Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XIII. - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 4 (Diplomatic Missions 1506-1527)
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LETTER XIII. - 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 by my steward Marcone, and await your answer here. To-day Zerino came back from Brescia: and it is understood that the Grand Master will leave next Wednesday for Milan, which is just the contrary of what was expected when I left Verona. Matters do not seem to be pushed with the proper energy, for neither the Emperor nor the Grand Master is here, and I really do not see how the troops can take the field without the presence of either the one or the other; nor can I see, if they do not take the field, how the troops can remain many days longer in Verona, for this large number of troops will cause a famine, and a small number would expose the city to a thousand dangers. So that one cannot remain here with any degree of security; especially if we have to fear that which your Lordships in your letters of the 8th and 9th seem to apprehend. Nevertheless, I am ready to stay in any place you may indicate, there to await your Lordships’ commands as to what I am to do. Marcone will not have left Florence when Zerino arrives; you will thus be able to deliberate anew upon the course which you may desire me to take.
I recommend myself to your Lordships, quæ bene valeant.
Mantua, 16 December, 1509.
THIRD MISSION TO THE COURT OF FRANCE.*
[* ]This mission of Machiavelli to France relates to the first movements of Pope Julius II. against the French. The Pope had been the originator of the celebrated League of Cambray against the Venetians; but as those had been completely crushed by the French at Vaila, the jealousy of Julius II. was excited by this victory and the advantages which France secured by the terms of the treaty with the league. He became suddenly reconciled to the Venetians, and formed an alliance with that republic; and thenceforward he directed all his efforts against the French, with the view of driving them out of Italy. The republic of Florence feared to become compromised in the war which was about to break out between the king of France, Louis XII., and Pope Julius II. Machiavelli was sent to France mainly for the purpose of having Florence released from openly furnishing assistance to the French, and at the same time to relieve the republic of the suspicion of having become alienated from France, and of having an understanding with the Pope. Machiavelli remained at the court of France until he was replaced by Robert Acciaiuoli, who was sent there as ambassador.