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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 391 pages of information about Machiavelli, Volume I.
the defence of him to their utmost, when the Prince is not wanting in other matters to himself; and so shall he gaine double glory to have given a beginning to a new Principality, adornd, and strengthnd it with good lawes, good arms, good friends, and good examples; as he shall have double shame, that is born a Prince, and by reason of his small discretion hath lost it.  And if we shall consider those Lords, that in Italy have lost their States in our dayes, as the King of Naples, the Duke of Milan, and others; first we shall find in them a common defect, touching their armes, for the reasons which have been above discoursd at length.  Afterwards we shall see some of them, that either shall have had the people for their enemies; or be it they had the people to friend, could never know how to assure themselves of the great ones:  for without such defects as these, States are not lost, which have so many nerves, that they are able to maintaine an army in the feld.  Philip of Macedon, not the father of Alexander the Great, but he that was vanquished by Titus Quintius, had not much State in regard of the greatnesse of the Romanes and of Greece that assail’d him; neverthelesse in that he was a warlike man and knew how to entertaine the people, and assure himself of the Nobles, for many yeares he made the warre good against them:  and though at last some town perhaps were taken from him, yet the Kingdome remaind in his hands still.  Wherefore these our Princes who for many yeares had continued in their Principalities, for having afterwards lost them, let them not blame Fortune, but their own sloth; because they never having thought during the time of quiet, that they could suffer a change (which is the common fault of men, while faire weather lasts, not to provide for the tempest) when afterwards mischiefes came upon them, thought rather upon flying from them, than upon their defence, and hop’d that the people, weary of the vanquishers insolence, would recall them:  which course when the others faile, is good:  but very ill is it to leave the other remedies for that:  for a man wou’d never go to fall, beleeving another would come to take him up:  which may either not come to passe, or if it does, it is not for thy security, because that defence of his is vile, and depends not upon thee; but those defences only are good, certaine, and durable, which depend upon thy owne selfe, and thy owne vertues.

CHAP.  XXV

How great power Fortune hath in humane affaires, and what meanes there is to resist it.

It is not unknown unto me, how that many have held opinion, and still hold it, that the affaires of the world are so governd by fortune, and by God, that men by their wisdome cannot amend or alter them; or rather that there is no remedy for them:  and hereupon they would think that it were of no availe to take much paines in any thing, but leave all to be governd by chance.  This opinion hath gain’d

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