Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XIII. - 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 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.
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.: —
My last of the 18th instant informed your Lordships fully of all that was passing here, and at the same time I replied to the letters which your Lordships had written me up to that date. Since then I have received your two despatches of the 10th and 11th; and as the king is suffering from a cough which is prevalent throughout this whole country, I have communicated to Robertet such portion of the information contained in your letters as in my judgment I thought proper he should know, and gave him moreover a note of it, so that he might show it to his Majesty, etc.
Although your Lordships have been informed from Rome that the Pope almost despairs of being able to count upon the Swiss, yet it is evident that the French here are very apprehensive and suspicious of them, and the more so, as I am informed, because the Swiss boast of being able at any time to make a road over the Alps, which no one can prevent, nor hinder them from coming down in the neighborhood of Savona. Being accustomed to carry their provisions with them, they could pass above Genoa and get into the Lucchese territory by the Riviera di Levante, without being exposed to attack; and they could not be prevented getting from there into the Bolognese territory, where they would unite with the Papal forces. I do not know the country myself, and may possibly be mistaken, and some persons think it a very long and round-about way; but however that may be, the truth is that the French stand in great fear of these Swiss; and I venture to say that, if they were to declare themselves in favor of the French, these would care but little for all the other powers.
They had also become somewhat distrustful of the Emperor, because nothing more had been heard of Monseigneur de Gurck; yesterday, however, news was received that he had started on the 13th instant. So they have recovered their confidence a little, and are of good cheer upon that point: for if the Emperor were to abandon the French, their want of German infantry would then oblige them to look to their own homes rather than to other people’s.
I wrote to your Lordships that the ambassador from Ferrara was well pleased with the preparations which the king had ordered for the benefit of the Duke; but I have since then found him in a very different humor, complaining that the French order one thing to-day and recall it to-morrow. It seems to me that he fears that in the end his Duke may fare badly. He complains also that the French have their ideas turned too much towards the next spring, thinking that the arrival of the king with a powerful army will remedy everything; but they do not take into account that in the mean time some of their allies may meet with disaster.
I learn from a good source that the Marquis of Mantua has promised to serve the Pope with his person and his state, so soon as his Holiness shall have made himself master of Ferrara, but that in the mean time he will remain neutral.
Nothing else occurs to me to say, unless it be to recommend myself again to your Lordships, and to beg you to instruct Bartolommeo Panciatichi to pay me the fifty scudi of which I am in great need, as stated in my letter of the 18th, to enable me not only to return home, but to have myself cured; for I am still suffering from the effects of the cough, which has left my stomach in such wretched condition that I have no appetite for anything. I must add, that there is an extraordinarily great mortality at Paris: more than a thousand persons die per day. May the Almighty not abandon us! Valete!
Blois, 24 August, 1510.
For some days past the question has been discussed between the king and his councillors of sending a representative of his Majesty to reside near your Lordships; and to hasten his coming to Florence it has been proposed to charge Monseigneur de Chaumont with sending him. I do not know whether anything has been done in the matter, for it is five days since I have seen or spoken to any one, having been confined to my chamber by this cough. Iterum valete!