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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 391 pages of information about Machiavelli, Volume I.
publike utilitie.  To minde to have them, to doe no hurt against other, it ought to bee considered, that thei cannot dooe this, except by meane of the heddes, whiche governe them.  To will that the heddes make no disorder, it is necessarie to have care, that thei get not over them to much auctoritie.  And you must consider that this auctoritie, is gotten either by nature, or by accidente:  and as to nature, it behoveth to provide, that he which is boren in one place, be not apoincted to the men billed in the same, but be made hedde of those places, where he hath not any naturall aquaintance:  and as to the accident, the thing ought to be ordeined in suche maner, that every yere the heddes maie be changed from governement to goverment:  for as muche as the continuall auctoritie over one sorte of menne, breedeth among them so muche union, that it maie turne easely to the prejudice of the Prince:  whiche permutations howe profitable they be to those who have used theim, and hurtefull to them that have not observed theim, it is well knowen by the kingdome of the Assirians, and by the Empire of the Romaines:  where is seene, that the same kingdome indured a M. yeres without tumulte, and without any Civill warre:  whiche preceded not of other, then of the permutations, whiche from place to place everie yere thesame Capitaines made, unto whome were apoincted the charge of the Armies.  Nor for any other occasion in the Romaine Empire, after the bloud of Cesar was extinguished, there grewe so many civill warres, betwene the Capitaines of the hostes, and so many conspiracies of the forsaied capitaines against the Emperours, not onely kepyng continually still those capitaines alwayes in one governement.  And if in some of those firste Emperoures, of those after, whom helde the Empire with reputacion, as Adriane, Marcus, Severus, and soche like, there had been so moche foresight, that thei had brought this custome of chaungyng the capitaines in thesame Empire, without doubte it should have made theim more quiete, and more durable:  For that the Capitaines should have had lesse occasion to make tumultes, the Emperours lesse cause to feare, and the senate in the lackes of the successions, should have had in the election of the Emperour, more aucthoritie, and by consequence should have been better:  but the naughtie custome, either for ignoraunce, or through the little diligence of menne, neither for the wicked, nor good ensamples, can be taken awaie.

COSIMO.  I cannot tell, if with my questionyng, I have as it were led you out of your order, bicause from the chusyng of men, we be entred into an other matter, and if I had not been a little before excused, I should thinke to deserve some reprehension.

[Sidenote:  The nomber of horsemen, that the Romanies chose for a Legion, and for a Consailes armie.]

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