Machiavelli, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 391 pages of information about Machiavelli, Volume I.
part will cleave to the forrein power, and the other not be able to subsist.  The Venetians (as I think) mov’d by the aforesaid reasons, maintaind the factions of the Guelfes and Gibellins, in their townes; and however they never suffered them to spill one anothers blood, yet they nourish’d these differences among them, to the end that the citizens imployd in these quarrels, should not plot any thing against them:  which as it proved, never serv’d them to any great purpose:  for being defeated at Vayla, presently one of those two factions took courage and seizd upon their whole State.  Therefore such like waies argue the Princes weakness; for in a strong principality they never will suffer such divisions; for they shew them some kind of profit in time of peace, being they are able by means thereof more easily to mannage their subjects:  but war comming, such like orders discover their fallacy.  Without doubt, Princes become great, when they overcome the difficulties and oppositions that are made against them; and therefore Fortune especially when she hath to make any new Prince great, who hath more need to gain reputation than an hereditary Prince, causes enemies to rise against him, and him to undertake against them:  to the end he may have occasion to master them, and know that ladder, which his enemies have set him upon, whereby to rise yet higher.  And therefore many think, that a wise Prince when he hath the occasion, ought cunningly to nourish some enmity, that by the suppressing thereof, his greatness may grow thereupon.  Princes, especially those that are new, have found more faith and profit in those men, who in the beginning of their State, have been held suspected, than in those who at their entrance have been their confidents.  Pandulphus Petrucci, Prince of Siena, governd his State, more with them that had been suspected by him, than with the others.  But of this matter we cannot speak at large, because it varies according to the subject; I will only say this, that those men, who in the beginning of a Principality were once enemies, if they be of quality so that to maintain themselves they have need of support, the Prince might alwaies with the greatest facility gain for his; and they are the rather forced to serve him faithfully, insomuch as they know it is more necessary for them by their deeds to cancel that sinister opinion, which was once held of them; and so the Prince ever draws from these more advantage, than from those, who serving him too supinely, neglect his affairs.  And seing the matter requires it, I will not omit to put a Prince in mind, who hath anew made himself master of a State, by means of the inward helps he had from thence that he consider well the cause that mov’d them that favor’d him to favor him, if it be not a natural affection towards him; for if it be only because they were not content with their former government, with much pains and difficulties shall he be able to keep them long his friends, because it will be impossible for him
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Machiavelli, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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