Machiavelli, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 456 pages of information about Machiavelli, Volume I.
to hurt thee, when they have vanquished, there is no more need of time, and greater occasion, they not being all united in a body, and being found out and paid by thee, wherein a third that thou mak’st their head, cannot suddenly gaine so great authority, that he can endammage thee.  In summe, in the mercenaries their sloth and lazinesse to fight is more dangerous:  in the auxiliaries their valour.  Wherefore a wise Prince hath alwayes avoyded these kind of armes, and betaken himselfe to his owne, and desired rather to loss with his owne, than conquer with anothers, accounting that not a true victorie which was gotten with others armes.  I will not doubt to alleadge Caesar Borgia, and his actions.  This Duke entred into Romania with auxiliarie armes, bringing with him all French souldiers:  but afterwards not accounting those armes secure, bent himselfe to mercenaries, judging lesse danger to be in those, and tooke in pay the Orsini and the Vitelli, which afterwards in the proof of them, finding wavering, unfaithful, and dangerous, he extinguishd, and betook himselfe to his owne; and it may easily be perceiv’d what difference there is between the one and the other of these armes, considering the difference that was between the Dukes reputation, when he had the French men alone, and when he had the Orsini and Vitelli; but when he remaind with his own, and stood of himselfe, we shall find it was much augmented:  nor ever was it of grate esteeme, but when every one saw, that he wholly possessed his owne armes.  I thought not to have parted from the Italian examples of late memory; but that I must not let passe that of Hiero the Siracusan, being one of those I formerly nam’d.  This man (as I said before) being made general of the Siracusans forces, knew presently that mercenary souldiery was nothing for their profit in that they were hirelings, as our Italians are; and finding no way either to hold, or cashier them made them all bee cut to peeces, and afterwards waged warre with his owne men, and none others.  I will also call to memory a figure of the old Testament serving just to this purpose.  When David presented himselfe before Saul to goe to fight with Goliah the Philistins Champion, Saul to encourage him, clad him with his owne armes, which David when he had them upon back, refused, saying, he was not able to make any proofe of himself therein, and therefore would goe meet the enemy with his own sling and sword.  In summe, others armes either fall from thy shoulders, or cumber or streighten thee.  Charls the seventh, Father of Lewis the eleventh, having by his good fortune and valour set France at liberty from the English, knew well this necessity of being arm’d with his owne armes, and settled in his Kingdome the ordinances of men at armes, and infantry.  Afterwards King Lewis his sonne abolisht those of the infantry, and began to take the Swissers to pay; which errour follow’d by the others, is (as now indeed it appeares) the cause of that Kingdomes dangers.  For having given reputation
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Machiavelli, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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