Machiavelli, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 391 pages of information about Machiavelli, Volume I.
reputacion will be gotten, by the Italians weapons, but by the same waie that I have shewed, and by means of theim, that have great states in Italie:  for that this forme maie be impressed in simple rude men, of their owne, and not in malicious, ill brought up, and straungers.  Nor there shall never bee founde anie good mason, whiche will beleeve to be able to make a faire image of a peece of Marbell ill hewed, but verye well of a rude peece.

[Sidenote:  A discription of the folishenesse of the Italian princes; Cesar and Alexander, were the formoste in battell; The Venecians and the duke of Ferare began to have reduced the warfare to the Aunciente maners; He that despiseth the servis of warre, despiseth his own welthe.]

Our Italian Princes beleved, before thei tasted the blowes of the outlandishe warre, that it should suffice a Prince to knowe by writynges, how to make a subtell answere, to write a goodly letter, to shewe in saiynges, and in woordes, witte and promptenesse, to knowe how to canvas a fraude, to decke theim selves with precious stones and gold, to slepe and to eate with greater glorie then other:  To keepe many lascivious persones aboute them, to governe theim selves with their subjectes, covetuously and proudely:  To rotte in idlenesse, to give the degrees of the exercise of warre, for good will, to despise if any should have shewed them any laudable waie, minding that their wordes should bee aunswers of oracles:  nor the sely wretches were not aware, that thei prepared theim selves to bee a praie, to whom so ever should assaulte theim.  Hereby grewe then in the thousande fower hundred nintie and fower yere, the greate feares, the sodain flightes, and the marveilous losses:  and so three most mightie states which were in Italie, have been divers times sacked and destroied.  But that which is worse, is where those that remaine, continue in the verie same erroure, and live in the verie same disorder, and consider not, that those, who in old time would kepe their states, caused to be dooen these thynges, which of me hath been reasoned, and that their studies wer, to prepare the body to diseases, and the minde not to feare perilles.  Whereby grewe that Cesar, Alexander, and all those menne and excellente Princes in old tyme, were the formoste emongest the faighters, goyng armed on foote:  and if thei loste their state, thei would loose their life, so that thei lived and died vertuously.  And if in theim, or in parte of theim, there might bee condempned to muche ambicion to reason of:  yet there shall never bee founde, that in theim is condempned any tendernesse or any thynge that maketh menne delicate and feable:  the whiche thyng, if of these Princes were redde and beleved, it should be impossible, that thei should not change their forme of living, and their provinces not to chaunge fortune.  And for that you in the beginnyng of this our reasonyng, lamented your ordinaunces, I saie unto you, that if you had ordained it, as I

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Machiavelli, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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