Machiavelli, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 456 pages of information about Machiavelli, Volume I.

Forasmuch as I beleve that after death, al men maie be praised without charge, al occasion and suspecte of flatterie beyng taken awaie, I shal not doubte to praise our Cosimo Ruchellay, whose name was never remembred of me without teares, havyng knowen in him those condicions, the whiche in a good frende or in a citezien, might of his freendes, or of his countrie, be desired:  for that I doe not knowe what thyng was so muche his, not excepting any thing (saving his soule) which for his frendes willingly of him should not have been spent:  I knowe not what enterprise should have made him afraide, where the same should have ben knowen to have been for the benefite of his countrie.  And I doe painly confesse, not to have mette emongest so many men, as I have knowen, and practised withal, a man, whose minde was more inflamed then his, unto great and magnificent thynges.  Nor he lamented not with his frendes of any thyng at his death, but because he was borne to die a yong manne within his owne house, before he had gotten honour, and accordynge to his desire, holpen any manne:  for that he knewe, that of him coulde not be spoken other, savyng that there should be dead a good freende.  Yet it resteth not for this, that we, and what so ever other that as we did know him, are not able to testifie (seeyng his woorkes doe not appere) of his lawdable qualities.  True it is, that fortune was not for al this, so muche his enemie, that it left not some brief record of the readinesse of his witte, as doeth declare certaine of his writinges, and settyng foorthe of amorous verses, wherin (although he were not in love) yet for that he would not consume time in vain, til unto profounder studies fortune should have brought him, in his youthfull age he exercised himselfe.  Whereby moste plainly maie be comprehended, with how moche felicitie he did describe his conceiptes, and how moche for Poetrie he should have ben estemed, if the same for the ende therof, had of him ben exercised.  Fortune having therfore deprived us from the use of so great a frende, me thinketh there can bee founde no other remedie, then as muche as is possible, to seke to enjoye the memorie of the same, and to repeate suche thynges as hath been of him either wittely saied, or wisely disputed.  And for as much as there is nothyng of him more freshe, then the reasonyng, the whiche in his last daies Signior Fabricio Collonna, in his orchard had with him, where largely of the same gentilman were disputed matters of warre, bothe wittely and prudently, for the moste parte of Cosimo demaunded, I thought good, for that I was present there with certain other of our frendes, to bring it to memorie, so that reading the same, the frendes of Cosimo, whiche thether came, might renewe in their mindes, the remembraunce of his vertue:  and the other part beyng sorie for their absence, might partly learne hereby many thynges profitable, not onely to the life of Souldiours, but also to civil mennes lives, which gravely of a moste wise man was disputed. 

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Machiavelli, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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