Machiavelli, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 391 pages of information about Machiavelli, Volume I.
to content them.  By these examples then which are drawn out of ancient and modern affaires, searching into the cause hereof, we shall find it much more easie to gain those men for friends, who formerly were contented with the State, and therefore were his enemies:  than those, who because they were not contented therewith, became his fiends, and favor’d him in getting the mastery of it.  It hath been the custome of Princes, whereby to hold their States more securely, to build Citadels, which might be bridles and curbs to those that should purpose any thing against them, and so to have a secure retreat from the first violences.  I commend this course, because it hath been used of old; notwithstanding Nicholas Vitelli in our dayes hath been known to demolish two Citadels in the town of Castello, the better to keep the State; Guidubaldo Duke of Urbin being to return into his State, out of which he was driven by Caesar Borgia, raz’d all the Fortresses of that Countrey, and thought he should hardlyer lose that State again without them.  The Bentivolii returning into Bolonia, used the like courses.  Citadels then are profitable, or not, according to the times; and if they advantage thee in one part, they do thee harme in another; and this part may be argued thus.  That Prince who stands more in fear of his own people than of strangers, ought to build Fortresses:  but he that is more afraid of strangers than of his people, should let them alone.  Against the house of Sforza, the Castle of Milan, which Francis Sforza built, hath and will make more war, than any other disorder in that State:  and therefore the best Citadel that may be, is not to incurre the peoples hatred; for however thou holdest a Fortress, and the people hate thee, thou canst hardly scape them; for people, when once they have taken armes, never want the help of strangers at their need to take ther parts.  In our dayes we never saw that they ever profited any Prince, unless it were the Countess of Furli, when Count Hieronymo of Furli her husband was slain; for by means thereof she escap’d the peoples rage, and attended aid from Milan, and so recover’d her State:  and then such were the times that the stranger could not assist the people:  but afterwards they serv’d her to little purpose, when Caesar Borgia assaild her, and that the people which was her enemy, sided with the stranger.  Therefore both then, and at first, it would have been more for her safety, not to have been odious to the people, than to have held the Fortresses.  These things being well weigh’d then, I will commend those that shall build up Fortresses, and him also that shall not; and I will blame him, howsoever he be, that relying upon those, shall make small account of being hated by his people.

CHAP.  XXI

How a Prince ought to behave himself to gain reputation.

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Machiavelli, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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