Machiavelli, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 391 pages of information about Machiavelli, Volume I.
appereth by the warlike games, whiche in old time the Princes of Grecia ordained, upon the mount Olimpus, and also by thorders and exercises, that the aunciente Romaines used in sundrie places, and specially in Campo Martio, and in their wonderful sumptuous Theaters, whiche chiefly thei builded to that purpose.  Whereby thei not onely made their Souldiours so experte, that thei obtained with a fewe, in faightyng againste a greate houge multitude of enemies, soche marveilous victories, as in many credible Histories are mencioned, but also by the same meanes, their unarmed and rascalle people that followed their Campes, gotte soche understandyng in the feates of warre, that thei in the daie of battaile, beeyng lefte destitute of succour, were able without any other help, to set themselves in good order, for their defence againste the enemie, that would seke to hurte theim, and in soche daungerous times, have doen their countrie so good service, that verie often by their helpe, the adversaries have been put to flight, and fieldes moste happely wone.  So that thantiquitie estemed nothing more happie in a common weale, then to have in the same many men skilfull in warlike affaires:  by meanes whereof, their Empire continually inlarged, and moste wonderfully and triumphantly prospered.  For so longe as men for their valiauntnesse, were then rewarded and had in estimacion, glad was he that could finde occasion to venter, yea, and spende his life, to benefite his countrie:  as by the manly actes that Marcus Curcius, Oracius Cocles, and Gaius Mucius did for the savegarde of Rome and also by other innumerable like examples dooeth plainly appeare.  But when through long and continuall peace, thei began to bee altogether given to pleasure and delicatenesse, little regardyng Marciall feates, nor soche as were expert in the practise thereof:  Their dominions and estates, did not so moche before increase and prospere, as then by soche meanes and oversight, thei sodainly fell into decaie and utter ruine.  For soche truly is the nature and condicion, bothe of peace and warre, that where in governemente, there is not had equalle consideration of them bothe, the one in fine, doeth woorke and induce, the others oblivion and utter abholicion.  Wherfore, sith the necessitie of the science of warres is so greate, and also the necessarie use thereof so manifeste, that even Ladie Peace her self, doeth in maner from thens crave her chief defence and preservacion, and the worthinesse moreover, and honour of the same so greate, that as by prose we see, the perfecte glorie therof, cannot easely finde roote, but in the hartes of moste noble couragious and manlike personages, I thought most excellente Princes, I could not either to the specialle gratefiyng of your highnesse, the universall delight of all studious gentlemen, or the common utilitie of the publike wealth, imploie my labours more profitablie in accomplishyng of my duetie and good will, then in settyng foorthe some thing, that might induce to
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Machiavelli, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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