Machiavelli, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 456 pages of information about Machiavelli, Volume I.
his army.  Where it is to be noted, that these kinde of deaths, which follow upon the deliberation of a resolv’d and obstinate minde, cannot by a Prince be avoyded:  for every one that feares not to dye, is able to doe it; but a Prince ought to be lesse afraid of it because it very seldome falls out.  Only should he beware not to doe any extreame injury to any of those of whom he serves himself, or that he hath near about him in any imployment of his Principality, as Antonius did:  who had reproachfully slaine a brother of that Centurion; also threatned him every day, and neverthelesse entertaind him still as one of the guards of his body, which was a rash course taken, and the way to destruction, as befell him.  But let us come to Commodus for whom it was very easie to hold the Empire, by reason it descended upon him by inheritance, being Marcus his sonne, and it had been enough for him to follow his fathers footsteps, and then had he contented both the people and the soldiers:  but being of a cruell and savage disposition, whereby to exercise his actions upon the people, he gave himselfe to entertaine armies, and those in all licentiousnesse.  On the other part not maintaining his dignity, but often descending upon the stages to combate with fencers, and doing such other like base things, little worthy of the Imperiall majesty, he became contemptible in the soldiers sight; and being hated of one part, and despisd of the other, he was conspird against, and slaine.  It remaines now, that we declare Maximinus his conditions, who was a very warlike man; and the armies loathing Alexanders effeminacy, whereof I spake before, when they had slain him, chose this man Emperour, who not long continued so, because two things there were that brought him into hatred and contempt; the one because he was very base, having kept cattell in Thrace, which was well knowne to every one, and made them to scorne him; the other, because in the beginning of his Principality having delayd to goe to Rome, and enter into possession of the Imperiall throne, he had gaind the infamy of being thought exceeding cruell, having by his Prefects in Rome, and in every place of the Empire, exercisd many cruelties, insomuch that the whole world being provok’d against him to contempt for the basenesse of his blood; on the other side upon the hatred conceiv’d against him for feare of his crulty; first Affrica, afterwards the Senate, with all the people of Rome and all Italy, conspired against him, with whom his own army took part; which incamping before Aquileya, and finding some difficulty to take the town, being weary of his cruelties, and because they saw he had so many enemies, fearing him the lesse, slew him.  I purpose not to say any thing either of Heliogabalus, Macrinus, or Julian, who because they were throughly base, were sudenly extinguished:  but I will come to the conclusion of this discourse; and I say, that the Princes of our times have lesse of this difficulty to satisfie the Soldiers extraordinarily in their
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Machiavelli, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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