Most Excellent Signors, and you, Magnificent Citizens, I know not whether I have more occasion to weep with

you for the events which have recently occurred, or to rejoice in the circumstances with which they have been attended. Certainly, when I think with what virulence of united deceit and hatred I have been attacked, and my brother murdered, I cannot but mourn and grieve from my heart, from my very soul. Yet when I consider with what promptitude, anxiety, love, and unanimity of the whole city my brother has been avenged and myself defended, I am not only compelled to rejoice, but feel myself honored and exalted; for if experience has shown me that I had more enemies than I apprehended, it has also proved that I possess more warm and resolute friends than I could ever have hoped for. I must therefore grieve with you for the injuries others have suffered, and rejoice in the attachment you have exhibited toward myself; but I feel more aggrieved by the injuries committed, since they are so unusual, so unexampled, and (as I trust you believe) so undeserved on our part. Think, Magnificent Citizens, to what a dreadful point ill-fortune has reduced our family, when among friends, amid our own relatives, nay, in God's holy temple, we have found our greatest foes. Those who are in danger turn to their friends for assistance; they call upon their relatives for aid; but we found ours armed, and resolved on our destruction. Those who are persecuted, either from public or private motives, flee for refuge to the altars; but where others are safe, we are assassinated; where parricides and assassins are secure, the Medici find their murderers. But God, who has not hitherto abandoned our house, again saved us, and has undertaken the defence of our just cause. What injury have we done to justify so intense desire of our destruction? Certainly those who have shown themselves so much our enemies, never received any private wrong from us; for, had we wished to injure them, they would not have had an opportunity of injuring us. If they attribute public grievances to ourselves (supposing any had been done to them), they do the greater injustice to you, to this palace, to the majesty of this government, by assuming that on our account you would act unfairly to any of your citizens; and such a supposition, as we all know, is contradicted by every view of the circumstances; for we, had we been able, and you, had we wished it, would never have contributed to so abominable a design. Whoever inquires into the truth of these matters, will find that our family has always been exalted by you, and from this sole cause, that we have endeavored by kindness, liberality, and beneficence to do good to all; and if we have honored strangers, when did we ever injure our relatives? If our enemies' conduct has been adopted to gratify their desire of power (as would seem to be the case from their having taken possession of the palace and brought an armed force into the piazza), the infamous, ambitious, and detestable motive is at once disclosed. If they were actuated by envy and hatred of our authority, they offend you rather than us; for from you we have derived all the influence we possess. Certainly usurped power deserves to be detested; but not distinctions conceded for acts of kindness, generosity, and magnificence. And you all know that our family never attained any rank to which this palace and your united consent did not raise it. Cosmo, my grandfather, did not return from exile with arms and violence, but by your unanimous desire and approbation. It was not my father, old and infirm, who defended the government against so many enemies, but yourselves by your authority and benevolence defended him;

for on their account the Pope and the King make war upon us. by very opposite conduct. is directed against my family and myself. even though my own destruction were the immediate and inevitable consequence. they ought to confine their vengeance to those who do them wrong. why do they come and take possession of the palace? Why enter into league with the Pope and the King. have maintained the position of my house except by your favor and advice. nor will I ever refuse.neither could I. they have adopted this plea to hide their more abominable purpose. were enabled to acquire. against the liberties of this republic? Why break the long-continued peace of Italy? They have no excuse for this. then the remedy would be sure and unfailing. and this war. But let it be granted we have greatly injured them. lost the reputation which ours. after his death. and not confound private animosities with public grievances. it is with you to do with me what you please. Hence it is that since their defeat our misfortune is the greater. And would to God that this were true. when you find occasion to require it. and that they are justified in seeking our ruin. you think otherwise. or what just cause they have of envy. I am in your hands. to close the war with my own blood which was commenced with that of my brother. I would at once resolve to insure your security. If. and whatever you command me to do I will perform most willingly. Let them direct their enmity against their own ancestors. for I would not be so base a citizen as to prefer my own safety to yours. being then a boy." . But as the wrongs committed by princes are usually concealed under some offensive covering. Therefore. who. Nor should we ever be able to conduct the affairs of this republic. I know not the reason of their hatred toward us. You are my fathers. they say. if you did not contribute to our support. by their pride and avarice. however. my protectors.

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