Machiavelli, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 391 pages of information about Machiavelli, Volume I.

[Sidenote:  The cries, and rumours, wher with the firste charge is given unto the enemies, and the silence that ought to bee used after, when the faight is ones begunne.]

FABRICIO.  The opinion of auncient capitaines, hath been divers about the commyng to handes, whether thei ought with rumour to go a pace, or with scilence to go faire and softely:  this laste waie, serveth to kepe the order more sure, and to understande better the commaundementes of the Capitaine:  the firste, serveth to incourage more the mindes of men:  and for that I beleve, that respecte ought to bee had to the one, and to the other of these twoo thynges, I made the one goe with rumour, and thother with scilence:  nor me thinkes not in any wise, that the continuall rumours bee to purpose:  bicause thei lette the commaundementes, the whiche is a thyng moste pernicious:  nor it standeth not with reason, that the Romaines used, except at the firste assaulte to make rumour:  for that in their histories, is seen many tymes to have happened, that through the wordes, and comfortinges of the capitain the souldiours that ranne awaie, were made to stande to it, and in sundrie wise by his commaundemente, to have varied the orders, the whiche should not have followed, if the rumoures had been louder then his voyce.

THE FOWERTH BOOKE

LUIGI.  Seng that under my governement, a field hath been wonne so honourably, I suppose that it is good, that I tempt not fortune any more, knowyng how variable, and unstable she is:  and therefore, I desire to give up my governement, and that Zanobi do execute now this office of demaundyng, mindyng to followe the order, whiche concerneth the youngeste:  and I knowe he will not refuse this honoure, or as we would saie, this labour, as well for to doe me pleasure, as also for beyng naturally of more stomach than I:  nor it shall not make hym afraied, to have to enter into these travailes, where he maie bee as well overcome, as able to conquere.

ZANOBI.  I am readie to do what soever shall please you to appoinete me, although that I desire more willingly to heare:  for as moche as hetherto, your questions have satisfied me more, then those should have pleased me, whiche in harkenyng to your reasonyng, hath chaunced to come into my remembraunce.  But sir, I beleve that it is good, that you lese no tyme, and that you have pacience, if with these our Ceremonies we trouble you.

FABRICIO.  You doe me rather pleasure, for that this variacion of demaunders, maketh me to knowe the sundrie wittes and sunderie appetites of yours:  But remaineth there any thyng, whiche seemeth unto you good, to bee joyned to the matter, that alreadie hath been reasoned of?

ZANOBI.  Twoo thinges I desire, before you passe to an other parte:  the one is, to have you to shewe, if in orderyng armies, there needeth to bee used any other facion:  the other, what respectes a capitaine ought to have, before he conducte his men to the faight, and in thesame an accidente risyng or growyng, what reamedie maie be had.

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Machiavelli, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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