Machiavelli, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 391 pages of information about Machiavelli, Volume I.
his sons by excusing themselves of the troubles and paines belonging to those imployments of Princes, became private men.  For among other mischiefes thy neglect of armes brings upon thee, it causes thee to be contemnd, which is one of those disgraces, from which a Prince ought to keepe himselfe, as hereafter shall be sayd:  for from one that is disarmd to one that is armd there is no proportion; and reason will not, that he who is in armes, should willingly yeeld obedience to him that is unfurnishd of them, and that he that is disarmd should be in security among his armed vassalls; for there being disdaine in the one, and suspicion in the other, it is impossible these should ever well cooperate.  And therefore a Prince who is quite unexperienced in matter of warre, besides the other infelicities belonging to him, as is said, cannot be had in any esteeme among his souldiers, nor yet trust in them.  Wherefore he ought never to neglect the practice of the arte of warre, and in time of peace should he exercise it more than in the warre; which he may be able to doe two wayes; the one practically, and in his labours and recreations of his body, the other theoretically.  And touching the practick part, he ought besides the keeping of his own subjects well traind up in the discipline and exercise of armes, give himselfe much to the chase, whereby to accustome his body to paines, and partly to understand the manner of situations, and to know how the mountaines arise, which way the vallyes open themselves, and how the plaines are distended flat abroad, and to conceive well the nature of the rivers, and marrish ground, and herein to bestow very much care, which knowledge is profitable in two kinds:  first he learnes thereby to know his own countrey, and is the better enabled to understand the defence thereof, and afterwards by meanes of this knowledge and experience in these situations, easily comprehends any other situation, which a new he hath need to view, for the little hillocks, vallies, plaines, rivers, and marrish places.  For example, they in Tuscany are like unto those of other countries:  so that from the knowledge of the site of one country, it is easie to attain to know that of others.  And that Prince that wants this skill, failes of the principall part a Commander should be furnisht with; for this shows the way how to discover the enemy, to pitch the camp, to lead their armies, to order their battells, and also to besiege a town at thy best advantage, Philopomenes Prince of the Achayans, among other praises Writers give him, they say, that in time of peace, he thought not upon any thing so much as the practise of warre; and whensoever he was abroad in the field to disport himselfe with his friends, would often stand still, and discourse with them, in case the enemies were upon the top of that hill, and we here with our army, whether of us two should have the advantage, and how might we safely goe to find them, keeping still our orders; and if we would retire our selves,
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Machiavelli, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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