The Prince eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 149 pages of information about The Prince.
had those armies on his back, or if he had been in good health, he would have overcome all difficulties.  And it is seen that his foundations were good, for the Romagna awaited him for more than a month.  In Rome, although but half alive, he remained secure; and whilst the Baglioni, the Vitelli, and the Orsini might come to Rome, they could not effect anything against him.  If he could not have made Pope him whom he wished, at least the one whom he did not wish would not have been elected.  But if he had been in sound health at the death of Alexander,(*) everything would have been different to him.  On the day that Julius the Second(+) was elected, he told me that he had thought of everything that might occur at the death of his father, and had provided a remedy for all, except that he had never anticipated that, when the death did happen, he himself would be on the point to die.

     (*) Alexander VI died of fever, 18th August 1503.

     (+) Julius II was Giuliano della Rovere, Cardinal of San
     Pietro ad Vincula, born 1443, died 1513.

When all the actions of the duke are recalled, I do not know how to blame him, but rather it appears to be, as I have said, that I ought to offer him for imitation to all those who, by the fortune or the arms of others, are raised to government.  Because he, having a lofty spirit and far-reaching aims, could not have regulated his conduct otherwise, and only the shortness of the life of Alexander and his own sickness frustrated his designs.  Therefore, he who considers it necessary to secure himself in his new principality, to win friends, to overcome either by force or fraud, to make himself beloved and feared by the people, to be followed and revered by the soldiers, to exterminate those who have power or reason to hurt him, to change the old order of things for new, to be severe and gracious, magnanimous and liberal, to destroy a disloyal soldiery and to create new, to maintain friendship with kings and princes in such a way that they must help him with zeal and offend with caution, cannot find a more lively example than the actions of this man.

Only can he be blamed for the election of Julius the Second, in whom he made a bad choice, because, as is said, not being able to elect a Pope to his own mind, he could have hindered any other from being elected Pope; and he ought never to have consented to the election of any cardinal whom he had injured or who had cause to fear him if they became pontiffs.  For men injure either from fear or hatred.  Those whom he had injured, amongst others, were San Pietro ad Vincula, Colonna, San Giorgio, and Ascanio.(*) The rest, in becoming Pope, had to fear him, Rouen and the Spaniards excepted; the latter from their relationship and obligations, the former from his influence, the kingdom of France having relations with him.  Therefore, above everything, the duke ought to have created a Spaniard Pope, and, failing him, he ought to have consented to Rouen and not San Pietro ad Vincula.  He who believes that new benefits will cause great personages to forget old injuries is deceived.  Therefore, the duke erred in his choice, and it was the cause of his ultimate ruin.

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The Prince from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.