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FOURTH MISSION TO THE COURT OF FRANCE. - 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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FOURTH MISSION TO THE COURT OF FRANCE.
Decemviri Libertatis et Pacis Reipublicæ Florentinæ, universis et singulis ad quos hæc nostræ patentes literæ inciderint, salutem.
Significamus vobis, qui nostro imperio paretis, mittere nos Nicolaum Machiavellum, civem et Secretarium nostrum dilectissimum, mandatarium ad Christianissimum Regem Francorum, mandamusque ob id vobis, ut transeuntem per loca nostra juvetis omni ea ope, qua illi opus erit ad pergendum securius et celerius suum iter; sic enim rem vobis dignam facietis, et gratissimam nobis. Amicos vero omnes alios, confederatosque Reipublicæ nostræ hortamur precamurque, si quid nostra amieitia meretur, faveatis illi, juvetisque iter quacumque ratione potueritis, ut incolumis citoque in Galliam pervenire possit, quo mittitur a nobis ad Regem Christianissimum; quod erit in primis gratissimum nobis, et quod semper habebimus beneficii loco. Bene valete.
Ex Palatio nostro Florentino, die 10 Septembris, 1511.
Deliberated on,6 September, 1511.
You are perfectly aware of all that has taken place here with regard to the Council to be held at Pisa; and on what grounds and for what reason we were disposed, on its first publication, to allow that Council to be held at Pisa; and that not many days afterwards we gave our full consent. But finding now that the greater part and the most substantial of these reasons no longer exist, and that we had offended the Pope by our course, and thereby exposed ourselves to the greatest danger, we have been forced by necessity to send you by post, and with the greatest possible despatch, first to those most reverend cardinals, and to the most illustrious Royal Lieutenant at Milan; and after that as far as the court of his Most Christian Majesty. And all our interest and aim in your mission is reduced to one single object; namely, to make every effort and use all means to have this Council, the beginning of which was so feeble and so perilous that an honorable and safe end can hardly be expected, abrogated by such means as can be found. Or if that cannot be, that it shall at least be transferred elsewhere; which ought now to be an easy matter, seeing what the attorneys of these cardinals have done at Pisa, and how by anticipation they have validated the reasons of this Pisan Council. And finally, if this cannot be done, then let us have, as a last resort, an adjournment for some months; as within that time various contingencies may arise that will enable the Council to arrive at a much better settlement of all these disorders. And even if no other result will be attained, still two or three months’ time will be a great advantage and an immense convenience to us. And we think that such a delay should not be refused to us, as it is called for by the very season which we are about to enter upon, and by the condition in which this matter now stands. For it seems probable that those who have not arrived up to to-day will not come to encounter the winter season here; and moreover, the French prelates could under ordinary circumstances not reach the place in two months.
Travelling, therefore, with all possible speed, you will take the road to Milan; but before arriving at Bologna, you will carefully inform yourself as to the whereabouts of Santa Croce, Narbonne, San Malo, and Cosenza, who some three or four days ago were supposed to be at Borgo a San Donnino, and were to pass through here on their way to Pisa. When you have ascertained where they are, you will go to the place where you will find them together, and in speaking to them all at the same time and to each one separately you will give them to understand that they are on no account to come to Florence; pointing out the trouble to which they would expose us, and the danger in which our merchants would be placed, with all their goods and movables at Rome as well as elsewhere; advising, exhorting, and entreating them on no account to take this route. You will add that you are going to Milan to make known to the Royal Lieutenant the report that has been spread, and the consequent apprehensions that the Spanish troops are about to march towards Piombino, and that a fleet is being fitted out at Naples, and that the Pope has already taken the Duke of Termini into his pay, and has appointed him his captain; adding all that may occur to you according to what we have told you here verbally. But should you not find the aforesaid cardinals on your route, because of their having gone in another direction, then you will proceed direct on the way to Milan and France. We believe that with the above-mentioned cardinals you will not require any other credentials than the letters patent which you take with you, and which will suffice to prove your person and your mission.
Having attended to this matter, you will take the diligence for Milan, where you will see Francesco Pandolfini, and, after having communicated to him our present instructions, you will together call upon the Viceroy, but in your interview with him you will confine yourselves to communicating to him that, whilst sending you to the court of his Most Christian Majesty, we desired also that his Excellency should be informed of the object of this mission. And without touching upon anything else, you will relate to him what has taken place at Rome; and what may happen to our merchants any day there and elsewhere; also the apprehensions with regard to Piombino and the Spaniards, as we have stated above. The reason why we deem it proper for you not to enter upon any other subject with him is, that we do not wish the object of your mission known before your arrival at court. We desire, nevertheless, that you should inform Francesco of everything, not only of the particulars of these instructions, but also of what we have stated to you verbally, so that he may in future proceed in conformity with our views, and govern himself in his actions according to these instructions.
Having accomplished this at Milan, you will proceed with the same diligence and speed to the court of his Most Christian Majesty. Immediately on arriving you will call to see Roberto,* and, after communicating to him these instructions, as well as what we have told you verbally, you will both together call upon his Majesty the king; and in addressing his Majesty you will begin by stating that we gave the concession of Pisa solely to please him; and then you will go on to show to what point matters have been brought here, and what has resulted and is likely to result in Rome, against our city as well as against our people and their goods. You will point out to his Majesty what our people have had to suffer in the way of interdicts, censures, war, and ransoms to be paid for persons and goods everywhere; and show the reasons why it has come to this, and what remedies there are for this state of things. And in explaining the cause of these evils to which we are subjected, you will remark that we have observed that the Emperor gives little or no attention to these matters; and that, whilst we believed that he would carry on the war advantageously, and that he was on his way to Florence, he was still near Trent, with little disposition to do anything more this year, and was constantly on the point of turning back. That he is carrying on most intimate negotiations with the Venetians, and has convoked a Diet in Germany for the day of San Gallo; and that all these things show manifestly that he gives little thought to our matters. To this may be added, that we have not heard of a single prelate’s coming from that great country to take part in this council. In the same way it has been observed that the French prelates that are to come manifest such tardiness as to cause the belief that they do not come of their own free will. But as this might possibly cause displeasure to the king, it seems to us best you should not refer to it, unless perhaps merely in a passing word, so as not to give umbrage to his Majesty. There are still other and more important points to touch upon; one of which is that, according to what we hear, some of the cardinals named in the edicts dissimulate their real views, and under various pretexts delay their coming to Pisa. Another matter, and one that has astonished us very much, is that a council should have been opened by only three persons sent to Pisa, and these of such a character as they are; and that they have declared that they wanted the forts in their hands, which would promptly be filled with armed men. Owing to the lack of reputation of these persons, great disorders have occurred, so that the city found herself placed under an interdict, and that the heads of the religious establishments have declared against such a Council. All this is the consequence of having made so feeble a beginning, and not having sent men capable of defending their motives, and who might with proper authority have given due character and reputation to such an undertaking, which, once discredited, can hardly be carried to a satisfactory conclusion. In consequence of these disorders, the Pope, finding neither reputation, favor, nor power within the Council, has manifested the most vigorous resentment, and, having no one else upon whom to pour out his wrath, has discharged it all upon us; and thence all the dangers which threaten us, and which are so well known to you. These are increasing with every day; and it is not likely that the Council will gain in favor, having shown such weakness in the beginning, for everybody will be disposed to believe that its end will be similar to its beginning. And as no one at present accepts the reasons alleged in favor of this Council at Pisa, they will be still less acceptable in the future.
The remedies for this state of things are in our judgment but few. Peace, however, would settle everything honorably, and relieve all parties from their present anxieties; but of this we do not wish you to speak, except as a last resort. After having shown to his Majesty how little is to be hoped for from this Council, and what has been the cause of its feebleness, you will make every effort to persuade and beg his Majesty to be pleased to have it discontinued, seeing how difficult it would be to carry it on. And if all these reasons do not satisfy his Majesty, then you must endeavor, by pointing out to him our present and future dangers, to persuade him to relieve us from this care and anxiety, and show him that now, since the initiative measures have been taken at Pisa, the Council might readily be transferred to some other locality. This is, in fact, what we should desire most in case you cannot obtain a discontinuance of the Council, and therefore we want you to urge it most vigorously, leaving nothing undone that can help to induce the king to consent to such a transfer.
The reasons for this are numerous. First of all, the holding of the Council at Pisa is really tantamount to holding it under the very hands of the Pope; for it may be taken for granted that it will at once provoke a fresh war by land and by sea, in which his Majesty would be obliged to take a hand, if he does not wish that his friends shall perish for having tried to please him. But such a war would not take place if the Council were held in a locality not so accessible to the Pope with his army and his allies. And then there is the fact that the Emperor has never been satisfied that the Council should be held in Pisa, which doubtless is the reason why he and the prelates of Germany have shown such indifference in the matter. There are furthermore the reasons which we have so many times written to Roberto Acciaiuoli; namely, the ruinous state of Pisa, the unproductiveness of the country, the bad harvest this year, and the fact that the place can so easily be harassed by a hostile fleet. Above all must it be taken into consideration, in connection with the first reason, that a war resulting from the holding of the Council in Pisa would be a very dangerous one, because all the states involved in it will necessarily be divided, some declaring for and some against the Pope. His Majesty will therefore have to bear in mind that, if matters take this course, the burden of the war will fall upon him, if not entirely, at least in great part. It is necessary, then, that by means of these reasons, and such others as may suggest themselves to you, you should strive to persuade his Majesty to be satisfied that we may henceforth refuse Pisa to any one for the purpose of holding such a Council.
And if you cannot even obtain this, then you must, as a last resort, make every possible effort that for two or three months to come no further action shall be taken in Pisa without a consultation between the cardinals and the other promoters of the Council, as they might possibly disagree. There would be a manifest and natural reason for such a consultation, as the cardinals are still in Lombardy, and the bishops and abbots have not yet made their appearance. You will also point out to his Majesty the great advantage of this, especially so far as we are concerned, for it would afford us the time the better to settle our own affairs and those of the nation. Nor would it be at all extraordinary that it should bring with it some other good results, and that it should dispose minds more favorably to a peace, which it would be most reasonable the Pope should desire, and to which his Majesty has always been well inclined. But of this peace it is necessary you should speak so as not to fail in any part of the object of your mission; at the same time urging and entreating his Majesty, for the purpose of avoiding the troubles of war, or for an infinity of other reasons, not to allow any opportunity to be lost that may present itself for concluding peace, but rather to seize every chance that may be given him, and to that end to proffer him all our best efforts and good offices. You must endeavor to learn what the results of your efforts may be, and what difficulties may present themselves; not only for the purpose of advising us, but also to enable us to do all that in your judgment may seem necessary to be done in the matter.
And we desire particularly that you should fully make known our disposition in this business, so that his Majesty the king and every one else may know that we have no aim or desire for anything else than peace; and that we shall ever be ready to do all that is possible and becoming to our quality to bring it about.
We remind you to write to us from Milan and from France, promptly and carefully, all that you may have done; what hope there is for the accomplishment of our desire, and what may ultimately be the result of this whole affair of the Council.
Ex Palatio Florentino, die 10 Septembris MDXI.
Decemviri Libertatis et Baliæ Reipubl. Flor.
Magnificent and Illustrious Signori, etc.: —
I arrived here yesterday at dusk, and found here the Cardinals Santa Croce, San Malo, Cosenza, and San Severino. Santa Croce is lodged outside the citadel, and the other three within. I thought it proper to speak first with Santa Croce, partly because he is as it were their chief, and partly because I regard him as being in some way more friendly to your Lordships than the others. I had a long conversation with him in relation to the Council; and finally he thought it advisable that I should accompany him into the citadel to speak with the other cardinals; and just as we were starting to go, Cosenza and San Severino came to see him. The three withdrew and remained together some three hours or more, during which time they despatched both letters and messengers. After that they had me called in, and I repeated to the three together all that I had already said to Santa Croce. They then made me leave the room, and after a long consultation they came out themselves and told me to follow them to the Castle. There they went in to see San Malo, who was confined to his bed by an attack of gout; after having remained with him some time, they had me called in and made me repeat before San Malo what I had previously told them. The sum and substance of my remarks consisted in making known to them how greatly the Pope was irritated against your Lordships when he was informed of what had been done at Pisa,* the dangers to which our merchants had been and were still exposed, the threats which the Pope had made to attack you with his temporal and spiritual weapons; and that for that reason your Lordships had charged me to go per post to Milan to see the Viceroy, and make known to him the Pope’s disposition and preparations, and your dangers, and to ask the Viceroy to suggest a remedy for all this. And that your Lordships had also commissioned me that, if on the way I should meet with their most reverend Lordships, I should make the same facts known to them; that you saw in all this two dangers, the one real and immediate, and the other a future danger. The present and real one was the plundering of your merchants and the interdict of your city, while war constituted the future danger. And to counteract the present danger, you begged their most reverend Lordships to be pleased not to come any nearer to Florence, so as to give our merchants time to settle their affairs; and that their reverend Lordships could do this without interfering with the Council, as none of the matters that were to be brought before it were ready; nor were you prepared to combat the Pope’s temporal or spiritual powers. And then I said all that could be said in relation to the disorders that existed upon these two points, and begged them anew, in your Lordships’ name, to be pleased to delay their further advance, which they could do perfectly well without interfering with their plans; and in my effort to persuade them, I omitted nothing that could possibly be said on the subject. I told them also of the preparations of the Pope, what they consisted in, and how much he expected from the Spaniards.
Having spoken to them thus this last time in presence of San Malo, they had a long consultation amongst themselves, and then had me recalled, whereupon San Severino replied to me in the name of the others. The sum and substance of his remarks was in justification of their undertaking, and how acceptable it ought to be to all Christians and to the Almighty himself; and that the greater the participation in it, the greater would be the glory derived from it. And that when it was published six months ago that the Council would be held at Pisa, your Lordships ought to have prepared yourselves for all the consequences that might result from it, and that they could not understand how, after having had so much time, any further delay could be of advantage to you. After that he went on trying to prove to me that you had nothing to apprehend from war, because his Majesty the king of France had never had so many troops in Italy as at the present time. And here he magnified matters as much as possible, concluding finally by saying that they did not intend under any circumstances to come to Florence, but would go direct to Pisa by way of Pontremoli. That it would, however, be ten or twelve days before they should leave, as they intended to wait for the French prelates who would be here within that time, to the number of forty or more, and that they would come accompanied by learned doctors and preachers to enable them to raise the interdict; and that whoever opposed them would be adjudged an heretic. He alleged that in the year 1409, three years after your Lordships had acquired Pisa, you permitted a Council to be held there against a Pope of great sanctity; that that Council was opened only by cardinals, and that you then had manifested no fears, although the cause for that Council was not so just, nor was the support you then had so powerful as at present, when you have that of the king of France.
At this point the Cardinal Santa Croce spoke in turn, and confirmed all that San Severino had said, adding that for the love of Christ and for the good of the Church your Lordships ought cheerfully to assume the burden of this Council; that the Council at Basle had been begun by a single abbot, whilst in the present case there would be so many cardinals and prelates that they would be able to carry on work of much greater difficulty; that they intended to raise all interdicts, and would so confound the Pope that he would have other things to think of than excommunications or war.
I replied to such part of these remarks as seemed to me to require an answer, by an attempt to persuade them not to go any farther; but I could not move them to any other conclusion than what I have stated above, that is to say, that they would not hasten their departure from here, and would go to Pisa by way of Pontremoli.
When I spoke yesterday with the Cardinal Santa Croce alone, I concluded from what he said that they would have gone to Pisa ere this, if they had seen your Lordships more decidedly favorable to the Council; but seeing your irresolution had caused them to hesitate themselves. If this be so, then I believe that my representation may cause them to hesitate still more, for they seem not to consider themselves safe in Pisa; and this may perhaps produce an effect which might not be to the purpose, for they have always desired to have the French army with them, and would desire it still more now.
In fact, I learn this morning that they have sent a messenger to the Viceroy at Milan, to solicit him to come in person with three hundred lances to escort them to Pisa whenever they are prepared to go. I shall be at Milan to-night, and will see with Francesco what can be done to prevent this. In the reply which Santa Croce made in the presence of the other cardinals, he stated that it would anyhow be necessary to hold two or three sessions more at Pisa, and that then, to accommodate and please your Lordships, they would raise the Council and transfer it elsewhere.
I learned yesterday evening that San Severino was to leave here this morning for Germany, on a mission to the Emperor; the object being to persuade him to order his prelates to Pisa, with the promise that, after the Council had once been organized at Pisa, then it might be transferred wherever else his Majesty pleased. Another object of this mission is said to be the negotiation of a marriage between the Emperor and a French princess; and also to try and recover from him certain castles in the Veronese territory that were formerly obtained from his father.
It is now two o’clock of the morning, and it is at this hour that San Severino is to start. I recommend myself to your Lordships.
Al Borgo a San Donnino, 13 September, 1511.
Magnificent Signori, etc.: —
On Saturday I wrote to your Lordships from Borgo a San Donnino, and informed you particularly of the interview I had with the cardinals. I left my letter with Giovanni Girolami, who promised me to send it by the king’s post; and presuming that you have received it, I do not repeat its contents. Since then I have arrived here and explained my commission to the Viceroy. The particulars of my interview with him, and his reply, will be reported to you by Francesco Pandolfini, having conformed in all my proceedings to his orders, and therefore I refer to his Magnificence. It is now the twenty-second hour, and I am just about to leave for the court to execute the commission of your Lordships, to whom I recommend myself.
Milan, 15 September, 1511.
Magnificent Signori, etc.: —
My last was of the 17th; I sent it through Pandolfini by royal post. Machiavelli arrived here safely day before yesterday. Besides your Lordships’ letter of the 10th, which he brought with him, he has informed me of the object of his mission; and as Robertet happens to be here, and his Majesty the king being about three leagues from here, we thought it best not to go to see him the first day, but to wait until the next morning when we should find Robertet with the king, so that he could be present at our audience in case it should be necessary to expedite some order. We therefore went next morning to court, having previously examined the instructions and made a brief of all the arguments that could influence the king to enter into your Lordships’ views. Accordingly we presented ourselves before his Majesty, and after the first homage of Machiavelli and the customary ceremonies, we read to his Majesty a statement prepared from your Lordships’ commission, in which we had embodied all the arguments that seemed most suitable and calculated to produce the desired effect of making his Majesty relish the better and consider with more attention the propositions we had to make. His Majesty listened cheerfully and attentively, showing that he attached great value to your representations and advice.
Our statement contained three principal points, the first of which was to urge his Majesty to make peace, and dissolve the Council by some reasonable agreement, and to offer him mediators, etc. To this the king replied, “Would to God that you could bring matters to that point, for there is nothing that I desire so much, and I should feel very grateful to whoever brings it about,” — showing us that upon that point he had always the same desire, and that he had never agreed to this Council except for the purpose of bringing the Pope to some agreement; and therefore he said, “If now we were to raise the Council, the Pope would not want to hear anything more of peace.” To this we replied, that that idea seemed to us without foundation, inasmuch as, according to all the indications, this Council was more apt to provoke war than peace, and that it was this apprehension that caused the Pope to look rather to a resort to arms than to ask for peace. To our second proposition, which had for its object a change in the locality where the Council was to be held, the king answered promptly and resolutely: “This also is impossible, for I see no way in which it could be done, as it is necessary that the cardinals and prelates should proceed to Pisa for certain indispensable acts that have to be done there. But measures could be taken so that they shall remain there as short a time as possible, and this I shall urge upon them.” He could not precisely specify these acts, not being familiar with the terms employed in business of this kind. And then his Majesty added: “For some days we have thought of everything that could relieve us from this burden and embarrassment, and have had the whole subject revised and studied minutely, so as to see whether it could be arranged that the Council should not be held at Pisa; but having in the first instance been convoked in that city, it has been found that the Council cannot be removed from there without prejudice to our rights. If it had been possible, we should gladly have had it transferred to Vercelli, to which place the cardinals and other members of the Council could easily remove for this purpose, after having made at Pisa their first, second, and third station” (that is the word he used). “I do not, therefore, see the possibility of yielding to your demands. And moreover, I cannot act without the will and consent of the King of the Romans and the cardinals, with whom I have agreed not to do anything in relation to this business without their concurrence. And after having given them the order to proceed there, and having invited our Gallican Church to take the same way, I do not see how I can now retract.”
And as we observed upon this point that the Council, if held at Pisa, would not merely bring upon us the censures of the Church, and reprisals upon the persons and goods of our merchants, but would also kindle a war of such a character that the republic could not support it, and which would expose him to the gravest troubles and endless expense, his Majesty replied that it was necessary that the merchants should be relieved as much as possible, although he really did not believe that the Pope would harm them in any way. As to the war that might result from it, his Majesty did not seem to fear it much, as he did not believe that the king of Spain would take a hand in it, for he had had most excellent letters and several embassies from that sovereign; and therefore he advised us to have no apprehensions upon that point. His Majesty and Robertet, as well as ourselves, came back several times to this subject, and we believe that we did not omit a single argument calculated to decide the king; so that his final conclusion was, that it was his will and desire to gratify your Lordships, but, as the Council had once been convoked at Pisa, it was impossible now to transfer it elsewhere. So far as we could judge from the King’s countenance, gesticulations, and words, as well as those of Robertet, we concluded that it was against his own inclination that his Majesty had refused to accede to your Lordships’ request, both on account of the danger to which it exposed us, in which he would be equally involved, as well as on account of the expense and anxiety which it would cause him; and that, if he alone had to decide this matter, he would not have refused. But the considerations referred to above seem to have prevented his complying with your Lordships’ wishes; and these considerations are the conventions made with the Emperor and the cardinals, his having directed all the clergy of the Gallican Church to attend the Council at Pisa, his having from the first published Pisa as the locality for its meeting, and finally his unwillingness to abandon these reasons without the Council’s having assembled at least once in that place.
Besides these there is another reason, which the king does not state, but which we have learned from Robertet, and which is of no less importance than all the others; namely, his Majesty fears lest some, if not all, of the cardinals would be angered by such a transfer, and that in their anger they might cause the King of the Romans to change, knowing perhaps how easy it is to turn him, having but quite lately had proof of his want of firmness. Having spent considerable time in this discussion, and being convinced that we could not obtain any other result upon the first two points, we came to the third, which had for its object to gain a delay of two or three months. The advantage of this, we argued, would be that, under color of being able within that time to negotiate some agreement, we should have the opportunity of seeing the issue of the Pope’s illness, of increasing the difficulties of war by delaying it until near winter, and finally of giving more time to our people for securing themselves more effectually. His Majesty was persuaded by our arguments, and promised us to do all he could, so that between now and All Saints no one should go to Pisa; and he directed that the cardinals be written to, to defer their departure. But I do not believe that his Majesty wants the cardinals openly to know the motives of this postponement, and therefore it will be done by various expedients. The first one will be not to send them copies of the safe-conduct which they have demanded; for they have declared that they will under no circumstances go to Pisa unless they have the original safe-conduct, or a copy of the same; and therefore they will not be written to by this post, so as the longer to delay their reply. This first expedient will accomplish what has been promised to us; and this delay seems to us to the purpose, as the cardinals will not go any farther without being thoroughly secured.
Your Lordships can see now what we have done and what we have gained up to the present; and for the future we shall not fail, not only to see that the promises are fulfilled, but also to endeavor to obtain what until now has been refused.
Respecting English affairs I do not see that there is any ground for apprehensions, and here they seem to feel entirely secure upon that point. They have recently again had letters from that sovereign and from his council, which have given great satisfaction. Of the Emperor nothing of particular importance is known, except that four days ago news came that he had gone in the direction of Trent, whereupon it was immediately decided that the imperial ambassador should leave in all haste to find his Majesty. I believe the reason for this was the fear lest the Emperor should change his intentions; and therefore they have sent his own ambassador back to him to keep him firm to his purpose, and to conclude some arrangement with him.
Since then, and just as the ambassador was about to leave, fresh advices have come from the Emperor which caused them not to carry out that intention, as these advices brought satisfactory assurances from that quarter.
Not having anything further to communicate at this time, I recommend myself to your Lordships, quæ bene valeant.
Blois, 24 September, 1511.
P. S. — In speaking of peace the king charged me in the greatest secrecy to write to your Lordships, and to urge you to make every possible effort to bring about such a peace; not, however, on the part of his Majesty, but as being entirely on your own account. And to request your Lordships most particularly to let it be known only to very few persons. And to act in this matter with the greater confidence, your Lordships must know that his Catholic Majesty has given the king to understand that, for the purpose of facilitating an arrangement so far as in his power, he would be willing to let Bologna remain in the present state. Monsignore di Tivoli has been informed in part of the object of Machiavelli’s coming, and was well satisfied with it. He has promised to use his good offices with the Pope in favor of the object desired by your Lordships.
Magnificent Signori, etc.: —
I arrived here last Monday at an early hour of the morning; it was impossible for me to reach here sooner, having lost three days at Borgo a San Donnino and Milan. I presented myself before his Majesty the king in company with his Magnificence the ambassador, who has written you a detailed report of all we did, to which I refer in all respects. I shall remain here so long as it may please his Majesty; that is to say, so long as he may deem it necessary for the object of my mission, which cannot exceed six or eight days. After that I shall return with his Majesty’s gracious permission, and the good pleasure of your Lordships, to whom I ever recommend myself.
Blois, 24 September, 1511.
[* ]Roberto Acciaiuoli, Florentine Ambassador to the Court of France, where he arrived at the very moment of Machiavelli’s departure, after having fulfilled the object of his previous mission to France.
[* ]Certain initial acts had been done by the Council at Pisa on the 1st of September, to which allusion is made in the instructions.