Machiavelli and Prospero

Letter 267

“Piero Soderini to Niccoli Machiavelli, 13 April 1521

My very dear Niccolo. Because the affair at Ragusa was not satisfactory to you, since Lord Prospero has asked me to recommend a man capable of managing his affairs and I know your trustworthiness and your ability, I proposed you to him. …”

From: Machiavelli and his Friends: Their Personal Correspondence, trans and ed by James B. Atkinson and David Sices. p334

The Swiss. The French. His Holiness. The King of Spain.
And now this bookish Duke back to Milan
Just where he was before? Antonio was twice the man.
He followed his advantage, his own gain.

And Soderini thinks I’d work for him? That I’d enfold
My fortunes with that duke tossed in a boat
a scarecrow, broken staff and tattered coat,
And I to run his state, simply for gold?

What if it’s true there’s magic, that somehow
He summons spirits from the earth and sky?
And maybe he would teach those arts to me?

Well, nothing. Let him manage now
And I’ll stay here and write, and ponder why,
And each of us stay in our library.

7th June 2013