Worthy Reads from December 13, 2018: Hoisted from the Archives

William J. Connell: New Light on Machiavelli’s Letter to Vettori, 10 December 1513 https://www.storiadifirenze.org/pdf_ex_eprints/143-connell.pdf: 'What makes the subscription to the Borromeo letter so especially interesting are three factors: (1) The letter’s recipient was Machiavelli’s friend and patron, Francesco Vettori. (2) The letter was produced in the very chancery office that Machiavelli had directed for 14 years. (3) The date, 12 November 1513, was only two days after the completion of Machiavelli’s relegatio. Perhaps–just perhaps–the subscription altered to «N. Mach(e)l.» represented a way for one of Machiavelli’s chancery friends to confirm to Vettori in Rome that the confinement had ended uneventfully. Machiavelli was in official good standing and able to leave the dominion from 10 November. We know that Vettori received the letter from the Ten with its curious subscription on 18 November89. On 23 November Vettori, who had been out of touch with Machiavelli since August, at last sent his friend a long, warm letter, inviting him to visit him in Rome. And, on 10 December 1513, Machiavelli replied with his famous letter. That letter’s opening words, «Tarde non furon mai grazie divine» [Divine favors were never late], are a comment not so much on the completion of the relegatio (which occurred one month earlier), but on the arrival of Vettori’s let- ter and invitation after more than three months of silence...

#noted #2019-12-13