically, for if he reflects to what point the desperation of the inhabitants here goes, he must feel that he cannot be prompt enough in removing from their sight the army upon which they base all their hopes, and fix all their thoughts. And if he continues by his present proceedings to keep up the desperation of the people of this country, and to keep alive the Venetians, then, as I have before remarked, it may at any moment give rise to events that will make the King and the Pope, as well as ourselves, repent that we have not done our duty at the right time.
This community has to-day sent two ambassadors to the Emperor to represent to him the condition in which they are at present, and their apprehensions. They are awaiting their return, which will be of importance, even if it should not lead to any change in the state of things. There is talk of a Diet to be held at Kempten, a place three days’ journey beyond Innspruck, and it is thought that perhaps the Emperor may be present in person. The Venetians are seizing as many castles as they please in this neighborhood, and it is stated that they have done a great deal of damage in the territory of Ferrara, and that they still continue to do so. But as I suppose that your Lordships will have fuller information in relation to this from Ferrara, I shall not attempt to give you any details of this. Furthermore, it is reported to-day that the Venetians have taken a number of galleys up the river Po, and that the Duke of Ferrara has had rocks sunk in the rear of these galleys, so that they will not be able to return without risk of being wrecked; and that they are waiting for the French troops to lay their hands upon these galleys.
If the Emperor stops at Trent, I may perhaps go there, unless your Lordships recall me before, which I entreat you to do; for the Emperor does not permit any one to remain near him; and if I am to remain at a distance from him, I might as well be at Florence as here, particularly as Francesco Pandolfini is near here and can keep your Lordships fully informed of everything that is going on here, as he has intimate relations with men, etc.
Verona, December 1, 1509.