Machiavelli, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 456 pages of information about Machiavelli, Volume I.
they served themselves of the Barons of Rome, who being divided into two factions, the Orsini and Colonnesi, there was alwaies occasion of offence between them, who standing ready with their armes in hand in the view of the Pope, held the Popedome weak and feeble:  and however sometimes there arose a couragious Pope, as was Sextus; yet either his fortune, or his wisdome was not able to free him of these incommodities, and the brevity of their lives was the cause thereof; for in ten years, which time, one with another, Popes ordinarily liv’d, with much ado could they bring low one of the factions.  And if, as we may say, one had near put out the Colonnesi, there arose another enemy to the Orsini, who made them grow again, so that there was never time quite to root them out.  This then was the cause, why the Popes temporal power was of small esteem in Italy; there arose afterwards Pope Alexander the sixt, who of all the Popes that ever were, shewed what a Pope was able to do with money and forces:  and he effected, by means of his instrument, Duke Valentine, and by the ocasion of the French mens passage, all those things which I have formerly discoursed upon in the Dukes actions:  and however his purpose was nothing at all to inlarge the Church dominions, but to make the Duke great; yet what he did, turnd to the Churches advantage, which after his death when the Duke was taken away, was the heir of all his pains.  Afterwards succeeded Pope Julius, and found the Church great, having all Romania, and all the Barons of Rome being quite rooted out, and by Alexanders persecutions, all their factions worne down; he found also the way open for the heaping up of moneys, never practised before Alexanders time; which things Julius not only follow’d, but augmented; and thought to make himself master of Bolonia, and extinguish the Venetians, and chase the French men out of Italy:  and these designes of his prov’d all lucky to him, and so much the more to his praise in that he did all for the good of the Church, and in no private regard:  he kept also the factions of the Orsins and Colonnesi, in the same State he found them:  and though there were among them some head whereby to cause an alteration; yet two things have held them quiet; the one the power of the Church, which somewhat affrights them; the other because they have no Cardinals of their factions, who are the primary causes of all the troubles amongst them:  nor shall these parties ever be at rest, while they have Cardinals; because they nourish the factions both in Rome, and abroad; and the Barons then are forced to undertake the defence of them:  and thus from the Prelates ambitions arise the discords and tumults among the Barons.  And now hath Pope Leo his Holiness found the Popedome exceeding puissant, of whom it is hoped, that if they amplified it by armes, he by his goodness, and infinite other vertues, will much more advantage and dignifie it.


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Machiavelli, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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