Machiavelli, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 456 pages of information about Machiavelli, Volume I.
for the reasons aforesaid.  Nor let any State think they are able to make such sure parties, but rather that they are all doubtfull; for in the order of things we find it alwaies, that whensoever a man seeks to avoid one inconvenient, he incurs another.  But the principal point of judgement, is in discerning between the qualities of inconvenients, and not taking the bad for the good.  Moreover a Prince ought to shew himself a lover of vertue, and that he honors those that excel in every Art.  Afterwards ought he encourage his Citizens, whereby they may be enabled quickly to exercise their faculties as well in merchandise, and husbandry, as in any other kind of traffick, to the end that no man forbear to adorne and cultivate his possessions for fear that he be despoyled of them; or any other to open the commerce upon the danger of heavy impositions:  but rather to provide rewards for those that shall set these matters afoot, or for any one else that shall any way amplifie his City or State.  Besides he ought in the fit times of the year entertain the people with Feasts and Maskes; and because every City is devided into Companies, and arts, and Tribes, he ought to take special notice of those bodies, and some times afford them a meeting, and give them some proof of his humanity, and magnificence; yet withall holding firme the majestie of his State; for this must never fail in any case.


Touching Princes Secretaries.

It is no small importance to a Prince, the choyce he makes, of servants being ordinarily good or bad, as his wisdome is.  And the first conjecture one gives of a great man, and of his understanding, is, upon the sight of his followers and servants he hath about him, when they prove able and faithful, and then may he alwaies be reputed wise because he hath known how to discern those that are able, and to keep them true to him.  But when they are otherwise, there can be no good conjecture made of him; for the first error he commits, is in this choyce.  There was no man that had any knowledge of Antonio of Vanafro, the servant of Pandulfus Petrucci Prince of Sicily, who did not esteem Pandulfus for a very discreet man, having him for his servant.  And because there are three kinds of understandings; the one that is advised by it self; the other that understands when it is informed by another; the third that neither is advised by it self nor by the demonstration of another; the first is best, the second is good, and the last quite unprofitable.  Therefore it was of necessity, that if Pandulfus attaind not the first degree, yet he got to the second; for whenever any one hath the judgement to discerne between the good and the evil, that he does and sayes, however that he hath not his distinction from himself, yet still comes he to take notice of the good or evil actions of that servant; and those he cherishes, and these he suppresses; insomuch that the servant finding no means to deceive his master,

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Machiavelli, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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