Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XVII. - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 4 (Diplomatic Missions 1506-1527)
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LETTER XVII. - 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.: —
My previous letters will have informed you of all that has taken place here up till now. By the present you will learn that the enemy did not leave his encampment of the night before between Imola and Faenza, whence we greatly feared they would take the road to Tuscany. They sent a trumpeter to Faenza on behalf of Monseigneur de Bourbon, demanding in his name three things. The first was to grant free passage to his troops close under the walls of the place; the second, to supply him with provisions on being paid for them in cash; and the third was to receive his sick people within their town so that they might be cured there. All three of these demands were refused, and although the inhabitants were at first a little displeased at receiving our troops into garrison, yet they afterwards received them, and showed themselves more courageous and disposed to defend themselves. This morning, however, the enemy’s army approached within gunshot of Faenza, and then turned off to the left, taking the lower road to Ravenna; so that we feel sure for the moment that they will not enter Tuscany. We are also almost certain for the present that they will not attempt to take any of the places in Romagna; and as we have supplied Faenza, Imola, and Furli with provisions, so we shall equally supply Ravenna, Cesena, and Rimini. And those places that cannot now be supplied by land will be supplied by sea, so that they can remain perfectly safe, unless something quite unexpected should happen.
The Count Guido, who was with his troops at Modena, and the infantry of the Signor Giovanni, which had been left at Bologna, must, at the moment of my writing, have arrived at Imola. We are here at Furli with the Swiss and the French troops; and they fight with much reluctance. The commanders of these troops, so soon as they are separated from the Lord Lieutenant, carry out the plans agreed upon either very slowly or very badly. These soldiers are insupportable, and the inhabitants of the country are so afraid of them that they receive them most unwillingly. The troops of the League move very slowly, as they have no confidence in the truce, and the reported coming of the Viceroy would have disaffected them entirely if the Lord Lieutenant had not represented to them that it amounted to nothing. We also heard that the Duke of Urbino had urgently demanded to come here, but it was believed that his zeal would cool off when he should hear that the coming of the Viceroy has revived the subject of the truce.* Nevertheless, seeing the enemy marching towards his home ought to make him more solicitous than ever.
The amount of all this is, that the advantage we have of being masters of the strong places, of having an open country, of having had money, of having plenty of troops and experience, — all these things amount to nothing in consequence of our being divided into so many parties, and having so little confidence in each other.
On the other hand, the disadvantages which the enemy suffers from being shut in by the mountains, where he is dying of hunger, and having no money, — all these are causes of their being united and acting together, and makes them obstinate beyond all human belief. But to see their obstinacy overcome by the arrival of the Viceroy would indeed be good and most happy tidings for us. Valete!
Furli, 8 April, 1527.
P. S. — I had forgotten to tell your Lordships that the enemy yesterday entered Berzighella, where there were neither inhabitants nor movables of any kind. The enemy burned the town; the citadel capitulated, but the enemy did not observe the terms of capitulation. Iterum valete!
[* ]The truce so often referred to in these letters is the one concluded between Pope Clement VII. (Medici) with the Viceroy of Naples and other ministers of the Emperor. But it was never recognized either by the Imperial army that came from Lombardy or by the Constable de Bourbon, who commanded that army. The Pope, on the other hand, relied so thoroughly upon it that he disbanded his forces, and thus found himself entirely unprepared when the Constable de Bourbon directed his march unexpectedly upon Rome.