Machiavelli, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 391 pages of information about Machiavelli, Volume I.
for the end which the people propound to themselves, is more honest than that of the great men, these desiring to oppresse, they only not to be oppressed.  To this may be added also, that the Prince which is the peoples enemy, can never well secure himselfe of them, because of their multitude; well may hee bee sure of the Nobles, they being but a few.  The worst that a Prince can look for of the people become his enemy, is to be abandoned by them:  but when the great ones once grow his enemies, he is not only to feare their abandoning of him, but their making of a party against him also:  for there being in them more forecast and craft, they alwayes take time by the forelocks whereby to save themselves, and seeke credit with him who they hope shall get the mastery.  The Prince likewise is necessitated alwayes to live with the same people, but can doe well enough without the same great men; he being able to create new ones, and destroy them again every day, and to take from them, and give them credit as he pleases:  and to cleare this part, I say, that great men ought to be considerd two wayes principally, that is, if they take thy proceedings so much to heart, as to engage their fortunes wholly in thine, in case they lye not alwayes catching at spoyle, they ought to be well honourd and esteem’d:  those that bind themselves not to thy fortune, are to be considerd also two wayes; either they doe it for lack of courage, and naturall want of spirit, and then shouldst thou serve thy selfe of them, and of them especially that are men of good advice; for if thy affaires prosper, thou dost thy selfe honour thereby; if crost, thou needst not feare them:  but when they oblige not themselves to thee of purpose, and upon occasion of ambition, it is a signe they think more of themselves than of thee:  and of these the Prince ought to beware, and account of them as his discoverd enemyes:  for alwayes in thy adversity they will give a hand too to ruine thee.  Therefore ought hee that comes to be Prince by the peoples favour, keepe them his friends:  which he may easily doe, they desiring only to live free from oppression:  but he that becomes Prince by the great mens favour, against the will of the people, ought above all things to gaine the people to him, which he may easily effect, when he takes upon him their protection:  And because men when they find good, where they look for evill, are thereby more endered to their benefactour, therefore growes the people so pliant in their subjection to him, as if by their favours he had attaind his dignity.  And the Prince is able to gaine them to his side by many wayes, which because they vary according to the subject, no certaine rule can be given thereupon; wherefore we shall let them passe I will only conclude, that it is necessary for a Prince to have the people his friend; otherwise in his adversities he hath no helpe.  Nabis Prince of the Spartans supported the siege of all Greece, and an exceeding victorious army of the Romans, and
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Machiavelli, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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