Machiavelli, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 456 pages of information about Machiavelli, Volume I.
to the Swissers, they have renderd all their own armes contemptible; for this hath wholly ruind their foot, and oblig’d their men at armes to forrein armes:  for being accustomed to serve with the Swissers, they think they are not able to overcome without them.  From whence it comes that the French are not of force against the Swissers, and without them also against others they use not to adventure.  Therefore are the French armies mixt, part mercenaries, and part natives, which armes are farre better than the simple mercenaries or simple auxiliaries, and much inferiour to the natives; and let the said example suffice for that:  for the Kingdome of France would have been unconquerable, if Charles his order had been augmented and maintaind:  but men in their small wisdome begin a thing, which then because it hath some favour of good, discovers not the poyson that lurkes thereunder, as I before said of the hectick feavers.  Wherefore that Prince which perceives not mischiefes, but as they grow up, is not truely wise; and this is given but to few:  and if we consider the first ruine of the Romane Empire, we shall find it was from taking the Goths first into their pay; for from that beginning the forces of the Romane Empire began to grow weak, and all the valour that was taken hence was given to them.  I conclude then that without having armes of their owne, no Principality can be secure, or rather is wholly oblig’d to fortune, not having valour to shelter it in adversity.  And it was alwayes the opinion and saying of wise men, that nothing is so weak and unsetled, as is the reputation of power not founded upon ones owne proper forces:  which are those that are composed of thy subjects, or Citizens, or servants; all the rest are mercenary or auxiliary; and the manner how to order those well, is easie to find out, if those orders above nam’d by me, shall be but run over, and if it shall be but consider’d, how Philip Alexander the Great his Father, and in what manner many Republicks and Princes have armd and appointed themselves, to which appointments I referre my selfe wholly.


What belongs to the Prince touching military Discipline.

A prince then ought to have no other ayme, nor other thought, nor take any thing else for his proper art, but warr, and the orders and discipline thereof:  for that is the sole arte which belongs to him that commands, and is of so great excellency, that not only those that are borne Princes, it maintains so; but many times raises men from a private fortune to that dignity.  And it is seene by the contrary, that when Princes have given themselves more to their delights, than to the warres, they have lost their States; and the first cause that makes thee lose it, is the neglect of that arte; and the cause that makes thee gaine it, is that thou art experienc’d and approvd in that arte.  Francis Sforza by being a man at armes, of a private man became Duke of Milan; and

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Machiavelli, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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