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Machiavelli, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 391 pages of information about Machiavelli, Volume I.
and brought the Carthaginians into extreme necessity, who were constraind to accord with him, be contented with the possession of Affrique, and quitt Sicily to Agathocles.  He then that should consider the actions and valour of this man, would not see any, or very few things to be attributed unto Fortune; seeing that as is formerly sayd, not by any ones favour, but by the degrees of service in warre with many sufferings and dangers, to which he had risen, he came to the Principality; and that hee maintained afterwards with so many resolute and hazardous undertakings.  Yet cannot this be term’d vertue or valour to slay his own Citizens, betray his friends, to be without faith, without pitty, without religion, which wayes are of force to gaine dominion, but not glory:  for if Agathocles his valour bee well weighd, in his enturing upon, and comming off from dangers, and the greatnesse of his courage, in supporting and mastering of adversities, no man can see why he should be thought any way inferiour even to the ablest Captaines.  Notwithstanding his beastly cruelty and inhumanity with innumerable wickednesses, allow not that he should be celebrated among the most excellent men.  That cannot then be attributed to Fortune or Vertue, which without the one or the other was attaind to by him.  In our dayes, while Alexander the sixth held the sea, Oliverotte of Fermo, who some few yeeres before had been left young by his parents, was brought up under the care of an uncle of his on the mothers side, called John Foliani, and in the beginning of his youth given, by him to serve in the warres under Paulo Vitelli:  to the end that being well instructed in that discipline, he might rise to some worthy degree in the warrs.  Afterwards when Paulo was dead, he served under Vitellozzo his brother, and in very short time, being ingenious, of a good personage, and brave courage, he became one of the prime men among the troops he served in:  but thinking it but servile to depend upon another, he plotted by the ayd of some Citizens of Fermo (who lik’d rather the thraldome of their City than the liberty of it) and by the favour of the Vitelli, to make himselfe master of Fermo; and writ to John Foliani, that having been many yeeres from home, he had a mind to come and see him and the City, and in some part take notice of his own patrimony; and because he had not imployd himselfe but to purchase honour, to the end his Citizens might perceive, that he had not vainely spent his time, he had a desire to come in good equipage and accompanied with a hundred horse of his friends and servants; and he intreated him that he would be pleasd so to take order, that he might be honourably received by the inhabitants of Fermo, which turnd as well to his honor that was his uncle, as his that was the nephew.  In this, John faild not in any office of courtesie due to his nephew:  and caused him to be well receivd by them of Fermo, and lodged him in his own house:  where having passed some dayes, and stayd to put in order somewhat
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