Machiavelli, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 456 pages of information about Machiavelli, Volume I.
united and faithfull:  for by giving a very few proofes of himself the other way, he shall be held more pittiful than they, who through their too much pitty, suffer disorders to follow, from whence arise murthers and rapines:  for these are wont to hurt an intire universality, whereas the executions practised by a Prince, hurt only some particular.  And among all sorts of Princes, it is impossible for a new Prince to avoyd the name of cruel, because all new States are full of dangers:  whereupon Virgil by the mouth of Dido excuses the inhumanity of her Kingdom, saying,

  Res dura et Regni novitas me talia cogunt
  Moliri et late fines custode tenere.

  My hard plight and new State force me to guard
  My confines all about with watch and ward.

Nevertheless ought he to be judicious in his giving belief to any thing, or moving himself thereat, nor make his people extreamly afraid of him; but proceed in a moderate way with wisdome, and humanity, that his too much confidence make him not unwary, and his too much distrust intolerable; from hence arises a dispute, whether it is better to be belov’d or feard:  I answer, a man would wish he might be the one and the other:  but because hardly can they subsist both together, it is much safer to be feard, than be loved; being that one of the two must needs fail; for touching men, we may say this in general, they are unthankful, unconstant, dissemblers, they avoyd dangers, and are covetous of gain; and whilest thou doest them good, they are wholly thine; their blood, their fortunes, lives and children are at thy service, as is said before, when the danger is remote; but when it approaches, they revolt.  And that Prince who wholly relies upon their words, unfurnished of all other preparations, goes to wrack:  for the friendships that are gotten with rewards, and not by the magnificence and worth of the mind, are dearly bought indeed; but they will neither keep long, nor serve well in time of need:  and men do less regard to offend one that is supported by love, than by fear.  For love is held by a certainty of obligation, which because men are mischievous, is broken upon any occasion of their own profit.  But fear restrains with a dread of punishment which never forsakes a man.  Yet ought a Prince cause himself to be belov’d in such a manner, that if he gains not love, he may avoid hatred:  for it may well stand together, that a man may be feard and not hated; which shall never fail, if he abstain from his subjects goods, and their wives; and whensoever he should be forc’d to proceed against any of their lives, do it when it is to be done upon a just cause, and apparent conviction; but above all things forbeare to lay his hands on other mens goods; for men forget sooner the death of their father, than the loss of their patrimony.  Moreover the occasions of taking from men their goods, do never fail:  and alwaies he that begins to live by rapine, finds occasion to lay hold upon other mens goods:  but

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Machiavelli, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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