Machiavelli, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 456 pages of information about Machiavelli, Volume I.
that was necessary for his intended villany, he made a very solemne feast, whether he invited John Foliani, and all the prime men of Fermo:  and when all their chear was ended, and all their other entertainments, as in such feasts it is customary, Oliverotto of purpose mov’d some grave discourses; speaking of the greatnesse of Pope Alexander, and Caesar his son, and their undertakings; where unto John and the others making answer, he of a sudden stood up, saying, that those were things to be spoken of in a more secret place, and so retir’d into a chamber, whether John and all the other Citizens followd him; nor were they sooner set downe there, than from some secret place therein camp forth diverse souldiers, who slew John and all the others:  after which homicide Oliverotto got a horsebacke and ravaged the whole towne, and besieged the supreme Magistrate in the palace, so that for feare they were all constraind to obey him, and to settle a government, whereof hee made himselfe Prince; and they being all dead who, had they been discontented with him, could have hurt him; he strengthned himselfe with new civill and military orders, so that in the space of a yeer that he held the Principality, he was not only secure in the City of Fermo, but became fearefull to all his neighbours; and the conquest of him would have prov’d difficult, as that of Agathocles, had he not let himselfe been deceivd by Caesar Borgia, when at Sinigallia, as before was said, he took the Orsini and Vitelli:  where he also being taken a yeere after he had committed the parricide, was strangled together with Vitellozzo (whome he had had for master both of his vertues and vices.) Some man might doubt from whence it should proceed, that Agathocles, and such like, after many treacheries and crueltyes, could possibly live long secure in his own countrey, and defend himselfe from his forrein enemies, and that never any of his own Citizens conspir’d against him, seeing that by means of cruelty, many others have never been able even in peaceable times to maintaine their States, much lesse in the doubtfull times of warre.  I beleeve that this proceeds from the well, or ill using of those cruelties:  they may bee termd well us’d (if it bee lawfull to say well of evill) that are put in practice only once of necessity for securities sake, not insisting therein afterwards; but there is use made of them for the subjects profit, as much as may be.  But those that are ill us’d, are such as though they bee but few in the beginning, yet they multiply rather in time, than diminish.  They that take that first way, may with the help of God, and mens care, find some remedy for their State, as Agathocles did:  for the others, it is impossible they should continue.  Whereupon it is to be noted, that in the laying hold of a State, the usurper thereof ought to runne over and execute all his cruelties at once, that he be not forced often to returne to them, and that he may be able, by not renewing of them,
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Machiavelli, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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