Front Page Titles (by Subject) INSTRUCTIONS FROM PIERO SODERINI, GONFALONIERE, TO NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI, - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 4 (Diplomatic Missions 1506-1527)
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INSTRUCTIONS FROM PIERO SODERINI, GONFALONIERE, TO NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI, - 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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2 June, 1510.†
After having executed all that the Ten have commissioned you to do, you will say to his Majesty the king, on my part, that I have no other desire in the world but three things, namely, the glory of God, the happiness of my country, and the welfare and honor of his Majesty the king of France. And as I cannot believe that my country can be happy without the glory and prosperity of the crown of France, I do not value the one without the other. You will also assure his Majesty, that my brother the Cardinal is inspired by the same feelings and opinions as myself; and if he has failed in his duty to call and pay his homage to his Majesty, it is because the Pope has never been willing to give him permission to do so; and that he is bound to show all respect and obedience to his first master, who combines with his great authority so violent and impetuous a disposition that even princes are obliged to treat him with deference. Thus my brother must be held excused, and you must make his excuses, and recommend him to his Majesty the king. You will, moreover, say to his Majesty that my sole desire is that he may maintain and increase his credit and power in Italy; but to do this he must keep the Venetians down, and preserve his good relations with the Emperor of Germany, as he has done until now. And if it were possible, it would be an admirable thing to induce the king of Hungary to make war upon the Venetians in Dalmatia; for if they were to lose that province they would be completely ruined, and the king need not fear that they will ever recover from it. But if this cannot be done, you will nevertheless urge his Majesty to continue to cause them all possible expenses in that direction by protracting the war as he has done hitherto, so as to exhaust the Venetians as much as possible. For if his Majesty desires to secure his possessions in Italy, he must give his attention mainly to two points; the one to preserve friendly relations with the Emperor, and the other to continue to harass and enfeeble the Venetians. If he does this, he will have the Pope and Spain for him, for the one has no good troops, and the other is not in a situation to do him any harm. You must make his Majesty understand how sorry I am that the Pope is likely to employ Swiss troops, and that his Majesty must do all in his power to prevent it, as that would make it easier for him to keep the Pope down and to temporize with him. For if the Pope adds the support of the Swiss to the advantages which his money gives him and to his own personal character, it would make him too strong and audacious, and might lead to disastrous results. You will add, that according to my judgment his Majesty ought to make every effort not to break with the Pope; for even if a Pope’s friendship is of no great value, yet his enmity may do great harm, through the influence of the Church, and because you cannot make direct war upon him without provoking the enmity of the whole world. It is of importance to the king, therefore, to keep on good terms with the pontiff, which ought not to be difficult on account of the Pope’s not having many firm supporters on whom he can rely. And if the Pope’s enmity can do him no harm, yet it may cause him to incur very heavy expenditures.
As to the Emperor, I have told you above, that I think it important that the king should temporize with him; and if the king, whilst incurring such heavy expenses out of love for the Emperor, were to ask him to cede Verona to him by way of compensation, I should very much desire him to do so, as it would more effectually secure to the king his possessions in Italy. But if this cannot be brought about, then you will suggest, on my part, that there is a third way that might be adopted; namely, to hand Verona over to some private gentleman, so that it would belong neither to the king nor the Emperor. Should this be done, it will afterwards be more easy for the king to get possession of it; for whoever is master of it will always find himself obliged to act according to the wishes of his more powerful neighbor.
You will call his Majesty’s attention to the fact that extraordinary fortifications are being built at Serezana, which if done by his order would be all very well, but if done without his knowledge then he ought to be informed of it, as it is a matter of much importance. And finally you will recommend me a thousand times to his Majesty.
[† ]The instructions from the Magistracy of the Ten to Machiavelli have not been found.