Machiavelli, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 391 pages of information about Machiavelli, Volume I.
working, the one attains his end, the other not.  Hereupon depends the alteration of the good; for if to one that behaves himself with warinesse and patience, times and affaires turne so favourably, that the carriage of his businesse prove well, he prospers; but if the times and affaires chance, he is ruind, because he changes not his manner of proceeding:  nor is there any man so wise, that can frame himselfe hereunto; as well because he cannot go out of the way, from that whereunto Nature inclines him:  as also, for that one having alwayes prosperd, walking such a way, cannot be perswaded to leave it; and therefore the respective and wary man, when it is fit time for him to use violence and force, knows not how to put it in practice, whereupon he is ruind:  but if he could change his disposition with the times and the affaires, he should not change his fortune.  Pope Julius the second proceeded in all his actions with very great violence, and found the times and things so conformable to that his manner of proceeding that in all of them he had happy successe.  Consider the first exploit he did at Bolonia, even while John Bentivolio lived:  the Venetians were not well contented therewith; the King of Spaine likewise with the French, had treated of that enterprise; and notwithstanding al this, he stirrd up by his own rage and fiercenesse, personally undertook that expedition:  which action of his put in suspence and stopt Spaine and the Venetians; those for feare, and the others for desire to recover the Kingdome of Naples; and on the other part drew after him the King of France; for that King seeing him already in motion, and desiring to hold him his friend, whereby to humble the Venetians, thought he could no way deny him his souldiers, without doing him an open injury.  Julius then effected that with his violent and heady motion, which no other Pope with all humane wisdome could ever have done; for if he had expected to part from Rome with his conclusions settled, and all his affaires ordered before hand, as any other Pope would have done, he had never brought it to passe:  For the King of France would have devised a thousand excuses, and others would have put him in as many feares.  I will let passe his other actions, for all of them were alike, and all of them prov’d lucky to him; and the brevity of his life never sufferd him to feele the contrary:  for had he litt upon such times afterwards, that it had been necessary for him to proceed with respects, there had been his utter ruine; for he would never have left those wayes, to which he had been naturally inclind.  I conclude then, fortune varying, and men continuing still obstinate to their own wayes, prove happy, while these accord together:  and as they disagree, prove unhappy:  and I think it true, that it is better to be heady than wary; because Fortune is a mistresse; and it is necessary, to keep her in obedience to ruffle and force her:  and we see, that she suffers her self rather to be masterd by those, than by others that proceed coldly.  And therefore, as a mistresse, shee is a friend to young men, because they are lesse respective, more rough, and command her with more boldnesse.

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Machiavelli, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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