Epistole (I, 1-9)

(1) Reverendissimo in Christo patri dominorum suorum carissimo domino Nicholao miseratione celesti Ostiensi et Vallatrensi episcopo, Apostolice Sedis legato, necnon in Tuscia Romaniola et Marchia Tervisina et partibus circum adiacentibus paciario per sacrosanctam Ecclesiam ordinato, devotissimi filii A. capitaneus Consilium et Universitas partis Alborum de Florentia semetipsos devotissime at que promptissime recommendant. (1) To the most reverend Father in Christ, their most beloved Lord, the Lord Nicholas, by divine grace Bishop of Ostia and Yelletri, Legate of the Apostolic See, and by Holy Church ordained Pacificator in Tuscany, Romagna, the March of Treviso, and the regions circumadjacent, his most devoted sons, Alexander the Captain, the Council, and the whole body of the White Party of Florence, commend themselves in all devotion and zeal.
(2) [1]. Preceptis salutaribus moniti et Apostolica pietate rogati, sacre vocis contextui, quem misistis post cara nobis consilia, respondemus. Et si negligentie sontes aut ignavie censeremur ob iniuriam tarditatis, citra iudicium discretio sancta vestra preponderet; et quantis qualibusque consiliis et responsis, observata sinceritate consortii, nostra Fraternitas decenter procedendo indigeat, et examinatis que tangimus, ubi forte contra debitam celeritatem defecisse despicimur, ut affluentia vestre Benignitatis indulgeat deprecamur. (2) In submission to salutary admonishment, and in response to the Apostolic Holiness, after precious consultation, we make reply to the tenour of the sacred utterance which you have addressed to us. And should we be held guilty of negligence or of slothfulness by occasion of any prejudice due to our tardiness, may your holy discretion lean to the hither side of condemnation, regard being had to the number and nature of the consultations and communications necessary for the proper conduct of the affairs of our brotherhood, and for the observance of good faith with the league. But if, after consideration of the facts here submitted to you, we perchance be blamed as having been wanting in due diligence, we pray that the superabundant bounty of your Benignity may incline you to indulgence.
(3) [2]. Ceu filii non ingrati litteras igitur pie vestre Paternitatis aspeximus, que totius nostri desiderii personantes exordia, subito mentes nostras tanta letitia perfuderunt, quantam nemo valeret seu verbo seu cogitatione metiri. (3) As not ungrateful sons, therefore, we examined the letter of your gracious Paternity, which, in that it gives expression to the prelude of the whole matter of our desires, forthwith filled our minds with joy so exceeding great that by none could it be measured either in word or in thought.
(4) Nam quam, fere pre desiderio sompniantes, inhiabamus patrie sanitatem, vestrarum litterarum series plusquam semel sub paterna monitione polluxit. (4) For the healing of our country, for which we have yearned, longing for it as it were even in our dreams, in the course of your letter, under the guise of fatherly admonition, is more than once promised us.
(5) Et ad quid aliud in civile bellum corruimus, quid aliud candida nostra signa petebant, et ad quid aliud enses et tela nostra rubebant, nisi ut qui civilia iura temeraria voluptate truncaverant et iugo pie legis colla submitterent et ad pacem patrie cogerentur? (5) And for what else did we plunge into civil war? What else did our white standards seek? And for what else were our swords and our spears dyed with crimson? Save that they, who at their own mad will and pleasure have maimed the body of civil right, should submit their necks to the yoke of beneficent law, and should be brought by force to the observance of their country's peace!
(6) Quippe nostre intentionis cuspis legiptima de nervo quem tendebamus prorumpens, quietem solam et libertatem populi florentini petebat, petit, atque petet in posterum. (6) In sooth, the lawful shaft of our purpose, leaping from the bowstring we held stretched, sought solely the peace and liberty of the people of Florence sought, and ever will seek.
(7) Quod si tam gratissimo nobis beneficio vigilatis, et adversarios nostros, prout sancta conamina vestra voluerint, ad sulcos bone civilitatis intenditis remeare, quis vobis dignas grates persolvere attentabit? Nec opis est nostre, pater, nec quicquid florentine gentis reperitur in terris. Sed si qua celo est pietas que talia remuneranda prospiciat, illa vobis premia digna ferat, qui tante urbis misericordiam induistis et ad sedanda civium profana litigia festinatis. (7) But if your vigilance is intent on a consummation so dear to us, and you are resolved, as the end of your holy endeavours, that our foes shall return to the furrows of good citizenship, who shall attempt to render adequate thanks to you ? Not in our power is it, O Father, nor in that of any of the Florentine race throughout the world. But if there exists any goodness in heaven which looks upon such deeds as worthy of recompense, may it grant meet reward to you, who have clothed yourself with compassion for so great a city, and are hastening to compose the unholy strife of her citizens!
(8) [3]. Sane, cum per sancte religionis virum fratrem L. civilitatis persuasorem et pacis premoniti atque requisiti sumus instanter pro vobis, quemadmodum et ipse vestre littere continebant, ut ab omni guerrarum insultu cessaremus et usu, et nos ipsos in paternas manus vestras exhiberemus in totum, nos filii devotissimi vobis et pacis amatores et iusti, exuti iam gladiis, arbitrio vestro spontanea et sincera voluntate subimus, ceu relatu prefati vestri nuntii fratris L. narrabitur, et per publica instrumenta solempniter celebrata liquebit. (8) Whereas, then, by brother L., a man of holy religion, and an advocate of good citizenship and of peace, we are urgently on your behalf admonished and required (which was likewise the import of your letter) to cease from all assault and act of war, and to commit ourselves wholly to your fatherly hands, we as sons most devoted to yourself, and as lovers of peace and justice, putting off our swords, of our own free will and without reservation submit ourselves to your judgement, as by the report of your messenger, the aforesaid brother L., shall be made known to you, and by public instruments in due form shall be declared abroad.
(9) [4]. Idcirco pietati clementissime vestre filiali voce affectuosissime supplicamus quatenus illam diu exagitatam Florentiam sopore tranquillitatis et pacis irrigare velitis, eiusque semper populum defensantes nos et qui nostri sunt iuris, ut pius pater, commendatos habere; qui velut a patrie caritate nunquam destitimus, sic de preceptorum vestrorum limitibus nunquam exorbitare intendimus, sed semper tam debite quam devote quibuscunque vestris obedire mandatis. (9) With filial voice, therefore, we most affectionately implore that your most merciful Holiness may bedew with the calm of tranquillity and peace this Florence so long tempest-tossed; and that as a loving father you may keep under your protection ourselves, who have ever been the defenders of her people, and all who are under our authority; for as we have never been remiss in our love for our country, so we look never to stray beyond the bounds of your behests, but always in duty and devotion to be obedient to your commands, whatsoever they be.