Machiavelli, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 391 pages of information about Machiavelli, Volume I.

There is nothing gains a Prince such repute as great exploits, and rare tryals of himself in Heroick actions.  We have now in our dayes Ferdinand King of Arragon the present King of Spain:  he in a manner may be termed a new Prince; for from a very weak King, he is now become for fame and glory, the first King of Christendome, and if you shall wel consider his actions, you shall find them all illustrious, and every one of them extraordinary.  He in the beginning of his reign assaild Granada, and that exploit was the ground of his State.  At first he made that war in security, and without suspicion he should be any waies hindred, and therein held the Barons of Castiglias minds busied, who thinking upon that war, never minded any innovation; in this while he gaind credit and authority with them, they not being aware of it; was able to maintain with the Church and the peoples money all his soldiers, and to lay a foundation for his military ordinances with that long war, which afterwards gaind him exceeding much honor.  Besides this, to the end he might be able hereamong to undertake greater matters, serving himself alwaies of the colour of religion, he gave himself to a kind of religious cruelty, chasing and dispoyling those Jewes out of the Kingdome; nor can this example be more admirable and rare:  under the same cloke he invaded Affrick and went through with his exploit in Italy:  and last of all hath he assaild France, and so alwaies proceeded on forwards contriving of great matters, which alwaies have held his subjects minds in peace and admiration, and busied in attending the event, what it should be:  and these his actions have thus grown, one upon another, that they have never given leisure to men so to rest, as they might ever plot any thing against them.  Moreover it much avails a Prince to give extraordinary proofes of himself touching the government within, such as those we have heard of Bernard of Milan, whensoever occasion is given by any one, that may effectuate some great thing either of good or evil, in the civil government; and to find out some way either to reward or punish it, whereof in the world much notice may be taken.  And above all things a Prince ought to endeavor in all his actions to spread abroad a fame of his magnificence and worthiness.  A Prince also is well esteemed, when he is a true friend, or a true enemy; when without any regard he discovers himself in favor of one against another; which course shall be alwaies more profit, than to stand neuter:  for if two mighty ones that are thy neighbors, come to fall out, or are of such quality, that one of them vanquishing, thou art like to be in fear of the vanquisher, or not; in either of these two cases, it will ever prove more for thy profit, to discover thy self, and make a good war of it:  for in the first case, if thou discoverest not thy selfe, thou shalt alwaies be a prey to him that overcomes, to the contentment and satisfaction of the vanquisht; neither shalt thou have reason on

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Machiavelli, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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