Machiavelli, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 456 pages of information about Machiavelli, Volume I.
foole is taken with his owne pride and others flatteryes:  and this foole keeps company so much with all great wise men, that hardly with a candle and lantern can they be discernd betwixt.  The greatest men are more subject to grosse and palpable flatteries; and especially the greatest of men, who are Kings and Princes:  for many seek the Rulers favour. Prov. 28. 26.  For there are divers meanes whereby private men are instructed; Princes have not that good hap:  but they whose instruction is of most importance, so soone as they have taken the government upon them, no longer suffer any reproovers:  for but few have accesse unto them, and they who familiary converse with them, doe and say all for favour.  Isocrat, to Nicocles, All are afraid to give him occasion of displeasure, though by telling him truth.  To this purpose therefore sayes one; a Prince excells in learning to ride the great horse, rather than in any other exercise, because his horse being no flatterer, will shew him he makes no difference between him and another man, and unlesse he keepe his seate well, will lay him on the ground.  This is plaine dealing.  Men are more subtile, more double-hearted, they have a heart and a heart neither is their tongue their hearts true interpreter.  Counsell in the heart of man is like deepe waters; but a man of understanding will draw it out. Prov. 20. 5.  This understanding is most requisite in a Prince, inasmuch as the whole Globe is in his hand, and the inferiour Orbes are swayed by the motion of the highest.  And therefore surely it is the honour of a King to search out such a secret:  Prov. 25. 2.  His counsellours are his eyes and eares; as they ought to be dear to him, so they ought to be true to him, and make him the true report of things without disguise.  If they prove false eyes, let him pluck them out; he may as they use glasse eyes, take them forth without paine, and see never a whit the worse for it.  The wisdome of a Princes Counsellours is a great argument of the Princes wisdome.  And being the choyce of them imports the Princes credit and safety, our Authour will make him amends for his other errours by his good advice in his 22 Chap. whether I referre him.


Wherefore the Princes of Italy have lost their States.

When these things above said are well observ’d, they make a new Prince seeme as if he had been of old, and presently render him more secure and firme in the State, than if he had already grown ancient therein:  for a new Prince is much more observd in his action, than a Prince by inheritance; and when they are known to bee vertuous, men are much more gaind and oblig’d to them thereby, than by the antiquity of their blood:  for men are much more taken by things present, than by things past, and when in the present they find good, they content themselves therein, and seeke no further; or rather they undertake

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Machiavelli, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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